Archbishop Leonard Blair of the Archdiocese of Hartford, CT, has written a column on Fatima and what our Blessed Mother tells us to do. Convert, pray, sacrifice, and perform acts of penance.
This year, 2017, marks the 100th anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady at Fatima in Portugal. At the end of September, I will be leading an archdiocesan pilgrimage to Fatima to commemorate the centenary.
Fatima is an example of a “private revelation” made to chosen individuals, the authenticity of which is accepted by the Church only after careful examination and discernment. The relatively few private revelations that have been formally approved by the Church through the centuries have these purposes: to help people understand what the Scriptures call “the signs of the times” and to lead them to respond with faith.
The message of Our Lady in 1917 came amid the horrors of world war and revolution that were only the beginning of a century scarred by tremendous evils and crimes against God and humanity. Her message, however, is timeless precisely because it is the Gospel message of conversion, prayer, penance and sacrifice.