"The Christianity of history is not Protestantism. If ever there were a safe truth it is this, and Protestantism has ever felt it so; to be deep in history is to cease to be a Protestant." (-John Henry Newman, An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine).

"Where the bishop is, there let the people gather; just as where ever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church". -St. Ignatius of Antioch (ca 110 AD)a martyr later thrown to the lions, wrote to a church in Asia Minor. Antioch was also where the term "Christian" was first used.

“But if I should be delayed, you should know how to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of truth.” 1 Timothy 3:15

"This is the sole Church of Christ, which in the Creed we profess to be one, holy, catholic and apostolic." -CCC 811

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Fatima and Mary Our Lady of the Light

Image of our Blessed Lady with her Holy Son Jesus
Today I received a very beautiful description about Fatima, the only daughter of Islam's prophet . While reading, I can only understand her virtues ascribed to the Holy Mother of Jesus Christ, the Blessed Virgin Mary whose name was even given a special section book in Muslim's holy book called Qur'an. Here's the message:
Birth:

Bibi Fatimah Zehra [SA] the daughter of the Holy Prophet Mohammed [PBUH] of Islam, was born in Mecca on 20th jumada ‘th-thaniyah 18 B.H.

The good and noble lady Khadijah and the Apostle Of Allah bestowed all their natural love, care and devotion on their lovable and only child Fatimah, who in her turn was extremely fond of her parents.

Character:

The Princess of the House of the Prophet, was very intelligent, accomplished and cheerful. Her sermons, poems and sayings serve, as an index to her strength of character and nobility of mind. Her virtues gained her the title “Our Lady of Light”. She was tall,slender and endowed with great beauty, which caused her to be called "az-Zahra" (the Lady of Light). She was called az-Zahra’ also because her light used to shine among those in heaven.

Marriage:

After arriving in Medina , she was married to Hazrat Ali A.S, in the first year after Hijrah, She gave birth to three sons and two daughters. Her children, Hasan, Husayn, Zaynab and Umm Kulthum are well-known for their piety, goodness and generosity. Their strength of character and actions changed the course of history. The Holy Prophet [PBUH] said, “Fatimah AS is a piece of my heart”. He would go out to receive his daughter whenever she came from her husband’s house. Every morning on his way to the Mosque, he would pass by Fatimah’s house and say, “as-Salamu ‘alaykum ya ahli bayti ‘n-nubuwwah wa ma’dani ‘r-risalah” (peace be on you O the Household of Prophethood and the Source of Messengership).

The Best Woman:

Fatimah is famous and acknowledged as the “Sayyidatu nisa’i ‘l-’alamin” (Leader of all the women of the world for all times) because the Prophethood of Muhammad would not have been everlasting without her. The Prophet is the perfect example for men, but could not be so for women. For all the verses revealed in the Holy Qur’an for women, Fatimah is the perfect model, who translated every verse into action. In her lifetime, she was a complete woman, being Daughter, Wife and Mother at the same time.

As a daughter, she loved her parents so much, that she won their love and regard to such an extent that the Holy Prophet used to rise, whenever she came near him. As a wife, she was very devoted. She never asked Hazrat ‘Ali (A.S) for anything in her whole life.

As a mother, she cared for and brought up wonderful children; they have left their marks on the face of the world, which time will not be able to erase (sic).
In fact, according to Islam, Fatimah (or Fatima) alone was not the best of all women but she shares that title with Mary (Mariam) the Mother of Jesus (Issa) who perfectly been described both in the Bible and in the Qur'an as virtuous and upright woman for which she IS.

In the Bible, Mary was the new Ark of the Covenant for carrying in her womb the Logos. She's the true "Our Lady of the Light" for bearing in her womb the source of Light. She was the "Woman Clothe with the Sun" with seven stars as her crown and the moon under her feet(Revelations 12).

Mama Mary
Mary's own dignity above all women was revealed through her cousin Elizabeth's declaration filled with the Holy Spirit he proclaimed "...blessed are you among women..." (Luke 1:39-45) ) and the many apparitions occurred for the past 20th Century. Particularly Mary chose to appear to three village children whose work was to tend sheep. Now Mary is known as the "Our Lady of Fatima."

Indeed Mary, the Mother of the Jesus, was crowned Queen of Heaven and Earth for God chose her among all women.

We pray that through Our Lady of Fatima, Christians and Muslims would finally understand the faith we shared through the greatness of Mary as she appeared to many (including Muslims) in Cairo which is now known as the Our Lady of Zeitoun-- Cairo in April 2, 1969.

Among the many holy women of all religions, only Mary manifested herself in apparition witnessed by peoples of all walks of life and different faiths.

The greatness of Mary was not of her own declaration nor men's.  It was God's own choosing that the Angel Gabriel's declared unto her "Hail! Full of Grace" and to some translations "Hail! Highly favored daughter" that Mary would be the greatest of all women.  

Mary, how blessed she is indeed!

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