On Friday, October 13 at 6 p.m. at the Cathedral of Ss. Simon and Jude in Phoenix, Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted Consecrated the Diocese of Phoenix to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. He crowned a beautiful statue of Our Lady of Fatima (blessed by Pope Francis) that has been making a pilgrimage around the world, brought by the Sisters of the Alliance of the Holy Family. This special event occurred on the 100th Anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima’s last apparition in 1917 to the three shepherd children (pastorinhos), Lucia (10 years old), Francisco (9 years old) and Jacinta (7 years old).
At this Mass, all were given great hope to follow Mary’s message which comes from her Son, Jesus Christ, to pray for conversion and repentance, peace and mercy. She beseeches all her children to pray the Rosary and beg, “Forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell and lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of your mercy.” This message is needed in our world today, and her maternal guidance gently leads us to pray for peace. Let us look to Our Mother, a star shining the light with her pure heart, through the darkness. Bishop Olmsted said that our Redemption is greater than all sin. The perfection of Our Lord in the Resurrection conquered evil and death. Mary’s pure heart shows us Love, guiding us to true freedom: freedom from sin and evil.
Bishop Olmsted blessed Carmelite scapulars. Each person was given a scapular to be strengthened in the spiritual battle, protected from evil and from eternal damnation.
BOOK OF THE MONTH
Fatima for Today: The Urgent Marian Message of Hope
Here is the description of this work by Ignatius Press:
“Though the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima took place almost a hundred years ago, Our Lady’s call to prayer and penance for the salvation of souls and peace in the world is as relevant now as when first delivered to three Portuguese peasant children in 1917.
At the peak of the First World War, Our Lady warned of another worldwide conflict, the rise and spread of Communism, and a terrible persecution of the Church unless people repented of their sins and returned to God. She also requested devotion to her Immaculate Heart and a special consecration of Russia.
Much of what Our Lady of Fatima said was revealed soon after her appearances, but the third and final “secret”, which was not a message but a prophetic vision seen by the children, was not unveiled by the Vatican until 2000. Pope John Paul II, who read the third secret while recovering from the attempt upon his life in 1981, believed the vision signified the sufferings the Church had endured in the twentieth century.
Because of the prophetic nature of her messages, Our Lady of Fatima has been the subject of much controversy and speculation. In this book, Father Andrew Apostoli carefully analyzes the events that took place in Fatima and clears up lingering questions and doubts about their meaning. He also challenges the reader to hear anew the call of Our Lady to prayer and sacrifice, for the world is ever in need of generous hearts willing to make reparation for those in danger of losing their way to God.”
There’s a wonderful article, “Pope Francis and the Unexpired Call of Fatima” by Fr. Roger Landry on Pope Francis’s top four pastoral priorities: mercy, conversion, peace, Marian devotion and the children. Here is the link: http://www.ncregister.com/site/print/53275
What a joy it is for me to share the gift of celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima in the Diocese of Phoenix! It has impacted so many to pray for conversion, repentance, salvation, peace, healing, purity of heart. We have experienced the maternal, ever gentle guidance and intercession of Our Blessed Mother.
Let us always realize how much we need her and how good she is for us.
With love and prayers,
Sister Anthony Mary Diago, RSM
Director of the Office of Consecrated Life
Diocese of Phoenix