Fatima is Forever

By Spirit Daily
By Spirit Daily
Book Reveals Extraordinary Closeness
Between John Paul And Fatima Seer, Who
Read Fax From Him On Day Of Her Death

First Story

In a new book a prominent expert on the apparitions in Fatima, Portugal, reports that hours before she died, Sister Lucia de Jesus dos Santos -- the sole living Fatima visionary -- was given a letter faxed from Pope John Paul II -- perhaps the final thing the seer read.

In the letter the pontiff wrote that on hearing of Sister Lucia's illness, he had prayed that she would be able to live "the moment of pain and suffering" with a "paschal spirit" -- dramatically ending his missive with a blessing.

It was a final act in what the priest, Father Robert Fox -- author of a highly revealing book, Fatima Is Forever -- says was a special bond between the seer and John Paul II, who himself died a mere seven weeks later.

"Only the Holy Father and some bishops were informed of the imminent possibility that Sister Lucia was nearing death," recounts Father Fox. "During those same months that Lucia's strength wasFatima is Forever Paperback Book by Fr. Robert J. Fox failing, the same was happening to Pope John Paul II as the world became aware of his failing health."

Sister Lucia, who was 97, died on February 13, 2005. The Pope died on April 2.

"When receiving news of Sister Lucia's worsening health condition, Pope John Paul II sent her a message on Saturday, the day before she died," writes Father Fox -- who has founded an  organization called the Fatima Family Apostolate. "Bishop Albino Cleto of Coimbra confirmed that Sister Lucia heard the reading of the papal message on Sunday (the day she died) and, being 'very affected' by it, asked if she could personally read the text of the fax [below, left]. 'It was, perhaps, the last reaction she had in relation to the life around her,' added the bishop."

Enclosed in her cell at a Carmelite convent north of Fatima, in Coimbra, the legendary nun died in the company of her bishop, doctors, sisters in religion, and an attending nurse at 5:25 p.m. local time -- ending one of the most dramatic episodes in the history of Catholic mysticism.

As the book describes, Sister Lucia had suffered a serious "fainting fit" the previous November -- one so bad it seemed like the end -- and was infirm from that point on, necessitating the assistance of sisters day and night in the weeks leading up to her passing. The nun took solid food for the final time on January 28 and by February 1 was on an intravenous drip, according to the fascinating account.

Although she did not speak, says Father Fox, the visionary made many affectionate gestures in her final days to a statue of the Fatima Virgin that John Paul II had sent her during December of 2003 -- in another link to the Holy Father.

Writes Father Fox: "She was alert on February 6, 2005. She would say slowly, 'Our Lady! Our Lady! Angels! Angels! Heart of Jesus! Heart of Jesus!'"

On February 6, Sister Lucia received Communion for the last time, recounts the priest. After that a pyx with the Host was placed on her chest so she could make an act of Adoration. The book also reveals that the nun was offering her sufferings for the Pope, who was struggling with a Parkinson's-like affliction.

"From time to time, we spoke to her of the illness of the Holy Father," recounted the mother superior. "She would raise her hands and say: 'For the Holy Father.' Since March of the previous year, she had never let go of the rosary which the Holy Father had sent her. She had it with her until the moment when she closed her eyes on this earth."

It has been revealed that at midnight on February 12, a sister assigned to Sister Lucia's room brought to Lucia's lips the image of Fatima, which the dying nun kissed. For the rest of the night she passed the beads of a rosary John Paul II had given her through her fingers as a nun recited the prayers.

It was the conclusion of what Father Fox documents as a "deep spiritual friendship" with John Paul, who was known as the "Fatima Pope" but apparently was even more powerfully attached to the apparition site than has been commonly recognized. The Pontiff was well-known as open to apparitions at a time when mysticism in general was disregarded in many dioceses.

"I once stood about thirty feet from Pope John Paul II, with perhaps a million pilgrims present, pilgrims packing every inch of the Cova and beyond," Father Fox writes. "The Pope knelt immediately before the spot of the apparitions in the Capelinha. He was wrapped in the deepest prayer. There can be no doubt that the sense of the presence of the Mother of God, especially at such times, would come to the Pope. The crowd of hundreds of thousands was totally quiet all the while."

It was John Paul, reveals Father Fox, who suggested that Sister Lucia write a document that later became her highly-acclaimed book Calls from the Message of Fatima. The nun also penned a booklet that will be made available shortly in English.

The Pope met with Sister Lucia on three visits to Fatima: in 1982, 1991, and on May 13, 2000 -- when he beatified the two other seers, Francisco and Jacinta Marto, and set in motion release of the famous third secret.

The secret indicated the intervention of Mary in saving the world from a flaming chastisement, the martyrdom of the Church, and what appeared to be a premonition of the assassination attempt on John Paul himself. That attempt was made on May 13, 1917 -- incredibly, anniversary date of the first Fatima apparition.

The bullet extracted from the Pope was later implanted in the crown of the Virgin in the chapel of apparitions, as the pontiff credited the Blessed Virgin of Fatima with miraculously saving him.

It was with profound emotion, the Pope later wrote, that he learned of Lucia's passing.

"I remember with emotion the various meetings I had with her and the bonds of spiritual friendship that, with the passing of time, were intensified," he wrote to Bishop Cleto. "I have always felt supported by the daily gift of her prayer, especially in the harsh moments of trial and suffering. May the Lord reward her amply for the great and hidden service she has done to the Church."


Marble From Tomb Of Peter Used As
Cornerstone In New Church At Fatima

The Meaning of the Number 13

Second Story

What's in a number? If you ask one priest, Father Robert J. Fox, potentially a lot. And particularly with the number "13" -- that is, 13 as it relates to dates at the famous apparitions of Fatima.

Why did they start on May 13 (1917)? Why did they then recur on the 13th of nearly every subsequent month -- culminating in the famous sun miracles of October 13, 1917?

Why was Pope John Paul II shot on May 13 (1981)?

And, finally: was there any significance to the fact that the last living Fatima seer, Sister Lucia de Jesus dos Santos, died on February 13 (2005)?

We present it for your evaluation. "It seems one of the best explanations for 13 is found in the Book of Esther, where the number 13 denotes a time of danger to God's people," says Father Fox. "The Book tells of a plot in the fifth century B.C., instigated by the evil Haman, to kill all the Jews living in Persia. Haman convinced King Ahasuerus that the Jews were rebellious and should all be killed on the 13th of Adar."

As Father Fox points out, however, Queen Esther of Persia interceded with the king, convinced him of Haman's evil intentions, and destruction was averted.

"The number 13 reveals a key role in denoting a time of danger for God's people which was transformed into victory through the intercession of Queen Esther."

Early fathers of the Church, points out this priest, in a book called Fatima Is Forever, "saw Esther as a type of the Virgin Mary."

And so it is that the first secrets of Fatima were granted on July 13, 1917, warning of the rise of Communism and great dangers to the world while the third secret -- which was later revealed on May 13, 2000 -- revealed an image of the Blessed Mother drowning out the flames from a chastising angel.

Sister Lucia herself pointed out that one of the Fatima predictions, the beginning of World War Two, could be traced to the first territorial aggressions of Hitler in Austria, which he annexed in 1938 -- on April 13.

Fascinating too: Pope Pius XII, who would lead the Church through that war, was consecrated as a bishop on May 13, 1917 -- at the exact hour that Our Lady appeared at Fatima.

The promise at Fatima was that if Russia was consecrated to her Immaculate Heart, Russia would be converted and there would be a period of peace. Such was done by John Paul II in 1984 and in the summer of 1989, says Father Fox, "Sister Lucia felt a great urgency to get the message out to the world that the Collegial Consecration of Russia for its conversion was accomplished."

The priest says that he "had the privilege of being informed months in advance on behalf of Sister Lucia of what was to happen in the second half of 1989 (as far as the fall of Communism). After I was given this message in 1989 the world saw the Communist nations change rapidly in a few months' time, the end of 1989." Father Fox says the seer also strongly assured him that the third secret has been revealed in full.

Last but not least, Father Fox reveals that Pope John Paul II had a chunk of marble chipped off the Tomb of Peter and sent to Fatima to use in the cornerstone of its new basilica.

This occurred during a meeting between the Pope and the shrine's rector, Monsignor Luciano Guerra, for what is known as the Church of the Most Holy Trinity, the construction of which began in 2004.

"It adds to the significance," says Father Fox, "of Fatima as 'altar of the world.'"

The laying of the cornerstone was accomplished during a ceremony on June 6, 2004 -- coinciding precisely with the day when the Universal Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, the very name, of course, given the new church, which will hold 9,000.

As John Paul once said about Fatima: "In the designs of Providence, there are no mere coincidences."

As for Benedict XVI, there is reason to believe that Fatima and specifically the third secret helped propel him to his first encyclical, which was on love.

"Allow me to add here a personal recollection," he had written back when he was still Cardinal Ratzinger. "In a conversation with me Sister Lucia said that it appeared ever more clearly to her that the purpose of all the apparitions was to help people to grow more and more in faith, hope, and love -- everything was intended to lead to this."

"Fatima is more than a simple devotion," says Father Fox. "It has depth that is Trinitarian, Christological, Ecclesial, Marian, and Contemplative -- all at the same time. Being Ecclesial, it must therefore be Eucharistic."

And indeed it was an angel who administered the Eucharist to the three Fatima children in 1916 before Mary appeared. Lucia never could recall the date, although one would be forgiven for guessing that it had been the 13th.


originally published as foxbookfatima2

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Category:  Catholic Fatima
Published: Fatima Family Apostolate ( Non-Profit)
Publish Date: 2006
Binding: Paperback
Dimensions: 10 L x 7 W x 5/8 H
Price: $13.00

Publisher Official Website: www.fatimafamily.org

Fatima Family Apostolate is dedicated to the sanctification of the family and the individual through spreading the Fatima message.  A non-profit Catholic missionary apostolate specializing in the publishing and distribution of Catholic books designed to aid Catholics on their journey towards heaven.

The Fatima Family Apostolate was started at the encouragement of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, and is endorsed by the Vatican's Pontifical Council for the Family. It is now an international Apostolate, having members all over the world and publishes a 52-page quarterly magazine called
the Immaculate Heart Messenger.

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