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By Fr. Joseph, MIC (May 13, 2009)
May 13 marks the anniversary of the first apparition of Our Lady to three children in Fatima, Portugal. Pope Benedict XVI, like his predecessor, John Paul II, is deeply devoted to Our Lady of Fatima. He once said that the message of Fatima, as in many Marian apparitions throughout history, serves as a reminder that "conversion and penitence are the essential conditions for salvation."
Of all the messages that Our Lady revealed in her Fatima apparitions in 1917, perhaps best known is the following: "In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph."
But what does that mean?
In 2000, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger — now Pope Benedict XVI — wrote of what he termed that "key expression":
The heart open to God, purified by contemplation of God, is stronger than guns and weapons of every kind. The fiat of Mary, the word of her heart, has changed the history of the world, because it brought the Savior into the world — because, thanks to her Yes, God could become man in our world and remains so for all time.
The Evil One has power in this world, as we see and experience continually. He has power because our freedom continually lets itself be led away from God. But since God, Himself, took a human heart and has thus steered human freedom towards what is good, the freedom to choose evil no longer has the last word.
From that time forth, the word that prevails is this: "In the world you will have tribulation, but take heart; I have overcome the world" (Jn 16:33). The message of Fatima invites us to trust in this promise.
May we all take heart and trust in this promise. And may Our Lady of Fatima intercede for us all to her loving Son, Jesus, The Divine Mercy.