Hundreds of students gathered Friday night for a procession and rosary in Christ the King Chapel in honor of the 100th anniversary of the final Fatima apparition.
The procession began in the Grotto behind the Portiuncula Chapel, where the Rev. Shawn Roberson, TOR, led a prayer and read the account of the sixth and final Marian apparition in Fatima, Portugal, from Oct. 13, 1917.
Participants each held candles as they walked from the Grotto to Christ the King Chapel. They were led by Roberson, along with the Rev. Sean Sheridan, TOR, and the Rev. Nathan Malavolti, TOR. Along the way, all sang multiple songs in honor of Mary, including “Immaculate Mary” and “Salve Regina.”
Participants recited a rosary, with different people leading each decade of the sorrowful mysteries as they knelt and prayed along. The service ended with the prayer of consecration to Our Lady of Fatima, the conclusion to the novena to Our Lady of Fatima that was prayed before every Mass on campus for the past nine days.
“Hail, Mother of the Lord, Virgin Mary, Queen of the Rosary of Fatima!” read the consecration prayer. “In faith, hope, and love, I surrender myself to you. In unity with my brethren, through you, I consecrate myself to God, O Virgin of the Rosary of Fatima.”
The Most Rev. Archbishop Blair delivered a final blessing.
The chapel had been decorated for the occasion with a crowned statue of the Our Lady of Fatima that was stationed beside the altar. Roberson knelt in front of the altar, while the entire rest of the chapel was completely packed with students.
This anniversary marked an important occasion for the Church, and many attendees of the procession were very impressed with the service. Freshman Hannah Lang said, “It’s really cool and beautiful to be here … with so many people from Franciscan to celebrate such a big event in our church.”
Senior Blake Denenny said, “We all need a mother figure in our lives, and God gave us Mary as our mother. … We have to love Jesus through Mary.”