Our Very Own Fatima

Santa Maria College is fortunate to have a dedicated member of staff who has a special devotion to Our Lady of Fatima. Born in Portugal, Fatima Horta, has given more than 40 years of loyal service to the College. One of her favourite tasks is cleaning our beautiful Chapel and placing fresh flowers at the shrine of Mary.

Fatima is a loving mother, devoted grandmother and much-loved member of staff. A dedicated Catholic, Fatima is devoted to Mary and the rosary, a wonderful example for family and staff to emulate.

We asked Fatima a few questions about her devotion to the rosary and the message she has about the power of reciting this well-known prayer.

Why were you named Fatima?

In Portugal, it is customary for everyone to have a Saint’s name. All my sisters were given the name of Mary as a first or second name, but when it got to naming me, my mother chose to name me after Our Lady of Fatima. My mother had a strong devotion to Our Lady, so it is no wonder we carry the name of Mary.

Who taught you to pray the rosary?

We learnt to pray the rosary from my mother, our aunts and the neighbours who gathered every night in our home to pray the rosary. Praying the rosary became part of our daily life.

Why do you have a special devotion to our Lady of Fatima?

Our Lady of Fatima is special to me, not only because I was named after her appearance at Fatima, but because of the promise she made, especially to Lucia, that she would show herself to the world by a powerful sign. For the past 40 years, I have gone to St Patrick’s Basilica on 13 May to join thousands of parishioners in commemorating this day with a Mass followed by a procession of Our Lady through the streets of Fremantle. This day is special to me. I feel particularly close to Mary on this day.

Why do you pray the rosary?

I pray the rosary because whatever I have asked of Our Lady through the rosary, she has granted. She is a powerful intercessor and petitions God directly on my behalf.

Why is it important for mothers to teach their children how to pray?

Mothers have a special responsibility to pass on the faith to their children, and especially to teach them about Our Lady. Today it seems that most of this responsibility falls to grandparents. I do not want my grandchildren to lose the faith which has sustained our family. I want my grandchildren to know that Mary is their mother too and that they can ask her to pray for them. 

What message do you have for us about the power of praying the rosary?

The rosary is a powerful prayer because Our Lady listens. She is ready to take our prayers directly to Jesus. How can Jesus refuse a request from his mother? Our Lady promised that whatever we ask through the rosary will be granted. This is very powerful, and I hope more people will come to realise what a wonderful gift we have been given through this prayer.  

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