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FATIMA: REVELATIONS TO LUCIA, 1925 – 1929

FATIMA: REVELATIONS TO LUCIA, 1925 – 1929

THE HEART ENCIRCLED WITH THORNS

“You must remain longer here below,” our Lady said to Lucia. “Jesus will use you to make me better known and better loved.”

So Lucia had remained on this earth long after her two cousins had been taken.

In January, 1918, the Holy See re-established the diocese of Leiria, after a lapse of sixty years. Fatima is part of this diocese. The Reverend Joseph Correia da Silva was named Bishop and took possession of his diocese August 5, 1920.

The new Bishop considered it one of his most important duties to investigate the complete story of the Fatima apparitions. He interviewed Lucia on June 13, 1921. He told her that he thought it would be best if she entered a convent school. The purpose of this was to take Lucia away from the devout people and curiosity seekers who were constantly around her and to give her a chance to forget the apparitions should they prove to be imaginary. The Bishop also wished to determine whether the many cures and conversions which were taking place at the Cova were induced by hysteria caused by her presence there. He wished to see whether the cures and conversions would continue to take place in her absence.

THE SISTERS OF ST DOROTHY 

“You must not tell anyone when or where you are going,” the Bishop said.

“Yes, Bishop.”

“You must not tell a soul at school who you are.”

“Yes, Bishop.”

“And you must not utter a word about Fatima.”

“Yes, Bishop.” Lucia would do whatever she was commanded.

It was not easy to leave her home and her mother, but she offered the sacrifice to save souls from hell. She entered a school conducted by the Sisters of St Dorothy. She was given a new name, Maria das Dores, and only the superior knew who she was.

When she completed the course of studies, she asked whether she might be admitted to the order. She entered the convent in 1925, became a novice on November 2, 1926, and two years later made her vows as a lay Sister. On October 3, 1934, she made her perpetual vows. She was known in the order as Sister Dores. This word means sorrows and is not a proper name in English. The nearest thing to it is Dolores.

THE FIRST SATURDAYS

On December 10, 1925, our Lady came back, as she had said she would, to request Communion of reparation on the First Saturdays. Lucia was praying in her cell at the convent when our Lady appeared, together with the Child Jesus elevated on a cloud of light. Our Lady rested one hand on Lucia’s shoulder. In the other, she held a heart surrounded with sharp thorns. The Child Jesus spoke first:

“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 Lady said:

“My daughter, look at my heart encircled with the thorns with which ungrateful men pierce at it 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, go to Confession and receive Holy Communion, recite the Rosary and keep me company for a quarter of an hour while meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary with the intention of making reparation.”

The request for the First Saturday devotion was repeated 1926 and 1927.

In 1927 our Lord spoke to Lucia from the tabernacle, while she was praying in the convent chapel in Tuy, Spain. He gave her permission to reveal two parts of the July apparition which had been kept secret until that time. These were the vision of hell and the long message beginning, “You have seen hell where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish throughout the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart…” This was the message which said that if people did not stop offending God another worse war would begin in the reign of Pius XI. It was also the message in which our Lady said, “If my requests are granted, Russia will be converted and there will be peace. If not, she shall spread her errors throughout the world, promoting wars and persecutions of the Church…”

“WORTHY OF BELIEF” 

For some reason, the authorities did not allow this message to be known to the world until 1942.

The third part of the July message has not yet been revealed. Acting on instructions from heaven, Lucia has written it down and the Bishop of Leiria has placed it in his archives.

In 1929, our Lady came to ask the consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart. In the July apparition she had said she would come back to make this request. She asked that the consecration be made by the Holy Father in unison with all the bishops of the world.

Three years passed and nothing was done. Lucia again wrote to the Bishop. She quoted our Lord as saying, “The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, but it will be late.”

On October 13, 1930, the thirteenth anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun, the Bishop of Leiria published a pastoral letter in which he said that the apparitions of Fatima were worthy of belief. The investigation had been under way since 1922.

From: “The Woman Shall Conquer” by Don Sharkey, Prow Books/Franciscan Marytown Press, Libertyville, IL, 1954

 

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ST JACINTA MARTO, “THE LITTLE SAINT”

ST JACINTA MARTO, “THE LITTLE SAINT”

HER ILLNESS BEGAN WITH THE INFLUENZA EPIDEMIC THAT SWEPT THE WORLD IN 1918

“I will take Jacinta and Francisco soon,” our Lady had said to Lucia on June 13. The final illness of the two children began with the influenza epidemic that swept the world in 1918. [“Spanish ‘flu epidemic”]. They were both stricken. Complications set in, and neither recovered, although Jacinta lingered on longer than her brother.

“FOR THE CONVERSION OF SINNERS” 

One day when Lucia came to visit her sick cousins, Jacinta had great news for her.

“Lucia,” she cried, “our Lady came to see us and said she was coming soon for Francisco. She asked me whether I wanted to convert more sinners. I said yes. Our Lady wants me to go to two hospitals, but it is not to cure me. It is to suffer more for the love of God, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the offences committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary. She told me that you would not be with me. My mother will take me there, and afterward I am to be left there alone.

Jacinta was happy to undergo any sacrifice for the conversion of sinners. Francisco, too, underwent great suffering without the least complaint. His desire was to console our Lord and our Lady. It seemed to him that they were very sorrowful.

FRANCISCO’S FIRST COMMUNION 

In April, Francisco asked to be allowed to make his First Communion. His request was granted. It was also his last Communion. He died April 4, 1919. He was not yet ten years old.

DON’T BE AFRAID. I’LL PRAY A LOT FOR YOU IN HEAVEN

Jacinta missed her brother very much even though she knew he was happy in heaven. “I think of Francisco and how I’d love to see him,” she told Lucia. “But I also think of the war that is going to come. So many people will die, and so many will go to he’ll. Many cities will be burned to the ground, and many priests will be killed. Look, Lucia, I am going to heaven. But when you see that night illumined by the strange light, you also run away to heaven.”

Lucia said that would be impossible, and Jacinta agreed. “But don’t be afraid. I’ll pray a lot for you in heaven, and for the Holy Father also, and for Portugal, for the war not to come here and for all the priests.”

Her influenza grew worse and an abscess formed on her chest. Her suffering was great, but she was glad she could offer it for the conversion of sinners. She was taken to a hospital at Ourem, but the doctors there could do nothing for her. After two months she was returned to her home.

“I WONDERED WHETHER OUR LADY HAD MADE THE SAME PROMISE TO JACINTA”

A priest who visited her at her home said: “She was all bones. It was a shock to see how thin her arms were. She was running fever all the time. Pneumonia, then tuberculosis and pleurisy, ate away her strength. I remembered as I saw her, that our Lady had promised Bernadette of Lourdes that she would not be happy in this world but in the next. I wondered whether our Lady had made the same promise to Jacinta.”

We know now that the Lady had made the same promise, in slightly different words. She had said, “You will have much to suffer.” She had also promised that Jacinta would go to heaven.

Despite her illness she made several painful trips to the Cova, and she also went to Mass.

“Don’t try to come to Mass,” Lucia said one day. “It’s too much for you. Besides, it isn’t Sunday.”

“That doesn’t matter. I want to go in place of the sinners who don’t go even on Sundays.”

“TELL EVERYONE THAT OUR LORD GRANTS US ALL GRACES THROUGH THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY” 

These words from the lips of a favoured child of Mary remind us that the desecration of the Sabbath was one of the sins against which our Lady had protested at La Salette.

“Look, Lucia,” Jacinta continued, “our Lord is so sad and our Lady told us that He must not be offended any more. He is already offended very much, and no one pays any attention to it. They keep committing the same sins.”

This also recalls Mary’s words at La Salette: “And as for you, you take no heed of it.”

Another time Jacinta said to Lucia:

“Soon I shall go to heaven. You are to stay here to reveal that the Lord wants to establish throughout the world the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. When you start to reveal this, don’t hesitate. Tell everyone that our Lord grants us all graces through the Immaculate Heart of Mary; that all must make their petitions to her; that the Sacred Heart of Jesus desires that the Immaculate Heart of Mary be venerated at the same time. Tell them that they should all ask for peace from the Immaculate Heart of Mary, as God has placed it in her hands. Oh, if I could only put in the heart of everyone in the world the fire that is burning in me and makes me love so much the Heart of Jesus and the Heart of Mary.”

FINALLY, SHE WAS GIVEN A ROOM IN AN ORPHANAGE 

The Blessed Virgin appeared to Jacinta again and told her that she would die in a hospital in Lisbon. Soon after that a specialist told her parents that she should be taken to a hospital in Lisbon. They protested that there was no point in making such a trip if the Blessed Virgin had told her that she was going to die. The doctor replied that the only way they could be sure the Blessed Virgin wanted to take the girl was to go to all lengths to save her. This argument convinced them, and so they took her to Lisbon.

The hospital had no vacant room, and no one wanted to take such a sick girl into a private home. Finally, she was given a room in an orphanage. A chapel adjoined the orphanage and Jacinta was happy to be under the same roof with the Blessed Sacrament. The superior, Mother Godinho, was very kind to the girl. Our Lady appeared to Jacinta several times during her stay at the orphanage.

Jacinta made statements that were far beyond the ordinary girl of her years. Mother Godinho kept a record of them. She asked Jacinta where she learned these things and was told that our Lady taught her some of them and that others she had thought out for herself. “I like to think very much.”

“IF PEOPLE ONLY KNEW WHAT ETERNITY IS, THEY WOULD DO EVERYTHING TO CHANGE THEIR LIVES” 

“Wars are only punishments for the sins of the world,” she said one time. “Our Lady cannot stay the arm of her beloved Son upon the world any more. It is necessary to do penance. If the people amend themselves, our Lord shall still come to the aid of the world. If they do not amend themselves, punishment shall come.”

Again one is struck by the similarity between Jacinta’s words and the words of Our Lady of La Salette. “If my people will not submit, I shall be forced to let go the hand of my Son.”

“If men do not amend their lives,” said Jacinta on another occasion, “Almighty God will send the world, beginning with Spain, a punishment such as never has been seen.” She spoke of “great world events” that were to take place around 1940. She cried when she thought of the catastrophe that was coming and when she thought of the way men were offending Jesus and Mary.

“My dear Mother,” she said at another time, “the sins that bring most souls to hell are the sins of the flesh. Certain fashions are going to be introduced which will offend our Lord very much. Those who serve God should not follow these fashions. The Church has no fashions… If people only knew what eternity is, they would do everything to change their lives. People lose their souls because they do not think about the death of our Lord and do not do penance.

“Many marriages are not good; they do not please our Lord and are not of God.

“IF GOVERNMENTS LEFT THE CHURCH IN PEACE… THEY WOULD BE BLESSED BY GOD”

“Pray a great deal for governments. Pity those governments which persecute the religion of our Lord. If the governments left the Church in peace and gave liberty to the Holy Religion, they would be blessed by God.

“Do not give yourself to immodest clothes. Run away from riches. Love holy poverty and silence. Be very charitable, even with those who are unkind. Never criticise others and avoid those who do. Be very patient, for patience brings us to heaven. Mortifications and sacrifices please our Lord a great deal.

“The Mother of God wants a large number of virgin souls to bind themselves to her by the vow of chastity. I would enter a convent with great joy, but my joy is greater because I am going to heaven. To be a religious one has to be pure in soul and in body.”

“Do you know what it means to be pure?” Mother Godinho asked.

“Yes, I do. To be pure in body means to preserve chastity. To be pure in soul means to avoid sin, not to look at what is sinful, not to steal, never lie and always tell the truth even when it is hard. Whoever does not fulfil promises made to our Lady will not be blessed in life.”

“PITY DOCTORS. THEY HAVE NO IDEA WHAT AWAITS THEM”

On February 2, 1920, Jacinta was admitted to the hospital. She was examined by many doctors. Most of these were concerned only with science and medicine and had no thought of God. Jacinta knew this and the thought saddened her. “Pity doctors. They have no idea what awaits them. Doctors do not know how to treat their patients with success because they have no love of God.”

In these three sentences ten-year-old Jacinta protested against the materialism of our times. She saw that men were putting their entire trust in science and ignoring God. But she was not angry with them; she pitied them.

ALL OF JACINTA’S WORDS ARE WORTH GREAT CONSIDERATION 

All of Jacinta’s words are worth great consideration. We are not bound to believe private revelations, and some of Jacinta’s remarks were not even private revelations. The Blessed Virgin told her some things, and others she “thought out” for herself. We do know, however, that Jacinta was very saintly and that she had been promised by our Lady that she would go to heaven. Her words are not to be dismissed lightly. And her prediction of a great punishment being visited on the world, beginning with Spain, came only too true!

So when Jacinta tells us that “the sins that bring most souls to hell are the sins of the flesh” her words carry great weight. And there seems little reason to doubt them, when we behold the Sixth Commandment held up to ridicule in Broadway plays, in magazine fiction and in best-selling novels; when in some parts of the United States one marriage in three ends in a divorce, a flagrant disregard of God’s laws.

“Certain fashions are going to be introduced which will offend our Lord very much” seems meant for our own day. Was Jacinta thinking of us when she uttered those words back in 1920?

“Wars are only punishments for the sins of the world” is a sentence that should be broadcast to the world. Our day-to-day actions are more important to the keeping of the peace than all the maneuverings of the world’s diplomats.

THE PRIEST HEARD HER CONFESSION AND SAID HE WOULD BRING HER COMMUNION IN THE MORNING 

On February 10, two of Jacinta’s ribs were removed. Because of her weakness, she could not be given a general anaesthetic, and the local one did not take away her pain. “It is for love of You, my Jesus,” she murmured. “Now You can convert many sinners, for I suffer much.”

For six days the agonising pain lasted. Then on the night of February 16, our Lady appeared to her and told her that her suffering was at an end. The pain stopped. On February 20, she asked for the Last Sacraments. The priest heard her confession and said he would bring her Communion in the morning. She asked him to bring it at once because she was going to die soon. She died before her wish was fulfilled. A young nurse, Aurora Gomes, was the only person present when Jacinta quietly breathed her last.

“THE LITTLE SAINT”

Crowds flocked to the undertaking parlour where Jacinta was laid out in her white First Communion dress with a blue sash, our Lady’s colours. The people were sure that Jacinta was already in heaven with our Lord and our Lady, and they wanted to see “the little saint.”

Although her body had been filled with poison, she was beautiful in death. Her lips were red, her cheeks rosy and a pleasant aroma came from her body. “I have seen many bodies, in my business, young and old,” the undertaker said later. “Never did a thing of this sort happen to me before or since.”

Jacinta’s body was placed at first in a vault at Ourem. In 1935 the Bishop of Leiria requested that it be taken to Fatima and buried in the church yard beside the body of Francisco. Her casket was opened at that time and the body was found to be whole and incorrupt.

In April, 1951, the remains of Francisco and Jacinta were moved to the basilica which had risen above the Cova da Iria. Jacinta’s body was examined again. It was found to be partly corrupted but still in a remarkable state of preservation.

From: “The Woman Shall Conquer” by Don Sharkey, Prow Books/Franciscan Marytown Press, Libertyville, IL, 1954

 
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Posted by on May 14, 2020 in Words of Wisdom

 

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THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IS IN FOR A LONG PERIOD OF PERSECUTION

THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IS IN FOR A LONG PERIOD OF PERSECUTION

“FRANCE WILL SUFFER”

“I can no longer restrain my Son!” Our Lady had declared sadly to Estelle Faguette at Pellevoisin in 1876. The world continued to ignore its Mother’s warnings and to bring ever closer the great punishment that was to befall it.

THE DEVIL IS “EVERY DAY REDOUBLING HIS EFFORTS” 

Two years after the apparitions at Pellevoisin, the frail sixty-eight-year-old Cardinal Pecci became the new Pontiff, Pope Leo XIII. “It is not the tiara you are giving me, but death,” the Pope said to the Cardinals who elected him. It is true that the papal tiara has been a heavy burden in these days when the devil is “every day redoubling his efforts.” Nevertheless, Pope Leo XIII reigned for twenty-five years, until 1903. He thus became the first Pontiff of our twentieth century.

Pope Leo XIII earned the title “Pope of the Workingman” because of his great encyclical Rerum Novarum. Like Karl Marx, the Pontiff recognised the great abuse that had been brought about by the Industrial Revolution. But his solution, based on the teachings of Christ, was vastly different from the class warfare advocated by Marx. Employers who were making large profits were slow to follow the Pope’s plan of granting justice to the workingman. Some even denounced him as a socialist. Had Pope Leo XIII been heeded, Communism would not be the threat that it now is.

ITALY’S SECULAR GOVERNMENT’S SEIZURE OF THE VATICAN

As a protest against Italy’s unjust seizure of the Vatican, Pope Leo XIII followed the example of his predecessor and did not leave the Vatican during his entire reign. Relations improved slightly with some countries, but only slightly. Germany, under Chancellor Bismarck, engaged in a persecution of the Church. France, now in the firm grip of the anti-clericals, passed law after law to hamstring the Church.

SECULAR FRANCE PASSED LAW AFTER LAW TO HAMSTRING THE CHURCH 

When Estelle Faguette had an audience with Pope Leo XIII in 1900, she said, “Holy Father, the Blessed Virgin said that France will have to suffer.”

“Yes,” said the Pontiff sadly, “France will have to suffer.”

Fourteen years later, World War I broke out, and most of the battles were fought on French soil. This war was even more devastating than the one of 1870-1871 had been.

Cardinal Sarto was elected to succeed Pope Leo XIII. “Since I must suffer I will take the name of those who have suffered,” he said, “I will be called Pius.”

France caused Pope Pius X great anguish, as it had his predecessors. In 1904, the government declared that the concordat which had been in effect with the Holy See for a century was at an end. The Law of Separation was passed the following year. By this law, the government confiscated all possessions of the clergy as well as of charitable institutions. Religious congregations were disbanded. Many of the religious were forced to leave the country. Nuns were driven from their work in schools and hospitals. Churches were looted.

Many of the French people protested. The men sent to despoil the churches were often attacked by the infuriated peasants, and many of them had to have guards to protect them. Nevertheless, the sacrilegious work went on. “And France,” our Lady had said at Pellevoisin, “what have I not done for her? How many warnings and yet she refused to listen!

The misnamed liberalism which was scourging France spread to Spain and – this is interesting in the light of later developments – to Portugal. The king and his son were murdered. The next king was forced to abdicate. A republic was established. A Law of Separation, based on the one in France, was passed, and the Church was in for a long period of persecution.

“THE CHURCH WAS IN FOR A LONG PERIOD OF PERSECUTION”

In the dark days in which we are now living, the most encouraging signs we behold are increased devotion to Mary and increased devotion to her Son in the Eucharist. It is largely to Pope Pius X, “Pope of the Eucharist”, that we owe the latter. It was he who urged frequent Communion and permitted children to receive Communion as soon as they reached the age of reason.

In 1916, two years after the death of Pius X, an angel appeared to three children near Fatima in Portugal. They were aged nine, eight, and six. The angel placed a Host on the tongue of Lucia, the oldest. To Francisco and Jacinta, who had not made their first Communion, he presented a chalice, and they drank from it. The angel said: “Take the body and blood of Jesus Christ, horribly outraged by ungrateful men. Make reparation for their crimes and console your God.” He seemed to be expressing at the same time displeasure with the state of the world and approval of the early Communion advocated by Pius X.

It was to these same three children that our Lady was later to appear.

MEN WERE ABOUT TO REAP THE TERRIBLE PUNISHMENT THAT WAS DUE TO THEM

The war clouds were gathering in the last part of the reign of Pope Pius X. Men were about to reap the terrible punishment that was due to them for having “horribly outraged” their God.

THE POPE TRIED TO AVERT THE LOOMING WORLD WAR

The Pontiff tried in every way possible to avert the war, but he saw that he was doomed to fail. He told his Secretary of State that a war would break out in 1914. Early in May, 1914, he said to a South American who was returning home, “How fortunate you are that you will not be here when war breaks out in a very short time.

When he heard that Archduke Ferdinand of Austria had been assassinated, he knew that the conflict had begun. “Oh, my poor children!” he cried. “This is the last affliction which the Lord is sending me! Willingly would I sacrifice my life to ward off this terrible scourge!”

Twice the Austrian ambassador asked Pope Pius to bless the armies of that country. He was told, “I bless peace.”

Austria declared war on Serbia. Russia joined the conflict on the side of Serbia. Germany came to the aid of Austria.

Pope Pius was stricken by what the physicians thought to be a minor illness, but he died on August 10, 1914. Those about him knew that he died of a broken heart.

Pope Pius was declared a Saint. He was beatified June 3, 1951, and was canonised May 29, 1954.

THE POPE WAS FORBIDDEN TO TAKE PART IN THE PEACE NEGOTIATIONS 

The new Pontiff, Benedict XV, strove valiantly to bring an end to the war. The leaders on both sides were convinced that they could win, however, and they were in no mood to stop fighting when victory seemed within their grasp. Never before had there been such destruction. This was the first war in which airplanes were used, and death rained from the skies. Ships were sunk; cities levelled. Women and children were victims along with the fighting men.

The Pope tried to arrange a truce on Christmas Day. Great Britain, Germany and Belgium seemed sympathetic, but France and Russia said no. Cannons continued to roar, and blood continued to flow on the birthday of the Prince of Peace.

When Italy entered the war, she made the Allies promise that the Pope would not be allowed to take part in the peace negotiations. She was afraid the matter of the Papal States might be brought up.

IT “APPEARS TO US AS THE SUICIDE OF CIVILISED EUROPE” 

The Pope’s efforts for peace went on constantly. On March 6, he said to his Vicar-General, Cardinal Pompili: “A father whose sons are engaged in a violent conflict is not at liberty to cease his pleadings for peace, even though they disregard his tears and exhortation… Therefore, we must again raise our voice against this war which appears to us as the suicide of civilised Europe.”

Far from diminishing, the war, like a giant conflagration, was spreading throughout the world. Portugal was engulfed in 1916, the United States in April, 1917. By this time almost every country in the world was involved.

EVENTS OF SINISTER IMPORTANCE 

In Russia, events of sinister and far-reaching importance were taking place. The war was going badly for that country which had been misruled for so many years by the czars. A revolution broke out in March 1917, and Czar Nicholas II abdicated.

An unstable provisional government was set up in Russia. It was not to last for long. Conditions were in a state of chaos, and the followers of Karl Marx thrive on that sort of thing. On April 16, Nicolai Lenin and Leon Trotsky, leaders of the Communists, arrived in Petrograd to make their plans for taking over the country.

In May, 1917, the month of our Lady, the world situation seemed hopeless. The war had been going on for almost three years, and no end was in sight… On May 5, 1917, when everything appeared darkest, Pope Benedict XV addressed a letter to his Cardinal Secretary of State in which he recounted his unsuccessful efforts to bring about peace. Then he said:

“Because all graces… are dispensed by the hands of the most holy Virgin, we wish the petitions of her most afflicted children to be directed with lively confidence, more than ever in this awful hour, to the great Mother of God.

“We charge you, then, Lord Cardinal, to communicate to all the bishops of the world our ardent desire that recourse be made to the Heart of Jesus, Throne of grace, and that to the Throne recourse be made through Mary… To Mary, then, who is the Mother of Mercy, and omnipotent by grace, let loving and devout appeal go up from every corner of the earth… Let it bear to her the anguished cry of mothers and wives, the wailing of little ones, the sighs of every generous heart, that her most tender and benign solicitude may be moved and the peace we ask be obtained for our agitated world.”

The Pope also directed that “Queen of Peace” be added to Mary’s titles in the Litany of Loreto.

Eight days later – as if in direct answer to the Pope’s appeal – the Mother of God appeared to the three shepherd children of Fatima.

(Next chapter – Fatima)

From: “The Woman Shall Conquer” by Don Sharkey, Prow Books/Franciscan Marytown Press, Libertyville, IL, 1954

 

 
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Posted by on May 13, 2020 in Words of Wisdom

 

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FATIMA 1917: “MEN MUST OFFEND OUR LORD NO MORE”

FATIMA 1917: “MEN MUST OFFEND OUR LORD NO MORE”

Through the shepherd children of Fatima, our Lady spoke to us who are living today.

Her words are just as pertinent today as they were in 1917. In fact, many parts of her message seem to be meant specifically for us. “If my requests are granted, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace” means infinitely more to us than it did to the world of 1917. At that time, Russia had just undergone a revolution and was so weak that she had been forced out of World War I. Who at the time, when the Allies were deeply embroiled in a war with Germany, could foresee that Russia would ever be a threat to the peace of the world? Now the fact is pounded home by each new day’s headlines.

That the message of Fatima is directed to us is also emphasised by the fact that much of the message did not become known until 1942.

MUCH OF THE MESSAGE DID NOT BECOME KNOWN UNTIL 1942

This latter fact has puzzled a great many people. It puzzled the Rev. Thomas McGlynn, O. P., and, in 1947, he had the opportunity to ask Lucia about it. Lucia is the one living survivor of the children of Fatima. When Father McGlynn had the privilege of interviewing her, she was a Dorothean Sister. Since then, she has joined the Carmelites.

“It seems,” Father McGlynn said to Lucia, “from the words of our Lady in 1917, that the war of 1939-1945 was threatened as a punishment for sin. But the warning was not generally known until 1942, after the punishment had begun. How is this explained?”

HOW IS THIS EXPLAINED? 

Lucia replied that, in 1917, the people knew the important part of our Lady’s message, that is, that men must amend their lives, that they must not offend God, that He was already much offended.

In other words, our Lady let the people of 1917 know what she wished them to know at the time. They should have carried out her requests even though they did not know the punishment that awaited them if they failed.

Today, we not only know her requests, but we see that World War II was inflicted on the world as punishment for its sins. And we know that if we do not heed Mary’s requests, there will probably be a World War III.

WHAT DID HAPPEN AT FATIMA? 

The three children were watching their flocks as usual. They were ten-year-old Lucia dos Santos and her two cousins Francisco and Jacinta Marto, nine and seven respectively. They were in a natural depression among the hills which was called the Cova da Iria. They had said their Rosary, as was their custom, and they had begun building a stone playhouse.

Suddenly, a brilliant shaft of light pierced the air. Frightened, they looked about them. The sun shone brightly, and there was not a cloud in the sky. How could there have been lightning? Just the same, they decided that they had better go home. They gathered the sheep and started down the hill.

When they were halfway down, another shaft of light filled the air. Panicky, they turned toward the right, and there, standing above a small holm oak they saw a beautiful Lady.

“It was a Lady dressed all in white,” Lucia says, “more brilliant than the sun; shedding rays of light, clearer and stronger than a crystal glass filled with the most sparkling water, pierced by the burning rays of the sun.”

HER HANDS WERE JOINED IN AN ATTITUDE OF PRAYER

Her hands were joined in an attitude of prayer. From her right arm hung a string of pearly white beads ending in a cross of burnished silver. Her feet were bare and rested on a cloud that just touched the little evergreen.

“Do not be afraid,” the Lady said in a sweet voice, “I will not harm you.” (How similar to the first words spoken to the children of La Salette!)

The words and the voice were both reassuring, and Lucia summoned enough courage to ask, “Where are you from, Madam?”

“I am from heaven.”

“What do you wish of me?”

“I come to ask you to meet me here six months in succession at this same hour, on the thirteenth of each month. In October, I will tell you who I am and what I want.”

AM I GOING TO HEAVEN? 

Francisco could see the Lady but he could not hear her, nor could he hear any of the subsequent apparitions. Jacinta could both see and hear the Lady, but Jacinta did not talk to her. All conversation during the series of apparitions were between the Lady and Lucia.

“And I, am I, too, going to heaven?” Lucia asked.

“Yes, you shall.”

“And Jacinta?”

“She, too.”

“And Francisco?”

“He, too, but first he must say many Rosaries.”

Father John De Marchi in  The Immaculate Heart says that here the Lady’s beautiful and compassionate glance rested for a little while on Francisco. “For reasons we are not qualified to fathom, it held a shade of sadness and disapproval. Somewhere in his little heart the Lady must have read a fault that others could not see.

Lucia thought of two girls who used to come to her house to learn sewing from her sisters. Both girls had died only recently.

“Is Maria Nevers in heaven?”

“Yes, she is.”

“And Amelia?”

The document gives three different versions of our Lady’s answer to this question: “She is in purgatory”; “She is still in purgatory”; and “She will be in purgatory till the end of the world.”

Many people have objected to the third version, but Lucia has insisted that it is the correct one. She says there is nothing strange about it; a person can go to hell for all eternity for missing Mass on Sunday.

The Lady then said to the children: “Do you wish to offer yourselves to God and endure all the suffering that He may chose to send you, as an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended, and to ask for the conversion of sinners?”

“Yes, we do!” Lucia answered eagerly.

“Then you will have much to suffer, but the grace of God will assist you and always bear you up.”

She opened her hands. From each palm came a stream of light which shone on the children and seemed to penetrate to the depths of their souls. Moved by an inward impulse the children fell to their knees and prayed: “Most holy Trinity, I adore You! My God, my God, I love You in the Most Blessed Sacrament.”

The Lady spoke again. “Say the Rosary every day to obtain peace for the world and the end of the war.”

“She began to elevate herself serenely,” Lucia says, “going in the direction of the east until she disappeared in the immensity of space.”

THIS WAS NOT THE CHILDREN’S FIRST EXPERIENCE WITH THE SUPERNATURAL 

This was not the children’s first experience with the supernatural. An angel, “the Guardian Angel of Portugal,” had appeared to them three times. On one occasion, as was mentioned in the preceding chapter, he had brought them Holy Communion. After each visit of the angel, they had felt heavy and tired. The Lady, however, left them with a feeling of lightness, of peace and of joy. After the Lady had disappeared, they knelt for a while having no desire to move or to speak or to do anything but meditate on the beautiful vision they had seen.

ONLY ONE THING CAN MAKE OUR LADY UNHAPPY, AND THAT IS SIN

After a time, they rose to their feet and began to look for the sheep. They found them grazing quietly on the grass.

They spent the rest of the afternoon in the fields talking about the wonderful visit from our Lady. Francisco, who had not heard anything, wanted to know everything the Lady had said. When told that he would go to heaven, but that he must say many Rosaries, he almost burst with happiness. “O my Lady,” he exclaimed, “I will say all the Rosaries you want.”

The children agreed that our Lady had seemed unhappy about something, and this was the only thing that marred their very great happiness. They were too young to comprehend fully the fact that only one thing can make our Lady unhappy, and that is sin. They were to realise this, however, before the series of apparitions was over. In 1846, Mary had wept because of the sins of the world; in 1917, sins were still making her very sad.

LUCIA’S MOTHER THOUGHT THE GIRL WAS LYING

The Lady returned every month as she had promised. The children underwent great suffering and had many occasions to remember her words, “Then you will have much to suffer.”

Lucia’s mother thought the girl was lying. The pastor of their church suggested the apparitions might be the devil. They had trouble with the authorities, just as Bernadette had had. The civil administrator of their district arrested the children and kept them in jail so that they missed the apparition scheduled for August 13. In that month, the Lady appeared to them on the 19th.

THEY GAVE THEIR LUNCHES TO POOR CHILDREN AND ATE BITTER ACORNS AND UNRIPE OLIVES

But these sufferings were not enough for them. They gave their lunches to poor children, and they ate bitter acorns and unripe olives. Each wore under his clothes a shaggy rope which itched and chafed. Our Lady had asked for sacrifices, and they delighted in thinking up new ones to offer her.

On June 13, the Lady told the children to “say the Rosary always.” To Lucia she said, “I want you to learn to read. Then I will tell you what else I want.

When Lucia asked that the three of them be taken to heaven, our Lady said: “I will take Jacinta and Francisco soon. But you must remain longer here below. Jesus will use you to make me better known and more loved. He wishes to establish throughout the world the devotion to my Immaculate Heart. I promise salvation to those who embrace it and their souls will be loved by God as flowers placed by myself as flowers to adorn His throne.”

“Then I am to stay here alone!” Lucia said, at the thought of being left behind.

“No, my child. You are suffering very much, but do not be discouraged. I will never leave you. My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God.”

Once more she parted her hands, and the children were enveloped by the light from her palms. Francisco and Jacinta were in a stream that went toward heaven, and Lucia was in a stream that spread over the ground. A heart surrounded by thorns was in front of the right palm. “We understood,” says Lucia, “that this was the Immaculate Heart of Mary, so offended by the sins of mankind, desiring reparation.”

“O JESUS, IT IS FOR YOUR LOVE…”

Four or five thousand people were on hand for the apparition of July 13. When our Lady appeared to the children, the crowd saw that the sun became dimmer and that a little cloud stood over the holm oak. The Lady told the children to continue to say the Rosary. “Say it with the intention of obtaining the end of the war. The intercession of the Blessed Virgin alone can obtain this grace for men.”

Lucia, thinking of her mother and all the people who doubted her story, said, “Will you please tell us who you are and perform a miracle so that everyone will believe that you really appear to us?”

“Continue to come here every month. In October I will tell you who I am and what I desire, and I shall perform a miracle so that everyone will have to believe you.”

Lucia requested the cure of some sick people. She was told that some would be cured and others not.

“Sacrifice yourself for sinners,” the Lady said, “And say many times, especially when you make any sacrifice: ‘O Jesus, it is for Your love, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.'”

THE VISION OF HELL 

As our Lady said these words she parted her hands as she had done the two previous months. The light from her palms seemed to penetrate the earth. The children saw a great sea of fire. “In this sea,” says Lucia, “were immersed burning demons and souls in human forms, resembling live transparent coals. Lifted up into the air by the flames, they fell back on all sides like sparks in a conflagration, with neither weight nor balance, amid loud screams and cries of pain and despair which horrified us and shook us with terror. We could tell the devils by their horrible and nauseous figures of baleful and unknown animals, but transparent as the black coals in a fire.”

Pale with terror the children raised their eyes to our Lady for help.

“You have seen hell,” said the Lady, “where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, our Lord wishes to establish throughout the world the devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If people will do what I tell you, many souls will be saved and there will be peace in the world. The war is coming to an end, but if the offences against God do not stop, another and worse one will begin in the reign of Pius XI.

“WHEN YOU SEE A NIGHT ILLUMINED BY AN UNKNOWN LIGHT…”

“When you see a night illumined by an unknown light, know that it is the great sign that God gives you that He is going to punish the world for its crimes by means of war, of hunger and of persecutions of the Church and of the Holy Father.

“To prevent this, I shall come back to ask the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart and the Communion of Reparation on the First Saturdays. If my requests are granted, Russia will be converted and there will be peace. If not, she will scatter her errors throughout the world, provoking wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred; the Holy Father will have much to suffer; various nations will be annihilated.

“BUT IN THE END MY IMMACULATE HEART WILL TRIUMPH.”

“But in the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me; it will be converted, and a certain period of peace will be granted to the world.

“In Portugal, the dogma of the faith will be kept always.”

These grave words, the Lady said, were not yet to be revealed to the world. The girls were to repeat them to no one except Francisco.

She then told them another secret which has not as yet been revealed. Lucia has written it down and delivered it to the bishop of Leiria.

THE AUGUST 13 EVENTS

On August 13, the children were in jail at Ourem. The civil administrator threatened to boil them in oil if they did not tell the Lady’s secret. Though badly frightened, they could not think of disobeying our Lady. In disgust, the administrator finally freed them. A large number of people, not knowing that the children had been kidnapped, went to the Cova for the scheduled appearance of the Lady. At noon, there was a loud clap of thunder. Then, according to an eyewitness:

“Right after the thunder came a flash, and immediately we all noticed a little cloud, very white, beautiful and bright, that came and stayed over the holm oak. It stayed a few minutes, then rose toward the heavens where it disappeared. Looking about, we noticed a strange sight that we had already seen and would see again. Everyone’s face glowed, rose, red, blue, all the colours of the rainbow. The trees seemed to have no branches or leaves but were all covered with flowers; every leaf was a flower. The ground was in little squares, each one a different colour. Our clothes seemed to be transformed also into the colours of the rainbow. The two vigil lanterns hanging from the arch over the holy spot appeared to be of gold.

“When the signs disappeared, the people were sure that our Lady had come, and, not finding the children, had returned to heaven. They felt that our Lady was disappointed…”

OUR LADY MADE IT PLAIN THAT HER PRINCIPAL CONCERN IS FOR SOULS

The August apparition took place on the 19th, while the children were tending sheep in a hollow called Valinhos. The Lady appeared over a holm oak slightly taller than the one in the Cova. “I want you to continue to come to the Cova da Iria on the thirteenth and to continue to say the Rosary every day,” the Lady told them.

“What do you wish us to do with the money and the offerings that the people leave at the Cova da Iria?” Lucia asked.

“Two litters should be made; you and Jacinta are to carry one with two girls dressed in white; Francisco is to carry the other with three boys also dressed in white robes. The money placed on the litters is for the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.”

Our Lady repeated her promise of a miracle. “In October, I shall perform a miracle so that all may believe in my apparitions. If they had not taken you to the village, the miracle would have been greater. St Joseph will come with the Baby Jesus to give peace to the world. Our Lord will also come to bless the people. Besides, Our Lady of the Rosary and Our Lady of Sorrows will come.”

Lucia asked for the cure of some sick persons and was told that some of them would be cured within the year. Our Lady made it plain, by her next words, however, that her principal concern is for souls.

“Pray, pray a great deal and make sacrifices for sinners,” she said gravely, “for many souls go to hell because they have no one to sacrifice and pray for them.”

“TO US HAD BEEN GIVEN THE GRACE TO SEE THE CHARIOT THAT HAD BORNE HER FROM HEAVEN” 

Many of the people who were present for the apparitions of September 13 saw a luminous globe cross the sky and stop over the holm oak. Then later it rose and disappeared toward the sun. Monsignor John Quaresma, who was one of the many to behold this phenomenon, said: “The three little shepherds had seen the Mother of God herself; to us had been given the grace to see the chariot that had borne her from heaven to the barren and inhospitable hills of Aire.”

There was another unusual feature of this apparition. Many people saw white flowers which seemed to shower from the sky and disappear before they touched the ground.

While the crowd was seeing these things, our Lady was saying to the children, “Continue to say the Rosary to bring about the end of the war.”

She repeated her promise of a miracle the following month. Then she said, “God is content with your sacrifices, but does not wish you to sleep with the rope. Wear it only during the day.”

Someone had given Lucia a bottle of cologne with the request that it be presented to our Lady. It was probably the nicest gift a Portuguese peasant woman could think of. Our Lady graciously refused the gift, saying: “That is not necessary for heaven.”

AHEAD OF THE PROMISED MIRACLE, THE ROADS BECAME CLOGGED WITH PEOPLE MAKING THEIR WAY TOWARD FATIMA

In July, August, and September, our Lady had promised a miracle in October. Lucia had told a number of people about this promise, and the word spread rapidly through Portugal. Unbelievers scoffed at the idea and waited confidently for October 13. They were sure that there would be no miracle and that the entire story of Fatima would be exposed as a hoax. Those who believed talked the matter over excitedly. Think of it! A miracle promised in advance and in their own country of Portugal!

Several days ahead of the promised date, the roads became clogged with people making their way toward Fatima. “Nearby communities, towns and villages, emptied of people,” said the Lisbon newspaper O Dia.“… They came on foot, by horse or by carriage. They travelled the highways and the roads, between the hills and pine groves. For two days these came to life with the rolling of the carriages, the trot of the donkeys and the voices of the pilgrims.”

Lucia’s mother tried to get the girl to retract her story. Other people warned her that something very serious would happen if there were no miracle. It was said that there would be bombs in the crowd. The families of the children were very much frightened, but the children themselves were calm and serene.

“There will be a miracle, because our Lady promised it,” Lucia said.

On the night of the twelfth, a cold wind came out of the north bringing with it a chilling rain. This caused the most acute discomfort to the pilgrims who had to sleep in the open, but it did not dampen their ardour.

THE COLD RAIN DID NOT DAMPEN THE PILGRIMS’ ARDOUR

The next day was cold and rainy, but the pilgrims were not daunted. By 11:30, more than 70,000 of them had gathered at the Cova. They sang hymns, recited prayers and said the Rosary. Seldom has there been a more striking demonstration of faith. Our Lady must have been very much pleased with the Portuguese people that day.

A path had to be cleared through the throng for Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta. “Put down your umbrellas,” Lucia said. The word spread throughout the crowd, and all umbrellas were lowered. Lucia does not know now why she made this request.

At two o’clock wartime, noon sun time, Lucia saw the flash of light that always preceded our Lady’s appearances.

“Silence, silence, our Lady is coming,” Lucia cried.

Our Lady came out of the east and again stopped above the holm oak.

“Who are you, Madam, and what do you want of me?” Lucia asked.

“I am the Lady of the Rosary, and I desire a chapel built in my honour in this place.

“People must continue to say the Rosary every day. The war will end soon, and the soldiers will return to their homes.”

“I have so many things to ask you,” Lucia said.

“I will grant some of them, the others, no.”

“MEN MUST OFFEND OUR LORD NO MORE, AND ASK PARDON FOR THEIR SINS”

Assuming a sadder air, the Lady said, “Men must offend our Lord no more, and they must ask pardon for their sins, for He is already much offended.” It was the same as the message of La Salette but in different words: “If my people will not submit, I shall be forced to let go the hand of my Son. It is so strong, so heavy, that I can no longer withhold it.”

Our Lady stretched forth her hands, and the light again shone from her palms. She pointed toward the sun which seemed dim in comparison with the light from her hands. Then she seemed to disappear in her own radiance.

High up in the sky appeared a representation of the Holy Family. St Joseph held the Child Jesus on his left arm. To the right was the Blessed Virgin dressed in the blue and white robes of Our Lady of the Rosary. St Joseph and the Child Jesus made the Sign of the Cross over the world three times.

The vision faded, and then Lucia alone beheld our Lord dressed in red as the divine Redeemer. He blessed the world. Beside him stood Mary dressed in the purple robes of Our Lady of Sorrows.

In the third and last of those visions, Lucia saw the Blessed Virgin clothed in the brown robes of Our Lady of Carmelite.

The 70,000 pilgrims did not see any of this, but they were seeing something very spectacular. Our Lady did not forget that she had promised them a miracle.

THE MIRACLE OF THE SUN

The crowd heard Lucia shout, “Look at the sun!” (She does not remember saying this.) At that moment, the clouds parted suddenly and revealed the sun which looked like a phosphorescent disk. Everyone could look at it without blinking, although there was no fog and the clouds no longer obscured it.

The testimony as to what happened after that differs greatly. Most persons saw the sun spin about in the sky, throwing off rays of light in all directions like a gigantic pinwheel. This light, they say, was yellow, red, green, blue and violet successively. The people stood spellbound as they beheld this manifestation of God’s power.

Then the sun suddenly detached itself from the sky and plunged toward the earth. The terrified people thought they would be crushed by it. Most of them fell to their knees in the churning sea of mud.

“Save us, Jesus!” went up the cry from hundreds of throats. “Our Lady, save us!”

Many fervently said the Act of Contrition.

Just when it seemed certain that the world would be destroyed, the sun stopped its downward plunge and climbed back to its accustomed place in the sky. It again became the brilliant sun of every day.

Some witnesses declare that the sun spun in the sky, stopped for an instant, then spun in the other direction and that this process was repeated. Others say its spinning was one continuous motion with no stopping. Many are sure that the sun plunged toward them in a straight line; many are equally sure that it came toward the earth in a zigzag path. Estimates of the length of time the display lasted vary from a few seconds to twelve minutes.

When a number of people have seen a very important event, it is only natural to expect some variations in their stories. Carlos de Azevedo Mendez, however, has an account that is at complete variance with most of the others. Here is his version as told to Father McGlynn: “The rain stopped; the clouds split open into tatters – thin transparent strips. The sun was seen as a crown of fire, empty in the middle. It went round on itself and moved across the sky. It could be seen behind the clouds and in between them, rolling around and moving horizontally. Some cried, ‘I believe’; others ‘Forgive!’ The crowd prayed in terror.”

Senhor Mendez saw clouds, while practically all the others declare the sun spun around in a cloudless sky. For him the sun moved horizontally across the sky; for others it came rushing toward the earth. To him the sun was a crown of fire, empty in the middle, to others it was a disk. He did not see the coloured lights mentioned by others.

One woman to whom Father McGlynn talked did not see the sun at all. She saw nothing unusual except the sudden stopping of the rain. She was a rare exception. Practically everyone else in that crowd of 70,000 persons agree that something wonderful and awe inspiring happened to the sun although they do not agree as to the details of what happened. It seems that each person saw what God deemed best suited to his particular needs. The fact that impressions were so different ferestalls any interpretation if the miracle as a natural phenomenon. So does the fact that it was not registered on any scientific instruments anywhere.

Was it mass hypnosis? Did the people just think they saw the sun behave in such peculiar manner? This is rendered extremely unlikely by the fact that the rain had been pouring down until the minute the miracle occurred. In that cold drenching rain, a solar display is the last thing the people would have imagined.

If the mass hypnosis idea is rendered unlikely by the rain, it is rendered impossible by the fact that people as far as twenty miles away from the Cova da Iria saw the phenomena.

One of the best proofs of the reality of the miracle is the space given to it by the Portuguese newspapers. The intellectuals of Portugal were infected by the same materialism as their counterparts in other countries. They had declared that miracles were impossible. But there was no denying what they had seen with their own eyes. Page after page in the daily newspapers was devoted to the wondrous occurrence.

PAGE AFTER PAGE IN THE DAILY NEWSPAPERS WAS DEVOTED TO THE WONDROUS OCCURRENCE

Lucia dose Santos, a poorly educated ten-year-old girl, had announced three months in advance that a miracle would take place at noon on October 13, 1917, and that miracle had taken place. This was God’s sign that the message of Fatima was genuine, a message that should be studied and carried out by everyone.

“I shall perform a miracle so that all will believe,” our Lady had said to Lucia, and she had carried out her promise.

From: “The Woman Shall Conquer” by Don Sharkey, Prow Books/Franciscan Marytown Press, Libertyville, IL, 1954

 

 

 

 
 

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A LADY OF INCOMPARABLE BEAUTY APPEARED AT THE FOOT OF THE ALTAR

A LADY OF INCOMPARABLE BEAUTY APPEARED AT THE FOOT OF THE ALTAR

OUR LADY’S FIRST MESSAGE TO THE MODERN WORLD – PARIS, 1830

“Come to the chapel, the Holy Virgin is waiting for you.” Zoe Catherine Laboure, a postulant in the Daughters of Charity, awoke to see a child about four or five years old standing at the side of her bed. He was enveloped in a golden light. She later said that she believed him to be her guardian angel.

This happened in the mother house of the Daughters of Charity in Paris. The date was July 18,1830, the eve of the feast of St Vincent de Paul, founder of the community.

“BE AT EASE”

Catherine sat up, astonished and a little troubled. “How can I get up and running cross the dormitory without waking my companions?” she asked.

“Be at ease,” the child replied. “It is half past eleven and everyone is asleep. I will come with you.”

Catherine followed the child to the chapel, which, to her surprise, was lit up, “as if for Midnight Mass.” He led her to the altar rail, and she knelt down. “Here is the Holy Virgin,” he announced.

Almost at once, a sound like the rustling of silk caused her to look up. A Lady of incomparable beauty appeared at the foot of the altar. She stepped forward and sat on the chair normally reserved for the Director of the seminary. She was dressed in an ivory robe and blue mantle. A white veil fell over her shoulders.

“THE SWEETEST JOY OF MY LIFE”

Catherine rushed forward and threw herself to her knees. She rested her clasped hands on the knees of the Blessed Virgin. It was “the sweetest joy of my life,” she said later, “a delight beyond expression.”

“My child,” the Blessed Mother said, “God wishes you to undertake a mission. For it, you will have much to suffer, but you will overcome that by recalling that you do so for the glory of God…”

Much of what our Lady said was for Catherine’s ears alone and has never been revealed. The words which we do know began Mary’s message to the modern world, a message which was climaxed at Fatima and which has not yet been concluded.

“THE TIMES ARE EVIL” 

“The times are evil,” our Lady said. “Terrible things are about to happen in France. The throne will be destroyed, and the whole world will be convulsed by terrible calamities.

“But come to the foot of the altars. Here great graces will be poured out upon all who ask them with confidence and fervour. They will be bestowed upon the great and upon the small.”

Our Lady made some declarations about the community to which Catherine belonged, adding: “I love it very much.

“But grave troubles are coming. There will be great danger. Do not fear. God and Saint Vincent will protect the community. I myself shall be with you…

“DO NOT FEAR” 

“At one moment, when the danger is acute, everyone will believe all to be lost. You will recall my visit and the protection of God…

“There will be victims in other communities. There will be victims among the clergy of Paris. The Archbishop will die… The cross will be trampled upon… Blood will run in the streets… The world will be plunged into sadness…”

Catherine understood that some of the events described would take place soon. The others would take place in about forty years, or about 1870.

“I SHALL GRANT YOU MANY GRACES”

Our Lady’s last words to Catherine on this visit were: “My eyes are ever upon you. I shall grant you many graces. Special graces will be given to all who ask them, but people must pray.

When our Lady had disappeared, “like a cloud that had evaporated,” the child led Catherine back to her dormitory. The clock was striking two as she got back into bed.

THE PRODUCT OF AN OVERWROUGHT IMAGINATION? 

Catherine was not allowed to tell anyone of her experience, except her confessor, Father Aladel. The priest was inclined to dismiss the story as the product of an overwrought imagination.

A FEW DAYS LATER… 

Father Aladel was surprised a few days later when a Revolution broke out in Paris, but Catherine was not surprised. Our Lady had foretold it. Many were killed. Bands of men and boys broke into churches. Crucifixes were profaned. Convents were pillaged. Priests were ill-treated, and the Archbishop was forced to go into hiding. The mother house in the Rue du Bac shook with gunfire and was surrounded by an angry mob. It did seem that all was lost, but true to our Lady’s promise, the buildings remained unharmed.

“MANY PEOPLE DO NOT RECEIVE GRACES BECAUSE THEY DO NOT ASK FOR THEM”

Our Lady’s second visit to Catherine took place on November 27, 1830, four months after the first one. This time Mary appeared over the high altar in the convent chapel. Her head was covered with a soft white veil. She was standing on a globe. In her hands she held a smaller globe with a tiny cross at the top. She held it out as if offering it to God. Rays of light streamed down to the larger globe from some of the gems in her fingers.

Lowering her eyes, our Lady said to Catherine: “This ball you see is the world. I am praying for it and for everyone in the world. The rays are graces which I give to those who ask for them. But there are no rays from some of these stones, for many people do not receive graces because they do not ask for them.”

AN OVAL FRAME APPEARED AROUND OUR LADY

The vision changed. An oval frame appeared around our Lady. The small globe disappeared, and our Lady dropped her hands to her sides. She became brighter and lovelier as she did so. Around the oval frame appeared in gold the words: “O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.”

O MARY CONCEIVED WITHOUT SIN, PRAY FOR US WHO HAVE RECOURSE TO THEE

A voice said to Catherine: “Have a medal made according to this picture. All those who wear it when it is blessed will receive many graces, especially if they wear it suspended from their necks.”

Suddenly the entire picture seemed to turn. On the reverse Catherine saw the letter M surmounted by a cross with a crossbar beneath it. Below were two hearts. That of our Lord was encircled by a crown of thorns while that of our Lady was pierced by a sword. Enclosing the entire picture were twelve stars within a golden frame.

In December, the Blessed Virgin appeared for the third time and repeated her request for the medal.

Catherine again transmitted the request to her spiritual adviser, Father Aladel, but the priest did not know what to do. He did not wish to be in the position of disobeying an order from heaven, but he said to Catherine: “I do not have the authority to have such a medal struck. Besides, it is to say ‘O Mary conceived without sin,’ and the Immaculate Conception is not a dogma of the Church.” (In 1830, this doctrine had not yet been promulgated. That was to come twenty-four years later.)

HE CONSULTED THE ARCHBISHOP

Father Aladel investigated Catherine’s story very carefully, and he prayed for divine guidance. Then he consulted the Archbishop of Paris. The medals were struck and distributed in Paris two years after our Lady had made her request. By this time, Catherine had received the habit of the Daughters of Charity, and had taken the name Sister Catherine.

SHE CARRIED HER SECRET TO THE GRAVE

Sister Catherine was so humble that she did not tell anyone that the Blessed Mother had appeared to her. Not more than two or three persons knew to whom our Lady had given her request for the medal. Even the other Sisters in her convent did not know. Sister Catherine carried her secret to the grave.

During the War of the Commune in 1871, many of the events fortold by our Lady in the first apparition came true. Blood ran in the streets. Many priests were killed. Msgr. Duboy, Archbishop of Paris, was brutally murdered. The insurrectionists were strongly influenced by the teachings of Karl Marx…

– From: “The Woman Shall Conquer” by Don Sharkey, Prow Books/Franciscan Marytown Press, Libertyville, IL, 1954

 
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Posted by on October 15, 2019 in Words of Wisdom

 

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“SACRIFICE YOURSELVES FOR SINNERS”

“SACRIFICE YOURSELVES FOR SINNERS”

“Do you wish to know a secret?” Pope Pius IX asked, in referring to La Salette. “This is it: Unless you do penance, you shall all perish.”

At Lourdes, Bernardette repeated our Lady’s plea for “Penitence! Penitence!”

At Fatima, our Lady asked the children: “Do you wish to offer yourselves to God to endure all the sufferings that He may choose to send you, as an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended, and ask for the conversion of sinners?” When Lucia answered that they did, our Lady said: “Then you will have much to suffer, but the grace of God will assist you always and bear you up.”

THE GRACE OF GOD WILL ASSIST YOU ALWAYS

“Sacrifice yourself for sinners,” our Lady said on another occasion at Fatima, “and say many times, especially when you make sacrifices: ‘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.'”

The following words of Our Lady of Fatima put a great responsibility upon all of us: “Pray, pray a great deal and make sacrifices for sinners, for many souls go to hell because they have no one to pray for them.”

In 1925 the Child Jesus and our Lady both appeared to Lucia in the convent and asked for acts of reparation to Mary’s Immaculate Heart.

At Beauraing, Belgium, in 1932, our Lady said, “Sacrifice yourself for me.”

“THEY HAVE NO ONE TO PRAY FOR THEM” 

How are we to make sacrifices? The three children of Fatima asked this very question of the angel who appeared to them the year before they were favoured by the apparitions of our Lady. The angel had just asked the children to “offer prayers and sacrifices constantly to the Most High.”

“How are we to make sacrifices?” asked nine-year-old Lucia. – “You can make sacrifices of all things,” the angel replied. “Offer them in reparation for the sins that offend God, and beg of Him the conversion of sinners. In this way, try to draw down peace on your country…  Above all, accept and bear humbly the sufferings which the Lord will send you.'”

HOW ARE WE TO MAKE SACRIFICES? 

“You can make sacrifices of all things…” The words were meant as much for us as for the children of Fatima. The three children heeded the request of the angel and made sacrifices of all things. They offered all their everyday actions to God through the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

In the spring of 1942 Lucia wrote: “This is the penance which the good Lord now asks: the sacrifice that every person has to impose upon himself is to lead a life of justice in the observance of His Law. He requires that the way be made known to souls. For many, thinking that the word penance means great austerities and not feeling in themselves the strength or generosity for these, lose heart and rest in a life of lukewarmness and sin.

“Last Thursday, at midnight, while I was in the chapel with my superior’s permission, Our Lord said to me: “The sacrifice required of every person is the fulfilment of his duties in life and the observance of My Law. This is the penance I now seek and require.'”

This is the very most that is asked of us: the sacrifice required of every person is the fulfilment of his duties in life and the observance of God’s law. This is heartening when we tend to become discouraged, and when we think we are not doing enough.

THE MORNING OFFERING

The most effective way to make sacrifices of all things is to make the Morning Offering: “O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer thee all my prayers, works and sufferings of this day for the intentions of thy Sacred Heart, in union with the holy sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world, in reparation for my sins, for the intentions of all our associates and in particular for the intention of the Holy Father.” If we are in the state of grace, the Morning Offering turns all our actions for the day into meritorious acts.

The Act of Total Consecration has this same effect. To a person who has consecrated himself completely to Jesus through Mary, the Morning Offering is simply a daily renewal of that consecration.

THE TOTAL CONSECRATION

“Above all, accept and bear humbly the sufferings which the Lord will send you.” When the civil administrator put the children of Fatima in jail with the hardened criminals, they offered their suffering in reparation for the sins of the world. When Jacinta was undergoing great agony on her deathbed, she murmured through her pain: “It is for love of You, my Jesus. Now You can convert many sinners, for I suffer much.”

All of us have our sufferings, small ones and big ones; the extra tasks we have to perform, the slights we receive, the plans that go wrong, the severity of the weather, the loss of a loved one, a severe illness, a financial reverse. Like Jacinta, we can offer these in reparation for sins and for the conversion of sinners.

“ABOVE ALL, ACCEPT AND BEAR HUMBLY THE SUFFERINGS WHICH THE LORD WILL SEND YOU”

Offering their everyday actions and their sufferings to Jesus through Mary was not enough for Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta. They were constantly thinking up voluntary sacrifices. When they went out to tend the sheep, they gave their lunches to children poorer than themselves, and they ate unripe olives. Under their clothes they wore shaggy ropes which chafed their skin.

All of us can make voluntary sacrifices in addition to the minimum penance which our Lord says he requires, although our sacrifices are not likely to take such extreme forms.

“IT IS ONLY BY SACRIFICE AND SUFFERING – OFFERED AS PENANCE – THAT YOU WILL BE ABLE, BY THE GRACE OF GOD, TO CONVERT HIM”

St John Mary Vianney, the Cure of Arms, lived a life of heroic self-denial, penance and reparation. Because of these virtues he was able to convert an entire parish, the members of which had given up their practice of religion.

One day a neighbouring pastor said to Father Vianney: “I have a hardened old sinner in my parish. Years ago he fell away from the faith. I’ve tried everything to convert him. I’ve pleaded with him: I have prayed for him: I’ve asked others to pray for him. But it’s no use. He seems determined to die in his sins. What can I do?”

“You say, Father,” replied the Saint, “that you have pleaded with him and have prayed for him. But have you tried fasting for him? It is only by sacrifice and suffering – offered as penance – that you will be able, by the grace of God, to convert him.”

PRAYER AND FASTING 

Similarly, with the grace of God, we can accomplish stupendous things by our sacrifices. The stakes are high. We can win peace on earth. We can win a Catholic Russia. We can win peace of mind and peace of soul. We can achieve the unity of the Mystical Body all over the world. We can bring about a rebirth of the moral values so long deadened by the forces of materialism.

What sacrifices shall we make? We can make them in all categories: everyday actions, sufferings and voluntary acts of self-denial. Here are a few suggestions. We can:

  • Get up an hour earlier every morning and go to Mass.
  • Do that unpleasant task we have been shirking.
  • Be kind to someone who has slighted us.
  • Be pleasant at home and at work, even when we have severe provocation to be otherwise.
  • Bear our aches and pains in quiet patience.
  • Go out of our way to help others.
  • Live up to the duties of our religion, even when doing so is very inconvenient.
  • Give up something we want very much in order to give the money to the missions.

These are only a few ways in which we can answer Mary’s call for sacrifices. With good will we should be able to think of many more ways of carrying out the wishes of the Mother of God. If made in the proper spirit, such sacrifices will help restore the world to Christ, and will help put the world on the road to true peace.

– From: “The Woman Shall Conquer” by Don Sharkey, Prow Books/Franciscan Marytown Press, Libertyville, IL, 1954

 

 

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“BE VERY PATIENT – BECAUSE PATIENCE LEADS TO HEAVEN”

“Oh, if men only knew what eternity is, how they would make all possible efforts to amend their lives!… mortification and sacrifice give great pleasure to Our Divine Lord! Oh! Fly luxury! Fly riches! Love holy poverty! Be very charitable even towards the wicked! Never speak evil of anyone and avoid those who do. Be very patient because patience leads to heaven.

“Pray much for sinners! Pray much for priests, for religious, for governments! Priests should occupy themselves with the affairs of the Church! They must be pure, very pure. The disobedience of priests and of religious to their superiors and to the Holy Father offends Our Lord very much! If governments left the Church in peace and gave liberty to our holy religion, they would be blessed by God.

“The sins of the world are too great! The sins which lead most souls to hell are the sins of the flesh!… Oh! Men must do penance! If they amend their lives Our Lord will still pardon the world; but if they do not, the chastisement will come!…”
– Blessed Jacinta of Fatima, Lisbon, Jan/Feb 1920

 
 

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MARY’S PRAYERS AND LOVE HAVE SNATCHED MANY SOULS FROM THE CLUTCHES OF HELL

“If people do what I tell you many souls will be saved…”

MANY SOULS GO TO HELL BECAUSE THEY HAVE NO ONE TO PRAY FOR THEM

“Our Lady said to the children at Fatima, ‘if people do what I tell you many souls will be saved and there will be peace.’ Our Lady asked us at Fatima to pray and make sacrifice for sinners. She said that many souls go to Hell because they have no one to pray for them and make sacrifices for them. Lucy describes the Vision of Hell as follows:

THE VISION OF HELL

‘We saw as it were a vast sea of fire, in which were plunged, all blackened and burnt, demons and souls in human form like transparent embers. Raised into the air by the flames, they fell back in all directions, like sparks in a huge fire, without weight or poise, amidst loud cries and horrible groans of pain and despair which caused us to shudder and tremble with fear. The demons were distinguished by the horrible and repellent forms of terrible unknown animals, like embers of fire, black yet transparent.

This scene lasted an instant, and we must thank Our Heavenly Mother who had prepared us beforehand by promising to take us to Heaven with Her; otherwise I believe that we should have died of fear and terror.’ Our Lady said: ‘You have seen Hell where the soul of poor sinners go, to save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart.’

Saint Alphonsus (Doctor of the Church) teaches that Devotion to Mary is necessary for Catholics in order to save their souls. He also teaches that Mary has snatched many souls from the clutches of Hell and saved them for Heaven because these persons have repeated during their lifetime some little act of devotion to Our Lady – for example, praying three Hail Mary’s to Our Lady every day, or fasting on Saturdays in Her honour. (See Saint Alphonsus’s book ‘Glories of Mary’, Part 1, Section 1, Chapter 8.) Thus we can see why God wants to even better establish devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary throughout the world because thereby many more souls would be saved. God furthermore wants mankind to realise that God grants graces to us through Mary. As Pope Leo XIII taught, all graces come from God, through the Sacred Humanity of Jesus Christ, through the hands of the Blessed Virgin Mary, to us.”
– This article entitled “Vision of Hell” was published in the Fatima Center’s booklet “Our Lady’s Urgent Appeal”, 1982. More information on the Fatima Center can be found on http://www.fatima.org (external link).

 
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Posted by on September 30, 2013 in Prayers for Ordinary Time

 

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FOR YOUR DIARY: THIS YEAR’S REMAINING “A DAY WITH MARY” – DATES

÷ A DAY WITH MARY ÷

A DAY OF INSTRUCTION, DEVOTION & INTERCESSION, BASED ON THE MESSAGE GIVEN AT FATIMA IN 1917.

• REMAINING VENUES FOR 2013:

Sat 12 Oct St Saviour, Lewisham
Sat 19 Oct St Dominic, Haverstock Hill
Sat 26 Oct Westminster Cathedral
Sat 2 Nov St Mary’s, Chelsea
Sat 9 Nov St Anselm, Tooting Bec
Sat 16 Nov St John the Evangelist, Islington
Sat 23 Nov O.L. of Lourdes & St Michael, Uxbridge
Sat 30 Nov St Vincent de Paul, Osterley
Sat 7 Dec Our Lady of Lourdes, Acton
Sat 14 Dec St Mary of the Angels, Bayswater

AGENDA

• 10.00am Entry Procession of Our Lady. Angelus. Crowning. The Five Joyful Mysteries. The Five Luminous Mysteries. Sung Litany of Loreto.

• 11.30am Mass in honour of Our Lady. Celebrant & Preacher: Fr George Roth F.I.

• 12.45pm Lunch break (please bring packed lunch.)

• 1.45pm Exposition and Procession of the Blessed Sacrament
Sermon on Our Lady by Fr Jude Ifeorah SMMM
Silent Adoration. Meditation on the Passion of Our Lord

• 3.15pm Tea break

• 4.00pm Sermon on Our Lady by Fr Henry Tiku-Wenna. The Five Glorious Mysteries. Act of Consecration. Benediction. Enrolments in the Brown Scapular and Miraculous Medal.

• During the day: Confession and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.

(Finish: 5.15pm approx.)
Full DWM information: http://www.adaywithmary.org (external link)

 
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Posted by on September 29, 2013 in Prayers for Ordinary Time

 

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EXAMPLES OF VICTORIES OF THE HOLY ROSARY: LEPANTO, HIROSHIMA, AUSTRIA

“Our Lady pleaded and insisted that people say the daily Rosary. Reparation holds back the hand of God from striking the world in just punishment for its many crimes. The Rosary is like a sword or weapon the Mother of God can use to cut down heresy and the forces of evil. It is most powerful, and many times has saved the world from bad situations like the one facing us today.

LEPANTO 1571

A few centuries ago, the Turks were overrunning all Europe and seemed on the verge of wiping out Christianity. When all seemed lost, Pope Saint Pius V organised a Rosary Crusade. He asked Catholics everywhere to pray the Rosary to ask Our Lady by her prayers to deliver them from imminent disaster. When the day of the great battle arrived, the Christian soldiers literally went into battle with swords in one hand and Rosaries in the other. Thus on October 7, the Feast of the Most Holy Rosary, one of the greatest military upsets in all history, took place at Lepanto. The little Christian fleet, very greatly outnumbered, defeated the mighty Turkish Armada and Christianity was saved – all through the power of praying the Rosary.

HIROSHIMA 1945

The Rectory of the Assumption of Our Lady Church in Hiroshima was left standing on August 6, 1945, after the atomic bomb killed 200,000 people in the city. The church next door to the rectory was completely demolished by the atomic blast. There was nothing left standing on the street outside. There was, in fact, no street outside. All that, too, was completely destroyed. Only the rectory stood amidst the surrounding rubble and the four Catholic priests inside survived the atomic blast. It was because they were praying the Rosary and living the Message of Our Lady of Fatima that they were saved from certain death. Indeed, Our Lady and Her Rosary are more powerful than even the atomic bomb.

AUSTRIA 1955

There are many examples of the power of the Rosary. To give another example in our own time – the Russian armies withdrew out of Austria in 1955, without one person being killed and without one shot being fired… This victory for the Catholic people of Austria is due to Our Lady and Her Rosary, because at that time ten per cent of the people of Austria were praying the Rosary every day. The Rosary is more powerful than guns or bombs, as we can see from this example of Austria… God has the power to soften any human heart, as Scripture says, ‘The heart of the king is in the Hand of God.’ God, through the intercession of Our Lady, and through the prayer of the Holy Rosary, softened the hearts of the Russian rulers, and thus they gave Austria back its freedom. Sister Lucy of Fatima has said that there is no problem, either material or moral, national or international, that cannot be solved effectively by the Rosary and our sacrifices.”
– This article was published in the booklet “Our Lady’s Urgent Appeal” in 1982 by “The Fatima Center”; more information can be found on their website http://www.fatima.org (external link).

 
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Posted by on September 19, 2013 in Prayers for Ordinary Time

 

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