In 1917, Mary appeared six times in Fatima, Portugal, telling people to pray the Rosary for world peace. The last appearance was on October 13. It had rained throughout the night before, soaking the ground and the pilgrims traveling to Fatima by the thousands to see Our Lady appear at noon as she had promised. As noon local time passed, Mary did not appear. However, when the sun arrived directly overhead, Mary was seen rising in the east. She turned the palms of her hands towards the sky. Although the rain had stopped, dark clouds still obscured the sun. Suddenly, the sun burst through the clouds and was seen as a soft spinning disk of silver. Recorded eyewitness accounts tell how people saw the face of the Blessed Virgin Mary and watched the sun, without any discomfort, as it trembled and danced in the sky. Some claimed the sun changed colors and whirled on itself like a giant wheel that lowered to the earth as if to burn it with its rays. The crowd cried out and people fell on their knees to pray. 70,000 people witnessed this Miracle of the Sun, including atheists, communists, and non-Catholics. Some of them converted to our faith.
Yesterday, at noon, as part of a worldwide celebration of the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima, a group of our parishioners gathered at the club house at Shaffer’s Evergreen Golf Course in Hudson to pray the Rosary for peace as our Blessed Mother requested 102 years ago. The word ‘rosary’ comes from Latin and means ‘a garden of roses.’ Our Rosary is a form of devotional prayer in honor of our Blessed Mother. The Rosary prayers come from Scripture and the traditions of the early Christians. There are four sets of mysteries of the Rosary based on different aspects of Jesus’ life. These are the Joyful, Sorrowful, Glorious, and Luminous Mysteries. Praying the Rosary and reflecting on these mysteries gives us a profound, intimate, personal experience with Jesus through the eyes of Mary.
Taking 20 minutes to pray the Rosary can draw out the deepest desires in our souls—desires for God and God alone. Even taking just a few minutes to pray one decade allows us to slow down, calm our hearts, and rest in God’s presence. This week, let’s all take time to pray the Rosary for world peace. Then ask our Blessed Mother to help us find peace in our heart.