Fatima: What does Our Lady ask of us today?
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Fatima apparitions. On October 13th, we celebrate the Miracle of the Sun – the final apparition of Fatima. The Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, appeared six times to three shepherd children: Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta between May 13 and October 13, 1917. She gave them a message of both warning and hope. Our Lady of Fatima told them that sin has consequences, in both this life and the next. She showed them a vision of hell, which is the consequence of unrepentant sin. She revealed that war is a punishment for sin and that God would punish the world for its sins in our time by means of war. She also predicted World War II and the tremendous damage that Russia would do to humanity by abandoning the Christian faith and embracing Communist totalitarianism. Our Lady further revealed that the lies and deception of Communism would spread throughout the world if the consecration was not made and if people did not do as she requested. Thus, there would be persecution of the Church and of the Holy Father.
What was the purpose of Our Lady’s visit?
Our Lady of Fatima came to give us a prescription for life. She desires conversion — that we change our sinful lives and live holy, grace-filled lives. To accomplish this, she requested prayer, penance, and consecration.
Pope St. John Paul II said: “The message of Fatima is more relevant and more urgent today” than when Our Lady first appeared. The message is an agonizing appeal from our Heavenly Mother, who sees the great danger our society is in and who comes to offer us her wise maternal advice, consolation, and hope. She is acutely aware of the immorality and sins of: secularism, atheism, relativism, abortion, and euthanasia, that are so prevalent in our present-day society and wants to warn us before our sins result in worse consequences. She loves us and cares for us and wants us to grow in love for her Son.
As we celebrate this 100th anniversary, this is not only a time to look back on these amazing apparitions, but it is a time to look ahead and plan how we will respond to Our Lady’s requests for prayer, reparation, and consecration.
What does our Lady ask of us today?
In all of the Fatima apparitions, Our Lady told the visionaries to “pray the Rosary everyday”. She also told them to “pray, pray very much and make sacrifices for sinners for many souls go to hell, because there are none to sacrifice themselves and to pray for them”.
Our Heavenly Mother continues to plead with us to pray the Rosary daily. The Rosary is one of the most powerful weapons in our arsenal for spiritual warfare. It is a grace-filled contemplative prayer that aids us in bringing about a more fruitful spiritual life for not only for our own souls, but for the souls of others. It is a powerful way to bring souls to conversion. Some of the most hardened sinners will turn back to God when we pray the Rosary, asking for Our Lady’s intercession. Praying the Rosary is one of the most effective ways of putting an end to the greatest evils of our time.
The Blessed Virgin Mary also requests that we practice the First Five Saturday devotions.
Our Lady desires that we offer up small sacrifices to make atonement for our own sins and for those of others. Like St. Therese of Lisieux, we can offer up the little sacrifices and sufferings we endure daily – for example, performing an act of kindness for someone we don’t like, waiting an extra ten minutes in rush hour traffic without becoming impatient, changing the baby’s diaper or doing housework without complaining, letting someone go ahead of us in the grocery check-out line. There are so many ways we can serve God in this way.
The Holy Father has consecrated the world to Fatima and many bishops have consecrated their dioceses to Our Lady of Fatima this centenary year. Now, is the time for us to consecrate our lives to Our Lady or to renew our Marian consecration. Mary is our refuge from sin. She is the one who protects us from the evils in the world and who acts as a mediatrix and an advocate of God’s graces. She is a merciful and forgiving mother who leads us to her Son for healing, conversion, and repentance. We need never fear anything when we place ourselves under her mantle and consecrate ourselves to her Immaculate Heart.
Our Lady of Fatima told us: “In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph” to fill our hearts with hope as we embark on this journey to heaven. It is but a labor of love to all those who enter into the light and love of her Immaculate Heart.
~ copyright Jean M. Heimann, 2017
Jean M. Heimann is the author of Fatima: The Apparition That Changed the World.