Thursday, May 13, 2010
Our Lady of Fatima, B16 Day 3 Portugal
Our Lady of Fatima:
Between May 13 and October 13, 1917, three Portuguese children received apparitions of Our Lady at Cova da Iria, near Fatima, a city 110 miles north of Lisbon. (See February 20 entry for Blessed Jacinta and Francisco Marto). Mary asked the children to pray the rosary for world peace, for the end of World War I, for sinners and for the conversion of Russia. The third visionary, Lucia dos Santos, became a Carmelite nun and died in 2005 at the age of 97.
Mary gave the children three secrets. Since Francisco died in 1919 and Jacinta the following year, Lucia, who later became a Carmelite nun, revealed the first secret in 1927, concerning devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The second secret was a vision of hell.
Pope John Paul II directed the Holy See's Secretary of State to reveal the third secret in 2000; it spoke of a 'bishop in white' who was shot by a group of soldiers who fired bullets and arrows into him. Many people linked this to the assassination attempt against Pope John Paul II in St. Peter's Square on May 13, 1981.
The feast of Our Lady of Fatima was approved by the local bishop in 1930; it was added to the Church's worldwide calendar in 2002. Sister Lucia died in 2005 at the age of 97.
The message of Fatima is simple: Pray. Unfortunately, some people—not Sister Lucia—have distorted these revelations, making them into an apocalyptic event for which they are now the only reliable interpreters. They have, for example, claimed that Mary's request that the world be consecrated to her has been ignored.
Sister Lucia has agreed that Pope John Paul II's public consecration in St. Peter's Square on March 25, 1984, fulfilled Mary's request. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith prepared a June 26, 2000, document explaining the “third secret” (available at www.vatican.va).
Mary is perfectly honored when people generously imitate her response “Let it be done to me as you say” (Luke 1:38). Mary can never be seen as a rival to Jesus or to the Church's teaching authority, as exercised by the college of bishops united with the Bishop of Rome.
“Throughout history there have been supernatural apparitions and signs which go to the heart of human events and which, to the surprise of believers and non-believers alike, play their part in the unfolding of history. These manifestations can never contradict the content of faith, and must therefore have their focus in the core of Christ's proclamation: the Father's love which leads men and women to conversion and bestows the grace required to abandon oneself to him with filial devotion.
This too is the message of Fatima which, with its urgent call to conversion and penance, draws us to the heart of the Gospel” (The Message of Fatima, Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, June 26, 2000).
Third Secret-Cardinal Angelo Sodano:
This morning at the end of Mass at the Shrine of Fatima, Portugal, during which the Pope beatified the shepherd children Jacinta and Francisco, Cardinal Secretary of State Angelo Sodano read out, in Portuguese, a text concerning the third secret of Fatima. The text is given in full below:
"At the conclusion of this solemn celebration, I feel bound to offer to our beloved Holy Father John Paul II, on behalf of all present, heartfelt good wishes for his approaching eightieth birthday and to thank him for his significant pastoral ministry for the good of all God's Holy Church.
"On the solemn occasion of his visit to Fatima, His Holiness has directed me to make an announcement to you. As you know, the purpose of his visit to Fatima has been to beatify the two 'little shepherds'. Nevertheless he also wishes his pilgrimage to be a renewed gesture of gratitude to Our Lady for her protection during these years of his papacy. This protection seems also to be linked to the so-called 'third part' of the secret of Fatima.
"That text contains a prophetic vision similar to those found in Sacred Scripture, which do not describe with photographic clarity the details of future events, but rather synthesize and condense against a unified background events spread out over time in a succession and a duration which are not specified. As a result, the text must be interpreted in a symbolic key.
"The vision of Fatima concerns above all the war waged by atheist systems against the Church and Christians, and it describes the immense suffering endured by the witnesses to the faith in the last century of the second millennium. It is an interminable Way of the Cross led by the Popes of the twentieth century.
"According to the interpretation of the 'little shepherds,' which was also recently confirmed by Sister Lucia, the 'bishop clothed in white' who prays for all the faithful is the Pope. As he makes his way with great effort towards the Cross amid the corpses of those who were martyred (bishops, priests, men and women religious and many lay persons), he too falls to the ground, apparently dead, under a burst of gunfire.
"After the assassination attempt of May 13 1981, it appeared evident to His Holiness that it was 'a motherly hand which guided the bullet's path,' enabling the 'dying Pope' to halt 'at the threshold of death.' On the occasion of a visit to Rome by the then bishop of Leiria-Fatima, the Pope decided to give him the bullet which had remained in the jeep after the assassination attempt, so that it might be kept in the Shrine. At the behest of the bishop, the bullet was later set in the crown of the statue of Our Lady of Fatima.
"The successive events of 1989 led, both in the Soviet Union and in a number of countries of Eastern Europe, to the fall of the Communist regime which promoted atheism. For this too His Holiness offers heartfelt thanks to the Most Holy Virgin. In other parts of the world, however, attacks against the Church and against Christians, together with the burden of suffering which they involve, tragically continue.
Even if the events to which the third part of the Secret of Fatima refers now seem part of the past, Our Lady's call to conversion and penance, issued at the beginning of the twentieth century, remains timely and urgent today. 'The Lady of the message seems to read the signs of the times — the signs of our time — with special insight... The insistent invitation of Mary Most Holy to penance is nothing but the manifestation of her maternal concern for the fate of the human family, in need of conversion and forgiveness.'
"In order that the faithful may better receive the message of Our Lady of Fatima, the Pope has charged the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith with making public the third part of the secret, after the preparation of an appropriate commentary.
"Let us thank Our Lady of Fatima for her protection. To her maternal intercession let us entrust the Church of the Third Millennium.
"'Sub tuum praesidium confugimus, Sancta Dei Genetrix!.'
"Intercede pro Ecclesia Dei! Intercede pro Sancto Patre Iohanne Paolo II! Amen'."
The Blessed Virgin Mary is venerated under this title following apparitions to three shepherd children — Lucia, Jacinta and Francisco — in Portugal in 1917. The message of Fatima includes a call to conversion of heart, repentance from sin and a dedication to the Blessed Virgin Mary, especially through praying the Rosary
Catholic Fire post entry
Our Lady of Fatima special link page
World Apostolate of Fatima
Theotokos Catholic books
The message of Fatima
At 10 a.m. today, liturgical memory of Our Lady of Fatima and the tenth anniversary of the beatification of the shepherd children Francisco and Jacinta, the Pope celebrated the Eucharist on the esplanade of the shrine of Fatima in the presence of 500,000 people
At Mass this morning in the Fatima shrine's square, Pope Benedict said that it would be "mistaken" to consider the prophetic mission of the apparitions at Fatima complete. It continues to be relevant in that it continually invites men and women of good faith “to save the city of man,” he told the 500,000 people gathered for the feast of Our Lady of Fatima
An estimated 500,000 pilgrims were present this morning for Mass at the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima in Portugal. It was a sunny and warm morning there, despite the forecast of possible rain. 163 different pilgrim groups from 33 different countries were confirmed as participants for today’s Mass
In the wake of the sexual abuse crisis, the Church in Italy is expecting “tens of thousands” of faithful to gather in St. Peter’s Square on Sunday in a show of support and solidarity with the Holy Father, and for the purification of the Church
At Mass on Wednesday evening in Fatima, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone spoke about the importance of being like children, humble and simple in our approach to the faith, in order to enter into the kingdom of Heaven. Fatima, he said, reminds us that this kingdom is at hand
Following the Mass at the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima this morning, the Holy Father greeted pilgrims in seven different languages and delivered a special message of encouragement and hope to all who are ill. In offering their suffering to Jesus, he called them to find “interior peace and even spiritual joy.”
In an audience with social workers in Fatima on Thursday afternoon, the Holy Father urged them to apply the wisdom of the Church's teachings to their causes. Among those initiatives he praised for helping build a "civilization of love" were those aimed at combating abortion—legalized in 2007—and the expected approval of same-sex "marriage."