February 23: Online Rosary for Peace in Ukraine
On Friday, February 23, the eve of the sad anniversary of the beginning of the war in Ukraine caused by the Russian invasion, the World Apostolate of Fatima is organizing the online recitation of the Rosary, at 12:00 pm (Portugal time zone) to offer prayers for peace in this country and, of course, in the entire world.
Two years have passed since the outbreak of the war on February 24, 2022. Since then, thousands of injuries and deaths occurred, including of many children, and the massive destruction of houses and other buildings.
The members of the World Apostolate of Fatima from Ukraine are holding a moment of prayer in Lviv, at the Parish of the Nativity of the Mother of God, this February 23, at 12:00pm (Portugal time zone). This celebration is open to all who wish to participate also through internet. The Rosary will be recited in different languages, for peace and for the conversion of sinners, as it was requested by Our Lady in Fatima. If you wish to receive the Zoom link to participate in the prayer, please send an e-mail to: email@example.com
Month of February
The month of February is full of significant dates to enhance our prayer life and charity. Our Lady insistently asked the little shepherds to pray the Rosary every day, offering their prayer for the peace in the world. The invitation is as urgent today as it was at the time of the apparitions, in 1917.
On February 13, we celebrate the 19th anniversary of the death of Venerable Sister Lucia de Jesus. She was an example of obedience and fidelity to God and to Our Lady. We pray for her beatification. Offer the daily Rosary and Mass for this intention.
February 14 marks the beginning of Lent, a special season offered to us by the Church, to bring about personal conversion, through prayer, fasting and almsgiving, preparing for the joyful celebration of Easter. Let us live this time with such attitude.
On February 20, we celebrate the Feast of Saint Francisco and Saint Jacinta Marto, the two children saints from Fatima, canonized in year 2017. In a time when many lives of children are taken away because of wars, illnesses, starvation, we ask Saints Francisco and Jacinta to intercede for them.
May this month of February set the rhythm for the whole year, focusing on prayer, to renew our hearts.
2024 - Year of Prayer
Pope Francis has proclaimed year 2024 to be a year dedicated to prayer in preparation for the Jubilee of 2025, whose holy door will be open in the coming month of December. Dioceses, parishes and ecclesial movements are invited to promote initiatives to remind people of the centrality of both individual prayer and community prayer and to pray for peace in the world.
The World Apostolate of Fatima will do as much as possible to focus on prayer during this year and always, as this is also an essential element in the Message of Fatima. The recitation of Rosary, the Prayer cells, the Communal First Saturdays Devotion, the Eucharistic adoration, just to name a few, are excellent spiritual practices that can help us growing in holiness. The year of prayer is therefore an excellent opportunity for all Christians to rediscover the power of prayer in our lives and to prepare to celebrate the great jubilee of 2025, whose theme is “Pilgrims of Hope”. We are all pilgrims on this earth. Let us learn from Our Lady to live every day, every moment and every duty with our eyes turned to Jesus.
The Shrine of Fatima, in Portugal, has also decided to formulate its pastoral theme for year 2024 having in the horizon the Jubilee year. The Rector of the Shrine explains that the Shrine’s theme “Called to meet” is “an invitation to immerse the whole human life in the awareness of God’s presence, making every circumstance of daily life a reason for prayer, that is, for an encounter with God and, in Him, for communion with everyone and all the Creation. We shall interpret this year’s theme in the light of the Angel of Peace’s exhortation in the spring of 1916: «Pray with me».
The Angel’s invitation to the little seers is an invitation to let themselves be led into an intimate, contemplative and profound encounter with God, in whom they profess their faith and place their hope, whom they love and adore. Prayer, as a space for an intimate meeting with God, becomes part of the three children’s daily lives and, little by little, transforms that daily life, turning it into a familiar space for a relationship with God and the manifestation of His action. In Fatima, the “teacher” of the prayerful attitude is Our Lady, in whom we find the perfect example of prayer”.
We invite all our brothers and sisters of the World Apostolate of Fatima to seize this year 2024 as an opportunity to prepare our hearts to celebrate with joy and faith the 2025 Jubilee. For the Fatima devotees, year 2025 will also mark the Centenary of the Apparition of Our Lady with the child Jesus in Pontevedra, Spain, by which She requested and expanded the First Saturdays devotion. It is our Apostolate’s duty to live and propagate this devotion, for peace in the world and for salvation.
Board of Directors Meeting in Fatima
From the 12th to the 16th of November, the International Board of Trustees of the World Apostolate of Fatima met in Fatima, for their annual meeting. The Board is composed of nine members from nine different countries, assisted by the international Secretariat. This was the first time the Board of Directors met face to face since their election last October 2022. In the meantime, several online meetings had been conducted.
The meeting was presided by President Prof. Michael Ogunu and assisted by the international Secretariat. The program also included moments of prayer, with the recitation of the daily Rosary and Mass. On the last day, there was a beautiful Mass at the Chapel of the Apparitions offered for the intentions of the World Apostolate of Fatima.
During the meeting, the Board of Directors also welcomed Bishop José Ornelas, of the diocese of Leiria-Fatima and the WAF Episcopal Moderator. The same happened with the Rector of the Shrine of Fatima, Father Carlos Cabecinhas, who came to greet and address the Board. Among the various topics in the agenda, special attention was given to the WAF Strategic Plan for 2022-2027. Part of this entails the preparations for the Centennial of the Apparitions in Pontevedra, in 2025 and the campaign for promoting the First Saturday devotion.
It was a great blessing for all Board members and the Secretariat to reunite and spend time together to outline the priorities for the World Apostolate of Fatima.
In 1917, Our Lady came to Fatima, Portugal, as a mother, concerned for her children on earth. She asked the three little shepherds to pray the rosary every day for the conversion of sinners and to obtain peace for the world and the end of the war.
Today, this call is more urgent than ever. The world is in turmoil with wars and conflicts that cause death and destruction. We think of Ukraine, Gaza, Israel or Sudan, just to name a few. It is time to stop this wave of violence!
What can we do to promote peace? We will soon be celebrating Christmas, the birth of Christ, the Prince of Peace. Let us start with prayer. When we pray and meditate, we are building peace, in our heart, in our families and, consequently, also in the world.
The Pope has called for a day of fasting, prayer and penance on Friday, 27 October 2023, for peace, particularly for an end to the Israel – Hamas war. So, let us all join.
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