Our Lady of Fatima
Isaiah 61:9-11 + Luke 11:27-28
“Rather, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.”
The message of Our Lady of Fatima can be summarized in three words: prayer, penance, and reparation. These three works are not novel, of course. They are part and parcel of the Gospel message proclaimed by Jesus during His earthly life, and taken up anew by His Church during each age of the Church’s journey through history. Mary is the Mother of the Church, so it’s hardly surprising that she, like all the other members of the Church, would proclaim this message when she appeared to the three shepherd children at Fatima, Portugal starting on May 13, 1917.
During that fateful year, in which the travesty of the Russian Revolt began to spread atheistic communism throughout the world, Our Lady appeared six times to the shepherd children. She counselled the faithful to works of prayer, penance, and reparation. Specifically, Our Lady told her children to take up the prayer of the Rosary. In fact, during the final apparition, on October 13, Our Lady identified herself as Our Lady of the Rosary. Among all the devotions of the Church (that is, outside the realm of the Sacred Liturgy), the Rosary holds pride of place.
“Rather, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.” It is the mission of each and every Christian to proclaim the Word of God to the world. This Mary did at Fatima. She counsels us to observe the Word of God through prayer, penance, and reparation. From Heaven, Our Lady of Fatima intercedes for each of her children within the Church, that God’s grace might strengthen them to take up faithfully the works of the Gospel.