Although I have been to Fatima twice, a LOT having to do with the Fatima apparitions gives me the creeps. The only thing which strikes my attention is the "miracle of the sun" and the prediction that "Russia would spread her errors throughout the world". I take this to mean Communism...it bothers me that Our Lady lays so much emphasis on praying the Rosary. It's like she's saying, "Pray to ME! Pray to ME! Pray to ME!". As if she were going to save us, not Jesus...she could just as well have said, "Pray the Akathist to ME every day" - of course, the shepherd children would not have known what that is...also showing them a vison of hell savours to me of child-abuse.
The Theotokos is the Virgin Hodegetria, She points the way to her Son. It's never about Her. In light of that context, the "pray to ME" comment doesn't make sense for me. It is Jesus Who saves, but Our Lady is Our Mother and a powerful intercessor before God. We often say "Most Holy Theotokos, save us.", but we do not mean it to be that She is Our Savior.
I have to admit to being offended by the "child abuse" comment. If that were true, then should God the Father be considered an abuser for sending His Son to be crucified on a cross?
I hate to say this about any person raised to the honours of the altar but little Bl. Jacinta and Bl. Francisco Marto are two of the most chilling and unappealing little children I have ever heard of.
In what way are they considered "most chilling and unappealing"? One can say that about any number of saints, both Catholic and Orthodox-those known as "fools-for-Christ" come to mind. We live not for this world, but the next.
Then we have that business of "the conversion of Russia". Conversion to WHAT? Roman Catholicism?(forget THAT). Or re-conversion to Christianity as Orthodox Christians? Or WHAT?
In 1946 during a gathering of youth at Fatima, Sister Lucia was asked by Natacha Derfelden how the conversion of Russia would come about. She stated that the conversion of Russia would come through the Orthodox Church and "the Oriental rite" (i.e., Byzantine Catholic Church). This statement does not appear to be generally known.
How prophetic that Sister Lucia would state in 1946 that the Byzantine Catholic Church would play a role in the conversion of Russia, since it was in that same year that the Ukrainian Catholic Church was officially declared "liquidated" by the Soviets and to have "united" with the Russian Orthodox Church.
Are we not seeing that conversion right now with the emergence of the Ukrainian Catholic Church and Russian Orthodox Church after decades of Soviet persecution?
While the "conversion of Russia" does not mean an abandonment of the Byzantine tradition for "conversion" to Roman-rite Catholicism, many believe that it does imply a reunion/reconciliation between the Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church.
Sister Lucia was asked why it was necessary for the Pope to consecrate Russia. She replied that the Pope is the head of the Church and the visible sign of unity.
And I agree that Father (?) N. Gruner is unbalanced. BTW, is he even a priest in good standing, or is he simply "Mr. Gruner" now?
...the apostolic nuncio, Archbishop Gabriel Montalvo Higuera, in an August 10, 2004 clarification on his priestly status specifically stated that Gruner is "not a priest in good standing with the Roman Catholic Church." This is disputed by Gruner and others as he has since become incardinated as a priest in good standing in the Archdiocese of Hyderabad.
Religiosity can be so weird...
Yes, it can be. Yet, we must be careful to not allow those who take the Fatima messages to an extreme like Fr. Gruner to taint the Fatima apparitions and messages which have been declared by the Church as "worthy of belief".
May Our Lord bless you,