…it falls to me to commemorate the 105th Anniversary of the Apparition of the Blessed Virgin at Fatima:
Our Lady of Fátima is a Roman Catholic title of the Blessed Virgin Mary based on the famed Marian apparitions reported in 1917 by three shepherd children at the Cova da Iria, in Fátima, Portugal. The three children were Lúcia Santos and her cousins Jacinta and Francisco Marto….
The reported apparitions at Fátima were officially declared worthy of belief by the Catholic Church, which commemorates the event on the same date. The published memoirs of Lúcia Santos’ in the 1930s revealed two secrets that she claimed came from the Virgin while the third secret was to be revealed by the Catholic Church in 1960. The controversial events at Fátima gained fame due partly to elements of the secrets, prophecy and eschatological revelations allegedly related to the Second World War and possibly more global wars in the future, particularly the Virgin’s alleged request for the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
The Apparitions at Fatima extended over six sequential “thirteenths:” The thirteenth days of the months of May, June, July, August, September, and October of the Year of Our Lord 1917. The final apparition was the most heavily attended; it’s estimated that about 70,000 persons flocked to the Cova de Iria for that one. It was capped by the Miracle of the Sun, which the Blessed Virgin had promised to the three children as proof that it was indeed a heavenly visitation.
There’s a great deal to be said about the Apparitions, including the utter fidelity of Francisco Marto and the dos Santos children to their accounts of them. Anyone with an interest can read more about the events that took place in the Cova de Iria than I have the patience to transcribe here. Yet such a miracle will always elicit skepticism from non-witnesses, especially those who are averse to religious belief. The accounts of the Fatima events must stand or fall on their own.
For those interested in a particularly beautiful dramatization of the Apparitions, based solidly on the testimony of Lucia dos Santos, I heartily recommend the movie The 13th Day, produced and directed by Ian and Dominic Higgins.
Our Lady of Fatima, Queen of Heaven, pray for us.