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Our Lady of Fatima – Her Prophecies and Warnings Remain as Essential as Ever!

October 12, 2015

fatimaThis week on October 13 and 14th I am in Fatima. Such a profound apparition occurred there, and so accurately prophetic of our times!

Our Lady’s warnings of the consequences if we did not pray and convert have proven to be sadly accurate. She warned of another, more terrible war (World War II). She spoke of great lights in the sky that would serve as a final warning before the terrible war. (They appeared all over Europe just before Hitler invaded Poland, in the form of a stunning display of the Aurora Borealis.) She said that Russia would spread her errors, that the Church would have much to suffer, and she warned of a pope who would be struck down.

A final and belated prophecy from Fatima seems to have come in the form of a letter written by Sister Lucia to Cardinal Carlo Caffara. He had written to her asking for her prayers as he had been commissioned by Pope John Paul II to establish the Pontifical Institute for the Studies on Marriage and the Family. The year was 1981. According to Cardinal Caffara, she wrote back with the following:

[T]he final battle between the Lord and the reign of Satan will be about marriage and the family. Don’t be afraid, she added, because anyone who operates for the sanctity of marriage and the family will always be contended and opposed in every way, because this is the decisive issue. And then she concluded: however, Our Lady has already crushed its head. [*]

Thus, from Fatima comes one accurate prophecy after another. Here we are today, locked in a terrible battle over the most basic units of any civilization: families and the marriages that form them. Fatima, the great prophecy of our time and a summons to sobriety and prayer!

Something else that has always intrigued me about Fatima is the name of the town itself. Fatima is a town bearing the name of the daughter of Mohammed; this is so stunning! Why of all places would Mary appear there? Is it just coincidence? If you think so, you have not pondered that everything about the apparition of Fatima is prophetic.

The great Archbishop Fulton Sheen, in his book The World’s First Love, reflected on its significance and posed 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 some 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 tenser between Christians and Muslims today than in 1952. But Fatima is the apparition that just keeps prophesying.

It is nothing less than astonishing that Mary should appear in a town with the name of Fatima. Surely this is no mere coincidence. As Sheen points out, Heaven does nothing without purpose. It is very clear to me that we are not to pass over this detail. “Our Lady of Fatima” has a different ring to it when we consider that Fatima is more than 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 rather than place. It is hugely significant.

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.

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. This 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. The people were locked in with the fear that unless they fed these gods with horrific human sacrifices, 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 that of a mother: gentle and compassionate, unlike the appearance of the frightening Aztec gods, who wore fierce masks. Her features seem to be both Aztec and European, two cultures combined in kindness and peace. Her attitude is one of humble prayer, so she is clearly not a god(dess). 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, so by standing in front of it, Mary shows that she is greater than even their greatest god. To the Aztecs, the moon represented the god of darkness and death. That Mary is standing on the moon is a sign that these powers, too, are defeated by the Son she bears.

Mary brought the breakthrough. Within ten years, over twelve 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 to the Western culture from which Catholicism comes. Many Muslims also hold grievances due to alleged American and Western “mistreatment.” Finally, a large factor is fear. In many parts of the Muslim world, leaving the Muslim faith is likely to get one killed. So, it is a combination of a wide cultural gulf, grievances, and fear that keep conversions low. All of this is not unlike the situation in 16th century Mexico.

Is Mary key to this? 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 people? 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. By God’s grace, and with love and humility, Mother Mary of Guadalupe was victorious in overcoming the false religion of the Aztecs.

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.

Here is “Immaculate Mary,” sung in Arabic:

Comments (30)

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  1. Julia says:

    YES! Thanks as always, Msgr! The Ven. Sheen book is SO excellent. Over and over, he shows that Our Blessed Mother precedes conversion. Turn to our Blessed Mother, pray her Rosary, do penance, etc., for marriage and family, for the conversion of Muslims, and for all the many other evils perpetrated in our world today. Love this post. Safe travels!

  2. Mark Redman says:

    Was there not a Marian Apparition in Egypt ?

    • Janet says:

      Yes, a quite remarkable series of apparitions atop a Coptic Christian church that lasted for 3 years. Even the then-president of Egypt, Gamel Abdal Nasser, witnessed it along with thousands of others:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Our_Lady_of_Zeitoun

    • kevin says:

      Mark,

      Yes, there were apparitions in Egypt in 1968 in the areas traditionally linked to where the Holy Family stayed when they sought refuge after the birth of Jesus.

      Back to the main post though, (once again an excellent post, Msgr) but should we not also remember that Our Lady, along with the three Archangels, appeared to Mother Mariana in Quito (aka Our Lady of Good Success) in the late 16th century and the beginning of the seventeenth century (These have also been approved by the Church Authorities).
      She predicted the proclamation of the dogmas of the Immaculate Conception and Papal Infallibility and also indicated then that during the late 19th and middle of 20th centuries there would be many problems including attacks on education of the Faith to our children, on the Sacraments (particularly Holy Orders), attempts to destroy marriage and there will also be a total corruption of morals.
      The attacks against marriage, in particular, ties in with the messages given to Sister Lucia as in the above post.
      All these predictions from 500 years ago would remain hidden until during the 20th century which coincides with the events taking place in the world currently especially the attacks on Marriage and these predictions also links to Our Lady of Fatima.

      We ignore these messages at our peril and the best recourse we have is in turning even more to God and to fulfil the request of Mary to pray the Holy Rosary.

  3. Metro says:

    Just fyi -it’s not just a symbol “in modern times”. The crescent was a symbol encountered in use by Muslims earlier than recent times, and well before Guadalupe. For crusaders it would have been recognized: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_and_crescent#/media/File:BattleOfHoms1299.JPG

    And the symbolism was not lost on those bearing an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe into the Battle of Lepanto:

    http://www.onepeterfive.com/the-two-guadalupes-mary-and-the-crescent-moon/
    http://www.aquinasandmore.com/catholic-articles/about-the-battle-of-lepanto/article/137/sort/relevance/productsperpage/12/layout/grid/currentpage/1/keywords/lepanto,%20islam,%20chesterton

    The apparition in Egypt was in Zeitoun: http://www.zeitun-eg.org/zeitoun1.htm

  4. Michael Marsili says:

    Thank you Msgr.

    I had read some years ago about Archbishop Fulton Sheen’s thoughts on Mary being the bridge to Islam. I have thought about that ever since. But, like you, I have not found anyone who has given this a lot of thought. I really appreciate your article and insight on this. I pray for the conversion of Islam everyday and I do believe that Mary, as an instrument of her Son may very well be the key. We must always have hope.

    Mike

  5. edraCRUZ says:

    We always pray for conversion of hearts for the Muslim world and for the abortionists, pro-choice, atheists and those who do not know GOD. In fact, we pray the Holy Rosary and go to Mass for the Second Coming of The LORD JESUS CHRIST for at the present day and age this evil generation and its global problems and the persecution of the faithful, I believe, can only be solved by JESUS’ return (of course when HE returns we will now face our judgment, thus our eternal punishment). It never even entered my mind that the Blessed Virgin Mary could again enter history and withhold the HAND of GOD. The first time around was when the Church was losing her children due to the European reformation by the millions, Mary, Our Lady of Guadalupe, was bringing in tens of millions South American believers which is now filling up the Churches in North America. May, Our Lady of Fatima, who brought down to its knees the communist Russia and east Europe, also bring forth a great number of believers from the Muslim countries which is greatly troubling the world. May she also come to the aid of the Church to work on the disintegrating families due to attacks on marriage and family and this pestering ‘rainbow’ mentality. Mary, Our Mother of Perpetual Help, pray for us. YHWH ROPHEH!

  6. John says:

    The Muslim world is a tough nut to crack. It’s growing leaps and bounds, plus many Muslim countries the populace believes that conversion from the Islam should be punishable by death (Egypt 84%). Also, the Christian persecution occurring in the Arab (Iraq and Syrian)and African world(Nigeria and Sudan)is horrific. At present he relations between The Christian and Muslim worlds, to put it politely, are strained.

  7. John Watkins says:

    Thank you for this reflection on Bp. Sheen’s perception of the significance of the name of Fatima. His prediction on the coming conversion of Muslims is mirored in the recent book ‘The Barbarian Bible’ (2013) that links that with the convergence of the conversion of Russia. That book has also accurately predicted almost all of the moves of Vlad Putin, and says we’re in for a real ride!

  8. Dismas says:

    Although I don’t recall where I learned it, I often say a modified ejaculation of the Miraculous Medal Prayer: “O Mary, conceived without sin pray for us with recourse to thee, PRAY FOR US WITH NO RECOURSE TO THEE, pray for all souls recommended to thee, especially enemies of the Church.” Since, in my mind, all people naturally have recourse to Mary, the pray for those with no recourse to thee always gave me pause and made me uncomfortable, I didn’t know to whom it might or could refer. It wasn’t until I read this article about Muslims and Aztecs and “So, it is a combination of a wide cultural gulf, grievances, and fear that keep conversions low.” that now I understand. As always, thanks Msgr. Pope!
    **Does anyone know from where I might have learned this modified ejaculation?

    • Howard Kainz says:

      It comes from the Militia Immaculatae movement of Fr. Maximilian Kolbe

      • Dismas says:

        Bulls eye! With a knick-knack paddy whack, give the dog a bone, this old man came rolling home. Thanks!

  9. Cpsho says:

    Not one single Muslim will be saved except by the blood of Jesus of Nazareth.
    If you want muslims to be saved – then pray for them; fast for them; do penance for them; evangelize them

  10. Howard Kainz says:

    The Koran on Mary is a bit mixed up. The Trinity consists of God, Jesus and Mary. And Mary was the daughter of Imran, the father of Moses and Aaron, and thus the sister of Aaron.

  11. Randy says:

    I was in Fatima with friends for a couple of days in April of this year. We met this one restaurant owner who informed us that the Free Masons are basically running much of Portugal, including Fatima. They said that the new basilica that was recently build opposite to the original Church at the other end of the main square and looks more like a bull ring with a roof than a Catholic Church (it reminds me of a military WWI Pill Box), was built by the free masons without any input from the locals. This is just my theory, but I do believe that the Holy Spirit was showing me that this so called catholic basilica would become a Muslim Mosque in the not too distant future. And a friend of mine who was at Lourdes in France recently told me that a very similar and modern basilica was also built there. These things seem to be troubling to me…though maybe they speak of a unification of our faiths. Having listened to a recent CD by Dr Scott Hahn, called “Abba or Allah”, I would tend to think that these new developments are more ominous than many may see. In that CD, we hear about the birth of the Muslim faith and how their view of the one God is that of a domineering God who we serve as slaves and not a fatherly God who wishes to give us the message of eternal Love and Hope through His only Son. Very different view points…explains much about the radical Islamic push for a one world Caliphate.

  12. metro says:

    By the way, the crescent is not just a symbol “in modern times”. The crescent was a symbol encountered in use by Muslims earlier than recent times, and well before Guadalupe. For crusaders it would have been recognized: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_and_crescent#/media/File:BattleOfHoms1299.JPG

    And the symbolism was not lost on those bearing an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe into the Battle of Lepanto:

    http://www.onepeterfive.com/the-two-guadalupes-mary-and-the-crescent-moon/
    http://www.aquinasandmore.com/catholic-articles/about-the-battle-of-lepanto/article/137/sort/relevance/productsperpage/12/layout/grid/currentpage/1/keywords/lepanto,%20islam,%20chesterton

  13. J. danabal says:

    Dear Fr. About the theory of why Mother Mary had chosen Fatima, even with your refrence from Ven. Sheen I would state that The apparition was given to three simple and humple catholic peasant children – Lucia, Jacinth & francesco -and they were chosen to receive the message of God because of thir inner disposition and not because that they happened to live in Fatima. Here the importance should be on the person rather than the place of apparition. A Person have more importance than a place where he lives. It is now very common to interpret each and evry detail of bible or any occurance with so much of research work to emphasize or point out something and in the process the main focus of the matter is getting lost. Here too the main focus of the apparition is to warn the world to convert and to pray the rosary which is getting diluted by alluding to Muslim Christian unity and saying that Mother Mary had chosen Fatima over other towns seems to be meandering from the main perpose of the apparition. Further more Moslems deny the very second person of God and explicitly says that Jesus is another prophet and equal or inferior to Mohammad and he has not resurrected but died.Hence they deny the whole bible and its purpose, not unknowingly but knowing very well The whole Bible. Could some vatican level dialoque as you have intented will clear all these contradictions ?….we need not resort to research to delve into subjects but humble prayer to understand the things.

  14. All very interesting and very sad since the proper Consecration of Russia has never been done as requested by the Mother of God according to the largest Fatima organization in the world “www.fatima1917.org”. The popes may Consecrate the world every year, but until they follow the precise words given to Sr. Lucia to consecrate Russia–assuming the apparitions were approved by the Church and God, World peace will be delayed.

    • Msgr. Charles Pope says:

      Sr. Lucia disagreed with your position. I think the fact that she and five popes disagree with the view you state should cause you to reconsider. But I suspect it will not. It is also possible to argue that Russia has been converted. She is not a perfect nation, (no nation is) but the faith is thriving there in ways it is not in America. The largest Statue of Christ in the world is being erected there (try to do that in America today), all the confusion about homosexuality has not been approved in Russia either. I just don’t understand why some such as you continue in this stance. Our Lady would not overrule popes and the precise words you reference are not something that bind them. Russia is consecrated to the Immaculate Heart, along with the world.

      • MegaSchultz says:

        Thank you for your excellent answer, Msgr. Pope! In my job at a local Catholic bookshop, I encounter many people who believe this idea. I’ve wondered if the reason Our Lady named only Russia in 1917 was because, at that time, Russia was the only Communist nation. When the consecration wasn’t done, Communism spread rapidly. When the popes finally did the consecration, it had become necessary to include “the world” because that’s how far Russia has spread “her errors.” Just a thought.

        • Carmelo says:

          MegaSchultz, If I may: what you seam suggest is that in 1917 Mary was not well informed by the omnipotent and omniscient God to know that the world would change in the near future. Unless, of course there was another evil in the world more dangerous than Communism, such as Freemasonry which was and is prevalent today in Portugal and most other countries in the world–including the Vatican. Visit http://www.fatima.org for more info.

      • Desiree says:

        Thank you Msgr. P for that blunt and direct answer to those who negate Russia as consecrated.Peace to you

  15. Nate says:

    Perhaps some hidden purpose for the location will be revealed at some future point but we cannot count upon it. They reject Mary when they reject her Son, who is the only path to salvation. The Church needs to evangelize Muslims and not hand over our churches and posterity to them, as is currently being done.

  16. Joan says:

    I’ve been offering daily prayers for the conversion of Islamic people. More faithful must do this.
    Also find Mary appearing in Fatima far from a coincidence.
    Really enjoyed this article; it contains much food for thought.

  17. t cross says:

    We, on the soil of the USA, also, have the apparitions of Our Lady of America. They occurred to a sister in Ohio around 1957. This apparition was acknowledged by Cardinal Burke. He addressed the Catholic Bishop about approving the apparitions. He message is very important for our times.

  18. MegaSchultz says:

    In the Jan.3, 1944 apparition of Our Lady & Our Lord to Sr. Lucia, Our Lord showed her a vision of an angel with a spear. “The tip of the spear as a flame unlatches & touches the axis of the earth. It shudders. Mountains, cities, towns & villages with their inhabitants are buried. The sea, the rivers, & the clouds emerge from their limits, overflowing & bringing with them in a whirlwind houses & people in numbers that are not possible to count. It is the purification of the world by sin as it plunges. Hatred & ambition cause the destructive war!” This statement is found on p. 244 in “A Pathway Under the Gaze of Mary,” a biography of Sr. Lucia published this year by the Carmelite Nuns of the Carmel of Coimbra. Sounds like the world will soon be purified!

  19. Ste. Katherine Drexel, born in the first US Capitol (Philadelphia) died age 97 penniless. Her enormous personal fortune went to develop schools for Native American and Negro women in America. Had she not ignored the best advice of her day the Tubman and the Roosevelt and the Rosa Parks ladies would have spent longer days in the kitchen. Regards and Blessings Ray Ryan Essex, Ct.

  20. My comment refers to the woman to appear on the new $10 bill. Ray Ryan

  21. Douglas Kraeger says:

    Monsignor Pope, another good article, lots of facts. I have always wondered what the full role of St. Joseph will be since his appearing on October 13, with the Child Jesus (as Mary predicted in Aug. and Sept. apparitions) to give peace to the world (according to Mary). Jesus honored St. Joseph as Head of the family for close to thirty years and this reveals God’s unchangeable, indivisible, eternal, always in the present tense Divine Will. Can we conclude then that God wants us to honor St. Joseph the way God eternally honors him, as head of the family and when we do this, God will send His peace to the world through St. Joseph united to Mary, His helpmate.

  22. James says:

    Yes, it is true that the Blessed Virgin Mary is calling all people to her Son. It is well established that the Holy Spirit is working through Mary.
    Allah is actually the moon goddess. So it is significant if there is a moon on any of the images of Our Lady. Some of the Fatima images show it I believe.
    Of course every detail has significance on images, as we know especially in the Our Lady of Guadalupe image. This is of course, so that the local cultures and customs will identify with it.
    The message of Fatima is two fold:
    1. the perils of Communism;
    2. the threat of Islam.

    People are now deceived that Islam is a religion of peace. Not so, and that is how the devil likes it. People were looking for one person as the anti-Christ, but it is actually a whole movement – Islam. The leaders and the ultimate puppet-master are spreading the cancer through invasion, but also through quiet means: procreation and immigration.
    The devil will always use our good nature against us. So, be wary of wolves in sheeps clothing.
    And yes, Islam borrowed (or stole) heavily from the early Eastern Christian Church.
    The true goal of Islam is one global caliphate. Non-Muslims will be killed or subjugated.
    Muslims are not allowed to leave their religion, so converting them will be hard. BUT, with the help of God, and His emissary, Mary, our job is made much easier. That is, if we pray, pray, pray, and remain true to our Faith, and not be deceived.
    It is no small detail that Our Lady appeared in a place called Fatima.
    Many people have missed the hidden message, but you didn’t.
    People also need to remind everyone of the amazing miracles that happened there as well. They were for a reason too!!
    God Bless!!!