Written by Jennette Anderson, a graduate of Benedictine College and friend of Stella & Tide
Springtime has always seemed to manifest hope, rebirth, and an awakening of what was once dormant. The warmth stirs nature and imbues a freshness and newness to life around us. The feast of Our Lady of Fatima conveys such a message as well.
Our Lady always seems to appear in times of turmoil and unrest. World War I was certainly no different, ravaging the external and interior peace of many, and her sudden, unannounced presence to three shepherd children led many to disbelieve and ridicule these apparitions. Yet, these very apparitions, filled with caveats and a simple request to “pray the Rosary,” can assist all Catholics in promoting peace, illuminating hope, and strengthening faith in what sometimes seems to be a Godless world.
On May 13, 1917, Our Lady made her first appearance to Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta, three peasant children in Portugal. She would appear to them again once a month through October 13. During these visits, our Blessed Mother emphasized prayer, making sacrifices for sinners, a devotion to the Immaculate Heart, and praying a daily Rosary.
The request to pray a daily Rosary, in particular, was a simple-yet-powerful directive that led to the conversion of many poor sinners. The Blessed Mother’s request to devoutly recite the Rosary promises great graces for salvation as well as dispelling vices from one’s heart (learn more about the Fifteen Promises of the Rosary here). The Rosary is an excellent reminder to reflect on certain aspects of Jesus’ ministry and Passion as well as the countless blessings Mary received as the Lord’s handmaid.
The rosary has been an ever-present prayer and meditation in my own life. Growing up, I remember praying for safe travels, among other intentions, during long road trips to visit grandparents and other family members. It is a tradition my family still carries on. Additionally, my grandparents always had a particular devotion to the Rosary, which they shared with my family. We spent countless evenings during our visits listening to Mother Angelica recite the mysteries of the Rosary with her sisters on EWTN.
While it may not have always been enjoyable for me as a young girl and was often filled with distractions, it is now a cherished memory of spending time with Jesus, His Mother, and my grandparents. Though my grandparents have passed on, my parents have maintained this tradition in their remembrance as well as to pray for the souls in Purgatory.
With ongoing wars, persecutions, and atrocities, the world can sometimes seem hopeless and beyond redemption. Yet Our Lady’s message at Fatima—a message highlighted by her simple request to pray the Rosary—helps us to implement peace, restore hope, and above all lead the world to her Son, in turn saving many souls from perishing.
On this Marian feast day of Our Lady of Fatima, I hope we can all pray a Rosary for one another and for the intentions of Our Lady of Fatima.