An Our Lady of Fatima procession at St Joseph’s Church, Victoria St, in 1973. The church will hold a series of celebrations starting from May 13.

St Joseph’s Church, Victoria St, will commemorate the 100th anniversary of Mary’s first appearance to three shepherd children in Fatima, Portugal, on May 13.

Archbishop William Goh will celebrate a Mass at 5pm, which will be followed by a candelight procession. Highlights of the celebration include the crowning of the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and 24 “angels” – students from St Anthony’s Canossian Primary School who will accompany the procession.

The three shepherd children who saw Our Lady of Fatima – Lucia dos Santos and her cousins, Francisco and Jacinta Marto – will be represented by children from the Church of St Anthony.

The St. Ignatius Eucharistic Adoration Children will sing a hymn titled A Prayer of the Angel of Fatima. There will also be a blessing of an anniversary cake.

Mr Gerard Pereira, chairman of the organising committee of the Our Lady of Fatima Centennial Celebrations at St Joseph’s Church said, “The message of Our Lady of Fatima of prayer and penance and her exhortation to pray the rosary unceasingly is as relevant today as it was 100 years ago, particularly as we are facing challenging times with threats to world peace.

“Our vision for the outcome of this celebration is to re-invigorate the rosary as a powerful instrument of prayer and meditation and the evangelisation of our faith.”

The church initiated a block rosary drive last October to mark the Fatima anniversary, in which families are encouraged to hold rosary sessions in their homes. There are also talks planned in the upcoming months till Oct 13, the culmination of the celebrations. These and other centennial initiatives will be publicised later.

The devotion to Our Lady of Fatima in St Joseph’s Church and its feast day commemoration on May 13 arise from the church’s roots as a Portuguese mission before it came under the Singapore archdiocese in 1981.

Fr Antonio da Silva Rego, Vicar of St Joseph’s Church from February 1929 to August 1938, introduced the devotion to the church in 1935, thus starting the church’s 13th-of-the-month devotions and procession.

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