100th Anniversary of the Fatima Apparitions
Since 1917, Fatima has been one of the most important Marian shrines in the world.
May 13th, 1917 was a hard time for many living in this part of the world, as everyone found themselves in the middle of the first World War. But on this glorious day, a figure appeared to the three children: Lucia (10), Francisco (8), and Jacinta (6) who were tending to their sheep and She said:
“I am the Angel of Peace”. An apparition of ‘a woman all in white, more brilliant than the sun’ presented itself to the three children saying “Please don’t be afraid of me, I’m not going to harm you.” Lucia asked her where she came from and she responded, “I come from Heaven.”
She wore a white mantle edged with gold and held a rosary in her hand and asked them to pray and devote themselves to the Holy Trinity and to say the Rosary every day, to bring peace to the world and an end to the war. Our Lady revealed that the children would suffer, especially from the unbelief of their friends and families, and that the two younger children, Francisco and Jacinta would be taken to Heaven very soon but Lucia would live longer in order to spread her message and devotion to the Immaculate Heart. In the last apparition She revealed her name in response to Lucia’s question: “I am the Lady of the Rosary.”
That very same day, 70,000 people had turned out to witness the apparition following a promise by Our Lady that would show the people that it was true. They all saw the sun make three circles, and zig-zag across the sky.
What is the central meaning of the message of Fatima? As Pope Emeritus said: "It is the exhortation to prayer as the path of “salvation for souls” and, likewise, the summons to penance and conversion."