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Throwback Thursday: On the eve of the Miracle of the Sun in Fatima

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On the eve of the 100th Anniversary of the "Miracle of the Sun", the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary in Fatima (CT Photo/Greg Hartman)
On the eve of the 100th Anniversary of the “Miracle of the Sun”, the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary in Fatima (CT Photo/Greg Hartman)

Fatima- 100 Years ago in this small village in Portugal, The Blessed Virgin Mary appeared six times to three young children; when in the same continent World War I was consuming life and land; Portugal was in political chaos, refugees were pouring into Europe.  A week ago 134 pilgrims from the Archdiocese of Cincinnati were in Fatima.

A century later as the Archdiocese of Cincinnati pilgrims, along with thousands around the world, saw Fatima, many for the first time: the world is faced with political upheaval, tragedies beyond comprehension, an uncertain future, refugees being banished from the comfort of their homes because of an unspeakable violence in war and poverty.

100 years ago, Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta in this simple agricultural region of Portugal, the Blessed Mother appeared to them in the quiet and ordinary: much like the shepherds watching their flock in Bethlehem, young Bernadette in Lourdes, and now the pilgrims experienced the amazing grace of peace at the candlelight vigil. Much like Lourdes, pilgrims from all over the world brought their candles to be a part: a part of peace, a part of Faith, Hope, and Love. Here the pilgrims experienced a universal church, much like that first Pentecost, “Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. And at the sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. Act is 2:5-6

At 9:30 p.m. The bells pealed and no time wasted the procession began. Candles were lit, hundreds gathered, some in small groups, and the overwhelming sense of peace descended on the massive plaza before the Basilica in Fatima.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if world leaders would sit in this plaza among thousands and witness an incredible renewal of hope. They would see young and old, men and women, children from all over praying for peace. Some process on their knees in the plaza, which would translate to several football field lengths.

It was a quiet night a week ago in Fatima, a holy night. While so many can’t understand the “culture of death” that Saint John Paul II has talked about: on that night it wasn’t found in that sacred space. Broken Men and Women standing in unison where all may not be calm, but hearts were fortified in an amazing light of peace. As always the pilgrims of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati have been praying for thousands, as request for prayer have been pouring in. These pilgrims were emboldened by the thousands of prayers at home praying for them.  A week later, the pilgrims are now home: taking that amazing light with them, their conversion, their newfound peace.

In the Archdiocese of Cincinnati there are several events to commemorate Fatima 100 years later for the faithful to share. As the children Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta were called to prayer, we are called today for fervent prayer in the face of an ever changing world today. For information on Fatima 100 years events, click here

The faithful throughout the world descend nightly in Fatima for the procession. (CT Photo/Greg Hartman)
The faithful throughout the world descend nightly in Fatima for the procession. (CT Photo/Greg Hartman)
Bishop Joseph Binzer's homily at Fatima. (CT Photo/Greg Hartman)
Bishop Joseph Binzer’s homily at Fatima. (CT Photo/Greg Hartman)
Bishop Joseph Binzer presiding at the English speaking Mass at Fatima. (CT Photo/Greg Hartman)
Bishop Joseph Binzer presiding at the English speaking Mass at Fatima. (CT Photo/Greg Hartman)
Where the Blessed Mother appeared to young Lucia, Jacinto and Francisco. (CT Photo/Greg Hartman)
Where the Blessed Mother appeared to young Lucia, Jacinto and Francisco. (CT Photo/Greg Hartman)
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