Reeson’s Ramblings – Fatima :: December 3, 2017
Reeson’s Ramblings on Fatima Pilgrimage and Vacation
While I was a seminarian in the late 1970’s, I visited a fellow seminarian in Arizona, and we took a train to Mexico City, where we were able to stay in a rectory for free. While there, I was blessed to see and experience a venerated image enshrined within the Minor Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City that miraculously appeared on the cloak of a native Mexican peasant named Juan Diego.
When I was stationed as an Air Force Chaplain in Zagreb, Croatia I was able to catch a military hop to where I could ride a bus to Medjugorje, where it has been reported that the Blessed Virgin Mary had appeared. The apparitions there have not been supported by the Vatican as being true, but nothing that the Blessed Mother was supposed to have said is contrary to what Jesus and his Church teaches.
While stationed in Germany I was able to join the members of the Air Force stationed in Ramstein, Germany for an annual pilgrimage to Lourdes, France. Our Lady of Lourdes is a Roman Catholic title of the Blessed Virgin Mary venerated in honor of the Marian apparitions that reportedly occurred in 1858 in the vicinity of Lourdes in France. The first of these is the apparition of 11 February 1858, when 14-year old Bernadette Soubirous told her mother that a “lady” spoke to her in the cave of Massabielle (a mile from the town) while she was gathering firewood with her sister and a friend. Similar apparitions of the alleged “Lady” were reported on seventeen occasions that year, until the climax revelation of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception took place.
I had stopped once very briefly in Fatima, Portugal and was now, in November of 2017, blessed with the opportunity to make a pilgrimage to Fatima that coincides with some vacation time. I offered special prayers for all of the members of St. Columbkille while I was there.
There are some fanatics who make our Blessed Mother Mary out to be more important than God. Mary herself is often pictured with the Baby Jesus. In these artist depictions of Madonna and Child, Mary is usually gazing upon the infant Jesus, which draws our attention to Him as well. The first miracle that Jesus preformed was at the wedding feast at Cana in Galilee. Mary told the waiters to, “Do whatever He tells you to do”. This was excellent advice for the waiters and is also the perfect advice for each of us.
Now that I am back, I will look forward to sharing in my homilies some of my experiences in Fatima following my pilgrimage there. I trust that Mary will continue to give me guidance, direction and inspiration as she always has. For now let us keep our focus on Jesus and do whatever he tells us to do!
These are some of these were fellow pilgrims that joined me at Fatima. We had two busloads of pilgrims, and others traveled independently meeting us at the site. This picture was taken on the cruise ship after one of the daily Masses.
We sometimes had more than twice this number for Mass on the cruise ship. These people shared their time and talent stepping up and serving as a music director / liturgist, EMHC’s, lectors, and even a sacristan.