The Universal Church is marking this year the 100th anniversary of the Marian apparitions in Fatima, Portugal, in 1917.
Our Lady of Fatima is the Roman Catholic title of the Blessed Virgin Mary based on her six apparitions to three shepherd children, Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta, near the town of Fatima.
The Blessed Mother called on the daily prayer of the Rosary, the wearing of the Brown Scapular of Mount Carmel and acts of reparation and sacrifice in all her appearances every 13th of the month from May to October 1917. She said these were needed especially for the conversion of sinners and to stop the spread of “the errors of Russia,” referring to communist totalitarianism.
In the Philippines, the National Pilgrim Image of Our Lady of Fatima is one of the original statues blessed by Pope Paul VI. It was later brought to the country by Jaime Cardinal Sin. It was the main Fatima image during the Edsa People Power Revolution in 1986; it was later installed at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima in Valenzuela in 1999.
Caritas Manila (CM), through its program Caritas Damayan, has recently distributed some 2,480 relief packs to the fire victims in Parola Compound in Tondo, Manila. They were victims of the Feb. 7 fire that left 3,000 families homeless.
Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, CM chairperson, also paid a visit to the fire victims during his 35th presbyterial anniversary on Feb. 27.
CM likewise distributed relief goods to victims of other fire incidents in Brgy. 650 Port Area Manila (Feb. 3); Raxabago Street, Tondo (Feb. 22); Angono Street, Poblacion, Makati (Feb. 24); and Estero De Magdalena in Tondo (Feb. 25).
The Church conducts annually a Lenten evangelization campaign and fundraising program called “Alay Kapwa” for social services and disaster relief.
CM and Radio Veritas will conduct Alay Kapwa Telethon on April 10.
Pope Francis says in his apostolic letter, Misericordia et Misera, every day is the time of mercy as each day is marked by God’s presence.
Lenten retreat for couples
Caleruega Philippines, the Dominican retreat center in Nasugbu, Batangas, near Tagaytay ridge in Cavite famous for its Chapel of the Transfiguration where many weddings have been held, will hold the Lenten Retreat for Married Couples April 7-9.
Now on its third year, the annual retreat will have nine sessions, from 2 p.m., April 7, to 3 p.m., April 9. Retreat speakers are Fr. Deng de la Cruz, OP; Fr. Allen de Guzman, OP; Jun and Marion Cruz of Ligaya ng Panginoon Community; Angelo and Bernadette de la Cruz; and Raul Roque.
Retreat fee of P9,000 per couple will include meals, cottage accommodation and retreat materials.