Brother Gino Speaks On The Message Of Fatima
We continue below, the article which begins in Issue Number 9-10, which gives some practical ideas on how to live the message of Fatima today, as explained by Brother Gino Burresi, O.M.V., an Oblate Brother ordained deacon in 1979, who has built a shrine in honor of Our Lady of Fatima in San Vittorino, Italy. Brother Gino’s knowledge and understanding of the message of Our Lady of Fatima, and his gift for teaching, have enabled many young people to understand the message that Our Lady of Fatima has for them as individuals, and to answer Our Blessed Mother’s call in their own lives. Since 1971, over 200 young men, a majority from the U.S.A., have come to San Vittorino with the intention of becoming Oblate Priests and Religious. Thirty have since been ordained priests and deacons. Eight are professed Brothers. One hundred and thirty others are in various stages of philosophy and theology. About seventy women have joined the Oblate Sisters of the Virgin Mary of Fatima — a group founded by Brother Gino in 1979.
We give in this article in some detail, words of Brother Gino himself, on living the message of Fatima, as he has explained in various writings, conferences, talks and interviews. We are publishing this article with the hope that through it, more people will come to have a better understanding of how to put into practice in their own lives what Our Blessed Mother asks of us at Fatima.
Not Following The Fashions Of The World
In his booklet in which he exhorts us to live the Fatima Message, Brother Gino asks men to mortify their eyes and tells women that indecent styles of dress are the cause of the spiritual ruin of many of their brothers.
“Our eyes act like a road-sweeper. They pick up, they store up, everything into us. From this, desires and evil thoughts originate, and we fall into the rottenness of sin.”
Christian modesty presents a challenge to today’s young people, to dress like children of God and not follow the fashions of the world. Brother Gino explains: “It is a penance to mortify the eyes. Another penance is to refuse to follow the current fashions. In 1917, the Virgin said: ‘Certain fashions will be introduced that will offend Our Lord very much.’
“Our sister, Maria Goretti, and other Saints, in order not to make a show of what is not to be shown, have delivered their bodies to their executioners’ knives. Our Lord Jesus Christ has said: ‘But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it were better for him to have a great millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. Woe unto the world because of scandals!’ (Matt. 18:6-7). May the Holy Virgin make us understand and love the virtue of penance.”
Some women who visit San Vittorino object to being told by Brother Gino about modesty in dress. On one occasion, when a woman approached him scantily dressed, he said to her. “Have you ever eaten an apple?” “Oh yes, Brother Gino, I have eaten many apples.” “I’m surprised. Eve ate only one apple, and she had the sense to put on some clothes. You have eaten many apples and you dress like this?” The woman good-naturedly promised to dress modestly in the future.
Peace of Mind and the Spirit of Poverty
In a letter of Christmas 1981, Brother Gino writes on the spirit of poverty and how it brings peace of mind.
“The poor grotto of Bethlehem is a light of salvation for us all, (it also gives us) the sublime example of what every Christian should be. The frivolous things of this world, a world that has become so materialistic, bring peace to no man, but rather a continuous dissatisfaction; for within himself man feels empty and poor: he is starving and shall continue to hunger, he is thirsty and shall ever remain so, for he has everything but at the same time he lacks everything, for he lacks God, he lacks the life and joy of the heavenly Child of Bethlehem’s stable. Modern man lives in a continual agony, his longed for peace ever escaping him, a peace that shall continue to elude him until he brings back the life of God (Sanctifying Grace), into his life, until he begins again to live the teachings of the Child of Bethlehem.”
The Holy Eucharist
At Fatima, devotion to Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament was emphasized, and the Angel who appeared to the three children taught them to make acts of adoration and reparation to our Eucharistic Lord. The Blessed Virgin Mary asked us to go to Confession and receive Holy Communion on the first Saturdays in a spirit of reparation for sins that have offended the Immaculate Heart.
While Catholics are receiving Holy Communion more frequently today, yet the sanctifying effects of this frequent reception of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist are not what they should be, as many priests have noted. In reference to this practice, Brother Gino replied to someone: “This is because this (Holy Communion) should have a first place and all else should be put in second place, not first material things and then go and receive Communion. In order that Communion act in man there must be a certain detachment from material things and the ability to use them with the equilibrium shown by the light of God.”