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Friday, June 9, 2017

Of Fatima and Souls

Written by  Michael McBride
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The Human Soul

Each human person was in the Mind of God from all eternity, body and soul.  Each would come into actual existence at the moment of conception, when this unique soul would be infused into its unique body.  Incredibly, beyond our comprehension, each of us was specifically willed by God from all eternity.  And, since the motive for everything which God does is love, He loves that which He creates.  God loves each person that exists.  He desires that this person share His life for all eternity in Heaven.

Pause & ponder, for a moment:  God desires that you personably (and every other human being) share His life forever in unimaginable happiness.

This will be possible because, once in existence, the human soul and body will live forever.  It is true that, at death, the soul and body will be separated.  But, as our Catholic faith teaches us, they will be re-united at the resurrection of the body on the last day.  (The only exceptions to this, of course, are the Bodies of Jesus and His Mother, both of Whom possess Their Bodies now in Heaven.)  At the resurrection, one soul will animate a glorified body, while another may well inhabit a hideous specimen for all eternity.  Each person will have freely determined, during their life on earth, just which of the two bodies will be theirs.

The Great Secret of Fatima

Sacrifice yourselves for sinners….

“As Our Lady said these words,” Lucia later described the scenes, “She opened Her hands again as She had done the two previous months.  The light reflecting from them seemed to penetrate into the earth, and we saw as if into a sea of fire, and immersed in that fire were devils and souls with human form, as if they were transparent black or bronze embers floating in the fire and swayed by the flames that issued from them along with clouds of smoke, falling upon every side just like the falling of sparks in great fires, without weight or equilibrium, amidst wailing and cries of pain and despair that horrified and shook us with terror.  We could tell the devils by their horrible and nauseous figures of baleful and unknown animals, but transparent as the black coals in a fire.”

“Frightened, deathly pale, the [three little seers] raised their eyes to Our Lady for help as Lucia cried out.  ‘Oh…Our Lady!’

“Our Lady explained: ‘You have seen Hell – where the souls of poor sinners go.  To save them God wants to establish throughout the world the devotion to My Immaculate Heart. If people will do what I tell you, many souls will be saved, and there will be peace.’[1]

God sent His Mother to Fatima in 1917 to save souls, to prevent these greatly-loved beings from spending eternity in Hell.  She came to plead with us to stop offending God “… for He is already too much offended.”  And she came to warn us that the direction that many were taking in their lives would inevitably lead to more wars, persecutions, destruction, suffering, death, and the eternal loss of many souls, unless we changed course.  The choice was ours to make and we were urged to pray and make sacrifices for sinners.

Foreseeing what would happen if humanity continued on the same path, Our Lady gave the children signs to look for and messages to deliver to those in authority in the Church.  This task would not affect the two younger seers so much, for as to Lucia’s question to Our Lady at the 2nd apparition, “I would like to ask You also to take us to Heaven!” the Holy Mother answered, “Yes… I will take Jacinta and Francisco soon.  You, however, are to stay here a longer time.  Jesus wants to use you to make Me known and loved.  He wants to establish the Devotion to My Immaculate Heart in the world.  I promise salvation to those who embrace it and their souls will be loved by God as flowers placed by Myself to adorn His throne.”[2]  Within three years, Francisco and Jacinta had been taken by Our Lady to Heaven and Lucia would have to carry on without their visible presence.  To console her, the Blessed Mother promised that “I will never leave you.  My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God.”[3]  

This Devotion of which Our Lady spoke was to be effected primarily in two ways: the promulgation of the First Five Saturdays and the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  The first of these was outlined by the Blessed Mother when she visited Sister Lucia in her convent at Pontevedra on December 10, 1925.  “You [Sister Lucia], at least, try to console Me, and announce in My name that I promise to assist at the hour of death, with all graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturdays of five consecutive months, confess, receive Holy Communion, recite the Rosary and keep Me company for fifteen minutes meditating on the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary with the intention of making reparation to Me.”[4]  Reparation for what?  As Our Lord explained to Sister Lucia on the night of May 29-30, 1930: “My daughter, the reason (for the Five First Saturdays) is simple.  There are five types of offenses and blasphemies committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary:

  1. Blasphemies against the Immaculate Conception.
  2. Blasphemies against Her perpetual virginity.
  3. Blasphemies against Her Divine Maternity, in refusing at the same time to
     recognize Her as the Mother of men.

  1. The blasphemies of those who publicly seek to sow in the hearts of
     children indifference or scorn, or even hatred of the Immaculate Mother.

  1. The offenses of those who outrage Her directly in Her holy images.

“Here, My daughter, is the reason why the Immaculate Heart of Mary inspired Me to ask for this little act of reparation…and in consideration of it, to move My mercy to pardon souls who have had the misfortune of offending Her.  As for you, always seek by your prayers and sacrifices to move My mercy to pity for these poor souls.”[5]

The Promised Blessing:  assistance “at the hour of death, with all graces necessary for salvation….”

As for the Consecration of Russia, Our Lady appeared to Sister Lucia on June 13, 1929 in her convent at Tuy, Spain indicating just how the fulfillment of Her order for the Consecration was to be carried out.  The Pope was to order ALL the bishops of the Catholic Church to join him in consecrating specifically Russia to Her Immaculate Heart.  This act was to be carried out by both the Pope and the bishops on the same day, at the same time.  Should a bishop be in Rome at the time, he was to join the Pope there; if not, he was to carry out the Consecration in a well-publicized ceremony in his own diocese.  The only ones exempted from this would be those bishops who were ill or otherwise prevented from doing so by adverse or hostile forces. 

The Promised Blessing:  the conversion of Russia to the Roman Catholic Church and a period of peace to be granted to the world.

So many graces and blessings bestowed upon us and the world for so little effort on our part!  Who, in their right mind, would turn down such offers?  And, yet, many of us in the Church and among the hierarchy did just that.  We – both laity and hierarchy – failed to carry out Our Lady’s (and Her Son’s) expressed desires and commands. 

To make it clear just how displeased He was that the Consecration did not take place after the passage of only two years, Our Lord appeared to Sister Lucia at Rianjo, Spain in August 1931 and said to her:

“Make it known to My ministers, given that they follow the example of the King of France in delaying the execution of My command [to consecrate Russia], they will follow him into misfortune.  It will never be too late to have recourse to Jesus and Mary.”[6]

When the Consecration was further delayed, Sister Lucia wrote to her confessor, Fr. José Goncalves, S.J., on May 18, 1936 and informed him that she had asked Our Lord why He would not convert Russia without the Consecration.  Our Lord responded:

“Because I want My whole Church to acknowledge that consecration as a triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, so that it may extend its cult later on, and place devotion to this Immaculate Heart beside the devotion to My Sacred Heart.”

He went on to say:

“The Holy Father.  Pray very much for the Holy Father.  He will do it, but it will be late.  Nevertheless, the Immaculate Heart of Mary will save Russia.  It has been entrusted to her.”[7]

In 1927, Sister Lucia had received permission from Heaven to disclose the first two parts of the Secret revealed to the children on July 13, 1917: the vision of Hell and the “urgent need for devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary”.  She relayed this information to her confessors, her Mother Provincial, and the Bishop of Leiria.  By 1931, Pope Pius XI knew of Our Lady’s requests and by June 9, 1944 Sister Lucia had written down the first two parts of the Secret in her notebooks, ending with the words “In Portugal the doctrine of the faith will always be kept”, etc.  The words of Our Lady explaining the meaning of the third part of the Secret followed the “etc.” and were written on a separate sheet of paper enclosed in an envelope with Sister Lucia’s writing on the outside.  These documents were both sent to the Bishop of Leiria for safe keeping.  He was to reveal the third part of the Secret to the world should Sister Lucia die before the year 1960, the year Our Lady wanted it disclosed to the Church and the world.  They remained with him until 1957, when he was ordered to send them to the Vatican.  He never read the so-called third secret, we are told, as he didn’t want the responsibility of being privy to that knowledge.  Sent to Rome, the notebooks were stored in the Vatican Archives, the one page letter in the sealed envelope was kept in the papal apartment.

In a 1955 visit from Alfredo Cardinal Ottaviani, the Prefect of the Holy Office (since re-named the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith), to his questions, Sister Lucia answered that the year 1960 was chosen by Our Lady and the reason why that particular year was designated was that “it [the secret’s meaning] would be clearer then”.

To date, the Consecration, as called for by Our Lady, has not been carried out.  Hence, the promised blessings have not taken place.

What if …?

What if the Consecration had taken place shortly after Our Lady stipulated, on June 13, 1929, how it was to be carried out?  Russia would certainly have been converted to the Catholic Church and an era of peace would have been granted the world.  How long an era of peace?  At least long enough to be significant and noticeable.  That would, perhaps, have meant no Spanish Civil War, no Second World War, and (speaking for Americans alone) no Korean War, no Vietnam, no Bosnia, no Gulf War, no Afghanistan, no Iraq, no war in Syria, not to mention the many other regional wars which have since taken place in other parts of the world nor the countless terrorist attacks inflicted by various hate-filled groups.  How many souls were lost (and continue to be lost) as a result of these conflicts and the long delay?  Thousands?  Millions?  Uncountable millions?  And remember – each one of these souls was purposely created by God to exist and to experience the divine life with Him for all eternity.  Now?  Now, they are lost for all eternity.  No second chances, no “do-overs”, no reprieves, damned as the souls the children saw in the vision of Hell shown them on July 13, 1917.  What pain and suffering this must continue to cause Our Lord and His Holy Mother!  And the suffering endured by Sister Lucia as a result of the delay!  That these greatly-loved souls have been lost forever!  Need we wonder how it was that Jesus sweated blood in the Garden as He looked down the centuries and saw all those loved ones who would not benefit from the sacrifice He was soon to undergo on the Cross?

Why was the Consecration not carried out as Our Lady stipulated?  Who was to benefit by delaying it when there was so much to gain?  Were there those within the Church herself, perhaps even powerful prelates, who were deliberately thwarting Our Lady’s and Her Son’s commands?  For what purpose?  What could possibly be the reason?  What was worth the eternal loss of so many souls?  Or of even one soul? 

The Third Part of the Great Secret

In a previous article in the Remnant (double issue of 5/15 & 31/17), I asked two questions related to the disclosure of the so-called Third Secret at the Vatican press conference held on June 26, 2000.  They were:

Why could she (Sister Lucia) – who was the only one alive who actually knew what the vision portrayed – not have read the Third Secret aloud at the conference and explained its meaning?

Why was it necessary for the Vatican to interpret what the vision meant?

The answers to these questions are quite simple and obvious.  Sister Lucia wasn’t the only one who knew what the vision portrayed and its meaning.  At least four Popes knew – Pope John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I, and John Paul II – because they had read both the notebooks of Sister Lucia kept in the Vatican Archives and her one page letter containing the words of Our Lady kept in the papal apartment.  In addition to these, various other high ranking Vatican prelates, their associates, and selected others knew what Our Lady had revealed to the children concerning the vision’s meaning.  And, it’s precisely because others knew the meaning that Sister Lucia was silenced (under her vow of Obedience) in 1960 from speaking about the Third Secret.  These others couldn’t allow her to speak because she would have revealed Our Lady’s interpretation, something which they didn’t want either the Church or the world to know.  And so, they had to explain the vision in such a way as to keep the true interpretation hidden.  Why did the truth have to remain hidden?  What was the truth?

When the Great Secret was given to Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta on July 13, 1917, it was given in the context of pleas and warnings.  Our Lady could see what was coming if mankind didn’t reform itself and convert to the Lord.  One of those warnings was the third part of this Great Secret.  Knowing that mankind would not change its ways in time, She alerted us to something that was coming and would become “more clear” by the year 1960.  This third part of the Secret, then, was for us – both those in the Church and the world in general.  Though some of it concerned the Pope, it was not exclusively for the Pope.  It was for all of us Catholics.  It was a warning so that we would have some time to take steps to confront and combat a coming threat.  Our Lady wanted us to be prepared; both the Church and the world awaited the revelation.  But, having read the words of Our Lady, Pope John XXIII decided to suppress them and not make them known.  He made a decision it was not his to make.  Shortly thereafter, on February 8, 1960, an anonymous Vatican press release informed us that the Third Secret would probably never be opened (meaning released to the Church and the world).[8]

Why was the Third Secret – the vision and Our Lady’s words explaining the meaning of the vision – being hidden from us?  How, then, could we defend ourselves from the coming threat?  What was being hidden from our knowledge?  Did the Third Secret speak of the upcoming Vatican Council, to “dangers threatening the faith and the life of the Christian and therefore [the life] of the world” (Cardinal Ratzinger), to “apostasy [loss of faith] within the Church” (Cardinal Oddi), to something “scary” (Mother Angelica), to the idea “…that many Cardinals, bishops, and priests are on the road to hell and taking many more souls with them” (Fr. Nicolas Gruner, quoting Fr. Malachi Martin), to the thought “that the great apostasy [within] the Church will begin at the top” (Cardinal Mario Ciappi), to a great catastrophe (Pope John Paul II at Fulda Cathedral in 1982), to the notion “that Russia would wage a sudden war, would overrun all of Europe” (Sister Elena Aiello), to the thought that “it is therefore completely probable that the text makes concrete reference to the crisis of faith within the Church and to the negligence of the pastors themselves [and the] internal struggles in the very bosom of the Church and of grave pastoral negligence of the upper hierarchy” (Fr. Alonso – official Fatima archivist), to the revelation that “we must be prepared to undergo great trials in the not too distant future” (Ian Colquhoun in The Fatima Crusader, issue #94, p. 47), to the truth that “the greatest persecution of the Church does not come from external enemies, but is born of sin in the Church, from the sin that exists in the Church…” (Pope Benedict XVI), to the thought that “Our Lady’s Secret warns explicitly against the disastrous effects … of alterations to the rite of Holy Mass.” (Fatima Center staff in The Fatima Crusader, issue #110, p. 28.)

If the thus far hidden words of Our Lady relate to any or all of the above it is understandable why the Vatican would suppress Her words.  But at what cost?  Sure, the above is troubling, painful, certainly embarrassing and shameful, frightening, despicable, deceitful, and any number of other descriptive words.  But suppressed at what cost?  The cost of souls!  How many souls?  Only God knows.  Is the continued secrecy worth the loss of even one more soul?  Are not you (in the Church) who have deceived us for so long not concerned about your own souls?  Or have you ceased to believe entirely?

And as if to make matters even worse, when the Vatican finally revealed part of the Third Secret on June 26, 2000, their eventual interpretation was insulting, especially to those more familiar with the Fatima events and their aftermath.  To identify the death of the Pope in the vision to the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II in 1981 was ludicrous.  How could an event in 1981 be more clear (mais claro, in Sister Lucia’s words) in 1960?

“Therefore, take unto you the armour of God…”

There is a chastisement coming, in addition to the punishments which God has already permitted to fall on the world since 1931.  It had been prophesied by both Our Lord in 1931 to Sister Lucia when voicing His displeasure over the long delay in Consecrating Russia, and on October 13, 1973 when Our Lady told Sister Agnes Sasagawa in Akita, Japan: “As I told you, if men do not repent and better themselves, the Father will inflict a terrible punishment on all humanity.”[9] 

It is well for us to remember that we are at war with Satan, that

“… our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirit of wickedness in the high places.  Therefore, take unto you the armour of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and to stand in all things perfect.  Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth and having on the breastplate of justice and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace: in all things taking the shield of faith, wherewith you may be able to extinguish all the fiery darts of the most wicked one.”  (Ephesians 6:12-16)

In this battle, the stakes are high – human souls.  Help is there for the asking and Heaven will provide us with that help.  But, we must make use of it; we must do our part.

On May 19, 2017, LifeSite News reported that Raymond Cardinal Burke, in an appeal he made at the Roman Life Forum, called upon the Catholic faithful to “work for the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.”  In his talk, he went on to say that: 

“In fact, the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary did not take place as [S]he requested and the Communion of Reparation on the First Saturdays did not become the practice of the universal Church.

“Amongst the many terrible consequences of the failure of Catholics to adopt the practice of the First Saturdays, and of the popes to consecrate Russia as Our Lady requested, is the spiritual crisis that is shaking the Church to her foundations and the onslaught against the family, especially the mass killing of unborn children and the systematic corruption of children….

“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.”[10] (Emphasis added)

We (the faithful hierarchy and laity) must, therefore, do as Our Lord and Our Lady commanded of us.  It is necessary to:

  • amend our lives and stop offending God,
  • pray the Rosary daily.  As Sister Lucia said:
“The decadence of the world is without doubt the result of a lack of a spirit of prayer.  It was in anticipation of the disorientation that the Blessed Virgin Mary insisted so strongly on praying the [R]osary.  This is because the prayer of the [R]osary is, after the Holy Mass, the most apt at conserving and increasing the faith in souls, that the devil has unleashed this war against it.”[11]

  • pray especially for the conversion of sinners,  
  • make sacrifices of reparation for sinners (self included), for many go to Hell because they have no one to pray and make sacrifices for them,
  • consecrate Russia, specifically, to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, such consecration to be carried out by the Pope and all the Catholic bishops of the world, on the same day, at the same time,
  • take up the Devotion of the Five First Saturdays, even on a continuing basis,
  • wear the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel,
  • hold onto the perennial teachings and traditions of the Church,
  • release Our Lady’s words explaining the vision shown to the children, regardless of the confusion or shame that may result.  Immortal souls are at stake.
“… 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 given to the world.”[12]

May that day soon dawn, Holy Mother!

***

“Truly, it is the greatest of errors to neglect the business of eternal salvation.”

  • St. Eucherius
“It [the neglect of the soul] is an error that exceeds all others, for to lose the soul is a mistake without remedy.”

  • St. Alphonsus de Liguori

***
Dear Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
St. Jacinta, pray for us!
St. Francisco, pray for us!
Sister Lucia, pray for us!

[1] The True Story of Fatima, Fr. John de Marchi, I.M.C., 1947 & 2009, taken directly from Sister Lucia’s Memoires and checked by her in person, p.28.
[2] Ibid., p. 22-23.
[3] Ibid., p. 23.
[4] Ibid., p. 85.
[5] Ibid., p. 86-87.
[6] Ibid., p. 80 & footnote 3: “The Kings of France for 100 years did not obey the command given by Jesus in 1689 to consecrate France to the Sacred Heart and, as a result, the King of France and his ministers were killed by the French Revolutionaries and the Reign of Terror between 1789 and 1794.”  The Reign of Terror began 100 yrs. to the day theminitial command had been given by Our Lord to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque to relay to the King.
[7] “The Collegial Consecration of Russia and More: Why Our Lady’s Commands Still Stand”, by Marianna Bartold, in Catholic Family News, June 2016 issue.  Call 1-800-474-8522 and request reprint #2541.  Quote is on p.3 of reprint.
[8] The Devil’s Final Battle,  ed. Fr. Paul Kramer, Our Lady’s Victory Edition, The Missionary Association, Terryville, Connecticut, 2010, 2nd edition, p. 31.
[9] Fatima: the Signs and Secrets, Marianna Bartold, Keeping It Catholic, Lapeer, MI 48446, 2014, p. 151.
[10] www.onepeterfive, “Fulfilling Our Lady’s Request: The Importance of First Saturdays”, June 2, 2017; see also The Remnant Newspaper, double issue of May 15-31, 2017, p. 1-2; also www.fatimaperspectives.com, Christopher A. Ferrara, May 19 & 22, 2017.
[11] The Remnant Newspaper, online article “Day 3 Pilgrimage Meditation and Mass”, June 2, 2017, p. 2.
[12] Ibid., The True Story of Fatima, p. 28.

 

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