« How unsearchable are His judgements, and His ways past finding out! » said Saint Paul in his Epistle to the Romans. However, divine ways are not always unknowable. Because God, from time to time, likes to make His will known to us. The occasions are admittedly rare, but they do exist. In the 14th century, for example, God spoke to Saint Catherine of Siena, who wrote down what she learned in her Dialogue. In the 17th century, at Paray-le-Monial, Our Lord asked Saint Margaret-Mary to spread the devotion to the Sacred Heart.
Fatima is part of these rare occasions when God shares one of His wishes with us, only this time with a distinctive particularity: there is an astonishing parallel between the apparations at Paray-le-Monial and those of Fatima. In both cases, the establishment of the devotion to a Heart is asked for: the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Each time, we are promised salvation if we embrace the proposed devotions (the practice of the nine first Fridays of the month and the five first Saturdays of the month). And each time, the consecration to these Hearts was asked for (the consecration of France to the Sacred Heart and the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary).
Whenever God happens to manifest Himself, He generally does so discreetly, as with Saint Catherine of Siena or Saint Margaret-Mary. This was not the case at Fatima: the signs which accompanied the apparitions were extraordinary, be they natural phenomena (see newsletters n°8 and n°10), or the number of prophecies of which several came to pass (see newsletter n°23), or the Miracle of the Sun (see newsletter n°12). No other apparition, even those of Lourdes or Guadalupe has been authenticated in such a spectacular manner, none has had the benefit of so many external witnesses. This is a fact without precedent in the history of apparitions.
The Miracle of the Dancing Sun alone, during the apparition of the 13th of October 1917, places the Fatima apparitions ahead of all the others, including the most extraordinary, throughout history. Because before Fatima only three natural phenomena of this magnitude are recorded: the Flood, when the sun stood still during Joshua’s battle with the Amorites at Gibeon (Joshua 10: 12-13) and the darkness on Good Friday at the moment of the Crucifixion.
The extent of the miracle at Fatima was less than that of Good Friday, but perhaps it would also have been just as important if the little seers hadn’t been imprisoned at the Villa Nova de Ourem, because Our Lady told them on the 19th of August 1917: « If you hadn’t been taken to town, the miracle would have been better known. » Be that as it may, since Good Friday there had never been such an extraordinary cosmic miracle. Abbé Caillon, in his little booklet The Consecration of Russia to the Most Holy Hearts of Jesus and Mary describes it as a « unique event in the Christian era since the Resurrection of Christ ».
Since then, another cosmic miracle took place during the night of the 25th to the 26th of January 1938, when the sky above all the countries about to go to war was set ablaze. A miracle which is furthermore the realisation of a prophecy as it had been announced on the 13th of July 1917 (see newsletter n°20).
All these signs indicate not only the divine origin of the Fatima message, without equal in the entire history of celestial apparitions (whether they be Our Lord, the Most Holy Virgin, or saints) but also its importance. Because if God took care to authenticate the Fatima message in such an extraordinary way, it was not to make us aware of banalities. And the Miracle of the Dancing Sun is, according to the excellent expression of Brother Michael of the Holy Trinity, « to the events and message of Fatima what the miracle of the Resurrection is to the Holy Gospel. »
But what is the essence of this so important message? God wishes the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary to be spread throughout the world. It’s not for us to know the motives which lead Him to express his wishes at one time rather than another. All we know is that He wanted the development of the devotion to the Sacred Heart from the 17th century on, and that of the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary from the 20th century onwards. Those are His wishes.
Moreover, we should not be surprised by the similarity between the requests made at Paray-le-Monial and at Fatima. Here is an explanation given by Pope Pius XII in his message of the 8th of December 1942:
The faithful should take care to closely associate the cult of the Sacred Heart and that of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, because our salvation comes from the love and sufferings of Jesus Christ, indissolubly linked to the love and sufferings of His Mother. This is why Christians should also pay similar homages of piety, love, gratitude and reparation to the most loving Heart of our Heavenly Mother. For sinful souls, for those who suffer because of their faults, for those who wish to atone for the sins of others, the devotion to the Heart of their Mother seems to be a haven of both pardon and perfection.
Why does God want to establish in the world the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary? So that, through Her, we obtain the conversion of sinners. This was the permanent preoccupation of the Angel and Our Lady. (see newsletters n°6 and n°7.) And they ask us, with insistence, to pray and make sacrifices to obtain this. Already, before Fatima, Saint Therese of the Child Jesus showed us the necessity of praying for sinners when she prayed for Pranzini who thereby received the grace of conversion a few minutes before his execution. This story proves to us that, through our prayers, we can obtain the conversion of sinners. And the very last phrase of the 1983 Code of Canon Law (canon n°1752) appropriately recalls the importance that the Church attaches to this: « … the salvation of souls must always be the supreme law in the Church ».
And what does Our Lady ask of us to obtain this? Three things:
- offer all the sacrifices of our daily lives for this intention, reciting, if possible, the first prayer which She taught on the 13th of July 1917: «O my Jesus, this is for love of Thee, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for offences committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.» (see newsletters n°6 and n°7)
- say our Rosary every day, adding after each decade of the Rosary the second prayer taught on the 13th of July: «O my Jesus, forgive us, save us from the fire of hell. Lead all souls to Heaven, especially those who are most in need.» (see newsletter n°31)
- make a communion of reparation on the first Saturday of the month. (see newsletter n°15)
Also, this Saturday, don’t forget, is the first Saturday of the month of February. Make our communion of reparation for the love of sinners, to obtain their conversion as Saint Therese obtained the conversion of Pranzini.
In union of prayer in the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Yves de Lassus,
Cap Fatima 2017
This Saturday will be the second first Saturday of the series proposed to celebrate the centenary of the first apparition at Fatima, a series during which we ask for a particular grace: that the Holy Father approve and recommend the communion of reparation of the first Saturdays of the month. (see newsletter n°42) For those who have missed the first Saturday of this series (that of January), it is still possible to register, either doing the five Saturdays from February to June, or simply doing them to save souls by uniting with all those who have already registered.
The letter asking the Holy Father to consecrate Russia in the form asked for by Our Lady (see newsletter n°43) has already gathered the signatures of 400 personalities. Among these 400 signatures is that of Cap Fatima 2017, which has itself received the support of more than 400 of its subscribers. The letter to the Holy Father should be delivered to him during the course of February. Let us continue, therefore, to pray for this intention.