(Feature) Call for repentance renewed as Catholic Church marks 98th anniversary of Fatima Apparition on May 13

May 12, 2015 12:50 am 

By Ben Cal

MANILA, May 10 (PNA) — “Focus on God and repent now!”

This was the clarion call made by Fr. Christopher “Kit” Ramirez, SVD, on Sunday on the occasion of the 98th anniversary of the Fatima Apparition by the Blessed Virgin Mary in Portugal on May 13, 1917, calling on mankind to repent for their sins or face God’s chastisement.

It was during these series of apparitions that the Blessed Mother appeared before three children — Lúcia Santos (who later became a cloistered nun) and her two cousins Jacinta and Francisco Marto — six times, the last one on Oct. 13, 1917 while they were herding sheep at the Cova da Iria near their home village of Fátima, Portugal.

During the apparition, the Blessed Mother handed to the three children three secrets known worldwide later as the Secrets of Fatima.

When asked during a phone interview with the Philippines News Agency (PNA) on Sunday to elaborate on the message of the Fatima Apparition, Fr. Kit said that it is time for mankind to “focus on God and repent now” before it is too late.

He also pointed out that many of the prophecies of the Fatima Apparition have happened since 1917 to date.

Among the prophecies that were fulfilled were the end of World War I, the outbreak of World War II, the rise of Russia and spreading its errors, the fall of communism in the Soviet Union, the deadly earthquakes and tsunamis around the world, and lately the outbreak of wars in various parts of the globe, among others.

Likewise, Fr. Kit said that God has given His guidance to mankind to listen to Him and follow the truth to salvation.

“But since we have free will, God cannot force us. Each one of us is given a choice 'to follow our Lord or ignore Him. We are born to be with His love and since we have a free will, God cannot force us but we have to face the consequences,” he added.

He then quoted the Bible on John 6, verse 63 that says: “It is the spirit that gives life, while the flesh is of no avail. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and life.”

During the past three decades, mankind witnessed the unfolding of cataclysmic events around the world, starting with the near-fatal assassination of Pope John Paul II (now St. John Paul II) in 1981, the breakup of the Soviet Union, the Iraq War, the 9/11 terror attacks, the devastating earthquakes in various parts of the world, including the deadly Bohol earthquake on Oct. 15, 2013, super typhoon “Yolanda” that wrought havoc in Samar, Leyte and several other Visayas islands, volcanic eruptions, killer floods and lately the outbreak of unrest in several countries in the Middle East, the crisis in Ukraine, Libya, Yemen, among others, are clear discernment that the Third Secret of Fatima being fulfilled as foretold 98 years ago in the Fatima Apparition.

In the Philippines, which is a predominantly Catholic country, Filipino Catholics give due honor to the apparition at Fatima.

In fact, a big number of Catholic churches in the country are named after the Our Lady of Fatima.

At the same time, the apparition at Fatima is also referred to as Our Lady of the Rosary because the children said the Blessed Mother called herself the "Lady of the Rosary."

Official record of the Fatima Apparition said that Lucia, Jacinta and Francisco “claimed to have experienced the visitation of an angel on three separate occasions. The angel taught them to pray, to make sacrifices, and to spend time in adoration of the Lord,” official records disclosed.

On May 13, 1917, Lúcia described seeing a lady "brighter than the sun, shedding rays of light clearer and stronger than a crystal goblet filled with the most sparkling water and pierced by the burning rays of the sun." Astonished, she and her two cousins ran back to their village and told everyone. Further appearances were reported on June 13 and July 13. In these, the lady asked the children to do penance and acts of reparation and make personal sacrifices to save sinners.

According to Lúcia's account, the Lady also confided to the children three secrets, now known as the "Three Secrets of Fátima.”

“The children subsequently wore tight cords around their waists, performed self-flagellation using stinging nettles, abstained from drinking water on hot days, and performed other works of penance.”

“Thousands of people flocked to Fátima and Aljustrel in the following months, drawn by reports of visions and miracles. On August 13, 1917, the provincial administrator, Arthur Santos (no relation to Lúcia Santos), believing that the events were politically disruptive, intercepted and jailed the children before they could reach the Cova da Iria. The administrator interrogated and threatened the children to get them to divulge the contents of the secrets. Lúcia told him everything short of the secrets, and offered to ask the Lady for permission to tell the Administrator the secrets. Prisoners held with them in the provincial jail later testified that the children led them in praying the Rosary. That month, instead of the usual apparition in the Cova da Iria on the 13th, the children reported that they saw the Virgin Mary on 15 August, the Feast of the Assumption, at nearby Valinho.”

It may be recalled that on Oct. 13, 1917 the Miracle of the Sun occurred in Fatima, Portugal which was witnessed by 30,000 to 100,000 people.

The rare solar activity was described by many witnesses who said that: “After a period of rain, the dark clouds broke and the sun appeared as an opaque, spinning disc in the sky. It was said to be significantly duller than normal, and to cast multicolored lights across the landscape, the shadows on the landscape, the people, and the surrounding clouds. The sun was then reported to have careened towards the earth in a zigzag pattern, frightening those who thought it a sign of the end of the world.

Witnesses reported that their previously wet clothes became ‘suddenly and completely dry, as well as the wet and muddy ground that had been previously soaked because of the rain that had been falling.’”

Brother Michael K. Jones, one of the world’s greatest authorities on the message of Fatima and author of several books on the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary, wrote that the Third Secret of Fatima has been unveiled.

As published and broadcast all over the world, there were three secret messages of Fatima given by the Blessed Virgin Mary to the three children. Each message has three distinct parts.

The first secret was a vision of Hell where it was described as an ocean of fire where demons and souls “in human form, like transparent burning embers…are floating in the conflagration…amid shrikes and groans of pain and despair.”

In the second secret, the Blessed Virgin said that World War I, which was then raging in Europe, was about to end and it did end on Nov. 11, 1918, but the Blessed Mother also made a shocking revelation that another war, more devastating, would break out “should men continue offending God.”

There were 37 million casualties in World War I.

As told by the Blessed Virgin, World War II broke out on Sept. 1, 1939 when Germany under Adolf Hitler invaded Poland. But earlier on Sept. 13, 1931, Japan invaded Manchuria that started the China-Japan conflict before the Pacific War erupted when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor in Hawaii on Dec. 7, 1941, followed by an attack on the Philippines on Dec. 8, 1941.

World War II ended in Europe on Aug. 14, 1945 with the victory of the Allied Forces over Germany, while the Pacific War ended when Japan surrendered on Sept. 2, 1945 after the United States dropped two atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the first and only time so far a nuclear bomb was used in a war.

More than 60 million people were killed in the Second World War.

The world was shaken when a Turkish gunman, Mehmet Ali Agca, shot and wounded Pope John Paul II at St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican on May 13, 1981. The Holy Father sustained four gunshot wounds but miraculously survived which the Pope claimed that his survival was through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Incidentally, the incident took place during the 64th anniversary celebration of the Fatima apparition. Years later, the Pope visited Agca in his prison cell and in a massive display of humility forgave him for his crime.

In 1989, the world was further stunned when the once powerful Soviet Union collapsed due to political and economic and woes.

This was followed by the Gulf War in the early 1990s. Prior to that, there was a war between Iran and Iraq called the Persian Gulf conflict.

In 2003, Allied Forces led by the United States invaded Iraq. Today, insurgency is still raging in Iraq instigated by the al Qaeda terror group that has also gripped Afghanistan.

This is not to mention the 1956, l967, and 1973 Middle East hostilities between Israel and Arab nations and the so-called Cuban Missile Crisis that almost triggered a head-on collision between America and Russia.

The catastrophic earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and massive floods in many parts of the world the past nine decades could be discerned as part of the Fatima prophecy.

The 9/11 murderous suicide attacks by terrorists in New York and Washington, D.C. on Sept. 11, 2001 and the ongoing unrest in the Middle East and other parts of the globe are clear signs that the world is in for more troubles ahead.

During one of the apparitions at Fatima, the Blessed Virgin Mary said: “You have seen hell where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace. The war is going to end: but if people do not cease offending God, a worse one will break out during the Pontificate of Pius XI. When you see a night illumined by an unknown light, know that this is the great sign given you by God that he is about to punish the world for its crimes, by means of war, famine, and persecutions of the Church and of the Holy Father. To prevent this, I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart, and the Communion of reparation on the First Saturdays. If my requests are heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace; if not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred; the Holy Father will have much to suffer; various nations will be annihilated. In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, and she shall be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world.”

In his book, Brother Michael said that “the prophecy of the Third Secret has been unfolding at the present time, before our eyes, since 1960. There is, in fact, a timetable, a chronicle in the realization of the prophecies of Fatima.”

The Secret of Fatima also predicts that “the Pope will have much to suffer. Jesus tells Sister Lucy of Fatima ‘Pray a great deal for the Holy Father…’ The revealing of the Third Secret will certainly be a great grace for the whole Church and will begin to relieve the terrible problems now burdening the Holy Father. But to do even this much, the Holy Father needs your prayers,” Brother Michael said.

As it is known all over the world through media, particularly the prevalence of the Internet that the Catholic Church has not been spared of scandals, particularly of priests involved in sexual affairs, including child abuse. These incidents have been happening in various parts of the world.

Brother Michael further said: “It is therefore clear: all the material punishments which still threaten us, even the most dreadful, like nuclear war, or the expansion of Communism over the whole planet, are already foretold by our Lady in Her Second Secret, and we also know the supernatural means to avert them before it is too late. We can be certain, according to Father Alonso, that nothing about these material chastisements is repeated in the third part of the Secret. Or at least, I would add, if allusion to it is again made (as is quite possible), this will not be the essential message of the Third Secret. In effect, since the Secret is composed of three interrelated but distinct parts and whose date, for disclosure, fixed by heaven were not the same, one can be sure that the third part of the Secret is not going to repeat the same thing as the second in a few lines of space.”

He continued: “Doubtlessly, the Third Secret mainly refers to a spiritual chastisement. Far worse, even more fearsome than famine, wars, persecutions, for it concerns souls, their salvation or their eternal perdition.”

Brother Michael also said that “the Third Secret deals specifically with the loss of faith.” This was echoed by then Pope Benedict XVI that the Third Secret concerned “the dangers threatening the faith and life of Christians.”(PNA)

SCS/RBC/PJN

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