Roses at Fatima Represent Rosaries Across America

Oct 14, 2018 / Written by: Kevin Ritchie

October 13th, 2018, the 101st anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun, was a day of great anticipation. After the record-setting 21,570 Public Square Rosary Rallies for the Fatima Centennial (2017), would Rosary Captains from the United States and the world turn out again to lead public rosaries in massive numbers in 2018?

The world-wide response was overwhelming. In America, a total of 21,145 Rally Captains did their part to honor Our Lady of Fatima. For the first time ever, a record number of other nations participated in the campaign, bringing the international total to 23,018 rallies! I had the privilege of traveling to Portugal to represent them at the Fatima shrine.

Together with America Needs Fatima member Felipe Barandiaran, and several Portuguese pilgrim helpers, we organized a grand array of over 30,000 roses, a red rose for each Rally Captain, and a white rose for rally sponsors.

The sun did not dance this October 13th, but it did shine gently on the pilgrims that gathered from across the world to honor Our Lady on such an important feast day. And as we approached the esplanade there was great movement and interest in what was happening. What did these thousands of roses offered to Our Lady represent? Where did they come from?

Flowers delivered to Fatima

When hearing of the America Needs Fatima Public Square Rosary Rally Crusade, the pilgrims where delighted, impressed and ready to participate in the organization of such a wonderful offering. "America blanketed with thousands of Rosary rallies… how beautiful—there is hope!" was the usual answer.

United to such a massive movement of the public recitation of the rosary with the presentation of the roses, it was a day where heaven and earth seemed to meet. Catholics across the globe where professing their faith in the public square with the most powerful spiritual weapon, the rosary, and they were simultaneously being represented in such a significant way at the Fatima shrine.

Candles delivered to Fatima Shrine

But we weren't in Fatima only to present roses in thanksgiving to Our Lady, and in honor of each Rosary captain. Walking on our knees around the spot where Our Lady appeared, we prayed the rosary for America Needs Fatima supporters' intentions. We also took their written prayer intentions, seventeen large candles, and a banner with over 10,000 names of friends of America Needs Fatima who couldn't make the trip. After lighting the candles, we unfurled the America Needs Fatima banner at the capelinha, while waiting for the evening candlelit procession.

Banner ready for the procession

While this spiritual battle waged on, the devil must not have been happy. Just as the procession was about to begin, a terrible storm broke out with high winds and heavy rain, forcing the procession to be cancelled. But this did not deter us from praying all the more and accomplishing our mission. All the pilgrims awaiting the procession took refuge near the capelinha, and closed out the evening with a fervent rosary as the winds howled and the rain beat down.

Being so close to the Blessed Mother made us feel protected despite the storm. It was a metaphor for the global picture. While there is a terrible crisis raging in the world and the Church, those who take refuge close to our Blessed Mother and recite faithfully her Rosary will weather the storm, and be part of the triumph of her Immaculate Heart.