Video highlights (courtesy of Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Saskatoon)
[Article and photos BELOW]
By Kiply Lukan Yaworski, Catholic Saskatoon News
St. Mary Parish in Saskatoon hosted a celebration May 14 in Saskatoon to mark the 105th anniversary of the appearance of Our Lady of Fatima to three shepherd children: Lucia Santos and her cousins Jacinta and Francisco Marto.
People from many backgrounds and cultures attended the celebration, including a family recently-arrived from war-torn Ukraine.
Beginning with Mass celebrated by St. Mary pastor Fr. Kevin McGee, along with Fr. Daniel Louh of Sts-Martyrs-Canadiens Parish and Fr. Ivan Nahachewsky of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Saskatoon, the Saturday afternoon event included a procession through the streets of the neighbourhood, with banners, flags and the statue of Our Lady of Fatima carried on a flower-filled platform, as well as the participation of many parish and community groups, including three local children dressed as Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta.
The procession stopped at the nearby Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of St. George, where Fr. Nahachewsky led a prayer for Ukraine.
Lucia Santos was 10 when she and her cousins (ages 9 and 7 years) began seeing visions of Mary, who delivered messages about the power of prayer and fasting to bring about peace. With their testimony, the number of people interested in seeing Mary for themselves grew, and on Oct. 13, 1917, thousands gathered to witness strange events in the sky described as the Miracle of the Sun and recorded by several sources, including secular newspapers.
Francisco and Jacinta died young, but Lucia would go on to become a Carmelite nun and record the events in her memoirs. She died in 2005 at the age of 97 years.
The two Marto children were canonized by Pope Francis at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima, in Portugal on May 13, 2017, the centennial of the first Apparition of Our Lady of Fátima. They are among the youngest Catholic saints, with Jacinta being the youngest saint who did not die a martyr. Sister Lucia has been accorded the title Servant of God, as the first step toward her canonization.