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.
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.
“Je te montrerai le chemin du ciel.” I will show you the path to Heaven! St. Jean Marie Vianney
Today, August 8, we honor one of the greatest saints – Saint Jean Marie Vianney. He is great because he is humble. That is a rare quality today in the new barbarity of extreme individualism. In these dark days, it is commonplace to see the most degrading and perverse sins celebrated under the banner of “PRIDE!” That should be a grave warning, but tragically, it is not. And so, we offer the thoughts of Saint Jean-Baptiste- Marie Vianney, the Curé d’Ars as a salutary remedy.
“Woe is me, for I have sinned so much during my life.”
Thus spoke St. Augustine, when he thought over his past life, which he had spent incessantly in the abominable vice of impurity. As often as the thought occurred to him, his heart was torn and devoured by repentance. “Oh, my Lord,” he exclaimed, “I have lived without loving Thee; oh, my Lord, how many precious years have I lost! Deign, O Lord, I implore Thee, to efface from Thy memory my past faults!”
Oh, precious tears, O salutary contrition, which made of such a great sinner so great a saint! Oh, how quickly does a really contrite heart regain the friendship of God! Ah, would to God that every time we let our sins pass before our mind’s eye, we could say with the repentant St. Augustine: “Ah, woe is me. I have sinned much during my life; have mercy on me, O Lord! ” How soon would we alter our mode of living!
Yes, my brethren, let us all who are here present, confess with the same fervent repentance and sincerity, that we are great sinners who deserve to experience the full wrath of God. And let us praise God’s infinite mercy, who gives us abundantly of His treasures to solace us in our misery. If our sins have been ever so great, and our life has been ever so dissolute, we are sure of His pardon, if we follow the example of the prodigal son and throw ourselves with a contrite heart at the feet of the best of fathers.
SINCERE HATRED FOR SIN
Now let me show to you, my Christian friends, that our repentance must have this quality before it can procure for us pardon for our sins: The sinner must, in consequence of his repentance, hate his sins sincerely, and detest them. To make you fully understand what is meant by repentance, that is, the pain which our sins should cause our conscience− I would have to show you on the one hand the abhorrence which the Lord has for them, and the torments which He had to suffer to gain pardon for them from God the Father and, on the other hand, the blessings we lose by committing sin, and the evils which we bring down upon ourselves in the next world; but no man will ever be able to understand this fully.
But you may ask, “What does this word ‘repentance’ mean, and how can we tell whether we have it or not?” . . . Now, if you ask me what repentance is, I tell you that it is an anguish of the soul, and a detestation for past sin, and a firm resolve never to sin again. Yes, my brethren, this is the foremost of all conditions which God makes before pardoning our sins, and it can never be dispensed with.
Without (repentance), it is impossible, absolutely impossible, to obtain forgiveness. Yes, my brethren, I must say with deep regret that the want of repentance is the cause of a great number of sacrilegious Confessions and Communions, and what is stillmore to be regretted is the circumstance that many do not realize what a sad state they are in, and live and die in it.
Now, my friends, if we had the misfortune to conceal a sin in Confession, this sin is constantly before our eyes like a monster which threatens to devour us, and it causes us to soon go to Confession again, so as to free ourselves from it.
But it is different with repentance; we confess, but our heart does not take part in the accusation which we make against ourselves. We approach the Holy Sacrament with as cold, unfeeling, and indifferent a heart as if performing an indifferent act of no consequence. Thus we live from day to day, from year to year, until we approach death, when we expect to find that we have done something to our credit, only to discover nothing but sacrileges, which we have committed by our Confessions and Communions.
Oh, my God, how many Christians there are who will discover at the hour of their death nothing but invalid Confessions!
But I will not go further into this matter, for fear that I may frighten you, and yet you ought really to be brought to the verge of despair, so that you may stop immediately, and improve your condition right now, instead of waiting until that moment when you will recognize your condition, and when it will be too late to improve it.
But let us continue with our explanation, and you will soon learn, my brethren, whether you had the repentance in all your Confessions, which is so absolutely necessary for the forgiveness of sin. I said that repentance is an anguish of soul. It is absolutely necessary that a sinner weep over his sins either in this world or the next. In this world we can wipe out our sins by repentance, but not in the next. We should be very grateful to our dear Lord that the anguish of our soul is sufficient for Him to let it be followed by eternal joy, instead of making us suffer that eternal repentance and those awful tortures which would be our lot in the next life, that is, hell.
QUALITIES OF TRUE REPENTANCE
It must come from the bottom of the heart. It need not necessarily show itself in tears; they are good and useful, but they are not essential. . . The anguish of soul which God demands of us is like the one of which the prophet says: “Rend your heart and not your garments. A sacrifice to God is an afflicted spirit; a contrite and humbled heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise.”
Why does God require that our heart should feel this anguish? Because it is in the heart where we commit our sins. “It is the heart,” says the Lord, “where all bad thoughts, all sinful desires, originate.” Therefore, if our heart is guilty, the heart must suffer, or God will never forgive us.
It must be supernatural; that means, that the Holy Ghost and not natural causes must call it forth. To be troubled about a sin one has committed because it would exclude us from paradise and lead us into hell, is a supernatural motive, of which the Holy Ghost is the originator, and will lead to true repentance. But to be troubled about a sin because of the shame of which it will be the consequence, or the misfortune it will cause us, that is merely a natural sorrow, which does not merit pardon. It is perfectly plain, then, that the anguish of soul caused by our sins, must arise from our love of God and our fear of His chastisement.
It must be unlimited, that is, the anguish it calls forth must be greater than any other sorrow, as, for instance, at the loss of our parents, or our health, or in general at the loss of anything that is dearest to us in this life. The reason why our sorrow must be so great is because it must be equivalent to the loss it will cause us, and the misfortune it will bring us after our death. Imagine, then, how great an anguish ought to be ours over a sin which deprives us of all the glories of heaven, alienates our dear Lord from us, and casts us into hell, which is the greatest of all misfortunes.
But, you may ask, how are we to know whether we possess this true repentance? Nothing is easier. If you have real repentance, you will neither act, nor think, as you did before, and you will change your mode of life completely; you will hate what you have loved and you will love what you have despised and avoided.
Repentance must be comprehensive. We see in the lives of the saints, in regard to the comprehensiveness of repentance, that we cannot receive pardon for one sin, even if we have properly repented the same, if we do not feel the same repentance for all our sins.
Lord, if it be possible, make the repentance over my sins equal to the offense which I have given you!
Examine yourselves and see how rare is such repentance. Alas, it is as scarce as a good Confession! Yes, my brethren, a Christian who has sinned and wishes to obtain pardon, must be so minded that he would rather suffer the most cruel tortures than fall back into the sin which he has just confessed. And this disposition is obtained by prayer—earnest, fervent prayer. “Create a clean heart in me, O God: and renew a right spirit within my bowels. Cast me not away from thy face, and take not thy holy spirit from me,” (Ps. 1. 12)
Joined to this repentance will naturally be a firm resolve not to commit the sin again; and this is the contrite and humbled heart which God will not despise, but receive again as His child, and restore to him all the privileges of a child of God, and heir to the Heavenly Kingdom which I wish you all. Amen.
The excerpts above are from the collection, “Sermons of the Curé of Ars: Sermons for all the Sundays and Feast Days of the Year”, published by KIC. Kindle Edition. It is a treasure trove of wisdom from this amazing saint!
Pray the Rosary for the conversion and repentence of Pope Francis and the hierarchy!
Ed. Note: The epigram at top of page is thanks to Rorate Caeli.
† . 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.
~ 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!
This post from evensong’s draft archives. Updated by peregrine.
“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”.
Today we offer the second part of our earlier post. We need to learn from these good children, for Our Lady chose them to lead us, and our failure to follow is bringing very difficult times on the whole world and particularly in the Church as we watch the destruction grow week by week.
In our previous post on Saint Jacinta, we spoke of Our Lady’s visit to Saints Francisco and Jacinta Marto in January, 1919. In her Memoirs, Lúcia tells us,
“Our Lady came to see us”, Jacinta said. “She told us She would come to take Francisco to Heaven very soon, and She asked me if I still wanted to convert more sinners. I said I did. She told me I would be going to a hospital where I would suffer a great deal; and that I am to suffer for the conversion of sinners, in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and for love of Jesus. I asked if you (Lúcia) would go with me. She said you wouldn’t, and that is what I find hardest. She said my mother would take me, and then I would have to stay there all alone!”
In Volume II, Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité speaks of Sister Lúcia’s impression of Jacinta:
“Jacinta was the one who received from Our Lady a greater abundance of grace, and a better knowledge of God and of virtue”
Although she was indeed the youngest of the three seers, it was she who appeared to enjoy the greatest intimacy with the Most Holy Virgin. When the cycle of the six great public apparitions was completed, Jacinta continued almost uninterruptedly to enjoy supernatural favors, right up until her death.
In our earlier post on Jacinta, we mentioned Frère Michel’s remark,
“It is indeed surprising to observe how much, after the apparition of July 13, the thought of the Holy Father kept constantly coming back to the minds of the three seers. This was one of their major preoccupations, along with solicitude for sinners, and the sight of the terrifying war to come. Why? Undoubtedly because the Pope plays a role of decisive importance in the great prophecy of the Secret: he is already named five times in the published part of the Secret; we may believe that he is mentioned again in the part which has not yet been published. Let us add that several supernatural communications Sister Lúcia was later favored with, concerning the role of the Holy Father in the great prophecy of the Secret, surely supply us with the context which sheds much light on the visions of Jacinta. “
In her memoirs, Lúcia recalled several prophetic visions given to little Jacinta.
“One day we spent our siesta down by my parents’ well. Jacinta sat on the stone slab on top of the well. Francisco and I climbed up a steep bank in search of wild honey among the brambles in a nearby thicket. After a little while, Jacinta called out to me: ‘Didn’t you see the Holy Father?’ ‘No.’
‘I don’t know how it was, but I saw the Holy Father in a very big house, kneeling by a table, with his head buried in his hands, and he was weeping. Outside the house, there were many people. Some of them were throwing stones, others were cursing him and using bad language. Poor Holy Father, we must pray much for him.’
“I have already told you how, one day, two priests recommended that we pray for the Holy Father, and explained to us who the Pope was. Afterwards, Jacinta asked me: ‘Is he the one I saw weeping, the one Our Lady told us about in the Secret?’ ‘Yes, he is,’ I answered. (And Jacinta, with childlike candour, went on:) ‘The Lady must surely have shown him also to those priests. You see, I wasn’t mistaken. We need to pray a lot for him.’
Please note: This post edited and new material added at 9:20 a.m. Friday, July 19, 2019.
This is our follow-up post to “The Vision of Hell”, which we posted on July 13, 2019.
Previously, we discussed that the Message of Our Lady at Fatima on her third visit, July 13, 1917 was a watershed moment. The previous apparitions, including the Angel’s visits, prepared for this one and this apparition is essential for understanding the subsequent ones. For it was on this day, as Lúcia relates, that ‘Our Lady deigned to reveal to us the Secret’. (“The Whole Secret of Fatima, Vol. 1, available free from www.archive.org.) The following are excerpts with commentary from that volume.
“…The message of July 13 appears to us very clearly divided into two parts:
First, there are the words which were divulged immediately,
Second, the long text of the secret which the seers carefully kept hidden.
However, what is important is that the two parts of the message are very closely connected.”
In today’s post we will look at the text, or meaning, behind the bare words themselves.
From Frère Michel de la Trinité:
The obsessive fear for the salvation of souls, which is the other key of the secret, with its terrible first part, the gripping vision of hell, was clearly manifested at the very moment of the apparition, inscribed on the faces of the seers. All the witnesses in fact noticed the great sorrow which suddenly overwhelmed them. Those who were very near were very much moved by the sudden cry which fell from the lips of Lúcia. ‘At this moment’, says Ti Marto, ‘Lúcia took a deep breath, went as pale as death, and we heard her cry out in terror to Our Lady, calling Her by name.’
Is it not this same fright, distorting their faces, which is still visible on the photograph of the three seers taken by Mario Godinho, a few minutes after the apparition?
It was also on July 13 that Our Lady revealed the only two prayers She taught the children, the one just before the secret, to invite them to sacrifice, and the other right after, to complete each decade of the Rosary, popularly called the “Fatima Decade Prayer.” These are two very brief formulas, which show once again the humility and also the great pedagogy of the Virgin Mary. They are almost ejaculatory prayers which can easily come unceasingly to our lips. They are two precious pearls which, in a few words, synthesize the essence of Her message…
AN URGENT SUPPLICATION FOR THE SALVATION OF SOULS.
Right after the end of the secret, Our Lady continued:
‘When you say the Rosary, say after each mystery:
‘O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fire of hell; lead all souls to Heaven, especially those most in need.’
O MY JESUS
The two prayers taught by Our Lady are addressed to Her Son, to Jesus Christ our Savior. This alone suffices to destroy the calumnies of the reformists opposed to Fatima under the fallacious pretext that Her message is not Christocentric enough! What an error! At Fatima, Our Lady willed to add to the Rosary, the great prayer in Her honour this short invocation addressed to Jesus the Savior. Inserted between the Gloria Patri to the Holy Trinity, the Our Fathers and the Aves, which supplicate God our Father and our Blessed Mother in Heaven, this little prayer enlarges the divine horizon of our Rosary.
The thought of our sin, this sin so profoundly rooted in us and which threatens to cause our ruin, is present everywhere in the message of Fatima. There is not one of the nine apparitions of the Angel and the most Blessed Virgin which does not make some allusion to sin. Each of the four prayers taught to us, brief as they are, all make some mention of it. This prayer, which is no exception, echoes the litany of Paters and Aves: Forgive us our trespasses (from the Our Father), and pray for us sinners (from the Hail Mary).
DELIVER US FROM THE FIRE OF HELL!
This supplication, the most urgent, refers of course to the vision of hell. The concrete evocation of its terrifying fire was willed expressly to call to mind the description of hell sketched by Lúcia. Yes, it is willed by Our Lady, who is the sovereign teacher, that this word hell always remind us of this devouring fire, which most exactly expresses its terrible reality. [Editor’s note: this was also a warning against the heretical notion that Hell is empty that is so prevalent today.]
‘Livrai nos do fogo do inferno!’ The expression is strong and vigorous, and deliberately so. Not only ‘preserve us’, but more exactly, ‘deliver us’! It makes explicit the last request of the Our Father, with the same verb, but ‘deliver us from evil’. This is to say that hell is not for us an imaginary and far off danger, from which we can escape by ourselves.
No, it is the just and certain culmination of rebellions against God and hardening of the heart, where we would go without the pardon of Jesus, our Savior, and without the help of His grace full of mercy. Without Him, without His Passion and His redeeming Blood we are already lost. We owe our salvation to Him alone, and He desires that we ask Him: ‘O my Jesus, deliver us from the fire of hell!’
The prayer of Fatima is very close to what the liturgy says: ‘From eternal death, deliver us, O Jesus!’ implore the litanies. And the prayer of the Roman Canon, stating clearly the intention of the Eucharistic Sacrifice, says: ‘Deliver us from eternal damnation (ab aeterna damnatione nos eripi), and number us in the flock of Thine elect.’ The same vigorous expression is found in the Litany of the Saints, and this time it makes quite clear who is meant by the ‘us’: it is we ourselves and all our dear ones who have the faith, and we implore pardon for ourselves: ‘That You would deliver our souls and the souls of our brethren, relations and benefactors, from eternal damnation, we beseech You, hear us! Ut animas nostras . . . ab aeterna damnatione eripias, te rogamus audi nos!’
It is an urgent supplication, but it is also full of an immense trust. For in hope we are already sure of obtaining the forgiveness of Our Savior, and eventually reaching the happiness of Heaven… Thus, our horizons are enlarged, leading us to the second part of the prayer:
LEAD ALL SOULS TO HEAVEN
Our ardent desire to be saved, ourselves and our dear ones, is necessarily extended to all souls. Christ offered His life for all men, without exception, and God His Father wishes to save all men; so why shouldn’t all souls go to Heaven? The little prayer becomes… a universal prayer. It is mystical, and it expresses a true and ardent charity. ‘Lord’, Father de Foucauld loved to repeat, ‘if it could be possible, make all men go to Heaven!’ [Ed: Indeed, that is true, Christ our Savior made salvation possible for all, but few there are who choose it. However, we are called by charity to pray for all poor sinners, for we may not judge; that is for Christ alone to do. For those of you who rebel at this, please read on.]
‘All souls’, ‘as almas todas’, or in the version most often quoted by Sister Lúcia, ‘as alminhas todas’, with this diminutive of commiseration, ‘all these poor souls’, just as we would say, ‘poor sinners’. ‘Levai para o Ceu!’ ‘Lead them to Heaven!’ The word can hardly be translated: take them, carry them, lift them right up to Heaven! And perhaps even better, as Father Simonin and Dom Jean-Nesmy translate: ‘Draw all souls to Heaven.’ It reminds us of the words of Jesus on the evening of Palm Sunday, just before entering into the work of His redemptive Sacrifice: ‘Now is the prince of this world cast out; and I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.’ He said this to show by what death He was going to die. ‘Omnia traham ad me ipsum.’
ESPECIALLY THOSE MOST IN NEED
These last words bewildered Canon Formigao. Indeed they are surprising: How can we ask Jesus to lead all souls to Heaven, and thus all without exception, and then immediately add a formula which on the contrary is partial and restrictive? The words, ‘all… especially’ seem to defy simple logic.
And yet the formula is surely authentic, and the difficulty disappears when we consider that it concerns the salvation of souls, which is always a pure and infinite mercy of God. The logic here is one of love, full of implications which cause the too narrow framework of the exact relation of the concepts to explode. The suppliant soul, in the zeal of its love, would like to obtain from the Divine Mercy the salvation of all souls… but it knows that its request cannot be heard in all its extension… it does not merit it. In this case, it immediately clarifies its request, and says to God: ‘I ask You to have mercy at least on some souls, and most especially, as a priority, on the souls of the greatest sinners, who most surely risk being lost!’ Such is the logic of the saints…
Ed. Note: A different perspective suggests itself to me: The “souls most in need” are not necessarily the greatest sinners! Instead, consider if they may be those who are most in danger of falling from the faith by the severe trials of these times. The risk is so great today for all who labor to awaken their brethren to the danger, to strengthen others in the faith, for Satan ignores the sinners in order to pursue with the greatest vigor those who are most effective in saving souls.
Who might these be? Why consecrated souls, of course! Satan hates priests! Satan hates all consecrated virgins! Satan hates all who consecrate themselves to Jesus through Mary! That is precisely why we must pray especially for our priests, who are under such attacks. These are his primary targets, but another huge focus of his is those at the hour of death. The Church, in her wisdom has always known this and that is the reason for the last verse of the Hail Mary:
“Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.”
Readers, I do not believe that my interpretation, above, contradicts the remainder of Frère Michel’s writing on this, or St. Jacinta’s words quoted below.
This is how the three seers understood this prayer, in the light of its immediate context, the vision of hell. A striking passage from the Memoirs shows us how the little prayer of Our Lady often returned to the lips of Blessed Jacinta, and not only between decades of the Rosary, but to implore often the salvation of souls:
“Jacinta often sat thoughtfully on the ground or on a rock, and exclaimed: ‘Oh, Hell! Hell! How sorry I am for the souls who go to hell! And the people down there, burning alive, like wood in the fire!’ Then, shuddering, she knelt down with her hands joined, and recited the prayer Our Lady had taught us: ‘O my Jesus! Pardon us, save us from the fire of hell. Lead all souls to Heaven, especially those most in need.’ “
‘Now’, Sister Lúcia continues, ‘Your Excellency will understand how my own impression was that the final words of this prayer refer to souls in greatest danger of damnation, or those who are nearest to it.’
These last words turn our attention towards those in their last agony. In all the myriads of Ave Marias we shall have prayed all during our life, we ask the Mother of Mercy to pray for us ‘at the hour of our death’. But all these hardened souls who outraged Her unceasingly and never invoked Her? It is for them, in their place that Our Lady has us pray during our Rosary. [* Please see note below on this point.]
This priority accorded the greatest sinners, was not understood, and was the principal reason why the original version of the prayer was abandoned for so long in favor of another, more classical one. Yet this prayer brings us to the full reality of the Gospel. It is the priority given to the erring sheep for the twofold reason that it is lost, and that its salvation will show more strikingly the untiring Love of its Good Shepherd! It was St. Therese of the Child Jesus who, ‘devoured by a thirst for souls, burned with the desire to snatch from the eternal flames the souls of the greatest sinners’. Hence her decision ‘to prevent at any price from going to hell’ the horrible criminal whose three murders had monopolized the news. On him also, ‘this poor unfortunate Pranzini’, did she wish to pour out the salvific and ‘divine dew’ of the Blood of Jesus.
We will see that this concern for the salvation of the greatest sinners is a frequent theme in later revelations granted to Sister Lúcia. It was equally the constant thought of Jacinta:
“Jacinta remained on her knees like this for long periods of time, saying the same prayers over and over again. From time to time, like someone awaking from sleep, she called out to her brother or myself: ‘Francisco! Francisco! Are you praying with me? We must pray very much, to save souls from hell! So many go there! So many!’ “
THE LITTLE PRAYER OF REPARATORY OFFERING
Sister Lúcia humbly confesses in her second Memoir: ‘During this month (June 13 – July 13), I lost all enthusiasm for making sacrifices and acts of mortification… To reawaken my fervor which had grown cold, Our Lady told us: ‘Sacrifice yourselves for sinners, and say often to Jesus, especially each time you make a sacrifice: ‘O Jesus, it is for love of You, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.’
Here is a very simple prayer, whose significance is immediately grasped. Again it is to Jesus our Savior that our offering is addressed, but in addition to the desire to please Him through love, in accomplishing the action we offer Him, two other intentions are added. And the whole richness of this prayer consists precisely in their indissoluble bond of reciprocal implication, which causes each of these intentions to remind us of the other two. Note how the thought of the salvation of sinners is found inserted there like a wedge between the two acts of love for Jesus and Mary. This shows to what extent the missionary intention is at the very heart of the message of Fatima, as necessarily flowing from the true love of the Holy Hearts of Jesus and Mary.
Editor Note: The Fatima Decade Prayer prays for especially those most in need (of Thy mercy). Please consider the relevance toward praying for this tragic Pope and his wayward prelates. We must pray for them and expect miracles from the infinite mercy of God, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary! Prayers are never wasted – and even prayers that may seem futile often bring rgeat blessings for those who have hoped in God.
The two Fatima Prayers recommended by Our Lady of the Rosary at Fatima urge us to reparation for sins and pray for the conversion of sinners, and I cannot stress enough the importance of this at this particular time. Our Lady of Fatima has promised that there is nothing, nothing at all, which we cannot accomplish by means of her Rosary.
Thank you so much for reading. Please, pray the Rosary, and the Fatima Decade Prayer!
† 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!
Today, we mark two anniversaries; the first a glorious victory of the faith through martyrdom. The second, a tragic loss through the betrayal of a modernist pope. On 17 July, 1794, the sixteen virgin martyrs of Compiegne gave their lives for the true faith. And also, on the day of infamy 17 July, 1967, the pathetic Pope Paul VI betrayed the faith by abolishing the Oath Against Modernism which had been placed as a bulwark against the rising tide of heresy in the Church, thus allowing the flood of modernism which has so ravaged the faith in these past 52 years.
On this day, 17 July, in 1794, the Holy, Roman Catholic Church gained 16 Virgin Martyrs, the Discalced Carmelites of Compiegne, victims of the Masonic Revolution in France. These brave and pure women, by their holy sacrifice purchased the end of the bloody tide of public beheadings. Although the public display of gory beheadings had run its course, the Satanic Revolution has, in various forms, continued on up to the present time. We do well to heed the example of these brave martyrs; perhaps we shall soon be called upon to defend the faith ourselves.
THE SIXTEEN CARMELITE MARTYRS OF COMPIEGNE
The French Revolution reveals the titanic struggle between good and evil. During the terror, over 40,000 Frenchmen were executed just for holding fast to the Catholic Faith and objecting to the worst excesses of the Committee of Public Safety. The blood lost in the years of 1792-1794 staggers the imagination even in the retelling and the campaign against the Church was as diabolical as it was cruel.
Contemplative religious communities had been among the first targets of the fury of the French Revolution against the Catholic Church. Less than a year from May 1789 when the Revolution began with the meeting of the Estates-General, these communities had been required by law to disband. But many of them continued in being, in hiding. Among these were the community of the Carmelite nuns of Compiegne, in northeastern France not far from Paris — the fifty-third convent in France of the Carmelite sisters who followed the reform of St. Teresa of Avila, founded in 1641, noted throughout its history for fidelity and fervor. Their convent was raided in August 1790, all the property of the sisters was seized by the government, and they were forced to discard their habits and leave their house. They divided into four groups which found lodging in four different houses all near the same church in Compiegne, and for several years they were to a large extent able to continue their religious life in secret. But the intensified surveillance and searches of the “Great Terror” revealed their secret, and in June 1794 most of them were arrested and imprisoned.
They had expected this; indeed, they had prayed for it. At some time during the summer of 1792, very likely just after the events of August 10 of that year that marked the descent into the true deeps of the Revolution, their prioress, Madeleine Lidoine, whose name in religion was Teresa in honor of the founder of their order, had foreseen much of what was to come. At Easter of 1792, she told her community that, while looking through the archives she had found the account of a dream a Carmelite had in 1693. In that dream, the Sister saw the whole Community, with the exception of 2 or 3 Sisters, in glory and called to follow the Lamb. In the mind of the Prioress, this meant martyrdom and might well be a prophetic announcement of their fate.
Mother Teresa had said to her sisters: “Having meditated much on this subject, I have thought of making an act of consecration by which the Community would offer itself as a sacrifice to appease the anger of God, so that the divine peace of His Dear Son would be brought into the world, returned to the Church and the state.” The sisters discussed her proposal and when the news of the September massacres came, mingling glorious martyrdom with apostasy, the community made their offering. In July, 1794 it was to be accepted.
After their lodgings were invaded again in June, their devotional objects shattered and their tabernacle trampled underfoot by a Revolutionary who told them that their place of worship should be transformed into a dog kennel, the Carmelite sisters were taken to the Conciergerie prison, where so many of the leading victims of the guillotine had been held during their last days on earth. There they composed a canticle for their martyrdom, to be sung to the familiar tune of the Marseillaise. The original still exists, written in pencil and given to one of their fellow prisoners, a lay woman who survived.
On July 13, 1917, Our Lady of the Rosary made, as she had promised, her third visit to the Cova da Iria.
It was in the torrid month of July, the month of the Precious Blood of Jesus, one hundred and two years ago today, that Our Lady of Fatima visited the little shepherds for the third time. The immense importance of this visit cannot be overestimated, for at this time, the Blessed Virgin revealed her Message for the World. We take the following account from “The Whole Truth About Fatima, Volume I”, by Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité. This volume is available to download free from www.archive.org.
At the Cova da Iria on July 13, 1917, a crowd estimated at between one and two thousand were gathered. Lúcia, Francisco and Jacinta knelt before the scrubby little holm oak where Our Lady appeared. In her account, Lúcia relates that in answer to her question, “What does Your Grace want of me?”, Our Lady replied,
“I want you to come here on the 13th of next month, and to continue praying the Rosary every day in honour of Our Lady of the Rosary, in order to obtain peace for the world and the end of the war, because only She can help you.”
When Lúcia asked her to perform a miracle so that all would believe, Our Lady responded,
“Continue to come here every month. In October, I will tell you who I am and what I want, and I will perform a miracle for all to see and believe.”
Our Lady continued,
“Sacrifice yourselves for sinners, and say many times, especially when you make some sacrifice: ‘O Jesus, it is for love of You, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary’ “.
From Lúcia’s account,
“As Our Lady spoke these last words, She opened Her hands once more, as She had done during the two previous months. The rays of light seemed to penetrate the earth, and we saw as it were a sea of fire. Plunged in this fire were demons and souls in human form, like transparent burning embers, all blackened or burnished bronze, floating about in the conflagration, now raised into the air by the flames that issued from within themselves together with great clouds of smoke, now falling back on every side like sparks in huge fires, without weight or equilibrium, amid shrieks and groans of pain and despair, which horrified us and made us tremble with fear. (It must have been this sight which caused me to cry out, as people say they heard me.) The demons could be distinguished by their terrifying and repellent likeness to frightful and unknown animals, black and transparent like burning coals.”
Here, in her Third Memoir, Sister Lúcia added: “This vision only lasted a moment, thanks to our good Mother in Heaven who, in the first apparition, had promised to take us to Heaven. Were it not for that, I believe we would have died out of fright and fear.”
Terrified and as if to plead for succour, we looked up at Our Lady, who said to us, so kindly and so sadly:
“You have seen hell, where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to My Immaculate Heart.”
“If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace. The war is going to end, but if people do not cease offending God, a worse one will break out during the reign of Pius XI.
“When you see a night illumined by an unknown light, know that this is the great sign given you by God that He is about to punish the world for its crimes, by means of war, famine and persecutions against the Church and the Holy Father.
“To prevent this, I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart, and the Communion of Reparation on the First Saturdays.
“If My requests are heeded, Russia will be converted and there will be peace; if not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions against the Church. The good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer, various nations will be annihilated.
“In the end, My Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to Me, and she will be converted, and a certain period of peace will be granted to the world.
“In Portugal, the dogma of the Faith will always be preserved, etc. [This marks the third part of the secret, not yet not revealed] Do not tell this to anybody. Francisco, yes, you may tell him.
“When you say the Rosary, say after each mystery: ‘O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fire of hell. Lead all souls to Heaven, especially those who are most in need.’ “
While this was going on, Ti Marto relates, the crowd was so silent that you could have heard a pin drop. And, like Maria Carreira and some other witnesses, Mr. Marto, who was very near the seers, perceived an unintelligible murmur: “then I began to hear a sound, a little buzzing rather like a mosquito in an empty bottle. But I couldn’t hear any words!” This mysterious murmur was heard by only a few witnesses.
However, two other unusual phenomena were noticed by a much greater number: The luminosity of the sky noticeably decreased, as during an eclipse, the whole time the ecstasy of the children lasted. At the same time, the temperature, which was very hot, went down noticeably, and the tint of the light was modified. The atmosphere became yellow as gold.
In addition, a whitish cloud, rather pleasant to look at, formed around the seers. Here is the testimony of Mr. Marto:
“I saw what looked like a little greyish cloud resting on the oak tree, and the sun’s heat lessened and there was a delicious fresh breeze. It hardly seemed like the height of summer.”
THE TWOFOLD MESSAGE OF JULY 13
In the cycle of apparitions, this one on July 13 is a watershed moment. The previous apparitions, including the Angel’s visits, prepared for this one and this apparition is essential for understanding the subsequent ones. For it was on this day, as Lúcia relates, that “Our Lady deigned to reveal to us the Secret”.
So true is this that the message of July 13 appears to us very clearly divided into two parts:
First, there are the words which were divulged immediately,
Second, the long text of the secret which the seers carefully kept hidden. However, what is important is that the two parts of the message are very closely connected.
The great novelty of this apparition, the decisive word which would attract innumerable crowds to the Cova da Iria for the last three months, is the announcement of a great miracle.
Lúcia requested of Our Lady, ” … tell us who You are, and to work a miracle so that all may believe that You are appearing to us.” Although the request of Lúcia reminds us of Bernadette’s request at Lourdes, the response of Our Lady is very different: At Lourdes, when Bernadette followed the advice of Father Peyramale and asked Her to make the rosebush in the grotto bloom, Our Lady was content to smile. In this case, and here is the decisive, prodigious event, She accedes to the request: “Continue to come each month. In October, I will say who I am and what I want, and I will work a miracle so that all may believe.”
Thus She announced three months in advance the place, day and hour of the promised great miracle. It was a clear promise, without any condition or the least ambiguity. On August 19 and September 13, Our Lady repeated it in the same terms. Never before had Heaven shown such condescension to the demands of men, to guarantee for them with certitude the truth of a message.Already, by this solid link between the prophecy and the miracle, the event of Fatima is unheard of, incomparable.
Our Lady made this announcement of the miracle “so that all will believe”, immediately before revealing to the three seers Her great prophetic secret. This was to make them understand, in all clarity, that the miracle would guarantee the divine origin of the secret, as well as the fulfillment of this prophetic secret. Thus the great miracle of October 13 was closely associated, by the Blessed Virgin Herself, not only with the whole of Her message, but especially with the prophetic secret of July 13.
It was when Our Lady opened Her hands again as in the two previous months, that the children had the vision of hell. This month, no doubt the Blessed Virgin remained in this attitude while She revealed the secret. And the supernatural light which they received then was not limited to the vision of hell. Once again, as on May 13 and June 13, they enjoyed a sort of vision of God as Lúcia reports:
Francisco seemed to be the one on whom the vision of hell made the least impression, though it did indeed have quite a considerable effect on him. What made the most powerful impression on him and what wholly absorbed him was God, the Most Holy Trinity, perceived in that light which penetrated our inmost souls.
Afterwards Francisco said: ‘We were on fire in that light which is God, and yet we were not burnt! What is God?… We could never put it into words. Yes, that is something indeed which we could never express! But what a pity it is that He is so sad! If only I could console Him!’
This great sorrow of Our Lord, which reveals to us His Heart, outraged by our sins, and as it were overwhelmed by the chastisements which these sins justly draw down upon us, profoundly marked the soul of Francisco during the first three apparitions. He never forgot it, and his whole ideal would be to pray and sacrifice himself to ‘console God’.
THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY
The apparition of July 13 also marks the high point of the revelation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the center and very heart of the whole message. The three apparitions of the Angel, followed by those of Our Lady on May 13 and June 13, had prepared this revelation which the great secret expresses in all its fullness. But it is a remarkable fact that in the last three apparitions there is no more mention of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. This great design of divine mercy for the salvation of the world would not be unveiled until later…
That is why, on July 13, Our Lady solemnly announced that She would come back. She kept Her promise and returned on December 10, 1925 at Pontevedra, to manifest once again Her Heart pierced with thorns, and to request the practice of the communion of reparation on the five First Saturdays of the month. And She came back again, on June 13, 1929, at Tuy, to ask for the consecration of Russia to Her Immaculate Heart.
Russia? On July 13, Lúcia did not yet know what this word meant. Yet she always affirmed having heard the word Russia. Similarly, she is sure of having heard ‘no reinado de Pio XI’. ‘We did not know if it was a Pope or a king’, she confided to Father Jongen in 1946, ‘but the most Holy Virgin spoke of Pius XI.’ As for the announcement of ‘a night illumined by an unknown light’, it was fulfilled to the letter during the night of January 25-26, 1938.
Let us point out here, since it is important for critical purposes, what perfect harmony there is between the two parts of the message, that which was divulged immediately (Fatima I), and that which remained secret a long time (Fatima II). The convergence of themes, which marks the profound unity of the same message pronounced by the Blessed Virgin the same day, is striking.
‘ONLY SHE CAN HELP YOU.’
Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité :
The secret of the secret is that God wills to give us everything through the mediation of the Blessed Virgin, in response to our devotion to Her Immaculate Heart, not only spiritual goods but even temporal peace, and this for the whole world. Has anyone noticed that one of the words of Our Lady, faithfully reported by Lúcia to her parish priest the next day, has the same vigour, the same exclusivity? ‘Continue to pray the Rosary every day… to obtain peace for the world and the end of the war, for only She can help you.’It is equivalent to saying: there is no salvation for us except from Jesus through the Blessed Virgin; this was already the essential core of the secret of Fatima which was disclosed as early as July, 1917.
Pray the Rosary and confound satan and all who serve him!
† Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of our hearts, Mother of the Church, do thou offer to the Eternal Father the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the conversion of poor sinners, especially our Pontiff. † Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy kingdom come! Viva Cristo Rey! † Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our death. † St. Joseph, protect us, protect our families, protect our priests. † St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.
Please pray for the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary!
Today, July 2nd, we commemorate Our Lady’s Visitation in which our Lord Jesus and His Mother performed His first miracle, to free John the Baptist from original sin by baptizing him while he was yet unborn. This beautiful feast invites us to enter into the intimate life of our Savior, healing and sanctifying souls almost immediately after the Incarnation. It also is the testimony of the Holy Ghost to the sanctity of life from the moment of conception. So much to savor in this delightful scene from Holy Scripture!
The Magnificat of the Blessed Virgin Mary
“And Mary said: My soul doth magnify the Lord.
And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior.
Because He hath regarded the humility of His handmaid;
For behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
For He that is mighty, hath done great things to me; and holy is His name.
And His mercy is from generation unto generations to them that fear Him.
He hath shewed might in His arm:
He hath scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart.
He hath put down the mighty from their seat,
And hath exalted the humble.
He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich He hath sent empty away.
He hath helped Israel His servant, being mindful of His mercy:
As He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his seed for ever.” [Luke 1, 46-55]
Our Lady’s Hymn of Praise
Luke’s Gospel tells us that:
When Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the infant leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: And she cried out with a loud voice, and said: “Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed art thou that hast believed, because those things shall be accomplished that were spoken to thee by the Lord.”[Luke 1, 41-45].
Now, this remarkable event was the occasion of the very first miracle wrought by Our Lord Jesus Christ and it tells us a couple of important things:
First, Jesus worked this miracle before He was born on the as yet unborn infant son of Elizabeth, John.
Second, Jesus worked this miracle through the Blessed Virgin Mary. The fact that Jesus thus effected His first two miracles through His most Holy Mother is significant, although little noted in the conciliar Church today.
Note that Elizabeth “was filled with the Holy Ghost” when she said, “Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.” This means that Elizabeth’s praise of Mary was inspired by the Holy Spirit, the same Holy Spirit, referred to earlier in Luke 1, 35, “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the most High shall overshadow thee.”
To understand the Magnificat, consider that even as Elizabeth praised Mary, Mary responded with a hymn of praise to God. Mary, as the creature most perfect, most beloved of God, acknowledges that she is nothing without God. This perfect humility in Mary, this perfect obedience to God’s will in all things is what makes our devotion to Mary so beneficial. Mary is our quickest, surest way to the Heart of her beloved Son.
“My soul doth magnify the Lord.” How can a mere mortal “magnify” the Divine Lord? In the pure, clear soul of the Immaculata, God’s glory is reflected back as a mirror reflects back the brightness of the blazing sun. This image alone is such a rich source of contemplation, it would take volumes to begin to express properly.
Mary then proclaims, “my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. Because He hath regarded the humility of His handmaid.”In this, she confirms that she is only the servant of God, her Saviour. When, in the Magnificat Mary refers to herself as “His handmaid”, it is the second time she has done so. The first was when she said at the Annunciation, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word.” By this repetition, Mary is emphasizing the importance of her humble obedience. Mary’s entire role in the salvation of mankind is based on humility and obedience.
The following verse, “behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed”, is overlooked by those who reject devotion to Mary. Our Blessed Mother quickly adds to that verse, “Because He that is mighty, hath done great things to me; and holy is His name”.Thus, we see that Mary always keeps the divine order, and never fails to attribute her every blessing to God alone. It is impossible to be truly devoted to Mary and not at the same time adore the most Holy Trinity; Mary is the most beloved Daughter of God the Father, the most pure Mother of God the Son and the most glorious Spouse of God the Holy Spirit. Thus, Mary’s entire worth is in her perfect reflection of God.
Mary’s hymn reflects also her adoration of God’s most sacred name, “Holy is His name.” This, of course is our first duty and Mary’s hymn exemplifies this exquisitely. The Magnificat is a salutary prayer to remedy the all-pervasive blasphemy of these times.
This meditation on the Precious Blood of our Savior Jesus Christ is one of my favorite readings for meditation, and I find it fruitful even after years.
Today, Monday, July 1st, is the Feast of the most Precious Blood of Jesus. The Church celebrates this Feast on the First Sunday of July, however, which will not be until July 7 this year, so although I am posting this article today, the actual feast will be next Sunday.
The Feast of the most Precious Blood of Jesus is rich in beautiful reminders of God’s gracious providence for us, even though we do not deserve such generosity. Our reference today is Father Faber’s tender tribute to the Precious Blood of Our Lord.
“Their superior intelligence ministers more abundant matter to their love. From the very first God invited the angels to adore It. He made their adoration a double exercise of humility,—of humility toward Himself, and of humility toward us their inferior fellow-creatures. It was the test to which He put their loyalty. He showed them His beloved Son, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, in His Sacred Humanity, united to a lower nature than their own, and in that lower nature crowned their King and Head, to be worshipped by them with absolute and unconditional adoration. The Son of a human Mother was to be their Head, and that Daughter of Eve to be herself their Queen. …
The Precious Blood belongs in an especial manner to men. Much more, therefore, does God invite them to come to Its heavenly baths, and receive therein, not only the cleansing of their souls, but the power of a new and amazing life. Every doctrine in theology is a call to the Precious Blood. Every ceremony in the Church tells of it. Every sermon that is preached is an exhortation to the use of it. Every Sacrament is a communication of it. Every supernatural act is a growth of it. Every thing that is holy on the earth is either leaf, bud, blossom, or fruit of the Blood of Jesus.
To its fountains, God calls the sinner, that he may be lightened of his burdens. There is no remission for him in any thing else. Only there is his lost son-ship to be found. But the saints are no less called by God to these invigorating streams. It is out of the Precious Blood that men draw martyrdoms, vocations, celibacies, austerities, heroic charities, and all the magnificent graces of high sanctity. The secret nourishment of prayer is from those fountains. They purge the eye for sublime contemplations. They kindle the inward fires of self-sacrificing love. They bear a man safely, and even impetuously, over the seeming impossibilities of perseverance. It is by the Blood of Jesus that the soul becomes ever more and more radiant. It is the secret source of all mystical transformations of the soul into the likeness of its Crucified Spouse. …
All the new nature of the man, who is “renewed in Christ Jesus,” comes from this Blood, whether it be his love of suffering, his delight in shame, his grace of prayer, his unworldly tastes, his strange humility, his shy concealment, his zeal for souls, his venturous audacity, or his obstinate perseverance. Sinner, saint, and common Christian, all in their own ways, require the Precious Blood each moment of their lives; and, as the manna in the mouths of the Israelites had the savor which each man wished it to have, so is it with the sweetness, the variety, and the fitness of the graces of the Precious Blood.
Father Faber reminds us that Our Savior’s Precious Blood came from Mary.
Mary’s blood was the material out of which the Holy Ghost, the Third Person of the Most Holy Trinity, the artificer of the Sacred Humanity, fashioned the Blood of Jesus. Here we see how needful to the joy and gladness of our devotion is the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception. Who could bear to think that the matter of the Precious Blood had ever been itself corrupted with the taint of sin, that it had once been part of the devil’s kingdom, that what was to supply the free price of our redemption was once enslaved to God’s darkest, foulest enemy?
Today, we have a new post to honor the most Sacred Heart of Jesus on this, His feast day.
True Devotion and the Image of the Sacred Heart
Our Lord gave us the image of His Sacred Heart in order to awaken in us the realization of His immense love and to arouse our love for Him in return. This became even more urgent as the errors of Protestantism began to drag so many souls to perdition. In Our Lord’s revelations to Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, we see that veneration of the image of His Sacred Heart was an essential portion of His revelations.
Today, we will consider briefly the components of this veneration of the image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
From Saint Margaret Mary herself:
“One day, on the Feast of St. John the Evangelist, after having received from my Divine Saviour a favor similar to that bestowed upon the Beloved Disciple, of reposing on the bosom of Our Lord, the Divine Heart was represented to me on a throne of fire and flames, shedding on every side rays brighter than the sun and transparent as crystal. The Wound which He had received upon the Cross appeared there visibly; a crown of thorns encircled the adorable Heart, and It was surmounted by a cross. “These instruments of His Passion signified, as my Divine Master gave me to understand, that it was His unbounded love for man which had been the source of all His sufferings.
From the first moment of His Incarnation all these torments had been planted in His Heart. From that moment He accepted all the pains and humiliations which His Sacred Humanity was to suffer during the whole course of His mortal life, and even the outrages to which His love for man would expose Him till the end of time in the Blessed Sacrament.
He revealed to me afterwards that it was the great desire of disclosing to mankind His Heart, and of giving them in these ‘latter times’ this last proof of His love, that induced Him to propose to them an object and a means so calculated to win their love. He opens to them His Sacred Heart with all the treasures of love, mercy and graces of sanctification and salvation which It contains.”
Promises to those who venerate the image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
There is a widely circulated list of promises of Our Lord for those who venerate the image of His Sacred Heart. Since it is easily found, I will not copy it, but prefer to limit my words to that which I discern in the saint’s own writings.
According to St. Margaret Mary, “He promised to pour into the hearts of all who would venerate His image the fullness of gifts with which His Sacred Heart abounds, saying that wherever this image would be exposed for special veneration, it would draw down upon the place every kind of blessing.” Furthermore, He promised that all who would contribute to afford Him this joy would be blessed with graces of sanctification and salvation in superabundant measure. St. Margaret Mary wrote to a superior who caused the first picture of the Sacred Heart to be drawn: “For this service Our Lord will engrave your name in His Heart ineffaceably; the other rewards I am not permitted to reveal to you.”
The sentiments which a picture of the Sacred Heart should incite in our souls may easily be inferred from the symbols with which our blessed Lord Himself wished to surround this image.
Flames Issuing from the Heart of Jesus
First, the flames bursting forth and enveloping It show the vehement love with which It loves us. “Behold this Heart that has loved men so much!” In order to conquer our indifference and to leave no excuse for ignorance, He discloses to us His Divine Heart, His strong desire being to inflame us with a grateful return of love. “Son, give Me thy heart!” He pleads to all. The love He demands is a practical, sacrificial love of complete devotion to Him. This burning love of His desires no less than to kindle fire of the same love in our own hearts.
When we see an image of the Sacred Heart, it beckons us to respond with an act of love, “O my Jesus, I love Thee, I give Thee my heart; give me Thy holy love!” Just a simple act of love like this is of immense merit and gives our loving Savior so much consolation in this great Passion of the Church.
St. Aloysius Gonzaga, by interior acts of love, rose in a short time to an astonishing degree of sanctity. Nothing dispels Satan more quickly when he tempts us than an efficacious act of love. Hence, St. Francis de Sales advises us to make acts of love in time of temptation.
The Heart of Jesus Encircled With the Crown of Thorns
The crown of thorns encircling the Heart of Jesus typifies the injuries inflicted upon It by the ingratitude Our Lord receives in return for His love. Today, even so-called faithful Catholics are largely indifferent to the suffering of Jesus Christ in this Passion. They are far more concerned, often, for the humiliation they suffer at the hands of the apostates who have become the visible facade of the faith. There is no shortage of scandal and outrage over the auto-demolition of the church. But there is a great danger that we overlook whose Church this really is — we must not forget that this Church is the beautiful and pure Bride of Our Lord Jesus Christ! let us not lose sight of that! Let us promise that we, at least, will not place the thorns of indifference in Our Lord’s most Sacred Heart!
Jesus gave us the Sacrament of His love to be the food of our soul. But in this Blessed Sacrament, the most painful wounds are inflicted on His Sacred Heart! “Behold the Heart that has loved men so much that It has spared nothing, even to exhausting and consuming Itself, in order to testify to them Its love. But in return I receive from the greater part of mankind only ingratitude, by reason of the contempt, irreverence, sacrilege and coldness shown Me in this Sacrament of Love. And what I feel still more painfully is that hearts consecrated to Me treat Me thus!”
Our Lord revealed the devotion to His Sacred Heart especially to obtain reparation and atonement. For this reason He appeared in the Sacred Host to St. Margaret Mary and united this devotion most intimately with devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. Those who venerate the Sacred Heart of Jesus should have great devotion to the Holy Eucharist. Our Lord desires especially the Communion of Reparation. Without reparation, devotion to His Sacred Heart would not be complete.
The Heart of Jesus Surmounted by a Cross
The Cross surmounting the Heart of Jesus is a further testimony of Our Lord’s love for us; it reminds us particularly of His bitter Passion and Death. Today, in this Passion of the Church, reverence for the Cross is essential as the token of His Passion. This cross, planted in His Sacred Heart beckons to us to come and do likewise: and so we take up our crosses allowing our hearts to be consumed with love for Him. Many saints are represented holding a crucifix in their hands as a sign of their special devotion to the sufferings of Christ. Holy Church numbers among her saints more than 60 persons who bore the sacred stigmata in their body.
Countless are the revelations of saints regarding the precious graces connected with devotion to the Passion of our Saviour. Our Lord once said to Blessed Angela of Foligno: “Those who seriously meditate on My Passion are in truth My children; the others are so in name only.” St. Augustine declares: “A single tear shed in remembrance of the sufferings of Christ is of more value than a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, or a year’s fasting on bread and water, if it be not performed with the same love.” On this account our Divine Saviour wishes the devotion to His Sacred Heart to be practiced especially on Fridays. On that day He gave the highest proof of His love, and we should make Him a return of love by patience in our sufferings. Love for the Cross is the fruit of true devotion to the Sacred Heart. The perfection of love consists in pure suffering for the Beloved.
The Wound in the Heart of Jesus
Devotion to the Heart of Jesus originated the moment when that Divine Heart was pierced with the lance. In this adorable Heart, sacred mysteries lie hidden, and in contemplating them, we grow in grace and devotion.
St. Margaret Mary understood this well, for when she drew the first little image of the Sacred Heart, she represented It with a gaping wound, in which she inscribed the word: “Caritas.” St. Frances of Rome relates that once she beheld the Wound of the Heart of Jesus, from which gushed forth a stream of living water. At the same time she heard these words: “I am Love crying aloud: ‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.’ I will satiate those who follow My invitation; it is just for this reason that I permitted My Heart to be pierced, that I might be able to receive all therein as in a place of refuge.”
A remarkable passage of the Apocalypse which has been quoted as applicable to our times is “Behold, I have caused a door to be opened before thee, which no one can shut.” (Apoc. 3:8). The Wound of the Heart of Jesus is this wide-open door of salvation for the whole world, this secure place of refuge for repentant sinners.
This Wound is a fountain of immeasurable grace and consolation. To those who venerate His Sacred Heart, our Divine Saviour imparts the Precious Blood and water which issued from His side, that they may offer It unceasingly to the Heavenly Father in expiation for their sins and those of the whole world. Through this offering we can obtain numberless graces for ourselves and others. We should, every morning, place our sufferings, prayers and labors in the pierced Heart of Jesus; there everything will be purified and perfected. The Heart of Jesus Surrounded by Rays of Light Rays of light always envelop representations of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. These rays, which dart in every direction, signify the great graces and blessings which emanate from devotion to the Sacred Heart. Most liberal are the promises made by Our Lord to those who venerate His Divine Heart. “Announce it, and let it be announced to the whole world,” He revealed to St. Margaret Mary, “that I set neither limit nor measure to My gifts of grace for those who seek them in My Heart!” This Divine Heart is a superabundant treasure house of all graces necessary for true conversion and He opens up this Heart to all who seek conversion in humility and confidence in Him.
St. Margaret Mary writes: “I know of no devotion better suited to lead a soul in a short time to the summit of perfection.” The Heart of Jesus is the mine and treasure house of graces. However, Our Lord promised not only spiritual favors to those who venerate His Heart, but also aid and comfort in all sufferings. No soul, howsoever abandoned, will fail to find peace and consolation in the Divine Heart. No misfortune is so bitter and hopeless but that the Sacred Heart can change and direct it all for the best.
Our Lord made a very consoling promiser those who promote devotion to His Sacred Heart: “Those who propagate this devotion shall have their names written in My Heart, never to be blotted out. “ This is the promise of the grace of final perseverance, the grace of predilection. It promises to those who promote devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus eternal happiness.
The above thoughts are paraphrased from a very old brochure of devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It was issued anonymously as True Devotion to the Image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Dear Readers, if we wish to model our own hearts on this most generous and loving heart of our dear Jesus, we cannot set limits, but must open our own hearts up to a total oblation of love for His most Sacred Heart. And how is this done? We return to the words of Our Lord Himself: “Learn of Me, for I am meek and humble of heart.” Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen explains that it is only thus, by removing the self-love and pride from our heart that we open up our hearts.
By meekness, we understand the importance of conquering anger — now, this anger is all-pervasive in our culture at this time. This world fairly scintillates and shimmers with the diabolical flames of anger It is by meekness that we overcome the petty irritations that arise from the abrasive wounds to our “ego”. You see here, the close connection between meekness and humility.
It takes only a bit of pride, self-love or attachment to our own opinion to make us unable to withstand opposition. This is perfectly evident in others. We see it quite clearly! But in ourselves, it is a struggle to see, and a valuable gift we must beg Our Lord to help us attain. This is where the Immaculata helps us. We ask her for this grace especially, so that we may not be a burden on Our Dear Lord who suffers so greatly now, but may, by imitating her meek and humble love, offer Him a pleasing repose with us, Great Sacred Heart to little heart!
In closing, please never forget this: We can only lose by quitting! Let us resolve never to surrender, never to stop trying to offer all our heart, all our love to the Sacred heart of our Lord Jesus Christ!
Most Sacred heart of Jesus, Thy Kingdom come , Thy will be done!
Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our death.