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Fatima for the Present Age
In 2017, we'll mark 100 years since the apparitions of Our Lady at Fatima in Portugal. Appearing to three shepherd children, Our Lady gave them three secrets, exhorted them to pray the Rosary every day for peace in the world through the conversion of poor sinners, make the Five First Saturdays devotion in reparation for "outrages and blasphemies against the Immaculate Heart of Mary" and to offer sacrifices for poor sinners everywhere, who often have no one to pray for them. Confirming the truth of the apparitions with the extraordinary Miracle of the Sun on Oct. 13, 1917, Our Lady's apparitions at Fatima were a response to the prayers of the Holy Father at the time, Pope Benedict XV, and anticipated many of the great evils of the 20th century, including the Second World War, the slaughter of many Christians for their faith, and more, as explained in The Second Greatest Story Ever Told by Fr. Michael Gaitley, MIC.
Cardinal Angelo Amato, the prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, spoke on the Fatima apparitions at the Pontifical University Antonianum on May 7, 2015.
He made two main points, according to Catholic World News: First, "the secret of Fatima lifted the veil on the real opposition, on the plane of being and acting, between Mary, all-holy and effective cooperator with Christ, and the enemy of the good, the serpent (Gn. 3:14-15), the red dragon, Satan, the devil (Revelation 12:1-9), the anti-Christ (1 John 2:18; 2 Jn. 1:7)." Second, the message of Fatima is a powerful appeal to the good, and especially to holiness and forgiveness, which requires "sacrifice and mortification."
That's why, in this time of rising occultism and open Satanism, an age of abortion and disregard for the natural law, an age of growing difficulty and danger for all the children of God and the Blessed Virgin, it only makes sense to remember Fatima. Study Our Lady's words and deeds when she visited Portugal, reading good books like Fr. Mike's The Second Greatest Story Ever Told and Fr. Andrew Apostoli, CFR's Fatima for Today. Learn more about what it means to live life totally given to Jesus through Mary in 33 Days to Morning Glory and Under the Mantle. Listen to the wisdom of the Church on the Blessed Virgin Mary in Marian Gems and her favorite devotion in Rosary Gems. And pray! Never cease praying, especially by using the Rosary, Our Lady's favorite prayer, and the Five First Saturdays devotion. Offer up your sufferings, all the daily annoyances large and small, and every moment of your life to Jesus through the hands of Mary so that the Holy Spirit may be present and active all throughout your life, leavening every minute with grace.
On May 13, the Church celebrates the feast of Our Lady of Fatima. Let's make sure to join in the celebrations however we can: through attending Mass or praying the Rosary; through reading the Gospels or good books on Mary; through something, anything, to make it a special day. Fatima is for the future, not just for the past, and so let us ask Our Lady of Fatima to pray for us that we may faithfully respond to her call, loving the Lord by how we live our lives and becoming conduits for His grace to all the world, especially poor sinners most in need of God's mercy.