FATHER GINO SPEAKS ON THE MESSAGE OF FATIMA
We continue below, the article which begins in Issue Number 9-10, which gives some practical ideas on how to live the message of Fatima today, as explained by Father Gino Burresi, O.M.V., an Oblate of The Virgin Mary, who has built a shrine in honor of Our Lady of Fatima in San Vittorino, Italy. Father Gino’s knowledge and understanding of the message of Our Lady of Fatima, and his gift for teaching, have enabled many young people to understand the message that Our Lady of Fatima has for them as individuals, and to answer Our Blessed Mother’s call in their own lives.
On May 8, 1983 before a congregation of 25,000 people, Father Gino was ordained to the priesthood. We are certain that our readers join with The Fatima Crusader in extending our prayerful best wishes to Father Gino on this sacred occasion.
We give, in this article, in some detail, words of Father Gino himself, on living the message of Fatima, as he has explained in various writings, conferences, talks and interviews. We are publishing this article with the hope that through it, more people will come to have a better understanding of how to put into practice in their own lives what Our Blessed Mother asks of us at Fatima.
Follow the Pope
In teaching about the message of Fatima, Father Gino indicates to mankind its infallible guide, the Pope, Vicar of the world’s Savior, Jesus Christ. Our Lady of Fatima prophesied to the three children about persecution against the Church and particularly against the Holy Father. Little Jacinta saw visions of the Holy Father suffering. She said to her cousin Lucia in 1917, “I don’t know how it was, I saw the Holy Father in a very big house, kneeling by a table with his head buried in his hands, and he was weeping. Outside the house, there were many people. Some of them were throwing stones, others were cursing him and using bad language. Poor Holy Father. We must pray very much for him.” The message of Fatima reminds us to pray for the Pope and to follow his guidance in matters of faith and morals. Father Gino adds also that it is urgent that the priests be faithful to the Magisterium of the Pope and when guiding souls, they must teach according to the Pope’s doctrine taught to the whole Catholic Church.
The Fatima Message Is for Our Times
Our Lady of Fatima warned us that if Her requests were not heeded, Russia would spread its errors throughout the world. One of these errors is to deny the existence of God and Heaven and Hell and our immortal souls, and to live as if material things were our gods. Another error is militant atheism which seeks to destroy Christ and His Church by seeking to destroy the life of Christ (Sanctifying Grace) in our souls, and by open persecution of the Church as occurs in Communist and Marxist countries.
When asked why the Fatima Message is so important for these times, Father Gino replied, “Because in the world there was the great spreading of materialism, and it was just, that from Heaven should come a reminder so that men should pay attention and be careful not to fall into the error of materialism, but rather should strengthen themselves in the Christian life.” “It (materialism) is a total destruction of the faith. Now we see why Our Lady has asked for the consecration of oneself to the Immaculate Heart of Mary so that these errors of materialism which have spread throughout the world will not enter into our hearts. Our Lady has given us a way so that our hearts will not open up to embrace this materialism. First, she calls us to prayer — and a certain way of prayer — saying the Rosary. If we are attentive in looking around us we see that the modern mentality of materialism and atheism has attacked each one of these ways of salvation which has been given to us. So Our Lady says to pray the Rosary; in our times the Rosary has been attacked.” Father Gino also said, “Another thing we should look at is that the message of Fatima has not been heeded to its fullest extent, and we can see around us today the effects of this. Materialism has brought us to a great confusion, and we don’t know who to follow anymore. We read about how little Jacinta came to the two other children and said that she had seen a vision of the Pope, who was weeping because no one would listen to the message, because their hearts were no longer open. Therefore, we must listen to the secure guide, who is the Pope. We must not make the Gospel into a political thing, which (error) today is bringing the world to disaster.”
Speaking on another occasion about materialism Father Gino said, “I wish to underline one thing: This materialism is truly an incredible thing. Let the man beware who opens the door of his heart to it. It will kill him. It will bring death into the heart of the man, and it will kill all the life which Christ has brought to him. It has a very cruel goal and that is to bring man lower than an animal. We all must see the need to prevail upon Our Lady to bring about this miracle to destroy the materialism that destroys the commandments of love (love of God and love of neighbor). Man separates them and then does not love any longer. Then he is finished.” Father Gino is alluding to the fact that some modern men think that they serve the Gospel by preaching concern for the poor without teaching living the love of God, and thereby these men end up not loving or being concerned for the poor or for anyone, in fact.
Speaking about materialism Father Gino said, “Materialism destroys. It destroys Christ in man and elevates the animal part. It not only takes away the Christian ideals but makes us worse than animals. Materialism includes pampering the body, wanting excessive property, the best of food, giving in to desires of the flesh. This is a freedom which is not a freedom. Actually, you become a slave of all these things, and then you are not even a master of yourself. You become a slave to vice, to carnal vices, the desire to have more than is necessary — one is never content. It is a construction of hell which we create on this earth.”
Speaking about the present disbelief in the existence of hell Father Gino said, “among the material punishments, Our Lady spoke of the eternal one and that is hell. Nowadays, man laughs in scorn when hell is mentioned. He does not believe it. Yet the Saints all tremble at hearing the word.”
“… a world of materialism and atheism seeks to destroy the true life in the heart of man, the life of Christ in us. Without this life mankind finds itself totally disoriented and plunged in darkness, bringing many of our brothers to live in brutal violence and in an immorality that effaces the beauty and the dignity of man.”
Father Gino, in a letter of Easter 1982 tells us a way to help overcome this problem as individuals, writes, “We who believe in the Risen Christ and who strive to live His glorious resurrection, must do something for these our brothers; and the first thing Jesus asks of us is this: to be ever of good example, especially where we spend the most part of our day.”
Conversion of Russia
Our Lady of Fatima promised that if Her requests were granted, Russia would be converted and there would be peace. On this point, Father Gino gave the following helpful advice, “We must also remember another thing. We must pray every day for those who are behind the Iron Curtain, for the conversion of Russia, for the conversion of sinners who do not believe. Our hearts pray as part of the Mystical Body of Christ. We must pray that every individual person, through the intercession of the Blessed Mother, will have the time in which he will be able to hear the call and listen to the message of God.”
|Father Gino giving Holy Communion to one of the Sisters of the new religious order that he founded, assisted by one of the many seminarians who have been attracted to San Vittorino by Father Gino.
How Christ Is Killed in the Modern World
and How to Bring About His Resurrection
Father Gino further makes clear how it is that Christ is being crucified again through sins of individuals and nations, and how Catholics, by reason of their membership in the Mystical Body of Christ (which is the Catholic Church) can, by their good deeds and virtuous acts, done for God’s sake and performed while in the state of grace, can bring about Christ’s Resurrection in the modern world. That is to bring mankind as a whole back into friendship with our Creator. And this is what the Mother of God is trying to teach us through the message of Fatima.
“If we look for a moment at this poor world, we would see that Jesus has been killed in many ways. He has been killed in the maternal womb and many mothers organize new ‘sanhedrins’ so that Christ will be killed in their baby.
“Today Christ is killed in the innocents and for this purpose the little ones are taken out of those nursery schools where they are taught to know Jesus. There is only one purpose of the materialists. That is: Put the death of materialism that kills Jesus, into the heart of the child. Christ is killed in the hearts of youth when they are made into instruments of this same materialism and pushed toward hate that ends up in the most cruel violence. Christ is killed in the schools where civility and honesty should be taught, while many times also here they try to lead the children to hatred and violence. Christ is killed in the work environment and we know well how much he who wants to give a Christian testimony is persecuted. Christ is killed in the press, in the cinema, in the theater and in many other environments. In a word, (the purpose of the materialists is that) Christ’s commandment of love be killed in the mind and heart of man (and yet the unreflecting materialists do not realize) that man without Christ will be the cause of many tears of sorrow for all.”
Father Gino also said, “If you want to hasten the Resurrection in all environments where Christ is killed, we Christians and devotees of the Madonna must respond to the satanical attack of so much evil with the armor of goodness and charity of the Gospel, pray for them, offer sacrifices for them. Start saying the Holy Rosary for them, accept all which God would send our way, even if it makes us suffer. To suffer well, this also means to love; it is an act of love for God when I accept suffering to repair first of all my failures, and it is a true act of love of God and of my neighbor when I offer this suffering in particular for the return of these poor brothers blinded by the same materialism that they accepted. This is none other than the message of Fatima. Respond to the message of hate with the message of love.”