A popular saying states: “For feasts, there is no table without snacks and no Mass without preparations”.

Preparations for our patronal feast, the “Pilgrim Virgin of Fatima” included the person of Archbishop Nicolaos Matti, Patriarchal Vicar of the Syriac Orthodox Church in Spain. He preached each day of the Octave which was animated by the parish choir. His simple reflections on Jesus, based on the day’s gospel, and linked to the miracles of Mary in her visits to our land, led us daily, hand in hand with the Son and the Mother, to the fervent celebration of her feast day on May 13.

We had a pause in Nicolaos’ Octave on Sunday, May 8. Our Archbishop Carlos Osoro took the presider’s chair, preaching and celebrating the Eucharist. We had an emotional moment at the Greeting of Peace when both bishops came together in an ecumenical embrace, demonstrating the longed for unity of Christians.

On the 13th, the doors of our parish were open from 7:30 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. It was the “Day of Open Doors,” with a continual coming and going of the people whose eyes were fixed on the beautiful image of Our Lady of Fatima. With the simplicity of the shepherds, they asked for her blessing, her help and her strength.

At 10:00 p.m., we celebrated the Eucharist. Our church, very nicely filled with God’s people, was a wonderful witness as to how a Mother calls her children to come close to her son. The circle of Oblates gathered in the sanctuary was a silent witness to a unique celebration in honor of their Mother. Adding a special touch was the presence of our vicar provincial, Fr. Ismael GARCIA, and Archbishop Nicolaos, whose vestments contrasted with the sameness of our own.

The Mass was solemnized by the “Saint Thomas Choir” from the Complutense University of Madrid and who delighted us with some songs in Latin.

At the end of Mass, the pastor thanked all for their presence and their participation in both the Octave and the Eucharist on the 13th. Then we went to share some wine and hors d’oeuvres. As we were walking to the dining room, we received many congratulations and an unexpected comment by one of the women who has been coming for many years: “Never have we had such a beautiful celebration in our parish.” (http://nosotrosomi.blogspot.it/ )