On May 13, 1917, Our Lady appeared to three children in Fatima, Portugal and asked them to return on the thirteenth of the next five months. However, on August 13, Lucia, Jacinta and Francisco failed to go to the place of the apparition because they had been arrested by the mayor of nearby Ourem and placed in jail with the threat of being boiled in oil. They were eventually released.
Our Lady appeared to the children later that month on the nineteenth.
During this brief apparition, Our Lady said something very significant. Her face became grave and even upset. Our Lady then referred to the coming miracle she was to perform in October, saying, “If they had not taken you to Ourem, the miracle would be even greater.”
The “Miracle of the Sun” took place in October, dazzling everyone with its supernatural character and the monumental movements of the sun. It exceeded all imagination. It was terrifying, yet magnificent. Those who witnessed the miracle experienced special graces, healings and conversions—even when many miles away.
As great as this miracle was, it was supposed to be yet more magnificent. However, the actions of the mayor of Ourem and any accomplices caused the diminishing of the miracle.
Thus, many miraculous healings and conversions did not take place because of this man. The actions of one or a few can have an impact on what Our Lady decides to do. When we sin, we offend God, Who can choose to withhold His graces from the world.
If the single evil action of the Mayor of Ourem had such an effect on heaven, we can imagine the impact of sacrilege, blasphemy, contraception, abortion, adultery, fornication, homosexuality and same-sex “marriage,”
Every sin offends God, yet we must also consider the billions of grave mortal sins thrown in the face of God. These offenses merit unimaginable chastisements in due proportion.
We must also consider that Our Lady complained about the sins of the early twentieth century. Marriages and families at that time were still largely intact. Divorce, abortion, fornication, sodomy and other behaviors were illegal then. However, Our Lady still was incredibly saddened by the sins of that time. Today, she must be much more saddened.
There is much we can do in the face of so much sin. We can offer up our adoration and prayers to God. We can offer reparation for our own sins and those of the world. We also must act by protesting against so much wickedness committed in the public square. Our protest, reparation and prayers must also be done in public. Such bold pubic stands are a manifestation of our love of God.
These acts also show our zeal for the conversion and salvation of sinners. Our courageous actions can further move Our Lady to multiply the humble merits of our efforts. She can disproportionately grant graces of conversion and repentance as a result.
Moreover, those who act now can expect Our Lady’s help in times of chastisement and trials. Let us be like the Fatima children and not like the Mayor of Ourem.