Today marks the 95th Anniversary of the final apparition of Mary to Lúcia dos Santos & her cousins Jacinta & Francisco Marto at Fátima, Portugal. Most people are familiar with the general story of the apparitions, the call to consecrate Russia to Mary's Immaculate Heart & the 3 Secrets. So, I won't repeat them. All I will add is that I do believe that the Consecration has taken place & was confirmed by Lúcia that it did as well is that the entire 3rd Secret has been revealed by the Vatican.
I will remind people of the basic message of Fátima as it is just as needed today as then. & it ties in perfectly with several other messages of Mary, like that at Robinsonville
(now Champion) in Wisconsin, Akita
in Japan, & Kibeho
in Rwanda. They all contain a call to prayer for the conversion of sinners, making reperations for sins & personal holiness & faithfulness to the Pope & the Catholic Church, either explicitly or implicitly. & if Catholics didn't do as asked, the world would face chastisment.
Robinsonville was over 150 years ago, Fátima was 95 years, & since then Akita & Kibeho have repeated the message. We cannot say that God hasn't warned us or given us plenty of time to repent, etc. I don't know if time is short or we will have many more years. What I do know is each of us must respond to this call, a call that is echoed in the call by Papa Benedetto for the Year of Faith
that began last Thursday.
That aside, what I would like to focus in on are the events that occurred at this final apparition on this day 95 years ago.
What most people hear about is the Miracle of the Sun, a miracle promised by Mary. About 70,000 people showed up. It began raining & the fields turned to mud. At Noon the Miracle occurred. Lúcia pointed up to the sky. The sun began spinning & dancing in the sky. At one point it seemed as if it would crash into earth. People could watch it without any damage to their eyesite.
But what is rarely mentioned is that in addition to that Miracle the children saw 3 other things happen. "After our Lady had disappeared into the immense distance of the firmament, we beheld St. Joseph with the Child Jesus and Our Lady robed in white with a blue mantle, beside the sun. St. Joseph and the Child Jesus seemed to bless the world, for they traced the Sign of the Cross with their hands. When, a little later, this apparition disappeared, I saw Our Lord and Our lady; it seemed to me to that it was Our Lady of Sorrows (Dolors). Our Lord appeared to bless the world in the same manner as St. Joseph had done. This apparition also vanished, and I saw Our Lady once more, this time resembling Our Lady of Carmel." (The last was seen only by Lúcia.)
At that time there were 3 sets of Mysteries for the Rosary, the Joyful, the Sorrowful & the Glorious. The 3 apparitions line up with those Mysteries. God was calling us to pray the Rosary in a special way.
But I think God was calling us to a deeper devotion to San Giuseppe as well. The family as a divinely created institution is coming under attack from so many sides these days. God sent San Giuseppe with Mary to remind us that we must stand up & defend marriage as solely between a man & a woman 7 that 2 daaies or 2 mommies with a child does not a family make.
San Giueseppe's giving a priestly blessing is a reminder that the father is the head of the family & high priest of the domestic church as Blessed John Paul II called the family.
In a special way we should repent of the sins of our nation, especially those against the family (abortion, IVF, gay marriage) & make reperation to God for those sins, calling on the merits Jesus won for us on the Cross. In doing so, we will be answering the call God sent to us through Mary at Fátima.
Labels: St. Joseph (San Giuseppe)