October 13 marks the 96th anniversary of one of the best-known Marian apparitions--the final appearance of Our Lady of the Rosary at Fatima, Portugal. For six months, always on the 13th day of the month, the Blessed Virgin Mary had appeared to three shepherd children--Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco--asking them to perform penance and to pray, especially the rosary. In the midst of World War I, the Blessed Virgin declared that the rosary would bring about peace.
The sixth and final apparition occurred on October 13, 1917, with approximately 70,000 people from across Portugal and around Europe in attendance. The crowd witnessed what has become known as "The Miracle of the Sun," in which the sun appeared to stand still, then spin in the sky before plunging toward the earth and returning to its place in the heavens. Because of heavy rains earlier in the day, the ground and the crowds were soaked; but after the Miracle of the Sun, everything was dry once again.
The miracle was reported not only by the faithful in attendance but by newspapers and skeptics who had gathered as well. At a time of great trials, the apparitions at Fatima brought increased devotion to Our Lady of the Rosary, and so it is particularly appropriate that the final apparition occurred in the month of October, which Pope Leo XIII had devoted to the rosary 33 years earlier.
- How to Pray the Rosary
- Rosary Prayers
- The Fatima Prayer: The Decade Prayer for the Rosary
- Meditations on the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary
- Meditations on the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary
- Meditations on the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary
- Prayers for October: The Month of the Holy Rosary
- Prayer to Our Lady of Fatima
- Act of Reparation From the Angel of Fatima
- The Third Secret of Fatima and Clerical Sexual Abuse