Monday, March 4, 2013

Third Secret of Fatima and Pope Benedict XVI climbing the mountain to pray...

A dear friend of mine at Grotto, Mary B. sent this to me shortly after Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI stepped down because she, "didn't know what to say."  A number of people are recalling the Third Secret of Fatima, depicted in the graphic at top - the "bishop dressed in white."


In a recent post, Father Z discusses all the mail being sent to him about signs like the lightening hitting the dome of St. Peters, the fact that there is only one more spot for a pope in a piece of artwork in Rome, the St. Malachy prophecies, and other related things.  He's being bombarded with email about Omens, portents and signs to which he says, "Oh my!"  His response is that it is better we are concerned with the basics like going to Mass, Confession, being faithful witnesses, and doing penance.  He cites the Third Secret of Fatima which reminded me of Mary's graphic.  At the Vatican website is  page devoted to this with some interpretation.  Sr. Lucia writes:


The third part of the secret revealed at the Cova da Iria-Fatima, on 13 July 1917.
I write in obedience to you, my God, who command me to do so through his Excellency the Bishop of Leiria and through your Most Holy Mother and mine. 

After the two parts which I have already explained, at the left of Our Lady and a little above, we saw an Angel with a flaming sword in his left hand; flashing, it gave out flames that looked as though they would set the world on fire; but they died out in contact with the splendour that Our Lady radiated towards him from her right hand: pointing to the earth with his right hand, the Angel cried out in a loud voice: ‘PenancePenancePenance!'. And we saw in an immense light that is God: ‘something similar to how people appear in a mirror when they pass in front of it' a Bishop dressed in White ‘we had the impression that it was the Holy Father'. Other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious going up a steep mountain, at the top of which there was a big Cross of rough-hewn trunks as of a cork-tree with the bark; before reaching there the Holy Father passed through a big city half in ruins and half trembling with halting step, afflicted with pain and sorrow, he prayed for the souls of the corpses he met on his way; having reached the top of the mountain, on his knees at the foot of the big Cross he was killed by a group of soldiers who fired bullets and arrows at him, and in the same way there died one after another the other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious, and various lay people of different ranks and positions. Beneath the two arms of the Cross there were two Angels each with a crystal aspersorium in his hand, in which they gathered up the blood of the Martyrs and with it sprinkled the souls that were making their way to God. 


Many Catholics today do not know how we can use redemptive suffering.  Read Colossians 1:24.  While you can offer up any sufferings that happen to come your way, you can take on other sufferings as the children of Fatima did.  In Fatima in Lucia's Own Words, I recall reading what she said about Jacinta - as young as she was - giving away her lunch to a boy who had no lunch and offering up her hunger that day for the conversion of sinners.  It's a great book for Lent if you have never read it. It shows a part of living the Gospel we may not think about and how we can join Christ on the Cross to build the Mystical Body of Christ.  It takes an understanding of redemptive suffering.  Love of neighbor not only means feeding others and caring for their material needs; it means feeding their souls and caring for them spiritually, especially those for whom there is no one to care for.

Pope Benedict had some serious things to say in Fatima when he went there.  I don't have time to get it now, but watch for an update to this post later tonight.


The second part of Mary's graphic represents one of the dreams of St. John Bosco.  He had many prophetic and spiritually meaningful dreams, which are discussed in the Forty Dreams of St. John Bosco: The Apostle of Youth. It's one of my favorite books.  Back in 2008 when Pope Benedict XVI visited Australia for World Youth Day, many remarked about his picture on the bow of the ship taking him on the final leg of his journey, I did a post on Pope Benedict and Don Bosco's dream about the two columns or pillars, and the flagship commander - the roman pontiff.  Read that for an interesting thought.

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