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Ecclesia Dei Commission Decree on Fatima Centenary

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This year the Church will mark on May 13th the centenary of the apparitions of the Virgin Mary at Fátima, and see the canonization of Blessed Jacinta and Francisco Marto, two of the children to whom Our Lady appeared and spoke. In the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite, the feast of Our Lady of Fatima is on the general Calendar, and may be celebrated as an optional memorial on that day, but in the Extraordinary Form, it is the feast of St Robert Bellarmine. The Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei has just published the following decree concerning the celebration of a Votive Mass of Our Lady on the day of the centenary.

“Since many of the Christian faithful who are attached to the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite have a particular and fervent devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary of Fatima, as the centenary of Her first apparition approaches, the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, having considered the General Rubrics of the Roman Missal published in 1962 (and especially no. 341), and wishing to encourage the devotion of the faithful to the Blessed Virgin Mary of Fatima, by the force of the ordinary power which it enjoys in this regard (see Universae Ecclesiae no. 9), grants and permits that on May 13th, 2017, a votive Mass of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary (as on August 22nd) may be licitly and freely celebrated as a Votive Mass of the Second Class (which is explained in numbers 341 and 343 of the General Rubrics), by any priest of the Latin Rite, whether secular or regular, in accord with the other General Rubrics that pertain to Votive Masses of the Second Class and to commemorations. All things to the contrary notwithstanding. Given at Rome from the offices of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, April 5th, 2017. ” (Signed by Card. Gerhard Müller, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faithful, and Archbishop Guido Pozzo, Secretary of the Commission.)

Since section 343a of the General Rubrics states that Votive Masses of the Second Class admit one commemoration, the commemoration of St Robert should not to be omitted by those who do avail themselves of the permission granted hereby.


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