Many people know that St. John Paul II was shot on May 13, 1981, the memorial of Our Lady of Fatima. Many, however, do not know that on that day the Pope was planning to announce the establishment of his Pontifical Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family. This was to be a significant platform for spreading the message of Theology of the Body throughout the world. John Paul II credits Our Lady of Fatima for deflecting the bullet and saving his life. Because of this, the next year on October 7, 1982, on the Feast of the Holy Rosary, St John Paul II entrusted the Pontifical Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family to the care and protection of Our Lady of Fatima.
John Paul appointed Cardinal Carlo Caferra as the founding president of the Pontifical Institute. While trying to get the Institute up and running, Cardinal Caferra reported runnning into repeated obstacles. It seemed there were mysterious forces that opposed the message of Theology of the Body. In a letter to Cardinal Caffera, Fatima visionary Sr. Lucia prophesized the following:
“The final battle between the Lord and the reign of Satan will be about marriage and the family. Don’t be afraid, she added, because anyone who works for the sanctity of marriage and the family will always be fought and opposed in every way, because this is the decisive issue. However, Our Lady has already crushed its head.” – Prophesy by visionary Sr. Lucia dos Santos of Fatima
Marriage and family is the battlefield in the final war between Good and Evil. Our Lady gave us the Rosary and instructed us to pray it daily for world peace. St. John Paul II gave us Theology of the Body as the antidote to the attack on marriage and family.
On the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima, let us join hands and pray for the protection of marriage and family. Our Lady of Fatima and St. John Paul II, pray for us.
By Debbie Staresinic
Debbie is the author of Theology of the Body Rosary Meditations and On a Mission to Love Rosary Meditations for Children and Families. She and her husband Dan have co-authored Icon of Love The Rosary for You and Your Spouse. All three books are rooted in St. John Paul II’s TOB. Sold separately and in gift sets with companion rosaries.