Thank you to all helped make our celebration last Saturday, May 13, 2017, the 100th Anniversary of the Apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima, a wonderful event! There were many out-of-the-ordinary graces found in that day. Also, I have heard many positive comments. I know many of you participated or prayed for the event, thank you for whatever you could do! I encourage us all to continue to grow in love and devotion to our Blessed Mother, especially to her Immaculate Heart! This weekend I continue with the conclusion of the story of the apparitions and message of Our Lady of Fatima. The Story of Our Lady of Fatima is taken from https://wafusa.org. I encourage you to visit this website to learn more about Our Lady of Fatima and to see a 13 part video series on her messages.
“The deaths of Francisco and Jacinta: An influenza epidemic swept Europe in autumn of 1918 just as the war was finishing, and both Jacinta and Francisco fell ill. Francisco recovered somewhat and there were hopes that he might become well, but he realized that he was destined to die young as Our Lady had foretold, and his condition worsened again. He offered up all his sufferings as a way of consoling God for the sinfulness and ingratitude of mankind and in supplication for the conversion of sinners. He became so weak that eventually he could not even pray. He received his first Holy Communion and on the next day, April 4, 1919, he died.
Jacinta too was confined to her bed during the long winter months, and although she recovered was struck down with bronchial pneumonia, while also developing a painful abscess in her chest. She was moved to the hospital in Ourem in July 1919 where she underwent the painful treatment prescribed for her but without much effect. She returned home in August with an open wound in her side. It was decided that another attempt should be made to treat her, and so in January 1920 she was taken to Lisbon, where she was diagnosed as having purulent pleurisy and diseased ribs.
Eventually in February she was admitted into the hospital, where she underwent another painful operation to remove two ribs. This left her with a large wound in her side that had to dressed daily causing her great agony. On the evening of February 20, 1920 the local priest was called and heard her Confession, but he insisted on waiting till the next day to bring her Holy Communion despite her protests that she felt worse. As Mary had foretold she died that night alone and far from her family. Her body was returned to Fatima and buried with that of Francisco until both were later moved to the Basilica built at the Cova da Iria.
Later apparitions to Sr. Lucia: The new bishop of the restored diocese of Leiria decided that it was best if Lucia was removed from Fatima, both to spare her from the continual questionings she had to endure, and to see what effect her absence would have on the numbers coming as pilgrims. Her mother agreed to her being sent away to school, and she left in May 1921 in great secrecy for Porto, where a school run by the sisters of St. Dorothy was situated. Later she became a sister in this congregation before joining the Carmelites.
On December 10, 1925, while at the Dorothean Convent in Pontevedra, Spain, Lucia had another apparition of the Blessed Mother, this time with the Child Jesus. She had returned to ask for the Communions of Reparation we now call 1st Saturday Devotion, as she said she would during her July 13 apparition at Fatima. Mary told Lucia to announce that she promised to provide, at the hour of death, the graces necessary for salvation to those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months, confessed, received Holy Communion, recited five decades of the rosary, and kept her company while meditating on the mysteries of the rosary for fifteen minutes, all with the intention of making reparation to her.
On June 13, 1929, Our Lady returned again as Sr. Lucia was at prayer in the convent chapel at Tuy, Spain. This time she appeared alongside a representation of the Holy Trinity. Mary spoke to her saying: “The moment has come in which God asks the Holy Father, in union with all the bishops of the world, to make the consecration of Russia, promising to save it by this means…”
On January 25, 1938, a strange light filled the skies of northern Europe. It was described as a particularly brilliant display of the Aurora Borealis, but Sr. Lucia realized it was the “unknown light,” spoken of by Mary during the July 13, 1917 apparition. It meant punishment for the world was close, principally through the Second World War, because it had not turned back to God.
Pope Pius XII consecrated the whole world to Mary’s Immaculate Heart in 1942 and carried out a similar consecration of Russia in 1952, but neither of these fulfilled Mary’s request at Fatima. This collegial consecration, in union with a “moral totality” of the world’s bishops, was finally carried out by Saint Pope John Paul II in 1984. Fatima received further Papal support when on May 13, 1979, the Pope declared Jacinta and Francisco “venerable,” the first stage in the process of their possible canonization.
Saint Pope John Paul II further emphasized the importance of Fatima by beatifying Jacinta and Francisco on May 13,2000 during the Jubilee Year. It was during these beatification ceremonies that all the details of the third part of the Fatima secret were revealed, the third millennium was entrusted to Our Lady of Fatima.
The Bishop approves of Fatima: The Church, meanwhile, had maintained silence about the apparitions during the years from 1917. It wasn’t until May 1922 that Bishop Correia issued a pastoral letter on the subject indicating that he would set up a commission of inquiry. In 1930 he issued another pastoral letter on the apparitions, which after recounting the events at Fatima, contained the following brief but important statement:
“In virtue of considerations made known, and others which for reasons of brevity we omit; humbly invoking the Divine Spirit and placing ourselves under the protection of the most Holy Virgin, and after hearing the opinions of our Rev. Advisers in this diocese, we hereby: 1. Declare worthy of belief, the visions of the shepherd children in the Cova da Iria, parish of Fatima, in this diocese, from the 13th May to 13th October, 1917. 2. Permit officially the cult of Our Lady of Fatima.””
Through the intercession of Mary, Our Lady of Fatima, St. Joseph, and St. Columbkill may our good Lord Jesus grant to us and the whole world His Mercy and Peace! In Christ through Mary, Fr. Kasel
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