So this Saturday, May 13th, marks the 100th anniversary of the first appearance of Our Lady at Fatima, one of the most well-known Marian apparitions ever. Although it is “private revelation” (Catholics are not required to believe it), Our Lady included a message and a warning for the whole world — specifically to pray the Rosary daily for peace and the end to the war (WWI), and to make sacrifices for sinners. At her final appearance, on October 13th, 1917, thousands of people witnessed the “Miracle of the Sun,” in which the sun “danced” in the sky, changing colors and zooming toward the earth. In the link above you can read the whole story 🙂
This is also where we get the prayer “O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of Hell, lead all souls to Heaven, especially those in most need of Your mercy,” which at Our Lady’s request is to be said during the Rosary between each decade.
In the vision, Our Lady is described as a beautiful lady dressed all in white, neither happy nor sad, but serious and reproachful. The most famous statue depicting her shows her with an oversized crown, which was not part of the vision but a “canonical crown” bestowed on her by Pope Pius XII in 1946. Pope St. John Paul II added to this crown the bullet with which he was shot on May 13th, 1981, an assassination attempt which he survived by the power of God, through the intercession of Our Lady.
(Let me clarify here, that Catholics do not worship Mary, other saints, or statues or images of God, Mary, and other saints. The technical term for what we do is venerate, meaning “regard with great respect; revere” — exactly how you would treat the grave of a beloved spouse or a photograph of your grandparents. Just as you might create a “shrine” on a table with a vase of flowers, a few photos and sentimental objects that remind you of your loved ones, but would never worship them, so Catholics create “shrines” for saints, decking them with flowers and so forth.
Also, just as you might ask your family or friends to pray for you — to intercede for you before God — so we can ask Our Lady and other saints to pray for us to God. The saints do not have power of their own.)
So here is my coloring page for Our Lady of Fatima. I based this off a photo of a lovely statue (I can’t find the name of the statue or the artist — please tell me if you know!) and added the dancing sun and a border of Rosary beads.
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