Benedictine Commencement Honors Fatima

May 13, 2017, was Commencement Day at Benedictine College — but also the high point of the college’s year-long celebration of the Fatima Centennial.

While Pope Francis canonizes the shepherd children who saw the “Lady dressed in white” and received her message from heaven in Fatima, Portugal, Benedictine College will be graduating 440 students and will include Our Lady of Fatima in the celebrations.

“Our Lady has been important to Benedictine College from the beginning, and we are expressing our thanks and dedication to her on this historic 100th anniversary of her apparitions at Fatima,” said Benedictine College President Stephen D. Minnis.

“We wanted to celebrate the Fatima Centennial Day as well, and what better occasion than when we have so many students and their families in town for commencement?” Minnis said.

As part of the celebrations which began in August, the college has offered a daily Fatima Centennial Rosary at Mary’s Grotto on campus (watch), featured Fatima talks and instruction (web home), hosted a Pilgrim Virgin statue of Our Lady of Fatima for a 40-hours prayer event on Election Day (more), prayed the Our Lady of Fatima novena (here) and featured articles and tips on the message of Fatima at the college’s Gregorian Institute webpage (here).

For 2017, the 100th anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima, Pope Francis has offered a plenary indulgence, particularly on anniversary days of the apparitions of Our Lady, which began May 13, 1917. Benedictine College provided students, guests, faculty and staff to fulfill the requirements for the indulgence on May 13 on campus.

Friday, May 12 — the Vigil of Our Lady of Fatima

4:00 p.m.During the college’s traditional March of Light ceremony, students left candles for Our Lady at Mary’s Grotto on campus. A statue of Our Lady of Fatima was part of the procession for this year’s March for Light.

6:00 p.m.

After Baccalaureate Mass, the college’s Daily Fatima Centennial Raven Rosary was prayed at Mary’s Grotto. This Rosary concluded the college’s Novena to Our Lady of Fatima.

Saturday, May 13 — the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima

7:30 a.m. 

On the morning of commencement, a special Mass of Our Lady of Fatima was celebrated in the crypt chapel of St. Benedict’s Abbey. Those planning to consecrate themselves to Our Lady did do so at this Mass.

10:00 a.m.

At Saturday’s Commencement Exercises, each student was given a Fatima medal blessed by Pope Francis who on this day plans to canonize Blessed Francisco and Jacinta at the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima in Portugal.

The Fatima Jubilee Indulgence

A plenary indulgence is “a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven.” A Catholic can obtain an indulgence for himself, or for one of the poor souls in Purgatory.

To receive the Fatima indulgence, one must make a pilgrimage to the Our Lady of Fatima Shrine in Fátima, Portugal, or Pray before any statue of Our Lady of Fatima, on the 13th of the month, May-October 2017.

There, a pilgrim should devoutly participate in some celebration or prayer in honor of the Virgin Mary. The elderly and infirm can pray in front of a statue of Our Lady of Fatima on the 13th of the month, May-October 2017.

While they do so, they must spiritually unite themselves to the jubilee celebrations. They must also “offer to merciful God with confidence, through Mary, their prayers and sufferings or the sacrifices they make in their own lives.”

As with any plenary indulgence, a pilgrim can receive only one indulgence a day and must:

  1. Receive the sacrament of confession, either eight days before or after.
  2. Receive Holy Communion on that day.
  3. Recite prayers for the intentions of the Holy Father (one Our Father and one Hail Mary and the Creed).

Read more about Mary’s Miracles at Benedictine College.

Click here to visit the home page of Mary’s Grotto on campus.

Click here for information about the college’s Fatima Centennial Celebration.

Click here for the “Fatima Family Handbook” written by Benedictien College’s Tom Hoopes.

Benedictine College

Founded in 1858, Benedictine College is a Catholic, Benedictine, residential, liberal arts college located on the bluffs above the Missouri River in Atchison, Kansas. The school is honored to have been named one of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report, the best private college in Kansas by The Wall Street Journal, and one of the top Catholic colleges in the nation by First Things magazine and the Newman Guide. It prides itself on outstanding academics, extraordinary faith life, strong athletic programs, and an exceptional sense of community and belonging. Benedictine College is dedicated to transforming culture in America through its mission to educate men and women within a community of faith and scholarship.