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Marian Apparitions: Fatima Centenary

Apply for the School of Spiritual Formation at the Avila Institute to take courses such as today’s featured course: “Marian Apparitions in the Modern World: Fatima Centenary”

“O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, and lead all souls to Heaven, especially those in most need of Thy mercy.” Amen – Blessed Virgin Mary at Fatima

A Marian apparition, deemed genuine by Church authority, is a private revelation and supernatural appearance by the Blessed Virgin Mary. God grants an apparition as a charismatic gift for a greater purpose of His than the benefit of the one receiving it. These apparitions cannot add anything new to the sum of the Faith, however, apparitions can serve to emphasize some aspect of the Christian message and reveal the continuing involvement of Our Lady in the Church.

“Say the Rosary every day, to bring peace to the world and the end of the war.” – Our Lady of the Rosary at Fatima

In rural Portugal of 1916 Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta, encountered a heavenly messenger that prepared them for the visitation of the Blessed Mother. In 1917, the three shepherd children were able to see and hear from the Blessed Mother on seven different occasions at Fatima. Lucy says that the Lady was “all dressed in white, more brilliant than the sun, radiating a light clearer and more intense than a crystal glass filled with clear water pierced by the most burning rays of the sun.” During another apparition, thousands of people witnessed a miracle at Cova de Iria as the sun illuminated silver in the dark and rainy sky of Portugal before Our Lady of The Rosary appeared and spoke to the children giving them guidance and encouraging them with the three secrets of Fatima.

“Let us all willingly endeavor to follow faithfully the path that He has mapped out for us. Yes, because it was out of love that God sent us this pressing call from his mercy, in order to help us along the way of our salvation.”
– Message of Fatima

This fall, Dr. Peter Howard will teach a course to examine the significance of Marian apparitions in the modern world within their historical context. In this class, he will also discuss the proper way to view Marian apparitions that have been confirmed, approved, or condemned by Church authorities. Dr. Howard is an incredibly knowledgeable instructor with especially deep knowledge of Marian apparitions as well as Catholic spiritual tradition as a whole. Professor Peter teaches his courses in a style that draws students into understanding truths being revealed through the course.

The goals of this course are to understand how to approach the phenomenon of Marian apparitions with the mind of the Church, to understand the signs of our times by grasping their historical, theological and spiritual significance, and to understand the common threads in Marian apparitions. Personal goals are to apply the critical messages of approved Marian apparitions in your spiritual life and grow in obedience to the Magisterium of the Church.

Marian Apparitions in the Modern World: Fatima Centenary is one of five courses being offered in the School of Spiritual Formation this fall. Our most popular program, the School of Spiritual Formation, offers the faithful an opportunity to deepen their faith through encounter with the mystical tradition of the Church. We aim to instruct the faithful in the rich mystical tradition of the Church so that they may grow closer to Jesus Christ, the source of our salvation, and share Him with others. You can apply here. The courses are all online, and you can take as many or as few courses as you like in the School of Spiritual Formation. For a full list of upcoming course offerings, visit the Avila Institute website.

The class dates for the Marian Apparitions course are Sept 4, 11, 18, 25, Oct. 2, 9 on Mondays 10:00am – 12:00pm EST. If you have never taken a course at the Avila Institute before, you can apply by visiting our application page. To see a full list of upcoming courses click here. If you have any questions about the school or the admissions process, you can contact Candace at


Art for this post on Fatima and Marian Apparitions: Detail of Lucia Santos, Jacinta and Francisco Marto, the three children whom the Virgin Mary revealed her famous “three secrets” in Fátima, Portugal, attributed to Joshua Benoliel, official photographer of King Carlos I of Portugal, 1917, PD-US author's life plus 80 years or less, published in the U.S. prior to January 1, 1923, Wikimedia Commons.

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About Kristin Aebli

Kristin Aebli is the Event Coordinator and Marketing Assistant at the Avila Foundation, parent organization of, the Avila Institute for Spiritual Formation, and Divine Intimacy Radio. Receiving the position was providential and in God’s perfect timing. Although cradle Catholic, in college she reverted and became confirmed in the Church. Kristin graduated with a degree in Communications from Samford University and she still enjoys ministering to college students through the Samford Catholic Student Association. Kristin is happy to be a part of the Firelight college ministry, is involved with Apostoli Viae and also a Young Professionals Bible study. For fun, Kristin enjoys discussing theology with friends, recording her podcast, dancing, singing, cooking, writing and painting. She hopes to continue growing in her faith through the sacraments and involvement with faithful community.

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  • Anneli Sinkko

    In my Protestant tradition we do not teach or cultivate Divine Apparitions – however they do happen from time to time. I was blessed to see my Lord Jesus and hear Him speaking to me – afterwards He baptized me with God the Holy Spirit and I spoke in tongues. I was blessed. However this is something that I would not reveal regularly because in my tradition it is not common occurrence. However I wrote a book about how I have experience the Divine in my life and hopefully I will get it published before I go to heaven – I am now 79.

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