Feast of Saint Francisco and Saint Jacinta Marto
On the 20th of February the Church celebrates the Feast of Saint Francisco and Saint Jacinta Marto, the two little children of Fatima, canonized in year 2017. The World Apostolate of Fatima, every year, takes this date to celebrate the sanctity of these two little shepherds and to promote their spirituality. This year, due to the restrictions caused by the pandemic, many will have to celebrate this Feast at home, in prayer or by joining events through the digital platforms.
One of these can be the program that has been formulated by the Sanctuary of Fatima for this date. A program that, for the first time, will be carried without the physical presence of pilgrims.
From February 11th, a Novena to the Shepherd’s Saints is being conducted and all the celebrations at the Shrine of Fatima have also a special invocation of Saint Francisco and Saint Jacinta, in preparation for the Feast day. The icons and sculptures of the two Saints are also on display at the Basilica and at the little Chapel of the Apparitions.
On the eve of the 19th of February there will be a Vigil in the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary. On the 20th of February, at 11h00, there will be the Holy Mass presided over by Cardinal Antonio Marto. In the afternoon, at 14h00, the Sanctuary will share on its social networks a documentary about the life and importance of the Little Shepherds.
The parish church of Fatima, where the little shepherds were baptized, has also launched the ”Week of the little Shepherds”. Since “the main thing is to do what Our Lady asked, to pray the rosary, as the Little Shepherds prayed and sacrificed themselves for sinners, so each day of this week a family will pray in their house the Rosary and will record it in video to share with the other families” announced the parish priest.
As we celebrate the Feast of Saint Francisco and Saint Jacinta, we ask for their intercession, so that God may quickly free the world from the pandemic and from so many evils. We pray for those who have died and for the sick as well as for those who are in the front line fighting this virus.
Spiritual Bouquet for Our Lady of Fatima and Children’s Holy Hour
On the 13th of October, 2020, the World Apostolate of Fatima led a major effort to offer a worldwide reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, as requested in the message of Fatima, through two beautiful events: the offering of a spiritual bouquet to Our Lady and the celebration of the annual Worldwide Children’s Holy Hour, pleading Our Lady’s promised intercession, for peace, for families, for the Church and for the triumph of Her Immaculate Heart.
In the morning of the 13th of October, in the Chapel of the Apparitions of Our Lady, in Fatima, Portugal, two children offered Our Lady the second Spiritual Bouquet – the first was last May 13th - by placing flowers at Her feet, on behalf of every person who had joined the Worldwide 5 Million Rosaries Campaign, through the webpage www.worldrosary2020.org. The ceremony was introduced by the presiding priest with these words: “At the beginning of this prayer, two children, representing thousands of other children from around the world, offer flowers to Our Lady and, with them, a Spiritual Bouquet made up of millions of rosaries, prayers and Eucharist participation. These Children of the Eucharist, an initiative of the World Apostolate of Fatima, have prayed and continue to pray for the end of the pandemic, for peace in the world, for the victory of good over evil and for the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.”
After this, the recitation of the Rosary followed and, in the end, the Image of Our Lady was carried in procession for the Holy Mass, presided by Mgr. Jose Ornelas, president of the Portuguese Bishop’s Conference. Here you can watch a short video with the celebrations, including the presentation of the Spiritual Bouquet to Our Lady:
Despite the smaller number of pilgrims present in the esplanade of the Fatima Shrine, because of the Covid-19 pandemic, there was a profound spiritual communion with all the Fatima devotees around the world, in particular, with the members of the World Apostolate of Fatima, who followed the celebrations through the social media.
Also on this day, the 18th Worldwide Children’s Eucharistic Holy Hour was celebrated and broadcast by EWTN, from their chapel in Irondale, Alabama, USA. Children and youngsters have united in prayer around the world, “in an universal plea for a divine intervention in the midst of our uncertain times, to restore peace, health and joy in our needy world; to strengthen families, our “domestic churches” and accelerate the promised triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, a promise of salvation in the midst of the present chaos and obscurity, with the triumph of good over evil, of the culture of life over the culture of death; of virtue over vice, of piety over indifference!” as said by the International President of the World Apostolate of Fatima.
One million children praying the Rosary
The world as we know it, finds itself in times of great trouble and conflict which seems to have no end. We are all part of this world and no matter how small we might seem in person, together, we can help and fight for peace and unity for our Home.
In association with the international organization Aid to the Church in Need, the World Apostolate of Fatima is helping to spread a worldwide prayer initiative named: “One million children praying the rosary” that will take place on the 18th of October 2020.
This event is for everyone but especially for the children, the future of this world. St. Padre Pio once said: “If a million children pray the Rosary together, then the world will change.” In this way no just 1 million but as many million as we possibly can on this day, will pray the rosary in union and faith for the welfare of the world and the world of our generations to come.
In Fatima, at the place where the Blessed Virgin Mary asked to pray the rosary daily for peace, this prayer initiative will be remembered at the various celebrations and so will many schools and religious institutions that are asked to devote a few minutes of prayer for a timeless reward to Humanity.
Join us and help us in spreading the message! For more information about this prayer initiative please visit: http://www.millionkidspraying.org/en/
Message from the President on the Pandemic
A worldwide crisis like this one, causing thousands of deaths and causing a strict lockdown in all countries, including the suspension of public liturgies and closing of churches, is a tremendous burden for humanity. We live a true purification, as a divine pedagogy, because of our many sins and the sins of humankind. We cannot gather in our parish churches, nor have religious communal celebrations. It is as if God wants us to confine ourselves to our homes, to focus on our individuality, on our "inner castle", our inner heart, and to develop there an intimate life with the Lord. He will come to dwell in our hearts and wipe away our tears, remedy our miseries and forgive our sins. At dusk, he will stay with us forever. There will be a new world renewed by purification.
It will have been worth many sick and deceased, for in the end humanity will be closer to God and the Kingdom of God will come upon the new earth. Conversion is the recipe for achieving this transformation. If not, we must prepare for higher levels of suffering and anguish because of sin. Without God as the center of our lives, we will be left to a life of lukewarmness and sin that will bring the calamities of war, hunger, persecutions against the Church and the annihilation of nations. This can be avoided, if we eradicate the worldly spirit from our hearts and our society during this heavenly warning of the pandemic and, by converting many, we will make possible the definitive triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Let us pray to our holy shepherd-children, Francisco and Jacinta Marto, to give comfort and strength to our families of today, to assist our medical doctors and sanitary personnel in their great sacrifice to combat this dangerous virus, to pray for our scientists to illuminate them in bringing a cure and a vaccine to eradicate this calamity from the face of earth!
Saint Jacinta and Saint Francisco, take care of our afflicted families in this hour of need, so that by your powerful intercession, united to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, you can obtain from the Good Lord the remedy we ask for the greater glory of God and the salvation of many!
Prof. Américo Pablo López-Ortiz, International President of the World Apostolate of Fatima
New Movie “Fatima” in Theaters
A new major movie, FATIMA, inspired by the story of the apparitions of Fatima in Portugal, will be released worldwide in theaters from April 2020. This movie is “a powerful and uplifting drama about the power of faith”, based on the story of a 10-year old shepherd and her two young cousins in Fatima, Portugal, who report seeing visions of the Virgin Mary.”
The film details their courageous response during which they faced ridicule, persecution, and punishment from within their own family, their local community, and the government. Throughout they maintained their childhood innocence while also remaining true to their mission of bringing a message of peace to the world.
FATIMA was filmed as an epic feature in Portugal and includes actors such as Harvey Keitel, Sonia Braga, Goran Visnjic, Joaquim de Almeida, Lucia Moniz, and Stephanie Gil in the iconic role of the Little Seer, Lucia. Directed by Marco Pontecorvo, and featuring an original song “Gratia Plena” performed by Andrea Bocelli, FATIMA is a profound, beautiful and authentic homage to the human story behind the apparitions and miracle of Fatima.
The World Apostolate of Fatima has been a part of this project, right from its initial stage of production and it is with delight that we see it coming to reality. The film will be a rare opportunity for the Apostolate to promote the meaning and message of Fatima to a wider public.
Prof. Americo López-Ortiz, international President says that the film FATIMA “presents the authentic Message of Fatima with a new perspective, appealing to our contemporary world; a drama unique in its call to those hungering for God’s intervention in history to bring peace and goodwill among humans. A beautiful cinematography serves as a background to a story based on true facts that portrays God’s love and mercy towards mankind.” And he adds that “it is a film that will move hearts in a positive way and that will be a reference for many years to come.”
The Rector of the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima, in Portugal, has also endorsed the movie, underlying that “the film leads us to reflect that 100 years later, the light of God that the Virgin Mary shined upon Francisco, Jacinta and Lucia still lights the way for those who commit to a life of faith in the Gospel.”
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