Why the message of Fatima is just as relevant today as it was then.
This Saturday (tomorrow) is a big day, and I’m not sure
everyone realizes just HOW big. It’s the 100th anniversary of the
apparitions of the Virgin Mary in Fatima, Portugal – apparitions officially
investigated and then approved by the Church. It’s not the jubilee anniversary
that makes these apparitions significant, though. It’s the actual messages given
there, and the relevancy they have on the world today… And not just for
Catholics but EVERYONE.
You see, 100 years ago the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to
the three shepherd children in a town called Fátima. It’s a place named after two
revered women with the name Fatima: a Muslim princess and the daughter of
Mohammed (the founder of Islam). Ironically, Mohammed said his daughter,
Fatima, “would have the highest place in heaven after the Virgin Mary."
And the Muslim princess, called Fatima or al-Zahra (meaning “shining one”) later
converted to Catholicism.
So it is very VERY ironic that on May 13, 1917 that’s how
the three Catholic Fatima children saw the Blessed Virgin Mary. The beloved
daughter of the Eternal Father and the Queen of Heaven and Earth appeared to
them full of light, shining. The oldest
child, Lucia, described it as “a lady, clothed in white, brighter than the sun,
radiating a light more clear and intense than a crystal cup filled with
sparkling water lit by burning sunlight.” Basically, what they saw was “the
woman clothed with the sun” in the book of Revelations (Rev 12:1). They saw
The Blessed Virgin Mary asked the children to come back to
that place every month on the 13th, for the next 6 months. Each
month she gave them messages. She asked for people to pray the rosary for world
peace. She said the current war (WWI) would end but if the world does not
repent and turn back to God, a greater war would soon start (WWII). She showed
the children a vision of Hell and asked that sacrifices be made for sinners,
because so many people go to hell and no one is praying for souls. She asked
for the consecration of Russia to Her Immaculate Heart, otherwise the nation
would spread its errors throughout the world and there would be no peace. She asked
for penance. She predicted the persecution of the Church in the end times. She
promised her protection and ultimately her triumph.
She said she would tell them who she was, and give them a
sign that her apparitions were real on the last visit, the sixth month. And on
October 13th, the “woman
clothed with the sun” gave it to them. 70,000 people witnessed the sun “dance”
in the sky, pulsating and spinning, just before it plunged toward earth
terrifying everyone who saw it. Then it returned to its original position.
Why does all this matter now, today, in 2017, one hundred
years later? Because her messages were not just about that time period, but
also this one. The message of Fatima is every bit as relevant today as it was
then, perhaps in some cases, even more so.
Mary told Lucia that the final battle Satan would wage
against humanity would be against marriage and the family. This is ironic now,
as humanity attempts to legally redefine marriage, and gives parents the rights
to kill their unborn children.
The message of Fatima involved Muslims, Christians, even
Russia. This too is also ironic since today Russia and the U.S. disagree on how
to handle Syria’s Assad regime.
The message of Fatima predicted the persecution of the
Church, which today suffers not only from severe moral deprivation but also at
the hands of terrorists who see it as a body of infidels.
The message of Fatima spoke about world wars and mass
destruction. Ironically, today many countries around the world are moving
strategic military pieces into place. Aside from North Korea’s nuclear and
missile tests, they also have satellites currently orbiting the U.S. in patterns
that some experts believe are suggestive of an EMP (electromagnetic pulse)
attack – a Russian design from the Cold War. Additionally, the U.S tested the
Minuteman 3 intercontinental ballistic missile, Japanese officials warned its
citizens to make preparations for a possible nuclear attack, Iran blasted a
torpedo in a test mission on the Strait of Hormuz, and China has collected
anti-warship missiles and urged its citizens in North Korea to return home.
This is a sliver – a small, little fraction – of the disheartening news
headlines from around the world.
My point: it’s not rocket science. Things are very unstable
and WWIII is a real possibility.
But no, I do not say all this to incite fear. The message of
Fatima, while sobering, is a message of hope. It’s a message of triumph,
victory and peace… it's a message of protection and security. If – IF—we listen
to the Virgin Mary’s warning. If we turn back to God, if we begin to pray, if
we repent, and make sacrifices for our sins and the sins of the world.
So, why is the message of Fatima important today? Because
history is bound to repeat itself if lessons are not learned. Because the earth
is like a boulder rolling down a hill into the end times. Because God’s justice
is fast approaching.
The message of Fatima still rings loud and clear, friends,
perhaps even more loud and even more clear as the 100-year-old prophecies
unfold before our very eyes. But, it doesn’t have to end in destruction. She
promised victory if we take heed. Our fate lies in our own hands – in the hands
folded in prayer, especially those grasping her beads.
So this Saturday, remember, the Fatima jubilee celebration
is not a remembrance or a memorial, it’s not commemorative event of things long
passed… it’s a call, a reminder, an awakening to the present. It’s another appeal
from the true “shining one,” a plea for conversion, right here, right now.
I pray this Saturday you hear this plea deep in your heart,
that you answer the call to daily prayer and sacrifice, that you pledge
allegiance to the army of Mary for the peace of the world, and that you are set
on fire with a renewed love of God and his laws. You, my friend have a role to play in this victory! You have a job to do in this Triumph. You have a part in whether or not we experience the justice and chastisements of God, or whether we experience His blessing, protection and peace. You are called to spread the message of Fatima with your voice and your prayers and your life.
May you be blessed with the grace to know, love, and live
the message of Fatima spoken to the world 100 years ago. Peace be with you all.