under the patronage of St Joseph and St Dominic
By the rivers of Babylon there we sat and wept, remembering Zion;
99 YEARS AGO—132 YEARS AGO
Part of the crowd at the Cova da Iria on 13th October 1917
Some thirty or forty thousand people attended the Cova da Iria at Fatima, Portugal, on this date, 13th October, in 1917 at the instigation of three shepherd children, Lúcia dos Santos, Jacinta Marto, and her brother Francisco. The children had asserted, and maintained their position in the face of persecution, that they had seen a vision of the Blessed Virgin at the site on the 13th of each month since the May previous—save for August when officialdom prevented their attendance, when the vision occurred on 15th, the Feast of the Assumption. This is what the Wikipedia website has to say about what happened that day:
Atheists attended the Cova da Iria in their hundreds that day. Not one of them returned home an atheist.
The miracle marked the culmination of the Blessed Virgin's visits—there were no more after that date—and served to reinforce her message to the world through the three children of the need for men to abandon their sinful ways so offensive to their Creator which drew down His chastisements upon the world, and that they must be converted and make reparation for sin.
Lucia, who became a Discalced Carmelite nun, wrote later:
Jacinta, shortly before her early death, remarked:
In her August appearance the Blessed Virgin had told the children,
She revealed to Sister Lucia:
Sister Lucia explained:
She said, however, that Our Lord had explained to her:
On the same date, 13th October, 1884, 33 years prior, Pope Leo XIII had experienced a vision at the conclusion of his celebration of Mass, of an interchange between God and Satan in which permission had been granted to the devil to endeavour, over 100 years, to destroy Christ's Church.
The coincidence of the dates of these events is not to be denied. Nor is the issue at stake in each, man's salvation from eternal perdition. Christ instituted His Church to that end. Were the Church to be destroyed, man's salvation would be impossible. That Almighty God will not allow this is certain, since He has promised to be with His Church until the end of time (Matthew 28 : 20). Yet, if men are to triumph over the devil, he must be given scope to try them. How well St Augustine put the issue when he wrote :
The evils abroad in 1917 are not to be compared with those that flourish in the twenty first century with contraception, abortion, sexual promiscuity and sexual perversion rife throughout the world. The message of the Blessed Virgin over the chastisements that must follow if men did not abandon their sinful practices has been ignored, and we are experiencing the consequences now. The Church God established on earth, and her teachings, have been rejected, mocked, as the devil has had his way with the Church's members, chiefly with her clergy and religious but also with the laity. The abandonment by the bishops of the Second Vatican Council of the Church's claim to be the one true religion on earth—manifest in any number of the Council's documents, but chiefly in Dignitatis Humanae, the “Declaration on Religious Freedom”—have provided fertile ground for an abandonment of belief in God by men quite unparalleled in human history. The Council has had deleterious effects, too, on the Church and the faithful reflecting the bishops' abandonment of Catholic principle. Those sceptical of the truth of this assertion might care to view the statistics in a report on the Church in the United States of America on the Rorate Caeli blogsite dated 11th October 2016—
The calculated rejection by western man, blessed with the immense benefits that have flowed to him from fifteen centuries of Christianity, of the moral authority of that civilising and peace-bringing influence deserves condign punishment. Having rejected the one true religion, men now find themselves abandoned to the demands of a false religion, Mohammedanism.
13th October 2016—Memorial of Our Lady of Fatima