Monsignor Yennock on the Centennial of Our Lady of Fatima - Homily from October 8, 2017

Oct 13, 2017

OUR LADY OF FATIMA CENTENNIAL

TWENTY-SEVENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

OCTOBER 8, 2017

ON OCTOBER 13, 1917, 70,000 PEOPLE FROM ALL OVER EUROPE AND THE MIDDLE EAST GATHERED AT FATIMA IN PORTUGAL. THREE CHILDREN TOLD THEIR PARENTS AND THE PARISH PRIEST THAT A BEAUTIFUL LADY PROMISED THEM A MIRACLE.

SOME PEOPLE WENT TO FATIMA TO SEE A MIRACLE. OTHERS WENT TO DISCREDIT THE VISIONS OF THE CHILDREN.

NEWSPAPERS FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD SENT REPORTERS TO WITNESS WHATEVER WAS GOING ON THERE. EYEWITNESSES TESTIFIED THAT THAT THE SUN BEGAN EMITTING AN ASTOUNDING VARIETY OF RAYS IN A SPECTRUM OF COLORS.

LUCIA, ONE OF THE CHILDREN CRIED OUT: “LOOK AT THE SUN”. 70,000 PEOPLE SAW A MOVEMENT IN THE HEAVENS AS IF THE SUN WERE DANCING, WHIRLING TOWARD THE EARTH. SOME SAID THEY FELT THE GROUND SHAKE POWERFULLY BENEATH THEIR FEET. THE SUN APPEARED TO BE ZIG ZAGGING ACROSS THE SKY. IT EVENTUALLY IT SEEMED TO HURL ITSELF DOWN TO THE EARTH.

IT WAS A DARK AND RAINY DAY. THE PEOPLE THAT GATHERED COVA WERE SOAKING WET FROM THE TORRENTS OF RAIN THAT FELL.  AFTER THE RAINS STOPPED THE PEOPLE NOTICED THAT THEIR CLOTHING WAS COMPLETELY DRY AND THE SOAKED AND MUDDY GROUND WAS DRIED UP. 

THE EVENTS AT FATIMA THAT DAY BROUGHT MANY TO CONVERSION AND BELIEF. THE MIRACLE ALSO GAVE CREDIBILITY TO THE SHEPHERD CHILDREN AND CONFIRMED THE MESSAGES THEY RECEIVED FROM THE BLESSED MOTHER.

HOW DID IT ALL START? ON MAY 13, 1917, THREE SHEPHERD CHILDREN NAMED LUCIA, JACINTA, AND FRANCISCO SAW A VISION OF A BEAUTIFUL LADY. SHE WAS DRESSED IN WHITE AND SHE WAS HOLDING A ROSARY IN HER HANDS. SHE LATER IDENTIFIED HERSELF AS MARY THE MOTHER OF GOD.

THESE APPARITIONS LASTED THROUGH OCTOBER THAT LED TO THE MIRACLE OF THE SUN ON OCTOBER 13, 1917.

AT FATIMA THE BLESSED MOTHER SPOKE TO THE SHEPHERD CHILDREN ABOUT WORLD EVENTS OF WHICH THEY HAD NO UNDERSTANDING.

OUR BLESSED LADY GAVE THIS FREIGHTENING MESSAGE TO THE CHILDREN. SHE SAID: “RUSSIA WILL SPREAD HER ERRORS THROUGHOUT THE WORLD CAUSING WARS AND PERSECUTIONS OF THE CHURCH. THE GOOD WILL BE MARTYRED; VARIOUS NATIONS WILL BE ANNIHILATED.”

THE BLESSED MOTHER WAS NOT FAR FROM THE MARK. WHAT MARY SAID TO LUCIA AND HER TWO COUSINS AT FATIMA CAME TRUE IN WAYS MORE HORRIBLE THAN THE WORLD IN 1917 COULD HAVE IMAGINED.

IN THE FIRST WORLD WAR THERE WERE 37 MILLION CASUALTIES.

IN OCTOBER 1917, JUST 100 YEARS AGO, THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION BEGAN. LENIN, THE COMMUNIST DICTATOR, EXECUTED ANYONE SUSPECTED OF OPPOSING THE REVOLUTION.

FROM RUSSIA THE REVOLUTION SPREAD TO THE UKRAINE, POLAND, HUNGARY, ROMANIA, BULGARIA, EAST GERMANY, LITHUANIA, LATVIA, ESTONIA AND YUGOSLAVIA. 22 NATIONS IN ALL FELL TO WHAT BECAME KNOWN AS THE SOVIET UNION.

IN EVERY PLACE THAT THEY OCCUPIED THE SUCCESSORS OF LENIN BROUGHT BRUTAL REPRESSION, HOPELESS POVERTY, AGGRESSIVE ATHEISM AND CRUEL PERSECUTION OF CATHOLICS, PROTESTANTS, ORTHODOX, JEWS AND MUSLIMS.

THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE WERE KILLED; FORCED LABOR CAMPS WERE SET UP. THE NEW GOVERNMENT CONFISCATED PRIVATE PROPERTY AND DESTROYED COUNTLESS CHURCHES AND MONASTERIES. THE BOLSHEVIKS MURDERED ARISTOCRATS, WEALTHY MERCHANTS AND SUCCESSFUL PEASANT FARMERS. 

A SHRINE WAS BUILT NEAR THE ORIGINAL APPARITION SITE. MILLIONS OF PILGRIMS HAVE MADE THEIR PRAYERFUL JOURNEYS TO FATIMA INCLUDING THREE POPES: POPE PAUL VI, POPE JOHN PAUL II, AND POPE BENEDICT XVI.

LAST MAY, POPE FRANCIS WAS THE FOURTH POPE TO VISIT FATIMA. HE CELEBRATED THE 100TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE FIRST APPARITION AND CANONIZED FRANCISCO AND JACINTA MARTO THE TWO VISIONARIES.

YOU WILL REMEMBER THAT POPE JOHN PAUL II WAS SHOT IN ST. PETER’S SQUARE IN ROME ON MAY 13 1981. HE WAS SHOT ON THE ANNIVERSARY OF MARY’S FIRST APPEARANCE AT FATIMA.

ISN’T IT CURIOUS THAT IN THE THIRD SECRET GIVEN TO LUCIA THE BLESSED MOTHER SPEAKS OF A “BISHOP IN WHITE” BEING KILLED UPON A GREAT MOUNTAIN OF MARTYRS? 

  1. JOHN PAUL II INTERPRETED THIS MESSAGE AS REFERRING TO HIS ASSASSINATION ATTEMPT OF 1981. THE POPE BELIEVED THAT OUR LADY INTERVENED TO PREVENT HIS BEING KILLED.

ON MAY 13, 1982 POPE JOHN PAUL II MADE A PILGRIMAGE OF THANKSGIVING TO FATIMA. HE BROUGHT WITH HIM THE BULLET THAT HAD BEEN TAKEN FROM HIS BODY. THAT BULLET IS NOW PART OF THE CROWN ON THE STATUE OF OUR LADY OF FATIMA.

ON MARCH 25, 1984 ST. JOHN PAUL II FORMALLY CONSECRATED THE WHOLE WORLD TO THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY. AS THE BLESSED MOTHER HAD REQUESTED FOR THE CONVERSION OF RUSSIA AND FOR PEACE.

SISTER LUCIA, THE SURVIVING FATIMA VISIONARY, CONFIRMED THAT THE CONSECRATION FULFILLED THE REQUEST MADE BY OUR LADY THAT THE HOLY FATHER CONSECRATE THE WORLD TO THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY.

WITHIN A YEAR OF THE CONSECRATION, MIKHAIL GORBACHEV BECAME LEADER OF THE SOVIET UNION, AND WITHIN FIVE YEARS OF THAT, COMMUNISM HAD BEEN VANQUISHED BY FREE ELECTIONS IN POLAND, AND THE BERLIN WALL WAS TORN DOWN.

THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY HAD HER OWN PEACE PLAN FOR THE WORLD. HER PEACE PLAN WAS THAT SPIRITUAL WEAPON THAT WE CALL THE ROSARY. MORE THAN ONCE HISTORY HAS SHOWN IT TO BE A POWERFUL WEAPON.

WE ARE TOLD THAT POPE FRANCIS SAYS THE 15 DECADE ROSARY EVERY DAY. HE CALLS THE ROSARY THE PRAYER OF SIMPLE PEOPLE AND SAINTS.

OUR LADY ASKED THE CHILDREN AT FATIMA TO SAY THE ROSARY EVERY DAY. SHE SAID: “IF WHAT I SAY TO YOU IS DONE, MANY SOULS WILL BE SAVED.”

SHE GAVE THEM THIS SPECIAL PRAYER TO SAY AT THE END OF EACH DECADE OF THE ROSARY: “O MY JESUS FORGIVE US OUR SINS; SAVE US FROM THE FIRES OF HELL; LEAD ALL SOULS TO HEAVEN ESPECIALLY THOSE MOST IN NEED OF YOUR MERCY.”

THEN OUR BLESSED MOTHER SAID SOMETHING PROPHETIC AND FRIEGHTENING. SHE SAID: “THE WAR (WWI) WILL END.  BUT IF PEOPLE DO NOT CEASE OFFENDING GOD, A WORSE ONE WILL BREAK OUT.” WE KNOW WHAT HAPPENED. WORLD WAR II FOLLOWED IN THE 1940’S.

IN OUR LIFETIME WE HAVE SEEN THE PROPHECY OF FATIMA COME TRUE.THE WORLD IS EXPLODING WITH CONFLICTS.  POPE FRANCIS HAS CALLED OUR PRESENT MESS A THIRD WORLD WAR “FOUGHT PIECEMEAL.”

SYRIA, IRAQ, NORTH KOREA, SOUTH SUDAN, SOMALIA, YEMEN, CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC AND THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO ARE JUST SOME OF THE AREAS OF CONFLICT.

THAT IS NOT ALL. WHAT COUNTRY FEELS SAFE FROM TERRORIST THREATS? MOST OF THE WORLD IS A BATTLEFIELD WITH MURDEROUS DRUG CARTELS, GANGS, ORGANIZED CRIME AND VIOLENT UPRISINGS ON THE INCREASE.

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE 100TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE APPARITIONS AT FATIMA IS HARD TO OVERSTATE.

LAST SPRING AT THE UNITED NATIONS THERE WAS A PRESENTATION ON THE CULTURAL AND UNITIVE SIGNIFICANCE OF OUR LADY OF FATIMA, ESPECIALLY AMONG THE MAJOR RELIGIONS: JUDAISM, CHRISTIANITY AND ISLAM. SOMEONE CALLED OUR LADY OF FATIMA A JEWISH WOMAN ACCLAIMED AND REVERED BY CHRISTIANS AND MOSLEMS.

COULD IT BE THAT WHAT MARY SAID AT FATIMA IS TRUE? COULD IT BE THAT GOD HAS ENTRUSTED THE PEACE OF THE WORLD TO HIS BLESSED MOTHER? COULD IT BE THAT THE MOTHER OF THE PRINCE OF PEACE IS IN CHARGE OF PEACE ON EARTH TO PEOPLE GOOD WILL?

ONE HUNDRED YEARS AGO GOD SENT A MESSAGE TO THE PEOPLE OF PLANET EARTH. THE MESSAGE WAS SIMPLE—REPENT AND KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS. PRAY THE ROSARY.

PRAY THE ROSARY WITH YOUR FAMILY. PRAY THE ROSARY WITH YOUR FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS. THE DIVINE MERCY ALWAYS RESPONDS TO OUR PRAYERS.