May 13th: What Were the Apparitions of “Our Lady of Fátima”?


In the spring of 1916, three young shepherd children—Lúcia dos Santos, Francisco, and Jacinta Marto—experienced three apparitions of an Angel in Valinhos, near the village of Fátima. However, it was on May 13, 1917, that their lives would change forever.

On that day, in Cova da Iria, the children witnessed six apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary. They described her as “a Lady more brilliant than the Sun.” The Lady conveyed a message of hope and peace, emphasizing the power of prayer. She predicted that the ongoing Great War (World War I) would eventually end and encouraged the children to pray for peace.

The Lady also revealed that on October 13, 1917, she would identify herself and perform a miracle “so that all may believe.” This prophecy intrigued the faithful and drew pilgrims from far and wide to the site in Fátima.

True to her word, on October 13, 1917, a crowd of approximately 70,000 people gathered in Fátima. As the children looked up, they saw the Sun dance, change colors, and appear to fall toward the Earth. This event, known as the “Miracle of the Sun,” left a lasting impression on those present and further solidified the significance of the apparitions.

José Alves Correia da Silva, the Bishop of Leiria, declared the events at Fátima worthy of belief on October 13, 1930. Pope Pius XII later granted a pontifical decree of canonical coronation for the venerated image of Our Lady of Fátima on April 25, 1946. The image now resides permanently at the Chapel of the Apparitions in Fátima.

Sister Lúcia, one of the three seers, recorded her memoirs in the 1930s. She revealed two secrets that she claimed came from the Virgin Mary. The third secret was to be disclosed by the Catholic Church in 1960. These secrets added to the mystique of Fátima and sparked discussions about prophecy and eschatological revelations.

Our Lady of Fátima continues to inspire devotion and pilgrimage. The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fátima in Cova da Iria, now a minor basilica, attracts millions of visitors each year. Her message of prayer, peace, and hope remains relevant even in our modern times.

May 13th remains a significant feast day for Our Lady of Fátima, a title that honors Mary’s appearances to the three shepherd children. We remember the telling of this extraordinary event today on May 13th, and reflect on the enduring impact of faith and divine intervention.

For more information, you can explore the Wikipedia article by clicking the link, or visit the official Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fátima.

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