The Beginning of the 100th Anniversary of Fatima is Confusing
If I mention Fatima to you, what would you mention first? (Yes, I mean this literally not as a rhetorical question. Say whatever it is). I think it is wild how vast the responses would be:
- Maybe you would tell me about whether Russia was consecrated.
- Fourth Secret anyone?
- Akita and its message (I’m guilty of this, but more on that later in this article).
- That Pope Francis said he is “the bishop in white” (I’m not sure what he really meant by saying that- Rorate Coeli reports this at this link)
- That it was not true (I seriously hope no Catholic says this, but there are Christians out there, one Robert Thiel in particular, who claims that Our Lady wore a mini-skirt at the first apparition — seriously, stay away from his book, Fatima Shock as it is full of factual error)
- That the third secret was not all released
- That it predicted world war III starting today (yes, I decline to link to the “visionary” statements claiming this, but there were several, trust me)
- on and on…
Here’s what I love about it: it really is a vast subject because 7 visits from the Blessed Mother and three from an angel have been a constant subject of discussion for one hundred years. That’s awesome, really.
I say it is confusing, though, because everyone focused on today as the 100th anniversary. True, today is the feast, but the last apparition occurred in October. That means I can write several articles over the next six months!!!
Cut the Confusion: Here’s the Skinny on Fatima
One hundred years ago today, Our Lady appeared to the three young children in Fatima, Portugal. On this first day of a series of visitations from her spanning until October, the first message was clear: pray the rosary daily. Well, the series of questions from the Blessed Mother are fairly clear, ending in the exhortation. Here are the things she said in sequence:
“Please don’t be afraid of me,” the Lady said to the children;”I’m not going to harm you.”
“I come from heaven,”
“I want you to return here on the thirteenth of each month for the next six months, and at the very same hour,” the Lady said. “Later I shall tell you who I am, and what it is that I most desire. And I shall return here yet a seventh time.”
“Will you offer yourselves to God, and bear all the sufferings He sends you? In atonement for all the sins that offend Him? And for the conversion of sinners?”
“Then you will have a great deal to suffer,” the Lady said, “but the grace of God will be with you and will strengthen you.”
“Say the Rosary every day,” she directed, “to bring peace to the world and an end to the war.”
I added those emphases. That brings me to a question: do you say your rosary daily? (don’t be like Jimmy over there and ignore that question or act like you didn’t hear it, do you?).
Later, Our Lady will reveal that she is “Our Lady of the Rosary.”
The Reason to Get off your Duff and Say Your Rosary
The real reason is that Our Lady asked. Some folks know that and just haven’t made a habit. Others are never quite satisfied with that, though. Here’s some more explanation. In her book, “Calls” From the Message of Fatima, Sr. Lucia (affiliate link to book, help Bellarmine Forum by using it). Sister Lucia said it this way:
Even for those people who do not know how, or who are not able to recollect themselves sufficiently to meditate, the simple act of taking the rosary in their hands in order to pray is already to become mindful of God, and the mention in each decade of a mystery of the life of Christ recalls Him to their minds; this in turn will light in their souls the gentle light of faith which supports the still smouldering [sic] wick, preventing it from extinguishing itself altogether.
Calls…, p. 134. This is not a cry from Sr. Lucia that “something is better than nothing. Rather, she is directly referring to the action of grace this activity brings from God Himself. Although I took the account out of the account above, Our Lady had cast light onto the children just prior to exhorting them to pray the Rosary, right after they agreed to accept suffering God sends them. It was grace. Sr. Lucia hammers this point about the Rosary in the next paragraph (ouch!):
On the other hand, those who give up saying the Rosary and who do not go to daily Mass, have nothing to sustain them, and so end up by losing themselves in the materialism of earthly life.
Id. That’s a gut punch. It is well deserved, though.
Thus the Rosary is the prayer which God, through his Church and Our Lady, has recommended most insistently to us all, as a road to and gateway of salvation: «Pray the Rosary every day» (Our Lady, 13th May 1917).
So, ask yourself whether you want to do what Our Lady asks. (I know you just said yes). I mentioned Akita above — yes, Our Lady said pray the rosary there, too.
Do you say your rosary daily? And, by the way, what was your answer to my first question? (third secret or the comment by Pope Francis) I’m guessing unless you tell me! Would you leave it in the comments below?
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About John B. Manos
John B. Manos, Esq. is an attorney and chemical engineer. He has a dog, Fyo, and likes photography, astronomy, and dusty old books published by Benzinger Brothers. He is the President of the Bellarmine Forum.