Fatima and the Fifth Seal

We’re just a few days away from celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Fatima, the communication of messages in 1917 from an angel and from the Blessed Mother to 3 poor children in Portugal. Here are just a few thoughts about how the Fatima messages are very relevant in our own time, and how they might still be impacting history.

Mary gave the 3 children a vision of hell, and she explained to them that there are very many people in hell. She said that sexual sins are the most common reason that people end up in hell. Mary also told the children that if people did not stop offending God, the world would be punished with war, famine, the persecution of the Church and the persecution of the Pope. Russia would spread its errors to the rest of the world.

It’s obvious that there wasn’t enough prayer, there wasn’t enough conversion of people’s lives, to avert the tragedies listed by Mary in her Fatima messages. About 17 million people died in World War I. Close to 60 million people died in World War II, many of them innocent civilians murdered by brutal regimes in Germany and Russia. Today we are witnessing the extermination of large numbers of Christians in the Middle East and around the world by Muslim extremists. The atheistic and materialistic philosophy of Russian Marxism has spread to all corners of the globe.

One of my main thoughts about what has happened since 1917 relates to all the people who have died, the huge number of people who have experienced extreme cruelty and suffering in the last 100 years. Has all their suffering been in vain? Will God not atone for all this suffering with a massive outpouring of grace? How long must we wait?

Perhaps the answer to my questions can be found in Chapter 6 of the Book of Revelation, verses 9 to 11:

“When he broke open the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slaughtered because of the witness they bore to the word of God. They cried out in a loud voice, ‘How long will it be, holy and true master, before you sit in judgment and avenge our blood on the inhabitants of the earth?’ Each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to be patient a little while longer until the number was filled of their fellow servants and brothers who were going to be killed as they had been.”

It is frightening to think that God has asked all those who have been slaughtered to keep waiting to be avenged because there are still not enough people on earth praying and changing their lives to respond positively to Mary’s messages at Fatima. It appears that even more innocent people may have to die before the Master avenges all of those in the white robes.

This is a humbling moment in history for all of humanity. Let us be even more earnest, more purposeful, more courageous in our prayers, our thoughts and our actions. May we embrace the holiness that our Blessed Mother asked of us at Fatima. And may we entrust ourselves completely to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.