“Dear pilgrims, we have a Mother, we have a Mother! Clinging to her like children, we live in the hope that rests on Jesus.  As we heard in the second reading, “those who receive the abundance of the grace and the free gift of righteousness exercise dominion in life through the one man, Jesus Christ” (Rom 5:17).  When Jesus ascended to heaven, he brought to the Heavenly Father our humanity, which he assumed in the womb of the Virgin Mary and will never forsake.  Like an anchor, let us fix our hope on that humanity, seated in heaven at the right hand of the Father (cf. Eph 2:6).  May this hope guide our lives!  It is a hope that sustains us always, to our dying breath.

Confirmed in this hope, we have gathered here to give thanks for the countless graces bestowed over these past hundred years.  All of them passed beneath the mantle of light that Our Lady has spread over the four corners of the earth, beginning with this land of Portugal, so rich in hope.  We can take as our examples Saint Francisco and Saint Jacinta, whom the Virgin Mary introduced into the immense ocean of God’s light and taught to adore him.  That was the source of their strength in overcoming opposition and suffering.  God’s presence became constant in their lives, as is evident from their insistent prayers for sinners and their desire to remain ever near “the hidden Jesus” in the tabernacle.”

— Homily of the Holy Father, Pope Francis
from the Mass of Canonization of Francisco and Jacinta Marto


On this blessed May 13th, the day of the first apparition of Our Lady in Fatima, I wish to remember some of the articles I have written on the topic on this website.

First of all, “Reclaiming Fatima,” about how faithful Catholics should not allow Fatima to be weaponized against the Holy Father, but must also not fall on the opposite radicalism of criticizing Fatima for being so misused.

Also, this article about how Mary and Peter never stand in opposition, both pointing towards Jesus, whom they both love.

Finally, this article debunking the use of conspiracy theories based on the Third Secret in order to attack the Pope. I have written similar articles also for the apparitions of Akita and La Salette.

This May, let us follow Mary in true penitence, always within the Church and never against it. Let Mary be a source of hope and joy, not of contention against the Vicar of Christ. And let us follow the advice of our Holy Father, and dedicate this month to praying the rosary, especially in light of the health restrictions we are currently experiencing. Avé Maria.

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Pedro Gabriel, MD, is a Catholic layman and physician, born and residing in Portugal. He is a medical oncologist, currently employed in a Portuguese public hospital. A published writer of Catholic novels with a Tolkienite flavor, he is also a parish reader and a former catechist. He seeks to better understand the relationship of God and Man by putting the lens on the frailty of the human condition, be it physical and spiritual. He also wishes to provide a fresh perspective of current Church and World affairs from the point of view of a small western European country, highly secularized but also highly Catholic by tradition.

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