The apparitions in Fatima did not happen in isolation in 1917. World War I was raging and the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia had spawned communism, which would spread like a virus. The previous year, in 1916, Margaret Sanger founder of Planned Parenthood, advocated against minorities procreating and opened the first birth control clinic in the United States. From those roots an anti-God and anti-family mindset grew.
It was on May 13, 1917, that the Mother of Jesus began appearing to three shepherd children in Fatima Portugal with an urgent message to the world to pray and repent. She warned that the family was in mortal spiritual danger.
At the last of the six monthly apparitions, on October 13, pouring rain had stopped, the clouds parted and an estimated 70,000 people witnessed the sun spin and give off colors in the sky. The ground and everyone’s clothing went from soaking wet to completely dry in an instant. There was no room for doubt that God had really sent his mother to ask us to repent, to pray the Rosary daily and make acts of reparation as a means to holiness and reducing the power of evil.
Before the death of Fatima visionary Sister Lucia dos Santos in 2005 at the age of 98, she predicted that the final battle between Christ and Satan would be over marriage and the family. Sister Lucia wrote in a letter to Cardinal Caffarra, Archbishop of Bologna, Italy: [T]he final battle between the Lord and the reign of Satan will be about marriage and the family. Don’t be afraid, she added, because anyone who works for the sanctity of marriage and the family will always be fought and opposed in every way, because this is the decisive issue…
Indeed, the war is on. The Blessed Mother came to show us the way to peace. We are to pray, offer reparation and fight for the family. On October 13, one-hundred years after the miracle of the sun, we have the opportunity to answer that call in a special way.
There will be a first-ever candlelight Rosary procession at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. All are invited to come or watch the live broadcast on EWTN TV. His Excellency Donald Cardinal Wuerl will lead the historic candlelight Rosary procession and also lead us in a prayer of entrustment for individuals and families to Our Lady of Fatima’s Immaculate Heart.
Eternal Word Network (EWTN) will broadcast live at 7 p.m. ET from, to over 140 nations. Father Mitch Pacwa, EWTN TV and radio personality explains more here.
Earlier that day, at 10 a.m. ET, EWTN will broadcast the 15th annual Worldwide Children’s Eucharistic Holy Hour from the Basilica. This annual event spiritually unites the children of the world before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, making reparation to console Jesus and to pray for their families, countries and world. Fr. Chris Alar, MIC Director of the Association of Marian Helpers of the Immaculate Conception, will preside. Father Alar encourages all Catholic schools to participate in their parishes.
Something You Should Know
As an example of the power of the least among us, two humble ladies in Minnesota are the ones who have organized these amazing events. They don’t even know how to set up a Facebook or Twitter page but they love our Lady and stepped out in faith. Connie Schneider, director/president of Children of the Eucharist and Maureen Wong, vice-president, felt something big should happen to mark this 100th anniversary so they started planning and asking for help. They asked Cardinal Wuerl to preside. They asked me to help promote it and in turn, I’ve asked media friends for their help. I am asking you also, to help spread the word. This is for us and for Our Lady.
When I say that Connie and Maureen stepped out in faith, they did so in a big way. They don’t have the means to pay for the many expenses associated with these two events. They have sought to discern God’s will and trust that others will help. To help with much needed funds for these events, please go to here. (As an FYI, consider a few of the expenses: promos, website development, screens, candles, flowers, the choir, transportation for children, producers, stipends, airfare, Basilica broadcasting studio, cameramen, photographers, Basilica organ, Basilica logistics, etc.)
“Many people are worried about the state of the world,” Schneider said. “This is something everyone can participate in; to light a candle and to entrust families, our country and the world to the care of Our Lady of Fatima.” She encouraged everyone to do something. “People can participate in this event or one closer to home,” Schneider said. “And if they are not able to attend anything, they can still unite with everyone by lighting a candle from their home and turning on EWTN.”
To pray along, you can order the children's prayer booklet.
“Everyone is invited to join in,” Schneider said. “As Mother Angelica always said: ‘Don’t miss the opportunity!’”