This past week we celebrated the feast of Our Lady of Fatima. (And, given my mention of Fatima, you may wonder why I have Our Lady of Guadalupe pictured here, but more on that in a moment). But as for Fatima, with all the emphasis on the magnificent teaching and prophetic fulfillment of that apparition, something that has always intrigued me is that she would appear of all places in a town called Fatima. Why Fatima, a town that recalls the daughter of Mohammed?

Indeed, I have often heard that Muslims hold our Blessed Mother Mary in high regard. This reverence may stop short of our devotion but there is said to be a respect for her in the Muslim tradition.

Now, I first learned this from the great Archbishop, Fulton Sheen in his book, The World’s First Love. I read it 25 years ago and have pondered it ever since. I would like to present excerpts from the chapter entitled “Mary and the Moslems” [sic], reflect on its significance and ask a few questions. Please note that the book was written in 1952 and therefore some of the spellings are not the modern ones. Here are the excerpts:

The Koran, which is the Bible of the Moslems, has many passages concerning the Blessed Virgin. First of all, the Koran believes in her Immaculate Conception, and also, in her Virgin Birth…..The Koran also has verses on the Annunciation, Visitation, and Nativity. Angels are pictured as accompanying the Blessed Mother and saying, Oh Mary, God has chosen you and purified you, and elected you above all the women of the earth. In the 19th chapter of the Koran there are 41 verses on Jesus and Mary. There is such a strong defense of the virginity of Mary here that the Koran in the fourth book, attributes the condemnation of the Jews to their monstrous calumny against the Virgin Mary.

Mary, then, is for the Moslems the true Sayyida, or Lady. The only possible serious rival to her in their creed would be Fatima, the daughter of Mohammed himself. But after the death of Fatima, Mohammed wrote: Thou shalt be the most blessed of women in Paradise, after Mary. In a variant of the text Fatima is made to say; I surpass all the women, except Mary.

This brings us to our second point; namely, why the Blessed Mother, in this 20th Century should have revealed herself in the significant little village of Fatima, so that to all future generations she would be known as “Our Lady of Fatima.” Since nothing ever happens out of Heaven except with a finesse of all details, I believe that the Blessed Virgin chose to be known as “Our Lady of Fatima” as pledge and a sign of hope to the Moslem people, and as an assurance that they, who show her so much respect, will one day accept her divine Son too.

Evidence to support these views is found in the historical fact that the Moslems occupied Portugal for centuries. At the time when they were finally driven out, the last Moslem chief had a beautiful daughter by the name of Fatima. A Catholic boy fell in love with her, and for him she not only stayed behind when the Moslems left, but even embraced the Faith. The young husband was so much in love with her that he changed the name of the town where he lived to Fatima. Thus the very place where our Lady appeared in 1917 bears a historical connection to Fatima, the daughter of Mohammed.

Missionaries, in the future will, more and more, see that their apostolate among the Moslems will be successful in the measure that they preach Our Lady of Fatima. Mary is the advent of Christ, bringing Christ to the people before Christ himself is born. In any apologetic endeavor, it is always best to start with that which the people already accept. Because the Moslems have devotion to Mary, our missionaries should be satisfied merely to expand and develop that devotion, with the full realization that our Blessed Lady will carry the Moslems the rest of the way to her divine Son. She is forever a “traitor,” in the sense that she will not accept any devotion for herself, bit will always bring anyone who is devoted to her to her divine Son.

A beautiful reflection by Archbishop Sheen and one we can surely hope will come to pass. Relations are much more tense however between Christians and Muslims today than in 1952.

This leads to my first question.

Do Muslims today still manifest the reverence to Mary that Sheen described in 1952? I have seen a few people in Muslim garb at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception here in D.C., but I was not sure if they came to pay homage to Mary or just tour. I think we Catholics ought to be careful before we presume too much of what Muslims today think of Mary. The lines in the Quran quoted by Sheen are impressive but that does not mean that Muslims either know them well or interpret them as we would wish? Hence, I am merely posing a question here. If any of you know of good sources that answer the question of the Muslim stance on Mary I would be grateful if you can point it out. The answer to this question has a lot of bearing on my speculations to follow.

Astonishing Fact – I have already noted that it nothing less than astonishing that Mary should appear in a town called “Fatima.” Surely this is no mere coincidence and, as Sheen aptly points out, heaven does nothing without purpose. That we are not to merely pass over this detail, is very clear to me. “Our Lady of Fatima,” has a different ring when we think that Fatima is more that a place, Fatima is the Daughter of Muhammad, and the greatest woman in Islam. “Our Lady of Fatima” sounds and feels so different when it is heard in this context of person not place. It is hugely significant.

Third Secret of Fatima? For many years, before its revelation, I was sure that the Third Secret of Fatima had something to do with the Muslim question. Frankly I figured it likely described a great conflict with the Muslim world that would arise and lead to great suffering for the Church, even a kind of Babylonian captivity, but that ultimately Mary’s Immaculate Heart would triumph by the power of God. Imagine my chagrin when the third secret was finally revealed with a less than worldwide, apocalyptic content. Granted, the assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II was a serious and significant matter but it was less than the worldwide conflict I had expected. It is also true that his would-be assassin was Muslim, but the plot was likely more communist and Russian in origin. In the end my theory was rocked back on its heels and fell flat.

But still we are left with Fatima. Why Fatima? Why a town bearing the namesake of Muhammad’s daughter? It seems clear that Mary will play an important role in the years ahead as the Muslim/Christian conflict likely grows sharper. Perhaps, as Sheen notes, she will be the bridge that connects two vastly different cultures, the common mother who keeps her children talking. Right now this connection seems little pursued, even, as far as I can tell, by the Vatican. But here too allow a question from me. Are there any of you who know if Our Lady of Fatima has any role in Vatican-Muslim dialogue?

The Guadalupe connection – I wonder too if the history of Our Lady of Guadalupe presents some historical parallels to our current struggle with the Muslim world. In the early 16th Century in Mexico, missionaries had made only meager progress in bringing the Aztec people to Christ. It was a combination of the sometimes rude and cruel treatment of the indigenous people by the Spanish soldiers, and also of the fearful superstition surrounding the Aztec gods. These gods required horrific human sacrifices and kept the people locked in with this fear that, unless they fed these gods, their greatest god, the sun, would no longer shine.

Into this fearful and suspicious setting entered Mother Mary. The miraculous image she left in 1531 was richly symbolic: Her face is a mother’s face, gentle and compassionate, unlike the frightful Aztec gods who wore fierce masks. Her features seem to be both an Aztec and European, two cultures are combined in kindness and peace. Her attitude is one of humble prayer, so she is clearly not a god. She is a merciful mother who consoles and prays for us. She is to be honored but not adored. The black band around her waist means that she is with child and offers Jesus to the people. Her message is about him. The sun was the greatest of the Aztec gods and, by standing in front of the sun, Mary shows that she is greater than all their gods. The moon represented to them the god of darkness and death. That she is standing on the moon is a sign that these powers too have been defeated by the son she bears.

Mary brought the breakthrough. Within ten years over 12 million Mexicans came to Christ and entered the Catholic Church.

This history is paralleled in many ways today in the current tensions with the Muslim World. In many Muslim lands today conversions are few. Part of the reason for this is a strong aversion for the western culture from which Catholicism comes. Another reason includes many alleged grievances that Muslims have of American and Western “mistreatment.” Finally, a large factor is fear. Leaving the Muslim faith is likely to get you killed in many parts of the Muslim world. So, it is a combination of a wide cultural gulf, alleged grievances, and fear, that keep conversions low. All not unlike 16th Century Mexico.

Is Mary key? It took Mary to bridge all these similar gaps between the Aztecs and the Christian Missionaries. Might Mary also be that bridge today when similar gaps divide? Time will tell, but one of her greatest Modern titles is Our Lady of Fatima. And then, there is the crescent moon upon which Mary stands in the image of Guadalupe. In modern times the crescent moon is the symbol of Islam. Mother Mary of Guadalupe, by God’s grace, was victorious and overcame the false religion of the Aztecs with love and humility.

Might this crescent moon on which Our Lady of Guadalupe stands also point to our times, and the crescent moon of Islam? Might it indicate that her victories, by God’s grace, are not at an end. Perhaps we can hope that what our Lady of Guadalupe was to the Aztec people of Mexico, Our Lady of Fatima will be to the Muslim people of the world.

As always, I invite your comments and answers to my questions.

I also want to invite any of you who would like to accompany me and some other folks from my Parish and Washington DC as we go to Gaudalupe in in October 8-15. For more info contact my parishioner,  Deborah Vanzego at dvanzego@cohenmilstein.com or 202-408-4641. We’d love to have you come and still have space available.

Here is “Immaculate Mary” sung in Arabic

57 Responses

  1. Therese says:

    I visited the House of Mary in Ephesus. It was a most beautiful and uplifting experience. Muslims and Catholics (about half and half) praying silently together in the house where Mary lived when she was with John in Ephesus. (The house was found via St. Catherine Emmerich’s visions. Great story behind how it was found. The archeological studies support it being constructed at the right time. There is a long history of pilgrimages to it on the feast of the Annunciation by the local Christians.

    I remembered reading that many Muslims visit Fatima in Portugal. So before posting here, I did a quick search. It’s true. See this nice article on EWTN on Our Lady and Muslims:

    http://www.ewtn.com/library/mary/olislam.htm

  2. Therese says:

    PS…There is a lovely image of our Lady of Ephesus in the Lower Church of the National Shrine. It is on the right as you are leaving the Chapel It’s in a nook catty corner from the Our Lady of Hope chapel.

    Here is an article on the finding of her house:
    http://www.catholictradition.org/Assumption/ephesus1.htm

  3. Anita says:

    The very first time I heard the story of Fatima and how it got its name, I knew in my heart that this was a sign from God, that He will work His wonders through the apparition of Our Lady there to eventually, convert Muslims. His time is never our time and His ways always work completely different from our understanding. But in the end, He will triumph through the Immaculate Heart of His Mother.

  4. Candida Eittreim says:

    Monsignor Pope, i had the blessing of befriending a Muslim family. Fauzia was from Afghanistan and her husband Shafiq was from Pakistan. He was employed as an interpreter for our government. We had many interfaith talks over meals. They do rever Mary and Jesus. But the warmth in their voices and eyes when i brought up the Bebe Miryam was unmistakeable. Archbishop Sheen was correct. There is no coincidence in the selection of Fatima. Thank you for posting this Monsignor. I pray, it will help bridges, fragile yes, but filled I pray with love and good will.

  5. Mari Kate says:

    Dear Monsignor Pope, I would like to share a story if I may. While visiting a with a Moslim family, I was surprised at their love for Mary. One day, while washing my car, I noticed I had lost my favorite decade rosary that I prayed whenever I was driving. This rosary meant a lot to me and I began to complain to Our Lady because i could not find it. I often used the rosary to pray for my sons. I searched everywhere. Someone came up from behind me as I stooped over the back seat and tapped me on the shoulder. It was the older moslim woman with whom I was visiting. She could not speak English, but held out her hand to me offering me its contents. There in the palm of her hand was a beautiful white pearl chaplet rosary, very similar to the one I had lost. She smiled and simply said, “You”, while lifting my hand and placing the rosary in its palm . Our Lady had heard my prayers and used this beautiful Moslim woman to answer. She had replaced my lost rosary.

  6. Pedro says:

    I have been in the two places mentioned here, Fátima and Guadalupe. I don’t like the “religious” trade that is set around the Shrine of Fátima, but both the very shrines are apealling.
    I remember once in Fátima, my girlfriend of that moment was an atheist, but she felt something powerful was in the place. It was amazing the devotion you could see sorrounding us. Days later we met a Portuguese guy who told as: I’m an atheist, but every year I go to Fátima…

  7. Douglas Kraeger says:

    One of the questions I have concerning the Fatima account is that on Aug 19, 1917 and on sept. 13, 1917 Our Lady told the children that in October She would come and perform a miricle but also St. Joseph and the Child Jesus would come to give peace to the world and after the miricle of the sun, St. Joseph and the Child Jesus appeared and Blessed the world three times: my question: why is there so little discussion of this aspect of God’s plan? If God’s peace will come through Mary’s prayers (inresponse to many rosaries) AND through the Blessings of Joseph and the Child Jesus; should we not be seeking to follow both parts?
    God has only one, single, infinite, always in the present tense thought in Which each Person of the Blessed Trinity thinks about everything, all at once. When Jesus prayed on the cross for all sinners (CCC 579), He prayed for each person at every point of time and space and offered His suffering and death for each at every point of time and space. CCC 2606, 2741 teach that all petitions were summned up in the Cry on the Cross and Jesus prays for everyone and prays with everyone who “resolutely unites their prayer with the prayer of Jesus, IN HIS NAME.” We can not pray with Jesus unless He prays with us. If we are praying with Him, asking Him to make His prayer ours, we are automaticallly united with all others who prayed with Him in His one , single, infinite prayer for everyone IN HIS NAME. In a special way we are connected to each prayer Mary and Joseph said with Jesus as a child and these prayers , in which Jesus and Mary honor St. Joseph as the Head of the Family, are part of the eternal, changeless prayer, thought of God and therefore we should honor St. Joseph the way God does eternally as the Head of the family with the corresponding rights and authority of an old testament father to give blessings. Also, at the rebellion of Lucifer and the other devils we have them saying, “we will not serve” and where most people understand this to mean the devils will not serve God, it could also mean that the devils will not serve God and St. Joseph the way Jesus does. It would make sense for the devil to do all he can to keep people from honoring St. Joseph the way God wants everyone to in order for God to send His peace through the Blessings of St. Joseph and the Child Jesus in response to prayers through Mary and Joseph.

  8. Lentz of Goulburn says:

    It’s worth noting that a recently opened mosque in Melbourne, Australia, is called the Virgin Mary Mosque.

  9. Michael Petek says:

    I think you will find that the Wahhabi Muslims, and any others who reprove the veneration of any person other than God and Muhammad, also reprove the veneration of Mary.

    The number thirteen runs right through Fatima, and that means it keys into the story of Esther. This is the biblical story of a Jewish Queen who intervened with her husband the King to forestall the extermination of her people. In consequence of her intervention, the King gave the Jews permission to defend themselves in arms.

    In retrospect, it is obvious that God sent her to Portugal in 1917 because He foresaw that, if the nations did not stop offending God, there would be another World War which would put the Jews in peril of extermination once again. On 14 November 1914 the Sheikh ul-Islam of the Ottoman Empire issued on behalf of the Caliph a fatwa for jihad, which was followed in 1915 by the genocide of the Armenian, Greek and Assyrian Christian population of Anatolia.

    The apparitions at Fatima ended in October 1917, and in November the Balfour Declaration was issued. This put in train a series of events which enabled the Jews to reconstitute their political society and legitimately bear arms. Our Lady returned to Sister Lucia in July 1929 to ask for the consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart. The Great Crash followed in October of that year, and the mass unemployment that followed brought the Nazi Party out of nowhere to make enough electoral gains in Germany to get Adolf Hitler elected as Chancellor in 1933.

  10. Steve M says:

    One thought struck me when I visited Fatima with my daughter that this post brings back out. There is I think a strong correlation between my understanding of Ramidan and the need for atonement and the whole experience for me of Fatima. You will see people processing on their knees across the paving stones. It is so beautiful there and the Love of Christ and Mary is thick in the air but you cannot help also feeling the oppressiveness of your own sins when you are there. The stories from the children of being a glimpse of hell has always scared me just a bit. It must be incredibly important for us to be aware of our sins and to atone if these children would be shown this glimpse. That Francisco would begin to wear a rope around his body under his clothes for the souls makes it so much more real to me. Thank you Msgr. Pope for the reminder.

  11. kinana says:

    From my discussions with Muslims, the role of Mary is not really reflected upon. Mohammed is so central to everything that is Islamic that Mary being so far removed from him is really quite distant in their thinking. Stories and events are just described without any significance attached to them. For example, the virgin birth of Jesus, the miracles performed by Jesus, the non-death of Jesus all of which are mentioned in the Quran would normally indicated something quite extraordinary and of greater significance than Mohammed. But all this is passed over because of the Quran’s insistence on the primacy of Mohammed who was not born of a virgin, did not perform any miracles (unless one counts the Quran as his only miracle) and died, and stayed dead, like all other men.

    If Mary has a role to play in Muslim and Christian understanding I fail to see it how it could come about and why it has not done so yet.

    • Kia says:

      There is some wrong here; Muhammad has done many miracles including Quran, so its not just one! google it to find other miracles, but he didn’t ask people to believe in him just because of miracles!!!! Also, Muhammad is not central in Islam, the most important thing in islam is monotheism which can be proved by philosophy and logic easily. Muhammad and all others are prophet and messengers no more than that. Holy Mary has been blessed in Islam as one of the four biggest women on the earth including Assia (wife of Feroa) Fatima and Khadija (wife of Muhammad).

  12. I Like The Church Fathers says:

    “So, it is a combination of a wide cultural gulf, alleged grievances, and fear, that keep conversions low.”

    This is all true, but, to be perfectly honest, one cannot overlook the pernicious effect of US foreign policy on Christian-Muslim relations. By getting rid of secularist, religiously tolerant leaders like Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gaddafi and Hosni Mubarak, the US has indirectly promoted the rise of intolerant Muslim fundamentalist forces in the Arab world. Sure, these leaders were brutal dictators, but at least they were religiously tolerant.

    Christians are now taking a real beating in the Middle East. They are leaving the region in droves. Those who remain are vulnerable to discrimination and violence and they are desperate to leave. It’s fair to say that the US has helped to make Muslim soil even less fertile for evangelization than it was before.

  13. 270 million Christians killed by murderous satanists known as muslims says:

    To associate The Masterwork of God, The Queen of All Creation, the Single, Solitary Boast of Humanity, The Blessed Virgin Mary to…the most horrific of satanic inventions is rank, unadulterated blasphemy against The Mater Dei, and should be publicly repented of immediately.

    This fabrication of the illiterate nomad has caused 270 million Christians, many of them Catholic, to be martyred. It practices institutional slavery, pederasty, murder, torture, and rape. Look up “hudna” and “teqiai” (variations of “sacred” lying.) These satanic verses teach if you are not practicing this heinous abomination (“infidels”) you are inhuman chattel to be disposed of as these crescent-lunatics decide.

    Only cowards capitulate. Discard these 60’s era notions of hippie-cumbayas. They don’t want “dialogue”. If you don’t submit to allah (satan), and your’re not strong enough to do damage, they want you dead..or worse.

    All The Glorious Martyrs to the occult,, Pray for Us..

    Queen of All Martyrs, pray for us!!!

    • edraCruz says:

      270 million:
      You are wrong in writing that Allah is satan. Allah (the way Muslims Arab call God) is a derivative of the name Eli, the Jewish way of calling God. The eastern Catholics who speaks Aramaic, the language of Jesus even now calls GOD Allah. This kind of ignorance is one that fuels hatred between us Christians and Catholics and the Muslims. I remember the Indonesians, I think last year, went into riots because the Christians there called GOD, Allah not knowing that these two great words are one and the same in calling GOD but different in the manner spoken due to tongue and culture. Please do not write things you do not know of. Your writings are too negative, there are Muslims who pacifist also only that they cannot be heard for they are drowned by the fundamentalist Muslims. Peace be with you.

    • Michael Petek says:

      This isn’t about associating Our Lady with Islam. She came to Fatima in the role of Queen Esther because God knew that His ancient people the Jews were in peril of extermination, obviously at the hands of Nazi Germany, but also at the hands of militant Islam.

      Read the story of Esther in the Greek version, and you will see Haman’s edict defaming the Jews in exactly the same terms as they have been defamed ever since the publication of the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion. Read on, and you will see the King’s edict rehabilitating them, giving them the right to arm themselves and slay their enemies, and ordering every nation to come to their assistance on pain of annihilation.

    • Well, 250, there are times when comments are so over the top that they say more of the commenter than the commented upon. Your comment 250 has a lot of heat but little light.

    • Dave says:

      Amen brother. May the Blessed Virgin obtain mercy for us through the love of her Son.

  14. RichardGTC says:

    That is a beautiful video, as was the one about carving a face in marble. Monsignor, though you were wrong about the contents of the third secret, your prophecy in general may be coming true. Good day.

  15. Dr Ron Lee JMJ says:

    Believe the Holy Spirit wanted me to do this.

    Prayer for People who believe in the One Creator God
    by Dr. Ron Lee, JMJ

    Our Lady of Fatima, we pray in the Divine Will, gathering up all the prayers of adoration and love of all peoples in Time, and offer them to God, the Father, Creator of all people and all that exists.

    We thank you for your FIAT that brought the Christ child to us for our redemption and the Promise of the same for all peoples who will turn to Him, believe and ask for mercy and forgiveness.

    We thank the Heavenly Creator, Our Father, for mandating your Life in Time. This decision for your virgin birth allowed the Kingdom of God to be on earth as in heaven, and the Redeemer to have a place, holy and acceptable, until his birth. Then He completed His ministry of redemption.

    The Lord God has made you Mother of all Peoples and the Divine Kingdom of God within you allows you to mete out special assistance to those who, like Jesus, honor you as Mother, and God as Father.

    We enter into the mystery pronounced in Time, being held into existence by the one Act of God, to acknowledge you received from the Creator Father God, gifts appropriate for your role as mother. It is this word of yours “FIAT” that allows God to come into the Kingdom to begin the mission of redeeming all mankind, all creation.

    The one Act of God in Time serves all, so God calls all creatures, past, present, and future as time is one. It reunites all creatures and their acts (except sin) into this Virgin of Virgins.

    Immaculate Mother it is you to whom we now come, and embracing God’s infinity, ask that our prayers diffuse through all Time and blend into the Eternity of God to save souls, and to bring the necessary wisdom and revelation for all men to repent, to believe and acknowledge Jesus as God, their Savor.

    Immaculate Virgin and Mother, summon the Moslem people who believe in your Immaculate Conception and Virgin Birth to acknowledge you in your mission also. The Moslem people accept your genealogy through Abraham, Noah and Adam.

    The Koran shows forthrightly that angels support you as God’s chosen one and God elected you above all the women of the earth. Mother of God, you chose to reveal yourself in the little village of Fatima so that all future generations would know you as Our Lady of Fatima. This historical connection to Fatima, named after the daughter of Mohammed, was preordained and intentional.

    Send miraculous signs to the Moslem people so many will experience the Joy of Everlasting Life with you. Change the hearts of governmental and religious leaders to see the promise of Abraham through Our Lady of Fatima.

    Transtemporal Prayers in the One Act of God for Moslem people and those that hide from the Mother of Jesus. Seven Petitions:

    Response: Immaculate Conceived, Virgin Mary, pray and act for us.

    By virtue of the Divine FIAT, so powerful as to prevail over all, even the Creator Himself gives to us courage now to ask for conversion of all people of the world. No one could resist you if the heart is open to love. Our hearts rejoice to realize that God loves you so much that He does not want to deny you anything you ask. We ask Mother of God for what God wants the most. Souls, souls, souls! Send signs, wonders and people to give the Good News of God to all people, especially who we pray for now. R

    Send out now your angels at your command to defeat the devils that are powerless and have no place to hide from your Immaculate Conception and the mission in the end times. R

    How our hearts ache for those who do not belong to God and come under the Justice of the Father. We know that there is love because God gave them Life or justice if they refuse that Love. Grant graces in whatever necessary means to save souls that can be saved. R

  16. Howard says:

    This sort of thing can be wildly overstated. Aren’t there a number of New Age, feminist whackos who claim to have respect for Mary Magdalene — only, of course, not the real Saint but an imaginary priestess. Does that REALLY make them more open to the Gospel? Doesn’t it instead make them LESS open?

    As for the name, first of all the apparitions were NEAR Fatima, not IN Fatima. Secondly, much of the world has place names that trace back to pagan gods, pagan emperors, whatever. I’ll be so bold as to suppose that if the Blessed Virgin intended the name of the nearby village to be part of her message, she would have said so. Meanwhile I do not see a response in the Muslim world equivalent to that in the Mesoamerican world to Our Lady of Guadalupe.

  17. Nate says:

    Muslim respect of Mary did not stop them from destroying the great Christian civilization in North Africa any more than it is stopping their extermination of Christians today. If Mary can be a part of an individuals conversion to Catholic Truth, that is wonderful, but there is nothing to indicate that respect for Mary will be a means to their mass conversion – barring an incredible miracle, of course. I’m not sure if God will make it that easy for us but its something to pray for certainly.

    • Michael Petek says:

      Well, that says it all about my reference to the number thirteen and its connection to the story of Esther.

      According to Raymond Ibrahim’s new book “Crucified Again”, the once nominal Muslims are returning to islam, and therefore to jihad, in droves and slaughtering the Christians everywhere from Nigeria to Indonesia. This may be part of the reason why God has given the Jews their own state so that they can legitimately bear arms, and it would suggest that the dhimmi Christians of the Middle East ought to reject Satan’s empty promises of protection set out in the Pact of Omar and stand with Israel against their common enemy.

      Could it be part of the message of Fatima that Islam has outstayed its welcome on earth and that God will destroy it, whether by a mass conversion of Muslims to Christianity or by other means?

    • Kia says:

      “…. destroying the great Christian civilization in North Africa ….” when christians had a grate civilization in north of africa?!!??!!!!!

  18. Supreme Conscience says:

    Fr. Pope,

    The Third secret has NOT been revealed – you are entirely wrong.

    The consecration of Russia is in the future.

  19. Oswaldo says:

    It could be significant that both Marian apparition sites, Fatima and Lourdes, are named after Muslims who converted to Christianity.

  20. APadreInNYC says:

    The one thing that has struck me about Fatima recently was the appearance of St. Joseph and the Holy Child with Our Lady. This was the last apparition. In retrospect and with the current problems in the Christendom what exactly was Heaven trying to tell us about the importance of family? The first attack against humanity was when the evil one tried to destroy the family. The serpent’s venom attacked Adam and Eve in their relationships with each other and God. At Fatima was heaven trying to tell us that the final battle, the last attack, will be about the family as it was in the beginning? Destroy the family, destroy the world. The family is under attack in the West with the likes never before witnessed in human history. We freely kill our young within and without the womb in numbers that are staggeringly incomprehensible. In Russia alone there has been something close to 400 million abortions over the last 40-50 years. And we all know the horrors of abortion in our nation with recent Gosnell trial and the new scandal brewing with the Houston abortion “doctor’; the attack against the family with the same-sex marriage issue and possibly coming to a legislation near you, incest and polygamy; the scandalous high rate of divorce among Catholics let alone the rest of society tied directly into contraception; the rise of the single mother and the disintegration of fatherhood; the increasing sexual predatory behavior (Cleveland is just the tip of the ice berg), sex slavery, pornography and child pornography, “gentleman’s” clubs and degradation of true feminism based in motherhood and holiness of life. All of us need to ask ourselves what the Heavenly Father through His Most Highly Favored Daughter was trying to tell us when her saintly husband and divine Son appeared at the last apparition. The call of Fatima is penance and prayer/Holy Rosary. The Blessed Virgin has also called for First Saturday devotions to her Immaculate Heart. Yet why aren’t many parishes doing this, the majority of them for that matter. Why aren’t our bishops insisting that the all pastors in the dioceses hold First Saturday Devotions in their parishes? There is much that the Blessed Virgin of Fatima has asked for that you and I need to consider again. As we know everything revealed from heaven is never done randomly. The 100 year anniversary is approaching soon. Let us all commit ourselves in the next 3 ½ years, a number so prevalent in the Book of Revelation and scripture, to total commitment to the message of Fatima: Penance + Prayer (Rosary) = Peace in the Immaculate Heart. Our Lady Fatima, Pray for us to be converted to your Immaculate Heart, so that we may spread the message made so clear to the world in 1917. Open our hearts, Dear Mother, and help us to remain confident in the message of Fatima knowing full well that nothing from the Throne of Grace is done randomly or without cause. We, your children implore your prayer before the Sacred Heart of Your Divine Son, to help us fulfill in full maturity of faith, all that You have called us to be: true disciples of Jesus bonded to the love of your Immaculate Heart.

  21. atheer shamaon says:

    iam christian from iraq and i often see muslim ladys come inside the church and pray to mother mary statue and light candles.

  22. [...] Charles Pope para Arquidiócesis de Washington, Signos de estos [...]

  23. GaryM says:

    Are we praying to the same God? Tradition and the Doctors of the Church seem to say “no” over and over again. I see no infallible teachings on this subject, although recent Popes have given their personal opinions on this and have ongoing dialogue in hope of leading to a deeper devotion to God. To facilitate this dialogue, there seems to be little mention as to the need for their conversion to Catholicism.

    Muslims seem to be more opposed to consumerism, secularism and cultural relativism etc. than we are. It is here where we can work together with Muslims.

    So for me, my duty is to love and give the Muslims human respect. That said, I still believe that Jesus Christ is Lord. My personal conviction is found in His Word, including the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. Muslims reject the Bible and the revelation it proclaims. I will stick to blessing myself in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. You see if they reject “all” in Jesus of the Gospel, than they reject God.

    As for the Blessed Virgin Mary, well, I do not claim to have any insight into what her plan is. I know she, together with the Holy Spirit, know what is needed. What I can identify is that Our Lady of Victory, known now as Our Lady of the Rosary, intervened to protect her Church from the Muslims in the Battle of Lepanto. So, cutting to the chase, my hope is that Mary can lead the Muslims to her son, Jesus Christ. I hope that she brings their souls to Truth. For that I pray.

  24. A young muslim says:

    my dear christian brothers and sisters, first of all i should remind you the fact that when you call someone “a muslim” you should pay attention that what do you mean by muslim!
    In fact, nowadays in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan muslims kill muslims every day and it shows a real difference between a muslim and another muslim!!! If we categorize the muslim society, generally we can name three branches: Sunni 85% , Shia 10% , Wahhabi and other branches (5%). The majority of Wahhabis are in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. Al-Qaeda is a Wahhabi terrorist organization and all the terrorist activities are controlled by Al-Qaeda. the Wahhabis believe that Shia muslims are infidel and they believe that by killing a certain number of shia muslims, all of heir sins will be forgiven and they will go to heaven!!! so my friends, when you are talking about the conflicts between muslims and christians you are making 2 great mistakes: you are judging muslims according to the actions of less than 5% of muslims who even don’t consider other muslim branches as muslims! second mistake is that you think the problem of muslim with the US is christianity, but you are completely wrong! if the problem was the christianity, muslims chant slogans against Vatican not against US! eventually, their problem is the fact that muslims believe the US politicians are all Satanists or Zionists whom are controlled by Israel! i don’t want to judge the judgment of muslim society, but i just want to tell you that you are misinformed by the mass medias.
    About Marry i should tell you that all muslims are completely aware of her importance and holiness. The name “Maryam” which is the arabic form of Marry is a really common name in muslim society specially in Iran and other Shia countries, in my own family as an example my grand mother, my sister in law and my cousin are named Maryam!!!
    And now about Fatima: muslim consider Fatima (or Fatema) the daughter of our prophet, the most important and holy woman. Wahhabis, otherwise, always try to deny this fact. and Shia muslims consider Fatima not only as an important woman figure, in fact they believe that she was a saint and immaculate as Marry also was immaculate (but they believe the first woman of all women is Fatima and the second is Marry).
    But at the end, i should remind you that muslims, according to Koran, strongly believe that the Jesus is not God or son of God, he is a prophet sent by god. but i believe that the apparition of the lady of Fatima (which i am not sure yet to completely believe it or not) has a real potential for making us united and help us pay more attention to our similarities rather than our differences.

  25. A young muslim says:

    I’m sorry for writing “marry” instead of “Mary”! Autocorrection!!!

  26. Miriam says:

    I am a devout Roman Catholic with a life-long devotion to Our Lady, most especially as Our Lady of Guadalupe (also my parish) and Our Lady of Fatima. I have been married to a wonderful Muslim man for many years, and ever since I had met him, he told me that my name, which is Mary in Arabic, had drawn him to me. From the beginning of our relationship, I “knew” in my heart that Mary is the bridge between Islam and Christianity. The name Fatima had always been special to me, even as a little girl (my first teacher in pre-school was Sister Fatima). I have way too much to say on this matter, given the near fifteen years that I have prayed and reflected upon the the significance of the name and God’s plan. I do want to say that I named our fourth daughter Fatimah because of my hope in Mary’s role in whatever God’s plan may be.
    Peace be with you (al-salaam aleikum!)

  27. Basharat Akbar says:

    With due respect to all religions.

    I am a Muslim and I feel it is incumbent on me to clear some misunderstanding here.

    The most basic essence of a faith in Islam:
    ——————————————————-
    Muslims reject any suggestion that Allah has partners who share in His actions and a Muslim faith is incomplete if he don’t believe in Tawheed (Arabic)- The oneness of Allah(God)

    The belief in Jesus (and all other messengers of God) is a must required in Islam.Muslims believe that Islam was the religion which was practiced by all the prophets (Abraham, David, Moses, Solomon, Jonah and others). Afterwards their followers corrupted the true faith and their revered message.Muslims strongly disapprove the Christ as son of God or God incarnate or savior of the world…

    The Muslims also strongly believe that Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) did not die, but ascended bodily into heaven (a disciple died in his place)

    The Muslims also believe Christians are respected as “People of the Book (real Bible not the corrupted text),” but they have mistaken beliefs.

    • OK, but what about the point of the article?

    • Enoch/Idris .............. says:

      Salam Basharat / all and bless you Monsignor in the first instance for instigating this most interesting and important topic. I couldn’t help but notice Basharat, of the distinct similarity between ‘Tawheed’ you noted above and the Ethiopian (EOTC) ‘Tewaheedo’ (which is ‘oneness’ as well I believe’). Moreover, the coincidences continue – the oriental Ethiopian Orthodox canon is the only Christian faith which recognises the Book of Enoch. As well as the Son of man being identified, this Old Testament book is very descriptive of Judgement Day. Maybe if the Third Secret had been revealed when it was meant to and Vatican 2 never had happened …….. ? I am humbled at the piety and humility in the way the Ethiopian Orthodox faith honour our Creator. The Shepherd of Hermas (also apparently exclusive to the EOTC) is well worth reading too. (See the Universal Bible by Lumpkin – Fifth Estate Publishers). Peace & love to all Believer’s. Oh I am EOTC now by the way formerly RC.

  28. Muhammad says:

    greetings to all on this post

    I am a Muslim and a convert to Islam from Catholicism, I respect the Catholic religion, the Church and Catholics themselves, and there is a lot of truth in Catholicism, and lead me to love Mary more, and gave me an open mind, and respect for all people regardless of religion race or culture, something I didn’t find in Protestantism, and a more proper conception of worship through acts and intention, rather than mere tongue.
    these things I also find in Islam, and I want to clarify some misconceptions.

    it is true we Muslims love and respect Mary
    we view her as the best Woman of the creation of Allah, she is Chaste Pious and she has never been touched by any man before, and we regard her, (along with the wives of the Prophets, and the Prophet Muhammad PBUH daughter Fatima to be “Mu Mu’mineen” the mother of the believers”
    and it is truly heart warming to find recognition from Christians about our Honor and love for Christ and his Mother.

    we Muslims also believe
    Mary was never married to any man, and was Chaste therefore she only had one son, Jesus.

    I believe it is appropriate her to discuss
    we believe there is only One God, who we Call Allah (the same God as you call father) who has no partner, no helper, no counsellor and no son. God is absolutely perfect in and of himself and free of need and most knowing all wise,

    therefore Mary (Peace be upon her) cannot be the “Mother of God” nor can she be God’s counsellor,
    and it is not permissible in Islam to pray to or seek help from anyone else besides God.
    that is considered in Islam an act of Shirk. (polytheism) and a person who does such ceases to be a Muslim the moment they commit such.

    Mary the Mother of Christ wore a Hijab, and so too do Muslim women (except the youth, psedo Hijab, they have reduced it to a mere head covering) so I hope you can appreciate that.

    hope this clears things up, :-)

  29. aliyu mukhtar says:

    interesting narration.Fatima ,daughter of Muhammad ,resembles Mary in all aspect of life.I opin lady of Fatima’s appearance has a strong connection with the two greet personality.

  30. Rabab khalaf says:

    Al sayeda Mariam al athraa (virgin Mary PBUH) is highly respected and treasured in Islam. We consider her as the first woman in heaven. Not to mention that we,Shiite Muslims, celebrate her birth anniversary. According to our beliefs, Jesus is a prophet and a messenger of Allah, he wasn’t killed but he was raised to Allah and will come back to earth before the judgement day. As for the lady of Fatima, we believe that she was prophet Mohammed’s daughter, Fatima (PBUH) communicating peace to the Christian world. We Muslims believe that Prophet Moses, Prophet Essa (Jesus) and Prophet Mohammed (PBUT) were messengers of Allah and they all carried the same message to people.

  31. Zahra says:

    I am a (shia) muslim woman and I have to tell you that our love, admiration and respect for The Blessed Virgin is real. I had a dream of the Virgin Mary once and unlike the vast majority of my dreams, this particular dream is still aa wonderful and as vivid on my dreams as ever.
    Okay…here it goes…
    I dreamt that I was sitting near the Holy Virgin in a small stone room painted bright white colour. On the walls there was a reflection of water ripples in a beautiful green colour. There was also a door in the wall and it was open. She ( peace be on her) was sitting on a stone and wearing long white dress.She was pregnant at the time and let let me touch her blessed belly. The dream ended there.

    If I am lying to you, may the Almighty throw me in the deepest hell fire for all the eternity.
    As for the dream, for the it testifies the mercy of the Almighty towards a sinner such as myself.

    And while the Muslims and Catholics may never fully unite in faith, let us then unite in unity and peace.

    May God Almighty bless you all,
    Zahra

  32. Zahra says:

    I meant to say let’s unite in humanity and peace. I apologize for the typo:)

  33. [...] Imagine what it would be like for your family if you lived in Baghdad. Pray the rosary for peace. Our Lady of Fatima is the answer.  LES FEMMES – THE [...]

  34. hasan says:

    hello all, thank you very much ,i am hasan, i admire this perfect site and ideas, by regards:
    Fatima is the only daughter of mohammad(profit)

    Fatima is Arabic word meaning separation and distance and isolation
    mohhamad said that: she(fatima) and her true and real followers are separate from fire of hell and darkness and sins
    Zahra means the radiant, shining and light and flowers

    Iranians and muslim Shi’ites call her Fatimeh-e-zahraa
    Shia Muslims believe that she is innocent, immaculate, sinless ,oppressed and martyr with her eleven people of her generation(Children and  Descendants), and her father and her husband Ali
    Fatima-Zahra is innocent and oppressed because:

    1-Over 1400 years after her death place of her grave-tomb is unknown, according to his own will,
    She was buried until someone (such as the Muslim lieing Caliphs and cruel trickster Unfortunately, the majority of Muslims are followers of the Khalifate That is the main reason for the backwardness and violence) do not know her grave
    2-she did not live more than a few months after the death of Muhammad
    And bears a great suffering in her remaining life because, she was kicked by Omar after attack to her house and injured and aborted her son
    3-She had many famous gardens and estate near Medina,called Fadak
    it was near Medina, including the famous gardens and desirable properties
    Total revenue was spent on:
    The freeing of slaves,feeding the hungers, orphans and giving themoney to poor families , the drilling of wells and irrigation and agricultural development and charity
    Caliphs (after the death of Muhammad) forcibly taken the Fadak from Fatima
    4- Wahhabi and some of Sunnis muslims disrespect her and her children and their fans
    (maybe they tell we respect them but in their dark hearts do not believe them )

    5-she is oppressed because terrorist vahhabi-Muslims kill her fans(they belive if one vahhabi kill seven shia person then he go to heaven!!!!! )
    6-She is innocent and oppressed because the majority of Muslims hide her true place and position and her True dignity

    Hello to honor and honest and moral people of Portugal and fans and lovers of lady Fatima, and hello to pure Virgin Maryia(santa maria) and her Child jesus and hello to fatima-zahraa

  35. hasn says:

    Titles of fatimah:
    al-Siddeeqah
    (The Truthful Woman)
    al-Mubarakah
    (The Blessed Woman)
    al-Tahirah
    (The Pure Woman)
    al-Zakiyyah
    (The Chaste/Innocent Woman)
    al-Radhiyah
    (The Satisfied Woman)
    al-Muhaddathah
    (The One Spoken to by Angels)
    al-Batool
    (The Chaste/The Pure)
    al-Zahra
    (The Splendid One/The Lady of Light)
    Syedatun Nisa al-Alamin
    (The best of The Women of The Worlds)

  36. […] MSGR. CHARLES POPE ARCHIVE: Our Lady of Fatima and the “Muslim Connection” […]

  37. Maggie says:

    I love the Blessed Mother. And, I believe that the holy rosary to our Mother should be prayed for all.
    One thing about our God however that seems to be forgotten in discussion is that He is a Trinitarian God. So
    we have one God in Three persons – Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
    Blessings to all.

  38. Michael Coppi says:

    I guess no one knew the answer to Msgr. Pope’s important question; “Are there any of you who know if Our Lady of Fatima has any role in Vatican-Muslim dialogue?”. I don’t know the answer either, but certainly hope that the upcoming (10/13/17) 100th anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun will prompt and/or ramp-up such dialogue, especially considering the alarming recent increase of rampant Islamic militants (the Miracle of the Sunni’s [their conversion]?).

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