Monday, May 15, 2006

Anniversary of Fatima and Pope's assassination attempt

This past Saturday marked the 25th anniversary of the attempt on the life of Pope John Paul II (May 13, 1981). A special ceremony at the Vatican marked the occasion.

The day is also the 89th anniversary of the first appearance of Our Lady of Fatima in Portugal.

The similarity between the two events is striking -- it was the famed "Third Secret of Fatima," hidden for years and known only by the popes and the last surviving child whom the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to, the eerily predicted the assassination attempt on the life of a pope (which turned out to be John Paul II). The late pope attributed the intercession of Our Lady of Fatima to narrowly saving his life on that fateful day -- claiming that she diverted the course of the bullet fired into him.

Even more interesting to note, I've found, is that the pope was at his weekly audience and about to announce the founding of the John Paul II Institute on Marriage and the Family, which has since gone on to be a driving force in spreading his "Theology of the Body" and fighting the culture of death that has gripped the West.

The same institute recently sponsored a plenary assembly of the Pontifical Council for the Family. This all comes at a time when questions of bioethics and the family are becoming the major moral dilemmas facing countries and cultures.

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