Tuesday 21st February 2017

Home » Featured Today » Currently Reading:

The Fatima Centenary . . . The Historical Context Of The Fatima Event

February 17, 2017 Featured Today No Comments

By FR. SEAN CONNOLLY

(Editor’s Note: This is the second in a series of monthly articles on the one hundredth anniversary of our Lady’s apparitions at Fatima. Fr. Connolly is a priest of the Archdiocese of New York.)

+ + +

There is no better time to more deeply learn, live, and spread the message of Fatima than in this centenary year. One hundred years ago in 1917, through our Lady’s apparitions to the three shepherd children Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta, Heaven provided Earth the antidote to the moral and social evils which could lead to the destruction of the world and the ruin of countless souls. It was not without reason, that our Lady imparted this message in 1917 which would prove to be a defining year for the future of Western civilization.
To better understand the significance of our Lady’s message given at Fatima, it is important to know the historical context in which these apparitions took place.
Historical events that relate to the Fatima event can be traced back to the two phases that smashed the unity of Catholic Europe — the Protestant Reformation and the Enlightenment era of revolution. The first phase began four hundred years prior to our Lady’s apparitions at Fatima when, according to popular legend, on October 31, 1517, Martin Luther defiantly nailed a copy of his ninety-five theses to the door of the Wittenberg Castle Church.
As the Catholic historian Christopher Dawson comments, the intellectual movement of the Protestant Reformation, “like most movements that have changed the world was religious in origin, although it was anti-religious in its results.”
It is impossible to write the history of modern Western culture without focusing in a significant way on Martin Luther. Many rank him among the great emancipators of human history through his freeing individual conscience from practices imposed by the Catholic Church. He fought for what he saw as the autonomy for one to be able to enter into a relationship with God without any interference of a communal earthly institution like the Church.
This individualist principle can sound pleasing to the modern ear, yet it is a dangerous idea that usurps the final authority of the Church Christ established to interpret the Word of God. Christendom became divided as a result.
Years later the most prominent Catholic monarchy was dethroned in France. The government dethroned by the French Revolution was Catholic and thus became a model for revolutionaries in other lands with Catholic governments. The Revolution that began to unfold in France in 1789 did not really end when the monarchy was abolished in August 1792. Revolutionary fervor continued and came to a height in 1848 which saw uprisings against still-existing Catholic governments in Vienna, Paris, various German states, and even in Rome where the Pope was forced to flee.
This same revolutionary fervor swept through Europe into the 19th century where secret societies allied to Freemasonry were dedicated to the pursuit of political liberty and filled with a virulent strain of anti-clericalism. The alliance of altar and throne came to be viewed as a formula for tyranny and finally in 1870 the Papal States fell to the Kingdom of Italy and its unification movement.
Many saw Blessed Pius IX’s resistance to the papacy’s loss of temporal power as political obscurantism, but it can be rightly viewed as the last heroic stand of Christian civilization against the forces of the anti-Christian spirit of the Enlightenment and revolutionary fervor.
In analyzing the process of the two phases that smashed the unity of Europe (the Protestant Reformation and the Enlightenment era of revolution), it can be seen how such trends of thought reach their logical conclusion: from “every man his own pope” during the Reformation, to “every man his own king” in the revolutionary period that followed, to what is now under the contemporary age of what Pope Benedict XVI called the dictatorship of relativism, “every man his own god.”
Revolution came to the nation of Portugal where the village of Fatima is located in 1910. The anticlerical government that replaced the ancient Catholic monarchy was made up of prominent Freemasons and sought the complete secularization of society. The cardinal patriarch of Lisbon and many other bishops were exiled, Church property was seized, seminaries were closed, priests and religious were forbidden from wearing their cassock or habit in public and divorce and family laws were approved which considered marriage as a purely civil contract.
The chief of one of the lodges of the Grand Orient Masons predicted that within a few years there would be no more priests left in Portugal.
Warren Carroll comments: “The revolutionaries considered themselves makers of history, yet were often swept along by its currents. Almost all of them succumbed to the tremendous outburst of nationalistic emotion with which the First World War began.”
Again, according to Carroll, “The Austro-Hungarian Empire was a collection of some twenty nationalities and tongues, with a great and ancient heritage of unity through the persons of the Habsburg rulers, but increasingly divided as modern nationalistic agitation worked on its diverse peoples.”
On June 28, 1914 Archduke Francis Ferdinand, the heir presumptive to the throne of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, was shot to death with his wife in a car at Sarajevo by a Serbian terrorist. His uncle, Francis Joseph, the emperor, went to war as a result to crush Serbia as a nest of assassins — and pulled all of Europe with him into a war that undermined the foundations of civilization itself.
The First World War has been called the “suicide of Christendom.” Christian nations waged war upon one another that would cost Europe an entire generation — seventeen million killed and twenty million wounded. The violence destroyed much of what remained of a fractured Christendom.

Heaven’s Reply

In the midst of this carnage, Vladimir Lenin prepared the revolution that would overturn the Russian social order. In March of 1917, Czar Nicholas of Russia (who along with his family would eventually be exiled and executed) was forced to abdicate and later that same year in November, the Bolsheviks, led by Lenin, took control and established the Communist state. Until the Communist downfall over sixty years later, Russia would be in the control of sworn enemies of God and dehumanizers of men who would cause untold damage to humanity.
In the midst of the tumultuous year of 1917 that would forever change the face of the world, Pope Benedict XV pleaded unceasingly for peace. As the suicide of civilized Europe was taking place through the First World War and Communist errors began to spread, Christ’s Vicar on Earth issued a letter directing the invocation “Queen of Peace, pray for us” be added permanently to the Litany of Loreto. His letter concluded with this petition to the Blessed Virgin Mary:
“To Mary, then, who is the Mother of Mercy and omnipotent by grace, let loving and devout appeal go up from every corner of the earth — from noble temples and tiniest chapels, from royal palaces and mansions of the rich as from the poorest hut — from every place wherein a faithful soul finds shelter — from blood-drenched plains and seas. Let it bear to her the anguished cry of mothers and wives, the wailing of innocent little ones, the sighs of every generous heart: that her most tender and benign solicitude may be moved and the peace we ask for be obtained for our agitated world. And, afterwards, remind future centuries of the efficacy of Her intercession and the greatness of the good She has given us.”
To the tiny and unknown Fatima came Heaven’s reply to this petition for peace made by Christ’s Vicar. Just eight days later the Queen of Peace came herself, and appeared for the first time to the three shepherd children.

Sources

Christopher Dawson, The Gods of Revolution (London: Sidgwick and Jackson Ltd., 1972).
Eamon Duffy, Saint and Sinners: A History of the Popes (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006).
Diane Moczar, Ten Dates Every Catholic Should Know: The Divine Surprises That Shaped the Church and Changed the World (Manchester, N.H.: Sophia Institute Press, 2005).
Warren H. Carroll, 1917: Red Banners, White Mantle (Front Royal, Va.: Christendom Publications, 1981).

Share Button

2017 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Cardinal Zen on dubia: ‘Very respectful request by those bishops and Cardinals to have a clear statement’

February 20, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Cardinal Joseph Zen in an interview with EWTN’s Raymond Arroyo expressed his support for the four Cardinals’ dubia that asks for clarification on the apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia’s chapter 8. “I suppose it is a…Continue Reading

These Catholic parishes openly celebrate LGBT. Why aren’t bishops stopping it?

January 17, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – As controversy continues to rage over Pope Francis’ doctrines on communion for the divorced and remarried, an even more controversial practice proliferating in the shadows for decades is becoming increasingly open and explicit: same-sex couples…Continue Reading

Michael J. Novak, Jr. [1933 – 2017]

Theologian, public intellectual, and close friend of the Acton Institute, Michael J. Novak Jr., passed away last night on February 17, 2017. Acton Institute President Rev. Robert A. Sirico reflects on the passing of his friend and mentor Michael Novak,…Continue Reading

Twitter erupts with dubious reaction to Cardinal Cupich’s post on marriage document’s ‘absolute clarity’

February 16, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Chicago Cardinal Blasé Cupich tweeted Tuesday that Pope Francis’ Amoris Laetitia document was in full fidelity with the Catholic Church and absolutely clear in the expression of its teaching on marriage, but users of the…Continue Reading

More essential than ever for Catholic hospitals to maintain distinct identity: Cardinal Burke

Catholic health-care institutions are needed today more than ever, Cardinal Raymond Burke told a conference on Catholic hospitals in Ohio last week. “Our country suffers the scourge of an attack on the dignity of human life,” the cardinal said. He…Continue Reading

Council of Cardinals pledges allegiance to Pope Francis

ROME, February 13, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – In an odd note without explanation placed on the Vatican’s daily press briefing today, the Council of Cardinals, a group of 10 Cardinals which Pope Francis has delegated to work with him on reform,…Continue Reading

Conference Looks Beyond ‘Crisis’ of Catholic Colleges, Debunks ‘Land O’ Lakes Statement’

The day after an historic and widely-covered March for Life, presidents from four Newman Guide colleges and Cardinal Newman Society president Patrick Reilly presented on the future of Catholic higher education at the “CRISIS: Catholic Higher Education and the Next…Continue Reading

Top Restaurants Will Sell Cookies to Raise Money for Planned Parenthood Abortion Business

A handful of Chicago restaurants are baking cookies and selling them through Feb. 24, with the proceeds benefitting the abortion group Planned Parenthood, the Chicago Eater reported.

Roman Catholic Church of Philippines Criticizes Duterte’s Bloody Drug War

The Roman Catholic Church in the Philippines slammed President Rodrigo Duterte’s bloody war on drugs in a sermon read out during Sunday’s services, marking its strongest opposition yet to a flagship policy that has led to the deaths of more…Continue Reading

Catholic conservatives level criticism against pope

VATICAN CITY —Conservative criticism of Pope Francis intensified Saturday after his intervention in the Knights of Malta order, with posters appearing around Rome citing his actions against conservative Catholics and asking: “Where’s your mercy?” The posters appeared on the same…Continue Reading

U.S. archbishop visits Vietnam to show solidarity, offer support

CHICAGO (CNS) — U.S. bishops sent their immediate past president to Vietnam to see how they could help with the first college-level Catholic school approved in the Asian country in about 40 years. Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky,…Continue Reading

Nancy Pelosi Tells Adopted Woman: Your Mom Should Have Had the “Choice” to Abort You

nancyp

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has made some pretty outrageous statements about abortion in the past. During a recent CNN Town Hall event, Pelosi stuck her foot in her mouth again when she told a young woman who was adopted…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Enter Comments Below

This Weeks Comments And Letters . . .

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “An Introduction To The Problem Of Euthanasia”

By BRIAN CLOWES Part 2 (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For an electronic copy of chapter 23 of The Facts of Life, a 150-page treatise on all of the aspects of euthanasia, e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.) + + + We have covered the definitions of the varieties of…Continue Reading

Today . . .

Washington D.C. Becomes 6th Place in the U.S. to Legalize Assisted Suicide

A Washington, D.C. law allowing doctors to prescribe their patients lethal drugs to commit suicide went into effect Saturday after U.S. Congress failed to block the measure, the Washington Times reports. The district is the sixth area in the U.S. to legalize the deadly procedure, following Oregon, Washington state, Vermont, California and Colorado. The D.C. council passed the law at the end of 2016, despite wide-spread opposition from African Americans, people with disabilities, medical professionals,…Continue Reading

Cardinal Burke urges massive U.S. crowd to defend faith amid Church confusion

cburk12

LENEXA, Kansas, February 17, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – The façade of Cardinal Raymond Burke as a boogeyman of tradition projected by his critics and the media was nowhere to be found last Friday when he gave his usual clear witness to the Catholic faith before an overflow crowd in the Kansas City area. Cardinal Burke delivered a stirring, clear message on defending the Catholic faith amid the current confusion in the Church that was embraced with…Continue Reading

Again More Questions than Answers . . . MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS ON THE OCCASION OF THE WORLD MEETINGS OF POPULAR MOVEMENTS IN MODESTO

Dear Brothers and Sisters, First of all, I would like to congratulate you for your effort in replicating on a national level the work being developed in the World Meetings of Popular Movements. By way of this letter, I want to encourage and strengthen each one of you, your organizations, and all who strive with you for “Land, Work and Housing,” the three T’s in Spanish: Tierra, Trabajo y Techo. I congratulate you for all…Continue Reading

U.S. House votes to overturn Obama regulation forcing states to fund Planned Parenthood

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 16, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – The  U.S. House of Representatives voted 230 to 188 today to overturn former President Obama’s “eleventh hour” HHS rule forcing states to give Title X money to organizations that commit abortions. Title X money comes from the government to fund “family planning services,” but technically not abortion. Before he left office, Obama pushed through an HHS regulation that essentially forces states to give Planned Parenthood Title X

When Cardinals Clash

It was easily predictable that the Amoris Laetitia (particularly footnote 351), would lead to jarring assaults on the Church’s doctrinal unity – even by some of the Church’s own shepherds. Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, President of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, has just joined the ranks of prelates who say that Pope Francis has authorized giving Holy Communion to those in adulterous second “marriages

Ex-Planned Parenthood Worker . . . Recalls Webcam Abortion Opposition, Sees Hope For Pro-Life Cause

By PEGGY MOEN ST. PAUL — Sue Thayer told her February 15 audience here that “an immediate stopper” in a debate with a pro-abort is this quotation from President Reagan: “I’ve noticed that everyone who is for abortion has already been born.” Thayer was addressing the Legislative Dinner of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life, held here at the…Continue Reading

Reopening The Question Of Women Priests… A Theological Travesty And A Spiritual Tragedy

By JEFFREY MIRUS (Editor’s Note: Jeffrey Mirus holds a Ph.D. in intellectual history from Princeton University. A co-founder of Christendom College, he also pioneered Catholic Internet services. He is the founder of Trinity Communications and CatholicCulture.org. This commentary first appeared on CatholicCulture.org, and LifeSiteNews featured it on February 13. All rights reserved.) + + + La…Continue Reading

Even As “Assisted Suicide” Looms . . . Ethics Expert Tells How Roe V. Wade Might Be Reversed

By DEXTER DUGGAN PHOENIX — “If you want to see what a Roe v. Wade reversal looks like, read Washington v. Glucksberg,” a national expert on medical ethics and the law told a Catholic physicians’ meeting here while he also warned against an accelerating effort to legalize “assisted suicide” in the states. With speculation rising…Continue Reading

Restoring The Sacred… Silence As An Expression Of The Sacred

By JAME MONTI In a recent interview concerning his new book, The Power of Silence, His Eminence Robert Cardinal Sarah observed, “Before God’s majesty, we lose our words” (Catholic World Report, October 3, 2016). Silence is man’s humble reply to the glory and transcendence of His Creator, a reply that even the high and mighty…Continue Reading

The Fatima Centenary . . . The Historical Context Of The Fatima Event

By FR. SEAN CONNOLLY (Editor’s Note: This is the second in a series of monthly articles on the one hundredth anniversary of our Lady’s apparitions at Fatima. Fr. Connolly is a priest of the Archdiocese of New York.) + + + There is no better time to more deeply learn, live, and spread the message…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

A Leaven In The World… Signs Of Growth At “The Margins” Of The Church

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK Why does a young man of 18 years old put on a suit and tie on Sunday morning, leaving his parents and sisters behind, to drive to a more distant parish? To attend the Traditional Latin Mass. I’d noticed him for a few weeks along with our growing Sunday Traditional Mass congregation and met him…Continue Reading

The Meaning Of Original Sin

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 25 Haven’t you met Catholic people who question the gravity of Adam’s sin? They do believe that all humans stem from a single couple, yes, but they find it hard to accept that stealing an apple is such a big deal. Surely God could not be that much offended by that! Such people argue…Continue Reading

The Liturgical Celebration Of The Eucharist

By DON FIER As narrated in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke and in the First Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians, our Lord Jesus Christ instituted the Holy Eucharist at the Last Supper on the night before He died. Jesus and His apostles had just traveled to Jerusalem to celebrate the great Jewish feast of Passover in…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: Following up on a recent reply about the failure of Jesuit colleges and universities to uphold Catholic morality, the Cardinal Newman Society has reported that most members of Congress who graduated from Catholic institutions have pro-abortion voting records. Of the 56 Jesuit college alumni who hold seats in the new Congress, said Matt Archbold of the Cardinal Newman…Continue Reading

The Meaning Of Mammon

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Eighth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR A) Readings: Isaiah 49:14-15 1 Cor. 4:1-5 Matt. 6:24-34 In the Gospel reading today, our Lord tells us that we cannot serve two masters. We will either hate the one and love the other or we will be devoted to one and despise the other. Then He states the point…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Blessed Thomas Mary Fusco

By CAROLE BRESLIN Throughout the history of the Church different saints have had special devotions. St. Margaret Mary Alacoque had a great devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, St. Peter Julian Eymard had a great devotion to the Real Presence, and Blessed Thomas Mary Fusco had a deep devotion to the Most Precious Blood. (The Catholic Church recognized this…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Geltrude Caterina Comensoli

By CAROLE BRESLIN (Editor’s Note: Some sources give this saint’s name as Gertrude, but the Vatican’s website calls her Geltrude.) + + + Can there be any nobler calling than to promote adoration of the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ really and truly present in the Blessed Sacrament? St. Peter Julian Eymard, St. Alphonsus Liguori, and St.…Continue Reading