Catholic Vancouver Jan. 10, 2018

Our Lady captivated my heart

By B.C. Catholic Staff

Statue of the Immaculate Heart of Mary is seen at St. Francis Xavier church. (BCC file photo)

By Mira Issa

I have always been fascinated by Our Lady of Fatima and her apparitions to the three shepherd children since I was a child. The fact that the "beautiful Lady from heaven" came to her children to teach them and entrust to them numerous important and prophetic messages to share with the world touched my heart. 

I remember watching in awe and wonder a well made animation, The Day the Sun Danced, which recounts the events at Fatima, and being particularly struck by the incredible "miracle of the sun" that took place. Years later, images from that beautiful animation are still imprinted in my memory. 

Over the years, the more I learned about what happened at Fatima, the more I fell in love and was grateful to God for giving us his mother to be our mother too, to guide us and remind us of the ways of God. 

This was especially true during the past year, the 100th anniversary of the Fatima apparitions, when I ended up discovering more about the miraculous phenomena surrounding Our Lady of Fatima, her message, and its implications and relevance for us today.

The programs EWTN broadcast during this time proved to be a valuable resource, as was its commemorative website, which conveniently detailed what exactly happened during each of Our Lady's six appearances from May to October in 1917. 

Through this and other means, the Lord placed a desire in my heart to do something to honour his mother, our mother, the Queen of Heaven and all Saints, during this special year.

I'm not sure exactly how and when, but through the inspirations of the Holy Spirit and the power of prayer – of others, of Jesus himself, and particularly Our Lady of Fatima – I decided to complete the five First Saturdays as Our Lady requested. Somehow, she had captivated my heart again with her tender love, and I felt led to complete the five First Saturdays in reparation for the offences of myself and others against her most Immaculate Heart.

I had never done this before, and never thought I would.

By the grace of God, and thanks to the intercession of Our Lady of the Rosary, I was able to fulfill my promise and receive Communion on the first Saturday of the month, pray five decades of the Rosary, meditate for 15 minutes on the mysteries of the Rosary, and go to confession for five consecutive months.

It was a truly transformative and life-changing experience. I'm still reaping the benefits from observing Our Lady's request, and only God Almighty knows how far reaching its effects can be. 

The Lord, in his great mercy, gave us a spiritual mother to watch over us and lead us closer to him by allowing her to remind us throughout the centuries to do whatever he tells us in her gentle, motherly way. 

Whether at Guadalupe, Lourdes, Fatima, or the countless other places and ways the Lord has blessed us through his mother with the incredible miracles, signs, and wonders that have taken place, many of which are irrefutable and undeniable, the Mother of God, our heavenly mother, comes to us always to aid us, guide us, and cover us with her mantle of love, peace, and protection.

 The New Eve, who crushed satan's head, is the Mother of God who wants us to grow in holiness to save us from the fires of hell and live eternally in heaven above. 

Mira Issa was a member of Holy Name of Jesus Parish and now lives in California.