In 1917, on the 13th day of each month for six months starting in May, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to three children in Fatima, Portugal. The apparitions at Fatima have particular significance regarding the rosary as Mary asked the children to pray it every day informing them it was the key to peace both personally and globally. Fatima is where we also get the Fatima Prayer which is prayed at the end of each decade of the rosary. For those who do not know it, it is very simple and yet extremely powerful:
O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell and lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of your mercy.
There is so much power contained in that one little sentence. As I explain in my upcoming book on the rosary (that’s right, I’m writing a book), this is an incredibly important prayer since you acknowledge the reality of hell and that everyone runs the risk of going there if we choose to live in sin instead of embracing God’s truth. We beg for God’s mercy that we will be worthy of Heaven and ask for mercy for those who do not live as Jesus calls them. Take this small prayer seriously as it reminds us of the consequences of sin and the power of God to forgive and save anyone no matter how far they may stray.
If you do not know much about Fatima, I encourage you to take some time reading about it as it is really fascinating and also slightly scary. You can get a good overview from Wikipedia, Catholic Exchange, or any number of books and DVDs from Amazon.
- Fatima (sevenoaksordinariate.wordpress.com)
- Our Lady of Fatima Feast Day (deaconjohnspace.wordpress.com)
- Compelling Insights into 1917 Fatima Apparitions (deaconjohn1987.wordpress.com)
- The Rosary And Pope Pius XII: “Ingruentium Malorum” (mundabor.wordpress.com)
- Friday on Perspectives: Why should we pray the Rosary? | Salt + Light Blog (deaconjohnspace.wordpress.com)