May 13, 1917

The three seers were playing at the Cova da Iria on May 13, 1917, when they saw two flashes like lightning, after which they saw a beautiful lady standing atop a holm oak tree. She was, according to Lucia, “a Lady dressed in white, more brilliant than the sun…”

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L-R: Lucia dos Santos, Jacinta Marto and Francisco Marto

 

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May 13th: The First Apparition

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On May 13, 1917, Lucia dos Santos and her two cousins, Jacinta and Francisco Marto were watching the family sheep on an area of land known as the Cova da Iria. This land, located in Fatima, Portugal — a municipality of Ourem, Santarem district belonged to Lucia’s family.

When the children saw what they described as ”… flashes of lightning,” on what was otherwise a perfectly sunny day, thinking a storm was near, the children decided they should take the sheep home when they encountered a beautiful lady whom according to the children was, ”… luminous, brighter than the sun, with a light that was purer than crystal.”

The lady was standing atop a small holm oak tree dressed all in white. Frightened at first, the lady assured the children that they had nothing to fear and that they should approach her. The lady was so close to the children, they could, as Lucia once described, ”… almost touch her.”

This woman who was clothed with the sun would later come to be known as Our Lady of Fatima — Queen of the most Holy Rosary. Click here to learn more about this incredible 20th Century miracle beginning with the apparitions of the angel of Portugal in 1916.

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Sunday, May 13, 2018, will mark the 101st Anniversary of the message of Our Lady of Fatima. How do you plan to spend this very special day?

It is my prayer that you will go to Mass, pray a Rosary (maybe, two), learn about the message (if you are not familiar with it) and/or discuss the message with family and friends asking how you too, can become an apostle of Fatima by, according to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI — living, learning, and spreading the message.

Prayer, especially daily recitation of the Rosary and reflection on its mysteries is the way to draw closer to Christ — the way that leads to Jesus through His mother.

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Attacks Against Our Lady

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This cannot stand! I signed the petition and pray that you will do the same. However, rather than choose anger toward those responsible, let us choose to forgive and offer a prayer for these souls. The rest we leave to the love, mercy, and prayer of Our Lord and Our Lady.

Click here to learn more and to sign the petition.

 

First Saturday.

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Today is the first Saturday of May.  The Blessed Virgin Mary promised to “assist at the hour of death, with the graces necessary for salvation” those who fulfill the Five First Saturdays Devotion.

To learn more about the First Saturday Devotionclick here.

To complete this devotion, there are four steps we must take, and they are to be done on the First Saturdays of five consecutive months (e.g., May, June, July, August, and September, or if you miss this month, June, July, August, September and October) … these are the six (6) months Mary appeared to the shepherd children (Lucia dos Santos and her two cousins, Jacinta and Francisco Marto) in a Cova at Fatima, 1917. Of course, these five consecutive months may begin and end at any point of the twelve calendar months.

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What needs to be done each First Saturday?

  1. Go to confession with the intention of offering your confession to the Immaculate Heart of Mary for the offenses made against her Immaculate Heart.
  2. Receive Holy Communion with the intention of offering your confession to the Immaculate Heart of Mary for the offenses made against her Immaculate Heart.
  3. Pray 5 decades of the Rosary
  4. “Keep our Blessed Mother company” for 15 minutes by meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary with the intention of offering reparation to her. This is a separate prayer/meditation time from praying the Rosary. Our group completes item four after reciting the Rosary.

Following the completion of the initial Five First Saturdays (completed over a period of five months on each first Saturday), are we then obligated to continue the devotion?

“Our Lady asked for five Saturdays in a row, but there is no reason not to continue it every month for love of her Immaculate Heart and to heal the sins against her which continue to occur.”

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What are the five blasphemies or offenses committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary?

  1. Blasphemies against the Immaculate Conception.
  2. Blasphemies against her Perpetual Virginity.
  3. Blasphemies against her Divine Maternity, refusing at the same time to accept her as the Mother of all mankind.
  4. Blasphemies of those who try publicly to implant in children’s hearts indifference, contempt, and even hatred against His Immaculate Mother.
  5. Offenses that directly insult her and her sacred images.

Do I need to go to confession on the day of the First Saturday?

  • No, you do not. Jesus Himself told Lucia that you can go to Confession within 8 days before or after the Saturday, or even “longer still, provided that, when they receive Me [in Holy Communion], they are in a state of grace and have the intention of making reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.”

May 13th of this month marks the 101st anniversary of the first apparition to the three children at Fatima.

The late Mother Angelica, the founder of EWTN (Eternal Word Television Network), once said, ”If Catholics would rise up and be truly Catholic, (e.g., pray the Rosary daily), the world would change overnight!”

We couldn’t agree more!

Are you ready to stand out like St. John the Baptist and be that voice calling out from the wilderness, ”Repent! Repent!” through the daily recitation of the Rosary as Our Lady instructed us at Fatima?

Not only will the Rosary change the world, it will change your life, too.

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Easter / First Saturday / Divine Mercy / Confession

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Glory to God! Alleluia! The Lord has conquered sin and death through his death and resurrection. Between the last two weekends, we have celebrated Easter Sunday, First Saturday, and Divine Mercy Sunday. I feel in my heart that my faith has grown exponentially since the beginning of Lent. I cannot stop thanking the grace of God for bringing me out from the cold and back home where I belong. What a blessing 2017 and 2018 have been for me thus far.

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/CONFESSION/

confession-731x1024Are you in search of peace? According to the GoodConfession.com website, you can learn to grow in holiness and discover the renewal and joy of confession. What a great tool and resource this website is for developing our faith and spirituality through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. If ever there is a need for prayer, confession, and Mass — that time is today. How about it? Jesus is waiting for you in the confessional. He is ready to forgive your sins and welcome you back into His grace. Are you ready to repent and believe in His mercy?

According to the Good Confession website, there are five (5) benefits to frequent confession:

  1. Confession helps us to better “know Thyself.”
  2. Confession helps us to overcome vice.
  3. Confession brings us peace.
  4. Confession helps us become more Saintly, more like Jesus.
  5. Confession makes our will stronger.

What are you waiting for? Jesus is waiting to forgive you. Go and let yourself be received into his arms, love, and mercy through the sacrament of Reconciliation. Your soul will thank you for it.

REFERENCE:

N.A. (2018), Confession / Good Confession. Retrieved April 12, 2018, from https://goodconfession.com/confession/

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/CHAPLET OF DIVINE MERCY/

Here is something I like to do when praying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. My goal is to pray two Chaplets each day. Naturally, my desire is to pray the Chaplet as our Lord indicated in His instructions to Saint Faustina with just a slight personal touch.

Vector-JesusWhen praying the Chaplet in the morning I insert a personal intention that I am praying for, between the large Our Father bead where we recite the prayer, “Eternal Father, I offer You the body, blood, soul, and divinity …..” and the Hail Mary beads where we recite the prayer, “For the sake of His sorrowful passion ….”  

  1. On the first Our Father bead, I pray for the intentions of the Holy Father and the Church.
  2. On the second Our Father bead, I pray for the Holy Souls in Purgatory.
  3. On the third Our Father bead, I pray for the conversion of sinners and those souls that have no one praying for them (Our Lady of Fatima, 1917).
  4. On the fourth Our Father bead, I pray for the sick, dying, (which includes any specific family members), unemployed, homeless, destitute, those in need of financial restoration, those in need of answered prayer or miracles, the indifferent, etc.
  5. On the fifth Our Father bead, I pray for an increase in vocations, all priests and religious including our local priests and religious.

During the 3:00 PM Chaplet of Mercy I offer the following after each Our Father bead:

  1. All mankind, especially sinners and the souls of priests and religious.
  2. Devout and faithful souls, and those who do not believe in God and who do not yet know Jesus.
  3. The souls who have separated from the Church, meek and humble souls and the souls of little children.
  4. The souls who especially venerate and glorify Jesus’ mercy and those souls who are detained in Purgatory.
  5. Those souls who have become lukewarm.

The above prayer intentions are taken directly from the Novena of Divine Mercy as given to Saint Faustina by Our Lord. The novena can be said anytime but is usually prayed beginning on Good Friday and ending the following Saturday before Divine Mercy Sunday.

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Good Friday and the Mercy of Jesus.

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Today is Good Friday.

”We adore Thee, O Christ and we bless Thee. Because by Thy Holy Cross Thou hast redeemed the world!”

Part of the opening words of Plinio Correa de Oliveira’s, A Way of the CrossPlinio is the founder of the Brazilian Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family, and PropertyIf you have an opportunity to do so, click on the link and listen, meditate, and experience Plinio’s “Way of the Cross.” It is approximately 47 minutes in length. What is that in terms of sacrifice when one considers all that our Lord experienced during His passion and crucifixion?

If you had said to me this time last year, that I would walk away from a lifestyle of sin and find my way back to Jesus through our Lady and the Church, I would have said, “That is not going to happen!” 

Not because I did not want it to happen. The truth of the matter is, the reason I said what I said above is because of the belief that I was beyond the mercy of Jesus — something we seem to see more of in today’s culture or society.

I knew in my heart of hearts that wasn’t true — that I was actually beyond the mercy of Jesus. If Jesus can forgive the thief on the cross who merely asked, ”Remember me when you come into Your kingdom” and the prostitute whom He told to ”…sin no more!”, then my Savior could forgive me as well, as long as I was truly repentant of my sins and receptive to His message of going forth and sinning nor more.

Like so many lapsed and marginalized Catholics sitting on the fence looking in, I couldn’t help thinking that there was no room for a sinner like me at the Lord’s table. One would think with my knowledge and experience with the Catholic Church I should have known better.

That is the power of Satan in today’s world.  He either succeeds in getting us to believe that God is no longer relevant or that we are beyond God’s mercy.

I bought into the lie that as long as there is love and I am not hurting anyone and I still believe in God, I could live my life as I was with no repercussion.

WRONG!

A sin is a sin and a wrong is wrong.

Fornication outside of the sacrament of marriage, which means marriage between a man and a woman, contrary to what the other side would have us believe, with a divorced individual (male or female) is adultery. And according to Jesus and scripture, adultery is a sin, among others; a mortal sin. I was guilty of a great number of sins, including adultery since the demise of marriage in 1996.

Then Holy Week 2017 happened. It was then that I heard a voice interiorly say to me, “Enough! It is time for you to embrace chastity, turn from sin and return to me through my Mother and the Church.” I immediately responded “Yes” to Jesus’ invitation to live chastely and to change my ways.

First, the invitation to stop sinning and live chastely. This meant changing the relationship I was in; a same-sex relationship. To go from living as partners to brothers or leaving the relationship altogether. How I would proceed would be determined by his reaction and the counsel I received from the Church.  After a few days of reflection and prayer, I informed my former partner that we can no longer live as we have been and if we want to continue this arrangement we will have to live as brothers.

Second, I was instructed by that same interior voice to teach His children about love and prayer with an emphasis on prayer.  This is when I experienced the vision or dream about the football field.

Third, I was instructed to find a local Catholic Church, speak to a priest, go to confession, register, and return to a life of prayer. I did exactly that. Since that time my faith has grown exponentially. I am part of two parish communities, Saint Patrick in Sand Springs, Oklahoma and Christ The King in Tulsa. You might as well throw in St. Thomas More, which is located down the street from my home which I attend occasionally on Saturday and Wednesday mornings.

My prayer life has grown to include a daily Rosary and Chaplet of Mercy in the morning as well as Stations of the Cross and Chaplet of Mercy at the 3:00 hour. I am happy to note that I have completed my First Five Saturday Devotion as requested by Our Lady of Fatima and will for the first time, beginning today, participate in the Novena to the Divine Mercy leading up to Divine Mercy Sunday on April 8th.

I attend confession regularly, and Mass weekly including Holy Days of Obligation. When I can I visit the Blessed Sacrament and have replaced certain images of my former lifestyle with sacred images such as the image of The Divine Mercy, Our Lady of Fatima, Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Rosary and Crucifix.

Because I have been unemployed and devoid of any substantial income since 2016 which means I am unable to tithe into the collection basket on Sunday’s, I donate my time maintaining the St. Patrick Church Website in addition to blogging and podcasting. My prayer is that I will eventually obtain contract work through Carlos Michael Communications which will include speaking at parish missions and retreats on coming home to the Catholic Church, prayer, the message of Our Lady of Fatima and The Divine Mercy.

Who says you cannot come home or that we are beyond Christ’s mercy? Anyone who says different is not being truthful. That for me is the essence of our Lord’s passion today, so a sinner like me can come home (like the prodigal son) and find redemption, forgiveness, and love.

Thank you, Jesus!

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