In considering the sorry state of the world, one can’t help but wonder when the Lord might intervene.
So, when might he intervene?
I don’t know, he hasn’t told me.
It it is interesting to me, and to many others, such as Msgr. Charles Pope, writing the National Catholic Register, that this 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation is also the 100th anniversary of Fatima, and May 13 and October 12/13 seem particularly relevant.
- 12 October 40 AD – Our lady of the Pillar, the first Marian apparition, in which she appears to St. James while still living, and encourages and supports his work of evangelization. Our Lady gave St. James a statue of herself, of dark wood, standing upon a pillar.
- 12 October, 1492 – After going a long time without seeing land, Columbus promised his anxious crewman that if they did not have landfall in their sight by the October 12th feast of Our Lady of the Pillar, they would sail back to Spain. They sighted land on October 12, and made landfall on October 13.
- 12 October (1717)- Our Lady of Aparecida (Brazil) – a black Our lady of the Immaculate Conception statue discovered by fishermen, who fished all night and found nothing, until they did so with trust in Our Lady, when they could barely bring in the nets. The shrine is the largest Marian shrine in the world. The day is also children’s day in Brazil.
- 13 October 1884 – Pope Leo XIII vision of Satan’s challenge to our Lord (33 years to the day before our Lady of Fatima’s most spectacular apparition) in which Satan requests 100 years to destroy the church.
- 12 October 1895 – Our Lady Of Guadalupe (feast December 12) authorized during the Canonical coronation by Pope Leo XIII. Additional titles granted include: “Queen of Mexico and Empress of the Americas”, “Patroness of the Americas”, “Empress of Latin America”, “Protectress of Unborn Children”, and “Mother of the Americas.”
- 13 May to 13 October 1917 – Our Lady appears at Fatima
- October 13, 1973 – Our Lady of Akita‘s final appearance (locally approved by the Bishop, but not approved for the universal church) during the year Roe v Wade opened the floodgates to allow wholesale slaughter of the unborn.
In every case but Our Lady of Fatima, she appears or is portrayed as a non-European. Europe has long dominated the church, but that pendulum seems to have swung to the south.
In each case, we are called to repent ourselves, then take up the work of evangelization.
In every case, October 12 or 13 is significant, and represents a point of transition in our Lady’s work on behalf of our Lord.
Perhaps there’s something incredible in store for us in the next few months, or perhaps we’ll look back from 2018 and cry out “how long, oh Lord?” In any case: we are called to repentance, we are called to evangelize. If 500 years of division in the western church, and 1977 years of our Lady appearing regularly to implore us to get about the Great Commission don’t teach us that much, what will?
- If God Does Not Intervene: Fourth Sunday of Easter (A)
- Truth and Friendship – Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time (A)