Parishes Celebrate Fatima’s 100-Year Anniversary
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
October 20, 2017

LOVES PARK—In addition to the Oct. 12 Mass and re-consecration of the Diocese of Rockford to the Blessed Mother at the Cathedral of St. Peter in Rockford, a handful of other events were celebrated on Oct. 13, the 100th anniversary of the final apparition in Fatima.

Those events on Oct. 13 included a public rosary in Batavia sponsored by Holy Cross Parish, which hosted an event beginning with a rosary and consecration of the parish to Mary followed by a talk by Miracle Hunter Michael O’Neill.

A rosary and a number of other prayers were prayed at 3 p.m. in Rockford at the Poor Clares Corpus Christi Monastery.

St. Mary Parish in Sycamore hosted a procession, rosary and Mass that evening.

At St. Bridget Parish in Loves Park, a holy hour at 5 p.m. was followed by a procession, Mass and a dinner in the parish hall.

In his homily, Msgr. Daniel Deutsch, pastor, told about three visits from the guardian angel of Portugal/Angel of Peace to the three shepherd children prior to Mary’s appearances.

In the first visit, the angel taught the children how to pray, not just with their voices, but also with bows and prostrations. In the second visit, the angel, who looked like a teen-age boy to their eyes, taught them about suffering and sacrificing to make up for the outrages being committed in the world. During his third visit, the angel gave them Holy Communion — for the oldest, Lucia, under both species, and the precious blood to the two younger children, Francesco and Jacinta.

Those six months of formation by the angel prepared them to receive the messages of the Blessed Mother, Msgr. Deutsch explained. Mary’s requests included a call to conversion, to prayer (particularly of the rosary), for prayers for the conversion of Russia and, overall, for the world to come back to Jesus.
To illustrate the innocence of the children, the priest explained that Francisco thought the word “Russia” was the name of his neighbor’s horse.

He spoke briefly also of the Miracle of the Sun where some 100,000 people were drenched by heavy rains. The rain suddenly stopped and a brilliant sun appeared and danced around the sky.

In an instance, everyone’s clothing and the ground were dry, he said, noting that people from 20 miles away also saw the sun.

The two youngest children died of the Spanish flu; before her death, Jacinta was covered with stinky sores. When she died, her skin cleared completely and her body smelled like roses, Msgr. Deutsch said.
“All of us have the capacity to do what the children did,” he said. “Say to yourself in your heart — I’m going to sacrifice for you today ... to make up for the indifference and sacrileges against the Sacred Heart ... as we do the simple shepherding of our families and our jobs.”