I hope you are well and enjoying some refreshing Spring weather! It seems that COVID has begun to subside and that some aspects of life are returning to normal. We can only pray that this continues, even though it has changed so many lives in a catastrophic way.
I have a story, an incident, to share with you that has haunted my memories for years.
One of the most unforgettable recollections I have is of seeing a poor young mother huddling her infant daughter with her own coat wrapped tightly around her as a howling, bitter, freezing wind whipped against her while she shielded her baby with her body and her frayed thin coat. She couldn’t even open her eyes because the freezing wind was so strong against her. Luckily, we found both the young mother and her baby shelter in a women’s shelter run by the Franciscans. She was almost frostbitten, but her infant daughter was ok because of the mother’s warmth and self-sacrifice.
I also have another image, but far more beautiful.
One of the most beautiful images we have of Our Lady
is that of The Virgin Mary holding her mantel open
wide and protecting little children from the horrible
things that happen to them from the evil in our world.
The Mother of us all protecting her children from harm.
This is the same protection Our Lady of Fatima gives
to each of us. Her presence at Fatima shows us her
power and her love beyond Fatima’s three children to
each of us. She loved Lúcia dos Santos, Jacinta,
and Francisco Marto just as she loves each of us.
Your generous gift will also help us to serve those who come to our doors each year for the necessities of life – items like food, clothing, toilet paper, baby diapers and formula, and so many of the things we take for granted each day. Because of your generosity, we are able to serve over 2 million people who come to us asking for help each year! Your generosity will bring joy into the lives of so many families and children who lack many of these necessities of life. Just like Our Lady of Fatima wraps her mantel of protection around us, you can also be a helper in another’s time of difficulty!
This wonderful Novena to Our Lady of Fatima is about to begin. I am counting on you to join us in prayer and devotion to the Virgin of Fatima who is there to help us with her presence, comfort us with her care, and enfold us in her mantel of her motherly, unconditional love.
The Novena to Our Lady of Fatima will take place at St. Anthony Friary, St. Petersburg, FL, starting on May 4th and ending on The Feast Day, May 13th, with a Mass in celebration to Our Lady of Fatima.
May all your prayer intentions come true,