Mary Vanquishes Heresies
by Pauly Fongemie, Web Master, June, 2004
In the Traditional Roman Mass we find:
Rejoice, O Virgin Mary, for alone
thou hast put and end to all heresies . . .
Tract from the Common of the Blessed Virgin Mary
THE ROMAN MISSAL
Tract (After Septuagesima):Rejoice, O Virgin Mary, for thou alone have destroyed all heresies. Thou believed the word of the Archangel Gabriel. A virgin still, thou brought forth the God-man; thou bore a Child, O Virgin, and remained a Virgin still. Mother of God, intercede for us.
The Church has always accorded Our Lady this title as She Who Destroys All Heresies, from the very beginning since we know from the account of the fall of our first parents, that Satan would be punished anew for his having deceived them: that he would wait for Our Lady's heel to crush him and his seed: among those seeds are the lies of heresy as he is the Father of Lies. The first act of disobedience was in the fore-heaven by Lucifer and his rebel Angels. The first heretical act was in the Garden of Paradise: that man had the right to choose for himself what is good and what is evil, not Almighty God.
Our Lady has always been instrumental in crushing heresy as the lives of the sainted Pontiffs and the Saints attest. No Saint, Pope or otherwise ever succeeded in stamping out or crushing a heresy in his time without having a special devotion to the Mother of God.
But it is to these last times, the time of the Apostasy that her role as the destroyer of heresy is most acute. Our Lady of Fatima's Third Secret, which was supposed to be revealed by 1960 if Sister Lucy was still living [if deceased, sooner], by the Pope, was set aside at that time and the Mother of God shunned. The greatest prophet of our century dismissed! The subsequent publication of the so-called 'Secret of Fatima' by the current Vatican curia is hardly what we can safely and surely surmise from the context of the preceding line just before the actual Secret, dictated to Sister Lucy years after the last apparition in 1917: "In Portugal, the dogma of the Faith will always be preserved etc." The "etc." written down by Sister Lucy herself, clearly indicates that Our Lady said more.
Every Fatima scholar agrees that Our Lady went on to say that in other parts of the world, the dogma of the Faith will be attacked and not preserved as it should, it may even be lost altogether. We must not allow ourselves to be victims of this creeping apostasy all around us. We must save our souls and save our dogmatic truths."In Portugal the dogma of the faith will be preserved." In other words, we know that heresy is the key, otherwise Our Lady would not have said such an amazing thing to Sr. Lucy. The year of 1960 is also key for by then the world had some idea of the great Apostasy even then in evidence. Part of Our Lady's message to the three seers at Fatima included:
[The time was October 13, 1917. The place was Fatima, Portugal. This "miracle of the sun" was witnessed by more than 70,000 people. An event so outstanding that it was reported in many secular newspapers of the times-----including the influential O Dia and O Seculo, papers run by atheists and agnostics.]At that time and in four previous apparitions, Our Blessed Mother told the children if people did not follow the "Peace Plan from Heaven" [the Rosary and reparation] Russia would rise and spread her errors throughout the world and that "various nations would be annihilated." The errors of Russia are all heresy and can be summed up:  there is no God, and  Salvation is from the state which has the absolute right over life and death, including preborn children.
Our Lady said that unless the Holy Father consecrated Russia [not the world or any other specific nation as a substitute] to her Immaculate Heart that Russia's "errors" would take over the mentality of world, and it has. We are all socialists now, except for a very few; we think that the nation-state is the font of all solutions; we prefer the false security of the nanny-state and are willing to tax ourselves beyond the point of usury itself, to maintain it. Russia and its errors are a state of mind, not just a place. Most Americans think that the "Cold War" is over, conservative and liberal alike. In a way it is over, for Russia has won, we did not defeat its errors, they did not disappear with the fall of the wall in Berlin and the "opening up of Russia" and her satellite "republics". Instead the people have been deceived and accepted the dominion of materialistic-humanism, atheistic in practicality if not by law. If Russia was truly converted, would we not see instead of a continued rise of abortion, drunkenness, contraception and sins of every kind, persecution of the Catholic Church, the diminution of the same?
Our Lord said He would not convert Russia without the Holy Father making the consecration [of Russia], "Because I want My whole Church to acknowledge that consecration as a triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary." There is as yet no sign of that triumph, or that conversion, because Our Lady's requests have not been heeded, and therefore the world looks forward to the Great Chastisement by which God "is going to punish the world for its crimes, by means of war, famine, persecutions of the Church and of the Holy Father."
The consecrations reportedly done by the Vatican were not as Our Lady specifically requested, the bishops world-wide on the same day, did not join and it was the world, not Russia that was consecrated. Our Holy Father, John Paul II, even referred to "the peoples still awaiting consecration."
One of the hallmarks of chastisement for sin is always heresy, for God permits us to languish in our spiritual blindness as punishment for our preference for our will to His.
The Great Chastisement that is revealed in the Third Secret of Fatima is concisely set forth in the one page letter of Sister Lucy to Bishop da Silva which contains the 'Third Secret'. The secret that Cardinal Ratzinger spoke of in a Jesus magazine interview is in that letter. When he said, "Yes, I have read it", Ratzinger was referring to that letter, "in which Sister Lucy wrote down the words which Our Lady confided as a secret to the three little shepherds in the Cova da Iria."
It is those words of Our Lady that Cardinal Ratzinger was referring to when he said in the Jesus interview that the Third Secret refers to "the dangers threatening the faith and the life of the Christian, and therefore the world", and he went on to say, "the things contained in this 'Third Secret' correspond to what has been announced in Scripture, and has been said again and again in many other Marian apparitions . . ." It is by examining what "has been said again and again in many other Marian apparitions" that we will discover "the dangers threatening the faith and the life of the Christian, and therefore the world" which have been "announced in Scripture" and foretold in prophecy.Out of His great love for us poor sinners, once more God sends us the merciful rays rather than the fire from the Sun of Justice, in the form of His beautiful, most wondrous Mother, as Our Lady of Fatima, to plead with us, to warn us as a mother does her disobedient, errant children.
Russia was not consecrated, time and time again because the Vatican prefers to uphold the Vatican-Moscow Agreement to offend Heaven, rather than Moscow. Moscow, that is, the communist mentality still runs ram shod as a tyrant over the whole earth: Gorbach ëv is still a communist and an atheist; he lives in California much of the time, as head of a new-age, one-world religionist institute that serves mammon and the beast with its heresy and blasphemy against the one True God, working toward a convergence of all religions, into a world super-force. Putin is still a KGB operative, but without the official title. Most of the leaders of the "former Stalinist state" were KGB and they remain in office still, with no repudiation of their beliefs or methods. When the "wall fell suddenly" [it was predicted years before by a former insider who defected, that this would happen and seem as if it were sudden, in order to fool the world] did any media report on the opening of the gulags where hundreds of thousands of Russians were imprisoned for crimes against the state? No. The "wall came tumbling down" and that was it. [The reader is referred to the books, THE PERESTROIKA DECEPTION and NEW LIES FOR OLD by Anatoliy Golitsyn. The latter book is the one with the prediction, which was based on a thorough knowledge of communist strategy and goals.]
Well, where are those prisoners, where did they go, why have we not heard their compelling stories? Silence, a deadening silence . . . Meanwhile the Church is persecuted in Russia as it is in Communist China: in the former, the heretical, schismatic Russian orthodox Church has taken over Catholic property in some cases, and has gotten the government to criminalize Catholic evangelization there; in the latter, the Chinese Patriotic Church, a heretical "Church" set up by Satan himself, is the only "Church" permitted legal status in that country of forced abortions and other forms of infanticide. The Catholic Church itself is outlawed and many priests and bishops have been tortured and imprisoned, one bishop has "disappeared" under strange circumstances.
Just as the "end of the Cold War" is a deception, so, too is the "springtime of the Church" promised by the non-dogmatic [unprecedented] council, Vatican II. The almost near destruction of the Church in most of the western world is the punishment for the heresy unleashed at Vatican II, which was convened shortly after the Pope ignored Our Lady of Fatima in 1960.
I now cite from WORLD ENSLAVEMENT OR PEACE, by Fr. Nicholas Gruner, Et Al.:
" . . . the Message of Fatima ends on a note which makes it basically a message of hope, thanks to that unconditional promise of Our Lady: "In the end My Immaculate Heart will triumph" July 13th, 1917; May, 1936). That assertion links up with the two aspects . . . that it presents us with the central truth of the whole of this prophetic mystery: the Immaculate Heart and its decisive role in the work of salvation. As the Blessed Virgin has but one purpose in coming to us-----to save souls and glorify God-----and as that will is plainly that of Our Lord Himself, God, in sending His Mother to manifest that will to us, is at the same time pursuing another end: the glorification in the world of Her whom He has associated with Himself to accomplish the work of our salvation. That is the whole meaning of "reparation for sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary"; it is also the meaning of the consecration of Russia to that same Heart; and it is finally, the meaning of the attribution to Her of the final victory: "My Immaculate Heart will triumph."
The Divine plan here revealed is the one manifested in the words of June 13, 1917 (and which are confirmed by those of May, 1936): "Jesus wishes to establish in the world the devotion to My Immaculate Heart", words which miss some of their meaning unless "devotion" is taken as part of the virtue of religion.
To that truth which is the first foundation of the whole Fatima Message, and of its prolongation, must be added the truth of the communion of saints. For though the Blessed Virgin is the first to co-operate in the Divine and human work of salvation, She is not alone in so doing. All the "saints" are called to that work (Cf. Colossians 1:24). That is what is specially recalled in the weighty words of August 19, 1917: "There are many souls going into Hell because there is no one to sacrifice himself for them."
From that time on we glimpse not only the urgency but also the immensity and doctrinal coherence of the prophetic message of the Cova da Iria. We shall shortly be examining some of its aspects of special importance. But it was necessary first to present it as a whole and in its history of the first revelation, the one made to witnesses charged with transmitting it to the Church. At the close of that presentation, what is most striking and which it seems to us important to underline is the character at once total, global and final in that message: total, because it is addressed to the totality of the Church, pastors and faithful; global, in the sense that the whole Christian Mystery is contained in it; final, because in that Mystery, which is essentially that of the theandry (union of Divine and human in Christ) as Soloviev would say, what is brought into the light is the first human element by which it is realized: the Heart of the Immaculate. Hence another aspect under which this message is final: that first created element by which the redemptive Incarnation was accomplished is at the same time the last chance offered to humanity for its salvation.
But it is above all on the aspect of totality that we would insist. For, as the act which has been found to be the starting-point of this study, and which will be also the principal object of its last part, is the act of consecration, it is extremely important to be sure that it is only one of the constitutive elements of the Fatima appeal. The other two, as we have seen, are conversion composed of prayer and of participation in the redemptive sacrifice of Christ, and the "reparatory devotion"----- essentially Eucharistic and Marial---- of the five first Saturdays of the month. Later on we shall see how these three demands are related but we can see, on the one side, that no one of them can suffice without the other two, and, on the other side, that some are addressed solely to the hierarchy while the others are the concern of all the baptized without distinction; so it is clear from the start that an effort of the whole Church is needed for this message to offer salvation to the world. That is one of the surest signs of its authenticity, but it is also one of the most important criteria for its correct interpretation. In particular it can be seen that the consideration does not permit one to expect everything from the consecration alone, which might be the temptation of some devotees of Fatima, or to leave everything to the prayers and penance of the faithful, which could be the temptation of the hierarchy. Both are necessary, both mediated by the Immaculate Heart of Mary. We must try to show why.
III. THE VIRGIN MARY IN THE DIVINE ECONOMY OF SALVATION
THOSE clarifications in the historical order, which we said were necessary, have been made; and we must now deal with the theological perspectives in which the prophetic plan of salvation revealed to us has its place and its justification. We shall examine four questions: 1). The place of prophecy in the present time of the economy of salvation; 2). The connection between justice and mercy, in the work of Redemption, on which is based the connection between Christian conversion, reparatory Communion and consecration to Mary; 3). The nature and salvific bearing of the consecration; 4). The role of the Blessed Virgin in the work of salvation. These four questions are closely linked, especially the first three, and they culminate in the fourth which, as we shall see, is the key to the mystery of Fatima.
1. PROPHECY AND HIERARCHY
It is a fact, as we have seen: Leo XIII, Pius XII, Paul VI and John Paul II, to cite only those, have performed acts with a universal ecclesial range on directions which came to them by the prophetic route. How does one justify that attitude? By a theology of prophecy which shows its place in the economy of the New Covenant, that is to say, in the governing of the Church by the hierarchy. That, it must be confessed, is a question still insufficiently elucidated. In general we content ourselves with a distinction between the one "Public Revelation", that of the Gospel, and the many "private revelations", lumping together in the second category all the supernatural communications made to the "mystics". And we usually add that only the first is of obligation, the second at the most being allowed to be accepted and held as true with a purely human faith.
Two very simple considerations show that the view is faulty. The first is that, among the supernatural communications being given to some at present, we must distinguish those whose immediate object is the good and the management of their soul and those made to them to be communicated by them to the Church. That is the case at Fatima, at Lourdes and all the great Marial apparitions of modern times. The second reflection is that if it is true that the nature of the act of faith is determined by the motive on which the act rests, we should conclude that a human faith is one resting on human testimony, and that, inversely, where a supernatural testimony of Divine origin appears, the act of faith required will also be marked with a supernatural character. It will not be theological faith which, by definition, can be demanded and founded only by the evangelical Revelation proposed by the Church. But neither will it be a purely human faith, left to each one's free choice. To put it in simple terms: from the moment it is established that God is speaking to us, by Himself or by a messenger, His word justifies an act of faith which belongs in a certain manner to the supernatural order. His word is the basis of it and demands it: there is an obligation to believe and therefore to obey.
For several years a certain number of theologians have felt obliged to move in that direction, which is certainly licit as there is no text of the Magisterium forbidding it. So Monsignor R. Graber denounces the "frightening minimalism" which allows everyone to believe or not believe the word of God thus revealed by the prophetic route. Similarly Father Balic, though he goes too far when he demands theological faith for apparitions of the Blessed Virgin, and others after them. Perhaps we could talk of "prophetic faith", seeing it as subordinate or subsidiary to theological faith.
For the question here is of prophecy. Now the function proper to prophecy, in the New Covenant as in the Old, is to bring back the one to whom it is addressed - king, priest, people of God - to fulfill the duties of that Covenant. It does not take the place of the Covenant, even when it uncovers implications in it up to then hidden: it is rooted in it and entirely in its service. On the other hand, it could be that the prophet had to supply for weakness in the priest. But he, in the New Covenant, stays in possession of apostolic authority and is officially the one in charge of the Covenant. That is why the basic motive for his decision to act is always the word of the Covenant, that of the Gospel----- as we have seen for the Popes we have quoted. But the immediate motive prompting the pastor to act and to go back to that fundamental motive could be the prophetic message addressed to him. The two motives corroborate one another and fuse into one in the mind of the hierarch and his decision.
That that economy is valid for the New as for the Old Covenant is stated clearly in very forceful words by Saint Paul. We recall just the two which follow: "The Church is built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets" (Ephesians 2:30), meaning the prophets of the New Testament as is shown beyond the shadow of doubt in the context. And this one: "Extinguish not the spirit. Despise not prophecies. Hold fast that which is good." (Thessalonians 5:19-20). "Hold fast": Saint Paul is here giving an order.
That is why Saint Thomas Aquinas himself goes as far as saying that "Prophecy is necessary for the government of the people and (he adds in an emphatic way) principally in what concerns Divine worship, for which nature is not adequate: grace is necessary." Following Saint Augustine, he affirms also that "there has never been a lack of men possessing the spirit of prophecy, not to propose a new doctrine of faith but to direct man in his actions", "so far as that was necessary for the salvation of the elect". That necessity would have no meaning if it did not include the obligation to believe in prophecy.
The repeated invitation of the Second Vatican Council to respect charisms should open minds today to that theology of prophetic charism and to its essential function in the Divine economy of the government of the Church. So, then, when the Popes consecrate the world to the Heart of Christ or to the Heart of Mary at a request made to them by the prophetic route and after satisfying themselves that their action fits perfectly the requirements of the New Covenant - discernment of the charism presented to them having been duly exercised - the step they take is not just legitimate; it is the response to a duty of the supernatural order which is obligatory.
That being so, we can now look for those aspects of Gospel Revelation brought back to the Church's notice by the prophetic revelation of Fatima.
2. FATIMA AND THE GOSPEL: JUSTICE AND MERCY
Two terms sum up the mystery of the Redemption as it is recalled to the Church by the Blessed Virgin: Justice and Mercy. But they, in their turn, presuppose two others: sin and holiness. The purpose of the Covenant is the communion of God with men: "I will be their God and they shall be My people" (Jeremias 31:33). But the condition of that communion is that the people keep the Covenant: "If therefore you will hear My voice, and keep My covenant, you shall be My people" (Exodus 19:5); in other words, the people must be holy as God is holy and because God is holy: "... Be ye holy, because I the Lord your God am holy." "You shall be holy unto Me, because I the Lord am holy ..." (Leviticus 19:2; 20:26). Thus holiness and sin appear as the two antinomic terms on which depends the realization or non-realization of the ultimate purpose of the Covenant. Blessed by God and admitted to communion with Him if it is holy, the chosen people is on the contrary chastised by Him and reproved if it separates itself from its God by sin. Benediction and malediction are the only two possible conclusions of the pact of the Covenant (Deuteronomy 28:1-14, 15-46): that is demanded by the Holiness and the Justice of God.
Far from being abolished, these requirements are on the contrary extended to their maximum by the New Covenant: "Be ye perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect" (Matthew 5:48). "But according to Him that hath called you, who is holy, be you also in all manner of conversation holy" (1 Peter 1:16). And sin always draws down on those who commit it "the anger of God", leading them, if they are not converted, to eternal malediction: "Depart from me, ye cursed" (Matthew 25:41). Assuredly it is "the Law", although it is in itself holy, which "produces wrath" (Romans 4:15; Cf. 7, 12-13), that is to say, the chastisement demanded by justice for sin. And "Jesus (...) delivers us from the wrath to come" (1 Thessalonians 1:10). But man remains free, and, in sinning in spite of the grace of Christ, he "builds up again" what he had "destroyed" by justice and holiness, that is to say, "the Law" (Galatians 2:18), and with it the chastisement and the anger of God.
It is therefore a radical mistake to suppose that the theme of the anger of God belongs only to the Old Covenant. That would be to deny at one and the same time human liberty and Divine justice. It is true that Mercy was accomplished in the redemption operated by Christ. But it was manifested in this that Christ, "The beloved Son" of the Father (Matthew 3:17), took upon Himself the punishment due to our sins (Isaias 53:5-12) to the point of "being made a curse for us" (Galatians 3:13). That is why, from then on, "there is now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:1). And we are "in Christ" by faith, hope and charity. But for those who are not, or who are no longer "in Christ", for those who sin, malediction with its chastisement is the fate which awaits them. For them, there is "the wrath to come" (Matthew 3:7; Apocalypse 14:8f). The fact is there is a false idea of the Divine Mercy, and it is a grave injustice to man to hush up those truths. It is the Blessed Virgin Herself who reminds us of them with Her warnings and the vision of hell. She does that as an obligation of Her maternal love. No doubt servile fear of punishment is not "perfect charity" (1 John 4:18). But it could be the beginning of conversion and of salvation, as the Council of Trent recalled in answer to the errors of Luther.
Those truths being established, the light of the appeal of Fatima appears with all its power and all its evangelical actuality. We have heard Our Lady's last words reported by Lucia: "Let men offend God no more!" Words heavy with menace whose content was revealed on July 13th: in the present time war, famine, persecutions against the Church who is also to blame, and in the next world "the everlasting fire" (Matthew 25:41), for those are the punishments of sin required by justice. That is strictly speaking not so much a threat as a reminder of the threat inherent in an injustice. Love and mercy are the only motives of that reminder, made solely to save mankind, a reminder accompanied, as we have seen, by a triple appeal---- to conversion (prayer and sacrifice), to Communion of reparation, to the consecration of Russia. If they respond to them, men will bring down upon themselves graces of pardon and mercy acquired by the redemption of Christ. If they refuse to respond or are late in answering, they deliver themselves to what justice demands: the punishments must fall on them to purify them from sin. The alternative offered them is there in its fullness. Lucia has expressed it admirably in her letters: "If that act (the consecration of Russia) by which peace will be given to us, is not done, the war will end when the blood shed by the martyrs will be sufficient to satisfy Divine Justice." We should note, besides, that even in that case nothing will be done without mercy, for it is only by their union with the sacrifice of Christ, our only salvation, that the sacrifice of the martyrs can satisfy Divine Justice, so that, in the choice between justice or mercy, mercy is always present.
What Lucia was also quite sure of was the relation between the three routes offered to us for recourse to Mercy, in which is found the mysterious economy of those two Divine attributes: prayer and sacrifice, Communion of reparation and consecration to Mary. On August 18, 1940, she wrote to Father Goncalves: "In the present state of the world, what God desires are souls which, united to Him, sacrifice themselves and pray (...) Now, more than ever, there is need of souls who commit themselves to Him without reserve. And how few they are!" That is the first route, where justice dominates. It is slow and costly for mankind. Hence the need to have recourse to the other two. No doubt, Lucia continues, God could "by a miracle" get men to turn to them from the start. "But He profits from that time to punish the world, in accordance with His justice, for so many crimes and to prepare a more complete return to Himself." That then, in the plan of mercy, is the ground for this time in which justice dominates and demands its rights. "As it is now the hour of God's justice over the world, we must continue to pray", that is, to offer to God a "prayer accompanied by sacrifice, above all that sacrifice which is necessary for avoiding sin".
But the sins of the world are so many that that route could not suffice; and the mercy that God feels for us is so great that He can not bear to let us drag on there endlessly. He therefore offers us the two other routes that the Blessed Virgin revealed on July 13, 1917, and came to offer and to ask for in 1925 and 1929. Supernaturally enlightened, Lucia has always been positive on that point. Communion of reparation would itself achieve much, but alone it could at the most obtain a reprieve, which would have been due principally to the Divine Mercy, being owed chiefly to the merits of the Eucharistic Sacrifice, and it would have saved the world from much suffering. But "grace and mercy" will not be spread in their fullness over the world and will not obtain for it, with the conversion of Russia and the complete return of all to God, the time of peace promised except through the consecration of that same Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
All these texts admirably express the Divine economy of justice and mercy which is here at work. It can be summed up thus. On the first route, nearly all the effort is called for from men, and it is immense like the immensity of the sins of the world. Even in that case, as we have said, nothing would be achieved without Mercy, for it is solely by virtue of the sacrifice of Christ which is continued in them that the sacrifices of men can contribute to satisfying the demands of Divine Justice. All the same, on that route, those demands are dominant and demand from man the maximum of sacrifice in reparation. On the other two routes, inversely, man appeals directly to Divine Mercy, and, by that resort, he correspondingly diminishes the punishment imposed on him, for, by having recourse by faith in the redemption of Christ, he brings down on himself its fruits of pardon and reconciliation.
That is why we said, in the second part, that the prophetic message of Fatima puts in operation the whole Christian mystery of salvation, mystery of justice and mercy, and that it calls for an answer from the whole Church. Mercy is the great light which illuminates it, but that light can be received only by hearts which open themselves at the same time to the light of justice. That is the great lesson given us by the Blessed Virgin. Priests can not preach to their flock a sermon which amounts to telling them: your prayers and your sacrifices are enough---- they will never be enough; nor can the faithful tell the priests: your act of consecration will do everything---- the prayer and the sacrifice of all are necessary to prepare that "complete return" of men to God.
As for the way in which Communion of reparation and consecration will obtain the prodigious effusion of Divine mercy of which our sinful world has need, it can be compared with the way of indulgences. Those procedures are as it were conditions to be fulfilled to obtain an indulgence of world dimension, conditions made known to the world by the prophetic route, but which need ratification by apostolic authority to produce their effect. That is easy to understand for the devotion of the first Saturdays, Eucharistic Communion being one of the classic means amongst indulgences indicated by the Church for the remission of the penalty due to sin. The theology of consecration will tell us that the same is true of this ultimate means of salvation offered to the world by Divine Mercy.
3. CONSECRATION, RENEWAL OF THE COVENANT
What is a consecration? The spiritual tradition of modern times and the Church's Magisterium from Leo XIII to John Paul II have often explained it. To get at once to the essential we must turn to the Covenant. It is, in fact, by the Covenant that God consecrates His people and that the people consecrates itself and becomes consecrated to God. "If therefore you will hear My voice and keep My covenant, you shall be to Me a priestly kingdom and a holy nation" God said to the Hebrews at the moment when, by the mediation of Moses, He sealed with them the Covenant of the Law (Exodus 19:5-6). And Christ, when He was about to immolate Himself in the sacrifice of the New Covenant, declared in presence of His disciples (it is the text quoted by the Holy Father and his act of May 13, 1982) "For them do I sanctify myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth" (John 17:19).
The Hebrew and Greek words QDSh and agios mean, at the same time, sacred, holy, consecrated. Agiazo (John 17:19) can mean consecrate, but also sacrifice, sanctify. That gives the shape of the central reality of consecration. Fruit of the Covenant, it makes us God's possession and sharers in His sanctity. On God's side it is His taking charge of us and communicating His holiness: on man's side it is the gift of himself to God and an undertaking to serve Him in fulfilling His demand for holiness. Because it did not communicate this Divine gift fully, the Old Covenant did not allow man to fulfill his undertaking. Because it gives men the Holy and sanctifying Spirit, the New Covenant makes them effectively capable of that fidelity. With it, consecration attains its plenitude.
It all starts, as can be seen, from the Covenant and its consecrating and sanctifying sacrifice. But though the redemptive work has been done "once for all" and though its sacrifice must not, therefore, be immolated afresh (Hebrews 7:27; 9:25-28), it produces its effect in and by the Church only progressively. Hence the need of perpetuating and reactivating unceasingly in the Church the unique Sacrifice of Christ, the consecration and primary source of sanctification of the world. The sacrament of the Eucharist was instituted to that end, and it is entirely apt that its central act, accompanied with the words reciting the institution, is called a consecration. The words of John 17:19 suffice to justify that expression and give it its full meaning. That, then, is the first consecration which the Church accomplishes each day and whose multiplication she encourages. It is sacramental in nature, and nothing can equal it in value, for in it "the work of our redemption is accomplished". For the sake of completeness, we should distinguish the two fundamental consecrations of Christ, that of His humanity, which took place at the Incarnation (John 10:36), and the one He made of Himself in His sacrifice (John 17:19). The first is prolonged and accomplished in the Christian by the sacrament of Baptism, the second by that of the Eucharist.
Nevertheless, just as the oneness of the mediation of Christ (1 Timothy 2:5) does not exclude other mediations, dependent and subordinate, but founds them and calls them out, and just as the sacramental consecration of baptism does not make religious consecration superfluous but finds in it the means to accomplish itself more perfectly, so the consecration of humanity and of the world performed by every celebration of the Eucharistic sacrifice does not exclude the possibility of other consecrations. And, like that of the Eucharist, it is by their relation to the consecration accomplished by the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross that they get their meaning and their value. In contrast with sacramental consecrations, and by analogy with those of religion, they could be called "consecrations of devotion", provided that word has all its original force. Religion is the sum of the acts which make us render to God the honor, the worship or "service", and the love which are due to Him and devotion is their soul, consisting of a firm and resolute will to give oneself promptly and totally to everything demanded by that worship and "service" of God. It is in that profound sense that we here speak of devotion; and that does not exclude the second meaning of the word, particular practices of devotion, but shows how it should be understood. The first meaning is the one which applies to the Divine will "to establish in the world devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary"; the second applies to the practice of Communion of reparation on the first Saturdays.
It applies also, though in another way, to that particular practice which is the consecration of Russia to the Blessed Virgin. When we see it in the perspective of the Covenant and the Redemption, we understand how God can demand it so as to spread His mercy over the world, in the way the Church fixes this or that special condition for the grant of indulgences. By that step, which it is for pastors to make, they reaffirm that the flock entrusted to them belongs to God, to Christ and to Mary, they open it again to the action of redemptive Mercy, and they undertake to lead it in the paths of "religion" and sanctification. To consecrate humanity or a particular people to God is to entrust it to Him; but it is to do something more - it is to undertake at the same time to sanctify that humanity and to start it at once on the road to conversion and sanctification.
On that basis, we can see also how to answer objections made to the consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart, and the objection, at the start, to the very idea of consecration. Here and there it is still being said that that consecration doesn't make sense, because the whole world is already consecrated to God as it belongs to Him by creation and redemption. For others, inversely, such a consecration is contrary to the Gospel. It is even dangerous, for it turns Christians away from their commitment to the construction of the world. It is not difficult to answer those sophisms, for, on the one side, it is true that the entire world belongs to God and that fact gives it a certain sacred character; but it is no less true that God can choose particular persons or realities to possess and sanctify them in a special way. It is the whole mystery of election, which is at the basis of the Covenant, of the consecration which is effected in it, and of salvation (Exodus 19:5; Deuteronomy 7:6; etc. Cf. Luke 9:35). Moreover, the entire creation was entrusted to man (Genesis 1:28) and was dragged by his sin into corruption (Romans 8:20). It should, therefore, be saved with him (v. 19). It is true that in the present situation of the Kingdom of God man is divided between, on the one side, his glorious eschatological state, towards which he tends by his baptismal consecration and by all his religious life as a Christian, and, on the other side, the effort he has to expend in building a terrestrial city in conformity with the sanctity of the Kingdom. The Church draws him towards glory, the world holds him back by his needs. It is only at the Parousia that the two will be one, Church and world being perfected in the perfect state of the Kingdom of Heaven.
But when we know that the world, also, has been redeemed and, by that fact, is called to glory, we see at the same moment that consecration of Christians in the Church, far from turning men away from the world, obliges them not only to sanctify themselves in the world but also to sanctify the world itself. That sanctification of the world is in fact one of the essential components of the effort of Christians to sanctify themselves. But all sanctification arises from an initial consecration. Consecrated for glory by Christ's redemption, the world should be consecrated also by the activity of the Church and of the Christians. It is thus that at the beginning of those activities solemn acts of consecration are wholly legitimate. They are even necessary in what concerns the daily consecration of the world made in the offering of the Eucharist Sacrifice, and they are highly desirable, and can even at certain times seem necessary, as "consecrations of devotion". Such acts deliver the world to the sanctifying energy of the Spirit and fertilize the activity that men expend in them to bring it back and offer it to God. The sin of the century being to try and withdraw the world from God, we can see why these consecrations are today more necessary than ever, and, consequently, that God can require them by presenting them through the prophetic way as necessary for the outpouring of His mercy. Finally, we can see why the people which is the most active instrument, and at the same time the most suffering victim, of the process of atheisation can and must be the object of a particular consecration.
But why a consecration to the Blessed Virgin? And is such a consecration possible? That is what is denied by the second objection we come across. The reply to be made to it, though it is not less certain, needs to be formulated more delicately; and all we can do here is indicate where to look for it. The argument put forward is this: God alone being the Holy, the absolute Sacred, the beginning and the end of all holiness, man can consecrate himself and can consecrate anything only to Him. True. But we are back again at the relationship pointed out already between the oneness of the "principal" mediation of Christ on the one hand, and, on the other the multiplicity of the participated mediations by which we enter into contact with Christ and "in Him" with God. It is by that unique mediator that the Covenant is sealed and, then, that God consecrates us and we consecrate ourselves to Him. That is what justifies the consecration to the Heart of Christ. In it we consecrate ourselves to Him in that He is God, but also and first of all in that He is the mediator by Whom and in Whom we are united to God. But it is in His humanity that the incarnate Word is mediator and exercises the functions of mediator. And it is that humanity which is signified by the corporal and symbolic reality of His Heart. It is therefore to Him in His humanity that we consecrate ourselves when we consecrate ourselves to His Sacred Heart. The act is legitimate by reason of the relation there is between that humanity and the Divine Person of the Word, that of the hypostatic union, but also by reason of the work accomplished by that Person in that humanity, the work of the Redemption.
With that as a background we can see the qualifications which justify and make possible the consecration to Mary. The Blessed Virgin is "united" to the Word in a unique way by the ontological bond of "Divine maternity"; and She is "associated" in a no less exceptional fashion in the work of Redemption. So it is always to God alone that we consecrate ourselves when we do so to Her Immaculate Heart, but we do it not only through Christ, the unique Mediator, but also through Her whom He associated with Himself in the work of His mediation, His Mother and the Mother of the Church.
A last objection to which we must still reply is the one which denies a person the right to consecrate another to God. The reason for that objection is plain: consecration includes a free agreement, and the only one who can consecrate himself to God is the one who makes the agreement. Yet the practice of consecrating the world, a nation, a community is allowed in the Church, not to mention the consecration in the baptism of children. They are justified as follows: firstly, consecration is initially the recognition of an adherence. In that sense, to consecrate someone or something to God is to offer that one to Him as His possession, with an acknowledgement of His supreme dominion over that person or thing and entrusting the person or thing to His Mercy - which is already to glorify Him. Secondly, the promise made in that act of consecration is based on that adherence: it is therefore owed to God. In the case of the consecration of another, person or community, the adherence is made in the name and for the good of him or those consecrated; and it is made by those responsible for their eternal salvation, that is, the successors of the apostles and their collaborators, the priests. It is, in fact, their function and it is their duty to consecrate men to God and then to see that they live up to that consecration by leading them on the paths of holiness. When they consecrate men to God they are only performing the first duty of their ministry, and they commit themselves to making a reality of the adherence they make for them and in their name. As well, they consecrate themselves to that end in the special way in which Christ said: "For them do I consecrate myself", that is "I sacrifice myself for them" (John 17:19). That is the underlying reason for John Paul II's quotation of that text in his act of consecration on May 13, 1982. The Shepherd can not consecrate to God the sheep or the flock entrusted to him except by sacrificing himself for their salvation.
At the same time we understand why the consecration of Russia must be made by the whole Catholic Episcopate, and also why it can be done without those immediately in charge of the Russian people, the Orthodox Bishops, even against their will. In fact, if those bishops are indeed the successors of the Apostles, they are not fully united to Peter or the whole episcopal College. But "the task of sanctifying, teaching and governing" imposed by "episcopal consecration ... can be exercised only in hierarchical communion with the Head of the College and its members" (Vatican II, Lumen Gentium, 21). We must be careful to note that the phrase "hierarchical communion" indicates a juridical reality, but also, and even more, a reality sacramental and spiritual - in a word, mystical, or related to mystery. That is why neither the absence nor even the opposition of the Russian Orthodox Bishops can be decisive. In advance of them, and more than they, those responsible for the salvation of the peoples of Russia are the successor of Peter, who therefore can on his own consecrate that nation (Vatican I, Pastor Aeternus, cap.3) and the totality of the Catholic bishops collegially responsible for the Church and the whole world (Vatican II, Lumen Gentium, 23).
There again, in consequence, the Message of Fatima appears in its radically ecclesial nature. The requests of the Blessed Virgin in 1929 anticipate the resumption by Vatican II of the collegial character of the episcopal function. If the whole Catholic Episcopate should join with the Pope in replying to Mary's requests, it is so that all may first of all unite in this eminent act of worship and religion which is the consecration itself, and then that they should be united in the effort to keep the undertaking which will there be made to bring all men to Christ and to lead them by the Heart of the Blessed Virgin on the road to sanctification.
It is through the Immaculate Heart of Mary that this consecration and this sanctification must come. Let us try to see why.
4. MERCY'S GLORY IN THE IMMACULATE HEART
At the beginning of all the works of God stands Mercy: so that it is Mercy which must burst out at the end of those works, it is Mercy which should manifest itself in their completion, for it is in Mercy above all else that God wills to be glorified. The moment of the History of Salvation where it shows itself and is realized most intensely is that of the Passion of Christ. It is there, in fact, in the "folly" of the Cross (1 Corinthians 1:23), that the Omnipotent goes to the full term of His annihilation, of His "kenosis" (Philippians 2:6-8) and tells us "the exceeding charity wherewith He loved us" (Ephesians 2:4). It is there that the Just dies for sinners (Romans 5:8), which is indeed a fact of pure mercy, for nothing on the sinners' side merited such a gift, on the contrary.
But though it culminates in the death of Christ and in the glorification which is the fruit of that death (Philippians 2:9-11), the work of redemptive Mercy begins with the Incarnation, which is the starting-point of the "kenosis" of the Word (v. 7). And before the Redemption, creation itself is already the work of mercy in this double sense that nothing was due to the creature, who did not yet exist, and that God then gives him, after making him come into being, always more than just the necessary for existence.
It is in that light that we must meditate on the affirmations of Saint Paul, so disconcerting for the human mind, above all in the anthropocentric atmosphere created by the surrounding atheism of our times. I have in mind especially the great texts of the Epistles to the Galatians and the Romans: "The law was set because of transgressions ..." (Galatians 3:19); "... The law entered in that sin might abound ..." (Romans 5:20), that is, "... that sin might become sinful above measure" (Romans 7:13). "... But where sin abounded, grace did more abound" (Romans 5:20); "the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise, by the faith of Jesus Christ, might be given to them that believe" (Galatians 3:22). In a word, said Saint Augustine, God did not permit evil, that of sin, except in view of a greater good, that of merciful Love going as far as the "folly" of the Incarnation and the Cross. That being the plan of His "Wisdom" (1 Corinthians 1:25), God has allowed evil to deploy all its potentiality so that the good, also, should be achieved in all its dimensions. That is the meaning of the passion of Christ, but also that of the Church; and it grows in intensity as time passes and "the Mystery" (Ephesians 1:9) approaches its final accomplishment.
For, as man is the object of that mercy, he is also, in a certain manner, its subject. He remains a free being, and the grace of God is accomplished in him only in the degree in which he welcomes it by faith and lives on it with fidelity. If "justice" is given to him gratuitously and even by sheer mercy, he receives it freely, and by the Divine strength it communicates to him, he must work at his "salvation" (Romans 3:28; 8:24f; 13:11f). He must work to sanctify himself and by so doing to sanctify the Name of God. If every right and title to be glorified before God is denied to man (3:27), all that is meant there is the glory he could have of himself. But that condition of servility is in view of a glorification infinitely higher, that which God Himself wishes to operate in His creature.
For the glory of God is His very Being, and His glorification ad extra is the communication of that being by participation. It is what He does already in creation: the glory of God in His works is to make them be. The more they are, the more elevated their participation in the being of God, the more God is glorified in them, the more they are glorified in Him. It is what is produced by the Redemption, which is a new creation----- not another creation, but the old one regained, ransomed, and raised in the Word, the Creator, made creature and flesh. "If anyone is in Christ, it is a new creation" (Kaine ktisis: 2 Corinthians 5:17). In that new creation we participate first by receiving it, that is by permitting God, in our initial act of faith, to operate it in us, and then by carrying it to its accomplishment by our works, that is, by our correspondence and co-operation with the movement the Holy Spirit communicates to us at each moment (Galatians 5:25): "For we are His workmanship (poiema), created in Christ Jesus for good works (Epi ergois agathois), which God hath prepared that we should walk in them" (Ephesians 2:10). It is in that sense, that is, by our participation in what it operates in us, that, objects of the Divine Mercy, we are also His subjects. We are "His workmanship", but that work is accomplished only when, by His operation in us and by our correspondence with that operation, we open ourselves, thus participating in the accomplishment of that work. By that alone Mercy is fully accomplished and glorified in its own work, "the new creation".
And that participation of redeemed man in the work of Mercy in him is performed in a double dimension, that of his own salvation, which makes him climb back to God by loving Him as a Son of Christ, and that of the salvation of His brethren in which each is called to collaborate (Colossians 1:24). It is in that collaboration that we have our maximum share in the great work of Mercy, and it is at that point that it wishes to be accomplished and glorified in us. Saint Therese of Lisieux knew that in an exceptional way. By offering herself as a holocaust victim to merciful Love for the salvation of sinners, she is the grand prophet standing up on the threshold of the 20th century to proclaim this mystery to it.
Likewise, it is this mystery which the Message of Fatima recalls to us. It is to be found in its beginning: "The Hearts of Jesus and of Mary have for you purposes of Mercy" (second apparition of the Angel), and, at its end, "Grace and Mercy" (words accompanying the last of the great revelations, that at Tuy, on June 13, 1929, and stating the meaning of the vision of the Trinity, of Christ on the Cross, and of the Blessed Virgin standing at His side). John Paul II put that mystery in relief when he invoked "the infinite power of merciful Love" at the close of his act of consecration on May 13, 1982, relating that power to "the Immaculate Heart" of the Blessed Virgin.
For - and this is the decisive point of our reflection----- it is not simply a question of the pouring out of the Divine Mercy on mankind, but of the accomplishment in men of His work of salvation thanks to their free co-operation. Now that co-operation has its beginning in the Heart of Mary, its summit and its first source in the Heart of Christ, and it is completed in the Body of the Church. Everything comes from Christ, for He is God spreading His Mercy, but also because He is man, the new man, "the last Adam" (1 Corinthians 15:45), in Whom and by Whom is accomplished as in its principle the work of Mercy, the redemption of mankind. All His mystery is there, forever ungraspable by the human intellect. In it, it is the Divine Person Who acts, for the acts are attributable to the subject who does them; but this uncreated Person acts only in the humanity which He united to Himself, in such a way that if He is God acting as man, Christ also is man acting "as" God. That is why He is certainly the first in whom human nature co-operates with what the power of God operates in it. And it is for that reason, therefore, that He is the one from Whom all grace proceeds as from its first efficacious principle.
Yet the fiat of Mary, perfect correspondence with the work of Mercy in Her, precedes that of Christ in time. It precedes it at the same time as it is its fruit. In that sense, that is, since Her consent and Her co-operation are first in time, Mary is at the beginning of the work of Mercy in humanity. She is at the same time the first fruit and the first seed, since in Her, the Immaculate Conception, the whole new creation, including Christ, its Head, is contained as in its created principle. Her Son and Redeemer, by His Divine Personality, is its uncreated principle. He is also, in His humanity united to the Word, the first efficacious created principle: "He is the Head of the Body, the Church: He is the beginning (Arche) ... that in all things He may hold the primacy, because in Him it hath well pleased the Father that all fullness should dwell" (Colossians 1:18f). But that flesh in which meet and dwell the fullness of divinity and of redeemed creation were formed by the Word from the flesh and from the Heart of "the Woman" (Galatians 4:4). That is why, with the Father and the Spirit, from all eternity, he conceived Her Immaculate. And it is thus that this new "Conception" is, in the order of the created, the first principle of the new creation, and then becomes, by Her unique association with the work of the "Word-made-flesh-in-Her" the first effective created co-principle of the Redemption.
Starting from that first principle, unique and double, and in it, the Church in its turn is the work and the ultimate subject of Mercy, which accomplishes itself in Her and by Her thanks to Her co-operation in the achievement of the new creation.
THIS Mystery being infinite, it would be possible to throw light on it in another way, and especially to push contemplation of it deeper. But we hope we have sufficiently indicated the aspects of the Divine economy of salvation which manifest themselves in it, to show, for it is there that they are found, the theological foundations of the great prophetic sign of Fatima. They can be summed up, in conclusion, in the following propositions:
1. At the beginning and at the end of the works of God there is Mercy.
2. That Mercy can accomplish its task only by associating actively with itself those to whom it gives itself and in whom it wishes to be fulfilled.
3. At the beginning of that work, ultimate, unique and multiple, which is that of the redemptive and glorifying Incarnation, that is to say, at the beginning of that theandric work done by the gift of God and the co-operation of man, stand the Word made flesh and the chosen Woman in whom He took flesh. In them and by them as in the beginning of all His ecclesial and even cosmic work, Mercy is accomplished: it operates and prompts operation. It achieves its end by associating the creature with it. In other words, the Hearts of Christ and of the Blessed Virgin are the unique Source and Fountain of all the works of Divine Mercy in time: the Source is the Heart of Christ; the Fountain which pours out from the Source and by which the Source spreads itself is the Heart of Mary.
4. The "principal" and first causality of Christ being affirmed in an absolute way, it is still the fact that Christ Himself wishes to throw full light on the first of all the associated and participated causalities which He has united with Himself, that of Mary, and that illumination of Her is His ultimate desire. He shows that at the moment of His death: "Behold Thy Son ... Behold Thy Mother" (John 19:26f). And that for several reasons, which are all summed up in this one: Mary Immaculate having been the hidden beginning of the supreme work of Mercy, the Redemption, it is She who should appear in all Her power and all Her glory at the conclusion of that work. For, as it began from Her with Her fiat of obedience and faith, it is to Her, the first created co-principle of the work of salvation, that everything and all people should cling so as to enter into the human-Divine movement which will lead them to glory. That is demanded by the glory itself which is the glory of Mercy and which can be fully realized only by the association of the creature with what Mercy wishes to do in him and by him. But, at the beginning of that association stand, inseparably, the humanity of the Word Incarnate and Mary Immaculate in Whom He became flesh. It is therefore in Them also that Mercy will attain the maximum of glorification. It is glorified in them by glorifying Them, that is to say, by making Them spread out the full power of Their association in the work which it accomplishes in Them and by Them.
And as Christ is the Alpha and the Omega of that work of glory of Mercy, He is so in the humanity He took from the Blessed Virgin and with which He has united and associated Her. It is therefore His will to glorify Himself in Her, the associated principle and pleroma of all His redemptive work. That is what He does when He tells us to turn to Her, and when he makes the attainment of salvation depend on Her, as on Her He had made its beginning depend.
5. We said above that God allowed evil to spread with all its force only to show in all its fullness His work of Mercy. That fullness is in the co-operation of the creature in displaying the work begun in Him. But that full co-operation of a created person has its beginning and its highest expression in the fiat of Mary Immaculate. Faced with the growing spread of evil, it is by the manifestation and the spread of the power of the Immaculate fiat that Mercy wishes to accomplish together its work and its glory.
Such is the great mystery, such the last work of the redemptive Incarnation that God wishes today to bring blazing into the Church and the world. That word tells us the meaning of the warfare in which we are engaged, and is the foundation of our hope. Above all it shows us to what degree the prophetic mystery of Fatima is in harmony with the mystery of the gospel Revelation. In its light, and remembering that in biblical language "the heart" means the person himself in what in him is deepest, most spiritual, and most authentically flesh and blood, we can understand, or at least glimpse, the truth and the depth, the power and the actuality, of those affirmations of the Blessed Virgin in the Cova da Iria:
"God wills to establish in the world the devotion to My Immaculate Heart"----- "But in the end My Immaculate Heart will triumph."
1. We are using here the translation of the French weekly edition of L'Osservatore Romano (No. 20, May 18, 1982) except for a few details and for what concerns the word "affidamento". The Portuguese translation is entrega, which is rather an interpretation. The French word offrande, used in L'Osservatore Romano, is even further from the original. There is no French noun for the Italian affidamento, we give the meaning of the word in a paraphrase: The act of entrusting. Above all we restore the act of consecration itself (paragraph 1, g) which, by a regrettable oversight, was not printed in that number of L'Osservatore Romano.
2. Pius XII's Radio message of May 13, 1946, for the Coronation of Our Lady of Fatima (AAS 38 "1946" 264, ff.) deserves special mention. He alluded to it himself in his Encyclical Ad Coeli Reginam, calling it the "message of the 'Royalty' of Mary" (ib. 46 "1954", 626-627). John XXIII also multiplied his public declarations recognizing Fatima as a "source of grace" for the Church, notably in the Allocutions on 8.19.59, 8.22.62, and 10.24.62. Later on we shall recall Paul VI's great acts in favor of Fatima. The bond between the Portuguese sanctuary and the See of Peter is one of the most striking characteristics of the mystery of Fatima.
3. On Sunday, May 9, 1982, before the recitation of the Regina Coeli, John Paul II announced to the faithful his journey to Fatima, and declared: "The present world is threatened in various ways. It is, perhaps, threatened more than ever before in the course of history".
4. "On October 25, 1917, the history of Russia came to an end, and that of the U.S.S.R. began. Humanity enters on a new epoch." That is the judgement of M. Heller and A. Mekrich in Utopia In Power, The History of the U.S.S.R. from 1917 to our own day (Paris, Calmann-Levy, 1982, pages 8-9), a book estimated to be "the most complete and undoubtedly the most satisfying at present in existence" (B. Feron, Le Monde, Feb. 5th, 1982). The authors leave us with this conclusion which can not be too much pondered: "The Soviet Union finds the energy necessary for life in expansion, in its external policy. Expansion thus becomes the sole form of life in mature socialism" (page 580).
5. Speaking of the demand for the consecration of Russia, Lucia writes: "In the course of different communications, Our Lord has not ceased to insist on that request, promising recently, if Your Holiness deigns to make the consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, with special mention of Russia (...) to shorten the days of tribulation." (Letter to Pius XII, December 2, 1940. The emphasis is mine.) Though the construction of the sentence seems to indicate a continuity between the two requests, that for the consecration of Russia and that for the consecration of the world, analysis of the text as a whole, the words used ("promitendo ultimamente": promising, recently, or a short time ago") and above all the historic context in which this letter is written, all those factors show that in fact there are two requests clearly distinct, and the one peculiar to Sister Lucia's mission is the request for the consecration of Russia.
6. Letter to Father Goncalves, May 4, 1943: the Holy Father's act "was incomplete", as a response, that is, to the demands of the Blessed Virgin at Fatima. Letter to Father Aparicio, March 2, 1943: "the consecration of that country (Russia) was not made in the terms demanded by Our Lady".
7. The 1942 consecration became collegial in 1954, when the Pope, in his Encyclical Ad Coeli Reginam, ordered all the bishops to renew it with him on May 31st, that is, on the feast of the Royalty of Mary which he instituted on that occasion. But it was still a question of the consecration of the world, even if Russia was mentioned in veiled terms. Inversely, in 1952, it was indeed Russia, or "the peoples of Russia", that the Holy Father consecrated to the Blessed Virgin, but by an act with which the bishops could not be associated. So that the demands of Our Lady of Fatima have still not been met.
8. As the confidant of Sister Lucia since 1939, Don Pasquale has received 157 letters from her. He has been, and still is, in relations with her at the same level as members of her family. He has also published one of Lucia's letters which is a veritable little theology of the Rosary.
9. It can be seen that this presentation is in accord with that made by the Holy Father in his homily of May 13, 1982. The message, he says, "contains a truth and an appeal" (No. 6), both in accordance with the Gospel. The truth, foundation of all, is "the spiritual maternity of Mary" (No. 5). The appeal is that of the Gospel to prayer and penance (No. 6). Thus the Blessed Virgin "invites to penance. She warns, She appeals ..." (No. 7; emphasis in the text). And finally She is "the great sign: a woman" presented to us by the Apocalypse (12, 1; emphasis in the text), and whose apparition is in itself the promise of final victory.
10. October 13, 1917,
according to Lucia's testimony in her fourth memoir. If we compare it
that of Jacinta, which there is no reason to doubt----on the
contrary---- it seems that Lucia did not
wish to say more here for fear of giving away something of "the Third
Ave Maria! Pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.
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