Welcome! The World Apostolate of Fatima is an International Catholic Association of Pontifical Right.
AMAZING CELEBRATIONS IN FATIMA, MAY 12/13, 2013
The past international anniversary pilgrimage of May 12/13 was a tremendous manifestation of love to the Queen of the Rosary, on the 96th anniversary of her first apparition in Fatima.
It is estimated that about 570 thousand people were at the Shrine of Fatima in the two days of pilgrimage: 300 thousand on Sunday, May 12th for the evening Rosary and candlelight procession and 270 thousand on Monday, May 13th, for the international Mass, which included also the consecration of the ministry of Pope Francis to Our Lady of Fatima.
The celebrations were presided over by Archbishop Orani Tempesta, of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In his homily, on May 12th, he encouraged people “not to be afraid of putting in practice God’s word” and asked “courage to live the Christian faith in a world in transformation”. He reminded the faithful that “they are not alone in the tribulations of life” because “Mary, our Heavenly Mother will never abandon us”. In this celebration he also consecrated the World Youth Day to Our Lady of Fatima, an event that will be held at Rio de Janeiro on July 23 thru 28, with the presence of Pope Francis.
On Monday 13th morning, after an all night vigil, the people begun to assemble in the Shrine’s square for the recitation of the Rosary, followed by the procession and Holy Mass, with 1 cardinal, 38 bishops and 380 priests. It was a sunny day and many had to look for shades…but all participated with joy and devotion. This year, 37 thousand people came to Fatima on foot walking kilometers of distance from all corners of Portugal.
At the end of Mass, Cardinal Polycarp of Lisbon consecrated the ministry of Pope Francis to Our Lady of Fatima. He started his prayer by saying: “Most Holy Virgin, we, the Bishops of Portugal and this multitude of pilgrims, are at Your feet in this Cova da Iria, on this 96th anniversary of Your first apparition to the Little Shepherds, in order to fulfill the desire of Pope Francis, clearly expressed, to consecrate to You, Virgin of Fatima, his Ministry of Bishop of Roma and Universal Pastor.” (read here the full text)
Afterwards, Bishop António Marto, of Leiria-Fatima, read to the pilgrims the message addressed by the Apostolic Nunciature in Portugal to Cardinal Polycarp, in which it is said that “the Holy Father showed his pleasure by the initiative and recognized his deep satisfaction for seeing his wish fulfilled in union of prayer with all the pilgrims of Fatima, to whom he gladly grants the Apostolic Blessing, source of all goods”.
The World Apostolate of Fatima was well represented in this historic event by some of its individual members as well as by some organized groups from France, Spain and other countries.
ICON OF OUR LADY OF CZESTOCHOWA VISITS SHRINE OF FATIMA
On April 7, Feast of the Divine Mercy, a replica of the Icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa, Poland, which is on pilgrimage through the world promoting life, visited the Shrine of Fatima after traveling 65,000km and visiting 24 countries.
The Icon arrived in Portugal on March 2 and, since then, has traveled throughout the country, from North to South, visiting parishes, institutions and religious congregations.
On the morning of April 7, the Icon arrived at the Shrine of Fatima from the Byzantine Chapel of ‘Domus Pacis’, international headquarters of the World Apostolate of Fatima, where it was venerated by hundreds of people, mostly of them from countries in Eastern Europe.
It was approximately 14h00 when the Icon arrived at the Little Chapel of Apparitions, where it was enthroned near the Statue of Our Lady of Fatima and there remained during the Hour of Reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The celebration, which included the recitation of the Rosary, was presided over by the Most Reverend Wieslaw Mering, Bishop of Wloclawek, Poland, accompanied by other priests, including Fr. Francisco Pereira, Chaplain of the Shrine of Fatima, Msgr. Andrew Steckiewicz, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Minsk-Mogillev, Belarus, and Fr. Wlodzimierz Ogorzalek, from the Shrine of Czestochowa.
After the recitation of the Rosary, the Icon of Our Lady was taken in procession to the Basilica of Most Holy Trinity, where Holy Mass was then celebrated. About 3,000 people, some of them coming from abroad just for this, took part in this celebration. After Mass, the Icon was taken to the Chapel of the Resurrection of Jesus, where it remained for the veneration of the faithful until 21h30.
Last March 13, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio from Argentina, was elected Pope and chose to be named Francis.
In his very first greeting to the world, he gave thanks, prayed and wished good night to the crowd assembled at St. Peter’s square, telling them that on the very next day, he would go to pray to Our Lady asking her to protect Rome. This happened on the morning of March 14th, when he went to the Basilica of Saint Mary Major in Rome and there prayed in front of the altar of Our Lady “Salus Populi Romani”.
Besides, the sentimental relationship between Fatima and the new Pope is stronger than one could initially think of. Even if there is no record that the new Pope has ever been to Cova da Iria (Fatima) it is true that he welcomed in Argentina, is native country, on the 19th of April 1998, when he was the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, the Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Fatima, “the White Pilgrim”.
In the official insignia of Pope Francis, among other symbols, there is a golden star, symbol of Our Lady, reinforcing in this way his already known Marian devotion.
The Shrine of Fatima has already sent a message to Pope Francis expressing the desire and the “emotion” of welcoming him “one day” as pilgrim in this Marian Shrine.
The World Apostolate of Fatima, in full communion with Pope Francis, entrusts his person and his ministry to the protection of Our Lady of Fatima.
WORLD APOSTOLATE OF FATIMA HELD ASSEMBLY IN PORTUGAL
The ‘World Apostolate of Fatima’ met in general session in Fatima, Portugal, from the 11th to the 17th of November 2012. This was the first ever general assembly since the permanent approval of the organization as an international association of Pontifical Right, granted on October 7th 2010, Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.
The gathering was dedicated to the memory and spiritual legacy of Sister Lucia of Jesus, one of the three seers of Fatima. The event hosted representatives from twenty-four nations from all over the world, in a total of ninety-five participants, including bishops, priests, deacon and dedicated lay men and women devoted to Our Lady and to the spreading of the message of Fatima.
In supporting the work of the Apostolate, Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, President of the Pontifical Council of the Laity wrote to the International President, Prof. Américo Lopez Ortiz: “I encourage you as you guide the work of the General Assembly to assist the delegates in seeking ways of using the Eucharist, the Rosary, and the Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary as paths for people far from God to encounter Christ and the Church, and for awakening a spirit of conversion, prayer, penance and reparation among your members in the light of the New Evangelisation.”
Likewise too the Apostolic Nuncio to Portugal, Archbishop Rino Passigatio, in his message to the Congress encouraged the delegates to the authentic voice of the message of Fatima and to bring the light of that message of hope to the whole world.
The International President, Prof. Américo López Ortis opened the assembly and set the path for the works: “Our Lady of Fatima must be very pleased with the intense growth of our Apostolate, a growth that we need to appreciate in its spiritual value. The Message of Fatima is more urgent than ever before to renew the faith, hope and charity of our societies so needed of God's presence and wisdom.”
The Bishop of Leiria-Fatima, H. E. Antonio Marto, also spoke to the assembly on the importance of the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary as a way to discover God’s Trinitarian love, a love that transforms the human soul since God comes to dwell in the heart of His people: “That is why the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary can indicate to us the way so that we also become a “temple of God”, his home, his house, the place which he – joyfully - visits to live and to rest.”
Among the various guest speakers that contributed to the formation of the participants, was Mr. Silvio Cabecinhas, who spoke of new ways and strategies for the association to face the global crisis. Mr. Wincenty Laszewski, from Poland, brought an inspiring talk on Blessed Francisco and Jacinta as model saints for saving today’s families. Also Monsignor Luciano Guerra, former rector of the Fatima shrine, spoke on the contribution of the Fatima message to the New Evangelization. A talk followed by another reflection made by the General Vicar for the diocese of Leiria-Fatima, Rev. Father Jorge Guarda, who exposed “The challenges from the Synod on the New Evangelization”. Rev. Father Manuel Antunes, Spiritual assistant of the “Movimento Mensagem de Fatima” offered a talk on the retreats for sick people and Mrs. Maria Emilia, coordinator of the Children’s Adoration program, a beautiful presentation on the Eucharistic reparation for children and youngsters.
Elections for the International Board of Trustees were conducted on the fourth day and nine delegates were elected to serve the Apostolate for the next four years.
Prayer was at the centre of all the works through spiritual reflections, the daily Rosary and the Eucharist, Adoration and Reparation, the Stations of the Cross, the visits to the sacred places and the liturgies at the Shrine of Fatima. The final thanksgiving Mass was celebrated at the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary of Fatima and at the end, the new book “The Blessed Virgin Mary in Today’s Church” by the International President, Prof. Américo López Ortiz, was blessed and copies are now available at the Secretariat.
On the last day, a pilgrimage was made to the Carmelite convent of St. Therese in Coimbra where Sister Lucia lived and died in 2005. The Holy Mass was presided over by H.E. Virgilio Antunes, Bishop of Coimbra. Afterwards, there was a talk by the Vice-Postulator of Sister Lucia’s canonization process, Rev. Father Anibal Castelhano and a visit to her memorial museum. In the afternoon, the participants enjoyed a sightseeing tour to Nazaré, Batalha and a visit to a new interactive museum in Fatima.
The participants had the opportunity to share their pastoral experiences in spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ, through the authentic Message of Fatima and to discuss thoroughly the challenges to the Apostolate in their respective countries, both by presenting national reports as well as by meeting in small working groups by region.
As the Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelization concluded last October: “As stars shine more brightly at night in the desert, so the light of Mary, the Star of the new evangelization, brightly shines in heaven on our way. To her we confidently entrust ourselves.”
The conclusions of the General Assembly were summarized as follows:
1- WAF preparations for the Spiritual and Pastoral celebration of the Centennial of the Fatima Apparitions in 2017.
2- Formation of WAF leaders and members by the provision of the new handbook: “The Blessed Virgin Mary in Today’s Church”.
3- Eucharistic Reparation for children and young people.
4- Pilgrimages to Fatima through the International Secretariat
5- Visit of the Pilgrim Statue of Our Lady of Fatima as a “mission” to be prepared carefully with the preaching of the authentic message of Fatima, meditation of the Holy Rosary, Eucharist celebrations, Vigils, Holy Hours and abundant confessions available.
6- Campaign to spread the devotion of the First Saturdays of Five Consecutive months.
7- Enrolment of new members, affiliations and pledges not only at the individual level but also at the national and institutional levels under the umbrella of the WAF.
8- Development and growth of the international Magazine, multimedia resources and promotional materials on Fatima. WAF India is responsible to lead the way in this respect.
9- Financial adequacy, budgeting and fundraising to provide for the operational needs of the Apostolate, including a planned expansion of the International Secretariat.
10- Defence of family values and the culture of life over the culture of death by strengthening the Christian faith and formation in today’s family.
 Final Message of the Synod of Bishops on the new evangelization, 14
PRAYING FOR LIFE AT THE FATIMA SHRINE
The International Secretariat of the World Apostolate of Fatima has assumed the recitation of the Holy Rosary, on each first Thursday of the month, in the Chapel of the Apparitions in Fatima, at 18.30 pm. The Rosary is offered for the intentions of our members and, in a particular way, for the respect of human life from conception to natural death.
The International Secretaries of the World Apostolate of Fatima, together with the Portuguese pro-life movement “Corrente de Oração pela Vida”, have decided to start praying the Rosary, once a month, in the Chapel of the Apparitions, at the Fatima Shrine, for life and peace. This initiative was born as a concrete way to show solidarity and involvement with the pro-life work that is carried out around the world and to link it to the Fatima Message, a message of peace, hope and love, so much needed for today’s world. This is a symbolic initiative that should help people to engage more often in praying the rosary for this intention and to bring the Fatima message to the prolife work. The daily Rosary at the Chapel of the Apparitions, at 18:30pm is broadcasted by the Portuguese national radio as well as by two Catholic TV channels. Those who wish to be united more closely with us can also follow the live recitation of the Rosary by internet, at the Fatima Shrine’s website: www.santuario-fatima.ptPray with us and for us!
VATICAN CONFIRMS WORLD APOSTOLATE OF FATIMA
The Pontifical Council for the Laity confirmed the World Apostolate of Fatima (W.A.F.) as an International Public Association of the Faithful, with a juridical personality and with its Statutes definitively approved by Decree dated October 7, 2010, Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.
Mons. Josef Clemens, Secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, in a letter to the International President of the Association, Prof. Américo Lopez-Ortiz, pointed out that "this definitive approbation of the Statutes marks a new moment for the World Apostolate of Fatima and it is our hope that it brings a new evangelization enthusiasm in your endeavors."
The World Apostolate of Fatima believes that this is an excellent opportunity to strengthen our commitment to spreading the Message of Fatima all over the world, bringing this beam of hope and peace to the hearts of humankind.
The Decree of approval does highlight that "the members of the World Apostolate of Fatima commit themselves to become faithful witnesses of the Catholic faith in their families, at work, in the parishes and communities, participating in this way in the "New Evangelization".The Association has been carrying out for the past years a series of initiatives to better meet this commitment. These include the organization of regional congresses in Europe, Africa, Asia and South America on the New Evangelization and the Message of Fatima, the formation of prayer groups, the launching of Eucharistic adoration programs for children, the coordination of programs for the visitation of the Pilgrim Virgin Statue to dioceses and parishes, publication of books, magazines, videos and websites, etc. All this to make the calls of Fatima and the Gospel reach further.We will continue this mission for the greater glory of God!