Stephen ButtivantMy first visit to Fatima was on a whim. In September 2005, my dad and I had walked 200 miles across northern Spain to Santiago de Compostela. With a few days to kill before our flight from Madrid, a quick coach trip down to Lisbon sounded like fun. And seeing as how we’d be passing by anyway, I suggested, why not call in at...

“In the designs of Providence there are no mere coincidences,” declared St John Paul II in Fatima on May 12, 1982, a day short of the first anniversary of Mehmet Ali Agca’s attempt on the then Pope’s life in St Peter’s Square.Although two bullets, fired at close range, pierced the Pontiff’s abdomen, no major...

While St John Paul II’s devotion to Fatima may be proverbial, and while Pope Francis’ visit to the shrine may be filling the headlines, it is always worth remembering that their devotion to Fatima is one shared by countless Catholics – and even, as described below, Muslims!Some four million people visit the Portuguese shrine each...

Philip KosloskiAs we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima, one aspect that could easily go unnoticed is the subtle connection with Islam. The Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to the three shepherd children near the village of Fatima, Portugal, a place named after both a Muslim princess and the daughter of Mohammed....

Junno Arocho Esteves When it comes to Marian apparitions, the Catholic Church takes a prudent approach that focuses more on the message than the miracle.Supernatural phenomena, like the alleged miracle of the Sun in Fatima, Portugal, nearly 100 years ago, are not the primary factors in determining an apparition is worthy of belief.In that...

In recent years apparitions at Kibeho in Rwanda and Champion, in the US state of Wisconsin, have been approved by their diocesan bishops, the former having taken place in 1981-1982, the latter in 1859. Despite devotion on a vast scale, alleged apparitions at Medjugorje in Bosnia-Herzegovina have been rejected by local bishops. Major Marian...

Parish missions were a common feature in the Irish Church up until about the 1960s and for many the idea of a mission brings up the old stereotypical image of a judgmental, hellfire preacher. However, parish missions today are a gentler, communal affair and while they are less common, they still attract big crowds and are perhaps the very thing...

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