|Cardinal Bagnasco in Fatima for 100th Anniversary of June Apparitions (photo fatima.pt)|
For the Cardinal, the world today is in a situation similar to that of a hundred years ago, and people "begin to wonder about the future of the world, about the destiny of their lives." On the place and the events of Fatima, Cardinal Bagnasco affirmed that in the messages left by Our Lady, Christians find the answers for their salvation and for the salvation of the world.
"At Fatima the sun continues to shine, the light that springs from the womb of the Holy Virgin: Jesus Christ," concluded the archbishop of Genoa. The evening before at the Prayer Vigil and the Candlelight Procession, Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, said that Catholics must reject the danger of disfiguring the faith. The homily he delivered at the Vigil can be found here.
Below is my translation of Cardinal Bagnasco's homily. Original Portuguese is here:
"In Fátima the Faith breathes"
Dear Brothers and Sisters in the Lord,
It is with great joy that I am here in Fátima with this International Pilgrimage in the Centenary of the Apparitions. The presence of Pope Francis is still felt, his words still echo in our hearts. I greet with affection all the Bishops present, and I thank the Shepherd of this Diocese of Leiria-Fátima, his Excellency António Marto, for the fraternal invitation to preside over these celebrations.
In Fátima the Faith breathes. Where the Mother is, there is the Son, the encounter is more intense, charity grows, and the Faith is more clear and clean: clearer because it is more essential. The Gospel of the Annunciation brings us to the heart of faith: Mary entrusts to God because she trusts in God. This is the faith of Mary, this is the faith of the Church. We are here as pilgrims, with all our tribulations and hopes; but we are also here as the people of God representing the Church scattered throughout the whole world; but still more, at the feet of the Virgin, we bring our anguishes and the prayers of the entire human race, lost and suffering, in need of light and love.
2. Why Fátima?
Why do people come to Fátima? Because the human heart is in need of the words of eternal life; because we all want a mother who gives us encouragement and accompanies us; because man seeks redemption from his own weaknesses; because mankind is fascinated with the light that shines in the darkness; because we are drawn by the prayer that reveals what we are, small before the majesty of God and taken under the care of the sacrifice of Christ. Redemption and sin, light and darkness, prayer and conversion, love, sacrifice, eternal salvation .., is this not the substance of faith? Is this not the message of Fátima, the way of Christian life? The light of the lives of the Shepherd children, aren't the fruits of these words the peace of the heart and the joy of the soul, whatever the circumstances?
3. Time to awake
Dear friends, the times in which we live have many dark clouds; but the time has come to wake up. The West seems that it is losing it's own humanity, looking for illusions that make many promises, but only degrades them. The World proclaims life, but sows death; declares solidarity, but close itself; preaches love, but is more individualistic. People, however, begin to wonder about the future of the world, about the their destiny. As on October 13th of 1917, flashes of light began to appear, so in the hearts of man begin to emerge the truly important questions, the need for truth, the thirst for love and good. This is the awakening that has already begun and that will not stop.
4. The Light of Christ
At Fátima the Sun continues to shine, the light that springs forth from the womb of the Holy Virgin: Jesus Christ. He is the Son of the living God, the revealer of the invisible, the foundation of all things, He is the Master of mankind, the Redeemer, the secret of history, the King of the new world. He is the one knows and loves us, who is the companion on the road and the friend of our lives, the One who is to come, and who one day must be our Judge, and, we hope, be the fullness of our joy ... He is the Bread that comes from Heaven, the fountain of living water, that satisfies our hunger and our thirst. We must never tire of speaking of Jesus.
5. The Immaculate Heart
Let us now look on the most gentle face of Our Lady; in her Immaculate Heart we will find the Heart of Christ, a face that unites all our faces. Embraced by name by Mary, just as she wrapped Him in swaddling clothes at Bethlehem, resound in this sanctuary the holy name of Jesus: from His name each of us will pronounce our own name, our lives will be illuminated, our faith regenerated, and our hope strengthened.
Angelo Cardinal Bagnasco
Metropolitan Archbishop of Genoa
President of the Council of Episcopal Conferences of Europe.
Watch video of the entire celebrations of the 100th Anniversary of June Apparitions of Our Lady of Fátima here: