There are no specific birth and death dates of the Virgin Mary. However, the day in which Our Lady of Fatima is celebrated in the Chruch is May 13th. That is the day she appeared to the children 100 years ago in 1917. On May 13th 1946, Pope Pius XII granted a canonical coronation to the venerated image enshrined at the Chapel of the Apparitions of Fátima.
On a broad scale, the Virgin Mary is the patron saint of human activity. Specifically, Our Lady of Fatima is the Lady of the Rosary.
In 1916, nine-year-old Lúcia Santos and her cousins Jacinta and Francisco Marto were herding sheep at the Cova da Iria near their home. They later said they were visited three times by an apparition of an angel. They said the angel, who identified himself as "The Angel of Peace", taught them prayers, to make sacrifices, and to spend time in adoration of the Lord.
Eight months had passed since the last apparition of the Angel. Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta continued to practice what the Angel had taught them, praying and offering sacrifices to the Lord.
The children were hearing sheep at the Cove of Irene. It was there that the children saw a woman "brighter than the sun, shedding rays of light clearer and stronger than a crystal goblet filled with the most sparkling water and pierced by the burning rays of the sun."The woman wore a white mantle edged with gold and held a rosary in her hand. She asked them to devote themselves to the Holy Trinity and to pray "the Rosary every day, to bring peace to the world and an end to the war".
While the children had never told anyone about seeing the angel, Jacinta told her family about seeing the brightly lit woman. Lúcia had earlier said that the three should keep this experience private. Jacinta's disbelieving mother told neighbors about it as a joke, and within a day the whole village knew of the children's vision.
The second apparition occurred June 13th. A small crowd gathered to watch the children.
The Virgin told the children to continue to pray the rosary everyday, and to learn how to read and write. Lucia asks the lady if they will go to Heaven and the lady replied "Yes, I shall take Jacinta and Francisco soon, but you will remain a little longer, since Jesus wishes you to make me known and loved on earth. He wishes also for you to establish devotion in the world to my Immaculate Heart."
Lucia lived to be 97, while Jacinto and Francisco never made it past the age of 10.
The third apparition took place July 13th. Lucia was scared to go because her pastor attempted to convince her that it was the devil, but she still came.
There, the lady said "I want you to come back here on the thirteenth of next month. Continue to say the Rosary every day in honor of Our Lady of the Rosary, to obtain the peace of the world and the end of the war, because only she can obtain it. You must come here every month, and in October I will tell you who I am and what I want. I will then perform a miracle so that all may believe."
The lady proceeded by telling the children to make sacrifices for sinners. She shows them hell, which is said to mature the children into adulthood.
"This war will end, but if men do not refrain from offending God, another and more terrible war will begin during the pontificate of Pius XI. When you see a night that is lit by a strange and unknown light [this occurred on January 28, 1938], you will know it is the sign God gives you that He is about to punish the world with war and with hunger, and by the persecution of the Church and the Holy Father."
"To prevent this, I shall come to the world to ask that Russia be consecrated to my Immaculate Heart, and I shall ask that on the First Saturday of every month Communions of reparation be made in atonement for the sins-of the world. If my wishes are fulfilled, Russia will be converted and there will be peace; if not, then Russia will spread her errors throughout the world, bringing new wars and persecution of the Church; the good will be martyred and the Holy Father will have much to suffer; certain nations will be annihilated. But in the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, and she will be converted, and the world will enjoy a period of peace. In Portugal the faith will always be preserved..."
Artur Santos, an apostate catholic, devised a plan to prevent the children from attending the fourth apparition. He put them on trial and even threatened to throw them into boiling water and kill them in order to get them to say they were lying. The children stayed true to their faith and went to visit the lady on the 19th of August.
Despite the ridicule and jokes of the secular, atheistic press, more than 30,000 people gathered in the Cova for the September apparition. There, the lady reminded them again of the miracle to come in October.
The sixth and final apparition was attended by 70,000 spectators. There the lady said she was the Lady of the Rosary and that there had to be a chapel built in the location in her honor.
Her miracle became known as the miracle of the sun. As the Lady of the Rosary rose toward the east she turned the palms of her hands toward the dark sky. While the rain stopped, dark clouds continued to obscure the sun, which suddenly burst through them and was seen to be a soft spinning disk of silver. The sun turned white, yellow, and blue. It seemed. To dance around and then it looked as if it were hurling toward the people. The spectators began reciting prayers and confessing sins, until suddenly the sun returned back to normal.