Lead Us Toward Child-like Humility
Throughout the history of the Catholic Faith, the name of Mary has been synonymous with the practice of the Faith. She is the single most identifying trait of Roman Catholic piety.
To Catholics, Mary is the Advocate of mankind. Just as Esther acted as advocate for her people and saved them on the feast of Purim, the 13th day of the month of Adar, so too, Mary came to save Her people on the 13th day of each month for six months in the year 1917.
Just below the knee, Her robe was adorned with the Star of Esther to emphasize Her role as rescuer, and to signify the potential annihilation of the people She came to rescue.
Heaven chose Mary as the voice through which It would warn the world of the terrors lying ahead. There may be no better way to discern the attitude of Catholics toward the Virgin Mary than to imagine what the saints themselves might have said about Her had they been eyewitnesses to the prodigies She accomplished in the Cova da Iria.
Of Her, St. Bonaventure said, “As the moon, which stands between the sun and the earth, transmits to this latter whatever she receives from the former, so does Mary pour out upon us who are in this world the heavenly graces She receives from God.”
The moon was recognized as a symbol of Mary’s influence on mankind by the peasants of Fatima who passed on, no doubt through pious anecdotes, the folklore that became part of Jacinta and Francisco’s language.
“The moon is the lamp of Our Lady”, they would say.
The sun, they knew, was the lamp of Our Lord.
It is of note that Christ Himself told us in Holy Scripture that in the end of times the moon will not give her light. Prophecy has accrued over the centuries with multiple predictions that in the end of times the moon will be blood-red.
The planet seen as blood-red by the pre-Christian ancients, Ares or Mars, was identified as ‘the God of War’. The location in Athens from which St. Paul attempted to preach about the Light of Christ to the Athenians is to this day called the Areopagus, on which the learned of the city would gather in senatorial dignity to hear new ideas. The rock on which their meeting place was erected is the pagasus to which Ares, ‘the God of War’, had been chained by the ancient Greeks who believed they had conquered and brought peace to the known world.
The ‘God of War’ has rollicked unchained throughout all of this blood-red century precisely because the lamp of Our Lady has not been hoisted up and fastened securely in its place.
It was precisely the peasant child Jacinta, endowed with the symbol of the moon as the lamp of Our Lady, who received the visions of the suffering little man she identified as “the poor Holy Father” and about whom she repeated, “pray, pray much for the Holy Father.”
God speaks to us in ways we can understand. To convey the import of His Mother’s Message to us through Fatima, He chose the tremulous constitution of Jacinta who, together with her brother Francisco, resonated with the terror of what they knew was the inevitable result of man not ceasing to offend God. Far from trying to elevate uninformed, unformed laymen to undertake priestly chores in the Church, the bishops of the world should be leading us toward child-like humility before the great power of God that is a prerequisite for the fulfillment of His great design for mankind, delivered to us through His Mother at Fatima.
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