May 13, 2017 marks the 100th anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima and Pope Francis is commemorating it by visiting Fatima and canonizing the two younger visionaries. Some Christians see the 100th anniversary as a time when the gates of Hell will be unleashed on humanity, but the central message of Fatima is quite different. In fact, it is very hopeful.
Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) wrote a commentary on the Third Secret of Fatima that sought to clarify the many conspiracy theories going around. In it, he states that whatever might happen in the future, the Immaculate Heart of Mary will triumph.
I would like finally to mention another key expression of the “secret” which has become justly famous: “my Immaculate Heart will triumph”. What does this mean? 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 Saviour into the world—because, thanks to her Yes, God could become man in our world and remains so for all time. The Evil One has power in this world, as we see and experience continually; he has power because our freedom continually lets itself be led away from God. But since God himself took a human heart and has thus steered human freedom towards what is good, the freedom to choose evil no longer has the last word. From that time forth, the word that prevails is this: “In the world you will have tribulation, but take heart; I have overcome the world” (Jn 16:33). The message of Fatima invites us to trust in this promise.
This is a very important, if not the central message of Fatima. However much evil we see in the world, or however many challenges that oppress humanity, God is more powerful than them all. We must not fear that God will strike us down, but have heart that God is just, merciful and loving. He will always have the last say and so we must trust in him.
Jesus even told Saint Faustina to write that at the bottom of his image: "Jesus, I trust in you."
Whatever might happen in the future, let us not be too anxious. God is in control and the Immaculate Heart of Mary "will triumph." We can be certain of that.