approves special Fatima feast day for
the Traditional Latin Mass
with a statue of Our Lady of Fatima at the
General Audience in St. Peter's Square, May
13, 2015. Credit: Daniel Ibanez/CNA.
Vatican City, - The Vatican office
which governs the use of the extraordinary
form of the Roman rite has given priests
permission to say a special Mass for the
feast of Our Lady of Fatima this year,
noting the importance of the apparition's
In an April 5 decree the Pontifical
Commission Ecclesia Dei gave permission for
any priest of the Latin Rite to celebrate a
votive Mass of the Immaculate Heart of the
Blessed Virgin Mary on May 13, 2017 – the
100th anniversary of the first apparition of
Our Lady at Fatima, Portugal.
The decision was made because “many of
the Christian faithful who are attached to
the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite
have a particular and fervent devotion to
the Blessed Virgin Mary of Fatima” and out
of a wish “to encourage the devotion of the
faithful to the Blessed Virgin Mary of
Fatima,” according to a translation of the
decree made by Gregory DiPippo, editor of
New Liturgical Movement.
The permission is significant because in
the extraordinary form, May 13 is the third
class feast of St. Robert Bellarmine – which
means Our Lady of Fatima cannot normally be
In the ordinary form, meanwhile, May 13
is already an optional memorial of Our Lady
If a Votive Mass of the Immaculate Heart
is celebrated on May 13 in the extraordinary
form, it may include a commemoration of St.
Robert Bellarmine, as per the rubrics of the
Roman Missal of 1962.
The Marian apparitions at Fatima are
among the most famous of Mary's appearances.
On May 13, 1917, siblings Francisco and
Jacinta Marto – age 9 and 7 – and their
cousin, 10-year-old Lucia dos Santos, were
taking their sheep to graze when they saw a
figure of a woman dressed in white and
holding a rosary.
After this first appearance, the Virgin
Mary then appeared to the children on the
13th of every month from May until October.
The message of the Fatima apparitions can be
summarized primarily as a call to repentance
Francisco and Jacinta died in 1919 and
1920, respectively, and were beatified in
2000. The path to their canonization was
opened in March, when a second miracle
attributed to their intercession was
recognized by the Pope.
Lucia became a Carmelite nun and died in
2005. Her cause for beatification is open.
In 1930, the Church proclaimed the
supernatural character of the apparitions
and a shrine was erected at Fatima. It was
visited by Blessed Paul VI in 1967, and
later by St. John Paul II and by Benedict
St. John Paul II had a particularly
strong devotion to Our Lady of Fatima. After
a harrowing assassination attempt in 1981,
he credited his survival to her miraculous
intervention. As a sign of his gratitude, he
placed the bullet from the failed
assassination in her crown.
Pope Francis will make a pilgrimage to
the Fatima shrine for the centenary of the
apparition next month.
He will visit the chapel of the
apparitions and bless candles there on May
12. The following day, he will say Mass in
the square before the shrine and greet the
sick. He is also scheduled to meet with
Portugal's bishops, president, and prime