Hundreds of people will be walking in downtown Yakima on Presidents Day, Monday February 20. The Catholic Diocese of Yakima is hosting the day urging people to pray that the innocence of children will be safeguarded, as part of a worldwide prayer event.


A news release says the procession starts at 9:00 am at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 212 N. 4th Street and will end at St. Paul Cathedral, 15 S. 12th Avenue, in time for a 10:30 a.m. Mass. The national Catholic news network, EWTN, will be broadcasting from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. An hour-long concert of Catholic music will conclude the event.


The press release says "during the procession, Catholics will honor the Blessed Virgin Mary by carrying a replica of a statue from Portugal of her as “Our Lady of Fatima.” It was in Fatima, Portugal on October 13, 1917 that many in a crowd of up to 100,000 people observed unusual phenomena in the sky. This followed months of reports from three young children that Mary had appeared to them with specific messages to help bring about peace to nations torn by the First World War and other conflicts. The “miracle of the sun” and the other apparitions were later declared by Church leaders to be worthy of belief, and devotion to Our Lady of Fatima has grown over many decades."

“As Catholics, we honor Mary because she said ‘yes’ to God and brought our savior, Jesus, into the world,” says Bishop Tyson. “We believe she was her Son’s first and best disciple, and that she continues to love us and pray for us as a mother, leading us closer to her Son.”


Monday’s event is part of a more recent movement based on the devotion. The “Mater Fatima” movement was started in 2017 on the impetus of Father Héctor Ramírez, who at the time was serving as a chaplain to pilgrims visiting Fatima at a major church basilica there. Key themes of the movement include:

· The conversion of sinners, peace in the world and the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

· Families, the nucleus of society and the seedbed of vocations.

· The Holy Father Pope Francis in his mission to guide the Catholic Church and the renewal of the Consecration of Russia.

· Missionaries, so that the fire of the Holy Spirit may lead them to evangelize in every corner of the world.

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