Mother Olga of the Sacred Heart, founder and mother servant of Daughters of Mary of Nazareth, was born and raised in Iraq. She lived through four wars. In 1993, as a young lay woman, she started a lay movement called Love Your Neighbor. She invited young men and women from Christian and Muslim communities to be part of this community to serve the needs of the poor in Iraq. In 1995 she established the order of Marth Maryam Sisters- Missionaries of the Virgin Mary, the first order for Religious Sisters in the Assyrian Church of the East in 700 years.
In her homeland Mother Olga was involved in pastoral ministry for the college students and youth in the parishes throughout Iraq. She also served the prisoners, homeless, elderly, and handicapped of war for many years. The Iraqi government gave her the Humanitarian Award for her service to the poorest of the poor there.
That's not all. Because she wanted to be a nun, her family disowned her and she ended up living as a homeless person on the streets of Baghdad. She spoke for an hour and a half and had a smile the entire time. I was blown away. To have that intense desire for holiness...wow. She ended up in Boston where Cardinal O'Malley invited her to start another order. Mother Olga was adamant in saying that it was only under the protection of Our Lady that she is where she is today.
Speaking of the Blessed Mother, yesterday we celebrated Our Lady of Fatima. If you have never heard of Fatima, I'm not surprised: the secular media rarely report on those events starting in 1917. The message that Our Lady brought is one that those inclined to godlessness simply will not accept. Read more here on the message of Fatima.
We are nearing the 100th anniversary of the first apparition of Our Lady there. No one doubts that the last 98 years have been some of the worst in human history. But something I didn't know involved the visions of Pope Leo XIII. Here is an excerpt from Father Dwight Longenecker.
If you are at all curious about what this great Pope saw, I encourage you to read through to the end to learn who has the power and who has the time. And then pray hard!