Fátima message a century later: Repent and pray; Fatima statue, JP2 relics to tour Archdiocese

October 24, 2017

A statue of Our Lady of Fatima is carried by faithful of Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church in Galena Park. The procession coincided with the 100th anniversary of the first Marian apparition in Fatima, Portugal, and the 36th anniversary of the assassination attempt on St. John Paul. File photo by James Ramos/Herald.


Fatima statue tours Archdiocese

 The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston will host the International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima, traveling worldwide since 1947, during a two-year journey across America to mark the 100th anniversary of the apparitions at Fatima.

Nov. 13 – Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Houston (Central Vicariate)
Nov. 14 – St. Thomas Aquinas, Sugar Land (Western Vicariate)
Nov. 15 – Our Lady of Fatima, Galena Park (Patroness of this parish)
Nov. 16 – Sts. Simon and Jude, The Woodlands (Northern Vicariate)
Nov. 17 – St. Clare of Assisi, Houston (Southern Vicariate)

More information, including times and more visit www.fatimatourforpeace.com


The events of Fátima, Portugal between May 13 and October 13, 1917 are still fascinating and significant for Catholic devotional life.

One hundred years ago, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to three children tending sheep: Lucia de Santos (nine years old), Francisco (seven) and Jacinta (eight) Marto. Her visitations to them happened on the 13th of each month. She appeared in fire, asked that a church be built, and for the children to do penance.

She would identify herself as “Our Lady of the Rosary” would simply ask them to pray the Rosary every day to obtain peace.

The culmination of her appearances occurred on Oct. 13 where thousands of gathered pilgrims witnessed the sun dance in the sky.

This all took place near the end of World War I, a terribly bloody and often forgotten multinational conflict with deaths in the many millions, and on the eve of a Russian civil war that resulted in the creation of the Soviet Union.

One reason for the worldwide popularity of the Fátima message is due to the “secret” Mary gave to Lucia. The “secret” is made up of three parts: the children were shown a vision of hell; they were told to pray for the consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart or else lies and destruction would be spread; that a “Bishop dressed in white” would be martyred.

On May 13, 1981 John Paul II was shot in St. Peter’s square but survived. The failed assassination attempt he attributed to Mary and the power of prayer to change history.

This past May Pope Francis made a pilgrimage to Fátima where he canonized Francisco and Jacinta and commemorated the 100th anniversary of these approved Marian apparitions. In his homily of May 13 Pope Francis said, “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.’”

On Oct. 13, 1930 the Bishop of Leiria, the Portuguese Diocese where Fátima is a town, declared that after investigations the miraculous visions could be believed. The Catholic Church is actually very cautious in approving what it calls “private” revelations or revelations given to individuals for the benefit of the larger community.

Theologians distinguish private revelations from the deposit of faith or the Revelation of God that is full or complete and bound up with the words and deeds of Jesus Christ, the Word. Jesus Christ gives and is the fullness of revelation. Commenting on the appearances of Fátima, St. John Paul II has said, “The Church evaluates and judges private revelations by the criterion of conformity with that single public revelation.” (JPII Homily 13 May 1982)

In light of supernatural events and prophecies of Fátima, what often gets lost is the main point of Mary’s message: repent and pray. The faithful are called to respond in prayer to a relationship with a personal God. The atheistic Marxism exported by Russia in the 20th century declared God to be a drug for the people.

The faithful now live in an age of disbelief where God is reduced to a projection of their minds. Many today hold a secularist mentality: living day to day, moment to moment, as if God did not exist.

In other words, many go through their day without prayer, and without prayer there is no repentance. As St. John Paul II puts it, “Repent, and believe in the Gospel.” (Mk 1:15): these are the first words that the Messiah addressed to humanity. The message of Fátima is, in its basic nucleus, a call to conversion and repentance, as in the Gospel... The call to repentance is linked, as always, with a call to prayer.” (John Paul II, Homily 13 May 1982)

At Fátima Mary told the children to pray the Rosary daily. At the end of each decade they could add a prayer that summarizes the message of her visitation: “O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell. Lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of Thy mercy.”

St. John Paul II relic tours Houston

The official relic of the blood of St. John Paul II will visit four churches in the Archdiocese from Nov. 6 to 9. The Servants of the Pierced Hearts of Jesus and Mary are hosting the veneration being held during the year of the Centenary of the Apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima. 

Monday, Nov. 6 - Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart
1111 St. Joseph Pkwy. Houston
Arrives at 3 p.m.
Veneration until 7 p.m.
Trilingual Mass 7 p.m.

Tuesday, Nov. 7 - St. John Vianney Catholic Church
625 Nottingham Oaks Trail, Houston
Mass 9 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Veneration 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Nov. 8 - St. Laurence Catholic Church
3100 Sweetwater Blvd., Sugar Land
Mass 6:30 p.m. 
Veneration 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Thursday, Nov. 9 - Catholic Charismatic Center
1949 Cullen Blvd., Houston
Mass 7:30 p.m.
Veneration 8:30 to 10:30 p.m.

More information, visit piercedhearts.org.