Fatima & the Rosary – UPDATE

Okay, this is a little “officially weird.”

I’d been playing with the idea of podcasting the 4 mysteries of the rosary, for Lent, as a help for those who wanted to pray the rosary every day and might like the company. But then my computer had problems and podcasting was out.

I’d forgotten all about the idea of doing the rosary.

But today – Feb 20 – all day, two things kept pounding in my head. The first was: “Make those rosary podcasts, because the rosary is our weapon…”

“Weapon”, I kept thinking, “weapon for what?”

Then I got pounded with Fatima: “if my message goes unheeded Russia will spread her errors…”

And I’m saying, “what the heck?”

So, finally, nagged all day like this, I sat down to do a bit of research into Fatima and the Rosary, and what do I find?

Blessed Jacinta and Francisco Marto – Feast is February 20

The little beatas have been nagging me all day! Talk about your communion of saints, and things seen and unseen!

Come on…that is officially weird.

So, here is the deal. I’m going to refresh my memory about Fatima. I don’t recall much about that series of Marian apparitions, which occured in 1917, in Portugal, at the place named for a daughter of Mohammed. I know what most know;

a) During the final apparition there was a miraculous bit of sun-dancing that quickly dried the 70,000 soaking wet witnesses, who’d been standing in mud and rain.

b) Mary told her three visionary children – Lucia, Jacinta and Francisco – that, among other things, if Russia was not converted, that nation would “spread her errors throughout the world.”

Pope John Paul II, avowed enemy of the socialist state, felt an especial connection to Fatima; the assassination attempt made against him in 1981 happened on the anniversary of the first Fatima apparition, and he always credited Our Lady of Fatima the guiding the mysterious path of the bullet which should have killed him.

Apparitions such as those at Fatima and Lourdes, which are – after extensive investigation by Rome – declared “worthy of belief” are not compulsory to Catholicism, as they are considered “private” revelations that do not add to the deposit of faith. Catholics are perfectly free to ignore apparitions if they want, and I mostly do. Quite honestly, I share then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger’s stated fear that over-emphasizing some of the “messages” can precipitate an unhealthy fixation, although – as I have written before – I do have a warm spot for Lourdes.

But perhaps, as I watch my nation devolve with astonishing quickness into a socialistic entity that resembles all-too-nearly the “errors” of Russia (errors to which the US seemed immune until very recently) I am ready to look at Fatima. If, as some tell me, Rosaries are “weapons” against both the socialist state, well, I say the rosary every day anyway, so why not put my intentions in that direction?

The podcasts will be forthcoming, for anyone who wants to pray along with me. Of course you know, I’ll be inviting Pope John Paul II and Cardinal John O’ Connor – among others – along for the ride, too.

UPDATE: I attempted to record the Joyful Mysteries last night but – after an hour – had to give up as a strange noise kept interfering. Will try again today.

Some background:
The theology of apparitions.
The Origin and History of the Rosary
Michael Novak: The Rosary and the Battle at Lepanto
Rosary and Divine Mercy; those Repetitive Prayers
Praying the Rosary in The Communion of Saints
The Rosary and Sacred Scripture

Rosary Helpers:
This is a particularly good Rosary Companion, with wonderful reproductions of the paintings of Fra Angelico, but not available at Amazon.

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