Dear Lady of Fatima,
We come on bended knee,
To beg Your intercession,
For peace and unity.
Dear Mary, won't You show us,
The right and shining way,
We pledge our love and offer You,
A Rosary each day.
You promised at Fatima,
Each time that You appeared,
To help us if we pray to You,
To banish war and fear.
Dear Lady, on First Saturdays,
We ask Your guiding hand,
For grace and guidance here on earth,
And protection for our land.
May 1917, Our Blessed Mother began a series of visits with three Portuguese shepherd children: Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta. During the months that followed the initial visitation, the three visionaries were graced with six messages from the Blessed Virgin, as well as three apparitions of the “Angel of Portugal,” all of which culminated in the spectacular “Miracle of the Sun,” witnessed by tens of thousands of the faithful. Each month, on the 13th day (see here, here, here, and here), Our Lady of Fatima delivered a message to the children-- a message of the importance of devotion to the Immaculate Heart and praying the Rosary—through which the ruinous course of humanity could be converted and redeemed.
last apparition, Our Lady had told the three visionaries: “Continue the Rosary, my children. Say it every day that the war may end. In October Our Lord will come, as well as Our Lady of Sorrows and Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Saint Joseph will appear with the Child Jesus to bless the world.” She had further cautioned them that their penances—offered for the sins of the world—were becoming too severe, and encouraged them to moderate their practices.
On October 13, nearly 70,000 onlookers gathered at the Cova de Iria for what promised to be the most dramatic of the Fatima apparitions. Beginning the evening before, and continuing throughout the night, a cold rain had been falling, and ground was covered with mud. The crowd was soaked, huddled beneath umbrellas which offered them little protection from the elements. As the time drew near for Our Lady’s visit, Lucy begged the people present to close their umbrellas, which they did without complaint.
“What does Your Grace want of me?” Lucy asked.
“I want a chapel built here in my honor. I want you to continue saying the Rosary every day. The war will end soon, and the soldiers will return to their homes.”
"Yes. Yes. Will you tell me your name?" Lucy inquired graciously.
“I am the Lady of the Rosary.”
"I have many petitions from many people. Will you grant them?"
“Some I shall grant, and others I must deny. People must amend their lives and ask pardon for their sins. They must not offend our Lord any more, for He is already too much offended!“
"And is that all you have to ask?"
“There is nothing more.”
As Our Lady ascended into Heaven, Lucy shouted: "She is going! She is going! Look at the sun!"
As promised during her visitations, the Miracle of the Sun (O Milagre do Sol) then took place. By all accounts of those gathered, the sky abruptly cleared and the sun "danced” in the sky. The people were able to look at the bright sun directly, without it bothering their eyes at all. A physician, Dr. José Maria de Almeida Garrett, professor at the Faculty of Sciences of Coimbra, Portugal, testified later:
"It must have been 1:30 p.m. when there arose, at the exact spot where the children were, a column of smoke, thin, fine and bluish, which extended up to perhaps two meters above their heads, and evaporated at that height. This phenomenon, perfectly visible to the naked eye, lasted for a few seconds. Not having noted how long it had lasted, I cannot say whether it was more or less than a minute. The smoke dissipated abruptly, and after some time, it came back to occur a second time, then a third time.
The sky, which had been overcast all day, suddenly cleared; the rain stopped and it looked as if the sun were about to fill with light the countryside that the wintery morning had made so gloomy. I was looking at the spot of the apparitions in a serene, if cold, expectation of something happening and with diminishing curiosity because a long time had passed without anything to excite my attention. The sun, a few moments before, had broken through the thick layer of clouds which hid it and now shone clearly and intensely.
Suddenly I heard the uproar of thousands of voices, and I saw the whole multitude spread out in that vast space at my feet...turn their backs to that spot where, until then, all their expectations had been focused, and look at the sun on the other side. I turned around, too, toward the point commanding their gaze and I could see the sun, like a very clear disc, with its sharp edge, which gleamed without hurting the sight. It could not be confused with the sun seen through a fog (there was no fog at that moment), for it was neither veiled nor dim. At Fatima, it kept its light and heat, and stood out clearly in the sky, with a sharp edge, like a large gaming table. The most astonishing thing was to be able to stare at the solar disc for a long time, brilliant with light and heat, without hurting the eyes or damaging the retina. [During this time], the sun's disc did not remain immobile, it had a giddy motion, [but] not like the twinkling of a star in all its brilliance for it spun round upon itself in a mad whirl.
During the solar phenomenon, which I have just described, there were also changes of color in the atmosphere. Looking at the sun, I noticed that everything was becoming darkened. I looked first at the nearest objects and then extended my glance further afield as far as the horizon. I saw everything had assumed an amethyst color. Objects around me, the sky and the atmosphere, were of the same color. Everything both near and far had changed, taking on the color of old yellow damask. People looked as if they were suffering from jaundice and I recall a sensation of amusement at seeing them look so ugly and unattractive. My own hand was the same color.
Then, suddenly, one heard a clamor, a cry of anguish breaking from all the people. The sun, whirling wildly, seemed all at once to loosen itself from the firmament and, blood red, advance threateningly upon the earth as if to crush us with its huge and fiery weight. The sensation during those moments was truly terrible.
All the phenomena which I have described were observed by me in a calm and serene state of mind without any emotional disturbance. It is for others to interpret and explain them. Finally, I must declare that never, before or after October 13, have I observed similar atmospheric or solar phenomena."
"The sun began to dance and, at a certain moment, it appeared to detach itself from the firmament and to rush forward on us, like a fire wheel." (Alfredo da Silva Santos)
"From those thousands of mouths I heard shouts of joy and love to the Most Holy Virgin. And then I believed. I had the certainty of not having been the victim of a suggestion. I had seen the sun as I would never see it again." (Mario Godinho, an engineer)
Following the miracle, despite the mud and heavy rains, astonishingly, the thousands of people, most of whom were soaked to the bone and dirty from the mud, suddenly found that their clothes were dry and clean.
"The moment one would least expect it, our clothes were totally dry." (Maria do Carmo)
"My suit dried in an instant." (John Carreira)
"This enormous multitude was drenched, for it had rained unceasingly since dawn. But – though this may appear incredible – after the great miracle everyone felt comfortable, and found his garments quite dry, a subject of general wonder … The truth of this fact has been guaranteed with the greatest sincerity by dozens and dozens of persons of absolute trustworthiness, whom I have known intimately from childhood, and who are still alive (1937), as well as by persons from various districts of the country who were present." (Marques de Cruz, academician).
The great Miracle of the Sun lasted for ten minutes. During that time, many miraculous cures of illness and conversions of sinners to the true faith were reported. However, the visionaries did not witness this miracle. They later reported seeing something much different. As Lucy wrote:
“Our Lady having disappeared in the immensity of the firmament, we saw, beside the sun, Saint Joseph with the Child Jesus and Our Lady clothed in white with a blue mantle. Saint Joseph and the Child Jesus seemed to bless the world with gestures which they made with their hands in the form of a cross.
Soon after, that apparition having ceased, I saw Our Lord and Our Lady, Who gave me the impression of being Our Lady of Sorrows. Our Lord seemed to bless the world in the same manner as Saint Joseph.
That apparition disappeared and it seemed to me that I saw Our Lady again, this time as Our Lady of Mount Carmel.”
In these three successive visions, the visionaries were again encouraged to pray the Rosary, as each vision represented the Mysteries of the Rosary: the vision of the Holy Family indicating the Joyful mysteries, Our Lady of Sorrows representing the Sorrowful mysteries, and Our Lady of Mount Carmel evoking the Glorious Mysteries.
Following the conclusion of the miracle, Lucy was carried through the stunned crowd. She cried out to them, urging them to take heed of Our Lady’s message. Her words were: "Do penance! Do penance! Our Lady wants you to do penance!" (in Portuguese, meaning: "being converted, returning to God, fleeing sin”). Through this plea Lucy was reiterating the sorrowful request Our Lady had made of humanity in Her final apparition: "Do not offend the Lord our God any more, because He is already too much offended."
Through prayers of adoration and reparation, we turn to Our Lady of Fatima—to whom God has entrusted our redemption through her grace and cooperation with her divine spouse—to rectify the state of the world, reduce the influence of evil, save the sinful, and draw ourselves closer to Our God through devotion to the Immaculate Heart.
Dearest Mother, Queen of the Holy Rosary, who came to Fatima to reveal to all mankind the Divine plan for true Christian peace, of prayer, penance, and consecration, grant an abundance of grace, strength, and guidance to the members of Thy Fatima Crusade, here present and throughout the world. Inspire us to great zeal, oh great Mediatrix of All Graces, that we may be effective instruments in spreading devotion to Thy Rosary; that we may be faithful in wearing Thy scapular; that we may inspire our brothers in Christ to a life of sacrifice, penance, and modesty, and finally, that we may help to bring about that wonderful day when all men, through consecration to Thy Immaculate Heart, shall be one in Christ. Amen.
Day 286 of 365
Prayer Intentions: Trust; Reparation; Penance for Sinners
Requested Intentions: For family’s prosperity and employment (M); For a husband’s addiction (F); Health in a relationship, literary representation (D); For a mother struggling with cancer (P); Employment and financial assistance (L); End to work troubles, return to health (R); For a husband’s recovery from alcoholism (M); For a pregnant sister in the ICU (J); For a family’s safety, health, and successful education (S); Successful employment and relationship (E); Reconciliation with a friend, sanctity of a relationship (G); Increase in Rosary prayers by youth and students (S); Successful outcome of court case and employment (L); For guidance and righteous love (K); Restoration of a relationship (H); For successful employment (I); For a daughter’s successful relationship (M); For a relationship sanctified by God (M); For health of father; For canonization of Pope John Paul II (A); Those suffering from depression (J); Successful adoption (S); Healing of a father battling cancer (S).
Why pray the Rosary every day for a year?
Each time the Blessed Virgin has appeared-- whether it be to Saint Bernadette Soubirous at Lourdes; to Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco at Fatima; or to Mariette Beco at Banneux-- she has asserted the importance, saving grace, and power of praying the Holy Rosary on a daily basis. Based upon her words, the Rosary is penance and conversion for sinners, a pathway to peace, an end to war, and a powerful act of faith in Jesus Christ. Pope Paul VI presented the Rosary as a powerful means to reach Christ "not merely with Mary but indeed, insofar as this is possible to us, in the same way as Mary, who is certainly the one who thought about Him more than anyone else has ever done."
To show us how this is done, perhaps no one has been more eloquent than the great Cardinal Newman, who wrote: "The great power of the Rosary consists in the fact that it translates the Creed into Prayer. Of course, the Creed is already in a certain sense a prayer and a great act of homage towards God, but the Rosary brings us to meditate again on the great truth of His life and death, and brings this truth close to our hearts. Even Christians, although they know God, usually fear rather than love Him. The strength of the Rosary lies in the particular manner in which it considers these mysteries, since all our thinking about Christ is intertwined with the thought of His Mother, in the relations between Mother and Son; the Holy Family is presented to us, the home in which God lived His infinite love."
As Mary said at Fatima, "Jesus wants to use you to make Me known and loved. He wishes to establish the devotion to My Immaculate Heart throughout the world. I promise salvation to whoever embraces it; these souls will be dear to God, like flowers put by Me to adorn his throne."