The Crucified Child Jesus of Pichincha

By request. Please note there is an update at the end.

In the “Mystical City of God”, Blessed Maria de Jesus de Agreda recounts of the Child Jesus,

During prayer our Blessed Master sometimes assumed a kneeling posture, sometimes He was prostrate in the form of a cross, or at other times raised in the air in this same position which He loved so much. In the presence of His Mother He was wont to pray:

“O most blessed Cross! When shall thy arms receive mine, when shall I rest on thee and when shall my arms, nailed to thine, be spread to welcome all sinners? (Matt. 9, 13). But as I came from heaven for no other purpose than to invite them to imitate Me and associate with Me, they are even now and forever open to embrace and enrich all men. Come then, all ye that are blind, to the light. Come ye poor, to the treasures of my grace. Come, ye little ones, … Come, ye afflicted and worn out ones, … Come, ye just, … Come all ye children of Adam, for I call upon you all. I am the way, the truth and the life (13, 6), and I will deny nothing that you desire to receive. My eternal Father, they are the works of Thy hands, do not despise them; for I will offer Myself as a sacrifice on the Cross, in order to restore them to justice and freedom. If they be but willing I will lead them back to the bosom of Thy elect and to their heavenly kingdom, where Thy name shall be glorified.

At all these prayers the beloved Mother was present, and in her purest soul, as in the purest crystal, the light of the Onlybegotten was reflected. His interior and exterior prayers reechoed in Her, causing Her to imitate His petitions and prayers in the same postures. When the great Lady for the first time saw Him sweat blood, her maternal heart was transfixed with sorrow and filled with astonishment at the effects caused in Christ, our Lord, by the sins and ingratitudes committed by men, foreseen by the Lord and known to Her. In the anguish of her heart she turned to her fellow mortals and exclaimed: “O children of men! Little do ye understand how highly the Lord esteems His image and likeness in you! For, as the price of your salvation, He offers His own blood and deems it little to shed all of it for you. O could I but unite your wills with mine, in order that I might bring you to love and obey Him!” (The Mystical City of God: Complete Edition Containing all Four Volumes with Illustrations. Veritatis Splendor Publications. Kindle Edition)

Continue reading “The Crucified Child Jesus of Pichincha”

K.I.S.S…

Keep It Simple is a good rule to help us stay on the true path in the post-Vatican II confusion and wreckage of the faith.

Much of the confusion results from faithful Catholics and even hierarchy not knowing the basics of their faith.  Readers ask about  various “apparitions”  which seem to them to be pious and helpful. There is also a steady drip of those who seek to promote false visions and false prophets; many of whom visited Medjugorje and decided to start their own cottage industry of pious frauds.

At times, readers point out that a particular “apparition” has the approval of the local Bishop.  That happens as a result of the disorientation caused by the Church’s defiance of Our Lady’s Message of Fatima. Disobedience breeds confusion.  When you see disobedience and confusion, you are seeing the hand of satan in the Church.

The remedy is the same as always, return to the last point at which there was the certainty of the true faith: Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. If the proposed devotion contradicts or distracts from these vital devotions, turn away!

Today, the faithful are by turns confused, misled and eventually battered into indifference by the failure of the hierarchy to provide true guidance. It has helped me considerably to simply adhere to the rule of obeying the requests of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. That little rule excludes all these diverting, even contradictory  apparitions and messages.

But since questions continue, here are a few particulars:

God is always the same, He is never going to command one thing today and then contradict Himself at a later date. This is the all-pervasive error of modernism, that God’s truth evolves to meet new situations.  Example: The Ten Commandments are as relevant today as they were in the time of Moses. By adhering to this simple rule, we avoid being misled by the false teachings of Pope Francis and his ilk on marriage and the Sacraments.

In the same vein, when God makes a demand on us, He does not withdraw it even if centuries go by without our obedience to His command. This means that Our Lord’s request to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque for public devotion to His Sacred Heart is just as imperative in 2018 as it was in 1689. The command of Our Lord Jesus Christ has not diminished in urgency in all this time; in fact, it weighs more heavily in the balance against us as time passes.

The Message of Fatima is organically coherent with that of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. In it Our Lord Himself requests that devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary be placed alongside of devotion to His most Sacred Heart.  There is absolutely no contradiction between these two devotions. They are united, complementary, that is, they complement, complete, and strengthen each other, even as the Hearts ofJesus and Mary are united. There is a beautiful theology there, which is totally consonant with all of the true faith, and an unending source of edification and grace.  There is no need or benefit from distracting apparitions, even if they at times may seem pious or at least innocuous.

After Fatima, the Catholic world was flooded with apparitions and today many even have the approval of the sorts of Bishops which have plagued the Church since the revolution of Vatican II. But if we simply use our common sense, (that is our Catholic sense!) we  readily discern that true devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary noes not benefit from most of these new devotions.

For instance, we know that Jesus asked St. Margaret Mary Alacoque for public and private veneration for the image of His Most Sacred Heart. And we know that at Fatima, Our Lady told us that Our Lord wants the Church to establish devotion to her Immaculate Heart by means of her Rosary and First Saturdays of Reparation to her Immaculate Heart and for this devotion to be placed alonside of devotion to His Sacred Heart.

And yet, Sister Faustina’s Divine Mercy devotion would have us believe that within the same timeframe of the Fatima request,  that Jesus was also appearing to Faustina requesting a different devotion, this time to an image which omits His Sacred Heart and requires the use of Our Lady’s Rosary to recite prayers which supplant her own prayers, approved by countess popes, encyclicals, saints and centuries of thoroughly Catholic piety. Why would Jesus ask for this different devotion when the earlier requests for devotion to the Immaculate Heart and the even earlier request for the Sacred Heart devotion, were not fulfilled?

Ask yourself, does this new devotion further the propagation of the earlier devotion?

Applying the same rule to the apparitions of Akita and Our Lady of Nations, we see the difference in the two: Akita’s message simply points to the suppressed portion of the Message of Fatima, reinforcing it, while the false Lady of Nations diverts attention in another direction, leading the faithful to actions which do not fulfill the commands of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Once again, the requests of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary must be our guiding rule.

Another way of expressing this rule is: the earlier approved devotions to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary take precedence over any proposed new message of devotion. If the proposed new devotion does not help us to fulfill the commands of the earlier devotion, then turn away and refocus on the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts. Obedience first, last and always.

At Return to Fatima, we urge all faithful to  Consecrate ourselves to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary and live our Consecrations in all the daily duties of our lives. There is no need for seeking after newer devotions, newer prophecies, more and more knowledge. We find our inspiration in Eucharistic Adoration (in a truly Catholic Church) in the sacraments and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, in our Rosaries, offering all to Jesus through the Immaculata: “O Jesus it is for love of Thee, for the conversion of sinners and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.”

It is such a practical, clear solution to the confusion: Look to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary, heed their requests, devote ourselves to living as they have asked us to live. It is simple, even a child can do it, as Saints Jacinta and Francisco showed us one hundred years ago!

 

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

. 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 2013-2018 ReturntoFatima.org. All Rights Reserved.

 

Begin at the Beginning, 2018

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.

To be clear, devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, through the Rosary, the means she has asked of us, must be the solid basis of all our effective actions in the world. We are in a spiritual war for our souls, it is foolish to rush into battle unprepared.

† . † . †

Immaculate Heart of Mary, you conceived the Word of God in your heart before you conceived Him in your womb, pray for us.  (Litany of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, also quoted by Father Stehlin in “Who are you, O Immaculata?”)

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 take time to 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!


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 Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

 

Today, we celebrate the Feast of the Annunciation, in which Our Lord introduces to us His Mother, and shows us her loveliness, her excellent virtues and her unique stature before the Holy Trinity. Thus, He shows us the model for our lives; “Here is My Mother”, He says, “see, we shall have the same Mother. She will teach you the virtues necessary to advance toward union with Me, so that we may rejoice together in heaven.”

Nestled within the feast of the Annunciation is the feast of the Incarnation of our Savior. The Annunciation carries within it the humility and obedience of Jesus and Mary, Who are our models for perfect, loving obedience, even unto death. And this obedience begins with the humble obedience of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Behold the handmaid of the Lord. Be it done unto me according to thy word.

“Behold the handmaid of the Lord. Be it done unto me according to thy word.”

In the Gospel of St Luke, the Holy Spirit reveals the unique importance of the Blessed Virgin Mary in God’s plan of Salvation for us. Let’s see what He tells us:

Luke, Chapter 1, 26-35. “And in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city of Galilee, called Nazareth to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. Who having heard, was troubled at his saying, and thought with herself what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said to her: “Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God.

Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and shalt bring forth a Son; and thou shalt call His name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the most High; and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of David His father; and He shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever. And of His kingdom there shall be no end.” And Mary said to the angel: How shall this be done, because I know not man?” And the angel answering, said to her: “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the most High shall overshadow thee. And therefore also the Holy which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.”

 

Continue reading “The Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary”

The Feast Day of St. Joseph, 2018

 

Today we honor St. Joseph, the spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the foster father of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Now more than ever, when traditional Catholic families are under attack even from Pope Francis and the leaders of the Church who support him, we turn to St. Joseph, strong defender of the family.

St. Teresa of Avila, the great Carmelite reformer, mystic and doctor of the Church was especially devoted to St. Joseph. From her Autobiography we read of St. Joseph, “I know by long experience what blessings he can obtain for us from God. I have never known anyone who was truly devoted to him by particular services who did not advance greatly in virtue: for he helps in a special way those souls who commend themselves to him.”

At the last apparition of Fatima, on October 13, 1917, St. Joseph appeared holding the Child Jesus, who blessed the crowds. This was an emphatic indication of the importance of St. Joseph in these turbulent times.

St. Joseph, defender of the faith, defender of families, pray for us!

Venerable Maria de Agreda, in “The Mystical City of God”, recounts the special privileges which make St. Joseph a most powerful intercessor on behalf of his children.

  • Attaining purity and overcoming sensuality.
  • Escaping sin and returning to the faith.
  • Increasing love and devotion to his spouse, the Most Blessed Virgin Mary.
  • Securing the grace of a happy death and defending the soul against the devil’s wiles at that crucial time.
  • St. Joseph is the terror of demons and they flee at his name.
  • St. Joseph is a great intercessor for all our needs, especially helpful for our families and health.

Venerable Maria de Agreda quoted Our Lady’s words to her, “That which my spouse asks of the Lord in heaven is granted upon the earth and on his intercession depend many and extraordinary favors for men if they do not make themselves unworthy of receiving them.” Indeed, trusting in St. Joseph as the foster father of our family has brought us closer to living our consecrations to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. In speaking of St. Joseph, it is difficult to adequately express his tender love for us, his willingness to protect us, even from ourselves and obtain for us the graces we need to live our consecrations.

The following is an especially appropriate prayer to St. Joseph composed by Pope Leo XIII, called Ad te Beate Joseph. It seems especially appropriate in this time of crisis of the faith in the Church and in our families, who seem to be betrayed by the very Church which should defend and nourish them. It is said before Mass by those attending Chapels of the Society of St. Pius X and Bishop Fellay is especially devoted to St. Joseph.

Ad te Beate Joseph

To thee, O blessed Joseph, do we have recourse in our tribulation, and having implored the help of thy thrice holy Spouse, we confidently invoke thy patronage also. By that charity wherewith thou wast united to the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God, and by that fatherly affection with which thou didst embrace the Child Jesus, we beseech thee and we humbly pray, that thou wouldst look graciously upon the inheritance which Jesus Christ hath purchased by His Blood, and assist us in our needs by thy power and strength.

Most watchful Guardian of the Holy Family, protect the chosen people of Jesus Christ; keep far from us, most loving father, all blight of error and corruption: mercifully assist us from heaven, most mighty defender, in this our conflict with the powers of darkness; and, even as of old thou didst rescue the Child Jesus from the supreme peril of His life, so now defend God’s Holy Church from the snares of the enemy and from all adversity; keep us one and all under thy continual protection, that we may be supported by thine example and thine assistance, may be enabled to lead a holy life, die a happy death and come at last to the possession of everlasting blessedness in heaven. Amen.
— A partial indulgence is attached to this prayer

Another favorite prayer of mine is this

Consecration to St. Joseph

Beloved St. Joseph, adopt me as thy child, take care of my salvation, watch over me day and night, preserve me from all occasion of sin, obtain for me purity of body and soul! Through thy intercession with Jesus grant me a spirit of sacrifice, of humility, self-denial, a burning love for Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament, and a sweet, tender love for Mary, my Mother. St. Joseph, be with me living, be with me dying and obtain for me a favorable judgement from Jesus, my merciful Savior. Amen

St. Joseph has brought me through so many perils to my faith and continues to protect even those of my children who are lapsed from the faith. He is a most compassionate and loving protector to all who turn to him.

It is especially beneficial to pray to St. Joseph for our good Catholic priests – In fact, St. Joseph has never let me down when I have asked him to help a specific priest and I have recently had good reason to believe that priests, in particular are very dear to his heart.

For more on St. Joseph, we offer the following:

St. Joseph Too

Fatima, St. Joseph and the family

St. Joseph, Remedy for Error

  St. Joseph, foster Father to our Lord, be foster father to our family!

  St. Joseph, protector of the Church, protect our priests!

  St. Joseph, terror of demons, cast out satan from our homes, from our families, and from the Church!

  St. Joseph intercede for us now and at the hour of our death.

~ by evensong for love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the most Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, King.

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

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

Consecration to St. Joseph

“Saint Joseph will come with the Child Jesus, to give peace to the world.”

This was the promise of Our Lady of the Rosary on August 19, 1917 in her fourth visit to the little saints of Fatima at Valinhos.  In this visit, we see Our Lord Jesus Christ and His Blessed Mother welcoming us into the safety and security of their own Holy Family. Let’s make use of this blessing!

In this year of grace we have been given, we do well to turn to St. Joseph and so we offer the following 18 day program to prepare for consecration, and hope that even if you are unable to do all the exercises, perhaps you could do a small amount daily for the 18 days.  The main object is to give you the resources for a greater devotion to this immensely important saint. Our Lord Jesus Christ offers us, in these difficult times, a secure place in His own Holy Family; let’s not spurn His loving invitation.

March is the month of St. Joseph as well as the month of our Lent, and we offer again in his honor this program for Consecration to St. Joseph and the Holy Family. It is an 18 day program and so if we start today, we will complete it on Passion Sunday, which is the eve of St. Joseph’s Feast day, March 19th.   Many have told me that they are expecting this Lent to be a tough one for them, with all the upheaval of the current papacy. Let us then turn to St. Joseph as our guide!

Dear readers, I hope you will consider that taking a bit of time to seek the strength and protection of St. Joseph. It is far from a burden; Our Lady told Sister Lucia that St. Joseph will give us peace. Let’s seek his peace amid the trials and confusion in the Passion of the Church.

In times of trial, go to St. Joseph!

St. Joseph, defender of the faith, defender of families, pray for us!

Dear readers, we know that the Sacred Hearts of our Lord Jesus Christ and His Immaculate Mother are inseparable. And we know that this self-same Mother is also the most pure and perfect Spouse of the Holy Ghost, and the most beloved and treasured child of the Eternal Father. We know as well that this loving Father entrusted these two most beloved beings, Jesus and Mary, to St. Joseph to guard and protect them from the hostile powers of the Lord of the World and those who serve him. And now, in these dark and calamitous times when our families and our very faith are under attack from those who should protect and nurture it, we turn again to St. Joseph, to the Holy Family, inseparably united to the Most Holy Trinity, to keep us safe in the faith of all times.

Readers, do not be surprised if soon the few small certainties and comforts of the faith are taken from us, for as Cardinal Manning said,

These are times of sifting. Our Divine Lord is standing in the Church: “His fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly cleanse His (own) and He will gather the grain into His barn, and will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” It is a time of trial, when ‘some of the learned shall fall’, and those only shall be saved who are steadfast to the end. … Saint Alphonsus says: ‘Hence St. Bonaventure says that in the Mass God manifests to us all the love that He has borne us, and includes in it, as in a compendium, all His benefits. On this account the Devil has always endeavored to abolish the Mass throughout the world by means of heretics, making them the precursors of Antichrist who, before all things, will endeavor to abolish, and in fact will, in punishment for the sins of men, succeed in abolishing the Holy Sacrifice of the Altar, according to the prediction of Daniel: ‘And strength was given him against the continual sacrifice because of sins.’

We must understand, and help others to understand, the importance of using the precious little time we have left to bond ourselves as securely as possible to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. To this end, I have posted often on Total Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

And now, I hope that you will avail yourselves of an additional help to accomplish this, which is Consecration to St. Joseph, the faithful Guardian of Jesus and Mary, appointed by our loving Father Himself. At Fatima in 1917, Our Lady promised the little shepherds that in October, St. Joseph and the Child Jesus would come to “bless us with peace”. We need this peace! And while we struggle to live our Consecrations to Jesus through Mary, St. Joseph goes before us to lead us safely to our goal, so that we may be truly one holy family, now and always, in the glory of God, the Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

Continue reading “Consecration to St. Joseph”

Purification and Presentation, 2018

Today, which is also a First Friday,  we offer a new post to commemorate one of the oldest feasts in the Church, the Purification of Mary and the Presentation of the infant Jesus in the Temple.

The feast of the Purification of Mary is also the feast of the Presentation of the Child Jesus in the Temple, and both rites were observed in order to fulfill Mosaic Law; that is to say, this venerable old feast is all about obedience! The obedience of Mary, the most pure and perfect example of God’s creation humbly submitting to the ancient Mosaic Law of purification, and the Divine Infant, truly God as well as truly man, submitting in utmost humility to the Mosaic Law, consecrating God to God as it were.

As we consider the Blessed Virgin Mary and her Divine Child in the Temple, we note that it is in their actions, that is to say, in their choices, that we learn the essential truths of our faith and begin to grasp the significance of the choices we ourselves are required to make. For humility demands obedience, and wherever we see true obedience, there is humility in action.

It was a common sight in those days to see proud young fathers and mothers present their first born sons in the great Temple of Jerusalem. There was perhaps, little to distinguish the Holy Family as they brought in their infant Son, wending their way through the throng of devout Jews. However, in stark contrast to the other women  offering their sons, Mary’s consecration of Jesus under the Old Law was to be consummated on the altar of the Cross, the turning point in salvation history, fulfilling the Old Law and beginning the New Law. Thus, Mary’s offering was, on this day, nothing less than the obedient acceptance of the complete oblation of the Sacred Victim, her beloved Son.

For God so loved His creation that in order to save men from their sins, He spared not even His own beloved Son but delivered Him up to save us all, as St. Paul reminds us. God’s justice demanded that the Blessed Virgin Mary know in full every aspect of the sacrifice that was demanded of her innocent Son. This was, as St. Francis de Sales reminds us, so that “together with the sacrifice of the life of the Son, the heart of the mother might be sacrificed also. … although Mary, from the moment she was made mother of Jesus, gave her consent to His death, yet the Lord wished her on this day to make in the Temple a solemn sacrifice of herself, by offering solemnly her Son, and sacrificing to the divine justice His precious life.”

“This child is set for the fall, and for the resurrection of many in Israel, and for a sign which shall be contradicted.”

As we consider the scene, we note Simeon’s great sorrow; for although  God had promised him that he should not die before seeing Christ the Saviour, he now realized the immense suffering which these two innocents would have to endure. Thus it was with an immeasurable sorrow that Simeon addressed the most Blessed Virgin Mary,  “And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that, out of many hearts, thoughts may be revealed.”

At the moment when the priest Simeon mentioned the sword and the sign of contradiction, which were prophetical of the passion and death of the Lord, the Child bowed His head, signifying His acceptance of Simeon’s prophecy as the sentence of the eternal Father pronounced by His minister. All this the loving Mother noticed and understood. She felt the sorrow predicted by Simeon and was wounded by the sword, of which She had thus been warned. As in a mirror her spirit was made to see all the mysteries included in this prophecy; how her most holy Son was to be the stone of stumbling (1),  the perdition of the unbelievers, and the salvation of the faithful; the fall of the synagogue and the establishment of the Church among the heathens; She foresaw the triumph to be gained over the devils and over death, but also that a great price was to be paid for it, namely her Son’s frightful agony and death on the Cross. She foresaw the boundless opposition and contradiction, which the Lord Jesus was to sustain both personally and in His Church (2). At the same time she also saw the glory and excellence of the predestined souls.

For Mary kept all this in her Immaculate Heart, bearing within her soul such a profound sorrow that no human can ever fathom. The saints assure us that ever after, each glance at this divine, innocent and most lovable Son yielded the most intense pangs of sorrow. St. Francis de Sales explains further,

Thus, Mary not only offered her Son to death that day in the Temple, but was offering Him up at every moment of her life; for she revealed to St. Bridget that this grief which St. Simeon announced to her, never left her heart till she was assumed into heaven. Hence St. Anselm says: ‘Oh Lady, I cannot believe, that with such a sorrow thou would have been able to live one moment, if God Himself, who gives life, had not strengthened thee by His divine power.’ And St. Bernard affirms, speaking of the great sorrow that Mary endured on this day, that hence forth she suffered a living death, bearing a grief more cruel than death. She lived, dying at every moment, because grief for the death of her beloved Jesus was at every moment assailing her.

What lesson can we draw from this Mystery of the Presentation? If we are to be truly Mary’s children, living our consecrations to her, then we must accept with equanimity the sorrows and sufferings given to us; not only those we ourselves endure but also those we behold suffered by the Bride of Christ, that is, the Church. The Immaculate Virgin offered up her sufferings united with those of her Divine Son and Saviour. She was silent before Herod, and she was silent as Jesus stood before the Sanhedrin,  and before Pilate. This is not to say she was indifferent. Not at all. Indeed, Mary held all of this, every brutality and indignity suffered by her beloved Son was held in her Immaculate and Sorrowful Heart. We her children, can do no less, nor should we seek to do more. For as a loving child, in obedience to the Mother, models his behaviour on hers, we attend to all our Saviour’s sufferings, we do not turn away, but abide with Him in sorrowful love with Mary our Mother, offering all in reparation.

Now the above essay should not be construed as the encouragement of what Dr. Roberto de Mattei rightfully condemns as minimalism, that is the willful neglect of our duty to confront the errors in the Church. In her Message of Fatima, our most Blessed Mother has providentially given us the means for increasing sanctifying grace in our lives to nourish our souls and provide us with the spiritual weapons for this great battle for the Church, for souls, Now this battle requires that we confront the enemy at every  opportunity.  Dr. de Mattei reported on the case of a priest using his pulpit at Mass to scandalize the congregation by denying the Credo and the priest in another area that advised the faithful of their obligation to stand up and counter this public apostasy of the faith.  Have you considered what you would do in such a situation?

I must admit, on the three occasions when I observed offenses against the faith during a diocesan TLM, (all in the same diocese, but in different churches) I just got up and walked out. For a timid person, it was a bit of a stretch, but I did do my best to explain to others why I will no longer attend Mass there. The result was not exactly stellar,  just one family followed suit, but they are a beautiful family, five souls now attending a Society Chapel exclusively. And we never tire of working and praying for more!

One effective form of action is to become informed and then spread the word, about the anti-life agenda of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. I suggest Michael Hichborn’s post on the Lepanto Institute site, LINK. The amount of money being raked in by these corrupt wolves in shepherd’s clothing is astounding.  Speaking out on this to other Catholics whenever possible is not only a good way to serve the Truth, it is an opportunity for penance, as we all no doubt know!

Today, the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary continues to suffer as the current occupiers of the Vatican, filled with passionate intensity continue their war to eclipse the true Church, Christ’s Pure and Holy Bride, with the Luciferian Church of Man. So many souls are swept away in this maelstrom!

Please, renew your consecration this day! And don’t forget tomorrow is First Saturday of Reparation!

Footnotes

(1) In this phrase we note the terrible sorrow of Mary for all the chosen souls who turn from the truth and are lost forever. Many of whom are her own children who chose to disobey.

(2) Even as  those first “Chosen People”, the race of Jesus Christ and His most Blessed Mother, rejected His saving grace, so also the Church today rejects His grace. This is to complete the cycle. And even as Jerusalem was destroyed for its perfidious rejection, so also we shall see the parallel in our own day.

For our accustomed post on the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary, see here.

The above post quotes and paraphrases articles by Saint Francis de Sales  (available on Kindle by Catholic Way) and Venerable Mother Maria de Agreda (Mystical City, Veritatis Splendor Pub.).  Both are on Kindle.

  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 2013-2018 ReturntoFatima.org. All Rights Reserved.

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.

Continue reading “The Holy Family, 2018”

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”