«His mercy is from age to age» (Lk. 1:50) is the theme chosen by the Holy Father for the III World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly, which shall take place on Sunday, July 23, in proximity to the liturgical memory of Saints Joachim and Anne, grandparents of Jesus and just days before the start of World Youth Day in Lisbon.

idoso 06082020181547272Joining Pope Francis’s call, the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life has invited the World Apostolate of Fatima to celebrate the World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly, possibly with a solemn Eucharistic celebration, together with grandparents and the elderly. At the same time, young people are also encouraged to visit the lonely elderly in their communities.

To assist in preparing for this, the Dicastery has prepared a series of pastoral tools that can be used. The Pastoral Kit is available on the website of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life. See here.

This year, the Holy Father will preside over a solemn liturgy on the Day in St. Peter’s Basilica on July 23 at 10:00 a.m. in the presence of grandparents, the elderly and their families.

The World Youth Day Lisbon 2023, whose theme revolves around the biblical quote «Mary arose and went with haste» (Lk 1:39) will be marked by several Marian references and symbols, some of them visibly connected with the Apparitions of Fatima. The presence of the Statue of Our Lady of Fatima in the closing Mass with Pope Francis, in Lisbon, just confirms this.   

NS FatimaAt the request of the local organizing Committee of WYD Lisbon 2023, the statue of Our Lady venerated in the Chapel of the Apparitions, in the Shrine of Fatima, will be on the altar of the farewell Mass, presided over by the Holy Father, on Sunday morning, August 6th, in Lisbon. This is the 13th time the Statue of Our Lady makes a pilgrimage outside her chapel in Fatima. The day before, Pope Francis will pray to Our Lady of Fatima, in her Shrine, with the pilgrims, for peace in Ukraine and in the world.

The World Apostolate of Fatima is also participating in the dynamics and program of the World Youth Day. First, through the groups of young people associated with our Apostolate who are travelling for the event, from different countries. Secondly, also through the Secretariat’s welcoming to the many pilgrims visiting Fatima on such days.  

Besides this, the World Apostolate of Fatima, through its Secretariat, will have a Fatima booth at the “WYD Vocational Fair”, in partnership with the Portuguese “Movimento da Mensagem de Fatima”. The purpose is to promote the message of Fatima and our organizations. There will be a permanent team of volunteers welcoming everyone passing by and offering information about Our Lady’s apparitions, by informal conversation but also through an Online Fatima Quiz.

On June 22, 2023, the World Apostolate of Fatima attended the annual meeting of moderators of international associations, ecclesial movements, new communities, and other entities, promoted by the Dicastery for the Laity, the Family and Life, in Rome. The theme was: On mission with Peter: Apostolicity, the heart of the movements’ identity.

encontro dicastérioProf. Michael Ogunu, the International President of the World Apostolate of Fatima and Mr. Nuno Prazeres, the Director of the International Secretariat participated in the annual meeting of the Vatican’s Dicastery, with some other 150 people from 85 movements, from all continents.

The meeting recalled the 25th anniversary of the first International Congress of Ecclesial Movements and New Communities.

The meeting, held at the General Curia of the Jesuits, began with the celebration of the Holy Mass, followed by the introduction remarks of Cardinal Kevin Farrell, Prefect of the Dicastery. In the introductory remarks, he emphasised that the movements should not forget the universal mandate of the Church, which is evangelization. Besides, the challenge of apostolicity today is not to look so much at what we have achieved in the past but to look at what can still be achieved in the future. The scope must be “transmitting the faith, bringing Jesus closer to everyone and to everywhere”. This must be done by rediscovering creativity to proclaim the Gospel, install new style, new methods, so that the message reaches out to people. The best way to evangelize is through life witness, in the family, and in the fellowship with others. There must be a special love for the poor and the disadvantaged, he said.

After the Cardinal’s introductory speech, there was a talk by Fr. Paolo Prosperi, stressing some challenges the movements face. He reminded participants that “apostolic movements are an expression of the missionary essence of the Church”.

During lunch break, participants interacted with each other and came to know better the various realities of the movements. After the break, the work resumed with a session devoted to the testimonies of the participants, to share how in these years they have welcomed and lived the challenge of apostolic life, in charity and service.

The meeting ended with a word of encouragement by Card. Kevin Farrell to all: “Do not be discouraged by the challenges. We need to install a new life, a new missionary spirit in the Church, through our movements”.

Prof. Michael Ogunu with Card. Kevin Farrell

Sister Lucia de Jesus, the seer who, together with her cousins Saint Francisco and Saint Jacinta Marto, witnessed the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Fatima, has been declared Venerable on Thursday, June 22, 2023.

Irmã Lúcia 2After 15 years and after the detailed analysis of a process which contains more than 15,000 pages, the decree which recognizes the heroic virtues of this religious Carmelite Sister was promulgated by Pope Francis. This is a central step in the process that leads to the beatification and the penultimate step towards the declaration of holiness. For the beatification, the recognition of a miracle attributed to the intercession of the now venerable Lucia of Jesus is required.

After the death of her cousins, who died shortly after the apparitions, Sister Lucia remained the sole custodian of the message entrusted to her by Our Lady until her death in Coimbra, on 13 February 2005, where she lived many years of her life as a cloistered Nun. Her body is now buried in the Shrine of Fatima, next to her cousins Francisco and Jacinta.

Sister Lucia spent her whole life devoted to living and spreading the message she received from Our Lady. She lived in humility, obedience and fidelity to God and to the Church. She wrote a few books being the main one the Memoirs of Sister Lucia, the best reference to know the story and message of Fatima.

Pope Francis will be in Portugal from August 2 to 6 for the World Youth Day (WYD) Lisbon 2023, in what will be the longest visit of a Pope to Portugal. On August 5 he will visit the Shrine of Fatima for a moment of prayer to Our Lady.

papa em fatimaThe World Apostolate of Fatima rejoices with the presence of the Holy Father, for the second time, in Fatima. This visit will take place at the express wish of the Holy Father. His first trip to the Shrine was in 2017, to preside over the ceremonies of the Centennial of the Apparitions of Our Lady and the canonization of the two little shepherds Francisco and Jacinta Marto.

The Portuguese Bishops’ Conference, upon the announcement of the Pope’s visit, declared: “We wish that Pope Francis' presence among us, and which includes a significant pilgrimage to the Shrine of Fatima, will be a strong moment of renewal and grace for the Church in Portugal, especially for young people, called by the Living Christ to be authentic evangelizers in a synodal Church and always in mission.”

The World Youth Day in Lisbon is a major gathering of young people from all over the world with the Pope. The World Apostolate of Fatima will be present and will also have a stand in the “Vocational Fair” to promote the mission of the Fatima Apostolate.