Our Lady appeared in Fatima, Portugal, in 1917 and she revealed important messages to the children and to the whole world. Even after 1917, she revealed other serious, but extremely important messages that we should take to heart now. In fact, our eternal salvation could depend on listening attentively, heeding dutifully, and obeying promptly these messages.
Three of these poignant messages relate to the 6th and 9th Commandments. “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” (6th Commandment) “Thou shalt not covet your neighbor’s wife.” (9th Commandment)
Also, the serious warnings of Our Lady made clear reference to one of the Sacraments—the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony. This is one of the two Sacraments of service. Matrimony is designed for the couple to be at the service of both human life and the formation and sustenance of the family. The other Sacrament of service is that of Holy Orders or the Priesthood—designed as an offering of service to the Church.
Therefore, let us lay out with utmost clarity the prophetic messages and admonitions of Our Lady of Fatima. She is indeed the Mother of God, the Mother of the Church, and she is our dear and loving Mother. In fact, the two greatest desires of Mary are the following: 1) That God be known, honored, praised, obeyed and loved; 2) That we all attain to eternal happiness in Heaven.
In a word, these three warnings or admonitions serve as clear and convincing signposts to help us avoid the eternal loss of our immortal soul in the stark reality of Hell.
FIRST, the July 13th Apparition of Our Lady to the three children: Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta. This shocking and frightful Apparition manifested the reality of Hell. Our Lady purposely desired the children, as well as us, to reflect seriously on the reality of Hell. The blazing fire, the tormented and tortured souls, the loud cries of utter despair, and the ugly animals trans-piercing the damned souls caused the children to almost faint. Later on, they admitted that if it were not for the presence of Our Lady of Fatima with them during the vision, they might have died of fear. Despite the terror that this vision caused, due to the vision these three children underwent a radical change of life. Their passion for God and their desire for Our Lady and the salvation of souls had no limits. Their prayers were fervent and constant. The thought of Hell motivated them to never flag or weary of praying not only the Rosary, but many Rosaries.
Our Lady stated clearly that most souls go to hell because of the sins committed against the 6th and 9th Commandments—the many sins that are committed against the virtue of purity.
The children would not only pray to prevent souls from cascading into the fiery pit of Hell, but they also offered many sacrifices to bar the gates of Hell for so many souls.
Jacinta, the youngest of the three children, offered countless sacrifices, and even her very life, for the conversion of the many sinners immersed in the muddy pool of impurity. We will mention just a few of the heroic sacrifices of this little girl:
- THE ROPE. Jacinta wore a rough rope around her waist that caused her considerable discomfort during the course of the day.
- FOOD. She purposely sacrificed her favorite food—the sweet grapes of the Portugal hillsides, replacing them with bitter nuts and berries.
- FUN: DANCING. She loved to dance! This would be honest and innocent dancing. But no more, for the love of God and to prevent souls from plunging into the fires of hell.
- ROSARY. Not one Rosary, but as many as possible, trusting in the most powerful intercession of Mary who loves God and loves souls.
- EVEN DRINKING WATER. On one of the hot and humid days in summer, Jacinta was offered some cold and refreshing water to drink but she refused it. Why? For the salvation of poor sinners.
- OPERATION IN THE HOSPITAL WITH LITTLE ANESTHESIA. Yes, when she had to undergo an operation with barely any anesthesia, the noble and brave Jacinta accepted it and offered it up to prevent souls from precipitating themselves into the fiery pit of hell.
Indeed, how important it truly is for the world at large to understand the supreme importance of the virtue of purity. How important it is for all of humanity, and each of us individually, to live out the Beatitude: “Blessed are the pure of heart; for they will see God.” (Mt. 5:8) Remember the stark warning of Our Lady of Fatima: “Most souls go to hell due to the sins against the virtue of purity.”
SECOND, Our Lady revealed to Jacinta another serious but stark truth. MANY MARRIAGES ARE NOT PLEASING TO GOD. These messages were given close to 100 years ago. Since then, the state of both Marriage and the family is definitely in a scary free-fall, a real vortex. Way more than 50% of Catholic marriages end in divorce, leaving wounded and scarred children. The innocent have to suffer for the sake of the guilty. To make matters worse, many couples, who even call themselves Catholics, decide to sidestep receiving the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony and instead just live together in free-union, cohabitation, a trial-marriage, to see, as they say today, if they have chemistry and are compatible.
THIRD, Our Lady stated bluntly: “There will be many fashions (modes) that will enter into the world that will gravely offend God.” How often today, even in the context of the Church itself, do we encounter blatant and flagrant immodesty in dress??? In the celebration of the Sacrament of Baptism, as well as the celebration of the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony, many come into the Church as if it were a beach-party, a night-club, or simply a fashion-show!!! Pope Benedict stated with utmost clarity that in our Churches today we are losing the sense of the Sacred!!!
Indeed, the Church is the House of God. Jesus, the Lord of Lords and the King of Kings, lives in the Church. His Home is behind the Tabernacle door; the red-burning Lamp signals His Real-Presence. Would we come improperly dressed into the presence of an earthly King or Queen? Out of the question! But how easily we can disrespect the Presence of God in our Churches!!!
Of great importance, also, is the respect we should have for the dignity of our own body. Saint Paul asserts: “Glorify God in your bodies; your bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit. You have been redeemed at a high price: the Blood of the Lamb of God.” (1 Cor. 6, Heb. 9: 11-14)
The way we clothe our bodies should reflect the knowledge we have of our innate dignity being created in the image and likeness of God and being sons and daughters of God at the moment of our Baptism. Our dignity is exalted, our destiny is sublime: to be united with God forever in Heaven.
Therefore, once we have learned the supreme and sublime importance of who we are, where we are heading, and our eternal destiny, then we can take very seriously these three warnings of Our Lady of Fatima, messages directed not only to the three innocent Shepherd children, but also to us right now. So let us strive with the help of God’s grace and our own human effort to take heed of Our Lady’s admonitions; indeed our salvation is at risk!
First, let us strive to attain an ever greater purity of eyes, mind, emotions, heart and body. “Blessed are the pure of heart; for they will see God.” (Mt. 5:8)
Second, those who have chosen the Sacrament and vocation of Holy Matrimony, may they make a constant effort to grow daily in love of God and a pure love for each other, and the children that God often does send.
Third, MODESTY! May we come to a keen awareness of both our dignity and our eternal destiny. Our Dignity? We are living Tabernacles of the Blessed Trinity through Baptism; we are, in the words of Saint Paul: Ambassadors of Christ.” (2 Cor 5:20) Before leaving home, present yourself before an image of Our Lady, Jesus, and good Saint Joseph, as their representative, and see what they think! Do nothing in word, nor deed, nor dress that would make them ashamed of you. You are called to be their honor and prize, now and for all eternity!