Thoughts on the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima from Fr Willie Doyle

I saw many interesting places and things during my weeks of travel. But over all hung a big cloud of sadness, for I realised as I never did before how utterly the world has forgotten Jesus except to hate and outrage Him, the fearful, heart-rending amount of sin visible on all sides, and the vast work for souls that lies before us priests. My feelings at times are more than I can describe. The longing to make up to our dear Lord for all He is suffering is overwhelming, and I ask Him, since somehow my own heart seems indifferent to His pleading, to give me the power to do much and very much to console Him. 

COMMENT: Today is the feast of Our Lady of Fatima, although it is not celebrated liturgically because it falls on a Sunday.  We are not obliged to believe in the authenticity of apparitions. However, the Church has approved of the Fatima apparitions and the popes since then have shown a special interest in them. 

Fr Doyle’s quote today is quite apt for this feast, for the apparitions at Fatima are a call to conversion and a call to reparation for the sins of the world. Perhaps some people mistakenly think of Fatima in a negative manner or as something old fashioned or no longer relevant in the 21st century. But who can doubt that the world has forgotten Jesus more now than in 1917 when the apparitions occurred and when Fr Doyle died? Isn’t there more need for penance and reparation for the awful sins that have occurred since 1917? The Russian Revolution; the continuing horrors of the First World War; the persecution of the Church in Mexico and in Spain; the Second World War; the Communist persecution of the Church; the general breakdown of the family and sexual restraint and the sins connected to this, including abortion; the growth of aggressive secularism that seeks to remove the Church from the public square; the growth of materialism and the pursuit of wealth at all costs, even the destruction of our natural environment. And then there are the outrageous sins of those in the Church who should have loved and protected children but who instead preyed on them. And in all of this let us not forget our own sins, for none of us are innocent either… 

Truly there is an even greater need for penance and reparation now than there was in 1917. Yet there is always hope and mercy and God’s grace to help us get back on the right track. So while we have much to be sorrowful for, we also have much to be thankful for and there are indeed many signs of hope and of new growth in the Church. Jesus promised that the gates of Hell would not withstand against the Church, and at Fatima Mary promised that her Immaculate Heart would triumph… 

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One thought on “Thoughts on the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima from Fr Willie Doyle

  1. Thank you for this post… I was wondering yesterday what it would have been like if Father Willie had lived to hear about Our Lady’s appearance at Fatima and the miracles there. I think he would have found the reports worthy of belief, and I imagine he would have been devoted to Our Lady of Fatima.

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