Readings & Reflections: Friday of the Seventh Week of Easter & Our Lady of Fatima, May 13,2016

Readings & Reflections: Friday of the Seventh Week of Easter & Our Lady of Fatima, May 13,2016


This feast commemorates the first of six appearances of the Blessed Virgin Mary to three Portuguese shepherd children in 1917. Mary exhorted them to “Pray, pray very much. Make sacrifices for sinners. Many souls go to hell, because no one is willing to help them with sacrifice.” On her third appearance, she showed the children a vision of hell as a state of eternal pain and despair. She asked that Russia be consecrated to her Immaculate Heart. “In the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph,” she assured the children. On October 31,1942, Pope Pius XII consecrated “the whole world torn by bitter strife” to the Immaculate Heart.


Opening Prayer

Dear Jesus, We receive the work that You have assigned to St Peter as our commission to love your people and bring them closer to You. Thank you for giving us an opportunity to demonstrate our love for You. Lord, we see this task as beyond us as it involves giving our all to You. When times become difficult and trials inundate our lives, we are not sure if we can give our all to You. A lot times, we doubt if we can do it.
Lord in all this, we need not fear for we believe that You are always there to take care of us. Allow us to always listen to You and to be sensitive to your leadings so that we may know what You truly want from us. Yes Lord our lives are ultimately not ours but yours and we pray that we learn to love You deeply so that even death cannot scare us away from sharing our lives with your people. Lord with the power of your Spirit, enable us to truly live your life so that even in our own small way, each of us who claim to be your disciple may be able to really tend and feed your lambs. In your Name, we pray. Amen.

Reading 1
Acts 25:13b-21

King Agrippa and Bernice arrived in Caesarea
on a visit to Festus.
Since they spent several days there,
Festus referred Paul’s case to the king, saying,
“There is a man here left in custody by Felix.
When I was in Jerusalem the chief priests and the elders of the Jews
brought charges against him and demanded his condemnation.
I answered them that it was not Roman practice
to hand over an accused person before he has faced his accusers
and had the opportunity to defend himself against their charge.
So when they came together here, I made no delay;
the next day I took my seat on the tribunal
and ordered the man to be brought in.
His accusers stood around him,
but did not charge him with any of the crimes I suspected.
Instead they had some issues with him about their own religion
and about a certain Jesus who had died
but who Paul claimed was alive.
Since I was at a loss how to investigate this controversy,
I asked if he were willing to go to Jerusalem
and there stand trial on these charges.
And when Paul appealed that he be held in custody
for the Emperor’s decision,
I ordered him held until I could send him to Caesar.”

The word of the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 103:1-2, 11-12, 19-20ab
R. (19a) The Lord has established his throne in heaven.
R. Alleluia.

Bless the LORD, O my soul;
and all my being, bless his holy name.
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits.
R. The Lord has established his throne in heaven.
R. Alleluia.

For as the heavens are high above the earth,
so surpassing is his kindness toward those who fear him.
As far as the east is from the west,
so far has he put our transgressions from us.
R. The Lord has established his throne in heaven.
R. Alleluia.

The LORD has established his throne in heaven,
and his kingdom rules over all.
Bless the LORD, all you his angels,
you mighty in strength, who do his bidding.
R. The Lord has established his throne in heaven.
R. Alleluia.

John 21:15-19

After Jesus had revealed himself to his disciples and eaten breakfast with them,
he said to Simon Peter,
“Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?”
Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.”
He then said to Simon Peter a second time,
“Simon, son of John, do you love me?”
Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
He said to him, “Tend my sheep.”
He said to him the third time,
“Simon, son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was distressed that he had said to him a third time,
“Do you love me?” and he said to him,
“Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.”
Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.
Amen, amen, I say to you, when you were younger,
you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted;
but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands,
and someone else will dress you
and lead you where you do not want to go.”
He said this signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God.
And when he had said this, he said to him, “Follow me.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

Reflection 1 – Do you love me?

Peter was distressed that he had said to him a third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.”

It remains a fact that God expects us not only to love Him but love His people and be responsible for all whom He brings into our lives and for which we must render an accounting.  In John 15 Jesus said: “It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you. This I command you: love one another.”

Our culture has fast developed into a model for unreal commitments where infidelity has become more of a norm rather than the exception. Infidelity does not work and it leaves no one happy or at peace.  A spouse caught in the middle of another relationship, be it a passing fancy or something real, is in for a difficult situation.  Along with remorse and guilt over having hurt one’s lifetime partner, fear and anxiety can grip one’s heart. “Does she still love me? Will she ever forgive me?  Will she trust me again?  Will she do the same to me?”

Today’s gospel reading just made me think of how Peter felt after the resurrection of our Lord.  Was he so ashamed to face Jesus? After affirming His love for Jesus, three times he denied Him and went His way.  He failed to show his loyalty to Jesus when it counted most.  Did the cock’s crow haunt him?  Did he ever feel unworthy to lead God’s flock?  We all know that Jesus did not condemn Peter but gave him a chance to re-affirm his love.  He even affirmed His confidence in Peter by entrusting Peter with the care of His flock.

Jesus provided us with the kind of love we should have for one another as He was and is absolutely faithful even amidst rejection.  Even when His fidelity is undeserved, He remains true and unchanging.  In my own life, I can only say that Jesus has treated me just like He did Peter. Unfaithful and sinful, I am surprised that God is still willing to love me and care for me, not only from time to time but time and time again.

The three times Peter verbally affirmed his love for Jesus, His responses were: “Feed my lambs. Tend my sheep. Feed my sheep.”  Today, Jesus calls us to be like Him and to do the same to those He sends into our lives. He wants us to give more and more of ourselves and draw His people closer to Him.  It is only in our faithful self-giving that we will ever find the joy and peace we need in our lives, no matter how hurtful it can be at times.  Amidst conflict and rejection by people who are close to us, how have we reciprocated?  How have we been in our fraternal relationships within God’s church?

Feeding and tending God’s sheep is our honest and unbiased sharing of God’s Word by always speaking and witnessing to the TRUTH.

However being political and speaking half-truths according to how the winds of the times blow, neither does merely being consistent with what one professes, constitute total truthful witnessing.  Feeding and tending God’s flock with the truth means not only speaking out about what is wrong but pro actively seeking out the right thing to do and not passively waiting for a situation to present itself. It means taking a definite position even when such is not popular and does not conform to the great majority.

As servants of the Lord and leaders of God’s flock, feeding and tending God’s sheep means calling everyone to high standards of integrity and truthfulness and be bound by them without exceptions.


Serving and caring for God’s people by feeding them His Word is loving God.


Heavenly Father, give me all that it will take so that I may remain faithful to You especially during difficult times when I may be prone to compromise and half-heartedness as my way of life.  In Jesus, I pray. Amen.

Reflection 2 – Your love must be sincere.

In Fiddler on the Roof, Tevye asks his wife, Golde, “Do you love me?” She’s taken aback by the question. After all, they’ve been married for twenty-five years. But Tevye persists and finally, after having considered all they’ve been through, Golde replies, “I suppose I do.”

Tevye’s question is a difficult one to ask; it leaves the questioner quite vulnerable. It is perhaps even more difficult to answer, for to say, “Yes, I love you” carries with it commitment and responsibilities. Jesus asked Simon Peter the question, but Peter answered too quickly. So Jesus asked again, and again. He wanted Peter to realize the consequences of his “Yes!”

Every Christian worthy of that name knows that love of God and love of neighbor are the two major requirements for discipleship. One of the major themes of the New Testament is the demonstration of God’s love for his people – “God so love the world that he gave his only Son” (Jn 3:16). “No greater love hath a man than that he be willing to lay down his life for his friends” (Jn 15:13). In response to such a great show of love from God, human beings are expected to love in return, and there is the great trap of being Christian. “Anyone who says he loves God but hates his neighbor is a liar!” (1 Jn 4:20). The challenge is: “Christ gave his life for us. We too, then, ought to give our lives for others” (1 Jn 3:16).

Time and again the respected social activist Dorothy Day, known for her service to the poor and broken, wrote in her diary of that immense difficulty she had in being open, receptive and loving to the needy people who came to her. “To see Jesus in the poor, to welcome, to be hospitable, to love!” she wrote, “This is my need. I fail every day.”

The two great pillars of the Church, Peter and Paul, failed too, but God did not give up on them. Sometimes gently, sometimes bluntly he asked them, “Do you love me?” It is the same question he often puts to us as well. In trials and persecution, in temptations and failures, in the demands people place upon us, our vulnerable God is asking, “Do you love me?” And however surprised we are by the question, we muster a half-hearted, “I suppose I do.” The consequences of that response, however, awaken us anew to the commitment and responsibilities of being Christian! (Source: Norman Langenbrunner, Weekday Homily Helps. Ohio: St. Anthony Messenger Press, May 29, 2009).

Reflection 3 – Feeding Jesus’ Sheep

Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me? . . . Feed My sheep. —John 21:17

What will keep us serving the Lord in our church and community when the going gets tough? Although we may be sensitive to the needs of others, that alone isn’t enough. Nor should we be driven by a need that we have—a desire to be appreciated or loved by others. Our needs are deep, and only God can satisfy them. The more we try to satisfy them with anything else—even God’s work—the more dissatisfied we will become.

Even love for God’s people, His sheep, won’t keep us going. People can be unlovable and insufferable. We may come to resent them.

No, the only sufficient incentive for service is our love for the Lord, and it’s the love of Christ that compels us (2 Corinthians 5:14). No other motivation will do. In My Utmost For His Highest, Oswald Chambers wrote, “If we are devoted to the cause of humanity, we shall soon be crushed and brokenhearted, . . . but if our motive is to love God, no ingratitude can hinder us from serving our fellowmen.”

In one of His last conversations with Peter, Jesus asked him, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” Peter answered, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” Jesus then said, “Feed My sheep” (John 21:17).

Are you motivated by love for Christ?

More love to Thee, O Christ, more love to Thee!
Hear Thou the prayer I make on bended knee;
This is my earnest plea: More love, O Christ, to Thee,
More love to Thee, more love to Thee!

To love Christ is to serve Christ Are you motivated by love for Christ?  — David H. Roper (Source: Our Daily Bread, RBC Ministries).

Reflection 4 – Don’t Give Up

Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep.” –John 21:17

On the last day of spring training in 1979, baseball player Steve Kemp of the Detroit Tigers was hit in the head with a pitched ball and taken to the hospital. But on opening day of the regular season he stepped up to the plate with confidence. Taking fastballs from a veteran pitcher, he smacked a single. The next time at bat he hit a home run.

During a postgame interview he said, “After I was hit, I just told myself, ‘I can’t let it bother me.’ If you let it bother you, you’re not going to be any good to yourself or your team.”

The apostle Peter responded to a bitter experience in much the same way. He had been hit hard by a “pitch” from the enemy. He had promised earlier that he would follow Christ, even if it meant death (Matthew 26:33-35). But just a little while later, facing unexpected pressure, he denied his Lord (vv.69-75).

That devastating blow could have caused him to quit. But Peter didn’t give up—because Jesus didn’t give up on him. After the Lord encouraged him (John 21:15-19), Peter boldly proclaimed the gospel, and many people trusted in Christ.

Have you been hit by failure? The Lord wants to restore you and make you useful again.

Our Savior does not cast us off
Because we fail to stand the test;
Instead, He draws us back through love
That in Him we may find our rest.

God can transform tragedies into triumphs (Source: Our Daily Bread, RBC Ministries).

Reflection 5 – Do you love Jesus more than these?

The Lord Jesus asked Simon Peter and he asks each one of us a very personal and profound question – do you love me more than anything else that might be very dear to you? How can the love of Jesus Christ be so attractive and so costly at the same time? Jesus on many occasions spoke to his disciples about the nature of God’s unquenchable love. God is love (1 John 4:16) because he is the creator and source of all that is true love. His love is unconditional, unmerited, and unlimited. We can’t buy it, earn it, demand it. It is a pure gift, freely given, and freely received. God’s love doesn’t change or waver. It endures because it is eternal and timeless. It’s the beginning and the end – the purpose for which God created us and why he wants us to be united with him in a bond of unbreakable love. And it’s the essence of what is means to be a son or daughter of God the eternal Father.

Love gives all for the good of others
The Lord Jesus shows us that love is a personal choice and a gift freely given – it is the giving of oneself to another person for their sake. Unselfish love is oriented wholly to the good of the other person for their own welfare and benefit. John the Evangelist tells us that “God so loved the world that he gave us his only-begotten Son” (John 3:16) who took on human flesh for our sake and who died upon the cross for our salvation – to set us free from the power of sin so that we might receive abundant everlasting life and peace with God.

God’s love heals and transforms our lives and frees us from fear, selfishness, and greed. It draws us to the very heart of God and it compels us to give him the best we have and all we possess – our gifts, our time, our resources, our full allegiance, and our very lives. Paul the Apostle tells us that God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given us (Romans 5:5). What can quench such love? Certainly fear, sin, pride, indifference, disbelief, and the loss of hope and trust in God’s promises and his mercy towards us.

Do you love me more than these?
Why did Jesus question Peter’s loyalty and love three times in front of the other apostles? It must have caused Peter great pain and sorrow since he had publicly denied Jesus three times during the night of Jesus’ betrayal and condemnation by the religious authorities who had sought to kill him. Now Peter, full of grief and deep remorse, unequivocally stated that he loved his master and was willing to serve and obey him whatever it might cost. When Jesus asks him “do you love me more than these?” Jesus may have pointed to the boats, fishing nets, and catch of fish from the night’s work. He may have challenged Peter to abandon his work as a fisherman for the task of shepherding the community of God’s people. Jesus may have also pointed to the other disciples and to Peter’s previous boast: “Though they all fall away because of you, I will never fall away” (Matthew 26:33). Peter now makes no boast or comparison but humbly responds: “You know that I love you.”

We love because he loved us first
The Lord Jesus calls each one of us, even in our own weakness, sins, and failings, to love him above all else. Saint Augustine of Hippo (354-430 AD) in his Confession wrote:

“Late have I loved you, O Beauty so ancient and so new. Late have I loved you! …You shone your Self upon me to drive away my blindness. You breathed your fragrance upon me… and in astonishment I drew my breath…now I pant for you! I tasted you, and now I hunger and thirst for you. You touched me! – and I burn to live within your peace” (Confession 10:27).

Nothing but our own sinful pride and stubborn wilfullness can keep us from the love of God. He loved us first and our love for him is a response to his exceeding graciousness and mercy towards us. Do you allow God’s love to fill your heart and transform your life?

“Lord Jesus, inflame my heart with your love and burn away everything within it that may be unloving, unkind, ungrateful, unholy, and not in accord with your will. May I always love what you love and reject what is contrary to your love and will for my life.” – Read the source:

Reflection 6 – Our Lady of Fatima

Between May 13 and October 13, 1917, three Portuguese children received apparitions of Our Lady at Cova da Iria, near Fatima, a city 110 miles north of Lisbon. (See February 20 entry for Blesseds Jacinta and Francisco Marto). 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. The third visionary, Lucia dos Santos, became a Carmelite nun and died in 2005 at the age of 97.

Mary gave the children three secrets. Since Francisco died in 1919 and Jacinta the following year, Lucia revealed the first secret in 1927, concerning devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The second secret was a vision of hell.

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 to the assassination attempt against Saint 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.


The message of Fatima is simple: Pray. Unfortunately, some people—not Sister Lucia—have distorted these revelations, making them into an apocalyptic event for which they are now the only reliable interpreters. They have, for example, claimed that Mary’s request that the world be consecrated to her has been ignored. Sister Lucia agreed that Pope John Paul II’s public consecration in St. Peter’s Square on March 25, 1984, fulfilled Mary’s request. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith prepared a June 26, 2000 document explaining the “third secret” (available at

Mary is perfectly honored when people generously imitate her response “Let it be done to me as you say” (Luke 1:38). Mary can never be seen as a rival to Jesus or to the Church’s teaching authority, as exercised by the college of bishops united with the bishop of Rome.


“Throughout history there have been supernatural apparitions and signs which go to the heart of human events and which, to the surprise of believers and non-believers alike, play their part in the unfolding of history. These manifestations can never contradict the content of faith and must, therefore, have their focus in the core of Christ’s proclamation: the Father’s love which leads men and women to conversion and bestows the grace required to abandon oneself to him with filial devotion. This too is the message of Fatima which, with its urgent call to conversion and penance, draws us to the heart of the Gospel” (The Message of Fatima, Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, June 26, 2000).

Read the source:

Catholic saints are holy people and human people who lived extraordinary lives. Each saint the Church honors responded to God’s invitation to use his or her unique gifts. God calls each one of us to be a saint. Click here to receive Saint of the Day in your email.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:  
For other uses, see Fatima (disambiguation).
Our Lady of Fátima
Our Lady of the Holy Rosary of Fátima
Virgen de Fátima.JPG

The canonically crowned image of Our Lady of Fátima enshrined within the Chapel of Apparitions
Location Fátima, Portugal
Type Marian apparition
Holy See approval Pope Pius XII
Pope John Paul II
Shrine Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fátima,Fátima, Portugal
Patronage Undeclared

Our Lady of Fátima (Portuguese: Nossa Senhora de Fátima, formally known as Our Lady of the Holy Rosary of Fátima Nossa Senhora do Rosário de Fátima European Portuguese: [ˈnɔsɐ sɨˈɲoɾɐ dɨ ˈfatimɐ] (Brazilian Portuguese [ˈnɔsɐ sĩˈȷ̃ɔɾɐ dʒi ˈfatʃimɐ]) is a Roman Catholic title of the Blessed Virgin Mary based on apparitionsreported to have been experienced in 1917 by three shepherd children at Fátima, Portugal. The three children were Lúcia Santos and her cousins Jacinta and Francisco Marto.

Pope Pius XII granted a Canonical Coronation to the venerated image enshrined at the Chapel of the Apparitionson 13 May 1946 via his Papal Legate, Cardinal Benedetto Aloisi Masella. The reported apparitions at Fátima were officially declared worthy of belief by the Catholic Church, which commemorates the event on the same date. The events at Fátima gained fame due partly to elements of the secrets, prophecy and eschatology, particularly with regard to the Second World War and possibly more global wars in the future. Chief among these is also the alleged urgent need for the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

The Blessed Jacinta and Francisco Marto in the apparitions in Tuy, Spain where the controversial Consecration of Russia was requested.


Location of Fátima, Portugal.


The first mention of an appearance of an angel appears in Lúcia’s second memoir, written in 1937.[1] In the spring and summer of 1916, nine-year-old Lúcia Santos and her cousins Jacinta and Francisco Marto were herding sheep at the Cova da Iria near their home village of Fátima, Portugal. They claimed to have experienced the visitation of an angel on three occasions. The angel, who identified himself as “The Angel of Peace”, taught them prayers, to make sacrifices, and to spend time in adoration of the Lord.[2]

Initial apparitions[edit]

On 13 May 1917, the children purportedly saw a lady “brighter than the sun, shedding rays of light clearer and stronger than a crystal goblet filled with the most sparkling water and pierced by the burning rays of the sun”. The woman wore a white mantle edged with gold and held a rosary in her hand. She asked them to devote themselves to the Holy Trinity and to pray “the Rosary every day, to bring peace to the world and an end to the war”.[3] While they had never spoken to anyone about the angel, Jacinta divulged her sightings to her family despite Lúcia’s admonition to keep this experience private. Her disbelieving mother told neighbors as a joke, and within a day the whole village knew.[4]

The children said that they had been bidden to return to the Cova da Iria on the thirteenth of the following month. Lúcia’s mother sought counsel from the parish priest, Father Ferreira, who suggested she allow them to go and bring Lúcia to him afterward that he might question her. The second appearance occurred on 13 June, the feast of St. Anthony, patron of the local parish church. On this occasion the lady revealed that Francisco and Jacinta would be taken to Heaven soon but Lúcia would live longer in order to spread her message and devotion to the Immaculate Heart.[3] As the account of this meeting was written after the deaths of Francisco and Jacinta, it may be an instance of retrospective prophecy.[5]

At this same visit, the lady told them to say the Rosary daily in honor of Our Lady of the Rosary to obtain peace and the end of the war. (Three months earlier, on 21 April, the first contingent of Portuguese soldiers had embarked for the front lines.) The lady also allegedly revealed to the children a vision of hell, and entrusted to them a secret, “that was good for some and bad for others”.[5] Ferreira later stated that Lúcia told him that the lady told her, “I want you to come back on the thirteenth and to learn to read in order to understand what I want of you. …I don’t want more.”[6]

Thousands of people flocked to Fátima and Aljustrel in the following months, drawn by reports of visions and miracles. On 13 August 1917, the provincial administrator Artur Santos[7] (no relation to Lúcia Santos), believing that the events were politically disruptive, intercepted and jailed the children before they could reach the Cova da Iria. The administrator interrogated and threatened the children to get them to divulge the contents of the secrets. Maria’s mother hoped the officials could persuade the children to end the affair and admit that they had lied.[5] Lúcia told him everything short of the secrets, and offered to ask the Lady for permission to tell the Administrator the secrets.[1] That month, instead of the usual apparition in the Cova da Iria on the 13th, the children reported that they saw the Virgin Mary on 15 August, the Feast of the Assumption, at nearby Valinhos.[4]

The three children claimed to have experienced in total six apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary between 13 May and 13 October 1917.

John Paul II credited Our Lady of Fátima with saving his life following an assassination attempt on the Feast of Our Lady of Fátima, 1981. He donated the bullet that wounded him to the Roman Catholic sanctuary at Fátima, Portugal and it was placed in the crown of the Virgin’s statue.

Miracle of the Sun[edit]

Main article: Miracle of the Sun

Page from Ilustração Portuguesa, 29 October 1917, showing the people looking at the Sun during the Fátima apparitions attributed to the Virgin Mary.

As early as July 1917 it was claimed that the Virgin Mary had promised a miracle for the last of her apparitions on October 13, so that all would believe. What happened then became known as the “Miracle of the Sun”. A huge crowd, variously estimated between 30,000 and 100,000,[8][9] including newspaper reporters and photographers, gathered at the Cova da Iria. The incessant rain had ceased and there was a thin layer of cloud. Lúcia, seeing light rising from the lady’s hands and the sun appearing as a silver disk, called out “look at the sun”. She later had no memory of saying this.[4] Witnesses later spoke of the sun appearing to change colors and rotate like a wheel.[10] Witnesses gave widely varying descriptions of the “sun’s dance”. Poet Afonso Lopes Vieira and schoolteacher Delfina Lopes (with her students and other witnesses in the town of Alburita), reported that the solar phenomenon was visible up to forty kilometers away.[10] However, the phenomenon was not visible in other parts of the globe.

Chapel of Apparitions, built at the place where the Fátima apparitions were reported.

No movement or other phenomenon of the sun was recorded by scientists at the time.[4]Not all witnesses reported seeing the sun “dance”. Some people only saw the radiant colors, and others, including some believers, saw nothing at all.[11][12]

Various explanations have been advanced. Auguste Meessen, a professor at the Institute of Physics, Catholic University of Leuven, points out that looking directly at the Sun is known to cause phosphene visual artifacts and temporary partial blindness. Meessen contends that retinal after-images produced after brief periods of sun gazing are a likely cause of the “dancing” effects, and the colour changes were caused by the bleaching of photosensitive retinal cells.[13] Meessen observes that solar miracles have been witnessed in many places where people have been encouraged to stare at the sun. He cites the purported Marian apparitions at Heroldsbach, Bavaria, Germany (1949) as an example where exactly the same optical effects as at Fátima were witnessed by more than 10,000 people.[13] However, critics of this theory point to the fact that the crowd was not encouraged to look at the sun until the alleged miracle was already underway- the children did not tell the crowd to expect a sun miracle. Additionally, people in towns up to forty kilometers away, who had no knowledge of the alleged supernatural events at Fátima, also reported seeing the phenomenon. Another theory is a mass hallucination stimulated by the religious fervor of the crowd.[according to whom?]

Some onlookers reported other phenomena, including luminous mist and the showers of flower petals seen around and above the tree during previous visitations.

While the crowd was staring at the sun, Lúcia, Francisco, and Jacinta said later they saw images of the Holy Family, Our Lady of Sorrows with Jesus Christ, and thenOur Lady of Mount Carmel. They said they saw Saint Joseph and Jesus bless the people.[14]

Subsequent life of the children[edit]

Lúcia Santos (left) with her cousins Jacinta and Francisco Marto, 1917

Francisco and Jacinta Marto succumbed to the flu epidemic of 1918. Francisco Marto died at home on 4 April 1919, at the age of ten. Jacinta died in hospital, at the age of nine on 20 February 1920. They are buried at the Sanctuary of Fátima, and were beatified by Pope John Paul II on 13 May 2000. Olímpia Marto said that her children happily predicted their own deaths many times to her and to curious pilgrims.[15]

At the age of fourteen, Lúcia was sent to the school of the Sisters of St. Dorothy in Vilar. In 1928 she became a postulant at the Dorothean convent in Tui, just across the border. Lúcia continued to report private visions periodically throughout her life. She reported seeing the Virgin Mary again in 1925 at the Dorothean convent at Pontevedra, Galicia (Spain). This time she said she was asked to convey the message of the First Saturday Devotions. By her account a subsequent vision of Christ as a child reiterated this request. In 1929, she reported that Mary returned and repeated her request for the Consecration of Russiato her Immaculate Heart. She also reported an apparition in Rianxo, Galicia, in 1931, in which she said that Jesus visited her, taught her two prayers and delivered a message to give to the church’s hierarchy.

In 1947, Sister Lúcia left the Dorothean order and joined the Discalced Carmelite Order in a monastery in Coimbra, Portugal. Lúcia died on 13 February 2005, at the age of 97.

In 1936 and again in 1941, Sister Lúcia said that the Virgin Mary had predicted the deaths of two of the children during the second apparition on 13 June 1917. According to the Lúcia’s 1941 account, on 13 June, Lúcia asked the Virgin if the three children would go to heaven when they died. She said that she heard Mary reply, “Yes, I shall take Francisco and Jacinta soon, but you will remain a little longer, since Jesus wishes you to make me known and loved on Earth. He wishes also for you to establish devotion in the world to my Immaculate Heart.”[16]


The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fátima is one of the largest Marian shrines in the world.

An estimated 70,000 people assembled to witness the last of the promised appearances of the Lady in the Cova da Iriaon 13 October 1917. The widely reported miracle of the sun was a factor that led to Fátima quickly becoming a major centre of pilgrimage. Two million pilgrims visited the site in the decade following the events of 1917.[17] A small chapel – the Capelinha – was built by local people on the site of the apparitions. The construction was neither encouraged nor hindered by the Catholic Church authorities. On 13 May 1920, pilgrims defied government troops to install a statue of the Virgin Mary in the chapel,[18] and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass was first officially celebrated there in January 1924. A hostel for the sick was begun in that year. In 1927 the first rector of the sanctuary was appointed and a set of Stations of the Cross were erected on the mountain road. The foundation stone for the present basilica was laid the next year.[19]

1930 was the year both of official church recognition of the apparition events as “worthy of belief” and the granting of a papal indulgence to pilgrims visiting Fátima. In 1935 the bodies of the visionaries Jacinta and Francisco were reinterred in the basilica. Pope Pius XII granted a Canonical Coronation of the statue of Our Lady of Fátima on 13 May 1946 which drew such large crowds that the entrance to the site had to be barred.[20]

Today pilgrimage to the site goes on all year round and additional chapels, hospitals and other facilities have been constructed. The principal pilgrimage festivals take place on the thirteenth day of each month, from May to October, on the anniversaries of the original appearances. The largest crowds gather on 13 May and 13 October, when up to a million pilgrims have attended to pray and witness processions of the statue of Our Lady of Fátima, both during the day and by the light of tens of thousands of candles at night.[21]

Official position of the Catholic Church[edit]

Inside the Basilica of the Rosary

Private revelations do not form part of the deposit of faith of the Catholic Church, and its members are not bound to believe in any of them. (Assent may be given based on the discernment of the Church and its judgment that an apparition is probable and worthy of pious credence.)[22] With millions of followers and Roman Catholic believers, the reported visions at Fátima gathered widespread attention. After a canonical inquiry, the visions of Fátima were officially declared “worthy of belief” in October 1930 by the Bishop of Leiria-Fátima.[23]

Political aspects[edit]

The devotion to Our Lady of Fátima in the Roman Catholic Church has a long history of association with rightist and even fascist groups. At the time of the apparitions, Portugal was undergoing tensions between the secularizing Republican government and more conservative elements in society. The Catholic opposition compared the actions of the Portuguese government to the contemporary actions of the Russian Bolsheviks.[24] Later in Spain, as the forces of the Republic gathered strength, the Virgin Mary was to be found leading the armies of the faithful ranged against the Godless.[25] During the Spanish Second Republic, the Virgin Mary would be seen on Spanish soil at Ezquioga. Ramona Olazabal insisted Mary had marked the palms of her hands with a sword. Seers gained much credence in Integrist and Carlist circles. The visions at Ezquioga were widely covered in the press, as were the sixteen other visitations of the Virgin to Spain in 1931. Conservative elements in the Spanish Church actively encouraged the Fátima devotion as a way of countering the perceived threat of atheistic Communism. In Portugal and its former colony of Brazil, Fátima and right-wing groups were also strongly identified. When Hitler invaded Russia in 1941, many Catholics interpreted this in terms of the Fátima apparitions thinking the Virgin’s prophecy at long last was about to be fulfilled. Some Catholics willingly joined the fight and enlisted in the Spanish Army’s Blue Division that was engaged on the Eastern front. The publication of Sister Lúcia’s Memoirs after the outbreak of WW II and the focus on Russia and “her errors” in the alleged messages of the Lady further renewed this anti-communist element. The Blue Army of Our Lady of Fátima, for instance, has always been strongly anti-Communist and often put the Fátima story into the context of the Cold War.[26] The Blue Army is made up of Catholics and non-Catholics who believe that by dedicating themselves to daily prayer (specifically, of the Rosary) they can help to achieve world peace and put an end to the error of Communism. Organizations such as the Blue Army have gained the approbation of the Catholic Church. Other groups such as the International Fátima Rosary Crusade led by Fr. Nicholas Gruner have interpreted the message of Fátima in a more extreme fashion and have been censured by the Church. These groups are generally opposed not just to Communism, but to Modernism (Roman Catholicism), and the innovations of the Second Vatican Council.[24]


The Fátima story developed in two parts: that which was known in 1917, and information later mentioned in Sr. Lúcia’s subsequent memoirs written years later. These were written some years after the ecclesiastical review that led to the finding that the events in Fátima were “worthy of belief”, and therefore not subject to the same scrutiny.[27] The early messages focused on the need to pray the rosary for peace and an end to World War I.

Despite the publicity at the time, the events in Fátima were not widely known outside Spain and Portugal until the publication of Lúcia’s memoirs, starting in the late 1930s. Between 1935 and 1993 she wrote six memoirs. The first four, written between 1935 and 1941, is published under the title Fátima in Lúcia’s Own Words. The fifth and six memoirs, written in 1989 and 1993, are published as Fátima in Lúcia’s Own Words II.

In the mid-1930s the Bishop of Leiria encouraged Lúcia (now Sister Maria Lúcia das Dores) to write her memoirs, in the event that she might disclose further details of the 1917 apparitions. The first memoir, written in 1935 by Lúcia, focused on the holiness of Jacinta Marto, who was by then popularly considered a saint. In the second memoir, written in 1937, she speaks more of her own life, the apparition of 13 June 1917, and makes mention for the first time of the earlier apparitions of the Angel of Peace.[27]

Three Secrets of Fátima[edit]

Statue depicting the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

In her third memoir, written in August 1941, Sister Lúcia described three secrets which she said had been entrusted to the children during the apparition of 13 July 1917.

First secret[edit]

The first secret was a vision of hell, which Lúcia said they experienced on 13 July 1917.[28]

Second secret[edit]

According to Lúcia, the second secret, was a recommending for devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary as a way to save souls and bring peace to the world. It predicted an end to the First World War, but predicted a worse one if people did not cease offending God. this second war would be presaged by a night illuminated by an unknown light, as a “great sign” that the time of chastisement was near. To avert this, Mary would return to ask for the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart, and the establishment of the First Saturday Devotions. If her requests were heeded, Russia would be converted, and there would be peace; if not, Russia would spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church. It ended with a promise that in the end, the Immaculate Heart would triumph. The Holy Father would consecrate Russia to Mary, and a period of peace would be granted to the world.”[29]

On 25 January 1938 (during solar cycle 17), bright lights, an aurora borealis appeared over the northern hemisphere, including in places as far south as North Africa, Bermuda and California.[30] It was the widest occurrence of the aurora since 1709[31] and people in Paris and elsewhere believed a great fire was burning and fire departments were called.[32] Sister Lúcia indicated that it was the sign foretold and so apprised her superior and the bishop in letters the following day.[30] Just over a month later, Hitler seized Austria and eight months later invaded Czechoslovakia.[30][33]

Consecration of Russia[edit]

Statue of Pope Pius XII in Fátima, Portugal. Just as a few years ago We consecrated the entire human race to the Immaculate Heart of the Virgin Mary, Mother of God, so today We consecrate and in a most special manner We entrust all the peoples of Russia to this Immaculate Heart…

According to Sister Lúcia, the Virgin Mary promised that the Consecration of Russia would lead to Russia’s conversion and an era of peace.[4]

Pope Pius XII, in his Apostolic Letter Sacro Vergente of 7 July 1952, consecrated Russia to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Pius XII wrote,

Just as a few years ago We consecrated the entire human race to the Immaculate Heart of the Virgin Mary, Mother of God, so today We consecrate and in a most special manner We entrust all the peoples of Russia to this Immaculate Heart…[34]

In 1952 the Pope said to the Russian people and the Stalinist regime that the Virgin Mary was always victorious. “The gates of hell will never prevail, where she offers her protection. She is the good mother, the mother of all, and it has never been heard, that those who seek her protection, will not receive it. With this certainty, the Pope dedicates all people of Russia to the immaculate heart of the Virgin. She will help! Error and atheism will be overcome with her assistance and divine grace.” [35]

Popes Pius XII and John Paul II both had a special relationship with Our Lady of Fátima. Pope Benedict XV began Pacelli’s church career, elevating him to archbishop in the Sistine Chapel on 13 May 1917, the date of the first reported apparition. Pius XII was laid to rest in the crypt of Saint Peter’s Basilica on 13 October 1958, the Feast of Our Lady of Fátima.

Pope John Paul II again consecrated the entire world to the Virgin Mary in 1984, without explicitly mentioning Russia. Some believe that Sister Lúcia verified that this ceremony fulfilled the requests of the Virgin Mary.[36] However, in the Blue Army’sSpanish magazine, Sol de Fátima, in the September 1985 issue, Sister Lúcia said that the ceremony did not fulfill the Virgin Mary’s request, as there was no specific mention of Russia, and “many bishops attached no importance to it.” In 2001, Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone issued a statement, claiming that he had met with Sister Lúcia, who reportedly told him, “I have already said that the consecration desired by Our Lady was made in 1984, and has been accepted in Heaven.” Sister Lúcia died on 13 February 2005, without making any public statement of her own to settle the issue.

Some maintain that, according to Lúcia and Fátima advocates such as Abbé Georges de Nantes, Fr. Paul Kramer and Nicholas Gruner, Russia has never been specifically consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary by any Pope simultaneously with all the world’s bishops, which is what Lúcia in the 1985 interview had said Mary had asked for.[37][38][39]

However, by letters of 29 August 1989 and 3 July 1990, she stated that the consecration had been completed; indeed in the 1990 letter in response to a question by the Rev. Father Robert J. Fox, she confirmed:

I come to answer your question, “If the consecration made by Pope John Paul II on 25 March 1984 in union with all the bishops of the world, accomplished the conditions for the consecration of Russia according to the request of Our Lady in Tuy on 13 June 1929?” Yes, it was accomplished, and since then I have said that it was made.

And I say that no other person responds for me, it is I who receive and open all letters and respond to them.[40]

In the meantime, the conception of Theotokos Derzhavnaya, Orthodox Christian venerated icon, points out that Virgin Mary is considered actual Tsarina of Russia by the religious appeal of Nicholas II; thus “Consecration of Russia” may refer to return of Russian monarchy. The icon was brought to Fátima in 2003 and 2014, together with another significant icon, the Theotokos of Port Arthur.[41]

Third Secret[edit]

Statue of Our Lady of Fátima in the Church of Santa María Madalena, Madalena, the Azores, 2007. The devotion is especially popular among Catholics in Lusophone countries and the Portuguese diaspora.

The third secret, a vision of the death of the Pope and other religious figures, was transcribed by the Bishop of Leiria and reads:

“After the two parts which I have already explained, at the left of Our Lady and a little above, we saw an Angel with a flaming sword in his left hand; flashing, it gave out flames that looked as though they would set the world on fire; but they died out in contact with the splendour that Our Lady radiated towards him from her right hand: pointing to the earth with his right hand, the Angel cried out in a loud voice: ‘Penance, Penance, Penance!’ And we saw in an immense light that is God: ‘something similar to how people appear in a mirror when they pass in front of it’ a Bishop dressed in White ‘we had the impression that it was the Holy Father’. Other Bishops, Priests, Religious men and women going up a steep mountain, at the top of which there was a big Cross of rough-hewn trunks as of a cork-tree with the bark; before reaching there the Holy Father passed through a big city half in ruins and half trembling with halting step, afflicted with pain and sorrow, he prayed for the souls of the corpses he met on his way; having reached the top of the mountain, on his knees at the foot of the big Cross he was killed by a group of soldiers who fired bullets and arrows at him, and in the same way there died one after another the other Bishops, Priests, Religious men and women, and various lay people of different ranks and positions. Beneath the two arms of the Cross there were two Angels each with a crystal aspersorium in his hand, in which they gathered up the blood of the Martyrs and with it sprinkled the souls that were making their way to God.”[42]

Controversy around the Third Secret[edit]

Lúcia declared that the Third Secret could be released to the public after 1960. Some sources, including Canon Barthas and Cardinal Ottaviani, said that Lúcia insisted to them it must be released by 1960, saying that, “by that time, it will be more clearly understood”, and, “because the Blessed Virgin wishes it so.”[43][44]Instead, in 1960 the Vatican published an official press release stating that it was “most probable the Secret would remain, forever, under absolute seal.”[45] This announcement triggered widespread speculation. According to the New York Times, speculation over the content of the secret ranged from “worldwide nuclear annihilation to deep rifts in the Roman Catholic Church that lead to rival papacies”.[46] The Vatican withheld the Third Secret until 26 June 2000.

Even then, some sources believe that the four-page, handwritten text[47] of the Third Secret released by the Vatican in the year 2000 is not the full text of the secret.[48][49][50][51] Some alleged that Cardinals Bertone, Ratzinger and Sodano concealed the existence of another, one-page document, containing information about the Apocalypse and a great apostasy.[48][49][50]

The Vatican has maintained its position that the full text of the Third Secret was published. According to a December 2001 Vatican press release (subsequently published in L’Osservatore Romano), Lúcia told then-Archbishop Bertone in an interview that the secret had been completely revealed and published.[52][53][54]

During his apostolic visit to Portugal during 11–14 May 2010 on the 10th anniversary of the beatification of Jacinta and Francisco Marto,[55] Pope Benedict XVIexplained to reporters that the interpretation of the third secret did not necessarily refer to the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II in Saint Peter’s Square in 1981. He said that the third secret, “has a permanent and ongoing significance,” and that, “its significance could even be extended to include the suffering the Church is going through today as a result of the recent reports of sexual abuse involving the clergy.”[56]

Fátima prayers and reparations[edit]

Many Roman Catholics recite prayers based on Our Lady of Fátima. Lúcia later said that, in 1916, she and her cousins had several visions of an angel calling himself the “Angel of Portugal” and the “Angel of Peace” who taught them to bow with their heads to the ground[57] and to say “My God, I believe, I adore, I hope, and I love you. I ask pardon for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope and do not love you.” Lúcia later set this prayer to music and a recording exists of her singing it.[58] It was also said that sometime later the angel returned and taught them a eucharistic devotion now known as the Angel Prayer.[59][60]

Lúcia said that the Lady emphasized Acts of Reparation and prayers to console Jesus for the sins of the world. Lúcia said that Mary’s words were, “When you make some sacrifice, say ‘O Jesus, it is for your love, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.'” At the first apparition, Lúcia wrote, the children were so moved by the radiance they perceived that they involuntarily said “Most Holy Trinity, I adore you! My God, my God, I love you in the Most Blessed Sacrament.”[61]Lúcia also said that she heard Mary ask for these words to be added to the Rosary after the Gloria Patri prayer: “O my Jesus, pardon us, save us from the fires of hell. Lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need.”[62]

In the tradition of Marian visitations, the “conversion of sinners” is not necessarily religious conversion to the Roman Catholic Church, for that would be the “conversion of heretics or apostates who are ‘outside the church and alien to the Christian Faith’ according to Pope Leo XIII in his encyclical on the Unity of the Church, Satis Cognitum”. Conversion of sinners refers to general repentance and attempt to amend one’s life according to the teachings of Jesus for those true Catholics who do profess the faith truly, but are fallen into sins. Lúcia wrote that she and her cousins defined “sinners” not as non-Catholics but as those who had fallen away from the church or, more specifically, willfully indulged in sinful activity, particularly “sins of the flesh”[63] and “acts of injustice and a lack of charity towards the poor, widows and orphans, the ignorant and the helpless” which she said were even worse than sins of impurity.[64]

Popes and Fátima[edit]

The cultus of the Immaculate Heart is the central message of Fátima. Ecclesiastical approbation does not imply that the Church provides an infallible guarantee on the supernatural nature of the event.

In October 1930 Bishop da Silva declared that the apparitions at Fátima were “worthy of belief”, and approved public devotion to the Blessed Virgin under the title Our Lady of Fátima was permitted. The Vatican responded with granting indulgences and permitting special Liturgies of the Mass to be celebrated in Fátima.[65]

Theologians such as Karl Rahner argued, however, that Popes, by authoritatively fostering the Marian veneration in places as Fátima and Lourdes, motivate the faithful into an acceptance of divine faith.[66]

In 1939, Eugenio Pacelli, who was consecrated as a bishop on 13 May 1917 — the day of the first apparition — was elected to the papacy as Pius XII, and became the Pope of Fátima.[65] One year after World War II had started, Sister Lúcia asked Pope Pius XII to consecrate the world and Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. She repeated this request on 2 December 1940, stating in the year 1929, the Blessed Lady requested in another apparition the consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart. She promised the conversion of Russia from its errors.[13]

Statue depicting Our Lady of Fátima.

On 13 May 1942, the 25th anniversary of the first apparition and the silver jubilee of the episcopal consecration of Pope Pius XII, the Vatican published the Message and Secret of Fátima. On 31 October 1942, Pope Pius XII, in a radio address, informed the people of Portugal about the apparitions of Fátima, consecrating the human race to the Immaculate Heart of the Virgin with specific mention of Russia. (See below)[67] On 8 December 1942, the Pontiff officially and solemnly declared this consecration in a ceremony in Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome. On 13 May 1946, Cardinal Masalla, the personal delegate of Pius XII, crowned in his name Our Lady of Fátima, as the Pope issued a second message about Fátima:

  • “The faithful virgin never disappointed the trust put on her. She will transform into a fountain of graces, physical and spiritual graces, over all of Portugal, and from there, breaking all frontiers, over the whole Church and the entire world”.[68]

On 1 May 1948, in Auspicia quaedam, Pope Pius XII requested the consecration to the Immaculate Heart of every Catholic family, parish and diocese.

  • “It is our wish, consequently, that wherever the opportunity suggests itself, this consecration be made in the various dioceses as well as in each of the parishes and families.” [69][70]

On 18 May 1950, the Pope again sent a message to the people of Portugal regarding Fátima: “May Portugal never forget the heavenly message of Fátima, which, before anybody else she was blessed to hear. To keep Fátima in your heart and to translate Fátima into deeds, is the best guarantee for ever more graces”.[71] In numerous additional messages, and in his encyclicals Fulgens corona (1953), and Ad Caeli Reginam (1954), Pius XII encouraged the veneration of the Virgin in Fátima.

At the end of the Second Vatican Council Pope Paul VI renewed the consecration of Pius XII to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and in an unusual gesture, announced his own pilgrimage to the sanctuary on the fiftieth anniversary of the first apparition. On 13 May 1967, he prayed at the shrine together with Sister Lúcia. This historic gesture further cemented the official support for Fátima. Pope John Paul II credited Our Lady of Fátima with saving his life following the assassination attempt on Wednesday, 13 May, the Feast of Our Lady of Fátima, in 1981.[47] He followed the footsteps of Paul VI, on 12 May 1987, to express his gratitude to the Virgin Mary for saving his life. The following day, he renewed the consecration of Pius XII to the Immaculate Heart of the Virgin.[13]

On 12–13 May 2010, Pope Benedict XVI visited the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fátima and strongly stated his acceptance of the supernatural origin of the Fátima apparitions. On the first day, the Pope arrived at the Chapel of Apparitions to pray and gave aGolden Rose to Our Lady of Fátima “as a homage of gratitude from the Pope for the marvels that the Almighty has worked through you in the hearts of so many who come as pilgrims to this your maternal home“. The Pope also recalled the “invisible hand” that saved John Paul II and said in a prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary that “it is a profound consolation to know that you are crowned not only with the silver and gold of our joys and hopes, but also with the ‘bullet’ of our anxieties and sufferings“.[72]On the second day, Pope Benedict’s homily pronounced in front of more than 500,000 pilgrims a reference to the Fátima prophecy about the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and related it to the final “glory of the Most Holy Trinity”.[73][74]

Pius XII, Paul VI, John Paul II and Benedict XVI all voiced their acceptance of the supernatural origin of the Fátima events.

Other images of Our Lady of Fátima[edit]

Several images of Our Lady of Fátima has merited various acclamations; among which are the following:

The International Pilgrim of Fátima, having traveled the world since the 1950s.

  • The statue of the Immaculate Heart of Mary above the main facade of the shrine at Fátima, to which Sister Lúcia dos Santosconceded the closest resemblance to her Marian apparitions in 1917.
  • The famed statue carved by Jose Thedim, now enshrined within the Chapel of Apparitions and was canonically crowned on 13 May 1946 by Pope Pius XII and venerated by Pope John Paul II in 1982 by adding his assassination bullet to the same crown.
  • The International Pilgrim of Fátima, informally known as the Pilgrim Statue which has travelled across the world upon being blessed on 13 October 1947 by the local bishop of Leiria, Portugal.
  • The so-called U.N. Virgin Fátima statue, which once remained within the oratory chapel of the Headquarters of the United Nations inNew York, United States and was blessed by the Bishop of Leiria on 13 October 1952.

See also[edit]



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  2. Jump up^ “Apparitions of the Angel”, Fátima, EWTN
  3. ^ Jump up to:a b “Our Lady of Fátima”, Catholic News Agency
  4. ^ Jump up to:a b c d e De Marchi, John. The Immaculate Heart, New York: Farrar, Straus and Young, 1952
  5. ^ Jump up to:a b c Bennett, Jeffrey S., When the Sun Danced: Myth, Miracles, and Modernity in Early Twentieth-Century Portugal, University of Virginia Press, 2012, ISBN 9780813932507
  6. Jump up^ Sanctuário de Fátima, 1992, 12
  7. Jump up^ Jaki, Stanley. God and the Sun at Fátima (1999) Real View Books, Michigan, p15
  8. Jump up^ De Marchi, John (1952). The True Story of Fátima. St. Paul, Minnesota: Catechetical Guild Entertainment Society.
  9. Jump up^ (De Marchi 1952, p. 177)
  10. ^ Jump up to:a b Journal of Meteorology, Vol. 14, no. 142, October 1988
  11. Jump up^ Basilica and Shrine of Our Lady of Fátima
  12. Jump up^ Jaki, Stanley L. (1999). God and the Sun at Fátima. Real View Books, ASIN B0006R7UJ6
  13. ^ Jump up to:a b c d Auguste Meessen ‘Apparitions and Miracles of the Sun’ International Forum in Porto “Science, Religion and Conscience”, 23–25 October 2003ISSN 1645-6564
  14. Jump up^ Lúcia Santos, Fátima in Lúcia’s Own Words, entire text online at, found 2010-12-04.
  15. Jump up^ DeMarchi, John. True Story of Fátima, 1952.
  16. Jump up^ (De Marchi 1952, p. 62)
  17. Jump up^ Ian Bradley, Pilgrimage: A Spiritual and Cultural Journey, Lion Hudson (2009), p. 68
  18. Jump up^ International Dictionary of Historic Places: Southern Europe, Ed. Ring, Salkin, La Boda, Taylor & Francis, (1996), ISBN 1-884964-02-8, p. 245
  19. Jump up^ Leo Madigan, A pilgrim’s handbook to Fátima, Gracewing Publishing, 2001 pp. 20-24
  20. Jump up^ Leo Madigan, A pilgrim’s handbook to Fátima, Gracewing Publishing, 2001 pp. 24
  21. Jump up^ International Dictionary of Historic Places: Southern Europe, p. 245
  22. Jump up^ Donovan, Colin B., “Apparitions”, EWTN
  23. Jump up^ “In virtue of considerations made known, and others which for reason of brevity we omit; humbly invoking the Divine Spirit and placing ourselves under the protection of the most Holy Virgin, and after hearing the opinions of our Rev. Advisors in this diocese, we hereby: 1) Declare worthy of belief, the visions of the shepherd children in the Cova da Iria, parish of Fátima, in this diocese, from 13 May to 13 October 1917. 2) Permit officially the cult of Our Lady of Fátima.”, Bishop of Leiria-Fátima, 13 October 1930.
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  28. Jump up^ Lúcia de Jesus, Fátima In Lúcia’s Own words (1995), The Ravengate Press, pp.101,104
  29. Jump up^ Lúcia de Jesus, Fátima In Lúcia’s Own Words (1995), The Ravengate Press, pp. 104
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  31. Jump up^ “Aurora borealis glows in widest area since 1709” – Chicago Daily Tribune, 26 January 1938, p.2
  32. Jump up^ “Aurora borealis startles Europe. People flee, call fireman” – [New York Times, 26 January 1938, p.25 ]
  33. Jump up^ Hessaman, Michael The Fátima Secret, Random House 2008
  34. Jump up^ PIUS PP. XII, Epist. apost. Sacro vergente anno de universae Russorum gentis Immaculato Mariae Cordi consecratione, [Ad universos Russiae populos], 7 July 1952: AAS 44(1952), pp. 505-
  35. Jump up^ Sacro Vergente 12
  36. Jump up^ Consecration of Russia FAQ at, with quotations from Lúcia and pointing out possible signs that the 1984 consecration was sufficient. Page found 2010-05-19.
  37. Jump up^ Apocalyptic Times at Catholic Counter-Reformation, Abbe Georges de Nantes’ website. Page found 2010-05-19.
  38. Jump up^ Kramer, Father Paul. The Devil’s Final Battle (1st Edition). (Content available for free online).
  39. Jump up^ Sister Lucy States: “Russia Is Not Yet Properly Consecrated” at Fr. Nicholas Gruner’s website, Page found 2010-05-19.
  40. Jump up^ Fátima – 1984 Consecration EWTN Expert Answers, accessed 9 July 2010
  41. Jump up^ (Russian) Orthodox Shrines Visit Fátima (in Russian: English translation here.
  42. Jump up^ The Message of Fátima (2000), The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
  43. Jump up^ Kramer, Father Paul. The Devil’s Final Battle (1st Edition). pp. 29–30. (Content available for free online).
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  53. Jump up^ ETWN: Global Catholic Network (9 January 2002). “Meeting with Sr. Maria Lúcia”. (English translation of 20-12-01 Vatican Press Release). Retrieved30 March 2010.
  54. Jump up^ Zenit News Agency (20 December 2001). “No More Mysteries in Fátima Secret, Sister Lúcia Says”. Innovative Media, Inc. Retrieved 30 March 2010.
  55. Jump up^ Vatican – Apostolic Journey to Portugal on the occasion of the 10th Anniversary of the Beatification of Jacinta and Francisco, young shepherds of Fátima (11–14 May 2010)
  56. Jump up^ ABC News – Pope Benedict XVI and the ‘Third Secret’ of Fátima
  57. Jump up^ Sajdah in Islam
  58. Jump up^ EWTN Special, Calls of the Fátima Message, 2009.
  59. Jump up^ Our Lady of Fátima
  60. Jump up^ Story of Fátima
  61. Jump up^ William Thomas Walsh, Our Lady of Fátima, p. 52.
  62. Jump up^ Walsh, p. 220.
  63. Jump up^ Walsh, p. 90.
  64. Jump up^ From an undated letter written by Lúcia and quoted in Fátima, caminho da paz(Fátima, the Path to Peace) by A. M. Martins (Braga, 1983), p. 88-89. Reprinted inThe Whole Truth of Fátima, Part 4, webpage found 2010-04-30.
  65. ^ Jump up to:a b H M Köster Fátima, in Bäumer, Marienlexikon, II, 448 1940
  66. Jump up^ Karl Rahner, Visionen und Prophezeiungen, München 1960
  67. Jump up^ AAS, 1942, 313
  68. Jump up^ AAS 1946 246.
  69. Jump up^ Auspicia quaedam, 21
  70. Jump up^ AAS 148, 171
  71. Jump up^ AAS 1951, 780
  72. Jump up^ ZENIT – Fátima Shrine receives Golden Rose
  73. Jump up^ Catholic Online ( – Our Lady of Fátima: Pope Benedict’s Homily. ‘I too Have Come as a Pilgrim’
  74. Jump up^ Vatican – Homily of His Holiness Benedict XVI on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Beatification of Jacinta and Francisco, young shepherds of Fátima. Esplanade of the Shrine of Our Lady of Fátima. Thursday, 13 May 2010.


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