Today is a great and glorious day, a day in which to love with all praise and thanksgiving our Lord and His Most precious Mother. Today two holy events meet, the Ascension of the resurrected Jesus and the first of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima on May 13th in Portugal.
From Pope Benedict XVI’s address in Portugal:
In truth, the times in which we live demand a new missionary vigour on the part of Christians, who are called to form a mature laity, identified with the Church and sensitive to the complex transformations taking place in our world. Authentic witnesses to Jesus Christ are needed, above all in those human situations where the silence of the faith is most widely and deeply felt: among politicians, intellectuals, communications professionals who profess and who promote a monocultural ideal, with disdain for the religious and contemplative dimension of life. In such circles are found some believers who are ashamed of their beliefs and who even give a helping hand to this type of secularism, which builds barriers before Christian inspiration. And yet, dear brothers, may all those who defend the faith in these situations, with courage, with a vigorous Catholic outlook and in fidelity to the magisterium, continue to receive your help and your insightful encouragement in order to live out, as faithful lay men and women, their Christian freedom.
On May 13, 1917, the Blessed Vrgin Mary, who we now honor as Our Lady of Fatima, our Lady of the Rosary, appeared for the first time to the three seers, Francisco, Jacinta & Lucia at the Cova Da Iria, Fatima, Portugal. She asked that the Rosary be said to obtain peace for the world and to end the war.
The world still needs the peace that Our Lady promises in answer to this powerful prayer. If war was the punishment for unrepented sin in 1917, what do we risk today by abortion ,euthanasia, and unchaste lives? Mercy is still God’s choice if we would but choose Him and begin to live a lifestyle of holiness. He is still sending His own Mother to help us and form us for her Son.
EWTN’s Sunday Night:Live with Fr. Groeschel featured – Our Lady Appears in Rwanda. Guest: Immaculee Illibagiza
Recently, I wrote about Immaculee , her book, Left to Tell and about the Apparitions of Our Lady of Kibeho that preceded and predicted the Rwandan genocide nine years before it occurred. The images of the apparition were graphic and terrorizing as was the genocide.
In Left to Tell, Immaculee Ilibagiza tells her story of her experience of the Rwandan genocide. In 1981, many years prior to the Rwandan events( to which the world turned a blind eye,) Our Lady made them known through a series of apparitions (approved by the Church) to seven children, Alphonse, Anathalie, Marie Claire, Agnes, Stephanie and Vestine and Emanuel, a young pagan, known as ‘Sagastasha’ at the time of the revelations.
The Shrine of Our Lady of Kibeho has been given Church approval. Sean Bloomfield writes:
Although Rwanda was graced by a divine visitation during the eighties, the nineties brought quite the opposite: a gruesome genocide in which a million men, women and children were brutally killed, often by friends and neighbors, in only 100 days. The message of Kibeho, however, is intrinsically tied to this tragic event.
It was not until after the war that the Catholic Church made a definitive ruling about the apparitions. Only three of the seven alleged visionaries gained Church approval:
Alphonsine Murmureka Nathalie Mukamazimpaka Marie Claire MukangangoThese seers were the first three young people to report experiencing apparitions of the Virgin Mary, who called herself Nyina wa Jambo, which translates to Mother of the Word.