Malolos Bishop Dennis Villarojo will preside over a high mass at 6:30 p.m. today (Oct. 13) at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima in Marulas, Valenzuela City.
The mass is in solemn commemoration of the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima marking the 103rd year of the first of the six apparitions of the Blessed Mother to three shepherd children – Lucia dos Santos and her cousins, Francisco and Jacinta Marto – at the Cova de Ira in Fatima, Portugal in 1917.
The Eucharistic celebration will be streamed live from the shrine where only about 90 persons (10 percent of the church’s capacity) will be allowed inside.
Last year, the national consecration of the Philippines to the Immaculate Heart of Mary amid the pandemic was held on this day in all the archdiocese and dioceses around the country.
Considered as the most important series of Marian apparitions in the Roman Catholic Church, the Blessed Mother appeared on the 13th day of each month for six consecutive months from May 13 to Oct. 13, 1917 to the three shepherd children. On her first apparition, she requested the children to pray the Holy Rosary, perform works of mortification for the conversion of sinners, and requested for devotion to herself under the title Immaculate Conception.
In recognition of the apparitions, Pope Pius XII consecrated the world to Mary under the title of Immaculate Conception. The series of apparitions were declared as worthy of belief by the Holy See in October 1930.
Formally known as Our Lady of the Holy Rosary of Fatima, devotees marked the centennial of the Fatima apparitions in 2017. The special event coincided with the canonization of Blessed Francisco and Jacinta by Pope Francis in Fatima, Portugal. Francisco and Jacinta both succumbed to the flu epidemic. Francisco died on April 4, 1919 at the age of ten while Jacinta died at the age of nine on February 20, 1920. They were beatified by Pope John Paul II on May 13, 2000.