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  • Apr
  • 27

Our Lady of Czestochowa establishes Fatima shrine

Posted By April 27, 2017 | 4:10 pm | Featured Article #1
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Photo courtesy of Father Polek

The Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima, erected in Our Lady of Czestochowa Church, Worcester, has been designated as a place of pilgrimage during the 100th Anniversary Year of the Fatima apparition. Father Ryszard Polek, pastor of Our Lady of Czestochowa, said that Bishop McManus has designated the shrine as a place where the faithful may obtain a plenary indulgence during this anniversary year. Those who venerate the statue of Our Lady of Fatima can receive the plenary indulgence under the customary conditions: go to confession and holy Communion; be interiorly detached from sin; and pray for the intentions of the Holy Father. The parish, at 34 Ward St., has also established a First Saturday Devotion in English and Polish, from May to October, at 6:30 p.m.

Bishop approves indulgence for Fatima shrine visit in store

By William T. Clew
The Catholic Free Press

In a corner of A Shower of Roses religious shop in West Boylston there is a shrine where, this year, Catholics in a state of grace may receive a plenary indulgence.
Bishop McManus sent the following letter April 6 to Patricia Quintiliani who, with her husband Don, own the religious shop.

Patricia Quintiliani shows the shrine to Our Lady of Fatima that is in A Shower of Roses store in West Boylston. Photo by William T. Clew

Patricia Quintiliani shows the shrine to Our Lady of Fatima that is in A Shower of Roses store in West Boylston.
Photo by William T. Clew

“In light of the fact that our Holy Father Pope Francis has granted a plenary indulgence opportunity through the 100th anniversary year of Fatima, I grant permission for your Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima that is located on 339 West Boylston St. in West Boylston, MA, to be a suitable place where the faithful might gain a plenary indulgence through their prayer before the statue of Our Lady of Fatima,” it said.
(According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, an indulgence is “the remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sin whose guilt has already been forgiven. A properly disposed member of the Christian faithful can obtain an indulgence under prescribed conditions through the help of the Church which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints. An indulgence is partial if it removes part of the temporal punishment due to sin, or plenary if it removes all punishment.
“I would remind the faithful that they must fulfill the ‘ordinary conditions’ to obtain the plenary indulgence. Those conditions are 1) to go to Confession and Holy Communion; 2) to be internally detached from sin; and 3) to pray for the intentions of the Holy Father,” Bishop McManus stated.
Pope Francis granted the indulgence opportunity for the entire anniversary year, which began Nov. 27, 2016, and continues until Nov. 26, 2017, according to the Catholic News Agency. The devotions must be done on the 13th of each month from May through October.
After the papal announcement, Mrs. Quintilaini called Bishop McManus about granting plenary indulgences for those who prayed at her shrine. She said she followed up the calls with emailed pictures showing the proper placement of the statue in the shrine.
Mrs. Quintiliani said she has had the statue of Our Lady of Fatima, which is the centerpiece of the shrine, since 1985. She is president of the Worcester Division of the World Apostolate of Fatima, a group which started in the Worcester Diocese in 1978.
In 1980, she said, they started a holy hour on the third Sunday of each month at the residence of the Sisters of St. Benedict on Cedar Street. After the Sisters left, she said, the Fatima group held  adoration and prayer on the first Friday and Saturday in a different church each month. There was adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, confession, Benediction and Masses at 8 p.m. and midnight. Between Masses there would be recitation of the rosary and adoration. That ended when there were smaller and smaller numbers of people taking part, she said.
Now her group is trying to promote a first-Saturday devotion to the Blessed Mother in every church, she said.
The first Fatima shrine was set up in 2004 in their store at 244 West Boylston St. When they moved five years ago to 339 West Boylston St., the statue of Our Lady of Fatima and the shrine came with them.
“She comes along with us. She came to my daughter’s wedding. She came to my sister’s funeral,” Mrs. Quintiliani said.
The shrine is in a rear corner of the store. A bookcase provides a partial separation from the main part of the store. The statue of Our Lady of Fatima stands on a pedestal, surrounded by roses along with the bishop’s letter approving a plenary indulgence.
There is a bookcase on the left and a stand with a replica of the Sacred Heart on the right. Nearby are shelves with religious objects on them and a display case with booklets and pamphlets.
There is a rocking chair near the shrine where visitors can sit after praying. The chair has a bit of history. Mrs. Quintiliani said that in 1986 Mother Angelica of EWTN – Eternal Word Television Network –  came to Worcester to speak at St. Joseph Orthodox Cathedral. Before her talk she visited the Quintiliani home. She was hungry so she got a cheese sandwich and ate it while sitting in that rocker, Mrs. Quintiliani said.
On May 13, 1917, three Portuguese children, Lucia dos Santos, and her cousins, Jacinta and Francisco Marto, reported seeing the Blessed Mother while they were tending sheep near their home in Fatima. The apparitions continued once a month, on the 13th day, through October 1917, and were later declared worthy of belief by the Catholic Church.
Pope Francis will declare the sainthood of Blessed Jacinta Marto and Blessed Francisco Marto, two of the shepherd children who saw Mary in Fatima, Portugal, during his visit to the site of the apparitions May 13, the 100th anniversary of the Marian apparition, Catholic News Service has reported.
A year after the apparitions, both of the Marto children became ill during an influenza epidemic that plagued Europe. Francisco died April 4, 1919, at the age of 10, while Jacinta succumbed to her illness Feb. 20, 1920, at the age of 9.
Their cause for canonization was stalled for decades due to a debate on whether non-martyred children have the capacity to understand heroic virtues at a young age. However, in 1979, St. John Paul II allowed their cause to proceed. The children’s cousin entered the Carmelites. Sister Lucia died in 2005 at the age of 97. Her sainthood cause is under study at the Vatican.

– Catholic News Service contributed to this report.