Newsletter n°50 (29 April 2017)
In two weeks we will celebrate the centenary of the first apparition of Our Lady at Fatima. So, there is not much time left to prepare for this great day. We should make the most of the remaining time to review the situation and put into place anything still to be done. But first of all, why should we want to celebrate the centenary of this apparition?
Why celebrate the anniversary of the apparitions at Fatima?
The main reason is to thank Our Lady for coming to this earth to give us such an extraordinarily rich message. We all of us like to celebrate great occasions in our lives: our birthday, baptism, marriage, ordination, religious vows, etc. Likewise, we celebrate the entering into Heaven of all those who have marked their passage on this earth with the seal of saintliness. In the same way the Church has us celebrate, every year, the great moments in the life of Our Lord, to whom we owe our salvation, in particular His Incarnation, His Passion and His Ressurection. Finally, the Church has instituted a feast of the apparitions at Lourdes, and since March 2002, a feast for the apparitions at Fatima.
The second reason is to thank Our Lady for the gift which she gave us. The few words pronounced during the first apparition show the richness of the message of Fatima. During this single apparition on the 13th of May 1917, Our Lady confirmed the existence of Heaven and of Purgatory, gave us a sure way to go to Heaven (say lots of Rosaries), a way to save sinners and to atone for offences against God (offer all our daily sufferings to this end) and a way to restore peace and put an end to wars (the daily recitation of the Rosary).
In this way, from the first apparition onwards, Our Lady indicates two of the points of the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary: the daily recitation of the Rosary and the offering of sacrifices for the conversion of sinners. Two months later, in the third apparition, she will communicate two others: the communion of reparation of the first Saturdays of the month and the consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Finally, at the end of the last apparition, she will add a fifth: the wearing of the scapular.
From the first apparition onwards, we should admire the richness of Our Lady’s words: she clearly confirms the existence of Heaven, the only true goal of our life here on earth, and she gives us a sure way of attaining it. Moreover, she gives another way for our neighbour to also attain this end, and finally, a third way (almost identical to the first) to find peace again, the optimal condition in achieving salvation.
Is it possible to imagine a dialogue richer than this? And yet it is only the first dialogue of the apparitions at Fatima. This is why we should really thank Our Lady for having made us such a gift. So, let us carefully prepare this celebration to thank Our Lady for so many graces.
How should the centenary be celebrated?
But how should we go about it? It is important to organise the day for celebrating the 13th of May such as we do to celebrate Christmas, Holy Week or the Resurrection. (See newsletter n°48) Several parishes or communities have organised them. But, if it is not possible for us to participate in one of these days, we can, all the same, thank Our Lady, as well as God Himself, by following the requests She made at Fatima. What are they? And how do we put them into practice for this centenary?
The Rosary and the offering of sacrifices for the conversion of sinners
The first thing to do is to respond, every day, to the two requests made on the 13th of May 1917. This is why, in the preparation for the consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on the 13th of May, it has been proposed to meditate every day on the words of the Angel or Our Lady, then to say a Rosary for peace in the world and to offer all the sufferings of the day for the conversion of sinners. Everybody is able to do this and it only requires a little effort on a daily basis.
Whether or not we are preparing for a consecration, we should not fail to do this in the few days left until the 13th of May.
The communion of reparation and consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary
The second thing to do is to also respond to the two requests made on the 13th of July. This Saturday is the first Saturday of the month of May. Don’t forget to make a communion of reparation on this day. This will also be the fifth Saturday of the first series proposed in 2017 and for which several hundred of you have registered. As well as the conversion of sinners, this series had a particular intention: that the Holy Father approve and recommend the communion of reparation of the first Saturdays of the month, a condition stipulated by Our Lady for the conversion of Russia and the return of peace in the world.
A second series will be launched from June to October to celebrate the last apparition and it will ask, as a special grace, that the Holy Father consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart while respecting the conditions specified by Our Lady. A few consecrations have already been made by various popes, but none of them has followed precisely Our Lady’s requests. In particular, there has not been a day of reparation, and the communion of reparation has not been recognised (see newsletter n°41). In order to end definitively the controversy on this subject, it would be desirable that the Holy Father make this consecration in the ways wished for by Our Lady. If, as the Vatican claims, this consecration has been made, what is preventing them from renewing the consecration on the occasion of this centenary? It would be a way of showing Our Lady that we wish to accomplish Her will in the most precise way.
But, as Father Alonso said, this consecration of Russia should be preceded by our own consecrations (see the “File on preparation” on this website). This is why consecrations to the Immaculate Heart of Mary are organised regularly, such as that of the 13th of May, with preparations of 33 days or 9 days. However, it is still possible to register for the 9-day preparation which begins on the 4th of May. Another possibility: a 33-day preparation began yesterday for a consecration on the 31st of May, feast of the Queenship of Mary. It is therefore still possible to register. It is also possible to choose another date. These are the following dates proposed: 16th of July, 15th of August, 22nd of August, 8th of September, and the 13th of October.
Those who are already consecrated can follow the 9-day preparation from the 4th to the 12th of May, in order to make a novena asking for peace in the world and the recognition of the first Saturdays of the month. (Register as you would for a consecration.)
Wearing the scapular and a righteous life
Finally, the third thing to do is to respond to the last two requests made on the 13th of October: wear the scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and to lead a righteous life so as to no longer offend God, in other words by respecting divine law. For those who have not yet been invested with the scapular, it is suggested that this be done on the day of consecration, because as Sister Lucia said: “The scapular is the mark of our consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary”.
Other possible actions
Thereafter, everyone can put his talents to the service of the centenary. Monsieur Gerard de Rosny, a composer well-known in the Catholic world (particularly for the song of the Notre Dame de Chrétienté pilgrimage from Paris to Chartres: Chartes sonne), has just done this by composing a song for this great event. You can find the partition and the file on this page “Chant pour le centenaire”. Let’s hope that this song has as much success as Chartes sonne. There is still time to learn it to sing on the 13th of May, or another occasion between now and the 13th of October.
So, everybody, let’s prepare this 13th of May as well as we can.
In union of prayer through the hearts of Jesus and Mary,
Yves de Lassus