Fatima Examined (2017)
Fr. Martin Fuchs´s sermon on 14th May 2017, Prague, Czech republic
Exactly one hundred years ago, Our Lady appeared to three children at Fatima. These apparitions have been carefully examined and considered authentic by the Catholic Church.
During the apparitions from the 13th May till the 13th October, the communication between Our Lady and the children was different. Jacinta could see and hear Our Lady, Lucia could see and hear Our Lady speaking and only she could also speak to her. Francesco could see her but he could not hear what she was saying.
It is similar to what we read in the Acts about the conversion of Saul. Saul could see and hear a voice. His travel companions could hear but they could not see. (Acts 9:7)
Let us have a look at the most important stages of such an examination:
1. True doctrine must have been proclaimed.
2. A supernatural origin, an intervention of God must be proved.
3. The seers must lead a real Christian life.
Point 1: The true doctrine must have been proclaimed.
This is important but not sufficient by itself because everybody who has really learnt the catechism is able to proclaim the true doctrine.
We see that an angel appeared to the child seers in Fatima three times in 1916.
The Catholic catechism teaches about the existence of angels and that they can visibly appear. The angel also taught the children a prayer which fully corresponds to the Catholic doctrine:
“O my God, I believe in You, I worship You, I trust in You and I love You. I ask your forgiveness for those who do not believe in You, do not worship You, do not trust in You and do not love You.”
The angel gave the Holy Communion to the children. Saint Thomas Aquinas teaches that an angel cannot administer a sacrament but that he can bring men the fruits of the sacrament.
The angel gave the Holy Host to Lucia and the Precious Blood to Jacinta and Francesco. Investigations showed that these came from the church of Juncal.
On the 13th of May Lucia asked about the destiny of two dead girls from Aljustrel. Our Lady answered: “One of them is in Heaven, the other one still has to wait in the purgatory.“ Our Heavenly Mother thus proclaimed the existence of the purgatory.
On the 13th of June the apparition spoke of Heaven. Lucia asked Mary to take her to Heaven with her. And she got the following answer: “Yes, I will take Jacinta and Francesco to Heaven soon. You, however, will have to stay here for a while. Jesus wants to use you so that men will recognize me.“ On this occasion Lucia pleaded for a sick person.
Thus the Catholic faith in the community of the saints is expressed: Men can pray for each other and appeal to the saints. Our Lady consoled her with the words: “If he returns to God, if he converts, he will be cured.“
This is an important condition in the religious life! The temporary well-being is subordinated to eternal welfare.
“If he returns to God, he will be cured.“ God wants the salvation of the soul and everything else has to be subordinated to this purpose.
On occasion of this apparition the Blessed Virgin promised salvation to those who practice the devotion to Her Immaculate Heart.
On the 13th of July 1917 Mary showed the hell to the children. They saw angels and men there. Mary talked about the necessity of prayer and penance. In fact the war would end soon but if men do not stop offending God, a much greater war will break out under the pontificate of Pius XI. And then she taught Lucia the following prayer: “O my Jesus, have mercy on us. Forgive us our sins. Save us from the fires of hell. Take all souls into heaven, especially, those most in need of thy mercy. Amen.” And she requested that it be repeated after every decade of the Rosary.
On the 13th of August the Heavenly Mother did not appear because the children were kept prisoners until the 19th of August. On the 19th of August she said that men had to collaborate with the God’s grace and that they should make many sacrifices and make penance.
On the 13th of September she announced miracles. The Catholic catechism also teaches that miracles are necessary. Miracles can only be produced by God and by these works man can recognize the true religion.
Mary asked the children for moderation. They should wear the penitential belt during the day.
On the 13th of October the Holy Family appeared. On this day the famous Miracle of the Sun took place and many sick persons were cured.
Point 2: A supernatural origin, an intervention of God has to be proved.
On the 13th of October the announced Miracle of the Sun took place which could be noticed in a distance of 30 miles during 3 x 10 minutes. But also many sick persons were cured and many people returned to God on this day.
Numberless graces can be attributed to Fatima. How many Rosaries might have been said due to these apparitions? How many people might have returned to God? How many prayer nights has been hold since then? And how much penance has been made since then? God alone knows their number!
Point 3: The seers must lead a real Christian life.
Jacinta, Francesco, and Lucia led the pious lives. They made great sacrifices, said many Rosaries, and they were even ready to go into the fire for the truth.
They did not want anything but to go to Heaven one day and to save many souls.
Francesco died in 1919 from the Spanish influenza and Jacinta followed him one year later. Before she died, she said to a nurse: “If the people knew about the eternity, they would certainly do everything to change their lives. They should avoid a luxurious life! They should love the poverty! Love everyone, evil people, too! They should not say anything bad about others or contempt them. They should have patience. Patience leads to heaven!”
Lucia entered the carmel of Coimbra and died there on the 13th February 2005.
Fatima is an apparition which came from heaven. Fatima was the last great grace! Let us follow the appeal of Our Lady. Amen.