Vatican City, Oct 11, 2013 / 06:25 am
Anticipating Pope Francis' entrustment of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on Oct. 13, a specialist in Marian apparitions reflected on how the Blessed Mother serves to bring people to Jesus.
"It is necessary to have recourse to the Virgin because she can only bring you to God. That's her whole mission. She has nothing of self in it at all. She lives only for God and to bring you to God," said Marian expert Tim Tindal-Robertson during an Oct. 10 interview with CNA.
Tindal-Robertson is currently the national president in England of the World Apostolate of Fatima, an international association of the faithful which was erected by the Pontifical Council for the Laity in 2010.
Speaking of the significance of Pope Francis' decision to entrust the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Tindal-Robertson said that "the Pope has judged that in the year of faith this is a very appropriate moment" to focus on Mary's presence in the Church.
This presence, he noted, is "especially relevant to the situation of the Church in the world in our times. The Pope knows this very well."
The importance of Mary's role in the modern Church is shown most clearly in the annunciation, he said, where the angel Gabriel appeared to the Blessed Mother and told her she would give birth to the Son of God.
Though "she couldn't quite understand" the magnitude of what the angel was asking of her, Mary "in her humility… consented out of her free will," Tindal-Robertson said.
"Although she was Immaculate, that didn't alter the fact that she had free will. Technically she could have said no, and that's the meaning of free will, you have a choice," he explained, "She said yes."
Referring to the 1917 apparitions of Mary to three shepherd children in Fatima, Portugal, Tindal-Robertson expressed that "and it's a very special apparition, more than any other because its intimately related to the history of the twentieth century."
The original statue of Our Lady of Fatima, which currently resides in the Portuguese shrine's Little Chapel of Apparitions, has been offered to be sent to Rome for the celebration, and will leave for Rome on the morning of Oct. 12 and return on the afternoon of Oct. 13.
Tindal-Robertson noted the special significance of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, an image of which has been molded into the center of the statue, saying that "this is where everything comes from."
"Her heart was immaculate, that means it was incapable of resisting the plan of God. Sin could not enter into that Immaculate Heart, nor could ever sin and error, as we know all too well, are present in the world today."
Emphasizing how there are some in the Church who say that sin in today's society has reached "an unprecedented degree," which has not been present before, he stressed that "that to me is why it is necessary to have recourse to the Virgin."
"She lives only for God and to bring you to God and that is the essence of the meaning of Fatima, that's why the Church has accepted as John Paul II said, because the Fatima message repeats the first word of the Gospel, 'repent and believe in the good news the kingdom of heaven is at hand.'"
Mary, he reflected, "came back to our world. She's not neglecting us; she's very concerned about the salvation of all of her children."
Tindal-Robertson spoke of his anticipation of the event this weekend, at which he will present, and expressed his hope that during his homily on Sunday "the Holy Father will enlighten us further as to what is in his mind and his intention in making this act."