Thursday, May 13, 2010

Triple Feast Day!

Today is the Feast of the Ascension, whether or not it's a Holy Day of Obligation in your parish.  (See yesterday's post for more.)  On Ascension Thursday, we honor the day that Jesus returned to the Father.  Can you imagine all the rejoicing in heaven that day?!  On this day, we also look to the future with hope, knowing that Jesus "will return in the same way as you have seen him going into heaven." (Acts 1:11)

On May 13th, we also honor the feast of Our Lady of Fatima.  In a series of visions in 1917 Mary appeared to three children in Fatima, Portugal.  She called herself "The Lady of the Rosary" and encouraged daily recitation of her favorite prayer.  One of her requests was to add what is now known as the Fatima Prayer to the end of each decade, following the Glory Be:

Oh my Jesus, forgive us our sins. Save us from the fires of hell. Lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of thy mercy.

Unfortunately, the Fatima visions have become a source of division among Catholics.  There is a small but vocal group that follows an excommunicated priest named Nicholas Gruner, who insists that the Fatima message has not been heeded by Church leadership.  Catholic Culture has a review of one such site to avoid.  A much better source of information can by found at the Blue Army of Our Lady of Fatima.  If in doubt about Fatima websites or any Catholic website, check it out using Catholic Culture's site review feature.

The third feast day celebrated today is Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament.  Learn more at this lovely and informative site.

Related links:

My children and I enjoyed watching the DVD movie,  The Miracle of Our Lady of Fatima  You can rent it at one of my favorite websites, Pius Media.

A more recent version is The 13th Day.  I haven't watched it yet, but it does look worthwhile despite the rather mixed reviews.

Read this informative article about all three feast days at Catholic Culture.  The article mentions that the Novena to the Holy Spirit begins today, but it can also be started tomorrow so that it ends on the vigil of Pentecost.  (See my post yesterday for more info.)  In any event, it doesn't matter when one begins a novena.  Your prayers will still be heard!

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