We recently remembered the 100th year anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima. Our Blessed Mother appeared to three peasant children of Fatima Portugal in 1917. In the last 2000 years Jesus and his mother, Mary, have appeared at different times to different people in order to bring hope and re-iterate the saving message of the Gospel. These usually come in the form of a mustard seed like that of small unassuming peasant children. God plants these seeds and wants us to cooperate and cultivate them.
True apparitions are scrutinized carefully by the Church in order to ensure their authenticity so as not to mislead the faithful. These appearances are treated as private revelation for a specific purpose, but can never add anything to the deposit of faith which ended with the death of the last living Apostle.
The Fatima apparitions were very well documented and the Miracle of the Sun was observed by an estimated 70,000 people on October 13, 1917. The key to the messages of Fatima were specific warnings given to the children to share in order that more people come to have a life changing encounter with her Son, Jesus.
I’ve attached a speech on how the warnings that Our Lady described have played out. Dr. William Thomas is a professor of Mariology at Newman College in Ireland and served St. John Paul II during his pontificate. I found the talk to be very informative for the current cultural decline that we see transpiring in America.