May 12, 2012 3:27pm
May 13: A Day of Historical Importance for Three of Our Holy Fathers
May 13th is a significant date in the life of the Church for several reasons. Most importantly it is on this date in 1917 that the Blessed Virgin first appeared to three children at Fatima, Portugal.
It is also the birthday in 1792 of Giovanni Mastaii-Ferretti, the future Pope Pius IX (1846 - 1878). He was the longest reigning pope.
May 13th is also the 1917 consecration in the Sistine chapel of Eugenio Pacelli as titular bishop of Sardis by Pope Benedict XV. Pacelli, of course, is the future Pope Pius XII. While it has been reported that Pacelli witnessed the miracle of the sun that day, a hand-written note of his confirms that in actuality he saw the sun dance in 1950, four times--October 30-November 1, and then again on November 8, while praying and studying in the Vatican Gardens. November 1, 1950 was the day the doctrine of the Assumption was defined.
On May 13, 1981, Mahmet Ali Agca, who was being sought for murder of a newspaper editor in his native Turkey, attempted to assassinate Pope John Paul II in St. Peter's Square. While still in critical condition, the pope forgave his assailant. This absolution was reiterated in 1983 during a visit to the prisoner's jail cell in Rome. His desire for reconciliation provides a window into the soul of this beloved pope who most surely will be canonized some day.
John Paul was certain he had been under the protection of the Blessed Virgin to whom he had great devotion all his life. He later traveled to Fatima, Portugal, the site of her appearances in 1917, to offer his thanksgiving.
It is significant that Eugenio Pacelli was consecrated bishop on the actual date Mary first appeared at Fatima and that Blessed John Paul was wounded on the anniversary of that first appearance at Fatima.
The artifact presented here is from the beatification of Jacinta and Francisco Marto. You may read about it here or on page 2 of the Papal Artifacts pages.
Papal Artifacts honors the memory of each of our Holy Fathers presented here today. We invite you to peruse the many artifacts connected to them in the Papal Artifacts pages and to read their biographies in Papal Histories. You-tubes are also available of John Paul and Pius XII as well as pictures of all of the popes' coats of arms and burial monuments.
Blessed John Paul II: A Flag From Beatification of Jacinta and Francisco Marto 1978-2005
A small plastic flag handed out at the Beatification, in 2000, of Jacinta and Francisco Marto, two of the three children of Fatima to whom Mary appeared in 1917 in Portugal. Everyone was handed one of these plastic flags then... read more »
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