This feast commemorates the Marian apparitions in 1917 to three shepherd children Lucia dos Santos, and her two cousins, Francisco and Jacinta Marto.

On 13 May 1917 Our Lady said to the children: ‘Do not be afraid. I will do you no harm. I am from Heaven. I came to ask you to come here on the thirteenth day for six months at this same time, and then I will tell you who I am and what I want. And afterwards, I will return here a seventh time. Yes, you [Lucia] will [go to heaven]. She [Jacinta] also. Yes, he [Francisco] will go, but first he must say many rosaries. Would you like to offer yourselves to God to accept all the sufferings which He may send to you in reparation for the countless sins by which He is offended and in supplication for the conversion of sinners? Then you will have much to suffer, but the grace of God will be your comfort’.

After the final apparition in October of that year, what became known as the ‘Miracle of the Sun’ occurred, when the sun ‘trembled’ and ‘danced’ before the astonished gaze of the crowds who had gathered to observe the visionaries.

But the message of Fatima is above all penance and reparation. May we too heed this call to penance and reparation, in worship and in our service of others, and may God bless you this day.