by PATRICIA SISON

To commemorate the centenary of the apparitions of our Lady of Fatima (1917-2017), the Centre for Marriage and Family (CMF) organised events to rediscover the message of Fatima and find out what it means for people today.

On July 29, a recollection was held at the Our Lady of Fatima church, Tawa, Wellington on “Faith, Fatima and the Family”. Fr Bernard Espiritu, SVD, director of MissioNZ, spoke about the meaning of private revelation, its impact on the individual, the message and how it must be interpreted in the light of Scripture and the tradition of the Church. In the case of Fatima, the recipients of the private revelation (the apparitions of Our Lady) were three shepherd children and the result of their encounters with Our Lady produced in their lives a greater love of prayer, and heroic sacrifices made for the conversion of sinners. The message given was on the necessity of prayer and penance for peace in the world.

“The message of Fatima is a call to purity of heart as spoken by Jesus in the Beatitudes,” Fr Espiritu said.

“The perfect example of this is the Immaculate Heart of Mary whom God himself made pure.”

Despite the trials the Church faces in the world today, people are assured by Mary’s words “In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph”.

At Fatima, Mary revealed herself to the three children as the Lady of the Rosary and asked the children to pray the rosary daily. On August 12, a youth workshop on the rosary was held at the same venue in Tawa given by Maximilian People at the rosary youth workshop in Tawa.

Entitled “The rosary — a spiritual weapon for our times”, the workshop focused on the necessity of praying the rosary today, and how it is a powerful spiritual weapon to counter the falsehoods of this age by affirming the truths of our faith. The talk was followed by an activity where the youth were able to make their own rosary bracelets to arm them in their life of faith.

The Centre for Marriage and Family is also organising a family pilgrimage to the National Shrine of our Lady of Fatima in Auckland in late September/ early October.

For more information, please contact info@marriageandfamily.org.nz

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