'I have come to ask the faithful to amend their lives and ask pardon for their sins' Our Lady of Fatima.
ASBURY, NJ (Blue Army) - People of all faiths worldwide will join as one voice to pray for life and peace during the world's largest day of prayer Oct. 18. Worldwide Fatima Sanctity of Life Day was organized by the World Apostolate of Fatima/Blue Army, USA to inspire one hundred million prayers for Life and Peace.
Catholics will pray the rosary and non-Catholics will pray as they are accustomed for 20 minutes on Worldwide Fatima Sanctity of Life Day. Prayer events will be held throughout the world and Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) will broadcast live from America's main prayer center at the Blue Army Shrine of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Washington, NJ.
The Apostolate encourages everyone to participate by visiting the shrine, watching the event on TV, and registering prayers online at www.wafusa.org.
"The message of Fatima was meant not just for Catholics, but for all people and for all time," explained Michael La Corte, executive director of World Apostolate of Fatima, USA. "At Fatima we were taught that we must sin less and repair the damage sin causes through acts of reparation and devotion, or the result will be souls lost to hell and wars so bad that nations will be annihilated."
The Catholic Church affirms the message the Blessed Virgin Mother, under the title of Our Lady of Fatima, relayed to the world through an apparition to three shepherd children in Portugal in 1917.
"I have come to ask the faithful to amend their lives and ask pardon for their sins," Our Lady of Fatima said. "They must cease offending God, who is already too much offended!"
Worldwide Fatima Sanctity of Life Day participants will pray through the intercession of Our Lady of Fatima for an end to war, abortion, terrorism, genocide, child slavery, assisted suicide and all other instances where death is chosen as a solution to world problems.
The late Pope John Paul II said, "The message of Fatima is more important now than ever."
During the live broadcast from the Blue Army Shrine internationally acclaimed speakers, including EWTN personalities Fr. Clement Machado, SOLT and Fr. Andrew Apostoli, CFR, will explain the heightened significance of the Fatima message in today's world.
Christian Musician Tony Melendez and his band will provide upbeat and reflective music at the shrine where inspirational talks, Mass, a rosary walk and candlelight procession will nourish faithful attendees and those in 150 nations who watch EWTN.
"Life, both physical and spiritual, is the essence of what we all have in common, regardless of age, gender, race, or personal experience. To acknowledge and defend it is natural," said pro-life artist Joe DeVito of the importance of Worldwide Fatima Sanctity of Life Day. "Our Lady of Fatima's role is, as the Blessed Mother's role has always been, timeless. She unerringly leads us to God, the Author of Life."
Mr. DeVito sculpted "Mary Mother of the Life Within," which was unveiled at the World Apostolate of Fatima in Portugal and New Jersey during the first Worldwide Fatima Sanctity of Life Day in 2005. The twice life sized piece depicts the Blessed Virgin Mary holding the infant Jesus as he would appear in the womb.
Speaker, writer and retreat homilist Fr. Apostoli, CFR affirmed the artist's conviction.
"God has put the peace of the world in her heart," Fr. Apostoli said of Mary. "Our Lady of Fatima said if people observed what she said, there would be peace; if not, there would be more war."
Fr. Apostoli noted that Our Lady of Fatima's prediction rang true with the end of the Cold War.
"The Pope consecrated Russia to Mary and there was a period of peace following the Cold War," he explained, exemplifying one of the promises of Fatima. "The Berlin Wall came down without bloodshed; the Soviet Union disintegrated .... Prayer has spiritual power. There is an old saying that there are more things wrought in this world by prayer than people imagine."
Diana Von Glahn, host of The Faithful Traveler series on ETWN and emcee for Worldwide Fatima Sanctity of Life Day, reiterated the influence of prayer.
"We are in a spiritual war; yet, Our Lady has given us a great tool to combat battles without war," she said. "Our Lady has called us to pray the rosary every day and make sacrifices to change hearts. We can't underestimate that power."
Fr. Clement Machado, SOLT, known worldwide for his healing ministry, emphasized the culminating role of Mary's intercessory prayer in eternal salvation.
Referencing the Vatican II dogmatic constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium, Fr. Machado said, "Our Lady's intercession does not diminish over time and history, but actually grows in potency to be eschatologically consummated in the end times.
"The more we experience trials and tribulations in the present age, the more we experience Our Lady's maternal intercession," he said. "She will crush the head of the ancient serpent and in the end, her Immaculate Heart will triumph."
The Blue Army Shrine is located at 674 Mountain View Rd., Washington, NJ. EWTN will broadcast live from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. EST. For more information, call 908-689-1700 x 16 or visit www.wafusa.org.
The World Apostolate of Fatima/Blue Army is a worldwide public association of the faithful, responding to the requests that Our Blessed Mother made to three shepherd children in Fatima, Portugal in 1917, to help save souls and bring peace to the world. It promotes Eucharistic prayer and the Rosary, as well as penance, especially the generous acceptance of the duties of our state in life.
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