March 9, 2016
The story of Fatima is set during World War I in Portugal, on the eve of the Bolshevik Revolution, at the onset of what would become the most tumultuous century in man’s history.
By 1916, Europe was a continent ravaged by war. The horror of the trenches unleashed the deadly influenza pandemic. The industrial revolution dumped soot and waste into the outskirts of the cities. Nietzsche’s diatribe, “God is dead!” instigated brutal ideologies to dominate and coerce the masses. Once the flower of culture and Christendom, this Europe was broken by illness, poverty, violence and hate.
The age had brilliant scientists like Edison, Carver, Curie and Einstein; unparalleled artists like Tchaikovsky, Picasso and Fitzgerald; a new generation of visionary statesman like Roosevelt and Churchill; and saints like Pius X, Therese of Lisieux, and Don Bosco gained global attention as they interceded with love and insight for a world caught in a conflict of the highest stakes.
But when heaven sought emissaries to call for peace in the world, it chose none of these. Instead, three illiterate, impoverished children from rural Portugal were asked to make the ultimate sacrifice, and spread heaven’s message of peace to the world. Lucia Santos, aged 10, and her two cousins Francisco and Jacinta Martos, ages 7 and 8, accepted the challenge, and their ultimate fate.
Mary, the Mother of God, appeared six times to these children in Fatima, Portugal between May and October 1917. She told them that she had been sent by God with a message of prayer and penance to achieve peace in the world, and promised that Heaven would show a ‘Great Sign’ so that people would believe.
On October 13th 1917, a supernatural event known as the ‘Miracle of the Sun’ was witnessed by over 70,000 people who had congregated in the area. Among the crowd were many journalists, scientists and other ‘rationalists’ who documented the event, the healings, and the many conversions to God.