“I am the Lady of the Rosary.”

On October 13, 1917 at the 6th Apparition to the Three Little Shepherds of Fatima, Our Lady fulfilled her promise to identify herself. “I am the Lady of the Rosary. Continue always to pray the Rosary every day…” she told the children. And finally, looking very sad, Our Lady said: “Do not offend the Lord our God anymore because He is already so much offended.”

From the beginning, the children of Fatima prayed and offered sacrifices for the Holy Father. Our present Holy Father Francis, elected on March 13, soon afterwards requested of the Patriarch of Lisbon that his Pontificate be consecrated to Our Lady of Fatima. This was done in Fatima on May 13, 2013 by the Cardinal who, united with all the bishops of Portugal, offered the Act of Consecration to Our Lady of Fatima as the Holy Father had asked.

Last summer it was announced that Pope Francis had requested that the original image of Our Lady of Fatima, which is venerated in the Capelinha or Little Chapel of Apparitions here, be brought to Rome for the Marian Day in this Year of Faith. “On Sunday, October 13, we will see present the various Marian groups for the purpose of expressing how the Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, is the icon of faith for every believer and that in her trusting obedience to the will of the Father was able to work genuine wonders.”

From our Perpetual Rosary Monastery in Fatima we ask all members of the Dominican Family to unite in prayer for this very important gathering of prayer for peace. May we suggest that every Community remember this intention as they pray the Rosary together? Our Lady gently and persistently asked us to pray the Rosary daily for peace …As Dominicans, as sons and daughters of St. Dominic can we let her down? Do we have the heart to refuse Her request when the salvation of souls is at stake in this critical moment in time? There are so many depending on our prayers.

Our Community Rosary is a tradition and a joyful moment of prayer like the first Pentecost when the disciples gathered in prayer with the Mother of God. Perhaps some Communities no longer pray the Rosary together and no longer experience this beautiful daily ‘Pentecost’. We pray that in this month of October every Dominican Community no matter how small or numerous, whether in a Priory or cloister, and the great studiums too whether even one or two in whatever venue they find themselves will join in this contemplative prayer of the Holy Rosary. United we will surely bring joy to the Heart of God and grace and peace in abundance to all souls in need.

The program for the visit of Our Lady to Rome can be found on the website http://www.annusfidei.va