im238By Anne Tansy

The heart of the message of Fatima is a gloriously personal one to all who have a true conception of the apparitions and revelations of Our Lady in that now hallowed spot. It is as though Mary has spoken to each and every one of us in our little niche in society.

Sister Lucia stated: “All the conditions Mary specified are important only in their relation to her one main request, sanctification of our daily lives. The fulfillment of one’s daily duty is the most necessary.”

Here we have the heart of the message although to many it seemed like a letdown. Some people look for only the spectacular concerning Fatima. They want it to be a grand heavenly manifestation with all kinds of dramatic overtones.

Think About This

The plea of Our Lady of Fatima to perform one’s daily duty is a comforting one, particularly to those who cannot go out into the world and engage in dynamic pursuits. It is comforting to know that God does not expect this of all of us, that our everyday duties can be sanctified and sent in little wisps of incense to His heavenly throne.

The wise see the message of Fatima applied to the home, the office, the store, factory, schoolroom, hospital, City Hall and all other places where men, women and children live and work, performing their daily duties.

True Christian’s Test

Stripped to its elementals, the “heart” of the Fatima message calls for all to engage in the pursuits designed for them by God. Such universal devotion to duty could reform the world overnight. It is such reformation that Mary sought at Fatima. The best way to reform the world is for every individual to reform himself and herself, to face our own individual weaknesses on the doorstep of our own soul. We gain stature by performing the tasks assigned to us – when we do them to the best of our ability.

It seems hard to trace all the evil in the world to one primary source, yet neglect of duty is a major contributing factor. The neglect of duty which is so rampant in the world today is causing all kinds of social upheavals and spiritual neglect, from the humblest home in the land to industry and legislative halls.

No place in this world has become more neglected than the home. Every judge and juvenile officer in the land reiterates over and over that broken homes and neglected homes are the cause of the terrible breakdown in morality among so many of the young.

When Our Lady asked us to dedicate ourselves to Christ through daily duties well performed, she was not asking for an easy thing of us. Rather she was presenting a profound challenge with many ramifications.

Nature of Duty

Duty is not an easy term that slips off the lips. It is possible God wants far more from us than we are giving. But what Our Lady is asking of all of us, is the heart of the message of Fatima, to become dedicated persons in the cause of Christ and humanity.

Sacrifice Involved

The duties of the day are the foundation stone from which each of us can reach out in a dozen different directions, even while keeping the home fires burning and the wheels of industry humming. It is our daily duty to be a witness to Christ every day among our fellow workers and our neighbors.

Doing one’s daily duty oftentimes means personal sacrifice. It means doing right by our employer, giving him the work for which we are paid. It means paying our bills and dealing justly with those whom we employ. It means accepting family responsibilities, taking proper care of our children and accepting the burden of aged parents.

Duty Touches Everyone

This is the real drama of Fatima, the hour-by-hour, day-by-day formulas for personal sanctity, whether one makes deliveries, operates a mill or a bus line, teaches school, sells furniture or maintains a home. No matter in what one’s walk of life God may have placed us, we have a daily duty to perform. The better we perform it the better the world and the more sanctified we become individually and collectively. Men and women have become saints through the formula, which Our Lady gave us at Fatima. It is the heart of the message, the real “secret of Fatima.” Viewed in its proper perspective it is dramatic, far more so than most people realize.


Our Lord revealed a message to Sister Lucia concerning the people, the clergy, and the religious, which she wrote in a letter to her Superior on May 4, 1943: “The true penance that He now wants and demands consists, above all, in the sacrifice that each one has to take on in the fulfillment of one’s own religious and civil duties.”


Source: Documents on Fatima

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  1. Many yrs. ago I had a subscription to SOUL Magazine. Then there was a fire in your headquarters and I somehow got off the mailing list. Now I’m 73 and would like to subscribe again.

  2. Simple. Humbling. Profound. Thank you, Anne, for writing this. Personally, what resonates is confronting our failings at the doorstep of our souls. That’s hard work !

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