VALENZUELA City, May 13, 2014—Miracles do not happen? Tell that to Malolos Bishop José Francisco Oliveros, a firm believer in miracles, specifically the ones associated with Our Lady of Fátima.
In a homily on the feast day of Our Lady of Fátima, the bishop talked about the miracle that involved the late Pope, now Saint, John Paul II.
“It is no secret that the Holy Father was a great devotee of the Blessed Virgin. He believed that he owed his life to her,” explained Oliveros, who was presiding over a concelebrated mass at the Parish of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Fátima in Marulas, Valenzuela City.
The bishop was referring to an assassination attempt on the Pope that took place at Saint Peter’s Square on May 13, 1981 during the Pope’s customary meet-and-greet with pilgrims.
“A member of the audience, Turkish national Mehmet Ali Agca, from out of nowhere, fired at the Polish pontiff, who almost died on the spot from much blood loss,” he added.
Pope Saint John Paul II survived the attempt on his life, and attributed this miracle to the intercession of Our Lady of Fátima.
“It was a motherly hand that guided the bullet’s path,” the Pope once famously said.
A year after the event, the Pope offered mass in Fátima, on the site where Our Lady appeared, to thank her for saving his life.
“It was May 13, exactly 64 years after the Virgin first appeared to three shepherd children in Fátima, Portugal,” the bishop noted.
He reminded the faithful that “the message of Fátima is a call to conversion and repentance, the nucleus of the message of the Gospel.”
Taking his cue from his predecessor Pius XII, the Pope renewed the consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and urged everyone to pray, especially the Rosary.
After mass, a reliquary containing a piece of cloth stained with Pope Saint John Paul II’s blood was taken out for public kissing.
Parishioners and pilgrims could learn key dates and moments of the Fátima apparitions from a timeline displayed in the shrine. (Raymond A. Sebastián)