Hello dear reader! Happy Feast of our Lady of Fatima to you! Today is a great feast day in the history of the Church. On this day Our Lady appeared to 3 children of Fatime and over the course of 6 apparitions made 3 requests of them; pray the Rosary daily, pennance for sins, and devotion to Her Immaculate Heart. Of most concern to Our Lady was the state of the world, particularly World War I and the Communist Revolution in Russia. The visions of Fatima have been written about extensively elsewhere; I will provide a link below. What I will attempt to do is tie the 3 requests of Fatima to mental illness and those suffering from it.
Request 1: Pray the Rosary
Our Lady of Fatima knows that prayer is essential to peace. She went so far to call herself “The Lady of the Rosary”. 6 times Our Lady requested that the Rosary be recited daily. What an amazing gift, dear reader! The Rosary at its heart is a simple Biblical prayer that can be recited by anyone in 20 minutes time. It has been said that anyone who prays the Rosary has the power of God in their hands. I highly recommend the daily saying the Rosary as a source of peace and contemplation; I can personally attest that it’s wonderful medicine against depressive moods and panic attacks
Request 2: Pennance
At the heart of Our Lady of Fatima’s second request is a simple command: offer up daily prayers and sacrifices for the salvation of sinners and the remission of sins. The Church teaches that one soul is worth all of Jesus’s Passion and suffering. That is how important it is to try and save one soul from sin and death. The children offered up small sacrifices and mortifications daily for this exact cause. As Christians we are called to share in that sacrifice and offer up our own pain and suffering in order to unite it with the suffering of Jesus. This includes the anguish and trials caused by mental illness. For as Our Lady says, “Pray, pray very much, and make sacrifices for sinners; for many souls go to hell, because there are none to sacrifice themselves and pray for them.”
Request 3: Devotion to the Immaculate Heart
This request can be summed up in the words of the child Jacinta:
“Tell everybody that God grants graces through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and that they must ask them from her. Tell them that the Heart of Jesus wishes that by His side should be venerated the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Also tell them to ask peace through the Immaculate Heart of Mary; God has placed it in her hands. Oh that I could put into the heart of everybody the flame that I feel burning within my breast and which makes me love so much the Heart of Jesus and the Heart of Mary.”
The idea is that prayer and pennance would help make reparations for the sin in the world that causes so much pain to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary. Our Lady wants nothing more than to shower us with good things and graces. However, these must be asked for in gratitude. Sadly, people are blinded by sin and do not ask for grace. Our Lady sums it up as such:
“Have pity on the Heart of your most Holy Mother. It is covered with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment, and there is no one to remove them with an act of reparation.”
As you can see, dear reader, by fulfilling Our Lady of Fatima’s requests we can not only gain peace from our mental illnesses but we can grow in holiness at the same time. My prayer for you this day is that you choose to follow in the footsteps of the children of Fatima. God Bless!
For more about Our Lady of Fatima please see here: