Our Lady of Fa­tima speaks God’s word of mercy

Manila Times - - OPINION - RI­CARDO SALUDO

IN less than a month, on Oc­to­ber 13, to be ex­act, Mar­ian devo­tees the world over will cel­e­brate the cen­te­nary of the last of six ap­pari­tions of the Blessed Vir­gin Mary to three shep­herd chil­dren — Lu­cia dos San­tos, 9 go­ing on 10, and her Marto cousins Fran­cisco, turn­ing 9, and Jacintha, 6 to 7 — at the Cova da Iria in the ru­ral parish of Fa­tima in Por­tu­gal in 1917.

A cen­tury ago last Wed­nes­day, Our Lady told the chil­dren: “In Oc­to­ber, I will per­form a mir­a­cle, so that all will be­lieve.” So, the fol­low­ing month, on the 13th, when all but one of the ap­pari­tions oc­curred, be­liev­ers and non-be­liev­ers alike thronged to the hilly area, mass­ing in a crowd of 70,000 or so, to see if the promised won­der would hap­pen.

It did. By many ac­counts, in­clud­ing two long ar­ti­cles by the ed­i­tor of Por­tu­gal’s lead­ing news­pa­per, the anti-Catholic O Seculo, the down­pour of three days run­ning sud­denly stopped and the sky cleared.

Then the sun “danced,” as many amazed wit­nesses put it, be­fore plung­ing to earth, ter­ri­fy­ing not only the throng in Fa­tima, but count­less others who wit­nessed the mar­vel quite a dis­tance away in neigh­bor­ing vil­lages.

Fi­nally, the sun re­turned to its usual place, and ev­ery­one found them­selves, their clothes, and the ground be­neath them com­pletely dry, as if it never rained.

Sadly, de­spite that su­per­nat­u­ral event, the most spec­tac­u­lar since the Res­ur­rec­tion, Our Lady of Fa­tima’s mes­sage was largely not heeded by a world that con­tin­ued to for­get God and dis­obey His com­mand­ments.

Four decades af­ter Fa­tima, in De­cem­ber 1957, Sis­ter Lu­cia, then a Carmelite nun, was the lone sur­viv­ing vi­sion­ary ( Fran­cisco and Jacintha died a few years af­ter the ap­pari­tions). She said “the Most Holy Vir­gin is very sad be­cause no one has paid at­ten­tion to Her mes­sage, nei­ther the good nor the bad.

“The good con­tinue on their way but with­out giv­ing any im­por­tance to Her mes­sage. The bad, not see­ing the pun­ish­ment of God ac­tu­ally fall­ing upon them, con­tinue their life of sin with­out even car­ing about the mes­sage.”

And a quar­ter- cen­tury later in 1982, Pope Saint John Paul II lamented: “The world has gone in the op­po­site di­rec­tion than the one in­tended by Our Lady at Fa­tima.”

Lis­ten to Our Lady

But de­spite the in­tran­si­gence, Our Lady’s mes­sage must be told, if only to save even a few souls who lis­ten, pray, re­pent, and make amends and repa­ra­tions.

That’s the mis­sion of the many Fa­tima talks be­ing held through­out this year. This writer has given a num­ber to parish com­mu­ni­ties, uni­ver­sity classes and small groups. And on Oc­to­ber 7 at the Lay For­ma­tion Cen­ter in San Car­los Sem­i­nary, he joins other speak­ers in the all- day fo­rum, “Our Lady of Fa­tima Speaks.”

The fo­rum cov­ers not just the Fa­tima events and mes­sages, but delves deeply and dis­turbingly into events of world his­tory that

Prof. Ed­win Pineda of the Uni­ver­sity of Asia and the Pa­cific will dis­cuss how Rus­sia spread its er­rors across the globe, as Mary warned would hap­pen if the coun­try was not con­se­crated to her Im­mac­u­late Heart, as she in­structed the Pope to do, to­gether with all the bish­ops of the world.

Our Blessed Mother also warned of chas­tise­ments, in­clud­ing grave tri­als for the Church. Apol­o­gist Car­los Palad will make a pre­sen­ta­tion on the at­tacks on the faith and the fam­ily, the two tar­gets of the devil’s as­sault on Je­sus Christ and His Blessed Mother.

Palad’s col­league in the apolo­get­ics group De­fen­sores Fidei, Bro. Maril Lla­sos, will ex­pound on Mar­ian apolo­get­ics, us­ing scrip­ture and the­ol­ogy to de­fend Mar­ian doc­trines from de­trac­tors.

The fi­nal pre­sen­ta­tions cover Mar­ian and Catholic prophe­cies, in­clud­ing di­vine chas­tise­ments, and the de­vo­tions that be­liev­ers can em­brace for the safety and sal­va­tion of their souls, their fam­i­lies, and even their en­ter­prises, or­ga­ni­za­tions, com­mu­ni­ties and coun­tries.

The power of heaven over earth will be seen in his­tor­i­cal events here in the Philip­pines and across the globe, as this writer has re­counted in past col­umns.

And the di­vine pledge is re­it­er­ated: As it has been through­out Catholi­cism’s his­tory, there will be tribu­la­tions for the faith­ful, but with prayer and devo­tion, they will share in God’s even­tual tri­umph.

Start­ing at 8 a.m., the fo­rum will in­clude the pray­ing of the Joy­ful, Sor­row­ful, and Glo­ri­ous Mys­ter­ies of the Holy Rosary, and

will end with a 5 p.m. mass. It is free of charge, and those in­ter­ested may ask reg­is­tra­tion forms from the Lay For­ma­tion Cen­ter of the Arch­dio­cese of Manila (tel. 895-8855 loc. 300, 301, 302, 307 / 896-0607or www.face­book. com/jim­java65/, or email in­quiry@ba­hayn­gdiyos.org).

This writer will also be speak­ing to mostly Filipino- Amer­i­can con­gre­ga­tions in the Los Angeles ar­eas, along with a foray to Davie, near Mi­ami. We hope our Fil- Am sis­ters and broth­ers in Christ will, in turn, bring the Fa­tima mes­sage to their fam­i­lies and fel­low faith­ful.

The LA talks sched­ule, all in Septem­ber: Holy Name of Mary Catholic Church, San Di­mas (Sept. 19th, 8 p.m.); St. Joseph Re­treat Cen­ter, Al­ham­bra ( 21st and 28th, 7.30 p.m.); St. Frances de Chan­tal Catholic Church, North Hol­ly­wood (27th, 7 p.m.); Our Lady of Peace Church, North Hills (29th, 7 p.m.), and Blessed Sacra­ment Church, Sun­set Boule­vard (30th, 7.30 p.m.).

The Florida talk is on Sept. 23 at 1 p.m. in St. Bon­aven­ture Parish Hall, Davie.

In all these events here and abroad, the goal is one and the same: bring­ing God’s mes­sage of mercy and con­ver­sion, as im­parted by His Blessed Mother and the saints over the cen­turies, for the sal­va­tion of souls.

Two mil­len­nia ago, the Apos­tles and dis­ci­ples of Je­sus told the Ro­man world of His life, death and res­ur­rec­tion, to im­part God’s in­vi­ta­tion to be­come His chil­dren.

To­day, we tell of Our Lady’s ap­pari­tions and the same in­vi­ta­tion from our Fa­ther in heaven to a world no less un­be­liev­ing and way­ward.

God help us. Amen.

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