April 18, 2013
Last week Pope Francis asked the head of the bishops’ conference of Portugal to dedicate his pontificate to Our Lady of Fatima on May 13, 2013. Only a few peeps about this were heard on the internet. I kept watching to see if many caught the significance of this but it doesn’t seem so. Other items from and about the Holy Father have been given more notice.
We live in the most debauched age ever. Purity is openly ridiculed, marriage is being shaken at its foundations, and people seem to be trying to outdo each other in depravity. The ugly consequences of this are, among other things, the horrendous acts of the Kermit Gosnells of this world and the incessant screeching for gay “marriage.”
Our Lady is the purest creature of God, chosen to bear His Son. She is the most pleasing of all to the Holy Trinity, the most favored, most loving Mother to our Savior. It has become de rigueur in some parts to blaspheme her in portraits of elephant dung and impure images. She with the purest heart is dragged daily in the gutter.
Fatima is centrally about building devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary with all the implications for living a pure life, strengthening the family, converting sinners, and making peace in the world. An element of this message is Our Lady’s emphasis on hell, which many people don’t believe in any more, nor the devil.
Blessed Lucia wrote about the first secret, the vision of hell:
She opened Her hands once more, as She had done the two previous months. The rays appeared to penetrate the earth, and we saw, as it were, a vast sea of fire. Plunged in this fire, we saw the demons and the souls. The latter were like transparent burning embers, all blackened or burnished bronze, having human forms. They were floating about in that conflagration, now raised into the air by the flames which issued from within themselves, together with great clouds of smoke. Now they fell 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 fright (it must have been this sight which caused me to cry out, as people say they heard me).
The demons were distinguished by their terrifying and repellent likeness to frightful and unknown animals, black and transparent like burning coals. That vision only lasted for a moment, thanks to our good Heavenly Mother, who at the first apparition had promised to take us to Heaven. Without that, I think that we would have died of terror and fear.
We then 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. To save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart.”
In a later appearance to Jacinta, Our Lady said, “The sins which lead the most souls to hell are sins of the flesh.”
The Consecration of Russia
In 1929 Our Lady came to Blessed Lucia, then a nun in the Dorothean convent at Tuy, and asked that the Pope in union with the bishops of the world fulfill her request to consecrate Russia to her Immaculate Heart. The promise? If the consecration was done Russia would be converted, many souls would be saved and the world would experience a period of peace. If the consecration was not done, Russia would spread her errors throughout the world, war would bring about the annihilation of entire nations, and the Church and many good people would suffer great persecution.
Pope Pius XI was the first Pope with the opportunity to make this consecration. He did not do it, nor has any Pope since. I am not criticizing (judging) the Popes because I don’t have the right to do so. I’m simply stating facts. For whatever reason, no Pope has fulfilled her request.
The most recent three Popes have placed a significant emphasis on Fatima. In 1984 Pope John Paul II consecrated the entire world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, but it was not done in union with all the bishops of the world and did not specifically mention Russia. He attributed his survival of the assassination attempt in St. Peter’s Square to Our Lady of Fatima.
Pope Benedict declared the Fatima messages to be relevant for our times saying:
Yes, I have read [the Third Secret]. [It refers to] a radical call to conversion; the absolute seriousness of history; the dangers which threaten the faith and the life of the Christian and therefore (the life) of the world (Jesus, November 11, 1984).
Both Popes visited Fatima. Now Pope Francis is dedicating his entire pontificate to Our Lady of Fatima. I believe this is why he is speaking out straightly and strongly about the devil so early in his reign. It is also an earmark of Ignatian spiritual warfare as well. The call to conversion and rejection of modern errors have been themes of all three Popes, as has been and continues to be the emphasis on the family and life.
Is this dedication of his pontificate by Pope Francis a sign that the consecration of Russia will be made as Our Lady requested? At the very least it is a sign that the Fatima message will be a driving force in his leadership.
The 100th anniversary of the Fatima apparitions is coming up in 2017. Will the bishops of the world be strong enough by then to join the Pope in a public consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary?
If we want to get the job done, we laity have to do what Our Lady said, which is nothing other than what Jesus said throughout the Gospels and preached silently from the throne of the Cross. Pray, do penance, convert. Our Lady told the children at Fatima to pray the Rosary every day, one of the many methods of prayer available to us. Blessed Lucia said:
The Most Holy Virgin in these last times in which we live has given a new efficacy to the recitation of the Holy Rosary. She has given this efficacy to such an extent that there is no problem, no matter how difficult it is, whether temporal or above all, spiritual, in the personal life of each one of us, of our families, of the families of the world, or of the religious communities, or even of the life of peoples and nations that cannot be solved by the Rosary. There is no problem I tell you, no matter how difficult it is, that we cannot resolve by the prayer of the Holy Rosary.
It is by the daily Rosary we will obtain the graces our Holy Father and the bishops of the world will need to make the consecration of Russia publicly and freely. The results of this act will be an astonishing outpouring of grace upon the world that we cannot even imagine. And we will experience a genuine period of peace, something which none of us has ever known in our lifetimes up to now.
God bless Pope Francis and may he be with us for many years.
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R. Now and forever!
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