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Artwork brings Our Lady of Fatima to local schools and churches

Posted By June 6, 2017 | 3:00 pm | Featured Article #3

By Christina Galeone | CFP CORRESPONDENT

Louis Tripodi enjoys sharing his faith.
So, when the member of St. Stephen Parish in Worcester realized the 100th anniversary of the Fatima apparitions was fast approaching, he wanted to make sure others in the diocese knew about it.
He began talking with Catholic friends about his hopes to have a May 13 Mass at a stadium to honor Our Lady of Fatima. But when coordinating a Mass of that size in May didn’t seem feasible to people he spoke with, Mr. Tripodi didn’t give up. Ultimately, he decided that having a poster made would be a good way to commemorate the anniversary.
Familiar with the work of artist Kathy Jordan, of St. Bernard Parish in Fitchburg,  Mr. Tripodi approached her in February about the project. He commissioned her to paint Our Lady of Fatima and the Miracle of the Sun from the Oct. 13, 1917 apparition.
Copies of the vibrant poster made from that painting were recently distributed to many area Catholic schools and churches. Fatima Poster_1613
Mr. Tripodi, a member of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, is fascinated by those apparitions and has a devotion to the Blessed Mother. Last year he traveled to Fatima, Portugal. There he visited the Cova da Iria where – against the backdrop of World War I – the Blessed Mother appeared to three shepherd children, Lucia dos Santos and her cousins Francisco and Jacinta Marto, six times between May 13, 1917 and October 13, 1917 and revealed secrets concerning things such as World War II, communism and the assassination attempt on the life of Pope John Paul II.
Although Mr. Tripodi said it “was raining cats and dogs” while he was there, he enjoyed visiting the birthplace of the shepherd children, participating in the candlelight rosary procession and seeing people from all over the world at the Our Lady of Fatima shrine.
“It was very inspiring,” he said. But despite the serenity of the place, he said that the most important thing about Fatima is the message that the Blessed Mother gave to the children.
“The main message is to say the rosary every day for peace in the world and for the conversion of sinners,” he said.
Mrs. Jordan has also been to Fatima, and she’s enchanted with those apparitions.
The artist said she never paints until she prays. After praying about this painting a couple of times, she saw an image that would enable her to share the apparitions, focusing on the Miracle of the Sun, she said. She was referring to the reports from Oct. 13, 1917 of the sun dancing in the sky and giving off brilliant colors, hurling down towards the 70,000-some spectators, then jumping back into its place.
“I love Our Lady; since I was a little girl, she’s been very special to me,” said Mrs. Jordan, who also did sketches like the painting, that Mr. Tripodi turned into coloring pages for children. She added, “I think it’s one of the most profound apparitions in the history of the Church.”
She said she’s happy to share the gift that God gave her, and she was pleased that Mr. Tripodi gave her the opportunity to work on this project.
“I was very, very humbled that he would ask me to do something that was going to be shared with so many people,” she said. She added that she hopes the poster inspires people to learn more about the apparitions, and that it helps them “to develop a love of Our Lady, because she brings everyone to the heart of her Son.”
Mr. Tripodi, who prays the rosary every day and frequently brings rosary beads and Miraculous Medals to people who are ill, shares that hope. He’s been busy delivering posters to churches in the diocese.
But he still wants to do more to honor Our Lady of Fatima.
“Maybe in the fall we can do something in the Diocese of Worcester to really emphasize what happened on Oct. 13, 1917,” said Mr. Tripodi, hoping for a “big celebration.”