09 The Fatima Shrine, Karjat, Mumbai

posted May 18, 2017, 8:05 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated May 18, 2017, 8:05 AM ]
Asia's first shrine dedicated to Our Lady of Fatima held special celebrations on May 13, 2017 to mark the centenary of the apparitions of Mary which took place in 1917 in the Portuguese town, with an emphasis on prayers for peace.

Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Bombay celebrated Mass at Our Lady of Fatima Church in Karjat, Mumbai on May 13. The Archbishop blessed a new altar extension of the shrine.

"The Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima at Karjat was built in the year 1935, and houses the statue of Our Lady of Fatima brought from Portugal in the year 1920, years before the approval [of the Fatima apparitions] in 1930 by the Holy See," said Fr Calistus Fernandes, the Rector of the Shrine. "It stands as Asia's first Shrine dedicated to Our Lady of Fatima."

Cardinal Gracias is studying a proposal to give the shrine a more official status, naming it the 'Archdiocesan Shrine of Fatima', which is expected to be a place of pilgrimage and prayer, that people seeking solace and contemplation of the mysteries of our Lord, through the eyes of Mary, may have recourse.

Fr Calistus Fernandes recalls the great faith of the devotees who gathered in prayer in front of the statue of Our Lady. Many of them, he adds, "had tears of great emotion, as they prayed and invoked Mary's intercession," adding that the centenary celebrations are only the beginning of a new push to spread the message of Our Lady of Fatima.

The priest said, "Our Lady of Fatima is so popular because her message "is so simple, but loaded with tremendous power. Her message was a call to achieve peace through mercy."