“In the end, my Immaculate Heart will Triumph.”
Although this is not an official feast day on the Church calendar, I always remember it. I have a great devotion to Our Lady, inspired much by my grandmother’s love for her (and Our Lady’s love for my grandmother). As a child, I remember my grandmother telling me about Our Lady’s apparitions in Fatima towards the end of World War I. She first appeared to three shepherd children, Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco, on May 13, 1917, and appeared on the 13th of the next 6 months, with her final apparition on On October 13, 1917, 94 years ago today. On that day, the Miracle of the Sun occurred.
Our lady came to tell her children to turn back to God, warning them of things to come if we did not repent and pray. She said,
“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. If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace. The war is going to end: but if people do not cease offending God, a worse one will break out during the Pontificate of Pius XI. When you see a night illumined by an unknown light, know that this is the great sign given you by God that he is about to punish the world for its crimes, by means of war, famine, and persecutions of the Church and of the Holy Father. To prevent this, I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart, and the Communion of reparation on the First Saturdays. If my requests are heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace; if not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred; the Holy Father will have much to suffer; various nations will be annihilated. In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, and she shall be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world”. (source)
Many doubted the visions of the children. Our Lady promised Lucia that on her final visit, October 13th, she would send a sign to help people to believe.
During that final apparition, she appeared dressed as Our Lady of Mount Carmel with Saint Joseph and the baby Jesus. Clouds covered the sky as the rain fell heavily on that day. The dark clouds broke and the sun appeared, spinning and moving strangely in the sky, zigzagging and getting closer and farther away from those present. Finally, it seemed as though the sun was falling to the earth evoking panic among the 70,000 people estimated to be there. When the sun returned to its normal position in the sky, the ground and people’s clothing were completely dry. It was indeed a miracle witnessed by many.
Much is written about the Fatima apparitions. I would like to look at one aspect.
Our Lady told the children, “If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace.”
And what did Our Lady tell them and us, too?
- Pray the Rosary and wear the brown scapular
- Make reparation for the sins and outrages against God and blasphemies against the Hearts of Jesus and Mary
- Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary by and the Pope and the bishops of the world consecrate.
She asked specifically for a devotion to her Immaculate Heart begin.
“See, My daughter, My heart surrounded by thorns which ungrateful men pierce at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude… Say to all those who, for five months, on the first Saturday, confess, receive Holy Communion, recite the Rosary and keep Me company for 15 minutes while meditating on the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary, in a spirit of reparation, I promise to assist them at the hour of death with all the graces necessary or the salvation of their souls.”
She also requested the following to be prayed after each Glory Be of the Rosary, “O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to Heaven, especially those in most need of Thy mercy. Amen.”
So why do I write of such things on an ordinary day in ordinary time in the middle of October? Because it bears reminding.
I often don’t wear my brown scapular during the summer. Fall has arrived, and I haven’t put it back on. Time to wear it again.
I am often distracted when I pray the rosary. Our Lady urged the children to pray the rosary with attentiveness to their prayer. I need to do the same.
I go in and out of the habit of making little sacrifices and offering them up for the conversion of sinners and the salvation of souls. I need to do more of that.
I haven’t renewed my First Saturday consecration in a long time or even observed First Saturday. Time to do that again.
There are so many simple ways that we can honor Our Lady’s requests, and the consequences are eternal. Time to reset the clock and refocus the energy. Won’t you join me?
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us! Anne
In case you’re interested…..
* In an interview in 1948, Sister Lucia “said the most important request of Fatima is the fulfillment of one’s daily duty. Praying the Rosary aids one in doing this. The First Saturdays help one to free oneself from sin and renews the commitment to fulfill one’s daily duties. Two years later in another interview with John Haffert Sister explained that wearing the Brown Scapular is also part of the Fatima message. It is a sign of one’s consecration to the Immaculate Heart.” (source)
* Read an eyewitness account
* Watch a YouTube video
* Message of Fatima from the Vatican