What Background Did Fatmia Children Have?

I have briefly read about the children and miracle of Fatima, but I have a couple of questions.

From what I understand these children were 10 years old and younger. I assume they were Catholic. In any case, the apparations and things Mary said to them would have made no sense to me whatsoever at ten years old. She might as well have been speaking another language.

First, as a Protestant child I would have wondered why Mary was showing up. Where’s Jesus? Second, she told them to pray the Rosary. I would have said, “What’s that?” Then she says some things that have specific theological meanings. As we are discussing in another thread she talked about consecration to her Immaculate Heart. I don’t know what that means now. I definitely would not have known when I was ten. Did these kids know what she was talking about? Do ten year old Catholics today know what that means?

Did they just relay the information or did they actually understand the information? How did they remember all of those specific words and theological concepts–especially if they didn’t understand what they meant? Did they write them down before they went to the priest?

There is just a lot of very specific theological language given in a way I have never heard any Catholic speak. Was this just normal for them? When she said to consecrate to her Immaculate Heart, did the kids say, “Got it. No problem,” or “What are you talking about? We have no idea what that means?”

Thank you

They would likely have known what the rosary was. They probably used say it every night with their family which would have been the custom in that community and other catholic countries.

She spoke to them in the manner in which they needed to hear.

Thank you for the response. So they understood what she meant when she said to “consecrate Russia to my Immaculate Heart”? Did they ask any questions about what that meant or why Russia?

Thank you.

I just want you to understand that even though the children were not well educated… they of course being very young, were given the information from the Blessed Mother in a fashion that they could understand. I would encourage you to spend some time in researching
the messages they received. There are many sites which will give you sufficient information
to understand why the Blessed Mother came to them and what the messaged was that She
conveyed to them.

I think God can give is the grace to process the information He wants to share with us. On an average, children of this age would not have such specific memory (especially when it cones to information that they don’t understand.

We can all choose to belive or to not believe anything. My faith tells me that with Him everything is possible. IMHO, the worse thing we can do is underestimate God.

Peace!

Thank you for responding. I have read the background, all of the visions and “secrets”, and how all of that played out through the 20th century.

I am not questioning the veracity of it at all. The Church says it is worthy of belief (but not required) and they do not give that status lightly.I am interested more in the specifics to determine my personal position on it–which the Church allows.

Had the children heard the priest discuss the “Immaculate Heart” of Mary at some point? Did the priest in their town heavily promote penance as the visions did? Were these entirely new words and concepts to the children or had they heard about them before? Did they know about the Saturday devotions they or was the vision the first time they had ever heard about them?

Was the vision a brand new revelation or was it a continuation of things they had already been taught? The visions could be just as real regardless of whether they were new revelations or emphasis on what they had been taught.

They were actually praying the Rosary the first time she appeared to them, but they were doing a childish version of it. She was telling them, it’s time to grow up and do the real Rosary - put aside these childish things. She also asked them to pray it every day.

Then she says some things that have specific theological meanings. As we are discussing in another thread she talked about consecration to her Immaculate Heart. I don’t know what that means now. I definitely would not have known when I was ten. Did these kids know what she was talking about? Do ten year old Catholics today know what that means?

Most Catholic children would have heard that phrase before, and they would have a child’s concept of the idea.

Did they just relay the information or did they actually understand the information? How did they remember all of those specific words and theological concepts–especially if they didn’t understand what they meant? Did they write them down before they went to the priest?

It was actually their parents who found out first, and of course the parents thought it was a kind of role-playing game they were playing. Few people realized that the children thought it was real until the July visitation, and at that point, the children were placed in a mental hospital. The doctors certified them to be perfectly sane and healthy, and it was at that point that the Bishop was notified. The Bishop went with the children to the September visitation, and found nothing contrived, nor any device or mechanism that would cause there to be a fake appearance, so he deemed it to be a real vision. That’s when the people got excited, and word spread very quickly about what was going on.

The final vision was given in October, which was the one where hundreds of thousands of people saw the Miracle of the Sun.

There is just a lot of very specific theological language given in a way I have never heard any Catholic speak. Was this just normal for them? When she said to consecrate to her Immaculate Heart, did the kids say, “Got it. No problem,” or “What are you talking about? We have no idea what that means?”

The Bishop would have understood what Mary was telling to the children, and he would have been the one to use the specific, theological language when passing the messages to the world. The children would have understood her meaning and conveyed it to the Bishop.

As a cradle Catholic (I can’t speak for them, the Fatima children) but I knew what “consecrated” meant when I was that young, most likely from the Mass from the consecration of the Eucharist. We also said the rosary every night as a family on the couch usually dedicated to someone. If it helps I believe Protestant children are exposed to the same thing under different verbiage, for example those not baptized as babies are dedicated (consecrated) to God. I assume Protestant parents explain what this means to their other children (though I might be wrong, not always good to assume) for those Protestants who don’t practice infant baptism. Pretty sure mainline Protestantism understands (again assuming I could be wrong also) consecration and their children I. E. Lutherans, Anglicans etc.

Hope that helps
Peace and God bless
Nicene

Thank you! All of that information helps a lot.

Ah, that does help. I was dedicated (consecrated) as a baby in a non-denominational church, but I grew up and was baptised in a baptist church.

Does consecrating a country carry the same meaning as consecrating a person?

Thank you

If they had said that they wanted to “dedicate” Russia to God for the sake of salvation and holiness, would that make sense to you?

Theologically I would have to say yes. Spiritually as well; for example a baby has no faith in God and is incapable of understanding God much less believing in God, however the same applies to Russia (I’m old enough to remember and experience when it was illegal to be christian in Russia, it was a purely atheist country). In consecrating them to God we are entrusting them to God in the hope of conversion and exposure to God and Jesus Christ.

Going through the years, when i was younger and seeing John Paul II, Ronald Reagan and Margret Thatcher bearing down on communist socialism, the tearing down of the wall, Catholics begin to evangelize in Russia, Orthodox begin to come out of the underground, Billy Graham in the 90’s preaching in Russia with the help of John Paul II to me that was a miracle being enacted in real life before our eyes.

(personally I believe Billy Graham gets the short straw from evangelicals now a days for his association with Rome and the Pope. I finds that sad if not tragic)

Short answer is, I believe our prayers were heard through the intercession of Mary, through her sacred heart, and answered by God. The Gospel speared through Russia and many things changed with regard to Christianity there, where not 50 years ago it was outlawed.

I guess I have a different perspective than younger people do today, not that I’m old at 54, but old enough to remember. Think Kim Jung Un daily 100 fold. Prayers are answered, Miracles do happen. God listens. Especially when the church triumphant and the church militant all beseech Him as one.

Peace and God Bless
Nicene

This link is to a PDF of the childrens’ experience at Fatima in Sr. Lucia’s own words. It might help give a bit of perspective if all you’ve read thus far are secondhand summaries and explanations.

Furthermore, as she explains in her memoirs and her own recollections, all of the children had very strong Catholic values and educations instilled both at home by their families and in school and at church. Also worth noting is that Portugal, especially the more rural regions, are… for lack of a better phrase, very Catholic. It’s not just their religion, but an integral and irreplaceable part of their culture, similar to southern Louisiana, where I grew up. Also, Lucia had many older siblings, and was the oldest of the three children. She was a mentor to them just as her siblings were mentors and examples for her.

Her words about her mother’s faith in particular give a good sense of the kind of faith environment she and the other children grew up in. Her family volunteered a lot of time and energy to help their community and helped at the local church. I’m pretty sure Lucia at least had already received her First Communion by the time Mary appeared to them (though I could be wrong), and in any case, stories of the Saints and of Mary and Jesus would have all been things they’d have been exposed to, both at home and in church. The Immaculate Heart of Mary, for instance, has been a devotion practiced in the Catholic Church since 1681.

That you for your response. That helps.

You just used a phrase I don’t understand so maybe you can help. What does “through her sacred heart” mean? Why did you use that phrase rather than just the “intercession of Mary”?

I know Protestants have terms that most other people don’t understand–I don’t even understand them all. Like “hedge of protection”, “washed in the blood”, etc.

So, if how would you explain “through her sacred heart” to someone who has no idea what that means?

Thank you

It is a journey of the heart, not the intellect. Do you know what, metaphorically speaking, ‘the heart’ means, right? For Mary, it would be something like showing quiet obedience, meekness, receiving compassion and intersession, and respect for Jesus. For Jesus’ sacred heart, it would be more like receiving mercy, sacrifice and forgiveness; but also include those attributes I gave to Mary’s sacred heart.

I hope this helps make a distinction, but they would also be very similar. Jesus teaches, giving us an enlightened intellect for salvation. She encourages us to “do what He tells you”. Mary provides a path to salvation, through the heart, for people who chose to be with her. Many Catholics take advantage of both scripture and Marian devotion in order to love God and mankind better. Indeed, a certain level of scriptural knowledge and Church tradition would be useful in order to fully appreciate Marian devotions.

Thank you for the explanation.

Why is it Mary’s “sacred” heart? Why not just Mary’s heart?

I’m trying to understand the theological implications of the wording.

Thank you

freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/2078640/posts

catholicconvert.com/blog/2015/06/11/meaning-of-sacred-and-immaculate-hearts/

Sacred Heart of Jesus:
Hearts represent love and life as the center of our being. Jesus’ heart beats with the fire of love (at the top of the heart) which was demonstrated at the cross. The fire also represents the purifying fire of God by which he purifies men. It exudes the transformative power of divine love.
The crown of thorns brought suffering which was endured for the love of man to redeem him — to bear man’s pain in his own heart. The cut in the heart is that made by the lance that was thrust through his heart when he was on the cross.
The blood dripping represents the new life secured through his death (life came through dead). The Blood of Jesus also cleanses us, washes us from sin. The result is the heart of man (below surrounded by flowers) is given new life. The flowers represent a garden of delights, new life, freshness. The Garden of Eden which brought about death by sin is now replaced by the Garden of Heaven which brings new life because of holiness and the work of Christ.
Adam and Eve experienced death at the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden; The New Adam (Jesus) brings about life at the Tree of Death (the cross) in another garden (John 19:41). This cross is at the top of the heart. Heaven and the glory of God is represented by the clouds and the blazing sun or heavenly light from God behind the hearts.

Immaculate Heart of Mary
Immaculate Heart of Mary:
This one is similar to the Sacred Heart. The roses surrounding Mary’s heart represent her sinlessness and purity, sweetness and new life. The seven swords piercing the top of the heart represents the “Seven Sorrows of Mary,” (“Mater Dolorosa”).
The first of her sorrows was the Prophecy of Simeon that a sword would pierce her soul because of her son’s death (Luke 2:35), 2) their flight into Egypt, 3) the loss of Jesus in the Temple; 4) the fourth sorrow is Mary watching Jesus carry the cross, 5) the crucifixion imagining a mother watching her son die this way; 6) receiving his limp, cold body after the crucifixion, 7) the body of her son buried in the tomb.
When Mary and Joseph took Jesus to the temple as a baby the prophet Simeon said that the life and death of Jesus would be like a sword that would pierce her soul (Luke 2:35). The lower heart, the one of Mary surrounded by roses, shows a cut in it which is symbolic of her sorrows. But her sorrows have brought us new life and pure hearts represented by the garden of roses below.

Thanks for the info.

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