Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Fatima: A City Clothed with the Sun


By Tonia Long

It was the afternoon of October 12th, the evening before the 100th Anniversary of the Miracle of the sun. Expectation hung in the air as the plaza at the Fatima shrine filled with pilgrims from around the world.
Our job: to arrange nearly 30,000 red and white roses on the esplanade as an offering to the Mother of God.
Knowing that each red rose represented the dedication and love of a Rosary Rally Captain, and each white rose represented the devotion and love of Rosary Rally Sponsors, we took special care in order to make a magnificent presentation. The presence of such a vast number of flowers could not help but draw the attention of many pilgrims who stopped to ask where the roses came from.

With great pleasure we explained the America Needs Fatima Rosary Rally Captain program and the number of Rallies being held in America on the 14th in honor of the Mother of God. Even with the inevitable language barrier that exists in a multi-national crowd, the smiles that followed our explanation showed they were pleased to know that devotion to Our Lady of Fatima is alive and well in the U.S.A.
About an hour later our first mission was accomplished and it was time to tackle our next objective: the delivery of three large plastic bins of hand-written prayer intentions to the feet of she who loves to answer the prayers of her children. In the long trek from the car to the Basilica, we were thankful for the prudent purchase of a small hand dolly which made carrying such precious cargo a little easier!
The time for the candlelight vigil ceremony was fast approaching, as evidenced by the number of pilgrims who continued to flood the plaza as the sun began to sink in the sky.
We hastily made our way back to the car to retrieve the America Needs Fatima name banner. Knowing that many of our friends and supporters would have liked to come to Fatima with us, we offered to have their names carried during the candlelight ceremony. No less than 16,352 devout Catholics took us up on the offer and their names were carried high above the candles that flickered like so many stars across the shrine. My friends and I prayed very specially for all those whose name we carried during the candlelight procession. It is truly a touching moment; to see so many thousands of candles, so much devotion to the Mother of God all in one place. After many hours, the ceremonies came to a close and it was well past midnight when we made our way wearily back to our lodging for the night.


The morning of October 13th dawned with a slight haze across the sky. Where was the sun? Never fear! It made a glorious appearance just as Holy Mass began! Once again we entered a plaza simply packed to the brim with devotees of Mother Mary. Of course, we were too far from the altar to see what was happening, but large screens were provided to the left and right of the altar so that even those at the back of the crowd could participate in the Mass. When the time arrived for receiving Holy Communion, hundreds of priests penetrated the crowd to bring the healing Body of Christ to all.
The sun shone brightly at its zenith. It was 12:00 noon and we were there to witness a new miracle—the Miracle of the Son, as with quiet reverence members of the Body of Christ, which numbered in the hundreds of thousands, received their Eucharistic Lord.

Our strength renewed, we set about our final act of devotion on behalf of all our America Needs Fatima friends and supporters. Carrying two three-foot-tall red candles, we made our way to the votive sanctuary. These two candles represented the prayers of thousands of our dear friends who had returned their small candles to America Needs Fatima to be used to make the large candles we now carried. Evidently very large and very special, our candles once again attracted the attention of the other pilgrims. Many asked where they could purchase such beautiful candles! Saying a special prayer of thanksgiving for all those who made our pilgrimage possible, we lit the large red candles and placed them carefully among the others, their flames flickering in silent testimony to the love that burns in the hearts of so many Americans for Our Lady of Fatima.

One hundred years have passed since the Mother of God came to deliver to mankind her plan for peace: prayer, penance and conversion. Sadly, mankind continues tragically slow to respond to her call. With renewed confidence in her love for us, let us all multiply our efforts to make Our Mother and her Fatima message known and loved across America and around the world. It is up to each one of us, through our correspondence to grace and the Fatima message, to speed up the triumph of Mary’s Immaculate Heart over mankind as she predicted at Fatima.

No matter how burdened you may be

If you desire peace in your hearts,
in your homes, and in your country,
assemble each evening to recite the Rosary.
Let not even one day pass without saying it,
no matter how burdened you may be with many cares and labors.

Pope Pius XI

St. Luke the Evangelist

Luke was not a Jew but a Gentile, and thought to have been a Greco-Syrian, probably born in Antioch. Though one of the four Gospel writers – known as the Evangelists – he was not one of Christ's Twelve Apostles. Whether he converted to Christianity from Judaism or paganism is not certain.

He was a disciple and companion of the Apostle Paul who mentions that he was also a medical man, “Luke, the most dear physician” and he probably helped St. Paul with his much-tried health. Luke was certainly with the great apostle in his first two imprisonments in Rome.

According to tradition, the physician and Evangelist was also an artist and painted several pictures of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary. Among the most famous is the Salus Populi Romani enshrined in the Basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome.

Not only is the third Gospel, written in Koine Greek, attributed to Luke by the early fathers, but Biblical scholars are in wide agreement that he also wrote the Acts of the Apostles. While traditional Christian scholarship dates the writing of his Gospel to the 60’s, others place it in the last decades of the first century.

St. Luke is believed to have died a martyr though accounts of his death vary.

He is venerated as St. Luke the Evangelist and his symbol is the bull. He is patron saint of artists, physicians, surgeons, students, and butchers.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

America Prays the Rosary



21,570 Public Square Rosary Rallies took place here in America in commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun in Fatima, Portugal.  These Rosary Rallies all across America were a unanimous prayer to the Immaculate Heart of Mary for the conversion of America.

Instead of beginning our day in the rain-soaked fields of the Cova da Iria, just outside of the pastoral village of Fatima, we were situated in Fountain Square, an urban park in the heart of Cincinnati, surrounded by skyscrapers on all sides, each one peering down upon us, accompanied by acres upon acres of concrete and asphalt, instead of fields of grazing sheep. 
 Our event, like that of Fatima, commenced at 12:00 noon, but in an urban park rather than the fields of Portugal.  While we did not have a gathering of over 70,000 people like those who crowded into the pasture lands of Fatima, we did have well over 400 people who braved the interstate traffic with its ubiquitous orange traffic barrows and the crowded city streets of an urban setting, navigating through the confusing parking garages to make their way to the celebrations marking the 100th anniversary of the last public apparition at Fatima.   
 
New York City, Rosary Rally - October 14, 2017 - 100th Anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun

Hundreds of thousands of Catholics prayed the Rosary in public to beg God and the Blessed Mother to save America. In 21,570 public places from coast to coast, Catholics associated with America Needs Fatima held Public Square Rosary Rallies. 
 Rosary Rally in Austin, Texas. The October 14, 2017 National Rosary Rally was most likely the largest Rosary Rally ever to bless the land of the brave.
Castle Shannon, PA - Rosary Rallies varied in number from 5 to 500 participants and Our Blessed Mother of Fatima was honored in all of them.
 
 From Rosary Rally Captain Leorosie Nabor T. We held 2 rosary rallies in Cresson, PA.  One was held yesterday with our All Saints Catholic School children here in Cresson, PA and another one was held today at noon.  Thank you for giving us this opportunity to pray the rosary in public.  God bless you!
Jersey City, New Jersey
"As people turn away from God, we’re seeing new levels of sin and chaos. Plus, it is harder to find solutions to our nation's growing moral problems," remarked Francis Slobodnik, national coordinator of the 2017 Public Square Rosary Crusade. "World events are spiraling out of control. Society is splintering. We're suffering from the evil consequences of sexual immorality, abortion and same-sex 'marriage,'" Slobodnik said. "We must turn back to God and ask Our Lady for supernatural solutions. There is an urgent need for amendment of life and penance. If only we'd do what she requested at Fatima, people would get the courage and wisdom to turn things around in America."
Escondido, CA
In California alone, 3,304 America Needs Fatima members registered to hold a Public Square Rosary Rally.
Rancho Penasquitos, CA
Gorham, Maine
America Needs Fatima first launched the Rosary Rally campaign in 2007 with 2,100 Rosary Rallies. Eleven years later 21,570 covered our Nation with Rosaries.
Hazleton, PA
Rally Captain Jack Burnham reported on comments heard during his rally in Hazleton, PA.  "Thank you for all you do. We have to pray for our Faith. This strengthens my faith in our Lady and the Church". Another said, "This is very encouraging. It enlivens my hope for America."
Nashville, TN
Miami, FL
 From Rosary Rally Captain Sergio de Paz. Arrived at 9am knowing the USA Government FEMA was advertising an event there. They allowed me in when I mentioned I was going for another event, "Fatima Rosary Rally". Traffic was bumper to bumper getting jammed as people were not allowed to enter for anything. By 10am people started calling me, "Park is closed can't get in".  I started sending them to other Rallies like Coral Gables and another in Coral Way and 87 Ave, all close by. Then Our Lady Intervened. By 11:30am a group of about 12 people arrived. I am a Rosary Captain and we begged the police to let us in and they did, then some of the FEMA people stayed with us. After that, a nurse and another gentlemen drove by in the traffic jam, saw Our Lady, found a place to park and walked back to join us in the Rosary and they stayed late after we finished. 
CALM, CONFIDENCE, COURAGE!
Raritan, NJ
 
LAST BUT NOT LEAST...  21,570 Red Roses were delivered to the shrine of Our Lady of Fatima in Portugal. One Red Rose in honor of and for the intentions of each of the brave Rally Captains.



How to console a suffering soul

In order to console a soul in its sufferings,
point out to it all the good it can still do.

St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina

St. Ignatius of Antioch

Ignatius, born in Syria, converted to Christianity at a young age, and was thought to be a disciple of St. John the Evangelist. He is one of the five Apostolic Church Fathers, who were instructed personally by Christ’s apostles.

An early tradition has it that he was the child that Our Lord took up in his arms, as recorded by St Mark: “And taking a child, he set him in the midst of them. Whom when he had embraced, he saith to them: Whosoever shall receive one such child as this in my name, receiveth me (9:35-36).

Consecrated bishop by the Apostles, he succeeded St. Peter and Evodius as the third Bishop of Antioch about the year 69.

An ideal pastor and true soldier of Christ, Ignatius comforted and strengthened his flock when the persecution of Domitian broke out. He was arrested during the persecution of Trajan, and shipped aboard a vessel bound for Rome. Along the route his ship made several stops, which afforded the saint opportunity of confirming the faith of various churches. He wrote several letters to these communities which have been preserved, and deal with early Catholic theology. St. Ignatius was the first to use the Greek word “katholikos”, “universal” in reference to the Church founded by Christ.

At Smyrna, he had the joy of meeting his former disciple and dear friend, St. Polycarp. His route to martyrdom was a sort of triumphant march, with Christian communities flocking to meet him everywhere, hailing and encouraging him on his way.
He was martyred in Rome on the last day of the public games, December 20 in the year 107. Condemned to be devoured by lions in the public arena, his prayer before his death was: “I am God's wheat, and I am to be ground by the teeth of wild beasts, so that I may become the pure bread of Christ. Indeed the lions devoured all of his body leaving only the large bones.

Today, these relics of St. Ignatius rest in the Church of San Clemente in Rome.

Monday, October 16, 2017

The Three Streams of the Sacred Heart

From this Divine Heart three streams flow endlessly.
The first is the stream of mercy for sinners; it pours into their hearts
sentiments of contrition and repentance.
The second is the stream of charity which helps all in need and especially aids
those seeking perfection to find the means of surmounting their difficulties.
From the third stream flow love and light for the benefit of His friends
who have attained perfection; these He wishes to unite to Himself
so that they may share His knowledge and commandments
and, in their individual ways, devote themselves wholly to advancing His glory.

St. Margaret Mary Alacoque