MANILA, Oct. 2, 2013—As the international pilgrim image of Our Lady of Fatima makes a rare visit to the Philippines, the need to return to God through prayer, the main message of Fatima — originally given in 1917 — remains relevant to the Filipino faithful.
“The invitation of the message of Fatima is still relevant because we come together through prayer. It is also some sort of a wake-up call for us to repent in the midst of these trials,” Br. Gilbert Cabigting of San Fernando De Dilao parish in Paco, Manila said in a recent interview.
Hearing the Fatima message again
Cabigting, who helped organize the visit of the Fatima image to the San Fernando De Dilao parish, the first parish to host the image, said, the Blessed Virgin gave the faithful a guide on how to pray – something which is much-needed because of all the “chaos and confusion” of the present times.
According to Novaliches Bishop Emeritus Teodoro Bacani, the coming of the Our Lady of Fatima image to the country could not be more timely.
“Our Lady of Fatima has come to us at the time we most need to hear her appeal for peace again,” he said during the pilgrim image’s visit to the Archdiocese of Manila.
He cited internal threats to peace in the country like the rebel uprisings in Mindanao, as well as more personal but nonetheless real sources of discord like arguments between spouses.
Proof of holiness
The sign that shows the authenticity of the Fatima apparitions and consequently, its message, Bishop Bacani said, can be seen through the holiness of the seers themselves, Lucia dos Santos, Jacinta and Francisco Marto whom the bishop believes will be formally recognized as saints by the Church.
On the official Facebook page of the international pilgrim image of Our Lady of Fatima, Portugal, the World Apostolate of Fatima also took pride in the fact that two very Marian Popes, Blessed John XXIII and Blessed John Paul II, both of whom prayed the whole rosary every day, will be canonized on April 27, 2014.
The image of Our Lady has just left the Diocese of Malolos and is on its way to the Diocese of Tarlac. [Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz]