Fatima Day with Fr. Frank Pavone
Doylestown, PA—Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, was the main celebrant and homilist at the Fatima Day Celebration held on September 13, 2019, at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa in Doylestown, PA.
Fatima Day at the Shrine, held at 7:00pm every 13th day of the month from May to October,
begins with Mass in the Lower Chapel, followed by the Act of Consecration to the Blessed Virgin Mary. A candlelight procession follows the Mass, with attendees walking the Shrine grounds and the Rosary Garden reciting the mysteries of the Rosary and singing hymns of praise. The procession concludes with prayers of reparation and the Fatima prayer at the outdoor Chapel of Our Lady of Fatima on the Czestochowa grounds.
The Light of Christ Overcomes the Darkness
Fr. Frank’s homily was a poignant reminder of God’s Merciful love for us sinners, and Our Lady of Fatima’s motherly guidance and her reminders of God’s mercy towards us.
“He (God] knows that we need constant reminders and constant encouragement…and He knows we need a Mother…”
He talks of the darkness in the world, and of sin, which blinds us to the light and joy of Christ.
“There’s a terrible darkness out there, because some people can’t see the most obvious things. And, if you can’t see the most obvious things, how can you build a just society? How can you have peace? How can you avoid the most terrible sins, including genocide and holocausts?”
He referred to the recent anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11.
“What marks it as an evil is not simply the loss of life and property, but the blatant disregard that some people have for the right to life of other people…and we see this not only in genocide, holocausts, and acts of terror—we see it also in abortion, because it’s the same evil – that blatant disregard for the right to life, that blindness to the value of a human being.
“There is no moral difference just because the instruments of killing are different, or because the victims may be five feet tall – or five inches tall. The moral evil is the same. That blatant disregard for someone’s right to life. And Our Lady of Fatima leads us in the way, the path of Life that the Lord reveals in His Gospel.”
Fr. Frank went on to explain how much God values each human life He has created:
“We’ve got this Divine Life within us RIGHT NOW, and it transforms our ordinary human life, and we’ve got a destiny of eternal life to look forward to – that’s what God thinks about humanity. And so, it’s such a counter-witness, it’s such a counter-Gospel, to say that it can be thrown in the garbage.”
Speaking of the procession that would follow the Mass, Fr. Frank said, “We will go out of the walls of the Church into the world… into the darkness outside. That’s a symbol, my friends, of our entire life, of our entire vocation—to go out, walking together as a community… marching in the same direction, following whom? Our Lady, because we’re following her Son…”
“Sin darkens the intellect and confuses the mind and heart. That’s why we need Our Lady of Fatima, that’s why we need the Gospel, that’s why we need the light of God’s word – to remind us of what is obvious.”
Fatima Day began a decade ago with the opening of the outdoor Rosary Garden, which was created by the Fathers for processions and devotions on a more regular basis. A few times a year the Fathers invite guest priests to be the main celebrant and homilist – past celebrants have included Bishops, well known priests, and local pastors from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
The main idea behind Fatima Day was to answer Mary’s call to pray the Rosary for peace in the world and to unite different nationalities together in prayer at the Shrine. The event typically draws a couple hundred people each month, with people from many different nationalities attending and praying the decades of the Rosary in their own languages: Filipinos, Haitians, Vietnamese, Polish, Hispanics, etc.
This month, attendees prayed the prayers for the indulgence offered in honor of the recent Coronation of the image of Our Lady of Czestochowa, which the Holy Father, Pope Francis, has granted under the usual conditions. (This plenary indulgence is available to all pilgrims who visit the Shrine from May to October. Visit the website for more information: www.czestochowa.us/coronation).
Says Fr. Frank Pavone, “Peace begins with our peace. We’re to go out and change others. Once we remove the beam in our own eye, we are called to see the splinter in their eye and remove it.”
Fr. Frank’s closing prayer guides us in this quest:
“Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us, lead us to Jesus, the Light and Life of the World, and give us the joy of your salvation. Amen.”
About the American Czestochowa
Mary’s home upon the hill rises above the land to fill it with light as an ever-shining sign of God’s grace.
Towering over the Pennsylvania landscape, the American Czestochowa is a place where the faithful can feel the special radiance of Mary’s presence and experience Her motherly love and intercession. It is not merely a sanctuary or the monastery of the Pauline Fathers, it is above all a place where man meets God, finds healing, forgiveness, mercy, and strength through His graces. It is thanks to her, the one who shows us Jesus and leads us to Him. Mary is the Hodegetria, “She who shows the Way.” She is the one who, not only with her hand, but with her whole life, shows us the best and surest way to salvation: Jesus Christ.
In this sacred place have been heard the same words from her for more than sixty years: “Do everything, whatever He (Jesus) tells you.” Everyone who visits this place – be it distinguished persons such as presidents of the United States (Lyndon B. Johnson and Ronald Regan), holy people like Karol Wojtyla (now Pope Saint John Paul II), or just a humble pilgrim who prayed here, confessed their sins here, received Holy Communion – all have left this place transformed, richer and more beautiful spiritually, strengthened in their faith. Hundreds of thousands of small and great miracles, recorded upon the pages of books and within the human heart, have occurred and continue to occur each day in this place.
For more information about the American Czestochowa, please visit www.Czestochowa.us.
Audio Link to Fr. Frank Pavone’s Homily: