When I visited Our Lady in Fátima, one of her favored homes, last year I was so focused on that marvelous opportunity I didn’t look ahead—or I temporarily forgot—that all with God is purpose. It would have been enough to me just to have seen Fátima, but no I was favored with a pilgrimage on the 90th Anniversary of the Final Apparition of Our Lady to the three Visionaries on October 13th 1917.*
Since then I have reflected on the times when I taught about Our Lady of Fátima to my own children as well as to my religious education classes. How many times did I show and watch movies about Marian apparitions with deep longing in my heart? A Marian Conference in Spokane in 1995 was the scene of mini-reconversion experience for me. I remember watching Gospa on a big screen with tears rolling down my cheeks.
Did Our Lord, through Our Lady, reward my devotion with that trip? Maybe. But I prefer to believe she begged her Son to fulfill a heart-felt prayer; she worked through the kindness and generosity of another of her beloved daughters, the dear friend I traveled with, Linda. In any event, I went, I saw and I was conquered.
That I thought was that. Silly me! Nothing has been the same in my life since. My dearest Heavenly Mother has been continuing to Grace my life as if the trip to see her wasn’t enough! Nor is there time or space to list – much less explain – the graces she has showered on me since. And all because I visited her?! When it was my dream fulfilled? Is this just a tiny foretaste of how Good God is? How He showers His favors on those He loves? I pray it be so!
Yesterday, the traveling statue of Our Lady of Fátima visited a local parish of the same name. It occurred to me when I first heard about Our Lady’s visit to Oklahoma that it was so wonderful–and even more special—because of my recent visit to see her.
Then I recalled the quaint old custom of ladies whereby one would visit the home of another in bygone days. This was known as ‘paying a call’. All true ladies paid and received calls. But even more importantly, when a lady received a call, she made sure to ‘return the call’.
When I saw Our Lady of the Rosary born aloft and carried into the sanctuary yesterday, my heart did a flip. I wanted to hug her. I was overjoyed. Instead I spent a quiet, loving day visiting with her. She did me a great honor in returning my call. Never mind that she made my trip overseas to see her possible in the first place or that God gives all good things. To me, it was a very special social call from one Lady to another. Indeed, the Lady of all ladies!
In Christ through Mary, booklady
* I wrote about that original visit here.
Dedicated to the lady who made my trip to Fátima so enjoyable and memorable, my traveling companion and friend, Linda.