It’s almost a year since Cardinal Bertone, as a representative of the Holy Father, visited Fatima in October 2007 for the shrine’s 90th anniversary. In his homily given at the Holy Trinity Church on Sunday 14th October, the Cardinal Secretary of State said this of the seers involved:
Mary’s language was simple and suitable for children, but far from sugary and nothing like the language of a fairy tale. Indeed, she introduced them in very realistic terms into the drama of life; she asked for their collaboration and since she found Jacinta, Francisco and Lucia full of generous willingness she revealed to them: “Therefore, you will have much to suffer, but God’s grace will be your comfort” (First Apparition, 13 May 1917).
The Virgin chooses innocent children as her select collaborators in order to combat with the weapons of prayer and penance, of sacrifice and suffering, the terrible leprosy of sin that corrupts humanity. Why does she do so? Might it not be because this responds to the method of God, who “chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong… things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are” (I Cor 1: 27, 28).
…Ninety years after the apparitions, Fatima continues to be a beacon of comforting hope but also a strong appeal for conversion. The light that Mary made shine into the eyes of the shepherd children and manifested to so many people in the miracle of the sun on 13 October, shows that God’s grace is stronger than sin and death.
Mary invites everyone, however, to convert and repent; she wants simple hearts who generously accept to pray and suffer for the reparation of sins, for the conversion of sinners and for the salvation of souls.
Mary expects a response from all her children! Dear brothers and sisters, let us accept her invitation and remain faithful to our Christian vocation.
Let us offer fervent prayers every day, especially the Holy Rosary, as well as our suffering in reparation for sin and for world peace. Let us consider ourselves her small and humble children who are anxious to live in praise and glory of the Most Blessed Trinity, to whom this Church is felicitously dedicated. Amen!
So in this short extract we see that the Cardinal acknowledges:
1) the simplicity of Mary’s messages
2) that the seers will suffer but be graced by God
3) that the weak are chosen to shame the strong
4) the light that Mary brings
5) the miracle of the sun (also witnessed at Medjugorje)
6) the call to repentance and conversion
7) the importance of praying the Rosary
8) that we are Our Lady’s “children”
9) and that Mary expects a response from her “children”
How different is this from all that is happening at Medjugorje?
Pope John Paul II has been quoted as saying: “Medjugorje is the fulfillment and continuation of Fatima!” Cardinal Bertone’s comments would seem to echo this claim!
• Full homily available at www.vatican.va