By MORGAN FRISCH
Recorder News Staff
Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church will pay a special tribute tonight in honor of the centennial anniversary of the Fatima apparitions through a living rosary.
The event will begin at 7 p.m. and there are approximately 65 people participating.
The Rev. Lawrence Decker said the church is honoring the apparitions “by having a living rosary and the living rosary consists of friends and parishioners who are participating. They are actually going to be the beads of the rosary. It will be a candlelight service.”
Participants will form the rosary around the perimeter of the church holding candles. Decker said the event will begin with the Eucharistic adoration. There will be a homily on Fatima and then the living rosary. The event will conclude with the benediction of the blessed sacrament.
Decker said they have celebrated the 100 years of the Fatima apparitions beginning in May and tonight will be the conclusion.
On this date in 1917 in Fatima, Portugal, the final of six monthly apparitions took place, concluding with the Miracle of the Sun, authenticating the apparitions of the Our Lady of Fatima to children Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta, according to church’s event flyer.
Decker said Our Lady appeared from May through October on the 13th of every month, spoke to the three children and gave them messages. He said on the final apparition, people kept asking for some kind of sign that Our Lady was really appearing to Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta.
“They could not see Our Lady, but the children could,” Decker said. “The children were harassed not only by family members, but by the community, government leaders, officials, local officials as well. Everybody kept saying that they were lying, but of course they weren’t.”
Lucia told Our Lady of Fatima that people were asking for some sort of message or sign, Decker said. On Oct. 13, 1917, he said the three children asked the Lady for her name and she said “I am the Lady of the Rosary.”
Decker said that was basically her message through all of the apparitions — to pray the rosary for the conversion of sinners and for peace in the world.
“So, to show that she really was present and that the apparitions were very real, she pointed up to the sun and the children shouted out to the people, ‘Look at the sun,’ and when they did, the sun began to fall from the sky,” Decker said. “It was pouring rain that day and the people thought when they saw the sun, they call it ‘the day the sun danced,’ that’s what we call it today.
“The sun was falling from the sky and it was getting closer and closer to the earth and people thought it was the end of the world. But then suddenly, it stopped and it [the sun] went back up into the heavens where it belongs and everything was completely dry,” Decker said. “The clothing of the people, the ground, everything was completely dry. The people then believed that indeed, Our Lady was there and eventually they built a chapel there and that’s where the center of Fatima is today.”