While May 13, the feast of Our Lady of Fatima, marked a special highlight in this centenary year — including the pope’s visit to Portugal and the canonization of Francisco and Jacinta — the jubilee is only half way over. That means there’s still plenty of time for some special Fatima graces.
FROM THE ARCHIVES
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary to three shepherd children at Fatima, Portugal. To commemorate the event and to draw attention to these particular apparitions, Pope Francis has established a special “Jubilee Year” from November 27, 2016, to November 26, 2017.
In addition to his making an official visit to Fatima on May 12-13, Pope Francis has also granted special “indulgences” for the faithful to take part in as a way to draw closer to Our Lady during this year of the anniversary. The indulgences can be obtained throughout the Jubilee Year and to do so the faithful must follow the usual conditions (go to confession, receive Holy Communion, be detached from sin, and pray for the intentions of the pope).
Read More: What are indulgences?
According to the World Apostolate of Fatima, the indulgences granted by Pope Francis are as follows:
1) Make a pilgrimage to Fatima, Portugal
“To the faithful who visit the Sanctuary of Fatima on pilgrimage and devotedly participate in some celebration or prayer in honor of the Virgin Mary, pray the ‘Our Father,’ recite the symbol of the faith (Creed) and invoke Our Lady of Fatima.”
2) Pray before any public image of Our Lady of Fatima on the 13th of each month between May and October
“To the pious faithful who visit with devotion an image of Our Lady of Fatima, solemnly displayed to public veneration in any church, oratory or adequate place, on the anniversary days of the apparitions (the 13th of each month, from May to October 2017), and who devotedly participate there in some celebration or prayer in honor of the Virgin Mary, pray the ‘Our Father,’ recite the symbol of the faith (Creed) and invoke Our Lady of Fatima.”
3) For those who are infirm and incapable of a public pilgrimage, pray before any private image of Our Lady of Fatima
“To the faithful who, due to their age, illness or another serious cause, are hindered from moving, if they repent of all their sins and have the firm intention to carry out, as soon as it will be possible to them, the three conditions indicated… pray in front of a small image of Our Lady of Fatima, on the days of the apparitions, joining spiritually the jubilee celebrations, offering with confidence to the merciful God through Mary their prayers and pains, or the sacrifices of their own life.”
Pope Francis has had a special devotion to Our Lady of Fatima throughout his pontificate, even consecrating the world to her on October 13, 2013, the anniversary day of the final apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary to the children at Fatima, which included the “Miracle of the Sun.” He prayed during that consecration,
“Blessed Virgin Mary of Fatima, with renewed gratitude for your motherly presence we join in the voice of all generations that call you blessed. We celebrate in you the great works of God, who never tires of lowering himself in mercy over humanity, afflicted by evil and wounded by sin, to heal and to save it… Teach us your own special love for the little and the poor, for the excluded and the suffering, for sinners and the wounded of heart: gather all people under you protection and give us all to your beloved Son, our Lord Jesus.”
Pope Francis issued these indulgences to promote a real and abiding love of the Blessed Mother, asking her to draw us closer to her Son. As always, the closer we draw to Mary, the closer we will be to Jesus Christ.