The Message of Fatima – 100 Years Later

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It was the year 1917, the world was in turmoil…war was raging across Europe, with men using horrible means to destroy one another…Meanwhile in Moscow, Lenin was planning a revolution that would turn Russia on it’s head and change the government and the people there forever. It was precisely at this moment in time, in a small hilly area of Portugal, called Fatima, that Heaven was allowed to open and three young shepherd children were visited by the Blessed Mother, under the title of ‘The Lady of the Rosary.’ She had come to turn the wicked hearts of man away from their sinfulness and bring them back to her son, Jesus. The message she brought was one of penance, prayer and a devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Mary told the children: “Men must amend their lives, and ask pardon for their sins. . . . They must no longer offend Our Lord, Who is already so much offended.”  A major part of the Fatima message, is for men to turn away from sin and whatever else causes our Lord to grieve. In 1916, the children were visited by an angel to prepare them for the visits of Our Lady, and the angel told the children: “Offer up everything in your power as a sacrifice to the Lord in reparation for the sins by which He is offended, and in supplication for the conversion of sinners . . . More than all else, accept and bear with resignation the sufferings that God may send you.” In 1917 during the August apparition, the Blessed Mother told the children  “pray much and make sacrifices for sinners, for many sinners go to hell because there is no one to make sacrifices for them.”

During these final days of Lent it is a perfect time to reflect on this aspect of the message…we should be availing ourselves to the sacrament of confession…and making an honest effort to turn away from all that separates us from the Lord and causes Him to grieve…we should be trying to do more than just what is required of us…we should be trying to offer up the little sacrifices throughout our days…as little bouquets that we can place with trust, into the hands of our Blessed Mother…who with her Immaculate Heart can make these little bouquets divine…and offer to them to her Son for us…as a reparation for the many offenses we have already offered Him on our own…

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The second thing that the Blessed Mother stressed to the children of Fatima was the need to develop a prayer life…specifically to develop a devotion to the Holy Rosary. So much so, was her desire that the children spread this devotion, that she referred to herself as The Lady of the Rosary. In each of her apparitions she called for the children to pray the Rosary daily, especially for world peace…In her third apparition she said: “You must recite the Rosary every day in honor of Our Lady of the Rosary to obtain peace for the world and the end of the war, for only She can obtain this.”

Another special thing to point out is that when the angel appeared to the children the year prior to the Blessed Mother’s apparitions, the angel told the children that they were to add a prayer at the end of each decade of the Rosary:

“O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, and lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of Your mercy.”

The third thing that the Blessed Mother desired was that man have a devotion to her Immaculate Heart. In the second apparition Mary told the children that “Jesus wishes to establish throughout the world, devotion to my Immaculate Heart. She told the children that her Immaculate Heart would be the refuge and the way that would lead them to God. She showed the children a vision of hell and then told the children :

Sacrifice yourselves for sinners; and say often when you make some sacrifice, ‘My Jesus, it is for love of You, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.'”

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The youngest child to see the Blessed Mother, was Jacinta. As she was preparing to die, she told Lucia:

In a short time now I am going to heaven. You are to stay here and say that God wishes to establish in the world the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. . . . Tell everybody that God grants graces through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and that they must ask them from her. Tell them that the Heart of Jesus wishes that by His side should be venerated the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Tell them to ask peace through the Immaculate Heart of Mary; God has placed it in her hands. Oh that I could put into the heart of everybody the flame that I feel burning within my breast and which makes me love so much the Heart of Jesus and the Heart of Mary.”

The Lord allowed the Blessed Mother to visit the children  at Fatima to stress to the world that every sin is an offense against God in which reparation must be made. The Blessed Mother offers us the tools we need to help with the remedy for our suffering world. Everyone can help…we can all offer up our daily sacrifices…our daily rosaries… in atonement for our sins and the sins of the world. October marks the 100th year anniversary of the miracle of the sun…there is still time to make reparations…still time to attend the Five First Saturdays…but we must act now…don’t hesitate….soon, it may be too late. Immaculate Heart of Mary…Pray for us…

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