ARCHBISHOP FULTON SHEEN: OUR LADY OF FATIMA WILL CONVERT THE MUSLIMS
by Bradley Eli, M.Div., Ma.Th. • ChurchMilitant.com • May 12, 2017
Koran: “Oh, Mary, God has chosen you and purified you and elected you above all the women”
Archbishop Fulton Sheen wrote that the Blessed Virgin Mary, under the title of Our Lady of Fatima, will one day be instrumental in converting Muslims to Catholicism.
The 17th chapter of his book, The World’s First Love, is titled “Mary and the Muslims.” In this chapter, Abp. Sheen writes, “I believe that the Blessed Virgin chose to be known as Our Lady of Fatima as a pledge and a sign of hope to the Muslim people, and as an assurance that they, who show her so much respect, will one day accept her Divine Son, too.”
The archbishop notes how devoted Muslims are “in Africa and India and elsewhere … to the pilgrim statue of Our Lady of Fatima.” He points out that this devotion is owing to the Marian passages in the Koran itself and Muslim devotion to the name of Fatima.
PLEASE CLICK THIS LINK TO WATCH THE VIDEO
The Koran is seasoned with many references to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Included are passages related to Our Lady’s Annunciation, Visitation and Nativity. These references uphold her perpetual virginity. One such verse, cited by Abp. Sheen, says, “Oh, Mary, God has chosen you and purified you and elected you above all the women of the earth.”
The archbishop points out as well that the town in Portugal where the Blessed Mother appeared is named after a Muslim maiden who converted to Catholicism when she married a prince in the 13th century. What is more, the maiden was named after Mohammed’s daughter.
Archbishop Sheen believed that Our Lady of Fatima is the most effective means of converting Muslims: “Missionaries in the future will, more and more, see that their apostolate among the Muslims will be successful in the measure that they preach Our Lady of Fatima.”
Watch the panel discuss this crucial apparition in The Download—Our Lady of Fatima.
MAY 12, 2017—OUR LADY OF FATIMA
The 100th anniversary.
May 12, 2017
The 100th anniversary.
Mary’s Providential Bridge to Islam
From the time of the apparitions of the Blessed Mother at Fatima, Portugal, many have wondered about the possible significance of Our Lady choosing a location with such an apparent connection to Islam.
As a matter of historical importance, Fatima, the favorite daughter of Muhammad, was a woman considered of the highest dignity in Islam, save for only one person: the Virgin Mary. Indeed, after Fatima’s death at around the age of 26, her father wrote to his dead daughter: “Thou shalt be the most blessed of women in Paradise after Mary.”
Is there a relationship between the appearance of Our Lady and the Muslim world? Surely, it was not a random choice by the Blessed Mother, and so how should we approach the possible message it sends to the world at this historical moment?
It is a surprise to many that Islam traditionally has thought so highly of the Blessed Virgin Mary. She is called by Muslims Miriam or Maryam in Arabic, and also Umm Isa, or “Mary, the mother of Jesus,” or simply, Sayyida, the Lady.
Mary is the only woman named in the Quran, and she is revered as a righteous woman in her own right and as the most pious, chaste and virtuous woman in history. The Quran affirms the virgin birth, but it also makes clear in its belief that her son was not divine. The 19th sura (chapter) of the Quran is both named after her and provides what it says are many details about her life, although scholars have long noted that much in the 19th sura bears a striking resemblance to the Gospel of Luke. She is also one of only eight people in the Muslim holy book to have a sura named after them.
The expression, “Jesus son of Mary” appears 13 times in the Quran, while “Jesus, the Messiah, son of Mary,” is found three times. There are also 45 other times in the text that there is a reference to Mary’s name.
There is a natural assumption that the village of Fatima was named directly after the daughter of Muhammad. In truth, its origins are a bit more complicated and romantic than that.
In the middle of the eighth century, Muslim armies from North Africa conquered most of the Iberian Peninsula and established what became known as the Moorish Kingdoms. Gradually, Christian states were formed to resist the Moors, leading to what became known as the Reconquista, the centuries-long campaign to end Islamic domination in the peninsula. The Reconquista extended to what became Portugal, as well.
According to the early 17th-century Portuguese chronicler and Cistercian Bernardo de Brito, during the fighting in 1158, a knight by the name of Gonçalo Hermigues and his fellow warriors captured a Muslim princess named Fatima, daughter of the last Muslim ruler in the region. She had been named in honor of the daughter of Muhammad. Fatima and Gonçalo fell in love, and the two were married.
But first, Fatima was baptized into the Christian faith and changed her name to Oureana. As a wedding gift from her husband, she was given a nearby town that she called Ourem in recognition of her new name. She did not live long after the marriage, sadly, and to honor her memory further, her husband changed the name of another nearby village to Fatima.
It was in the very village named after a convert from Islam — a convert initially named after Muhammad’s daughter — that the Blessed Mother chose to appear to the three shepherd children May 13, 1917. What does it mean? What is Our Lady trying to teach us? Is she telling us that, just as she shows us the way to her Son, the path ahead in evangelization and overcoming the savagery of jihadism might also pass through her loving heart?
Venerable Fulton Sheen thought so.
In his 1952 book, The World’s First Love, he devoted a chapter to Mary and the Muslims. He prophetically observed, “At the present time, the hatred of the Moslem countries against the West is becoming a hatred against Christianity itself. Although the statesmen have not yet taken it into account, there is still grave danger that the temporal power of Islam may return and, with it, the menace that it may shake off a West which has ceased to be Christian and affirm itself as a great anti-Christian world power.”
Archbishop Sheen, however, did not despair. Instead, he looked to Fatima and to Mary. “Since nothing ever happens out of heaven except with a finesse of all details,” he wrote, “I believe that the Blessed Virgin chose to be known as ‘Our Lady of Fatima’ as a pledge and a sign of hope to the Moslem people, and as an assurance that they, who show her so much respect, will one day accept her Divine Son, too.”
“Missionaries in the future will, more and more, see that their apostolate among the Moslems will be successful in the measure that they preach Our Lady of Fatima. Mary is the advent of Christ, bringing Christ to the people before Christ himself is born. In any apologetic endeavor, it is always best to start with that which people already accept. Because the Moslems have a devotion to Mary, our missionaries should be satisfied merely to expand and to develop that devotion, with the full realization that Our Blessed Lady will carry the Moslems the rest of the way to her Divine Son. She is forever a ‘traitor,’ in the sense that she will not accept any devotion for herself, but will always bring anyone who is devoted to her to her Divine Son. As those who lose devotion to her lose belief in the divinity of Christ, so those who intensify devotion to her gradually acquire that belief. … The Moslems should be prepared to acknowledge that, if Fatima must give way in honor to the Blessed Mother, it is because she is different from all the other mothers of the world and that without Christ she would be nothing.”
We seek bridges to Islam. Mary is a way. Pope Francis said it very well at the Rosary and vigil for the centenary of Fatima on the evening of May 12.
“No other creature ever basked in the light of God’s face as did Mary; she, in turn, gave a human face to the Son of the eternal Father,” the Holy Father said.
Our task is to help others see her clearly, and in so doing see Christ for who he truly is.
Matthew E. Bunson is a Register senior editor and a senior contributor to EWTN News.
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Crash Course on the Crusades
The Crusades: A Response to Islamic Jihad http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/04/07/the-crusades-a-response-to-islamic-jihad/
Jihad vs Crusades by Bill Warner, PhD
CIA: The Inquisition during the Medieval, Spanish and Roman Times
Spanish Inquisition was 99% Myth. (BBC) http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/06/22/spanish-inquisition-was-99-myth-bbc/
Obama Compares Catholic Crusades to Islamic ISIS
Obama at Prayer Breakfast Affirms right to be godless
Watch how Judge Jeanine Just Revealed the Moment She Understood on Obama’s Dark Secret
Forged by War: The Three Battles in the Rise of the Rosary
The Banners of Lepanto: During the battle between Christian and Muslim in October 7,1571 http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/10/07/the-banners-of-lepanto-during-the-battle-between-christian-and-muslim-in-october-71571/
A President, His Muslim Faith, And His Quran… Is It Ok For Him To Lie?
Proclaiming The Gospel in Lebanon: The Mohammad Yamout story http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/05/14/proclaiming-the-gospel-in-lebanon-the-mohammad-yamout-story/
Mario Joseph Testimony , a Muslim Imam Convert to Catholic Church
Malaysia Rules Muslim Man Can Convert to Christianity http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/06/20/malaysia-rules-muslim-man-can-convert-to-christianity/
Muslim Woman Gives Jesus One Week To Prove Himself Before Ending Her Life http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2015/12/18/19410/
From Darkness to Light
As a Muslim imam, Mario Joseph was well-versed in the Koran and in the teachings of the Islamic religion. In fact, it was precisely the Koran that brought him to an encounter with Jesus Christ and with the truth of the Catholic faith. But his conversion did not come without difficulties; as a consequence, he has undergone grave persecution. How has he attained his intense love toward the Church, the Cross and Heaven? He himself tells us in this week’s impacting episode of Changing Tracks.