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. Never underestimate the importance of this Mystery. Now, this fourth Joyful Mystery has in it the bitter seed of the Passion and Death of Our Lord, for it is at this time that these two purest and most innocent hearts shared the first searing pain, the sacrifice required of every male of the Chosen People, an inexplicable pain suffered by the Son and shared by the Mother, whose sweet heart was always united to her Son’s Sacred Heart. As Simeon gently, sadly returned  the sobbing Infant to His Mother, he saw her silent tears, and sensed the tremendous weight these two would bear. He quickly looked away and caught a glimpse, there, in the shadows, an enormous Cross looming in the dark corner; there …  Ah, was it but a trick of the light?  One could not be sure, he thought … these tired old eyes…

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”

The Centenary of Fatima and the Passion of the Church

Father Malachi Martin was bound, unfairly he believed, but nevertheless bound by an oath against revealing the Third Secret, or more properly, the third portion of the Secret of Fatima. But this chafed him so that he increasingly indicated insights into the secret’s meaning as time went by and the devil’s own chaos increased in the Church. It must have been a terrible burden to know that if only he were able to speak out, so many souls might have repented and been saved! But Father took solace in obedience, knowing as he did that it was by way of the arrogant disobedience of Popes that this assault from hell came about.

And so, even though bound by his oath, Father allowed certain insights. If we review all the hints he gave us in his books and interviews, they fall into a pattern roughly consisting of three portions,

  1. A material chastisement
  2. A spiritual chastisement
  3. The action of Russia in both chastisements.

Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité  also believed that Russia was the key player in both the physical and spiritual events of the chastisement. Additionally,  Frère Michel stressed that the physical chastisements began with the Second World War and since Russia has not been consecrated properly – and thus cannot be exorcised of Satanic control – the ongoing war will only continue, eventually enveloping the entire world with one horrific conflagration of intense terror. The force behind this will of course, be Russia, or more precisely, satanic marxism.

Satanic marxism is also behind the spiritual chastisement which continues apace until the Church is eventually reduced to a very small  and seemingly impotent remnant. There should be little doubt that Pope Francis is a satanic marxist and is the Pope that Father Malachi Martin alluded to as the last pope of this era and who would be under the control of Satan. It has been said before that the Age of Apostasy began with Martin Luther and will end with Luther’s own Pope. That would appear to be Francis.  St. Hildegard has told us what to expect of this pope and Blessed Elizabeth Canori Mora has also warned us of what is to come.

In a previous post we quoted Antonio Socci’s account of Pope Benedict’s revelation at Fatima in 2010:

But a resounding explicit confirmation came from Benedict XVI himself, who, during an unexpected pilgrimage to Fatima on May 13, 2010, affirmed: “He deceives himself who thinks that the prophetic mission of Fatima is concluded.”

He added: “there are indicated future realities of the Church which little by little are manifesting themselves… and therefore it is the sufferings of the Church which are announced.”

But could such prophecies be found in that text [of the vision]?

These two phrases of the Pope in that discourse at Fatima prompt reflection:

“Man has the power to unleash a cycle of death and terror, but he is not able to stop it.” And then: “The faith in vast regions of the earth risks being extinguished, like a flame without fuel.”

From these words of Pope Benedict one discerns, therefore, that there is truly something else in the Third Secret and that it is dramatic for the world and the Church. The volume in fact draws from the letters of Sister Lucia and from the unpublished diary “My Way.” Impressive among things previously unpublished, is the account of how Sister Lucy overcame the terror that prevented her from writing down the Third Secret.

The Unpublished Account

At around 4 p.m. on January 3, 1944, in the chapel of the convent, before the Tabernacle, Lucia asked Jesus to make known His will: “I then felt a friendly hand, maternal and affectionate, touch my shoulder.”

And the Mother of God said to her: “be at peace, and write what I have commanded you, but not, however, that which has been given to you to understand its meaning,” intending to allude to the meaning of the vision which the Virgin herself had revealed.

Immediately afterward, said Sister Lucia, “I felt my spirit inundated by a mystery of light that is God and in Him I saw and heard: the point of a lance like a flame that is detached, touches the axis of the earth, and it trembles: mountains, cities, towns and villages with their inhabitants are buried. The sea, the rivers, the clouds, exceed their boundaries, inundating and dragging with them, in a vortex, houses and people in a number that cannot be counted. It is the purification of the world from the sin in which it is immersed. Hatred, ambition, provoke the destructive war.

After I felt my racing heart, in my spirit a soft voice said: ‘In time, one faith, one baptism, one Church, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic. In eternity, Heaven!’ This word ‘Heaven’ filled my heart with peace and happiness in such a way that, almost without being aware of it, I kept repeating to myself for a long time: Heaven, Heaven.” (Antonio Socci)

From this came the strength to write the Third Secret. …

Continue reading “The Centenary of Fatima and the Passion of the Church”

St. Catherine and the Message of Fatima

The Dialogue of the Seraphic Virgin, St. Catherine of Siena has much to avail us in this current conflict:

How finite works are not sufficient for punishment or recompense without the perpetual affection of love.
Leave all to Him, let go of yourself.
Lose yourself on the cross, and you will find yourself entirely.

 

Then, the Eternal Truth seized and drew more strongly to Himself her desire, doing as He did in the Old Testament, for when the sacrifice was offered to God, a fire descended and drew to Him the sacrifice that was acceptable to Him; so did the sweet Truth to that soul, in sending down the fire of the clemency of the Holy Spirit, seizing the sacrifice of desire that she made of herself, saying:

“Do you not know, dear daughter, that all the sufferings, which the soul endures, or can endure, in this life, are insufficient to punish one smallest fault, because the offense, being done to Me, who am the Infinite Good, calls for an infinite satisfaction? However, I wish that you should know, that not all the pains that are given to men in this life are given as punishments, but as corrections, in order to chastise a son when he offends; though it is true that both the guilt and the penalty can be expiated by the desire of the soul, that is, by true contrition, not through the finite pain endured, but through the infinite desire; because God, who is infinite, wishes for infinite love and infinite grief. Infinite grief I wish from My creature in two ways:

in one way, through her sorrow for her own sins, which she has committed against Me her Creator;

in the other way, through her sorrow for the sins which she sees her neighbors commit against Me.

Of such as these, inasmuch as they have infinite desire, that is, are joined to Me by an affection of love, and therefore grieve when they offend Me, or see Me offended, their every pain, whether spiritual or corporeal, from wherever it may come, receives infinite merit, and satisfies for a guilt which deserved an infinite penalty, although their works are finite and done in finite time; but, inasmuch as they possess the virtue of desire, and sustain their suffering with desire, and contrition, and infinite displeasure against their guilt, their pain is held worthy. Paul explained this when he said: If I had the tongues of angels, and if I knew the things of the future and gave my body to be burned, and have not love, it would be worth nothing to me. The glorious Apostle thus shows that finite works are not valid, either as punishment or recompense, without the condiment of the affection of love.

How desire and contrition of heart satisfies, both for the guilt and the penalty in oneself and in others; and how sometimes it satisfies for the guilt only, and not the penalty.

“I have shown you, dearest daughter, that the guilt is not punished in this finite time by any pain which is sustained purely as such. And I say, that the guilt is punished by the pain which is endured through the desire, love, and contrition of the heart; not by virtue of the pain, but by virtue of the desire of the soul; inasmuch as desire and every virtue is of value, and has life in itself, through Christ crucified, My only begotten Son, in so far as the soul has drawn her love from Him, and virtuously follows His virtues, that is, His Footprints.

In this way, and in no other, are virtues of value, and in this way, pains satisfy for the fault, by the sweet and intimate love acquired in the knowledge of My goodness, and in the bitterness and contrition of heart acquired by knowledge of one’s self and one’s own thoughts. And this knowledge generates a hatred and displeasure against sin, and against the soul’s own sensuality, through which, she deems herself worthy of pains and unworthy of reward.”

The sweet Truth continued:
Continue reading “St. Catherine and the Message of Fatima”

Devotion to the Child Jesus

We recently posted on the tragic fact that the grace of God is being withdrawn from the Church and the world due to the disobedience of the popes and their hierarchy to the clear commands of our Lord Jesus Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary. With each disobedient act, the popes have caused a further loss of grace. As grace recedes, sin, darkness and suffering increase. In a similar way, each time we ignore the daily opportunities for sacrifice, for reparation, we lose the graces which we could have attained, essential graces necessary for our salvation.

With the loss of grace, and the ever-strengthening malignancy of satan, even those Catholics striving to hold firm to the faith begin to find themselves beset by doubts and distractions in their devotions and at times, the lethargy and heavy sense of foreboding and gloom seem to become overpowering. This is the devil’s work and it is only counteracted and driven out by the Mother of God. We access this help by the practice of our spiritual childhood in devotion to Mary our Mother. There is no other way.

In the revelations of Fatima, we find Our Lord appearing to Sister Lucia as the Child Jesus on three occasions. In two of them, He asked for compassion and reparation for “the Heart of your Most Holy Mother”.  Thus, Our Lord indicates His desire that we turn to Mary as our Mother and make loving reparation to her. This salutary devotion is something that will never appeal to the modernists, and is even spurned by many unfortunate traditional Catholics. But it is an essential devotion.

In a small series of posts, we will try to trace out this devotion, beginning with devotions to the Child Jesus from around the world. Then, in a later post, we hope to show how devotion to the Child Jesus is included in the Message of Fatima and finally, we will examine the example of spiritual childhood given us by the children of Fatima: Francisco, Jacinta and Lucia.

Devotion to the Holy Infant is complementary to that of Fatima. Both call us to mortification, true humility and perfect obedience. And devotion to the Divine Infant is a necessary part of the devotion recommended by St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus, the beloved Little Flower.

Devotion to the Infant Jesus originated in Spain and then spread to many countries in a variety of manifestations. Many saints have been favored with this devotion, notably St. Anthony of Padua/Lisbon, St. Teresa of Avila and St. St Thérèse of Lisieux and Sister Lucia of Fatima. Notably, the Child Jesus appeared to Sister Lucia three times between November, 1925 and February, 1926.

Here’s a bit of background on just a few of the numerous devotions to the Holy Infant Jesus:

Santo Niño de Atocha

According to tradition, devotion to the Santo Niño de Atocha originated in devotion to Our Lady of Antioch and her Divine Child and “Atocha” derived from “Antioch” over many centuries. The original statue is said to have been sculpted by St. Luke the Evangelist and so dates to very early times. By 1162, the devotion had spread to Spain and became immensely popular. The following story is taken from the site El Santo Nino de Atocha:

Santo Nino de Atocha, save our families!
Santo Nino de Atocha, save our families!

The pious legend of the wonder working little Santo Niño is set in Spain.
In Atocha, a suburb of Madrid, many men were imprisoned by the Moors (Muslims) who terrorized the Christians there because of their faith. The prisoners were not fed by their jailers, so food was taken to them by their families. The caliph issued an order that no one except children twelve years old and younger would be permitted to bring food to the prisoners. Those with young children would manage to keep their relatives alive, but what of the others?

The women of the town appealed to Our Lady, begging her to help them find a way to feed their husbands, sons, and brothers. Soon the children came home from the prison with a strange story. Those prisoners who had no young children to feed them were being visited and fed by a young boy. None of the children knew who He was, but the little water gourd He carried was never empty, and there was always plenty of bread in His basket to feed all the hapless prisoners without children of their own to bring them their food. He came at night, slipping past the sleeping guards or smiling politely at those who were alert.

Those who had asked the Virgin of Atocha for a miracle began to suspect the identity of the little boy. As if in confirmation, the shoes on the statue of the child Jesus were worn down and dusty. When they replaced the shoes with new ones, those too were quickly worn out. After Ferdinand and Isabella drove the Moors from Spain in 1492, the people continued to invoke the aid of Our Lady of the Atocha and her Holy Child.

And so we see in the foregoing the miraculous intervention of the Holy Virgin and Child to assist Catholics against muslim persecution. Perhaps a useful devotion for our present times, isn’t it?

Santo Niño de Atocha in Mexico and New Mexico

In Mexico, the devotion to  was brought by the Spanish and carries on the tradition of devotion to the little pilgrim Child Jesus. A major shrine is in the state of Zacatecas in Fresnillo/Plateros, where many miracles were attributed to the Holy Infant Who miraculously saved miners who had been trapped in an explosion in the Fresnillo silver mine. In New Mexico, the Shrine is near the Sanctuary of Chimayo. Among the many veterans of World War II, were the brave New Mexicans who survived Corregidor, the Bataan Death March and internment in Japanese prison camps. When they returned, some 2,000 made a pilgrimage to the Holy Infant of Atocha at Chimayo, many walking barefoot.

The Holy Child Jesus is believed to travel through the countryside, seeking poor sinners to heal and help. In some areas, He is thought to be absent from the church at night, due to His peregrinations in search if souls to save.

Santo Niño de Cebú

In the Philippines, devotion to the Holy Infant Jesus known as  “Santo Niño” was brought by the Spanish to Cebu in about 1521 when

Santo Nino de Cebu

a member of Magellan’s crew gave the local queen a statue of the Santo Niño as a baptismal gift. The little statue has a wonderful, miraculous history and has been known to survive many calamities, as far back as 1565, when, after a battle in which the then-village of Cebu burned to the ground, soldiers found the wooden box containing the sacred statue unscathed amongst the ruins.

And again, during World War II, when the Santo Niño Church was bombed,  the statue of Santo Niño de Cebú was found to be completely undamaged. There are many other such miracles both for the statue and for the devout Filipinos  who treasure devotion to the Holy Infant Jesus of Cebú.  Devotion to the Holy Infant is an excellent example of humility, and is the basis for the practice of spiritual childhood .

In the Philippines, according to site, SantoNinodeCebu.org, the Feast day of El Santo Niño is celebrated on the third Sunday of every year and many Cebuanos and Filipinos in general, do not consider the Christmas season over until the Feast of the beloved  Santo Niño.

Continue reading “Devotion to the Child Jesus”

The Holy Family in the Year of Fatima

The Feast of the Holy Family, 2017

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.

Thus, it is fitting that 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 have 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. We also learn poverty; now, in the first beatitude,  Our Lord makes us a promise for this virtue:  “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.” In later posts, we hope to show the application of this excellent virtue for these particular times of trial.

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 given 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.

Continue reading “The Holy Family in the Year of Fatima”