by Ken Rolheiser
Heaven came to earth at Fatima

It has taken us a long time to absorb the miraculous events of Fatima, Portugal. The Catholic Church moves slowly with such events, but every Pope since 1917 has acknowledged the events of Fatima and Pope Francis I canonized the Marto children

Imagine 50 to 70 thousand people coming out to the event, including scientists and sceptics. A miracle had been forecast. This was the event of the century!

It had been raining, but that stopped as the sun came out. People looked directly at the sun and it did not bother them. The sun began to move, then to spin, throwing off colours. It approached the earth. To everyone’s amazement their clothes became completely dry.

Today our world is turning to the Rosary as the weapon to end wars and to help God’s Kingdom to come.

Witness: On October 7, 2017, on the 100th anniversary of Mary’s apparitions at Fatima,  people lined Poland’s borders and prayed the Rosary for Poland and the world, an action supported  by the Polish Bishop’s Conference.

Witness: October 14, 2017 – a Public Square Rosary Rally in the United States. For the first time in history at 21,570 locations, the Rosary was prayed devoutly in a public place.

Witness: Every Pope since the 13th century has talked about the Rosary. Pius XI said, "Tell your priests to pray as much as possible. As long as the Pope has not said his Rosary, his day is not over...” (from A Moment with Mary).

Aleteia, the world wide Catholic news network gives us this perspective on the significance of the miracle of the sun. It was “…a day when God shouted, and with great humility reached out to us through children...

“First: The miracle told the world of God’s huge humility… The Creator God does not need to make a display to prove himself, the cosmos is big enough,” Aleteia records. “But God stoops to earth to win our love…

“Second: He [God] made it clear that we can trust Mary. Fatima is not the first time heaven and earth have been moved by Mary… the Gospel of Luke, Chapter 1, the start of God’s redemption of man hangs on a word from Mary…

“Third: God showed the importance of the family. While onlookers saw the Miracle of the Sun, the three shepherd children saw something different: They saw the image of a father and son. St. Joseph and the Child Jesus appear in the sky, with Jesus blessing the whole world…

“Fourth: She showed that children — and each of us — can change the world… It all started because Our Lady of Fatima reached out to three children, and they told the world that the fate of mankind rests not on presidents and international councils, but on each of us, praying and sacrificing for sinners.”

We have come a long way since the shepherds in Luke’s Gospel bowed before a manger holding Jesus, with Mary and Joseph standing by. We are still learning. Some of the facts of Fatima Portugal have only become clear to us after 100 years.

Our God who will stop at nothing to win our hearts still leans out from heaven with love, not judgement. We are caught with “…the image of a father and son. St. Joseph and the Child Jesus appear in the sky, with Jesus blessing the whole world.”

It is as if Mary, after drawing the world’s attention to God’s call for repentance and to prayer, wanted to showcase what was most important. Not herself, not hell, and not the Holy Father or the hierarchy, all of which appeared in earlier visions — the most important thing was Jesus, the son God entrusted to the care of Joseph. The most important thing is the human family.

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