Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

The Other Secret of Fatima

I take a semi-ambivalent approach to the Fatima apparitions (though that's a story for another time) but one of the interesting things about it, in light of current events, is the name Fatima itself.

Fatima is, of course, the name of Mohammad's favorite daughter, and in honor of her it has become one of the more common names for women it the Islamic world. Portugal was invaded by the Islamic Moors in 711, and the Moors were not fully driven out again until 1250.

It was some time during that period that the town of Fatima (where the appearances of Our Lady allegedly took place) received it's name -- though so far as I can tell it's unclear whether it was named directly after Mohammad's daughter or after a local woman named Fatima.

By the time of the apparitions it was not radical Islam but rather the militant atheism of Communism which was seen as the great threat to Catholicism, and it is that threat which several of the Fatima messages address.

The atheism that threatens Christianity today is not a militant, invading force, but rather a paralyzing nihilism and self-doubt -- and Islam once again threatens to overwhelm Europe. Perhaps Our Lady of Fatima (who appeared in a town named after Mohammad's daughter to warn of the necessity of resisting the militant forces arrayed against Christianity) is an apt patroness for the trouble of our own time.

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