“By Their Fruits Ye Shall Know Them”

By Their Fruits Ye Shall Know Them - Mr. Fred Porfilio was a highly dedicated TFP member from 1975 until his death in 1990 during an historic signature drive for the freedom of Lithuania from Soviet oppression

Mr. Fred Porfilio was a highly dedicated TFP member from 1975 until his death in 1990 during an historic signature drive for the freedom of Lithuania from Soviet oppression.

Apostles of the Fatima message rarely see the fruits of their labor in this life. I found this out firsthand during a visit to Augusta, Georgia. During the coffee break following Mass, the parish priest asked us to say a word about our work. After explaining our home visits with the statue of Our Lady of Fatima, a lady approached and told us her story.

She and her husband were living in The Bronx, New York, over twenty years ago when she received a phone call from a man wishing to show them a slide-show presentation about Fatima. It was not their custom to receive visits from strangers but she felt the need to make an exception since the faith she learned as a child seemed to be fading. She described the life she was living as sinful and admitted that the extent of her religious duties was a yearly visit to confession.

The man who visited her was Mr. Fred Porfilio, a veteran member of the American TFP. Mr. Porfilio was a man with a contagious smile capable of brightening the darkest day and had a heart made of pure gold. Being a New Yorker, Mr. Porfilio always held a deep desire to convert “The Big Apple.” He never saw the conversion of New York, however, nor the results of his apostolic zeal in the soul of a woman from The Bronx. He was killed in a car accident while collecting signatures for the freedom of Lithuania. Yet, while he was laboring for a people oppressed by Communism, she, like the prodigal son, was returning to her “father’s house.” Lithuania eventually received their freedom, and a woman from The Bronx admitted that Mr. Porfilio’s visit planted the seeds that eventually led to her conversion.


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