The great Novena of fatima 2009-2017
The centenary anniversary of the apparitions at Fatima falls in 2017. We invite you to prepare yourselves for this event by the great nine-year novena, which began on 13 May 2009 and will end on 13 May 2017.
The period was divided into stages showing the most important contents of the Fatima message. Within the novena we reflect the urgent appeals, which God directs to us through the Heart of the Immaculate Virgin Mary. For the nine successive years, the six Fatima months (May – October) are occasions to reflect on particular themes, connected with the motto of each year.
We trust that the Great Novena of Fatima, filled with prayer, reflection and catechesis, will help many people find their ways to ‘new, better world’ (John Paul II): towards personal conversion and coming of the hour of triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Topics of the Great novena of Fatima:
1. CONFIDENT OF VICTORY (2009)
Confrontation with the civilization of death
2.SECURE AT THE EGE OF TIME (2010)
Always with Mary
3.MORE THAN TEMPORALITY (2011)
There is heaven, hell and purgatory
4.WE DO NOT LIVE FOR OURSELVES (2012)
Reparation for the sins of the world
5.EUCHARISTIC KEY (2013)
Miracle of miracles that changes everything
6.INVITED TO HEAVEN (2014)
Yet the rosary, scapular, penitential string
7.POWER OF THE FAMILY (2015)
Home church that the gates of the underworld will not prevail against it
8.GOD IS MERCIFUL (2016)
Last word belongs to God who is Love
9.WAY THROUGH THE HEART (2017)
Covenant of hearts: Jesus’, Mary’s and ours
Fr Krzysztof Czapla, SAC
Fr Virgílio Antunes, Rector of the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima, Portugal
CALL FROM FATIMA BEFORE THE CENTENARY ANIVERSARY OF THE APPARITIONS AT FATIMA
The celebrations of the centenary of the apparitions at Fatima commemorate significant events for the religious life of Catholics. The call of Fatima carries special dynamism that embraces the present and future times because it tells us how we can live in Christian faith. Consequently, the celebrations of the centenary should incline us to deepen and interpret the call as well as it should become an impulse to renew and strengthen our faith.
The pilgrimage of Pope Benedict XVI to Fatima, held in May 2010, continuing the visits of his predecessors, shows that the Fatima message has aspects that can make it a motion wheel of evangelisation as well as a way to conversion and encounter with Christ.
The celebration is not meant to mark an anniversary of a certain passing historical event the repercussions of which are limited to some future moment. The events at Fatima are a call that can appeal to all people of all times. The celebrations of the centenary should be another tool of this call.
The official beginning of the preparatory period leading to the year 2017 was set on 1 December 2010, the day, which is a national holiday in Portugal (Independence Day).
Bishop Jozef Zawitkowski of Lowicz
THE CALL FROM FATIMA REMINDS US OF THE TRUTH ABOUT HEAVEN, HELL AND PURGATORY
I want to thank the whole Fatima Secretariat in Zakopane-Krzeptowki for reminding us of the centenary anniversary of the apparitions at Fatima. I thank you for your proposing us the prayerful novena and numerous materials you have prepared so zealously. Many good priests use your help on the first Saturdays of the month and on every thirteenth day from May to October, and they pray humbly before Our Lady of Fatima. Our times are hard. We can see and feel how hell has opened and its angels are emanating hatred. We should experience purgatory here and then let it be heaven. My thoughts and heart often go to Krzeptowki. I kneel at the tomb of the great priest, late Fr Miroslaw Drozdek. I recollect the Holy Father John Paul II kneeling in front of the statue of Our Lady of Fatima. It was her that saw the bloody ring of the Fisherman in the Morskie Oko Lake. She drew it, cleaned it and saved it. The church at Krzeptowki is a living votive to Our Beautiful Lady of Fatima, carved with highlanders’ love. This church hides the mystery of what the Holy Father spoke to Our Lady of Krzeptowki.
May John Paul be subito santo! And when he comes as a saint, a miracle will happen and the face of this land will be renewed. Let us pray and let it be.
Rev. Krzysztof Czapla, SAC, Director of the Fatima Secretariat in Zakopane-Krzeptowki
MORE THAN TEMPORALITY
There is heaven, hell, purgatory – we want to reflect on this topic in 2011. It flows from the core of the Fatima message. ‘I come from heaven,’ Mary said in 1917, ‘to save the souls of poor sinners from hell.’ We know these words and we often hear them on various occasions but do we understand their sense fully? Desiring to respond to the call from Fatima one should fathom its content, not limiting it to general formulations, which do not show the essence of our Fatima piety.
Before her death Sister Lucia wrote that she did not know whether Our Lady wanted to show us hell in the Light of God’s enormous Being so that we could understand better the need to offer our sacrifices to God, prayer for conversion of sinners; perhaps she wanted to do so because she knew that truth would be negated or doubted in the future.
Today, although we have the 21st century, one should remind people of this truth, which is ridiculed and moreover, the one who can understand it is exposed to derision and accusation that he makes the Church a ‘besieged fortress.’ By analogy, one can refer this issue to the matter concerning politics from which the Church should ‘stand aloof.’ Of course, it is a wide problem but let us notice that the Mother of God said straight, ‘If Russia is not converted, she will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church […] various nations will be annihilated.’ Would not many ‘enlightened’ people recognise the subject as too political and not suitable for the pulpit today? The answer seems obvious. Isn’t it wrong to speak about purgatory and hell, having such contemporary knowledge? The world, which has lost the sense of sacrum, wants to instil such a conviction in us.
Let us enrol at ‘the school of Mary.’ Let us join the work of the Great Novena of Fatima and let us not allow to be conceived by the illusion of the present that man can repair and change the world. Only God can do it and he wanted to do it through the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Wincenty Laszewski, a Catholic writer
THE ESSENCE OF THE MESSAGE OF FATIMA
Fatima, Fatima, Fatima. This word is repeated like a refrain by generations, pontificates and contemporary epochs of the Church. ‘What is Fatima?’ ask those enemies of faith who are not worried about it. The question was also asked by Mehmet Ali Agca, the assassinator. And John Paul II answered him, ‘Someone shoots and someone else carries the bullets.’ Since our purposefulness is not in our hands. The Lord of our lives decides about the course of events. And we are not lords of our lives. This is the message of Fatima.
Fatima is a sign; for many it is a sign of opposition because it turns the world upside down. No wonder some reject it, some ignore it and others provide a ‘proper’ reinterpretation so that the message of Fatima meets their expectations.
Fatima says briefly: We are not so important at all. It proclaims that today our suffering is most precious. It adds that our rescue is the Immaculate Heart of Mary. These mottos make many people angry, even those who are the closest to Fatima – Catholics. Benedict XVI saw it himself. But he stopped the discussion. He stated that God decided to the surprise of those belonging to the English and German cultural circles, in which only what can be measured and weighed by reason was true. But the mind cannot comprehend the heart. By the way, today the world claims that only fools follow their hearts.
Well, Fatima reminds us that Christ is a ‘fool.’ He chose defeat, suffering, rejection. He spent 90% of his life at Mary’s Heart and his public ministry lasted only three years. And so did his Mother: poor, trustful, seeking happiness for others… ‘God chose what is foolish by human reckoning,’ St. Paul writes.
What wisdom will contemporary man choose? God’s, although incomprehensible or ordered wisdom of this world, guaranteeing success as if God did not exist, as if heaven, purgatory or even worse, hell did not exist?
Fatima is not a motto we can hear and – everything is clear. It is not closed in the words: pray the Rosary! Practice the first Saturdays! In order to understand what it means that one can save the world and people, one should deepen the mystery of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and learn to venerate it so that the heart becomes the gate to ‘new, better world’ (Paul VI, John Paul II). It is not a one-day task. And getting to know it is not enough… one should understand it with one’s heart.
That’s why we have the Great Novena of Fatima. Several years so that our lives are penetrated by the message of Fatima. And with us – the whole world. So that the great message of the Mother of God is fulfilled, ‘But in the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph.’ This Heart will be victorious; it will be her Heart and not the reason, science and the interested economy of this world.
We are living at the threshold of transformations. We can see keys to the gate leading to better times. One should take them and carry. Even if it means giving up many things. There is heaven. God looks at us from the heights of heaven and laughs at those who think that they are lords of this world and heaven is clouds of Utopia over their heads.
They are fools. We are not… For us eternity is what counts above all.
Krystyna Czuba, the Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University in Warsaw, the Higher School of Social and Media Culture in Torun
WE WANT TO RESPOND WITH FAITH AND LIFE
Human life, seen in the perspective going beyond temporality, touches the Apocalypse and sense of history. MORE THAN TEMPORALITY. There is heaven, hell and purgatory – the topic of the Novena of Fatima for 2011 inclines us to the following deep reflection: what for and how do we live? Only by posing questions one can get to know the truth. At the beginning of the 21st century we can see so frequently black colours, which our reality brings. The perversity of many people’s hearts leaves sadness and devastation of consciences.
However, Christians know that there is hope, support and healing. Hope and support in God. Healing from sin. We learn that we should look at those broken people as ‘poor sinners.’ We learn it from Mary, from the apparitions of Fatima. ‘Mary spoke to children, to the little ones, to those who have no right of speech, who do not count in the enlightened world – full of pride of knowledge and faith in progress, world that is at the same time full of destruction, fear, despair… How much does it refer to this day’ (Benedict XVI).
Our faith is not an expression of tiredness and escape from the spoilt world. It is the courage of testimony to the world that does not want to hear about God and his commandments. Our will to respond to the programme of the Great Novena of Fatima is a desire to change the world in the name of God. Only through faith can we respond to the crisis of values. Only through faith can we respond to the crisis of man.
The Rosary beads can transform our sadness as well as the sadness and hopelessness of others. What we need is only faith and patient prayer. On her feast days and first Saturdays, together with Mary we want to turn out for the call to offer satisfaction to God for sins through her Immaculate Heart. Thus we can embrace ‘poor sinners’ in this prayer to Mary; they will not come without our prayerful help. We want to liberate them from the powers of evil; to revive their souls through prayer.
We want to hear Mary’s voice from almost a hundred years ago, the voice from Fatima, which refers to these days so much. The Great Novena of Fatima helps us understand and express ourselves. We want to receive the call of Our Lady with the belief that it is a message that God directs to us also today through Mary. It is a call to conversion, directed to us, to our countrymen and to the whole world.