Let’s Pray More in 2017

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The Angel of Portugal appeared to the three shepherd children in Fatima three times beginning during 1916, preparing them for their visit from the Virgin Mary the following year. As we pass from the hundredth anniversary of the Angel’s appearance in 2016 to the hundredth anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima in 2017, it is worth pondering the Angel’s opening remarks for the Angel’s second appearance which took place during the summer of 1916. The Angel started by saying, “What are you doing? Pray very much ….”

As we reflect on our lives this past year and how it might change going into the new year, an area to which we should devote much thought is how much time we’ll commit to daily prayer and devotion. Considering the messages of Fatima, we should also think about how often we’ll say the rosary and pray for peace.

One thought about prayer that is useful to some people is to set aside different times of the day for different types of prayer. For example, you might use morning prayer to pray for peace. Then during the day take time out for healing prayer to aid people you know who are suffering. Then in the evening pray the holy rosary. This can be devoted to reparation for sinners, to pray for peace, or simply as a special devotion to the Virgin Mary.

However you pray, however, the most important thing to do during 2017 is to follow the admonition of the Angel of Portugal and pray more in 2017 than ever in the past.

Peace and the Power of Prayer

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In a great scene in our soon-to-be-released movie FATIMA, Sister Lucia, who was one of the shepherds who witnessed the supernatural events in Portugal during 1917, is being interviewed 72 years later in 1989 by a professor who harbors doubts about the events of 1917. During a part of their interview they discuss the call for world peace that was a key component of the apparitions. A short time later the professor asks, “Do you have any regrets?” Sister Lucia responds, “Does it look like the world has heard a message of heavenly peace? This is my only regret – not having done enough… “

Lucia of Fatima died in 2005. We can’t speak for her, but it easy to speculate that now, on the eve of the hundredth anniversary of the apparitions she would probably ask the same question: “Does it look like the world has heard a message of heavenly peace?” Although many people in the world have plainly heard the message, too many people have not. And too many people who have heard the message have failed to embrace it.

One thing we can all do, regardless of our faith, is agree that peace is a noble goal. Everyone knows at least one story where the power of prayer worked wonders. Why then, can’t we all come together in this noble quest and enlist the power of prayer to help bring peace to the world?

Peace is a concept capable of uniting us all, and praying for peace is an action that will breathe universal life into that concept. We should all pray, all the time, with passionate fervor.

When you hear about an attack such as the recent truck attacks in Berlin or the killing of an ambassador in Turkey, take a moment and pray for peace. While some respond with anger and outrage, be one of those who responds with an ever deepening commitment to world peace. Your prayers can be as simple as a single sentence such as, “Let there be peace.” They can also be more detailed, like offering more formal prayers for peace. The important thing is that they are an attempt to bring energy and grace to all activities and actions that will eventually bring peace to all of humankind.

Mary, Moslems and the Meaning of Fatima

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The meaning of FATIMA today, is a message of peace for the world, for people of all faiths and none.

It is no coincidence that the Virgin Mary appeared to three Catholic children to deliver this divine message, in a place named after a Moslem princess, Fatima, in Portugal.

The Virgin Mary is almost as significant to Moslems as she is to Christians. She is the only woman mentioned by name in the Koran, and she is mentioned 33 times!  Mary is for the Moslems the true Sayyida, or Lady.

The only rival to Mary in the Moslem creed is Fatima, the daughter of Mohammed:

After the death of Fatima, Mohammed wrote: “Thou shalt be the most blessed of all the women in Paradise, after Mary.”

In a variant of the text, Fatima is made to say: “I surpass all the women, except Mary.”

It is nearly 100 years since the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima in 1917. The Secrets of Fatima have since been revealed, and heavenly requests fulfilled. So is the relevance of the meaning of Fatima for today the bridge to peace between all faiths and none, and especially Moslem and Christian?

Share this story, and your thoughts.

Many Moslems make pilgrimages to Our Lady of Fatima’s Shrine in Portugal to venerate the Virgin Mary.

Read more about ‘How the Virgin Mary became the World’s Most Powerful Woman’ in a National Geographic article by Maureen Orth.