A world plagued by sin needed a wake-up call. Over 100 years ago, the sun danced in Portugal. This miraculous event gave credibility to the whole Fatima event and served as proof that it was truly a divine intervention in a world already doubting the existence of God. Three shepherd-children: Lucia, Francisco y Jacinta would be changed by the events that led up to the miraculous occasion and would go on to make history by how they responded to Our Lady of Fatima. The world could never have known how this humble woman, joined by these simple children, would change the course of history.
Some people have wanted to limit the message of Fatima to the concrete political context of the day. Fatima seemed to be tied up with Russia, since Mary had asked for the consecration of Russia to Mary. It seemed necessary to re-affirm the value of the faith in the face of the rising Communist power of the Soviet Union. She surely had something to do with the downfall of Communism, but this is not her most important message.
Fatima is a call to the world to turn away from sin. Beyond any possible political or humanitarian message, it is a call to prayer and repentance. Mary came to advocate for her Son, that men and women all over the world could turn away from their sinful ways and turn back to God.
The apparitions at Fatima re-affirm the Catholic dogma of the Immaculate Conception and promote devotion to Mary specifically in the image of her Immaculate Heart. The doctrine of the Immaculate Conception is so important, because it sets Mary apart from all other women, even from all other creatures. The fact that she was conceived free from the effects of original sin prove that she was not merely any Jewish maiden God chose for the birth of the Messiah, but rather that she was truly a privileged creature worthy of our imitation and devotion.
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