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Fatima – A Message that Will Last Another 100 Years

October 31, 2017 by  
Filed under Book Club, Vicki Burbach

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Fatima – A Message that Will Last Another 100 Years

The Lord (Week 20 of 23)

Prophet after prophet is sent by God to help his people understand his sacred history; to take the plunge into faith and life in accordance with the divine contract, in order that for the faith thus dared they may be blessed with a national fulfillment far beyond their natural capacities as a tiny people surrounded by powerful empires. – The Lord (Part 6: Chapter VII, Paragraph 12)

As a convert, I spent many years too overwhelmed to look into anything that was not featured front and center in Sacred Scripture or indexed in the Catechism. But much time has passed. And this year – no doubt like many of you – I have been inspired by the 100th Anniversary of Fatima. From May 13th through the anniversary of the miracle in October, and even now, I have had a desire to become more intimately familiar with the apparitions of Our Lady and with the Fatima message in its entirety. Finally, after many years of hearing the word Fatima, I am just beginning to fit the pieces together, to feel more comfortable with all that transpired in Portugal and throughout the world as a result of Divine Providence, delivered at the hand of Our Lady.

In honor of the 100th anniversary of the miracle, I turned to The Miracle and the Message: 100 Years of Fatima, by John C. Preiss. Finally, I recognized the message as it relates to history and politics and even the events of the modern day. The prophetic message that was shared at Fatima has hit me this time like never before. Many of you are familiar with the miracle of October; but are you familiar with other compelling events that occurred? Here are just a few interesting facts I learned about the Fatima apparitions:

1. An Angel appeared to the children of Fatima the three times in the year before Mary appeared. Here is how Lucia records some of the Angel's words at the second apparition:

Make of everything you can a sacrifice, and offer it to God as an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended, and in supplication for the conversion of sinners. You will thus draw down peace upon your country.”

Considering I write a blog about sacrifice, these comments strike at the heart of what I've felt called to discuss over this past year.

2. In May, 1917, The first time Mary appeared to the children, Lucia asked her about a couple of girls who had recently died. “They were friends of mine and used to come to my home and learn weaving with my eldest sister.”

Lucia: Is Maria das Neves in heaven?

Mary: Yes, she is.

Lucia: And Amelia?

Mary: She will be in purgatory until the end of the world.

This encounter made a strong impact as I contemplated my own eternity.

3. “This first apparition of Mary occurred on the Church's Feast of Our Lady of the Eucharist, and already the Mother of God was drawing the children to adore the Lord in the Holy Eucharist. As our heavenly Mother, Mary desires to lead all her children closer to the Eucharistic heart of Jesus, our food for eternal life.” – p. 38

I had never heard about the Eucharist in association with Our Lady of Fatima. But apparently, Our Lady impressed a great love for the Eucharist upon the children she addressed, and she called upon all of us to live out our Faith at a much deeper level.

4. In the first apparition (May 13, 1917), Our Lady said, “Say the Rosary every day in order to obtain peace for the world and the end of the war.” Our Lady mentioned praying the Rosary daily several times throughout her appearances. In October, she actually said, “I am the Lady of the Rosary.” (p. 52)

5. In June, which is the month devoted to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Mary “urged that her Immaculate Heart be honored along with the devotion to the Sacred Heart.” She said, “Jesus wishes to make use of you to make me known and loved. He wants to establish devotion to my Immaculate Heart in the world.” (p. 39)

6. Mary foretold the horrors of World War II. “The war will end (WWI), but if men do not cease offending God, another and more terrible war will break out during the pontificate of Pius XI. When you see a night lit up by an unknown light, know that it is the sign God gives you that he is about to punish the world for its crimes by means of war, hunger, and persecution of the Church and the Holy Father. In order to prevent this, I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart, and the Communion of reparation on the first Saturdays. If my wishes are fulfilled, Russia will be converted and there will be peace. If not, Russia will spread her errors throughout the world, promoting wars and persecution of the Church… (p. 42-43)

7. It wasn't until March 25,1984, that Russia was properly consecrated to Mary's Immaculate Heart by Pope John Paul II, along with ‘a moral totality' of Bishops. I think this is where the book caught hold and did not release me. As a great lover of history, I am particularly moved, knowing that Mary played a key role in some of the most profound events of the last century. In addition to the apparitions themselves, here are just a few events that transpired after the consecration:

  • May 13, 1984 – “On the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima…an explosion at Severomorsk, Russia, destroyed 80 percent of Russia's missiles, rendering them no longer a superpower.”
  • December 13, 1984 – “an explosion in Siberia destroyed Russia's largest ammunition base.”
  • December 19, 1984 – “Marshal Ustinove, the Soviet minister of defense, died, and three days later Marshal Sodolov, the second minister of defense died.”
  • March 1985 – “(one year after the consecration), President Chernenko died and Mikhial Gorbachev was made president of the Soviet Union. He was the first baptized Christian to become president of USSR, although he remained a Communist. He institituted glasnost (openness to the world) and perestroika (restructuring of the Soviet economy) and allowed increased freedom of the press and freedom of religion. The innovations were truly the downfall of atheistic communism, and, as a result, fifteen republics were liberated.”
  • November 9, 1989 – “Berlin Wall came down without a single shot fired, and Gorbachev met with Pope Joh Paul II at the Vatican and promised religious freedom.” – p. 104-105

But there's more. Here is a complete passage from The Miracle and the Message describing further events that demonstrated Mary's intimate role in the fall of communism:

On August 19 [1991], the Communists attempted to overthrow Gorbachev. They picked the wrong day, for it was the seventy-fourth anniversary of the August apparition of Our Lady of Fatima. On August 22, (the Feast of the Queenship of Mary), the coup was crushed and the Communists were defeated. Two months later, on October 13, the first pilgrims from Russia went to Fatima…On December 8, the Solemnity of Mary's Immaculate Conception, the USSR was dissolved peacefully and the regime of the Commonwealth of Indpendent States began. Twelve days later, Boris Yeltsin met with Pope John Paul II in Rome. On December 25, the Communist hammer and sickle flag came down for the last time over Russia. Gorbachev resigned and sent a letter to Pope John Paul II…Most significant of all, on Christmas day in 1992, Communism was declared illegal in Russia. -p. 112-113

Fatima was not merely a message for those living in the early 20th Century. This message is for us to hear and to live out today, and for years to come. God is very much interested in our lives and has offered His mother as a loving messenger, compelling us to partake in great devotion to Him and to reject the lies of the world. In The Miracle and the Message, the author concludes,

The message of Fatima is for all people, and it is just as relevant and important for our faith today as it was one hundred years ago. What Mary and the Angel taught the children at Fatima in 1917 touches on our whole spiritual life today — a life of faith, hope and love. It is the Holy Spirit inspiring our love of God and one another that purifies and sanctifies us. We live out his love in our prayer, our acts of reparation, and especially our devotion to Christ and His holy mother, beginning and ending with the Eucharist. 

Ultimately, Mary appeared to the three little shepherds to bring us all closer to God as we learn to believe, hope, trust and love Him. It is now up to us to accept Our Lady’s call and learn, live, and share its truths. This message is a message of hope for all of us. Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us! Saint Francisco, Saint Jacinta, and Lucia, pray for us! — 140-141

Reading Assignment:

Part 6: Ch. XI-XII; Part 7: Ch. I-II

Discussion Questions:

1. Have you been inspired by the message of Fatima? If so, how?

2. Feel free to comment on anything from our assignment this past week.

Read More: https://spiritualdirection.com/topics/book-club

For More Information on the Book Club:  https://spiritualdirection.com/csd-book-club

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About Vicki Burbach

Vicki Burbach is a wife and homeschooling mother of six children ages four to sixteen years who relishes the calm inspiration of spiritual reading amidst the roller coaster of life. A passionate convert to the Faith, Vicki is an avid reader who started the SpiritualDirection.com book club so she could embark with like-minded bibliophiles on a spiritual journey through some of the greatest Catholic books ever written. She is author of the new book How to Read Your Way to Heaven - A Spiritual Reading Program for the Worst of Sinners, the Greatest of Saints, and Everyone in Between. You can also find her at pelicansbreast.com

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