By Susan Ciancio
“I come from heaven.”
On May 13, 1917, Lucia Santos, age 10, was tending sheep with her cousins, siblings Jacinta and Francisco Marto, in a little town outside of Fatima, Portugal. Jacinta was just seven years old, and Francisco was nine. Suddenly, they saw a brilliant light, and a woman dressed in a pure white mantle appeared before them. Though they didn’t understand who she was right away, they came to know that she was our Blessed Mother. She told the children not to be afraid.
Mary spoke with the children and said she wanted them to return to that same spot on the 13th of each month for the next five months. She then asked them to learn the Rosary and to pray it every day “to obtain peace for the world and the end of the war [in Portugal].” Mary also told them to pray for sinners and for the conversion of Russia.
Each month, the children did as Mary asked. They returned to the spot where she appeared and talked and prayed with her. She told them secrets about the world, helped them understand the evils of sin, and showed them a vision of hell. On October 13, 1917, tens of thousands of people gathered and witnessed the most amazing miracle in the sky.
Tomorrow is the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima. The movie Fatima, which was released to streaming services last year, has finally been released in theaters. Now, you and your family can share in these Marian visions and relive the miracles at Fatima on the big screen!
This is a great time for families to discuss the significance of Mary and how we can all look to her as our spiritual mother. The love of Mary and her Son is exactly what the world needs right now.
As we approach this beautiful feast day, we—at the Culture of Life Studies Program—have five excellent suggestions for ways to make Mary more prominent in your lives.
1. Read about the apparitions at Fatima on EWTN’s 100 years of Fatima website.
All Catholics should know what happened at Fatima. And, if you’re going to watch the movie, it’s important to have a little bit of background knowledge about what happened at Fatima. This site has a lot of details so you can learn more and teach your children, no matter what ages.
2. Read our blog about Jacinta and Francisco Marto, who were canonized in 2017.
What happened to the children after the apparitions ended? Our blog explains the very short lives of these two saintly children and helps you learn how to use their example to build a culture of life in your own homes.
3. Download our lesson about the Blessed Virgin Mary.
This lesson teaches your students the story of the Annunciation and Mary’s “yes”—her fiat—to God when the Angel Gabriel asked her to become the mother of our Savior. Your children will love learning about our Blessed Mother and will have fun completing the activities at the end.
4. Download our lesson about Our Lady of Guadalupe.
In this lesson, your children will meet Juan Diego, the peasant who loved Christ so much that he walked many miles to and from church every day. On one special day, he saw the Blessed Virgin Mary, and she gave him something extraordinary to show the bishop.
5. Ditch the electronic devices and get crafty with some Marian arts and crafts projects.
A beautiful way to venerate the mother of God is through drawings and other creations. This site has all levels of craft activities, so there’s something for everyone in your family to create. At this site, you will find instructions for a diorama, a cross stitch pattern, a rosary case, a miracle of the sun project, a special dessert, a light catcher, and more!
Our Blessed Mother loves us immensely, and she has appeared many times to help increase our devotion to her Son. Now is a great time to talk with your children about Mary to prepare them for her feast day and for this one-of-a-kind movie!