We have all heard the story of the three shepherd children in Portugal who were visited by Our Lady on the 13th of each month from May to October, 1917. One exception was in August of that year; Our Lady came on the 19th of that month as the children were being held for questioning at the time.
Lucia dos Santos and Jacinta and her brother, Francisco Marto were first cousins. The Marto children died so young; Francisco first in 1919 and his sister, a year later. Our Lady came to see them to prepare them that she would come and take them to Heaven.
Fatima, Portugal is a major shrine now, and receives thousands of visitors each year. The miracle of the dancing sun that occurred during her last appearance on October 13, 1917 was seen by 70,000 people who had waited in the rain. I met someone recently whose grandmother had been there, and she told me that beautiful white flowers had also fallen from the sky at the same time, but when people reached for them, they disappeared. Like the gift of hope that a rainbow gives us after a rainstorm, those flowers were a lovely illusion; another reminder of God’s creation and His presence in the world.
For me, the number 13 has become a special number. I believe Our Lady chose that number to ward off the fear that the occult has tried to instill. After all, so often we observe statues of Our Lady stepping on the head of the serpent. She is considered the new Eve, and can offer us protection from the fears and negative thoughts that the evil one tries to plant in our minds.
Our Lady is full of grace, and at Fatima, she spoke of a peace plan. Through the prayers of the rosary, peace would return to the world. We know that happened on Nov. 11, 1918, when the First World War ended. If more families would return to praying a rosary together, peace would flow from their hearts and homes, and, then into their communities.
Just imagine if our politicians dropped to their knees each morning and said: “Okay, Lord. I believe You are in charge. Help me to make the right decisions today, and show me how to govern and lead so that life will improve for those who have elected me. Amen.” And that same politician instructed his staff to follow his lead, and give their best effort, with their hearts open to God’s will. I am sure it wouldn’t be long before we would see dramatic changes in the world.
I am an optimist, and I know that this is still God’s world. Let us all pray that each day a few more of those in power will seek His wisdom and direction. Our Lady, Queen of Peace, pray for us!