100 years of Our Lady of Fatima celebrated


Archbishop urges faithful to exercise wisdom from above

By Anne Marie Rodriguez
Umatuna Si Yu’os

In honor of the 100th Anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima, about a hundred of our island’s faithful gathered for the final Rosary Rally held on Saturday, Oct. 14 at the Plaza de España in Hagåtña.

Beginning at the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral Basilica, novenas to Our Lady preceded the event with Archbishop Michael Byrnes scheduled to talk to the congregation that Saturday morning.

“Two main messages that I take away from Our Lady of Fatima,” began Archbishop Byrnes, thanking the Blessed Mother for the clear weather. “Pray the Rosary for peace … that is our primary spiritual weapon in seeking peace in the world.

“Second message … puts the obligation on us. That is to say: seeking personal holiness… In particular, I want to focus today on how we speak with one another.”

The archbishop quoted from the book of James, “How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell.” (Jas 3:5-6)

“What is the gospel calling you and I to do with the tongue?” the archbishop continued. “First of all, to put to death those enemies of peace: gossip… slander, envy, jealousy…

“These are the enemies of peace that you and I are to put to death—not just on the global sphere, but right in our homes.”

Archbishop Byrnes mentioned that in order to counter these enemies, we are to use, what St. James called, the “wisdom from above.”

“The wisdom of the world is about provoking … slandering others, destroying reputations through words. That’s the wisdom from below,” remarked the archbishop.

“But the wisdom from above is very pure and peaceful, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.”

Archbishop Byrnes stated, “This is our charge. This is our call—to be men and women who exercise the wisdom from above in all our speech … but we approach those disagreements as people who are peaceful, who are gentle … who are sincere.”

Concluding his reflection on Our Lady of Fatima, the archbishop urged the faithful to “make a resolution in our hearts … to exercise the wisdom from above.”

Following the talk by Archbishop Byrnes, a short procession was made from the cathedral to the plaza where the statue of Our Lady was placed in the gazebo located at the center of the square. Novenas, rosaries, and litanies were prayed to Our Lady.