What is the Fatima Rosary?
The name Fátima is Arabic in origin and is given to the Parish in the Diocese of Leiria, in central Portugal, near the famous cloister Batalha. Since 1917, it has been one of the most famous Marian shrines in the world and the destination of numerous pilgrimages. The parish includes the hamlets Aljustrel and Valinhos, and the natural depression Cova da Iria, where the apparition of the Blessed Virgin occurred six times from May 13 to October 13, 1917.
Three shepherd children, Lucia dos Santos (1907-2005), and her cousins Francisco (1908-1919) and Jacinta (1910-1920), said they saw the figure of a Lady brighter than the sun, standing on a cloud in an evergreen tree. In a conversation that Francisco alone did not hear, though he said he saw the figure, the Lady asked the children to return to the place on the 13th of each month until October, when she would disclose her identity and reveal what she desired. In spite of local incredulity, the children returned as promised, joined by a crowd of spectators that increased from 50 in June, to 1,000 in July, to 18,000 in August, to 30,000 in September, and to 50,000 in October. Only the children saw the Lady, but others reported that they noted movements of the tree and the arrival and departure of the cloud.
On the 19th of August, the Lady appeared to the children alone, promising that in October a great miracle would occur. On the specified date in October, in wet and dismal weather, she announced to them that she was Our Lady of the Rosary, and called for amendment in men’s lives. Then the sun appeared and seemed to tremble, rotate violently, and finally fall, dancing over the heads of the throng before it returned to normal. Many of the crowd reported having seen this “Miracle of the Sun” that was repeated twice more.
Cova da Iria is now completely paved and is dominated by the Basilica of Our Lady of Fatima, with its lofty tower (1928-53). Nearby on the site of the tree is the chapel of the Apparitions, with a statue carved according to Lucia’s description. On May 12, 1946, the statue was crowned by the legate of Pope Pius XII, who had been consecrated bishop on May 13, 1917, and who in 1951 chose Fatima for the solemn closing of the Holy Year, attended by more than 1 million people.
Please Pray the Fatima Novena in October
A Novena is a nine day focused prayer. The Catholic Encylopedia on our site defines a Novena as a "nine days' private or public devotion in the Catholic Church to obtain special graces." While the number eight in the Judeo-Christian tradition was always thought of as a festive number of new beginnings, the number nine seemed to be often linked with suffering.
Sacred Heart Cemetery
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