Benedictine College Celebrates Fatima Centennial

For Fatima's 100th, A Daily Campus Rosary ... and More

Benedictine College’s Year-long Marian Celebration

Published: Monday, September 5, 2016

May 13, 2017, Benedictine College’s Commencement Day, marks the 100-year anniversary of the first apparition of Our Lady of Fatima. Benedictine College is preparing now for that day, just like the students who will graduate.

The college has already begun a more-than-year-long celebration of this anniversary throughout the school year. Several events have already been planned, with more to be added as the year progresses. For details, check

“Benedictine College owes so much to Our Lady, and we want to help promote the important message she brought to the world at Fatima,” said President Stephen D. Minnis, president of Benedictine College. “We have a full year of activity plan to focus our students’ attention on the important message of peace, repentance and prayer that Our Lady of Fatima gave the Church and the world.”

The college has posted a timeline of the heavenly appearances to three shepherd children in Fatima, Portugal, which started in 1916 with three encounters with angels culminating in the Fall of 1916 when the children were taught to say prayers. Marian apparitions began May 13 and ended October 13, 1917, with the miracle of the sun.

Our Lady of Fatima Mass. On May 13, 2017, Commencement Day at Benedictine College and the 100th anniversary of the first apparition, the college will have a Mass for those attending Commencement Exercises at 7:30 a.m. in the Guadalupe Chapel on the lower level of St. Benedict's Abbey Church.

Daily Raven Rosary. To mark the anniversary of the appearance of angels in Fatima, the college launched a daily Rosary on Sept. 8, 2016. Each day, the Rosary will be prayed at Mary's Grotto at 6:00 p.m. The college has invited faculty, staff, students and friends of the college to sign up to lead the Rosary on a particular day. (To request a link to the sign-up calendar, click here.)

“Our Lady of Fatima asks us to pray the Rosary every day and so we are going to do just that every day for 365 days a year and continue it even after the anniversary date,” said Benedictine College President Stephen D. Minnis.

  • The Daily Raven Rosary is sponsored by the Atchison Catholic Community, including Benedictine College, St. Benedict’s Abbey, Mount St. Scholastica Monastery and St. Benedict’s Abbey.
  • The first of the daily Rosary’s was led by the school's chaplain, Fr. Simon Baker OSB. The subsequent Rosaries — all at 6 p.m. and all at Mary’s Grotto — will be led by various people who sign up to lead the Raven Rosary. To get the sign-up calendar, click the link on which is Benedictine College’s Fatima page.
  • The Rosary led by the President, which for almost 10 years now was on Wednesdays at 7:30 a.m., will now be on Wednesdays at 6:00 p.m. at the Grotto.

Pilgrim Statue, Nov. 7-8. As part of the college's 40-hour Prayer Vigil for Election Day, Benedictine College will host a Pilgrim Virgin statue of Our Lady of Fatima.  Patrick Sabat of the World Apostolate of Fatima plans to speak on campus at 7 p.m. on Nov. 7 in the McAllister Board Room on the Fourth Floor of the Ferrell Academic Center. The historic statue was sculpted in 1947 by Jose Thedim. The image reflects the description of Sr. Lucia, one of the three shepherd children who witnessed the Fatima apparitions. The image was commissioned on Oct. 13, 1947 by the Bishop of Leiria at Fatima and has traveled the world many times. Benedictine College is proud to have previously hosted Pilgrim Virgin Statues of the World Apostolate of Fatima in the March for Life.

Special Speakers. The college featured Marian of the immaculate Conception Father Michael Gaitley on Oct. 19, will feature Patrick Sabat of the World Apostolate for Fatima on Nov. 7 and will soon announce dates for several key speakers who can help students and guests understand the message of Fatima.

Movie nights. To teach the campus community about the message of Fatima, the college will sponsor movie nights sharing the story of Fatima.

The college has a history of Marian devotion.

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 proud to have been named one of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report as well as 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.  It has a mission to educate men and women within a community of faith and scholarship.