One hundred years ago, on May 13, the Blessed Mother appeared to three children, ages 10, 9 and 7, at Fatima. According to the World Apostolate of Fatima (WAFusa.org), "Our Lady came to Fatima to save the souls of her children from Hell in the eternal order, and to bring peace to their world in the temporal.” The core of her message can be expressed in three simple sentences:
Addressing the eternal order, she told us that Hell exists and that souls are being lost to it because there is no one to make reparation for their sins.
Speaking of the temporal, she said that war is a consequence of sin.
The salvation of souls and the attainment of world peace require the conversion of sinners.
To avert these disasters, Mary recommended prayer, penance, reparation, conversion and consecration.
In the third apparition at Fatima, in July 1917, Mary said that if her advice was not heeded, “Russia will spread its errors throughout the world, raising up wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred...” Three months later, the Russian (communist) Revolution began, and its errors began to spread. Life was attacked, when abortion was legalized in 1920. Family and marriage were attacked in 1918 when divorce required only a postcard notification. Religion was attacked, as the atheistic communists destroyed churches and murdered priests and nuns. Later, the National Socialists in Germany and the communists in China continued “Russia’s errors.”
In 1949, Bishop Sheen, in Communism and the Conscience of the West (Refuge of Sinners Publishing, p. 207) wrote: “The revelation of Fatima is a reminder that we live in a moral universe, that evil is self-defeating, that good is self-preserving; that the basic troubles of the world are not in politics or economics, but in our hearts and souls, and that spiritual regeneration is the condition of social amelioration... World War II came according to Our Lady of Fatima because there was no amendment in the hearts and souls of men. The danger of World War III is precisely in this point...”
Pope John Paul II consecrated Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in 1984 and shortly thereafter the Soviet Union began to dissolve and repudiate communism. Nonetheless, its “errors” from 1917 had already spread into Europe and the United States, where communism has taken the form of an atheistic and anti-Christian secularism that is attacking the right to life, the family and religious freedom --- none of which bodes well.
In 1985, historian Paul Johnson remarked: “While writing Modern Times (a superb 20th century history), I formed the unshakeable conviction that man without God is a doomed creature. The history of the 20th century proves the view that as the vision of God fades, we become more clever monkeys; then we exterminate one another.” In 1997, Pope John Paul II said that the greatness of Fatima is that it gives a specific formula “to save mankind from destruction.” More recently, Fr. Andrew Apostoli, C.F.R., author of Fatima for Today summarized the Fatima message this way: “Our Lady is telling us to turn around, as we’re heading to disaster... Doing what Mary has asked of us is the only thing that can reverse the decline of our civilization.”
With this in mind, this is what Mary has asked of us:
Sanctification of one’s day by, for example, beginning the day with a Morning Offering: “O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer Thee my prayers, works, joys, and suffering of this day for all the intentions of Your Sacred Heart, in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world, in reparation for my sins and the salvation of souls, and in particular for those recommended by our Holy Father this month.” And then, during the day, by making sacrifices for sinners, by the daily faithful fulfillment of our duties in life according to our vocation and specific situations, and by patiently bearing the trials and suffering that come our way each day.
Daily Rosary (praying five decades).
Consecration of oneself to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, which means to entrust oneself to her maternal care: “Woman, behold, your son! ... Behold, your mother!” (John 19:26-7) Pray through her to God. Love as she loves. Some wear a blessed Brown Scapular or Miraculous Medal as a sign of this consecration.
The Five First Saturdays Devotion, also called the Communion of Reparation for five consecutive months. This requires on each first Saturday: 1) Confession on Saturday, or 8 days before or after, 2) Receiving Holy Communion, 3) Praying five decades of the Rosary, and 4) Spending an additional fifteen minutes meditating on one or more mysteries of the Rosary with the intention of offering reparation. These are done in reparation for five blasphemies against Mary’s 1) Immaculate Conception, 2) perpetual virginity, 3) Divine and spiritual maternity (Mother of God, and our Mother too), 4) for the blasphemy of keeping children from Mary by sowing indifference or contempt toward her, and 5) for dishonoring Mary in works of art, or by defacing images of her.
Spread the message of Fatima to others.
Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis!
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