I wrote the title of this post today –  and then things got in the way.  Life.  Good things,         scary things, busy things,  nice  things, all things.  So the post itself will be late, since it has to do with today, August 13th.

On the 13th of each month in  1917 three little children were supposed to go to a certain place near their home,  the Cove da Iria , a little distance from the nearest  city of Ourém, in Portugal.

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They obeyed and received instruction and information from the Lady who came to them in visions each month.

A few people believed the children.  Some people, more and more each month,  went out to the Cova with them.    But in this summer of 1917, it seemed as though the world was pretty much stacked against them.   The national and local governments had been taken over by those who prided themselves on being skeptics,  anti-Catholic, and atheists.  These people had control of everything in public life, including the newspapers.

The mayor of the little city used his power to mock and spread ridicule and  to prevent people from accompanying the children.   The last thing this Masonic, atheist government wanted was for religion to be encouraged, a religion that was called “superstitious.”


So,  knowing the 13th of the month was coming up,  he stepped in and made his move.  (There is no freedom in a godless government)     Here is an actual photo of the man:

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Artur Oliveira Santos,  the mayor of Ourém.

As the children were going towards their usual place of meeting with the Lady from heaven,  he persuaded them to get in his carriage, and he would be nice enough to take them there, easily,  riding.

But he took them to his jail.    There,  he threatened them and ordered them to tell him the supposed “secrets”  the children had received in the last month.     After all,  an atheist and dictatorial governing force needs to know what’s going on in the minds of its subjects.  We call it total surveillance  now and fuss about “privacy matters”;   but in the end,  our Rulers today cannot allow privacy — or secrets.     (Again:  There is no freedom in a godless government.)

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The children could not tell him,  would not tell him,    and so he threatened them with death,  and play-acted that he was actually killing them one by one.   The parents had no knowledge of where their children had been taken  nor did they have the power to get them released.   But eventually  the children were released to their parents,  and  without having divulged the secrets.

I can’t imagine the fear the children were feeling.

The town was against the children,  the authorities were against the children,  and although they didn’t have an awareness of the larger world around them,  that larger world, and all of Europe,  was rapidly becoming anti-Christian.   A “post-Christian”  culture was being formed all over.

We are the inheritors of that post-Christian culture, and we are experiencing the difficulties and dangers in a world without God.

So what happened to the scheduled Visitation on that day?     Those who had gone on ahead of the children gathered at the Cova,  the place of Visions,   reported hearing and seeing some “disturbances” in the atmosphere,  which quickly subsided and disappeared.

Six days later,  nearly a week later – and that can be a long time in busy ordinary lives – the children received an internal call to come to another place.     There they received assurances and admonitions to keep on praying, to keep on doing penance,  to keep praying for souls because “many go to Hell because there is no one to pray for them.”

And they were told to keep coming back on the 13th of each month,  and soon all people will be receive confirmation of the Source of these Visitations.    “I will work a miracle that all people will see.”

But there was a sad note too:  ” If you had not been taken away to the City, the miracle would have been even greater. ”     I’ve pondered this sentence.   Knowing what the miracle turned out to be,  I wonder how much greater and more wonderful it could have been.

There has been another delay by the Authorities:

The spirit of  Mayor Artur Oliveira Santos has been affecting us today.  Skepticism,  mockery,  ridicule,  intolerance,  hostility to Christianity,  distaste for Truth,  disobedience,  threats and interference with religion have all worked to delay our fulfillment of a certain earlier command from Fatima:  to consecrate the nation of Russia to the Lady’s Immaculate Heart,   and when done, “a period of peace”  will be granted to the earth.

If this is not done,  “Russia”  will spread her errors throughout the world.    These “errors” are the ways of not only Soviet Socialism,  but of all kinds of socialism and communism.  That is,  governments will rule people for their own benefits.      The Common Good will be seen as the good of the State.    Rulers will dictate just what this Common Good means.    People will have to go along with the total consolidation of power into the hands of our Rulers.   And the Rich Rulers will grow richer,  and the people will grow poorer and poorer as they live to support the Ruling class.

All these “errors” are a scourge upon the world.    One by one nations are becoming bankrupt.   People are falling into appalling poverty.

I sometimes think that what happened on August 13th, 1917 –  the hostility of authorities resulting in delay –  is a foretelling of the way things will happen in our somewhat near future.    There was a delay then, full of danger;  and I think there will be a dangerous delay in these next few years.    I wonder if there will also be a lessening of the Blessing that could have been.

The message of Fatima:  prayer.    Serious prayer.     Prayer that conveys the seriousness of the plight of our world, and that is accompanied by penance and personal sacrifices.

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