This coming Wednesday, September 13, we will honor Our Lady of Fatima in a special way at the Church of St. Columbkill in Belle Creek. Please see the details in this bulletin. I encourage you to participate and continue to learn more about the message of Fatima and what each of us can do to spread and practice devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary!
Here is the account of the what happened on September 13, 1917 and in the weeks after: “On September 13 very large crowds began to converge on Fatima from all directions. Around noon the children arrived. After the customary flash of light they saw Mary on the Holm oak tree. She spoke to Lucia: “Continue to pray the Rosary in order to obtain the end of the war. In October Our Lord will come, as well as Our Lady of Dolors and Our Lady of Carmel. Saint Joseph will appear with the Child Jesus to bless the world. God is pleased with your sacrifices. He does not want you to sleep with the rope on, but only to wear it during the daytime.”
Lucia then began to put forward the petitions for cures, to be told: “Yes, I will cure some, but not others. In October I will perform a miracle so that all may believe.” Then Our Lady began to rise as usual, and disappeared.
October 13, 1917
The prediction of a public miracle caused intense speculation throughout Portugal, and the journalist, Avelino de Almeida, published a satirical article on the whole business in the anti-religious newspaper O Seculo. People from other parts of the country descended by the tens of thousands on the cova despite the terrible storm that lashed the mountain country around Fatima on the eve of the 13th. Many pilgrims walked barefooted, reciting the rosary as they went, all crowding into the area around the cova. By mid-morning the weather again turned bad and heavy rain began to fall.
The children reached the Holm oak around noon and then saw the flash of light as Mary appeared before them. For the last time, Lucia asked what she wanted: “I want to tell you that a chapel is to be built here in my honor. I am the Lady of the Rosary. Continue always to pray the Rosary every day. The war is going to end, and the soldiers will soon return to their homes.”
Again Lucia made requests for cures, conversions and other things. Our Lady’s response was: “Some yes, but not others. They must amend their lives and ask forgiveness for their sins.”
Sister Lucia tells us that at this point Mary grew very sad and said: “Do not offend the Lord our God anymore, because He is already so much offended.” Then, opening her hands, she made them reflect on the sun and, as she ascended, the reflection of her own light continued to be projected on the sun itself. After she disappeared, as the people witnessed the great miracle which had been predicted, the children saw the visions foretold during the September apparition.
The Great Miracle Our Lady Had Predicted
The greatest miracle to occur since the Resurrection is also the only miracle ever precisely predicted as to date, time of day and location. Although it is popularly known as “The Miracle of the Sun” and October 13, 1917 has come to be known as “The Day the Sun Danced,” a great deal more took place. The solar phenomena included the dancing of the sun, its fluctuations in color, its swirling and its descending toward the earth. There were also the stillness in the leaves of the trees in spite of howling winds, the complete drying of the rain soaked ground, and the restoration of clothes all wet and covered with mud so that, as eye-witness Dominic Reis put it, “they looked as tho they had just come back from the cleaners.” Physical cures of the blind and the lame were reported. The countless unreserved public confessions of sin and commitments to conversion of life attest to the authenticity of what they saw.
The miracle is reported to have been seen from as far as 15-25 miles away, thus ruling out the possibility of any type of collective hallucination or mass hypnotism. Doubters and skeptics had become believers. Even O Seculo’s chief editor, Avelino de Almeida, who had written satirically before, now reported affirmatively, and stood by his story later on in spite of harsh criticism.” (from https://wafusa.org)
Remember the Plenary Indulgence that is available for us on the 13th of September. Please see elsewhere in this bulletin for more details.
Through the intercession of Our Lady of Fatima, St. Joseph, and St. Columbkill, may God bless you, your families and our parishes! In Christ through Mary, Fr. Kasel
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