Our Lady of Fatima Shrine in Lewiston will hold special events to mark the 100th anniversary of the last apparition of Mary in Fatima, Portugal.
On Friday, Oct. 13, a healing Mass with Father Richard McAlear, OMI, will take place inside the domed basilica. Rosary and confession will take place at 11 a.m., 3:30 and 6:30 p.m. The usual 11:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Masses will also be celebrated.
On Saturday, Oct. 14, guest speaker Dr. Gloria Falcao Dodd, STL, DST, from the International Marian Research Institute at the University of Dayton, Ohio, will give a talked called, "Fatima: Mary Speaks and the Popes Listen?" at 2 and 7 p.m.
Finally, on Sunday, Oct. 15, the New York State Knights of Columbus will hold their annual pilgrimage beginning at 1:15 p.m. A Mass and rosary procession will take place at 3:15 p.m., with Quiet Waters offering a musical meditation on the glorious mysteries of the rosary. Bishop Edward M. Grosz will celebrate Mass at 5 p.m. A candlelight rosary procession with the burning of petitions will take place at 6:30 p.m.
These events commemorate the last of six recorded visions of the Virgin Mary by three shepherd children in the rural town of Fatima. Oct. 13, 1917, is remembered for what has been called the Miracle of the Sun. A crowd of villagers claimed to have seen the sun dancing in the sky, after the visionaries prophesied that Mary promised a special event that day. In 1930, after a canonical inquiry, Bishop José Alves Corriea da Silva of Leirie-Fatima declared that the visions were "worthy of belief."
The Barnabite Fathers, who run the shrine, opened up the centennial on May 13, welcoming well over 2,000 people from the U.S. and Canada for a special Mass with Bishop Richard J. Malone. That same day in Portugal, Pope Francis canonized Jacinta and Francisco Marto, two of the visionaries who witnessed the apparitions of Mary. The Barnabite Fathers unveiled statues of all three of the shepherd children.
Since 1954, Our Lady of Fatima Shrine has become a place of natural beauty, art, communal prayer and renewal to thousands who visit the unique buildings and grounds each year. The magnificence and natural beauty of the shrine is highlighted by an awe-inspiring domed basilica covered with two layers of glass and Plexiglas, with a contour of the Northern Hemisphere of the globe.
Two flights of stairs lead to the top of the dome, where, in graceful majesty, stands a huge statue of Our Lady of Fatima. The statue, carved from Vermont granite, is 13 feet high and weighs 10 tons. From the top of the dome, visitors can view the entire shrine grounds and surrounding countryside.
The impressive approach to the basilica is down the Avenue of the Saints (over 130 life-size marble and bronze statues represent saints from every race and walk of life) and around the serenity of the Rosary Pool.
The Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima is located at 1023 Swann Road, Lewiston 14174. All are welcome.