Fátima and the Desert Fathers

The three Fatima visionaries: Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta The three Fatima visionaries: Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta

by Marco Gregory da Vinha, Obl.O.S.B. (Marco and his wife, Isa, are Oblate novices of Silverstream Priory, Ireland)

I find myself writing today about a topic which I never thought I would – Fátima; specifically, the message of Fátima (or, at least, how I have come to understand it). Caveat: for those that came here expecting some comment on “the Consecration of Russia”, you can forget about that. That is a topic I’m not at all interested in touching. Let’s just say that I believe that that request was very time-specific, and is not necessarily what the “message” was all about, though it seems to me that to many it carries an almost messianic weight.

Love it or hate it, every Portuguese knows Fátima and has probably been there at least once in their life. In the minds of not a…

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3 comments on “Fátima and the Desert Fathers

  1. Gaheret says:

    This is awesome! Over time, the expression “the message of Fátima” has come to activate my mental alarms, as some people tend to use it as part of their own conspiracy theories or apocalyptic millenarist remarks. But this article couldn´t have done it better: as with any private revelation, Fátima is very relevant for us, enlightening, controversial, rich and a sign for all the Christians, but it is not by any means necessary for Salvation, and must be contextualized and understood within the tradition of the Church, semper reformanda. All the true saints, prophets and visionaries point to Our Lord, the Scripture and this eternal tradition, which gives them their context and their deepest meaning. So thank you very much!

    • You’re welcome! I really liked how this article wove in the practices of the Desert Fathers with Fatima. I myself sometimes wonder whether Fatima is misunderstood or obsessed over, but as long as more people develop a devotion to St. Mary, it’s a good thing. The one “Marian” apparition I have the most doubts over is Medjugorje. The advocates of that don’t strike me as obedient Catholics, and some reports have come out to the effect that the whole thing may be demonic.

      • Gaheret says:

        I have never visited Mendjugore, but two Catholic friends of mine have. They´re both obedient Catholics, and at least one of them had some skeptic views about the apparitions, but they were both conforted and said it brought them closer to Our Lady (and the Holy Rosary, the confession, etc). What you say cannot be discarded as a possibility, but the same was said about Fatima and Lourdes in their times. It would be an unique style of apparitions, though. But that is possible too. Time will say, as Benedict XVI said about every private revelation: in my view, the Church must be always prudent, and the faithful must discern by the signs and also be humble, and any supossed prophet or visionaire will reveal his or her true character by obedience, ortodoxy and subsequent fruits. Anyway, I think there is an official investigation in course by the Holy See conducted by Mons. Henryk Hoser, following the one by Mons. Camillo Ruini in 2014. The one I doubt most is Garabandal in Spain, whose supposed message is apocalyptic and dreadful in nature.

Legens, scribe sententias tuas.

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