Newsletter n°63 (17 November 2017)
The conflagration in the sky on the evening of the 25th of January 1938 (see previous newsletter) is a point which risks troubling the advancement of the process of Sister Lucia’s beatification. The diocesan enquiry solemnly closed on the 13th of February 2017 at the Carmel of Coïmbra, and a file of several thousands of pages was sent to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints at the Vatican. However, the Carmelite Father Romano Gambalunga o.d.c., Postulator leading the cause, calls for patience and prudence so as not to anticipate the Church’s decision. He emphasized that Sister Lucia “became saintly over the years, not because of the apparitions”, but through “the spiritual experience” of the religious life at the Carmel of Coïmbra. Such a remark is astonishing. For what reasons were her cousins Francisco and Jacinta, who had not had the spiritual experience of a religious life, canonised? Why cannot Lucia be canonised for the same reasons, as she experienced the same events as her cousins and whose ordeal was greater than theirs as her family gave her absolutely no support, quite the contrary? Between the deaths of Francisco and Jacinta and her entry into Carmel, were there elements in the life of Lucia which would prevent her canonisation?
Of course, having seen the Holy Virgin is by no means sufficient reason for being canonised. Many seers have never been canonised, for example Mélanie Calvat and Maximin Giraud, even though the apparition at La Salette was recognised by the Church. It is, however, regrettable to see such a judgement made on Sister Lucia, because in practice the three little seers of Fatima are, morally speaking, martyrs. When they were imprisoned at Vila Nova de Ourem, they were threatened with being thrown into a cauldron of boiling oil if they did not reveal the secret. Given their young age, they really believed that they were headed for a horrible death if they kept the secret. Yet, they preferred this death rather than disobey an order from the Holy Virgin.
Moreover, all the sacrifices they made for the conversion of sinners, even though they were still very young, borders on the heroic. Sister Lucia confided to Father Fuentès (interview on the 26th of December 1957):
Tell them as well, Father, that my cousins Francisco and Jacinta made sacrifices because they always saw the Most Holy Virgin very sad in all her apparitions. She never smiled with us and this sadness, this anguish that we noticed in Her, because of offenses against God and for the punishments which awaited sinners, penetrated our souls and we thought only, with our childish little imaginations, of inventing different means of praying and making sacrifices.
Moreover, after having been separated from her family at the age of fourteen, Lucia deserved to see the Holy Virgin, the Child Jesus and Our Lord several times, before entering into Carmel. In particular, at Tuy, she received revelations and enlightenment about the Holy Trinity which she was not authorised to communicate (see meditation n°10 of the preparation for consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary). Yet, is not this vision of the Holy Trinity the sign of a very great holiness on the part of she who received it? Would God have communicated some elements of his mystery to a person who had not yet already attained a high degree of holiness?
Let’s go back to the conflagration in the sky on the 25th of January 1938. According to the Vatican’s official theory expressed by Father Dhanis S.J., the only expert recognised by the Vatican for the apparitions at Fatima, Sister Lucia invented everything she discloses in her memoirs. He particularly affirms: “Over the years, certain exterior events and certain of Lucia’s spiritual experiences enriched the original content of the secret.” Or furthermore: “The text of the message conserved a kernel which corresponded to the words heard in 1917 … [But] a bark of later elements grew around it.” (see newsletter n°34). If Sister Lucia invented this prophecy while she was writing her third memoir in 1941, thus after the events, then either she is a liar, or she is mentally deranged. In both cases it is difficult to see how Rome could canonise someone who tells such stories.
But if she told the truth and this date really is in the secret conveyed by the Holy Virgin on the 13th of July 1917, then we are talking about a prophecy which is incredibly precise. The announced phenomenon, “a night lit up by a strange light” had never before occurred in the lives of men and has never been seen since (see newsletters n°20 and n°62). They are therefore two exceptional miracles which are attached to the revelation of the message of Fatima, and if the date of the second is not as precise as in the case of the Miracle of the Sun, all the same it indicates that the phenomenon would occur shortly before the beginning of the new war. The Second World War officially began on the 1st of September 1939, the date of the invasion of Poland, but historians agree that, in practice, it really began with the annexation of Austria on the 12th of March 1938: six weeks before the conflagration in the sky.
As can be seen on almost every page of the Gospel, prophecies and miracles are the stamp of divine intervention. In the case of Fatima, there were two exceptional miracles and ten prophecies which came to pass (see newsletters n°23, n°49 and n°54). Why were these facts not evoked on the occasion of this centenary? The process of beatification will necessarily bring them to the fore. If it progresses in a positive way then, contrary to the opinion of Father Dahnis, Sister Lucia did not lie and transcribed in her memoirs a prophecy which she had received from Our Lady.
It seems important to us to have as much information as possible on this phenomenon of the conflagration in the sky on the evening of the 25th of January 1938. To do this, we need to try to gather the statements of those who were able to see it, or who heard about it, while there is still time. As the phenomenon began at about 9pm, many children were in bed at the time and therefore were not able to see it. But they surely must have heard it talked about during the following days. We have already received a few statements. Do not hesitate to ask people you know who are over the age of 85 if they remember something.
Support for Cardinal Burke.
As reported in the previous newsletter, Cardinal Burke replied to our letter of support with his letter dated the 17th of September. However, as it only left Rome on the 12th of October, it did not arrive until the 17th of October ! (To see the letter, click HERE.) It is important to keep praying that the initiative undertaken by Cardinal Burke succeeds: peace in the world depends on it. It is equally important to pray for the Cardinal as he is one of the rare authorities in the Church to have recalled the essential points of the message of Fatima.
In an interview which he gave recently to Anne Le Pape in the newspaper Present he was asked the question: “Which part of the Virgin’s message delivered at Fatima 100 years ago seems to you to be the most important to remember today?” He replied: “It is the message about apostasy, the gravest evil in the world and in the Church, and the Virgin calls us to pray the Rosary in particular, to make sacrifices and do penance, as well as reparation for the offenses to Her Immaculate Heart and the Sacred Heart of Jesus. We should affront apostasy, the implicit estrangement from the faith, which we see in the Church today and in the world, in other words faith detached from daily life.” (Présent 4 November 2017)
In saying this, the Cardinal confirms somewhat the conclusions of those who think that the third secret of Fatima concerns the general apostasy of nations and even at the heart of the Church.
Moreover, in a conference he gave at Fatima on the 3rd of November, he recalls the two conditions for regaining peace in the world: the consecration of Russia according to the precise instructions of the Virgin and the establishment in the Church of the communion of reparation of the five first Saturdays of the month. It is imperative to read this conference, as on several points the Cardinal confirms that which has been said in this newsletter from its beginning.
The Future of Cap Fatima 2017
Many people continue to subscribe to the newsletter, even though it has done nothing particular in the way of publicity. This seems to show that it has a certain usefulness, even though the centenary of the apparitions is officially at an end. In the beginning, there was no plan to continue its publication beyond 2017. However, it seems difficult to stop suddenly while many people have subscribed in the past few months. Consequently, it has been decided to continue with this letter for at least another year, or more if interest persists over time.
In union of prayer in the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Yves de Lassus