Francisco and Jacinta, Designs of Mercy III

Part III

“He knew exactly what his destiny was.” (Olimpia Marto)

Francisco’s vocation he was to make a total oblation of his young life in reparation for sins, and to console the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary.

“You will get well, Francisco, you’ll be a robust man!” his father would say to him. … But the child would repeat, with assurance and serenity: “Before long Our Lady will come to take me.” His father would try furtively, to wipe away the tears from his eyes with the back of his calloused hands; those same eyes which were fatigued from so many sleepless nights. “Lights from on high!” he murmured.”

“If Our Lady heals you”, said his godmother Teresa, “I promise to offer Her your weight in wheat!” Francisco answered with a gentle smile. “Our Lady will not grant you this grace.”

Francisco was certain of going to Heaven soon, and being reunited with Our Lord and Our Lady. No doubt this filled our little seer with an immense supernatural joy. But we should not be mistaken: this joy was not always a palpable one, and the wonderful promise of Our Lady demanded on his part an act of heroic love, an act which is so contrary to nature, and consists in making the sacrifice of our own life. If there were moments of luminous joy and luminous hope, there were other moments when all feelings of joy disappeared: at those times he saw nothing but the sacrifices he had to accept to fulfill God’s designs.

Here is one such moving incident, which Ti Marto told Father de Marchi:

“I remember once that he went out and fetched a small basket of olives and then sat on a bench and began to cut them. “Francisco”,  I said,  “how nice to see you work; do you feel better?”  But he said nothing, looking a little sad. He clearly foresaw that, despite everything, he was going to die… “ He knew exactly what his destiny was”, Olimpia added.

Consoler of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary

The constant thought and ideal of Francisco was always the same. He wanted to offer all his prayers and sufferings to console Our Lord and Our Lady. Lúcia tells us,

“When Jacinta and I went into (Francisco’s) room one day, he said to us: “Don’t talk much today, as my head aches so badly.”  “Don’t forget to make the offering for sinners”,  Jacinta reminded him. “Yes. But first I make it to console Our Lord and Our Lady, and then, afterwards, for sinners and for the Holy Father.”  He was quite conscious of the fact that his special role was that of consoler of the Holy Hearts of Jesus and Mary. This was to be his vocation here below and in eternity. For if he desired to go to Heaven, it was to be able to console Them that much better.

Francisco, who had a contemplative soul, was fascinated above all by the sadness of Jesus and Mary and to have compassion on Their pain, to console Them by his loving prayer. Jacinta also had a tender and affectionate heart, but seized with fright at the sight of so many souls falling into the fire of hell, she wished to make reparation in every possible way for their crimes, and obtain the grace of their conversion from the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

The Mercy in Suffering

So often today, even Catholics cannot quite grasp the significance of these children’s lives. It seems to them contradictory to assert a merciful design to suffering. This is because  we have all to some extent  been compromised by the spirit of the world (which belongs wholly to satan at the moment) which convinces us that anything that does not feel good, taste good or appeal to our senses cannot be good. To them, suffering is to be avoided at all costs. And yet Francisco and Jacinta embraced their crosses with fervor and total dedication.  How can one  explain this to today’s Catholics?

We must get past our distaste for the unpleasant truth because, in this time we are faced with a situation similar to that of the earliest disciples of Christ: they embraced the tortures, humiliations deprivations and brutal deaths because they knew the only way to Christ was through Golgotha. As then, so now, the faith is renewed only by suffering,

By our sufferings, we prove our love for Our Lord.

“Under the pressure of pain, I prove my love by test divine” sang St. Therese. By accepting the suffering offered us, we demonstrate with our actions and the resolve of our will that we are faithful, through all the suffering, loss and pain, faithful unto the end. We understand that we cannot endure these trials on our own, but only through His grace, and so these trials become a very fruitful exercise whereby we learn to live only in His light, in His sanctifying grace. Only in Him! Enduring our suffering for love of Him proves to us that on our own we are nothing, but in Him we live free and soar so high! As St. John of the Cross expressed so beautifully.

The sufferings we accept from the hands of Our Savior also  confirm us in His Love. They  have an essential role in detaching us from the things of this world and in focusing our aim higher than this passing, earthly life. Life and pain are short, eternity awaits us!

Ransom

And one of the best reasons is the salvation of souls! Jacinta, more than Francisco understood this. By ransoming souls, she was giving the greatest possible comfort to Our Lord Jesus Christ and to His Immaculate Mother. As the Angel assured them:

Make of everything you can a sacrifice, and offer it to God as an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended, and in supplication for the conversion of sinners. You will thus draw down peace upon (your Church). I am its Angel Guardian … Above all, accept and bear with submission the suffering which the Lord will send you.

Thus, we see the designs of mercy, and we know a bit clearer our own portion in this.  As we pray Our Mother’s  Rosary, we ask her help in this great task before us. There are souls to be saved and heaven awaits!

Please pray the Rosary, for love of the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary!

  Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of our hearts, Mother of the Church, do thou offer to the Eternal Father the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the conversion of poor sinners, especially our Pontiff.
  Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy kingdom come! Viva Cristo Rey!
  Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our death.
  St. Joseph, protect us, protect our families, protect our priests.
  St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.

Please pray for the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary!


Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O Sacred Virgin! Give me strength against thine enemies!

© All Content Copyright 2013-2018 ReturntoFatima.org. All Rights Reserved.

 

The Holy Family, 2018

Today, the first Sunday after Epiphany, the Church celebrates the Feast of the Holy Family, which is the last time in the liturgical year in which we honor the hidden life of Jesus. It is especially poignant to consider the Holy Family at this time, with the scandalous and repulsive  “Nativity Scene” still displayed in the Vatican.  At this time, families are being attacked as never before in recorded history  and yet, Pope Francis and his crew are joining in the attack instead of coming to the aid of beleaguered  parents.

For today, we return to the Feast of the Holy Family to renew our faith, our hope and most of all, take heart in our love for the Holy Family and their abiding love for us.

In the Gospel today, we read of the event which comprises the Fifth Joyful Mystery, the Finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple. In this, we commemorate the first words of Jesus recorded in the Gospel, “How is it that you sought Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?”

St. Luke then tells us that Jesus returned to Nazareth with Mary and Joseph “and was subject to them.” In this brief account, we consider several important lessons: First, Jesus establishes His mission in His first recorded words,  “I must be about My Father’s business.” And second, Jesus was subject to Mary and Joseph. The Son of God first asserts the primacy of God, by stating that His mission is to serve the Father in all things, then Jesus affirms the importance of family, “He was subject to them.”

On the firm bedrock of total obedience to God in all things, we can most perfectly live out our love of God within our families, whether they be our personal families or our religious communities. If love of God comes first, what follows cannot fail to serve Him.

 My Father's business
“My Father’s business”

 

As we open our minds and our hearts, lifting them to God in this, the Fifth Joyful Mystery, we consider Saint Joseph leading his Holy Family back home from the Temple. The blessed peace that surrounds them draws us in too, and we are nourished with the truths of this holy mystery. By His actions, Our Lord teaches us humility and obedience in His submission to His Father’s will and through that, because of that, His submission to Mary and Joseph. By our consecrations we submit to them too, and thus we learn humility and obedience.

The Fatima Connection

On the fifth visit, September 13, 1917, Our Lady told the children, “In October … Saint Joseph will appear with the Child Jesus to give peace to  the world.” And in Sister Lucia’s accounts of the Sixth Visit, she related that this is precisely what occurred. You may ask, “Where then is this peace”? The answer, if you will hear it yet again, is, “Your peace is dependent upon your obedience!” As an infant receives the graces of baptism, we, the faithful have been offered unimaginable graces in great profusion, awaiting only our cooperation. If we but seek them, turning to Jesus and Mary (and Joseph too!) and seeking them in humility and obedience, we shall see miracles as never before seen in this tired old world, making all things new, restoring the faith.

But we shall not see them without a full compliance with the message of Our Lady of Fatima. Do not be misled, even by well respected traditional Catholics, if they assure you that the chastisement is ending and that we can “prepare for the post-chastisement restoration”. The chastisement, far from “winding down” is instead, bearing down upon us. I remind readers again, as I did in a previous post, Restating the obvious, again in a May, 1952 appearance to Sister Lucia, Our Lady said,

“Make it known to the Holy Father that I am always awaiting the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart. Without the consecration, Russia will not be able to convert, nor will the world have peace.”

Furthermore, William Thomas Walsh confirmed that in his 1956 interview with her, Sister Lucia stated most emphatically,

“What Our Lady wants is that the Pope and all the Bishops in the world shall consecrate Russia to her Immaculate Heart on one special day. If this is done, she will convert Russia and there will be peace. If it is not done, the errors of Russia will spread through every country in the world.”

Walsh then asked, “Does this mean that every country, without exception, will be overcome by communism?”

“Yes”, was Sister Lucia’s precise answer.

Readers, I realize that this message contradicts what you read elsewhere. But I would be misleading you with false optimism, if I tell you the chastisement is over.  Although Bishops and even Cardinals are speaking out about the errors of the current occupiers of the Vatican, few  there are who are rallying Catholics for a Rosary and Reparation Crusade to call their faithful to return to the message of Our Lady of Fatima.

It is a tragic fact that even in the most devout and observant Catholic families, the faith is dying among our young ones. The prevailing errors attack our children, the most weak and vulnerable.  We need a flood of heavenly graces, we need Our Immaculate, Merciful Mother to intervene – the souls of our children depend on it. But sadly the leaders of the Church cannot see through the darkness and mists of this dismal time to lead us on the true way. Readers, the reason I stress this so much is because so many – so very many! – souls are being lost. All across the world, families are suffering. Please let us renew our efforts to beseech Our Lady for help – pray for the Pope, pray for the Bishops, pray for our priests! They need our sacrifices, they need our rosaries.

Please do not consider the unworthiness of this writer, but instead seek guidance from Our Lady of the Rosary.  Ask her to bring you, through the path of spiritual childhood, to a closer union with the Holy Family this year. With her Rosary, we too shall find the Child Jesus in the Temple, that is, in the Church which He founded. As St. Hildegard foretold, “The Figure of a Woman“, the foul beast and its corruption will be cast out in God’s due time. Meanwhile, our prayers and also our penances are essential, not only for our own salvation but for so many other souls who will be lost if we fail them.

As we return once again to Fatima, we hear the Angel (“We saw an angel with a flaming sword” ) as he instructs the children and us,

“Make of everything you can a sacrifice, and offer it to God as an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended, and in supplication for the conversion of sinners. … Above all, accept and bear with submission the suffering which the Lord will send you.”

This is precisely what Our Lord taught us in His words and His actions in the Finding in the Temple. Whether we are in the Temple or in the family, we serve God first in all things, and must, in this year, make of all things a loving sacrifice to God for the conversion of sinners. Only a brief time is given to us to do this, after which comes a darkness in which it will be impossible to accomplish much else except to cling blindly to what faith we have acquired previously. Bear in mind the passage in St. John’s Gospel, where Jesus tells us,

“I must work the works of Him that sent Me, whilst it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” (John 9, 4,5).

You see all around you that Jesus is being driven out of this world, even from His Church and inevitably, with Him, the Light goes. It is the awful culmination of the age of apostasy. Indeed, the night comes! Yes, despite false optimism of others, I assure you the night comes, even as Jesus has foretold and has happened numerous times previously. In preparation, we learn from the Child Jesus and the Holy Family to set our priorities, to hold fast to our Blessed Mother and to St. Joseph.

Our Blessed Mother has given us what we need to save our souls and those souls entrusted to us. Look to your spiritual storehouse – all your family must be consecrated to Jesus through Mary, all must have their brown scapulars, miraculous medals, rosaries, for these are both our spiritual armor and our spiritual weapons.

In all things, go to Joseph! Refer to previous posts (here), (here), and (here) for his importance, at Knock and even more so at Fatima. His assistance is immediate, and indicates how close he is to us, how strong and effective he is as our guardian and guide. The internet is such a terrible evil in our time, sucking the souls of so many right down to the cesspit of hell. And yet, as diamonds are found in the darkness of the earth, there are many spiritual treasures still to be found online. Please avail yourself of them so that you can keep true Catholic culture alive for your own little “Holy Family” for so should all our families be.

In the meantime, we need not be afraid, in fact, we should take heart. The great apostasy was foretold, as were its sequelae. Our Immaculate Mother made several appearances to provide us with what we need to sustain our souls and those entrusted to us, so that not one of her children will be lost, no matter how much the devil may deceive others. As for those who will not receive the message of Fatima, assist them as best you can, pray and do penance for them, but do not allow them to separate you from the Holy Family, our shelter in the storm.

  Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of our hearts, Mother of the Church, do thou offer to the Eternal Father the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the conversion of poor sinners, especially our Pontiff.
  St. Joseph, protect us.
  Holy Family, bless our family.
 Thank You, Lord, for everything!

   Remember, pray the Rosary and confound the devil and those who serve him!

~ originally posted by evensong, edited and reposted  January 7, 2018 and all for the love of the Immaculate heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, King..

© All Content Copyright 2013-2018   ReturntoFatima.org. All Rights Reserved.

First Blood, January 1, 2018

Contemplating Him, we shall learn that deeds are better than words, that the greater the sacrifices they require, the greater the proof they give of real love. Furthermore, every undertaking must receive its baptism of blood in order to be fruitful. “
He has not yet spoken; the world does not yet know Him; but He is already shedding His blood for the salvation of mankind.
He has not yet spoken; the world does not yet know Him; but He is already shedding His blood for the salvation of mankind.

Today, the Octave of Christmas is the day we commemorate the first shedding of the precious blood of our Saviour, at His Circumcision.  It is fitting that we start off  the year with this commemoration of the first sacrifice of the Precious Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is His vivid lesson in humility and obedience, always necessary virtues.

From Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, O.C.D. we read:

Continue reading “First Blood, January 1, 2018”

The Way of Divine Love and the Message of Fatima

From the archives of evensong’s writings, a previously unpublished article.

Today, December 29, we mark the 94th anniversary of the death of Sister Josefa Menendez, the humble nun who wrote “The Way of Divine Love”.  In paperback from TAN, or in Kindle. We’ve written about the beautiful Way of Divine Love before (here) and about Sister Josefa’s deep devotion to the Divine Infant (here). But now and for the next few months, we will focus on the most often overlooked or misunderstood concept in Josefa’s writings: true humility.

The writings of Sister Josefa echo in many ways the writings of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque and one can discern a hint of them in Sister Lucia’s writings as well. I strongly suspect that the true writings of Sister Lucia would bear even more resemblance to both of them were we to have access to them. This is because Our Lord Jesus Christ has been telling us in no uncertain terms, what is necessary to counter-act the spiritual terrorism of the arrogant pride prevailing in the world today.

Tragically, this diabolical pride has so captivated the souls of mankind that today among the vast majority of people, there is a rigid resistance to Our Lord’s plea for humility of heart. Mankind has developed a resistance to the grace of God much as some disease bacteria develop a resistance to antibiotics, and now they despise the “poor in spirit” as lacking in self esteem, and care not a whit for the “Kingdom of Heaven”.

It is true that the Message of Divine Love is Christ’s plea for our love but it is also a valuable reminder that we must become truly as a little child, poor in spirit, meek and pure of heart in order to be able to receive His love,  Otherwise we risk becoming the darkness that cannot grasp the light. The worldly are unable to grasp Our Lord’s words to St. Margaret Mary:

“If I had been able to find a creature more miserable than you,” He said to Saint Margaret Mary, “I should have chosen her….”

And to Sister Josefa:

“If I could have found a more wretched creature, I should have chosen her for my special love, and through her revealed the longings of My Heart. But I have not found one, and so I have chosen you.” (June 7th, 1923).

Like the followers of Christ who rejected His teaching on the Eucharist, many today reject these “hard sayings”.  But to those very few who have kept His grace in their hearts, we share the truth of the Way of Divine Love with you.

Our Lord is so good, so kind when we do all we can…He takes charge of the rest; it matters so little whether we feel we are getting better or not.’

The  message of Divine Love was given to Sister Josefa  in the period immediately after the Message of Fatima. It in no way contradicts but rather serves to illustrate the essential unity of the two devotions. In Our Lady’s words to Sister Josefa, we seem to hear the echo of her interactions with the three seers of Fatima and with the revelations to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque (here).

Sister Josefa  at times felt overwhelmed by the effort to discharge her duties of state and the demands of Our Lord for reparation for souls and she spoke with our Blessed Mother. Our Lady then told her:

“What does anything matter, if He takes care of you?’ … My child, why be afraid? The work of Jesus must be founded on much pain and love … banish fear; Jesus is almighty and it is He who acts. He is strong and He will sustain you. He is merciful and He loves you.”

Then she warned her of further tribulations to be encountered:

“He reads the depths of all hearts and  it is He who permits circumstances to be as they are. If His plans often seem to you to be hindered, it is because He wants to keep you very humble and very lowly.”

Sister Josefa told her that she feared herself to be an obstacle to His plans.

“It is true that you are a very wretched little being,” Our Lady said with compassion, “but that is just why Jesus has pity on you and why He hides you in the depths of His Heart so that nothing can possibly harm you. Humble yourself in your littleness and misery, my child. Trust Him, for He loves you and will never forsake you. Let your only ambition be to win many souls for Him, to give Him much glory and much love.”

When Sister Josefa told Our Lady how sad it made her that she sometimes failed in her tasks, Our Lady offered her Our Lord’s Crown of Thorns. “Fix your mind on the Passion and sufferings of Jesus.” Then placing the Crown of Thorns on her head: “Take it,” she added, as she blessed her; “it will keep you in His presence.”

‘Do not be afraid, my child,’ Our Lady said in tender pity. ‘He will never ask anything of you without giving you grace. Then try to overcome your repugnance by remembering that all His commissions are given you because of His goodness and love for souls.

“You must not be afraid, for every time Jesus allows you to endure those torments He means you to draw from them a three-fold fruit:

First: Great love and deep gratitude to the Divine Majesty who in spite of your faults prevents you from falling eternally into Hell.

Secondly: Boundless generosity and ardent zeal for the salvation of souls, with the desire of saving many for Him by your sacrifices and even your tiniest acts, for you know how much these please Him.

Thirdly: The sight of such innumerable crowds of souls lost forever … of souls, of which not one can so much as make an act of love, ought to make you who can love, send up unceasingly to Him echoes of love’s clamor to drown the blasphemous vociferations of that impious abode. “ [Note: this was told to Sister regarding the visions of Hell she was given.]

‘Therefore, great generosity for the salvation of souls, daughter, and much love…. Let my Son use you as He wills…. Let Him finish His work.’ “

Once, Sister Josefa confided in Our Lady her sorrow at failing Our Lord by what she believed was ingratitude.  Our Lady responded,

“But, my child, surely you know that His Heart is a blazing furnace, and its fire exists only to consume our miseries. As soon as you have owned them to Jesus, He remembers them no more. 

“He has already granted you so many graces, He is prepared to grant you others greater still. His Heart is an inexhaustible Fountain”

“Jesus has forgiven and forgotten all your failings and all your strivings against His Will, but He never forgets your good resolutions and He takes pleasure in them. His Heart is an abyss of mercy, and it will never fail you. It is, too, an abyss of riches which will never diminish, however largely distributed.

“Love Him as much as you can. He cares for nothing else. Acknowledge your littleness, and be submissive and ready to surrender to His Will in all things. “

So many of us who attempt to live our Consecrations are plagued with scruples and get disheartened, but we should keep our focus on the words of Our Lady: “He has forgiven and forgotten all your failings!” It is we who persist in focusing on our failings instead of on Our Lord; He asks for our love, not for our endless ruminations on our faults.

In closing, we offer you a most useful quote from Our Blessed Mother to help us understand this path we follow:

“Let Him rest in you and do you rest in Him. When you receive His graces, then you repose in Him; when He tries you in one way or another, then He reposes in you.”

When we think on these words, we are able to understand that the beautiful periods of peace given to us in prayer, especially after receiving Our Lord in the Holy Eucharist, are when He has drawn us into His Heart. These moments if responded to properly, nourish us and prepare us for the trials to come. But in this sacred dance wherein we move, little by little towards Heaven with our Beloved, we also have the periods when Jesus reposes in our hearts. These are times of darkness, desolation and very great suffering. But they are precisely the most fruitful times, if we maintain our trust in Him.

It was during one of these dark times that Sister Josefa asked Our Lord why He allowed her to struggle in such darknesss of soul, He replied,

“It seems to you that you see nothing and that you are about to fall into the precipice. But need you see, if you are guided? … What you need is to forget self, to abandon your own will and offer no resistance to My plans. Thanks to the acts done in the midst of your sufferings, several of the souls that you will see later have come nearer to My Heart.’

Josefa then complained to Him that when she is struggling against temptations and loneliness, she fails to find Him.

“ ‘When you cannot find Me, look for Me in your Mother. Follow her directions implicitly, for she will guide you to Me. I gave her to you for that very purpose; and know, Josefa, that if you do what she tells you, you are giving Me as much satisfaction as if you were obeying Me personally.

“Love, suffer, and obey. So doing you will enable Me to carry out My plans in you.’ ”

I was about to write, “If there is interest, I will write more on this.” But now, I have given up on there being much interest and will just say, whether there is interest or not, this needs to be said! And we will follow up with more very soon, God willing.

In the meantime, resolve never to waste a single unjust, unreasonable humiliation, a single opportunity to lift your heart joyfully to God for He alone transforms our sufferings into pure gold, eternal gold that never fails. As Our Lord Himself said to Sister Josefa,

‘Ponder this word: “Gold is purified in the fire.” So tribulation purifies and fortifies the soul, and the time of temptation is of great profit both to you and to souls.’ ”

Thank you for reading! I pray for you always!

Remember, Pray the Rosary and confound satan and those who serve him!

O my Jesus, forgive us our sins and save us from the fire of hell. Lead all souls to heaven, especially those most in need of Thy mercy.

  Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of our hearts, Mother of the Church, do thou offer to the Eternal Father the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the conversion of poor sinners, especially our Pontiff.

  Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy kingdom come! Viva Cristo Rey!
  Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our death.
  St. Joseph, protect us, protect our families, protect our priests.
  St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.

Please pray for the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary!

~ by evensong for love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, King.
Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O Sacred Virgin! Give me strength against thine enemies!

© All Content Copyright 2013-2017 ReturntoFatima.org. All Rights Reserved.

 

Begin at the beginning

NOTE: I have corrected an error about the book by Father Stehlin. The link now is to Loreto Publications where the book is available for $11.95.  

We will not save our souls in this time of crisis if we spurn the means Our Lord Himself has given us, which is the Immaculate Heart of Mary, His most Blessed Mother. This essential devotion is not some syrupy sentimental devotion, it is a thoroughly practical devotion which teaches us the virtues necessary for our salvation. It does this through the Rosary above all. To begin to understand this, we begin at the beginning, which is the Joyful Mysteries. Any other practical means we use to help ourselves or to help others, will be utterly fruitless without understanding and making use of, devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary through her Rosary.

Immaculate Heart of Mary, you conceived the Word of God in your heart before you conceived Him in your womb, pray for us.

In the Litany to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, we give voice to a profound and significant truth, one that I confess I had not fully considered until reading, and re-reading Father Stehlin’s beautiful treatise on Our Lady, “Who Are You, O Immaculata?” For me, that book has been a pivotal point  and I hope that you will all read it.

A reader who has followed our posts for some  time has requested assistance with sharing the Message of Fatima with those who reject or are indifferent to Our Lady of Fatima,  To answer her question, we find once again that the answer is the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the key to unlock the mystery is found in the prayer above.

In her Rosary, Our Lady shares this beautiful mystery with us. Let’s return to her at the Annunciation, when the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us. Our Lady was rapt in adoration of God. Her soul, unencumbered by any slightest sin, joyfully accepted His will, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord! Be it done unto me according to thy word. And the Word was made flesh.

By accepting God’s will, Mary began her task with a full nine months of the most intimate closeness with the Word, treasuring Him in her Immaculate Heart for nine months. These two pure and Sacred Hearts, both totally devoted to doing the will of the Father, spent nine months in loving concourse, sharing the thought of their heart, one heart really, beating in the two human persons closest to the Heavenly Father, the Creator. As Adam gave Eve his rib, from which she was made, the new Eve, Mary, gave Jesus her Heart. These Hearts are inseparable, that is why I say one heart.

And so, we think on this in the beautiful First Joyful Mystery. In the Second Mystery, we see these two hearts working together, to baptise John the Prophet, chosen to prepare the way of the Lord.  Thus, Jesus worked His first miracle from within the very womb of Mary. See how Our Lord illustrates His deepest messages with such clear scenes of His actions; actions which cannot be twisted and misconstrued, but viewed clearly show that Jesus chose Mary, first as His Mother, and then as His mediatrix, casting satan from John, and consecrating him to the service of Jesus Christ, as we all must be consecrated to Him through Mary.

In the Third Mystery, we see, literally see this Divine Child, the long-awaited Savior of the world, born not in  the glory and pomp of this passing world, which was still in thrall to satan, but in the serene and humble stable of Bethlehem. Note that we do not see this until the time was ripe for it. First, the Immaculata conceived the Word in her pure heart, then He was made flesh within her flesh, and the two hearts grew as one. Only then at the time designated by Our Father, did He come to dwell among us. And then, even then, not to all but to those who were prepared to receive Him.

In the Fourth Mystery, we see Mary, led by Joseph – this is important – bring the Son of God, this Divine Infant, to the Temple of God to fulfill the Law. At this time, the Holy Family made the customary offering of the poor.  This humility, this obedience, this poverty – this is an essential lesson for us. Think on it. Without these virtues, we are not in any way serving God.  We should never underestimate the importance of this Mystery,

In the last Joyful Mystery, we see Mary and Joseph searching for Our Lord. Many much wiser see deeper messages in this Mystery. Mine is simple. In this Mystery, we see Mary and Joseph (this is why St. Joseph is shown to us in the last vision at Fatima) Mary and Joseph are here in this Mystery to process through the City of God, which is now in darkness and ruins, to gather us and lead us. We too join the procession. Together, we find Him again. And wonder of wonders, we find Him in His Church! For while we have been searching, following Mary and Joseph, we are being prepared to perceive Him with the clear and perfect vision of children of Mary, the clear vision of her Immaculate Heart. And so we return, full circle, (as in St. John Bosco’s vision) and the Word is made flesh and dwells among us. In our hearts, united to the Heart of our most pure and loving Mother.

This is the answer.  Do this, live this, every day. When you are this, those who are His, will come to Him, through Mary. Not through  what you do on your own but through His grace, mediated by Mary, His Mother. She depends on us, but we, much more so, on her. When we allow ourselves to be her instruments, led by her, miracles happen. But it is not us, not ever us. We go to Jesus through Mary.

Pray the Rosary with confidence and joy!

†  Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of our hearts, Mother of the Church, do thou offer to the Eternal Father the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the conversion of poor sinners, especially our Pontiff.
†  Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy kingdom come! Viva Cristo Rey!
†  Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our death.
†  St. Joseph, protect us, protect our families, protect our priests.
†  St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.

Please pray for the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary!

~ by evensong for love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, King.
Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O Sacred Virgin! Give me strength against thine enemies!

© All Content Copyright 2013-2017 ReturntoFatima.org. All Rights Reserved.

Saint Thérèse of Lisieux

For St. Saint Thérèse of Lisieux on her feast day.

Nothing is small in the eyes of God. Do all that you do with love.

The following prayer of Oblation was found in the copy of the Gospels which she carried always close to her heart. We have included a few other of her personal prayers.  The citation for the source is at the end of the post.

AN ACT OF OBLATION AS A VICTIM OF DIVINE LOVE 

O my God, O Most Blessed Trinity, I desire to love Thee and to make Thee loved–to labour for the glory of Holy Church by saving souls here upon earth and by delivering those suffering in Purgatory. I desire to fulfill perfectly Thy Holy Will, and to reach the degree of glory Thou hast prepared for me in Thy Kingdom. In a word, I wish to be holy, but, knowing how helpless I am, I beseech Thee, my God, to be Thyself my holiness.

Since Thou hast loved me so much as to give me Thy Only-Begotten Son to be my Saviour and my Spouse, the infinite treasures of His merits are mine. Gladly do I offer them to Thee, and I beg of Thee to behold me only through the Eyes of Jesus, and in His Heart aflame with love. Moreover, I offer Thee all the merits of the Saints both of Heaven and of earth, together with their acts of love, and those of the holy Angels. Lastly, I offer Thee, O Blessed Trinity, the love and the merits of the Blessed Virgin, my dearest Mother–to her I commit this Oblation, praying her to present it to Thee.

During the days of His life on earth her Divine Son, my sweet Spouse, spake these words: “If you ask the Father anything in My Name, He will give it you.” Therefore I am certain Thou wilt fulfill my longing. O my God, I know that the more Thou wishest to bestow, the more Thou dost make us desire. In my heart I feel boundless desires, and I confidently beseech Thee to take possession of my soul. I cannot receive Thee in Holy Communion as often as I should wish; but, O Lord, art Thou not all powerful?

Abide in me as Thou dost in the Tabernacle–never abandon Thy Little Victim. I long to console Thee for ungrateful sinners, and I implore Thee to take from me all liberty to sin. If through weakness I should chance to fall, may a glance from Thine Eyes straightway cleanse my soul, and consume all my imperfections–as fire transforms all things into itself. I thank Thee, O my God, for all the graces Thou hast granted me: especially for having purified me in the crucible of suffering.

Continue reading “Saint Thérèse of Lisieux”

For souls entrusted to us

So many of us who have become by God’s grace aware of the true message of Our Lady of Fatima, and the consequent need for reparation for the terrible abuses of the faith wrought by those now in charge of the Vatican and Conciliar Church, are suffering greatly over the disorientation of so many of our loved ones, both in our families and in our circle of friends.

The more you will honor me, the more I will bless you!

We pray, we offer reparation, we seek to rouse them from their apathy and awaken them to the truth; and yet we see so little response. Indeed, several have reported sadly that they have been rebuffed by those closest, dearest to them and some are even more isolated as a result. It is difficult, in the circumstances, not to feel disheartened and some have told me that they feel their own prayer life diminishing as they become overwhelmed with sorrow for their families and dear friends and fear the loss of their souls.

However, the situation we find ourselves in today, did not arise overnight. It came about as a result of a gradual decline in fervor on their part, but more importantly, on our own part as well.  We now see and believe, that our penances bring a renewal of grace, that our pleas to Our Lady of the Rosary to increase our devotion are answered with a generosity beyond our expectations, and we become, understandably, impatient for our loved ones to grow likewise in fervor.  We have no doubt that God is pleased to answer all our prayers entrusted to the Immaculata through her Rosary, but why is it, we ask, that our prayers for our families are seeming to fall unheard?

I can only speak for myself, but can, by my own account assert confidently that Our Lady bore with me patiently the many, many years when I was younger and prayed inattentive, distracted prayers, many of which involved much more worldly concerns than the true spiritual needs of my children, the precious souls entrusted to me.  Thus, this default of mine over many years may not be repaired by a few months or even a few years of fervent prayers and penances.

Remember, there is great merit in perseverance in prayer! By our faithful persistence, we shall gain even more graces for our loved ones! it is a terrible insult to our loving God to doubt that He is attentive to our prayers for the salvation of our loved ones, for He created them, He suffered and died to save them to eternal life with Him, and He entrusted them to His most precious creature, the Blessed Virgin Mary for their sure way to Heaven.  And so I have come to see, over time, the importance of turning to Him with joyful hope in His goodness and mercy. he will not fail us and they will, at last heed His voice and turn to Him and be saved.

Some have found this little prayer helpful – I have used it for years and still do pray it often. In our own family, we have still such a long way to go and the hour is late. I myself am feeling so often as a candle guttering out in the gathering darkness.  But as I decline, I trust that Our Lady of Good Success with her Divine Infant is near and ready to bring all to the Glory of God and the salvation of all these souls entrusted to me.

Family Prayer to the Infant of Prague
The more you will honor Me, the more I will bless you!

O Most Holy Infant of Prague, so generous to those who turn to Thee in need, be attentive to our supplication on behalf of our loved ones who have chosen to separate themselves from Thee, who alone art their salvation.

Dearest Jesus, remember the sorrow with which Thy Mother and Saint Joseph sought Thee, when Thou taught in the Temple. Remember their joy when they found Thee after three days! By the tears they shed in Thy loss and their joyful embrace when finding Thee, we beg Thy mercy for our poor families who grieve the loss of faith of their loved ones. Most Holy Child Jesus, we beg Thee to reunite our family in the one, true faith, that all our members may be saved.

Most Holy Infant, with firm conviction of soul, we repent our sins which have contributed to the loss of our loved ones’ faith and earnestly desire to make amends. O Jesus who desires not the death of the sinner, but that he be converted and saved, have mercy on our loved ones and return them to the Faith.

With joyful heart and confident hope, we entrust our loved ones to Thee, O merciful Infant. And when our family is reunited once more in faith, we shall proclaim always and everywhere Thy great goodness and mercy, calling all poor sinners home to Thee, most loving Child Jesus. Amen.

 

Act of Thanksgiving for Graces Received from the Infant Jesus

I prostrate myself before Thy holy image, O most gracious Infant Jesus, to offer Thee my fervent thanks for the blessings Thou hast bestowed on me. I shall always praise Thy mercy and confess that Thou alone art my God and my Savior.  Henceforth my entire confidence shall be placed in Thee.  I shall proclaim Thy mercy and generosity so that Thy great love and the great deeds which Thou dost perform through Thy miraculous image may be acknowledged by all. May devotion to Thy holy infancy increase more and more in the hearts of Christians, and may all who experience Thine assistance persevere with me in showing unceasing gratitude to Thy most holy infancy, to which be praise and glory forever. Amen.

†   †   †

Devotion to the Christ Child  calls us to respond to the Divine Infant with childlike trust, which is exactly what He has asked us for. “Unless you become as a little child”, that is believe with complete trust.  Our Lord, by deigning to become man as a helpless infant, demonstrated this way of spiritual childhood and entrusted Himself totally to His Mother. Therefore, to be devoted to the Child Jesus implies, and must be founded on, devotion to our Blessed Mother.

Sister Lúcia assured us in her 1957 interview with Father Fuentes that,  “There is no problem, I tell you, no matter how difficult it is, that we cannot resolve by the prayer of the Holy Rosary. With the Holy Rosary we will save ourselves, we will sanctify ourselves, we will console Our Lord and obtain the salvation of many souls.” So with all this assistance for us, who can doubt that God will save the souls we pray for!

I hope this has been helpful! I am sorry to be unable to answer emails, especially those making requests of me. I try to answer with my poor posts and with my prayers for you always, trusting that Our Good Lord will make up for what is deficient.  Above all, please, pray the Rosary and confound the devil and all those who serve him!

O my Jesus, forgive us our sins and save us from the fire of hell. Lead all souls to heaven, especially those most in need of Thy mercy.

  Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of our hearts, Mother of the Church, do thou offer to the Eternal Father the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the conversion of poor sinners, especially our Pontiff.

  Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy kingdom come! Viva Cristo Rey!
  Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our death.
  St. Joseph, protect us, protect our families, protect our priests.
  St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.

Please pray for the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary!

~ by evensong for love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, King.
Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O Sacred Virgin! Give me strength against thine enemies!

© All Content Copyright 2013-2017 ReturntoFatima.org. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

Designs of Mercy – Jacinta II

Part II

In our previous post on Saint Jacinta, Designs of Mercy – Jacinta, we spoke of Our Lady’s visit to Saints Francisco and Jacinta Marto  in January, 1919. In her Memoirs, Lúcia tells us,

“Our Lady came to see us”, Jacinta said. “She told us She would come to take Francisco to Heaven very soon, and She asked me if I still wanted to convert more sinners. I said I did. She told me I would be going to a hospital where I would suffer a great deal; and that I am to suffer for the conversion of sinners, in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and for love of Jesus. I asked if you (Lúcia) would go with me. She said you wouldn’t, and that is what I find hardest. She said my mother would take me, and then I would have to stay there all alone!”

In Volume II, Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité speaks of Sister Lúcia’s impression of Jacinta:

Saint Jacinta Marto, pray for us, pray for the Pope.

“Jacinta was the one who received from Our Lady a greater abundance of grace, and a better knowledge of God and of virtue”

Although she was indeed the youngest of the three seers, it was she who appeared to enjoy the greatest intimacy with the Most Holy Virgin. When the cycle of the six great public apparitions was completed, Jacinta continued almost uninterruptedly to enjoy supernatural favors, right up until her death.

In our earlier post on Jacinta, we mentioned Frère Michel’s remark,

“It is indeed surprising to observe how much, after the apparition of July 13, the thought of the Holy Father kept constantly coming back to the minds of the three seers. This was one of their major preoccupations, along with solicitude for sinners, and the sight of the terrifying war to come. Why? Undoubtedly because the Pope plays a role of decisive importance in the great prophecy of the Secret: he is already named five times in the published part of the Secret; we may believe that he is mentioned again in the part which has not yet been published. Let us add that several supernatural communications Sister Lúcia was later favored with, concerning the role of the Holy Father in the great prophecy of the Secret, surely supply us with the context which sheds much light on the visions of Jacinta. “

In her memoirs, Lúcia recalled several prophetic visions given to little Jacinta.

“One day we spent our siesta down by my parents’ well. Jacinta sat on the stone slab on top of the well. Francisco and I climbed up a steep bank in search of wild honey among the brambles in a nearby thicket. After a little while, Jacinta called out to me: ‘Didn’t you see the Holy Father?’ ‘No.’

‘I don’t know how it was, but I saw the Holy Father in a very big house, kneeling by a table, with his head buried in his hands, and he was weeping. Outside the house, there were many people. Some of them were throwing stones, others were cursing him and using bad language. Poor Holy Father, we must pray much for him.’

“I have already told you how, one day, two priests recommended that we pray for the Holy Father, and explained to us who the Pope was. Afterwards, Jacinta asked me:  ‘Is he the one I saw weeping, the one Our Lady told us about in the Secret?’  ‘Yes, he is,’  I answered. (And Jacinta, with childlike candour, went on:) ‘The Lady must surely have shown him also to those priests. You see, I wasn’t mistaken. We need to pray a lot for him.’

Continue reading “Designs of Mercy – Jacinta II”

Essential Things, 2017

The following is an updated  repost of an earlier article. The issue it addresses continues to arise…

Today, we’ll take time out to answer some questions that come up frequently.  I’ve been taking quite a bit of time trying to answer these individually, but perhaps doing it as a blog entry will be more effective.

Let’s consider two versions of the question: One form: How can we know what we are to believe of the documents of the post-conciliar popes?

Put another way: What are we to do when a (Post- Vatican II) magisterial document contradicts other current or previous teachings and one does not have any more authoritative weight than the other?

When that question comes to me, the inquirer sometimes refers to an article from another blog to illustrate their perplexity. At times, the examples have been long, thoroughly researched and documented scholarly works citing numerous Canon laws, and quoting extensively from illustrious Church Fathers. Impressive. I am not in any way qualified to jump in on that level. I must add that neither are most of the current self-appointed “experts” qualified to pontificate as they do, but that fact does not even slow them down, does it?

Our Lady used me like a broom, and then she put me back.

 

But here’s something to think about, if you have the time and patience to stay with me a bit. Let’s consider a moment the greatest saints God gave us in the century or so prior to the time of Vatican II. For God is a loving Father and He provides for us according to our needs. Consider for a moment: St. Therese the Little Flower, St Padre Pio, St. Bernadette Soubirous, Saints Jacinta, Francisco and Lúcia of Fatima and St. Maximilian Kolbe.

God alone, God before all else, above all else, beyond all else. Nisi Solum Jesum.

What is God’s intention in giving us these glorious souls to emulate? Were they learned theologians? Respected professors? Great intellectual giants of their time? What was the one, overwhelming quality they all shared? I believe the quality they all exhibited is:  A simple, obedient faith, a generous, sacrificial heart. Those qualities are found together.

Each of these souls flew straight up to God in Heaven on the wings of a clear, simple faith. Each was totally consumed and driven by their single-minded desire: God alone, God before all else, above all else, beyond all else. Nisi Solum Jesum.

Even St. Maximilian Kolbe, who was the most educated and used modern means of communication in order to advance Marian devotion, maintained a simple, childlike devotion to Our Lady and often advised his priests of the need to be Mary’s children, slaves of love to her, and cautioned against much questioning and analyzing.In several of his talks, he referred tenderly to Our Lady as “Mamusia”, that is, “Mama”. That tender love of a son for his Mother permeated and motivated every thought, word and action of his! Thus, his message was essentially the same as St. Therese or St. Pio, or for that matter, Sister Lúcia.

By their words and their example, these saints showed us the way through these confusing days, when intellects are darkened by sin and perversions of doctrine. Our culture makes us think we need to constantly surf for the latest “news” and we oftentimes get overwhelmed by the surfeit of information, much of which is contradictory or simply misleading.

How to simplify? I suggest two things.

  1. Bear in mind that nowhere is it indicated that you must be a theologian. Neither your state in life, nor the salvation of your soul hinges on parsing Pope Francis’ “Amoris laetitia”  or his other insults to the doctrine of the faith. The reason this is so is that the doctrine of the faith cannot change. The truths of the faith are not in dispute here. Anything this pope or that prelate says contrary to what the Church has always clearly taught is simply beside the point. That being the case, there is not really any pressing need to read them. You know your faith. It’s simple. Keep it simple. Keep it Catholic. Pray and trust the rest to God.
  2. The second is make all that you do, every day, every moment, be for the glory of God, the honor of Mary and the salvation of souls, first your own and then every single one entrusted to you. Before you go online, be sure of your goal, your task at hand. If your actions are not serving Jesus, you must ask yourself, are they perhaps feeding idle curiosity, or even worse, a taste for gossip? We do not have a moment to waste! Right here and now, we have to make use of our time to save every single soul we can.

Since it is impossible to explain anything in a way that cannot be disputed by another, I can hear the responses. “But, but, but, what if others ask me questions about the faith that I am unable to answer? Don’t I need to know these points of faith to be able to explain them, to defend it?” I then ask, who expects this of you? Does God have this unrealistic expectation that you should know how to defend and explain complex theological issues which are still being debated by qualified people today?

You ask me, “Well, how do you handle it?” My response: When Our Lord sends me someone seeking to return to the faith, I listen to them prayerfully and then offer what I have. I am very blessed in that people instinctively know not to expect great intelligence nor any sophistication at all from me. (Perhaps it is the bovine look of complacency on my plain face) But I try to help them spiritually with the rosary, scapular and helpful books and so on. If they are drawn by Our Lady, they will take it from there.

Sometimes, the person is not satisfied with anything I can offer, and at that point, I do not try to give them what is beyond my ability. I offer to put them in touch with a good, holy priest. Notice I said holy. That is so much more important than the so-called knowledge. And I can still pray and offer up for them.

Sometimes, however, the inquirer then turns from asking my advice to,  “But, if you took your own advice, you would not have a blog.”  My response is simply that we must all do the best we can with the task we are given, and that is all we can do. I do what is put before me as prayerfully as possible. Perhaps I fail at some or even all, but succeeding or failing is not my concern.

“There is only the fight to recover what has been lost.
And found and lost again and again: and now under conditions
That seem unpropitious. But perhaps neither gain nor loss.
For us, there is only the trying. The rest is not our business.”
T.S.E., East Coker.

Dear readers, I have included this example of a common question/answer session in hopes it will

1) answer a frequently asked type of question and

2)  encourage you to ask questions if needed. As you can see, I only ever have one answer, and it is simply, Go to Jesus by way of Mary. I know nothing, but that’s a good thing, because she knows the way!

Since this was first written, one more thing needs to be noted. I believe that my primary duty is to offer prayer and reparation for all of us, those who seek to serve Our Lord and those who seek to serve the ancient enemy. For we are called right now, at this time above all other times, to pray and sacrifice for sinners. Maintaining this blog is a very small part of what I do.  My job is to love you, to sacrifice and pray for you all. If this blog is a hindrance to that, it is no longer essential.  If it does matter to you, please take the time to kneel and pray, begging Our Lady to show you how to help comfort Our Lord and save sinners.

For He suffers so greatly today at the hands of those who have the most reason to love Him, but will not. And you must know that sinners, – especially those who are most despicable! – those, most of all, need your prayers, need your reparation.

It is regrettable that my remarks on this little blog have been taken as spiritual direction by some readers. My intention was only to offer commentary on current events in the Church in the light of the Message of Fatima and other approved prophecies of the Church. I try to answer all questions submitted by email (or at times by phone and in person) to the best of my ability, but I am not in any way qualified to offer spiritual direction. In fact, it is very dangerous for your soul to seek spiritual direction from anyone but a solidly orthodox Catholic priest.

These times are so dark and evil, and the Faith is threatened by the very ones who should be proclaiming it clearly for all. At Return to Fatima, we try to aid Catholics to see this is all foretold and by staying close to the Blessed Virgin Mary, our true Mother, we will weather this storm and come to our safe haven with Jesus. It’s a simple message, not complex. I cannot – nor do I attempt to – analyze complex documents from the Magisterium, nor speak on matters above me. I can only point to our Queen and our Mother, she who crushes the head of satan and will defeat all heresies and restore the Faith. 

Please, pray the Rosary and confound the devil!

  Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of our hearts, Mother of the Church, do thou offer to the Eternal Father the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the conversion of poor sinners, especially our Pontiff.

  Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy Kingdom come, Viva Cristo Rey!

  St. Joseph, guardian of the Holy Family, protect our families, protect our priests!

  St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.

~ by evensong for love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, King.
Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O Sacred Virgin! Give me strength against thine enemies!

© All Content Copyright 2013-2017  ReturntoFatima.org. All Rights Reserved.

St. Joseph, Too

“… Christ was promised to Abraham as man, to David as his successor in his kingdom, but to Joseph under the name of Saviour;  in order that we may be persuaded that, although Joseph had no share in the formation of the Body of Jesus neither did he place the crown upon His head, he nevertheless contributed to making Him the Saviour of all men, journeying and labouring and toiling along with Him, and supporting Him by the fruit of his toils for so many years. And thus (he says) he was the last of the Patriarchs to whom the Messias was promised, but in a more excellent manner than all.” (The Life and Glories of St. Joseph, Edward Healy Thompson, Aeterna Press, Kindle)

Thou salt call His name Jesus

Since St. Joseph is silent in the Scriptures, regrettably many erroneous impressions have been given of him. He was not, as some assert, a decrepit old man when he and the Blessed Virgin were betrothed, but was fair-haired and in his prime, about 33 years old. He had no other children, for he was a virgin, having made his vow to that effect at the age of 12. Joseph and Mary both knew of each others’ vow of chastity. For to marry under Hebrew Law without advising each other of that vow would have  been deceitful. And so, when Matthew 1, 18 tells us, “She was found with child, of the Holy Ghost”, it was Joseph himself who realized this, for he and the Blessed Virgin were aware of the sacred vows each had made, to offer their virginity to God as a sacred oblation. Most of the following is from the book cited above, with my comments.

St. Joseph did not ever, for one instant, doubt Our Lady, but simply sought God’s will. In his profound humility, he was abashed to think that the Lord God would choose him for the spouse and consort of the Mother of the Savior. When the Blessed Virgin saw that Joseph was perplexed, she prayed to God to enlighten him; a prayer which was heard by God most promptly. Thompson tells us that according to Eastern legend, not a night passed before Joseph was delivered from his uncertainty. As scripture tells us,

“But while he thought on these things, behold the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in his sleep, saying, ‘Joseph, son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son; and thou shalt call His name Jesus: for He shall save His people from their sins”.

There is much insight available on this passage, but many writers do not make use of it and prefer instead to weave misleading fables about how Joseph was “afraid”, doubted God, doubted Mary and so on. Note that the angel called Joseph by his name, and added the honorific, “Son of David”. Thus showing him deference which would not have been indicated were he to have doubted God or the Blessed Virgin. We have already seen how Zachary was reproved for his doubts! Although many suppose that the angel’s words were an instruction to Joseph to wed the Virgin, the angel was actually telling him to remain with her.

According to Pope Benedict XIV, quoted by Edward Healy Thompson:

“The word of the angel by which he bade him not to fear to take unto him Mary for his wife is a Hebrew mode of expression, which does not signify the commencement of an act, but the continuation of an act already begun. The meaning of his mandate is this: ‘Retain and keep the wife you have taken, and do not forsake her’; and such is the interpretation of those who are adepts in the Hebrew idiom.”

The angel does not tell Joseph to discard his suspicions, for he has none. But the angel does tell Joseph, “thou shalt call His name Jesus: for He shall save His people from their sins”. Now, note the wording here: the angel does not say, “His name shall be Jesus”, but says, “Thou shalt call His name Jesus”, which was also said to Mary, thus acknowledging Joseph’s rights and dignity as the foster father of Our Lord.

With this knowledge, St. Joseph’s soul was flooded with a superabundance of grace, for only by a special favor of God was he able to approach this true “Ark of the Covenant”, this most sacred “Temple of the Trinity”. In her Revelations, St. Bridget tells us that when Joseph beheld her with Child by the Holy Ghost, he feared exceedingly, suspecting no evil of her, but, remembering the words of the prophet which foretold how the Son of God would be born of a virgin, reputed himself unworthy to serve such a mother, until the angel in sleep bade him not to fear, but to minister to her with charity. And our Lady added: “From that moment Joseph never ceased to serve me as his sovereign and I humbled myself to the lowest offices to show him my submission.” (Thompson, op. cit.)

Continue reading “St. Joseph, Too”