God in His providence has put us in the “zone of totality” for the recent solar eclipse in the same year as the 100th anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun in Fatima Portugal. If you aren’t familiar with those three little children, Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta, and our Blessed Mother’s six visits to them, the story of God’s love for us is evident in His message. We’ve been preparing in various ways for the culmination of the hundredth anniversary on Oct. 13, the actual day of the Miracle in the grotto at Fatima.
The eclipse and the Miracle have many similarities as well as differences. Some children have constructed Venn Diagrams comparing and contrasting the two events.
In the final analysis there surely is no debate about the greater. In the Miracle that day at the Grotto in Fatima, not only did the sun spin and move about in the sky, but it grew in size and appeared to be coming rapidly toward the earth. The people in attendance screamed thinking the world was coming to an end. Some saw the Holy Family, but all saw the sun’s movement, even those who came as agnostics to mock the event, as they thought nothing would happen. Though convinced by the visual, the instantaneous drying of their soaked clothes as well as the mud all around them confirmed their new found faith. I love the magnitude of the Miracle and how God shed his grace on all, believer and non-believer. (Though after the event, there were no non-believers left in that grotto. God be praised)
Among my favorite pictures taken that day in 1917 is this one of a policeman carrying Jacinta to the event. He was there to protect her, as they feared the crowd would harm her if there was no miracle.
If I had access to a planetarium and accomplished multimedia special effects experts, I would recreate what was described by those present in that Grotto. Stephen Spielberg where are you when we need you.
I loved being on that parking lot with all the children taking in the eclipse with sight, sound and temperature change. But when I consider our eclipse experience, and let it lead me to consider what those present at Fatima saw that day in that muddy grotto, the eclipse is overwhelmingly overshadowed. Our loving Father has a history of overshadowing the natural with the supernatural on occasion to bring His love to us and get our attention. Amen. Alleluia.
Join us if you are able on Oct. 13, we will be celebrating, and observing some of the directives of Our Lady, particularly praying the Rosary. We will also be doing several other activities that afternoon to celebrate the day and pray for our benefactors.
We pray for those we love often, but we will be intentional about praying for them repeatedly, but especially on Oct. 13, too, as we celebrate the end of our Message for Mary promotion. Here’s what we have lined up for the day:
- 12:45 Living Rosary – led by the third graders in the church
- 1:15 Rosary Launch – we will have a helium balloon Rosary, which we will watch ascend to the heavens like our prayers. The new parking lot is the place.
- 1:45 Movie excerpts – “The Miracle of Our Lady of Fatima” with SUN Chips, and popcorn to munch on in the gym or take home.
- 2:45 SUNdaes to celebrate the Miracle of the SUN
Thanks to all of you who made M4M a success and also to Our Lord and Our Blessed Mother for that gift at Fatima 100 years ago. Help us listen well!