The Tofāmamao Centre at Leauva’a will become congested and packed with the influx of thousands of Catholic faithful from all over the Archdiocese of Samoa Apia this weekend, starting today, Thursday 12th and tomorrow, Friday 13th October 2017.
The gathering will mark the 100th Anniversary in a series of Apparitions of Our Lady the Virgin Mother Mary to the three shepherd children in Fatima Portugal from May to October 1917.
This last Apparition in Fatima on October 13th ended with the Miracle of the dancing sun as reported by some of the 70,000 people who were present and wrote about it including the SECULO newspaper fully owned by the atheist administration of Portugal at the time. That miracle has been published in my previous articles in this newspaper in May and June this year.
The three children have been gifted to personally see and communicate with Our Lady in the midst of World War I and within the prophecy of another war which was WWII, Mary asking the children to pray the Rosary daily and meditate in deep contemplation in the Mysteries of Christ’s life for world peace.
They were siblings Jacinta aged 7, Francisco Marto aged 9, and their cousin Lucia Dos Santos, aged 10. Many prophecies by Our Lady have actually been fulfilled during the course of the 100 year time-span; with some in the form of ‘’warnings’ to the world of upcoming trials and tribulations had it not for the world to repent and convert.
And the Fatima messages could simply be summarized into two main things; one is a total devoted ‘‘prayer life’’ in particular mention of Mother’s Rosary and number two a total ‘’conversion’’ The messages are to re-strengthen our faith and to revert back to GOD.
This prayerful gathering will be led by the Archbishop of Samoa – Apia; His Grace Afioga Alapati Lui Mataeliga. A procession will be on Thursday at 6.00pm and a prayer vigil throughout the night until Friday dawn is scheduled. And at 6.00am a Holy Mass will be celebrated to officially close the year 2017 being dedicated to Our Lady the Virgin Mary.
And just briefly touching upon the Apparition and why the Universal Catholic Church commemorated this 100th anniversary for our reader’s information from the Catholic viewpoint and mind. Mary is the Mother of Our Lord Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ is the Second Person of the Holy TRINITY being with the Father and the Holy Spirit in One Trinitarian GOD.
So Mary, the Mother of GOD under her most famous heavenly title amongst other titles, was before anything else was created by GOD according with the Father’s Divine Plan selected Mary; whom the Scriptures named the ‘the woman’ in Genesis and many other biblical references in both the Old and New Testaments.
The Archangel Gabriel said these words to the 15 year old Mary with deep theological meaning ‘‘Hail, the most favorite one, you found favor with GOD, and you are ‘’full of grace’’ and the Lord is with you. Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb‘’.
Here we see that Archangel Gabriel changes Mary’s name to ‘’she who has been perfected in grace” This change in her name is ‘Truth’ that Mary is without sin. Why? Because the word itself is a “perfect passive” in grace which means a past action received passively result in the present perfected state of being. All of us are still seeking to be perfected in grace. How many have arrived? Anybody? No one? We are not there yet. St Paul in his letter to the Philippians in 3: 12- 16 wrote ‘‘It is not that I have already taken hold of it or have already attained ‘’perfect maturity’’ but I continue my pursuit in hope that I may possess it. Brothers, I for my part do not consider myself to have taken possession ….. But according to the Archangel Gabriel; Our Mother Mary is already there, so Mary is without sin.
God has already prepared Mary to give birth to God’s Only Son the second person of the Holy Trinity. But before Jesus was born as man he was already with God in the beginning as many references in the Scriptures highlight; like this one. John 17:1-8 When Jesus had asked His Father to give him glory he said this, ‘‘Father, the hour has come, Give glory to your son, so that your son may glorify you just as you gave him authority over all people so that he may give eternal life to all you gave him.
Now this is eternal life, that they should know you, the only true God and the one who you sent, Jesus Christ. I glorified you on earth by accomplishing the work you gave me to do. Now glorify me, Father with you, with the glory that I had with you before the world begun…..’’
So not only Mary gave birth to the Son of God Jesus Christ but as a man; she nurtured him, fed him, clothed him, warmed him, washed him, taught him at his youth until the time was right to suffer and die. Mary did what any other earthly mothers do to their kids.
But the difference from other women is that Mary was upbringing the ‘Son of the Eternal Father whom is the splendor and figure of HIS substance’ Mary did all this with obedience to the command of God through thy lowly heart.
But as she up brought the Son of God, her heart was pierced with the sword of 7 sorrows from the flight into Egypt just after birth to save the Son of the Eternal Father from Herod, furthermore; when she heard the prophesy of the aged righteous and devout Simeon at the temple presentation when he said to Mary in Luke 2 : 34 ‘’Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel and to be a sign that will be contradicted and you yourself [Mary] a sword will pierce your heart so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed’, then the loss of Jesus in Jerusalem; and when she met Jesus carrying his cross to Calvary, present at his inhumane death, and when Mary received Jesus body from the cross and finally at his burial.
Before Jesus took his last breath on the cross surrendering his soul into Thy Father’s Hands, Jesus entrusted His Mother to John the Apostle and Evangelist. John was representing all humanity in that deep theological sense when Jesus said to Mother Mary ‘‘Behold thy Son’’ referring to John. And with a loving gaze at John, Jesus said ‘‘Behold thy Mother.’’ And from that day, John took Mary and cared for her at his home in Ephesus.
So Mary‘s role is Mother for all humanity; likewise her Son the Redeemer of all humanity, assumed into heaven body and soul. In the Book of Revelation in Chapter 12: 1-6 John the Apostle and Evangelist wrote that ‘‘A great sign appeared in the sky a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under his feet and on her head a crown of twelfth stars…… ‘’ The reference is a ‘‘woman’’ and she is Mary not a ‘’nation’’.
Mary had many Apparitions to people in centuries whom GOD has selected from time to time and from age to age; to relay to us the heavenly messages by a mother reminding all humanity what her Son whom is the SON of GOD had died for 2,000 years ago and for people to remember the Salvation through Christ. Her role is ‘interceding for all humanity before her son, the Son of GOD as she did at the wedding at Cana when the wine was running out and Jesus changed water into wine on the request of His mother’’ and the Fatima Apparition is one of the many Apparitions the Church has ever approved.
Some great, bright and brilliant Theologians, Saints and Doctors of the Catholic Church wrote in years about the event outlining ‘’in-depth theological insights’’ and why the 100thyear Anniversary matters to the world. That is why this is being celebrated by the Universal Catholic Church globally. Happy 100th Anniversary Samoa and Mary please pray for us sinners and for the world peace.