Today, of course, is the 100th anniversary of the start of the visions of Our Lady that three small children experienced in Fatima, Portugal, starting on May 13, 1917.
The above link is an account of the events of Fatima. Another account, which I recommend, is that of John J. Delaney is his 1961 book “A Woman Clothed with the Sun.”
The visions of Fatima are a message of God’s mercy. Visions are intended, not merely to provide a personal divine message to the visionary, but to offer a word of encouragement to the entire Church. Fatima certainly does that. While Catholics are not required to hold faith in these visions or any particular vision, even those approved by the Church after extensive investigation, it seems unreasonable to me that a God who is both transcendent and intimate would not, at some times over the course of the years, make contact with His people in ways that reveal both His transcendence and His intimacy. Visions do both. They reveal the transcendence of God by giving Him praise and, often enough, by being accompanied by miraculous events (Guadelupe, Lourdes, Fatima). At the same time, they reveal the intimacy of God, who is close to His people, close enough to desire to give us close contact with the divine. That Mary is the one who so often comes to visit isn’t surprising. Who better to communicate the love and mercy of Jesus than His own Mother? What emissary could more efficaciously communicate His love and mercy than that one who showered Him with love and mercy during His earthly pilgrimage?
God is good. Today is a day to celebrate His goodness, His love, His mercy. Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
Be Christ for all. Bring Christ to all. See Christ in all.