All About Fatima

All About Fatima

On May 13th, the Catholic Church celebrates one of the most famous Marian apparitions in the world: Our Lady of Fatima. To help you get make the most of this  feast day, here are some facts about Fatima.

Our Lady of Fatima

On May 13, 1917, the Virgin Mary appeared to three shepherd children - Lucia Santos and her younger cousins, Francisco and Jacinta Marto. The three were watching their sheep in a field belonging to Lucia’s family when they saw a lady appear above an old holm oak tree.

The lady told them that she came from heaven. She asked them to return on the 13th of each month for the next six months. Over the next several apparitions, Mary asked the children to pray for sinners and to do penance for their conversion. She asked them especially to pray the rosary.

All About St. Catherine of Siena Reading All About Fatima 4 minutes

By Colleen Pressprich

On May 13th, the Catholic Church celebrates one of the most famous Marian apparitions in the world: Our Lady of Fatima. To help you get make the most of this  feast day, here are some facts about Fatima.

Our Lady of Fatima

On May 13, 1917, the Virgin Mary appeared to three shepherd children - Lucia Santos and her younger cousins, Francisco and Jacinta Marto. The three were watching their sheep in a field belonging to Lucia’s family when they saw a lady appear above an old holm oak tree.

The lady told them that she came from heaven. She asked them to return on the 13th of each month for the next six months. Over the next several apparitions, Mary asked the children to pray for sinners and to do penance for their conversion. She asked them especially to pray the rosary.

On the date of the final apparition, October 13, 1917, the children had visions of St. Joseph and Jesus appearing alongside Mary. The thousands of people who had joined them in the field did not see her or them, but they did see a miracle. The sun danced in the sky, and though it was pouring rain at the start of the apparition, the entire crowd was miraculously dry afterward.

After the Apparitions

Even during the apparitions, the small village that the children lived in was inundated with pilgrims who came to see the site where Mary appeared and to catch a glimpse of one of the children.

Shortly after the apparitions ended, both Jacinta and Francisco became ill, victims of the 1918 flu epidemic that ravaged Europe. Francisco died in April 1919 and Jacinta soon after in February of 1920. Both children were canonized in 2017.

Lucia left Fatima and became a religious sister. She returned to the site of the apparitions only a few times during her long life, including for the beatification of her cousins. She passed away in 2005 and her cause for canonization was opened in 2008.

Ways to Celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima

Learn the Fatima Prayer

It was during the apparitions at Fatima that Mary taught the children the prayer that we now say at the end of each decade of the rosary. This feast day is a wonderful day to start to memorize it as a family.

Say a Rosary

Speaking of prayers, offering a rosary for the conversion of sinners is especially apt on the feast of Our Lady of Fatima. Even if you can only pray a decade, it’s a powerful way to show our children how we can pray for others.!

Look at Photos

For my own children, one of the coolest things about the Fatima apparitions is that they occurred in the last century, meaning there are photos of the children, their families, and the site of the apparitions. They love looking at the images and imagining themselves there. Plus, if you homeschool, studying Portugal can become a geography lesson!

Play

Take out the Fatima Lacing Set and play! Let your kids act out the story of the apparitions as they practice their fine motor skills.

Happy Feasting!

 

Colleen Pressprich is a homeschooling mom of five and the author of Marian Consecration for Families with Young Children, The Women Doctors of the Church, The Jesse Tree For Families, and God the Father’s Love: A Journey Through Scripture for Catholic Families. You can learn more about her, order her books, and read more of her writing at elevatortoheaven.com.

 

 

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