Southwestern Indiana's Catholic Community Newspaper

'Pray The Rosary Every Day….'


As we celebrate the 100th anniversary of Mary’s visits to Lucia dos Santos and her cousins, Jacinta and Francisco Marto, in Fatima Portugal, I can’t help but be a bit unnerved by our Blessed Mother’s final statement to the children during her May 13, 1917, apparition:

“Pray the rosary every day to obtain peace for the world and the end of the war.”

Thank about where this world is – in this moment – as you read that sentence. She could have said that this week – or just about any day along the way over the past 100 years!

Bishop Thompson and I talked briefly about that just the other day, and his observation is sobering. “The world has not been without war at any time since then,” he said. “The world has not been without ongoing violence for a very long time.”

How about since the end of the seventh verse of the fourth chapter of Genesis – the first book of the Bible?!

In Genesis 4:8 we read, “Cain said to his brother Abel, ‘Let us go out in the field.’ When they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.”

Our world has not been without violence since that moment. There have been ebbs and flows, I suppose; but the overall tide continues to rise.

Don’t believe it? There’s a website that tracks armed conflicts across the globe – .

According to its most recent data, there are battles raging in 67 countries as you read this. Google tells me there are 196 countries in the world today, including Taiwan, which operates independently but is not formally recognized by some nations.

With or without it, more than 34 percent of the world is at war in some form or another.

“Pray the rosary every day to obtain peace for the world and the end of the war.”

Heed our Lady of Fatima’s call. If you don’t pray the Rosary daily, thinking about starting on May 13 – the 100th anniversary of her first visit to Fatima.

I close with something that appeared in The Message back in 2014, just before Pope Francis canonized Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII. We were fortunate to receive an essay about St. Pope John Paul II from Franciscan Friar of the Renewal Father Andrew Apostoli – a founding member of that order and one of the world’s foremost experts on Our Lady of Fatima.

In the essay, Father Apostoli discussed St. Pope John Paul II and his great Marian devotion. As you contemplate the century that has passed since the three Portuguese peasant children saw our Blessed Mother for the first time, consider these thoughts from Father Apostoli:

“The final triumph of Mary has not yet come — but it is coming. Our Lady of Fatima must not be ignored, for as St. Pope John Paul II said, ‘Fatima is more important now than it was in 1917!’”

“Pray the rosary every day to obtain peace for the world and the end of the war.”