The apparitions of the Virgin Mary at Fatima Portugal are intimately tied to the Islamic world.  The two great women of Islam are the Virgin Mary of Nazareth and Mohammed's daughter, named Fatima.  After the death of his daughter, Fatima, Mohammed wrote: "Thou shalt be the most blessed of all the women in Paradise, after Mary".  The village itself in Portugal called Fatima was named such by a Christian leader who married a Muslim maiden named after Mohammed's daughter.


      When Pope John Paul II was almost killed in Saint Peter's Square by an extremist, some interpreted it as the fulfillment of a prophecy spoken by the young seer of Fatima.  It did not actually fulfill the words of the prophecy and so the terrible event of 1981, happening, indeed, as it did on May 13, the feast of Our Lady of Fatima, could therefore be interpreted only as a foreshadowing or warning, if you will, of the eventual real fulfillment of the prophecy.


      The Holy Father, Benedict XVI, after his controversial speech at the Germany University, fortunately had an opportunity to re-affirm the Church's important teaching regarding the religion of the Muslims:


           "The Church regards with esteem also the Muslims. They adore the one God,

           living and subsisting in Himself; merciful and all-powerful, the Creator of heaven

           and earth, Who has spoken to men; they take pains to submit wholeheartedly to

           even His inscrutable decrees, just as Abraham, with whom the faith of Islam

           takes pleasure in linking itself, submitted to God. Though they do not acknowledge

           Jesus as God, they revere Him as a prophet. They also honor Mary, His virgin

           Mother; at times they even call on her with devotion. In addition, they await the

           day of judgment when God will render their deserts to all those who have been

           raised up from the dead. Finally, they value the moral life and worship God

           especially through prayer, almsgiving and fasting"


      We have to add as well, that despite the accusation of violence so often made against Muslim extremists, they are not guilty of the of terrible slaughter of innocent life in the womb that occurs with such lack of scruples throughout the western world.  Likewise in Islamic countries they maintain a high respect for the dignity of true marriage between a man and a women.


      What is to be feared, however, is that the price of this sad controversy may, in the end, cost the Pope his life, and it seems all the more possible, since the, as yet unfulfilled, prophecy of the seer of Fatima would in fact then, according to the letter, be fulfilled.


      We must, as Jacinta so often pleaded: "Pray for the Holy Father", and as Our Lady of Fatima requested at each apparition: "Pray the Rosary every day".


Father Thomas Carleton  Editorial

 Feast of Our Lady of La Salette and the Martyr Saint Januarius