Temas de Capa

What does our Lady of Fatima mean to me…?

Growing up in an ethnic family going to church, praying and having religious statues present around me was something that l never thought twice about. In fact, it was engrained in me that different saints had days that we would honour them and, in many cases, go to church and pray on that day’s saints name. But there was one saint in particular next to saint Anthony’s that was always in the back of my mind and that was the Fatima saint and her captured presence of me.

My mother and my mother-in-law would always talk about Our Lady of Fatima and that tradition got handed down to me and my wife and children who are huge supporter of Our Lady of Fatima. We would as a family make the trek to Lewiston, New York every year and in some years, we would make that trip more than once a year.

If you are reading this, you may ask why?

I believe that when you connect with something and in this case my family and l developed a spiritual bond or a feeling that Our Lady of Fatima was our guardian angel, someone that we would turn to in good times and on some not so good times. My family relationship with this saint is unquestionable and l know as a fact that when we need help…. Our Lady of Fatima is there.

Something like what happened on May 13, 1917, the Virgin Mary, the Mother of Jesus Christ, appeared to three shepherd children from a poor family in the poor parish of Fatima in rural Portugal. The Virgin appeared standing on a small holm oak in a field called the Cova D’Iria. She was bathed in a radiant light, brighter than the sun, rather like the Lord in his Transfiguration. She did not yet identify herself as the Virgin Mary, but said that she came from heaven, asked the children to come for six months in succession on the 13th of the month.

She promised the children that they would go to heaven and asked them to offer themselves to God and bear all the sufferings he sent them, as an act of reparation for sins and for the conversion of sinners.

The children answered that they were willing to do so. She then opened her hands, communicating to them a light so intense that it penetrated their hearts and the inmost depths of their souls, making them to see themselves in God. Finally, she asked them to pray the rosary every day to obtain peace in the world and the end of the war.

On June 13, the Virgin repeated her requests and revealed to the children her Immaculate Heart encircled by thorns, which represented the sins of humanity.

Much uncertainty ensued during that time period and as a result of all of this, on October 13 arrived, a crowd of about 70,000 believers and skeptics alike were on hand to witness the event of the day. The skeptics were looking forward to seeing the supposed hoax exposed. The believers were anticipating the promised miracle. The weather was miserable, as it had been raining continually until midday, when the Virgin was accustomed to appearing.

At the conclusion of the apparition, the Virgin, bathed in the light of God, opened her hands so that as she returned, the light from her hands projected onto the sun itself. The people looked to the sun and, as confirmed by the account, the sun began to change colors, whirl bout its place, and then it appeared to move towards the earth as though it were going to burn it with its rays.

The dance of the sun at Fatima was not witnessed just by those present but was seen more than 10 miles away. Afterwards, the crowd, which had been standing all morning in the rain, found that they were dry.

These types of events have happened to many people over the past and many have been saved by these miracles and yes most of these events are personal and you may not be a believer, but miracles do happen, and they have with me.

Our Lady of Fatima is my family patron saint…

Do you have one?

Vince Nigro/MS

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