Feastday of Our Lady of Fatima

It was ten years ago today that Pope John Paul II beatified little Jacinta and Francisco, two of the three seers at Fatima in 1917 (Lucia still being alive in the year 2000.)  There is to be a celebration of the 10th anniversary of these beatifications in Fatima, and many will be attending, including Pope Benedict XVI.

It is also the tenth anniversary year of Pope John Paul II having released the third secret of Fatima (which he did in April 2000), and today is the tenth anniversary of Cardinal Angelo Sodano’s public statement and interpretation of the third secret.  All the information relating to this can be found here, on the Vatican’s website.

At the same link can be found Pope Benedict XVI’s (then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger) interpretation and commentary on the third secret as well, part of which I would like to share here:

Let us now examine more closely the single images. 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 judgement 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. The vision then shows the power which stands opposed to the force of destruction—the splendour 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, and 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. The purpose of the vision is not to show a film of an irrevocably fixed future. Its meaning is exactly the opposite: it is meant 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 13 May 1981 was merely an instrument of the divine plan guided by Providence and could not therefore have acted freely, or other similar ideas in circulation. Rather, the vision speaks of dangers and how we might be saved from them.  

“… the power which stands opposed to the force of destruction—the splendour of the Mother of God and, stemming from this in a certain way, the summons to penance.” 

Our Lady of Fatima, help all of those who are consecrated to you to stand with you, opposed to the force of destruction, eager to do penance, and to help “steer freedom in a positive direction”.   Help us never to despair or indulge in fatalistic mindsets, but to use our free will to aid you in bringing Christ’s light and love to the world.   Amen.


3 Responses

  1. Amen. Thank you. This has been comforting. I’ve been hearing things about the book of Revelation lately, and other matters elsewhere, and this is a good reminder. We (some of us) are very well aware of God’s justice — we know we are toying with far more than fire; but we (most of us) are hardly aware of God’s deepest intentions toward us. They are beautiful. They are deeply serious because they are eternal, but they are daily as well. I am finding more and more that one truly must lay down life for one’s friends (by letting the Lord be our eyes, hands, feet, hugs, and words).

  2. I have always been fascinated that Sr. Lucia and JP II died within weeks of one another. JPII attributed his protection from the assassination attempt to Our lady of Fatima. Too much coincidence to be merely coincidence.

  3. All the heavenlies desire to work with us for change, for transformation, to help us realize that we do not have an “irrevocably fixed future”. For how many centuries has Mother Mary been pleading with us, showing us the way. Fatima is so powerful.

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