Honoring Our Lady of Fatima This Mother’s Day
This weekend a religious and a secular holiday just about coincide: the feast of Our Lady of Fatima on Saturday and Mother’s Day on Sunday. This is a particularly beautiful opportunity to honor Mary who was given to us as a mother by Our Lord from the Cross.
106 years ago Our Lady appeared to three shepherd children as they grazed their families flocks in the Portuguese countryside. Her main message was to ask for pious recitation of the rosary, devotion to her immaculate heart, and to pray for the conversion of sinners and for the reparation of offenses committed against the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts through prayer and sacrifices.
Our Lady spoke tenderly yet urgently to the children about the necessity of prayer for the conversion of sinners. She conveyed a motherly concern for the children of this world and desired to make it known what must be done to save people from the fires of hell. Above all, her motherly desire was for the salvation of souls.
If you do not know much about the apparitions of Our Lady at Fatima, Portugal, I recommend the book Our Lady of Fatima by William Thomas Walsh. It is out of print, but can be found online as it is in the public domain. Walsh is a masterful storyteller who conveys the story in vivid detail based on his interviews with the only surviving visionary (Sr. Lucia), the family members of the visionaries, and his reading of Sr. Lucia’s memoirs.
Mary came to Portugal in 1917 as she has come in each apparition since her assumption: as a mother on a mission to save her children and spread love for her Divine Son. Let us honor her in a special way this weekend with some or all of these ideas (perhaps with your own mother or your children if applicable!):
Pray the Rosary
Mary asked the shepherd children to pray the rosary at each monthly apparition. This prayer is a powerful way to ask for Our Lady’s intercession. Through the prayers of the rosary we are more deeply acquainted with the mysteries of Christ’s life and spend time “pondering in our heart” like Our Lady.
Go to Mass
The best way to celebrate a feast day is through the Sacrifice of the Mass. it gives us an opportunity to beg God’s favor, give him glory, and to remember the saint or event of the feast day.
Have a May Crowning
May is the month of Mary and if you have not already participated in a May crowning this month this is an excellent opportunity. Make or buy a flower crown for Mary and place it on a statue inside your home or in your yard. Make a procession out of it with praying the Litany of Loreto and singing Marian hymns. The Regina Coeli is still the Marian antiphon until the end of the Easter season.
Decorate your Domestic Church
Decorate your home (whether or not you are hosting Mother’s Day weekend events) with a statue of Mary, flowers, and reminders of Our Lady of Fatima - lambs for the sheep the Jacinta, Francisco, and Lucia were minding when Mary came to them, suns for the Miracle of the Sun performed during Mary’s last apparition, white and gold tablecloths or bunting for Mary’s gold-trimmed white robes.
Make Portuguese Foods
Whether you eat them on the feast of Our Lady of Fatima or on Mother’s Day, look up some Portuguese recipes for the revelry.
However you celebrate, may you remember the Blessed Mother’s great love for you, and may you endeavor to love her and her son more each day!