The statue of Our Lady of Fatima is carried during the candlelight procession on May 13. Photo: BARRY JONATHAN

The greatness of Mary lies not in her being the biological mother of Jesus, but in the fact that she was His spiritual mother, keeping God’s word and always saying “yes” to God and doing His will right up to the cross.

Archbishop William Goh shared this during a Mass held at St Joseph’s Church (Victoria St) to mark the centenary of
Mary’s appearance at Fatima, Portugal.

Those who have a true devotion to Mary would be transformed, just as the shepherd children who saw her were transformed, Archbishop Goh said during the May 13 Mass celebrating the feast
day of Our Lady of Fatima.

The church was packed for the celebration that day with more than a thousand gathered outside, watching the celebration on a large screen.

Archbishop Goh urged the faithful to change the world through prayer and mortification – to do penance, first for their own conversion and then for the conversion of hearts, which was the very essence of Mary’s message to the three shepherd children, Jacinta and Francisco Marto and their cousin Lucia dos Santos.

Archbishop William Goh celebrates the feast day of Our Lady of Fatima together with (from left) Fr Augustine Tay, Fr Antony Maria Joseph, Fr Andre Christophe and Msgr Yovko Pishtiyski from the apostolic nunciature.
Photo: VITA Images

Fittingly, on the day that Jacinta and Francisco were canonised by Pope Francis, the celebration at St Joseph’s saw much participation from children.

Before Mass began, 24 little “angels” – girls from St Anthony’s Canossian Primary School – and three children dressed as the shepherd children were among those who walked ahead of the celebrants in the entrance procession.

The St Ignatius Eucharistic Adoration Children’s Choir sang the Prayer of the Angel of Fatima, while the three “shepherd children” moved the crowd with their rendition of Schubert’s Ave Maria, before the crowning of the statue of Our Lady of Fatima.

Adding to the joyful atmosphere during the Mass were a musical ensemble made up of the Church’s resident choir, the Sacred Heart Choir; members of the Risen Christ Youth Symphony String Group; and a flautist and trumpeter.

Kids, music feature in celebration

‘Angels’ from St Anthony’s Canossian Primary School strew rose petals during the procession. Photo: BARRY JONATHAN

A prayerful candlelight procession with the recitation of the rosary followed the Mass, with rose petals strewn along the way by the “angels”.

After the Benediction, Archbishop Goh blessed a special anniversary almond sugee cake, traditionally associated with the Eurasian community which formed a large part of the congregation in the
early days of St Joseph’s Church.

Specially boxed and blessed pieces of cake were distributed to the crowd together with holy pictures of Mary’s appearance to the three children of Fatima.


Crowning of the statue of Our Lady of Fatima. Photo: BARRY JONATHAN

Mr Edmund Choo, a non-Catholic Christian, was among those who attended the celebration. “I was moved by the Mass and the homily of the archbishop,” he said. “It put into perspective the role and purpose that devotions to Mary have in the Catholic Church.”

St Joseph’s Church (Victoria St) will hold a series of activities to mark the centenary of Mary’s appearance at Fatima, culminating in a special celebration on Oct 13. More details will be released in due course.


Children dressed up as the three shepherd children of Fatima. Photo: BARRY JONATHAN


Part of the crowd at the candlelight procession. Photo: VITA Images


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