Jimmy Akin writes about the apparitions at Fatima

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1) What happened at Fatima, Portugal?

A young shepherd girl, Lucia dos Santos, said that she experienced supernatural visitations as early as 1915, two years before the famous appearances of the Virgin Mary.

In 1917, she and two of her cousins, Francisco and Jacinta Marto, were working as shepherds tending their families’ flocks. On May 13, 1917, the three children saw an apparition of Our Lady. She told them, among other things, that she would return once a month for six months.

At Our Lady’s third appearance, on July 13, Lucia was shown the secret of Fatima. She reportedly turned pale and cried out with fear, calling Our Lady by name. There was a thunderclap, and the vision ended.

The children again saw the Virgin on September 13.

In the sixth and final appearance, on October 13, a dramatic outward sign was given to those gathered to witness the event. After the clouds of a rainstorm parted, numerous witnesses—some as far as 40 miles away—reported seeing the sun dance, spin, and send out colored rays of light.

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Understood By God Alone: The true story of St. John of God.

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I think that you will be enthralled by the passages below as the life of Saint John of God reminds us that to serve God and Him alone as He has revealed Himself to us exclusively through His Catholic Church will cause us to be misunderstood and maligned by even our closest relatives and former associates.

Read more from  Thomas A. Droleskey

This Week’s Ask Alice: The third secret of Fatima.



Send A Question To Alice

She’ll answer your Catholic questions
right here, every Thursday.

Email responses will also be provided, as time permits.

*** Alice is out this week. Doug Lawrence is sitting in. ***

Norma Asks: What is the third secret of Fatima?

Doug Lawrence Answers: The 1917 public apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in Fatima, Portugal, contained a number of prophetic messages for the people of the 20th century, dealing with certain urgent and critical matters of faith and morals, war and peace, repentance and conversion, the state of modern society, and the future of the church.

Among the the messages delivered by the Blessed Virgin Mary to the three young seers, were three “secrets”.

Two of the seers soon died, with only Sister Lucia Santos surviving. Sister Lucia wrote and delivered the messages (secrets) to the then-current pope.

Two of the secrets were soon revealed and widely disseminated. The third was deliberately withheld, for unspecified reasons, by several successive popes, even though, as Sister Lucia had maintained, the Blessed Virgin Mary intended the third secret to be revealed no later than the early 1960’s.

When the third secret was not revealed on time,
a number of  “conspiracy theories” soon arose,
some of which still exist, today.

In April of 2001 (about 40 years “late”) Pope John Paul II finally got around to making the third secret public, as well as offering his own opinion (as well as that of then Cardinal Ratzinger) on what the secret may have actually meant to the church.

By that time, many Catholics (particularly traditionalists) were thoroughly dissatisfied with how the matter had been handled. Some even had concerns about the authenticity of the documents.

This link will take you to the official Vatican document which details the third secret, and explains one possible meaning, according to Pope John Paul II and our present Pope Benedict XVI.

This link will take you to another post, which details many of the various conflicting positions.

The Fatima Apparitions are probably the most significant events of their kind, in modern times. And while the church has officially approved the authenticity of the apparitions, Fatima remains classified as a “private revelation” … which no Catholic is required to accept, on faith … unless they choose to do so.

Whether or not you believe the “official version” of the third secret, as published by the Vatican, and whether or not you agree with the official Vatican “take” on it … is also totally up to you.

It’s not dogma.

Watch a video on the Fatima Apparitions and the message for our times

Click here to see all of Alice’s other columns

Cardinal Sean O’Malley on Fatima, JPII, Muslims

US Cardinal Sean O’Malley told scores of thousands of pilgrims in Portugal that Our Lady of Fatima had spared Pope John Paul II’s life from an assassin’s bullet so that he could help “topple the Iron Curtain” of Soviet communism.

Link

Editor’s note: Now … who do we have to shoot to fix the malevolent “Spirit of Vatican II”?

Perhaps the “Last Word” About The 3rd Secret of Fatima?

Fatima Seer – Sister Lucia

The Third Secret was first made public at the Beatification Mass of Francisco and Jacinta Marto on May 13, 2000, in the Cova da Iria where the secret was originally revealed to the three children on July 13, 1917. Unfortunately, controversy created by certain objections surrounded the Third Secret almost from the moment it became public. We will look at each main objection separately, and offer a response to each.

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October 13 is the 93rd anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun that occurred in Fatima, Portugal in 1917


Read about the most significant apparition of the 20th century,
that was witnessed by tens of thousands of Catholics, as well as numerous atheists and unbelievers, of which photos, eye-witness testimony, and various contemporary newspaper accounts, still exist.

More …

Abortion, Gay ‘Marriage’ among the Most ‘Insidious and Dangerous’ Challenges: Pope

By Hilary White

FATIMA, Portugal, May 14, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – In an address to assembled social and pastoral care workers in Fatima, Portugal yesterday, Pope Benedict identified abortion and the pressure for gay “marriage” as among the most “insidious and dangerous challenges that today confront the common good,” and expressed his “deep appreciation” for those who fight for the rights of the unborn.

Benedict hailed “all those social and pastoral initiatives” that combat the “socio-economic and cultural mechanisms which lead to abortion, and are openly concerned to defend life and to promote the reconciliation and healing of those harmed by the tragedy of abortion.”

These “initiatives aimed at protecting the essential and primary values of life, beginning at conception, and of the family based on the indissoluble marriage between a man and a woman, help to respond to some of today’s most insidious and dangerous threats to the common good.

“Such initiatives represent, alongside numerous other forms of commitment, essential elements in the building of the civilization of love.”

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Fatima: The Message and the Miracle – Remarkable eye witness testimony that still holds up, today.

…And then the Miracle began. We recount here the testimony of a reporter who cannot possibly be accused of partiality in this matter and for a good reason! We refer to Avelino de Almeida, the chief editor of O Seculo, the large “liberal” anticlerical and Masonic daily newspaper of Lisbon. He writes:

From the road, where the carriages were crowded together and where hundreds of persons had stayed for want of sufficient courage to advance across the muddy ground, we saw the huge crowd turn towards the sun which appeared at its zenith, clear of the clouds. It resembled a disc of silver, and it was possible to stare at it without the least discomfort. It did not burn the eyes. It did not blind. We would say that it produced an eclipse. Then a tremendous cry rang out, and the crowd nearest us were heard to shout: “Miracle! Miracle! … Marvel! … Marvel!” Before the dazzled eyes of the people, whose attitude transported us to biblical times, and who, dumbfounded, heads uncovered, contemplated the blue of the sky, the sun trembled, it made strange and abrupt movements, outside of all cosmic laws, “the sun danced”, according to the typical expression of the peasants …7

Attacked violently by all the anticlerical press, Avelino de Almeida renewed his testimony, fifteen days later, in his review, Ilustração Portuguesa. This time he illustrated his account with a dozen photographs of the huge ecstatic crowd, and repeated as a refrain throughout his article: “I saw … I saw … I saw.” And he concluded fortuitously: “Miracle, as the people shouted? Natural phenomenon, as the experts say? For the moment, that does not concern me, I am only saying what I saw… The rest is a matter for Science and the Church.”8

Read the whole amazing story

Bishop Sheen on Fatima – Video and Text

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The Holy Face of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Around the year 60 A.D. St. Luke visited the Blessed Virgin Mary at the home she shared with St. John the Apostle, in the town of Ephesus, southwestern Turkey.

At that time, St. Luke produced what is today the only known icon of the Virgin, making good use of a three foot by five foot cedar table top (one that was likely hand crafted by Jesus of Nazareth) accurately capturing Mary’s delicate facial features. The extremely well preserved icon has remained in the Basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome, for the last 1700 years.

About 1900 years later, in 1947, Sister Lucia, seer of the Fatima Apparitions that took place in Portugal in 1917, closely collaborated with sculptor Jose Thedim to produce an authentic image of the Blessed Virgin Mary, as Lucia and her two cousins originally encountered her there.

While the style of the work and the quality of the media are quite different, the resemblance between the two renderings is absolutely striking (see close-ups above).

Eyes, facial shape, nose, lips and chin are all remarkably similar.

Take a close look. Pray on it. Then make up your own mind.

“We do not praise God sufficiently by keeping silent about his saints, especially Mary, ‘the Holy One’ who became his dwelling place on earth. The simple and multiform light of God appears to us exactly in its variety and richness only in the countenance of the saints, who are the true mirrors of his light. And it is precisely by looking at Mary’s face that we can see more clearly than in any other way the beauty, goodness and mercy of God. In her face we can truly perceive the divine light.” – Pope Benedict XVI

Update: (My friend Bob Stanley rightly pointed out that we have another precisely rendered authentic image of the Blessed Virgin Mary, from the tilma of St. Juan Diego, done in 1531. The style and the type of media are different once again, and in the Guadalupe image, Mary is facing left, rather than right.  I added the Guadalupe image to the picture study for you.)

Our Lady of Fatima and the “Angel of Portugal”

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Four shepherdesses finished their noon-time meal among the rocks at the high ridge called the Cabeço. [1] It was about one kilometer from the hamlet of Aljustrel, Portugal. Lucia, Teresa, Maria Rosa and Maria Justino loved that ridge as it provided beautiful views from far above the innumerable gray green olive trees, the darker green evergreens and the many stocky holm oaks in the valley below. As they stood at the crest of the ridge near the old windmill, they could see for miles in all directions. It was a peaceful view for these young Catholic girls in a very troubled time for Catholics in that country. Seven years before, their Catholic King, Carlos I, was assassinated. Five years before, in 1910, a Masonic republican revolution expelled the papal nuncio — the Pope’s ambassador, as Catholic seminaries and the residences of the Catholic bishops were confiscated throughout the country. Members of religious orders were dispersed and the government forbade religious processions and the wearing of clerical garb. Church services were regulated by government-appointed lay committees. Bishops and priests were tried, imprisoned and exiled. In this brutal way, the Church and state were forcibly separated. The Masons were pleased. But there at the Cabeço that afternoon the air was clean, fragrant and peaceful. Lucia and her friends began to say a Rosary.

The view was clear and cloudless. It was a quiet day in a place of rural beauty. No one expected anything remarkable to happen this noon for this place was created for the ordinary. Nevertheless, as the girls prayed, they saw something extraordinary. In the otherwise clear heavens, a small solitary mist formed in the sky far above the pious girls. The mist grew into a small cloud. It was remarkably bright as it developed before their uplifted eyes. The girls watched it grow in wonder. Then the cloud revealed within it a glowing image that looked like a human form. They stared at it mesmerized. The form appeared like an unfinished statue of crystal ice that sunlight made transparent. The brilliant human image, without detailed features, was suspended in that shroud of misty air only momentarily above the praying girls and the motionless trees. And then it was gone. The girls stopped and asked each other what they had seen in the sky. They were at a complete loss to identify it. After a pause they finished their Rosary. Then the girls went home with the sheep and tried to describe to their parents what they saw drifting above them. Lucia’s mother’s response was probably typical: “children’s nonsense” she called the account.

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Submitted by Nancy W.