Saturday 19th August 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.

Calls for prayer amid ‘abhorrent’ violence in Charlottesville

Washington D.C., Aug 12, 2017 / 03:46 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The head of the U.S. bishops conference called for prayers after one person was killed and over a dozen injured during a white nationalist protest in Charlottesville, Virginia. “The abhorrent…Continue Reading

Knights of Columbus ‘modernize’ Fourth Degree uniforms

St. Louis, Mo., Aug 3, 2017 / 02:56 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The classic ceremonial hats and capes of Fourth Degree members of the Knights of Columbus that you may have seen at Mass or at parish events will now be…Continue Reading

Priest stabbed during Mass at Mexico City cathedral dies in hospital

Mexico City, Mexico, Aug 3, 2017 / 04:02 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Father José Miguel Machorro, who was stabbed in the neck and torso mid-May at the conclusion of Mass at the cathedral of Mexico City, died while at hospital on…Continue Reading

Abortionist praised by Pope speaks at Catholic church, pro-life protesters kicked out

BIELLA, Italy, July 28, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Despite vocal opposition, a notorious Italian abortionist was allowed to speak at a Catholic parish on Wednesday, while pro-life critics were locked out, silenced or kicked out. Despite her abortion advocacy, Emma Bonino was praised by Pope Francis in…Continue Reading

Gard family announces that Charlie has died

London, England, Jul 28, 2017 / 11:51 am (CNA/EWTN News).- A spokesperson for the parents of terminally ill British infant Charlie Gard has reported that their “beautiful little boy” has died. He had been taken into hospice care on July…Continue Reading

John McCain Burns Mitch McConnell Sides with Democrats

In a move that’s no surprise to anyone, John McCain voted against the embarrassingly named “Skinny Repeal”, voted against his party (or is it his party?) and voted to keep Obamacare going as is. Smarter people than me say that…Continue Reading

Catholic men’s conference in crosshairs of left-wing activists

Christine Niles, a Vietnamese immigrant who helps run a parachurch organization in Michigan that promotes Roman Catholic teaching, expected to spend this week preparing theological materials and getting ready for the group’s annual conference for men. Instead, Niles, who is…Continue Reading

Bishops to Trump: Don’t abandon young people to deportation

Washington D.C., Jul 20, 2017 / 06:01 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Undocumented young people brought to the U.S. by their parents contribute to American society and deserve continued protections from the Trump administration, said the U.S. Catholic bishops this week. “These…Continue Reading

Facing outrage – Facebook unblocks Catholic pages

Dozens of Catholic Facebook pages have been blocked, according to several Catholic news organizations. UPDATE: Facebook has unblocked more than 20 Catholic-interest pages – blaming the issue on a technical glitch. “All Pages have now been restored,” a Facebook spokesperson…Continue Reading

Bishops stress hospitality for Camino de Santiago hosts

Santiago de Compostela, Spain, Jul 14, 2017 / 04:38 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The bishops of Spain and France have published a new letter emphasizing the importance of hospitality for people who host pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago, offering guidelines…Continue Reading

Cardinal Sarah wants ‘liturgical reconciliation’ between old and new forms of Mass

Sarah says phrase ‘reform of the reform’ should no longer be used but wants ordinary version of Mass to be more like the extraordinary form The Cardinal leading the Vatican’s divine worship office has called for a truce in the…Continue Reading

Video game store promotes graphic animated porn to 35 million child users

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 10, 2017 (NCOSE) – A mainstream online video game store, with an estimated 35 million users under the age of 18, is facilitating gamified sexual coercion and animated pornography featuring genitalia, ejaculation, to users of all ages. This…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

Today . . .

Cardinal Sarah: ‘We are called today to witness, which means martyrdom’

August 17, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — This evening, we offer the sacrifice of the Mass for the repose of the souls of all of the volunteers of the Puy-du-Fou who have died since the beginnings of this beautiful work, 40 years ago. Every night, all of you who are gathered here, awaken the memory of this place through your work. The castle of the Puy-du-Fou, with its hurting ruins, abandoned by man, seems to rise like a cry…Continue Reading

Planned Parenthood CEO Claims President Trump Has “Both Barrels Aimed at Women” on Abortion

The CEO of America’s largest abortion business slammed President Donald Trump again this week for his pro-life policies. Cecile Richards, who makes nearly $1 million a year running the “non-profit” Planned Parenthood, claimed Trump is out to get women because he supports cutting off taxpayer funding to abortion groups. “The actions we’re seeing and what we’ve seen out of this administration from day one have had both barrels aimed at women,” Richards told Politico.

Australian bishops oppose forcing priests to reveal details of confession

Vatican City, Aug 14, 2017 / 07:20 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The bishops of Australia have indicated that they will resist the Royal Commission’s proposal that priests be legally obligated to disclose details of sexual abuse revealed in the confessional, facing criminal charges if they don’t. “Confession in the Catholic Church is a spiritual encounter with God through the priest,” Archbishop Denis J Hart of Melbourne said in an Aug. 14 statement.

A bishop’s plea: Don’t forget victims of war and cholera in Yemen

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Aug 11, 2017 / 04:42 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- A deadly cholera outbreak in Yemen could continue indefinitely without an end to the civil war, says a bishop in the region who has pleaded for the faithful to pray and for an end to arms sales to the parties. “As I believe in the power of prayer, I can only ask the faithful around the world, to keep in mind the…Continue Reading

President Donald Trump Cuts Planned Parenthood-Run Sex-Ed Programs, May Prepare for Abstinence Funding

President Donald Trump recently cut funding to a questionable teen pregnancy prevention program that has given millions of dollars to the abortion business Planned Parenthood. The Hill reports pro-abortion President Barack Obama created the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program in 2010 to teach vulnerable populations of students about preventing pregnancy. Participants in the program recently learned that their grant funding will end next year, two years sooner than expected, according to the report. Trump’s administration notified…Continue Reading

Advertisement(2)

Dissonance, The New Normal

By LAWRENCE P. GRAYSON Almost daily, the media report on instances of radical dissension in America. People are split on numerous political, social, and religious issues, show no inclination to compromise, and increasingly rely on obstruction to pursue their positions. The result is discord, confusion, outrage, greater polarization, and violence. In the absence of national…Continue Reading

Religion Is Not Simple

By JOHN YOUNG Some people claim that true religion is very simple, and that if we delve into difficult theological questions we will lose that simplicity. Jesus said we must become as little children if we are to enter God’s Kingdom; He didn’t say we must become theologians. Frank Sheed’s response to the claim that…Continue Reading

Rose Of Lima, A First For The Americas

By RAY CAVANAUGH The first saint born in the Americas, Rose of Lima practiced both charity and asceticism with extreme intensity until her death at age 31. She is now the patroness of South America, and churches across the world bear her name. This August 24 marks the 400th anniversary of her death. The future…Continue Reading

A Book Review… Wonder And Joy At The Great Goodness Of God

By MITCHELL KALPAKGIAN The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit, by Kevin Vost (Sophia Institute Press, Manchester, NH, 2016), 207 pp.; paperback, $18.95. Available from www.SophiaInstitute.com or 1-800-888-9344. While Christians live a moral life founded on the natural law, the Ten Commandments, the Beatitudes, the love of neighbor and the love of God, the imitation…Continue Reading

A Book Review… Retelling The Story Of Fatima

By DONAL ANTHONY FOLEY Fatima, the First Hundred Years: The Complete Story from Visionaries to Saints, by Barry R. Pearlman (Angelico Press, 2017); 278 pages, $14.95 paperback. Available from Amazon.com. Fatima, the First Hundred Years: The Complete Story from Visionaries to Saints, is an updated version of the author’s previous work, Fatima: A Heart for…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Celebration Of The Sacrament Of Penance

By DON FIER The doctrine of indulgences, as we have seen over the past two weeks, is an important part of the life of the Church. Although the Catholic understanding of indulgences has been clouded by abuses, most notably in the 16th century when Martin Luther posted his Ninety-Five Theses, its roots go back to the beginning of the Church…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. You have expressed your disagreement in the past with the practice of omitting “hard sayings” from the Mass readings or giving the option of using the “shorter version” of a reading, which usually means leaving out a strong passage. I noticed that this happened with the Gospel for the 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time. Is this what you had…Continue Reading

God’s Inscrutable And Unsearchable Ways

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Twenty-First Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR A) Readings: Isaiah 22:19-23 Romans 11:33-36 Matt. 16:13-20 In the second reading today, St. Paul marvels at the depth of the riches, the wisdom, and the knowledge of God. He proclaims that God’s judgments are inscrutable and His ways are unsearchable. Of course, in our humanness, we often seem to…Continue Reading

Canon Lawyer… Notes Clergy Confusion About Preaching On Contraception, Related Issues

By DEXTER DUGGAN Part 1 PHOENIX — A member of the leadership team of the Diocese of Phoenix explored contraception and related issues in an interview with The Wanderer after he preached on the topics during July 22-23 weekend Masses at one of the large diocesan parishes, St. Thomas the Apostle, in a residential area of Phoenix. Fr. Chris Fraser,…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… Marian Pilgrimage Leads To The Eucharistic Lord

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK I share with you this week the extraordinary journey I took to two places I have visited before, but which number among the very few that one can visit again and again without fear of exhausting their spiritual riches. Can you name a rock star who draws a crowd every night of the week without…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Blessed Karl Leisner

By CAROLE BRESLIN There was a priest, Blessed Karl Leisner, who heard his call to the priesthood during a Schoenstatt Retreat. The Apostolic Movement of Schoenstatt is an apostolate of the Roman Catholic Church, a Marian movement founded in Germany in 1914 by a Pallottine priest, Fr. Joseph Kentenich (1885-1968). Members of the Schoenstatt were formed for a renewal in…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Alphonsa Of The Immaculate Conception

By CAROLE BRESLIN There are many different churches that are in full communion with Rome. One of these is in India: the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church in Kerala, India — once called the St. Thomas (the Apostle) Christians. From this tiny group of Catholics have come a growing number of holy men and women recognized by Rome. So far, there are…Continue Reading