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Catholic News Herald

Serving Christ and Connecting Catholics in Western North Carolina

051017 fatimaHUNTERSVILLE — For more than eight years, representatives of the Te Deum Foundation have been visiting parishes around the state sharing the message of Fatima with classes of children preparing to make their first Holy Communion. Billie Mobley, president of the Te Deum Foundation, and volunteers Barbara and Joe Barreto, share the messages from the Angel of Peace to three children which took place in 1916 in Fatima, Portugal.

The Fatima children said three apparitions of the Angel of Peace occurred in 1916 prior to apparitions of Our Lady which took place six times between May 13 and Oct. 13, 1917, at Cova da Iria.

During the apparitions of the Angel of Peace, the three young shepherds, Lucía dos Santos, and her cousins, Francisco and Jacinta, said they saw a transparent figure in the form of a young man, whiter than snow and of great beauty. He appeared over the trees and said, ‘Do not be afraid! I am the Angel of Peace. Pray with me.’

At the time the apparitions began, Lucía was 9 years old, Francisco was 8 and Jacinta was 6. The children said the Angel of Peace taught them special prayers, how to make sacrifices and how to make reparation for sin.

During her apparitions to the children in 1917, the Blessed Virgin Mary asked for frequent recitation of the rosary and urged works of mortification for the conversion of sinners.

On April 29, Mobley and the Barretos shared the story of the apparitions of the Angel of Peace with two groups of first Communicants at St. Mark Church in Huntersville. They brought the events to life by asking for several children to come up and help reenact some of what occurred between the Angel of Peace and the three shepherd children during the angel’s three appearances to them.

Joe Barreto, a native of Portugal, also relayed insights about village life in his homeland. As he placed a little hat on the boy’s head who volunteered to play Francisco during the reenactment, Joe talked about the traditional Portuguese hat Francisco wore and the many purposes it served in the early 1900s.

“This is a hat back then that a lot of people would wear – especially near the coast, the fishermen used it to store their pipe and tobacco,” he explained. “Sometimes kids would also wear it and (use it) if perhaps they did not have a little bag to put their food or a little snack in.”

Barbara Barreto led the interactive presentation and also introduced the first Communicants to the prayers given to the children by the Angel of Peace. Each child was given a glow-in-the-dark rosary and a copy of the Chaplet of Adoration and Reparation that is based on the prayers the Angel of Peace taught to Lucía, Francisco and Jacinta.

The prayers were originally prayed as a chaplet on rosary beads by many religious orders in Fatima. Father Christopher Roux, pastor and rector of St. Patrick Cathedral in Charlotte, brought this “Angel Prayer” back from one of his annual pilgrimages to Fatima at the request of the Irish Dominican Sisters of the Rosary for the approval of Bishop Peter Jugis.

Bishop Jugis desired to encourage Eucharistic Adoration, so he granted his imprimatur for the chaplet on Dec. 8, 2004, during the Year of the Eucharist. He is the only bishop in the world to have granted an imprimatur for the prayers of the Angel of Peace.

The Te Deum Foundation offers prayer cards of this chaplet in nine languages: English, Italian, Russian, French, Polish, Spanish (Castilian), German, Portuguese, Spanish (Latino) and Hungarian.

Barbara Barreto said she enjoys sharing the chaplet and the Fatima story with children because “it gives me an education.”

“I did not know about the Angel of Peace appearing to the children. It’s been rewarding to me to grow in my faith. It’s been great to have adults there too (the parents), because they usually don’t know there was an angel who appeared.”

She believes this is a wonderful presentation for all children preparing for their first Holy Communion.

Mobley agrees and hopes more parishes contact the foundation to set up similar presentations to help spread the message of Fatima. Most importantly, she hopes the children take away something very important from learning about the Angel of Peace and the children of Fatima:

“Say your prayers and ask God to make you a saint when you make your first Communion,” she encouraged them at the end of the presentation.
— SueAnn Howell, Senior reporter. Catholic News Service contributed.

Chaplet coming to EWTN
For the first time, the Chaplet of Reparation and Adoration will be prayed on television on EWTN, the Eternal Word Television Network. The chaplet will be recited at 3 p.m. ET Saturday, May 13, on the 100th anniversary of the first apparition of Our Lady of Fatima.

More online
At www.tedeumfoundation.org/Fatima/#chaplet: Order copies of the Chaplet of Adoration and Reparation
At www.catholicnewsherald.com/faith/fatima: Get more information about the 100th anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima