One Hundred Years Later
by Nelson Hertel
October 13, 2017
We have finally reached October 13, 2017: the one hundredth anniversary of Our Lady’s sixth and most famous apparition at Fatima; the one hundredth anniversary of the promised prodigy, the Miracle of the Sun.
It was during Her October apparition that the Blessed Virgin Mary identified Herself (as She promised She would) as Our Lady of the Rosary. She asked the Little Shepherds — and, indeed, all of us — again to pray the daily Rosary, to amend our lives, and to cease offending God. The Queen of Heaven not only came as Our Lady of the Rosary, but also appeared as Our Lady of Sorrows and Our Lady of Mount Carmel (recalling the indispensable condition of wearing the Brown Scapular as part of living the full Fatima Message). Our Lord and Saint Joseph also appeared on this occasion.
While the official Fatima Jubilee Year began on November 27, 2016 and will continue through November 26, 2017, October 13th is seen by many as the end of this special observance. A century has gone by, it is true, but Fatima cannot be simply relegated to the past. Benedict XVI’s words spoken during his homily at Fatima on May 13, 2010 ring truer today than ever before: “He deceives himself who thinks that the prophetic mission of Fatima is concluded.”
Fatima will not and does not end today, and this despite the best efforts of Our Lady’s enemies, despite our own mediocrity and tepidity in living the Fatima Message, despite the failure of the Pope and the bishops to properly consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, despite the ongoing concealment of the missing part of the Third Secret. Why?
Let us simply recall the wisdom, perfection and goodness of Almighty God: He has willed to establish Fatima as the solution to our problems, He has made the fulfillment of His Mother’s Fatima request for the Consecration of Russia the necessary condition for world peace. He has not given us another solution, nor will He. God does not contradict Himself, He can neither deceive nor be deceived. Fatima will not simply go away, it cannot be slyly swept under a carpet; it cannot be forgotten. Rather, it is precisely through Fatima that our Church and world will be saved.
Benedict concluded that same homily: “May the seven years which separate us from the centenary of the apparitions hasten the fulfillment of the prophecy of the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, to the glory of the Most Holy Trinity.” Are we any closer to the triumph of the Immaculate Heart in October 2017 than we were in May 2010? In the strict sense that seven years have passed, and consequently we are seven years closer to the Consecration of Russia, yes.
And, yes, today (October 13) we do celebrate the centenary of Our Lady’s amazing apparitions, we celebrate the Miracle of the Sun. One hundred years, a whole century: a beautiful anniversary, a remarkable milestone in recalling all wholesome occurrences. We cannot help but gratefully and prayerfully remember Our Mother’s goodness. The greatest miracle since the Resurrection is owed to Her, a confirmation of that beautiful and salvific Message, our only hope — a way to turn back to God when all was lost, despite our sin, despite our unworthiness. How can we not rejoice?
At the same time, how can we unreservedly give ourselves to celebration? For those cognizant of the true Message of Fatima, we cannot but have our joy “halved,” as it were. We cannot help our reservations, our fears, our sorrow.
Because, one hundred years later, the Pope and the bishops still ignore Our Lady. They continue to ignore and reject the Miracle of the Sun. Yes, it is sadly true. The Miracle of the Sun was even more for them than it was for the 70,000+ people gathered in Fatima on October 13, 1917. The magnificent Miracle of the Sun, so that these learned prelates, (perhaps too) proficient in philosophy and theology and canon law, would recognize that the Mother of God truly appeared to three, simple shepherd children and gave them Heaven’s key to peace.
One hundred years later, the Pope and some bishops seem as obstinate as ever in ignoring the simple requests of Jesus and Mary, leaving our Church in the ruins of the Great Apostasy, plunging our world into greater disorder and despair. They apparently do not believe — despite the Miracle — that peace and order and holiness are as simple as the Blessed Virgin Mary said, or at least they will not obey.
As Our Lord told Sr. Lucy in May 1936: “Pray, pray a great deal for the Holy Father. He will do it [the Consecration of Russia], but it will be late. Nevertheless, the Immaculate Heart of Mary will save Russia. It has been entrusted to Her.”
Let us rejoice today, knowing we are loved by such a beautiful and good Mother, Who has given us everything necessary for Her triumph, and peace in our world. Let us offer prayers of gratitude for Her Fatima apparitions and the Miracle of the Sun. Yet let us also seek, by our prayers and efforts, to console Her Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart, ignored and rejected by so many... one hundred long years later.