Many people know that St. John Paul II was shot on May 13, 1981, the memorial of Our Lady of Fatima. Many, however, do not know that on that day the Pope was planning to announce the establishment of his Pontifical Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family. This was to be a significant platform for spreading the message of Theology of the Body throughout the world.  John Paul II credits Our Lady of Fatima for deflecting the bullet and saving his life. Because of this, the next year on October 7, 1982, on the Feast of the Holy Rosary, St. John Paul II entrusted the Pontifical Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family to the care and protection of Our Lady of Fatima.


The following was shared with Cardinal Carlo Caffara, founding president of the Pontifical Institute, appointed by John Paul II.


The final battle between the Lord and the reign of Satan will be about marriage and the familyDon’t be afraidshe added, because anyone who works for the sanctity of marriage and the family will always be fought and opposed in every way, because this is the decisive issueHowever, Our Lady has already crushed its head.
— Prophesy by visionary,
Sr. Lucia dos Santos of Fatima


Marriage and family is the battlefield in the final war between Good and Evil. Our Lady gave us the Rosary and instructed us to pray it daily for world peace. St. John Paul II gave us Theology of the Body as the antidote to the attack on marriage and family.


On this Feast of Our Lady of Fatima, let us join hands and pray for the protection of marriage and family. Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us. St. John Paul II, pray for us.


Written by Debbie Staresinic

Debbie is the author of two sets of Rosary meditations inspired by St. John Paul II. Her most recent book “On a Mission to Love: Rosary Meditations for Children and Families” was written with Catholic schools and families in mind. The optional decade a day format helps cultivate the important habit of praying the Rosary daily while instilling the truths about the human person as revealed by Jesus in the Gospel. To learn more about “On a Mission to Love” click here. The book is also available as a gift set which includes a beautiful children’s rosary.