May 13th 2017 marks the 100th anniversary of a major historic event for Roman Catholics: the first apparition of Mary, the mother of God, to three humble shepherd children in the small village of Fatima, Portugal.
In all there would be six apparitions, culminating on October 13, 1917 with the great Sun Miracle witnessed by an estimated 70,000 people gathered to see for themselves if a miracle promised by “the Lady” would come about.
The basic message of the apparitions was one of peace and prayer. They came at a time when the world was in the throes of WWI. They came with warnings and predictions for the future if people did not work to better themselves and their world: WWII and the errors of Communism. They came with a nuanced hint toward our present time of disharmony with Islam: the village takes its name from Mohammed’s daughter, who was named Fatima. The Arabs had occupied the area of Portugal and Spain for centuries before the Christians drove them out. Many words and names come from Arabic. There is symbolism, not coincidence, in this alignment of Mary and Fatima for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear.
It is said that God works in mysterious ways. There are those who will question that God would work through Mary. Why not? He did it before. There are those who will question why three illiterate young children would be the messengers? Why not? They weren’t sophisticated enough to make the whole thing up. There are those who will question the miracle of the sun happened. Why not? God parted the Red Sea and Jesus walked on water. He is the Master of His creation.
For those who desire to learn about this event there are hundreds of books and articles in addition to movies, documentaries and websites dedicated to spreading the history and message of Fatima. Just search the web for “Fatima message”.