I pray you are all having a wonderful Easter Season! As I mentioned before in my Happy Easter, May is the month of Mary! Today we celebrate Our Lady of Fatima, along with Sts. Imelda and Julia of Norwich.
I love how the regular Gospel reading for Monday of the 4th week of Easter fit so beautifully with Our Lady of Fatima!
“Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever does not enter a sheepfold through the gate but climbs over elsewhere is a thief and a robber.
But whoever enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep.
The gatekeeper opens it for him, and the sheep hear his voice, as he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
When he has driven out all his own, he walks ahead of them, and the sheep follow him, because they recognize his voice.
But they will not follow a stranger; they will run away from him, because they do not recognize the voice of strangers.”
Although Jesus used this figure of speech, they did not realize what he was trying to tell them.
So Jesus said again, “Amen, amen, I say to you, I am the gate for the sheep.
All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them.
I am the gate.
Whoever enters through me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture.
A thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy; I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.”
The Gospel of the Lord! Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ!
Our Lady of Fatima appeared with the approval and Blessing of Jesus to 3 shepherd children! There are pictures of the children with the sheep they cared for. Of course the Gospel is speaking of Jesus, the Good Shepherd, and we are the sheep. Yes, He called each one of us by name, He knows each one of us personally and calls us by name! The Good Shepherd leads them to good pasture and feeds them. Jesus feeds us with the Eucharist; the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ. If we know the story of Our Lady of Fatima, (if not there are good recourses on FORMED, for both adults and children) we know that an Angel of the Lord appeared to them first, taught them a prayer of adoration of the Eucharist and they received Communion! This was before Mary, Our Lady of Fatima came! The Lord Himself prepared them for the visit of His Mother, by the visit of the Angel and of course Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament! The Good Shepherd Himself taking care of the little shepherd children and preparing them lovingly for the visit of His Mother.
The message of Our Lady of Fatima:
The Story of Our Lady of Fatima
Between May 13 and October 13, 1917, three Portuguese children–Francisco and Jacinta Marto and their cousin Lucia dos Santos–received apparitions of Our Lady at Cova da Iria near Fatima, a city 110 miles north of Lisbon. Mary asked the children to pray the rosary for world peace, for the end of World War I, for sinners, and for the conversion of Russia.
Mary gave the children three secrets. Following the deaths of Francisco and Jacinta in 1919 and 1920 respectively, Lucia revealed the first secret in 1927. It concerned devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The second secret was a vision of hell. When Lucia grew up she became a Carmelite nun and died in 2005 at the age of 97.
Pope John Paul II directed the Holy See’s Secretary of State to reveal the third secret in 2000; it spoke of a “bishop in white” who was shot by a group of soldiers who fired bullets and arrows into him. Many people linked this vision to the assassination attempt against Pope John Paul II in St. Peter’s Square on May 13, 1981.
The feast of Our Lady of Fatima was approved by the local bishop in 1930; it was added to the Church’s worldwide calendar in 2002.
So pray the Rosary, pray for sinners, turn back to Jesus and believe in the Gospel, Our Lord and Our Lady will strengthen you as they did the 3 shepherd children.
One of the little girls in The Family of the Good Shepherd home had her choir concert tonight. It was so nice to listen to children sing mostly hymns for an hour! It is a blessing that she is able to attend a Christian school!
May God Bless you!
Our Lady of Fatima, St. Imelda and St. Julia, pray for us!