The Message of Fatima
By the mystery of the Divine Maternity, the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary, assumed into glory, never ceases to beat with love for us, the children whom her Divine Son gave to her, as He was dying upon the Cross. Through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit into our souls at baptism, God has adopted us as His true sons and daughters in His only-begotten Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ. At Baptism, we have also become sons and daughters of the Mother of God, in her Son, God the Son Incarnate. With maternal care, the Virgin Mother of God draws hearts to her glorious Immaculate Heart and takes them to Christ her Son, to His Sacred Heart, and she instructs them, as she instructed the wine stewards at the Wedding Feast of Cana in their distress: “Do whatever he tells you.”
In the words of the ancient hymn for Vespers on feasts of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Ave Maris Stella, we pray:
Show thyself a mother; may the Word divine, born for us thine Infant, hear our prayers through thine.
These words of the eighth-century hymn express in a clear and striking manner the mystery of the Divine Maternity by which the Virgin Mary is both Mother of God and Mother of Divine Grace. The hymn asks the Virgin Mother of God to lead us to her Divine Son, in order that our hearts, one with her Immaculate Heart, may rest always in His Heart, the only source of our salvation.
In a most wonderful way, the Blessed Virgin Mary has shown herself to be the Mother of Divine Grace by her apparitions to the three shepherd children here one hundred years ago, from May 13th to October 13th of 1917. The world at the time found itself torn asunder by the unimaginable destruction and death wrought by the First World War and, yet worse, fatally menaced by the spread of atheistic communism leading the hearts of men away from the Heart of Jesus, the sole font of our salvation. Atheistic communism was leading hearts into a prideful rebellion against God and the order which He has placed in His creation and has written on the heart of every man.
By my presentation today, I hope to draw you more deeply into the wonderful grace given to the world here through the mediation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Concentrating my attention on the apparitions and the message of Our Lady of Fatima, I wish to help you to encounter here Our Lord through His Virgin Mother, and so to give your hearts, one with the Immaculate Heart of Mary, to His most Sacred Heart. Thus may you become ever stronger and more courageous soldiers of Christ the King, our Eternal High Priest.
The Apparitions of the Angel of Portugal
God prepared the messengers of the Virgin of Fatima, Saints Francisco and Jacinta Marto, and the Servant of God Lucia Rosa dos Santos, by three visions of the Angel of Portugal which took place during the Spring, Summer and Autumn of 1916. During the first vision, while telling the shepherd children not to be afraid and assuring them that he was “the Angel of Peace,” he taught them to pray three times with these words:
My God, I believe, I adore, I hope [in] and I love You. I ask pardon of You for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope [in] and do not love You.
The Angel, as God’s messenger to the shepherd children was already indicating the way in which the Mother of God would lead: the way of prayer, penance and reparation. He concluded the vision with the words:
Pray thus. The Hearts of Jesus and Mary are attentive to the voice of your supplications.
During his second apparition, the Angel urged the children: “Offer prayers and sacrifices to the Most High.” When Lucia asked how the children were to make sacrifices, the Angel replied:
Make of everything you can a sacrifice, and offer it to God as an action of reparation for the sins by which He is offended, and in supplication for the conversion of sinners. You will thus draw down peace upon your country. I am its Guardian Angel, the Angel of Portugal. Above all, accept and bear with submission the suffering which the Lord will send you.
The children were indeed led to pray as the Angel had taught them and to accept happily suffering for the sake of the forgiveness of sins and of the repair of the disorder which sin always introduces into our personal lives and into the world.
During the third apparition, in the autumn of 1916, “the Angel holding in his hand a chalice with a Host suspended above it, from which a few drops of blood fell,” taught the children a much longer prayer:
Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I adore You profoundly, I offer You the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ present in the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifference with which He Himself is offended. And, through the infinite merits of His most Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of You the conversion of poor sinners.
The Angel then communicated the Sacred Host to Lucia and the Precious Blood to Francisco and Jacinta, with these words: “Take and drink the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, horribly outraged by ungrateful men. Make reparation for their crimes and console your God.”
The third apparition of the Angel of Portugal manifested to the children the essentially Eucharistic nature of their prayer and sacrifice. In fact, Christ makes ever new the fruit of His sacrifice on Calvary through the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist for the salvation of souls and of the world. Hearts, one with the Immaculate Heart of Mary, are most perfectly united to the Heart of Jesus through participation in the Eucharistic Sacrifice which reaches its culmination in the worthy reception of the incomparable fruit of the Sacrifice: the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ.
The Apparition on July 13, 2017: The Message or Secret of Our Lady of Fatima
The central message of Our Lady of Fatima was revealed in what is called the Secret of Fatima during the apparition which took place on July 13, 1917. The first part of the Secret has two essential contents. First, there is the terrifying vision of Hell, foreshadowed in the evils visited upon the world at the time. Then, there is the offer of God’s healing peace through the intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, so that souls may be saved from a life of grievous or mortal sin and its fruit: eternal death. Our Lady spoke these words to the shepherd children:
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 illumined by an unknown light, know that this is the great sign given you by God that He is about to punish the world for its crimes by means of war, famine, persecutions of the Church and of the Holy Father.
The first part of the Secret gives a severe admonition. In fact, because of the continued apostasy and resultant immorality, the world underwent yet further and most grievous suffering through the spread of atheistic communism, the rise of National Socialism in Germany, and the devastation of the Second World War. Yet, the words of Our Lady are also full of hope in the unfailing grace of God which brings about repentance for sins committed and peace in individual repentant souls and, as a result, in the world.
Referring to the punishments necessarily connected with the grave sins of the time, the second part of the Secret is the announcement of the peace which God wants to give to souls and to the world. The peace of God will come to the world through two means: the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and the practice of the Communion of Reparation on the First Saturday of the month. Our Lady spoke these words to the shepherd children:
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. In Portugal, the dogma of the Faith will always be preserved, etc.
Our Lady indicated the spiritual remedy of the deplorable situation in which the world and Church found themselves. She also foretold the terrible physical chastisements which would result from the failure to consecrate the agent of the spread of atheistic communism to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through her Immaculate Heart and to undertake the regular practice of reparation for so many offenses communicated against the immeasurable and unceasing love of God manifested so perfectly in the glorious pierced Heart of Jesus.
In fact, the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary did not take place, as she requested, and the Communion of Reparation on the First Saturdays did not become the practice of the universal Church. There ensued the terrible suffering of the Second World War and its aftermath, the spread of atheistic communism, resulting, in fact, in the persecution of many nations and of the Church in those nations, and the annihilation of some nations. The second part of the Secret also ends with the sure hope that the Immaculate Heart of Mary will triumph through obedience to her maternal instruction.
The third part of the Secret, indicated by the “etc.” at the end of the second part, deals with the spiritual chastisement brought about by the rebellion of man who, instead of giving his heart to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, gives over his heart to the corruption of the worldly materialism and relativism of the age. The third part of the Secret was finally written by Sister Lucia on January 3, 1944, but was to be revealed at the death of Sister Lucia or in 1960, whichever date came first.
In her description of the third part of the Secret, Sister Lucia quotes “the Angel with a flaming sword” whom she saw at Our Lady’s left side:
Pointing to the earth with his right hand, the Angel cried out in a loud voice: “Penance, Penance, Penance!”
She then describes the martyrdom of those remaining true to Our Lord, those of one heart, in the Immaculate Heart of Mary, with His Most Sacred Heart. Beneath the two arms of “a big cross of rough-hewn trunks as of a cork tree with the bark… there were two Angels each with a crystal aspersorium in their hand, in which they gathered up the blood of the martyrs and with it sprinkled the souls that were making their way to God.”
Sister Lucia also records three declarations of the Mother of God. First, Our Lady asks that the third part of the Secret not be communicated to others, except Francisco, at that time, that is, July 13, 1917, and then she gives the following instruction:
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.
Finally, Our Lady assured Lucia that she had nothing further to request of her at that time.
The Other Apparitions of Our Lady
Before considering, in a bit more detail, the third part of the Secret, I mention briefly how the other apparitions of Our Lady prepare for the apparition of July 13th and confirm it. First of all, I note that, in all of the apparitions, Our Lady appears with the Holy Rosary in her hand. She also directs the children to pray the Holy Rosary for their own salvation and for the salvation of the world. Our Lady of Fatima is rightly known as Our Lady of the Rosary, for her apparitions and message underline the power of the praying of the Holy Rosary in addressing the grave situation of our time.
During the apparition of May 13th, the Virgin asked the children to come to the same place “for six months in succession on the 13th day at [the] same hour.” She indicated that in the course of the six months, she would reveal to them what she desired of them. She urged the children to pray the Rosary and to embrace the sufferings which God sends “as an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended and in supplication for the conversion of sinners.” She also assured them that the grace of God would not be lacking to them. During the apparition on June 13th, she asked the children to continue praying the Rosary, assuring them that she would tell them later what she wanted. She made clear that devotion to her Immaculate Heart is both a “refuge” and “the way” that leads to God.
During the apparition of August 19th, which was postponed due to the imprisonment of the shepherd children, the Virgin confirmed her instruction regarding the need of praying the Rosary and of offering many sacrifices for the salvation of souls. She also promised that during the last apparition, “I will perform a miracle so that all may believe.” On September 13th, Our Lady once again confirmed the children in the practice of praying the Rosary and offering sacrifices for the salvation of souls and for peace in the world. She renewed the promise of a miracle. She declared:
In October, Our Lord will come, as well as Our Lady of Sorrows and Our Lady of Mount Carmel. St. Joseph will appear with the Child Jesus to bless the world.
On October 13th, after the Virgin Mother asked that a chapel be built to her honor as Our Lady of the Rosary and urged the daily praying of the Rosary, and repentance and reparation for sins, God provided the Miracle of the Sun, as Our Lady had promised, to confirm faith in the message which she brought to the world at Fatima. Time does not permit a fuller meditation on the other apparitions.
The Third Part of the Message or Secret of Fatima
I now return to the third part of the Secret or Message of Fatima. Without entering into a discussion regarding whether the third part of the Secret has been fully revealed, it seems clear from the most respected studies of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima, that it has to do with the diabolical forces unleashed upon the world in our time and entering into the very life of the Church which lead souls away from the truth of the faith and, therefore, from the Divine Love flowing from the glorious pierced Heart of Jesus.
On September 10, 1984, the Most Reverend Alberto Cosme do Amaral, then Bishop of Leiria-Fátima, on the basis of his studies whose conclusions had been confirmed by Sister Lucia, declared, during a question-and-answer session at the technical university at Vienna, the following about the contents of the third part of the Message or Secret of Fatima:
Its content … concerns only our faith. To identify the Secret with catastrophic announcements or with a nuclear holocaust is to deform the meaning of the message.
The loss of faith of a continent is worse than the annihilation of a nation; and it is true that faith is continually diminishing in Europe.
Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité, in his monumental study of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima, writes the following regarding the third part of the Secret or what is often called the Third Secret:
In short, the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary undoubtedly refers much more to the third Secret than even the second. For the recovery of peace will be a gift from Heaven, but it is not, properly speaking, the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Her victory is of another order, supernatural, and then temporal by addition. It will first be the victory of the Faith, which will put an end to the time of apostasy, and the great shortcomings of the Church’s pastors.
As horrible as are the physical chastisements associated with man’s disobedient rebellion before God, infinitely more horrible are the spiritual chastisements for they have to do with the fruit of grievous sin: eternal death. As is clear, only the Faith, which places man in the relationship of unity of heart with the Sacred Heart of Jesus, through the mediation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, can save man from the spiritual chastisements which rebellion against God necessarily brings upon its perpetrators and upon the whole of both society and the Church.
The teaching of the Faith in its integrity and with courage is the heart of the office of the Church’s pastors: the Roman Pontiff, the Bishops in communion with the See of Peter, and their principal co-workers, the priests. For that reason, the Third Secret is directed, with particular force, to those who exercise the pastoral office in the Church. Their failure to teach the faith, in fidelity to the Church’s constant teaching and practice, whether through a superficial, confused or even worldly approach, and their silence endangers mortally, in the deepest spiritual sense, the very souls for whom they have been consecrated to care spiritually. The poisonous fruits of the failure of the Church’s pastors is seen in a manner of worship, of teaching and of moral discipline which is not in accord with Divine Law.
The Church’s technical term for the abandonment of the faith is apostasy. The English word comes from the Greek word for secession, apo istamai, a drawing away from. In the Church, it has been used to describe the state of someone who has received the gift of faith but then has, in some way, abandoned the faith, and also the state of someone who has embraced either the vocation to the priesthood and then has abandoned the clerical state, or has embraced the vocation to the consecrated life and then has abandoned it. Thus the Church speaks of apostasy from the faith, apostasy from Holy Orders, and apostasy from religion. While my reflection concerns the first meaning of apostasy, that is, apostasy from the faith, I mention the other two uses of the term as illustrative of the fundamental nature of apostasy: the drawing away from a divine grace which first had been given by God and received by man.
Since apostasy is committed by a man who has received the gift of faith, that is, has known God and His Divine Law, it is a sin against religion, an act of injustice before God. Regarding apostasy, Saint Thomas Aquinas writes:
Apostasy denotes a backsliding from God. This may happen in various ways according to the different kinds of union between man and God… But if he [man] give up the faith, then he seems to turn away from God altogether: and consequently, apostasy simply and absolutely is that whereby a man withdraws from the faith, and is called apostasy of perfidy. In this way apostasy, simply so called, pertains to unbelief.
In addressing certain objections, Saint Thomas Aquinas explains the very concrete nature of apostasy.
In response to an objection regarding the nature of apostasy, that is whether it is more an act of the will than of the intellect, Saint Thomas writes:
It belongs to faith not only that the heart should believe, but also that external words and deeds should bear witness to that inward faith, for confession is an act of faith. In this way, too, certain external words or deeds pertain to unbelief, in so far as they are signs of unbelief, even as a sign of health is said itself to be healthy… Therefore, just as when the life of the body is taken away, man’s every member and part loses its due disposition, so when the life of justice, which is by faith, is done away, disorder appears in all his members. First, in his mouth, whereby chiefly his mind stands revealed; secondly, in his eyes; thirdly, in the instrument of movement; fourthly, in his will, which tends to evil. That result is that he sows discord, endeavoring to sever others from the faith even as he severed himself.
Saint Thomas’ explanation of the nature of apostasy recalls to our minds the prayer which the Angel of Portugal taught to the shepherd children of Fatima during the first of his three apparitions to prepare them for the apparitions of the Mother of God. The prayer expresses the inseparable unity of faith and virtue: faith in God necessarily expresses itself in love of God. God’s messenger to the shepherd children was already indicating the way in which the Mother of God would lead the world to deal with the grave crisis of apostasy: the way of faith and prayer, penance and reparation.
Apostasy is distinguished from heresy, the other grave sin against the faith. Father Dominic Prümmer, O.P., in his classic manual of moral theology, defines apostasy as the “total defection from the Christian faith formerly willingly received.” Apostasy is the total defection from the Catholic faith, whereas heresy is the denial of one or another article of the faith. Whereas heresy, depending upon the manner in which it is embraced, can lead to apostasy, that is, to the total abandonment of the faith, apostasy, at its root, is a total drawing away from the life of faith.
As Father Prümmer indicates, for the apostasy to take place it is not necessary that the member of the faithful give adherence to another determinate faith, for example, Judaism or Islam, but simply, “after baptism received in the Catholic Church, defects completely from the faith.” He gives as examples those who abandon their Catholic faith as rationalists, atheists, free thinkers or strict Freemasons.
One thinks, for example, of how the Church has suffered from the persistent heretical doctrines of Modernism, as treated by Pope Saint Pius X in his first Encyclical Letter, E Supremi, of October 4, 1903. Referring to the trepidation with which he accepted the election to the See of Peter, he declared:
Then again, to omit other motives, We were terrified beyond all else by the disastrous state of human society today. For who can fail to see that society is at the present time, more than in any past age, suffering from a terrible and deep-rooted malady which, developing every day and eating into its inmost being, is dragging it to destruction? You understand, Venerable Brethren, what this disease is – apostasy from God, than which in truth nothing is more allied with ruin, according to the word of the Prophet: "For behold they that go far from Thee shall perish" (Ps. 1xxii., 17).
How much more even today does the Roman Pontiff face the daunting challenge of a widespread apostasy from the faith. How much more even today movements for a single government of the world and certain movements within the Church herself disregard the moral law because they lack any foundation in God and in His plan for our eternal salvation.
In his Encyclical Letter Pascendi Dominici Gregis of September 8, 1907, the saintly Pontiff had shown that the heretical doctrines of Modernism flow from a rationalism and sentimentalism which draw souls away from the faith itself. He wrote about the corruption within the Church caused by the embrace of a worldly culture lacking a foundation in sound philosophy and theology. He declared:
That We make no delay in this matter is rendered necessary especially by the fact that the partisans of error are to be sought not only among the Church's open enemies; they lie hid, a thing to be deeply deplored and feared, in her very bosom and heart, and are the more mischievous, the less conspicuously they appear. We allude, Venerable Brethren, to many who belong to the Catholic laity, nay, and this is far more lamentable, to the ranks of the priesthood itself, who, feigning a love for the Church, lacking the firm protection of philosophy and theology, nay more, thoroughly imbued with the poisonous doctrines taught by the enemies of the Church, and lost to all sense of modesty, vaunt themselves as reformers of the Church; and, forming more boldly into line of attack, assail all that is most sacred in the work of Christ, not sparing even the person of the Divine Redeemer, whom, with sacrilegious daring, they reduce to a simple, mere man.
How easily today the unthinking member of the faithful can be deceived and beguiled by appearances, attractive gestures and flashy slogans, under which the substance is poison for his soul.
It is helpful to distinguish two kinds of “exterior manifestation” of apostasy, as they are set forth in the Dictionnaire de Théologie Catholique. Apostasy can be manifested externally in an explicit and formal manner, “if the member of the faithful makes known by a categorical declaration or by acts which are equivalent to a declaration, that he renounces the Catholic faith.” Such would be the case of a baptized Catholic who embraces Judaism or Islam or who, by declarations, writings and other means, announces himself to be a free thinker or atheist, or those who knowingly give their name to groups notoriously hostile to the Catholic faith.
Apostasy can also manifest itself in an implicit and interpretative manner “when a Christian without formally signifying that he renounces his faith, pretending even to treasure the title of Christian, conducts himself in such a way that one can surely conclude that he has become a stranger to the faith.” Examples are those who applaud the attacks of impiety against religion, who mock the pastors of the Church, who deride the institutions and sacred rites, the religious life, or who propose or support legislation contrary to divine law or against Church law. “There is in these exterior manifestations, when they are conscious and above all repeated, the proof that the faith has disappeared from the hearts of those who make themselves culpable for them. It is implicit apostasy.”
In short, “[a]postasy is a sin against the faith, since it rejects revealed doctrine; against religion, because it denies to God true worship; against justice, since it violates the promises of the Christian.” Referring to a modern author, Jean-François Badet, who calls apostasy “spiritual suicide,” the Dictionnaire de Théologie Catholique declares:
This “spiritual suicide” is, after the hatred of God, the most grave of sins, for it more completely and definitively than the faults simply opposed to the moral virtues separates the powers of the human soul, intelligence and will, from God.
It is clear that apostasy, either explicit or implicit, leads hearts away from the Immaculate Heart of Mary and, thus, from the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the only font of our salvation. In that regard, as the Message of Fatima makes, the pastors of the Church, who in some way cooperate with apostasy, also by their silence, bear a most heavy burden of responsibility.
The Present State of the Church and the Remedy of Fatima
Today, the Church is beset by confusion and error about even some of her most fundamental and constant teachings. As a secular agenda continues to advance in the world, promoting the attack upon innocent and defenseless human life, upon the integrity of marriage and its incomparable fruit, the family, and upon the very freedom of man to worship God “in spirit and truth,” the Church herself seems confused and even at times indulgent toward a mundanity which rebels against God and His law. The world has great need for the Church to announce the Faith, the truth of Christ, with clarity and courage, but sadly too often she remains silent or seems uncertain regarding the truth and its steadfast application to daily life in the world. At the same time, the confusion, which remains uncorrected, generates profound divisions among individual Bishops and Conferences of Bishops, among priests and among the faithful, in general. The most fundamental and important moral questions receive a different response from the pastors of the Church in different places. A new evangelization has been confused with a sentimental embrace of a secular culture which fails to call the culture to conversion and to give witness to conversion by the integrity of life of Christians. Not without reason, the faithful find themselves confused and disoriented. Such a situation leads also to a sense of abandonment.
Reflecting upon the pressing need to respond to the grace of a new evangelization, we see how timely the apparitions and message of Our Lady of Fatima remain. At Fatima, the Mother of God, our Mother, provides for us the means to go faithfully to her Divine Son and to seek from Him the wisdom and strength to bring His saving grace to a profoundly troubled world. She provides six particular means for us to employ in addressing the situation. She asks us as individual members of the faithful: 1) to pray the Rosary each day; 2) to wear the Brown Scapular; 3) to make sacrifices for the sake of saving sinners; 4) to make reparation for offenses to her Immaculate Heart by means of the First Saturday devotion; and 5) to convert our own lives ever more to Christ. Lastly, she asks the Roman Pontiff, in union with all the Bishops of the world, to consecrate Russia to her Immaculate Heart. By these means, she promises that her Immaculate Heart will triumph, bringing souls to Christ, her Son. Turning to Christ, they will make reparation for their sins. Christ, through the intercession of His Virgin Mother, will save them from Hell and bring peace to the whole world.
While the Secret of Fatima is realistic about the great evils which beset the world and the Church, it is fundamentally a message of hope in the victory of the Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The victory of grace, however, means for us the daily conversion to Christ, purification from sin in our lives through prayer and penance, and reparation for sins committed.
Visiting the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima on May 13, 1982, the first anniversary of the attempt on his life, Pope Saint John Paul II declared:
Today John Paul II, successor of Peter, continuer of the work of Pius, John, and Paul, and particular heir of the Second Vatican Council, presents himself before the Mother of the Son of God in her Shrine at Fátima. In what way does he come?
He presents himself, reading again with trepidation the motherly call to penance, to conversion, the ardent appeal of the Heart of Mary that resounded at Fátima sixty-five years ago. Yes, he reads it again with trepidation in his heart because he sees how many people and societies – how many Christians – have gone in the opposite direction to the one indicated in the message of Fátima. Sin has thus made itself firmly at home in the world, and denial of God has become widespread in the ideologies, ideas and plans of human beings.
But for this very reason the evangelical call to repentance and conversion, uttered in the Mother’s message, remains ever relevant. It is still more relevant than it was sixty-five years ago. It is still more urgent….
The successor of Peter presents himself here also a witness to the immensity of human suffering, a witness to the almost apocalyptic menaces looking over the nations and mankind as a whole. He is trying to embrace these sufferings with his own weak human heart, as he places himself before the mystery of the Heart of the Mother, the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
In the name of these sufferings and with awareness of the evil that is spreading throughout the world and menacing the individual human being, the nations, and mankind as a whole, Peter’s successor presents himself here with greater faith in the redemption of the world, in the saving Love that is always stronger, always more powerful than any evil.
My heart is oppressed when I see the sin of the world and the whole range of menaces gathering like a dark cloud over mankind, but it also rejoices with hope as I once more do what has been done by my Predecessors, when they consecrated the world to the Heart of the Mother, when they consecrated especially to that Heart those peoples which particularly need to be consecrated. Doing this means consecrating the world to Him Who is infinite Holiness. This Holiness means redemption. It means a love more powerful than evil. No “sin of the world” can ever overcome this Love.
Once more this act is being done. Mary’s appeal is not for just once. Her appeal must be taken up by generation after generation, in accordance with the ever new “signs of the times”. It must be unceasingly returned to. It must ever be taken up anew.
The words of Pope Saint John Paul II make clear the perennial importance of the Message of Fatima: the giving of one’s whole heart, together with the Immaculate Heart of Mary, to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and thus the commitment to become an ever more effective agent of the sorely needed new evangelization of our culture. Attention to the maternal direction of Our Lady of Fatima draws souls to Christ Who will give them the sevenfold gift of the Holy Spirit for the conversion of their lives and the transformation of a culture of death into a civilization of love.
In conclusion, let us not give way to discouragement before the tumultuous situation in which the world and the Church finds itself in our times. Rather, let us heed once again the maternal direction of the Virgin of Fatima for a new evangelization of the Church and, thus, of the world.
Let us be invested with the Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and pray daily the Holy Rosary for the conversion of sinners and for peace in the world. Let us center all of our labors upon participation in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the Act of Thanksgiving after each Holy Mass and throughout the day, Eucharistic Adoration, and the daily praying of the Holy Rosary – by which Our Lord, through the intercession of Our Lady, transforms our lives and our world.
Let us make reparation for the many and grievous offenses against the immeasurable and unceasing love of God for us by practicing the devotion of the First Saturdays and by embracing suffering and sacrifice for love of all our brothers and sisters and especially of those in most need.
Let us consecrate ourselves to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and work for the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Certainly, Pope Saint John Paul II consecrated the world, including Russia, to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on March 25, 1984. But, today, once again, we hear the call of Our Lady of Fatima to consecrate Russia to her Immaculate Heart, in accord with her explicit instruction. The requested consecration is at once a recognition of the importance which Russia continues to have in God’s plan for peace and a sign of profound love for our brothers and sisters in Russia.
May the Mother of God and Mother of Divine Grace lead many souls to unite their hearts to her Immaculate Heart in the total consecration of their hearts to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. As the Mother of God teaches us, there is no surer way to grow daily in the spiritual life and thus to become “rivers of living water” for a world which thirsts so much for the truth and love which are only found in the Sacred Heart of Jesus. So may the truth and love of Christ animate our homes and make them a light of hope for all who struggle against the forces of materialism and relativism.
The Immaculate Heart of Mary will triumph over any darkness in our hearts. Through her triumph in our hearts and in the hearts of many, through the triumph of the Faith, the Immaculate Heart of Mary will also triumph over the great darkness of our time by leading souls to the truth and love of her Divine Son, by leading souls to give their hearts, with hers, completely into the Sacred Heart of Jesus. She will continue to speak to our hearts, as she spoke to the hearts of the wine stewards at Cana: “Do whatever He tells you.”
Raymond Leo Cardinal BURKE
 Cf. Jn 19, 26-27.
 “Monstra te esse matrem, sumat per te preces qui pro nobis natus tulit esse tuus.” The Raccolta or A Manual of Indulgences. Prayers and Devotions Enriched with Indulgences, tr. Joseph P. Christopher, Charles E. Spence and John F. Rowan (New York: Benziger Brothers, Inc., 1957), pp. 222-223, no. 321.
 Cf. Rom 2, 15.
 “Meu Deus! Ei creio, adoro, espero e amo-Vos. Peço-Vos perdão para os que não crêem, não adoram, não esperam e Vos não amam.” Carmelo de Coimbra, Un caminho sob o olhar de Maria. Biografia da Irmã Maria Lúcia de Jesus e do Coração Imaculado O.C.D. (Marco de Canaveses: Ediçoes Carmelo, 2013), p. 37. [Carmelo de Coimbra]. English translation: Carmel of Coimbra, A Pathway under the Gaze of Mary: Biography of Sister Maria Lucia of Jesus and the Immaculate O.C.D., ed. Barbara Ernster and Mary Kay Fier (Washington, NJ: World Apostolate of Fatima, USA, 2015), p. 46. [Carmelo de Coimbra Eng].
 “Orai assim. Os Corações de Jesus e Maria estão atentos à voz das vossas súplicas.” Carmelo de Coimbra, p. 37. English translation: Carmelo de Coimbra Eng, p. 46.
 “Oferecei constantemente, ao Altíssimo, orações e sacrifícios.” Carmelo de Coimbra, p. 37. English translatio: Carmelo de Coimbra Eng, p. 46.
 “De tudo que puderdes, oferecei a Deus sacrifício em acto de reparação pelos pecados com que Ele è ofendido e súplica pela conversão dos pecadores. Atraí assim, sobre a vossa Pátria, a paz.
Eu sou o Anjo da sua guarda, o Anjo de Portugal. Sobretudo, aceitai e suportai, com submissão, o sofrimento que o Senhor vos enviar.” Carmelo de Coimbra, pp. 37-38. English translation: Carmelo de Coimbra Eng, p. 47.
 “… o anjo que tem nas mãos um cálice com uma Hóstia suspensa sobre ele e da qual caem algumas gotas de Sangue.” Carmelo de Coimbra, p. 39. English translation: Carmelo de Coimbra Eng, p. 47.
 “Santíssima Trindade, Padre, Filho, Espírito santo, adoro-Vos profundamente e ofereço-Vos o preciosíssimo Corpo, Sangue, Alma e Divindade de Jesus Cristo, presente em todos os Sacrários da terra, em reparação dos ultrajes, sacrilégios e indiferenças com que El mesmo é ofendido. E pelos méritos infinitos do Seu Santíssimo Coração e do Coração Imaculado de Maria, peço-Vos a conversão dos pobres pecadores.” Carmelo de Coimbra, p. 39. English translation: Carmelo de Coimbra Eng, p. 50.
 “Tomai e bebei o Corpo e Sangue de Jesus Cristo, horrivelmente ultrajado pelos homens ingratos. Reparai os seus crimes e consolai o vosso Deus.” Carmel de Coimbra, p. 39. English translation: Carmelo de Coimbra Eng, p. 50.
 “Vistes o inferno, para onde vão as almas dos pobres pecadores; para as salvar, Deus quer estabelecer no mundo a devoção a Meu Imaculado Coração. Se fizerem o que Eu vos disser, salvar-se-ão muitas almas e terão paz, A guerra vai acabar. Mas, se não deixarem de offender a Deus, no reinado de Pio XI começará outra pior. Quando virdes uma noite alumiada por uma luz desconhecida, sabei que é o grande sinal que Deus vos dá de que vai a punir o mundo de seus crimes, por meio da guerra, da forme de de perseguições à igreja e ao Santo Padre.” Carmelo de Coimbra, p. 63. English translation: Carmelo de Coimbra Eng, p. 68.
 “Para a impeder, virei a consgração da Rússia a Meu Imaculado Coração e a Comunhão reparadora nos primeiros sábados. Se artenderem a Meus pedidos, a Rússia se converterá e tarão paz, se não, espalhará seus eroos pelo mundo, promovendo guerras e perseguições à Igreja. Os bons serão martirizados, o Santo Padre terá muito que sofrer, várias nações serão aniquiladas.
Por fim, o Meu Imaculado Coração triunfará. O Santo Padre consagrar-Me-á a Rússia que se converterá e será concedido ao mundo algum tempo de paz. Em Portugal se conservará sempre o dogma da Fé, etc.” Carmelo de Coimbra, pp. 63-64. English translation: Carmelo de Coimbra Eng, pp. 68-69.
 “… um Anjo com uma espada de fogo.” Carmelo de Coimbra, p. 64. English translation: Carmelo de Coimbra Eng, p. 69.
 “O Anjo apontando com a mão direita a terra, com voz forte disse: Penitência, Penitência, Penitência!” Carmelo de Coimbra, p. 64. English translation: Carmelo de Coimbra Eng, p. 69.
 “… uma grande Cruz de troncos toscos como se fora de sobreiro com a casca… estavam dois Anjos cada um com um regador de cristale em a mão, neles recolhiam o sangue dos Mártires e com ele regavam as almas que se aproximavam de Deus.” Carmelo de Coimbra, p. 64. English translation: Carmelo de Coimbra Eng, p. 69.
 “Quando rezais o terço, dizei, depois de cada mistério: Ó meu Jesus, perdoai-nos, livrai-nos do fogo do inferno; levai as alminhas todas para o Céu, principalmente acquelas que mais precisarem.” Carmelo de Coimbra, p. 65. English translation: Carmelo de Coimbra Eng, pp. 69-70.
 “… seis meses seguidos, no dia 13 a esta mesma hora.” Carmelo de Coimbra, p. 50. English translation: Carmelo de Coimbra Eng, p. 58.
 “… em acto de reparação pelos pecados com que Ele é ofendido e de súplica pela conversão dos pecadores.” Carmelo de Coimbra, p. 51. English translation: Carmelo de Coimbra Eng, p. 58.
 “… teu refúgio … o caminho.” Carmelo de Coimbra, p. 57. English translation: Carmelo de Coimbra Eng, p. 63.
 “… farei o milagre, para que todos acreditem.” Carmelo de Coimbra, p. 78. English translation: Carmelo de Coimbra Eng, p. 81.
 “Em Outubro virá também Nosso Snehor, Nossa Senhora das Dores e do Carmo, S. José com o Menino Jesus para abençoarem o Mundo.” Carmelo de Coimbra, p. 84. English translation: Carmelo de Coimbra Eng, p. 86.
 “Son contenu … ne concerne que notre foi. Identifier le Secret avec des annonces catastrophiques ou avec un holocauste nucléaire, c’est déformer le sens du message.
La perte de la foi d’un continent est pire que l’anéantissement d’une nation: il est vrai que la foi diminue continuellement en Europe.” Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité des Petits Frères du Sacré-Cœur, Toute la verité sur Fatima, Le troisième secret (1942-1960) (Saint-Parres-lès Vaudes, France: Renaissance Catholique Contre-Réforme Catholique, 1985, p. 453. [Toute la verité]. English translation: Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité, The Whole Truth about Fatima, Volume Three: The Third Secret (1942-1960), tr. John Collorafi (Buffalo, NY: Immaculate Heart Publications, 1990), p. 676. [Toute la verité Eng].
 “Bref, le triomphe du Cœur Immaculé de Marie se réfère sans doute bien plus encore au troisième Secret qu’au second. Car la paix recouvrée sera un don du Ciel, mais non à proprement parler le triomphe du Cœur Immaculé de Marie. Sa victoire est d’un autre ordre, surnaturel, et temporel par surcroît. Ce sera d’abord la victoire de la foi, que mettra fin aux temps de l’apostasie et de la grande défaillance des pasteurs de l’Église.” Toute la verité, p. 552. English translation: Toute la verité Eng, pp. 816-817.
 “… apostasia importat retrocessionem quandam a Deo. Quae quidem diversimode fit secundum diversos modos quibus homo Deo coniungitur… Sed si a fide discedat, tunc omnino a Deo retrocedere videtur. Et ideo simpliciter et absolute est apostasia per quam aliquis dicedit a fide, quae vocatur apostasia perfidiae. Et per hunc modum apostasia simpliciter dicta ad infidelitatem pertinet.” Summa Theologica, II-II, q. 12. English translation: St. Thomas Aquinas. Summa Theologica, tr. Fathers of the English Dominican Province (Westminster, MD: Christian Classics, 1948), Vol. 3, p. 1222. [ST Eng].
 “… ad fidem pertinet non solum credulitas cordis, sed etiam protestatio interioris fidei per exteriora verba et facta: nam confessio est actus fidei. Et per hunc etiam modum quaedam exteriora verba vel opera ad infidelitatem pertinent, inquantum sunt infidelitatis signa, per modum quo signum sanitatis sanum dicitur… Sicut ergo, sublata vita corporali, omnia membra et partes hominis a debita dispositione recedunt; ita, sublata vita iustitiae, quae est per fidem, apparet inordinatio in omnibus membris. Et primo quidem in ore, per quod maxime manifestatur cor; secundo, in oculis; tertio, in instrumentis motus; quarto, in voluntate, quae ad malum tendit. Et ex his sequitur quod iurgia seminet, alios intendens separare a fide, sicut et ipse recessit.” Summa Theologica, II-II, q. 12, ad 2. English translation: ST Eng, Vol. 3, p. 1223.
 “… totalis defectio a fede christiana voluntarie olim recepta.” Dominicus M. Prümmer, Manuale Theologiae Moralis secundum principia S. Thomas Aquinatis, Tomus I (Freiburg im Breisgau: Herder & Co., 1923), p. 349.
 “… post baptismum in Ecclesia catholica susceptum penitus a fide deficiat.” Prümmer, p. 349.
 Cf. Prümmer, p. 349.
 “Dein, ut praetereamus cetera, terrebat Nos, quam quod maxime, ea quae modo est humani generis conditio afflictissima. Quem enim lateat, consociationem hominum gravissimo nunc, supra praeteritas aetates, atque intimo urgeri morbo; qui in dies ingravescens eamque penitus exedens, ad exitium rapit? Morbus qui sit, intelligitis, Venerabiles Fratres: defectio abscessioque a Deo; quo nihil profecto cum pernicie coniunctius, secundum Prophetae dictum: «Quia ecce, qui elongant se a te, peribunt» (Ps 72, 27).” Pius PP. X, Litterae Encyclicae E supremi apostolatus, 4 Octobris 1903, Enchiridion delle Encicliche, Vol. 4 (Bologna : Edizioni Dehoniane Bologna, 1998), p. 20, n. 2. English translation:
 “Qua in re ut moram ne interponamus illud in primis exigit, quod fautores errorum iam non inter apertos hostes quaerendi sunt modo; verum, quod dolendum maxime verendumque est, in ipso latent sinu gremioque Ecclesiae, eo sane nocentiores, quo minus perspicui. – Loquimur, Venerabiles Fratres, de multis e catholicorum laicorum numero, quin, quod longe miserabilius, ex ipso sacerdotum coetu, qui, fucoso quodam Ecclesiae amore, nullo solido philosophiae ac theologiae praesidio, immo adeo venenatis imbuti penitus doctrinis quae ab Ecclesiae osoribus traduntur, Ecclesiae eiusdem renovatores, omni posthabita modestia animi, se iactitant; factoque audacius agmine, quidquid sanctius est in Christi opere impetunt, ipsa haud incolumi divini Reparatoris persona, quam, ausu sacrilego, ad purum putumque hominem extenuant.” Pius PP. X, Litterae Encyclicae Pascendi Dominici gregis, 8 Septembris 1907, Enchiridion delle Encicliche, Vol. 4 (Bologna : Edizioni Dehoniane Bologna, 1998), pp. 206 and 208, n. 191. English translation: http://w2.vatican.va/content/pius-x/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-x_enc_19070908_pascendi-dominici-gregis.html, p. 1, no. 2.
 “… le fidèle fait connaitre par une déclaration catégorique ou par des actes qui équivalent à une déclaration, qu’il renonce à la foi catholique.” Dictionnaire de Théologie Catholique, Tome premier (Paris: Letouzey et Ané, 1903), col. 1603. [Hereafter, DTC].
 “… quand un chrétien, sans signifier formellement qu’il renonce à sa croyance, prétendant même garder son titre de chrétien, se conduit de telle sorte qu’on peut conclure sûrement qu’il est devenu éstranger à la foi.” DTC, col. 1603.
 “Il y a dans ces manifestations extérieures, quand elles sont réfléchies et surtout répétées, la preuve que la foi a disparu des cœurs qui s’en rendent coupables.” DTC, col. 1603.
 “L’apostasie est un péché contre la foi, puisqu’elle rejette la doctrine révélée ; contra la religion, puisqu’elle refuse à Dieu le culte vrai ; contre la justice, puisqu’elle foule aux pieds les promesses du chrétien.” DTC, col. 1604.
 “Ce « suicide religieux » est, après la haine de Dieu, le plus grave des péchés, parce que plus complètement et plus définitivement que les fautes simplement opposées aux vertus morales, il sépare de Dieu le puissances de l’âme humaine, intelligence et volonté.” DTC, col. 1604.
 Cf. Jn 4, 23-24.
 “E como é que se apresenta hoje diante da Santa Mãe que gerou o Filho de Deus, no seu Santuário de Fátima, João Paulo II, sucessor de Pedro e continuador de obra de Pio, de João e de Paulo e particular herdeiro do Concilio Vaticano II?
Apresenta-se com ansiedade, a fazer a releitura daquele chamamento materno à penitência e à conversão, daquele apelo ardente do Coração de Maria, que se fez ouvir aqui en Fátima, há sessenta e cinco anos. Sim, relê-o, com o coração amargurado, porque vê quantos homens, quantas sociedades e quantos cristãos foram indo em direcção oposta àquela que foi indicada pela mensagem de Fátima. O pecado adquiriu assim um forte direito de cidadania e a negação de Deus difundiu-se nas ideologias, nas concepções e nos programas humanos!
E precisamente por isso, o convite evangélico à penitência e à conversão, espresso com as palavras da Mãe, continua ainda actual. Mais actual mesmo do que há sessenta e cinco anos atrás. E até mais urgente….
O sucessor de Pedro apresenta-se aqui também como tesemunha dos imensos sofrimentos do homem, como testemunha das ameaças quase apocalípticas, que pesam sobre as nações e sobre a humanidade. E procura abraçar esses sofrimentos com o seu fraco coração humano, ao mesmo tempo que se põe bem diante do misério do Coração: do Coração da Mãe, do Coração Imaculado de Maria.
Em virtude desses sofrimentos, com a consciência do mal que alastra pelo mundo e ameaça o homem, as nações e a humanidade, o sucessor de Pedro apresenta-se aqui com uma fé maior na redenção do mundo: fé naquele Amor salvíficio que è sempre maior, sempre mais forte do que todos os males.
Assim, se por um lado o coração se confrange, pelo sentido do pecado do mundo, bem como pela série de ameaças que aumentam no mundo, por outro lado, o mesmo coração humano sente-se dilatar com a esperança, ao pôr em prática uma vez mais aquilo que os meus Predecessores já fizeram: consagrar o mundo ao Coração de Mãe, consagrar-Lhe especialmente aqueles povos que, do modo particular, tenhm necessidade disso. Este acto equivale a consagrar o mundo Àquele que è Santidade infinita. Esta Santidade significa redenção, significa amor mais forte do que o mal. Jamas algum «pecado do mundo» poderá superar este Amor.” Ioannes Paulus PP. II, “Ad Lusitaniae episcopos in aedibus Sanctuariii Fatimensis coram admissos,” die 13 Maii 1982, Acta Apostolicae Sedis 74 (1982), p. 908, n. 11. English translation: L’Osservatore Romano, Weekly Edition in English, 17 May 1982.
 Jn 7, 38.
 Jn 2, 5.