Pray the terço

On 13 May 1917, during the first of the apparitions of Our Lady in Fatima, as the vision was vanishing, the Blessed Virgin gave the three shepherd children the following message before disappearing:

Rezem o terço todos os dias, para alcançarem a paz para o mundo e o fim da guerra!

Though the vision told the children in the third apparition on 13 July 1917 that she desired them to say the terço every day “em honra de Nossa Senhora do Rosário”, the vision also said she will introduce herself in October.

Nossa Senhora de Fátima

And so, on 13 October 1917, the vision introduced herself:

Sou a Senhora do Rosário.

And, then, she added:

Que continuem sempre a rezar o terço todos os dias.

We highlighted two words above: rosário and terço. In English, these two words are translated as rosary, seldom with qualifications as to the specific meanings they encode. For these words, while indeed refer to the rosary, are distinguished by degree, something which even Spanish, a Romance language close to Portuguese, does not capture. For Lusophones, the rosário is the entire Rosary, all fifteen mysteries of it; whereas the terço, as the name implies, is just one third of the rosário.

Rosary B

So, let us pray the terço! It is but one simple chaplet of five mysteries, but Our Lady indeed promised to obtain the end of terrible wars if we recite it each day! Perhaps, we can sing the Rosary as our grandparents did in olden times! The Holy Rosary will secure peace for the world more surely than all beauty pageants combined could ever do.

Avé de Fátima

Around the time Dear Lady of Fatima made its way to the charts in the United States, the most enduring hymn in honour of Our Lady of Fatima was taking shape in Portugal.


In 1955, António Thomaz Botto, a Portuguese poète maudit then residing in exile in Brazil penned a poem which he dedicated to the Patriarch of Lisbon, Cardinal Manuel Gonçalves Cerejeira, hoping to endear himself to the Cardinal and obtain favour for his desire to return to Portugal. Botto had chosen to leave Portugal with his common-law wife in 1947 after backlash resulting from his homosexuality becoming public (when he was expelled from civil service for many reasons, including what people would call propositioning nowadays) had become unbearable. The Cardinal Patriarch allegedly ignored the overture, even though the book Fátima: poema no mundo, wherein the poem Hino de Nossa Senhora do Rosário de Fátima was published, carried the approval of the Cardinal Patriarch, and Botto, who some sources claim to have been a fervent Catholic, and who by then had dropped the second t in his surname, eventually died in penury in a car crash in Rio de Janeiro four years later. The poem he wrote, however, bore the words that now adorn the hymn in honour of Our Lady of Fatima: the Avé de Fátima, more commonly known as A treze de maio.

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Schedule: Our Lady of Fatima 2017

On 13 May 2017, the first apparition of Our Lady in Cova da Iria (a field that belonged to the family of Sor Lúcia dos Santos) will be commemorated for the hundredth time, opening the centenary of the six apparitions of Our Lady in Fatima.


At the Most Holy Redeemer Parish in the Diocese of Cubao, there will be a vigil from the evening of Friday, 12 May, until dawn of Saturday, 13 May. At midnight (before dawn of 13 May), Mass will be celebrated in the Extraordinary Form.

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‘Pious’ pop song

Back in the 50’s, people probably had little ‘difficulty’ with Catholicism in public. Over the course of the decades, perception of the Catholic Church plummeted from indifferent tolerance to passive-aggressive persecution. People used to think of the Church as a megalithic structure with high potentials for reticence; now they are convinced beyond doubt that the Church is a terrorist organisation opposed to scientific thought (which is one way of calling modern licentiousness).

Outdoor Papal Mass
Outdoor Papal Mass in Saint Peter’s Square

Modern culture, what many of us understand as characterised by a preference for the premature abbreviation of life, provides less and less opportunity for the Catholic to live his faith, practice his religion, and exercise his conscience without running the risk of shedding his own blood. For us who are dedicated to cultivating the sacred music of the Church, life is no different. Pop culture and its accompanying music offer fewer and fewer options for the Catholic soul, encouraging hostility to and abandonment of Christian virtues in its enthralling tones and addicting beats.

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