Fatima Day at The Blue Army Shrine

 As the Catholic world celebrates the 100th centenary of the Apparitions at Fatima, Portugal, the Blue Army Shrine in Washington, New Jersey, home to the World Apostolate of Fatima, held its second gathering of the faithful on June 13, 2017.  This day was the anniversary of the second apparition when Our Lady appeared to the three children to reiterate the message she gave them on her first apparition on May 13, 1917: pray the rosary daily, sacrifice yourself for sinners, offer reparations for the offenses committed against God, greater respect for the Blessed Sacrament.  On this second apparition, there was an added request by the "Beautiful Lady."  She asked Lucia, the older of the three, to learn how to read and write.   This was a practical request given the mission that Sr. Lucia was given to spread the message of Fatima.

Sr. Philomena and I were blessed in finding the opportunity to participate in the celebrations.  The crowd was noticeably smaller than the one we attended in May but it was still large in number.  There was a noon day Rosary with procession of the Fatima statue, a talk by an invited speaker with the theme inspired by President John F. Kennedy's "Ask not what the country can do for you but what you can do for the country" into "ask not what God can do for you, ask what you can do for God."  The Eucharistic celebration with an inspiring homily given by the Chaplain of the Shrine was at 1:00 pm followed by Exposition, Benediction and Eucharistic procession.  There was Divine Mercy at 3:00 pm and tour of the Holy House. 

It was a tremendous blessing to be among the many who were on fire with love for Our Lady of Fatima.  Her message continues to be relevant and the call to live the Fatima message is ever more urgent in our present day as we face a pervading spiritual alienation and crisis of faith among many.

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