Our Lady of Fatima
Between May 13 and October 13, 1917, three Portuguese children–Francisco and Jacinta Marto and their cousin Lucia dos Santos–received apparitions of Our Lady at Cova da Iria near Fatima, a city 110 miles north of Lisbon. Mary asked the children to pray the rosary for world peace, for the end of World War I, for sinners, and for the conversion of Russia.
Mary gave the children three secrets. Following the deaths of Francisco and Jacinta in 1919 and 1920 respectively, Lucia revealed the first secret in 1927. It concerned devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The second secret was a vision of hell. When Lucia grew up she became a Carmelite nun and died in 2005 at the age of 97.
Pope John Paul II directed the Holy See’s Secretary of State to reveal the third secret in 2000; it spoke of a “bishop in white” who was shot by a group of soldiers who fired bullets and arrows into him. Many people linked this vision to the assassination attempt against Pope John Paul II in St. Peter’s Square on May 13, 1981.
The feast of Our Lady of Fatima was approved by the local bishop in 1930; it was added to the Church’s worldwide calendar in 2002.
Pope Francis has granted a plenary indulgence opportunity for the 100th anniversary of the Fatima apparitions until November 26, 2017. A plenary indulgence removes all temporal punishment due to sin up to the present time.
To obtain a plenary indulgence the faithful must meet the following conditions:
- Visit with devotion an image of Our Lady of Fatima solemnly displayed for public veneration and participate there in any celebration or prayer in honor of the Virgin Mary.
- Pray the Our Father.
- Make a Profession of Faith (Apostles’ or Nicene Creed).
- Invoke Our Lady of Fatima.
In addition one must be in complete detachment from all sin and
- Sacramentally confess your sins.
- Receive the Holy Eucharist.
- Pray for the intentions of Pope Francis.
During this 100th anniversary year of the Apparitions at Fatima, consider making a commitment to one or more of the requests made by Our Lady:
- Pray the Rosary Daily
- Offer Sacrifice for Sinners
- Consecration and Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary
- First Five Saturdays Devotion
- Wear the Brown Scapular