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Photo: Fr. John Larson, MIC

Fatima Congress Kicks Off

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Fr. John Larson - Sept. 6, 2016

This year, the 24th Mariological Marian International Congress, running Sept. 6-11, is being held in Fatima — a first for the Congress.

At least three Marians are in attendance, and I happen to be one of them. It is an exciting event, not just for the historical significance of it, but also for the opportunity to meet some of the top Mariologists in the world.

The first day opened at the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary of Fatima with a beautiful Vespers of Our Lady of Fatima. Cardinal Jose Saravia Martins, the special envoy of the Holy Father to the Congress, presided over Vespers. He also presented a talk about the events of Fatima. At shrines such as Fatima, the possibility exists of overriding the office of the day and celebrating the office of the shrine. I particularly noted the prayer presented for the intercessions: Regina Sacratissimi Rosarii, ora pro nobis, that is, "Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, pray for us."

The local bishop, the Most Rev. Antonio Marto, gave an introduction, as did Fr. Vincento Battaglia, the president of the Pontifical Marian International Academy. Some connections between the Jubilee Year of Mercy, the message of Divine Mercy, and the message of Fatima were mentioned.

The Pontifical Marian International Academy has organized Mariological Congresses every few years since 1950. A previous congress was held in Lisbon in 1967, and two have been held in Lourdes, but this is the first one in Fatima.

Although the first day was just a "warm up," the full days of the congress are to come.

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