Today is the 104th anniversary of the Apparitions of Our Lady of Fátima. It is also the 75th anniversary of the crowning of the Statue and the 40th anniversary of the attempt on the life of Pope John Paul II at St Peter’s Square.

In the words of the Rector, while the silver and gold of that crown represent the joys of life, the bullet fitted therein represents our life’s sorrows.

The four-hour ceremony on this rainy morning at Fátima began with a multilingual recitation of the Holy Rosary and ended with Holy Mass presided over by Cardinal José Tolentino de Mendonça.

It was a touching testimony of love from pilgrims (number restricted to 7500, in keeping with covid-related SOPs) to their Mother, Queen of Heaven and Earth, who is always alive and tender.