In Fatima, Our Lady reveals an important effect of the Rosary: it obtains the end of the war.
In fact, in the year 1917 the First World War enters in its most horrible and deadly phase. There was almost no family in Europe who had not had to send their sons into that war, and everyone was preoccupied with this issue. In this light, we can understand why Our Lady in Fatima alludes several times to this World War and promises its end.
However, the message of Our Lady does not touch only the children or the people living in 1917, but through them touches all people of all ages. Similarly, we see in the Gospel that Our Lord Himself announces prophetically the destruction of Jerusalem – which will happen in the year 70; but He also interlaces this historical event with the end of the world.
We can apply this prophetic language to Our Lady in Fatima: directly and immediately, she speaks about the end of the first World War and the return home of the soldiers. But these same words have also to be understood for all people of all ages. Everybody who comes to Fatima receives the promise of Our Lady: The war will end and the soldiers will return home! How have we to understand this? We must ask ourselves, what does “war” and particularly “end of the war” mean to us.
Firstly, this means that we are members of the Militant Church and our life is a Christian Warfare. The public wars of people and nations against one another is only an expression and a symbol of the war between good and evil, between grace and sin, between Our Lady and the devil, between Heaven and hell.
In a war we need good weapons, but not only that. The soldiers must be skilled and well trained to use these weapons. The weapon “par excellence” given by Our Lady is the Holy Rosary. And if you use this weapon according to the wish of our “commander in chief”, she announces solemnly that this war will end and the soldiers can come home, that they will finally reach their eternal home.
Secondly, this means that there must be one who wins and one who looses the battles; there must be a defeat and a victory: the victory, all true victory in this world is obtained by her, and through her by all of them who faithfully meditate upon the mysteries of the Rosary. This is confirmed by the Church, who declares the feast of Our Lady of Victories as also the feast of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary.
Thirdly, the end of the war and the result of the victory is peace. There is no victory or peace without Her- She demonstrated this already through the miraculous victories from the XVI century onwards. In other words, the Rosary is the great peacemaker in our life. The peace of weapons cannot be but an external condition of true peace which Saint Augustine and Saint Thomas define as the “tranquility of order”.
Now we know that our heart is a battlefield and “the devil turns incessantly around us like a roaring lion trying to devour us”. It is difficult to get peace into our souls and very often we are troubled, restless, and agitated. The smallest events make us lose the peace of our heart. How precious therefore is the promise of Our Lady, that the Rosary gives us the atmosphere of order and harmony.
The highest and truest peace, however, is only a life in God’s friendship, a life in sanctifying grace. Furthermore, we can extend this promise to all situations and institutions which absolutely need the atmosphere of peace if they want to survive: the families, the schools, the parishes, convents, villages, etc.
The Rosary is the devotion which, in a very practical and simple manner, consecrates our daily life to God through Mary.