IHM Fatima procession draws hundreds

By Sr. Marie Bernadette
The annual Oct. 13 Fatima procession hosted by the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary held special significance this year as it marked the 100th anniversary of Mary’s final apparition in Fatima to the three shepherd children Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta.
In contrast to the drenching rains that initiated the 1917 apparition, the weather was perfect and we were blessed with clear skies. About 650 guests arrived to participate in the celebration, some traveling as far as Oklahoma, Texas, and Arkansas.
The picnic dinner, which took place before the procession, was filled with young families, loyal friends, and several excited newcomers; all gathered around the pavilion to share in the warm company until the sound of the bell called the crowd to form a line for the procession.
The Knights of Columbus led the way, adding to the solemnity. They carried a statue of Our Lady of Fatima on a bier followed by the hundreds of Marian devotees. Voices joined to sing Fatima hymns as they approached the shrine, the line stretching from the driveway of the Novitiate House of Formation to the shrine.
Once everyone was gathered, guests were invited to place their Memorare cards – each representing 1,000 Memorares said for the conversion of sinners – at Mary’s feet. The crowd then prayed a rosary in honor of Our Lady of Fatima whose repeated request to the shepherd children was to “pray the Rosary every day.” To close the evening, the statue of Our Lady of Fatima was recessed back to the convent to the sound of the “Salve Regina.”
Mary revealed to Lucia that the final battle of Satan will be about marriage and the family; therefore, it is imperative that we take action in the simple ways suggested by Our Lady. May this centenary year of Fatima fill us with greater conviction to heed her words. By praying the Rosary daily and by offering up our daily duties for the conversion of sinners and in reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, we can hasten the fulfillment of Our Lady’s promise: “My Immaculate Heart will triumph!”
Though the monthly processions hosted by the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary to commemorate this Year of Fatima are now complete, the sisters invite you to attend the 2018 processions in May and October which have become regular events.