Thirty years is not a long period in human history. But when we look back at the past three decades we will be astonished to see that so many important events that will direct the course of our life and existence in this world happened during such a short period.
Thirty years ago, to be precise on 13 May 1992, the Blessed Virgin told Fr Stefano Gobbi; “Beloved children, today you are observing the seventy-fifth anniversary of my first apparition, which took place at Fatima, in the Cova da Iria, on the 13th of May, 1917. 1 I want to invite you to live this day in prayer and in filial intimacy of life with me, your heavenly Mother. You are the fruit of this apparition of mine. You are the actualization of this message of mine’ (To the Priests, Our Lady’s Beloved Sons: Message No 473).
But what she said after this introduction was not so pleasant.
‘At that time, I predicted the times of the loss of the true faith and of the apostasy, which would be spread throughout every part of the Church. You are living the times of which I foretold you. You are the sign of my presence in the times of the purification and the great tribulation.
At that time, I predicted the times of the war, and of the persecution of the Church and the Holy Father, because of the spread of theoretical and practical atheism, and of the rebellion of humanity against God and his law’.
Having delivered this warning to her children about the stark realities of future years that they were going to face, Our Lady appealed to them to ‘live for the glory of the Heavenly Father, in the perfect imitation of her Son Jesus, docile to the sanctifying action of the Holy Spirit. Thus they will be able to give a strong witness of love and hope, of faith and justice, of humility and purity. They should become the powerful help which the Blessed Virgin offers, against the great evil of materialism and hedonism, of egoism and pride, of avarice and impurity’ (Message 473). A life with her is what she asks from us. It is the essence of consecrating ourselves to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Mary’s message is not one of despair, but of hope, because the events that are going to mark the future decades will, according to our Mother, lead to the triumph of her Immaculate Heart.
‘At that time, I predicted the chastisement and that, in the end, my Immaculate Heart would have its triumph’ (Message 473). Conversion to a life of faith, imitating all the virtues of the Blessed Virgin is the surest way for the triumph of her Immaculate Heart.
Seeking shelter under the maternal care of our Mother is all the more important today because it is going to be our surest refuge in times of adversity. Out Mother says; ‘The more this motherly triumph of mine comes about in the hearts and souls of my children in ever increasing numbers, the more the chastisement is put off by you, and the more Jesus can pour out upon the world the torrents of his divine mercy’ (Message 473).
What the Blessed Virgin prophesied three decades ago have already happened, or are in the course of happening. We were warned sufficiently early. Heaven has done its part. What about us? Are we prepared to face the tumultuous times and critical events that Our Lady has warned of and that we are witnessing today? We should think about it seriously. If we are prepared, well and good. If not, we have no time to waste because the speed at which future events unfold before our eyes will really startle us.
News about apostasy, denial of God, hate, war, famine, pandemics, and natural calamities have lost its novelty. It has become commonplace, the associated risk being that we will start adjusting with the ‘new normal’ and in the process slow down in our spiritual life at a time when we should be more prayerful and more vigilant. We have to reset our life and it should be centered on the need to be ever vigilant and spiritually prepared. We also have a duty to pray for those who are still in their slumber without caring for the signs of the times. Though they are not aware of what is going to happen, we know that ‘it will come upon all who live on the face of the whole earth’ (Lk 21:35).