13th May 1917, the First World War is at its height. In Fatima, a small village in Portugal, three children were looking after sheep. Lucia was eleven, Francisco nine and his sister Hyacinth seven.
After praying the Rosary, around noon, they heard like thunder. They were puzzled as it was a sunny day. They thought a storm was approaching so they ran for shelter. Above a shrub they see a beautiful lady in a shining white dress, holding a set of Rosary beads. Lucy asks the Lady where she comes from. “From heaven”, was the reply.
The rest, as they say, is history. The suffering of the children, the message of penance, the call to pray the Rosary and wear and live the Brown Scapular, are all part of the call that our Lady, from that humble place in Portugal, puts to us, especially today the anniversary of the first apparition.
There are plenty of websites and books spreading the message of Fatima, here we just want to remind ourselves of the simple core of the events: Penance and Prayer. Many are asking me what I see as the shape of the Ordinariate here in Sevenoaks. I urge them to leave this in the hand of God as He will show us the way in His time. I trust that soon we can consecrate the Sevenoaks Ordinariate to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and I hope with all my heart that all members of the Ordinariate here, before all else, accept the call of Fatima and be people of penance and prayer. What patrimony that is indeed!