Letter from the Publisher
The word “Fatima” evokes many different images in the various classes of men you might meet. Some will conjure up a Muslim woman. Others will think of an exotic place in southern Europe in the midst of cork trees. To another, a better informed set, it will suggest the Blessed Virgin’s apparitions, and may even recall the name of at least one of the three fortunate seers, Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta.
For scientists, ”Fatima” will bring up memories of the occurrence of “the miracle of the sun” of October 13, 1917, duly recorded by the newspapers. Historians see in “Fatima” an interesting social counter-movement: Portugal, a country heavily corrupted by the hands of freemasonry, suddenly found stability and prosperity with the reunification of Church and State. These social and political conversions came about after the spectacular spiritual recovery at the feet of Our Lady of Fatima.
Few countries could claim to have experienced such a change of spirit through Our Lady. One, of course, is that of 16th century Mexico. Thanks to Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City, virtually the entire native population embraced the Faith, simply by looking at the picture she left on Juan Diego’s Tilma and meditating on her maternal words. On a lesser scale, we can also say that the France of the Second Empire, virulently anti-Catholic, had its piety reinvigorated by the apparitions of Lourdes in mid-19th century.
What is perhaps proper to Fatima is that Our Lady requested the consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart, without which Russia would spread its errors throughout the world. This divine petition was uttered a few months before the communist uprising in St. Petersburg. Heaven’s remedy came even prior to the malady. One important condition for this consecration was that it be made by the Pope himself, in union with all the bishops of the world.
How has the world and the Church answered these maternal demands? The course of the 20th century very much resembles the history of Israel in the Old Testament: God offered Israel the way of peace and prosperity; Israel made beautiful promises and fulfilled nothing; God punished, and Israel, repentant, returned to God begging forgiveness until again it forgot the Lord. Even on geopolitical matters, Fatima teaches us invaluable lessons. The fate of nations is very much the work of human choices. Yet, even though men reject God, He will achieve His final aims, but not without pain. All problems are ultimately spiritual. The combat against the devil is not to be fought on his own murky ground: the solution to social and political troubles can only be a return to God, through the fidelity of Church leaders and prayers to Mary.
Fr. Jürgen Wegner