MASSES followed by candlelight processions marked festivities across Brisbane commemorating 100 years of Our Lady of Fatima’s final apparition at Fatima, Portugal.
During a Friday night of devotion at Our Lady of Victories, Bowen Hills, Brisbane Archbishop Coleridge crowned the statue of Our Lady, and presided as children received first Holy Communion.
On the following night, rain didn’t dampen the festive atmosphere as onlookers huddled under umbrellas to follow a horse-drawn carriage process a statue of Our Lady through city streets before arriving at St Stephen’s Cathedral.
The centenary Masses marked the miracle of the sun, witnessed by thousands of Portuguese pilgrims on October 13, 1917, at Fatima.
It was an event that capped an incredible six months in which the Blessed Mother appeared to three simple shepherd children – Lucia Abobora, 9, and her cousins Jacinta and Francisco Marto, 6 and 7 – and imparted her wisdom that would draw the world closer to her Son and her Immaculate Heart.
As the Church concludes the 100th anniversary celebration, Our Lady’s directives and requests remain enduring and crucial.
This centennial highlights the call to renew, begin or continue Our Lady of Fatima’s directives.
Earlier this year, in May, as Pope Francis was visiting Fatima for the 100th anniversary to canonise Sts Jacinta and Francisco Marto, he said: “Our Lady foretold, and warned us about, a way of life that is godless and indeed profanes God in his creatures.”
“Such a life – frequently proposed and imposed – risks leading to hell,” the Pope said.
“Mary came to remind us that God’s light dwells within us and protects us. … In Lucia’s account, the three chosen children found themselves surrounded by God’s light as it radiated from Our Lady.
“She enveloped them in the mantle of light that God had given her.
“According to the belief and experience of many pilgrims, if not of all, Fatima is more than anything this ‘mantle of light’ that protects us, here as in almost no other place on earth.
“We need but take refuge under the protection of the Virgin Mary and to ask her, as the Salve Regina teaches: ‘Show unto us … Jesus’.”