Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers in our parish and in our own and extended families! As I indicated in my last column and repeat today, … I love the month of May! God covers the earth with jewels more beautiful than precious stones. What can be more beautiful than the many colored flowers and trees of May? I am especially excited this year because the Church celebrates the 100th Anniversary of the apparitions in Fatima, Portugal. The story of Our Lady appearing to 3 shepherd children in Fatima was first introduced to me when I was in the second grade and preparing for my First Holy Communion. I was so moved by the story of her appearance to the children and that of an angel that I began my devotion to the Blessed Mother that very day. The apparitions began in 1916 with the appearance of a brilliant light in the East that was whiter than snow and shaped like a man more brilliant than crystal. The young man approached the 3 children, whose names were Lucia, Jacinta and Francisco and said, “Fear Not! I am the Angel of Peace. Pray with me!” The angel knelt on the ground very low and the children copied him. The angel said,

“My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love Thee. I ask pardon for all those who do not believe in Thee, do not adore Thee, do not hope in Thee and do not love Thee.”

The angel told the children to pray this way and the hearts of Jesus and Mary will hear you and be very happy! On Sunday, May 13, 1917, God sent to the earth the loveliest flower of all. His most beautiful Mother the Blessed Virgin Mary. Our Lady was dressed all in white, more brilliant than the sun, with streams of light all around her. The intense light penetrated the children’s hearts and they prayed together, “Oh Most Holy Trinity, I adore Thee; My God, My God, I love thee in the Most Blessed Sacrament.” Our Lady asked them to pray the Rosary every day to bring peace to the world and end of war. Mary said, “My Immaculate Heart shall triumph.” Our Lady appeared to the children every month on the 13th until the last apparition on October 13, 1917. On this day Jesus sent the “Miracle of the Sun” where the sun began to dance then dropped to the ground before righting itself. The children stayed very calm because they knew that Jesus and Mary were with them. Others who were frightened were amazed by this miracle and the Supremacy and power of God. Pray, Pray, Pray!