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Our lady of Fatima

 

Pope Francis will consecrate the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary at the Vatican on Oct 13, 2013

The key event of the Year of Faith, the Marian Day.Archbishop Fisichella, stated that at the beginning of the Year of Faith it was decided that it would be fundamental to retrace the history of our faith, and for this reason Benedict XVI placed in the foreground the figure of Mary, who represents for believers the first response of complete and total faith, in which we fully abandon ourselves to God. Therefore, on Saturday 12 October the original statue of Our Lady of Fatima will arrive in Rome, and will return to Fatima on Sunday evening. The archbishop emphasised the importance of this event, recalling that “the statue never leaves the shrine, except in the case of entirely exceptional and extraordinary events. The last time was during the Great Jubilee of the year 2000 when, on 13 May, Blessed John Paul II carried out the act of consecration to the Virgin. … The date of 13 October has been chosen as it recalls the final appearance of the Virgin to the three shepherd children in 1917.”

 

As is traditional in these events, on Saturday morning there will be a pilgrimage to the Tomb of Peter and in the afternoon.

Pope Francis' catechesis. In the afternoon St. Peter's Square will open to pilgrims at 2.30 p.m. At 3 p.m. there will be a moment of reflection, and at 4 p.m. the procession of the Virgin around the square will begin. In accordance with tradition, pilgrims are asked to wave with white handkerchiefs as the statue of the Virgin of Fatima passes. At 5 p.m. the Holy Father will greet the statue of the Virgin in front of the Basilica. Following a moment of prayer in St. Peter's Square, the statue will be transported to the Santuario Del Divino Amore, where an all-night prayer vigil will take place. On Sunday morning, the Virgin will return to the Vatican where the procession across St. Peter's Square will be repeated at 9.30 a.m., followed by Holy Mass celebrated by Pope Francis. Finally, the Pope will carry out the act of consecration to the Virgin and will pray the Angelus with the pilgrims present.

It is expected that over 150,000 pilgrims from all over the world will participate, with international representations from 48 countries.

“It is necessary to have recourse to the Virgin because she can only bring you to God. That's her whole mission. She has nothing of self in it at all. She lives only for God and to bring you to God,” said Marian expert Tim Tindal-Robertson, currently the

national president in England of the World Apostolate of Fatima, an international association of the faithful which was erected by the Pontifical Council for the Laity in 2010.

Speaking of the significance of Pope Francis’ decision to entrust the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Tindal-Robertson said that “the Pope has judged that in the year of faith this is a very appropriate moment” to focus on Mary’s presence in the Church.

This presence, he noted, is “especially relevant to the situation of the Church in the world in our times. The Pope knows this very well.”

The importance of Mary's role in the modern Church is shown most clearly in the annunciation, he said, where the angel Gabriel appeared to the Blessed Mother and told her she would give birth to the Son of God.

Though “she couldn't quite understand” the magnitude of what the angel was asking of her, Mary “in her humility… consented out of her free will,” Tindal-Robertson said.

“Although she was Immaculate, that didn’t alter the fact that she had free will. Technically she could have said no, and that’s the meaning of free will, you have a choice,” he explained, “She said yes.”

Referring to the 1917 apparitions of Mary to three shepherd children in Fatima, Portugal, Tindal-Robertson expressed that “and it’s a very special apparition, more than any other because it’s intimately related to the history of the twentieth century.”

The original statue of Our Lady of Fatima, which currently resides in the Portuguese shrine’s Little Chapel of Apparitions, has been offered to be sent to Rome for the celebration, and will leave for Rome on the morning of Oct. 12 and return on the afternoon of Oct. 13.

Tindal-Robertson noted the special significance of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, an image of which has been molded into the center of the statue, saying that “this is where everything comes from.”

“Her heart was immaculate, that means it was incapable of resisting the plan of God. Sin could not enter into that Immaculate Heart, nor could ever sin and error, as we know all too well, are present in the world today.”

Emphasizing how there are some in the Church who say that sin in today’s society has reached “an unprecedented degree,” which has not been present before, he stressed that “that to me is why it is necessary to have recourse to the Virgin.”

“She lives only for God and to bring you to God and that is the essence of the meaning of Fatima, that’s why the Church has accepted as John Paul II said, because the Fatima message repeats the first word of the Gospel, 'repent and believe in the good news the kingdom of heaven is at hand.'”

Mary, he reflected, “came back to our world. She’s not neglecting us; she's very concerned about the salvation of all of her children.”