100 Year Anniversary of Fatima
What were the apparitions seen in Fatima?
In the years 1916 and 1917, through the tutelage of an angel and the Blessed Mother, two young children were led to holiness in just a few short years. That tutoring began in the spring of 1916 with three visitations of the Guardian Angel of Portugal, apparitions which served as preparation for the visits the following year of the Mother of God.
Who were the children that witnessed these events?
In the year 1917, in a mountainous region at the center of Portugal, the Mother of God appeared six times to three young children. Elsewhere on the continent the “Great War” raged, that would cost Europe an entire generation, over 37 million lives. Besides sending her own sons to die (in France and North Africa) Portugal was in political chaos at home.
This message can be seen as comprising two essential elements, to which all others can be related in some way. The first of these elements is the singular role of the Immaculate One in the economy of salvation, a dogmatic fact. God does not have whims, and so the request of the Almighty that devotion to the Immaculate Heart be established in the world must be founded on reality and presumes that such devotion is justly given to the Mother of God.
The second of these elements involves the practical order, the value of devotion to the Immaculate Heart for the individual life and for the future of the human race. To this element are connected the various spiritual practices encouraged by the Angel and by the Lady, as well as the prophetic content of the message, upon which the fate of the world depends. Without the first element, the dogmatic, the practical dimension of the message of Fátima would be entirely arbitrary.