"You are Crowned not only with
The Silver and Gold of our Joys
But also with the 'Bullet' of
All our Anxieties and Sufferings!"
The Venerable Pope John Paul II, who visited you three times here in Fatima and thanked the "unseen hand" that rescued him from death in the assassination attempt on 13 May in Saint Peter’s Square almost thirty years ago, wanted to offer to the Shrine of Fatima a bullet which gravely wounded him and was placed in the crown of the Queen of Peace. It is a profound consolation to know that you are crowned not only with the silver and gold of our joys and hopes, but also with the "bullet" of our anxieties and sufferings.
I thank you, beloved Mother, for the prayers and sacrifices that the shepherd-children of Fatima offered for the Pope, led by the sentiments that you inspired in them in the apparitions. I also thank all those who, every day, pray for the Successor of Peter and for his intentions, that the Pope may be strong in faith, bold in hope and zealous in love. Beloved Mother of us all, here in your Shrine at Fatima I consign the Golden Rose that I have brought from Rome I am sure that the shepherd-children of Fatima, Blessed Francisco and Jacinta and the Servant of God Lucia of Jesus, are united with us at this hour of prayer and jubilation.
Excerpts from Pope's Homily
Mass on the 13th of May
In God I embrace all their sons and daughters, particularly the afflicted or outcast, with the desire of bringing them that great hope which burns in my own heart, and which here, in Fatima, can be palpably felt. May our great hope sink roots in the lives of each of you, dear pilgrims, and of all those who join us through the communications media. Yes! The Lord, our great hope, is with us. In his merciful love, he offers a future to his people: a future of communion with himself.
This holy place is the proof of it. In seven years you will return here to celebrate the centenary of the first visit made by the Lady “come from heaven”, the Teacher who introduced the little seers to a deep knowledge of the Love of the Blessed Trinity and led them to savour God himself as the most beautiful reality of human existence. This experience of grace made them fall in love with God in Jesus, so much so that Jacinta could cry out: “How much I delight in telling Jesus that I love him! When I tell him this often, I feel as if I have a fire in my breast, yet it does not burn me”. And Francisco could say: “What I liked most of all was seeing Our Lord in that light which Our Mother put into our hearts. I love God so much!” (Memoirs of Sister Lúcia, I, 42 and 126).
We would be Mistaken to Think
Fatima’s Prophetic Mission is Complete
We would be mistaken to think that Fatima’s prophetic mission is complete. Here there takes on new life the plan of God which asks humanity from the beginning: “Where is your brother Abel […] Your brother’s blood is crying out to me from the ground!” (Gen 4:9). Mankind has succeeded in unleashing a cycle of death and terror, but failed in bringing it to an end… In sacred Scripture we often find that God seeks righteous men and women in order to save the city of man and he does the same here, in Fatima, when Our Lady asks: “Do you want to offer yourselves to God, to endure all the sufferings which he will send you, in an act of reparation for the sins by which he is offended and of supplication for the conversion of sinners?”
At a time when the human family was ready to sacrifice all that was most sacred on the altar of the petty and selfish interests of nations, races, ideologies, groups and individuals, our Blessed Mother came from heaven, offering to implant in the hearts of all those who trust in her the Love of God burning in her own heart. At that time it was only to three children, yet the example of their lives spread and multiplied, especially as a result of the travels of the Pilgrim Virgin, in countless groups throughout the world dedicated to the cause of fraternal solidarity. May the seven years which separate us from the centenary of the apparitions hasten the fulfilment of the prophecy of the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, to the glory of the Most Holy Trinity.
On Fatima’s Prophetic Mission
Interview on Vatican Radio with Fr. Federico Lombardi May 13, 2010
Pope Benedict said that we would be mistaken to think that Fatima’s prophetic mission is complete, how should we interpret this statement?
“The Pope is telling us that Fatima is a place in which Our Lady and seers, their tradition, help us read the story of our times, the great difficulties of our times, in the light of Faith. There is the action of God, there is His Providence, in the goodness of the Virgin Mother but then there is also the responsibility of humanity, which often closes in on itself and because of sin we then have wars, difficulties and suffering. In the midst of all this there is the key of prayer, penitence and conversion to open up the path to good. This is the prophetic message of Fatima, it helps us to read history, even the history of today and tomorrow, in the light of God.