What happened at Fatima 100 years ago?
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Blessed Virgin Mary appearing to three little shepherds in the small town of Fatima, Portugal. Our Lady entrusted to them a message for the world: pray for world peace and the conversion of sinners.
It was there in this small town where the Blessed Virgin appeared to siblings Jacinta and Francisco Marto, and Lucia dos Santos, their first cousin, as they watched over their flock. The first apparition was May 13, 1917, and she appeared to them on the 13th day of each month through October of that year.
The message of Fatima is a guide for mankind’s salvation through conversion, prayer and reparation for sins against God.
Each appearance of Mary raised excitement and suspicion during those early years of the 20th century, drawing thousands of nearby villagers to the spot where the children were graced with visions from Mary, specifics of which were kept secret for decades by Lucia following the final apparition at Fatima.
Pope Francis declared the sainthood of Jacinta Marto and Francisco Marto during his visit to the site of the apparitions May 13 of this 100th anniversary year.
The children’s cousin entered the Carmelites. Sister Lucia died in 2005 at the age of 97. The diocesan phase of her sainthood cause concluded in February and now is under study at the Vatican.
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