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The following presentation was delivered by Dr. Mark Miravalle at the national Lady of All Nations Prayer Day in Amsterdam on May 23, 2010, Pentecost Sunday. – Asst. Ed.

On March 25th of this year, an international representation of members of Catholic hierarchy, the theological community, and laity gathered at the Vatican Forum in Rome to voice their favor for a solemn definition of Our Lady’s Spiritual Motherhood of humanity, both for truth’s sake and as a Marian remedy for the grave woes presently facing the Church.  In the minds of a significant number of cardinals, bishops, theologians and laity, the best defense for the papacy of Benedict XVI in its present reception of ubiquitous attack is a Marian offense

Within the six months preceding the Roman Day of Dialogue, international Catholic press agencies had reported petition letters from collective groups of cardinals and bishops from Asia, Africa, Latin America and Eastern Europe which all respectively requested the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, make whatever he deemed appropriate as the next positive step towards the solemn papal definition of Our Lady as the Spiritual Mother of all humanity under its three essential aspects as Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix of all graces and Advocate.  This international petitioning by world cardinals and bishops, combined with the previous January 1, 2008 request of five cardinals to all the world bishops to join their petition for this dogma, encouraged Inside the Vatican magazine to organize the Vatican Forum Symposium on the issue.

This Roman “Day of Dialogue” on a fifth Marian dogma (video presentations are available on www.insidethevatican.com ) highlighted bishops from four continents, Catholic and Protestant theologians, and even Vatican ambassadors.

“We believe the fifth Marian Dogma will help protect us from disasters.”  So said Ambassador Mercedes Tuason, Philippines Ambassador to the Vatican.  Ambassador Tuason read a letter from Philippines President, Gloria Arroyo, which was addressed and presented to Pope Benedict XVI on October 2, 2009, in which the President of the Philippines requested the papal definition of Mary as the Spiritual Mother of all humanity on behalf of the Filipino nation.

Asian bishops at the Vatican Forum Dialogue raised a strong voice in favor of the Marian dogma as a powerful aid in the Christian evangelization of Asia, and in particular, China. Issues which have dominated, and to a large degree paralyzed, ecumenical dialogues in the first world regarding Mary (for example, the communion of saints, sola gratia, sola fide, etc.), were discussed as fundamentally irrelevant to the myriad of still unbaptized peoples of Asia. “The Chinese symbol for love is a mother holding a child”, commented Archbishop Ramon Arguelles of Lipa, Philippines.  He went on to explain that the concept of a mother bringing mercy and redemption to her children from a god is a standard and very acceptable idea in Asian culture.  In fact, in some cases where an oriental belief system does not have a feminine intercessor between themselves and a god, they will invent one.  “We already have one”, stated Archbishop Arguelles, “in the person of Mary, Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix of all graces and Advocate.”

Archbishop M. Chinnappa of Madras, India confirmed this same Asian appeal of a mother who brings God’s grace and mercy to humanity. He reported that the multi-religious peoples of India as the world’s second largest country flock to Marian shrines because of the comfort they receive from the concept and the actual intercession of a mother.  Archbishop Chinnappa also referred to the enthusiastic reception he has received from Muslims, Hindus and Christians alike to his own repeated teachings of Our Lady’s role as the human race’s spiritual mother and of its solemn papal proclamation-an enthusiastically positive response which he has received not only in India, but in the other 10 countries in which he has preached and taught the need for a fifth Marian dogma.

Former Argentine Military Bishop, Bishop A. Baseotto, defended the Co-redemptrix title as a traditional and appropriate Catholic title to describe Mary’s historic sufferings with Jesus in the work of Redemption.  The Argentine prelate, well-known for his courageous stand against the Argentine government’s use of contraception and abortion back in 2004, relayed the massive Latin American support for this potential papal Marian definition, which include hundreds of bishops, millions of faithful, and contemplative religious sisters and brothers in the thousands who daily pray that Pope Benedict will proclaim this Marian dogma.

The principal objection posed to the Marian definition over the last few years has been its alleged negative effect on ecumenism, under the protest that  several Christian bodies outside of communion with Rome would oppose any expression of papal infallibility, let alone a Marian definition. In response, Anglican theologian, Dr. Judith Gentle, a member of Our Lady of Walsingham Mariological Society in England, referred to the potential Marian dogma by the Roman pope as that which would constitute the actual remedy for the ecumenical difficulties we presently face.

“Far from being the obstacle”, remarked Dr. Gentle, “the entrance of a mother into the efforts to unite the family of Christ is precisely what is needed at this point in the ecumenical journey.”  The Anglican theologian stated that she and many other “households of Christian faith” look to the “bishop of Rome” as the only person and office to effect this ecumenical remedy, by proclaiming and thereby releasing the mother of Jesus to intercede for Christian unity, a unity in the Body of Christ which is simply beyond our own human abilities.

At one point in the dialogue, a member of the audience raised the objection:  “Why impose a new dogma on the people, if this Marian doctrine is already something taught by Church?”   Bishop Joseph Bagobiri of Nigeria responded that the question itself reflected a mistaken concept of Catholic dogma.

“Church dogmas are not imposed, but rather proposed,” the Nigerian bishop stated, in the sense that they reflect divinely revealed truths which call all members of the Church to accept and celebrate.  The better a truth can be proposed in the form of a solemn definition, the more it leads to a proper understanding and free consent to the Gospel truth which the dogma embodies.  One’s freedom comes in when accepting or refusing to be Catholic-not in what doctrines or dogmas, objectively true in themselves, one wishes to assent to as a Catholic.

A dogma is the “perfection of a doctrine”, as Blessed Pius IX noted in his solemn definition of the Immaculate Conception.  If a doctrine is officially taught by the Magisterium, as is the doctrine of Mary’s Spiritual Motherhood, it is already something obliging the faithful to a religious assent of mind and will to the manifest mind of the Pope (cf. Lumen Gentium, 25).

The apparitions and messages of the Lady of All Nations offer supernatural confirmation of the inspiration received by Church leaders such as Cardinal Mercier of Belgium and St. Maximilian Kolbe who had already followed the guidance of the Holy Spirit in initiating and supporting an ecclesial movement for the solemn papal definition of the universal mediation of Our Lady back in the 1920’s. In her profoundly supernatural calls, The Lady of All Nations directs all humanity to “pray the prayer” given by The Lady for the Dogma of Mary, Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix, and Advocate, and to “petition the Holy Father for this dogma” (May 31, 1954).

The Lady also states that the Church itself will become stronger in direct proportion to the positive efforts which Rome will put forth in support of this Marian Dogma:

The new dogma will be the ‘dogma of the Co-redemptrix.’ Notice I lay special emphasis on the “co”.  I have said that it will arouse much controversy.  Once again, I tell you that the Church, Rome, will carry it through and silence all objections.  The Church, Rome, will become stronger and mightier in proportion to the resistance she puts up in the struggle (April 29, 1951).

Our Lady confirms not only the struggle with regards  to the fifth Marian dogma, but  also the prophetic guarantee and providential certainty of its positive fulfillment : ” I know well, the struggle will be hard and bitter (and then the Lady smiles to herself and seems to gaze into the far distance), but the outcome is already assured.” (April 29, 1951).”

Hence, each one of us is called to respond generously to Our Mother’s direct request to daily pray the Prayer of the Lady of All Nations, and to petition the Holy Father for this solemn proclamation, as the Dogma is, in essence, the key to the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary prophesied at Fatima, and constitutes heaven’s ordained means by which to bring a true period of peace into the world through the Mother’s unique intercession:  As the Lady teaches: “When the dogma, the last dogma in Marian history, has been proclaimed, The Lady of All Nations will give peace, true peace to the world.” (May 31, 1954).

In regards to Pope Benedict and his recent Fatima pilgrimage, I am happy to present to you some extremely encouraging news.  During Pope Benedict’s Fatima visit of May 12-13, 2010, our Holy Father used expressions that led various international Catholic news agencies to contact me to ask whether these choice wordings were as significant for the fifth Marian Dogma as they themselves thought.  My answer is “Yes.”

During Pope Benedict’s sublime Prayer of Marian Entrustment of Priests on May 12th, he refers to Our Lady as the “Advocate and Mediatrix of Grace.”  Knowing of the recent international petitioning from cardinals and bishops from four continents, of the requests from Vatican national ambassadors, as well as the over 7 million petitions from the world’s faithful which continue to consistently pour in to the Vatican, several commentators has stated that Pope Benedict would not have used these terms together – terms which have direct association with the request for the fifth Dogma – if he did not wish to send an encouragement to so many of you who have been praying and offering for this dogmatic crown for many years, and to advance a theological preparation for something more.

On the following day, the great May 13 Fatima anniversary, Pope Benedict offered a succinct but profound teaching on Christian coredemption which climaxed with focusing on our universal Spiritual Mother at the foot of the cross.  As the Holy Father was about to process with our Eucharistic Jesus amidst the sick and suffering, he identified those who would unite their sufferings to that of Christ as “redeemers with the Redeemer” and reminded them that at the cross stands the mother of Jesus, who is also our mother:

Dear friends who are sick…entrust to [Jesus] every setback and pain that you face, so that they may become – according to his design – a means of redemption for the whole world.  You will be redeemers with the Redeemer…At the cross…stands the mother of Jesus, our mother. (May 13, 2010)

Here the Vicar of Christ illustrates not only that we are all called to be “redeemers” by uniting our sufferings with the sufferings of the one divine Redeemer, but also directs our gaze to the woman-mother who suffered with her crucified Son as a co-redeemer.  As one Catholic journalist commented, “This can only support and set the stage for a deeper understanding of Mary as Co-redemptrix.  What else could it mean, that we, as members of Christ’s faithful are all redeemers with the Redeemer in our sufferings, but Mary alone is not a co-redeemer?  No, on the contrary, the Pope’s words are a theological preparation.”

During his plane flight en route to Fatima on May 11, the Holy Father made some extremely significant comments about a proper understanding of the Third Secret of Fatima: that it does include future events for the Church and the world, and that the Church must “relearn penance” as it undergoes its “passion.”  Would it not be of untold spiritual benefit to have the full exercise of the roles of Mary Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix, and Advocate through the proclamation of the Dogma to help sustain the Church through its present and ongoing passion, just as the Mother Co-redemptrix helped to sustain Christ, the Head of the Church, through his historic passion?

As Pope Benedict sought Our Lady’s intercession on his Fatima pilgrimage for our embattled Church and papacy, we are reminded of a previous pontiff’s turning to the Mother of the Lord during a historical time of grave challenge for the Church. Blessed Pius IX was forced to flee the Vatican under violent attack from socialist forces.  While in exile and after consultation with some Marian prelates, the battered Pontiff concluded that the ultimate remedy for the papacy and the Church in crisis would be to solemnly define the Immaculate Conception, and by so doing, to bring Our Lady’s powerful intercession into that historical situation of ecclesiastical upheaval.  Bl. Pius IX did define Our Lady’s dogma, and the papacy and the Church was soon restored to its previous respect, and significantly beyond.

Could we not be facing a parallel situation in our own day, when the world’s secular media and even some mistaken members of the Church are clamoring for the resignation of our beloved Holy Father amidst our present international ecclesiastical crisis? I believe we need the same Marian remedy, when all human efforts of diplomacy and justice seem to be far from sufficient for the present crises facing the Church and the Papacy-a Marian proclamation which recognizes Mary’s roles of intercession and in so doing, brings them powerfully and historically into full action for our Church and for our Pope today.

Some might argue that because of the existing attacks on the Holy Father, the last thing he should do is to spark more controversy with a Marian dogma on Mary’s Spiritual Motherhood.  But Catholic history and faith combine to show that when the Church has faced its greatest battles, whether it be Roman persecutions in the early centuries, battles from foreign invaders at places like Lepanto and Vienna in later centuries, or secular and media assaults in the third millennium, going to Mary with conviction and fortitude effects a release of grace that empowers, protects, and sanctifies the Church in ways that only can only be described as supernatural.  The Church today needs a supernatural remedy.  The Church today needs its Mother.

Finally, in light of the extreme nature of attacks being leveled against the Church, the unprecedented natural disasters, Middle Eastern conflict, and the overall moral demise of contemporary society – degeneration, disasters, and war – could we please consider adding some form of fasting to our existing prayers for Our Lady’s Dogma?  I ask especially the consecrated religious men and women to please lead the way by example through some form of consistent weekly fasting or sacrifice for the Holy Father and the proclamation of the Dogma – the supernatural Marian remedy for the global maladies of mind and spirit.

Let us respond with a re-doubled commitment to the daily praying of the Prayer of the Lady of All Nations and the petitioning of Pope Benedict for this dogmatic crown for the Mother (to send an online petition to the Holy Father, go to www.fifthmariandogma.com).

May the Holy Spirit, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, bless you abundantly and eternally for your love and generosity offered for the Lord’s Mother and her crowning dogma as Spiritual Mother of all humanity, Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix of all graces and Advocate. May the New Pentecost, which will come through the proclamation of the Dogma and the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, bring historic graces upon the Church, leading it through its present passion to a new, resurrected, Springtime of peace marked through a renewed faith in the Eucharist. No heart will be more grateful for this eventual dogmatic crowning of the Immaculate and Coredemptive Heart of Mary than the Most Sacred and Eucharistic Heart of her Son, Our Lord, Our Savior, Our Greatest Friend:  Our Eucharistic Jesus.

Let us close by praying, each in our different native languages, the Prayer of the Lady of All Nations:

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Father, send now your Spirit over the earth.

Let the Holy Spirit live in the hearts of all nations, that they may be preserved from degeneration, disasters, and war.

May the Lady of all Nations, the Blessed Virgin Mary, be our Advocate.

Amen

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The Solar Miracle, Part II from Mother of All Peoples on Vimeo.

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The Solar Miracle, Part I from Mother of All Peoples on Vimeo.

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In the Church-approved messages of Our Lady of the Rosary at Fatima, Portugal (1917), the Woman clothed with the sun exhorts the young visionaries and the world to “sacrifice yourselves for sinners” (1) and “to make of everything you can a sacrifice and offer it to God as an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended.” (2) It is a call for human coredemption, exemplified by its Queen.

Our Lady invites Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco to a life of coredemption for the salvation of souls: “Are you willing to offer yourselves to God and bear all the suffering He wills to send you, as an act of reparation for the conversion of sinners?” (3) The children faithfully respond to this heavenly invitation to be co-redeemers, “Yes, we are willing.” The Co-redemptrix in turn responds, “Then you are going to have much to suffer, but the grace of God will be your comfort.” (4) It was precisely their heroic fiat to the Fatima call of human coredemption that led to the beatification of Jacinta and Francisco by John Paul II on May 13, 2000. (5)

In the monumental apparition of July 13, 1917, which predicts great upcoming trials and persecutions for the Church and world, and specifically for the Holy Father, (6) Our Lady of Fatima again directs the children to “sacrifice yourselves for sinners” and identifies her own coredemptive mediation and the consistent praying of the Holy Rosary as the only true remedy by which to obtain peace in the world: “. . . Continue to pray the Rosary every day in honor of Our Lady of the Rosary, in order to obtain peace in the world and the ending of the war, because only she can help you.” (7) It is thereby most fitting that she would later appear on October 13, during the historic event of the great solar miracle, under the appearance of Our Lady of Sorrows. (8)

Indeed, human coredemption envelops the July 13 Fatima message, with its call for Christian offering of sacrifice and consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. In addition, Our Lady of the Rosary predicts an eventual Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary as the fruit of various levels of human cooperation: “In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph.” (9)

A recent book authored by Sr. Lucia undeniably identifies the doctrine of Mary Co-redemptrix as being at the very heart of the Fatima message. In her 1998 work, Calls from the Message of Fatima, she provides an inspired theological and mystical witness to Mary Co-redemptrix and the supernatural effects of the Mother’s providential role for humanity. (10) The theme of Mary Co-redemptrix is the major Mariological thread that runs throughout Sr. Lucia’s extraordinary writings, second only to theme of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (and certainly complementary to it). So instructive and inspiring are her theological meditations on Mary Co-redemptrix that we offer at considerable length her reflections, which so well integrate the title with the overall Fatima call to the contemporary world.

In her treatment on devotion to Mary’s Immaculate Heart, Sr. Lucia acknowledges the unity of the Heart of Mary Co-redemptrix with the Heart of Christ from the Annunciation to Calvary:

 

God began the work of our redemption in the Heart of Mary, given that it was through her “fiat” that the redemption began to come about: “And Mary said, ‘Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be done to me according to your word.’ (Lk. 1:38). “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (Jn. 1:14). Thus, in the closest union possible between two human beings, Christ began, with Mary, the work of our salvation. The Christ’s heart-beats are those of the heart of Mary, the prayer of Christ is the prayer of Mary, the joys of Christ are the joys of Mary; it was from Mary that Christ received the Body and Blood that are to be poured out and offered for the salvation of the world. Hence, Mary, made one with Christ, is the Co-redemptrix of the human race. With Christ in her womb, with Jesus Christ in her arms, with Christ at Nazareth and in his public life; with Christ she climbed the hill of Calvary, she suffered and agonized with Him, receiving into her Immaculate Heart the last sufferings of Christ, his last words, his last agony and the last drops of his Blood, in order to offer them to the Father. (11)

 

Sr. Lucia’s commentary on the Presentation describes the Mother’s knowledge of the eventual fulfillment of Simeon’s prophecy and her expiatory offering “with Jesus” as Co-redemptrix of humanity:

 

Mary knows that this prophecy is to be fulfilled in the person of her Son; she knows that He has been sent by God to carry out the work of our redemption. And far from wanting to save Him from such pain and suffering, she takes Him in her pure arms, brings Him to the temple with her virginal hands and places Him on the altar so that the priest may offer Him to the eternal Father as an expiatory victim and a sacrifice of praise.

Here, Mary does not simply offer her Son, she offers herself with Christ, because Jesus had received his body and blood from her; thus she offers herself in and with Christ to God, Co-redemptrix, with Christ, of humanity. (12)

 

The powerful intercession by Mary, Mediatrix of all graces, in no way violates the scriptural revelation of 1 Timothy 2:5 of Christ, the One Mediator. Rather the Mother’s subordinate participation in the mediation of Christ leads to the fulfillment of the redemptive mission of the One Mediator. (13) Sr. Lucia defends the Mother of God’s intercessory power in virtue of her prior mission as Co-redemptrix:

 

There is, thus, only one divine Mediator: Jesus Christ; but as supplicant intercessors we have Mary, the Saints, and each one of us, if we so wish. St. Paul himself, in various passages in his letters, asks people to pray both for him and for one another. “To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that utterance may be given in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak” (Eph. 6:18-20).

So if the Apostle tells us to pray for one another, we have much more reason to ask Mary to pray for us, because her prayer will be much more pleasing to the Lord in view of her dignity as Mother of God and her closer union with Christ, true God and true Man, by reason of her mission of Co-redemptrix with Christ as well as of her great sanctity. (14)

 

In the Fatima visionary’s discussion of Our Lady’s Assumption, she incorporates the coredemptive battle prophesied in Genesis 3:15, and the victorious “woman.” The predestined Co-redemptrix of the human race is the first fruit of the Redemption, and hence could not remain in the “shadow of death”:

 

As soon as the first sin which brought condemnation on human beings had been committed, God, speaking to the Devil who had taken the form of a serpent and who had incited the first human beings to do evil, said to him: “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel” (Gen. 3:15).

This woman, predestined by God to give Christ a human nature and to be, with Him, Co-redemptrix of the human race—“I shall put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers”—this woman, He said, could not remain in the shadow of death, because she did not incur the sentence of punishment. Hence Mary is the first fruit of the Redemption wrought by Christ; and, through his merits, she was carried up to Heaven in body and soul, where she lives and reigns, in God, with her Son and his. (15)

 

The Fatima “call to holiness” voiced by the Carmelite visionary offers the Mother Co-redemptrix as our exemplary model in seeking holiness within the framework of our God-given vocations, just as the Immaculate Virgin “sanctified herself” as a wife and mother:

 

Our Lady sanctified herself as a pure and immaculate virgin by corresponding to the graces which God granted to her in that state. She sanctified herself as a faithful and devoted wife by fulfilling all the duties of her state in life. She sanctified herself as a loving mother who dedicated herself to the Son whom God entrusted to her, fondling Him in her arms, bringing Him up and educating Him, and also helping Him and following Him in the performance of his mission. With Him she traveled the narrow way of life, the rugged road to Calvary; with Him she agonized, receiving in her heart the wounds of the nails, the piercing of the lance and the insults of the hostile crowd; finally, she sanctified herself as mother, mistress and guide of the Apostles, agreeing to remain on earth for as long as God wished, in order to accomplish the mission which He had entrusted to her as Co-redemptrix with Christ of all human beings. (16)

 

Finally, Sr. Lucia evokes the calling of all Christians to become co-redeemers in the work of salvation. What is our contribution to Redemption, she asks, and how can it be mysteriously efficacious for others? She answers with exceptional humility, and yet with penetrating insight into Redemption, the unity of the Two Hearts, and our Eucharistic Jesus, given to us by the Virgin Mother Co-redemptrix:

 

And our own contribution? It is our humble prayer, our poor little acts of self-denial which we must unite with the prayer and sacrifice of Jesus Christ and of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in reparation, and for the salvation of our poor brothers and sisters who have wandered away from the one true path that leads to Life.

At this point, I ask myself: Why is it that, since the merits and prayer of Jesus Christ are sufficient to make reparation for and to save the world, the Message invokes the merits of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and calls on us, too, to pray, to make sacrifices, to offer reparation?

I have to say that I do not know! Nor do I know what explanation the theologians of the Church would give me if I were to ask them. But I have meditated on, and thought about this question. I open the Gospel and I see that from the very beginning Jesus Christ united to his redemptive work the Immaculate Heart of Her whom He chose to be his Mother.

The work of our redemption began at the moment when the Word descended from Heaven in order to assume a human body in the womb of Mary. From that moment, and for the next nine months, the blood of Christ was the blood of Mary, taken from her Immaculate Heart; the Heart of Christ was beating in unison with the Heart of Mary.

And we can think that the aspirations of the Heart of Mary were completely identified with the aspirations of the Heart of Christ. Mary’s ideal had become the same as that of Christ Himself, and the love in the Heart of Mary was the love in the Heart of Christ for the Father and for all human beings; to begin with, the entire work of redemption passed through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, through the bond of her close intimate union with the divine Word.

Since the Father entrusted his Son to Mary, enclosing Him for nine months within her chaste virginal womb—and “All this took place to fulfil what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: ‘Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel’ (which means, God with us)” (Mt. 1:22-23; Is. 7:14)—and since Mary of her own free will opened herself entirely to whatever God willed to accomplish in her—“Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be done to me according to your word” (Lk. 1:38) is what she said to the angel—in view of all this and by God’s disposition, Mary became, with Christ, the Co-redemptrix of the human race.

It is the body received from Mary that, in Christ, becomes a victim offered up for the salvation of mankind; it is the blood received from Mary that circulates in Christ’s veins and which pours out from his divine Heart; it is this same body and this same blood, received from Mary, that are given to us, under the appearances of bread and wine, as our daily food, to strengthen within us the life of grace, and so continue in us, members of the Mystical Body of Christ, his redemptive work for the salvation of each and all to the extent to which each one clings to Christ and co-operates with Christ.

 

Thus, having led us to offer to the Most Holy Trinity the merits of Jesus Christ and those of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, who is the Mother of Christ and of his Mystical Body, the Message then goes on to ask us to contribute also the prayers and sacrifices of all of us who are members of that one same Body of Christ received from Mary, made divine in the Word, offered on the Cross, present in the Eucharist, constantly growing in the members of the Church.

Since she is the Mother of Christ and of his Mystical body, the Immaculate Heart of Mary is in some sense the Heart of the Church: and it is here in the heart of the Church that she, always united with Christ, watches over the members of the Church, granting them her maternal protection. Better than anyone, Mary fulfils Christ’s injunction: “Hitherto you have asked nothing in my name; ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full” (Jn. 16:24). It is in the name of Christ, her Son, that Mary intercedes for us with the Father. And it is in the name of Christ, present in the Eucharist and united with us in Holy Communion, that we unite our humble prayers with those of Mary so that She can address them to the Father in Jesus Christ, her Son.

Hence it is that over and over again we beseech Her: “Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us, sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Ave Maria! (17)

This article is from the fifteenth chapter of “With Jesus”: The Story of Mary Co-redemptrix, Queenship Publications, 2003. The book is available from Queenship.

 

Notes

 

(1) July 13, 1917 Fatima apparition, cf. A. Martins, S.J., Novos Documentos de Fátima, Porto, 1984, translated into English as Documents on Fatima and the Memoirs of Sister Lucia, Fatima Family Apostolate, 1992, p. 401.

(2) Technically an apparition message from the “Angel of Peace” (not directly from Our Lady, but at the same time part of the Fatima message), Second 1916 Fatima apparition, cf. Documents on Fatima and the Memoirs, p. 396. 

(3) May 13, 1917 Fatima apparition, cf. Documents on Fatima and the Memoirs, p. 399.

(4) Ibid.

(5) John Paul II, Beatification of Jacinta and Francisco, May 13, 2000, L’Osservatore Romano, May 17, 2000.

(6) For reference, the first two parts of the July 13 message are given here, followed by the “Third Part.” Reference to particular sufferings by the Holy Father are contained in the July 13 message and also in the “Third Part” of the secret of Fatima, released by John Paul II on May 13, 2000, and published in the June 28, 2000, L’Osservatore Romano, English edition, followed by the Vatican commentary on the Third Part which cited Sr. Lucia’s identification of the “bishop in white” as specifically referring to John Paul II:

 

Some moments after we arrived at Cova da Iria, near the holm oak amongst a big crowd of people, when we were praying the Rosary, we saw the radiance of light and afterwards our Lady over the holm oak.

“What do you want of me?” I asked.

“I want you to come here on the thirteenth day of the coming month, and to continue to say the Rosary every day in honor of our Lady of the Rosary to obtain the peace of the world and the end of the war. For she alone will be able to help.”

“I wish to ask you to tell us who you are and to perform a miracle so that everyone will believe that you appeared to us!”

“Continue to come here every month. In October I will tell you who I am and what I wish, and I will perform a miracle that everyone will see in order to make them believe.”

Here I made some requests that I don’t remember exactly. What I remember is that our Lady said it was necessary to say the Rosary to obtain graces during the year. And she went on, “Sacrifice yourselves for sinners and say many times, especially when you make some sacrifice: ‘Jesus it is for Your love, for the conversion of sinners and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.'”

When the Lady spoke these last words she opened her hands as she had in the two months before. The radiance seemed to penetrate the ground and we saw something like 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 a huge fire, without weight or equilibrium, and amid shrieks and groans of pain and despair, which horrified us and made us tremble with fear. It must have been when I saw this sight that I cried out, ‘Alas!’ which people say they heard.

The devils were distinguished by horrible and loathsome forms of animals, frightful and unknown, but transparent like black coals that have turned red hot. Frightened, and as if we were appealing for help, we raised our eyes to our Lady who said with tenderness and sadness:

“You saw hell, where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them God wishes to establish in the world the devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If they do what I will tell you, many souls will be saved, and there will be peace. The war is going to end. But if they do not stop offending God, another even worse war will begin in the reign of Pius XI.

When you see a night illuminated 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, hunger and persecutions of the Church and of the Holy Father.

To prevent this I will come to ask for the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart and the Communion of reparation on the first Saturdays. If they listen to my requests, 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, and various nations will be annihilated. In the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, and it will be converted and a certain period of peace will be granted to the world. In Portugal the dogma of Faith will always be kept. Tell this to no one. Francisco, yes, you may tell him. When you say the Rosary, say after each mystery, ‘O my Jesus, pardon us and deliver us from the fire of hell. Draw all souls to heaven, especially those in most need.'”

After a short period of silence, I asked, “Do you want nothing more of me?”

“No, today I want nothing more of you.”

And as usual, she began to arise towards the east and disappeared in the immense distance of the firmament.

 

The Third Part of the secret released by John Paul II in 2000 reads as follows:

 

J.M.J. The third part of the secret revealed at the Cova da Iria-Fatima, on 13 July 1917.

I write in obedience to you, my God, who command me to do so through his Excellency the Bishop of Leiria and through your Most Holy Mother and mine.

After the two parts which I have already explained, at the left of Our Lady and a little above, we saw an Angel with a flaming sword in his left hand; flashing, it gave out flames that looked as though they would set the world on fire; but they died out in contact with the splendour that Our Lady radiated towards him from her right hand: pointing to the earth with his right hand, the Angel cried out in a loud voice: “Penance, Penance, Penance!” And we saw in an immense light that is God, something similar to how people appear in a mirror when they pass in front of it, a Bishop dressed in White; we had the impression that it was the Holy Father. Other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious going up a steep mountain, at the top of which there was a big Cross of rough-hewn trunks as of a cork-tree with the bark; before reaching there the Holy Father passed through a big city half in ruins and half trembling with halting step, afflicted with pain and sorrow, he prayed for the souls of the corpses he met on his way; having reached the top of the mountain, on his knees at the foot of the big Cross he was killed by a group of soldiers who fired bullets and arrows at him, and in the same way there died one after another the other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious, and various lay people of different ranks and positions. Beneath the two arms of the Cross there were two Angels each with a crystal aspersorium in his hand, in which they gathered up the blood of the Martyrs and with it sprinkled the souls that were making their way to God.

Tuy-3-1-1944.

 

(7) July 13, 1917 Fatima apparition, cf. Documents on Fatima and the Memoirs, p. 401.

(8) October 13, 1917 Fatima apparition, cf. Documents on Fatima and the Memoirs, p. 405.

(9) July 13, 1917 Fatima apparition, cf. Documents on Fatima and the Memoirs, p. 402.

(10) Sr. Lucia, “Calls” From the Message of Fatima, Ravengate Press, 2002, originally published in Portuguese under the title Apelos da Messagem de Fatima.

(11) Sr. Lucia, “Calls” From the Message of Fatima, p. 137.

(12) Ibid., p. 279.

(13) Cf. Lumen Gentium, 61, 62.

(14) Sr. Lucia, “Calls” From the Message of Fatima, p. 266.

(15) Ibid., p. 295.

(16) Ibid., p. 195.

(17) Ibid., pp. 114-116.

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The following article concerning the miracle of the sun by Dr. Courtenay Bartholomew was excerpted from Her Majesty Mary Queen of Peace: End Times Prophecies and Warnings of Mary (Queenship, 2002).

 

The Daily News, which commanded the largest circulation in Portugal at the time, had a headline which read: The Miracle of Fatima. More than fifty thousand people gather at the place of the apparitions. The article continued as follows: “A wave of emotion seemed to take hold of those many thousands of believers and curious alike. As a great number of people had their umbrellas open, the little ones asked the people to shut them. Then an extraordinary thing happened. According to the testimony of thousands and thousands present there, the sun appeared like a dull silver plate spinning round in a circular movement as if it were moved by electricity, according to the expression used by knowledgeable people who witnessed the fact. Then thousands of people, swayed by emotion and who knows, even dazzled by the light of the sun that had appeared for the first time that day, fell to the ground, weeping and raising their hands, joined instinctively in prayer. On their faces expression of ecstatic rapture could be observed. Their simple hearts prayed and wept in the presence of this strange sensation, which for them at the moment was miraculous. According to what we heard, there were people who seemed to see the sun leave its supposed orbit, break through the clouds and descend to the horizon, many crying out in fear that the giant orb would precipitate itself to the earth on top of them, and imploring the protection of the “Holy Virgin.”

Dr. Garrett also wrote the following testimony in December 1917: “The sun had broken through the thick layer of clouds that hid it and shone clearly and intensely … It was a remarkable fact that one could fix one’s eyes on the brazier of heat and light without any pain in the eyes or blinding of the retina … The sun’s disc did not remain immobile for it spun round on itself in a mad whirl, when suddenly a clamor was heard from all the people. The whirling sun seemed to loosen itself from the firmament and advanced threateningly upon the earth as if to crush us with its huge fiery weight. The sensation during those moments was terrible.”

 

After ten minutes the sun retreated to its celestial abode. The spectators were rescued, as it were, from apparent annihilation! October 13, 1917, was an unforgettable experience for those 70,000 people. The poet Alfonso Lopes Yleira saw the miracle of the sun from his own house. Other distant witnesses of this event absolutely destroyed any theory of mass suggestion or hallucination generated by emotion and expectation among the crowd as an explanation of what was seen in the sky.

 

At that time science knew little about nuclear fission and fusion of atoms. An atom with its central nucleus is the smallest possible piece of an element. However, if was not until 1938 that the German physicist Otto Hahn discovered a new radioactive process: nuclear fission, with the power to release unprecedented amounts of energy. Nuclear fission is the splitting of the nucleus of an atom with the release of a huge amount of heat energy. This is the principle of the atom bomb. Nuclear fusion, on the other hand, is the joining together of two atoms of the lightest element, hydrogen, to form helium, which is the second highest element by atomic weight, However, a high temperature is needed before hydrogen is affected by nuclear reactions

 

Now, the sun is a gigantic ball of hydrogen nearly 1 million miles in diameter and in its core there is a furnace of about 15 million degrees Celsius, which continually converts hydrogen into helium by fusion. In other words, the sun is a gigantic nuclear reactor, a continuously exploding hydrogen bomb. It must be difficult to appreciate what a temperature of 15 million degrees Celsius means. Water, for example, boils at about l00˚C, and the temperature in an electric stove is less than 300°C. The surface of the sun is about 6,000°C, but its center is 15 million degrees Celsius. Indeed, if the solar surface was as hot as its core, the earth would be vaporized within a few minutes.

 

This nuclear fusion reaction in the sun has resulted in continuous explosions over the past 5 billion years (the estimated age of the sun). It is these continuous nuclear explosions which illuminate the planets and sustain life: on earth. In fact, the idea of a hydrogen bomb is to produce an extremely rapid conversion of hydrogen into helium, that is, to do exactly what the sun does, but to do it quickly. This is achieved by including a device causing an extremely high temperature in the bomb. This scale of temperature occurs during the explosion of a uranium or plutonium bomb. It is about 150 million degrees, which is about ten times greater than the temperature at the center or core of the sun! The miracle of the sun on October 13, 1917, performed by the Woman of the Apocalypse (Rev. 11:19:12:1), should now assume its true apocalyptic significance. It appears therefore that Satan is using the principle of the nuclear reactor, the sun, not to sustain life on earth but to destroy it.

 

Three days after the miracle, on October 16, the Russian Bolshevic Central Committee authorized Vladimir Lenin’s return from exile in Switzerland to Petrograd and a few days later he slipped back into Russia disguised with a grey wig, large spectacles and with his beard shaved off. On November 8, 1917, the Communist government was formally established under the name of the Soviet of Peoples’ Commissars. Lenin was President. Trotsky was Commissar for Foreign Affairs, and Stalin, the Commissar for Nationalities. Then on November 13, 1917, six months after the Blessed Virgin Mary had warned in Fatima, the Kremlin fell to the communists in Moscow!

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I shall now endeavor to reply to the second (question), which is the one that has been put to me most frequently: “Tell us, Sister, what exactly happened during the first apparitions about which little or nothing has been said?”

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On July 13, 1917, arguably the most important message, and the “third secret,” which was revealed to the world by Pope John Paul II 93 years later, were given to the children at Fatima. As evidenced by the curiosity surrounding the secret’s disclosure in 2000, this message is as relevant an important to the world today as it was then. We offer the message and the secret here together for your spiritual discernment. -Asst. Ed.

Message of July 13, 1917

A few moments after arriving at the Cova da Iria, near the holmoak, where a large number of people were praying the Rosary, we saw the flash of light once more, and a moment later Our Lady appeared on the holmoak.

“What do you want of me?” I [Lucia] asked.

“I want you to come here on the 13th of next month, to continue to pray 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….”

“Sacrifice yourselves for sinners, and say many times, especially whenever 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.”

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. Terrified and as if to plead for succor, we looked up at Our Lady, who said to us, so kindly and 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 pontificate of Pius XI. When you see a night illuminated 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 of 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 of 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 period of peace will be granted to the world….”

“When you pray the Rosary, say after each mystery: O my Jesus, forgive us, save us from the fire of hell. Lead all souls to Heaven, especially those who are most in need.”26

The Third Secret of Fatima

On May 13, 2000, John Paul II revealed the Third Part of the Secret, again here described by Sr. Lucia:

After the two parts which I have already explained, at the left of Our Lady and a little above, we saw an Angel with a flaming sword in his left hand; flashing, it gave out flames that looked as though they would set the world on fire; but they died out in contact with the splendor that Our Lady radiated towards him from her right hand; pointing to the earth with his right hand, the Angel cried out in a loud voice: “Penance, Penance, Penance!” And we saw in an immense light that is God: “something similar to how people appear in a mirror when they pass in front of it” a Bishop dressed in White “we had the impression that it was the Holy Father.” Other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious going up a steep mountain, at the top of which there was a big Cross of rough-hewn trunks as of a cork-tree with the bark; before reaching there the Holy Father passed through a big city half in ruins and half trembling with halting step, afflicted with pain and sorrow, he prayed for the souls of the corpses he met on his way; having reached the top of the mountain, on his knees at the foot of the big Cross he was killed by a group of soldiers who fired bullets and arrows at him, and in the same way there died one after another the other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious, and various lay people of different ranks and positions. Beneath the two arms of the Cross there were two Angels each with a crystal aspersorium in his hand, in which they gathered up the blood of the Martyrs and with it sprinkled the souls that were making their way to God.

At the left of Our Lady and a little above, we saw an Angel with a flaming sword in his left hand; flashing, it gave out flames that looked as though they would set the world on fire; but they died out in contact with the splendor that Our Lady radiated towards him from her right hand: pointing to the earth with his right hand, the Angel cried out in a loud voice: “Penance, Penance, Penance!” And we saw in an immense light that is God, “something similar to how people appear in a mirror when they pass in front of it,” a bishop dressed in White, “we had the impression that it was the Holy Father” and other bishops, priests, men and women religious going up a steep mountain, at the top of which there was a big Cross of rough-hewn trunks as of a cork-tree with the bark; before reaching there the Holy Father passed through a big city half in ruins and half trembling with halting step, afflicted with pain and sorrow, he prayed for the souls of the corpses he met on his way; having reached the top of the mountain, on his knees at the foot of the big Cross he was killed by a group of soldiers who fired bullets and arrows at him, and in the same way there died one after another the other bishops, priests, men and women religious, and various lay people of different ranks and positions. Beneath the two arms of the Cross there were two Angels each with a crystal aspersorium in his hand, in which they gathered up the blood of the Martyrs and with it sprinkled the souls that were making their way to God.

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The eighth Call of the Message: “Take and drink the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, horribly outraged by ungrateful men. Make reparation for their crimes and console your God.”

This call which the Message addresses to us is very explicit in the Gospel, but very many people misunderstand it, have forgotten it, ignore it, turn their backs on it and, saddest of all, revile it.

[...]

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Preceding the second apparition, the seers once again saw a great brilliance, which they called lightning, but rather was the glare of the approaching light. Some of the approximately fifty spectators who had come to the place noticed that the light of the sun became dimmer during the first few minutes of the conversation. Others said that the to of the budding holm oak bent down, as if under the weight of something, a moment before Lucia spoke. During Our Lady’s conversation with the seers, some of the bystanders heard a whispering like the humming of a bee. (Prophecies p. 44)

Lucia: What do you want of me?

Our Lady: I wish you to come here on the thirteenth of next month, to pray the Rosary every day, and to learn to read. Later, I will tell you what I want. (Lucia asked for the cure of a sick person)

[...]

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As we near the 94th anniversary of the great July 13, 1917 message of Fatima, one of the most significant messages ever given by Our Lady, we feel it important to publish the message in its entirety, including the third part of the vision shown to the three children, which was released by Pope John Paul in 2000 and known as the Third Secret of Fatima. Let us reflect anew on Our Mother’s urgent call for prayer and conversion, more necessary now than ever. – Asst. Ed.

A few moments after arriving at the Cova da Iria, near the holmoak, where a large number of people were praying the Rosary, we saw the flash of light once more, and a moment later Our Lady appeared on the holmoak.

“What do you want of me?” I asked.

“I want you to come here on the 13th of next month, to continue to pray the Rosary every day in honor 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.”

[...]

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My Marian journey began in 1960 when the Catholic world was waiting for Pope John XXIII to reveal the third secret of Fatima. Now, as we start the third millennium, there is again an eager anticipation among God’s people of an imminent theophany when God will manifest His presence to save His people. John Paul II, in his book, Crossing the Threshold of Hope, expressed this sentiment when he said that Our Lady’s words to the children of Fatima seem close to their fulfillment. The victory, he said, when it comes, shall be brought by Mary.

[...]

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During the first apparition on May 13, 1917, Lucia asked Our Lady if Francisco would go to heaven. Our Lady responded, “He will go there too, but he must say many Rosaries.” From that time onward, Francisco was known for his perpetual praying of the Holy Rosary as well as for being a contemplative who lived always “In the light and experience of God.” Above all, Francisco felt the call to console Our Lord, as he states: “More than anything else I want to console Him.” We here present Sister Lucia’s commentary on the life of Blessed Francisco. – Ed.

Apart from his features and his practice of virtue, Francisco did not seem at all to be Jacinta’s brother. Unlike her, he was neither capricious nor vivacious. On the contrary, he was quiet and submissive by nature.

[...]

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The Blessed Virgin urged the children at Fatima to pray the Rosary frequently and fervently. This article is an excerpt from Sr. Lucia’s “Calls” from the Message of Fatima, Secretariado dos Pastorinhos, Fatima, distributed by Ravengate Press. –Assistant Ed.

[...]

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Celebrating the ninety-third anniversary of the October 13, 1917 apparition of the Blessed Mother at Fatima, Portugal, it’s appropriate to recall the wondrous events that took place, as recounted by Sister Lucia herself and other eyewitnesses. Let us look back through the eyes of those who were there the day the “sun danced.”

[...]

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World War I was still raging when on May 5, 1917, in a letter to his Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Gasparri, Pope Benedict XV wrote:

Our earnestly pleading voice, invoking the end of this vast conflict, the suicide of civilized Europe, was then and has remained ever since unheard. Since all graces which the Author of all good deigns to grant to the poor children of Adam, by a loving design of His Divine Providence, are dispensed through the hands of the Most Holy Virgin, we wish that the petition of her most afflicted children, more than ever in this terrible hour, may turn with lively confidence to the august Mother of God

He then directed that the invocation, “Queen of Peace, pray for us,” be added permanently to the Litany of Loreto and made his ultimate appeal to her:

[...]

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Having looked at the events in the life of Jesus, which are recalled in the first part of the Rosary, we now pass on to the second part, the five Sorrowful Mysteries.
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As we approach the 97th anniversary of the October 13, 1917 apparition of the Blessed Mother at Fatima, Portugal, it’s appropriate to recall the wondrous events that took place, as recounted by Sister Lucia herself and other eyewitnesses. Let us look back through the eyes of those who were there the day the “sun danced.” 

We start with the description given by Sister Lucia in her Fourth Memoir:

[...]

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At the core of our Christian Faith lies a mystery which at once manifests the extraordinary generosity of Christ the Redeemer, and at the same time calls all of his disciples to a profound supernatural mission alongside their Redeemer. This mystery is referred to in the words of St. Paul to the Colossians, in which he calls all followers of the Crucified to “complete what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ, for the sake of his body which is the Church” (Col. 1:24).

Jesus Christ is the only Redeemer because He alone is the divine and human Mediator between God and men (cf. 1 Tim. 2:5). He has, however, willed to bring into partnership in his work of redemption all those who have been redeemed by him, in order that the glory and mercy of his work may shine forth in the heavens and on earth in a greater and more wondrous manner. Thus, redeemed humanity can cooperate with the Redeemer in virtue of our mystical union with Jesus, a union so sublime that we, the People of God, form his very Body. We not only receive but should also participate in the distribution of the infinite graces merited by the Redeemer once for all at Calvary. In light of this partnership desired by the Savior for all his faithful, John Paul II rightly designates the People of God as “co-redeemers” (1).

Our Lady is the perfect model for the Christian’s mission to participate in the redemptive work of Jesus Christ. In virtue of her Immaculate Conception, she is prepared by the Eternal Father to cooperate without compromise, in union with the Redeemer, in buying backing humanity from the bondage of the Evil One (cf. Gen. 3:15). In light of her divine maternity, she possesses the greatest conceivable union of body and spirit with Jesus, the Incarnate Savior. Her presence at Calvary, prophesied by Simeon (cf. Lk. 2:35), speaks through action of the Redeemer’s desire that his Mother share entirely in all of his sufferings of passion and death in order to ransom the lost children of the first Adam and Eve (cf. Jn. 19:25-27).



[...]

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After the inspired Word of Sacred Scripture and the doctrinal grace of the Catholic Catechism, I believe the third book that every Fatima devotee should have close at hand is the book of Sister Lucia, “Calls” From the Message of Fatima, which was released in English in 2002. A work truly directed by the Holy Spirit through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, “Calls” From the Message of Fatima constitutes a veritable Marian catechism of faith and life, written in a down to earth mode, which can be grasped by all members of the Faith and all people of good will. I have no personal doubt that Sister Lucia’s recent masterpiece will eventually become a spiritual classic, rightfully identified as the fruits of a mystic and of a saint.

[...]

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Fatima, the 5th Marian Dogma and the Triumph, Part VI from Mother of All Peoples on Vimeo.

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Fatima, the 5th Marian Dogma and the Triumph, Part V from Mother of All Peoples on Vimeo.

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Fatima, the 5th Marian Dogma and the Triumph, Part IV from Mother of All Peoples on Vimeo.

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Fatima, the 5th Marian Dogma and the Triumph, Part III from Mother of All Peoples on Vimeo.

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Fatima, the 5th Marian Dogma and the Triumph, Part II from Mother of All Peoples on Vimeo.

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Fatima, the 5th Marian Dogma and the Triumph, Part I from Mother of All Peoples on Vimeo.

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Lourdes Marian Conference 2008: Lourdes, Rue de Bac, Fatima, Akita, Amsterdam, Part II from Mother of All Peoples on Vimeo.

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Lourdes Marian Conference 2008: Lourdes, Rue de Bac, Fatima, Akita, Amsterdam, Part III from Mother of All Peoples on Vimeo.

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Lourdes Marian Conference 2008: Lourdes, Rue de Bac, Fatima, Akita, Amsterdam, Part I from Mother of All Peoples on Vimeo.

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Mary Co-redemptrix and Lourdes and Fatima from Mother of All Peoples on Vimeo.

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Chapter VIII of Lumen Gentium affirms:

Just as the priesthood of Christ is shared in various ways both by the ministers and by the faithful, and as the one goodness of God is really communicated in different ways to His creatures, so also the unique mediation of the Redeemer does not exclude but rather gives rise to a manifold cooperation which is but a sharing in this one source (n. 62).

From this “one source” springs the mediation of Our Lady, unique in its nature and function, and the mediation of all holy souls who, by their union with Christ, the Mediator, and Mary the Mediatrix, have cooperated in the application of the fruits of Redemption with their intercession of prayer and sacrifice.

In this line, we also find the mediation of Bls. Francisco and Jacinta, inserted in the maternal mediation of Mary, of which Fatima was one of the clearest and most powerful manifestations. United to the Mediatrix, these two children participated in Her universal mediation, becoming instruments and messengers of grace and salvation for the entire world.

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Comprehensive theological analysis of the relationship between the “Fatima-event” and the mystery of Redemption-Coredemption is a most valuable research endeavor. It is an undertaking capable of generating understanding of all the “Fatima” happenings in light of the great, divine plan of the history of salvation, rooted in the mysteries of the Incarnation of the Word and of universal redemption.

What we can say straight away, though, is that the Redemption and the Coredemption—which constitute the greatest divine work, after Creation—run together like the two rails of one railway track, uniting the Redeemer and the Coredemptrix to one another, according to God’s plan, with a “close and indissoluble tie,” as Lumen Gentium (LG) n. 53 says. It is a concept of unity and indissolubility that draws upon the phrase “uno eodemque decreto—with one and the same decree” in Pope Pius IX’s Bull Ineffabilis Deus, for the dogmatic definition of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, eternally predestined together with the Incarnate Word of God.

Regarding the concepts of redemption and coredemption and the dogmatic content of the same, we refer our hearers to the very many specialized theological treatises that deal with such (1). In this paper, we limit ourselves to offering the most succinct résumé of those fundamental points necessary to better establish the relation of redemption and coredemption to the contents of the message of the Immaculate Heart of Mary at Fatima.

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First of all, let me say it is a great joy for this paper to be presented at the site of Our Lady’s apparitions to St. Bernadette in 1858, wherein she revealed herself to be the Immaculate Conception. It is especially fitting since the basic premise of this paper on Our Lady’s coredemption in the three apparitions of Guadalupe, Lourdes and Fatima is that these apparitions reveal that the Blessed Virgin Mary’s Motherhood of God the Son, and of us, is not meant to be construed by us as a mere sentimental abstraction. Rather, heaven wishes to convey to us in these apparitions that Mary’s Motherhood of God and her spiritual Motherhood of us are at the very heart of the Blessed Trinity’s work of redemption of the entire created order. In other words, the Divine Maternity of God the Son and the spiritual maternity of you and me are, in their very nature and essence, coredemptive. Our Lady is Co-redemptrix because she is Mother of God the Son, the Divine Redeemer of the entire created order. She is likewise Co-redemptrix because she is the true Mother of all the living because Jesus Christ, her Divine Son, is Life himself and the Divine Savior of all humanity.

Let us begin by considering what is now commonly meant among orthodox Catholics by Marian coredemption and the fact that the Blessed Virgin Mary is Co-redemptrix. The literal meaning of the word coredemption is that there is redeeming activity at work "alongside" or "with" that of the Redeemer in the mystery of our redemption. The title, Co-redemptrix, specifically signifies that the one operating alongside the Redeemer is a woman. We know from Gen. 3:15 that this woman is the promised Woman whose seed will crush Satan and his effects in the created order. "I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel" (1). The woman whose seed was destined to crush the head of Satan from all eternity can be none other than the Blessed Virgin Mary, the very Mother who conceived and gave birth to God the Son as Incarnate, virginally.

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While one might readily think of Fatima and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the idea of associating Fatima with the Hearts of Jesus and Mary might seem much more forced – but, in fact, that is not so. From its very beginnings the phenomenon of Fatima bears the imprint of the two Hearts. From a strictly theological perspective this must necessarily be true because one can only understand the theology and the cultus of the Heart of Mary with reference to the Heart of Jesus – and this is consistently verified in all that is associated with Fatima.

The primary witness of the events of Fatima, of course, is Sister Lucia of Jesus and of the Immaculate Heart dos Santos, O.C.D. who lived from 30 March 1907 to 13 February 2005, dying at the advanced age of 97 and whose cause for beatification has now been opened with the special permission of Pope Benedict XVI. (1) Hers is the third such cause in recent times to be opened by special papal concession prior to the five-year waiting period after the death of a servant of God. Her little cousins, Francisco Marto (11 June 1908-4 April 1919) and Jacinta Marto (10 June 1910-20 February 1920) both died illiterate at a very young age and were beatified at Fatima by Pope John Paul II on 13 May 2000. (2) Thus all of the testimony about Fatima comes from Sister Lucia who has left us six memoirs, (3) letters (4) and what we might call a final memoir (5) which she wrote in her final years and which summarizes her experiences and her meditations of a lifetime on those profound experiences. It is of particular significance that this latter volume was explicitly “authorized by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith”.

The Framework of the Apparitions

Sister Lucia began her very first Memoir, written at the request of Dom José Alves Correia da Silva (1872-1957) before Christmas of 1935, in this way:

Having implored the protection of the most holy Hearts of Jesus and Mary, our tender Mother, and sought light and grace at the foot of the Tabernacle, so as to write nothing that would not be solely and exclusively for the glory of Jesus and of the most Blessed Virgin, I now take up this work, in spite of the repugnance I feel, since I can say almost nothing about Jacinta without speaking either directly or indirectly about my miserable self. I obey, nevertheless, the will of Your Excellency, which, for me is the expression of the will of our good God. I begin this task, then asking the most holy Hearts of Jesus and Mary to deign to bless it, and to make use of this act of obedience to obtain the conversion of poor sinners, for whom Jacinta so generously sacrificed herself. (6) [...]

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Fatima and Peace

I count myself blessed to have been in Fatima the last two summers in conjunction with the Annual International Symposium on Marian Coredemption, sponsored by the Franciscans of the Immaculate. During both summers, I was there for the celebrations that occur during the 12th and 13th days of the months in which Our Lady actually appeared. Words cannot convey the blessing that it is—actually to be in Fatima—if you go open to the truth that Fatima is all about.

People who know I’ve been to Fatima always ask me if I saw a lot of persons get miraculously healed while I was there. While Fatima certainly can be a place where people receive physical healings, the primary healing that goes on at Fatima is spiritual healing. By this, I mean that Fatima is a place where many are given the grace of a deeper conversion of heart. The Immaculate Heart of Mary is tangibly present and active in Fatima. One can sense this. She is providing her children with the grace to be brought into deeper union with the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, her divine Son.

The significance of Fatima for our times is clearly the resounding truth contained in both the messages Our Lady, herself, gave at Fatima and the messages the Angel of Portugal gave to the children in preparation for their encounter with Our Lady. Both sets of messages are all about how we, living in a world that often seems very dark and distant from God because of the choices we are making that are contrary to God’s will, can move from darkness to light and from war to peace. [...]

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“You shall not commit adultery” (Deut 5:18).

In these days when society seems to want to make a law of this sin, Sacred Scripture continues to repeat the commandment of God: “You shall not commit adultery.” It is the word of God, and the word of God does not change, nor does his Law: “It is easier for heaven and earth to pass away, than for one dot of the law to become void” (Lk 16:17).

This commandment obliges us all, each one according to his or her state of life, to preserve chastity. Those who feel they are called to the state of matrimony are obliged to preserve chastity until the time comes to contract a definite union blessed by God in the sacrament of Matrimony; they must treat each other with respect as in the case of a tree whose fruit is still green and which must mature so that its fruit may be gathered at the proper time. [...]

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The fifth Call of the Message: I ask Your pardon

Immediately after the call to charity, the Message speaks to us of forgiveness, urging us to ask God’s pardon for our brothers and sisters and also for ourselves; for those who do not believe and for those who do; for those who do not adore and for those who bow down in worship before God; for those who do not hope and for those who have every confidence; for those who do not love and for those who practice charity.

The fact is that we all need to obtain God’s pardon: for our lack of faith, which is often so fragile, for our hope which is often so weak, for our charity which is often so cold and insensitive, and for our adoration, which is often so languid. We ask pardon for those who do not believe, for those who do not adore, for those who do not hope and for those who do not love; and very often we ourselves are among this number!

For this reason, in what we call the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus Christ taught us to ask: “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us” (Mt 6:12). As we see, we cannot obtain God’s pardon unless we ourselves first forgive our brothers and sisters. It follows that we must not harbor resentment, ill-will, dislike, and still less a desire to avenge any offence, whether great or small, that one or other of our neighbors may have committed against us. Our forgiveness must be generous, complete and self-sacrificing, in the sense of overcoming ourselves. It will be necessary to silence within us the cry of revolt, to calm excited nerves, to keep a firm grasp on the reins of our own temper and keep a lid on the heat of our wounded self-love which, whether rightly or wrongly, feels bruised and irritated. [...]

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On May 3-7, 2005, an international symposium of cardinals, archbishops, bishops and theologians met at the Fatima shrine in Portugal to discuss the role and title of Our Lady as the Co-redemptrix, and its significance for the Church and the world today. Over the next couple of weeks we will be highlighting several of the presentations given at this historic Fatima symposium. This week we begin by providing the following five presentations offered by these respective cardinals: Luis Cardinal Aponte Martínez, Telesphore Cardinal Toppo, Tomáš Cardinal Špidlík, S.J., Varkey Cardinal Vithayathil, C.ss.r., and Edouard Cardinal Gagnon, P.s.s.

We encourage our readers to note the relevance that these princes of the Church place upon the title Co-redemptrix and the proclamation of the fifth Marian dogma for the potential fruits of world peace and the New Evangelization. It is not insignificant that in light of the present disastrous conflict taking place in the Middle East, several contributors at the Fatima conference link the proclamation of Our Lady’s role as the Mother of All Peoples, Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix of all graces and Advocate, to the necessary pre-requisite for a true and lasting peace. – Ed.

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All our hope must be placed in the Lord, because He is the one true God who created us with eternal love and redeemed us by sending his own Son, Jesus Christ, true God and true Man, who suffered and died for our salvation.

It is this that the Gospel of St. John tells us in recording for us the following words of Jesus to Nicodemus:

Are you a teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand this? Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know, and bear witness to what we have seen; but you do not receive our testimony. If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things? No one has ascended into heaven but he who descended from heaven, the Son of man. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. He who believes in him is not condemned; he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. (Jn 3:10-19) [...]

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We here present the Third Secret of Fatima, revealed by Pope John Paul II during the year 2000. – Ed.

At the left of Our Lady and a little above, we saw an Angel with a flaming sword in his left hand; flashing, it gave out flames that looked as though they would set the world on fire; but they died out in contact with the splendor that Our Lady radiated towards him from her right hand: pointing to the earth with his right hand, the Angel cried out in a loud voice: “Penance, Penance, Penance!” And we saw in an immense light that is God, “something similar to how people appear in a mirror when they pass in front of it,” a bishop dressed in White, “we had the impression that it was the Holy Father” and other bishops, priests, men and women religious going up a steep mountain, at the top of which there was a big Cross of rough-hewn trunks as of a cork-tree with the bark; before reaching there the Holy Father passed through a big city half in ruins and half trembling with halting step, afflicted with pain and sorrow, he prayed for the souls of the corpses he met on his way; having reached the top of the mountain, on his knees at the foot of the big Cross he was killed by a group of soldiers who fired bullets and arrows at him, and in the same way there died one after another the other bishops, priests, men and women religious, and various lay people of different ranks and positions. Beneath the two arms of the Cross there were two Angels each with a crystal aspersorium in his hand, in which they gathered up the blood of the Martyrs and with it sprinkled the souls that were making their way to God.

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In her First Memoir, Sister Lucia records the heroic virtues of her cousin and companion, Blessed Jacinta. The level of sanctity reached by this seven-year-old girl as a result of the infused knowledge and graces of Our Lady of the Rosary represents a degree of sanctification truly extraordinary. It was said by Sister Lucia that Jacinta made the transition from a child to an adult on the day when she saw the vision of Hell (July 13, 1917), and from that time onward she had an unquenchable desire to prevent souls from going to Hell through her own prayers and sacrifices.

On May 13, 2000, Pope John Paul II beatified Jacinta and thanked her for the prayers that she offered for Pope John Paul II after she had received a vision of a Holy Father of the future who was suffering much. John Paul II understood that Jacinta had been praying for him. With the possibility of Pope Benedict XVI traveling to Fatima to canonize Jacinta sometime in 2006, we have all the more reason to have a deeper knowledge and appreciation of the life and heroic virtue of this Fatima seer. – Ed.

Before the happenings of 1917, apart from the ties of relationship that united us, no other particular affection led me to prefer the companionship of Jacinta and Francisco to that of any other child. On the contrary, I sometimes found Jacinta’s company quite disagreeable, on account of her oversensitive temperament. The slightest quarrel which arose among the children when at play was enough to send her pouting into a corner—”tethering the donkey,” as we used to say. Even the coaxing and caressing that children know so well how to give on such occasions, were still not enough to bring her back to play; she herself had to be allowed to choose the game, and her partner as well. Her heart, however, was well disposed. God had endowed her with a sweet and gentle character which made her at once lovable and attractive…. [...]

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God chose to conclude the Message in Fatima, in October 1917, with three further apparitions which I regard as three more calls placed before us for our consideration, so that we may keep them in mind during our earthly pilgrimage. While the people were gazing in astonishment at the sun which had gone pale in the light of the presence of God, the three children saw, beside the sun, three distinct and, to us, significant apparitions.

I do not know whether or not the Church’s theologians and thinkers have attached any special significance or interpretation to these apparitions. They would certainly be able to do so in more precise language based on sacred doctrine. I am only speaking about them here in order to do what I have been asked to do, and within the limits imposed by my humble ignorance and poverty. Thus I propose to say quite simply what I think God wished to say to us with these three apparitions. [...]

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Let us meditate on the great mystery of Mary the Coredemptrix. We are small and we have to ask the light of the Holy Spirit to be able to adequately express and know this mystery. What good would it be to talk about this title if we are not joined in common prayer? Therefore, we are united about Our Lady and in union with the Holy Father in one spirit of profound prayer.

Our Lord Jesus, from the heights of the cross gave His Mother to all redeemed by His blood. Paul VI proclaimed the Virgin Mary Mother of the Church, during the Second Vatican Council, and already in this title we can understand the other three:

Coredemptrix, Mediatrix, and Advocate

While speaking about the value of suffering, I would like to start the theme of Coredemption with a thought from St. Thomas Aquinas. He said that one drop of the blood of Jesus Christ would be enough to save the whole world, even hundreds of worlds. Yet we also know the words of St. Paul very well: “. . . to make up in my own body all the hardships that still have to be undergone by Christ for the sake of his body, the Church” (Col 1:24). [...]

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The Fatima apparition of July 1917 has much significance for today. Many are weakening or have lost faith in the existence of the infinite and just God. Among many there is little or no faith in the reality of hell. Yet, in the July apparitions the three little shepherd children were shown a vision of hell so terrible that Sister Lucia wrote that if they had not been promised they would all go to heaven she thought they would have died on the spot.

God’s mercy is infinite. So is His justice. For God’s infinite mercy through the precious blood of Jesus to avail souls, faith, repentance and openness to his merciful love is required. Otherwise His justice must prevail.

The children beheld countless souls of sinners in hell. Our Lady, who is our Mother of Mercy, kindly but sadly said, “God wishes to establish in the world devotion to My Immaculate Heart. If you do what I tell you, many souls will be saved, there will be peace.”

The July apparition with its call to devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary requires living a life of Christian virtue as Mary did. It is most needed today. Obeying the Ten Commandments, receiving the Sacraments worthily and in reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart Mary, daily prayer, especially the Rosary; all these are required for living our personal consecration to Mary’s Immaculate Heart.

In July, 1917, our Mother of Mercy gave us two prayers to recite:

Sacrifice yourselves for sinners, and say often, especially when you make some sacrifice: “Oh Jesus, this is for love of you, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.”

When you recite the Rosary, after each mystery say: “Oh my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fire of hell, lead all souls to heaven, especially these who have most need of your mercy.”

Our Lady said that if we do not heed heaven’s call much punishment will befall the world, “war, hunger, and persecution of the Church and the Holy Father.” She foretold the importance of First Saturdays along with consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in preventing these things.

The late Fr. Joaquin Maria Alonso, Claretian, official historian of Fatima, told me that the loss of faith was predicted in the Fatima message. “In Portugal the Dogma of Faith will always be preserved… etc. …” This implies “it will be lost in other places.” We now know that the third part of the Fatima secret, told at this time, concerned the many martyrs to the faith, including, according to some interpretations, what happened to Pope John Paul II on May 13, 1981.

What is evident is that the full ramifications of the July 13, 1917 message have yet to be seen. The following is that quintessential Marian message, which continues to hold immediate relevance for today. In the words of Sr. Lucia:

A few moments after arriving at the Cova da Iria, near the holmoak, where a large number of people were praying the Rosary, we saw the flash of light once more, and a moment later Our Lady appeared on the holmoak.

“Lucia,” Jacinta said, “speak. Our Lady is talking to you.”

(To the Lady): “Yes? What do you want of me?”

“I want you to come back here on the thirteenth of next month. Continue to say the Rosary every day in honor of Our Lady of the Rosary, to obtain the peace of the world and the end of the war, because only she can obtain it.”

“Yes, yes.”

“I would like to ask who you are, and if you will do a miracle so that everyone will know for certain that you have appeared to us.”

“You must come here every month, and in October I will tell you who I am and what I want. I will then perform a miracle so that all may believe…

Make sacrifices for sinners, and say often, especially while making a sacrifice: O Jesus, this is for love of Thee, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for offences committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.”

As Our lady spoke these words she opened her hands once more, as she had 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 do). The demons could be distinguished by their terrifying and repellant likeness to frightful and unknown animals, black and transparent like burning coals. Terrified and as if to plead for succor, 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. It is to save them that God wants to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If you do what I tell you, many souls will be saved, and there will be peace. This war will end, but if men do not refrain from offending God, another and more terrible war will begin during the pontificate of Pius XI. When you see a night that is lit by a strange and unknown light you will know it is the sign God gives you that He is about to punish the world with war and with hunger, and by the persecution of the Church and the Holy Father.

To prevent this, I shall come to the world to ask that Russia be consecrated to my Immaculate Heart, and I shall ask that on the First Saturday of every month Communions of reparation be made in atonement for the sins of the world. If my wishes are fulfilled, Russia will be converted and there will be peace; if not, then Russia will spread her errors throughout the world, bringing new wars and persecution of the Church; the good will be martyred and the Holy Father will have much to suffer; certain nations will be annihilated. But in the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, and she will be converted, and the world will enjoy a period of peace. In Portugal the faith will always be preserved.

Remember, you must not tell this to anyone except Francisco.

When you pray the Rosary, say after each mystery: O my Jesus, forgive us, save us from the fire of hell. Lead all souls to heaven, especially those who are most in need.”

“Is there anything more that you want of me?”

“No, I do not want anything more of you today.”

Then as before Our Lady began to ascend towards the east, until she finally disappeared in the immense darkness of the firmament.

On May 13, 2000, John Paul II revealed the Third Part of the Secret, again here described by Sr. Lucia:

After the two parts which I have already explained, at the left of Our Lady and a little above, we saw an Angel with a flaming sword in his left hand; flashing, it gave out flames that looked as though they would set the world on fire; but they died out in contact with the splendor that Our Lady radiated towards him from her right hand; pointing to the earth with his right hand, the Angel cried out in a loud voice: “Penance, Penance, Penance!” And we saw in an immense light that is God: “something similar to how people appear in a mirror when they pass in front of it” a Bishop dressed in White “we had the impression that it was the Holy Father.” Other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious going up a steep mountain, at the top of which there was a big Cross of rough-hewn trunks as of a cork-tree with the bark; before reaching there the Holy Father passed through a big city half in ruins and half trembling with halting step, afflicted with pain and sorrow, he prayed for the souls of the corpses he met on his way; having reached the top of the mountain, on his knees at the foot of the big Cross he was killed by a group of soldiers who fired bullets and arrows at him, and in the same way there died one after another the other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious, and various lay people of different ranks and positions. Beneath the two arms of the Cross there were two Angels each with a crystal aspersorium in his hand, in which they gathered up the blood of the Martyrs and with it sprinkled the souls that were making their way to God.

Fr. Robert J. Fox is the founder and director of the Fatima Family Apostolate International, the editor of the Immaculate Heart Messenger magazine, and author of over 50 books. He assists daily at Mother Angelica’s Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament, Hanceville, Alabama.

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After the inspired Word of Sacred Scripture and the doctrinal grace of the Catholic Catechism, I believe the third book that every Fatima devotee should have close at hand is the book of Sister Lucia, “Calls” From the Message of Fatima, which was released in English in 2002. A work truly directed by the Holy Spirit through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, “Calls” From the Message of Fatima constitutes a veritable Marian catechism of faith and life, written in a down to earth mode, which can be grasped by all members of the Faith and all people of good will. I have no personal doubt that Sister Lucia’s recent masterpiece will eventually become a spiritual classic, rightfully identified as the fruits of a mystic and of a saint.

This veritable Fatima catechism which includes inspired treatments on “In the Presence of God” (Chapter 1); “Calls From the Message of Fatima” (Chapter 2); “The Ten Commandments” (Part III) and “The Rosary” (Part IV), provides so many spiritual insights that the only true danger is that one might overlook some of the individual pearls amidst the overall treasure. [...]

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The following article by the late John Haffert, co-founder of the World Apostolate of Fatima, the “Blue Army,” refers to two important interviews with Sr. Lucia of Fatima (in 1993 to Cardinal Ricardo Vidal of the Philippines and with Haffert himself on May 31, 1999) where the last Fatima seer explicitly states that we are presently in the “Third Day” of the “Seven Day Week” of Fatima.

On July 13, 1917, Our Lady of the Rosary stated: “In the end my Immaculate Heart will Triumph and a Period of Peace will be granted to the world.” The “Period of Peace” prophesied at Fatima which will follow the completion of the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, is, according to Sr. Lucia, still very much in the process of unfolding at our present historical time. We therefore publish, with permission, the statement of Sr. Lucia, which has been recorded on both audio and video tape, and documented, that the world is presently in the Third Day (the post-Consecration period) of the Week of Fatima, the Week which continues to have four more time periods or events before the completion of the universal Triumph of her Immaculate Heart and the consequent Era of Peace.

As Sr. Lucia directly articulates, “People expect things to happen immediately within their own time frame. But Fatima is still in its Third Day. The Triumph is an ongoing process.” – Ed. [...]

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On three occasions in 1916 and the early part of 1917 the three Fatima children received apparitions from the “Angel Guardian of Portugal” in preparation for the 1917 apparitions from Our Lady of the Rosary. The messages from the angel contain profound references to devotion to the Holy Hearts of Jesus and Mary, Eucharistic Adoration and Reparation and inspired prayers given to the children to pray in reparation to God and for the conversion of sinners. The two prayers which begin with “My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love you…” and “Most Holy Trinity…” are revealed prayers focusing on Eucharistic Adoration and Reparation which remain invaluable for bringing to fulfillment the Fatima call. The three angelic apparitions are here described by Sister Lucia as found in her Memoirs. – Ed.

The dates I cannot set down with certainty, because, at that time, I did not know how to reckon the years, the months, or even the days of the week. But I think it must have been in the spring of 1916 that the Angel appeared to us for the first time in our Loca do Cabeço.

…After having taken our lunch and said our prayers, we began to see, some distance off, above the trees that stretched away towards the east, a light, whiter than snow, in the form of a young man, transparent, and brighter than crystal pierced by the rays of the sun. As he drew nearer, we could distinguish his features more and more clearly. We were surprised, absorbed, and struck dumb with amazement. [...]

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In her First Memoir, Sister Lucia records the heroic virtues of her cousin and companion, Blessed Jacinta. The level of sanctity reached by this seven-year-old girl as a result of the infused knowledge and graces of Our Lady of the Rosary represents a degree of sanctification truly extraordinary. It was said by Sister Lucia that Jacinta made the transition from a child to an adult on the day when she saw the vision of Hell (July 13, 1917), and from that time onward she had an unquenchable desire to prevent souls from going to Hell through her own prayers and sacrifices.

On May 13, 2000, Pope John Paul II beatified Jacinta and thanked her for the prayers that she offered for Pope John Paul II after she had received a vision of a Holy Father of the future who was suffering much. John Paul II understood that Jacinta had been praying for him. With the announcement of the possibility of Pope Benedict XVI traveling to Fatima to canonize Jacinta sometime in 2006, we have all the more reason to have a deeper knowledge and appreciation of the life and heroic virtue of this Fatima seer. – Ed.

Before the happenings of 1917, apart from the ties of relationship that united us, no other particular affection led me to prefer the companionship of Jacinta and Francisco to that of any other child. On the contrary, I sometimes found Jacinta’s company quite disagreeable, on account of her oversensitive temperament. The slightest quarrel which arose among the children when at play was enough to send her pouting into a corner—”tethering the donkey,” as we used to say. Even the coaxing and caressing that children know so well how to give on such occasions, were still not enough to bring her back to play; she herself had to be allowed to choose the game, and her partner as well. Her heart, however, was well disposed. God had endowed her with a sweet and gentle character which made her at once lovable and attractive…. [...]

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During the first apparition on May 13, 1917, Lucia asked Our Lady if Francisco would go to heaven. Our Lady responded, “He will go there too, but he must say many Rosaries.” From that time onward, Francisco was known for his perpetual praying of the Holy Rosary as well as for being a contemplative who lived always “In the light and experience of God.” Above all, Francisco felt the call to console Our Lord, as he states: “more than anything else I want to console Him.” We here present Sister Lucia’s commentary on the life of Blessed Francisco. – Ed.

Apart from his features and his practice of virtue, Francisco did not seem at all to be Jacinta’s brother. Unlike her, he was neither capricious nor vivacious. On the contrary, he was quiet and submissive by nature.

When we were at play and he won the game, if anyone made a point of denying him his rights as winner, he yielded without more ado and merely said: “You think you won? That’s alright! I don’t mind!”… If one of the other children insisted on taking away something belonging to him, he said: “Let them have it! What do I care?” [...]

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The following descriptions of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima are taken from the Memoirs of Sister Lucia. – Ed.

The 13th of May, 1917

High up on the slope in the Cova da Iria, I was playing with Jacinta and Francisco at building a little stone wall around a clump of furze. Suddenly we saw what seemed to be a flash of lightning.

“We’d better go home,” I said to my cousins, “that’s lightning; we may have a thunderstorm.”

“Yes, indeed!” they answered. [...]

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Was it the sun that danced at Fatima on October 13, 1917? In three phases the sun appeared to leave its central position in space and zig-zag towards the earth like a giant Catherine-wheel. Tens of thousands of witnesses thought the end of the world had come. People called out for God’s mercy and forgiveness. Multiple colors alternatively transformed the landscape and the people. Multiple colors for multiple graces. This was a miracle that had been foretold months in advance, even to the exact day and hour, by Our Lady, “so that all may believe.”

If the miracle of the sun that happened on October 13 was but a natural occurrence, a true physical disturbance in the sun, then it should have registered on astronomical equipment. None was reported by scientists any place in the world. People present felt they could reach up and touch the ball of fire before it reversed itself and ascended back into the sky.

Atheists who came to scoff were instead awestruck at the miracle. This testifies that what seemed to be the sun hurling itself to the earth was not due to mass hallucination. People who were expecting no miracle joined as one with the multitude of witnesses to attest to the existence and power of the triune God. Fatima is for faith, and this miracle was a visible supernatural occurrence to bring people to faith and conversion. It marked the beginning of an “explosion of the supernatural.”

If it was not the sun that danced in the sky, that luminous celestial body around which the earth and planets revolve, from which they receive heat and light, and which has a mean distance from the earth of 93,000,000 miles—what was it? I submit that it was a foreshadowing of a new Pentecost, a sign of the future outpouring of the Holy Spirit which was to be ever more manifested as the twentieth century drew to a close and the twenty-first century began. It foreshadowed the new Pentecost that will accompany the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Pope Leo XIII had dedicated the twentieth century to the Holy Spirit, and heaven had taken the Pope seriously.

Members of the Church, especially as we begin the third millennium, are ever more conscious of the Holy Spirit in their lives. In fact, Pope John Paul II has said: “The Church cannot prepare for the new millennium ‘in any other way than in the Holy Spirit.'” (1)

The apostles were so powerfully regenerated at the first Pentecost with the visible signs of tongues of fire that it is known as the birthday of the Church. St. Augustine, early in the fifth century, said: “What the soul is to the human body, the Holy Spirit is to the Body of Christ, which is the Church.”

We are living during the time of the greatest changes ever witnessed in the world or in the Church. The last fifty years has seen more change in scientific technology and the acquiring of natural knowledge than any era since the beginning of the creation of man. The problem is that mankind’s morality has not kept up with man’s technology. Only by openness to the action of the Holy Spirit in the Church and in the souls of individuals can our faith keep pace with the changing world. True faith does not change. It is immutable. But our understanding of the faith must develop ever deeper. For this and for increased divine life we need the Holy Spirit.

Pope John XXIII, soon after being elected to the Chair of Peter, suddenly announced in January 1959 that he, who was already seventy-seven years in age, would convene an ecumenical council for the entire Church. He was moved by the Holy Spirit to do this with the certainty that the Holy Spirit was about to bring a new springtime to the Church. Shortly before his death Pope Pius XII also foresaw this new springtime, and Pope John Paul II at Fatima in 1991 spoke of the Church being at the dawn of a new springtime.

The problems the Church faces today are not the result of the Second Vatican Council (1963-65). If this Council had not been called the problems in the Church of today would be much greater.

The Second Vatican Council was a Marian Council guided by the Holy Spirit. Mary is the Spouse of the Holy Spirit. The Council opened on the feast of the Divine Motherhood of Mary (October 11, 1962). It closed on the feast of the Immaculate Conception (1965). There is no outpouring of the Holy Spirit except in communion with the intercessory prayer of Mary, Mother of the Church.

Ten days after Vatican II opened it issued a message to the world. It said: “Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we intend to renew ourselves and to become better witnesses of the Gospel. We strive to offer the people of this age the truth of God in a pure form, so they can understand it and accept it freely.”

Each Pope since 1930 has said in some way, “Fatima is a reaffirmation of the Gospels.” Our Lady was a catechist at Fatima, trying to help us since she saw the lack of knowledge and love for Jesus Christ and His Church’s teachings engulfing the world. Heaven foresaw the godlessness of the twentieth century getting underway. Diabolic hatred and the spirit of atheism and materialism became the signs of the time, and brought the greatest persecution to Christianity in its 2000 year history. But Fatima gave a supernatural sign that the Holy Spirit would overcome the forces of evil in the world and in the mystical body of Christ.

Our Lady, after showing the three children the terrible vision of hell, said: “But in the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph.” That triumph of the Spouse of the Holy Spirit can come only with a new and special outpouring of the Holy Spirit into the life of the Church and the lives of us all. Her Heart, the Heart of Her Son, and the Soul of the Church are inseparable.

Our Lady started the charismatic movement of the Holy Spirit during this present age at Fatima. No less than Fr. Joachim Alonso, official historian of Fatima, said to me: “The Holy Spirit is working in the Church today through Fatima.”

On May 18, 1986, Pope John Paul II, looking forward to the third millennium, issued the encyclical letter, Dominum et Vivificantem, On the Holy Spirit in the Life of the Church and the World.

In the Holy Spirit encyclical the Pope said: “Thus one can understand the profound reason why the Church, united with the Virgin Mother, prays unceasingly as the Bride to her divine Spouse, … ‘The Spirit and the bride say to the Lord Jesus Christ: Come.'”

As individuals we must ask the Father to give us the Holy Spirit. That Holy Spirit is the Soul of the Church. Thus we can know that when we pray, think and act with the Church, the spirit acting in us is Holy.

Fr. Robert J. Fox is the founder and director of the Fatima Family Apostolate International, the editor of the Immaculate Heart Messenger magazine, and author of over 50 books. He assists daily at Mother Angelica’s Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament, Hanceville, Alabama.

Endnotes

(1) Tertio Millennio Adveniente, 1994, 44.

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My Marian journey began in 1960 when the Catholic world was waiting for Pope John XXIII to reveal the third secret of Fatima. Now, as we approach the third millennium, there is again an eager anticipation among God s people of an imminent theophany when God will manifest His presence to save His people. The present Holy Father, in his book, Crossing the Threshold of Hope, expressed this sentiment when he said that, as we end this century, Our Lady’s words to the children of Fatima seem close to their fulfillment. The victory, he said, when it comes, shall be brought by Mary.

His elaborate preparation for the Great Jubilee Year that he called the hermeneutical key and the defining point of his pontificate is without doubt in anticipation of this victory. [...]

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