The story behind Our Lady of Fatima
by KLCR: for the Lorian
In the year 1917, in a mountainous region at the center of Portugal, the Mother of God appeared six times to three young children.
Elsewhere on the continent, the “Great War” raged. It would cost Europe an entire generation, over 37 million lives. Besides sending her own sons to die in France and North Africa, Portugal was in political chaos at home. There was a dizzy succession of governments following a revolution in 1910.
The monarchy had been replaced by a republic, with a new liberal constitution separating Church from State. Government officials, under the influence of Freemasonry, were not sympathetic to the Faith. But for the people, the Faith was the air that they breathed, as in the village of Aljustrel, a collection of whitewashed houses on a dusty road in the parish of Fatima.
There Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta were born and raised in homes where the catechism was their daily bread, stories from the Bible their recreation, and the word of the village priest was law. Lucia de Jesus Santos was born, the youngest of seven children, to Antonio and Maria Rosa Santos, on March 22, 1907. She was a plain child with sparkling eyes and a magnetic personality, a natural leader to whom other children looked with confident affection. Blessed with an excellent memory, Lucia was able to learn her catechism and make her First Communion and Confession at age six. She became a catechist at nine. Lucia would be the constant guide and companion to her first cousins, Francisco and Jacinta Marto, through the trials that accompanied the apparitions of the Blessed Mother.
MESSAGE: The most important aspect of the Fátima event was not the supernatural phenomena, but the content of the message that was communicated to the children. By following this message, their spiritual lives were elevated to the heights of sanctity. The beatification of Jacinta and Francisco testifies to this. The possibility of conversion of the world from its ruinous course was offered to mankind.
This message has two essential elements. All other elements can be related to these in some way. The first element is the singular role of the Immaculate One in the economy of salvation. God doesn’t have whims. It was at the request of the Almighty that devotion to the Immaculate Heart be established in the world, presumed that such devotion is justly given to the Mother of God.
The second element involves a “practical” order: the value of devotion to the Immaculate Heart for the individual and for the future of the human race. To this element are connected the spiritual practices that were encouraged by the Angel and by the Lady, and the prophetic content of the message — upon which the fate of the world depends. Without the first “dogmatic” element, the “practical” dimension of the message of Fatima would be entirely arbitrary.
ACI REQUEST: Our Lady requested three things at Fatima: 1) Daily recitation of the Rosary for the conversion of sinners 2) Wearing the brown scapular 3) The First Saturday’s devotion.
Please visit the KCRD booth to get a free rosary, brown Scapular, and sign up for the Confraternity of the Rosary, which has been canonically established in Dubuque. The Confraternity encourages the daily recitation of the Rosary, and the scapular is available for the taking. So take it, wear it, and make the First Saturday’s devotion a priority. The world depends on it.