Will you offer yourselves to God, and bear all the sufferings He sends you? In atonement for all the sins that offend Him? And for the conversion of sinners?Our Lady of Fatima
Our Lady of Fatima is one of the most recent and significant series of Marian apparitions. Our Lady appeared in 1917, just over a hundred years ago, to three Portuguese children. On the 13th of six consecutive months, she visited Jacinta Marto, Francisco Marto, and Lucia dos Santos in a village called Fatima, imparting wisdom on them and sharing secrets with them. The messages and secrets of Fatima have slowly been revealed to the rest of the world for its conversion.
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With every apparition, our Lady encouraged the children to pray the rosary every day to end the war. The war that she spoke of referred not only to World War I, but also spiritual warfare. She encouraged praying the rosary for the conversion of sinners, explaining that many souls go to Hell because no one prayed for them or made sacrifices for them. Our Lady taught told the children to pray O my Jesus, forgive us our sins. Save us from the fires of Hell. Lead all souls to Heaven, especially those in most need of thy mercy. This prayer became known as the Fatima prayer, and was added to the rosary.
During one apparition, our Lady opened up the earth to show Jactina, Francisco, and Lucia Hell. They saw tortured souls engulfed in flames and smoke. The souls screamed in pain as they were tormented by demons. After showing them Hell, our Lady said that devotion to her Immaculate Heart would save souls. She explained that God desired for the world to be devoted to her Immaculate Heart. This devotion will bring salvation to souls, peace to the world and grace to those who ask her for it. Jesus longs for Mary’s heart to be venerated alongside of his. The children of Fatima spent the rest of their lives devoted to her Immaculate Heart and Lucia in particular spread the devotion throughout the world.
Of course, the people wanted proof that the children were really seeing Mary. She promised that on October 13, 1917, she would show them a miracle. On that day, 70,000 people came to Fatima, stood in the rain, and waited impatiently for the miracle. When the sun was at its zenith, it “danced” in the sky, making zig-zag and spiral patterns and drying up the rain. When they saw or heard about the Miracle of the Sun, countless people changed their hearts to believe the children and to believe in God.
Our Lady of Fatima is a beautiful example of how the Mother brings us to the Father. Our Lady came to innocent children gently so that they in their purity could share her messages and ignite the world for love of God. Through these apparitions, the hearts of atheists and anti-Catholics were softened to return to the Father’s embrace. During her first apparition, our Lady asked the children if they would offer themselves to God and bear sufferings in atonement for sins and for the conversion of sinners. The brave children said yes, and amidst criticism, harassment, and threats, they remained steadfast and clung to the truth. They never denied that they saw our Lady and the messages that she told them. Like Jacinta, Francisco, and Lucia, we should also be willing to suffer. We should also deny ourselves to sacrifice and pray for the conversion of souls.
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