Pope in Fatima

Benedict and Baby in Fatima

Benedict has Flown to Portugal

Half a million pilgrims turned out to celebrate mass (full text of homily here) with Pope Benedict XVI on this “whopper” of a day, the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord, the anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun in Fatima. #Fatima was trending on Twitter today, where I also learned that today is Shavuot, which commemorates the anniversary of the day God gave the Torah to the Israelite nation at Mount Sinai. So that’s kind of neat.

As ever, Whispers in the Loggia
is the place to go for up-to-the-minute full and partial texts of the Pope’s talks during his visit.

For those who think of the church as women-hating and who dismiss the pope as hopelessly retrograde, you might be interested to read his thoughts on the Maternity of God as a counter-sign to egoism:

In the teeth of a world inclined to sacrifice unity “on the altar of base egoisms of nation, race, ideology, the group and the individual,” Pope Benedict XVI today proposed Fatima as a counter-sign of the “wondrous maternity of God.”
. . . Benedict’s use of feminine imagery was striking, though in context the phrase “maternity of God” appeared to refer to Mary’s role as the Mother of God. Benedict said that Mary testifies to the “sweet joys” of God’s love for humanity.

The pope lauded the three young visionaries of Fatima, saying they had “an experience of grace.” At the same time, the pontiff insisted that Christian faith does not depend upon such dramatic confirmation.

God, the pope said, “has the power to reach us through the interior senses, so that the soul receives the gentle touch of a reality that lies beyond sensible things.” To perceive that invisible presence of God, Benedict said, requires “an internal vigilance of the heart.” That disposition to seek God’s “gentle touch,” the pope said, is precisely what’s often missing in the modern world.

“Who has the time to listen to God’s word and to be carried away his love?” the pope asked. “Who stays vigilant, in the night of doubt and uncertainty, with a heart extended in prayer? Who awaits the dawn of a new day, keeping the flame of the faith alive?”

The pope also said, to Christians, of the secular world: Seek dialogue, but be ready for martyrdom.

American Papist
has pictures.

Fatima and the Rosary
Sunday Morning Same Old, Same Old
Pope takes charge of the tone coming out of the Vatican.

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • pam

    Please excuse me for being a nitpick but today is the anniversary of Our Lady’s first appearance to the children of Fatima. The anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun is October 13th.

  • newguy40

    I am abashed to admit that I don’t read and give thought to B16′s writings and speeches.

    I was struck by his statement about “preparation for radical martyrdom”.

    For those of you who pay more attention than me, has B16 made like statements in the past?

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

    **Living amid a plurality of value systems and ethical outlooks requires a journey to the core of one’s being and to the nucleus of Christianity so as to reinforce the quality of one’s witness to the point of sanctity, and to find mission paths that lead even to the radical choice of martyrdom.**
    –Pope Benedict, Arrival Ceremony

    I would say that Pope Benedict has spoken frequently about the need for choosing God in a relativistic world, for being a witness for Christ and light to a dark world, and he has noted those people in the modern-day who have given their lives for the faith, having suffered violents deaths in too many regions of the world.

  • Brian English

    “I am abashed to admit that I don’t read and give thought to B16’s writings and speeches.”

    You should remedy that as soon as possible. He is an exceptional, and thought-provoking, writer.

    “For those of you who pay more attention than me, has B16 made like statements in the past?”

    I do not recall him using that exact phrase, but the idea is certainly there in his books, The Fathers, and Jesus, The Early Church, and The Apostles.

  • http://jscafenette.com/ Manny

    You know Anchoress, it occured to me this morning while listening to your podcast of prayers that I’ve downloaded to my ipod that you have not recorded the Fatima Prayers. Or at least i haven’t found it. You might want to consider it in honor of the Pope’s trip. ;)

    “O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to Heaven, especially those in most need of Thy mercy. Amen.”

    Actually I do realize it’s part of the rosary prayers, but it would be nice to have it as a stand alone. Or you can put together one podcast with the whole set of the Fatima prayers.

  • Greta

    Note Pope Benedict comments from Fatima on key issues in Church teaching..

    Benedict told the gathering of lay Catholics that he appreciated their efforts fighting abortion and promoting the family based on the “indissoluble marriage between a man and woman”—the Vatican’s way of expressing its opposition to divorce and same-sex unions.

    Such initiatives “help respond to some of the most insidious and dangerous threats to the common good today,” he said. “Alongside numerous other forms of commitment, such initiatives represent essential elements in the building of the civilization of love.”

    Anyone who has not studied the writing of Benedict has missed a golden opportunity to learn the actual teaching of the Catholic Church which is constantly under the protection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ as He promised…

  • archangel

    An anniversary missed…
    This is also the anniversary of the shooting of JPII.