Newsletter n°53 (14 June 2017)
Yesterday we celebrated the one hundredth anniversary of the second apparition of Our Lady at Fatima. For many, this apparition is one of the most beautiful, as the message given by Our Lady on that day is truly of an exceptional beauty and richness, and which one never tires of contemplating:
Jesus (…) wishes to establish throughout the world the devotion to my Immaculate Heart. To whomever embraces this devotion, I promise salvation. These souls shall be dear to God, like flowers I have placed to adorn His throne. (…) I will never abandon you. My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way which will lead you to God.
The richness of these words has already been commented on several times in the newsletters, notably in numbers 4 and 5, to show that this is really what Lucia wrote in her fourth memoir, and also in newsletter n°29, to show that it certainly was a question of the will of God Himself.
It was also during the course of this apparition that Our Lady appeared showing Her heart surrounded by thorns. In her fourth memoir, Lucia said that “it was the Immaculate Heart of Mary, offended by the sins of mankind, which asked for reparation”. All this makes up what Lucia called the little secret and which was only revealed in 1927 (see newsletter n°28).
On the 13th of June, we also celebrated the 88th anniversary of the divine request concerning the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. It was on the 13th of June 1929, in the convent at Tuy, where Sister Lucia was a novice, that this request was made (see newsletter n°39):
The moment has come when God is asking that the Holy Father, together with all the bishops of the world, consecrate Russia to my Immaculate Heart. He promises to save it by this means.
One year later, Lucia specified to her confessor, Father Gonçalvès, the conditions requested by God for making this consecration (see newsletter n°39):
The good Lord promises to end the persecution in Russia, if the Holy Father makes, and orders all the bishops of the Catholic world to do the same, a solemn and public act of reparation and consecration of Russia to the Most Holy Hearts of Jesus and Mary; His Holiness promising that in return for the end of this persecution, to approve and recommend the practice of the devotion of reparation.
The 13th of June is truly a blessed date because it was also on the 13th of June, in 1912, five years before the apparitions at Fatima, that Pope Pius X officially approved the practice of the first Saturdays of the month and accorded a full indulgence applicable to the souls of Purgatory to all those who accomplished on that day the exercises of the devotion in honour of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and in reparation for the blasphemies to which Her name and Her prerogatives are subjected.
Therefore, for at least three reasons, the date of the 13th of June is associated with the meditation of Mary: in 1912, the Pope recognised Her power to deliver souls from Purgatory. In 1917, God Himself, through the voice of His Mother, promised that whoever embraced the devotion to Her Immaculate Heart would be saved. Finally, in 1929, God asked to pass through the Immaculate Heart of Mary to obtain peace in the world and the conversion of Russia.
All these interventions from the Pope or Our Lady show that God wants all His graces to pass through the hands of His Mother. And it is extraordinary that in 1921, when the message of Fatima was not yet known, Benedict XV established the feast of Mary Mediatrix of All Graces on the 31st of May, the last day of the month of Mary. This decision by the Pope is in perfect conformity with the spirit of the message of Fatima (see newsletter n°51) yet he had no possibility whatsoever of drawing on it because the point of the message only began to be revealed from December 1927 onwards. This concomitance between the apparitions at Fatima and the instauration of the feast of Mary Mediatrix by Benedict XV is a sign that Heaven wanted this feast day established.
Benedict XV first accorded this feast to all the dioceses of Belgium, then Spain, and finally to those who asked for it. It was thereby spread to many dioceses which means that in most of the missals edited after 1940, it appears in the supplement to the Proper of the Saints.
Unfortunately, nowadays this feast has become obsolete as on the 11th of October 1954, Pius XII in his encyclical Ad Coeli Reginam instituted the feast of The Queenship of the blessed Virgin Mary and asked that on this day the consecration of mankind to the Immaculate Heart of Mary be renewed. Alas, the date Pius XII chose for this new feast was the 31st of May, meaning that ever since, the feast of Mary Mediatrix no longer has its own date in the calendar.
The notion of Mary Mediatrix is still controversial today. Yet, it has solid witnesses in its defence. Pope Leo XIII in his encyclical Octobri Mense of the 22nd of September 1891 declares:
With equal truth may it be also affirmed that, by the will of God, Mary is the intermediary through whom is distributed unto us this immense treasure of mercies gathered by God, for mercy and truth were created by Jesus Christ. Thus as no man goeth to the Father but by the Son, so no man goeth to Christ but by His Mother.
And Pius XI in the conclusion to his encyclical Miserentissimus Redemptor says:
… by Her mystic union with Christ and His very special grace She likewise became and is piously called a reparatress (…) who whereas He is the “one mediator of God and men” (1 Timothy 2:5), chose to make His Mother the advocate of sinners, and the minister and mediatress of grace …
So, there is only one intermediary between ourselves and God: Our Lord Jesus Christ, who through His passion and cross we owe, if we repent, the wiping away of all our sins, thereby allowing us to hope for Heaven. But, as Father Joseph de Sainte Marie says: “The uniqueness of Christ’s mediation (1 Tim 2:5) does not exclude other mediations, dependent and subordinate, but is their foundation and calling.” And God, through love of Her who He made His Mother, wished to be joined in this mediation. Up until His crucifixion, Christ was the sole dispenser of all His gifts. But after His crucifixion it pleased Him to confer on His Mother a marvellous power, that of dispensing to Her children on earth all the graces necessary to convert and to persevere in the good. Thus Christ wipes away our faults and returns us to divine love and His Mother gives us the graces to persevere in this state.
In this way, the two hearts of Mother and Son are united in the same aim: the redemption of mankind. Both operate in their own way to lead us to Heaven, one by atonement, the other by dispensing graces and courage. In their love for mankind, the two heart of Jesus and Mary are as united as when the Child Jesus was developing in the womb of the Holy Virgin. This is why the devotion to the Sacred Heart and the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary cannot be separated. Fatima completes Paray-le-Monial.
Thus, is it through Mary, and through Her alone, that we can be saved from the perils which threaten us: faced with eternal hell, faced with the temporal fires of wars, famines and persecutions provoked by the errors of Russia, God gives us the Immaculate Heart of Mary as the ultimate recourse and the means of salvation par excellence. Marie is the mediatrix of all God’s graces.
In union of prayer in the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Yves de Lassus
Cap Fatima 2017
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