by John C. Preiss
I can remember when I first heard about the apparitions at Fatima. I was in the living room of Father Robert J. Fox. After writing several books and doing all he could to increase devotion to Our Lady of Fatima, Fr. Fox was known throughout the world as the “Fatima Priest”.
I wondered at the time, “Why Fatima?” With all the countless devotions in the Church, why should a nearly one-hundred-year-old apparition to three shepherd children in Portugal have any special importance? Over time I came to realize the answer: Fatima is not just a place; it is a message and a call.
The message of Fatima is universal—a message for you and for me that reflects all the teachings of the Catholic Church. It is at once simple enough for children to understand and deep enough to baffle theologians. It is not simply directed to pilgrims or for those seeking Mary’s intervention in specific areas of their lives. In fact, you don’t have to go to Fatima to live out the Fatima message. The message of Fatima can become a part of our daily spiritual lives wherever we are. Simply put, the message of Fatima is that Mary, the Mother of Jesus Christ, is living, real, and present in our lives, interceding for us. The call of Fatima is an invitation to embrace what Mary offers both the Church and the world. What does Mary want for us? A personal relationship with her Son, Jesus Christ. Mary always leads us to Jesus.