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The Christophers: Mary is a Sure Path to God

Fr. Ed Dougherty, M.M.,

The Christophers’ Board of Directors


On May 13, we celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima, who appeared to three shepherd children in Portugal six different times over the course of five months in 1917, culminating in a final miracle witnessed by 70,000 people, when the sun defied the laws of physics and danced in the sky. This event was so consistently verified by those present that secular newspapers of the time reported on the miracle.

In the apparitions leading up to what came to be known as the Miracle of the Sun, Mary shared insights about events still to come in the 20th century, and she implored the faithful to offer prayers and sacrifices to God so that peace may come upon the world, promising that, after a period of trial, “My Immaculate Heart will triumph.”

Before becoming pope, Cardinal Joseph Razinger interpreted Mary’s declaration of a future triumph of her Immaculate Heart in this way: “The Heart open to God, purified by contemplation of God, is stronger than guns and weapons of every kind. The fiat of Mary, the word of her heart, has changed the history of the world, because it brought the Savior into the world – because, thanks to her Yes, God could become man in our world and remains so for all time…. God himself took a human heart and has thus steered human freedom towards what is good.”

The message of Fatima inspires hope that Mary can triumph over the hardest of hearts so that those most in need can find their way to the mercy of God. Turning to our Blessed Mother is a sure path to God because she points the way to her Son, who will never turn away those who honor His mother.

Mary is our perfect guide in the spiritual life because she knows the heart of Christ, and her tender and motherly relationship with Him is what makes her such a powerful intercessor for us. Consider the story of the Wedding Feast at Cana, when Mary told Jesus, “They have no wine,” and he said to her, “My hour has not yet come,” and her response was simply to tell the servants, “Do whatever He tells you,” with the clear assumption He would do what she asked, at which point He turned water into wine, defying His own initial instinct in an amazing demonstration of loyalty and respect for His mother’s wishes.

This is the intercessor we have when we turn to Mary. Her exhortations for prayer and sacrifice at Fatima remain the truest path we have for entering into relationship with Jesus. Prayer is the ritual that returns us to a disposition open to the love of God. And sacrifice unites us with Christ, fulfilling His call to each of us to take up our cross and follow Him.

On May 13, 2010, 500,000 people gathered in Fatima for the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima, where Pope Benedict XVI offered Mass in the square outside the shrine. He emphasized the continuing relevance of Fatima’s message, calling Mary a “teacher” who introduced the children of Fatima “to a deep knowledge of the love of the Blessed Trinity and led them to savor God Himself as the most beautiful reality of human existence.”

May we all turn to Our Lady of Fatima on her feast day with humble hearts, ready to learn from her so that we can find our path to “the most beautiful reality of human existence,” her Son, Jesus Christ.


For free copies of the Christopher News Note GOD IS MY STRENGTH, write: The Christophers, 264 West 40th Street, Room 603, New York, NY 10018; or e-mail: 

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