Miracles of Fatima – If you look closely

The feast of Our Lady of Fatima was celebrated as usual on the evening of 13th of May, 2008 at the foot of the grotto adjoining the church of O L of Remedios… high Mass followed by the procession around the park with the congregation holding home-made paper lanterns with candles in them, singing Portuguese hymns in praise of O L of Fatima. My wife, Louella pushed the pram carrying Noé, our seven-year old son as I walked alongside them bringing up the rear… so much like Fatima, Portugal. 

But I had my own agenda for the evening… 

About 18 years ago, I had written a song that was inspired by a sermon by Fr. Joseph Dias, my favourite preacher. His words, “you have eyes but cannot see. This man is blind but he can see…” had such a great impact on me that I reflected for days, when all of a sudden, the whole song fell into place and I wrote it down in one go in just 10 minutes flat. I titled it, “The Greatest Gift Of All,” and dedicated it to the blind. 

But what has this got to do with Our Lady of Fatima, whom I can see in her grotto every single day, from every window of our flat across the street? Well, the Writers Bureau (UK) announced their prestigious annual poetry writing competition recently and I thought about sending in my song (critiques all agree that it’s a poem too) with a new title, “For Your Eyes Only” and so I thought it appropriate to print it out and put it up to Her and let Her decide – if I won, the world would get to read it; if I did not, it would remain for Her eyes only but with a petition to help restore sight in the blind of the world.

We waited for the crowd to disperse after the service, so that I could make my special offering in private, by burning the sheet of paper instead of a candle, at the grotto. 

In the meantime, Carroll Remedios, my schoolmate, opened the glass door housing the statue in the grotto, so that he could recover the plants put inside for the Mass. As an afterthought, he brought down the statue for Noé to kiss. Of all the people that came to the service, only Noé got to actually touch the statue! And this was even before I had made my offering… I had to come back around 9.30pm to make mine, as I needed candles for setting the paper on fire. I thought this was very meaningful and again, so much like Fatima, Portugal… yet so different… so special, because it was She who came down to Noé! 

But it is only today, the 15th, that I realized another thing… She had also opened the door to accept my offering! It is I who have been blind for these last two days! And look at me, writing a poem for the blind!

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