- Inés San Martín
- Dec 17, 2017
In the great slaughterhouse of the twentieth century, the sheer scale of lethal evil, organized above all in the communist regimes, appeared to have loosed Satan himself in the world. In this context, the apparitions of Fatima were addressed directly to the wickedness of the twentieth century, as well as to the wickedness of sin that lurks in all of history.
The message for those who see Fatima as a message that God loves the simple ones, is it’s a reminder of the basic traits of Christian life: Faith, hope, and charity; including prayer and penance and the need for conversion. On the other hand, there’s the darker and harder-edged Fatima, which played a part in Catholic attitudes during the Cold War.
“I need to feel your closeness, whether physical or spiritual; the important thing is that it come from the heart. In this way, I can arrange my bouquet of flowers, my ‘golden rose,’” Pope Francis said to the people of Portugal in a video message ahead of his Fatima visit.
Pope Francis will be visiting the Fatima shrine in Portugal May 12-13 where he will declare Jacinta and Francisco Marto saints. The former Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, who opened the cause for the canonization of their cousin, Lucia dos Santos, talks about why she was a saintly yet practical woman.
“This coming Friday and Saturday – God willing – I will go as a pilgrimage to Fatima, in order to offer Mary the temporal and eternal fate of humanity and ask through her intermission for the heavenly blessing,” Pope Francis said during his general audience.
His May 12-13 outing to Fatima is considered by many observers as the easiest of Francis’s foreign trips so far, with security concerns not being as high as they were when he visited an active war zone when he went to the Central African Republic, nor as politically charged as his two-day trip to Egypt last month. Nonetheless, it’s far from irrelevant.