STEUBENVILLE, OH—The messages given by the Blessed Virgin Mary to three Portuguese children at Fatima are just as relevant today as when first given in 1917.
Father Andrew Apostoli, CFR, drove home this point in his talk “Fatima for Today,” given March 21 in the Tony and Nina Gentile Gallery as part of Franciscan University’s Distinguished Speakers Series.
Most Catholics are familiar with the story of the apparitions at Fatima, Father Apostoli said, citing the miracle of the dancing of the sun, the prophetic messages concerning the end of World War I, and the defeat of Communism. But Mary’s Fatima message to pray the Rosary to stop wars, bring world peace, and convert nonbelievers should still be heeded today, he said.
“The rise of secularism, the attacks on the family, and the attacks on the sanctity of life—abortion, euthanasia—make this the greatest spiritual struggle of the Church’s 2,000-year history.”
Father Apostoli urged those in attendance to revive the First Saturdays devotion—which originated with the Fatima apparitions—and called the Rosary “a powerful weapon to counter evil.” He also noted that during each of the six Fatima apparitions, Mary requested that the Rosary be prayed.
Father Apostoli also spoke about the peace Mary promised to deliver when the world was consecrated to her Immaculate Heart. Prayer can work wonders, he said. “Many souls are lost today because no one is praying for them. That’s why Our Lady came to plead for our prayers. It’s a great mission we have as Catholics.”
Father Apostoli is a cofounder of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal and makes frequent appearances on the Eternal Word Television Network. He is the author of many books, including Fatima for Today
, and What to Do When Jesus Is Hungry: A Practical Guide to the Works of Mercy
, both published by Ignatius Press. His talk was part of the Distinguished Speakers Series.
Through the Distinguished Speakers Series, Franciscan University of Steubenville hosts leaders who integrate their faith and public life and inspire the next generation to be a transforming presence in the Church and society.