I grew up around nuns and priests. My mother and father were active members of the Catholic Church ministries in our parish. They belonged to the Christian Family Movement or CFM. My dad is a grand knight of the Knights of Columbus. Our house received many visits from men and women of the cloth.
Because of this, our family gets involved with many church activities and lay ministries as well. One of the activities I remember was the block rosary. As I remember it, it was the image of the Our Lady of The Rosary (Blessed Virgin Mary’s image as she appeared to three children in Cova da Iria from May 13, 1817 until October 13, 1817) that was passed on from one household to another. I remember praying the rosary every night while the image was venerated in our home for a certain amount of days with an opening and closing ritual that include providing a small meal / snacks and drinks to the participants and singing Marian songs.
I have always had the devotion to the Blessed Mother. I have longed to visit places where she had reportedly appeared. One of the places I have been able to visit was in Paris, France – Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal. Another place I wanted to visit is Fatima. I had planned on visiting Fatima, Portugal this year because of the 100th year celebration of the apparitions there. Due to work and other commitments, I may have to postpone my trip to October even though I really wanted to go there in May because it is my birthday month and it is the month when she first appeared to the children. I will still try to go even if I only get to go for a week or so.
When I get there, I will post photos of my own. I cannot imagine the feeling to be present with the rest of the faithful in this celebration. I would like to take part in it in my own little way. For now, I will participate through EWTN as they have scheduled programmings for the entire celebration starting tonight.
My cousin who used to be a nun from the Religious of the Virgin Mary is now there and participating in the opening celebration. I am so jealous right now. I just have to wait until October when I can hopefully join the closing celebration. Until then, I can only pray.