I was going to tell you my “cardinal” story, but that can wait until tomorrow! I had forgotten that today is one of Our Lady’s feast days – the feast of Our Lady of Fatima. It marks the date of the first apparition of Mother Mary to three shepherd children in Fatima, Portugal in 1917. Mary appeared to the children six times between May 13th and October 13th of that year. Her messages were about the urgent need for conversion. If Mary said this back in 1917 when the world was much more innocent, can you imagine the urgency of her message today in 2011!?
On Mary’s last visit to the children in October, many curious people, including disbelieving reporters and journalists, showed up at the apparition site hoping to see something supernatural. They were not disappointed. October 13th is sometimes called, “the day the sun danced.” Click on the blue words below to see an animated movie that you can share with your children on the miracle of the sun and the messages of Fatima. (Even though it is animated, there are two parts that might scare young children. You will want to preview it first.) There is also a movie trailer at gloria.tv that looks fascinating. I hope to purchase the movie, myself.
One of the things that Mary told the children about was the conversion of Russia. She said that if the pope would consecrate Russia to her Immaculate Heart and if enough people would make the first Saturday devotion, that the USSR would be converted. Looking back, we can see what happened! This is a testament to the fact that we can trust our Mother in heaven to lead us to Jesus and that persevering prayer in large numbers is quite efficacious.
Today, Mary’s messages in Medjugorje are the same – repent, convert and offer our sufferings for the conversion of sinners. She also calls us to make reparation for the many offenses against God in our times. Let us begin today, on the feast of Our Lady of Fatima, to commit ourselves to prayer and sacrifice. If you don’t pray the rosary, begin. If you already pray one, pray two! If you go to mass once a week, try to add a second day. Don’t waste any pain and suffering. Offer work, trials and struggles as prayer. Let’s “crank it up a notch” for the conversion of our brothers and sisters all over the world, so that one day we may all praise God in heaven together, united as one body in Christ!