What are the three parts of the Secret of Fatima?
Our Lady revealed three secrets when appearing to the children at Fatima. The first part was a vision of Hell to remind us of our need to respond to Christ’s saving love with repentance and conversion of life. The second secret was a statement that World War I would end and a prediction that there would be another war during the reign of Pope Pius XI if men continued offending God and Russia did not convert. To prevent this prophecy from occurring, Our Lady asked for Russia to be entrusted to her Immaculate Heart through a prayer of consecration. The third part of the secret was about the 20th century persecution of Christians and the failed assassination attempt on St. John Paul II’s life on May 13, 1981, the 64th anniversary of the first apparition of Our Lady at Fatima.
We hope you will join us for a movie about the Fatima apparitions after our parish potluck on Sun., April 30th.
When was the last apparition at Fatima with all three children?
“Our Lady of the Rosary” was the title Mary gave to herself on October 13, 1917, the last visit with all three children present. Our Lady asked that everyone pray the Rosary daily for peace in the world. St. Joseph appeared, holding the Child Jesus in his arms. After the Holy Family blessed the children, they issued a final warning saying, “Do not offend the Lord Our God anymore because he is already so offended.” After the apparition, the “Miracle of the Sun” occurred. 70,000 onlookers confirmed that the sun appeared to dance in the sky, giving off various colors, approached the earth with great speed and then returned to the sky. Our Lady told the children at the first apparition that Jacinta and Francisco would go to heaven soon. Francisco died in 1919, at age 10. Jacinta died in 1920, at age 10.
Were there other apparitions of Our Lady to the children after Fatima?
Yes! Our Lady appeared to Lucia three more times from 1925-1928 after she entered the Sisters of St. Dorothy convent in Spain. In one of the visions, Our Lady appeared with the child, Jesus. She held her heart in her hands and it was encircled by thorns. The child said, ”Have compassion on the Heart of your most holy Mother, covered with thorns, with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment, and there is no one to make an act of reparation to remove them.” The devotion of the Five First Saturdays was also revealed to Lucia. Our Lady told Lucia that anyone who confessed, received Holy Communion, and meditated on the 15 mysteries of the Rosary for 15 minutes on the first Saturday of five consecutive months would receive the graces necessary for salvation and be assisted at the hour of death. Sister Maria Lucia died on February 13, 2005, at the age of 97.
Why did Our Lady appear to children at Fatima?
Throughout the ages, there have been so-called private revelations, some of which have been recognized by the church. The apparitions at Fatima are considered private revelations. The person/s receiving the vision is touched by deep dimensions of reality, which often become visible. Children tend to be the ones to receive the apparitions because their souls are more pure and their interior powers of perception are not impaired. The images they describe are not fantasy, but the result of a real perception of an interior origin. The messages from Our Lady can help in understanding the Gospel and living it better at a particular moment in time, but we are not required to believe.
What is the message of Fatima?
Sister Lucia believed that the purpose of the apparitions was to help people grow more in faith, hope and love. Our Lady asks us to help save souls through devotion to her Immaculate Heart. She reminds us to repent and do penance and asks us to pray the Rosary daily and follow the devotion to the Five First Saturdays. St. John Paul II stated that “the Heart open to God, purified to the contemplation of God, is stronger than guns and weapons of every kind.” It is only fitting that, on the occasion of a visit to Rome by the then Bishop of Fatima, that the Pope decided to give him the bullet which had remained in the jeep after the assassination attempt, so that it might be kept in the shrine. By the Bishop’s decision, the bullet was later set in the crown of the statue of Our Lady of Fatima.