Our Lady of Fatima Apparition - 1917
History of Our Lady of Fatima Apparition and Shrine
Before 1917 Fatima was a small town in Portugal, virtually unknown.
It is named Fatima after the daughter of Mohammed.
After 1917 Fatima is still a small town but now a world famous town.
The difference is that Fatima was visited by Our Lady and the events became known as the apparition of Our Lady of Fatima.
At the end of the last apparition another occurrence happened that is equally world famous.
That event is known at the Miracle of the Sun. The Miracle of the sun was witnessed by 70,000 to 100,000 people on October 13, 1917.
SIIDEBAR: "October 13, 1917 is exactly 33 years after the dream of Pope Leo XIII had about the destruction coming in the 20th century." SIDEBAR
Our Lady of Fatima
Portugal is a very special place in the hearts of Our Dear Lord Jesus and His Mother Mary. It has been consecrated to Mary for as long as anyone can remember. The History of Portugal is filled with kings making petitions to Our Lady which were always answered, and promises which were always kept.
The area in and surrounding Fatima has been particularly blessed by Our Lord Jesus through our loving Mary. In Bathala, about 20 miles from Fatima, a promise was made to Mary that a great Church would be built in her honor if she would help the Portugese people win a battle against Spain, which took place on the day before the Feast of the Assumption in 1385. The splendid Basilica rises majestically towards her in Heaven as a tribute to and in thanksgiving for, the victory granted. The Church is called appropriately, OUR LADY OF THE VICTORIES.
In Alcobaca, closely connected geographically and spiritually with Fatima, a beautiful monastery was built in honor of and in thanksgiving to Mary for enabling the Portugese to recapture the important city of Santarem from the Moors in 1152. Santarem is situated about halfway between Fatima and Lisbon. It is the site of a great Eucharistic Miracle which took place in the early 13th Century. The miracle is ongoing in that the Sacred Blood of Our Lord Jesus is still in liquid form for the faithful to venerate and marvel.
In our research and study about the various shrines throughout the world, we use the term cluster. In the sense to which we apply the term, we mean groupings of places, villages, cities, all in the same geographical area, where the Lord has given great gifts or special favors to the people. Look at a map of Portugal, particularly at the area around these small towns we've mentioned. Look at their proximity to one another. Each of these towns has become very important to us as Catholics.
Let us go back in time to the Spring of 1916. The world was in turmoil. A World War was devastating Europe. Bodies were strewn all over the farmlands of France and Germany. The winter had been hellish, slowing troop movement to a virtual standstill. Because of the terrible weather, soldiers of both sides were pinned down in foxholes for months at a time; all in feeble attempts to control small patches of land. Mustard Gas, the Agent Orange of the early 20th Century, was ripping out the lungs of those who breathed it in. Humanity had absolutely no regard for his brother and sister
In Russia, a monster was being created which would cast its hideous, godless shadow over the entire world. The Bolsheviks were not involved in the World War. They were too busy destroying their own brothers and sisters, in purges that would parallel the outrages of Adolph Hitler and his gang of perverts some 20 years later.
The tiny country of Portugal was having its own problems, mostly financial. They had only established a republic some 6 years before, which had not quite worked. In the hundred years prior to the creation of the republic, Portugal had lost most of its colonies in South America. No one knew how to run the government wisely, and so the country fell into chaos and disorder. In a very brave, but very unwise move in 1916, they declared war on Germany, and sent troops into France to fight the Huns. The effect of this on the homefront was disastrous.
We mentioned that the history of the country was filled with tales of kings making pledges and committments to Our Lord Jesus and Our Lady. The attitude of the new leaders of Portugal was just the opposite, not unlike those of other newly formed republics. They equated the Church with the Monarchy. Portugal had thrown the Monarchy out in 1910, and was now persecuting the church, in an attempt to throw it out of the country.
The one power they had not taken into consideration in their harassment of the Church was its head, JESUS CHRIST, a faithful God to a sometimes unfaithful people. They had forgotten about the strength of His love, His patience, His adeptness at changing people's hearts, and His Mother, my Mary. They were so sure they could succeed without God, they ignored the Source of their well-being. They were children playing in the adult world, without knowing what they were doing. Fortunately, Jesus cannot resist caring for wayward children.
We can't help but wonder why Our Heavenly Family bothers with us. We continue to make the same mistakes, commit the same outrages that began with the murder of Abel by Cain. Thank Jesus for His Mother Mary. She is so touchable. It's that one teardrop she sees falling from the eyes of a mother whose baby has been killed, whose husband has been dragged off, screaming into the night, never to be seen again. It must be these outrages against humanity, which have gone on since the dawn of creation, that propels her into action. We had great need of Our Lady's help in 1916. There were no kings left in Portugal to plead the cause of the people. So, it was up to the mothers to pray to Our Lady for peace. She heard these prayers, and answered them, as only she could.
A great plan was conceived in Heaven. It began to make itself known in a very small way to three little shepherds in the remote little farming village of Aljustrel, in the Springof 1916. It was still early in the season, the rainy time, before the weather warmed up. That morning, Lucia dos Santos, and her cousins Jacinta and Francisco Marto, had led the sheep to the Cabeco to graze. The ground and the grass were wet from the morning rain. They could feel the moisture on their feet, through their little sandals. Drizzle began to fall gently from the sky. The children ran up a hill to a cave where they could shelter themselves and their sheep until the rain stopped. They ate their lunch in the cave; and although the rain stopped, and the skies cleared, they stayed there, playing a game with pebbles.
The early afternoon was very calm, very still. The children became mesmerized by the game they were playing. Suddenly, a powerful blast of wind ripped through the trees, bending the branches as it whipped around the little cabeco, breaking the still of the day. The children snapped out of their lethargy. They jumped up like a shot, looking around frantically to find out what was causing the abrupt change in weather. All at once, their eyes zeroed in on a bright light off in the distance, approaching them. It drew closer to their little cave. As it moved closer, it became larger. They could make out the transparent figure of a person. Their hearts pounded. They were too frightened to speak. Closer and closer the vision came, until it was almost on top of them.
It was a beautiful young man. His long mane of blonde hair blew in the breeze. There was a sensitivity about him, almost contradicted by a forceful strength. His eyes were cobalt blue. When he looked at the children, they could feel his stare to the depths of their souls. While they were frightened of this majestic figure before them, they couldn't take their eyes off him. He spoke to them.
"Do not be afraid. I am the Angel of Peace." Continued
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