By Their Fruits Ye Shall Know Them

By Norman Fulkerson

Apostles of the Fatima message rarely see the fruits of their labor in this life. I found this out firsthand during a visit to Augusta, Georgia. During the coffee break following Mass, the parish priest asked us to say a word about our work. After explaining our home visits with the statue of Our Lady of Fatima, a lady approached and told us her story.

She and her husband were living in The Bronx, New York, over twenty years ago when she received a phone call from a man wishing to show them a slide-show presentation about Fatima. It was not their custom to receive visits from strangers but she felt the need to make an exception since the faith she learned as a child seemed to be fading. She described the life she was living as sinful and admitted that the extent of her religious duties was a yearly visit to confession.

The man who visited her was Mr. Fred Porfilio, a veteran member of the American TFP. Mr. Porfilio was a man with a contagious smile capable of brightening the darkest day and had a heart made of pure gold. Being a New Yorker, Mr. Porfilio always held a deep desire to convert the “The Big Apple.” He never saw the conversion of New York, however, nor the results of his apostolic zeal in the soul of a woman from The Bronx. He was killed in a car accident while collecting signatures for the freedom of Lithuania. Yet, while he was laboring for a people oppressed by Communism, she, like the prodigal son, was returning to her “father’s house.”

Lithuania eventually received their freedom, and a woman from The Bronx admitted that Mr. Porfilio’s visit planted the seeds that eventually led to her conversion.

From Crusade Magazine: July / August 2009

Header Image: Mr. Fred Porfilio was a highly dedicated TFP member from 1975 until his death in 1990 during a historic signature drive for the freedom of Lithuania from Soviet oppression.