BLESSED MOTHER. Pope Francis touches the statue of Our Lady of Fatima at the General Audience in St. Peter’s Square, Vatican City on May 13, 2015. It has been 106 years since Mary appeared before three children in Fatima, Portugal, an apparition recognized by the Church. (Courtesy of Daniel Ibanez/CNA via CBCP News)

MANILA – Amid growing tensions around the world, such as the Russia-Ukraine war, migrant problems, random shootings, and calamities like earthquakes and tropical cyclones, a parish priest echoed the calls of the Blessed Virgin Mary for mankind to repent now and pray the Rosary daily to attain genuine and lasting peace.

Fr. Carlos Reyes, parish priest of the Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Makati City, told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Saturday that “man’s continued sinfulness has offended God, and it is about time to repent and pray, especially the Rosary, to avert the wrath of God before it is too late.”

“It is important to attain spiritual healing by asking for God’s forgiveness during these troubled times,” he said in an exclusive interview on the 106th anniversary of Mary’s apparition in Fatima, Portugal.

On May 13, 1917, siblings Francisco and Jacinta Marto, aged 9 and 7, respectively, and their cousin, 10-year-old Lucia dos Santos, were out with their flock when they saw a figure of a woman dressed in white and holding a rosary.

The Virgin Mary appeared to the children on the 13th of every month until October and sent a message of repentance and prayer.

The Church proclaimed the supernatural character of the apparitions in 1930 and a shrine was erected at Fatima. It was visited by Blessed Paul VI in 1967, and later by St. John Paul II and Benedict XVI.

Reyes said the human race should heed the call of the Blessed Virgin to repent and return to God.

“Troubles in the world like wars, terror attacks, natural disasters, and the coronavirus, are part of the purification process for mankind to heed the call for penance, penance, penance,” Reyes said.

Meanwhile, the Pontifical International Marian Academy (PIMA) announced in a press conference on May 3 that it would launch an international observatory on Marian apparitions to protect vulnerable followers from false seers and swindlers.

According to a statement, the observatory aims "to provide concrete support to the study, authentication, and correct disclosure of such events, always in harmony with church teaching, relevant authorities, and applicable norms of the Holy See.”

PIMA was founded in 1946 to promote scientific, speculative, and historico-critical studies of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and to promote Marian devotion. (PNA)