THE visit of Pope John Paul 11 to Fatima on May 13 is a public demonstration of his great love Ibr the Immaculate Virgin Mary, the Mother of God and the Mother of the Church as Vatican II teaches.
The Pope sees great significance in the historical coincidence of the date of last year's assassination attempt in Rome and the first apparition of Our Lady at Fatima on May 13, 1917.
Our Holy Father has declared that he owes his life to the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
That is no surprise, because his complete trust in her is proclaimed in his motto, Toto Tuus.
From the beginning of his priesthood he consecrated himself to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. In 1978 he accepted election as Pope "In a spirit of obedience to Our Lord and with total trust in his Mother, Our Most Holy Lady."
To my mind as a practical scholar (of chemical science) the most powerful proof of the veracity of the Fatima apparitions also lies in their historical coincidence with the return of Vladimir Ulanov (better known as Lenin) to Russia in April 1917 and his -successful launching of the Communist revolution later that year.
Where the world of 1917 saw Russia as a defeated, divided and impoverished nation, which Germany hoped the returning Lenin would completely incapacitate by fermenting his revolution, Our Blessed Mother alone saw a diabolical force at work.
Like a true mother, she hurried to warn her children, "If my requests are heeded Russia will be converted and there will be peace; if not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred; the Holy Father will have much to suffer; various nations will be annihilated." (Memoirs of Lucia Santos). _ The 65 years of world history since then are the proof of her message.
To satisfy the Justice of God who is gravely offended by the deluge of sin in our modern world
and to win Our Lady promise of peace to the world, it will require the response of more than one man, even John Paul II.
The Pope's pilgrimage on May 13 will fail if he is not supported by the prayers and penances of us all in reparation for sins and for the conversion of sinners.
G. L. Kennedy MSc (Melb), FRACI Master of Science (Melbourne) Fellow, Royal Australian Chemical lnsitute Victoria