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The MI and the Apparitions at Fatima

100 Years: 1917-2017


Our Lady first appeared to the children at Fatima on May 13, 1917, but on October 13, 1917 a great sign appeared in the sky - the sun danced - to manifest the supernatural encounters that were taking place and to give sure credibility to the message of Fatima. On October 16, 1917, only three days after the miracle, St. Maximilian founded the MI in Rome, Italy. This year we not only celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Marian apparitions at Fatima, Portugal, but the 100th Anniversary of the founding of the Militia Immaculatae by St. Maximilian. The two are intimately connected promoting conversion, prayer, penance, and consecration to Mary's Immaculate Heart. Here are just a few similarities to show how the MI and total consecration in the spirit of St. Maximilian is one answer to the Fatima plea. 

Our Lady said, "Jesus wishes to establish devotion to my Immaculate Heart in the world. I promise salvation to those who embrace it." While St. Maximilian encouraged "work for the conversion to God of all men, be they sinners, or non-Catholics or unbelievers, in particular (the enemies of the Church); and that all become saints, under the patronage and through the mediation of the Immaculate Virgin." Both teach that devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is a means for the conversion and salvation of sinners.

Our Lady asked the children at Fatima to "sacrifice yourselves for sinners and say often whenever you make a sacrifice. 'O Jesus, it is for love of You, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the offenses committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.'" St. Maximilian encouraged his brothers to "pray, to do penance, to offer God the daily works and sufferings of life; to invoke the Immaculate, possibly every day, with this ejaculation: "O Mary Conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to You, and for all who do not have recourse to You, especially the enemies of the Holy Church and those recommended to You."  

The children were told to "pray the Rosary every day in honor of Our Lady of the Rosary to obtain peace in the world . . . for she alone can save it." St. Maximilian did not make recitation of the rosary a requirement for belonging to the MI, but many he times he wrote or spoke of the power of this devotion, on one such occasion he said to "recite a third of the rosary [one mystery] daily at home… It is to the advantage of those in greatest need…"

At Fatima, Our Lady said that it was the will of God that we should consecrate ourselves to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and in turn she will "never abandon you, my child. My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God." At the very heart of the MI movement and the Kolbean Spirituality is consecration to Mary under the title of the Immaculata, because she is the "Queen of heaven and earth, refuge of sinners, and our most loving mother!"