May 25-29, 2000
volume 11, no. 99


    During this "month of Mary" and the focus on Fatima with the beatifications on May 13th of the Fatima Shepherd Children Jacinta and Francisco Marto by His Holiness Pope John Paul II, and with the debut of the DailyCATHOLIC now being published daily in Russian to reach all parts of the former Iron Curtain, we present a special series written by Father Robert J. Fox, director of the Fatima Family Apostolate and editor of the full color Immaculate Heart Messenger. We are delighted to work with Father Robert Fox in bringing you this special series on Our Lady's plans for the conversion of Russia. If anyone knows the temperature of the Faith in the former Soviet Union it is Fr. Fox. These articles first appeared in earlier issues of his full-color magazine Immaculate Heart Messenger which Fr. Fox edits and publishes. To order a subscription or to find out about other materials such as books and tapes or about the upcoming 18th Annual National Marian Congress to be held on the weekend of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary on June 9-11 at the Shrine in Alexandria, South Dakota, call the toll-free number: 800-721-MARY or 800-213-5541.


installment two:
Special homily given by Bishop of Aveiro

    The following is the second part of the sermon given by the Bishop of Aveiro, His Excellency Bishop Manuel de Alemeida Trindade on Oct. 13, 1991 in the Cova da Iria at Fatima before hundreds of thousands of pilgrims including the newly-appointed Latin Rite Archbishop Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz of Moscow and the first pilgrimage group ever to come to Fatima from Russia:

    Three Humble Children

        For seventy years now these underground currents have existed. It was not through the invention of reputable ideologies, but through the simple confession of three humble children, to whom the Virgin Mary appeared here and to whom she spoke. And she appeared precisely in the year and in the month (according to the Russian calendar) in which the revolution established the dictatorship of the proletariat and the atheism of the state of Russia.

        None of the children had heard before the name of this country, lost as they were on the heights of an arid rocky mountain region watching their flocks, and belonging to families where letters was not a part of the daily bread that was eaten. But it was these children who transmitted the message heard from the lips of the Lady: "Russia will spread her errors, but finally she will be converted."

        The fulfillment of this prophecy is now in sight. Religious liberty exists in Russia today. It is no longer necessary to conceal the faith in the refuge of one's conscience, as if it were a crime or a dark and repellent blot which had to be hidden from other eyes. People can now public profess their faith, whatever be their religious belief, without fear that the police will enter their home and carry them off to some Gulag.

        With what emotion we see today, in our midst, the first Apostolic Administrator for the Latin Catholics of the Republic of Russia, with its seat in Moscow, the Archbishop Dr. Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz!

        "Russia will be converted..." Conversion, however, is not a dress placed on from the outside. It is an attitude of the intelligence and of the heart. CONVERSION does not exist where there is no interior liberty-that liberty which consists, not so much in the absence of fetters, as in the cult of truth, in self-control, in seeking rather to be than to appear to be, in seeking to be than to have. To be means cultivating the values that elevate man above the lower creatures, such as honesty of customs, sobriety of life, respect for the rights of others, invulnerability in the face of corruption, solidarity in regard to the needs of others.

        In these points Christian identity is by no means exhausted. To be a CHRISTIAN means to believe that Jesus Christ is the Word of God Incarnate, that He was crucified and died for us, and that after death He rose again and lives forever, that He is the beginning and the end-the Alpha and the Omega, as the book of the Apocalypse says-of our collective history as well as the history of this "unrepeatable" being who is each one of us.

        To be a Christian further signifies accepting the message-accepting and living by it-which Jesus Christ summed up in the eight Beatitudes, the first of which: Blessed are the poor in spirit is a resume of all the rest.

        The risk of societies in Eastern Europe is that, having escaped from the forms of slavery which were imposed on them from outside, they might now fall, of their own will, into other forms of slavery which are not lacking in our hyper-civilized West: ambition for money, the cult of sex, the plague of consumerism…What a misfortune it would be if what has happened in the East were merely passing over from a collectivist economy to a market economy. Man is worth much more than that.

        In Fatima, 74 years ago, the Virgin Mary made an appeal, through the three humble shepherds, to conversion of heart.

        May the Virgin Mary, who is the model for all believers and is the icon and the model of the Church-the Virgin Mary to whom all the Slavic peoples bear a filial and tender devotion-teach us, all of us, to be faithful as she was, to the end.

Father Robert J. Fox

May 25-29, 2000
volume 11, no. 99

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