Mary Calls Us To Deep and Abiding Prayer

Prayer is the mainstay of the Christian and Catholic life and so it isn’t surprising to see how, once the Fatima children had experienced the awesomeness and power of the angel of Fatima and the beauty and goodness of Our Lady, they increasingly devoted their lives to prayer.

We can learn some important lessons from this and from the Fatima message, generally, for our own prayer lives.

The Angel of Portugal, or Angel of Peace, as he identified himself, appeared to the three seers during the summer of 1916, when they were playing on the stone slabs of the well at the bottom of the garden belonging to Lucia’s parents.

“What are you doing?” he asked. “Pray, pray very much! The most holy Hearts of Jesus and Mary have designs of mercy on you. Offer prayers and sacrifices constantly to the Most High.”

That the angel should have spoken to the children in this way is highly significant. He had previously appeared to them in the spring and invited them to pray with him as follows: “My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love You! I ask pardon of You for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope and do not love You!” – telling them that the Hearts of Jesus and Mary are attentive to their supplications.

He appeared again in the fall and taught them a prayer of adoration of reparation for sins against the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, known as The Angel Prayer.

Sister Lucia tells us, “His words engraved themselves so deeply on our minds that we could never forget them. From then on, we used to spend long periods of time, prostrate like the Angel, repeating his words, until sometimes we fell, exhausted.”

Later on, during the apparitions of Our Lady, she too, was insistent on the great importance of prayer, calling them to pray the Rosary every day, and relating that Francisco must pray “many Rosaries” before he would be called home to heaven.

Following their kidnapping by the local mayor on August 13, 1917, the Blessed Virgin implored, “Pray, pray very much, and make sacrifices for sinners; for many souls go to hell, because there are none to sacrifice themselves and pray for them.”

From all of this, we can deduce that their vocation was so exalted that a complete dedication to prayer was demanded of them and that this ought to come before everything else. Sister Lucia later wrote that the Blessed Virgin was not just speaking to three little children. Surely, we who seek to follow in the footsteps of the seers, need to make prayer much more the center of our lives.

Prayer Makes A Difference

When the Blessed Virgin appeared in Belgium in the early 1930s, at Beauraing and Banneux, the message she delivered then also focused on the importance of prayer. During the apparitions, she told the children at Beauraing to “pray, pray very much,” and to “pray always,” while at Banneux, she told the seer to “pray much.”

This was in the context of the rise of Nazism in neighboring Germany, with all the terrible evils that it would bring down on the world.

It can be difficult to pray, at times, even when we are in a calm and recollected mood – it becomes much more difficult if we are disturbed by a spirit of fear or discontent at what is going on around us or in the news, or on social media. Somehow, we have to be so focused on prayer that it acts as a rock in our lives and prevents the currents of discontent which swirl around us from overwhelming us.

The reality is that rather than neglecting prayer we need to realize that, following the teaching of Our Lady, our prayers and sacrifices really do matter and really do make a difference, and also that they enable us to remain steadfast in the Faith, regardless of what is happening in the world.

If, as she repeatedly reminded us at Fatima, the Rosary has the power to stop wars and bring about peace, then praying it devoutly can certainly help us to deal with the lesser problems that we have to deal with in everyday life.

Sister Lucia is reported to have said, “The Most Holy Virgin in these last times in which we live has given new efficacy in the recitation of the Holy Rosary. She has given this efficacy to such an extent that there is no problem, no matter how difficult it is, whether temporal or above all spiritual, in the personal life of each one of us, of our families … that cannot be solved by the Rosary.”

It’s very easy to get caught up in the idea that the “end times” are upon us, or just around the corner.  But Our Lady promised at Fatima that in the end her Immaculate Heart would triumph and that a period of peace would be granted to the world.

Therefore, despite the chaos that flares up in our modern world periodically, we are, in a deeper sense, moving onward towards a time of peace, and we ought to concentrate on that rather than on the transitory events of each day.

The Fatima seers are our models regarding prayer, and we too must allow ourselves to be led deeper into prayer by the Blessed Virgin, and particularly the prayer of the Rosary. If we do that, we will be truly living the message of Fatima.

Donal Anthony Foley is the author of a number of books on Marian Apparitions, and maintains a related web site at He has also written a series of three time-travel/adventure books for young people, The Glaston Chronicles, available at

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