Sacred Heart

Catholic Church

Imlay City, Michigan  Tel: (810) 724-1135

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Homily
Fr. Paul Ward

 

 

Sun., Oct. 7, & Sat. Oct. 14, 2017
27th & 28th Sunday in Ord. Time

 

Fatima: Final Apparition, the Miracle of the Sun

 

   So much is happening, like usual, in our parish. Being October, of the 100th anniversary of the apparitions of Fatima, I think it would be very appropriate today to speak of Oct. 13, 1917. But first, some reminders of parish life.

   On Oct. 22, our parish will host a high tea. It is a highly cultured way of experiencing food and friendship, with hand-prepared foods and world-class teas. This event supports our religious ed, and enables us to charge the lowest price for the best catechetical program in the vicariate. Please be encouraged to attend, especially if you have children in religious ed. Do do so, please RSVP this week, so we know you are coming. As the exquisite delicacies are all hand-prepared, knowing the right amount to make is crucial.

   Nov. 1, All Saints Day, is a holy day of obligation. Given the schedule for Catechism that day, and other circumstances, the schedule will work like this: one English Mass at 10am, as we always have on Wednesdays, and one bilingual Mass at 7pm. Please foresee this as you plan your days and times. The following day is All Souls Day, which will have a special schedule; not a day of obligation, it is very wise and loving to remember all the poor souls in purgatory that day.

   Now let us turn to Fatima. Oct. 13, 1917 turned out rainy and miserable. The children left home early to go to the place of the apparitions, and the crowd in attendance was huge. Rumor said that the authorities had planted a bomb near where the children would be, to go off right at the hour of the apparition, so there was great fear. Lucia’s mother accompanied her, and her father walked her there holding her hand, for fear of death. It turned out only to be a rumor.

   They children arrived at the holmoak, and the rain still poured down. Lucia told the people around her to close their umbrellas, and pray the rosary, which they did. There was a flash of light, and Mary came, just like on the previous occasions.

            Lucia said, “What do you want of me?”[1]

 

            She answered, “I want to tell you that a chapel is to be built here in my honor. I am the Lady of the Rosary. Continue always to pray the rosary every day. The war is going to end, and the soldiers will soon return to their homes.” Lucia asked for some favors and cures, to which Mary answered her, “Some yes, but not others. They must amend their lives and ask forgiveness for their sins.”

   Then our Lady looked sad. She said the following words, which some might color with anger or wrath, but they were said with tenderness, “Do not offend the Lord our God anymore, because he is already so much offended.” Of these words, Lucia wrote later, “Of all the words spoken at this apparition, [these] were the ones most deeply engraved upon my heart… How loving a complaint, how tender a request! Who will grant me to make it echo through the whole world, so that all the children of our Mother in Heaven may hear the sound of her voice!”
[2]

   But then, opening her beautiful hands, Our Lady of the Rosary opened her hands, and ascended upwards. As light came from her and from her hands, the light that came from her was projected upon and reflected upon the sun. Lucia cried out for the people to look at the sun. So all had to turn with their backs to the holmoak to see the sun.

   It was about 1 or 1:30pm. The sky suddenly cleared, and the tens of thousands of people all began to cry out. There was no fog, the silvery sun was not veiled, and it was not dim, yet all could see its disk and perfect edge with no discomfort to the eye. The sun flickered and cast off different colors and rays in odd ways, and the colors on the countryside began changing – red, yellow, blue, amethyst purple. The sun spun with a terrifying fury, more or less in its place, and this lasted for about 8 minutes. People were astonished, some peaceful inside, some terrified – some prayed out loud, such as the recitation of the creed. Then to the horror of all present, the sun seemed to have dislodged itself from its place in the sky, and, full of red, plummeted towards the earth like a wheel of flame, and the people felt the heat. So real was the heat, that everything was instantly dried up in the rain-soaked countryside where all were assembled. People cried out for Mary to save them, and shouted aloud for God to forgive their sins. All this happened in about 10 minutes; and when the people realized they were safe, and people were cured, and blind were able to see, and cripples could walk perfectly, they all exclaimed with great joy to the Blessed Virgin in praise and thanksgiving. Various estimates suggest about 70,000 people saw this miracle, and countless written testimonies, in personal letters and even public – yes, atheist, Freemason – newspapers published the eyewitness accounts.

   Mary ascended into the sky, and eventually vanished into its immenseness, but there, visible in the sky, was St. Joseph holding the Child Jesus, and with them, our Lady robed in white with a blue mantle, next to the sun. Joseph and Jesus traced the cross over the world, each with his hand, as if blessing it. Eventually this image changed, and the children saw our Lord, seemingly now grown, blessing the world as he did before, and next to him was Mary, who appeared to the children as Our Lady of Sorrows; this vanished, and a final appearance of Mary in the sky was that of her as Our Lady of Mt. Carmel.

   The 13th is the 100th year anniversary of these things. We would be wise to observe the day in some special way in our homes. We have more to say of Fatima, of the secrets, of the Immaculate Heart, of the consecration of Russia, and more. I hope to explore these topics later, as time does not allow us now.

   “Do not offend the Lord anymore!” A tender request of our Heavenly Mother. Let the readings of the vineyards today further admonish us to leave sin behind. If we live in grace, we will fulfill everything the message of Fatima ultimately contains. So let us walk on with our hand in Mary’s, until we obtain the vision of the Trinity for all eternity. Amen.


 

[1] The narration is taken from Fatima in Lucia’s Own Words, pp. 182-3.

[2] Fatima in Lucia’s Own Words, p. 97.

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

Compendium of Social Doctrine of the Church, from the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Librevia Editrice Vaticana

 

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Archives of Homilies on Elijah during Lent 2016

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Archives of Homilies on the New English Translation