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Sixth Apparition of Fatima - October 13

Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira
Comments of Prof. Plinio:

There are some themes so familiar to us and so dear to our hearts that at times we do not think to make new comments on them since we have already spoken about them so many times. However it would be absurd to pass October 13 without calling attention to the matter of Fatima.

This time, I will not address the Message of Fatima in itself, but comment on the attitude of the world before that Message.

How Our Lady documented her Message

To understand this attitude, let us see how Our Lady documented her Message.

She did it in two ways: First, by giving to unschooled little shepherds the mission to divulge her Message; second, by working a great miracle before the multitude gathered in Fatima on October 13, 1917.

Miracle of the sun Fatima 1917

A large multitude witnessed the Miracle of the Sun

First, she confided that Message to children who of themselves were incapable of understanding what she said; they simply repeated what she told them, and their reports made sense. We know how ignorant such children scattered in the hills of Portugal – or any other rustic place in the world – can be.

They were so ignorant that they did not know what a Pope was. When they would say that they were told to send this or that message to the Pope, one of the children asked: “What is a Pope?” That child did not know. But they could repeat quite well the words the Lady told them.

They said things that made sense – long and complex messages – and when they were under pressure they did not contradict one another. Even when they suffered a brutal police inquiry they all held to the same consistent message, no matter what.

Second, Our Lady worked miracles that proved to that multitude gathered there on October 13 – even to persons who lived far from Fatima and did not know about the apparitions – that something supernatural had happened in Fatima. For example, when the sun started "to dance" in Fatima, various persons – some incredulous, others just journalists there to report on the story – witnessed the phenomenon and testified to what they saw take place. In brief, there were indisputable documents that proved that the miracle took place.

The omitted argument

Now then, what catches our attention is the way the world received these things.

I am not referring necessarily to the incredulous persons, who existed then and always will. Of course they displayed a great malice in denying those impressive facts. Here, however, I refer to another perspective.

In the many books that I have read about Fatima, I do not recall reading any author make this particular commentary: That is, referring only to the Message in itself – just to its content – and removing it from everything surrounding it, there was every reason to admit that it was true.

Folie Bergere

Given the dynamism of pride & sensuality at the time, a chastisement was inevitable

Theologically speaking, something like Fatima had to occur. The world was already immersed in grave sins. Anyone who knew a little Catechism and something of Morals could realize that the world was in such a dynamic process of sin that he could safely predict where that process would end.

It was certain that the sins being committed would reach an apex, which would call out to Heaven for a chastisement, which would also be an apex. It was certain – it was only necessary to think a little to have this certainty – that if the world did not convert, a chastisement was imperative.

Since normally the sin itself is the chastisement for the sinner, and given that Communism is the ultimate refinement of sin, it would be normal for Communism to be the universal scourge that would punish mankind.

With a little knowledge of the principles of the Theology of History we see this marvelous thing: The Message that those children transmitted was a Message that harmonized perfectly with what a man of Faith and a keen analyst of the events of the times had to think.

I do not recall reading this extremely clear argument in any book.

Did I make myself clear?

Question: Could you repeat the argument?

Let me use technical language. The Message of Fatima has intrinsic and extrinsic proofs. A conjugation of these two types of proofs certifies its veracity.

The extrinsic proofs of the Message are things that do not pertain properly to the words of the Message, but rather to the ambience surrounding it.

Children of Fatima

Those simple children could not have invented such a theologically consistent & necessary message

They include, for example, the ignorance of the little shepherds; the fact that no contradiction could be found in the narration of the three; the fact that even under the threat of death none would not deny the Message; the fact that Jacinta predicted her death exactly as it occurred.

These are extrinsic circumstances that prove the authenticity of the Message; that is, they are not in the text itself of the Message.

Another extrinsic argument that proves its truth are the miracles, with the principal one – the Miracle of the Sun – witnessed by a great multitude.

An intrinsic proof is the content of the Message, the significance of its text. It is no longer the circumstances surrounding the revelation and what followed it, but the Message itself.

If we analyze the content of the Message we see that what those children transmitted as coming from Our Lady was exactly what a man of Faith gifted with a deep understanding of events should think. Today, knowing as we do the development of History as it was at that time, we can see why and how things took place the way the Message described; the children, however, did not have the capacity to know that development or to invent something like what happened.

So, we can see that those children transmitted a communication that was wise in itself, true in itself. It had so much wisdom and such richness of content that it exceeded their capacity to make a theological analysis of what was happening in the world around them.

In other words, the Message is intrinsically true.

Someone who would have observed the world of that time under the light of Revolution and the Counter-Revolution would have concluded that the world was racing toward a great chastisement. At least, in the most difficult part of the Message which is that announcement of a chastisement, the coincidence would be perfect.

The framework of the Message

So, the framework of the Message is this: an analysis of the world of the time; an announcement of a chastisement, and a directive on how to escape the chastisement. These are its three basic elements.

Regarding the way to escape the chastisement, the Message is also very clear, very reasonable for a person with Faith. The first thing the Message requests is penance; the second is the consecration to Our Lady.

When someone is being threatened with punishment for a sin, the way for the sinner to escape the chastisement is to cease the sin: the person must stop sinning. This is so evident that it does not need any demonstration. The person should amend his life, but that amendment of itself does not necessarily mean the elimination of the punishment. What is necessary for that is an act of mercy from God.

The other means to prevent the chastisement is to consecrate the world to Our Lady. It is ultra-theological that God told the world: “Cease sinning and have recourse to My Mother.” And then Our Lady said: “Cease sinning and come to me so that I might hold back the chastisement.”

How should we resort to Our Lady? She told us: through the consecration. She said: “Unite yourselves to me, consecrate yourselves to me so that I may forgive the sin and prevent the punishment from coming.” Nothing could be more reasonable.

We cannot imagine that ignorant children could invent such a thing.

The silence of the commentators


Mankind has difficulty in recognizing its guilt & acknowledging that it deserves a chastisement

Commentators are very silent about the Message, above all the part that speaks of the chastisement. Mankind has difficulty in recognizing its guilt and acknowledging that it deserves a chastisement.

Mankind received the Message of Fatima in a spirit of pride. The Message demanded from men an act of humility: “We have sinned, we have gone astray.”

Since the Message demanded an amendment of life and the abandonment of the impious and immoral lives into which mankind had fallen, the world did not like the Message. There was a global rejection of it.

Classes that led the world to sin

To whom do we refer here with the word world?

Let us point to the classes that more particularly led the world to sin. They were the intellectuals and the wealthy bourgeoisie, who gave the bad example of their immoral lifestyle and gave money to propagate the work of the bad intellectuals.

Now then, both the bourgeoisie and the intellectuals are being chastised by Communism. They themselves are receiving the punishment of their own sin. They are living the chastisement they refused to see. The great majority of the intellectuals became communist and a part of the bourgeoisie did the same; another part is watching Communism sawing the legs of the chair upon which they are seated. It is a voluntary self-destruction.

These are horrible abominations! These are abominations much worse than becoming blind, deaf, mute or paralytic because it is a blindness of spirit, a deafness of spirit and a paralysis of spirit.

Those who were called to guide and to save others have not guided and saved the people, but rather led them to destruction and perdition.

Lukewarm reception by the good

Finally, the mass of mankind, even the faithful, received the Message of Fatima in a lukewarm way. Even those who accepted it received it lukewarmly. We can see this in the churches, devotional booklets and organizations dedicated to Fatima. They do not focus on the tragic aspect of the Message's dilemma for our times; they transformed Fatima into another “pious” devotion among many others.

What is the reason for this dissimulated denial of the Message? Pride.

They did not recognize that they had sinned; they did not beat their breasts in contrition; they did not recognize that they would be chastised. The result is that the chastisement has arrived and they have not noticed.

This is the way mankind has received the Message of Fatima.

[Note: These comments were made on October 12, 1970]

Related Articles of Interest

Revolution & Counter-Revolution from the Fatima Perspective - I

Revolution & Counter-Revolution from the Fatima Perspective - II


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Tradition in Action

Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira
Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira
The Saint of the Day features highlights from the lives of saints based on comments made by the late Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira. Following the example of St. John Bosco who used to make similar talks for the boys of his College, each evening it was Prof. Plinio’s custom to make a short commentary on the lives of the next day’s saint in a meeting for youth in order to encourage them in the practice of virtue and love for the Catholic Church. TIA thought that its readers could profit from these valuable commentaries.

The texts of both the biographical data and the comments come from personal notes taken by Atila S. Guimarães from 1964 to 1995. Given the fact that the source is a personal notebook, it is possible that at times the biographic notes transcribed here will not rigorously follow the original text read by Prof. Plinio. The commentaries have also been adapted and translated for TIA’s site.