Liturgical Colour : White
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today the Church celebrates the occasion of the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima, marking the moment when the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, appeared to the three little children at Fatima, the three visionaries, St. Francisco de Jesus Marto, St. Jacinta de Jesus Marto and their cousin, Lucia dos Santos. This happened just not long after a century ago, when the world was deeply wrapped within the destruction and the chaos of the First World War, then known as the Great War. There had been vast amounts of destruction and chaos at that time, millions having perished and died throughout all the years of conflict, and it was there in the small town of Fatima in Portugal, that the Blessed Mother of God chose to make her appearance before the three children who were there shepherding their families’ sheep.
The Blessed Mother of God, who revealed herself to the three children on this date in the Year of Our Lord 1917, as a loving and beautiful Lady whose countenance is more brilliant than the Sun. Our Lady of Fatima hence appeared to the three, telling them about the messages which she wanted to tell all mankind, of the anger of God at the great destruction and all the chaos which man had wrought upon each other, and how many people had committed great sins against each other because of their greed, pride and ambition. She called on all the children of God, who were also her children, entrusted to her by her own Son, to repent from their many sins, and to follow once again the path that the Lord has shown and taught us to do. She wanted to guide us all, her beloved children, towards her Son by her guidance, through whom we can find sure path to our Lord and Saviour.
Our Lady of Fatima appeared on several occasions, every thirteenth day of the month, as she continued to reveal more and more about herself and the messages that she wanted to deliver to the people of God. She told the children to spread her message and call to more and more of the people, calling them all to repent and to pray the Holy Rosary, especially with regards to peace and the ending of the Great War. The fact that the three children heard about all these from Our Lady, in a place relatively far from the frontlines of the war then, was significant. Not only that, but Our Lady also spoke about the Consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart, which foreshadowed what would happen to Russia at that time, at the threshold of a Communist revolution that would see a seven decades long period of anarchy and severe oppressions against the faithful not just in Russia but also elsewhere.
Then, Our Lady of Fatima also mentioned persecutions and hardships that the Church and Christian faithful around the world had to suffer, and she even predicted the assassination attempt on Pope St. John Paul II, which would happen exactly on the date of her first apparition, sixty-four years after it happened. As she continued to appear to the three children, the message of Our Lady of Fatima and news about the apparition began to spread, and more and more people came to believe in God through her and through the apparition event. At last, on her last apparition on the thirteenth day of October, Mary, Our Lady of Lourdes and Mother of God showed a great miracle that was witnessed by many people, also known as the ‘Miracle of the Sun’, in which the Sun appeared to be erratic in its movement, circling around the sky and seen by no less than forty thousand people.
Ever since then, the devotion to Our Lady of Fatima kept on gaining popularity as more and more people come to the Lord, through the devotion to His blessed Mother Mary, Our Lady of Fatima. All of us have also come closer to the Lord through her, and I hope that this day as we all remember the love of God shown to us through His mother, then hopefully all of us should be inspired by her examples, faith and commitment to her Son, as well as her continued love for each and every one of us. All of us are reminded to be faithful to the Lord in the same manner as His Mother, Our Lady of Fatima. Through her apparitions, including the one at Fatima, Mary our mother continued to carry on the mission entrusted to her by her own Son. For the Lord has entrusted all of us to His own Mother as her own children, and she as our own mother.
That is why she has always cared for us, reaching out to us constantly, and her heart must have been filled with sorrow as she saw any single one of us falling into the path of sin and evil. Certainly she does not want any one of us to be lost to eternal damnation and darkness, and she wants us all to come to her Son through her and with her guidance. However, more often than not we have rejected the ever generous offer of love and compassion from her Son, Our Lord and Saviour, and rejected the same love showed by Mary herself, the Mother of God, and our own mother. All of us are called to turn towards the Lord once again, and Mary called on us to heed her examples and faith, her love for her Son, which we should listen to and follow, as we ought to hear the advice and heeding from our mother and our parents.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all therefore be inspired by the good examples of Mary, the Holy Mother of God, Our Lady of Fatima, and the faith that she had, the obedience that she had in her life, the dedication and commitment that she had towards everything that the Lord had entrusted to her. Let us all today as one whole Universal Church all entrust ourselves anew to our blessed Mother, Our Lady of Fatima and ask her for her ever generous intercession and help, and guidance so that we may be able to find our way in life, towards her Son, Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, heeding her call for us to repent and turn away from our many sins and wickedness. Let us all hence listen to our Mother and strive to live our lives ever more worthily from now on, as Christians, that is as all those whom God had called and chosen.
May our Blessed Mother Mary, Our Lady of Fatima, the Holy Mother of God, continue to pray for us all sinners, and may she continue to inspire us and lead us down the path towards salvation in her Son. May all of us continue to be encouraged and strengthened, so that in all of our actions and way of life, we will always be filled with zeal and faith, the desire to serve God and to do what is right with our lives, as according to what God Himself has revealed and taught to us. May God bless us all and be with His Church, now and always. Amen.