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Spreading the Fatima message

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Everyone, especially families, need to get back to praying the Rosary every day and to living out the “Fatima message”, according to visiting priest Father Ronan Murphy.

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The Irish priest who now serves in the Camden Diocese of New Jersey visited the Adelaide Archdiocese recently, hosting a retreat in Mount Barker and concelebrating Mass in several parishes.

Fr Murphy said the last message of Our Lady of Fatima basically asked people to repent and to pray the Rosary every day so as to “bring peace to the world” – and 100 years later he is saddened that peace has not yet come because “we have not responded”.

“We’re rebelling against God and when we sin we lose our peace, we damage our relationship with God, with others and ourselves. People must amend their lives and ask for pardon for their sins,” he said, suggesting that peace comes through the sacrament of penance.

“Repentance will bring peace…we have to get back to prayer, especially family prayer.

“Sister Lucia, one of the Fatima seers, said ‘that the final battle between God and Satan would be over marriage and the family’. We have to get back to the family Rosary.

“The family that prays together stays together. The Rosary has always been a prayer of the family and for the family,” Fr Murphy said.

This year marks the centenary since three shepherd children reported visions of a shining lady believed to be the Virgin Mary, near Fatima, Portugal.

“I hope the centenary year has highlighted the Fatima message, because there are still people that don’t know the message…a message, according to St John Paull II, that addresses every single human being and is more relevant and urgent today than it was in 1917.”

Born in Dublin, Fr Murphy’s “conversion” fittingly took place on the feast day of Our Lady of Fatima.

He tells of how on May 13 1987 he was walking up a busy street in Dublin and an “invisible force” stopped him outside a Carmelite Church. He turned towards a jewellery store nearby and was surprised by what happened next.

“All the jewellery disappeared before my eyes and all that was left was one holy medal with the image of Our Lady on it. I was compelled to buy this medal and had enough faith to go across to the church and get it blessed, and my whole life changed.

He believes that he received that day an infused knowledge of the basic tenets of the Catholic faith – “a beautiful gift”.

Thirteen years later to the day he was ordained.

Now he spends about seven months a year travelling, hosting retreats and missions, speaking at conferences and leading pilgrimages – all the time spreading the word of the Fatima message and the importance of praying the Rosary.

Based in the US, he is a priest in the Camden Diocese, chaplain of the Carmelite monastery and looks after the Missionaries of Charity there.

 

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