Optional memorial of Our Lady of Fatima

‘Keep these days with joy, and give glory to the Lord, alleluia.’ (Antiphon, Morning prayer)

A child once described his mother’s love saying, ‘she loves me to the moon and back.’ Fleshing this out, the child couldn’t identify words quickly enough to describe his mother’s love who was caring, loving, kind and protective. This child also knew his mother wouldn’t give him everything he asked for, no matter how much he pleaded.  However, that didn’t stop him asking her. He trusted her and hoped it was possible for her to change her mind.

This month of May, the Catholic Church honours Mary, Mother of God and Our Mother. As the child pleads to his mother for something he wants, we too can ask Mary for our needs and those of the world. We wait like a child in hope. Right now we need an end to many injustices in our world and we need an end to Covid-19. We can pray and intercede through Mary. Mary always leads us to Jesus.

Today is the memorial of Our Lady of Fatima. Our Lady of the Rosary appeared to the three children, Lúcia, Jacinta and Francisco, on the 13th May, in summer of 1917. The ‘Lady’ asked the children to pray for sinners and for an end to the World war. In the final apparition on 13 October, the ‘Lady’ identified herself as Our Lady of the Rosary. Our Lady called for prayer and conversion. She taught the children several prayers. One of these prayers is sometimes recited after each decade of the Rosary. These two prayers are addressed to God.

‘O Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell. Lead all souls to heaven, especially those who are in most need of your mercy.’

Another popular Fatima prayer that is well known is, ‘My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love You! I ask pardon of You for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope and do not love You.

Today we recall that as Our Lady repeatedly asked the children to pray the Rosary, she is also inviting us to pray, ‘Continue always to pray the Rosary every day.’ We are free to accept her invitation.

Pope Francis shows a great confidence in Mary, Mother of God and in her love and protection. He prays regularly at various Marian Shrines. In August 2018, on the occasion of Pope Francis’ visit to Ireland for the ‘World Meeting of Families’, Pope Francis visited the Marian Shrine in Knock, Co Mayo.

On 25 April 2020, Pope Francis wrote a letter to the people of the world. He invited and encouraged them to pray the Rosary at home during the month of May.

In addition, the Pope offered two prayers to people to say daily, with the Rosary to pray for an end to the spread of the corona virus. If and when we choose to pray the Rosary, the Pope promises, ‘I myself will pray in the month of May, in spiritual union with all of you.’ (Pope Francis, 25-4-2020).

The Rosary is an ancient prayer in the Catholic Church.


There are many children and families who know how to pray the Rosary, but there are some who may not. The Grow in Love programme introduces the Rosary, a prayer dedicated to Our Lady, in the junior classes of the school. As they are taught the various mysteries of the Rosary, they come to know Mary, Mother of God and Our Mother as the Holy Family lived in Nazareth. They see that Mary always leads us to Jesus. They also read the Sacred Scripture and learn how Mary accompanied her Son, Jesus in times of sorrow and joy. Jesus grew up with Mary and Joseph. The family lived in Nazareth.

In school, the children are taught how to pray the Rosary and they can pray with their family and in their parish. Today, many children are the evangelisers in their own families. The school supports the home and the parish in Religious Education.

To pray a decade of the Rosary, we say one Our Father, ten Hail Marys and one Glory be to the Father.

When children use the Rosary beads to pray a decade of the Rosary their finger/thumb co-ordination develops. They also acquire other skills while praying, for example, they learn to be quiet and still; to focus; to ponder on the prayers; to count; to reflect; to pray with others; to read Sacred Scripture and learn about the life of Jesus.

When children pray the Rosary regularly they grow in appreciation of prayer and the life of Jesus. They also learn to honour Our Lady, Mother of God. The Mysteries of the Rosary are accessible in the e-books for all classes on the VERITAS Grow in Love website.

Logon: www.veritas.ie

Email: trial@growinlove.ie

Password: growinlove

The Grow in Love e-books for GIL First Classes/ P3 and Second Classes/P4 provide helpful child friendly resources for learning how to pray the Rosary. The prayers required i.e., The Sign of the Cross, Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be to the Father (revised from Junior Infants/P1) may be accessed at the back of the Grow in Love e-book.

The Grow in Love dashboard on the VERITAS website provides the following resources for GIL First Class/P3 and Second Class/P4; video of ‘The Presentation in the Temple’, slideshow of Jesus’ life, video of children praying the ‘Hail Mary’ using gestures, video of the Joyful Mysteries’, lyrics of ‘Grow in Love’, ‘Quiet and Still’ and ‘Mary Our Mother’, Colouring page of the ‘Rosary’ and ‘the Visitation’ and also an Art Activity and reflective music.

Resources for the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary and songs/ hymns/ prayers to Mary are available in Third Class/P5 and Fourth Class/P6.

Resources for Fifth Classes/P7 and Sixth Classes are also accessible on the website. Additional prayers are included at this level to pray the Rosary, i.e. The Sign of the Cross, The Apostles’ Creed and the ‘Hail Holy Queen’.

SONGS to sing from Grow in Love during the month of May: ‘Mary our Mother’, ‘Quiet and Still’, ‘Mary’, ‘A Mhuire Mháthair’, ‘Bring Flowers of the Rarest’, ‘The Magnificat’, ‘Regina Coeli’. All these are available as video lyrics on the VERITAS website.


PRAY from Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé


In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.


In ainm an Athar, agus an Mhic agus an Spioraid Naoimh. Áiméan.


Our Father, who art in heaven,

hallowed be thy name;

thy kingdom come,

thy will be done

on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses,

as we forgive those who trespass

against us;

and lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil. Amen


Ár nAthair ata ar neamh,

go naofar d-ainm,

go dtaga do ríocht, go ndéantar do thoil ar an talamh

mar a dhéantar ar neamh.

Ár naran laethúil tabhair dúinn inniu,

agus maith dúinn ár bhfaicha,

mar a mhaithimindne dár bhféachúna


is ná lig sinn i gcathú,

ach saor sinn ó olc. Áiméan.


Hail Mary, full of grace,

the Lord is with thee.

Blessed art thou among women,

and blessed is the fruit of thy womb,


Holy Mary, Mother of God,

pray for us sinners,

now and at the hour of our death.



‘S é do bheatha a Mhuire,

atá lán do ghrásta,

tá an Tiarna leat.

Is beannaithe thú idir mhná,

agus is beannaithe toradh do bhroinne,


A Naomh Mhuire,

a mháthair Dé,

guigh orainn, na peacaigh,

anois agus ar uair ár mbáis. Áiméan.


Glory be to the Father,

and to the Son,

and to the Holy Spirit.

As it was in the beginning,

is now and ever shall be,

world without end. Amen


Glóir do Athair,

agus don Mhac

agus don Spiorad Naomh,

mar abhí ó thús,

mar atá anois,

mar a bheas go brách,

le saol na saol.



The Joyful Mysteries

  1. The Annunciation
  2. The Visitation
  3. The Nativity (The Birth of Jesus)
  4. The Presentation
  5. The Finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple

The Mysteries of Light

  1. The Baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan
  2. The Wedding Feast of Cana
  3. The Proclamation of the Kingdom of God
  4. The Transfiguration of Our Lord
  5. The Institution of the Eucharist

The Sorrowful Mysteries

  1. The Agony in the Garden
  2. The Scourging at the Pillar
  3. The Crowning With Thorns
  4. The Carrying of the Cross
  5. The Crucifixion

The Glorious Mysteries

  1. The Resurrection
  2. The Ascension
  3. The Descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles
  4. The Assumption of Our Lady to Heaven.
  5. The Crowning of Mary, Queen of Heaven

‘I, am the true vine, alleluia; you are the branches, alleluia.’ (Benedictus antiphon)

‘If you remain in me and my words remain in you may ask what you will and you shall have it, alleluia.’ (Magnificat antiphon)

‘Listen, O daughter, pay attention. Forget your father’s house and your nation.’ (Psalm 44:11).

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.


Sr Anne Neylon