Thursday, April 5, 2007

Fate of theThree Children, Lúcia Santos and Jacinta and Francisco Marto

Lúcia Santos and Jacinta and Francisco Marto in 1917Lúcia reported seeing the Virgin again in 1925 at the Dorothean convent at Pontevedra, Galicia (Spain). This time, she said she was asked to convey the message of the First Saturday Devotions. A subsequent vision of the Christ Child Himself reiterated this request, by her account.

Lúcia was transferred to another convent in Tui or Tuy, Galicia in 1928. In 1929, Lúcia reported that Mary returned and repeated her request for the Consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart.

Sister Lúcia reportedly saw Mary in private visions periodically throughout her life. Most significant was the apparition in Rianjo, Galicia in 1931, in which Sister Lúcia said that Jesus visited her, taught her two prayers, and delivered a message to give to the hierarchy of the Church.

In 1947, Sister Lúcia left the Dorothean order and joined the Carmelite order in a convent in Coimbra, Portugal. Lúcia died on February 13, 2005, at the age of 97. After her death, the Vatican, specifically Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (at that time, still head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith) ordered her cell sealed off. It is believed this was because Sister Lúcia had continued to receive more revelations, and they wished to censor them, or perhaps simply to examine them in the course of proceedings for Lúcia's canonization.

Prophecy in Religion

In many religions, gods or other supernatural agents are thought to sometimes provide prophecies to certain individuals, sometimes known as prophets, by dreams or visions. The Tanakh, the Old Testament of the Bible, contains prophecies from various Hebrew prophets who spoke judgement upon the Israelites, foretold of their impending trials, tribulations, and then promised divine blessings if the Hebrews repented from their evil ways. The Book of Revelation in the New Testament is accepted by many Christians as a prophecy that includes divine promises of an anointed messiah or Christ that would lead the people in war and personally issue judgement at the end times and Armageddon (see Eschatology, Bible prophecy and "End of the World").

Christians believe that Jesus fulfilled many of the promises spoken in Old Testament prophecy, including that he would be called 'son of God', and that he will return in the future and fulfill other prophecies such as those in the Book of Revelation. In the New Testament, many Christians see most of Jesus' life as God speaking through Jesus' words and deeds.

More on Prophecy In Religion


The Rosary (from Latin rosarium, "Rose Garden"), is a traditional popular devotion in the Roman Catholic Church. The term denotes both a set of prayer beads and a system of set prayers to be said as the beads are told. The Rosary combines vocal (or silent) prayer and meditation centered around sequences of reciting the Lord's Prayer followed by ten recitations of the "Hail Mary" prayer and a single recitation of "Glory Be to the Father"; each of these sequences is known as a decade.

Until the recent addition of five additional Mysteries by Pope John Paul II, the Rosary had been prayed in three parts of five Mysteries assigned throughout the week. Today the Rosary can be prayed in four parts, one part each day, with the "Mysteries" (which are meditated or contemplated on during the prayers) being rotated daily.

What distinguishes the Rosary from other forms of prayer is that, along with the vocal prayers, it includes a series of meditations. Each decade of the Rosary is said while meditating on one of the "Mysteries" of redemption. These mysteries originated in the 15th century, and while there has been some disagreement on them (the final mystery is sometimes the Last Judgment) the earliest sets bear a remarkable resemblance to those still used.

Christian Prayer

Prayer in Abrahamic Religions
Prayer in the Bible
In the common Bible of the Abrahamic religions, various forms of prayer appear; the most common forms being petition, thanksgiving and worship. In many ways petition is the simplest form of prayer. Some have termed this the "social approach" to prayer. In this view, a person appeals to God in prayer, and asks for his or her needs to be fulfilled; God listens to prayer, and chooses to answer directly, indirectly or not at all. This is one of the primary approaches to prayer, but by no means the only one, found in the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament, most of the Church writings, and in rabbinic literature such as the Talmud.
See also: Tanakh, New Testament, Prayer in the Hebrew Bible & Prayer in the New Testament
Jewish Prayer
Jews pray three times a day, or more on special days, such as the Shabbat and Jewish holidays. The siddur is the prayerbook used by Jews the world over, containing a set order of daily prayers. Jewish prayer is usually described as having two aspects: kavanah (intention) and keva (the ritualistic, structured elements).
The most important Jewish prayers are the Shema Yisrael ("Hear O Israel") and the Amidah ("the standing prayer").
Jews consider the best form of prayer is to pray together, for example you would need 10 people (minyan) to pray in synagogue. They believe the more people, the stronger the connection.

18th c. Byzantine-style bronze panagia from Jerusalem, showing the Virgin Mary in the orans prayer posture.Christian prayers are very varied. They can be completely spontaneous, or read entirely from a text, like the Anglican Book of Common Prayer. Probably the most common and universal prayer among Christians is the Lord's Prayer which is how Jesus told his disciples to pray.

Christians pray to God (without specifying a person of the Trinity); or to the Father, the Son or the Holy Spirit (or some combination of them). Some Christians (e.g., Catholics, Orthodox) will also ask the righteous in heaven and "in Christ," such as Virgin Mary or other saints to intercede by praying on their behalf. (Intercession of saints)
It is customary among Protestants the world over to end prayers with "In Jesus' Name, Amen" or "In the name of Christ, Amen". Other formulaic closures include "through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever", and "in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit". However, the most commonly used closure in Christianity is simply "Amen" (from a Hebrew adverb used as a statement of affirmation or agreement).
There is also the form of prayer called hesychast which is a repetitious type of prayer for the purpose of meditation. In the Western or Latin Rite of Catholic Church, probably the most common is the Rosary; In the Eastern Church (the Eastern rites of the Catholic Church and Orthodox Church), the Jesus Prayer.
Prayers said by Christians are described in the article on Prayer in Christianity.
Some modalities of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) employ prayer. A survey released in May 2004 by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, part of the National Institutes of Health in the United States, found that in 2002, 43% of Americans pray for their own health, 24% pray for others health, and 10% participate in a prayer group for their own health.

Christian Science Prayer
Christian Science teaches that prayer is a spiritualization of thought or an understanding of God and of the nature of the underlying spiritual creation. Adherents believe that this can result in healing, by bringing spiritual reality (the "Kingdom of Heaven" in Biblical terms) into clearer focus in the human scene. The world as it appears to the senses is regarded as a distorted version of the world of spiritual ideas: the latter is the only true reality. Prayer can heal the distortion. Christian Scientists believe that prayer does not change the spiritual creation but gives a clearer view of it, and the result appears in the human scene as healing: the human picture adjusts to coincide more nearly with the divine reality. Prayer works through love: the recognition of God's creation as spiritual, intact and inherently lovable.

Islamic Prayer
Muslims praying at the Hajj, Mecca.Main article: Salat
Muslims pray a brief ritualistic prayer called salat or salah in Arabic, facing the Kaaba in Mecca, five times a day. The "call for prayer" (adhan or azaan), where the muezzin calls for all the followers to stand together for the prayer . There are also many standard duas or supplications, also in Arabic, to be recited at various times, e.g. for one's parents, after salah, before eating. Muslims may also say dua in their own words and languages for any issue they wish to communicate with God in the hope that God will answer their prayers.

Bahá'í Prayer
Bahá'u'lláh, the Báb, and `Abdu'l-Bahá have revealed many prayers for general use, and some for specific occasions, including for unity, detachment, spiritual upliftment, and healing among others. Bahá'ís are also required to recite each day one of three obligatory prayers revealed by Bahá'u'lláh. The believers have been enjoined to face in the direction of the Qiblih when reciting their Obligatory Prayer. The longest obligatory prayer may be recited at any time during the day; another, of medium length, is recited once in the morning, once at midday, and once in the evening; and the shortest can be recited anytime between noon and sunset. This is the text of the short prayer: I bear witness, O my God, that Thou hast created me to know Thee and to worship Thee. I testify, at this moment, to my powerlessness and to Thy might, to my poverty and to Thy wealth. There is none other God but Thee, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting. Bahá'ís also read from and meditate on the scriptures every morning and evening.

Neopagan Prayers
Many modern Neopagans pray to various gods. The most commonly worshiped and prayed to gods are those of Pre-Christian Europe, such as Celtic, Norse or Graeco-Roman gods. Prayer can vary from sect to sect, and with some (such as Wicca) prayer may also be associated with ritual magick.