Today, May 13, has much significance in the recent history of the Church. On this day in 1981, Mehmet Ali Agca attempted to assassinate Pope John Paul II. The Holy Father attributed his survival to the protection of Our Lady of Fatima because on this same day in 1917, three shepherd children in the Portuguese village of Fatima reported the first of several apparitions of the Blessed Virgin. On the same date - May 13, 1917 - Fr. Eugenio Pacelli, the future Pope Pius XII, was consecrated a bishop. Pius XII was one of our great Marian popes, and formally exercised his ex cathedra authority to promulgate the dogmatic definition of our Mother's Assumption into Heaven. May 13 is also the birthday of Blessed Pope Pius IX who also explicitly invoked his infallible ex cathedra teaching authority to promulgate the dogmatic definition of Our Lady's Immaculate Conception. Today is also the forty-third anniversary of Monsignor James Kidder's (my pastor's) ordination to the priesthood. Happy anniversary Monsignor!
Scripture tells us the hairs on our heads are all numbered, and not a single sparrow falls from the sky without God knowing of it. For that reason, I don't believe there's really such a thing as a coincidence in our Blessed Lord's divine providence. Looking back on my own life, it's still amazing to me that I, someone who wasn't even born a Catholic, am now studying to be a priest. At the same time though I have to believe that if it is indeed God's will that I be a priest, He would have known that from all eternity before I was even conceived. God arranged things to happen in my life to 1) bring me into His Church and admit me to His sacraments, and 2) inspire me to apply to our diocese and the seminary.
Our Holy Father is currently engaged in a pilgrimage to Fatima for the anniversary of Our Lady's appearances to the children there ninety-three years ago. He just delivered an awesome sermon which touches on Our Lady's message of prayer, repentance, and conversion. Pray the Rosary for an increase in vocations to the priesthood and for peace in the world.