The Pope, Fatima and the End of the World

As pastor of a church dedicated to Our Lady of the Rosary, I found today’s Marian celebration in Rome very moving. Rocco Palma reports on it here–giving the text of the Holy Father’s meditation on Mary on Saturday, his homily at Mass today and links to Saturday’s papal teaching on women. An interesting side line is that the mainstream media is strangely silent about this Pope when his teaching is clearly traditional Catholic content. The most I could find on this weekend’s events was one link on the Drudge Report which said “Pope Says Church is Female.”

In our parish we moved our image of OL Fatima into the church for today’s Mass and the rest of the month of October and somehow the church’s teachings on Mary hit home to my heart today in a deeper way than ever before. As Rocco Palma observes, “If you don’t understand it can’t be explained.” In his post on Friday Rocco explains how close the Blessed Mother is to the heart of Pope Francis’ life and ministry, and how close she is to the spirituality of the people.

After Mass I said to a parishioner, “This is what the message of the Blessed Mother is all about. It is about the end of the world. It is about the end of humanity–not so much in an apocalyptic way (although I wouldn’t rule that out) but the end of the world and the end of humanity because we are destroying ourselves. We are destroying families through contraception, sterilization, abortion and divorce. We are destroying our purity and power through pornography, homosexuality, promiscuity, lust and rage. We are destroying our society through greed, materialism, disregard for the poor, trampling the widows, orphans, homeless and hungry. We are destroying ourselves and the Blessed Mother looks on with a mother’s broken heart.

Mary show us the compassionate heart of her Son. She leads us to the Divine Mercy. She looks down on this broken and crazy humanity–a race headed for destruction– and says with the heart of a mother, “Come Home!” I felt these words ring true as I watched the video of the image of OL Fatima being carried through St Peter’s Square yesterday. I saw this message on the face of Pope Francis as he clearly felt great emotion as he received the image and so received Mary herself into the heart of the Vatican once again.

This also explains the Pope’s own message and method. He looks on the world with pity, not with blame. He wants to reach out to the broken hearted, the bitter and those tied in knots by sin and offer the healing forgiveness and mercy of God–just as a broken hearted father and mother looks on their wayward children.

In his consecration of the world to Our Lady of Fatima today, does the Holy Father know something we don’t know? Is a crisis looming that will bring us to a turning point in some way? Has he called on the Blessed Mother to pray and intercede for our poor, troubled insane and suicidal race? In a way it doesn’t matter. The world has always been at a crisis point. The end has always been nigh and the prayers of the Virgin have always been needed. It only remains for us to watch and wait and pray and do reparation for the sins of the world as Our Lady commanded at Fatima.

  • Elizabeth K.

    I think you’re right that we’re always at a crisis point and so it doesn’t matter; I also have felt, though, since Francis took over and then watching him, that perhaps a more immediate crisis is at hand as well. I have had more conversations recently than I can ever remember having before with those who seem to be at once attracted to and demonically angry at the Church–it’s weird, like I have some kind of sign on my head that says “vent your vitriol here.” I don’t mean to say that that’s some kind of a sign, I just mean that Pope Francis seems to be stirring up some very interesting reactions out there.

  • Ryan M.

    Father, this is an absolutely fantastic post. Thank you for sharing it with us.

    I think of Pope Francis’ love for devotion to Our Lady under her title “Undoer of Knots”, and I think of a mother helping a young child to get his shoes untied, a child who insisted on putting his own shoes on and now can’t get them off without help… As you said, we are a race headed for destruction, and we are all so very much in need of this Maternal love and care. I am so thankful that the Holy Father is asking for it on our behalf with the Consecration that took place today.

  • Peatbogjeff

    What he knows is that he is the Pope in the third secret of Fatima.

    Yes, no one knows the hour, but a Marian reading of this year’s events are available to all. In sum:

    1. Pope Benedict resigns on the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes.
    2. Pope Francis emerges from the conclave as Peter’s successor on the thirteenth day of the third month of the year 2013; anyone familiar with how important the thirteenth day is in Fatima’s story knows this ain’t coincidence.
    3. His first decision is to pray at a Marian shrine.
    4. He quickly asks the bishops in Portugal to consecrate his papacy to Our Lady of Fatima last May 13th, the very anniversary of the first apparition to the children in 1917.
    5. Then the events of this week…the veneration of the statue brought all the way from Fatima, and today’s entrustment of the earth to Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception.

    It is not over…I believe he is in danger, and will die the death of a martyr, which is what the third secret depicts, but before this happens, he will consecrate Russia, and proclaim the fifth and final Marian Dogma.

    Just saying…Jeff

    • David Thomas

      The peoples of Russia were already consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in 1952 by Pius XII via an apostolic letter. Sister Lucia personally confirmed that this occurred according to the wishes of Our Lady. Besides, the Theotokos has always been recognized as the true Tsaritsa of Russia and there is a miracle working icon “Queen of All”, so it seems redundant.

    • Dave Zelenka

      Here’s the danger, Jeff: Fatalism. The curious and wonderful God-given characteristic of the human species is creativity. We are made in the image of God. God is the creator and we are provided a similar ability. He makes out of nothing. We make out of something.

      Now the same goes for history. We make history. It doesn’t unfold before us like some want us to believe. We are never wringing our hands helplessly. The devil wants us to think that it unfolds before us, so he can control us through fatalism. But we must not allow him to do so. This is the great error of so many religions.

      True God-given visions, prophesy are not fatalistic. This is the deterministic error of Calvinism. This is the deterministic error that people make all so often when interpreting John’s Book of Revelation. Even Jesus did not know the day and the hour. History is not unfolding fatalistically. Our relationship with God is a relationship–a back and a forth. We are in a family not a dictatorship. Thank God!

      Now there are generalities, in which we can speak of. When we read true prophesies, they will be in the form of true archetypal generalities: timeless truths. Yes, the end of history will come. The devil and his tribe will be cast into Hell. The Victor, our beloved Christ, won, will win and is winning the battle. True prophesies will compel us to greater love, greater faith, and greater relationship with Christ Jesus. If interpretations do not lead us in those ways of God, then they are false. If they invoke fear, they are false.

      Yes, Pope Francis is in danger. I am in danger. You are in danger. But it’s certainly not our bodies that are in danger. We are only in danger when we do not cling repentantly to Christ Jesus–his body and his blood. We must always be like John at the Last Supper, when in great faith he leaned into his master’s breast and asked, “Who is it?”

      Our creative ability to manipulate history is always working. Our dreams and visions are truly powerful. We must not fall prey and be tricked to invoke others’ premonitions–or our own.

      The Secrets of Fatima are visions not unlike Christ’s “wars and rumors of wars” which will always be true until the end of history. But what the visions should do is compel us to pray more, love more and be more faithful. What they should not do is to make us fearful and to make us spiritual rubberneckers. We must not make the same error that the Evangelicals do with tribulation prophesy. If we do, we may end up following a self-fulfilling prophesy fabricated by a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

      There will be those that say, “But see what has happened. The secrets are coming true.” What is actually happening is someone’s interpretations of the secrets are coming true. The archetypes of the secrets will always be true. Be careful who you follow.

      Never cease praying and wear the full armor of God.

      • Peatbogjeff

        I appreciate the time and effort you put into this, and I am a professor of English, not theology.

        I think I understand your gentle warning, but having seen young people do it for years, I know the danger of imposing our dreamed realities onto an object, instead of letting the truth of the object impose its “whatness” onto us. I hope I am not calling an apple an orange just because I wish it to be so.

        It just seems something big is about to happen…I have felt this for years, and yes, history is full of people who think the same, and they died without it happening. I think St. Augustine had the idea Christ was coming back in his lifetime, and I am no Augustine.

        Again, thanks, but as well spoken as you are, I still believe the prophecies, warnings, and promises of Fatima are unfolding now, today. I don’t think the anniversary of Fatima in 2017 will be just another October day.

        I have my faith, a good parish, and Rosary’s all over the property…no worries, nor time to worry: I have student writing to read. I will think about your words this evening by my wood stove when I allow myself some red wine in this cold, driving rain.

        • Summer Frost

          While your message is sound, Peatbogjeff, I simply MUST ask:
          You say you are a Professor of English, but then you said you have “Rosary’s” all over the property.” What do you have that belongs to the Rosary? Can an inanimate object posses anything? Did you instead mean “Rosaries”, the plural form of “Rosary”, rather than the possessive?

        • Dave Zelenka

          Here’s what I’m getting at Jeff. This is the crux of the issue from the gospel. Jesus said: “No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the light. Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are healthy, your whole body also is full of light. But when they are unhealthy, your body also is full of darkness. See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness. Therefore, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be just as full of light as when a lamp shines its light on you.”

          Notice that ‘eye’ is singular. We have one eye in our body, not two. Our eye is our focus. It’s what we long for. It’s what we dream of. It is what all of our focus goes toward. This eye leads us places. Our eye must be on Jesus. We are told by Luke in the next chapter what our eye should be doing: seeking first the kingdom of God. For so many people (myself included) focusing on the future ‘what ifs’ keeps their eye off of our beloved Jesus. So, I’m talking to myself here as much as you.

      • Stefanie

        Excellent reminder — keep praying — Jesus will not ever refuse the requests of His Mother. Thank you, St. John, for revealing this to us through the account of the wedding feast at Cana!

      • FatimaToday

        The consecration of Our Lady of Fatima to the Immaculate Heart of Mary to RUSSIA has NOT taken place as our Lady requested. Do not by the lie. All consecrations by Pius XII, Paul VI, JPII and Francis have all been to the World, not specifically to Russia. Did I miss the era of peace that will be granted to world upon the rightful consecration? Do not believe the 2nd hand information (lies) that it has been completed. God give Francis the courage to do it as specific to Mary’s request.

  • Rebecca Duncan

    What I feel is very strange is how everyone thinks Pope Francis has some kind of secret knowledge or a secret plan either for good (see papal choir where Pope Francis can do no wrong and has a secret plan for bringing in the liberals and secularists) or for ill (see traditionalists who feel he is bringing the seventies back into the church). Did people ever speak that way of Pope Benedict or even of Pope JPII? Don’t know, just find it odd.

  • windjammer

    Waiting for him to dedicate/rededicate “Russia” by name as specifically requested by our Lady at Fatima. Still a lot of lot of controversy over 3rd secret of Fatima and whether or not “Russia” has been dedicated. Seems to me that this could be resolved by dedicating/rededicating “Russia” to clear it up once and for all. Would not be inconsistent since this is at least the third time the “world” has been dedicated…PP12, JP2 and now PF1.

  • tim

    Thank you Monsignor, you shot the arrow right through the heart of our sinful problems. It’s exactly as S. Lucia explained, it’s a diabolical disorientation.

    I agree with Jeff as well, except the Consecration will be late. I’ve read everything I could on Fatima, and I’m old enough to remember the total disappointment of all Catholics, when Pope John XXIII said he would never reveal it.

    In the past, Our Lady’s reference to the Consecration of Russia coming late, I interpreted as late but not beyond the limit. Now as I know tone more I see she meant too late and as many Fathers have written we will suffer the Minor Chastisement.
    Our Lady of Fatima pray for us
    Most Sacred Heart of Jesus have mercy on us
    Most Precious Blood of Jesus save us,

  • Daniele

    On a hopeful note in this month of the holy Rosary, there is a story
    from one of the dreams of St. John Bosco. In that famous vision of the
    future victory of the
    Church over her enemies, St. John Bosco saw the Pope tie the church to two
    columns. One had our Lady on top with the word “Lepanto” written underneath.
    The other had the Eucharist on top. When the Pope accomplished this, the enemy
    boats in the vision were sunk both due to a storm and the ongoing battle. There
    are those who believe that Pope John Paul II was the pope of this vision.
    Although he was “killed,” afterwards, by the intercession of Our Lady of FATIMA
    (n.b. reference to the name of Mohammed’s daughter), the Pope is “resurrected”
    to take up his job anew. If Pope John Paul was in fact the pope of the dream,
    the tying of the Church would have been the year dedicated to Our Lady of the
    Rosary and the other year dedicated to the Eucharist. Without a doubt, since
    then the Muslim “fleet” has descended into chaos and confusion (e.g. the Arab
    spring and the Shiite-Sunni conflict). In fact, all of society and her institution are sinking in the storm and it is time for the intervention of heaven just as at Lepanto.

  • Maccabeus

    Blessed John Paul II’s consecration to Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart in 1984 literally brought down the atheistic Communist system in Eastern Europe and the former USSR. I am praying that Pope Francis’ consecration of the world yesterday will lead to a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit through Our Lady’s intercession, perhaps leading to the Triumph of her Immaculate Heart, and the era of peace she predicted at Fatima. Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us!

  • TeaPot562

    As to the “End of the World”: Given the current death rates in the USA and Europe, it is necessary for the BIRTH RATE in the population to average at least 2.1 live births per adult woman over the course of her life. Demographers sometimes use the age range from 15 to 45, representing the ages roughly limiting a woman’s ability to experience a successful pregnancy under normal circumstances.
    The birth rates in Japan and Western Europe have already fallen below this level, and have been there for a number of years.
    More adults than ever before (as a proportion of the US population) are deliberately choosing NOT to have children, whether by contraception or abortion. A recent Time magazine cover story describes this phenomenon.
    The only reason that the US population is still increasing is that young adult immigrants WANT children and families, and bring their expectations with them. In the world entirety, the Moslems in the Middle East are still having children, and parts of sub-Saharan Africa (Nigeria, e.g.) have large enough birth rates for their population to increase; but even in those population groups the current birth rates over the lifetime of adult women are well below the equivalent rates of a century ago.
    If the Christian population in the “advanced” countries dies out, what basis of ethics would be influential to stop future Hitlers and Stalins from arising? This could well lead to further slaughters of millions of people. We get to the end of the world by conceding the intellectual world to a relativistic materialism, where anyone can decide that the highest morality for him or her is to destroy or enslave all others.
    I don’t think that God intends that, but He may permit us to do it to ourselves.

  • Rene

    Pope Francis baffles me. On the one hand, he consecrates the world to Mary, he speaks of Satan, he calls himself a son of the Church, and a believer in what the Church teaches about contraception, abortion and homosexuality; actions and statements that are not given much publicity by the secular media. On the other hand, he makes confusing, and I would call irresponsible, interview statements that are given much coverage by the media and used by the enemies of the Church, both within and without it, to attack its doctrine and credibility. Pope Francis needs to be more careful when he is interviewed to provide a more consistent and orthodox image, and image that I hope accurately reflects him, and that makes it difficult for the secular media to use his actions and statements to deceive the Catholic faithful into believing that the Church is going to change its doctrine, something that we know the Church cannot do..

    • jbr

      St. Pius X knows exactly what you are talking about

    • Iota


      I keep reading that Francis should pay attention to the fact the unreliable media are hijacking him and I’m really confused about this idea.

      In principle, the media should be doing their job, which is reporting accurately. Many apparently aren’t. In which case, they are simply not the right source for information about the Church, period.

      I remember how some media outlets honed in on Pope Benedict’s red shoes. Or his enrolment in the Hitlerjugend (this was a really big deal in my country). Or, right after his election, focused on his supposed reputation as ‘Panzerkardinal’. Or the brouhaha over the fact that one of the bishops who had his excommunication lifted was a Holocaust denier.

      People who let all media narratives direct what they think could, then, be tempted to just outright ignore whatever the Pope was saying. Because who cares about complex theology, when “Red Shoes! Hitlerjugend! Holocaust denial!”

      I clearly know about Pope Francis’ remarks that “are not given much publicity by the secular media”, but are nevertheless at least equally, and in some cases, more important than the widely reported ones, so I’d assume it’s my (our?) job help people who are legitimately confused. Just like, I’d say, it was my/our job to understand what Pope Benedict’s involvement with the Hitlerjugend actually was or to grasp the fact that an excommunication has no relationship to whether someone is or isn’t a Holocaust denier.

      To expect or demand that the Pope behave so that the unreliable parts of the media won’t be able to spin that against the Church is to ask the Pope to pay attention to an inherently rigged game of “Heads I win, tails you lose”.

      I can understand when someone says that they personally are confused (and if asked, I might offer personal advice), but I really fail to see any good reason for caring about the media. If they are reliable, they will do a good job anyway. If they aren’t reliable, they can always spin it one way or another.

      What am I missing?

    • Invictus_Lux

      Agree. He seems utterly naive and in need of a personal assistant to run interference and to keep him from being drawn right into the leading questions of the liberal press who are just looking to get a lucky slip up of word phrase that they can capture as a shocking headline to embarrass the Church and make a few quick bucks off the drama. Then it takes weeks to get sorted out and reclarified when it would be safer to say “read the catechism and the papal letters if you are that interested in Catholicism.”

  • Xavier Abraham

    Nice, I love reading articles that directly touch our faith. Please share more faith encounters, Father.

  • Pofarmer

    Wow, the world is truly a horrible place. Do we live in even the same country? Do we study the same history?

  • FranR

    Ok, so I am confused… read a bunch about this “consecration of the world to Mary” but exactly where is the consecration recorded? I have read virtually everything posted, even searched EWTN, but cannot find anywhere the word ‘consecration’ or ‘consecrate’ — nor even the liturgical form used by Pope Francis.

    Now, when he consecrated himself recently (Oct 11) that consecration appears in many places (see: But the world consecration? It must be somewhere?

  • SteveD

    The Pope didn’t ‘consecrate’ anything, he ‘entrusted’. This is of a different order. In Pope Pius XII’s consecration he ‘entrusted and consecrated’.