A Rosary for Peace will be prayed on the court square in Newnan on Saturday, and Cowetans who have not had their pets blessed have one more opportunity.
Members of St. George Catholic Church prayed at the historic Coweta County Courthouse last year on the 100th anniversary of the appearance of Mary to children at Fatima, Portugal. The Rosary for Peace will be prayed again this year – on Saturday at noon.
“This is the 101st anniversary of the final appearance of Mary to the children at Fatima in 1917,” said Deacon Steve Beers of St. George.
Local congregations – St. George, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Resurrection Lutheran Church and Moreland United Methodist Church – have already held their Blessing of the Animals this year. Emory Chapel United Methodist Church will hold its animal blessing on Saturday at 2 p.m.
The animal blessing ceremonies will be held at the church parking lot at 2677 Highway 34 west of Newnan. “All are welcome – and encouraged – to attend,” said Emory Chapel member Jane Johnson.
In 1917, three young Portuguese children reported seeing the Blessed Virgin Mary who “promised the defeat of the Russian Bear if only people would invoke her aid through the power of the Rosary,” Beers related.
“Mary appeared to the three children six times over a period of six months on the 13th of each month from April-October 1917,” he added.
At her final appearance on Oct. 13, 1917, there appeared what many described as “The Miracle of the Sun,” wherein the sun appeared to be spinning wildly toward the earth, but then suddenly returned to its normal position in the sky.
“Many people – believers and non-believers alike – who witnessed the event considered it proof that she was truly appearing to the children and her promise for peace through praying the Rosary was true,” Beers said. “That promise continues today. It is a work in process.”
Many devoted Catholics pray the Rosary daily. Beers said the public is invited “to celebrate the advent of the 101st anniversary of Our Lady’s last appearance to Lucia, Jacinta and Francisco” at a public recitation of the prayer on Saturday at noon on the court square.
Beers will lead the prayer in both English and Spanish. The is an opportunity “to ask our Lady’s help in alleviating all that is disturbing our peace in the world today,” he said.
St. Francis of Assisi
Blessing of the Animals ceremonies are usually held in conjunction with the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals. His feast day was Oct. 4.
Moreland Methodist had an animal blessing Oct. 3. St. George’s was Oct. 6, and Resurrection and St. Paul’s held ceremonies Oct. 7.
In honor of St. Francis, the outreach committee at St. Paul’s Episcopal is collecting items needed by animals and encouraging volunteers to help the Newnan-Coweta Humane Society during the month of October.
Needed items for cats include kitten food – wet and dry, disposable litter trays, cat litter, small scratching posts and hideaway beds with sides and a top.
For dogs, items needed include Kuranda elevated beds, dog food, one or two college dorm chairs and money to buy food. Heavy-duty toys – not stuffed – are also on the doggie wish list.
The society needs computer paper and HP 592 ink – black and color – for the office copier.
St. Paul’s outreach committee is also encouraging people to volunteer with the humane society. Volunteer opportunities include fostering pets, as well as administrative work and help with special events.