This past June, I took my sons to Fatima, Portugal. It was one of the best parenting moves I’ve ever made. I personally was so overcome with emotion that at one point I separated myself from our group, fell to my knees and wept. Even now, four full months later, I am still seeing the fruit of this pilgrimage unfold in our lives.
What’s the big deal about Fatima?
Well, what if I told you that in 1917 the mother of Jesus appeared to 3 peasant children six times over six months, that she did this to explain to them exactly what people needed to do to bring about peace in the world, and then gave them instructions that are not very difficult to do? What if I said that the Catholic Church, initially highly skeptical, rigorously investigated all of this and eventually not only approved the authenticity of these events but went on to promote them? What if I told you that millions of people visit this remote Portuguese village every year and that occasionally, they claim miracles of healing, conversion or simply spiritual comfort, and that Catholic bishops all over the world (including Bishop Kevin Rhoades in the Diocese of Fort Wayne – South Bend) are holding special Masses and rosaries to mark this occasion? Wouldn’t you at least want to know? Wouldn’t you at least want to investigate and ponder it for yourself?
This is exactly what happened. She came. She showed them things. She taught them. Unfortunately, the world didn’t listen too well. Today there is arguably less peace in the world than ever.
Friday, October 13th, 2017 is the 100th anniversary of her final apparition which included a very dramatic miracle witnessed by approximately 70,000 people. It involved a driving rainstorm and the sun.
The good news is that that there is still time to follow Our Lady’s simple advice. I wanted to share this with all of you, but how could I effectively summarize the full story in a blog post? I tried at first, but struggled. So then I found this dated but still excellent little documentary which lays out much of the story in only 21 minutes. Well worth the time, I assure you.
Our Lady of Fatima, Pray for us!