October 13, 2017 was the 100th anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun, the closing event in a series of apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary to three Portuguese shepherd children, Lúcia Santos and her cousins Jacinta and Francisco Marto, that began on May 13, 1917.
With this final apparition the Virgin Mary promised the three children that they would see a miracle, and an estimated 70,000 people flocked to the field to witness the event. They were not disappointed, as even secular sources admit that something phenomenal happened in the sky over Fatima on October 13, 1917.
In her apparitions the Blessed Mother always has a mission, a specific message, to proclaim. What was the message of Our Lady of Fatima to the world?
According to this Message of Fatima Document from the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, “Fatima is undoubtedly the most prophetic of modern apparitions.”
The prophetic parts of the apparitions given to the three children include:
- A frightening vision of hell to encourage Jacinta, Francisco, and Lucia to pray and make sacrifices for sinners.
- Prophecy of the end of World War I, which was then in progress, and the coming of World War II; the most horrific and powerful forms of warfare the world had yet seen.
- The prediction of “the immense damage that Russia would do to humanity by abandoning the Christian faith and embracing Communist totalitarianism.”
- A warning that if her call to prayer and penance for sins was not heeded, there would be great suffering in the world.
- That the Holy Father would have much to suffer, including physical harm.
To prevent all of these terrible calamities, Our Lady instructed us to pray the rosary every day, to offer sacrifices for the conversion of sinners, and to make reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Needless to say, Our Lady’s warnings at Fatima were not heeded, and there was more widespread murder of citizens at the hands of their own evil totalitarian governments, and more martyrs for the Christian faith, in the 20th century than in all the previous centuries combined.
The message of Fatima is remains relevant for a world still caught in a "cycle of death and terror" according to Pope Benedict XVI:
"We would be mistaken to think that Fatima's prophetic mission is complete." From the earliest times, he said, humanity "has succeeded in unleashing a cycle of death and terror, but failed in bringing it to an end."
LIVING THE FATIMA MESSAGE
To counteract the great evil of this diabolical era and to save the souls of sinners from hell (and thus our own souls), Our Lady of Fatima requested our cooperation with the mercy of God through the following:
1) Amendment of life – stop offending God and do penance for our sins.
2) Make Acts of Reparation – offer up small sacrifices for the conversion of sinners.
3) Pray the Rosary – pray the holy rosary every day.
4) Frequent the Sacraments – especially the Holy Eucharist.
5) Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary – the practice of a "Communion of Reparations" through the First Five Saturdays devotion (going to Mass, Confession, and praying the rosary on five consecutive First Saturdays of the month) to make reparation to her Immaculate Heart.
Our Lady made it clear at Fatima that the root of all the world’s problems is sin. Therefore her message at Fatima included themes of prayer, repentance, penance, sacrifice, and reparation.
She exhorted Christians to pray and offer sacrifices to God in reparation for sin, in order that peace may come upon the world and that its great trials may be averted. Basically, the message of Fatima is a call to conversion of heart and amendment of life.
Our world needs this message now just as much as it did then.
Now is the time to heed Our Lady’s warnings and live her call to a converted life rooted in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We must be faithful, and by doing so Our Lady of Fatima has promised us that in the end, “My Immaculate Heart will triumph.”
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This article has been updated and was first published in 2014. © The Catholic Company. All rights reserved.