The Fifth Visit: a Mysterious Cloud and a Rain of Flowers

One hundred years ago today …

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 all-pervasive effects of modernism, which seeks 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!

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

 

Dear readers, I have treasured this time with you, and the opportunity to provide useful information about Our Lady of Fatima’s message for her children today as we approach the culmination of the minor chastisement. We are working to place every bit of information we have at your disposal, in hopes that it will be helpful to all of you in times to come.

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!

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

 

The Most Holy Name of Mary, Mother of God

Today we honor the Most Holy Name of Mary, the Mother of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and by His infinite mercy, our Mother as well.  Our Lord has entrusted us to her Immaculate Heart. We honor her today and make reparation for those so unfortunate as to disdain her, especially those within the church.

St. Bernard of Clairveaux on the Holy Name of Mary

O man, whoever you are, if you realize that in the whirlwind of this world, far from walking on firm ground, you are driven hither and thither by storms and tempests, turn not your eyes from this bright Star, if you do not want to be swallowed up by the hurricane. If the winds of temptation are stirred up, if you encounter dangers and tribulations, look at the Star, and invoke Mary: “respice Stellam, voca Mariam”!

If you are shaken by waves of pride, ambition, criticism or jealousy, look at the Star and invoke Mary! If anger, avarice, or the seductions of the flesh stir up a storm in your soul, cast a glance towards Mary, “respice ad Mariam”. If troubled by the enormity of your crimes, confused by the weight of the sins on your conscience, you feel yourself slipping into the whirlpool of sadness and the abyss of despair, then think of Mary, “cogita Mariam”. In perils, in anguish, in perplexity, think of Mary, invoke Mary. Let Her name be constantly on your lips, let it never leave your heart…

In 1930, Our Lord explained to Sister Lúcia that the reason for Five First Saturdays of Reparation was there are five offenses to the Blessed Virgin; among these blasphemies against her are most prevalent today. In addition to our First Saturdays devotion, the Litany to the Holy Name of Mary is a good way to make reparation.

Prayer of Reparation for Blasphemy Against the Blessed Virgin Mary

Most glorious Virgin Mary, Mother of God and our Mother, turn thine eyes in pity upon us, miserable sinners; we are sorely afflicted by the many evils that surround us in this life, but especially do we feel our hearts break within us upon hearing the dreadful insults and blasphemies uttered against thee, O Virgin Immaculate.

O how these impious sayings offend the infinite Majesty of God and of His only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ! How they provoke His indignation and give us cause to fear the terrible effects of His vengeance! Would that the sacrifice of our lives might avail to put an end to such outrages and blasphemies! Were it so, how gladly we should make that sacrifice; for we desire, O most holy Mother, to love thee and to honor thee with all our hearts, since this is the will of God. And because we love thee, we will do all that is in our power to make thee honored and loved by all men.

In the meantime do thou, our merciful Mother, comforter of the afflicted, accept this our act of reparation which we offer thee for ourselves and for all our families, as well as for all who impiously blaspheme thee, not knowing what they say. Do thou obtain for them from Almighty God the grace of conversion, and thus render more manifest and more glorious thy kindness, thy power and thy great mercy. May they join with us in proclaiming thee blessed among women, the Immaculate Virgin and most compassionate Mother of God. Amen.

The Name of Mary at the Hour of Death

O Mary, my tender Mother, imprint thy Name, with that of Jesus, upon the inmost recesses of my heart. Obtain for me of God, in my last hour, to utter thy blessed Name and that of thy Son, with lively faith and ardent love, in order that by the virtue of these holy Names, the enemies of my salvation may be put to flight, and I may resign my soul into the hands of my Heavenly Father. Amen.

Continue reading “The Most Holy Name of Mary, Mother of God”

The Dawn of Our Redemption 2017

Ed Note: As of 5 pm, September 9, 2017, Hurricane Irma has confounded all the weather experts and is now gathering strength in the very warm waters off the island of Cuba. Even if we discount the hyperbole and sensationalism of the weather news industry,  this is a hugely significant storm with the potential for much harm. Please continue to pray both for those who suffered such losses from Hurricane Harvey in Texas and those who are awaiting the chastisement of Hurricane Irma in Florida. 

For those in the projected path, please consider enthroning the 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 his minions, consecrate yourself to her and trust her. She never forsakes her children!

“The birth of Mary is the dawn of our redemption.”

“The Mother proclaims the Son, making it known that He is about to come, that the divine promises, made so many centuries before, are to be fulfilled. The birth of Mary is the dawn of our redemption. Her appearance projects a new light over all the human race: a light of innocence, of purity, of grace, a resplendent presage of the great light which will inundate the world when Christ, “Lux mundi”, the Light of the World”  appears. Mary, preserved from sin in anticipation of Christ’s merits, not only announces that the Redemption is at hand, but she bears the first fruits of it within herself; she is the first one redeemed by her divine Son. (Divine Intimacy)

We hail thee, bright Morn; who, forerunner of the Heavenly Sun of Justice, didst bring the first light to earth. Ave Maria!

 

“From the beginning and before all ages God selected and prepared for His only Son the Mother from whom, having taken flesh, He would be born in the blessed fullness of time; He loved her by herself more than all creatures, and with such a love as to find His delight in a singular way in her.” (“Ineffabilis Deus”, Pope Pius IX)

In the dialogues of Venerable Maria de Agreda,  we learn a bit more about the nativity and naming of the Blessed Virgin Mary:

I saw a great and mysterious sign in heaven; I saw a Woman, a most beautiful Lady and Queen, crowned with the stars, clothed with the sun, and the moon was at her feet (Apoc. 12, 1). The holy angels spoke to me: ‘This is that blessed Woman, whom Saint John saw in the Apocalypse, and in whom are enclosed, deposited and sealed up the wonderful mysteries of the Redemption. So much has the most high and powerful God favored this Creature, that we, His angelic spirits, are full of astonishment.’

After describing briefly the birth of Our Lady, she tells us that “The guardian angels of the sweet Child with others in great multitudes showed their veneration and worship to Mary as She rested in the arms of her mother: they joined in heavenly music.”

Mother Maria de Agreda then describes how the Eternal Father sent His angels to bear the holy infant Mary up to heaven: The holy princes, … receiving the child Mary from the arms of her holy mother Anne, bore the true Ark of the Covenant heavenward with incomparable songs of great joy. … At this time, His Majesty wished to give a name to the Child Queen and impose it first in Heaven. He thereby made known to the angels that the Three Divine persons had decreed and formed the sweet names of Jesus and Mary for the Son and Mother from the beginning, before all ages and that Their delight was in these precious names.

The   angels heard a voice from the throne speaking in the person of the Father: “Our chosen One shall be called MARY, and this name is to be powerful and magnificent. Those that shall invoke it with devout affection shall receive most abundant graces; those that shall honor it and pronounce it with reverence shall be consoled and vivified, and will find in it the remedy of their evils, the treasures for their enrichment, the light which shall guide them to heaven. It shall be terrible against the power of hell, it shall crush the head of the serpent and it shall win glorious victories over the princes of hell.”

The Lord commanded the angelic spirits to announce this glorious name to saint Anne, so that what was decreed in heaven might be executed on earth. … The holy angels honored and acknowledged most holy Mary as the future Mother of the Word and as their Queen and Mistress enthroned at the right hand of her Son; they showed their veneration of her holy name, prostrating themselves as it proceeded from the throne in the voice of the eternal Father, especially those, who had it written on the devises over their breast. All of them gave forth canticles of praise for these great and hidden mysteries. …

On the eighth day after the birth of the great Queen multitudes of most beautiful angels in splendid array descended from on high bearing an escutcheon on which the name of MARY was engraved and shone forth in great brilliancy. Appearing to the blessed mother Anne, they told her that the name of her daughter was to be MARY, which name they had brought from heaven, and which divine Providence had selected and now ordained to be given to their child by Joachim and herself. … The more than happy father accepted the name with joy and devout affection… Thus was the divine Princess named by the holy Trinity: in heaven, on the day of her nativity, and on earth, after eight days.

“Look now on her who most resembles Christ”

If we could only look on the scene, see Mary as she must have looked!

When we think on  this, the thought that  comes to mind is that expressed by Dante in Canto 32, 85-87, Paradiso, St. Bernard says of Mary,

“Riguarda omai ne la faccia che a Cristo
piu si somiglia, che la sua chiarezza
sola ti puo disporre a veder Cristo.

“Look now on her who most resembles Christ,
for only the great glory of her shining
can purify your eyes to look on Christ.”

In these few words, there is much distilled and concentrated wisdom about Our Lady! Indeed, our Savior, having no human Father, took all His physical aspect from the Blessed Virgin.  Dante refers to “the glory of her shining”  which recalls to us both Our Lady’s appearance at Fatima and  the Woman Clothed with the Sun”  of the Apocalypse. Think on this, it is most profitable!

Prayer to Mary, Star of the Sea

“When I feel myself tossed about in the sea of this world amidst storms and tempests, I fix my eyes on thee, O Mary, shining star, lest I be swallowed up by the waves. When winds of temptation arise, when I dash against the reefs of tribulations, I raise my eyes to thee and call upon thee, O Mary, Star of the Sea. When I am agitated by the billows of pride, ambition, slander or jealousy, I look to thee and invoke thee, O Mary. When anger or avarice or the seductions of the flesh rock the fragile barque of my soul, may I always look to thee, O Mary. And if I am troubled in conscience by the enormity of my sins, and frightened at the severity of judgment, and if I should feel myself engulfed in sadness or drawn into the abyss of despair, again, I raise my eyes to thee, calling always to thee, O Mary, Mother of Mercy.

“In dangers, in difficulties and in doubts, may I always turn to thee, O Mary! May thy name, O Virgin Mary, be always on my lips and never leave my heart, that I may always obtain thy assistance. Following thee, O Mary, I shall not go astray; thinking of thee, I shall not err; with thy support, I shall not fail; with thy protection, I shall not fear; relying on thee, I shall not weary. Look upon me with mercy; with confidence in thee, I shall surely reach the port.” (after St. Bernard)

Purest, dearest heart of Mary, thou art the dawn of our redemption, bearing the true Sun, our Redeemer; be thou with us in the darkness and storms that beset us!

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!

Remember, Pray the Rosary with confidence and joy!

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

Novena for the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Today, we begin to prepare for the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin with this Novena from  the Raccolta as part of our preparations for renewing our Consecrations  to the   Immaculate Heart of Mary on her birthday, September 8.

 

Novena for the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

We hail thee, bright Morn; who, forerunner of the Heavenly Sun of Justice, didst bring the first light to earth. Ave Maria!

 

Day One:

Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Thy faithful, and kindle in them the fire of Thy love.
V. Send forth Thy Spirit, and they shall be created.
R. And Thou shalt renew the face of the earth.
Let us pray.
O God, who hast taught the hearts of Thy faithful people by the light of the Holy Spirit; grant us in the same Spirit to relish what is right, and evermore to rejoice in His holy comfort. Through Christ our Lord. R. Amen.

Most holy Mary, Elect One, predestined from all eternity by the Most Holy Trinity to be Mother of the only-begotten Son of the Eternal Father, foretold by the Prophets, expected by the Patriarchs, desired by all nations, Sanctuary and living Temple of the Holy Ghost, Sun without stain, conceived free from original sin, Mistress of Heaven and of Earth, Queen of angels:- humbly prostrate at thy feet we give thee our homage, rejoicing that the year has brought round again the memory of thy most happy Nativity; and we pray thee with all our hearts to vouchsafe in thy goodness now to come down again and be reborn spiritually in our souls, that, led captive by thy loveliness and sweetness, they may ever live united to thy most sweet and loving heart.

Daily Prayer:
So now whilst we say nine angelic salutations, we will direct our thoughts to the nine months which thou didst pass enclosed in thy mother’s womb; celebrating at the same time thy descent from the royal house of David, and how thou didst come forth to the light of heaven with high honor from the womb of holy Anna, thy most happy mother.
Ave Maria Nine Times.

Closing Prayer
O most lovely Infant, who by thy holy birth hast comforted the world, made glad the heavens, struck terror into hell, brought help to the fallen, consolation to the sad, salvation to the weak, joy to all men living; we entreat thee, with the most fervent love and gratitude, to be spiritually reborn in our souls by means of thy most holy love; renew our spirits to thy service, rekindle in our hearts the fire of charity, bid all the virtues blossom there, that so we may find more and more favor in thy gracious eyes. Mary! be thou our Mary, and may we feel the saving power of thy sweetest name; may it ever be our comfort to call on that name in all our troubles; may it be our hope in dangers, our shield in temptation, and our last utterance in death.  Amen.
Let the name of Mary be honey in the mouth, melody in the ear, joy in the heart. Amen.
V. Thy Nativity, O Virgin Mother of God.
R. Hath brought joy to the whole world.
Let us pray.
Grant to us Thy servants, we beseech Thee, O Lord, the gift of heavenly grace; that to all those for whom the delivery of the Blessed Virgin was the beginning of salvation, this her votive festival may give increase of peace. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Day Two:

Prayers: Come Holy Spirit and Most Holy Mary:
We hail thee, heavenly Babe, white Dove of purity; who in spite of the serpent wast conceived free from original sin.
Ave Maria Nine Times.
Closing Prayer as above.

Day Three:

Come Holy Spirit and Most Holy Mary:
We hail thee, bright Morn; who, forerunner of the Heavenly Sun of Justice, didst bring the first light to earth.
Ave Maria Nine Times.
Closing Prayer as above.

Day Four:

Come Holy Spirit and Most Holy Mary:
We hail thee, Elect; who, like the untarnished Sun, didst burst forth in the dark night of sin.
Ave Maria Nine Times.
Closing Prayer as above.

Day Five:

Come Holy Spirit and Most Holy Mary:
We hail thee, beauteous Moon; who didst shed light upon a world wrapt in the darkness of idolatry.
Ave Maria Nine Times.
Closing Prayer as above.

Day Six:

Come Holy Spirit and Most Holy Mary:
We hail thee, dread Warrior-Queen; who, in thyself a host, didst put to flight all hell.
Ave Maria Nine Times.
Closing Prayer as above.

Day Seven:

Come Holy Spirit and Most Holy Mary:
We hail thee, fair Soul of Mary; who from eternity wast possessed by God and God alone.
Ave Maria Nine Times.
Closing Prayer as above.

Day Eight:

Come Holy Spirit and Most Holy Mary:
We hail thee, dear Child, and we humbly venerate thy most holy infant body, the sacred swaddling-clothes wherewith they bound thee, the sacred crib wherein they laid thee, and we bless the hour and the day when thou wast born.
Ave Maria Nine Times.
Closing Prayer as above.

Day Nine:

Come Holy Spirit and Most Holy Mary:
We hail thee, much-loved Infant, adorned with every virtue immeasurably above all saints, and therefore worthy Mother of the Savior of the world; who, having been made fruitful by the Holy Spirit, didst bring forth the Word Incarnate.
Ave Maria Nine Times.
Closing Prayer as above.

Remember, Pray the Rosary with confidence and joy!

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

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

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

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

Family Prayer in Time of Storm

Ed Note: As of 5 pm, September 9, 2017, Hurricane Irma has confounded all the weather experts and is now gathering strength in the very warm waters off the island of Cuba. Even if we discount the hyperbole and sensationalism of the weather news industry,  this is a hugely significant storm with the potential for much harm. Please continue to pray both for those who suffered such losses from Hurricane Harvey in Texas and those who are awaiting the chastisement of Hurricane Irma in Florida. 

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 his minions, consecrate yourself to her and trust her. She never forsakes her children!

Today, we add this Blessing in Tempests we received from a priest in the path of Hurricane Irma.

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 you.
℟. 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.

And now, we reprint this earlier post for all those in the path of Hurricane Irma:.

Our Lord Jesus Christ taught us to pray to God as our loving Father. Now, we shall see His providence for us. Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, merciful Savior, we place our trust in Thee! Immaculate and Merciful Heart of Mary, our Mother, pray for us!

For those in the path of the hurricane, we offer this prayer to protect our homes and families from danger of storms.

Family Prayer for Protection in the Storm

O Holy and merciful God, who rules the earth and sea, and commands the wind, the waves, and every force of nature, have mercy on Thy children, who are helpless before the wrathful weather, which threatens our homes and families. Lord Jesus, we turn to Thee as the Apostles did when frightened by the storm on the Sea of Galilee, trusting that if Thou wilt, Thou canst calm the storm and save us from all danger.

Most Blessed Virgin Mary, most merciful and loving Mother of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and by His infinite mercy, our own Mother too, intercede for us in this great peril. Mediatrix of grace, grant us grace to offer all trials and dangers to Our Lord Jesus Christ through thine Immaculate Heart for love of Him, for reparation for sins, for the conversion of sinners and for our Pope and priests. Amen.

“And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that the ship was filled. And He was in the hinder part of the ship, sleeping upon a pillow; and they awake Him, and say to Him: Master, doth it not concern Thee that we perish?”

 

Prayer for God’s Blessing in Danger of Storms

(We pray this as we walk inside the house, pausing at each window and door.  At each , make the Sign of the Cross with Holy Water)

 Jesus Christ, the King of Glory has come in Peace.
 God became man,
  The Word was made flesh.
 Christ was born of Mary the Virgin.
 Christ went through their midst in Peace,
 Christ suffered.
 Christ was crucified.
 Christ died.
 Christ rose from the dead.
 Christ ascended into Heaven.
 Christ conquers.
 Christ reigns.
 Christ commands.
 Christ is with us with Mary, His Mother.
 May Christ protect us from all storms and lightning.
 Flee you enemy spirits because the Lion of the Generation of Juda, the Root David, has won!
 Holy God!
 Holy Powerful God!
 Holy Immortal God!
 Have mercy on us. Amen.

Let us pray,
Pater, Ave, and Gloria.

Eternal Father, by the Blood of Jesus have mercy; sign us with the Blood of the Immaculate Lamb Jesus Christ, as You signed  the people of Israel, in order to deliver them from death: and Mary, Mother of mercy, pray to God and appease Him for us, and obtain for us the grace we ask.

Save us, Christ our Savior, by the virtue of Thy holy cross; Who did save Peter in the sea, have mercy on us. Amen.

Additionally, in times of danger to our families, the Glorious Mysteries of Our Lady’s Rosary are a great comfort. Children especially, benefit from the focus on the Victory of Our Lord Jesus Christ  and the Blessed Virgin Mary, our Mother.

If you have devotions and would like to share them, please let us know. Thank you!

  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.

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

The Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, 2017

“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 gush over the earth.”

(Communication of Our Lord Jesus Christ to Sister Lúcia, in her Letter to Bp. Gurza May 27, 1943)

Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, pray for us, pray for our priests!

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.

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

“Yes, Jacinta and Francisco, I will take them soon, but you shall remain here for a certain time. Jesus wishes to use you to make me known and loved. He wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart.” Then, to Lúcia’s plaintive plea, “Am I to be left here all alone?”, she responded with a solemn promise, “No, my daughter, you suffer a great deal. Do not be discouraged, I will never abandon you! My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge, and the way which will lead you to God.”

Over twenty years later, Lúcia confided in her confessor, Father Aparicio that Our Lady’s promise had indeed been her consolation.

“The Immaculate Heart of Mary is my refuge, especially in the most difficult hours. There, I am always secure. It is the heart of the best of mothers; it is always attentive and it watches over the least of its children. How this certainty encourages and strengthens me! In her I find strength and consolation. This Immaculate Heart is the channel by which God makes the multitude of His graces gush into my soul. Help me to be grateful to her and to correspond to such great mercies.”

These two most loving Hearts knew that for Our Lady to enter into the foul arena of world events would mean most certain insults and scorn. And yet, her two overpowering loves drove her to this extreme; love for her divine Son, and love for her children, purchased at such great price.

In Pontevedra, on December 10, 1925, Sister Lúcia was favored with a visit from our Blessed Mother and the Child Jesus. First, the Child Jesus spoke,

“Have pity on the Heart of your Most Holy Mother. It is covered with the thorns with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment and there is no one to remove them with an act of reparation.”

Then, our Blessed Mother extended her hand in which she held her heart surrounded with thorns and said,

“Behold, my daughter, my heart encircled with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce me at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. Do you at least try to console me and announce in my name that I promise to assist at the hour of death with the graces necessary for salvation all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months confess, receive Holy Communion, recite the Rosary and keep me company for 15 minutes meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary with the intention of making reparation to me.”

Thus, Our Lady of Fatima came to request the devotion of the First Saturdays of Reparation years before she asked for the Consecration of Russia, indicating the need to prepare spiritually for such a monumental task. The Pope in 1925 was Pius XI and he could easily have instituted this devotion. Bishops all over the world, even a vast movement of faithful could have driven this devotion to an overwhelming tide of penitential support for the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Sadly, this never happened.

In 1930, Sister Lucia asked Our Lord Jesus Christ why five First Saturdays instead of any other number. Sister Lúcia said that Our Lord explained that there are five offenses against the Immaculate Heart of His Mother which require reparation. They are:

  • Blasphemies against the Immaculate Conception;
  • Blasphemies against Her Perpetual Virginity;
  • Blasphemies against Her Divine Maternity, in refusing at the same time to recognize Her as the Mother of men.
  • Blasphemies of those who publicly seek to sow in the hearts of children indifference or scorn, or even hatred of our Immaculate Mother;
  • The offenses of those who outrage Her directly in Her holy images.

Today, we will speak of only one of the offenses. The others may be found in our post: Reparation for Blasphemy Against Mary. For blasphemies against her Maternity, one of the best examples is the way the Second Vatican Council scorned the proposed schema on the Blessed Virgin Mary in favor of a watered down, ambiguously worded tribute. This complex issue is covered very well in Dr. Roberto de Mattei’s, “The Second Vatican Council, an unwritten story. Dr. de Mattei provides examples of the expressed intentions of the Council Fathers to minimize the role of Mary in order to promote ecumenism. He references Congar, Rahner, Laurentin, Frings and others, but perhaps the most telling quote was the one from Pope John XXIII when he was Patriarch of Venice. In a letter of 22 April, 1954, the pontiff wrote of Mary,

“Jesus dying said to John: Behold your Mother – this is sufficient for the faith and for the liturgy. The rest may be edifying (and it is mostly) and for many pious and devout souls, moving; but for many, many more, even if they are well-inclined towards the Catholic Church – it is irritating – and as we say these days – counter-productive”.

Amazing. Devotion to Mary is “irritating”? Really? And Pope Francis must agree with Roncalli, since he canonized him! By the way, have we ever seen Pope Francis lead a Rosary Procession? Or honor her in any way? Oh, now I remember – he placed a beach ball and a soccer jersey on the high altar of Sta. Maria Maggiore. And so, from John XXIII to Francis, we see how well the modernists honor our Immaculate Mother.

Prayer of Reparation for Blasphemy Against the Blessed Virgin Mary

Most glorious Virgin Mary, Mother of God and our Mother, turn thine eyes in pity upon us, miserable sinners; we are sorely afflicted by the many evils that surround us in this life, but especially do we feel our hearts break within us upon hearing the dreadful insults and blasphemies uttered against thee, O Virgin Immaculate.

O how these impious sayings offend the infinite Majesty of God and of His only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ! How they provoke His indignation and give us cause to fear the terrible effects of His vengeance! Would that the sacrifice of our lives might avail to put an end to such outrages and blasphemies; were it so, how gladly we should make it; for we desire, O most holy Mother, to love thee and to honor thee with all our hearts, since this is the will of God. And because we love thee, we will do all that is in our power to make thee honored and loved by all men.

In the meantime do thou, our merciful Mother, the supreme comforter of the afflicted, accept this our act of reparation which we offer thee for ourselves and for all our families, as well as for all who impiously blaspheme thee, not knowing what they say. Do thou obtain for them from Almighty God the grace of conversion, and thus render more manifest and more glorious thy kindness, thy power and thy great mercy. May they join with us in proclaiming thee blessed among women, the Immaculate Virgin and most compassionate Mother of God. Amen.

On this her feast day, she is always especially generous to her true children, those who are consecrated to her Immaculate Heart. Ask her boldly for the graces you need to advance in her service! You will be amazed at her generosity!

Note: Paul VI changed the date for this Feast day, but we keep the traditional calendar in which her feast day is on the octave of the Assumption, as originally set by Pope Pius XII.

And now, for those who were unable to renew their Consecrations on the Feast of the Assumption, we offer:

Act of Consecration to Jesus through Mary

O Eternal and incarnate Wisdom! O sweetest and most adorable Jesus! True God and true man, only Son of the Eternal Father, and of Mary, always virgin! I adore Thee profoundly in the bosom and splendors of Thy Father during eternity; and I adore Thee also in the virginal bosom of Mary, Thy most worthy Mother, in the time of Thine incarnation.

I give Thee thanks for that Thou hast annihilated Thyself, taking the form of a slave in order to rescue me from the cruel slavery of the devil. I praise and glorify Thee for that Thou hast been pleased to submit Thyself to Mary, Thy holy Mother, in all things, in order to make me Thy faithful slave through her. But, alas! Ungrateful and faithless as I have been, I have not kept the promises which I made so solemnly to Thee in my Baptism; I have not fulfilled my obligations; I do not deserve to be called Thy child, nor yet Thy slave; and as there is nothing in me which does not merit Thine anger and Thy repulse, I dare not come by myself before Thy most holy and august Majesty. It is on this account that I have recourse to the intercession of Thy most holy Mother, whom Thou hast given me for a mediatrix with Thee. It is through her that I hope to obtain of Thee contrition, the pardon of my sins, and the acquisition and preservation of wisdom.

Hail, then, O immaculate Mary, living tabernacle of the Divinity, where the Eternal Wisdom willed to be hidden and to be adored by angels and by men! Hail, O Queen of Heaven and earth, to whose empire everything is subject which is under God. Hail, O sure refuge of sinners, whose mercy fails no one. Hear the desires which I have of the Divine Wisdom; and for that end receive the vows and offerings which in my lowliness I present to thee.

I, ________________, a faithless sinner, renew and ratify today in thy hands the vows of my Baptism; I renounce forever Satan, his pomps and works; and I give myself entirely to Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Wisdom, to carry my cross after Him all the days of my life, and to be more faithful to Him than I have ever been before. In the presence of all the heavenly court I choose thee this day for my Mother and Mistress. I deliver and consecrate to thee, as thy slave, my body and soul, my goods, both interior and exterior, and even the value of all my good actions, past, present and future; leaving to thee the entire and full right of disposing of me, and all that belongs to me, without exception, according to thy good pleasure, for the greater glory of God in time and in eternity.

Receive, O benignant Virgin, this little offering of my slavery, in honor of, and in union with, that subjection which the Eternal Wisdom deigned to have to thy maternity; in homage to the power which both of you have over this poor sinner, and in thanksgiving for the privileges with which the Holy Trinity has favored thee. I declare that I wish henceforth, as thy true slave, to seek thy honor and to obey thee in all things.

O admirable Mother, present me to thy dear Son as His eternal slave, so that as He has redeemed me by thee, by thee He may receive me! O Mother of mercy, grant me the grace to obtain the true Wisdom of God; and for that end receive me among those whom thou lovest and teachest, whom thou leadest, nourishest and protectest as thy children and thy slaves.

O faithful Virgin, make me in all things so perfect a disciple, imitator and slave of the Incarnate Wisdom, Jesus Christ thy Son, that I may attain, by thine intercession and by thine example, to the fullness of His age on earth and of His glory in Heaven. Amen.

Or, if you prefer, St. Maximilian Kolbe’s Consecration is in the sidebar on the right.

For the Litany of the Immaculate Heart of Mary: “The Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary“.

Perhaps you might also like this similar post: On Mother’s Day, to 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.

  St. Joseph, protect us, protect our families, protect our priests!

 St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.

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

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

The Name Written on Her Heart

We offer, in preparation for tomorrow’s Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Archbishop Lefebvre’s sermon in her honor.

The Name Written on Her Heart

Sermon by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, August 22, 1976

Dear Brethren,

The feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, whose solemnity we celebrate today is a com­paratively new feast and an example of what the Church can do and has done in relatively recent times to adapt the spirit and the riches of the Church to the present day. If any feast reminds us of the truths we need, of truths that when meditating we desire to apply to our souls, that of the Immaculate Heart of Mary certainly does.

Immaculate Heart of Mary
“By your pure and Immaculate Conception, O Mary, obtain for me the conversion of Russia, Spain, Portugal, Europe and the whole world.”

This feast clearly has a special link to the apparitions of Our Lady at Fatima, and it was Pius XII who wished that we honor the Immaculate Heart of Mary on the octave day of the Assumption.

Ah, yes, since the 17th century devotion to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary has existed. We just celebrated this week the feast of St. John Eudes, who founded congregations under the patronage of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary. But if our Holy Father Pius XII decided to honor in a special way the Immaculate Heart of Mary, it was because our times had need of the devotion.

In these times of hardship, in these times where Christians are deprived of what they formerly had, we need the manifestation of the charity of Our Lord, which was so clearly seen during other Christian centuries. One saw religious houses everywhere. Throughout Christendom monasteries, convents, and hospitals were thickly sown. So many religious houses peopled our villages, our countryside, and our cities, that we had the impression—I imagine that the people who lived in those times had the impression—to be entirely surrounded by the love of our Lord Jesus Christ. For His love was made manifest, as you might say, on every street corner. There were calvaries; there were images of Our Lady; there were hospitals run by religious; there were refuges for the poor, pilgrims, and those in suffering. Everywhere the charity of Our Lord was manifest.

But in our times, how harsh our world has become! We no longer find this charity of Our Lord in our cities or our countryside. Oh, there are still, of course, souls devoted to Our Lord, but how many compared to the total population? And how much work there remains to do in those countries that do not yet know of Our Lord’s charity, enormous lands like China, Africa, and many others that are still far from this charity!

The Divine Love which Fills the Heart of the Blessed Virgin

And so it seems to me that we need the Blessed Virgin Mary in our times. We need the Blessed Virgin to help us keep the faith, to feel the warmth of Our Lord’s love for us. We no longer see His love with our eyes, and as we see it less and less, we need to feel that Our Lady is near us. And I think that is why Our Lady asked at Fatima that we pray to her Immaculate Heart. We need the divine love which fills the Heart of the Blessed Virgin.

And we also need her Immaculate Heart: immaculate, that is without stain, without sin. God knows that we no longer have around us the example of lives entirely devoted to our Lord Jesus Christ, who carry out the law of Our Lord, His law of love, for the commandments of God are contained in love of God and love of neighbor.

But today, you are witnesses of what goes on in our society, where we murder children, where people commit suicide. Did you know that here in Switzerland, there are more suicides than fatalities due to car accidents? A newspaper recently reported that there were 1800 suicides last year, but only 1600 deaths due to car accidents: 1800 suicides! And mostly of young people. What does that mean? It means that these poor souls no longer felt the love of Our Lord around them; they were disgusted by the life that surrounded them, to the point that they committed suicide. And if what happens in a large number of other countries was made public, we would be horrified.

When one thinks about divorce! So many abandoned children who are torn between father and mother. We live painful lives in a harsh society, where charity is no longer practiced.

Blessed Virgin Mary as Mother

I experienced this personally when I was sent to the African nations, where I worked for 30 years. What struck me the most was the hatred one sensed there. The people were full of hate: one village hated another, one family hated another. The result of this hatred was suicide, poisonings and murders. The love of our Lord Jesus Christ did not reign.

We do not know how fortunate we are to have our Lord Jesus Christ as our Father and the Blessed Virgin Mary as our Mother. From these examples we must draw our love for God and for our models. For if the Blessed Virgin Mary had a most loving heart, her love was all for our Lord Jesus Christ and for all those “attached” to Him, and to lead all souls to our Lord Jesus Christ, to her Son Jesus. She lived for this love.

And because she loved Our Lord she was never able to offend Him; she simply couldn’t. She was conceived immaculate, born immaculate, and she remains immaculate all her life. She is then for us a model of purity of heart, of obedience to the law of our Lord Jesus Christ.

And because she loved Our Lord, she wanted to suffer with Him and share His sufferings. Sharing suffering is a sign of love. She saw her Son Jesus suffer and she wished to suffer with Him. When the heart of Jesus was pierced, so was hers, the heart of Mary! These two pierced hearts lived in unity for the glory of God, for the reign of God, for the reign of our Lord Jesus Christ. They fought for that alone.

And for this reason we too must be ready to suffer for the reign of our Lord Jesus Christ. He no longer reigns in our societies, nor in our families, nor in our own selves. Yet we need His reign. It is the only reason for the existence of our souls, our bodies, of humanity, and this earth and all of God’s creation: that Jesus Christ may reign; that He may give to souls His life, His salvation, His charity, His glory.

. . .

We must therefore be strong and ask the most blessed Virgin Mary on this day that we, like her, may have only one love in our hearts: that of our Lord Jesus Christ; only one name written on our hearts: that of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The above is excerpted. The entire sermon is well worth reading and can be found here.

Ed. Note: As we place Archbishop Lefebvre’s words about Africa in their context, we see that the passage of time has only proved his point; the hatred he witnessed in Africa was the result of the absence of Our Lord Jesus Christ and His Immaculate Mother. To the extent that the good African people embraced the faith, the hatred dissipated and contrariwise, to the extent that the hate-filled sect of Allah and other false religions  prevailed, so did hatred and violence. And now, as we survey the shambles of the dissolution of Christendom, we should be able to see even more clearly, the need for the pure and perfect love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

My words here are sometimes taken to be an endorsement of a sort of pacifism. To be quite clear: I am saying that our actions  must first be based on devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and once we have this solid spiritual footing under us, our Queen and Mother will give us guidance  to lead us to the reign of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, King.  Attempting the material success without adequate spiritual preparation is  hubris and it never succeeds in spiritual matters! Have we learned nothing?

For it was in  Rianjo, August, 1931, that Sister Lúcia was reminded by Our Lord of His insistence on the intervention of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In her words,

“… as I was asking God for the conversion of Russia, Spain and Portugal, it seemed to me that His Divine Majesty said to me: “You console Me a great deal by asking Me for the conversion of those poor nations. Ask it also of My Mother frequently, saying: ‘Sweet Heart of Mary, be the salvation of Russia, Spain, Portugal, Europe and the whole world.’

At other times say: ‘By your pure and Immaculate Conception, O Mary, obtain for me the conversion of Russia, Spain, Portugal, Europe and the entire world.’ “

At that same time, Our Lord assured Sister Lúcia,  “Make it known to My ministers that, given they follow the example of the King of France in delaying the execution of My request, they will follow him into misfortune. It will never be too late to have recourse to Jesus and Mary.”  (Father Alonso in “Fatima Ante la Esfinge”, quoted by Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité,  “The Whole Truth About Fatima, V. II”.)

As our readers have noted, today is also the day we remember the apparition of Our Lady of Knock, Ireland.

For previous posts on Knock:

Eucharist and Apocalypse Part II
The message of Our Lady of Knock
What John saw and what Lucia saw

And so, we urge as always,

Pray the Rosary with confidence and joy!

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

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

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

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

For souls entrusted to us

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Act of Thanksgiving for Graces Received from the Infant Jesus

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

†   †   †

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Magdalen in the Passion of the Church

Today is the Feast Day of Saint Mary Magdalen, model for pentients.

Of Mary Magdalen, Lacordaire  said,

“Mary Magdalene touches both sides of our life: the Sinner anoints us with her tears, the Saint with her tenderness, the one soothes our wounds at the feet of Christ, the other tries to exalt us to the ravishment of her ascension.”

“Many sins are forgiven her because she hath loved much.”

We often see Magdalen at the feet of Christ.  Luke tells us that Mary sat at the feet of Christ, listening to Him, while Martha complained.  When Jesus returned to Bethany to raise Mary’s brother, Lazarus, she ran to Him and  cast herself at His feet. Before His Passion, she knelt at His feet and anointed them.  At the Crucifixion, she stood at His feet, beside Our Lord’s most Blessed Mother, comforting Mary and adoring her Master.  Each time, Our Lord defended her. “Mary has chosen the better part.” After the anointing, “Let her alone. That which she has done will be told in memory of her.”  But note this change: on that glorious Easter Sunday, when she discovered her Risen Lord, she threw herself at His feet once again, but this time Our Lord pointed her to their heavenly Father, “I ascend to my Father and to your Father, to my God and your God.”  Thus, we see Our Lord urging Mary to aspire to a higher union, dying with Christ in contemplation to rise with Him in eternal glory.

Penitent to Contemplative

Father Alban Butler’s Life of Mary Magdalen tells us that the Magdalen is the first in a  “new order of souls”, which he describes as a school of love by the martyrdom of the heart which by learning to die to the world and to inordinate self-love, lives to God and His pure love. This happiness we attain to, by being united in spirit to Jesus crucified, as Magdalen was at the foot of His cross. She suffered by love what He suffered in His body by the hands of the Jews. The same cross crucified Jesus and Magdalen in Him and with Him. … so that she could say in a twofold sense; “My love is crucified.”

She spent the last thirty years of her life in contemplation of her Beloved, in the wilderness of Provence, where legend has it that she was elevated from her grotto to the peak of the mountain seven times each day until she died. What saw she from her celestial heights?

In Sacred Scripture, of all the figures which surrounded  Our Lord Jesus Christ, it appears as though Mary Magdalen has chosen the surest path to His heart.  Why did Our Lord choose such a notorious sinner as Mary Magdalen? Was it not to show us His favoritism towards repentant sinners?  Some may read this and think that they at least have never been such a reprobate as Mary Magdalen. Well, perhaps we each of us should rather say,

“My Jesus, mercy, for I have never repented of my sins so completely, so fervently as Magdalen. My faith has been lukewarm at best!”

And perhaps now is a good time to ask Mary Magdalen, patroness of penitents, to intercede for us that God grant us a generous and sacrificial heart like hers. May her generous heart embrace our small and cautious  hearts and free us of that most pernicious disorder of these times, indifference to the sufferings of Christ in the Passion of His Church.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Immaculata, beautiful flower of Carmel, pray for us

O Mary Immaculate, Beauty of Carmel, you offer us your scapular, the very garment of your grace. By it, grant us graces to be your true children and grow in humility, obedience, holiness and purity.

Immaculate Mother of God, Flower of Carmel, pray for us, pray for the Church!
Immaculate Mother of God, Flower of Carmel, pray for us, pray for the Church!

Today, 16 July, we honor Our Blessed Mother under her title, Our Lady of Mount Carmel. It is a title particularly pleasing to her, as she appeared at Fatima on 13 October, 1917 wearing the Carmelite habit and holding the Brown Scapular of Mount Carmel as if offering it to mankind. To her children, Mary’s suggestions are her commands and we would have expected that this apparition alone caused all devout Catholics worldwide to subsequently become enrolled in the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. There should have been a vast movement of priests preaching this devotion, with Pope and Bishops leading the way. However, we all know that nothing of the sort happened.

In his wonderful book, Divine Intimacy, Father Gabriel tells us,
“The Blessed Virgin is a Mother who clothes us with grace and takes our supernatural life under her protection, in order to bring it to its full flowering in eternal life….The Scapular, the little habit, that Our Lady of Mount Carmel offers us, is only the external symbol of her unceasing, maternal care: the symbol, but also the sign, the pledge of eternal salvation. ‘My beloved son’, Mary said to St. Simon Stock, ‘Take this scapular…whoever dies clothed in it will not suffer eternal fire’. The Blessed Virgin gives the assurance of the supreme grace of final perseverance to all who wear worthily her little habit.”(Divine Intimacy, p. 1146, published by TAN Books.)

In Isaiah 32, verses 16-18, we read, “And judgment shall dwell in the wilderness, and justice shall sit in Carmel. And the work of justice shall be peace, and the service of justice quietness, and security for ever. And my people shall sit in the beauty of peace, and in the tabernacles of confidence, and in wealthy rest.” Now, by the “wealthy rest” is not meant the protestant gospel of prosperity, which makes a virtue of usurious materialism, but the spiritual wealth accruing from a firm commitment to the sanctification of our souls by following Christ in justice. Carmel signifies Garden and Mary’s Immaculate Heart is truly a Garden of virtues to which she welcomes her children, those who wear her habit, even the little habit of her Brown Scapular.

It was such a delight to discover that Carmel means garden in Hebrew, because I have always pictured interiorly the Annunciation as occurring in Mary’s garden in Nazareth. I’ve been unable to locate an image online of the Annunciation which portrayed it outdoors. In my heart though, she is always in a garden as I visit her there each day to begin my Rosary with her First Joyful Mystery. Of course, the Mysteries of the Rosary being so interlinked with significance, that first mystery always leads one to Our Lord’s Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, which is the First Sorrowful Mystery. And thus Mary’s sweet, obedient, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord”  is irrevocably linked to Our Lord’s obedience in, “Yet not My will, but Thine be done, Father.”

Continue reading “Immaculata, beautiful flower of Carmel, pray for us”