Posted by: fvbcdm | October 13, 2011

Feast of Saint Edward the Confessor (13 Oct 2011)

On the 13th of each month from May to October in the year 1917, Our Lady appeared to three Portuguese peasant children at a village called Fatima. The apparitions had attracted much attention as those things always do, so that on the night of October 12, a huge crowd had gathered in an open field called the Cove of Peace, awaiting the expected apparition on the following day. It rained most of the night and again the next morning, so that most of the crowd and their clothing were drenched. The sun came up and began to shine. The three children saw Our Lady as usual, but the great crowd saw something quite different. It seemed to them that the sun began to spin on its own axis like a great pinwheel in the sky, shedding its bright colors over the whole world. Then, it seemed to detach itself from its proper place in the sky and to begin falling down toward the crowd in the Cove. Would they all be killed by the blazing sun? Was this the end of the world?
Many were terrified. But before any harm came to anyone there, the sun seemed to stop its fall and to return to its normal place in the sky. It was then that the crowd noticed that they and their clothing were perfectly dry whereas just a few minutes earlier, they were all soaked by the heavy rain.
When she had been asked earlier who she was, the beautiful lady who appeared to the children said, “I am the Lady of the Rosary.”  And she has come to be known as Our Lady of Fatima, a Muslim name—the name of one of the daughters of the prophet Mohammed, the founder of Islam.
One of our Dominican priests, Fr. Thomas McGlynn, who was an outstanding sculptor, was commissioned to carve a statue of Our Lady of Fatima to be placed in a niche above the main door of the basilica at Fatima. To prepare for this, he was given permission to interview Sister Lucia, the oldest of the three visionaries who was still alive after the death of the other two, Jacinta and Francisco, who had died in the influenza pandemic of 1918. He tells us in his book about his friendship with Sister Lucia that when he asked her to describe what the beautiful Lady wore when she appeared to the children, she replied that the Lady’s clothing was not made of cloth but rather of light! It reminds us of the Lady clothed with the sun in the book of Revelation.  But how in the world does a sculptor, working in stone, carve LIGHT??? The best he could do was to wield the sculpting tool with a sort of wavy motion to give the impression of shimmering light. That statue of The Lady of the Rosary, Our Lady of Fatima, the Lady Clothed with the Sun, stands in the facade of the basilica today. Inside the church are the tombs of the two children who died first and have already been beatified. Presumably, if and when Lucia is beatified, her remains will be buried in the basilica, too. She died as a Carmelite nun and so is buried in the cloister in the city of Coimbra in Portugal. Thank you for seeking God’s truth.  God bless you.  Father Victor Brown, O.P.


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