Fatima – Far More than “Just” Private Revelation

Some people disregard Fatima because they either do not understand the significance of private revelation, or they underestimate its value and importance.

To begin with, private revelation which has been declared authentic or has been approved by the Church is “from God.”  Dare we consider anything which is “from God” insignificant, of little or no value, or unimportant?  I think not.

1 Peter 3:15 tells us: “…Be ready always with an answer to everyone who asks a reason for the hope that is in you…”  I think Peter would agree that we should likewise always be prepared to explain that upon which our beliefs rest.  We cannot explain the mysteries of our Faith, but we ought to be able to make clear why our belief in them is tenable.

Fr. Joaquin Maria Alonso, C.M.F., historian of Fatima, once responded to an interviewer who said: Some say Fatima is only private revelation and not public, divine revelation, and therefore we are free to ignore it” in this way:
”You must make a distinction. If one speaks of strict obligation in the same way that we speak of the Catholic faith, it is true that we are not strictly obliged to accept the private revelations of Fatima.  But if we speak of a certain obligation to follow the Spirit, which moves the Church at every moment of time, then we are obliged to accept that in this time, the Spirit is working in the Church through Fatima.  If we want to have an authentic sense of the Church, then we must recognize that the Church has approved Fatima as a great means of the Christian life.  When I speak of the Spirit of Fatima, I speak of the Spirit who acts in a manner completely ecclesial, and for that reason altogether certain, where there is no danger for the faith and for discipline.”

With Father Alonso’s words in mind, I conclude that Fatima is not “just” a private revelation.  It is a public, prophetic revelation given to the world by the Virgin Mary, the Mother of God.  It is not to be confused with the “Revelation” we refer to as contained in the “Deposit of the Faith,” which ended with the death of the last Apostle.  But public, prophetic revelation ought not to be despised or lightly discarded.  The Virgin Mary’s prophecies were confirmed by a public miracle, approved by the Church and authenticated by every Pope since 1917.  In addition, predictions made at Fatima have come to pass.

So, while belief in the Message of Fatima may not strictly be required of Catholics as an article of faith, one would be very foolish to disregard such an obviously authentic message from Heaven.   As St. Paul taught: “Do not despise prophecies. But test all things; hold fast that which is good.” (1 Thess. 5:20-21) The Church has declared the prophecies of Fatima worthy of belief.  We should therefore not despise, refute or ignore the Fatima Message, but rather embrace it and live it in our own lives and become actively engaged in sharing it with others.

Does this affect your disposition toward private revelation, and especially toward Fatima?

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI told us in 2010 that it would be a mistake to think that Fatima’s prophetic mission is completed.  Within the first year of the pontificate of Pope Francis the Church has focused the attention of the world on Our Lady of Fatima. His pontificate was consecrated to her.  World Youth Day 2013 was consecrated to her.  And on October 13, 2013, having flown the original statue of Our Lady of Fatima to the Vatican for the occasion, the pope consecrated the world to her.  How could anyone knowing of these things not conclude that there must be something about Fatima the Church considers important for the world today?  I suggest there is nothing more important in the world today than Fatima except, of course, the sacraments of the Church.

If you were not aware of these things, has learning of them given rise to thought?

Until next time,
God bless you all.

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1 Comment
  1. Many Catholics left the Church because of disagreemints with the Catholic Church over homosexuality, abortion, birth control, or gender. People make judgments on the church based on the priest at Mass, the chaplain in the hospital, the cleric at the funeral home, the deacon who performed the baptism at the holy intersections the significant and tender moments in their lives. Maybe so. But maybe Catholics need to be reminded of Who is far more significant at the “Holy Intersections” in their lives: an unambiguous appreciation for and devotion to the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

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