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.

Amazon.com Widgets

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Mary in CO

    Holy cow, Anchoress. There are no coincidences.

    Am reading your post just after hearing Archbishop Baker (on EWTN) comment on the demonic aspects of the battle against the culture of death. Some things take prayer and fasting, he says. He invited us to pray and fast during Lent, for conversions of hearts toward protection of life.

    BTW, EWTN will broadcast a 2-hr program on Fatima at 10pm ET. That’s in 35 minutes. Just time enough for a rosary.

    PS — Archbishop Baker has also asked all parishes in the Birmingham diocese to pray the following prayer at Mass (during General Intercessions). It’s beautiful!

    A Pro-Life Prayer for Our President and Public Officials

    Lord God, Author of Life and Source of Eternal Life, move the hearts of all our public officials and especially our President, to fulfill their responsibilities worthily and well to all those entrusted to their care. Help them in their special leadership roles, to extend the mantle of protection to the most vulnerable, especially the defenseless unborn, whose lives are threatened with extermination by an indifferent society. Guide all public officials by your wisdom and grace to cease supporting any law that fails to protect the fundamental good that is human life itself, which is a gift from God and parents. You are the Protector and Defender of the lives of the innocent unborn. Change the hearts of those who compromise the call to protect and defend life. Bring our nation to the values that have made us a great nation, a society that upholds the values of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all. Mary, the Mother of the living, help us to bear witness to the Gospel of Life with our lives and our laws, through Christ, Our Lord. Amen.

    Imprimatur: January 22, 2009 + Most Reverend Robert J. Baker Bishop of Birmingham in Alabama

  • http://newine.wordpress.com ultraguy
  • dellbabe68

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

    Woo-hoo!!! THAT is a communion of Saints!!!

  • joeh

    I remember as a kid praying the rosary for the conversion of Russia. Little did I know that as a grandpa, I would be praying the rosary to stop socialism in our own country.

  • http://vita-nostra-in-ecclesia.blogspot.com/ Bender B. Rodriguez

    Don’t look now, but after passing the spendulus, here comes confiscatory taxation –

    Obama plans “fiscal responsibility” summit to kick off larger effort to rein in federal deficit spending

    Less than a week after signing the largest economic stimulus package in U.S. history, President Obama is turning his attention to the nation’s long-term financial condition with an unprecedented effort to rein in government spending. . . . The effort, he has said, will include revamping a Byzantine tax code that doesn’t collect enough money . . .

  • http://www.marchhareshouse.blogspot.com March Hare

    The Rosary is a POWERFUL prayer! Peggy Noonan writes about the impact the Rosary had one day during a tense commute on the subway (the rosary was a memento from her audience with JPII).

    When I was a girl, Fr. Peyton held “Rosary Rallies” throughout the U.S. My family attended the one in Golden Gate Park (either at the Polo Grounds or Kezar Stadium–I can’t remember which), including my grandmother, a Christian Scientist who liked to hedge her bets. ;) Fr. Peyton’s slogan: “The family that prays together, stays together.” The Park was packed.

    I usually pray the Rosary during my morning commute and have met others. A fellow lector shared how his Rosary led to a conversation with a Protestant pastor where he showed the pastor that the “Hail Mary” is based on Biblical verse.

    A–I look forward to downloading your podcasts and praying with you and the full Communion of Saints during Lent! My current “invitees” are St. Therese of Liseaux and St. Monica, the patient mother of Augustine. Mary is the patron of the Americas; how can she ignore us?

  • Jim Hicks

    I have been ignoring the Rosary lately and this blog was a needed wake up call. Thank you.

    My wife and I both have been lax in this area as of late. She used to pray the Rosary every day at 3:30pm along with EWTN. I had prayed along with Mother and the sisters at 9:30pm, but since I get up for work at 3:45 each morning, bed time comes before 9:30! Having your podcast will be a wonderful aide.

    During the six years I commuted by train from Delaware to Philadelphia each day, I usually read Morning Prayer and Vespers during the ride. Many people also used at least the morning commute for Bible reading and I would observe several with beads in hand (trying to descretely hide them!).

    I appreciate the reminder that Fatima has much to do with Russia and the spread of Socialism. We have been ignoring its spread to our own country in recent years. Far too many persons now view the government as “nanny”. They feel they are owed everything by the government. Forgotten is the fact that WE are the government. What they take, we have to give. The spread of the drug culture is a key component in this move to the left, as the spread of illegally bought perscription drugs has turned many otherwise good people into “takers”. That culture helped fuel the cult of Obamaism.

    I have been really despondent lately over what is happening to our country. The media has generally ignored recent warnings issued to the U.S. by Putin and China against going Socialist! Lent is an especailly good time to rediscover the Rosary to pray for our nation.

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  • KIA




    Above links (3 parts) to one of Bishop Sheen’s best shows ever. I have it in my library; was a rare tape to find, but thankfully, it showed up on YouTube.

    I’ve written here before that I have more than a special connection to Fatima; since I was a 6 year old kid! It’s the only apparition I ever really paid much attention to or visited, and did so even more after John Paul II.

    More than ever, the message is so needed: REPENT AND BELIEVE. Of course the rosary is HUGE in this, but also are the First Saturdays, the reparation masses. It would be wonderful to see the First Saturday devotions pick up again. I doubt most pre Vatican II folks even know much of them.

    I remember as a kid, the “vision of hell” part of Fatima was especially terrifying (the children were shown hell). It may have been scary, but I can tell you I’ve since never doubted hell! In point of fact, it’s the most close the Catholic Church as ever come to “confirming anyone in hell.” But as you remind us Anchoress, it’s still a private revelation, NOT a requirement of the faith, albeit “church approved.”

    The Russian “3rd secret” stuff gets rather confusing, despite the Vatican having put it to rest, as well as Sister Lucy. There’s an entire movement against Russian not having been properly concentrated, and the church hiding the BIG DARK SECRET. The Vatican disagrees, and I personally go with Rome, however, dying in the state of mortal sin is certainly “dark enough” for me to take seriously. That said, I DO believe that the need for repentance (confessions, rosaries, repararation masses) is real, very real, especially for the salvation of the unrepentant. The “miracle” of Fatima is as convincing as a miracle can get!

    As for the Russia “spread of communism” stuff, well, that’s getting easier to believe by the day; especially after yesterday when Michele Obama told government workers that they were the “backbone of America”, whew! That said, it was always my understanding that the worst fear of the “Russia scare “was the demise of the family, atheism, and of course, lose of salvation.

    As for the best spiritual weapon, St. Padre Pio said used to say “Bring me my weapon.” Hands down, the rosary is THE weapon of choice. How could it not be, praying the life of Jesus with his Mother?

    The “msg. of Fatima” is not hard for a Catholic. If we all lived it, America would look a LOT better. And that would be a real “stimulus” plan.

  • chuck


    Please give it a special link so we can access it when we need to.


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  • JuliB

    Oh Anchoress, how could you forget the Rosary Confraternity? I belong, and consider it an honor to add everyone’s intentions to my prayers. I feel like I am doing some turbo-praying!

    [Okay, you got me. I have NO IDEA what the Rosary Confraternity is. I'll go look it up. Edited to admit link - admin]

  • http://sailorette.blogspot.com/ Foxfier

    Yes, that is major weird.

    Also awesome.

  • http://www.lauralowder.blogspot.com ChantLaura

    That’s powerful. Marian apparitions generally make me uncomfortable – as a convert, “Mama Mary” has been a hard aspect of the Faith to become comfortable with – but I am growing in them, as I get closer to Her.

    I’ve felt a keen need to pray for The Great Battle for some time now. Was installed in the Militia Immaculata in November – am growing in love for the rosary.

    Keep us posted, please?

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