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May 13, 2012

Reflections 12th Anniversary Year of Beatifications and Revealing of Third Fatima Secret! Fatima and Islam!

Penance! Penance!
Penance!  

The 3rd Secret Revealed 
The Silence of Shepherds
The Via Cucis of the Popes
Fatima & Muslims
Interpreting the 3rd Secret
My Immaculate Heart will Triumph!


I recall with gratitude to God the grace he gave for me to be present at Fatima for the Beatifications of the little shepherds Jacinta and Francisco. Somewhere in the sea of humanity on the right side of the center and just behind the priests our little group spent a shivering night outdoors on the 12th of May, 2000 in order to stake out our claimed spot for the Beatification Ceremony.  Holding on to the spot took some maneuvering and Christian fortitude. As the hour for beatifications drew near we had be firm and steadfast not to have the Portuguese faithful rest it away from us. Being present for this occasion was a great consolation and something I will always be grateful to God for. The remembrance of all the graces from the Jubilee year gives courage to press forward when the crosses of life press more intensely. 

Are things Better or Worse
Since the Great Jubilee 2000?

Have we taken advantage of the Graces afforded us during the Great Jubilee Year? The Holy Doors of Mercy opened to us by the Church? Have we passed through the Holy Doors in repentance for our sins and to make a new beginning?  Or was it just a symbolic act because everyone else was doing it? I can’t  help to think that the world is still plunging towards the final confrontation between Good and Evil. Immediately after the Great Jubilee year, in 2001 we have endured the 911 attacks and the rise of Islamic extremist groups some probably funded by left over Marxist groups in the former Soviet Union, now the Russian Federation.  

Today we live with the constant threat of Terror attacks on Christian and post-Christian West throughout world. Sadly, we are witnessing the effects of our own apostasy of the faith in the use of birth control, sterilizations and abortions. As a result Christian Europe is fast on its way to becoming Muslim. Christians are choosing a life of pleasure-seeking over procreation, faith and family.

The recent Global financial crisis of 2007, considered by many economists as the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s still threatens us with the possibility of another world wide depression. “War is a punishment for sin!” Our Lady of Fatima told this to the shepherd children. She warned that God would punnish the world for its disobedience to His will through wars, hunger, and persecutions of the Church, the Pope, and the faithful. "If My requests are not granted, Russia will spread its errors throughout the world, raising up wars and persecutions against the Church. The good will be martyred, the Holy Father (Pope) will suffer much and various nations will be annihilated."

CARDINAL ANGELO SODANO made the following comment At the end of the Mass presided over by the Holy Father at Fatima announcing that the 3rd Secret will be made public: The successive events of 1989 led, both in the Soviet Union and in a number of countries of Eastern Europe, to the fall of the Communist regimes which promoted atheism. For this too His Holiness offers heartfelt thanks to the Most Holy Virgin. In other parts of the world, however, attacks against the Church and against Christians, with the burden of suffering they bring, tragically continue. Even if the events to which the third part of the “secret” of Fatima refers now seem part of the past, Our Lady's call to conversion and penance, issued at the start of the twentieth century, remains timely and urgent today.

"Prophecy in the biblical sense does not mean to predict the future but to explain the will of God for the present, and therefore show the right path to take for the future. 
 Benedict XVI June 26, 2000 Commenting on the third secret of Fatima as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

2001 Cover Soul Magazine-Artist Depiction of 3rd Secret
  


Seeing that the world is still restless with Wars and rumors of Wars why isn’t the three-fold cry for PENANCE in the third secret being shouted from every Catholic pulpit? Why are we not hearing this Cry of the Angel of the judgment of God proclaimed repeatedly by our Priests and Bishops?  It is the Gospel message that Jesus says to his hearers


“I say to you: but unless you shall do penance, you shall all likewise perish  Luke 13:1-9




Penance!   Penance! 

Penance!


THE PATH OF PENANCE AT FATIMA
PILGRIMS APPROACH THE SANCTUARY ON THEIR KNEES



Why are our Shepherds Silent?

The shepherds silence while often injurious to himself will always harm his flock!”
A recent Homily by St. Gregory the Great in the Office of Readings shed light for me on our present situation in the church and why the Message of Fatima with its cry for penance and conversion is not preached.  St. Gregory writes:  “Look about you and see how full the world is of priests, yet in God’s harvest a laborer is rarely to be found.  Pray for priest that they may have the strength to work on our behalf! That their tongues may not grow weary of exhortation. That after they have accepted the office of preaching their silence may not condemn them before the just judge!—Frequently the preachers tongue is held fast on account of his own wickedness. On the other hand it also happens because of the peoples own sins. The Lord tells Ezekiel: ‘I will make your tongue cleave to the roof of your mouth so that you shall be dumb and unable to reprove them, for they are a rebellious house.’  He clearly means this: “The word of preaching will be taken away from you because as long as this people irritate me by their deeds, they are unworthy to hear the exhortations of truth!  It is not easy to know for what reasons the preachers words were withheld his own wickedness or the peoples, but it is indisputable that the shepherds silence while often injurious to himself will always harm his flock!”


“The Lady of the message seems to read the signs of the times—the signs of our time—with special insight... The insistent invitation of Mary Most Holy to penance is nothing but the manifestation of her maternal concern for the fate of the human family, in need of conversion and forgiveness” (Pope John Paul II, Message for the 1997 World Day of the Sick, No. 1, Insegnamenti, XIX, 2 [1996], 561).
 Fatima and Islam

Since the fateful day of Sept 11, 2001 we now see more clearly that the Muslims who also have God for their Father play an integral role in this final Mystery of Fatima in the battle between the forces of Good and the forces of evil. God the Father, Creator of all things visible and invisible, allowed the Mother of his only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, the second person of the Holy Trinity, true God and true man, to be venerated with the same name as Mohammad’s daughter, Fatima!  Imagine that! This is a great Mystery still buried in the Fatima Message!  it undoubtedly will be made clear in the unfolding God’s providence over time and reveals his plans to men at the proper time and season. Muslims who also await the Day of Judgment with us, when God will render judgment to all those who await the Resurrection from the dead, should be treated by Christians with respect of having the same Father in Heaven who created us all!  


The Apparitions of the Virgin Mary at Fatima Portugal are intimately tied to the Islamic world. Islam is an Arabic word that can be defined as "to make peace." Islam is the religion founded by Mohammed, which considers the Koran as its holy book. In addition, Islam accepts the New Testament of the Christians and the Old Testament of the Jews as Divinely inspired works.
  
The two great women of Islam are the Virgin Mary of Nazareth and Mohammed's daughter, Fatima.  After the death of his daughter, Fatima, Mohammed wrote of her: "Thou shalt be the most blessed of all the women in Paradise, after Mary".  God could have sent his mother anywhere else in the world but he chooses this plot of land called Fatima. The land was named such by a Christian leader who married a Muslim maiden named after Mohammed's daughter. She converted to the Christian faith and took the name Oureana she practiced great charity among the poor people surrounding the Castle of Ourem.

The Providence of  God in sending His Mother to Fatima and allowing her to be venerated with the name of Mohammad's daughter, links the Muslim People and Islam, with the Mystery of Fatima.


Below the Castle of Ourem near the Fatima Apparition Site where    a Muslim Princess named after Mohammad's daughter Fatima 
   converted to the Christian Faith and took the christian name Ourana
    History of the Location of Fatima 
Where Our Lady Appeared in 1917

The legend of the name of the village of Ourem and Oureana the moorish princess is retold by Friar Bernardino de Brito in his Chronicle of the Order of Cister (1602): In a surprise attack on the St John's Day in 1158, a Christian knight, Gonçalo Hermigues and his companions kidnapped a Moorish princess with the famous Arab name of Fatima.  The knight took Fatima to a small village of the recently-created Kingdom of Portugal, in the Serra de Aire hills. The princess fell in love with the Christian knight and decided to become herself a Christian, taking the name of Oureana. They got married and the princess received as prize the town which she called Ourém, after her name. She lived in the Castle and practiced great charity to the poor peasants living in the valley below. So beloved had she become a peasant who was the recipient of her charity named a parcel of his land after her birth name of Fatima. It was to this very small plot of land named after a Moorish princess that God sent his mother in 1917.  The town of Fatima rose up on this land after the appearance of Our Lady in 1917.  It was not to nearby Adjustral where our Lady  appeared in August after the children were taken to jail that the apparitons took place.  

She could have been called Our Lady of Adjustral. This act of Divine Providence of God by sending Our Lady to this small hamlet called Fatima, connected the Muslim Religion and Islam with the drama of Fatima.

An editorial for the Rosary Net  published on line by Father Thomas Carleton  made the following poignant comments that need to be prayed over and considered by Christians as we continue to meditate on the connection of the Fatima Message with those of the Muslim Faith.

“We have to make known that despite the accusation of violence so often made against Muslim extremists; they are not guilty of the terrible slaughter of innocent life in the womb that occurs with such lack of scruples throughout the western world.  Likewise in Islamic countries they maintain a high respect for the dignity of true marriage between a man and a woman. The Holy Father, Benedict XVI after his speech at the Germany University, had an opportunity to re-affirm the Church's important teaching regarding the religion of the Muslims 
  
* ‘The Church regards with esteem also the Muslims. They adore the one God, living and subsisting in Himself; merciful and all-powerful, the Creator of heaven and earth, who has spoken to men; they take pains to submit wholeheartedly to even His inscrutable decrees, just as Abraham, with whom the faith of Islam takes pleasure in linking itself, submitted to God. Though they do not acknowledge Jesus as God, they revere Him as a prophet. They also honor Mary, His virgin Mother; at times they even call on her with devotion. In addition, they await the Day of Judgment when God will render their deserts to all those who have been raised up from the dead. Finally, they value the moral life and worship God especially through prayer, alms giving and fasting’"  Benedict XVI-2006

At Fatima we learn that there is a price to be paid individually and collectively for the offenses committed against almighty God. We must do penance as individuals and as nations, to avoid the just punishments of God. All of humanity will suffer Jews, Christians, and Muslims. The good with the bad. In the third part of the secret of Fatima we see the intercessory role of Our Lady, saving the world from great apocalyptic suffering and destruction. She is able to forestall the punishments through the prayers: Rosaries and Communions of Reparations offered for God’s mercy to descend upon poor sinners. 

Interpreting the 3rd Secret

The Vatican Information Service published a synopsis of the Commentary of Cardinal Ratzinger now Pope Benedict XVI on the third secret of Fatima.  I am including  the following excepts from the article published by the Vatican Information Service JUNE 26, 2000 (VIS)  Pope Benedict XVI said, as  prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, that the "key word" of the third secret of Fatima "is the triple cry, 'Penance, Penance, Penance!'

 “The images of the secret: ‘The angel with the flaming sword on the left of the Mother of God recalls similar images in the Book of Revelation. This represents the threat of judgment which looms over the world. Today the prospect that the world might be reduced to ashes by a sea of fire no longer seems pure fantasy: Man himself, with his inventions, has forged the flaming sword.”  Benedict XVI June 26, 2000 Commenting on the third secret of Fatima as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.


Sister Lucia had already given an indication for interpreting the third part of the “secret” in a letter to the Holy Father, dated 12 May 1982.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       "Since we did not heed this appeal of the Message, we see that it has been fulfilled, Russia has invaded the world with her errors. And if we have not yet seen the complete fulfillment of the final part of this prophecy, we are going towards it little by little with great strides. If we do not reject the path of sin, hatred, revenge, injustice, violations of the rights of the human person, immorality and violence, etc.-And let us not say that it is God who is punishing us in this way; on the contrary it is people themselves who are preparing their own punishment. In his kindness God warns us and calls us to the right path, while respecting the freedom he has given us; hence people are responsible”. Sister Lucia 1982


The vision (3rd Secret)  then shows the power which stands opposed to the force of destruction  the splendor of the Mother of God and, stemming from this in a certain way, the summons to penance. In this way, the importance of human freedom is underlined: the future is not in fact unchangeably set, the image which the children saw is in no way a film preview of a future in which nothing can be changed. Indeed, the whole point of the vision is to bring freedom onto the scene and to steer freedom in a positive direction. ... Its meaning is to mobilize the forces of change in the right direction. Therefore we must totally discount fatalistic explanations of the 'secret,' such as, for example, the claim that the would-be assassin of May 13 1981 was merely an instrument of the divine plan guided by Providence. ... Rather, the vision speaks of dangers and how we might be saved from them." Benedict XVI June 26, 2000 commenting on the third secret of Fatima as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

                 Text of Third Secret

Immediately after the vision of hell the children beheld the following vision written by Lucia: “At the left of Our Lady and a little above, we saw an Angel with a flaming sword in his left hand; flashing, it gave out flames that looked as though they would set the world on fire; but they died out in contact with the splendor that Our Lady radiated towards him from her right hand: pointing to the earth with his right hand, the Angel cried out in a loud voice: ‘Penance , Penance, Penance!'. And we saw in an immense light that is God: ‘something similar to how people appear in a mirror when they pass in front of it' a Bishop dressed in White ‘we had the impression that it was the Holy Father'. Other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious going up a steep mountain, at the top of which there was a big Cross of rough-hewn trunks as of a cork-tree with the bark; before reaching there the Holy Father passed through a big city half in ruins and half trembling with halting step, afflicted with pain and sorrow, he prayed for the souls of the corpses he met on his way; having reached the top of the mountain, on his knees at the foot of the big Cross he was killed by a group of soldiers who fired bullets and arrows at him, and in the same way there died one after another the other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious, and various lay people of different ranks and positions. Beneath the two arms of the Cross there were two Angels each with a crystal aspersorium in his hand, in which they gathered up the blood of the Martyrs and with it sprinkled the souls that were making their way to God. …. 
    
The Via Crucis
    of the Popes

                                   
        
A drawing from J. Gill illustrating the 3rd  part of the secret of Fatima taken from the last book of Sister Lucia, “Calls from the Message of Fatima”   Secção de Livraria, Cova da Iria 2496-908 Fatima, Portugal





  

"In the Via Crucis of an entire century, the figure of the Pope 
has a special role."

In his arduous ascent of the mountain we can undoubtedly see a convergence of different Popes. Beginning from Pius X up to the present Pope, they all shared the sufferings of the century and strove to go forward through all the anguish along the path which leads to the Cross. In the vision, the Pope too is killed along with the martyrs. When, after the attempted assassination on 13 May 1981, the Holy Father had the text of the third part of the 'secret' brought to him, was it not inevitable that he should see in it his own fate? He had been very close to death, and he himself explained his survival in the following words: '... it was a mother's hand that guided the bullet's path and in his throes the Pope halted at the threshold of death' (May 13 1994). That here 'a mother's hand' had deflected the fateful bullet only shows once more that there is no immutable destiny, that faith and prayer are forces which can influence history and that in the end prayer is more powerful than bullets and faith more powerful than armies.”  Benedict XVI June 26, 2000 Commenting on the third secret of Fatima as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

     My Immaculate Heart 
Will Triumph!

In order that the faithful may better receive the message "I would like finally to mention another key expression of the 'secret' which has become justly famous: 'my Immaculate Heart will triumph.' What does this mean? The Heart open to God, purified by contemplation of God, is stronger than guns and weapons of every kind. The 'fiat' of Mary, the word of her heart, has changed the history of the world, because it brought the Savior into the world because, thanks to her 'Yes,' God could become man in our world and remains so for all time. The Evil One has power in this world, as we see and experience continually; he has power because our freedom continually lets itself be led away from God.  But since God himself took a human heart and has thus steered human freedom towards what is good, the freedom to choose evil no longer has the last word. From that time forth, the word that prevails is this: 'In the world you will have tribulation, but take heart; I have overcome the world.' The message of Fatima invites us to trust in this promise."  
Benedict XVI June 26, 2000 Commenting on the third secret of Fatima as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

              
Farewell Procession on the 
13th of the Month May-October

                    






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