Fatima-A A +A
Friday, October 11, 2013
FOR some “unknown” reasons, our first trip to Europe, some 15 years ago, was rescheduled after months of eager expectation. Angie and I were hoping to visit all the major tourist destinations in Europe: London, Paris, Madrid, Paris, Zurich, Monaco, Rome, Florence, Venice, Assisi, Lourdes, and Fatima! Unfortunately, it did not include my lifelong dream shrine of Fatima, in Portugal!
So, we planned to split off from the tour group at some point closest to Fatima. Our tour guide discouraged us from doing so, and did not even know where the revered shrine was! So unaware were so many people we asked, too. But with just a strong desire to see Her, we just took off in faith. Without “Google” for directions, we had to cope up with finding people and train personnel who could speak English, and could show us the way to a little town, known in the past, as Aljustrel.
And as God arranged it perfectly, we arrived on May 13, the day Mama Mary first appeared to the three children, Lucia, 10 years old, and her cousins, Francisco, 8, and his sister, Jacinta, 7, some 96 years ago, in 1917!
I thank God I was able to pray and move forward in a kneeling position from the entrance to the shrine, about 500 meters away. I could not do it anymore, the last time I was there. Age had caught up with me! The heart and mind was willing but the body was not!
Six months later, on October 13, 1917, Our Lady of the Rosary, a name she gave herself on the day of the miracle, appeared to at least 50,000 people who witnessed what was described as the “miracle of the sun”, in an act meant to convince unbelievers, and to prove that her messages to the three children were authentic.
And what was that message? – To pray and offer sacrifices to God willingly. She requested prayer and penance. She warned of grave dangers if people continued in their injustices, corrupt pursuits, and wrongdoings.
To this day, and by God’s grace, I hope to be a devotee to our Blessed Mother, Our Lady of Fatima, until the day I die. May my family be one with her, too.
We have a local shrine along Siapno Road, Pacdal, that my late mom would bring me to, regularly. And that is where I prayed just before I went down to Manila for an important and crucial meeting this Friday. And Mama Mary answered my prayers! Praise God!
My Dearest Friends and Family,
Allow me to quote from a pamphlet:
“What is the Rosary?
The Rosary is a form of reflective prayer based on the mysteries of our redemption. Its purpose is to deepen our prayer lives and to lead us into a profound encounter with the central truths of the Christian faith.
The Rosary is composed of four meditations focused on events in the life, death, and resurrection of Christ. These events are found in the bible. The four meditations are: Joyful, Luminous, Sorrowful, and Glorious. The Rosary includes teachings of the Church regarding Mary, the mother of Jesus, and events in her life, too.”
“Isn’t reciting so many prayers vain repetition?
Even one insincere prayer can be in vain. Some things bear repeating.
“Pray without ceasing”, the apostle Paul instructs in 1 Thes. 5:17. The repetition dissolves into contemplation as one progresses along the spiritual journey. The quantity of prayer does not matter but the depth.”
“Silence. Since stillness helps to nourish contemplation of the mysteries, praying the Rosary in silence can bring many blessings. When prayed faithfully, the Rosary may grow more and more into a love song for God.”
My dearest friends, some ten years ago, one of my spiritual goals, was to attend Holy Mass and receive Jesus in the Holy Eucharist daily. I thought I will do it only when I “retire” from work, but has been “doable”, and the fruits have been many.
Another is to “Pray the Rosary” daily… I am slowly getting there. Pls. pray for me that I can, will, and encourage others to do the same.
“The family that prays together stays together!”
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on October 12, 2013.