by Correspondent

Hours after Judge Edwina Grima’s feelings pinned a suspended six-month prison sentence on Catholic intellectual Fr. David Muscat, he spoke at the Catholic Institute about a newly released book in Maltese about the Fatima apparitions. He observed that from La Salette to Lourdes and Fatima, the messengers, all children, suffered immensely for bearing the news. They were pilloried for what they said. Lucia was ostracized, first by her father, eventually by the Santa Sede. He implored the name of St Theresa of Avila who said that those who walked closest to Christ had to bear the greatest trials.

Fr David Muscat at the Catholic Institute

He was well-prepared for the event, sharing a sanctuary of knowledge. In a world that conforms to societal norms, he challenged the status quo in the audience’s understanding of the apparitions and history. He mentioned how earlier excitement about the collapse of Communism, triggered by Solidarność, the collapse of the Berlin Wall, and the revolution in Romania failed to bring the desired change in the human heart. He recalled how as a little boy, he and his classmates were made to wave the Maltese flag by the Education Department to welcome Romania’s Mrs. Ceaușescu, a politician with fake academic credentials, for her honorary doctorate at the University of Malta. He almost fell off his chair with laughter thinking about the 40th anniversary of his forced expression.

Mrs. Elena Caucescu

Buoyant and full of vibrancy, he said that Christ did not come into the world to remove injustice but to absolve us from our sins. Fatima’s central message wasn’t the widespread appearance of the tumbling sun. Instead, it was the apparition of hell and Mary’s warning that we must endure penance for our sins. The little Francesco never smiled again after this event, he cautioned. Hell is real.

We think of Lourdes as a place for physical healing, he remarked to an attentive crowd. The miraculous water healed many but not Bernadette. Hers was a life of suffering. From the Lourdes ‘kurunella,’ he intoned ‘Penitenza! Penitenza! Penitenza! Tliet darbiet erġajt għidt sabiex il-maħfra aħna jkollna mis-smewwiet.’

Fatima seriously warned us about Russia but the destructive philosophy that killed millions, Communism, germinated first in the West. Marx and Engels were Europeans. The atheistic philosophies that blind us originated mostly in the West. The West has been the cradle of errors mentioned by Mary. Theology starts with revelation. The deification of the state is a mistake, he warned.

As he approached his conclusion, he noted how the late nineteenth century ushered in La Belle Époque. It was considered to be a beautiful time. How did it end? With World War I. Then came the Roaring Twenties, a period of economic prosperity. How did it end? With World War II. Back then, the social, artistic, and cultural dynamism seemed to be confined to the rich and the upper middle class. Today the sense of modernity and breaking of tradition has a widespread base. But how will it end? he wondered aloud.

The meeting was hosted by Pro Malta Christiana. Philip M. Beattie introduced each of the speakers. The other two speakers were Mark A. Sammut Sassi, a lawyer who translated the original book from English to Maltese, and Rory M. O’Hanlin, the Secretary of Ireland Needs Fatima which financially sponsored the publication of the book. Copies of both the English and Maltese versions of the book are available for a donation of 15 Euros from Pro Malta Christiana at info@msfcc.org.

The meeting was the second event in honour of Mary on Wednesday evening in St Publius Square. Earlier, vespers were sung at St Publius Church. They were followed by a procession with the statue of Mary to the Capuchins’ church, also in Floriana.

Vespers followed by procession.


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