One hundred years ago, on 13 May 1917, Our Lady appeared for the first time to three Portuguese children. In a series of apparitions, she told them to ask people to amend their lives, ask pardon of their sins and stop offending Our Lord “who is already too much offended.”
She spoke of war as a punishment for sin, and devotion to her Immaculate Heart as a remedy which would bring peace to the world. Strikingly, in a message to Lucia, she predicted that another and worse war would break out (the second world war.)
Our Lady also warned the children of the damage done to souls by sins against chastity, modesty and marriage. The last hundred years have shown increasingly how true these words were. Our Lady particularly encouraged the use of the Rosary and the devotion of the five first Saturdays in reparation for sin.
As we celebrate the centenary of Our Lady’s manifest care and concern for our spiritual welfare, we can take strong motivation for conversion in our lives, and commitment to penance and fervent prayer.