The Catholic Defender: Our Lady's Words At Fatima September 13, 1917
Our Lady: Continue to pray the Rosary to obtain the end of the war. In October, Our Lord will also come, as well as Our Lady of Sorrows and Our Lady of Mount Carmel, and Saint Joseph with the Child Jesus, to bless the world. God is pleased with your sacrifices, but He does not want you to sleep with the ropes; wear them only during the day. (The children were wearing ropes around their waists as a sacrifice for sinners.)
Lucia: They have requested me to ask you for many things, for the cure of some sick persons, of a deaf-mute.
Our Lady: Yes, I will cure some, others not. In October, I will perform a miracle for all to believe.
When looking at the above dialogue between Our Lady and Lucia, there is not a whole lot of information that is specific. Would Lucia or Jacinta, Francisco know who Our Lady of Sorrows would be, or Our Lady of Mount Carmel? Probably not! But what does this tell us even though it is 100 years later?
There are some very significant points to gleam from these few words. First, Our Lord will come as the King of kings. Why is this important? This shows that what is happening at Fatima has the Lord's full will taking place. Hebrews 4:14-16 states, "Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we have not a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sinning. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need."
Jesus appearance at Fatima is an important sign of His commitment to Mercy and His intention that we listen to the message which is the Gospel. Fatima is all about the Gospel Message.
Second, Mary will show herself as "Our Lady of Sorrows"! There were seven sorrows that are part of a devotion:
1. The Prophecy of Simon (Luke 2:29-35)
2. The Escape and flight to Egypt (Matthew 2:13-15)
3. Jesus lost for three days and then found in the Temple (Luke 2:41-52)
4. Jesus meets His Mother (Passion)
5. The Crucifixion (Matthew 27:32-55), (Mark 15:21-41), (Luke 23:26-49), (John 19:17-37)
6. Piercing of the side of Jesus (John 19:34-37)
7. Burial of Jesus (Matthew 27:57-61), (Mark 15:42-47), (Luke 23:50-56), (John 19:38-42)
Through this devotion we walk with the Virgin Mary in these seven sorrows. Suffering has a very important lessen for growing in our faith. As Our Lord suffered, and as a result, Our Lady suffered, we unite our suffering with our Lord. We offer it up.
Third, Mary will show herself again as "Our Lady of Mount Carmel" which I find this one to have deep meaning identifying who this Lady truly is. 1 Kings 18: 20-39 tells the story of Elijah's triumph over the priests of Baal. At this time there had been a serious drought for three years because of the sin of the nation. The drought ends with a very interesting sign.
1 Kings 18:41-45 states, "And Elijah said to Ahab, Go up, eat and drink; for there is a sound of the rushing of rain. So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he bowed himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees. And he said to his servant, Go up now, look toward the sea. And he went up and looked, and said, There is nothing. And Elijah said, Go again seven times. And at the seventh time, he said, Behold, a little cloud like a man's (foot) hand is rising out of the sea. And Elijah said, Go up, say to Ahab, Prepare your chariot and go down, lest the rain stop you. And in a little while the heavens grew black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain."
You might be wondering what this has to do with anything, I am about to tell you! Remember 1 Kings 18:44 specifically here, "Go again seven times. And at the seventh time, he said, Behold, a little cloud like a man's (foot) hand is rising out of the sea." The Douay-Rheims version of the bible says foot while many others say hand, obviously the image of the cloud held the vision of an extremity.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel connects 1 Kings 18:44 with the prophetic sign given to Isaiah 7:14, "Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, a young virgin (woman) shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
Both signs uniquely points to Our Lady identifying her as the Virgin Mary. The cloud rising up from the sea is a symbol relating to Our Lady as Mary is recognized as a fulfillment that the cloud represents rain. But this is not a waterfall rain, but something much more important.
From the Carmel story, the seven tries of Elijah's servant to go see the sign of Elijah becomes a spiritual typology representing the seven ages of the world. What are the seven ages of the world you might be asking:
1. Adam to Noah
2. Noah to Abraham
3. Abraham to David
4. David to the Babylonian Captivity
5. Return of Israel to Jesus
6. Jesus to present
7. Present to the Parousia.
This is where it gets really interesting! The seventh age represents the Salvation of the world. Jesus refers to the coming of this age Matthew 28:19-20, "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 lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age."
How does this fit into the Prophetic sign of Isaiah? Here we go:
There are four Marian identifiers embodied in the sign of Elijah and revealed by Isaiah
1. THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION - Because the Virgin would arise as a cloud out of the salty sea water saturated with the guilt of humanity, having the same nature of the water but without it's bitterness. Our Lady was conceived without Original Sin and not marred by sin.
2. THE VIRGINITY OF MARY - Because Mary arose out of Mount Carmel and like a man's foot (Douay-Rheims), this means Mary would follow the path of Elijah who ascended Carmel through voluntary virginity as Elijah and completed the pure works (hands).
3. THE TIME OF THE VIRGIN BIRTH - Because Elijah's servant saw the cloud on his seventh try so would the world witness the advent of the Virgin preparing for the Seventh Age.
4. THE VIRGINAL MATERNITY - Because in the little cloud, God would come down like a sweet rain, without noise of human collaboration (except Mother Mary), that is, without violating Mary's purity.
The sign of the cloud revealed rain, the sign of the Virgin with child revealed grace.
Do you really think the Children of Fatima understood all this with the Virgin Mary's words? Not likely, but does this have relevance for us today, 100 years later? Most certainly. This is the Gospel message, "For God so loved the world that He gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life." John 3:16
Finally, Saint Joseph with the Child Jesus, blessing the world offers great hope! As Christians, we are to lift up our heads in confidence when we see what is taking place in the world. "And there will be signs in the sun and the moon and stars, and upon the earth distress of nations in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves, men fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to take place, look up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near." (Luke 21:25-28)
The last words of Our Lady, "Yes, I will cure some, others not. In October, I will perform a miracle for all to believe." I find this very interesting as well. Remember St. Paul's request of Our Lord, "And to keep me from being too elated by the abundance of revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan, to harass me, to keep me from being too elated. Three times I besought the Lord about this, that it should leave me; but he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." (2 Corinthians 12:7-8)
I recall the Prophet Elisha instructing Namaan to dip himself seven times in the Jordan River and on the seventh try was healed of leprosy. Seven represents wholeness, completeness, and perfection. It represents Christ. We also see this in the seven Sacraments of the Church.
Sometimes Our Lord takes away an affliction, sometimes He shares His suffering with us. It's not because He loves some more than others, His compassion is limitless. We see this more regarding the great miracle of Fatima, October 13, 1917. Be looking for our commentary regarding this great biblical epic!