Bishop Jenky encourages Marian devotion in video message released on Fatima feast

Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, addresses Catholics of the Diocese of Peoria in this screen grab from a video message released on May 13, the feast of Our Lady of Fatima. Speaking from the tomb of Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen, he noted the media pioneer's devotion to Our Lady and how she leads the world to Jesus.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Following is the transcript of a video message released by Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, on May 13, 2020, the feast of Our Lady of Fatima. The video itself is embedded below.

I love all the wonderful  feasts of Our Lady and I think I have special devotion to today, Our Lady of Fatima, Wednesday, May 13, in the year 2020.

I am coming to you from before the tomb of the Venerable Servant of Christ, Fulton Sheen, who was extremely devoted to Our Lady and what she has meant to people of faith for 20 centuries. Speaking about Our Lady of Fatima, he reminded us — in his writings and in his speeches — that she came at the end of World War I.  She came before the coming of World War II.  She came, indeed, at a time when the Spanish Flu was raging across the world. It took more lives than all the deaths of the so-called “Great War.”

We think of her today during the time of the coronavirus and we ask Our Lady to pray with us and for us, especially for the sick and those who care for them.

But there is an even more important reason to reflect upon Mary, and Fulton Sheen reminds us of it. He said to remember, when our Lord was lost for three days, that it was Mary who found him in the temple. And he said Mary continues by her prayer and example to help the world to find Jesus Christ, to make Jesus the center of their lives, to listen more to his words and to believe in everything he showed us from the crib to the cross to the glory of the Resurrection.

Two weeks ago, the bishops of the United States reconsecrated our nation to the patronage of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception. In my own house chapel, I joined with my brother bishops in prayer. In this diocese, where Archbishop Spalding had personally given us Our Lady as our principal patron, I urge all my fellow believers here in central Illinois to remember Mary in their own journey of faith and their life of prayer.

So let us as a diocese, as a community of faith, as schools, as religious families, with Our Lady of Fatima as a guide and example, cling to her, pray with her, pass the tradition of Marian devotion on to the next generation, and truly hold Mary as our life, our sweetness, and our hope.

The rosary is an especially powerful tool to help us grow as believers, to help us serve the poor, and to help us pass on the faith to everyone we meet. Mary’s prayer especially reminds us of the mysteries of the New Testament, of the great truths that give meaning to our lives. Mary in the rosary truly is praying with us and for us.

The popes, the long tradition of our saints, and the Venerable Servant of God Fulton Sheen especially urge Catholic families and individual Catholic believers to pray the rosary daily if they are able, and so grow closer to Christ and more filled with the Holy Spirit and give greater honor to God our Father.

I have to say in my own life, the longer I live, the more the rosary has come to mean to me. It’s something about holding those beads in my hands. It’s when I face the choices I have to make as bishop, sometimes between bad and worse. It’s when I don’t know what to do, I try to cling in prayer to our Blessed Mother. Jesus gave Mary to us from the cross as our mother in almost his last words.

So let us as a diocese, as a community of faith, as schools, as religious families, with Our Lady of Fatima as a guide and example, cling to her, pray with her, pass the tradition of Marian devotion on to the next generation, and truly hold Mary as our life, our sweetness, and our hope.

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