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Our Lady of Fatima – The Miracle of The Sun

October 13, 1917.  Today is the 94th Anniversary.

 Our Blessed Mother appeared to three children in Fatimaon the 13th day of 6 consecutive months, beginning on May 13, 1917. The children were Lucia Santo and her cousins, Jacinta and Francesco Marto. The apparition of Mary followed months of apparitions by an angel that had prepared the children for the special vision of Our Blessed Mother by teaching them to spend much time in prayer.

During the apparition on May 13 and all of the apparitions by Our Lady in Fatima, Mary asked the children to say the rosary daily for peace and for an end to war. (This occurred during the time of World War I).

During the June apparition, Mary asked the children to pray for the souls in purgatory and to say this prayer at the end of each decade of the rosary with the intention of saving souls, “Oh my Jesus, forgive us our sins. Save us from the fires of hell. Lead all souls to heaven, especially those most in need of Thy mercy.”

On July 13, 1917 Our Lady of Fatima revealed to Lucia, Jacinta, and Francesco the three secrets involving hell and a prophecy about Russia. Again Our Blessed Mother asked the children to make sacrifices in reparation for sinners and for devotion to her Immaculate Heart. Mary asked them to recite this prayer: “O Jesus, this is for love of Thee, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for offences committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.”

When Mary appeared to the children on August 13, 1917, she requested a shrine and chapel to be built in honor of the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, and for a procession in which a statue of Mary would be carried to the chapel. Again she requested prayers and rosaries offered especially for the souls in purgatory. She told them that many souls are lost because no one prays for them.

When Our Lady appeared on September 13, she again asked the children to pray the rosary and continue to offer sacrifice for sinners. She promised that when she appeared in October that Jesus and St. Joseph would appear to them and bless the world. She also promised that a great miracle would appear.

Finally, on October 13, 1917, Our Lady of Fatima appeared in the midst of a great crowd of almost 100,000 people on a hill in a large field in the city of Fatima in Portugal. The crowd of people was gathered in the pouring rain under umbrellas as they looked toward the children in great anticipation. There were reporters and photographers among them. Then, as the rain stopped, the sun began to spin around in the sky, change colors, pulse like a heart, and seem to be falling to the earth. Witnesses described the sun as “dancing in the sky”. All eyes were on the miraculous view, looking toward the skies. When the children asked the beautiful lady her name she said she was Our Lady of the Rosary. After Our Lady disappeared the children saw the Child Jesus with St. Joseph in the sky as they blessed the world, making the sign of the cross. Then they saw Mary appear again when she asked for a chapel to be built in Fatima for devotion to the rosary.

The significance of the apparitions atFatima and the miracle of the sun was to promote the message which Our Lady has always given us to lead us to heaven. She asks us to pray often, especially the prayer of the rosary and to offer sacrifice and do penance for peace in the world, the salvation of sinners, and the souls in purgatory. Let us respond to the requests of our dear Blessed Mother, Our Lady of Fatima, by praying the rosary and carrying a beautiful Swarovski crystal rosary with us daily.

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Our Lady of The Holy Rosary

Feast day – October 7

Our Lady of The Holy Rosary and the Saints of the Rosary

Our Lady of the Rosary is one of the titles given to the Blessed Mother related to her intercession accomplished through the recitation of the rosary. Many miracles have been reported to be due to Mary’s intercession at the time of danger. The early records of this miraculous intercession are noted with major wars or battles in European history following the devotion of faithful Catholics in praying the rosary to the Blessed Mother.

The first of these reported military victories was onOctober 7, 1571at the Battle of Lepanto.  Christian troops defeated Turkish invaders. Prior to the battle members of the Rosary Confraternity in St. Peter’s square inRomeled a procession and prayed the rosary. Crew members on more than 200 ships and Christians throughoutEuropeprayed the rosary in response to the encouragement of the pope. In acknowledgment of Our Blessed Mother’s intercession, Pope St. Pius V ordered the faithful of the Church to commemorate the rosary on that date in October, naming the feast “Our Lady of Victory”. In 1573 Pope Gregory XII allowed the feast day to be celebrated in any church which had an altar dedicated to the Holy Rosary. He renamed the feast “Feast of the Holy Rosary”. Then, in 1671 Pope Clement X extended the feast to all of the country ofSpain. OnAugust 6, 1716, the octave of the Assumption of Mary, the feast was extended to the whole Catholic Church by Pope Clement XI, following a military victory inHungary. It was also added to the calendar of the saints during that year, celebrated on the first Sunday of October. The feast was moved to its current date of October 7 by Pope Pius X.

The rosary is an excellent form of mental and vocal prayer, which brings God’s blessings on the faithful of the Church through the intercession of Mary. It is inspired by the bible and is centered on the mysteries of Christ’s life. Mary promised great blessings to all those that pray the rosary.

As faithful Christians we often call on the intercession of our loving Blessed Mother at times of difficulties in our lives. We ask her to keep our loved ones wrapped in the mantle of her protection and guide us on our journey to heaven. Let us offer this day to Our Lady of the Holy Rosary and honor Mary as we pray to her holding a beautiful mother of pearl rosary.

 

 

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History of Saturday Devotion to Mary

 

Devoting Saturday to the devotion of Mary is not new. It is a custom which originated from the belief that Jesus appeared to His mother Mary on the Saturday after His death. This first appearance of Jesus to the Blessed Mother Mary was an act of honor and respect for His mother who was always devoted and unwavering in her faith in Jesus from the Annunciation through the moments she spent at the foot of the cross of Christ. Mary responded with her fiat (yes) to be the mother of God at the Annunciation and “yes” to be the mother of mankind in response to the request by her divine Son at the foot of the Cross. Her great fiat to God’s will is certainly a virtue which we try to emulate and therefore recognize as part of our Marian devotion.

We see this devotion in practice within the liturgy of the Mass in which prayers during the Mass are directed toward Mary as the Church invokes her, the mother of grace, as our intercessor. Early evidence of Saturday liturgical prayer devoted to Mary has been associated with the contributions of a Benedictine monk in the 8th century, Alcuin. He wrote 6 models for the liturgy, one for each day of the week with 2 of them devoted to Mary.

 The role and importance of devotion to Mary in the lives of Catholics was addressed by Pope Paul VI in 1974 in his encyclical “Marialis Cultus” – Apostolic Exhortation for the Right Ordering and Development of Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. The pope reaffirmed in this document the belief of the Church that the devotion to Mary can not be separated from our worship during the liturgy of the Mass which is the central worship of Jesus Christ. He pointed to Mary as the model who exemplifies the most perfect characteristics and virtues of the Church in faith, charity and perfect union with Christ. Mary is therefore, both an example and teacher of divine worship and perfect spiritual life. Christians recognized the role of Mary as our spiritual model from the beginning of Christianity. Pope Paul VI further cited St. Ambrose in the 4th century who recognized the significance of Mary in the life of the Church when he prayed: “May the heart of Mary be in each Christian to proclaim the greatness of the Lord; may her spirit be in everyone to exult in God”.

As faithful Catholics we are encouraged to rediscover the wonderful devotions to Mary which have been practiced over the 2000 years since she stood at the foot of the Cross. As Mary intercedes in bringing us so many graces through the merits of her Son, it is only appropriate that we honor her in her role as the mother of Our Lord and Savior. Let us continue to recognize the role of our dear Blessed Mother in bringing us to her Son and offer some special act of devotion especially on Saturday. We can show our love, respect, and gratitude to Mary in prayer and by wearing and displaying a Miraculous Medal in her honor.

 

 

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