I have read a lot on Our Lady of Fatima over the years, as I am sure you have, as well; but, the other day, I read a piece by the Texan writer and scholar, Dr. Taylor Marshall, where he presented a new insight into one aspect of Fatima. He presented an insight into the meaning of the visions that appeared in the sky following the Miracle of the Sun. I thought I would share his thoughts with you today.
As you might recall, the Miracle of the Sun is the largest modern day miracle: it was seen by 50, 000 people. After this monumental miracle, the three children who were privileged to see Our Lady, Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco (image, above), viewed a series of visions in the sky. In his piece, Dr. Marshall declares that this series of the Fatima message represents the Mysteries of the Rosary.
Dr. Marshall states:
The Miracle of the Sun in 1917 symbolized the 15 decades of the Rosary.
Immediately after the Blessed Virgin Mary’s Miracle of the Sun in 1917, Lucy, Jacinta, and Francisco witnessed three apparitions. Lucia described them this way:
“After Our Lady had disappeared into the immense distance of the firmament, we beheld St. Joseph with the Child Jesus and Our Lady robed in white with a blue mantle, beside the sun. St. Joseph and the Child Jesus appeared to bless the world, for they traced the Sign of the Cross with their hands. When, a little later, this apparition disappeared, I saw Our Lord and Our Lady; it seemed to me that it was Our Lady of Sorrows. Our Lord appeared to bless the world in the same manner as St. Joseph had done. This apparition also vanished, and I saw Our Lady once more, this time resembling Our Lady of Mount Carmel.”
So then the three extra apparitions were as follows:
The Holy Family – Jesus Mary and Joseph
Our Lady of Sorrows
Our Lady of Mount Carmel
What is the significance of these visions and their order? It seems to me that the reveal the historic ordering of the life Mary. Even more notable is that they mirror the three traditional sets of mysteries for the Holy Rosary:
Joyful Mysteries (which include Joseph)
Sorrowful Mysteries (which depict the sufferings of Jesus and Mary)
Glorious Mysteries (which culminate in the Queenship of Mary)
So then, the visions and their order are not at all arbitrary – they follow the pattern of the Mysteries of the Holy Rosary.
I would only add that the depiction of Our Lady of Mount Carmel for the Queenship of Mary is not at all surprising since we on earth enroll as her visible subjects by wearing the Holy Scapular. Christ’s reign through Mary is thereby manifested on earth through the Holy Scapular.
We must recall that the order of these mysteries is the same for all of us. We begin in a domestic setting – a family. We then endure the sufferings of this life – we carry our cross with Christ. Lastly, we receive our heavenly reward – to reign with Christ and Mary in glory. (source)
At Fatima, Our Lady asked us to pray the Rosary every day. This prayer must be more efficacious than we even know. Lucia of Fatima spoke of this in 1957 when she said:
“The Most Holy Virgin in these last times in which we live has given a new efficacy to the recitation of the Rosary to such an extent that there is no problem, no matter how difficult it is, whether temporal or above all spiritual, in the personal life of each one of us, of our families…that cannot be solved by the Rosary. There is no problem, I tell you, no matter how difficult it is, that we cannot resolve by the prayer of the Holy Rosary.” -Sister Lucia dos Santos of Fatima, in an interview with Father Fuentes in 1957
Yes, let us take up this glorious chain today, and every day, as Our Lady instructed at Fatima; and where Our Queen Mother expressed her love for the Rosary in the post-Miracle of the Sun visions, as detailed by Dr. Taylor Marshall.
May you have a good day, and weekend.
~Image: circa, 1917, the three children of the visions of Our Lady at Fatima, Portugal: Saints Lucia Santos (L) and Francisco and Jacinta Marto, source.