Call from Fatima
Lidia Dudkiewicz talks to Rev. Dr. Krzysztof Czapla, Director of the Fatima Secretariat in Zakopane-Krzeptowki.
Lidia Dudkiewicz: – The Great Novena of Fatima, which precedes the 100th anniversary of the apparitions in Fatima, started on 13 May 2009. It is a loud call directed to each of us…
Rev. Dr. Krzysztof Czapla: – John Paul II said, ‘Today more than whenever mankind stands at the crossroads.’ In various collective or individual decisions it is important to choose the right way leading to the most important aim, which is the Father’s House. This aim is not easy to attain and man on the move needs help. The contemporary world proposes easy, pleasant, comfortable ways. The liberal philosophy shows such ways and advertisements impose them noisily. It is proclaimed that there is no objective truth, that everyone has his/her truth, which depends on circumstances. It is easy and comfortable. ‘We do not say that there is no God’, the freethinkers proclaim, ‘but it is a personal choice. Religion is a private matter and not a public demonstration. The cross in public places infringes the freedom of other people. Let it stay in churches since its place is there’, we can hear such opinions more and more frequently, especially in the mass media.
If there is no truth and God is not needed man can live according to his ideas, not referring to the natural law. Consequently, there is the institutionalisation of various moral deviations. Laws are invented for various minorities, which we can witness more and more frequently. Moral and cultural liberalism has become a standard of life in Europe and it is becoming popular in Poland. We are dealing with the ideology of freedom without limits, responsibility, which results in the rejection of values and in lies heard everywhere. The ideology of consumption and easy life does not attract only young people. They follow the current the source of which is commercial, secular centres. People attracted by this current do not ask, ‘Who am I and where am I going?
– When we study the contents of the Fatima messages we can hear the call to conversion of sinners…
– In the religious language we speak about individual and social sins. The call from Fatima about ‘conversion of poor sinners’ becomes the call of the Great Novena of Fatima. On 13 May 2010 Benedict XVI said, ‘I have come to Fatima to pray, in union with Mary and so many pilgrims, for our human family, afflicted as it is by various ills and sufferings. […] In seven years you will return here to celebrate the centenary of the first visit made by the Lady “come from heaven.” The Pope reminded the gathered that the mission of Fatima had not ended. God is still looking for people ready to sacrifice for others to save the world. The call of Our Lady is still vivid and requires an answer of our heart, expressed in expiation for others, especially sinners.
– 13 October 1917 was the day of the last apparition of Our Lady of Fatima. What does it mean for the Fatima message? Are there reports of the witnesses?
– It was Lucia that asked the Mother of God to make a miracle so that others could believe. Mary answered that she would make a miracle in October and everyone could see it and believe. This news spread in Portugal. On 13 October almost 100,000 people gathered in Cove da Iria. At noon there was the miracle of ‘spinning sun.’ There were many witnesses of that event, including those who had doubts or non-believers. There are reports of various witnesses – simple people and educated people. One of them was Joseph Xavier, a professor from the University of Coimbra. The Lisbon press wrote about the events, too.
A miracle always confirms a supernatural event. ‘The miracle of the sun’ confirmed the unique presence of Mary who called the world to conversion, to save it from war and the violence of communism. On 7 November the Revolution broke out in Russia and it was destroying many nations until John Paul II fulfilled Mary’s request and dedicated the world to her Immaculate Heart. It was the beginning of transformations in Europe.
– How can each of us become a witness of the Fatima message?
– ‘We will be my witnesses to the ends of the earth’ (Acts 1:8). The Apostles, moved by the words of Christ, wanted to be witnesses. Contemporary people need the knowledge about the apparitions of Our Lady in Fatima and faith in the supernatural power of the apparitions. If only you want you can stand by God, proclaiming the Fatima message of Mary, i.e. you can become witnesses. Everyone can join the Great Novena of Fatima, which began in 2009, at any time. Novena is our prayer: daily Rosary, sacrifice of daily life: planned or not planned but offered with love and submission to God’s will, and participation in the service of the first Saturdays as well as conscious dedication to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. When we fulfil these requirements we ‘stand by God’ as witnesses facing the contemporary world.
In June 1939 Sr. Lucia wrote to the Holy Father Pius XII that if we had done more, promoting and accepting the service of the first Saturdays World War II might have not happened. Even today people do not understand this service. All of us need to become witnesses of the message of Fatima through personal practice and realisation of the appeal that the Mother of God directed to the world. Mary reminded us and instructed us that God desired to save sinners, the world and the Church though the service to her Immaculate Heart. Proclaiming this truth we become witnesses of the message of Fatima. The testimony is complete when it is expressed by words and deeds of daily piety.
– What does Fatima in Portugal think about the Great Novena in Poland?
– All initiatives of the Church in Krzeptowki-Zakopane, all initiatives launched by the Fatima Secretariat, which is the organiser of the Great Novena of Fatima, have been consulted with Fatima. Krzeptowki is the Polish Fatima. It prolongs the message of the shrine in Fatima in the Polish land. There have been close relationships between Krzeptowki and Fatima. We have often hosted the Bishop of Fatima and the Rector of the Shrine in Fatima. As for the Great Novena of Fatima one should know that before any information appeared in the media it had been consulted with Fatima. It was confirmed by the letter of Fr Virgílio Antunes, the Rector of Fatima, which we put in the materials for the first year of the novena, and the visit of the Rector of the Fatima sanctuary on 12-14 September 2009. He wanted to know the details of the activities of the Fatima Secretariat in Krzeptowki and the idea of the Great Novena initiated in Poland, regarding it as a valuable work, which should be supported by all possible means.
– You speak about the Great Novena of Fatima in Poland and abroad. Who wants to listen to the voice of Fatima today?
– Speaking about the message of Fatima I try to speak about its validity, that it has not been fulfilled yet although it is a big gift for our hard times. I point to the idea of the first Saturdays, which constitutes the centre of the Fatima message, which we tend to forget today, emphasizing the 13th day of the month, which is not in focus of the message. I turn attention to our fulfilment of the promises to God and Mary. We have made oaths but unfortunately, we do not remember our commitments and do not fulfil them. God wants to save poor sinners and encourages us to expiate for others. He wants us to go beyond our own problems and remember about those who are heading towards eternal condemnation.
Fr Eugeniusz Weron, a Pallottine priest who created the theology of apostleship, wrote the book ‘Obudzic olbrzyma’ [Waking the Giant], focusing on the laity who has huge and unused potential. Today one can say that ‘the giant’ is waking up thanks to the numerous Polish bishops who support the Great Novena of Fatima. Laymen have begun treating the words of the Our Lady of Fatima very seriously and feel called to do something for Mary. The idea of the Great Novena of Fatima has given them such an opportunity to act together. They have the defined aims and tasks. The Fatima Secretariat has become a centre that unites activities so that the world gets to know ‘the voice of Our Lady of Fatima.’ Both in Poland and abroad, e.g. in Germany, England, Wales, Belarus and Hungary we are glad to see the involvement of laity in our various prayer communities. One should also mention the big efforts of religious congregations in Poland and in distant countries. I am thinking of Kazakhstan, South Africa, Senegal or Croatia.
The world is struggling with many problems that influence our daily lives. People, tired of constant pursuit and uncertainty of tomorrow, need comfort and hope. The message of Fatima, discovered and deepened, slowly becomes the source of comfort flowing from the fact that God does not forget us but gives us powerful means of defence against evil, the means that can change the face of the earth. The Mother of God announces ‘era of peace’ and time of ‘triumph of her Immaculate Heart.’ Can it be a more joyful perspective for us, believers, when e.g. the world is rivalling by inventing increasingly terrifying scenarios for the year 2012? Fatima shows the future, which can be wonderful and full of hope.
Thanks be to God for every person that has responded to the message of Fatima and wants to pray together with other people, ‘Let your Immaculate Heart change the world!’ Aren’t we all waiting for that?…