Last Thursday, July 13th was the 100th anniversary of Our Blessed Mother’s third apparition at Fatima. This is my third consecutive article on Fatima and you may be wondering why I am obsessed with this subject. Although the Fatima apparitions occurred 100 years ago, I think they contain a message that’s both relevant and needed in the world today. Last Thursday, July 13th was the 100th anniversary of Our Blessed Mother’s third apparition at Fatima. This is my third consecutive article on Fatima and you may be wondering why I am obsessed with this subject.
Although the Fatima apparitions occurred 100 years ago, I think they contain a message that’s both relevant and needed in the world today.
“The apparitions of Fatima are a historical event with an extraordinary significance, and they have a meaning that’s not only religious, but also socio-political,” according to Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins, Prefect Emeritus of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. What Our Lady offered during her apparitions is a message “that deals with mankind as mankind, not only Christians or believers,” and because of this, it “has an extraordinary authority” in the world today.
Although there are many different elements to the requests made by Our Lady, Cardinal Martins said her appeals can be summed up in four key themes. “I always say there are four key chapters, four points of extreme authority,” he said. So what is the first of these four points?
“The first point, the first appeal of the Madonna, is an appeal to faith,” Cardinal Martins said. Her appeal in this regard is very current because, unfortunately, we live in a world in which the faith is being polluted. Unbelief is growing, and the Catholic faith, the faith of the Gospels, is increasingly decreasing. “We are walking toward a pagan world,” the cardinal continued, explaining that in many ways man no longer believes in the Gospel. People have an “abstract faith,” he said, but the Gospel is not a part of their concrete lives.
Thus Mary’s call to faith, even after 100 years, “has an extraordinary authority,” he said. “Man today needs faith, to believe in something; to believe in God, who is our common father, to believe in our brothers, we are all children of the same Father, we are all brothers.” Understanding the link between these aspects is fundamental for the world today, not just for Christians, but for all mankind, he said, adding that man needs to recognize that one’s origin is from God, it is not self-determination.
I think the prayer intention of Pope Francis for July is very appropriate: That our brothers and sisters who have strayed from the faith (lapsed Christians), through our prayer and witness to the Gospel, may rediscover the merciful closeness of the Lord and the beauty of the Christian life.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us