Around the world, celebrations are occurring today for the 100th Anniversary of the sixth and last apparition of Our Lady of Fatima, the patroness of Christendom College. The event, which stunned the world in 1917, is still a powerful force of belief for Catholics around the world, and one of the cornerstones of the Faith that permeates through Christendom.
On campus, students gathered in Christ the King Chapel for a special midnight Mass, in honor of Our Lady of Fatima. Chaplain Fr. Marcus Pollard organized the special Mass, desiring to remind students of the importance of the anniversary both for themselves and for the college as a whole. The campus community gathered again at 3:00 p.m. in front of the college’s shrine to Our Lady of Fatima to pray a rosary.
The college has a rich connection to Our Lady of Fatima, dating back to 1976 — the year before the founding of the college. At a weeklong “Family Institute” at an AFL-CIO property in Front Royal, Virginia, Dr. Warren Carroll, Dr. William Marshner, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus, and many of Christendom’s first families gathered together and made a rosary procession on the property in honor of Our Lady of Fatima, asking for her intercession in finding a campus for the soon-to-be-founded Christendom College. Little did they know that, 3 years later, the very property that they begged her intercession on would be the home of Christendom College to the present day.
Christendom’s connection to Our Lady of Fatima deepens when looking at the family history of one of the college’s founding faculty, Ray O’Herron. His uncle, Fr. Thomas McGlynn, was responsible for carving the Statue of Our Lady of Fatima that resides above the front door to the basilica of Our Lady of Fatima in Portugal. He personally worked with Sr. Lucy, one of the three children who witnessed the apparition, on the statue — she provided the design based on her memory of the apparition, and Fr. McGlynn executed the sculpture. That statue is one of the first things pilgrims to the shrine notice, and was described by Sr. Lucy as the best representation of Our Lady that could be done.
100 years later, the apparitions of Our Lady at Fatima continue to light up the spirits of people across the globe, and continue to drive the very mission of Christendom College to “restore all things in Christ.” The college was begun under her patronage, and that love continues to burn brightly forty years later.