Archbishop Fulton Sheen's 1952 analysis of Muslims and the Mother of our Lord:
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XAVERIAN MISSIONSHat Tip: Orbis Catholicvs
of the Xaverian Missionary Fathers
Vol. 1, No. 2
There are 374 million Moslems in the world. These followers of Mohammed believe in God, but they do not believe in Christ as the Son of God. To them, Our Lord was only a prophet announcing Mohammed, as we believe Isaiah was only a prophet announcing Our Lord. For a Moslem to become a Christian is to him like a Christian becoming a Jew. For that reason, conversion of the Moslems is very slow and extremely difficult.
We have a theory about their conversion, and that is that the Revelations of Our Lady at Fatima portends the conversion of the Moslems. Here is the evidence.
1) The Moslems have a strong devotion to the Blessed Mother. As the Koran, which is the Bible of the Moslems, puts it: " O, Mary, Thou hast been chosen and purified and elected above all women of the world." They believe both in her Immaculate Conception and the Virgin Birth. She is the real Lady SAYYIDH of Paradise. Iranian women love to have a statue of her in their homes.
2) Mohammed had a daughter, Fatima, whom he intensely loved. After her death, Mohammed wrote these lines to her: "You will be the most blessed lady SAYYIDH of all women in Paradise, after Mary."
I believe the Blessed Virgin chose to be known as Our Lady of Fatima as a pledge and sign of hope to the Moslem people, and as an assurance that they, who show her so much respect, will one day accept her Divine Son. This explains why she chose the town of Fatima.
Supporting evidence for this view is the historical fact that the Moslems occupied Portugal for centuries. When they were finally driven out, the last chief in the locality where the appearance of Our Lady took place had a beautiful daughter by the name of Fatima.
A Catholic boy fell in love with her, and she not only stayed behind when the Moslems left, but embraced the Faith and became a Catholic.
Her young husband changed the name of the town where he married this last Moslem lady in Portugal, to Fatima. Thus, the very place where Our Lady of Fatima appeared in 1917 has an historical connection with Fatima, the daughter of Mohammed.
A final evidence of the relation of Fatima to the Moslems is the enthusiastic reception which the Moslems, in Africa and India and elsewhere, gave to the pilgrim statue of Our Lady of Fatima. Moslems attended church services in honor of Our Lady of Fatima; they allowed religious processions and even prayers before mosques. In Mozambique, the Moslems (who had been unconvertible) began to be Christian as soon as the Statue of Our Lady of Fatima was erected.
Missionaries in the future will more and more see that their apostolate among the Moslems will be successful in the measure that they give them Our Lady of Fatima.
Mary is the advent of Christ. She brings Christ to people before Christ is born, as she brought the unborn Christ to Elizabeth.
May our missionaries in the Moslem countries more and more see that if they can increase the Moslem devotion to Mary, then she will bring them to her Divine Son. We cannot bring them to Christ, but she can. Through Mary to Jesus...this is the key that can open Moslems' eyes to the fullness of the revelation of God in whom they already believe.
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