On Friday I received a wonderful video call from a friend in Fatima, Portugal. It was a complete surprise: standing on the metro platform on my way home from work, and suddenly I am looking down at a live video of the celebrations happening in the middle of the night on the other side of the world, honoring the 100th anniversary of Mary's appearance to the Portuguese shepherd children in Fatima.
My phone screen lit up with a sea of people as far as the eye could see, holding candles, singing and praying, and I felt like I was there with them. I became emotional; it was an incredible blessing to be a part of that moment which was really eternal. Mary appeared 100 years, ago, yes, but she continues to be with us as a Mother, and will always be our support. She is there if you look for her.
The Fatima story is also important because Mary appeared at a time of great world turmoil - sound familiar? And she asked and asked for the world to pray the rosary for peace, which we must do, and which is so incredibly important at this time in human history.
Aleteia put together a nice slideshow of Pope Francis's visit and the pilgrims who joined him, which you can view here. The image of him looking at the statue of Mary is particularly profound to me, as I believe this is the statue whose crown contains the bullet that almost killed Saint Pope John Paul II. JP II publicly credited our Lady of Fatima's intercession with saving his life (and the attempt on his life occurred May 13, coincidentally).
I will leave you with this thought from St. Maximilian Kolbe: "Never be afraid of loving the Blessed Virgin too much. You can never love her more than Jesus did."