Thursday, October 15, 2009

Our Lady of Fatima and the Rosary

Our Lady appeared in Fatima, Portugal to 3 children in 1917. She requested they (and we) pray the rosary daily. Our Lady appeared on the 13th of the month, each month, from May to October.

On October 13,1917 during a torrential rain storm, Our Lady appeared, the sun broke through the storm, and while the children were in the midst of their vision of the Blessed Mother, those in attendance were witness to a miracle. The sun appeared to fall from the sky, and many thought the end was very near. They witnessed the sun spin on its axis, change colors and 'dance' in the sky. After this miracle, the people and the grounds, which had been soaking wet moments before, were completely dry. Even the secular press recorded the miracle on the front page of the paper the next day!

What does this mean for us? I think it means that God still performs miracles. Since Our Lady predicted the sun miracle, I think it means the vision really was the Mother of Jesus.

And, I think it means we should heed her call to pray the rosary daily. Is it easy? Yes and no. The rosary itself is not a difficult prayer, but to pray it effectively, meditating on the mysteries, takes time. In our hectic lives, we probably can't pray a full 20 decades daily as many Popes and saints have done, and as many religious still do, but we can start with 10, or 5 or even one. Even starting with one decade daily is a powerful way to improve our prayer life. It becomes easier to add another decade weekly (or monthly, as your schedule allows) until a full 10 decades are such an important part of your day that you don't want to miss it.

Personally, I struggle with this. I go through phases of daily rosaries, followed by phases of weekly rosaries or less. But in this month of the rosary, I will recommit to a daily rosary. Who will join me?

Here is a link to the official site of the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima, Portugal:

Next: How to pray the rosary.

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