Feast of Our Lady of Fatima
Today, we celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Fatima. On this day, to the surprise of many, Our Lady appeared to three shepherd children. During her appearances, she gave three messages to the children concerning Hell, Heaven, and the future of the Church. As a result of her appearances multiple popes, most recently Pope Francis last October, have entrusted the Church and the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and prayed for the help and conversion of souls. The effects of her appearances have been both subtle and lasting.
This day in 1981 was also the day of the assassination attempt on St. John Paul II. Following the attempt, St. John Paul said that it was through the intercession of Our Lady of Fatima, whose hand guided the bullet from more vital areas, which saved his life. In the following 24 years of St. John Paul’s pontificate, he had the opportunity to impact the Church as a whole as well as the lives of countless numbers of people. Commemorating Our Lady of Fatima, her appearance to the shepherd children, and her aid of St. John Paul II, we remember what Christianity has claimed from the very beginning: that God has entered into human history in a surprising and perceptible way, out of love for us, and “to lead all souls into heaven,” especially those in need of His mercy.