It’s hard to make the argument that one war isn’t as bad as
another war. That’s because
in all wars, hundreds, thousands, and sometimes millions of people
still die horrible deaths, and so many of them are the helpless and
In the summer of 1914 one of those terrible wars began, and
by the time it came to an end on November 11, 1918, 16 million men,
women, and children had been killed. A generation later a second world
war was fought killing another 75 million.
In 1917 Our Blessed Lady appeared to three peasant children
in the small village of Fatima, Portugal. In a series of six apparitions
she simply asked that the faithful seek forgiveness for the sins
and pray the rosary daily.
If her requests were answered positively, she said the “Great
War” would come to an end and the world would live in a time of
peace. If not, the “Great
War” would continue and another war, even more devastating, would
follow. And as we all know,
the “Great War,” did continue for another year and an even greater
war did indeed follow.
This summer marks the 100th Anniversary of the beginning of
that “Great War” and I hope this sad anniversary can serve as a
reminder that what Our Lady asked for in 1917 still holds true
today. Peace in the world, peace
in our country, peace in our neighborhoods, peace in our families,
and peace in our own lives can only
be fully realized through a personal religious conversion and a
daily praying of the rosary.
What can you and I do to make our lives more reflective of
Gospel values? That is the
real question we should be asking ourselves in the fall of
2014. What are the sins for
which we should be seeking forgiveness? What are those personal sins
which are keeping us separated from our loving God and our Blessed Mother? And
are we praying the rosary daily as our Dear Lady asked of us?
For years people worried about what had become known as the
“third secret of Fatima.” Such worry and concern continues to be such an unimportant
distraction. The most
important and timeless message of Fatima is so direct and so very
simple, “Change your lives, seek
forgiveness for your sins, and pray the rosary daily.”
Now, in the last half of the year 2014, is the time to
again open our ears so we might truly hear Our Lady’s words. Now is the time to again open our
hearts to do what she has asked.
Now, in the late summer and early fall of 2014, is the
time to more fully receive and experience the peace of mind which
To appropriately celebrate the 97th Anniversary of Our
Lady’s 1917 Fatima apparitions, the Immaculate Heart of Mary Shrine
will pray a special Fatima Mass Novena of Thanksgiving.
It was on that day that over 70,000 people had
gathered in the “Cova de Iria” in hope of actually seeing the
Blessed Mother. What they
did witness was probably the greatest and most powerful miracle of
the 20th Century, the “Miracle of the Sun.” The details of this event are
printed on the enclosed form.
On this form I’d like you to please check and write
all the personal prayer petitions you would most want remembered
and prayed for in our special Anniversary Mass Novena. Ask Our Lady to heal your
physical and emotional illnesses. Ask Our Lady to bring peace into your live and into the
lives of your loved ones. Ask Our Lady to bless your life with that special miracle
you pray for at the end of each day. Ask Our Lady for the gift of an
abundance of healing and Hope.
petitions will not only be prayed for here at the Immaculate Heart
of Mary Shrine but also in an additional Mass Novena celebrated at
the Fatima Shrine in Portugal.
When sending your prayer requests please also try to
enclose a generous donation in support of the Immaculate Heart of
Mary Shrine. As you ask for
Our Lady’s help, also be willing to give so that through the
Shrine’s ministries the message of Our Lady of Fatima might daily
touch the lives of both believers and unbelievers.
If you are able to send a donation of $20 or more, the
Immaculate Heart of Mary Shrine would like to show its deepest
appreciation by giving back to you in return a Fatima Anniversary
I do pray you are well and look forward to receiving
your Fatima prayer petitions just as soon as possible. Please reach out to Our Lady of
Fatima so that she might also reach out to you.
In the Peace of Our Lady of Fatima,
Fr. Raymond M. Dien, C.M.C.