The centennial of the most dramatic of Marian apparitions has passed, but there is much for us to learn and to ponder, still.
On October 13, 2017, the universal Catholic Church celebrated the closing of the Centenary of the Fátima Apparitions. In the six months previous to it, we remembered and contemplated the messages of Our Lady of Fátima that she gave to the world through the three shepherds of Fátima, St. Jacinta, St. Francisco, and the Servant of God Sister Lucia, in 1917.
Like a good Mother, the Church has blessed her children by commemorating special jubilee years and anniversaries of Marian apparitions: in 2002, Saint John Paul II announced the Year of the Holy Rosary. In 2008, 2009, and 2012 Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI announced the Year of St. Paul, the Year of Priests, and the Year of Faith, respectively. Famously, Pope Francis announced the Year of Consecrated Life in 2015 and the Year of Mercy in 2016.
These special jubilee years are an invitation for the faithful to enter deeper into the mysteries of our faith and to embrace our universal call to holiness regardless of our age, stage of life and vocation.
The end of a jubilee year doesn’t mean we stop the journey we have been on; we are meant to continue to ponder these themes. It is the same with the centennial of the Fátima’s Apparitions; as the centennial concludes, we are called to continue the journey of contemplating and living out the messages that the Lord, through His Holy Mother, sent to us through the young visionaries.
One very specific theme of Our Lady’s — in all her apparitions, but especially in Fátima — is the need for daily prayer. The Blessed Virgin Mary has called the whole Church to a deeper relationship with her Son in this way.