The Merits of the Dolours of Mary

 

Something special for today, in honor of the Sorrowful Heart of Mary, from the writings of Father Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P., “The Mother of the Saviour: And Our Interior Life”.

 

The Cause of her Sorrows

What was the profound cause of Mary’s sorrows on Calvary? Every Christian soul for whom practice has made the Stations of the Cross familiar will answer: the cause of Mary’s sorrows, as of those of Jesus, was sin. Happy the souls for whom that answer is a vital truth, who experience true sorrow at the thought of their own sins—a sorrow that only grace can produce in them.

We understand but little of the sorrows of Mary, for little grieves us except what wounds our bodies, our self-love, our vanity, or our pride. We suffer too from men’s ingratitude, from the afflictions of our family or our native land. But sin grieves us but little. We have but little sorrow for our faults considered as offenses against God.

In theory, we admit that sin is the greatest of evils since it affects the soul itself and its faculties, and since it is the cause of the disorders which we deplore in society; it is only too evidently the cause of the enmity between classes and nations. But in spite of that we do not experience any great sorrow for the faults whereby we contribute more or less ourselves to the general disorder.

 

Sin and our superficiality

Our superficiality and our inconstancy prevent us from seeing what an evil sin is; precisely because it strikes so deep it cannot be known by those who look only at the surface. In its manner of ravaging souls and society, sin is like one of those diseases which affect vital but hidden organs, and which the sufferer is ignorant of even while they near a crisis.

To experience salutary grief, grief for sin, it is necessary truly to love God whom sin offends and sinners whom it destroys. The saints suffered from sin in the degree in which they loved God and souls. St. Catherine of Siena recognized souls in the state of mortal sin by the insupportable odor which they exhaled.

But to know just how far grief for sin can go, one must turn to the heart of Mary. Her grief sprang from an unequalled love for God, for Jesus crucified, and for souls—a love which surpassed that of the greatest saints, and even of all the saints united, a love which had never ceased to grow, a love which had never been restrained by the slightest fault or imperfection. If such was Mary’s love, what must her grief have been!

Unlike us who are so superficial, she saw with piercing clarity what it was that caused the loss of so many souls” the concupiscence of the flesh, the concupiscence of the eyes, the pride of life. All sins combined to add to her grief; all revolts against God, all outbursts of sacrilegious rage, such as that which reached its paroxysm in the cry “Crucify Him” and in utter hatred of Him who is the Light Divine and the Author of Salvation.

Mary’s grief was deep as was her love, both natural and supernatural, of her Son. She loved Him with a virginal love, most pure and tender; loved Him as her only Son, miraculously conceived, and as her God. To understand Mary’s dolours, one would need to have received, as did the stigmatics, the impression of the wounds of the Saviour; one would need to have relived with the mystics His physical and moral sufferings, and to have shared with Him the hours of His Passion and Death.

We shall try once more to speak of this matter when considering Mary as Mediatrix and Co-Redemptrix, and the reparation which she offered with, and by, and in her Son. Mary’s love in her dolours was meritorious for us and for her also. By her sufferings she grew in charity as well as in faith, and hope, and religion; she grew in fact in all the virtues—those of humility, and meekness, and supernatural courage suggesting themselves especially to the mind. Her virtue in suffering was heroic in the highest degree.

Thereby she became Queen of Martyrs. On the hill of Calvary, grace and charity overflowed from the Heart of Jesus to the heart of His mother. He it was who sustained her, just as it was she who sustained St. John. Jesus offered up her martyrdom as well as His own, and she offered herself with her Son, who was more dear to her than her own life. If the least of the acts of Nazareth increased Mary’s charity, what must have been the effect of her participation in the Cross of Jesus!

 

Merit and Pain

A meritorious work becomes satisfactory (or one of reparation and expiation) when there is something painful about it. Hence, in offering His life in the midst of the greatest physical and moral sufferings, Jesus offered satisfaction of an infinite and superabundant value to His Father. He alone could make satisfaction in strict justice since the value of satisfaction like that of merit comes from the person, and the Person of Jesus, being divine, was of infinite dignity

Mary offered God a satisfaction which it was becoming that He should accept: Jesus satisfied for us in strict justice. As Mother of the Redeemer, Mary was closely united to Jesus by perfect conformity of will, by humility, by poverty, by suffering—and most particularly by her compassion on Calvary. That is what is meant when it is said that she offered satisfaction along with Him. Her satisfaction derives its value from her dignity as Mother of God, from her great charity, from the fact that there was no fault in herself which needed to be expiated, and from the intensity of her sufferings.

The Fathers treat of this when they speak of Mary “standing” at the foot of the Cross, as St. John says. (John 19:25). They recall the words of Simeon, “Thy own soul a sword shall pierce,” and they show that Mary suffered in proportion to her love for her crucified Son; in proportion also to the cruelty of His executioners, and the atrocity of the torments inflicted on Him Who was Innocence itself.

The liturgy also has taught many generations of the faithful that Mary merited the title of Queen of Martyrs by her most painful martyrdom of heart. That is the lesson of the Feasts of the Compassion of the Blessed Virgin and of the Seven Dolours, as well as of the Stabat Mater. Leo XIII summed up this doctrine in the statement that Mary was associated with Jesus in the painful work of the redemption of mankind.

Pope St. Pius X calls her “the repairer of the fallen world” and continues to show how she was united to the priesthood of her Son: “Not only because she consented to become the mother of the only Son of God so as to make sacrifice for the salvation of men possible, but also in the fact that she accepted the mission of protecting and nourishing the Lamb of sacrifice, and when the time came led Him to the altar of immolation – in this also must we find Mary’s glory.  Mary’s community of life and sufferings with her Son was never broken off.

Mary’s sufferings have the character of satisfaction from the fact that like Jesus and in union with Him, she suffered because of sin or of the offence it offers to God. This suffering of hers was measured by her love of God Whom sin offended, by her love of Jesus crucified for our sins, and by her love of us whom sin had brought to spiritual ruin. In other words, it was measured by her fulness of grace, which had never ceased to increase from the time of the Immaculate Conception.

NOTE: By meditating on her Sorrowful Mysteries, we, as her children, learn to share in our beloved Mother’s suffering for sin – in fact, we are called to do so. In further point of fact, it is only by this means. by her Rosary, that we shall be able to make the essential reparation for sin! Think on this! Then, you may see why I am so strident in this regard. We do not need more self-important people bustling about, full of their own importance, proclaiming “truths”  of their own devising. No, we need to humble ourselves to the anonymous work of offering the loving reparation that  the Sacred Heart of Jesus and His Immaculate Mother have so patiently been pleading for.

 

Mary’s Greater Love

Already Mary had merited more by the easiest acts than the martyrs in their torments because of her greater love. What must have been the value of her sufferings at the foot of the Cross, granted the understanding she then had of the mystery of the Redemption! In the spiritual light which then flooded her soul, Mary saw that all souls are called to sing the glory of God. Every soul is called to be as it were a ray of the divinity, a spiritual ray of knowledge and love, for our minds are made to know God and our wills to love Him.

But though the heavens tell God’s glory unfailingly, thousands of souls turn from their Creator. Instead of that divine radiation, instead of God’s exterior glory and His Kingdom, there are found in countless souls the three wounds called by St. John —  the concupiscence of the flesh, the concupiscence of the eyes, and the pride of life — living as if there were no desirable love except carnal love, no glory except that of fame and honor, and no Lord and Master, no end, except man himself. Mary saw all that evil, all those wounds in souls, just as we see the evils and wounds of bodies.

Her fulness of grace had given her an immense capacity to suffer from the greatest of evils, sin. She suffered as much as she loved God and souls: God offended by sin and souls whom it rendered worthy of eternal damnation. Most of all did Mary see the crime of deicide prepared in hearts and brought to execution: she saw the terrible paroxysm of hatred of Him who is the Light and the Author of salvation.

To understand her sufferings, we must think too of her love, both natural and supernatural, of her only Son Whom she not only loved but, in the literal sense of the term, adored since He was her God. She had conceived Him miraculously. She loved Him with the love of a virgin—the purest, richest and most tender charity that has ever been a mother’s. Nor was her grief diminished by ignorance of anything that might make it more acute. She knew the reason for the crucifixion.

 

All for sinners

She knew the hatred of the Jews, His chosen people—her people. She knew that it was all for sinners. From the moment when Simeon foretold the Passion—already so clearly prophesied by Isaias—and her compassion, she offered and did not cease to offer Him Who would be Priest and Victim, and herself in union with Him. This painful oblation was renewed over years. Of old, an angel had descended to prevent Abraham’s immolation of his son Isaac. But no angel came to prevent the immolation of Jesus.

In his sermon on the Compassion of our Lady, we read the following magnificent words of Bossuet:

“It is the will of the Eternal Father that Mary should not only be immolated with the Innocent Victim and nailed to the Cross by the nails that pierce Him, but should as well be associated with the mystery which is accomplished by His death. . .  Three things occur in the sacrifice of Our Saviour and constitute its perfection. There are the sufferings by which His humanity was crushed. There is His resignation to the will of His Father by which He humbly offered Himself. There is the fruitfulness by which He brings us to the life of grace by dying Himself. He suffers as a victim who must be bruised and destroyed. He submits as a priest who sacrifices freely; voluntarie sacrificabo tibi. (Ps. 53:8). Finally He brings us to life by His sufferings as the Father of a new people. . . .

“Mary stands near the Cross. With what eyes she contemplates her Son all covered with blood, all covered with wounds, in form now hardly a man! The sight is enough to cause her death. If she draws near to that altar, it is to be immolated there: and there, in fact, does she feel Simeon’s sword pierce her heart. . . . “But did her dolors overcome her, did her grief cast her to the ground? Stabat juxta crucem: she stood by the Cross. The sword pierced her heart but did not take away her strength of soul: her constancy equals her affliction, and her face is the face of one no less resigned than afflicted.

“What remains then but that Jesus who sees her feel His sufferings and imitate His resignation should have given her a share in His fruitfulness. It is with that thought that He gave her John to be her son: Woman, behold thy son. Woman, who suffer with me, be fruitful with me, be the mother of my children whom I give you unreservedly in the person of this disciple; I give them life by my sufferings, and sharing in the bitterness that is mine your affliction will make you fruitful.”

“(Mary) is the Eve of the New Testament and the mother of all the faithful; but that is to be at the price of her Firstborn. United to the Eternal Father she must offer His Son and hers to death. It is for that purpose that providence has brought her to the foot of the Cross. She is there to immolate her Son that men may have life. . . . She becomes mother of Christians at the cost of an immeasurable grief . . . We should never forget what we have cost Mary. The thought will lead to true contrition for our sins. The regeneration of our souls has cost Jesus and Mary more than we can ever think.

Mary the Co-Redemptrix has given us birth at the foot of the Cross by the greatest act of faith, hope and love that was possible to her on such an occasion. One may even say that her act of faith was the greatest ever elicited, since Jesus had not the virtue of faith but the beatific vision. In that dark hour when the faith of the Apostles themselves seemed to waver, when Jesus seemed vanquished and His work annihilated, Mary did not cease for an instant to believe that her Son was the Saviour of mankind, and that in three days He would rise again as He had foretold. When He uttered His last words “It is consummated” Mary understood in the fulness of her faith that the work of salvation had been accomplished by His most painful immolation.

 

Consoler of the Afflicted

Mary’s heart suffered in sympathy with all the agony of the Sacred Heart to such a point that she would have died of the experience had she not been especially strengthened. Thereby she became the consoler of the afflicted, for she had suffered more than all, and patroness of a happy death. We have no idea how fruitful these sufferings of hers have been during twenty centuries.

(Garrigou-Lagrange O.P., Reverend Reginald. “The Mother of the Saviour: And Our Interior Life”.

Please pray the Rosary, make the First Saturdays of reparation and promote this devotion, so many souls depend on it.

  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, 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!

The Fifth Visit, September 13, 1917

 

So much has happened since then, hasn’t it? One hundred and two years ago . . .

By the time of Our Lady’s Fifth Visit to Fatima on September 13, 1917, nearly  30,000 people had gathered at the Cova da Iria. While waiting for noon to arrive, Lúcia led the Rosary for the crowd. At noon, a certain phenomenon announced the arrival of Our Lady to many in the crowd.

“In October I will perform a miracle so that all may believe.”

Again drawing from various sources, but especially from Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité we read:

Among the numerous testimonies describing the marvels which Our Lady wished to accompany Her coming, the most detailed is undoubtedly from Father John Quaresma, who later on became Vicar General of Leiria. He had come there incognito, in secular clothing with two other priests, Fathers Manuel do Carmo Gois and Manuel Pereira da Silva, in the same dress. All three surveyed the events from an elevation at the side of the Cova.  In 1932, Msgr. Quaresma, in a letter to his colleague Msgr. Carmo Gois, recalls the prodigious event of September 13 in all its details:

“On a beautiful September morning we left Leiria in a rickety carriage drawn by an old horse, for the spot where the much discussed apparitions were to take place. Father Gois found the high point of the vast amphitheatre from which we could observe events without approaching too nearly the place where the children were awaiting the apparition. At midday (solar time) there was complete silence. One only heard the murmur of prayers.

“Suddenly there were sounds of jubilation and voices praising the Blessed Virgin. Arms were raised pointing to something in the sky. “Look, don’t you see?” “Yes, yes, I do…!” There was much satisfaction on the part of those who did. There had not been a cloud in the deep blue sky and I too raised my eyes and scrutinized it in case I should be able to distinguish what the others, more fortunate than I, had already claimed to have seen. With great astonishment I saw, clearly and distinctly, a luminous globe, which moved from the east to the west, gliding slowly and majestically through space. My friends also looked and had the good fortune to enjoy the same unexpected and delightful vision. Suddenly the globe, with its extraordinary light, disappeared. Near us was a little girl dressed like Lúcia and more or less the same age. She continued to cry out happily: “I still see it! I still see it! Now it’s coming down!”

“It then began to approach the holm oak of the apparition. Then the sun’s brightness diminished, the atmosphere became golden yellow, like the other times. Some people even reported being able to distinguish the stars in the sky. Lúcia began to speak …

“What does Your Grace want of me?”

“Continue to say the Rosary in order to obtain the end of the war. In October, Our Lord will come, as well as Our Lady of Sorrows and Our Lady of Carmel. Saint Joseph will appear with the Child Jesus in order to bless the world.”

Then, regarding the penitential practice of wearing the coarse rope around their waists, Our Lady told Lúcia:

“God is satisfied with your sacrifices, but He does not want you to sleep with the rope. Wear it only during the day.”

The fourth Memoir adds:

“In October I will perform a miracle so that all may believe.”

Then Our Lady began to rise as usual, and disappeared.

AN AMAZING “RAIN OF FLOWERS”

During the time of the apparition the majority of the pilgrims had enjoyed a marvelous spectacle: they saw falling from Heaven a shower of white petals, or round, shining snowflakes which slowly descended and disappeared as they approached the ground. Here are a few testimonies:

“Very high up we saw little white forms like snow in the air, coming across from the east to the west. One could say they were doves, but we could clearly see that they were not birds. On the slope, to the west, stood Father Joaquim Ferreira Gonzalves das Neves, parish priest of Santa Catarina da Serra… I turned towards him and asked him if he saw something. He said no. I indicated the direction to him, and suddenly he declared that he saw also.”

It was an unheard of phenomenon, which the witnesses were not able to describe very well:  “One might think they were stars”, declared Manuel Gonzalves, from the hamlet of Montelo. Others spoke of a rain of white roses, which vanished at the approach of the ground.

A MYSTERIOUS CLOUD

The Blessed Virgin wished to give the crowd gathered around the holm oak where She was appearing another sign of Her presence:

“A pleasant looking cloud formed around the rustic arch which dominated the little tree-stump. Rising up from the ground, it grew thicker and went up into the air until it was five or six metres high; then it disappeared like smoke that vanishes before the wind.

“A few moments later, similar curls of smoke were formed and disappeared in the same manner, and then a third time.”

“Everything happened as though some invisible thurifers were incensing the Vision liturgically. The three incensations together lasted the whole time of the apparition, that is from ten to fifteen minutes.”

In his letter approving devotion to Our Lady of Fatima, the Bishop of Leiria declared this phenomenon “humanly speaking inexplicable”.

THE LUMINOUS GLOBE GOES BACK UP TO HEAVEN

Not everything was over with yet. At the end of the Apparition, when the Blessed Virgin had finished transmitting Her message, Lúcia  exclaimed: “If you want to see Her, look over there! And she pointed with her finger towards the east. Then once again the luminous globe having an oval form could be seen, going up into the air and leaving the Cova da Iria in the direction of the east.

Here is the conclusion of Msgr. Quaresma’s account:

“After a few minutes, about the duration of the Apparitions, the child began to exclaim again, pointing to the sky: ‘Now it’s going up again!’ And she followed the globe with her eyes until it disappeared in the direction of the sun.”

“What do you think of that globe?” I asked my companion, who seemed enthusiastic at what he had seen. “That it was Our Lady”, he replied without hesitation. It was my undoubted conviction also. The children had contemplated the very Mother of God, while to us it had been given to see the means of transport which had brought Her from Heaven to the inhospitable waste of the Serra de Aire.

“I must emphasize that all those around us appeared to have seen the same thing, for one heard manifestations of joy and praise of Our Lady. But some saw nothing. Near us was a simple devout creature weeping bitterly because she had seen nothing.

“We felt remarkably happy. My companion went from group to group in the Cova and afterwards on the road, gathering information. Those he questioned were of all sorts and kinds and of different social standing, but one and all affirmed the reality of the phenomena which we ourselves had witnessed.”

THE MESSAGE OF THE SIGNS

Far from overwhelming the little seers with interminable discourses which they would not be able to remember, Our Lady showed an admirable pedagogy at Fatima. She contented Herself to humbly take up certain themes, all closely connected, and She repeated them from month to month, each time adding some new element. Thus on October 13, She repeats almost entirely, although in a different way, Her words of September 13. Thus it will be more fruitful to comment on Her last two messages at the same time…

Let us consider what constitutes the originality of this fifth apparition, that is the striking atmospheric signs which accompanied the coming of Our Lady and Her return to Heaven. To be sure, they were first and above all sensible proofs mercifully granted by Her, to convince still more the crowds of the faithful gathered in the Cova da Iria of the reality of Her presence. And in fact these signs would encourage innumerable pilgrims to return for the last rendezvous, to the point where there were almost twice as many, from 50,000 to 80,000!

But the miracles of Our Lord and the signs accomplished by Our Lady of Fatima are not only extraordinary facts which bear witness to their supernatural origin, they are also symbols rich in meaning, the sensible expressions of a mystery… Thus all the surprising marvels of September 13, which filled with joy all those who had the privilege of contemplating them were like a language, the discreet and veiled manifestation of the Immaculate Virgin who during this time appeared in brilliant light to Her three usual confidants. And first of all, this luminous globe which preceded the apparition…

THE IMMACULATE ONE CAME DOWN FROM HEAVEN

Yes, such was indeed the clearest conclusion spontaneously drawn by all those who had seen the mysterious luminous globe slowly and majestically gliding into space, going from east to west, to descend finally on the holm oak of the apparition, before going back into space, in the direction of the east. The sign was simple, and its meaning was obvious to all: “It was Our Lady who came!” exclaimed Father Gois. And Father Quaresma explained: “The little shepherds had seen the Mother of God Herself. To us it had been given to see the means of transport, if one may so express it,  which had brought Her from Heaven to the inhospitable waste of the Serra de Aire.”

Frère Michel takes pains in his account to make clear that an essential function of the apparition was to emphasise the reality of the Blessed Virgin’s glorified body appearing there. Not some mystical appearance of a symbolic representation of Mary, but she herself. We need to bear this in mind in order to counteract the pernicious effects of modernism, always to undermine the physical reality of Jesus’s real presence and Mary’s as well.

Despite the modernists, at Fatima as at Lourdes, much evidence allows us to affirm that Heaven visited the earth, the Virgin Mary descended in person in Her risen body to appear to the three shepherds, to transmit Her message to them, and comfort the innumerable crowds with Her invisible presence. Then She went back up to Heaven, resplendent with Light, always towards the east from whence She had come.

This last detail, very well attested by the seers, is still another symbolic trait rich in biblical reminiscences: Does it not remind us of the Spouse in the Canticle of Canticles? “Who is She that cometh forth as the dawn, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, terrible as an army in battle array?” (Canticles 6, 9)

THE IMMACULATE ONE, ARK OF THE NEW COVENANT

During all the apparitions since June 13, many witnesses had noticed a thin white cloud, very pleasant to look at, forming above the holm oak. It remained there for the whole duration of the apparition, before gently going up in the sky towards the east, before finally disappearing. In August, almost everybody could see it. The same phenomenon took place on September 13, but in an even more lavish manner, since the unusual cloud formed and then disappeared three times in a row, during the ten minutes Our Lady had spoken to the children.

This mysterious cloud which enveloped the apparition, as if to manifest its presence while concealing it at the same time, does it not remind us once again of the great biblical theophanies? Certainly, for from the giving of the law to Moses on Sinai to the Transfiguration of Jesus on Mount Tabor, the cloud always appears in sacred history as the symbol and sensible expression of the divine Presence. But how can we explain the fact that a creature, even the most sublime, the Blessed Virgin, could manifest Herself in the glorious aura of a specifically divine attribute?

The answer is rich in mystical significance and is taught in the Gospel of St. Luke, by way of allusion but still quite clearly: through a series of hints that the exegetes have perfectly grasped, the Evangelist identifies the Virgin Mary with the Ark of the Covenant. This Ark, hidden under the Tent, was like a movable sanctuary, the place where Yahweh had fixed His residence, accompanying Israel in its wanderings; and the Cloud manifested His presence. As soon as the Ark was introduced, we read in the Book of Exodus, “the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.” (Ex. 40:34-35) After the building of the Temple by Solomon, the Ark was solemnly carried in by the priests to the Holy of Holies. And finally, it is by the Cloud that Yahweh manifests that He is taking possession of His Temple, and establishes His abode there.

Now the symbolism is clear: by manifesting Herself in the cloud in each of Her apparitions, did not Our Lady wish to signify to us one of the most sublime aspects of Her mystery? In these three clouds observed on September 13 and October 13, which also remind us of the triple incensation in the liturgy, the Immaculate Virgin shows us that She is the Abode and the Temple of God, the Sanctuary of the Holy Trinity, and the Ark of the New Covenant. In addition to Her message, it seems that at Fatima the Virgin Mary wished to teach us, in an incomparable synthesis, and in both a sensible and symbolic manner, all the highest perfections of Her personal vocation, already chanted for many centuries by the liturgy of the Church: “Ark of the Covenant, pray for us!”

THE  IMMACULATE  ONE,  DISPENSER  OF  A  SHOWER  OF  GRACES

As for the gracious shower of rose petals or snowflakes, the significance can be grasped immediately. The symbolism is so natural that the expression “a shower of graces” has become commonplace. For example, we need only recall the beautiful words of St. Therese of the Child Jesus who, planning to spend her Heaven doing good on earth, said to her sister: “You’ll see, it will be like a shower of roses.”

At Rue du Bac, Our Lady had declared to St. Catherine Laboure: “Come to the foot of this altar. Here, graces will be poured out on everybody who will ask for them with confidence.” Is it not the same pressing invitation that Our Lady wished to express at the Cova da Iria, by the eloquent symbol of a preternatural rain? Unquestionably yes. And as if to encourage the pilgrims to come en masse to this blessed place, where she showered Her graces profusely, she renewed the same prodigy of this mysterious rain on May 13, 1918, and one more time, on May 13, 1924: this time Bishop da Silva of Leiria was at the Cova da Iria and could bear witness to it himself.

BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO HAVE NOT SEEN AND HAVE BELIEVED!

And yet, Msgr. Quaresma writes, “some people saw nothing at all.” “It seems that the proportion of those who saw nothing was about a third of the total”, Canon Barthas’ remarks. Did Our Lady wish to try their faith? It seems likely. Far from favoring only the believers, or those who intensely desired to finally see tangible proofs of the supernatural character of the events, many of them did not notice any extraordinary phenomenon that day. The privation of this consolation was a hard trial for them! It remained for them to have blind confidence in the words of Our Lady, and to continue firmly hoping to be more fortunate on October 13; for She had promised since July 13, and repeated this promise to the seers on September 13: “In October, I will perform a miracle so that all may see and believe.”

Carefully note Our Lady’s choice of words, “So that all may believe.”!  Here is the Immaculate Mother of God affirming that Fatima is a message for all. That is, Fatima is not simply a private revelation that we may choose to ignore!

You have only to look around you to see the depths to which our society has fallen. The Message of Fatima was a warning that has been largely unheeded and therefore its promises will tragically be missed by the largest part of humanity. As I survey this sad scene around me, it is as if I see a man dying of thirst in the desert; he is within reach of the cool, refreshing water of an oasis but will not consider it, for he has determined it does not exist; there can be no oasis, he insists, because it is a mirage.  It never crosses his mind that perhaps he has misjudged, and so, he perishes.

 

Please note: the above post quotes extensively from Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité, whose books can be downloaded for free from archive.org, here:

The Whole Truth About Fatima, Vol. 1

The Whole Truth About Fatima, Vol. 2

The Whole Truth About Fatima, Vol. 3

The three links to archive.org should give you nice, clean readable text, unlike other links given previously. I downloaded them as epub files for mac and as mobi files for Kindle and highly recommend their readability. The Kindle version has a very good linked table of contents. I hope they will prove useful to you.

And also from two excellent ebooks by KIC, which I highly recommend:

Fatima: The Signs and Secrets Kindle Edition

Fatima in Lucia’s Own Words: The Memoirs of Sister Lucia, the Last Fatima Visionary Kindle Edition

Thank you for reading! I pray for you always.

May Our Lady of the Rosary, the Immaculata, Queen of Heaven, be our refuge and bring us safely to heaven!

  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!

Hurricane Dorian – Prayer in Time of Storms

 

NOTE: 2 Sept. 2019: Due to the danger posed by Hurricane Dorian, we will keep this post at the top of the site and ask readers to please pray for the safety of those in the path, especially for their immortal souls. Whether people accept the truth or not, we all do have to face Our Lord Jesus Christ as our Judge. Those who have spurned His mercy, will nevertheless meet Him as Judge. That fearful thought should animate us to offer prayers and reparation for all those in the path of the storm.

Hurricane Dorian, 2019

According to the latest weather advisory, Florida appears to be right in the path of hurricane Dorian. and so we re-post our Family Prayers for Protection in Storms.

For those in the projected path, please consider enthroning images of the  Sacred and Immaculate Hearts in your home, and consecrating your family and yourself.  If you do not have an image of the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts, there are many good sites for them to download and print.  It has been given to Our Lady to defeat satan and to bring us safely to heaven, so consecrate your family to her and trust her. She never forsakes her children!

In our sidebar to the right, if you click on the image of the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts, it takes you to our Family Consecration page and all the prayers are there for Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Immaculate Heart of Mary, St. Joseph and so on. Even though the ideal is to prepare carefully for your consecration, in time of trial the important thing is do consecrate yourself and your family. Now, back to our prayers in the storms. Even if you are not in the path, please consider praying these for those who are.

 

Blessing in Tempests
O Lord Jesus Christ, most merciful Savior, save us from the wrath of storms, lightning and hurricanes. Amen.

℣.From lightning, hail and bad weather
℟. Safeguard us, O Lord Jesus Christ.
℣. Show us, Lord, Thy mercy.
℟. And grant us Thy healing.
℣. O Lord, hear my prayer.
℟. And let my cry come unto Thee.
℣. The Lord be with thee.
℟. And with thy spirit.

Let us pray.
We beseech Thee, Almighty God, by the intercession of Mary, the Holy Mother of God, the Holy Angels, Patriarchs, Prophets, Apostles, Martyrs, Confessors, Virgins, Widows and all thy Saints: that Thou wouldst grant us continual protection, send us clement weather, and pour out from heaven upon us sinners Thy protection against lightning and storms; that by the power of Thy right hand, Thou wouldst crush the powers of the air, which are ever envious of the human race. Through the same Christ our Lord.
℟. Amen.

Let us pray.
O God, Who is served by all creatures and Who established these movements of the air to the worship of Thy majesty, grant us the peace of Thy mercy, and keep the terrors of the air subdued; that we may experience the tranquility of those elements whose wrath we fear. Through the same Christ our Lord.
℟. Amen.

 

℣. Blessed be the Name of the Lord.
℟. Now and forever.
℣. Our help is in the Name of the Lord.
℟. Who created heaven and earth.

May the Blessing of Almighty God, Father, Son and Holy Ghost come down upon us, this place and the fruits of the earth, and remain forever. ℟. Amen.

Family Prayer for Protection in the Storm

Continue reading “Hurricane Dorian – Prayer in Time of Storms”

The Nations Will Rise Up Against You

 

“By God’s permission the nations will rise up against you; they will have vain thoughts of you; they will esteem as naught your priestly dignity and consecration. The princes of the earth will unite to cast you down. Your rulers will drive you from their territories, since your crimes have driven the innocent Lamb far from you.”   (St. Hildegard von Bingen)

Yesterday was the day in our Traditional Calendar when we honor the Immaculate Heart of Mary. It was also the anniversary of the day on which Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò signed his testimonial regarding the extensive corruption of the sacred priesthood by the homosexual predators which have infiltrated the Church aided and abetted by the modernist, apostate hierarchy, even up to and including Pope Francis himself.

As long-time readers know, we have posted on the dangers to the sacred priesthood since the inception of this blog several years ago, stressing the connection between the message of Fatima and the spread of heresy, apostasy and the corruption of the sacred priesthood.

I had hoped that the fact that Archbishop Viganò issued his testimonial on the traditional (true) Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary would be duly noted and celebrated as the victory of the Immaculata which it is. Even though Abp. Viganò referred to the date as the Queenship of Mary, that is the term assigned by the Novus Ordo church to replace that of the title intended by Pope Pius XII. Since 1960, the post-conciliar church has been determined to supplant and minimise devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and their efforts seem to be bearing fruit in the lack of honor to the Immaculata in her latest victory.

Continue reading “The Nations Will Rise Up Against You”

Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, 2019

 

“I desire very ardently the propagation of the cult and devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, because this Heart is the magnet which draws souls to Me, the fire which makes the rays of My light and My love beam out over the earth, and the inexhaustible well causing the living water of My mercy to pour forth over the earth.”
(Communication of Our Lord Jesus Christ to Sister Lúcia, as reported to Bp. Gurza May 27, 1943)

 

The Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Today, on the octave of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we honor Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart, in obedience to the will of Christ Himself. Why does Our Lord so desire that we honor the Immaculate Heart of Mary?

The Church tells us that Mary conceived the Word of God in her pure heart before she conceived Him in her womb. Indeed, it is with this beautiful truth that we open our rosaries each day! It was in Mary’s pure and perfect heart that our salvation began. And it is through her heart, please God, we will enter heaven. By offering us the Immaculate Heart of His Virgin Mother, Our Lord is tenderly offering us the sure way to be united with Him forever in heaven. Now we should know that, as St. John of the Cross assures us, with whatever love we have attained to here on earth by the moment of our deaths, that is the love we shall have for all eternity. Think on that a moment, and then, with all your heart and soul, turn gratefully to Mary, she to whom it is given in these days, to lead us to grow in love for Jesus, her beloved Son!

When Lúcia, speaking for the little shepherds, asked Our Lady to take them to Heaven, Our Lady replied,

Continue reading “Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, 2019”

At Valinhos, August 19, 1917

 

August 19, 1917

The six apparitions of Our Lady of the Rosary at Fatima all occurred on the 13th of each month, except for this one in August. This was because the Administrator of the district of Ourem, a Mason, kidnapped the children, as we discussed in our earlier post, “The Day the Masons Promoted Fatima.”

Even though the little shepherds were unable to keep their assignation with Our Lady, between 3 and 5 thousand people did come. Here is a brief account:

First, there was a thunderclap, “then came the flash of lightning, and then we began to see a little cloud, very delicate, very white, which stopped for a few moments over the tree and then rose in the air and disappeared. As we looked around us, we noticed the strange thing which we had seen before and were to see in the following months; our faces were reflecting all the colours of the rainbow, pink, red, blue… The trees seemed to be made not of leaves but of flowers; they seemed to be laden with flowers, each leaf seemed to be a flower. The ground came out in colours and so did our clothes. The lanterns fixed to the arch looked like gold.”

At Valinhos

On Sunday, August 19, in the early afternoon, the children brought their flocks to a pasture in Valinhos. Lúcia began to get the premonition that Our Lady was about to appear, and since Jacinta was not with them, she sent Jacinta’s older brother to fetch her. It is an especially touching detail that Our Lady waited until Jacinta arrived before appearing.

In this visit, Our Lady again reiterated that she wanted them to continue coming to the Cova da Iria on the 13th of the month, and continue to pray the Rosary every day. “In the last month, I will work a miracle so that all may believe. If you had not been taken away to the City, the miracle would have been even greater. Saint Joseph will come with the Child Jesus, to give peace to the world. Our Lord will come to bless the people. Our Lady of the Rosary and Our Lady of Sorrows will also come.”

Then looking sad, Our Lady said:

“Pray, pray very much, and make sacrifices for sinners; for many souls go to hell because there are none to sacrifice themselves and pray for them.”

This message is such an important part of the Message of Fatima. In this, Our Lady repeats what she has said earlier, emphasising the urgency. We must take this to heart!

From Frère Michel:

“But what an astonishing affirmation! The eternal salvation of many souls really depends on our prayers and sacrifices? It is so stupefying that many theologians try to interpret in their own way these disturbing words, to diminish their significance.

“As for ourselves, let us be content to show how this doctrine is in perfect conformity with the purest Catholic tradition. Pope Pius XII firmly recalls this truth in Mystici Corporis:

There is an awesome mystery that we can never sufficiently meditate on: the salvation of many souls depends on the prayers and voluntary penances of the members of the Body of Christ. It is an unfathomable but also admirable mystery that such a close communion associates all the members of the human family with one another, for their salvation or for their loss.

An oracle of Deuteronomy already expresses this will of God in all its force: For I am the Lord thy God, a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon their children unto the third and fourth generation, to them that hate me, And shewing mercy unto many thousands, to them that love me, and keep my commandments. (Deut. 5, 9-10)

“Although the terrible part of this oracle was mitigated by the words of Ezekiel, who without denying family responsibility makes clear the role of individual responsibility, the second part, on the contrary, was reinforced by the message of the Gospel and the Pauline doctrine of the co-redemption:

‘Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake’, he writes to his dear Colossians, ‘and in my flesh I complete what is lacking of the sufferings of Christ for His body, which is the Church.’ (Col. 1:24)

And this co-redemptive power conferred by Christ on the members of His body in favor of their brothers, who are also redeemed has no other measure than unbounded Love and the infinite price of the Blood of Jesus, our only and beloved Saviour:

“One just soul can obtain pardon for a thousand criminals”
(Sacred Heart to St. Margaret Mary)

“Rather than making unending calculations, vainly seeking to fathom the mysteries of divine predestination and human liberty, to reconcile the role of personal merit and the communion of saints, it is better to imitate the wisdom of the three little seers, who believed in all candor the words of Our Lady: Yes, many souls go to hell because they have no one to pray and make sacrifices for them. And they set themselves courageously to draw out all the consequences that flow from this fact.

The first consequence is that the opposite is also true: Many souls can go to Heaven, thanks to our prayers and sacrifices. Here is an immense field of the apostolate open to every generous soul. Who can say henceforth that his life is useless, ruined, sterile, when the most beautiful, the most useful and the only important supernatural work is proposed to everybody by Our Lady, and with what insistence! (From Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité,  “The Whole Truth About Fatima, Volume III”.)

And so, in the seclusion of Valinhos, without the crowds, Our Blessed Mother patiently waited for little Jacinta, so that all three children could share this important message. They then heroically followed her requests perfectly, to:

“Pray, pray very much, and make sacrifices for sinners; for many souls go to hell because there are none to sacrifice themselves and pray for them.”

What a terrible scandal that these small children promptly obeyed and yet, after one hundred years, so few Catholics have actually obeyed Our Lady’s simple requests.  But doesn’t it always seem to be the way these things work? After centuries of prophecies, only a small handful of the Chosen People actually obeyed and followed Christ their Savior.  But look what those few  accomplished!

We, too can accomplish great things, simply by obeying the Angel of Fatima, who instructed us: “Make of everything a sacrifice!” And by obeying Our Blessed Mother, who asked us for Rosaries and Reparation. With these Rosaries and with our daily sacrifices of reparation, we can obtain our good Lord’s graces for the Church to be restored at last. Let’s prepare today to renew our Total Consecrations to Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary on the Feast of the Immaculate heart of Mary on the 22nd, this Wednesday. 

What a blessing to be here right now, with this opportunity to comfort Our Blessed Mother and Our Lord and make such a difference in the eternal lives of so many souls. The Church is being renewed right now, do not doubt it, for Our Lord does His best work when the devil thinks he is winning.

Think back over Our Lord’s Passion and Death for just a moment.  See how horribly He suffered and all the humiliation. See the utter hopelessness of it, by the world’s standards, the tragic finality as Our Lady held  her Divine Son’s  body in her arms at the foot of the Cross.

And yet we know that this great tragedy was the means by which satan’s reign was  ended.  By this Death, we are born to eternal life, and by Satan’s attacks on  the Church now, he is being vanquished. Our Lord defeats Satan by His suffering obedience and  we shall do the same!  We are called not just to penance and prayer, but to joyful penance and prayer, and this joy comes from trust in Our Lady,  Indeed, from the very beginning of Sacred Scripture God has revealed the outcome, ” She shall crush thy head and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel.”

Father Gabriel Amorth, the Vatican exorcist, told us: “We venerate Mary with all the impetus of our hearts, of our affections, of our desires. This is how He wants it, He who established that we receive everything by means of Mary. This is the experience that all exorcists learn first-hand.” To protect ourselves and those entrusted to us, we must be consecrated to Our Lady, wear our scapulars and of course, pray our rosaries with simple faith that this most perfect Mother, given to us by Our Lord Himself, will save us from the demonic infestation of these tragic days. 

Pray the Rosary for the conversion and repentance of the Pope and hierarchy!

  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.

True Devotion to Saint Joseph, 2019

 

Well, it is time for us to break out the heavy armaments, don’t you think? Let’s renew our efforts to seek the help of our great friend and protector, Saint Joseph. There’s a very good prayer at the end I believe you may like, in case you do not have it already.

True devotion to Saint Joseph is an integral part of the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary. Indeed, the very reason for Saint Joseph’s appearance on Our Lady’s last visit to Fatima October 13, 1917 was to emphasize this devotion, which will save families in this crisis.

“We saw, beside the sun, Saint Joseph with the Child Jesus and Our Lady clothed in white with a blue mantle. Saint Joseph and the Child Jesus seemed to bless the world with gestures which they made with their hands in the form of a cross.” (Sister Lucia of Fatima)

This little noted event tells us so much! Even as the miracle of the sun is occurring, St. Joseph appears, holding the Child Jesus and both bless the world. This reminds us that God, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, entrusted the Child Jesus to St. Joseph. Indeed, God’s wisdom entrusted the Holy Family to the quiet man, and now, at Fatima, he is revealed to us, to bless us in this time prefigured by the miracle of the sun.

At the miracle of the sun, the earth stood firm while the sun moved erratically. How can this be? And yet it happened. How can the Church, established by Christ become so erratic as it is today, under Pope Francis? How do we reconcile that the gates of hell will not prevail and the Holy Ghost will always guide her, with what we now see? St. Joseph solved a similar conundrum and he stands ready to help us now.

Matthew 1, 18-25 tells of Joseph’s dilemma and its resolution. His example of humility and steadfastness is precisely the example for us today. Faithful Catholics are torn today between the temptation to abandon the church, or to go along with the errors of the Neo-pagan agenda of Pope Francis.

What did Joseph do when faced with an unsolvable dilemma? He turned to God in prayer and stayed with it until God gave him light. He didn’t become his own God, or in today’s terms, his own pope. Neither did he accept the unthinkable option that somehow Mary had broken her vow, but that false mercy was required on his part to simply accept unfaithfulness. That would be the spiritual sloth of today’s catholics, who simply go along to get along, and welcome unrepentant vice into the church. “Who am I to judge?”

If the Lord God entrusted the Ark of the Covenant to the keeping of St. Joseph, can we not also turn in confidence to him, secure in the knowledge that he will teach us the humility and patience to stand firm in the faith until these erratic and uncertain times are over and the Blessed Virgin clears the smoke of Satan from the Church?

In the Bible, we see that in obedience to God, St. Joseph took the child Jesus and the Blessed Virgin to Egypt in order to save them from murderous Herod. Now, Egypt was a country similar in many ways to our modern post-Christian societies, very much in the control of the Lord of the World. And yet St. Joseph kept them safe. And now he stands ready to help faithful priests guard their flocks. He helps Catholic fathers protect their families.

In 2008, Cardinal Caffara related a correspondence he had with Sister Lucia of Fatima. In her letter she said that, “the final battle between the Lord and the reign of Satan will be about marriage and the family.” “Don’t be afraid”, she added, because “anyone who works for the sanctity of marriage and the family will always be fought and opposed in every way, because this is the decisive issue.” And then she concluded: “however, Our Lady has already crushed its head.”

Certainly, the Fatima vision of St. Joseph and the Child Jesus blessing us, in conjunction with Sister Lucia’s remarks to Cardinal Caffara, should give us consolation today. There is another bit of information on this subject. Solange Hertz, in her book, The Sixth Trumpet, tells us that Sister Lucia, when asked about the Third Secret confirmed that it is about Apocalypse Chapter 12. Mrs. Hertz posits that Apocalypse 12:14 may apply to us in these times.

“And there were given to the woman two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the desert unto her place, where she is nourished for a time and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.” In the mystical language of St. John in the Apocalypse, “the woman” refers to the Church, but also to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Mary is inseparably bound to the Church and St. Joseph is the Guardian of both. In Hertz’ view, the Holy Family’s sojourn in Egypt prefigures this passage, and indicates that St. Joseph is given to us in these dire times to strengthen and defend us, and to bring us safely home again.

Whatever outrage occurs at October’s Pan-Amazon Synod, we know that the Immaculate Virgin Mary has already crushed satan’s head, and in the end, her Immaculate Heart will triumph. Our job is to stand firm in the faith, and St. Joseph is our sure unfailing defender. He never has — and never will — ask us for a special day of honor for him, or a special title. He simply called us, and stands ready to help us, live our consecrations to the Immaculata and the Sacred Heart of Jesus. If we devote ourselves to the Sacred Hearts, Saint Joseph will guard and defend us and our families even as he kept the Holy Family safe so long ago.

Here is my favorite prayer of Consecration to Saint Joseph:

O my beloved Saint Joseph, adopt me as thy child, take care of my salvation, watch over me day and night, preserve me from the occasion of sin, obtain for me purity of soul and body! Through thy intercession with Jesus, rant me a spirit of sacrifice, of humility, and of 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 Saviour. Amen.

The above prayer comes thanks to the very useful site, Our Lady of the Rosary Library, LINK. The little prayer card also has the lovely prayer “Ad te Beate Joseph” by Pope Pius XIII on the reverse. They are only a few cents each.

St. Joseph defender of the family, defender of the faith, we entrust our families and our faith to thee!

Immaculate Heart of Mary, intercede for us!

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 2019

 

“A great sign appeared in heaven: a Woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. Sing ye to the Lord a new canticle: because He has done wonderful things…” (from the introit for today’s Mass.)

 

“Through thee redeemed to endless life, thy praise let all the nations sing.”
“Mary was taken up into heaven, the angels rejoice, and with praises, bless the Lord.” (Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Prime)

 

On this her feast day, we celebrate  “that which has been realized in her, the total glorification of our humanity, will be realized for us at the end of time. This privilege is very fitting for her; for she is all-pure, all-holy, whose body was never touched by any slightest shadow of sin, but was always the temple of the Holy Spirit, the Ark of the Covenant, the very Tabernacle of the Son of God. … Mary has been taken up into Heaven because she is the Mother of God. This is the greatest of her privileges., the root of all others and the reason for themMary’s Assumption thus confirms us in this great and beautiful truth: we are created and called to union with God. (Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, Divine Intimacy,).

Another reason exists for the Assumption of Mary; it is a quite practical one and can be proved scientifically. There are some truths that simply cannot, indeed, will not be denied. As such, the beautiful Eucharistic miracles which prove that the Consecrated Host is truly the body and blood (Type AB no less!) of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

And we now have scientific documentation of a process called microchimerism, which refers to the process of transfer of the maternal and infant cells during pregnancy. In other words, scientists now know that it is likely that the Blessed Virgin Mary and Our Lord Jesus Christ each harbor each other’s cells in their bodies. Therefore it is even more credible that Christ Our Lord brought His Mother, body and soul to be with Him in Heaven. (For more on microchimerism, see here,  here, and here.)

The presence of her Divine Son’s cells in her body is ample reason for her body not being confined to the grave. And think, her own cells are present in His Sacred Body for all time. Truly, Heart of His Sacred Heart, eternally.

Since Mary was perfectly preserved from original sin, there was never a need for her to die. Yet she did agree to die in justice since her Divine Son and Savior chose to die, she could do no less. Our Most Blessed Mother did die for love of Him, Who was her All. And tenderly, with infinite love, He came to her and with His Angels, brought her up into eternal glory with Him.

“Hence,  Mary’s death appears as a holocaust of love. The sacrifice, made under the cross in the greatest spiritual sorrow, was thereby outwardly completed in a sweet and loving manner as in a slumber of love.” (Rev. M. J. Scheeben, Mariology, Vol. II.)

“A slumber of love.” The ancient Church knew well that the death of the Mother of God was a singular event, and they referred to this “slumber of love” as her Dormition, her “falling asleep,” a clear indication that the close of the Virgin’s earthly life was peaceful, unaccompanied by any anxiety or pain. On earth, Mary lived for Jesus and for Him only. When her earthly race was run, Mary’s burning desire to be reunited forever with her Son found its fulfillment. “Now, since it is certain that the Son died of love and that the Mother died of the death of the Son,” wrote St. Francis de Sales (+1622), “we must not doubt that the Mother died of love.” (Source)

Continue reading “The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 2019”

The Day the Freemasons Promoted Fatima

 

This post updated by evensong at 10:00 a.m. 13 Aug. 2019. See note in red at end.

On August 13, 1917, the Freemasons of Portugal gave the Apparitions of Fatima a huge boost.

The six apparitions of Our Lady of the Rosary at Fatima all occurred on the 13th of each month, except for the one in August. This was because the Administrator of the district of Ourem was a Mason. Not just any Mason, the crude and brutal Arturo Oliveira Santos was the founder-president of the Masonic Lodge of Vila Nova de Ourem and the publisher of the local newspaper. As such, he wielded a tyrannical power in his district and, concerned about the  rising fervor of the area’s Catholics in response to the apparitions, he determined to nip the phenomena in the bud.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us, pray for the Pope!

First, the Administrator, Arturo Oliveira Santos, summoned the children and their fathers to an interrogation at the Town Hall of Vila Nova de Ourem on August 10. Ti Marto refused to allow Francisco and Jacinta to be interrogated, and decided to answer for them, stating that, if necessary, he would be imprisoned for them. But Lúcias father, Antonio dos Santos, complied and brought her to be questioned. He stated, “If she’s lying, it’s a good thing that she should be punished for it.”

Once before the authorities, Lúcia was  brutally bullied and threatened, while her father did nothing to intervene. This lack of support caused Lúcia much suffering. Her words in this regard speak volumes for her sanctity:

“I have the happiness of suffering more! What made me suffer most, was the indifference shown me by my parents. This was all the more obvious, since I could see how affectionately my aunt and uncle treated their children. I remember thinking to myself as we went along: ‘How different my parents are from my uncle and aunt. They risk themselves to defend their children, while my parents hand me over with the greatest indifference, and let them do what they like with me! But I must be patient’, I reminded myself in my inmost heart, ‘since this means I have the happiness of suffering more for the love of You, O my God, and for the conversion of sinners.’ This reflection never failed to bring me consolation.”

When Lúcia returned home after the grueling ordeal, she raced to the old well to see Francisco and Jacinta, who had agreed to pray for her. She found them crying bitterly, and they explained to her that Lúcia’s sister had come by earlier to tell them that she had heard that Lúcia had been killed by the authorities.

Although he had so far been unable to succeed in suppressing the little shepherds, the Administrator determined to kidnap them rather than allow another “hoax” appearance. And so, on the 13th, the Administrator tricked the children and brought them to Ourem.

Continue reading “The Day the Freemasons Promoted Fatima”

Designs of Mercy – Jacinta, Part III

 

“Jacinta’s thirst for making sacrifices seemed insatiable. She always made her sacrifices with this thought, a thought which was habitual with her: to suffer for sinners, to make acts of reparation in their place, to substitute herself for them, to obtain for them pardon and the grace of conversion.”

Today, we will see where Jacinta’s heroic devotion to Our Lady of the Rosary led her in her very brief, but intense life. Most of our discussion is found in Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité’s “The Whole Truth About Fatima Vol. II”.  Now, Frère Michel himself relied greatly on Sister Lúcia’s Memoirs as in the following.

“When, in a spirit of mortification, she did not want to eat, I said to her: “Listen, Jacinta! Come and eat now.” ‘No! I’m offering this sacrifice for sinners who eat too much.’  When she was ill, and yet went to Mass on a week day, I urged her: Jacinta, don’t come! You’re not able. Besides, today is not a Sunday! ‘That doesn’t matter. I’m going for sinners who don’t go on a Sunday.’ If she happened to hear any of those expressions which some people make a show of uttering, she covered her face with her hands and said: ‘Oh, my God, don’t those people realize that they can go to hell for saying those things? My Jesus, forgive them and convert them. They certainly don’t know that they are offending God by all this! What a pity, my Jesus! I’ll pray for them.’ Then and there, she repeated the prayer that Our Lady had taught us: ‘O my Jesus, forgive us, deliver us from the fire of hell, lead all souls to Heaven, especially those who are most in need.’ Jacinta made such sacrifices over and over again, but I won’t stop to tell any more, or I shall never end,  Lúcia tells us.”

Also, in her memoirs, Sister Lúcia remarked that little Jacinta, although the youngest, she “was the one who received from Our Lady a greater abundance of grace , and a better knowledge of God and of virtue.” Indeed, 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 favours, right up until her death.

Jacinta’s Prophetic Visions

In her Memoirs, Lúcia tells us: “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 .” Frère Michel places this vision in the time period between July 13, 1917 and October, 1918, when the children fell ill.

We also know that this vision concerns an event announced in the Secret, for Lúcia continues her account, and writes: “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.’

This vision helps us to better understand the corresponding words of the Secret, announcing “persecutions against the Church and the Holy Father (who) will have much to suffer.”

At another time, Lúcia says, “We went to the cave called Lapa do Cabeço. As soon as we got there, we prostrated on the ground, saying the prayers the Angel had taught us. After some time, Jacinta stood up and called to me: ‘Can’t you see all those highways and roads full of people, who are crying with hunger and have nothing to eat? And the Holy Father in a church praying before the Immaculate Heart of Mary? And so many people praying with him?”

This second vision corresponds to an event prophesied in the Secret: “Some days later, Jacinta asked me: ‘Can I say that I saw the Holy Father and all those people?’ “No. Don’t you see that that’s part of the Secret? If you do, they’ll find out right away!” ‘All right! Then I’ll say nothing at all.’ ”

The striking images contemplated in her recent visions kept the Secret on Jacinta’s mind; the themes of the Secret made a more profound impression on her than on her two companions. Sister Lúcia is insistent on this point, showing clearly how the Blessed Virgin wished to make this soul – so young and so delicate, but so sensitive and courageous – the confidante of the most intimate thoughts of Her Heart. The great and dramatic Message of Our Lady was destined for the whole world; and Our Lady willed that this innocent soul, Jacinta, be penetrated with it and live it with such love that she became, as Sister Lúcia dares to say, “filled with horror”,  and was led very quickly, within a few months, to the total gift and sacrifice of her life.

Sister Lúcia continues: “As I said in the notes I sent about the book called Jacinta, she was most deeply impressed (…) with the vision of hell and the ruin of the many souls who go there, or again, the future war with all its horrors, which seemed to be always present in her mind. These made her tremble with fear. When I saw her deep in thought, and asked her: “Jacinta, what are you thinking about?” she frequently replied: “About the war which is coming, and all the people who are going to die and go to hell! How dreadful! If they would only stop offending God, then there wouldn’t be any war, and they wouldn’t go to hell!”

When Our Lady revealed the future to Jacinta, and let her see the Holy Father persecuted, mocked, abandoned by all, and in tears, Jacinta understood how much he needed prayers. “This gave Jacinta such love for the Holy Father that, every time she offered her sacrifices to Jesus, she added: ‘And for the Holy Father’. At the end of the Rosary, she always said three Hail Marys for the Holy Father.”  It is indeed surprising to observe how much, after the apparition of July 13, (1919) 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. (Frère Michel, Vol II)

Another Visit of the Blessed Virgin

Towards the end of December, 1918 or in January, 1919, we read,

“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 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!” On another day, Jacinta was more precise; she confided to her cousin: “Our Lady wants me to go to two hospitals, not to be cured, but to suffer more for love of Our Lord and for sinners.”

Jacinta had known for a long time that the more she suffered, the more souls she would snatch away from the eternal flames. This was a certain and absolute truth with her. Taught by the infused grace which accompanied the words of the Angel, she had understood the value of sacrifice, how pleasing it is to God, and how, in return for it  God converts sinners.

And with all her ardour, she gave a generous “yes” to the hardest sacrifice that could have asked of her, a sacrifice which she undoubtedly had never imagined: to suffer and die alone far from her mother, far from her father, and above all far from Lúcia, her only confidante and intimate friend, whose presence gave her such comfort such great joy, the only consolation that remained for her. After this, she was thoughtful for a while and then added: “If only you could be with me! The hardest part is to go without you. Maybe the hospital is a big, dark house where you can’t see, and I’ll be there suffering all alone! But never mind! I’ll suffer for love of Our Lord, to make reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, for the conversion of sinners and for the Holy Father.”

Frère Michel notes,

“It is always the same intentions, the same great themes of the Secret, which habituate and incite her to heroic sacrifice. The same transports of love always come back to her lips: often she would repeat, “Sweet Heart of Mary, be my salvation! I love the Immaculate Heart of Mary so much!” Sometimes, as she would kiss a crucifix, she would press it in her hands, saying: “O my Jesus, I love You, and I wish to suffer much for Your love!” How often did she say: “O Jesus! Now You can convert many sinners, because this is really a big sacrifice!”

At Aljustrel, from October, 1918 until June 30, 1919, Jacinta’s illness slowly worsened. After the bronchial pneumonia, pleurisy caused her great suffering. She bore it, however, with a resignation and even a joy which were surprising. Jacinta made it her business never to complain. This was both out of a delicate consideration for her mother, to keep her from getting worried, and to offer this additional sacrifice, so costly when one is suffering a great deal. From Lúcia alone she felt drawn to hide nothing, to tell her about all the graces she had received, and to admit her true sufferings: “My chest hurts so much, but I’m not saying anything to my mother. I want to suffer for Our Lord, in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary, for the Holy Father and for the conversion of sinners.”

Sister Lúcia: “A few days after falling ill, she gave me the rope she had been wearing, and said: ‘Keep it for me; I’m afraid my mother may see it. If I get better, I want it back again!’ This cord had three knots and was somewhat stained with blood. I kept it hidden until I finally left my mother’s home. Then, not knowing what to do with it, I burned it, and Francisco’s as well.”

During June, 1919 Jacinta, increasingly challenged by more opportunities to offer sacrifices of reparation, increased in her fervent devotion, Father Ferreira stubbornly refused to allow Jacinta to receive the Blessed Sacrament, even though she was by then eight years old. But we may believe that the priest’s efforts were no obstacle to Our Lord’s love for His brave saint, as Frère Michel assures us that Our Lord “gave Himself to her spiritually, and gave her the grace to feel His Divine Presence: ‘I don’t know how it is! But I feel Our Lord within me. I understand what He says to me, although I neither see Him nor hear Him but it is so good to be with Him.’ ”

Another time she said: ‘I so like to tell Jesus that I love Him! Many times, when I say it to Him, I seem to have a fire in my heart, but it doesn’t burn me.’ Again, moved by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the same ardent affections of love continually returned to her lips: ‘I love Our Lord and Our Lady so much, that I never get tired of telling Them that I love Them.’

Jacinta’s health gave way under the aggressive illnesses which beset her and towards the end of June, her doctor began to insist that her parents allow her to be admitted to Saint Augustine’s Hospital at Vila Nova de Ourem. The prophecy of Our Lady was about to be fulfilled… and so Jacinta departed, “knowing that she was going not to be cured, but to suffer”.

To be continued, God willing.