The apparition at Fatima on October 13, 1917 is the only approved apparition in 2000 years in which the entire Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph appeared at the same time. The
three little shepherd children saw Our Lady with St. Joseph and the Child Jesus, both blessing the world, during the time tens of thousands of people were witnessing the sun miracle.
The miracle of the sun was one of the most spectacular miracles recorded in the 2000-year history of the Church. It was heaven’s verification of the message which the Mother of God
came to deliver to the world. A miracle had been foretold months in advance, as to its exact day and hour. While the nature of the miracle was not foretold, 3 things were foretold: “In October I will tell you  who I am and  what Iwant, and  I will perform a miracle so that all may believe” (July 13, 1917).It is not correct to say that Our Lady foretold the miracle of the sun. She simply foretold a miracle, without stating what kind. The miracles of Jesus in the New Testament were to bring people to faith with a response in ove. Such too was the reasonfor the miracle of Fatima.
The Blessed Mother described who she was with the words: “I am the Lady of the Rosary.” Fatima begins and ends with the Holy Eucharist. What Our Lady wanted was “a chapel to be erected here in my honor, for I am the Lady of the Rosary.” A chapel is primarily for the offering and preservation of the Holy Eucharist. What is the logic of Our Lady desiring a chapel in her honor “for I am the Lady of the Rosary”?
In the Portuguese language one word is used for Rosary when it refers to praying only five decades of the Rosary. That word Mary used when she asked that the Rosary be prayed daily. When she gave herself the title “The Lady of the Rosary” Mary used the word “Rosario,” which means all the decades or meditating on all the mysteries: Joyful, Sorrowful, Glorious, and Luminous.
Mary asked at Fatima that we pray the Rosary daily and properly, that is, while meditating on the mysteries of Christ. Pope Benedict XV said that when we have meditated on the Joyful, Sorrowful and Glorious mysteries, we have meditated on all the chief mysteries of our salvation. So what is our heavenly Mother saying when she tells us “I am the Lady of the Rosary”? It is like saying “I am the Mother of the chief mysteries of Jesus Christ.” The chief mysteries of Jesus Christ are celebrated, even made present sacramentally, in the divine liturgy of the Holy Eucharist for which a chapel is normally needed. As the Mother of Jesus Christ and the Church, Mary is the Mother of the Mysteries. “I wish a chapel to be erected here in my honor, for I am the Lady of the Rosary. Continue to say the Rosary every day” (October 13).
Before the release of the third part of the Fatima secret in 2000 the Pope sent two Vatican representatives to Sr. Lucia. She took that opportunity to tell them that she
had written a book. She requested permission of the Pope to have it published. That book is described as having a catechetical dimension and in fact is a Catechism of Fatima in both senses of the word. In English it is titled, CALLS FROM THE MESSAGE OF FATIMA. In the preface we read: “The entire message of Fatima is a great call to holiness for the Church of our time..
“Lucia sees this callm to holiness in some of the details of the apparition. The presence of St. Joseph in one of apparitions is a pressing invitation to the sanctification of the family, a key theme throughout Lucia’s book, and also one of the essential currents and main preconditions of the magisterium of John Paul II.”
Sr. Lucia entitles the 18th chapter of her book, The Call to the Sanctification of the Family. Fatima is or Faith, Hope, Love. Fatima is for the Family to live in holiness professing the totality of true faith.
My own meditation on Fatima for many years brought me to the realization years ago that Fatima is a special message of holiness for the family while its message embraces all of Catholicism. Popes have said “Fatima reaffirms the Gospels.”
Sr. Lucia wrote much on the family in her book: Fatima in Lucia’s Own Words—Volume II—5th and 6th Memoirs, released in April 1999. She did the same and more profoundly,
quoting much Sacred Scripture, in her more recent book, Calls from the Message of Fatima, released in 2000, recently being translated into the various languages.
In her last book, Sr. Lucia writes: “In times such as the present, when the family often seems misun – derstood in the form in which it was established by God, and is assailed by doctrines that are
erroneous and contrary to the purposes for which the divine Creator instituted it, surely God wished to address to us a reminder of the purpose for which He established the family in the world. . . .”
Sr. Lucia continues: “In the Message of Fatima, God calls on us to turn our eyes to the Holy Family of Nazareth, into which He chose to be born, and to grow in grace and stature, in order to present to us a model to imitate, as our footsteps tread the path of our pilgrimage to Heaven.”
These are noble thoughts from Lucia who was left in the world for years to spread devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. What is meant by the Immaculate Heart devotion embraces our living the totality of Catholic faith and practicing the Christian virtues as Mary lived them. In the June apparition Our Lady announced that Lucia was to be left in the world for many years as God “wants to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart.”
In Lucia’s final years of her life she focused especially on the holiness which should be that of every family.
Message More Relevant for Today Than Ever
The family today is under constant attack throughout the world. The message of Fatima is more relevant today because of these attacks on the family. We struggle with the roles of husbands and wives in the home and the formation of children. At Fatima we learned so many great devotions to our Lady that can help us with our spiritual formation within the home.
First Saturday devotion is a great way to get involved in the Fatima message and receive an abundance of grace. There are four requirements to making the first Saturday devotion:
1. Make a good Sacramental Confession
2. Receive Our Lord in Holy Communion while
in the state of grace.
3. Recite five decades of the rosary
4. Keep Mary Company for at least 15
minutes while meditating on the mysteries of the rosary.
All four of these should be offered in reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
In the family it is ideal to make a consecration to the Immaculate Heart in front of an image or statue of Our Lady. This should be done monthly with the entire family and creates a great love for Our Lady among the children that they will keep in their hearts as they grow to adulthood.
Praying the family Rosary together each night is a wonderful practice and creates a family bonding that will last a lifetime. I am a strong believer in the old saying that, “the family that prays together stays together.”
As a family we must appreciate and not underestimate the power of the Fatima message and the spiritual benefits. The call that the Mother of God imposed on the Church was not directed simply at the Pope and Bishops. It is a call to all of us, whatever our state of life is. With this said, it is a call to families to live the faith in the example of the holy family. In order for peace to come and happiness among the families to come we have to hear and answer Our Lady’s call at Fatima. This is a call to holiness.
Fatima within the Family
The family is the beating heart of our world. When the family is weak our society becomes weak. This is the challenge that we face today. In our families we lack devotion, Fatima promotes devotion. In our families we lack purity and in the Fatima message we practice penance and penance helps one to adhere to purity. Today our families are lacking in prayer, Fatima promotes prayer through the request of Our Lady to say the rosary daily. If you are part of a family then you realize that it is a sacrifice and the message of Fatima promotes sacrifice.
On October 13, Saint Joseph appeared to the crowd of 70,000, blessing the people and holding the child Jesus. The Holy Family appeared at Fatima to us all as an example of holiness that can be attained within the family. Each member of the family has a role, father as head of the home and Mother as the beating heart and children as loving obedient members.
The Mission of the Fatima family Apostolate
We are all called to spread the message of Fatima. As the Director of the Fatima Family Apostolate It is my point to spread the message throughout the world. This can only be done if Catholics are made aware of what Our Lady is requesting. We promote the message with our materials available on our website, www.fatimafamily.org. We have booklets that will teach you about Fatima and the First Saturday Devotion.
At the Fatima Family Apostolate we currently have volunteers in several states in the U.S. and in several countries to distribute the information about Our Lady. The messages of Our Lady should be known in every parish throughout the world, but many do not know the message of Our Lady of Fatima.
Our mission is to spread the message of Fatima, one family at a time. This is a difficult task because many Catholics do not even know the basics of the faith. This is why our founder Father Robert J. Fox wrote many books on catechetics, he saw the need for Catholics to learn the faith. Once they deepen their faith they will be able to understand the message of Fatima.
If we want true peace and protection we must submit to the will of Our Lady. If we submit then we must learn the message, live the message and spread the message to the world one family at a time.