Miracle of Fatima
Warner Brothers. 1953.
"Citizens of Portugal, soldiers and sailors of the revolution, all that is left of the king's garrison, has either surrendered or been killed. And Joao has abdicated, and is on his way to England. We proclaim the birth of the people's socialist republic."
In the Portugal of 1910 there was a swift and sudden uprising, planned and executed by a socialist minority; its purpose was to overthrow the government and establish a police state. Here was an early pattern of what was to happen time and again in many countries of Europe.
"As we have destroyed the power of the monarchy in Portugal, so we will destroy the power of the Church! And march on to the liberation of the masses and rule of the proletariat!"
How often have we heard those same words since then. And so began a savage persecution of all religious orders. Priests who opposed the government were thrown into prison; others caught in a dragnet by the military police, were photographed and numbered like common criminals.
But the Portuguese clung to their faith, and after seven years of political upheaval, churches in remote districts were permitted to reopen. So it was in the mountain village of Fatima, where a simple people payed tribute to the God of their fathers. Here is Fatima, on Sunday, May 13, 1917.
Francisco: Let's eat our lunch.
Lucia. We must say the rosary first.
Francisco. All right. You start, Lucia.
Lucia. In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen. I believe in God, the Father almighty...
Francisco. No, no. Let's do it the short way.
Jacinta. And wait for the echo.
Lucia. All right. All together now....... Hail Mary,.... Hail Mary....
(Sound of thunder)
Francisco: "What was that?"
Lucia: "There must be a storm coming."
Francisco. "How could it be, with the sky so bright?"
Lucia: "I don't know, but we had better head for home."
(Sound of thunder)
Francisco: The sun is still out.
Lucia. Is that lightning?
Francisco. It must be. Come on. Come on.
Francisco: What are you looking at?
Francisco: What's the matter? What was it? What did you see?
Lucia: Look, over there.
Francisco: I don't see anything.
Voice: Don't be afraid. I won't hurt you. Come here to me, won't you? Come closer, there; that's better. You're not frightened now, are you?
Lucia. No. Where does your excellency come from?
Lady: I am from heaven.
Francisco: Who are you talking to, Lucia?
Lucia: A lady.
Francisco: I don't see it. Where is she?
Lucia: Here, on the little tree. Don't you hear her?
Lady: Tell him to say the rosary. Then he will see me.
Jacinta: She says to say the rosary, Francisco.
Lucia: What is it you want of me?
Lady. I come to ask you to come here for six months in succession, on the 13th day of the same hour. Then I will tell you who I am, and what I want.
Lucia: Shall I go to heaven?
Lady: Yes, you will.
Lucia. And Jacinta?
Lucia: And Francisco?
Lady. Yes, but he will have to say many rosaries.
Francisco. Lucia, I can see her now. I see her plain.
Lady. Do you wish to offer yourself to God, to endure all the suffering he may please to send you, to help atone for the sins by which he is offended, and to ask for the conversion of sinners?
Lucia. Shall we? Yes, we do.
Jacinta. Yes, my lady.
Lady. Then you will have much to suffer, but the grace of God will be your comfort.
Lucia. My God, my God, I love you in the most blessed sacrament.
Lady. Say the rosary every day, to obtain peace for the world, and to end the war.
Francisco. The beautiful lady is gone.
Jacinta. But she will come back. She said so. Didn't she, Lucia?
Lucia. Don't talk. It's too wonderful.
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Fatima For Beginners
• The Day the Sun Danced
True story of Fatima (cartoon, 28 min.)
• Conversion of Scott Hahn
Christian Unity Now
"That they all may be one." -- John 17:21
NEVER in the history of Western civilization, have Christians of all backgrounds faced such persecution for trying to help people see the humanity of the unborn, honouring the sanctity of marriage, and attempting to protect youth from the media's normalization of sex, drugs, and violence. We fear the worst is to come. Christians have got to cooperate like never before, and it will be easier if we understand each other.
Here we lay Catholicism at the feet of our Evangelical friends. We are not trying to gloss over differences, but our hope is that all Christians will love one another, as He has loved us (Jn 13:34). We are not apologists. We are simply a Catholic couple responding to Jesus' prayer "that they may all be one, as you Father, are in me and I am in you." (Jn 17:21) "Let us not give up meeting together... let us encourage one another." (Heb 10:25), "Wherever two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them." (Mat 18:20).
"I have a dream: when we let freedom ring, all of God's children, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands." (Martin Luther King, "I have a dream," Washington D.C., Aug. 28, 1963)
The Catholic Faith is the Faith of the Scriptures
by David J. Webster, former Baptist Pastor
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