Our Lady of Fatima

Today’s readings: Isaiah 66:10-14, Psalm 131:1-3, John 2:1-11

Between May 13 and October 13, 1917, three Portuguese children received apparitions of Our Lady at Cova da Iria, near Fatima, a city 110 miles north of Lisbon. Mary asked the children to pray the rosary for world peace, for the end of World War I, for sinners and for the conversion of Russia. The local bishop approved the feast of Our Lady of Fatima in 1930, and it was added to the Church’s worldwide calendar in 2002.

Because we do not yet have prayers for the feast of Our Lady of Fatima, I am using prayers and readings for the Mass of The Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Divine Providence. The Blessed Virgin, the Church tells us, is called “mother of divine providence” because she has been given to us by God in his great providence as a generous mother providing us through her intercession with gifts from heaven.

If not for Mary’s intercession in today’s Gospel, the wedding feast at Cana wouldn’t have been so wonderful. But more important than that, she used this opportunity to help others come to believe in Jesus, his power, and his love for the world. She continues to do that not only through revelations like those at Fatima, but also in the hearts of all of us when we pray to her.

Mary is the one who leads us and points us to the providence and loving kindness of our God, just as she helped people to see the light during that bleak period at the end of World War I. She continues to shed light on the dark parts of our lives and our world and our communities in our own day. Well did she advise those children to pray the rosary for world peace then, and so maybe, just maybe, it would be good for us to do the same thing today.