When I reflect on the miracle of Fatima, I believe it is really about: “Letting go and letting God take over.” Fatima is about trusting in Our Lady and in God to help us in our times of need and difficulty.

Let me tell you about three of my brother Friars, Jerry, Tom and Robert and their “miraculous trip to Fatima. It is legendary among the Friars!

The three Friars had decided to make a pilgrimage to Fatima in honor of Robert’s 25th Anniversary of professing his Franciscan vows. They had saved up enough money over the course of the year, found very cheap airline fares, hotel rates and transportation. They were blessed and sent off by the other Friars in their community and away they went to Fatima with their first stop in Lisbon, Portugal.

All was working out fine in Lisbon for the two days they were there, until Jerry encountered an elderly man named Rui sitting in the street crying. In our true Franciscan tradition, Jerry went over and asked what had happened. The elderly man spoke some English and told the Friar that he had just been evicted from his apartment because he couldn’t pay this month’s rent. All of Rui’s possessions were locked in the apartment. His daughter lived in Italy and was sending the money for rent, but it hadn’t arrived.

Jerry immediately told the other Friars about Rui’s situation and they pooled their money together and gave it to the weeping man. Rui was ecstatic and thanked the Friars profusely. Each of the brothers left with a wonderful spirit of having done something great for someone whom God had sent into their lives.

There was only one problem.

Now they didn’t have enough money to get to Fatima. The three Friars didn’t regret what they had done for Rui, but now their dream of praying in Fatima was unattainable. Dejected and nearly destitute, with only money for two more days in Lisbon, and not enough to get to Fatima, the three Friars decided to head home. As Brother Jerry said,” I guess God wanted us to be instruments of peace and help Rui instead of getting to Fatima.” Brother Robert said, “Yeah, I guess it’s better to give than receive. If Our Lady wants us to go, she will handle it.”

As they made their way back to the Lisbon Friary where they were staying, they were nearly run over by a cab. When the driver of the cab stopped to yell at the Friars, they realized they knew the couple sitting in the back seat of the cab – the Hardings, a couple from the parish they lived in. After the “are you all rights” and hellos were over, the couple invited them to dinner.

The Hardings listened carefully to the Franciscan Friars and then announced that their troubles were over! They were heading to Fatima tomorrow, and the Friars were to join them, and they would all go together. The Hardings offered to help pay for the Friars’ trip! As Brother Tom said, “I guess Our Lady wants to see us in Fatima!

My three brother Friars trusted in Our Lady, and in the command of Christ to help the poor, they were taken care of by Our Lady and found themselves in Fatima. Their dream had come true!

We can place the same trust in Our Lady, and she will intercede for us. If we can simply trust in the power of Our Lady of Fatima, and in her prayer for us, then the trials and difficulties suffered by us, our family and our friends will be worked out.

Please join the Friars in this Great Novena to Our Lady of Fatima and join your prayers with ours. Send us your intentions and the Friars will pray this Novena with you and for you.

Also remember that your Novena gift will help us do the same as the three Friars – help the poor and desperate. You can join us in serving the poor through your Novena gift.

We look forward to beginning this Great Novena to Our Lady of Fatima, and having you join us in prayer to “the beautiful Lady who spoke to the children of Fatima.” The Novena begins on May 4, 2019 and continues through May 13, 2019 with Mass for Our Lady of Fatima’s Feast Day.  God bless you and know that we are praying for you and those you love.

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