Sunday, May 13, 2012

Anniversary of the first apparition of Our Lady of the Rosary at Fatima, 1917



At each apparition Our Lady said:  "Pray the rosary every day..."

If today were not Sunday, it would be the feast of Our Lady of Fatima.  My devotion to Our Lady of the Rosary and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel expanded under the influence of the Fatima message.  I was four or five years old when I first became attached to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel through the scapular devotion, and I suppose in first or second grade, when I learned how to say the rosary.  I learned about Fatima around the time of my First Communion, and was deeply impressed.  I remain devoted to Our Lady of Fatima today. 

I must admit, I've never been comfortable with Fatima devotees however.  I attended devotions, all night vigils, and so on, but kept to myself.  While in Fatima, I also kept very much to myself.  For some reason, I could never sustain an interest in the sensational aspects of the Fatima call, or the fear mongering and condemnations leveled against... well pretty much anyone not devoted to Fatima.  When I was little, I was intrigued to know what the Third Secret was all about, but after the Holy Father decided in 1960 it wasn't to be revealed to the public, and the world didn't end, it made little difference to me.  The other secrets were always enough for me to try and live up to.  They remain so now when I am older.

Similarly, I'm still not fond of Fatima cultists.  Unlike many of them, I actually believe all of the secrets have been revealed and that the consecration Our Lady requested has been accomplished.  That said, I'm not sure every aspect of the secret has been fulfilled - in fact, I think it unlikely.  Not to worry however, as Our Lady promised Lucia:
"My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God ..."

21 comments:

  1. Terry,

    I too became drawn to Fatima at a very early age. The story was introduced to us in 2nd grade. We were given little books on the Fatima story and I so wish that these books were still in print. They were printed on cheap paper with black and white photos. I shared it with everyone I knew. I subscribed to SOUL magazine and made the "Fatima Pledge".

    I'll respectfully disagree regarding the secret. I'm with Mother Angelica on this one. She believed the whole secret had not been revealed and she's not alone in that. I would hope that doesn't make me a "Fatima Cultist" but if it does i'm ok with that. The important thing is Our Lady's call to penance and repentance. I do what I can to be faithful to her call.

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    1. Oh no - you're fine - I just won't be alone with you in a room. haha! Just kidding. I know many people disagree with me - but who am I? No, I know a lot of people who think there is more to be revealed. I know a lot of really good people devoted to Medjugorje too. Life goes on.

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  2. When I was in about sixth grade we were shown an absolutely horrifying film about Our Lady of Fatima. The essential message was: "we're all doomed, doomed, doomed...now here's your rosary." Knowing what I know now, it was probably done by Fr Gruner or one of these "America Needs Fatima" type groups. I know the adults meant no harm showing it to us, but I was tormented with fear of war for most of my childhood over it. I tell my story here:

    http://www.catholic.com/magazine/articles/completed-catholic-tells-all

    I ironic thing is that were it not for that fear, I wouldn't be where I am today, knowing my faith as I do, so I don't regret that suffering.

    I always go out of my way to tell children that they should always tell their parents if they are afraid of something. I was telling my sister's godchild recently that if her teachers are telling her eco-horror stories, like that we are going to run out of water soon, that it's a bunch of lies. She piped back to me, "Yeah, and that Mayan calendar stuff is lies too." Eight years old! Man kids are sophisticated nowadays!

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    1. LOL! Kids do know so much more these days. I'll read your story CK - thanks. BTW - I noticed Fr. Z is really worried about sun-spots destroying the grid.

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    2. Wow! Now I know who you are! LOL! Excellent conversion story - kind of reminds me of Francis of Assisi in some respects. Thanks for the link.

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    3. Thanks Terry.

      My boss and my sister watch sunspot activity religiously and I always tease them that they will need to boost their supply of tin foil hats. It's amazing that they tolerate me.

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  3. CK SAYS: "Knowing what I know now, it was probably done by Fr Gruner or one of these "America Needs Fatima" type groups."

    I've read the "Fatima Crusader" from Father Gruner off and on since the late 70s. I am no disciple of Father Gruner but I fall short of dismissing him outright. The truth of the whole situation lies somewhere in the middle between Cardinal Bertone, Father Robert Fox, Father Malachi Martin and Father Gruner. I wouldn't quickly dismiss "America Needs Fatima" either they call a lot of attention to issues not covered elsewhere. They have their place.

    I don't remember being afraid of the message of Fatima as much as dismayed that so many were indifferent to it all. I hear Mother Angelica often when referring to hell talk about "scaring the hell out of people". I think if that's what works (at least initially) to jerk people into the reality of the malice of sin then so be it. It's imperfect contrition but contrition nonetheless. I think the problem today is that most have no "fear of the Lord" no awe before God.

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    1. I only say that about Fr. Gruner because, as far as I know, he has been suspended from ministry:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicholas_Gruner

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    2. Cardinal Ratzinger authored the interpretation of the secret while head of the CDF, after the secret was read at Fatima in the presence of JPII. Do people really believe Pope Benedict lied when he said the secret had been revealed in its entirety? Do people really believe Sr. Lucia lied about the consecration being accepted by heaven?

      Gruner and his ilk are the types I consider to be Fatima cultists.

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    3. I never said anything about anyone lying (least of all the Pope) about the content of the secret. I question whether all of it was revealed.

      J. Cardinal Ratzinger:
      Yes, I have read [the Third Secret]. [It refers to] a radical call to conversion; the absolute seriousness of history; the dangers which threaten the faith and the life of the Christian and therefore (the life) of the world (Jesus, November 11, 1984).
      Cardinal Ratzinger became Pope Benedict the XVI in 2005.

      Fr. J. Alonso:
      In the period preceding the great triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, terrible things are to happen. These form the content of the third part of the Secret. What are they? If “in Portugal the dogma of the Faith will always be preserved,”…it can be clearly deduced from this that in other parts of the Church these dogmas are going to become obscure or even lost altogether…. Perhaps it even refers to the failures of the upper hierarchy of the Church.
      Fr. Alonso was the official archivist of Fatima, 1965—1981.

      S. Cardinal Oddi:
      What happened in 1960 that might have been seen in connection with the Secret of Fatima? The most important event is without a doubt the launching of the preparatory phase of the Second Vatican Council. Therefore I would not be surprised if the Secret had something to do with the convocation of Vatican II… I would not be surprised if the Third Secret alluded to dark times for the Church; grave confusions and troubling apostasies within Catholicism itself…
      L. Cardinal Ciappi:
      In the Third Secret, it is foretold, among other things, that the great apostasy in the Church will begin at the top.
      Personal communication to a Professor Baumgartner in Salzburg, Austria. Card. Ciappi was the Papal Theologian of Pope John Paul II.

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    4. I know of these statements. Thanks.

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    5. I think Catholics should reject Fr. Gruner out of hand - completely out of hand. His message is not only wrong, but dangerous. I think Fr. Malachi Martin should be ignored. They sow discontent among the faithful - that is all they do/did.

      To believe these men, one MUST believe that the past few popes have been lying, and that Vatican II was called and concluded on evil pretenses, and that it can never be reconciled with Tradition.

      Have there been abuses? You bet, and it has led to some real devastation. But the problem is that what we now have is a situation where Catholics view with derision and suspicion anything that *sounds* "new" coming from the Pope or the Magisterium. They set themselves up as arbiters and interpreters of Tradition, forgetting their proper place, and confusing tradition with Tradition. Gruner, Martin, and their ilk feed such suspicion.

      I will stick with the pope. He is Catholic enough for me.

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  4. "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love." I John 4:18

    ...from today's epistle reading.

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  5. Sorry--I forget that your readings are shorter than ours usually. You stopped at verse 10, we continued on to verse 21. You'll hear it next week. Oops, no you won't, you stop at verse 16, and then the reading of I John stops. Good thing I told you, cuz you never would have known! ;-)

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  6. Finally, remember the famous Third Secret of Fatima which Our Lady
    said the Pope could reveal only after <1960>? When people at Fulda,
    Germany asked John Paul II in 1980 if the Third Secret of Fatima contained
    a threat from God, the Pope responded:

    "If there is a message in which it is said that the oceans will
    flood entire sections of the earth; that, from one moment to the
    other, millions of people will perish . . . there is no longer
    any point in really wanting to publish this secret message.

    Many want to know merely out of curiosity, or because of their
    taste for sensationalism, but they forget that "to know" implies
    for them a responsibility. It is dangerous to want to satisfy
    one's curiosity only, if one is convinced that we can do nothing
    against a catastrophe that has been predicted....

    (At this point the Holy Father took hold of his Rosary and
    said:) Here is the remedy against all evil! Pray, pray and ask
    for nothing else. Put everything in the hands of the Mother of
    God!"[9]

    http://www.ewtn.com/library/scriptur/flfire.txt

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    1. I've been aware of this as well. Thanks Servus.

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  7. In addition, I would like to emphasize that we know what we need to know regarding the secret of Fatima. Everything we need to know has been revealed. No conspiracy theory ever promotes the authentic message.

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  8. I know Fatima is not an article of Catholic faith. One need not be a believer in Fatima in order to be a good Catholic. This is the most important thing I think the pope said regarding Fatima at Fulda, Germany then:

    (At this point the Holy Father took hold of his Rosary and
    said:) Here is the remedy against all evil! Pray, pray and ask
    for nothing else. Put everything in the hands of the Mother of
    God!"[9]

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    1. I don't mean to sound contradictory or as if I'm dismissing your statements BTW. I appreciate very much your sincere devotion and how deeply you share Our Lady's interests in our salvation. Thanks Servus.

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