A World View
Based on Fatima
This edited transcript of a speech given at the Fatima: World Peace 2000 conference, October 1999 helps us better understand the real background to the full Fatima Secret.
By John Vennari
Today is October 13, 1999, the 82nd anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun in Fatima on October 13, 1917. This miracle had been predicted three months earlier, on July 13, 1917. At that time, Lucy of Fatima appealed to Our Lady:
“I should like to ask You to tell us who You are, and to work a miracle so that everyone will believe that Your Grace has appeared to us.”
Our Lady answered,
“Continue to come here every month. In October, I will say who I am and what I want, and I will perform a miracle so that all might see in order to believe."
And on October 13, 1917, 82 years ago today, 70,000 people witnessed the great Miracle of the Sun. 70,000 people saw the sun dance in the sky, and then plummet toward the earth. These witnesses, including Jacinta’s father, Ti Marto, tell us they were terrified. He said “The sun ... began to move and dance until it seemed that it was being detached from the sky and was falling on us. It was a terrible moment.”
According to the witnesses, the miracle lasted about 8 minutes. And after the sun “returned to its place in the sky”, the ground, which before the miracle had been saturated due to an all-night driving rain, was dry. Likewise, the clothes of those who had been standing all day in the rain before the miracle, were completely dry.
During the great Miracle of the Sun, witnesses say that they could look directly at the sun without it blinding them or hurting their eyes in any way.
In this century, Our Lady worked for us one of the most astonishing miracles of all time — a public miracle predicted three months in advance, and witnessed by 70,000 people. This miracle was even reported in the liberal, anti-clerical, Masonic newspaper, O Seculo.
| The newspaper report from October 15, 1917, said:|
This by far has been the greatest public miracle that has been worked by Heaven since Our Lord founded His one true Catholic Church.
Hence, I think we can say that the magnitude of this miracle corresponds to the magnitude and to the importance of the Message that Our Lady gave at Fatima. And just the way that this miracle, especially with the sun dancing in the sky and then plummeting toward the earth, was so spectacular that it was impossible to take your eyes off of it; likewise, the Fatima Message itself is of such magnitude, such importance, such centrality, that I believe Our Lady was telling us through this miracle, that we must never, ever, take our eyes off of Fatima, never take our eyes off of Her Message, never allow ourselves to be distracted from Her Message in any way whatsoever.
That is why this presentation is titled “A World View Based on Fatima.” Our Lady came to Fatima at the beginning of this century, one of the most godless of all centuries. The world is now steeped, not just in paganism, but in a post-Christian paganism, which is far worse than the pre-Christian paganism. Pre-Christian paganism had not heard of Christ. But post-Christian paganism has heard the message of Christ and has rejected Him and His one true Church. Thus, it is in a state far worse than the ancient paganism that was ignorant of Christ.
The Message of Fatima has to be central to our Catholic life, central to our world view. I believe that everything that Our Lady did at Fatima shows us that we must base our entire world view on the Message of Fatima and on nothing else that would conflict with it in any way.
I stress this because for many, devotion to Our Lady of Fatima is not central. It is often off to the side, on the periphery. It’s kind of like devotion to St. Rita, or devotion to Saint Jude, or devotion to Saint Anthony. It’s considered a very good and helpful extra to our spiritual life, but it’s only a side-devotion, only of secondary importance that we don’t take seriously enough.
Our Lady’s visitations at Fatima have given us the basis for an entire world view — a world view that is not outmoded, not outdated. And this world view based on the Fatima Message can never be “updated” to mean something other than what it originally meant; nor can it be downplayed or changed or eclipsed by the superstition of aggiornamento. Nothing that happened in this century can ever outshine in importance the Message that Our Lady gave at Fatima.
And the Fatima Message is nothing more than an urgent restatement of the traditional teaching of the Church, and a restatement of the urgent need for reparation, with special implications to our times.
Liberates us from Pop-slogans
The truth has a liberating quality. Our Lord said “the truth shall make you free”. And the Fatima Message liberates us from falling for the many empty slogans so popular today. It keeps us from falling for the slogan that the godless United Nations is “the last great hope of peace for mankind.”It keeps us from falling for the slogan that we are now entering a “new springtime” with the advent of the new millennium. It keeps us from falling for the slogan that we are now on the threshold of some new “civilization of love” where Catholics and members of false religions can play down their differences to work together in order to make the world a better place. (Interestingly, the notion that Catholics and non-Catholics can work together to build some sort of new “civilization of love” was actually condemned by Pope St. Pius X when he condemned the Sillon movement in France in 1910.)
We must notice that those two terms so popular right now “A New Springtime” and “A Civilization of Love” — neither one of those two terms contain any mention of Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart. Yet Our Lady at Fatima did indeed promise a great victory. But She did not call it a “new springtime”, nor did She call it a “civilization of love”. It was called The Triumph of My Immaculate Heart.
Our Lady came to Fatima with the Message that “God wants to establish in the world devotion to My Immaculate Heart.” There will be no victory, there will be no “new springtime” without a sufficient number of Catholics fulfilling faithfully the requests of Our Lady of Fatima. This has to be our center of gravity.
Now, lets take a quick review of Her requests.
At Fatima, Our Lady asked us to:
- recite at least Five Decades of the Rosary every day,
- wear the Brown Scapular,
- offer our Daily Duty to God as an act of sacrifice,
- make Five First Saturdays of Reparation to Her Immaculate Heart,
- Our Lady also requested that the Pope, in union with all the bishops of the world, consecrate Russia to Her Immaculate Heart, promising Russia’s conversion through this means, and a period of peace to be given to the world.
This consecration has yet to be accomplished.
My little contribution to the demonstration that Russia has not been consecrated, and has not converted, comes from a short article in the August 9, 1999, Toronto Sun; which reported that Larry Flynt, the so-called “King of Pornography,” has just launched in Moscow a Russian version of Hustler magazine.
Now, for any of you who don’t know what this is, Hustler magazine is one of the most graphic, pornographic magazines in the United States. It is a multi-million dollar industry with a huge circulation. Larry Flynt boasted that he has sent free subscriptions of this magazine to every member of the Russian parliament. This is 15 years after the 1984 consecration; a consecration which did not mention Russia by name, as Our Lady had requested.
In the Triumph of Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart, Larry Flynt will not be able to get away with that!
Reverence for Tradition
So, I want to explain why the Message of Our Lady of Fatima has to be central to our world view.
First of all, what makes the Fatima Message eminently trustworthy is that Our Lady at Fatima displayed a profound reverence for the consistent, unchanging teaching of the Church throughout the centuries. When Our Lady came to Fatima, She did not give us any new doctrine, nor did She give us a new understanding of Catholic teaching that would differ from the consistent teaching of the centuries. St. Paul said “But though we, or an angel from Heaven, preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema.” (Gal. 1: 8)
And Our Lady followed these sacred guidelines. Not only did She have profound reverence for what the Church always taught, with the same meaning and in the same sense, (eadem sententia eodem sensu) but She reinforced key doctrines and orientations.
And the doctrines and orientations that She reinforced can give us a clue to those doctrines that would come under the greatest attack in our century.
Our Lady in the Plan of Salvation
First of all, Our Lady’s Message of Fatima reinforces the profound importance of Our Lady in the plan of salvation.
We know from the Message that the salvation of the world, the conversion of Russia, world peace, depends ultimately on mankind fulfilling God’s desire of establishing in the world devotion to Her Immaculate Heart. Our Lady’s centrality and importance is re-emphasized at Fatima.
Now, a good Mariologist could talk all day about how Our Lady is central in the plan of salvation. But I want to focus on one aspect of this truth. That is, Our Lady was absolutely necessary for Christ to become man — or perhaps I should say, Son of Man.
God, who is Almighty, could not have become a member of the human race without Mary, could not have become “Son of Man” without Our Lady.
This is not my own teaching, but it is that of the great Benedictine Abbot Marmion (1858-1923). He was probably the greatest spiritual writer of the 20th Century. Regarding Abbot Marmion’s work, Pope Benedict XV said “read it, it is the pure doctrine of the Church.”
Abbot Marmion, in his books, points out that for Our Lord to become truly a member of our human race, a Son of Adam, a “Son of Man”, He was absolutely dependent on Our Blessed Mother saying “yes” to the angel who asked Her if She would consent to be the Mother of the God-Man, Jesus Christ.
Of course, Our Lord could have become man on His own without the intervention of Our Lady. He could have just assumed a human nature from matter that He created out of nothing then-and-there on the spot, and appeared before us as man.
But had He done that, He would have been, so to speak, like an alien from another planet beaming down onto earth. There is no way we could have looked upon Him as part of our human race. He would have looked like a man, walked liked a man, talked like a man. But we could have never regarded Him as being truly part of our human family, part of our bloodline, part of our human race. We could never have regarded Him as an actual, physical descendent of our first parents, Adam and Eve. We would have had no sense of kinship with His humanity.
In order for our Lord to come to be truly kin with us, truly part of our human family that was in need of redemption, it was absolutely necessary that He be born of a daughter of Adam and Eve, and this “daughter” was the spotless and immaculate ever-virgin Mary. She was absolutely essential.
God was dependent on Our Lady so that Our Lord Jesus Christ could truly call Himself the “Son of Man”. And as Abbot Marmion points out, it seems that the title “Son of Man” is the description of Himself that Our Lord held dearest to His Heart when He was on earth. Abbot Marmion explains that Our Lord used the term “Son of Man” in reference to Himself more than any other title.
And likewise, the Message of Fatima helps us to remember our dependence on Our Lady. It reminds us that devotion to Our Lady, and particularly to Her Immaculate Heart, is not something on the periphery, not some pretty optional extra. No! Our Lord made devotion to Her Immaculate Heart an inescapable condition for the conversion of Russia, for a period of peace being granted to the world.
Key Doctrines Reinforced
Also, in the Message of Fatima, we see the key dogmas of our Faith reinforced.
When Our Lady came to Fatima:
- She spoke of the doctrine of Heaven,
- She spoke of the doctrine of Hell,
- She spoke of the doctrine of Purgatory,
- She spoke of the doctrine of the Holy Eucharist,
- She spoke of the doctrine of the Sacrament of Penance.
And, indirectly, She spoke of the doctrine of the Social Kingship of Jesus Christ — and reinforced the traditional papal teaching that there is only one true Church, outside of which there is no salvation, and that States and governments must recognize this Church as such, and must recognize the indirect power of the Church over the State and civil society. This is all implicit in Our Lady’s request that the Pope consecrate Russia to Her Immaculate Heart.
On May 13, 1917, when Lucy asked Our Lady “Where is Your Grace from?” She answered “I am of Heaven.”
Our Lady is in Heaven, body and soul. Heaven is a place, a real place, not just a state of mind. And according to the Message, it is a place that we will only attain if we live the sacramental life of sanctifying grace through membership in the Mystical Body of Christ, the Catholic Church.
Our Lady also reminded us of the doctrine of Hell. That Hell exists. That it is a place; and that human souls go there, have gone there, and are there now. Our Lady was certainly not a follower of the progressive theologian, Hans urs von Balthasar, who speculated that “hell exists, but it is empty.”
No. Our Lord said, the truth shall set you free. And Our Lady’s reinforcement of the doctrine of Hell frees us from all the errors of von Balthasar and his followers, no matter who they may be.
Even more dramatic, Our Lady did not just tell these small children about the reality of Hell. On July 13, 1917, Our Lady of Fatima gave the three children a terrifying vision of Hell.
This is an account from Sister Lucy’s own memoirs:
“...Our Lady opened Her hands once more as She had done the two previous months, the rays of light seemed to penetrate the earth. And we saw as it were a sea of fire; plunged in this fire we saw the demons and the souls of the damned. The latter were like transparent burning embers, all blackened, burnished, bronzed, having human forms. They were floating about in that conflagration, now raised into the air by the flames that issued from within themselves together with great clouds of smoke, now they fell back on every side like huge 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 from the souls of the damned by their terrifying and repellent likeness to unknown animals, black and transparent like burning coals. The 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, we would have died of fear.”
Our Lady then said to them:
“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.”
This was a terrifying vision that was given to the children. Sister Lucy said very clearly that “The demons were distinguished from the souls of the damned.” Hence, this demonstrates that the von Balthasar theory [that Hell exists, but it is empty — or another slant, that ‘we know there are demons in Hell, but we really don’t know if there are any human beings in Hell’ is completely false. There are demons in Hell, and there are human souls in Hell. This vision gave the children the grace and the courage to perform heroic sacrifices for the salvation of souls.
Our Lady also reinforced the teaching on Purgatory.
On May 13, 1917, Lucy asked Our Lady about two friends of hers that had died recently.
Lucy asked “Is Maria das Neves already in Heaven?” (this girl had died at about age 16).
Our Lady replied “Yes, she is.”
Then Lucy asked about her other friend who had died at about age 18 or 20: “And Amelia?”
Our Lady answered, “she will be in Purgatory until the end of the world.”
This statement of Our Lady also flies in the face of the false Protestant creeds which reject Purgatory. Just by that one statement, she will be in Purgatory until the end of time, Our Lady is telling Protestants that “your Protestant doctrine which rejects Purgatory is false.”
Our Lady reinforced the teaching on the Sacrament of Confession. She established sacramental confession as a necessary condition in order for souls to fulfill the requirements for the Five First Saturdays.
And once again, by this, Our Lady is telling our Protestant friends, “your Protestant doctrine which rejects the sacrament of Confession is false.”
Next, the Holy Eucharist.
The apparitions at Fatima not only reinforce the doctrine of the Eucharist, but also reinforce man’s duty of reverence towards the Holy Eucharist as the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ.
In 1916, a year before Our Lady came to Fatima, Jacinta, Francisco and Lucy of Fatima were favored with three separate apparitions of an angel — precursor to Our Lady’s visitations. The third and last of the angelic appearances occurred in autumn, 1916, with the “Angel of the Eucharist.”
At this time, when the angel came to administer the Holy Eucharist to the children, the angel did not appear with an ear-to-ear grin saying to them: “O children, I am here to tell you that the purpose of this Eucharist is to instill in you a sense of community and solidarity, fostering dialogue and personal relationships, and celebrating the inherent dignity of the human person through unity in diversity.”
That was not the scene at all.
Lucy tells us that it was mid-day, and the children were prostrate, reciting the prayers of reparation taught to them by the Angel of Peace that preceding spring.
“I do not know how many times we repeated that prayer when we saw shining above us an unknown light. We got up ... and we saw the angel again, who had in his left hand a Chalice above which was suspended a Host from which some drops of Blood fell into the Chalice.
“Leaving the Chalice and the Host suspended in the air, he came near us and prostrated himself down to the earth and repeated three times this prayer:
“Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, I adore Thee profoundly, and I offer Thee the Most Precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifference by which He Himself is offended. And by the infinite merits of His most Sacred Heart and of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of Thee the conversion of poor sinners”.”
Lucy writes that the angel arose, took again into his hands the Chalice and the Host and administered Communion to the three children, placing the Sacred Host on Lucy’s tongue and he shared the Blood of the Chalice between Francisco and Jacinta, saying at the same time:
“Eat and drink the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, horribly outraged by ungrateful men. Make reparation for their crimes and console your God.”
After this, Lucy relates that the angel prostrated himself again down to the ground and repeated with us three times the same prayer: “Most Holy Trinity, etc.” Then he disappeared.
Is it possible for Heaven to send mankind a more forceful instruction on how the Holy Eucharist should be reverenced and venerated? By his actions, the angel not only instructed the three Fatima children, but also the entire 20th Century and all nations until the end of time.
Again, the angel’s mannerism towards the Eucharist was in perfect conformity with the traditional teaching and practice of the Church:
- The angel was on his knees, prostrate with his face to the ground. By doing so, he was acknowledging the Sovereign Majesty and Divinity of Jesus Christ truly present in the Eucharist. This is reminding us of the great reverence that we owe to the Blessed Sacrament.
- The angel recited prayers of reparation for blasphemy and sacrileges against the Blessed Sacrament, as if foretelling the countless outrages that will occur against the Blessed Sacrament, especially after 1960.
- The angel prayed, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, for the conversion of poor sinners, especially, we may infer from the context, for those who sin against the Holy Eucharist.
- The angel did not give Lucy Communion in the hand.
The three children of Fatima knew that the angel was sent for their instruction, that his example was to be followed.
“Impelled by the force of the supernatural which enveloped us, we had imitated the angel in everything, that is, we prostrated ourselves like him, and we had repeated the prayers which he said ... We stayed in the same attitude, always repeating the same words.”
So, likewise, it would seem that the angel was God’s messenger from Heaven giving us the example of the profound reverence that we owe to the Blessed Sacrament. And, once again, the doctrine of the Holy Eucharist is something that is rejected by Protestants, by Jews, Moslems, Hindus, Buddhists. Heaven is telling all these man-made religions that their doctrine is wrong, their creeds are false.
The Five First Saturdays
Before I move into the next section that deals with the Five First Saturdays, I want to make an observation. There is a tendency today, in the light of what we could call ecumenical sensitivities, to play down hard-line Catholic truths for the sake of an ecumenical orientation. This new idea says that, in dealing with non-Catholics, we should not concentrate so much on those things that divide us, but lets put them aside, and concentrate on those things that unite us.
By contrast, we see that this is not the approach that Our Blessed Mother took at Fatima. Our Lady recognized that Her first duty is to teach the Truth. And Our Lady,
- by emphasizing the Rosary,
- by emphasizing devotion to Her Immaculate Heart,
- by emphasizing the Brown Scapular,
- by emphasizing Purgatory,
- by emphasizing the authority of the Papacy,
- by emphasizing the Sacrament of Confession,
- by emphasizing the Holy Eucharist as the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ,
Our Lady is emphasizing those very points that DIVIDE Catholics from Protestants, and that DIVIDE Catholics from every other religion on the face of the earth.
Can any of us claim that in our approach, we know better than the Mother of God?
And not only does the Message of Fatima emphasize those points that divide us, but it explains clearly that, in the objective order, those people who do not believe these truths, and especially those people who refuse to give Her the honor that is due Her, are guilty of the crime of blasphemy.
Our Lord taught this in a delicate but firm manner when He explained the Five First Saturdays of Reparation.
The First Saturdays devotion to Our Lady was not something new. It was not an innovation. Again, in calling for the Five First Saturdays, Our Lady was showing profound respect for tradition.
In 1892, Pope Leo XIII granted to all the Faithful a plenary indulgence to those who devoted 15 consecutive Saturdays in honor of Our Lady of the Rosary.
Later on, Pope St. Pius X granted a plenary indulgence to all who would perform the Twelve First Saturdays in honor of Our Lady.
Further, on June 13, 1912, Pope St. Pius X granted new indulgences to the Faithful who performed the devotion of Reparation to Our Lady on the First Saturdays of the month.
And five years later to the day, on June 13, 1917, Our Lady showed to the three children of Fatima Her Immaculate Heart “surrounded by thorns that seemed to pierce it” which demanded reparation.
In calling for the Five First Saturdays, Our Lady took a traditional devotion, simplified it, and gave it a greater efficacy.
On December 10, 1925, when Lucy was an 18-year-old Postulant in Pontevedra, Our Lady and the Child Jesus appeared to her. Our Lord said,
“Have compassion on the Heart of your Most Holy Mother, covered with thorns, with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment, and there is no one to make an Act of Reparation to remove them.”
The Child Jesus is concerned about these sins against His Mother.
Then Our Blessed Mother said to Lucy:
“Look, My daughter, at My Heart, surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce Me at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You at least try to console Me and announce in My name that I promise to assist at the moment of death, with all the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the First Saturday of five consecutive months, shall confess, receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary, and keep Me company for fifteen minutes while meditating on the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary, with the intention of making Reparation to Me.”
Later, Sister Lucy’s confessor, Father Gonçalves, directed Sister Lucy to ask Our Lady some questions regarding the Five First Saturdays.
One of the questions he asked was “Why five Saturdays, and not nine or seven in honor of the Sorrows of Our Lady?”
During the revelation of Our Lord at Tuy on May 29, 1930, Sister Lucy asked that question. This was the response given her by Heaven:
“My daughter, the reason 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;
- 4. The blasphemies of those who publicly seek to sow in the hearts of children indifference or scorn or even hatred of this Immaculate Mother;
- 5. The offenses of those who outrage Her directly in Her Holy Images.”
Hence, this is what I mean when I say that, indirectly, and in the objective order, Our Lord has accused those who are members of non-Catholic religions as being guilty of blasphemy against Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart.
Let’s look at these five offenses again:
1. Blasphemies against the Immaculate Conception;
Most Protestants, as well as most of the Eastern Orthodox, do not believe in the Immaculate Conception. And of course neither do Jews, Moslems, Hindus, Buddhists, Freemasons, Communists, socialists, secular humanists, etc.
2. Blasphemies against Her Perpetual Virginity;
Again, this indicts most Protestants, Jews, Moslems, Hindus, Buddhists, the vast majority of which do not believe in Her Perpetual Virginity. In fact, many Catholics today do not believe in Her Perpetual Virginity.
3. Blasphemies against Her Divine Maternity, in refusing at the same time to recognize Her as the Mother of Men;
Of course, we know that Moslems, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists reject this teaching, especially because they do not believe that Jesus Christ is God. And Our Lord warned No one comes to the Father but through Me.
4. The blasphemies of those who publicly seek to sow in the hearts of children indifference or scorn or even hatred of this Immaculate Mother;
Again, this is the state of Protestants, Jews, Moslems, Hindus, Buddhists, and most other false religions. Members of these religions will teach their children to attach no importance to Our Lady and to Her Immaculate Heart. Notice too that this is not something of little importance in Our Lords eyes. He calls it blasphemy, and He calls upon Catholics to get on their knees and make reparation for these great sins. They are thorns in Our Ladys Immaculate Heart.
5. The offenses of those who outrage Her directly in Her Holy Images.
This includes those who would actually destroy Her images, or ridicule them, or those Protestants who accuse Catholics of idolatry for having statues of Our Lady in places of honor in their homes.
As well as being a call to penance, this is an indictment against all non-Catholic religions.
Thus, Our Lord is not taking the modern ecumenical approach. He is not emphasizing those points that unite us with false religions. He is emphasizing those points that divide us from non-Catholics. By doing so, I believe Our Lord is telling us that these points are far more important than any superficial ecumenical unity.
He is emphasizing that these blasphemies against Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart are not to be taken lightly. They are, in fact, sins against Faith.
|In 1918, the great Cardinal Mercier of Belgium stated that the First World War was a punishment for the crime of men placing the one true Catholic religion on the same level with false creeds. Cardinal Mercier said, "In the name of the Gospel, and in the light of the Encyclicals of the last four Popes, Gregory XVI, Pius IX, Leo XIII, and Pius X, I do not hesitate to affirm that this indifference to religions which puts on the same level the religion of divine origin and the religions invented by men in order to include them in the same skepticism is the blasphemy which calls down chastisement on society far more than the sins of individuals and families."|
Unfortunately, today's practice of ecumenism, and the "spirit of Assisi", places the true Catholic religion on the same level as religions invented by men." According to Cardinal Mercier, this is blasphemy which will incur Divine Chastisement.
Tradition of Reparation
At this point, I want to return to a point that I made earlier. Our Lady of Fatima, in everything She did, showed a profound respect for tradition, and that the Five First Saturdays was, and still is, a traditional devotion. Of course, doctrinally Our Lady was not teaching anything new. In fact, She was most obedient to the First Vatican Council which taught as an article of faith de fide that the meaning of Sacred Doctrine cannot change. Vatican I taught:
“The meaning of Sacred Dogmas, which must always be preserved, is that which our Holy Mother the Church has determined. Never is it permissible to depart from this in the name of a deeper understanding.”1
So whether it is the doctrine of Purgatory, whether it is the doctrine of the Holy Eucharist, whether it is the doctrine of confession, whether it is the defined doctrine that there is only one true Church, outside of which there is no salvation, Vatican I taught that the meaning of these doctrines can never change. And we see that Our Lady was completely faithful to this.
Further, at Fatima, Our Lady demonstrates Her continuity with the special revelations given by Heaven to the Church in the 19th Century; whether it be Her appearances at Lourdes, at La Salette, or Our Lord’s manifestations to Sister Marie de Saint-Pierre in France in the 1840s. It is all the same urgent message.
When Our Lady came to Lourdes in 1858, She cried out “do penance, make reparation”.
When Our Lady came to La Salette in 1846, She pleaded “do penance, make reparation”. And She warned at La Salette that France would be punished primarily for two sins; for sins against the profanation of Sundays, (sins against the Third Commandment) and for taking God’s name in vain (sins against the Second Commandment).
This also corresponds in a very special way to the revelations, approved by the Church, given by Our Lord to Sister Marie de Saint-Pierre in the 1840s. Sister Marie de Saint-Pierre was a Carmelite nun in France who died in her early twenties (a fascinating story that we do not have time to cover in detail).
In these messages, (like Fatima) our Lord called for the great need for reparation. And our Lord, in particular, called for reparation to His Holy Face. Our Lord gave to Sister Marie de Saint-Pierre a special prayer called the GOLDEN ARROW (to repair blasphemy), which I’ll recite for you in a moment. And on November 24, 1843, our Lord said to Sister Marie de Saint-Pierre:
“The earth is covered with crimes. The violation of the First Three Commandments of God has irritated My Father; the Holy Name of God is blasphemed (2nd Commandment) and the Holy Days of the Lord are profaned (3rd Commandment) fills up the measure of iniquities. These sins have risen unto the throne of God and provoked His wrath which will soon burst forth if His justice be not appeased. At no times have these crimes reached such a pitch.”2
This is the 1840’s, what we consider the good old days. Everything is far worse now.
During these revelations, our Lord asked that an association of Reparation to the Holy Face be formed, and He also dictated the prayer, THE GOLDEN ARROW for reparation against blasphemy:
“May the most holy, most sacred, most adorable, most mysterious and unutterable Name of God be praised, blessed, loved, adored and glorified, in Heaven, on earth, and in hell, by all God’s creatures, and by the Sacred Heart of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar. Amen”3
At that time, one of the greatest promoters of this Devotion to the Holy Face was the “Holy Man of Tours”, Leo DuPont, who hung a large picture of the Holy Face in his parlor before which burned holy oil. So many miracles were worked in the parlor of Leo DuPont that Venerable Pope Pius IX called DuPont “the wonder worker of the 19th Century”.
Now, Our Lady of Fatima is coming out of this solid “tradition”; this unchanging, urgent call for reparation.
And the revelations of our Lord to Sister Marie de Saint-Pierre call not only for reparation against the 2nd and 3rd Commandments, as did Our Lady of La Salette, but also calls for reparation for sins against the First Commandment. We know the First Commandment is “I am the Lord thy God, thou shalt not have strange gods before Me.” And our traditional Catholic theology tells us that sins against Faith, especially the sin of heresy, are sins against the First Commandment.
Hence, we are called upon not to smile on, and become chummy with, the false creeds of non-Catholics; but we are called to get on our knees and make reparation for these sins against the Faith, these sins against the First Commandment. These sins of heresy that produce the five blasphemies against the Immaculate Heart of Mary were enunciated by Our Lord at Tuy on May 29, 1930.
Fatima vs. the “Spirit of Assisi”
So, in conclusion, I believe that Heaven wants the Message of Our Lady of Fatima to be central to our world view. Anything that happens in the Church or in the world, we will judge as good or bad, adequate or inadequate, on the basis of whether it is in conformity with Our Lady’s words at Fatima or not.
At Fatima, She reinforced key doctrines of the Faith, and She focused on those points of doctrine that divide us from non-Catholics, to demonstrate that Truth is most important. She also instructed us, especially through the Five First Saturdays, and in conformity to the revelations given at Lourdes, La Salette and to Sister Marie de Saint-Pierre, of the need to get on our knees and make reparation for the sins of men, particularly for the sins against Faith that are part and parcel of non-Catholic creeds, especially in regard to Her Immaculate Heart.
She did not teach any new doctrine, nor any modernized understanding of doctrine that would cause us to reinterpret Catholic teaching any way differently from the way it has been taught for 2,000 years.
She told us that world peace will come only by obeying Her request of the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, not by Catholics joining with false religions in inter-religious prayers for peace — religions which She claims are blaspheming Her by their disbelief. In fact, and this is sad to say, at the great prayer-meeting at Assisi in 1986, when Catholics prayed in public with false religions for the cause of peace, the Holy Rosary was not prayed at all. This despite the fact that the Rosary is the specific prayer given by Our Lady as a condition for peace. Likewise, on that day, the Immaculate Heart of Mary was neither honored nor invoked.
This is a radical departure from the plan given by Our Lady. In fact, I believe these inter-religious assemblies will not only fail to produce any good fruit, but may actually be a cause for great chastisement. And I say this not on my own authority, but on the authority of one of the most eminent Cardinals of the 20th Century, the great Cardinal Mercier of Belgium.
In 1918, just one year after the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima, the great Cardinal Mercier stated that the First World War was actually a punishment for the crime of men placing the one true religion on the same level as false creeds (which is precisely what these new pan-religious meetings do, in stark contradiction to 2,000 years of Catholic teaching.) In a 1918 pastoral letter entitled “The Lesson of Events”, Cardinal Mercier said,
“In the name of the Gospel, and in the light of the Encyclicals of the last four Popes, Gregory XVI, Pius IX, Leo XIII, and Pius X, I do not hesitate to affirm that this indifference to religions which puts on the same level the religion of divine origin and the religions invented by men in order to include them in the same skepticism is the blasphemy which calls down chastisement on society far more than the sins of individuals and families.”4
Hence, we see that Cardinal Mercier’s statements are in perfect continuity with the consistent teaching of the Popes throughout the centuries, and in perfect harmony with a world view based on Fatima.
So I will close with what I said earlier. Just the way that the great Miracle of October 13, 1917 especially with the sun dancing in the sky and then plummeting toward the earth was so spectacular that it was impossible to take your eyes off of it; likewise, the Fatima Message itself is of such magnitude, such importance, such centrality, that we must never take our eyes off of Fatima, never take our eyes off of Our Lady’s, and never allow ourselves to be distracted from Her in any way whatsoever.
1) Vatican I, Session III, Chap. IV, Faith and Reason.
2) Scalan, The Holy Man of Tours (Tan Books), p. 122.
3) P. Janvier, Life of Sister Saint-Pierre, with an approbation by Most Rev. Charles Colet, Archbishop of Tours, (John Murphy & Co, Baltimore, 1884) p. 114.
4) Quote taken from The Kingship of Christ and Organized Naturalism by Father Denis Fahey (Regina Publications, June, 1943), p. 36. Footnoted as cited from Cardinal Mercier’s Pastoral Letter, 1918, The Lesson of Events.