Fátima and the New Year

Hello Everyone! As we are preparing to enter into the year of grace, 2017, I wanted to bring to mind a point from my blog post Pope Leo, Jesus and Satan: A Question.

In that post, I discussed how people are “re-drawing the lines” about Pope Leo’s vision. At first, people thought the vision concerned just the twentieth century. When evils prevalent in that century carried over into the twenty-first, people began re-drawing the lines to connect Leo’s vision with Fátima. Many people are becoming of the opinion that the (alleged) “extended power” given to the devil will be broken in 2017–the centenary of Fátima.

There is much unease with respect to the current situation of the world. People seem to be placing their hope in an act of God to set straight the world, and are associating this act with the prophesied triumph at Fátima of Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart.

Concerning this association, there are some important statements to consider from Pope Benedict XVI. During his Apostolic Voyage to Portugal in May, 2010, Benedict made two statements about Fátima, one of which concerned the seven years from 2010 to 2017 and the triumph of Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart. He stated:

At a time when the human family was ready to sacrifice all that was most sacred on the altar of the petty and selfish interests of nations, races, ideologies, groups and individuals, our Blessed Mother came from heaven, offering to implant in the hearts of all those who trust in her the Love of God burning in her own heart. At that time it was only to three children, yet the example of their lives spread and multiplied, especially as a result of the travels of the Pilgrim Virgin, in countless groups throughout the world dedicated to the cause of fraternal solidarity. May the seven years which separate us from the centenary of the apparitions hasten the fulfilment of the prophecy of the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, to the glory of the Most Holy Trinity.

Some believed the Holy Father to be indicating that the triumph would take place by or in 2017. Later, however, Benedict clarified this statement to journalist Peter Seewald:

Benedict XVI:
….Faith develops. And part of this development is precisely the increasing emphatic interventions by which the Mother of God enters the world as a guide along the right path, as a light from God, as the Mother through whom we are also able to know the Son and the Father in turn. God, in other words, has given us signs. In the very midst of the twentieth century. In our rationalism, and in the face of the rising power of dictatorships, God shows us the humility of the Mother, who appears to little children and speaks to them of the essentials: faith, hope, love, penance. It therefore makes sense to me that people find windows here, as it were. In Fatima I witnessed the presence of hundreds of thousands of people whose eyes, you might say, had regained the ability to see God, through all the barriers and enclosures of this world, thanks to what Mary had said to little children in Fatima.

Peter Seewald:
….Does the fulfillment of the message of Fátima really still lie in the future?

Benedict XVI:
There are two aspects of the message of Fatima that have to be distinguished. On the one hand, there is a particular event, which is recounted in forms typical of visionary experience, and, on the other hand, there is the fundamental significance of the event. I mean, the point was not to satisfy some curiosity. If that had been the case, it would have been logical for us to publish the text much sooner. No, the purpose was to allude to a critical point, a critical moment in history, by which I mean the whole power of evil that came to a head in the major dictatorships of the twentieth century—and that in another way is still at work today.

On the other hand, the answer to this challenge is also an important point here. This answer does not consist in great political actions, but, when all is said and done, it can only come from the transformation of the heart—through faith, hope, love, and penance. In this sense, the message is precisely not a thing of the past, even though the two major dictatorships have disappeared. The Church continues to suffer, and a threat still hangs over man, so the quest for the answer continues as well, which means that the indication Mary has given us retains its validity. Even now there is tribulation. Even now, in every conceivable form, power threatens to trample down faith. Even now, then, there is need for the answer about which the Mother of God spoke to the children.

Peter Seewald:
The homily you delivered on May 13, 2010, in Fatima struck a rather dramatic note….
Do these words mean that the Pope, who, after all, is the holder of a prophetic office, thinks that within the coming seven years the Mother of God could actually appear in a manner that would be tantamount to a triumph?

Benedict XVI:
I said that the “triumph” will draw closer. This is equivalent in meaning to our praying for the coming of God’s Kingdom. This statement was not intended—I may be too rationalistic for that—to express any expectation on my part that there is going to be a huge turnaround and that history will suddenly take a totally different course. The point was rather that the power of evil is restrained again and again, that again and again the power of God himself is shown in the Mother’s power and keeps it alive.

The Church is always called upon to do what God asked of Abraham, which is to see to it that there are enough righteous men to repress evil and destruction. I understood my words as a prayer that the energies of the good might regain their vigor. So you could say the triumphs of God, the triumphs of Mary, are quiet, but they are real nonetheless.

(Taken from Light of the World165-166).

Let us remember our duty as Christians to keep faith and encourage others to devotion! 

We are God’s instruments in the world, His witnesses, and if Heaven has given us the Immaculate Heart of Mary as a refuge for our times, we ought to avail ourselves of such a grace. By reforming ourselves with such heavenly support, we shall truly see war and evil come to naught.