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Timely Considerations on the Fatima Message

Prof. Plinio Correa de Oliveira
This article was published in May 1967 on the 50th anniversary of the 1st apparition of the Our Lady in Fatima. Readers will find this analysis of many aspects of the important manifestations of the Blessed Virgin in Fatima in 1917 still timely and useful.

1. Presuppositions & general lines of the apparitions

our lady fatima

Through the three little shepherds of Fatima, Our Lady addressed the whole world

fatima shepherd
To understand the conjunct of the visions and communications with which Lucía, Francisco and Jacinta were favored, we must take into account above all the Catholic doctrine on the Communion of Saints. The prayers and merits of one person can benefit another. In this way, it is logical that the prayers, sacrifices and even holocaust of their very lives offered by the three children can benefit many souls and even entire nations.

Our Lady came to request prayers and sacrifices from the three children. She also asked Jacinta and Francisco for the holocaust of their lives, that they offer themselves as expiatory victims for the sins of men. She asked Lucía to remain in this world to fulfill a mission of which we will speak more later.

2. The universal mediation of the Most Holy Mary

Another preliminary notion for understanding the events of Fatima is that of the Universal Mediation of the Mary Most Holy. By the will of God she acts as the supreme and necessary mediatrix between the offended Redeemer and sinful mankind. Further, she is a mediator who is always heard and, as such, exercises a real direction over events.

She is the Royal Mediatrix, who will be glorified with the victory of her maternal Heart, which will be the highest expression of the victory of God Himself.

3. She did not speak only to Portugal, but to the entire world

In her words to the little shepherds, Our Lady wanted to speak to the entire world, exhorting all men to prayer, penance and amendment of life. In a special way, she spoke to the Pope and the Sacred Hierarchy, asking them for the consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart.

4. The extremely dire situation of the world today

The Mother of God made these requests in view of the religious situation in which the world found itself at the time of the apparitions in 1917.

aurora borealis fatima

On January 25, 1938, a Great Aurora lit up the skies of Europe as far as Australia, as Our Lady warned

Our Lady pointed to that situation as highly calamitous. Already at that time impiety and impurity had dominated the earth to such an extent that a true hecatomb had broken out to punish men, which was the First World War. That conflagration would end shortly and sinners would have time to correct themselves, attending to Fatima's request.

If that request were heard, mankind would know peace. If it were not heard, another even more terrible war would come [World War II].

And, in the event that the world continued to be deaf to the voice of its Queen, a supreme hecatomb [World War III] – with ideological roots and of a universal proportion including grave religious persecution – would afflict all men, bringing great suffering for the Roman Pontiff: Russia would spread her errors throughout the world, promoting wars and persecutions against the Church... The Holy Father would have much to suffer.

5. After this supreme hecatomb, the Reign of Mary will come

Having thus broken the stiff neck of contemporary mankind by means of a whole chain of calamities, there will be a great conversion of souls. That conversion will specifically be a victory of the Immaculate Heart of the Mother of God: "In the End my Immaculate Heart will triumph..." It will be the Reign of Mary over the earth.

6. Today's men must meditate on Hell


Our Lady wanted to demonstrate vividly the existence of Hell & the many souls going there

With the intention of more effectively inciting mankind to accept that message, Our Lady showed her three young confidantes the souls condemned to Hell, a tragic picture described by them in an admirable way and useful to lead hardened sinners to virtue. This lugubrious vision clearly shows how those who claim that meditation on the eternal torments is no longer appropriate for the men of this century are profoundly mistaken.

7. Message's authenticity

In order to prove the truth of the apparitions and, therefore, the authenticity of the message, the Virgin disposed that these things should take place:

a. The gathering of a large number of spectators

Although only the three children were the immediate recipients of the message, the bystanders, using common psychological insight, could ascertain that the three children were neither lying nor the object of an illusion when they affirmed that they were in contact with Our Lady, but that they really heard and spoke with a being invisible to the others.

miracle of the sun

The great miracle was confirmed by the many thousands of persons who witnessed it, even from afar

b. The chromatic changes in the sky & the movements of the sun

This prodigy was seen from a great distance away from the site of the apparitions, to the point that it could not be explained by a phenomenon of collective suggestion, [which would be extremely difficult to occur, by the way, with the 50 to 70,000 people who were were at the Cova da Iría]

c. Confirmation: WWI ended shortly after the Fatima apparitions.

Our Lady told the children that if humanity did not mend its ways, another World War would break out. This was also confirmed. The extraordinary light that illuminated the skies of Europe before the second conflagration was a fact observed in many countries and universally known. The Lady had warned the seers that this would be the sign of imminent punishment. And the punishment came shortly afterwards.

d. The supreme punishment, the spread of Communism

Indeed, this began to take place shortly after the apparitions. It is important to note that the Blessed Virgin announced that Russia would spread her errors throughout the world. But when that prophecy was made – on July 13, 1917 – Communism was more or less unknown.


Communism would be the tool used to spread errors throughout the world

In fact, Tsarism had just fallen, being replaced by the bourgeois regime of Kerensky. It was not possible then to know what these Russian errors would be, although it was evident that it was not the spread of the Greco-schismatic religion, mummified and stripped of all its expansionist force. Thus, the rise of the Marxists to power in unhappy Russia in the month of October 1917 was, without a doubt, the eloquent beginning of the confirmation of the prophecy.

Immediately, the Russian Communist Party began to spread its errors worldwide, which further accentuated the coincidence between what the Virgin had announced and the course of events. After World War II, communist expansion became even more accentuated because numerous nations, subjugated by means of fraud and force, fell under the Soviet rule. Russia thus became a global danger.

8. Two families of souls in the contemporary world

Given these statements of apocalyptic grandeur, an observation is opportune. Today's world is increasingly dividing into two families of souls.

One of them considers that mankind is prey to a chain of errors and iniquities that began in the religious and cultural sphere with Humanism, the Renaissance and the Protestant Pseudo-Reformation. These errors were aggravated by the Enlightenment and Rationalism, and culminated in the political sphere with the French Revolution. From the political field they moved to the social and economic field in the 19th century, with Utopian Socialism and so-called Scientific Socialism.

With the advent of Communism in Russia, the incipient but marked transposition of that whole slew of errors into the concrete order of facts began to take place, giving rise to the Communist Empire, a Moloch that went from the heart of Germany to Vietnam. At the same time, especially after the First World War, morality began to decline with frightening rapidity in the West, preparing it for capitulation to that most audacious doctrinal and institutional expression of amorality, which is Communism.

fatima devotees

Two familis of souls: Above, Fatima pilgrims process at the apparition site; below, worldly youth give themselves over to bad fashion & immorality

world people
For the countless souls from all states and conditions of life and nations who share this way of thinking, the message of Fatima is the most coherent possible with Catholic doctrine and the reality of the facts.

There is also another family of souls who think that the problems of the contemporary world have little or no relationship to immorality and impiety. Rather, they arise exclusively from involuntary misunderstandings that a good doctrinal dissemination and an objective knowledge of reality can dispel. One of the reasons for these misunderstandings are economic problems: for example, Communism will disappear when there is no more hunger in the world, and not before that.

With the help of science and technology, humanity's crisis will be resolved. Further, after removing the guilt factor as the backdrop for the catastrophes and dangers with which we struggle, the idea of a universal punishment is incomprehensible. All the more so since, for this family of souls, Communism is not intrinsically bad, and accommodations with it are possible in order to avoid uncomfortable persecutions.

For the sake of brevity, this description of the two families of souls serve to schematize the panorama a bit. Between one and the other there are many ranges. It is not our intention to describe them here. The various currents will have more or less ease in understanding the message of Fatima, depending on whether they are closer to one pole or the other. Fatima is, therefore, in that sense a true watershed for contemporary mentalities.

In any case, with the exception of the part of the Message that is still secret, the requests, the admonitions and the prophecies of Cova da Iría have been launched and are being amply confirmed. To the skeptics we say: Qui vivra verra... (Who lives will see)

9. The world has not corresponded to the Message of Fatima

Will the events forewarned at Fatima that have not yet taken place come to pass? This is what the present day man asks himself.

In principle there should be no doubt about it since some of the prophecies have already been realized with impressive precision, which proves their supernatural nature. And, given such proofs, it cannot be doubted that the heavenly message will be fulfilled to the end.

priests blessing homos

Morals worsen: same-sex couples receive blessings with the Pope’s tacit approval

same sex blessing

But someone might object that the prophecies of July 13, 1917, have a conditional nature. That is to say, the Chastisement will come only if the Pope and the Bishops do not consecrate Russia and the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

In Cova da Iría Our Lady formulated two conditions, both essential, for the lifting of the punishments she threatened would take place.

One of those conditions was the consecration. Let us say, for the sake of argument, that it had been carried out according to the request of the Blessed Virgin.

The second condition is still missing: the dissemination of the practice of the reparative Communion of the first five Saturdays. It seems evident to us that this devotion has not spread to the entire Catholic world to the extent desired by the Mother of God.

And there is yet another condition, implicit in the message but also indispensable: It is the victory of the Faith and Morals over the thousand forms of impiety and impurity that have been dominating it. Everything indicates that this victory has not been achieved and that, on the contrary, we are arriving nearer and nearer to the paroxysm of these evils. Thus, a change of course for humanity becomes increasingly unlikely; and as we move towards that paroxysm, the punishments become more likely...

An observation should be made here.

10. The sacred radiance of the dawn of the Kingdom of Mary

As we conclude these reflections, it is appropriate that we pause to consider the final perspective of the message of Fatima.

Beyond the suffering and the extremely probable Chastisement toward which we walk, the sacred radiances of the dawn of the Reign of Mary awaits us: Finally my Immaculate Heart will triumph. It is the grandiose perspective of the universal victory of the royal and maternal Heart of the Blessed Virgin. It is a calming, attractive and, above all, majestic and thrilling promise.

radiance reign of mary

We have the promise that the dawn of Our Lady's Triumph and Reign will come

So, what can we do to avoid the chastisement to the limited extent that it is avoidable? To obtain the conversion of men in the modest measure which, according to the common economy of grace, it is still obtainable before the chastisement? To hasten as much as possible the blessed dawn of the Reign of Mary and to help us walk through the hecatombs that threaten us so seriously? Our Lady has given us the answer: We become fervent in devotion to her, and we should pray and do penance.

To encourage us to pray, in the last apparition Our Lady successively clothed herself with the attributes of the invocations of Queen of the Holy Rosary, Our Sorrowful Mother and of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, indicating to us how pleasant it is for her to be known, loved and venerated in this manner.

Likewise, the Virgin of Fatima insisted in a very special way on devotion to her Immaculate Heart. She referred to her Heart seven times in her messages. Thus, the theological value of devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, already so proven, finds in Fatima an impressive corroboration. On the other hand, the insistence of the Blessed Virgin more than sufficiently proves that this devotion is eminently timely.

Therefore, he who takes the Fatima revelations seriously must make devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary one of the highest objectives of true piety.


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Posted May 13, 2024

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