TACLOBAN City, Oct. 14, 2016 – On the feast day Mass in honor of Our Lady of Fatima, Oct. 13, Naval Bishop Filomeno Bactol, D.D. reiterated the Blessed Mother’s messages in her seven apparitions in Fatima, Portugal all of which conveyed a plan of peace for the world.
Bactol, a Marian devotee, likewise stressed the importance of responding to the Blessed Mother’s message by taking refuge in her heart by having a devotion to the Immaculate Heart, and eventually being brought closer to God.
“No wonder our Blessed Mother, a hundred years ago has said, ‘My Immaculate will be your refuge’. In other words if we want to go to heaven, her heart is our way to heaven,” he emphasized.
Taking refuge in Mary’s heart
“From the very start of her apparition, she already told the children to have a devotion to the Immaculate Heart, that is why no wonder in many of these images of Mama Mary of Fatima, she carries a heart,” he said in his homily.
Bactol said this message of the Blessed Mother is not just for the child seers, Lúcia Santos, Jacinta, and Francisco Marto but for all mankind, including him.
“This tells us to pray for a clean heart,” he added, saying most of the sins that man commits begin in the heart.
“As a matter of fact all the sins that we do emanate and are formed in the heart,” explained Bactol.
Underscoring this call of the Blessed Mother as part of God’s peace plan, the prelate from the Diocese of Naval in the island province of Biliran said the Blessed Mother in her Fatima apparition mentioned devotion to her Immaculate Heart while the world was experiencing World War I.
Greater warfare with evil
Bactol stressed the Blessed Virgin’s message was not only intended for the period of 1917 to 1920.
“There had been no time before that mankind experiences greater warfare with the devil than now,” he said.
Bactol added that the devil is no longer afraid of tempting mankind to commit sins that were once unthinkable.
“This message [of Fatima] is for us because we are all children of the Blessed Mother, which was pronounced by Christ before he died on the cross in Calvary. He addressed his mother Mary and John who represented mankind, ‘Woman behold your son, son behold your mother,’” explained Bactol.
On Oct. 13, 1917, Our Lady appeared for the last time in Fatima, Portugal in what is believed to be the most widely witnessed miracle when the sun was said to dance in the sky. Between 30,000 to 70,000 people claimed to have seen the extraordinary solar activity that day. (Eileen Nazareno-Ballesteros / CBCP News)