“Mondays with Mary” – Pope Francis, Blessed John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and Our Lady of Fatima

Yesterday, in Saint Peter’s Square, Pope Francis consecrated the world through the intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in front of the original statute of Our Lady of Fatima. If you haven’t figured it out already, Pope Francis is quite the Marian Pope! Like his predecessors, he has a deep love and devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Remember Day 2 of his Pontificate? Where did he go? He went to the Basilica of Saint Mary Major in Rome and offered flowers at the altar of the Salus Populi Romani.

Pope Francis kneeling at St. Mary Major

Rocco Palmo, author of Whispers in the Loggia, says it perfectly about Pope Francis, “whenever the Theotokos comes around, the 266th Bishop of Rome simply loses himself and is spiritually transported to another place.” Pope Francis truly loves the Blessed Mother and has consecrated his papacy under the care of Our Lady of Fatima. Along with the last two papacies, we are blessed to be alive during this time in Church History!

Before continuing on, I suggest to you two articles. First, read – Pope Entrusts World to Immaculate Heart of Mary (Catholic News Agency). Second, read The Great “Untier” – For Francis, There’s Something About Mary (Whispers in the Loggia).

Although the Feast Day of Our Lady of Fatima is officially May 13, I wanted to share some excerpts of great insight from Blessed John Paul II and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. These two Popes can say great things in a few paragraphs, where it takes the average person pages upon pages to say something not even half as good. The emphasis below is mine.

John Paul II - Fatima 1982Blessed John Paul II, Homily at Fatima Shrine – May 17, 1982:

“If the Church has accepted the message of Fatima, it is above all because that message contains a truth and a call whose basic content is the truth and the call of the Gospel itself.

“Repent, and believe in the gospel” (Mk 1:15): these are the first words that the Messiah addressed to humanity. The message of Fatima is, in its basic nucleus, a call to conversion and repentance, as in the Gospel. This call was uttered at the beginning of the twentieth century, and it was thus addressed particularly to this present century. The Lady of the message seems to have read with special insight the “signs of the times”, the signs of our time…the children of Fatima became partners in dialogue with the Lady of the message and collaborators with her.

In the light of a mother’s love we understand the whole message of the Lady of Fatima. The greatest obstacle to man’s journey towards God is sin, perseverance in sin, and, finally, denial of God. The deliberate blotting out of God from the world of human thought. The detachment from him of the whole of man’s earthly activity. The rejection of God by man

…The Immaculate Heart of Mary, opened with the words “Woman, behold, your son!”, is spiritually united with the heart of her Son opened by the soldier’s spear. Mary’s Heart was opened by the same love for man and for the world with which Christ loved man and the world, offering himself for them on the Cross, until the soldier’s spear struck that blow…Consecrating the world to the Immaculate Heart of the Mother means returning beneath the Cross of the Son. It means consecrating this world to the pierced Heart of the Saviour, bringing it beck ‘to the very source of its Redemption.”

Pope Benedict XVI talkingPope Emeritus Benedict XVI, Regina Caeli Address – May 14, 2006:

A sure way of remaining united to Christ, as branches to the vine, is to have recourse to the intercession of Mary, whom we venerated yesterday, 13 May, in a particular way, recalling the apparitions at Fatima, where she appeared on several occasions to three shepherd children, Francisco, Jacinta and Lucia, in 1917. 

The message that she entrusted to them, in continuity with that of Lourdes, was a strong appeal to prayer and conversion; a truly prophetic message, considering that the 20th century was scourged by unheard-of destruction caused by war and totalitarian regimes, as well as widespread persecution of the Church.

Moreover, on 13 May 1981, 25 years ago, the Servant of God John Paul II felt that he was saved miraculously from death by the intervention of “a maternal hand” - as he himself said – and his entire Pontificate was marked by what the Virgin had foretold at Fatima.

Although there is no lack of anxiety and suffering, and although there are still reasons for apprehension about the future of humanity, what the “Lady in White” promised the shepherd children is consoling:  “At the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph”.

With this awareness, we now turn with confidence to Mary Most Holy, thanking her for her constant intercession and asking her to continue to watch over the journey of the Church and of humanity, especially families, mothers and children.”

So what does Fatima teach us?  The underlining message from Fatima is hearing and living the call of the Gospel, a conversion and repentance must occur, we need enter into dialogue with the Blessed Mother who leads us to Jesus Christ, we must separate ourselves from sin, and entrust ourselves to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Immaculate Heart of Mary

Through the intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Our Lady of Fatima, and Blessed John Paul II, may we turn away from sin, repent and bring our lives in union with Jesus Christ. Amen.  

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