The Apparition of Fatima was a miraculous incident that took place between May 13 and October 13, 1917 in which the Blessed Virgin appeared to three shepherd children. Let’s look back to this wondrous miracle as we commemorate its 100th year anniversary.
The Apparition of Fatima
On the spring of 1917, Lucia Santos and her cousins Jacinta and Francisco Marto reported seeing apparitions of an angel. The first appearance happened on May 13, 1917 and it would mark the beginning of a series of miraculous events known as the Apparition of Fatima.
The Blessed Mother appeared in Fatima, a little village in Portugal which had remained faithful to the Catholic Church in the midst of recent political persecutions. This was a time of widespread terror and turmoil and the children urged that prayer would finally end the Great War. The Blessed Virgin Mary appeared a total of six times to them.
The Catholic Church has declared the Apparition of Fatima as worthy of belief and it commemorates the event every May 13.
The Message of Fatima
Our Lady came with an important message from God for every man, woman and child. The message was about a promise of peace for the whole world and salvation for many souls if people listened and obeyed to the requests of Our Lady of Fatima.
Our Lady of Fatima’s message is filled with anguish and concern as she knows that we are living in perilous times. We are all in grave danger and she is here to help us and offer her wise advice. Her message is also part prophecy that will soon take place in the world depending on our response to it.
War, according to the Blessed Virgin, is one of the punishments of sin. Aside from conflict, God would rebuke the world through hunger, persecution of the Church and of the Holy Father, the Pope. All of this would come to pass unless we would live in accordance to God’s commands.
Pope John Paul II described the message of Fatima as “more relevant and more urgent” in our current times than when Our Lady first appeared.
Top 10 Things We Need to Know About Fatima
- Mary’s message to the world was to pray the Rosary, make amends for sins, and to become devoted to her Immaculate Heart.
- Blessed Mary promises that if her requests at Fatima are carried out there will be peace in the world, an end to wars, and souls will be saved.
- Not all of the requests of Our Lady of Fatima have been honored.
- The Blessed Lady warns the shepherd children that if her requests aren’t honored, many souls will be lost.
- As Mary predicted, the following came true: the end of World War I, the emergence of Russia as a world power and the start of World War II under the pontificate of Pius XI.
- We should believe what happened at Fatima because many of Mary's predictions came true.
- Mary instructed that the faithful can devote themselves to her Immaculate Heart by doing the following on the first Saturday of five consecutive months:
- While Fatima happened 100 years ago, the message of Mary to pray for the salvation of souls and for peace in the world still applies today.
- Since the fall of communism, there have been few conversions to Catholicism in Russia.
- After the Fatima apparitions, Lucia dos Santos became a nun first in Spain and later, in 1948 as a Carmelte in Portugal. Sr. Lucia died on February 13, 2005 at the age of 97.
The Miracle of Fatima
Our Lady told the three shepherd children that God would perform a miracle so that the people would believe in the apparitions. Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta prophesied the date, time and place that the miracle would occur in the name of the Blessed Virgin. About 70,000 people witnessed the miracle of Fatima on October 13, 1917.
The astounding phenomenon involved the sun which was said to have danced on that day. All the people who attended could perfectly stare at the sun without blinking or even hurting their eyes. As they watched the sun, it suddenly rotated, changed in size, moved close to the people and then moved far away again.Every single person who was at the site testified to seeing the sun dance. Even non-believers who were in attendance dropped down to their knees to repent and beg for forgiveness.
To this day, Our Lady of Fatima continues to perform miraculous wonders. One example is the Fatima water which is known for healing different illnesses and helping people in poor health. The Bishop once told people to dig near the location where Our Lady appeared at the Cova de Iria (the Cove of Peace) in Fatima.
Water sprang up at the spot and now it is sent from the town of Fatima to different parts of the world. Many people also go on pilgrimages to Fatima in order to experience the healing wonders of the Fatima water.
100th Year Anniversary of the Apparition of Fatima
The year 2017 is the centennial celebration of the apparitions of the Blessed Mother to the three shepherd children. The message of Fatima reminds us of many important truths at the heart of the Catholic Faith including the Trinity, the Eucharist, penance, the Rosary and sacrifices for the conversion of sinners.
Her message reminds us that there is hope for humanity and that, despite all the terror and trouble taking place in our times, we can still change the world for the better. We need to trust in God and pray to him for deliverance. Above all, we must continually strengthen our faith and live each day with gratitude, compassion and humility.
Fatima is one of the most significant of all Marian apparitions. We honor this miraculous event with a feast day on May 13, in the same way that we honor two other important Marian apparitions: Guadalupe on December 12 and Lourdes on February 11.
On May 13, 1981, the same day as the first Fatima apparition, Pople John Paul II survived an assassination attempt in St. Peter’s Square. The Pope credited his survival to the intervention of Our Lady of Fatima. The assassin’s bullet is now inserted in the crown worn by Our Lady which is housed in the Fatima Shrine. Fatima is also linked to the fall of Russian communism more than 25 years ago.
In 2002, Pope John Paul II added Our Lady of Fatima’s feast day to the general Roman calendar.
The 100th anniversary of the apparition drew in multitudes of faithful devotees all eager to show their love for the Blessed Mother through pilgrimages, celebrations and other expressions of faith. This is indeed a singular event not just in history but also in our personal lives as Catholics. How did you commemorate the meaningful miracle of Our Lady of Fatima?
Our Lady of Fatima Medal
Our Lady of Fatima Statue 24 Inch
Our Lady of Fatima Framed Print
Our Lady of the Rosary of Fatima Medal Sterling Silver