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Photo: Santuário de Fátima

Fatima Feast Day Message from the Pope, Cardinal

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By Terry Peloquin (May 13, 2020)
It was a historic emptiness at a place that normally greets tens of thousands of pilgrims. On this year's Feast of Our Lady of Fatima, May 13, in the Shrine named in her honor in Portugal, on the anniversary of Our Lady's apparition there, Cardinal D. António Marto, announced in his homily:

For the first time in history, since 1917, on this great May 13th, your beloved people, Our Lady, from the most diverse angles of the world cannot be here, in a crowd, prevented by the risks of public health ... . Suddenly, something we couldn't even imagine confines us in our homes and deprives us of the most desired and affectionate moments of life, like this one we live each year together with you, O tender Mother.

Yet, the message of Our Lady of Fatima remains full of hope. At this morning's audience, the Holy Father echoed the message of Fatima:

I salute the Portuguese speaking listeners and, on this May 13th, I encourage everyone to know and follow the example of the Virgin Mary. For this, let us seek to live this month with a more intense and faithful daily prayer, in particular by praying the rosary, as recommended by the church, obeying a desire repeatedly expressed in Fatima by Our Lady. Under his protection, life's sufferings and afflictions will be easier to bear. I would like to approach, with my heart to the Diocese of Fatima, to the Sanctuary of Our Lady, today: I salute the pilgrims who pray there, I salute the Cardinal-Bishop, I salute all, all united to Our Lady, who accompany us on this path of daily conversion to Jesus. May God bless you!

From their daily live streamed Rosary at 5 p.m. ET from the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy, the Marian Fathers have blessed participants with the Shrine's relics of the Fatima visionary children. Father Anthony Gramlich, MIC, rector of the Shrine, has encouraged listeners to pray through the intercession of the two canonized Fatima children. As Fr. Anthony points out, "Two of the three Fatima children — Jacinta and Francisco Marto — died during the Spanish flu epidemic a century ago. So, they would be appropriate intercessors for us during this pandemic." Saints Jacinta and Franciso were canonized in May 2017. "They are the first two children saints of the Church that are not martyrs," he explained. The third Fatima visionary, their cousin Lucia dos Santos, died in 2005. Her beatification cause is underway.

In the May 13 feast, the Church celebrates the anniversary of the appearance of Mary to three shepherd children in the town of Fatima, Portugal, in 1917. Between May 13 and Oct. 13 of that year, Mary appeared six times to the children, and finally to a crowd of about 70,000. Our Lady asked the children to pray the Rosary every day to bring peace to the world and an end to the war.

Read more in our special Fatima pages.

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