Fr. Christopher Foeckler, MJ • St Josaphat Formation Center, Phoenix, AZ

This May is the 100th Anniversary of the six monthly apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary to three young shepherd children in Fatima, Portugal, asking them to pray the Rosary and to make sacrifices for the conversion of poor sinners and for peace in the world.

Mary identified herself in October 1917 as “Our Lady of the Rosary” and asked the children in each visit to pray the Rosary “every day to bring peace to the world and the end of the war.” That was World War I which did end after the apparitions but which causes millions of deaths and devastated all of Europe. Fearfully, some suggest we are on the verge of starting WWIII with the many global conflicts where the Superpowers are at odds over local tensions. Let us heed our Lady’s request again and urgently pray the Rosary DAILY for peace in the world!

Our Lady also asked the children: “Are you willing to offer yourselves to God and bear all the sufferings He wills to send you, as an act of reparation for the conversion of sinners?” The children eagerly complied and did voluntary sacrifices for this intention. Our conversion and the conversion of all poor sinners is so needed that souls don’t go to Hell, but also so we can have a more lasting peace – if possible – on Earth with good will among all men. The sacrifice of doing our “daily duty” according to each ones’ circumstances in life is the best and most basic sacrifice that we can offer for reparation of sin and intercession of sinners.

The final request of Our Lady was for our personal consecration to her Immaculate Heart as well as the Consecration of Russia where in 1917 the Communist Revolution had just occurred and militant atheism was to impose itself through the powers of the Soviet State.

Consecration is the work of sanctification – of moving a person, place or thing closer to God for His service while militant atheism forces people to abandon God and embrace purely secular powers for the good of the state. We saw how St John Paul II’s Consecration of the whole world – including Russia – in 1984 ended Russia’s spreading of militant atheism with Perestroika and the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991. Yet militant secularization still thrives in our world. And so may we renew our practice of Our Lady’s plan for peace and salvation with the Rosary, Reparation and Consecration to her Immaculate Heart!

Our Lady of Fatima

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