We can romanticize about the young visionaries at Fatima in August 1917. What’s not to enjoy? Our Lady is coming to see you on the 13th! Yet, Maria is only 8 years old and her world is being rocked to the very bottom. Not only does she suffer the crush of the curious and faithful crowds, who make demands as if she too were an adult, but her family does not believe her. They offer no support during the cruel interrogations by the civil authorities. Into this little person’s world comes Rev Dr. Manuel Formigao. He exhorts her to virtue. And how does Lucia respond? With a greater love for Our Lord!
We also discuss in this program the inscription posted over Jesus when he is on the Cross. What wonders are wrought by God even among the unwilling!
Please join us again this week with Fr Apostoli as we continue last week’s very interesting program about Our Lady of Fatima’s warnings and promises, specifically that Russia would be converted and there would be a period of peace in the world.
After Pope Blessed John Paul II completed the consecration in 1984, as Mary had requested in her appearance to Lucia in 1929, it did seem that great changes were taking place in Russia, including the complete abandonment of Communism, and a renewed receptivity to religion. And more recently, President Putin has been reducing access to abortion, eliminating promotion of homosexuality, and encouraging women to have children. Are Russian designs on the Ukraine a step backward? Did Mary change her mind?
This week we will focus on the Fatima story, the lives of the three children Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta. What were they like? Was their life idyllic or difficult? What kind of sufferings did they experience and what was their attitude toward suffering? What of Mary’s messages is still applicable to us in 21st Century America?
The children were shown a vision of Hell which affected them deeply. Should we take heed or trust in the mercy of God?
Also, this week a miracle has been accepted as due to the intercession of Archbishop Fulton Sheen, which will advance the cause for his canonization. Father Apostoli is vice-postulator for Archbishop Sheen so Father must be very pleased that his work is bearing fruit. I’ll ask him about that.
We are very blessed to have Fr. Andrew Apostoli, C.F.R., as our Guest on “The Quest for a Culture of Life in America” this Tuesday March 4th at NOON ET.
Fr Andrew is the author of Fatima For Today, The Urgent Marian Message of Hope. We will be mostly talking about this book. I must confess that I was really skeptical about what Our Lady of Fatima could say that might be relevant to today. But once I started reading Fatima for Today, I could not put it down. I certainly was familiar with much of the Fatima account of Mary appearing to three Portuguese young children, Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta in 1917, but Fr Apostoli puts it all together in one place and adds MANY details that I was not aware of. His introductory chapter contrasting Mary the New Eve with the original Eve is by itself worth the modest price of this book, which I downloaded from Ignatius Press and am reading on my computer.
Questions I have for Fr Andrew: Has the consecration of Russia to Mary’s Immaculate Heart been accomplished? Why has it taken so long? Is there evidence of Russia’s promised conversion? What about Crimea and the Ukraine? How did the children suffer? Why pray the Rosary?
Father Apostoli is a founding member of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, and he has been teaching and preaching retreats and parish missions for several decades. He is considered one of the world’s foremost experts on the apparitions at Fatima and he has authored numerous books, including Following Mary to Jesus and Walk Humbly With Your God. Fr. Apostoli is the vice-postulator for the cause for the canonization of Archbishop Fulton Sheen, and a frequent host on EWTN television, where he hosted the TV special “Our Lady of Fatima and the First Saturday Devotion”.
Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC, Author of No Turning Back: A Witness to Mercy says this: “Learn, live, and spread the message of Fatima! This is the express desire of Pope Benedict XVI. And Pope John Paul II once stated that the message of Fatima was more important now than in 1917!” That is why this wonderful book on Fatima is so important. Fr. Apostoli has recaptured this heavenly message of urgency and hope for a new generation. Our world needs the message of Fatima more than ever, and I pray that many people are brought back to Jesus, Mary, and the Church through these pages.