The Miracle of Fatima
"I am worried by the Blessed Virgin's messages to Lucy of Fatima. This persistence of Mary about the dangers which menace the Church is a divine warning against the suicide of altering the Faith, in Her liturgy ... A day will come when the civilized world will deny its God, when the Church will doubt as Peter doubted. She will be tempted to believe that man has become God ... In our churches, Christians will search in vain for the red lamp where God awaits them, like Mary Magdalene weeping before the empty tomb, they will ask, 'Where have they taken Him?' ... I hear all around me innovators who wish to dismantle the Sacred Chapel, destroy the universal flame of the Church, reject her ornaments and make her feel remorse for her historical past" Prophesy of Pope Pius XII (Msgr. Georges Roche, "Pie XII Devant L'Histoire", p. 52-53).
Editor's Note: Today we are bringing you Father's sermon he delivered yesterday on the occasion of the 85th Anniversary of the final apparition at Fatima. It ties in with the Epistle for the 21st Sunday After Pentecost, taken from Ephesians 6: 10-17 in which Paul strongly advises to "Put on the armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the deceits of the devil." Father Louis shows how Our Lady echoed Paul's words with her message at Fatima to "put on the armor" by praying the Rosary, putting on the graces through penance and sacrifice. Alas, however, we have not listened, instead embracing a "civilization of love" in which satan has sown deceit. The fruits of those who thought they had a better idea, as all can see today throughout the world, are growing more bitter by the day. 85 years later we still haven't obeyed Our Lady's request!
Today, October 13th, 2002, marks the 85th anniversary of the Great Miracle of the sun at the Cova da Iria in Fatima, Portugal. The miracle had been promised by the Blessed Virgin Mary to three little shepherd children, Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta, so that everyone would believe in the reality of her apparitions and the truth of her messages.
Father Louis J. Campbell
Fatima has biblical foundations. The intercessory role of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the events at Fatima were foreshadowed in the Bible in the story of Queen Esther, who entered unbidden into the presence of King Ahasuerus, risking her life to save her people from destruction at the hands of the wicked Haman, who had obtained a decree from the king on the 13th of the month Nisan, that the Jews in exile in Persia were to be executed on the 13th of the month, Adar. The Fathers of the Church saw in Esther a figure of the Blessed Virgin, and in her uncle, Mardochai, a figure of St. Joseph, with the king representing God, and Haman the devil. The Jewish feast of Purim is celebrated on the 14th and 15th of Adar to commemorate the delivery of the Jews through Esther's intercession.
To highlight her intercessory role in the light of the story of Esther, Mary chose to appear at Fatima on the 13th of the month from May to October. Since the name Esther means 'Star' Mary was seen by the children at Fatima wearing a star at the hem of her brilliant white garment. Mary is the only human person allowed to enter, body and soul, into the presence of the King of Heaven, where she intercedes for us with her Son, Jesus Christ, Who sits at the right hand of the Father. Mary is our Morning Star, our Queen Esther, pleading our cause with God, that we might be delivered from destruction at the hands of the devil. But the story of Fatima is still unfolding.
The Great Miracle of Fatima took place before the eyes of 70,000 people who waited soaked by the rain in the mud of the Cova da Iria under a sky heavy with dark clouds. Suddenly at noon the clouds parted and the sun appeared. To their astonishment, the people could look directly at it without hurting their eyes. For some time the sun seemed to revolve on its axis, dancing and sending off waves of multicolored light. Then it began a terrifying descent towards the earth, so that the people fell on their knees screaming for mercy, thinking that it must be the end of the world. The sun then receded and assumed its normal position, and the miracle was over. It had lasted about a quarter of an hour. The people were surprised to find themselves dry, and the earth dry beneath their feet. The newspapers in Lisbon, which until then had been entirely skeptical of the Fatima apparitions, and expected to give a report of the non-occurrence of the promised miracle, gave a detailed account of it the following day.
Mary's reason for appearing at Fatima was to give the Church a program, a simple solution for the terrible persecutions it would experience from its enemies as the century unfolded. Just as Queen Esther commanded the Jews to fast and pray as she prepared to enter into the presence of the King, Mary asked for penance and prayers, especially the Rosary, to prevent Russia from spreading her errors throughout the world. She asked for the special observance of the First Saturdays, and that Russia be consecrated to her Immaculate Heart by the pope in union with all the bishops of the world.
These requests were taken very seriously by Pope Pius XII, who in consideration of the dangers the Church would face in the coming years, considered the Fatima devotions next in importance to the Mass itself. He had written prophetically:
"I am worried by the Blessed Virgin's messages to Lucy of Fatima. This persistence of Mary about the dangers which menace the Church is a divine warning against the suicide of altering the Faith, in Her liturgy ... A day will come when the civilized world will deny its God, when the Church will doubt as Peter doubted. She will be tempted to believe that man has become God ... In our churches, Christians will search in vain for the red lamp where God awaits them, like Mary Magdalene weeping before the empty tomb, they will ask, 'Where have they taken Him?' ... I hear all around me innovators who wish to dismantle the Sacred Chapel, destroy the universal flame of the Church, reject her ornaments and make her feel remorse for her historical past" (Msgr. Georges Roche, "Pie XII Devant L'Histoire", p. 52-53).
The pope's prophetic words would soon be fulfilled. Although Pius XII consecrated the whole world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on October 31st, 1942, the consecration of Russia by the pope and bishops together was delayed indefinitely. After his death in 1958 the enemies of true religion saw their chance. Along came Angelo Roncalli, a.k.a. John XXIII, who considered Communists and Freemasons "men of good will," and Fatima a hoax. Mary's peace initiatives from Fatima would be blocked, and replaced by 'dialogue' and 'respect' for all religions and worldly philosophies. 'Vatican II,' which began forty years ago last Friday, October 11th, would forecast a great 'renewal,' through a revolutionary makeover of the Church in the image of the world. Surely this would lead to peace and eventually to the "civilization of love" backed by John Paul II, would it not?
Just how wrong they were may be judged by the now totally dilapidated condition of the Church, and the emergence of despotic governments and leaders who have decided that 'war is peace,' and have decreed that all of us have to think the same way. But war is war, and Our Lady told the children at Fatima that it was a punishment for sin.
Realizing that the 'Fatima problem' would not go away, John Paul II and Cardinal Ratzinger decided to enshrine it as an historical event which occurred and was completed in the century just past. They revealed what they said was the Third Secret of Fatima, but said it referred to the attempted assassination of John Paul II in 1981. They arranged the 'beatification' of the two children, Francisco and Jacinta, and established a new feast of Our Lady of Fatima. But until the conciliar church emerges from its 'dialogue' mode and sees the futility of its efforts to bring about peace through political solutions, its pretense at fulfilling the requests of Our Lady of Fatima cannot be taken seriously.
A true successor of Peter will one day consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart. Only then will the Immaculate Heart of Mary triumph and peace return to the world. In the meantime, our beloved Queen intercedes with the King of Heaven for our salvation. "O Mary, you are the glory of Jerusalem, you are the joy of Israel, you are the honor of our people."
October 14, 2002
vol 13, no. 115
"Qui legit, intelligat" Father Louis Campbell's Sunday Sermons