Ven. Archbishop Sheen’s Prophetic warning of 50 years ago: Mary and the Moslems; The Significance of Fatima

As Posted On freerepublic.com

(The following was written in 1952 and reprinted in the October 2001 Mindszenty Report.)

The Power of Islam
by Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

Misunderstanding the notion of the Trinity, Mohammed made Christ a prophet, announcing Him just as to Christians Isaiah and John the Baptist are prophets announcing Christ.

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The Christian European West barely escaped destruction at the hands of the Moslems. At one point they were stopped near Tours and at another point, later on in time, outside the gates of Vienna. The Church throughout northern Africa ws practically destroyed by Moslem power, and at the present hour, the Moslems are beginning to rise again. If Moslemism is a heresy, as Hilaire Belloc believes it to be, it is the only heresy that has never declined. Others have had a moment of vigor, then gone into doctrinal decay at the death of the leader, and finally evaporated in a vague social movement. Moslemism, on the contrary, has only had its first phase. There was never a time in which it declined, either in numbers, or in the devotion of its followers.

The missionary effort of the Church toward this group has been at least on the surface, a failure, for the Moslems are so far almost unconvertible. The reason is that for a follower of Mohammed to become a Christian is much like a Christian becoming a Jew. The Moslems believe that they have the final and definitive revelation of God to the world and that Christ was only a prophet announcing Mohammed, the last of Gods real prophets.

At the present time, the hatred of the Moslem countries against the West is becoming a hatred against Christianity itself. Although the statesmen have not yet taken it into account, there is still grave danger that the temporal power of Islam may return and, with it, the menace that it may shake off a West which has ceased to be Christian, and affirm itself as a great anti-Christian world power. Moslem writers say, When the locust swarms darken countries, they bear on their wings these Arabic words: We are Gods host, each of us has ninety-nine eggs, and if we had a hundred, we should lay waste the world, with all that is in it.

The problem is, how shall we prevent the hatching of the hundredth egg? It is our firm belief that the fears some entertain concerning the Moslems are not to be realized, but that Moslemism, instead, will eventually be converted to Christianity – and in a way that even some of our missionaries never suspect. It is our belief that this will happen not through the direct teachings of Christianity, but through a summoning of the Moslems to a veneration of the Mother of God. This is the line of argument:

Mary, Mother of God
The Koran, which is the Bible of the Moslems, has many passages concerning the Blessed Virgin. First of all, the Koran believes in her Immaculate Conception, and also, in her Virgin Birth. The third chapter of the Koran places the history of Marys family in a genealogy which goes back through Abraham, Noah, and Adam. When one compares the Korans description of the birth of Mary with the apocryphal Gospel of the birth of Mary, one is tempted to believe tht Mohammed very much depended upon the latter. Both books describe the old age and the definite sterility of the mother of Mary. When, however, she conceives, the mother of Mary is made to say in the Koran: O Lord, I vow and I consecrate to you what is already within me. Accept it from me.

When Mary is born, the mother says: And I consecrate her with all of her posterity under thy protection, O Lord, against Satan! The Koran passes over Joseph in the life of Mary, but the Moslem tradition knows his name and has some familiarity with him. In this tradition, Joseph is made to speak to Mary, who is a virgin. As he inquired how she conceived Jesus without a father, Mary answered: Do you not know that God, when He created the wheat had no need of seed, and that God by His power made the trees grow without the help of rain? All that God had to do was to say, So be it, and it was done. The Koran has also verses on the Annunciation, Visitation, and Nativity. Angels are pictured as accompanying the Blessed Mother and saying: Oh Mary, God has chosen you and purified you, and elected you above all the women of the earth.

In the nineteenth chapter of the Koran there are 41 verses on Jesus and Mary. There is such a strong defense of the virginity of Mary here that the Koran, in the fourth book, attributed the condemnation of the Jews to their monstrous calumny against the Virgin Mary.

The Significance of Fatima

Mary, then, is for the Moslems the true Sayyida, or Lady. The only possible serious rival to her in their creed would be Fatima, the daughter of Mohammed himself. But after the death of Fatima, Mohammed wrote: Thou shalt be the most blessed of all the women in Paradise, after Mary. In a variant of the text, Fatima is made to say, I surpass all the women, except Mary.

This brings us to our second point: namely, why the Blessed Mother, in the 20th century, should have revealed herself in the significant little village of Fatima, so that to all future generations she would be known as Our Lady of Fatima. Since nothing ever happens out of Heaven except with a finesse of all details, I believe that the Blessed Virgin chose to be known as Our Lady of Fatima as a pledge and a sign of hope to the Moslem people, and as an assurance that they, who show her so much respect, will one day accept her divine Son too. Evidence to support these views is found in the historical fact that the Moslems occupied Portugal for centuries. At the time when they were finally driven out, the last Moslem chief had a beautiful daughter by the name of Fatima. A Catholic boy fell in love with her, and for him she not only stayed behind when the Moslems left, but even embraced the Faith. The young husband was so much in love with her that he changed the name of the town where he live to Fatima. Thus, the very place where our Lady appeared in 1917 bears a historical connection to Fatima, the daughter of Mohammed.

The final evidence of the relationship of Fatima to the Moslems is the enthusiastic reception which the Moslems in Africa and India and elsewhere gave to the Pilgrim statue of Our Lady of Fatima, as mentioned earlier. Moslems attended the church services in honor of our Lady, they allowed religious processions and even prayers before their mosques; and in Mozambique the Moslems who were unconverted, began to be Christian as soon as the statue of Our Lady of Fatima was erected.

A Missionary Strategy
Missionaries in the future will, more and more, see that their apostolate among the Moslems will be successful in the measure that they preach Our Lady of Fatima. Mary is the advent of Christ, bringing Christ to the people before Christ Himself is born. In an apologetic endeavor, it is always best to start with that which people already accept. Because the Moslems have a devotion to Mary, our missionaries should be satisfied merely to expand and to develop that devotion, with the full realization that Our Blessed Lady will carry the Moslems the rest of the way to her divine Son. She is forever a traitor, in the sense that she will not accept any devotion for herself, but will always bring anyone who is devoted to her to her divine Son. As those who lose devotion to her lose belief in the divinity of Christ, so those who intensify devotion to her gradually acquire that belief.

Many of our great missionaries in Africa have already broken down the bitter hatred and prejudices of the Moslems against the Christians through their acts of charity, their schools and hospitals. It now remains to use another approach, namely, that of taking the 41st chapter of the Koran and showing them that it was taken out of the Gospel of Luke, that Mary could not be, even in their own eyes, the most blessed of all the women of Heaven if she had not also borne the Savior of the world. If Judith and Esther of the Old Testament were pre-figures of Mary, then it may very well be that Fatima herself was a post-figure of Mary! The Moslems should be prepared to acknowledge that, if Fatima must give way in honor to the Blessed Mother, it is because she is different from all the other mothers of the world and that without Christ she would be nothing.

(This article courtesy of The Mindzenty Report, published by the Cardinal Mindzenty Foundation.)

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7 Responses to Ven. Archbishop Sheen’s Prophetic warning of 50 years ago: Mary and the Moslems; The Significance of Fatima

  1. Archbishop Sheen wrote, “Moslems are so far almost unconvertible. The reason is that for a follower of Mohammed to become a Christian is much like a Christian becoming a Jew.”

    That’s certainly one reason, but there is an even more compelling one. Any Moslem who abandons Islam and is converted to another religion is to be punished by death. Verses in the Qu’ran that support this: Qur’an 4:89, 9:11-12, 2:217, 9:73-74, 88:21, 5:54, and 9:66.

  2. johnhenrycn says:

    Reprising – if you will allow – my comment about the great Archbishop Lefebvre on a recent thread: not only he, but the equally great Archbishop Fulton Sheen was also a modern day Cassandra –

    “Pity Cassandra that no one believed you,
    But then again you were lost from the start…
    Sorry Cassandra I misunderstood,
    Now the last day is dawning,
    Some of us wanted, but none of us could,
    Listen to words of warning,
    But on the darkest of nights,
    Nobody knew how to fight,
    And we were caught in our sleep,
    Sorry Cassandra I didn’t believe…”

  3. Tom Fisher says:

    That’s certainly one reason, but there is an even more compelling one. Any Moslem who abandons Islam and is converted to another religion is to be punished by death

    Excellent point. There was a very fine documentary film made just a few years ago about the trials and tribulations of people who tried to leave Islam – some for Christianity, some not. If I find it again I will share it.

  4. kathleen says:

    Any Moslem who abandons Islam and is converted to another religion is to be punished by death.

    This threat (so typical of the intransigence of Islam) doesn’t appear to be deterring thousands of Muslims who apparently, disillusioned with Islam, are leaving this faith. Most of them are converting to Christianity… especially in Africa! “In Africa Alone Everyday, 16,000 Muslims Leave Islam”:

    “Hitler said if a lie is repeated often enough and long enough, it would come to be perceived as truth. One such lie often repeated is “Islam is the fastest growing religion”.

    Despite the fact that Muslims by virtue of being poor and uneducated are much more reproductive than others, Islam as a religion is not growing but dying fast.

    More and more Muslims are discovering that the violence evinced by some of their coreligionists is not an aberration but is inspired by the teachings of the Quran and the examples set by its author. Muslims are becoming disillusioned with Islam. They find out that the mechanistic ritual of praying five times per day, reciting verses that they do not understand and indeed mean nothing, getting up at taxing hours of the morning and abstaining from food and water until the sunset are not means to becoming more spiritual but are instruments to control their mind. These enlightened Muslims no more heed to the fear mongering verses of the Quran that threaten to burn them and roast them in the fires of hell if they dare to think and question the validity of that book.

    Every day thousands of Muslim intellectuals are leaving Islam. They find Islam inconsistent with science, logics, human rights and ethics.” […]

    http://www.faithfreedom.org/oped/sina31103.htm

    Migrants flocking into Germany are also converting from Islam to Christianity – most of them come from Iran or Afghanistan – though there is some speculation on how sincere these conversions truly are:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3225014/How-Muslim-migrants-converting-Christianity-Germany-hundreds-boost-chances-winning-asylum.html

  5. johnhenrycn says:

    That [faithfreedom.org] article is very heartening, Kathleen. Thank you for linking it.

  6. toad says:

    “Despite the fact that Muslims by virtue of being poor and uneducated are much more reproductive than others, Islam as a religion is not growing but dying fast.”
    Phew! What a relief. Possibly Islam might be persuaded to die a little faster, but we can’t have everything, can we?
    What optimistic rubbish. Muslims seem to be multiplying like flies. We agree that on here, daily.
    Although, if someone can provide an accurate figure – that the percentage of Muslims on the planet is perceptibly less than it was 50 years ago, that would make nice reading.

  7. kathleen says:

    Even Jo Shaw (LMS Chairman), who has sometimes been accused of being the ‘devil’s advocate’ when discussing the inherent violence and war-mongering so deeply ingrained in the history of Islam, had this to say:

    “The Koran is surrounded by a massive penumbra of authoritative texts, without which it is often incomprehensible. Each generation of Muslims who are inspired to take their faith seriously confront these texts, and are drawn into a set of positions which open the way – at least – to the kinds of positions usually identified as ‘fundamentalist’ and the like. There are also, of course, a far larger number of Muslims who aren’t educated in great detail about these texts or their implications, and there are also liberal Muslim theologians who want to explain them away. But it is certainly absurd to say that all the stuff about slaying the enemies of Islam is not ‘authentic Islam’. It is there, in these texts.”

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