Category Archives: Fatima

Fulton Sheen on Miracle of the Sun

He puts things in context. The more you know. Just nine minutes. Really good. Fulton is the best.

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UPDATE: Aussie mum on Fulton Sheen’s take on the Anti-Christ

FROM AUSSIE MUM:

“It makes sense that Modern Times which started with dismembering the Church would end with the triumph of Mary’s Immaculate Heart, that Heart that gave its all to bring the Church to birth. Our Lord would surely want this for His Mother before the end of the world given all that she suffered in solidarity with Him for our sakes.

“Venerable Fulton Sheen seemed to think that the anti-Christ is imminent. I don’t necessarily agree. The spirit of anti-Christ has certainly taken hold though and that is what I think our Immaculate Mother will triumph over. Our Lady said, “In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me and she will be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world” (July 13th, 1917). Hence, the world does not come to an end with her triumph, not until after a period of peace has followed. Presumably the anti-Christ will arrive during that peaceful period, destroying it, and Our Lord will deal with him directly.

“In summary, the period Venerable Fulton Sheen speaks of is, I think, two linked periods which were introduced by the visual presentation of the Woman of the Apocalypse in 1531, setting the scene for both:

(1) the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary over the Spirit of anti-Christ rampant today; and

(2) the end of history, Christ dealing directly with the anti-Christ.

“Surprising visuals, only given in Modern Times and both miraculous

(1) The words describing Our Lady and the Church in the last book of the Bible written approximately a millennium and a half earlier, depicted visually in 1531 by Our Lady of Guadalupe

(2) The words describing Our Lady in the first book of the Bible set at the dawn of history, depicted visually in 1830 in the design Our Lady gave for the front of the Miraculous Medal (Our Lady crushing the head of the serpent)

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Fatima 13 August? No. But then…

[[ // The following is from the EWTN Fatima page. I like how the one summarizing the background in the first paragraph puts “criminals” in scare-quotes, intimating that these were, instead, under cover interrogators placed by the Mayor and Administrator. Yep. That would be right. // ]]

Under the pretext of providing his personal automobile, so that the children could travel safely through the crowds pressing around their homes, the civil Administrator or Mayor of the district in which Fátima was located, arrived in Aljustrel on the morning of August 13th. A previous attempt on August 11th to obtain the “truth” from the children having been unsuccessful, Artur Santos, an apostate Catholic and high Mason, had devised a scheme by which he would take them into custody and force them to reveal all. With a show of good will he now offered to take the three and their parents to see the parish priest, whom he claimed wished to see them, and then to the Cova. At the parish house he abandoned this ruse, and the parents, taking the children alone from there to the district headquarters in Vila Nova de Ourem, some 9 miles away. Here he tried bribes, threats of death and locking them in a cell with other “criminals” in order to get them to recant their story. It was to no avail. Despite their ages, their belief in the Lady and their courage was unshakeable.

Meanwhile, in the Cova at noon on the 13th the characteristic external signs of the Apparition appeared for the benefit of the crowd, the greatest crowd to that time. After they ended the crowd dispersed, as yet unaware of the trickery of the government.

The “trial” of the children, however, continued for two days, to the consternation of their families. Finally, on the Feast of the Assumption, August 15, the Administrator had them driven back to Fátima and deposited on the steps of the rectory. Here they were seen as the people, who had just come from Mass, were trying to determined from Ti Marto where the children were. Their anger was poured out on the driver, and on the Mayor when he arrived a little later, both of whom were no doubt glad to be rid of their little charges and to escape unscathed. It would effectively be the only serious effort of the civil authorities to interfere with the Lady of Fátima.

As it was the Lady’s plans were delayed slightly. On Sunday the 19th Lucia, her brother John, and Francisco, were grazing the sheep at a place known as Valinhos. It was located on the side of the same hillock opposite Aljustrel where the angel appeared twice, though a little farther north. At apout 4 o’clock, sensing that Our Lady was about to appear, Lucia tried unsuccessfully to get John to fetch Jacinta, until she offered him a couple pennies for the errand. As she and Francisco waited they saw the characteristic light. The moment Jacinta arrived the Lady appeared.

  • “What do you want of me?”
    • Come again to the Cova da Iria on the thirteenth of next month, my child, and continue to say the Rosary every day. In the last month I will perform a miracle so that all may believe.
  • “What are we to do with the offerings of money that people leave at the Cova da Iria?”
    • I want you to have two ardors [litters to carry statues] made, for the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. I want you and Jacinta to carry one of them with two other girls. You will both dress in white. And then I want Francisco, with three boys helping him, to carry the other one. The boys, too, will be dressed in white. What is left over will help towards the construction of a chapel that is to be built here.
  • Lucia then asked for the cure of some sick people.
    • Some I will cure during the year. (looking sadly at them) Pray, pray very much. Make sacrifices for sinners. Many souls go to hell, because no one is willing to help them with sacrifice.

Having said that she departed as she had on the other occasions.


/// This is the providence of the Lord, who so often provides that we are in the circumstances He Himself suffered, allowing us the opportunity to be in more complete solidarity with Him. Christ Jesus was betrayed and interrogated and thrown in prison overnight, the next day to face judgment by a puppet and then to be ripped to shreds and tortured to death on the cross.

In the case of the children, they had other tasks to be accomplished, the first amongst them being to pray the Rosary.

Typical of believers, Lucia, amidst all the chaos and suffering and then the apparition, asked about some sick people. Recall Jesus on the cross, who paid attention to His dear mother and to John.

Our Lady of Fatima, Our Lady of the Rosary, said: Pray, pray very much. Make sacrifices for sinners. Many souls go to hell, because no one is willing to help them with sacrifice. The purpose of this, practically speaking, is to get these fallen souls to GO TO CONFESSION! or, failing that, to help them as they die to turn to Jesus. Should they get to purgatory, they will in the end get to heaven. That’s what we want for Jesus and our Blessed Mother. We gotta get to heaven; we gotta help each other get to heaven.

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Aussie mum on Fatima, on the 13th, on Saint Michael the Archangel

At the post – The crushing weight of Fatima is upon me, and I rejoice in our Lady of the Rosary – Aussie mum dropped this following comment which I’d like to emphasize as it’s own post. Thank you, Aussie mum! I’m happy to give voice to all that you write. Thank you for your prayers and suffering for the Church. Thank you for your faithfulness. Thank you for your writings. Just, thank you.


“The crushing weight of Fatima” and “rejoice(ing) in our Lady of the Rosary”. Yes … one balances the other.

I would like to share a couple of things that are bearing heavily on my mind. These thoughts arise from research for a book still under construction which I am unlikely to complete writing due to age, illness and mental block.

1. Re the importance of Fatima dates

Our Lady chose the 13th for her appearances at Fatima beginning May and ending in October.

May 13th draws our attention to the Blessed Sacrament as others have pointed out. https://www.olbs.org/our-patroness.html

October 13th draws our attention to the crucifixion of St Peter and suffering of the Church (see note and link below). I haven’t come across anyone making this connection re October 13th and I would like to put it out there for consideration.

Note on St Peter

Margherita Guarducci, an Italian archaeologist and epigraphologist who led excavations under St Peter’s Basilica in the 1960s that uncovered St Peter’s remains, places his execution as part of the festivities for Nero’s 10th “dies imperii” (anniversary of his reign); i.e. 13th October AD 64.

https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?recnum=5861

2. Re the importance of the title, Our Lady of the Rosary

The Rosary summarises Salvation History of which Our Lady is integral (the woman of Gen 3:15 and Apoc 12). That reality has been obscured in Modern Times with disastrous results.

Modern Times (beginning 16th century) opened with a religious revolt – Luther and the Reformation (1517) – that put Our Lady aside, ignored the authority of the Church founded on Peter, and denied the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and 5 of the 7 Sacraments to its adherents. That revolt became a revolution which has continued to dismember the Church across the 500 years since, so that the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church is today reaching “little flock” status. Hence Our Lady of the Rosary came to Fatima, preceded by St Michael the Archangel.

Interestingly, Daniel 12 foretells to St Michael rising up to protect the children of God (verse 1), and of the continual sacrifice being taken away and the abomination unto desolation set up (verse 11).

There is more but I am very low on energy and comment is already too long anyway – hope it makes sense.

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The crushing weight of Fatima is upon me, and I rejoice in our Lady of the Rosary

Early-mid July, 1976, at sixteen years of age, as a Cadet of Our Lady of Fatima, I made a lifelong confession of all my sins to Fr Robert Fox in a small side-sacristy of a chapel in Domus Pacis, right across from the Basilica. In receiving the absolution, I was so radiantly full of joy that I remember many people remarking about that radiance, on the street, and by my fellow cadets, and by the religious brothers chaperoning the trip. I had to ask what it was that they were saying, and one religious brother said, “You’ve obviously been to confession.” I was stunned. He nailed it. Then he told another boy, who was a bit sullen, that he had to go to confession. He nailed that too.

It was the same experience I had had at my first confession in the 1960s, wherein all the kids were pointing at me coming out of the confessional, and I was oblivious as to the reason. Bewildered, I asked a fellow young penitent what it was that they were pointing at, and I was told it was my face, radiant, and the joy, the joy.

And then it was 12 July, 1976, the cadets were chasing off to the Cova d’Iria. It was night, the vigil of the apparition of July 13, 1917. I remember walking through the tent city on the Domus Pacis side of the Basilica, in vivid detail. Soon, we were on the piazza where the Cova d’Iria was located and then the towering pillar of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (both of which have now been moved).

Father Fox manhandled some of us toward the litter being carried by some 12 men dressed in their customary ways of centuries gone by. On top of the litter was the statue of the Cova itself, Our Lady of Fatima. This was the candlelight Rosary procession with a record 2.2 million people present, all with candles, all singing and praying their hearts out. In the modern video below there are barricades and such and neat lines of people. No. Back in the day it was total mayhem, the crushing of the crowds.

I was suddenly dragged up to take the place of one of the men carrying the litter all whilst the litter kept moving. When it came time to change again they looked at my face and asked if I would like to continue carrying our Lady. “YEEEEEEEEESSSSSS PLEEEEEEEESE!!!” So, I continued carrying our Lady right to the Cova. I am all smiles until this very day. :-)

And then I wrote this post: Traditionis custodes Article one: rejecting faith so as to celebrate ourselves. Hell…

And then Aussie mum made this comment about that specific post and the heart of Our Lady of Fatima:

  • “Father, as happens quite often and whether you realise it or not, your posts bring facets of Fatima to mind – connecting with it in some way and helping to open it up – but this post, “Traditionis custodes Article one: rejecting faith so as to celebrate ourselves. Hell …”, I think, goes right to the very heart of why Our Lady came to Fatima. July 13th 1917 when Our Lady showed Hell to the children, she spoke of an attack on the Catholic faith that would be global and almost wipe it from the face of the earth when she said: “In Portugal the Dogma of the Faith will always be preserved”. The phrase “Dogma of the Faith” I supposed to be a way of summing up all the truths of our holy Catholic religion, at the centre of which is the Blessed Eucharist – the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass – “the source and summit of the Christian life (CCC1324)”. But by what action could all this be overthrown or nearly so? Then your post above in which you point out: “To equate rubrics and faith is an attack on the faith, delegitimizing all faith from time immemorial until this very day.” That sentence jumped out at me! The enormity of Traditionis custodes is paralysing, or would be if not for the comforting words of Our Lady of Fatima: “In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph”.

With that post about Traditionis custodes in mind, lets see what 13 July 1917 is all about. This is the presentation of EWTN:


As the July date approached Lucia continued to be troubled by the words of her pastor that the devil might be behind the apparitions. Finally, she confided to Jacinta that she intended not to go. When the day finally dawned, however, her fears and anxieties disappeared, so that the noon hour found her in the Cova with Jacinta and Francisco, awaiting the arrival of the beautiful Lady.

The apparition of July 13th would prove to be in many ways the most controversial aspect of the message of Fátima, providing a secret in three parts which the children guarded zealously. The first two parts, the vision of hell and the prophecy of the future role of Russia and how to prevent it, would not be revealed until Sr. Lucia wrote them down in her third memoir, at the request of the bishop, in 1941. The third part, usually called the Third Secret, was only later communicated to the bishop, who sent it unread to Pope Pius XII.

A few moments after arriving at the Cova da Iria, near the holmoak, where a large number of people were praying the Rosary, we saw the flash of light once more, and a moment later Our Lady appeared on the holmoak.

“Lucia,” Jacinta said, “speak. Our Lady is talking to you.”

“Yes?” said Lucia. She spoke humbly, asking pardon for her doubts with every gesture, and to the Lady: “What do you want of me?”

I want you to come back here on the thirteenth of next month. Continue to say the Rosary every day in honor of Our Lady of the Rosary, to obtain the peace of the world and the end of the war, because only she can obtain it.

“Yes, yes.”

“I would like to ask who you are, and if you will do a miracle so that everyone will know for certain that you have appeared to us.”

You must come here every month, and in October I will tell you who I am and what I want. I will then perform a miracle so that all may believe.

Thus assured, Lucia began to place before the Lady the petitions for help that so many had entrusted to her. The Lady said gently that she would cure some, but others she would not cure.

“And the crippled son of Maria da Capelinha?”

No, neither of his infirmity nor of his poverty would he be cured, and he must be certain to say the Rosary with his family every day.

Another case recommended by Lucia to the Lady’s assistance was a sick woman from Atougia who asked to be taken to heaven.

Tell her not to be in a hurry. Tell her I know very well when I shall come to fetch her.

Make sacrifices for sinners, and say often, especially while making a sacrifice: O Jesus, this is for love of Thee, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for offences committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

[First Part of the Secret – The Vision of Hell]

As Our Lady spoke these words she opened her hands once more, as had during 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 were demons and souls in human form, like transparent burning embers, all blackened or burnished bronze, floating about in the conflagration, now raised into the air by the flames that issued from within themselves together with great clouds of smoke, now following back on every side like sparks in huge fires, without weight or equilibrium, amid shrieks and groans of pain and despair, which horrified us and made us tremble with fear. (it must have been this sight which caused me to cry out, as people say they heard me do). The demons could be distinguished by their terrifying and repellent likeness to frightful and unknown animals, black and transparent like burning coals. terrified and as if to plead for succor, we looked up at Our Lady, who said to us, so kindly and so sadly:

[Second Part of the Secret]

You have seen hell, where the souls of poor sinners go. It is to save them that God wants to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If you do what I tell you, many souls will be saved, and there will be peace.

This war will end, but if men do not refrain from offending God, another and more terrible war will begin during the pontificate of Pius XI. When you see a night that is lit by a strange and unknown light [this occurred on January 28, 1938], you will know it is the sign God gives you that He is about to punish the world with war and with hunger, and by the persecution of the Church and the Holy Father.

To prevent this, I shall come to the world to ask that Russia be consecrated to my Immaculate Heart, and I shall ask that on the First Saturday of every month Communions of reparation be made in atonement for the sins-of the world. If my wishes are fulfilled, Russia will be converted and there will be peace; if not, then Russia will spread her errors throughout the world, bringing new wars and persecution of the Church; the good will be martyred and the Holy Father will have much to suffer; certain nations will be annihilated. But in the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, and she will be converted, and the world will enjoy a period of peace. In Portugal the faith will always be preserved…

[Third Part of the Secret – Congregation for Doctrine of the Faith, “The Message of Fátima”]

{After the two parts which I have already explained, at the left of Our Lady and a little above, we saw an Angel with a flaming sword in his left hand; flashing, it gave out flames that looked as though they would set the world on fire; but they died out in contact with the splendor that Our Lady radiated towards him from her right hand: pointing to the earth with his right hand, the Angel cried out in a loud voice: ‘Penance, Penance, Penance!’.

And we saw in an immense light that is God: ‘something similar to how people appear in a mirror when they pass in front of it’ a Bishop dressed in white; ‘we had the impression that it was the Holy Father’. Other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious going up a steep mountain, at the top of which there was a big Cross of rough-hewn trunks as of a cork-tree with the bark; before reaching there the Holy Father passed through a big city half in ruins and half trembling with halting step, afflicted with pain and sorrow, he prayed for the souls of the corpses he met on his way; having reached the top of the mountain, on his knees at the foot of the big Cross, he was killed by a group of soldiers who fired bullets and arrows at him, and in the same way there died one after another the other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious, and various lay people of different ranks and positions. Beneath the two arms of the Cross there were two Angels each with a crystal aspersorium in his hand, in which they gathered up the blood of the Martyrs and with it sprinkled the souls that were making their way to God.}

Remember, you must not tell this to anyone except Francisco.

When you pray the Rosary, say after each mystery: O my Jesus, forgive us, save us from the fire of hell. Lead all souls to heaven, especially those who are most in need.

“Is there anything more that you want of me?”

No, I do not want anything more of you today.

Then as before Our Lady began to ascend towards the east, until she finally disappeared in the immense darkness of the firmament.

The possession of the Secret proved to be very great trial for the three young ones. Family, neighbors, followers of the apparitions, even the clergy, tried unsuccessfully to get them to reveal it. Finally, as the day of the August apparition approached even the civil government, which was secular and virulently anti-clerical, alarmed by the numbers of people taking an interest in the Fátima events, attempted to wrest it from them and in the process expose the Church as a collaborator in a fraud.


So, let’s see: Traditionis custodes Article one: rejecting faith so as to celebrate ourselves. Hell… And then go back to Aussie mum’s words above. Yikes!

Go to Confession, regularly. I do. I am nothing. Jesus is everything.

Penance, Penance, Penance!

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Cardinal Burke on Fatima and apostasy

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The Fatima Century – by Craig Turner

Craig provides an amazing tour of world history relative to the Fatima Century. This was slightly revised and republished by Father Gordon MacRae, and is now on his newly revised site: Beyond These Stone Walls.

How Our Lady of Fatima Saved a World in Crisis

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Our Lady of Fatima & Saint John Paul II – assassination attempt

fatima pope john paul assassination

When Mehmet Ali Ağca , Soviet puppet, pulled the trigger, our Lady of Fatima redirected the bullets. Saint John Paul II survived.

Where were you at the time?

I was a seminarian and was at the Shrine of our Lady of Fatima just outside of Rome, looking back at the City. The panorama is burned in my mind. This brings back many memories.

This was just five years after I had the privilege to be one of the Cadets of our Lady of Fatima who were chosen to help carry her statue for the main candlelight procession during the vigil of the July apparition, the night of 12 July, 1976, amidst a crowd of 2.1 to 2.2 million souls, when I was sixteen years old. My sister had introduced me to the scapular and rosary and the Blue Army when I was only six. She’s the one who paid for the trip when I was sixteen. I thank her for the great Catholic formation I received on this pilgrimage with Father Robert J Fox. Anyway, on that same trip with many other cadets, we went to Coimbra and met Sister Lucia. Years later I would return to Fatima in 2008 with all my fellow permanent chaplains of the Sanctuaries of Lourdes, France. Much was the same. Much had also changed.

The one who throughout the years kept me close to our Lady of Fatima was Pope Saint John Paul II. The nations rage, but Mary Immaculate’s Son is the Lord of History.

Do you remember where were you at the time of the attempt? Have you been to Fatima? Do you belong to the World Apostolate of Our Lady of Fatima (Blue Army)?

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Fatima’s annihilation angel: “the weight of the glory”

angel of fatima

“The Apparition of Our Lady plunged us once more into the atmosphere of the supernatural, but this time more gently. Instead of annihilation in the Divine Presence, which exhausted us even physically, it left us filled with peace and expansive joy.” (In her own words [pdf]).

The annihilation spoken about here is wonderfully positive, recalling Saint Paul: It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. This is an annihilation because of the very Author of Life is present, He who is love. This is the weight of the glory – βάρος δόξης – spoken of by Saint Paul, following up on the Hebrew Scriptures: the weight/glory of the Lord: כבוד־יהוה. This weight of the glory of the Lord pushes us to our knees in humble reverence, in thanksgiving before the Most High. Mary is such a good mother.

In trepidation, I just might ask my guardian angel for a bit more of a smidgen of a sense of this annihilation. Trepidation, mind you. After all, who am I if not already a nobody asking to know just that before the presence of the Most High? This would be so that I might more adequately thank Him who is to come to judge the living and the dead and the world by fire, thank Him for coming into this world, standing in our stead, being annihilated for us that we in turn might be brought to life in Him.

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Fatima 13 May 1917: 104th anniversary – First Apparition of Mary

fatima children-

Our Lady of Fatima (Saint Anne’s Catholic Church, Charlotte, NC)

In the words of Ven. Lúcia de Jesus Rosa dos Santos (Irmã Maria Lúcia de Jesus e do Coração Imaculado, O.C.D.):

And we began to go down the slope driving the sheep towards the road. When we were half-way down, near a holm oak there, we saw another flash of lightening, and after a few steps we saw on a holm oak a lady dressed in white, shining brighter than the sun, giving out rays of clear and intense light, just like a crystal goblet full of pure water when the fiery sun passes through it. We stopped astounded by the Apparition. We were so near that we were in the light that encircled her, or which she radiated, perhaps a meter and a half away.

“Please don’t be afraid of me, I’m not going to harm you.” “Where are you from?” “I come from heaven.” The Lady wore a pure white mantle, edged with gold and which fell to her feet. In her hands the beads of a rosary shone like stars, with its crucifix the most radiant gem of all. The Lady’s presence produced in her only gladness and confident joy. “And what do you want of me?” “I want you to return here on the thirteenth of each month for the next six months, and at the very same hour. Later I shall tell you who I am, and what it is that I most desire. And I shall return here yet a seventh time.”

“And shall I go to heaven?” “Yes, you will.” “And Jacinta?” “She will go too.” “And Francisco?” “Francisco, too, my dear, but he will first have many Rosaries to say.” For a few moments the Lady looked at Francisco with compassion, tinged with a little sadness. Lucia then remembered some friends who had died. “Is Maria Neves in heaven?” “Yes, she is.” “And Amelia?” “She is in purgatory.”

“Will you offer yourselves to God, and bear all the sufferings He sends you? In atonement for all the sins that offend Him? And for the conversion of sinners?” “Oh, we will, we will!” “Then you will have a great deal to suffer, but the grace of God will be with you and will strengthen you.” She opened her hands, and we were bathed in a heavenly light that appeared to come directly from her hands. The light’s reality cut into our hearts and our souls, and we knew somehow that this light was God, and we could see ourselves embraced in it. By an interior impulse of grace we fell to our knees, repeating in our hearts: “Oh, Holy Trinity, we adore You. My God, my God, I love You in the Blessed Sacrament.””Say the Rosary every day, to bring peace to the world and an end to the war.”

After that she began to rise slowly in the direction of the east, until she disappeared in the immense distance. The light that encircles Her seemed to make a way amidst the stars, and that is why we sometimes said we had seen the heavens open.

/// So, to the heart of it: Keeping our sights on heaven and not forgetting those in purgatory, this is about suffering in atonement for sin and for the conversion of sinners:

“Will you offer yourselves to God, and bear all the sufferings He sends you? In atonement for all the sins that offend Him? And for the conversion of sinners?”

“Oh, we will, we will!”

“Then you will have a great deal to suffer, but the grace of God will be with you and will strengthen you.”

“Oh, Holy Trinity, we adore You. My God, my God, I love You in the Blessed Sacrament.”

“Say the Rosary every day, to bring peace to the world and an end to the war.”

N.B. The title of our Lady of Fatima is actually “Our Lady of the Rosary.”

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Five First Saturdays

From the Dominicans: Five First Saturdays Devotion of Reparation as requested by Our Lady of Fátima on July 13, 1917. Our Lady said: “You have seen hell where the souls of poor sinners go. In order to save them God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. I will come to ask for the Communion of Reparation.” On December 10, 1925, Our Lady returned with the Child Jesus and spoke to Sr. Lucia about true devotion of reparation to Her Immaculate Heart. Jesus spoke first: “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.” Then Our Lady instructed Lucia about the Five First Saturday devotions. On the First Saturday of Five Consecutive Months

  1. Make a Sacramental Confession [One can confess within 8 days of the First Saturday]
  2. Pray the Rosary (5 decades)
  3. Receive Holy Communion
  4. Keep Our Lady company for 15 minutes while meditating on the Mysteries of the Rosary

The Great Promise of Our Lady: “I promise to assist at the hour of death, with 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.”

“In the end My Immaculate Heart will triumph.”

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How dare I preach about Mary’s Son Jesus?!

I had better get it right, because, if not, I’m liable to be scolded by Jesus’ good mom, the Immaculate Conception. She wants her priest-sons to speak rightly about her Divine Son, Christ Jesus, Christ our God, The Priest.

This family obligation, if you will, hit me quite strongly this past week. Because of renovations in the church, just painting and such at the moment, the statue of Our Lady of Fatima had to come down temporarily, so, she’s been standing right next to the priest’s chair in the sanctuary, off to the side.

I get distracted by noticing her fierce and, if I may, snarky eyes, as if encouraging me to speak more fiercely in an every more snarky manner. Since that’s the direction I’ve been heading over a lifetime, but more markedly in these past number of months, this is perhaps wishful thinking on my part, you know, the old “I’m blame Jesus’ good mom for any fierceness and snarkiness in my preaching.

I mean, here’s my view up close of those ever so fierce and snarky eyes:

Yes, she is happy to be our good mother as well, but what I see in those eyes is someone who has seen it all, and wants that the truth in all charity be preached to the little flock of Jesus her dear Son.

I have to recall when, at just 16 years old, as a Fatima Cadet of the Fatima Family Apostolate of Father Robert J Fox, I was able to help carry the statue of Mary on the vigil of the apparition of July 13, so, for the candlelight procession in Fatima the night of July 12, 1976.

These are the things I carry in my heart, into my preaching, to this day.

To be clear: what I carry in my soul is the grace of the good confessions of a life-time (at the time) in Fatima. Mary, you have to know, leads us to her Son. That she has interceded through the years that I might be able to preach about her dear Son is about enough to bring me to tears of thankfulness. Non sum dignus. Poor Father Fox, who had to hear my confession of a life-time (at the time!). His goodness and kindness and faithfulness have always been a good example to me to strive to follow.

It’s good to have a good confessor to whom to confess to Almighty God.

Go to Confession!

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Penalties for not wearing Covid-1984 masks? Song fest!

  • Francisco: “What are you in for, sir?
  • Thug: “Murder, rape, arson, pretty much everything. What are you in for?”
  • Lucia: “We were rushing to meet the Queen of Heaven, and we forgot our face masks.”
  • Thug: “Seriously, they threw you prison for that?”
  • Jacinta: “Yes, but as long as we’re here, how about singing some hymns with us? How about ‘Immaculate Mary’?”
  • All:

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O Most Holy Trinity!

▲ MOST HOLY TRINITY, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, I adore Thee profoundly. 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 is offended. And through the infinite merit of His Most Sacred Heart, and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of Thee the conversion of poor sinners.

▲ MOST HOLY TRINITY, I adore Thee! My God, My God, I love Thee in the Most Blessed Sacrament.

▲ MY GOD, I believe, I adore, I trust, and I love Thee! I ask pardon for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not trust and do not love Thee.

Anecdote: An elderly gentleman I know was serving Mass a while back in a parish not far from this one and, after Holy Communion, was sitting at the side. It was Fathers Day. He offered a quiet prayer:

“Happy Heavenly Father’s Day, Heavenly Father!”

And he felt very much brought into the embrace of our Heavenly Father.

I love that. “Happy Heavenly Father’s Day, Heavenly Father!”

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Our Lady of Fatima, abuse, children…

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Fatima is all about… what? Some few points. How to choose? There are so many…

  • Real catechesis of little kids about such things as angels, Jesus’ good mom, prayer, the Most Holy Trinity, Eucharistic reparation for poor sinners.
  • Real catechesis of little kids about heaven and purgatory and… and… hell. Our Lady even shows the kids hell, not to be cruel, but to assist them in being enthusiastic about bringing poor sinners to Jesus with
  • Instruction on martyrdom, with political authorities throwing the kids into jail with hardened criminals, wherein the kids got the knuckleheads to pray.
  • Living faithfulness in pain and sickness and death, with little Francisco and Jacinta being examples for us all.

In other words, we see the capacity of even little kids to know and understand and live the faith in faithfulness, with lively reverence before the Blessed Mary’s Divine Son, in all humble thanksgiving.

Does not Jesus tell us that we ourselves will be condemned to hell forever if we do not become as little children. Adults tend to let themselves become jaded and dumbed down and darkened and cynical and arrogant, congratulating themselves that they have it all over all religion in their sophisticated cleverness. Horrific. That doesn’t belong in heaven.

Fatima is a stunning instruction on how our Lord and God is solicitous for the welfare of each individual, each child.

Oh! What’s that?! NOT pandering to children? Treating kids as idiots with dumbed down catechesis goes hand in hand with abuse of kids. Check out the timeline of malicious catechesis, when it started (1968), when it was at its peak (1973), and when it started to recede a bit in favor or actual catechesis (1978 onward), and compare that to a frequency graph for incidents of abuse, and you’ll find that they overlap exactly.

So, stop pandering to kids with dumbed down catechesis. Treat kids with respect.

But to do that adults must be believers themselves, must be participating in the faith themselves, including being penitents and doing penance for poor sinners, taking up the points of Fatima, living the faith we have be given by our Lord.

Jesus’ good mom leads us straight to her Son.

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Flowers for… Our Lady of Fatima! (Hundredth Anniversary edition)

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In honor of the 100th anniversary of the final apparition of Fatima the other day, the parish had a well-participated Rosary rally in the “central park” of Andrews, at the gazebo across from the Post Office. This statue normally is to be found in the confessional in back of the church of Holy Redeemer. More artwork from the 1950s was enshrined in the gazebo as well:

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And, of course, there were flowers for Our Lady of the Rosary, of Fatima, the Immaculate Conception, all around:

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Memories from my Fatima century ed.)

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Superabundant Guadalupe roses are still blooming into mid-October with more buds on the way on this day of 13th October in honor of Our Lady of Fatima.

I first found out about Fatima in the mid-1960s when the Blue Army of Our Lady of Fatima (as directly opposed to the Red Army specifically in Russia) was still called the Blue Army. I loved that as a little kid, going up against the Red Army with prayer, counting on heaven, being a prayer warrior here upon earth. I just thought that was the coolest thing in the world at my five years of age or however old I was at the time.

About ten years later I found myself writing a belated essay on Fatima for Father Robert J Fox of Alexandria, South Dakota. I would end up reading quite a lot of his books. My half-sister was having me go on a two week pilgrimage to Fatima with Father Fox as a Fatima Cadet (there’s that military language again!) along with all the other Fatima Cadets that year (1976 – sixteen years old).

I had gathered my birth certificate, my driver’s licence, the original certificate for my social security number, acquired my first passport, and, finally, my ticket on TAP (Transportes Aéreos Portugueses). This, of course, made it easier for my “Shadow” to then steal my identity, using my clean record to allow him to move even internationally with impunity.

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In Fatima we were brought to all the special places near and far. But then came one of the greatest honors of my life, on the night of July 12, with some 2.2 million pilgrims present (almost twice as many as were foreseen, the most ever). I was invited to be one of the litter bearers. So heavy! I was afraid I couldn’t do it if anyone else carrying with me were to take a misstep. The others kept being replaced pretty quickly to give as many as possible a chance to carry our Lady. Somehow they let me continue to carry. Perhaps they saw how radiant was my face even in the dark of night, happy as can be.

We later would go to visit Sister Lucia in Coimbra. I would return there again as well as to Fatima in 2008 with the other permanent chaplains of Lourdes, France. The chaplains would take a vacation together every year to one of the Marian shrines around the world, comparing notes with the other chaplains of the other shrines. I was happy to return to Fatima once again.

Time to put up the Holy Souls Hermitage series on the Rosary Mysteries once again.

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Fatima apparition of October 13, 1917

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Slightly revised from EWTN. It had rained throughout the night of October 12-13, soaking the ground and the pilgrims who make their way to Fátima from all directions by the thousands. By foot, by cart and even by car they came, entering the hollow of the Cova from the Fátima-Leiria road, which today still passes in front of the large square of the Basilica. From there they made their way down the gently slope to the place where a trestle had been erected over the little holm oak of the apparitions. Today on the site is the modern glass and steel Capelhina (little chapel), enclosing the first chapel built there and the statue of Our Lady of the Rosary of Fátima where the holm oak had stood. /// As for the children, they made their way to the Cova amid the adulation and skepticism which had followed them since May. When they arrived they found critics who question-ed their veracity and the punctuality of the Lady, who had promised to arrive at noon. It was well past noon by the official time of the country. However, when the sun arrived at its zenith the Lady appeared as she had said she would. “What do you want of me?” asked Lucia. The Lady answered: “I want a chapel built here in my honor. I want you to continue saying the Rosary every day. The war will end soon; the soldiers will return to their homes.” “Yes. Yes.” Lucia said, adding: “Will you tell me your name?” The Lady said, “I am the Lady of the Rosary.” Lucia said: “I have many petitions from many people. Will you grant them?” The Lady responded: “Some I shall grant, and others I must deny. People must amend their lives and ask pardon for their sins. They must not offend our Lord any more, for He is already too much offended.”
As the Lady of the Rosary rises toward the east she turns the palms of her hands toward the dark sky. While the rain had stopped, dark clouds continued to obscure the sun, which suddenly bursts through them and is seen to be a soft spinning disk of silver. “Look at the sun!” From this point two distinct apparitions were seen, that of the phenomenon of the sun seen by the 70,000 or so spectators and that beheld by the children alone. Lucia describes the latter in her memoirs.
After our Lady had disappeared into the immense distance of the firmament, we beheld St. Joseph with the Child Jesus and Our Lady robed in white with a blue mantle, beside the sun. St Joseph and the Child Jesus seemed to bless the world, for they traced the Sign of the Cross with their hands. When, a little later, this apparition disappeared, I saw Our Lord and Our lady; it seemed to me to that it was Our Lady of Sorrows (Dolors). Our Lord appeared to bless the world in the same manner as St Joseph had done. This apparition also vanished, and I saw Our Lady once more, this time resembling Our Lady of Carmel. Continue reading

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THE FATIMA CENTURY – 13 Sept 1917

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From EWTN: Despite the ridicule and jokes of the secular, atheistic press, more than 30,000 people gathered in the Cova for the September apparition [5th of 6 total]. Whether drawn by devotion or curiosity, they prayed the rosary while awaiting the arrival of the three children. When at last the time came they could hear Lucia say:

“What do you want of me?”

“Continue the Rosary, my children. Say it every day that the war may end. In October Our Lord will come, as well as Our Lady of Sorrows and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. Saint Joseph will appear with the Child Jesus to bless the world. God is pleased with your sacrifices, but He does not want you to wear the cords to bed. Keep them on during the day.”

“I have the petitions of many for your help. Will you assist a little girl who is deaf and dumb?”

“She will improve within the year.”

“And the conversions that some have asked to have brought about? The cures of the sick ones?”

“Some I will cure, and some I will not. In October I will perform a miracle so that all may believe.”

With these last words still ringing in their ears, the Lady rose and disappeared in the heavens, as Lucia called to the crowd, “If you wish to see her… Look! Look!”

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Fatima Century – 2nd Apparition 1917

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Saint Anthony of Padua outside the rectory in Andrews, NC, June 2017

From EWTN: THE SECOND FATIMA APPARITION 13 June 1917

In Portugal the 13th of June is a great feast, the feast of St. Anthony of Lisbon, known to most Catholics as St. Anthony of Padua. This Franciscan miracle-worker was born in Lisbon and had entered religious life as a Canon Regular of the Holy Cross, residing first in Lisbon and then Coimbra, before leaving the Portuguese order for the new Order of Friars Minor and a hope of martyrdom. It was, and is, THE children’s feast in Portugal, so the parents of Lucia naturally thought that the festivities at the parish church in Fátima would distract her from the appointment at the Cova. However, undismayed by this tactic Lucia and the Marto children proceeded to the apparition site to keep their noon day rendezvous.

When they arrived they found a small crowd awaiting them.

After having said the rosary with Jacinta and Francisco and other people who were present, we saw again the reflection of light nearing us, (we used to say it was lightening), and following, Our Lady on the holm oak as in May.

“Please tell me, Madam, what it is that you want of me?”

“I want you to come here on the thirteenth of next month. I want you to continue saying the Rosary every day. And after each one of the mysteries, my children, I want you to pray in this way: O my Jesus, forgive us our sins , save us from the fire of hell. Take all souls to heaven, especially those who are most in need. I want you to learn to read and write, and later I will tell you what else I want of you.”

“Will you take us to heaven?”

“Yes, I shall take Jacinta and Francisco soon, but you will remain a little longer, since Jesus wishes you to make me known and loved on earth. He wishes also for you to establish devotion in the world to my Immaculate Heart.”

“Must I remain in the world alone?”

Not alone, my child, and you must not be sad. I will be with you always, and my Immaculate Heart will be your comfort and the way which will lead you to God.
The moment she said the last words, opening her hands, She transmitted to us, for the second time, the reflection of that intense light. In it we felt we were submerged in God. Jacinta and Francisco seemed to be in that part of the light which was rising to Heaven, and I in the part spreading over the earth. In front of the palm of Our Lady’s right hand was a heart encircled with thorns which appeared to pierce it. We understood it was the Immaculate Heart of Mary offended by the sins of mankind, craving reparation.

The apparition then concluded as on the first occasion, with the Lady going off toward the east and disappearing in the “immensity of heaven.”

Despite the joy of those precious moments the sorrows of the children continued in the following weeks, moderated by the belief of very many at the Cova that day. They knew that something unusual had occurred – they saw the “lightening,” some perceived a certain dimming of the sun, others a little gray cloud that came and went as the apparition did and they believed. However, the difficulties with their families did not abate, especially with their mothers, who became genuinely alarmed that the events were not just continuing but expanding. To this was added the painful caution of the parish priest, that after all it might be real but of demonic origin.

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There are a zillion Latin versions, but the one we used in Rome in the 1980s and 1990s was this one:

O mi Iesu, peccata nostra dimitte nobis. Ab igne inferni defende nos. Perduc in caelum omnium animas in primis quae maxime misericordiae tuae indigent.

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