A Day With Our Lady of Fatima, 13th May 2017
PART 2 of a series of Fatima Centenary talks in 2017
For part 1 of this series see post dated 13th May, 2017. (On Home page, click “Archives” button and scroll down to May, 2017) or press this link: https://remnantdisciples.wordpress.com/2017/05/13/fatimas-message-more-relevant-than-ever-heavens-request-for-reparation/
FATIMA AND OUR LADY OF THE BLESSED SACRAMENT:
Sign of hope and alert to danger
Today, the 13th of May, is a date that resonates with heavenly significance; it’s a date of singular importance in the recent history and future of the world.
One hundred years ago today, only seventeen years into the twentieth century, a terrible war was raging in Europe and a world-changing revolution was brewing in Russia…
And, in a remote little Portuguese hamlet, events of a spiritual kind were beginning to unfold. These events would culminate in a pre-announced Miracle to be witnessed by seventy thousand people: a public miracle unprecedented since Biblical times.
1.The sun plunged towards the earth and performed astonishing, almost-unbelievable gymnastics in the sky for fifteen long minutes, flooding the area of Fatima and 30 kilometres radius with a spectacular light show.
Photos still exist to this day of this phenomenal occasion.
So… a century ago, this very day, it all began.
But why the 13th of May? Why did Heaven reach down to three little shepherd children on this particular date?
Well, May, of course, has always been traditionally the special month for honouring the Mother of Christ. And while Jesus had selected twelve close followers to become the apostles of His newly-formed Church, there was always a 13th disciple quietly present in the background: His Blessed Mother Mary. She was that 13th disciple who had loved Him long before she’d even bore Him in Her womb.
There is a foreshadowing of Fatima, too, in the Old Testament and the 13th day of the month was central to that story as well. It features another Jewish maiden 2,400 years ago called Esther. When the ruling Persians of that time decreed that the Jewish race would be exterminated on the 13th of the month, Esther as Queen bravely interceded with the King to save God’s people. The success of her intercession is still celebrated today among Jews everywhere with the holiday of Purim. And it is believed that the mysterious star which features on the gown of Our Lady of Fatima alludes to the biblical tale of Esther as the name “Esther” means literally “star”. There are so many parallels that the Fathers of the Church have conceded that Esther prefigures the role of Mary, Queen of Heaven, in our own times. We will come back to this a little later on.
Apart from all these speculative aspects about May 13th… this day used to be celebrated as the Feast of Our Lady of the Holy Eucharist… or, as it was known back in 1917, the Feast of Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament. See, the Blessed Sacrament is an intrinsic part of the message of Fatima:
It would appear that the Divine but hidden presence of Christ our God in the Tabernacles of our churches and in Holy Communion was already being disregarded, neglected and abused by careless or deliberate sacrilege a century ago.
In the year before Our Lady’s appearance at Fatima, the three shepherd children Lucy, Jacinta and Francisco, age six, eight and ten, were being prepared for her visit by a special angelic emissary. The angel of peace, the Guardian of Portugal, later identified as St Michael, was schooling them in perfect postures of prayer, kneeling with the forehead touching the ground as they prayed: “Jesus I adore you in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.”
On his second visit the Angel gave Holy Communion to Lucy and the Precious Blood from a Chalice to Jacinta and Francisco. “Take and drink the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ,” he said, “horribly outraged by ungrateful men!” He instructed them about the importance of making sacrifices and reparation for sins so as to console God.
And he taught them two prayers addressed to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.
The first was to be repeated three times: “Oh my God, I believe in You, I adore You, I trust in You and I love You. I beg pardon for all those who do not believe, who do not adore, who do not trust and do not love You.”
The second prayer is more telling in its implications. Kneeling prostrate before the consecrated Host and the Chalice which remained suspended in mid-air, the Angel showed them to pray:
“Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I adore Thee profoundly. I offer Thee the Most Precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the Tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifference with which He is offended. By the infinite merits of His Most Sacred Heart, and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I ask of Thee the conversion of poor sinners.”
Outrages, sacrileges, indifference: these three offenses directly target God Himself, and they are not peculiar to one hundred years ago.
Let’s look at these three specific offenses.
The first, Indifference:
Numerous visions, messages and locutions from Jesus and Mary reported in our own times often make reference to “indifference”. A prayer dictated to a modern seer includes the plea, “Forgive us for the sin of indifference.” Another similarly prescribed prayer from heaven says, “Show mercy and forgiveness for those souls who hurt Jesus with their indifference.”
In recently-published Fatima booklet called Jacinta’s Tears the author wrote, “Consider if you went to a lot of trouble to get a magnificent present for someone, putting your whole heart into it and going to great length to show your love for that person. If he or she took the gift as if it were nothing and didn’t even bother to thank you, I think you would feel very saddened and offended (….) By sending His Angel at Fatima God is telling us a little bit of how He feels, offended by our indifferences” – being taken for granted, ignored in many instances.
In the famous Church-approved visions of the Sacred Heart to St Margaret Mary over three hundred years ago, Jesus told her that He is more offended by the lukewarm-ness of His friends than by the outrages of His enemies. Aren’t we the same – more susceptible to being hurt by those we love than by those who hate us? And that’s simply because, with those we love, we have opened our hearts to them. So… far worse, then, than the general indifference of the world is what Jesus experiences from Catholics who are indifferent to His Presence in the “Divine Sacrament of Love”.
At Fatima, the Mother of Jesus taught the children a short prayer of adoration: “Most Holy Trinity, I adore Thee! My God, my God, I love Thee in the Most Blessed Sacrament of the altar!”
The second offense requiring reparation is Outrages:
Historically, since Fatima, the outrages against Christ and His Body the Church have multiplied and intensified. There have been more martyrs in the last 100 years than in the first three centuries of persecution under the Roman Empire. From 1917 onwards, wherever Marxist revolution has takencontrol, the atrocities are incalculable – Russia, Spain, Eastern Europe, China, South America, Africa – endless places worldwide. And without fail, the Church has always become the avowed “enemy of the state”. There was an incident in the Spanish Civil War of 1936 where a rebel solider coldly and deliberately fired a bullet through an exposed consecrated Host in a Church.
Today, the outrages are less dramatic perhaps, but they surface on all sides as the world distances itself more and more from religion and belief in God, to take up the banner of anti-Christian Marxist principles. Several weeks ago, on International Women’s Day, radical feminists attempted to set fire to the Cathedral of Buenos Aires. In our own liberal culture we hear of dubious works of “art” publicly displayed which boldly blaspheme God and the Virgin Mary. The name of Jesus Christ, used as a curse, has become part of our social vocabulary, in everyday life and in the cinema and theatre.
A movie just released in Atlanta, Georgia, portrays our Blessed Lady as a lesbian and ridicules her Virgin Birth. Gone are any boundaries, any sensitivity for what Christians hold holy; nothing any longer is sacred, all in the name of freedom of expression.
In France, 1843, a Carmellite sister, Sister Marie of Saint-Pierre (or St Peter) was given messages from Our Lord which enjoy the full approval of the Church. Marianologists say that these revelations, along with those of La Salette in 1846, form the foundation to the Fatima visitations of 1917.
Jesus told Sister Marie de St Peter, “My Name is blasphemed everywhere!” He made her understand that this frightful sin, more than any other, grievously wounds His Heart. With blasphemy the sinner curses Him to His Face, He said, attacking Him openly. “The earth is covered in crimes,” He went on, “The Holy name of God is blasphemed and the Holy Day of the Lord is profaned. At no time have these crimes reached such a pitch!”
Sister Marie de St Pierre begged Jesus to provide some confirmation of her revelations, and three years later her prayer was answered. Our Lady appeared at La Salette in France where she was seen weeping and distraught. Her tears, she said, were for “the utter contempt for God’s commandments, particularly the terrible crime of blasphemy and the profaning of the Lord’s Day. These two sins,” she explained, “break the second and third commandments.”
Jesus told Sister Marie de Saint-Peter, “The Jews crucified me on Friday, but Christians crucify me on Sunday.”
These words were spoken to a more God-fearing age 170 years ago, but aren’t they still applicable today – probably even more-so? In the last thirty years in (… country named) Sunday trading, which we’ve all been guilty of enjoying, has contributed to the desecration of Sunday. And now, the authorities are looking at removing the shopping ban on Easter Sunday, the holiest of Sundays.
We know from various visionary sources that the taking of unborn life, the violation of the sanctuary of the womb, is an outrage in God’s eyes which invokes His justice – especially when the legalization of abortion has come from governments of nations that once were Christian. From the moment abortion was made lawful in the 1970s images of Our Lady worldwide began to weep tears of blood. Now, forty years and millions of abortions later, this so-called service has become accepted, institutionalized, even considered a human right. Our Lady spoke of the “errors of Russia”. Abortion is one of these errors, legalized in Russia in 1920.
At Fatima our Blessed Mother asked for the five First Saturdays to be kept as days of reparation for FIVE particular offenses and outrages. These are
(1) the mocking of her Perpetual Virginity;
(2) insults to her Divine Maternity;
(3) scorning her Immaculate Conception;
(4) the disrespect shown to her images and statues,
(5) the teaching of children by Christians that she, the pure vessel created by God to bring His Son into the world, was a sinner like everyone else.
Moving on to the third area of offense highlighted at Fatima, Sacrileges:
Seven years ago today our previous Holy Father Pope Benedict gave a papal address to 500,000 pilgrims at Fatima which pointed out an uncomfortable fact: “Today,” he said, “we see in the most horrifying way, that the greatest persecution against the Church does not come from its enemies outside, but from the sins within; and that the Church has therefore a great need to re-learn penance. . .”
In the United States, from surveys conducted within the Church, Catholic journalist Michael Voris has brought to light some disturbing facts, and I quote: “One of the most central beliefs of the Catholic Church, the Real Presence – that is, Jesus Christ present, really, truly, and substantially Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity under the appearance of bread and wine – is believed by only half of all Catholics. Sixty per cent of American Catholics have succumbed to the culture of death and believe the Church is wrong on abortion. Over half of them believe individuals have the final say as to whether sex outside marriage is okay, not the Church. This is the Church established by the Son of God who will judge us on our deeds.”
This survey could well reflect a similar picture in most western countries, including our own, where a more relaxed, liberal spirit has come to exist.
Those who have seen the changes in the Church over the last few decades would agree that lack of respect and reverence is prevalent among us; this is aligned to the gradual erosion of devotion to the Real Presence; and a growing belief that sin is no longer a reality, just a human weakness that doesn’t really call for repentance or confession. I was recently talking to an elderly woman, a Catholic convert of thirty years, who told me she has never once been to Confession – she didn’t see any need! This is someone who, sadly, has never been instructed sufficiently in the faith. According to the American survey, a large percentage of the faithful are living in sinful situations and receiving Holy Communion; even seeing it as their “right”.
In a recent message to a holy soul in Argentina, the Blessed Virgin Mary is reported saying, “Woe to those who receive My Son improperly without repentance! They choose their eternal condemnation! Woe to those who commit sacrileges! Woe to those who mock the divine! They will know the pains of hell.” Strong words – but Our Lady is, after all, a loving mother who cares about our welfare and is firm in teaching the Christian essentials.
There’s another kind of sacrilege we need to be aware of, too. In our increasingly de-Christianized world, Black Masses are on the upsurge. Despite the deterrent of locked Tabernacles in our churches nowadays, the stealing of consecrated Hosts poses no problem to Satanists. With the trend of Communion in the hand more common in the last fifty years, we have actually made it easier for them to acquire Hosts to desecrate. An ex-Satanist high priest, now a fervent Catholic convert, revealed to us last year during his address here that (…city named) boasts the greatest number of satanic covens of all our (...country named) cities.
In the closing vision of Fatima, 13th October 1917, after the Miracle of the Sun, the Virgin Mary came dressed in the religious habit of the Carmelites. This is an interesting final note. Apart from the fact that the visionary Lucy would eventually join the order of Mt Carmel, this could have established a link to a new series of apparitions that may well be a continuation of Fatima.
Is it just coincidence that in 1961, twelve months after the sealed envelope of Fatima’s Third Secret was opened and its contents kept secret, the Blessed Mother began appearing in earnest as Our Lady of Mt Carmel at another remote Catholic village, further north of Fatima in Spain? The amazing events at Garabandal lasted four long years and are still under investigation by the Church.
However, two urgent and major messages emerged from Garabandal.
The first spoke of the prime necessities of Catholic life, already mentioned at Fatima: “We must make many sacrifices… perform much penance… and …visit the Blessed Sacrament frequently…” The second message, given in 1965, said, “Less and less importance is being given to the Eucharist. You should turn the wrath of God away from yourselves by your efforts…”
The Blessed Sacrament! – Once again the focus! And this was emphasized by what became known as “the Little Miracle of Garabandal”. As at Fatima, the miracle was pre-announced, in this case fifteen days beforehand, and it occurred on the night of the patronal feast of the village.
While young visionary Conchita was being given invisible Holy Communion by an Angel, the Sacred Host became visible on her tongue. This event was witnessed by many onlookers and was captured on film.
Father Anthony Mary Prendergast of the Community of St John here in (…city named) published a wonderful little booklet two years ago on the Holy Eucharist. I’m lifting from there some inspirational quotes from four of the greatest saints in the Church’s history:
St John Chrysostom says, “When the Mass is celebrated, the sanctuary is filled with countless angels, including the Guardian Angel of each person present, all reverently worshipping their Lord and God.”
In the revelations of St Bridget, we read: “One day when I was assisting at the Holy Sacrifice, I saw an immense number of Holy Angels descend and gather around the altar, contemplating the priest. They sang heavenly canticles that ravished my heart. Heaven itself seemed to be contemplating the great sacrifice. And yet we poor, blind and miserable creatures assist at Mass with so little love, relish and respect! Oh, if God would open our eyes, what wonders should we not see?”
And St John Vianney, Cure of Ars: “All the good works in the world are not equal to the Holy sacrifice of the Mass because they are works of men, while the Mass is the work of God. Martyrdom is nothing in comparison, for it is but the sacrifice of men to God; but the Mass is the sacrifice of God for men.”
The favourite saint of many Catholics, the priest who bore the wounds of Christ for fifty years, Padre Pio, once wrote: “Every Mass heard with devotion produces in our souls marvelous effects, abundant spiritual and material graces which we, ourselves, do not know. It is easier for the earth to exist without the sun than without the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.”
And the great Eucharistic saint, St Julian Eymard was famous for these words: “The Eucharist is not only the life of individual Christians; it is also the life of nations. A century advances or regresses to the extent to which the Most Holy Sacrament is adored.”
We live in times of huge unrest, of extremes, of momentous change, chaotic confusion and uncertainty: a faithless and perverse generation. Saint John Paul the Second at a Bishops gathering in France, in 1980, said that mankind faces a “mega-temptation”; that is, the temptation to think that man can save himself through science and technology; therefore Christ is to become obsolete.
It was on the doorstep of this modern age that Mary, like a prophet of old, made her entrance at Fatima. Supposedly a new and more enlightened age, scientifically advanced, yet in the last hundred years since Fatima there have been more wars and casualties than in the entire known history of humanity. These are dangerous times to live; dangerous and deceptive times if you are a believer.
Fatima was a pre-warning for us, echoing the Old Testament times when the Jews turned their back on God and He sent prophets to awaken them to the consequences. And this returns us to the biblical narrative of Esther which I mentioned earlier. Queen Esther lived in Persia (modern day Iran) and when the entire population of the Jewish people were threatened with extermination on the 13th day of the month, she interceded with the King to save them.
Well, barely weeks after the Fatima apparitions ended in 1917, Holy Mother Russia (as she was called then) was seized by Marxist Communists. Millions upon millions of God’s people were wantonly slaughtered, clergy and consecrated religious humiliated and killed, churches closed.
During the Spanish Civil War which followed suit in 1936, the Red Terror made martyrs of over four thousand diocesan priests and seminarians, 2,500 monks, friars and nuns. And so the pattern has been repeated throughout the twentieth century and now into the 21st Century. Wherever Communist and anti-Christian ideology has arisen, genocide has followed.
The Third Secret of Fatima released at the turn of this century concerns a vision of a murdered bishop in white, along with the bodies of cardinals, bishops and laymen in a city of ruins with armed soldiers. It does suggest there’s still more to come yet, a global form of Marxist Communism which, unrecognized, could be stealthily gaining foothold around us. Militant atheism in all its varied guises, institutionalized and politicized, remains humanity’s gravest enemy, diametrically opposed to true faith and religion.
At Fatima we were forewarned by the Mother of Salvation, “If my requests are heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace. If not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, stirring up revolutions, and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer; several nations will be annihilated.”
At present, persecution of Christians is on the rise. According to the Turin-based Centre for Studies, CENSUR, Christians are the most targeted religious group in the world. In the fiscal year of 2016 just gone, over ninety thousand Christians were murdered for their faith and 500 to 600 million were otherwise persecuted in such ways as imprisonment, abductions, economic restrictions, destruction of property and loss of personal rights.
These statistics surprise those of us who live relatively peaceful and comfortable lives in (…country named) because the media seldom reports on this issue. An Iraqi priest now living in (…city), Father (… name) , has told us of hundreds of thousands of Chaldean Catholics murdered by Islamic Fundamentalists in Iraq and Syria. The Christian population of his homeland has been decimated from two million to less than 200,000 today.
I mention these facts and figures not to frighten anyone but just to make us aware of how serious the situation is one hundred years after Fatima.
There can be no hiding from the prophecy delivered from heaven that some nations (according to the repeated words of Our Lady to Sister Lucy) could disappear from the face of the earth – something quite conceivable in the present international climate. Like Queen Esther, however, our Blessed Mother is interceding for us and with our co-operation, will succeed in bringing peace to our troubled world. We must hold fast to that hope, increasing our prayers and efforts, our sacrifices and penance, which can help mitigate the severity of events.
To combat all the evils of today Mother Mary has given us three weapons: number one, the daily Rosary – and at Fatima Lucy was told that God has invested this ancient prayer with extra power for spiritual warfare when the devil appears to be gaining the upper hand; number two, the Five First Saturday Communions of Reparation; and three, the consecration of Russia named specifically – which we are still awaiting and praying for – and personal consecration and devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Ultimately, we are assured that Mary’s Immaculate Heart WILL triumph. That triumph, we must remember, begins in individual hearts, and when people give up their Saturday, like all of you today, to come and honour the Blessed Mother, the first fruits of that triumph are already evident. It isn’t a numbers game. It never has been. The few, the devoted, can make a vast difference!
On this special day, which a hundred years ago was the feast of Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament, please pray in the words of Pope St Pius X, “O Virgin Mary, Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament, inspire in all Christians a deep devotion for the Most Blessed Sacrament so that they may become worthy to receive Him daily”.
Completed on: Tuesday 4 April 2017: Feast of Bl. Francisco of Fatima
Comment by (R.S.): Watch out for the 3rd instalment of this series of talks on Fatima and the Russian connection