Back in 1917, the apparition of Our Lady of Fatima made the headlines. Even today, Catholics prayers to her with immense fervour. On the Centenary of the Apparition of Our Lady of Fatima, Catholics all over the world observed special services, pilgrimages, Eucharistic celebrations, and the recitation of the rosary.

In our hometown Bandra, Andreans are blessed with an oratory dedicated to Our Lady of Fatima at the Mount Mary Basilica. Parishioners and faithful gathered in large numbers to partake in this solemn celebration. The oratory was lit up and a beautiful rosary was placed in the hands of Our Lady, Our Mother’s statue.

The centenary celebration began with the Eucharist. Bishop John Rodrigues celebrated the mass and Msgr. Nereus Rodrigues, Fr. Michael Goveas, Fr. Magi Murzello, and Fr. Anthony Alphonso concelebrated. Following this, a skit recreated the apparition of Our Lady of Fatima in 1917, which included the miracle of the Sun.

The celebration would not be complete without the rosary. However, there was a twist to the recitation of the it. The children of St. Andrew Church enacted each decade of the rosary. Also, the students of Mount Mary’s school received torches, so when the Hail Mary was recited a torch was lit, thus illuminating the staircase leading to the statue of Mary.

Lastly, all those who assembled took part in a candlelight procession up the steps of the oratory to the statue of Our Lady of Fatima. The evening culminated with a fellowship including snacks and cold drinks. The whole service was profound and meaningful. Even though there was a slight drizzle, it did not deter the faithful—some opened their umbrellas and others partook in the celebrations with bare heads. It was indeed a breathtaking sight to see so many people climbing the steps with lighted candles and open umbrellas. It was a great reminder of the Apparition, when the Sun came down and dazzled the hoards at Fatima.

Women’s Cell of St. Andrew Parish