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Reflections on the Fatima Centenary

The devotion to Mary within the Christian DNA, could properly be said to derive in the first instance from the high esteem shown to Mary by the Archangel Gabriel, who brings to Mary the announcement of her vocation of mother of the Savior of the world. In his greeting he says that this simple handmaiden is the highest specimen of our race, “blessed among all women” whereby what is evident to any student of history is that Mary would be called blessed for all generations (Luke 1: 26-33 and 48).

Within the Scriptures themselves we see Mary as Jesus’ first and most faithful disciple. At virtually every critical moment of Jesus’ earthly life we see Mary in the background: first, of course at the Annunciation and the Nativity, then at his initiation into the covenant of Israel at his circumcision; then, at the Flight into Egypt; and her presence throughout our Lord’s adolescence as well as at the inauguration of his public ministry in Cana (which she herself prompted through her intercession); and she continues right on through to his passion, crucifixion, and burial, even when his own apostles had abandoned him.

Moreover, the dissemination of this devotion in the Church was initiated by our Lord himself from the height of the Cross when he entrusts his Blessed Mother to his disciple John and thus to us as well. In all these key moments, including the very birthday of the Church on Pentecost where the Church is gathered around her, we detect what could be called a blue thread that gently runs through the origins of salvation history.

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