Mass will mark centenary of apparitions

A statue of Mary is carried through the crowd in 2013 at the Marian shrine of Fatima in central Portugal. (CNS photo/Paulo Cunha, EPA)

A statue of Mary is carried through the crowd in 2013 at the Marian shrine of Fatima in central Portugal. (CNS photo/Paulo Cunha, EPA)

By Jessica Able, Record Staff Writer

The Archdiocese of Louisville will host a Mass celebrating the 100th anniversary of the appearances of Our Lady of Fatima on May 13 at 10:30 a.m. at the Cathedral of the Assumption in downtown Louisville. Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz will preside at the liturgy.

Regional celebrations will also be held on the 13th of each month through October at various parishes in the archdiocese, said Father Matthew Hardesty, director of the Archdiocese of Louisville’s Marian Committee. 

“This celebration is a cause for great joy,” Father Hardesty said in an interview last week. “Our Blessed Mother, Our Lady of Fatima, is intimately concerned with the trials of her sons and daughters.”

“She wants to be as close to you and I as she was to those children in Fatima. Even if we do not see her face,” he said.

The Marian apparitions began May 13, 1917, in Fatima, Portugal, when 9-year-old Francisco and 7-year-old Jacinta Marto, along with their 10-year-old cousin Lucia dos Santos, reported seeing the Virgin Mary. The apparitions continued once a month until Oct. 13, 1917, and later were declared worthy of belief by the Catholic Church, according to an article published by Catholic News Service on April 20.

The Blessed Mother delivered messages to the children each month and taught them to pray the rosary. With that in mind, Father Hardesty will preach on Our Lady of Fatima at the May 13 Mass. Archbishop Kurtz will serve as the keynote speaker later this year at the 66th annual Living Rosary Procession, set for Oct. 8 at Trinity High School, 4011 Shelbyville Road, at 2:30 p.m.

In a recent letter to the priests of the archdiocese, Archbishop Kurtz encouraged  the celebration of the Fatima centennial, writing, “Our celebration of the centennial of Our Lady’s apparitions at Fatima provides us with a golden opportunity to both affirm and strengthen the Marian devotion among ourselves and the people that we serve.”

The May 13 Mass will begin with a multicultural praying of the rosary. Each decade of the rosary will be prayed in a different language “to reflect the richness and diversity of Marian devotion throughout the universal church and our own archdiocese,”the archbishop said in his letter.

A choir composed of parishioners from various parishes in the archdiocese named after Mary will lead the congregation in song.

Following the homily, Archbishop Kurtz will crown a statue of Our Lady of Fatima in a rarely-seen ritual called the “Order of Crowning an Image of the Blessed Virgin Mary,” Father Hardesty said. Typically this ritual is only done at installations of Marian shrines or other significant occasions, he said.

In honor of the centennial, Pope Francis has granted the opportunity for the faithful to obtain a plenary indulgence by making a pilgrimage to venerate a statue of Our Lady of Fatima. Those seeking an indulgence must also pray an Our Father, recite the Creed and invoke Our Lady of Fatima, according to a statement on the shrine’s website.

To obtain the plenary indulgence, the faithful must also fulfill the ordinary conditions: go to confession and communion, “be interiorly detached from sin and pray for the intentions of the Holy Father,” the statement said.

Pope Francis will declare the sainthood of Blessed Jacinta Marto and Blessed Francisco Marto, two of the shepherd children who saw Mary in Fatima, during his visit to the site of the apparitions May 13.

Following is a schedule of  Masses planned around the Archdiocese of Louisville in celebration of Our Lady of Fatima and the centennial of the apparitions:

May 13 — 8:15 a.m. Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, 5505 New Cut Road; 10:30 a.m. Cathedral of the Assumption, 433 S. Fifth Street; 4 p.m. Marian Center, 165 Sears Avenue
(a procession will begin
at 3 p.m.).

June 13 — 7 p.m.
St. Teresa of Calcutta Church, 903 Fairdale Road; 7 p.m. St. Thomas More Church, 6105 S. Third Street.

July 13 — 7 a.m.
St. Augustine Church in Lebanon, Ky.; 8 a.m. Holy Name of Mary Church in Calvary, Ky.; 6:30 p.m. St. Louis Bertrand Church, 1104 S. Sixth Street;
Basilica of St. Joseph Proto-Cathedral in Bardstown, Ky., (time TBD); 7 p.m. Immaculate Conception Church in La Grange, Ky.

Aug. 13 — 8:30 a.m. Holy Rosary Church in Manton, Ky.; 11 a.m. Holy Trinity Church in Fredericktown, Ky., 7 p.m. Our Lady of Fatima Church in Phillipsburg, Ky.

Sept. 13 — 7 a.m. Guardian Angels Church, 6000 Preston Highway; 8 a.m. Our Mother of Sorrows Church, 760 Eastern Parkway, (adoration will be available from 8:30 a.m. to noon).

Oct. 13 — 8 a.m. St. James Church in Elizabethtown, Ky.; Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, 1545 Louis Coleman Jr. Drive (time TBD); St. Aloysius Church in Pewee Valley, Ky. (time TBD); 6 p.m. CST St. Helen Church in Glasgow, Ky.

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