On this day 102 years ago a beautiful woman dressed in blazing white appeared to three shepherd children tending a field in rural nowhere, Portugal. Her message to them would change their lives and would change the world.
Our world intensely needs those graces offered by that Lady in White, the Blessed Virgin Mary. Pope Saint John Paul II, upon surviving the assassination attempt made on his life on May 13th, 1981, the feast of Our Lady of Fatima, made a special pilgrimage to Fatima upon his recovery. There he consecrated his papacy and the world to Mary's Immaculate heart. Placing the bullet which surgeons had retrieved from his body—just millimeters from a fatal arterial injury—into a bejeweled crown atop a statue of the Lady in White, he remarked of his brush with death that "one hand pulled the trigger, another guided the bullet" (source).
This spring we hosted a traveling statue of Our Lady of Fatima in our home for a week. The custodians of the pilgrim virgin reminded us to pray a daily rosary with her, and I cringed. We love Mary, but our kids are short and our attention spans even shorter.
Imagine my surprise then when we completed not one, but five full rosaries that week, not the perfect seven we'd been asked for, but more than I'd imagined possible.
Our last night with her I let my gaze travel around the living room, fifteen kids under the age of nine gathered to bask in the gentle, welcoming light of Our Lady. They were willing, if a little squirmy, to pray Her rosary. The quiet graces she ushered into our home that week are still flowing, though she is no longer visible atop our mantle. I believe she came to us to awaken our sleepy hearts, gently turning our attention to Jesus, reminding us that He still has work to complete in us.
Read more on Our Lady of Fatima and the approved apparitions of Fatima.
Jenny Uebbing is a wife, mother to five, and the author of the blog Mama Needs Coffee where she writes about sex, marriage, and the Catholic Church. She's a freelance writer, a speaker, and an espresso enthusiast. You can find out more about her here.