Presentation of the Centennial of the Apparitions of Fatima
Purpose and goals
The apparitions of Fatima are a significant event of the Catholic Church, not only because of their importance for many persons and their wide spreading throughout the world, but also because of their close bond with the Gospel message, the intensity with which the apparitions mark the experience of faith of many Catholics and the prophetic extent of its calls. The Church confirmed that these apparitions are a credible and valid proposal for the fulfillment of a Christian life.
Indeed, the message of Fatima is eloquent to believers of all time; it didn’t remain caught in a former time; it projects instead dynamism in our present and opens horizons of faith for the future of human history. As Fatima events are a call for humanity of our time, the centennial celebration also wants to become an instrument of this up-to-date call. Therefore, it’s not just a historic date we shall mark, which relegated it to a time of the past.
The pilgrimage of Pope Benedict XVI at Cova da Iria, in May 2010, following the pilgrimages of his predecessors, shows us, in a way, that in the message of Fatima there is a set of elements that can developed the message into a vehicle of evangelization, a path to conversion and to Jesus Christ. In this sense, this celebration should contribute to deepen and update this message; it should provide a contribution to the renewal and strengthening of faith, and it should be a help to spiritual growth of the people of God.
Therefore, the celebration of this centennial is, first of all and above all, a pastoral project that focuses on the spiritual nature and reflection of faith. Its objectives are of religious nature in their many aspects (theological, celebrative, spiritual, catechetical ...) and dimensions (personal, community, social ...).
The aspects of cultural or social context are also present in these commemorations, but always in the perspective of mission: they are a privileged way to reach those who are emotionally away from the Church, they are an expression of the faith that is celebrated, and they are the Christian accomplishment of human realities.
The objectives of the centennial of the apparitions of Fatima, presented here, have been defined in this setting.