Homily for the Memorial of Our Lady of Fatima
As I mentioned at the beginning of Mass, today the Church celebrates the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima, remembering how our Blessed Mother appeared to three young children in Portugal from May 13 until October 13, 1917. This morning, I want to focus on the prophetic aspect of this apparition of our Blessed Mother because I think it is still important for us today – maybe even more so now than ever before.
The Blessed Mother revealed three secrets during the months that these apparitions were taking place. The first secret was a message that described a vision of Hell. Our Lady told the children that many souls were falling, that many souls were living in sin. She said that most were not praying and doing sacrifices for their salvation.
The second secret was a warning from Our Lady that there would be another war that would spread across the globe. If man did not convert, Russia would spread its errors of Communism throughout the world and the world would suffer a great chastisement.
And the third secret, which was formally revealed only in the year 2000 upon the instruction of Pope St. John Paul II, referred to a crisis in the Church. Our Mother said that there would be persecutions, mass apostasy, the spread of many errors, confusions and divisions of great proportions. She also said that other catastrophic events would take place throughout the world: “The good will be martyred; the Holy Father will have much to suffer; various nations will be annihilated.”
Quite honestly, looking at the state of the Church and the state of our world currently, I’m not sure we have learned our lesson from our Blessed Mother. Because it sounds like we’re living in the time that our Mother spoke about. So many of us have become content with living in sin. Many aren’t praying, aren’t fasting, aren’t sacrificing because of the sins we have committed. We are currently seeing the threat of yet another world war because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. And, looking at our Church currently, there are so many of us who are confused, who have believed things that are contrary to the faith, who are trying to get the Church to embrace secular ideas, who are trying to get the Church to conform to the age.
This is our wake-up call, folks! The message of Fatima is the message for today. If we don’t respond to it, if we don’t take it seriously, I’m fearful that we won’t have another chance to correct the course of our world. Pope Benedict XVI said that the message of Fatima is “the exhortation to prayer” as the path of “salvation for souls” and, likewise, “the summons to penance and conversion.” This must be our response starting today. We have to offer more sincere prayers asking God pardon for our sins, for the conversion of those in our families, for the salvation of souls, for the world to return to Godly values. We must offer penance and sacrifices for the times we have failed to live in accord with God’s will. We have to urge others to pray. We have to go out and be the voices that are crying in the wilderness, “Prepare the way of the Lord.”
If we do this, if we heed the warnings of the Blessed Mother, she will be victorious in the end. She affirms this in her message at Fatima. She declared: “In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph.” May we always hold on to Mary. May we, in faith, heed her call to prayer and conversion, and consecrate ourselves to her Immaculate Heart. If we do, she will lead us to her Son. If we do, she will make it possible for us to be with Him for all Eternity. If we do, she will allow us to rest secure in His victory.
Photo: Nossa Senhora de Fátima e os pastores – Igreja de São Domingos, Jose Luiz. Used under Creative Commons License.