The Catholic Defender: October 13, Our Lady of Fatima, Pray for us
It was Early February 2009, I had just deployed to Iraq leaving my Wife, Gigi, who had received a healing after suffering 6 months due to terrible lower abdomen pain.
Between May 13 and October 13, 1917, three Portuguese children–Francisco and Jacinta Marto and their cousin Lucia dos Santos–received apparitions of Our Lady at Cova da Iria near Fatima, a city 110 miles north of Lisbon. Mary asked the children to pray the rosary for world peace, for the end of World War I, for sinners, and for the conversion of Russia.
Gigi had lost over 44 pounds during this time and her doctors were puzzled what her issue was. It took an MRI to discover what the GI Doctor had admitted he had never seen before. He studied it in school, but in his experience, he had never seen it before. We were to learn that when Gigi’s condition were discovered, it would usually be through an autopsy.
Because of my Wife’s condition, my Command placed me on the last group to fly to Kuwait where we prepared ourselves to go to Iraq. Kuwait is like a preparation phase before we ultimately go to our place of destination in the Middle East. We go through a lot of classes, training, getting acclimatized, making sure that all our loose ends are corrected. It was about this time that I had a strong desire to do something special for Our Lady because of the positive outcome, the answered prayer for my Wife Gigi. With all the events going on, I looked to see what I could do to honor Our Lady in some way.
I would end up in Iraq at the Joint Security Station (JSS) Sadr City, this was where our unit had a major battle with enemy forces during the 2004 deployment, it reminded me of the Alamo as we were protected by concrete slabs that went around our perimeter. Geographically, Sadr City is a suburb district of the city of Baghdad, Iraq. There was much turmoil taking place throughout the entire area.
It was about this time that I thought it would be great to honor Our Lady by showing the movie, The Miracle of Our Lady of Fatima for the troops on October 13 in an outdoor movie presentation.
At times, the MWR would bring in groups to entertain the troops, I had the chance to meet both cheer leader squads for the Oakland Raiders and the Dallas Cowboys. So, that was a plan I began to investigate. I went to my First Sergeant to see what he thought.
There was a quick challenge to my plan when I learned that my leave date would almost certainly give me an impossible chance to honor Our Lady on October 13. When a Soldier goes on his leave, there is the two weeks of leave, but you had to plan another two more weeks of travel time. My leave was scheduled to leave on September 21 and my return would be doubtful before October 13. I could not get anyone to trade their leave with me, so I basically told Our Lady that if she wanted me to do this, she would have to open the door.
During the brief time we were at Sadr City, our unit was scattered all over the area in other JSS locations as we defended our areas of operation. By the end of July, we were beginning to abandon these JSS locations giving them back to the local Iragi forces who were taking over our missions defending themselves. I would serve at JSS Ur and then finally at JSS War Eagle that was right outside Baghdad.
By September, as I prepared to go on leave, I still placed on our schedule the plan to show the movie about the story of Fatima. There was a new movie, The 13th Day, that was just coming out and the producers, Dominic and Ian Higgins sent me word that they would like for me to share this movie that I had planned to do on 13 October. Word had been sent out that there was a Soldier in Iraq that wanted to honor Our Lady by showing a movie outdoors in Baghdad. I would have too, but they did not get me the movie in time.
Remember my leave began on September 21 making my chance of getting back in time for the showing of the movie very doubtful.
Like anyone else, I missed my Wife and family so while I was on leave, I spent quality time at home, I just left getting back to JSS War Eagle in the hands of Our Lady.
That was all I could do. I first had to go to Kuwait where I prepared to go back state side which took a few days, I was home by September 24.
Count 14 days from there, and I began my return 8 October just giving me four days to get back.
I wrote the following post on Steve Ray’s Message Board as I relayed my travel on the thread, “The Catholic Defender in Iraq II”, “I was able to go to Mass this past Saturday in Baghdad (BIAP) and I was really blessed to see the priest (Father Wood). I had worked with him during the last deployment and he can be found in the Achives blessing several of the Soldiers that we were leading to the Catholic Faith! I was able to go to Confession and that too was a blessing. When you go to Confession, the sins you confess the Lord throws them into the sea of forgetfulness and He remembers them no more. What a Grace!!! I call the Confessional the “Mercy Seat of God” because through it you receive a judgement of His mercy. I certainly want His mercy especially when He is ready to administer His justice.”
I should be able to post some pics of the helicopter trip back to the JSS! I have been preparing for the movie that we are showing tomorrow and I hope to get a good crowd. I know that I am getting interest, we shall see. If we can help one person then it is all worth it!!!
I spoke with an Iraqi worker today who sells food stuffs and he was telling me of his son being killed by a terrorist bomb. How tragic it is that people endure here. They need Jesus very much.
Sometimes it is hard to make sense out of this, but I place it all in the Lords hands. I’ve had the grace of being able to speak with Soldiers the past few days. I even had the chance to witness to to Wiccans today. I hope they will come to the movie tomorrow!!!
I arrived at JSS War Eagle on the evening of October 12 as I was lucky to get out of Kuwait and Baghdad in less than four days. Considering people have waited for a Chinook bound for Baghdad could take at least a week sometimes, and then to get a blackhawk to take you to your JSS could take another few days as you await your ride. I made both trips in four days.
At last, October 13 had arrived, it was already scheduled so I had no problem using the plaza where there was a large white screen used to show movies, I signed out our units PA System and the word was out. Showtime began at 7:00 in the evening. By 6:00, I began showing Christian music videos as Iragi merchants pulled out their chairs to watch from their businesses. Soon groups of people began filling up the square, there were contractors from India, Pakistan, Egypt, Philippines, Iraq, Uganda, the United States all gathered to see the movie, The Miracle of Our Lady of Fatima.
There were Soldiers getting off duty, some coming in from recon missions, patrols coming in. There was all this activity coming into the plaza as I began showing music videos.
The following I posted again on Steve Ray’s Message Board, “Tonight was an awesome evening! I believe that Our Lady was pleased!!! I got out there about an hour early to ensure the systems were set up. There were hundreds of birds! They were loud. When the movie began, they seemed to die down. I couldn’t help but think they wanted to hear Our Lady’s message!!! Earlier in the day I had spoke with a lady from Egypt and she was interested in coming to the movie. What a blessing it was to see her there tonight!!! We had several people in the plaza sitting in front of their stores and businesses, we had people filling up the tables in the square, people were standing behind watching. Many people walked through to buy something only to stay and check it out.”
After the movie several Iraqi civilians wanted to talk and ask questions. That was a great opportunity, one of them even told me they had goose bumps!!! In the end, they all thought the movie was good. I was asked if I could do this again, now I wish I had bought the movie “The Song of Bernadette” when I was in San Antonio! The Catholic Book Store had the DVD. I may try this again because it went so well.”
While still in Iraq and Kuwait, I was able to show the Movie, The 13th Day, which was a great opportunity to share the truth of Fatima with more people. As I look back on this event, I am so thankful to have had this opportunity to honor Our Lady in this way. I am so thankful also that my Wife Gigi continues to do well as she has recovered. This event in Iraq would be the spring board that Dr. Gregory Thompson and I would plan to host a Marian Conference in Springfield Missouri again, on October 13. That was the original date for the first Marian Conference. Since then we have had several such Conferences to include Ozark, Poplar Bluff, Glasgow, Blue Springs, and Springfield Missouri.
On July 13, 1917, Our Lady of Fatima appeared to the Children, Lucia, Francisco, and little Jacinta in the usual ordinary way that they had witnessed the Virgin Mary’s earlier arrivals May 13th and June 13th, 1917.
“She opened Her hands once more, as She had done the two previous months. The rays [of light] appeared to penetrate the earth, and we saw, as it were, a vast sea of fire. Plunged in this fire, we saw the demons and the souls [of the damned]. The latter were like transparent burning embers, all blackened or burnished bronze, having human forms. They were floating about in that conflagration, now raised into the air by the flames which issued from within themselves, together with great clouds of smoke. Now they fell back on every side like sparks in huge fires, without weight or equilibrium, amid shrieks and groans of pain and despair, which horrified us and made us tremble with fright (it must have been this sight which caused me to cry out, as people say they heard me). The demons were distinguished [from the souls of the damned] by their terrifying and repellent likeness to frightful and unknown animals, black and transparent like burning coals. That vision only lasted for a moment, thanks to our good Heavenly Mother, Who at the first apparition had promised to take us to Heaven. Without that, I think that we would have died of terror and fear.”
Jacinta would later say that Mother Mary revealed to her that more souls go to hell because of the sins of the flesh than any other reason.
St. John Bosco relates a similar message in a in a vision given to him: “Bad companions, bad books, and bad habits,” my guide exclaimed, “are mainly responsible for so many eternally lost.”
St. Paul warns, “Do not be led astray: Bad company corrupts good morals. Become sober as you ought and stop sinning. For some have no knowledge of God…”
Daniel 12:2-3 states,“Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake; Some shall live forever, others shall be an everlasting horror and disgrace. But the wise shall shine brightly like the splendor of the firmament, And those who lead the many to justice shall be like the stars forever.”
From the Mass, we sing, “Save us, Savior of the world, for by your Cross and Resurrection you have set us free.” Jesus is our Deliverer from captivity. When you are within the clutches of evil, the Devil brings his environment. He is weaving a huge web and like a spider, seeks to engulf you within his power.
The Devil uses war and abuse, hunger and slavery. He uses everything he can to take our eyes off of Jesus. Hence the warnings coming from the Bible, Our Lady of Fatima, and St. John Bosco.
Of the Catholic Faith, St. Peter writes, “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own, so that you may announce the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were no people but now you are God’s people; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” 1 Peter 2:9-10
2 Timothy 2:22 states, “So turn from youthful desires and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord with purity of heart.”
St. Paul warns,“But understand this: there will be terrifying times in the last days, People will be self-centered and lovers of money, proud, haughty, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, irreligious, callous, implacable, slanderous, licentious, brutal, hating what is good, traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, as they make a pretense of religion but deny it;s Power. Reject them.” 2 Timothy 3:1-5
1 Timothy 4:1-2 states, “Now the Spirit explicitly says that in the last times some will turn away from the faith by paying attention to deceitful spirits and demonic instructions through the hypocrisy of liars with branded consciences.”
Consider the war on the Christians by the Obama administration, all the public scandals taking place that is being covered up by the mainstream media. The war on the Christians coming from the Universities across America, the war on the family. All of this is playing a part leading many to go into exile, away from the Church.
It is time for Christians to take a stand against the rising tide of evil hitting our world. Jesus gives the Church the great commission, “Go therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20
James 5:19-20 states, “My brothers, if anyone among you should stray from the truth and someone bring him back, he should know that whoever brings back a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.”
Our Lady of Fatima would tell the Children of Fatima, “You have seen hell where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace. The war is going to end (World War I); but if people do not cease offending God, a worse one will break out during the pontificate of Pius XI (World War II). When you see a night illumined by an unknown light, know that this is the great sign given you by God that he is about to punish the world for its crimes, by means of war, famine, and persecutions of the Church and of the Holy Father.”
“To prevent this, I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart, and the Communion of Reparation on the First Saturdays. If my requests are heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace; if not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer, various nations will be annihilated. In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me and she will be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world.”
It is very important that people cease to offend Our Lord, there are many who make attacks against the Immaculate Heart of Mary (Luke 2:35): the Immaculate Conception (Luke 1:28); against Mary’s Virginity (John 19:26); against her Divine Maternity (Mother of God) (Revelation 12:5) and her spiritual motherhood of mankind (Revelation 12:17); for the offences of those who encourage in the hearts of children indifference, contempt and even hatred of her, and finally as reparation for those who outrage her in her holy images.
We contend with all of this on a daily basis on Facebook because of the many attacks on Mary by those who claim to love Jesus. That really makes no sense, but then, nothing that is happening today makes any sense as it seems the world has gone crazy.
We here at Deepertruth want to encourage you to lift high the cross of Christ and to grow in love of our holy Faith. To contend for it (Jude 3).
Jesus gives this message, “Blessed are they who wash their robes so as to have the right to the tree of life and enter the city through it’s gates. Outside are the dogs, the sorcerers, the unchaste, the murderers, the idol-worshipers, and all who love and practice deceit.”
There is a heaven and there is a hell, there is no escaping it. However, heaven is a place of great reward. Please pray for America and all that is happening today in the world, especially the Middle East.
Mary gave the children three secrets. Following the deaths of Francisco and Jacinta in 1919 and 1920 respectively, Lucia revealed the first secret in 1927. It concerned devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The second secret was a vision of hell. When Lucia grew up she became a Carmelite nun and died in 2005 at the age of 97.
Pope John Paul II directed the Holy See’s Secretary of State to reveal the third secret in 2000; it spoke of a “bishop in white” who was shot by a group of soldiers who fired bullets and arrows into him. Many people linked this vision to the assassination attempt against Pope John Paul II in St. Peter’s Square on May 13, 1981.
The feast of Our Lady of Fatima was approved by the local bishop in 1930; it was added to the Church’s worldwide calendar in 2002.
The message of Fatima is simple: Pray. Unfortunately, some people—not Sister Lucia—have distorted these revelations, making them into an apocalyptic event for which they are now the only reliable interpreters. They have, for example, claimed that Mary’s request that the world be consecrated to her has been ignored. Sister Lucia agreed that Pope John Paul II’s public consecration in St. Peter’s Square on March 25, 1984, fulfilled Mary’s request. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith prepared a June 26, 2000, document explaining the “third secret.”
Mary is perfectly honored when people generously imitate her response “Let it be done to me as you say” (Luke 1:38). Mary can never be seen as a rival to Jesus or to the Church’s teaching authority, as exercised by the college of bishops united with the bishop of Rome.