N°70 : Prayers taught by Our Lady

Newsletter n°70 (28 February 2018)

Dear friends,


For the first Saturday of the month of March, we suggest:

  • meditating on the third joyful mystery, aided by the attached document, (only in french)
  • offering your communion of reparation for the third kind of blasphemy against the Immaculate Heart of Marie:  blasphemies against her Divine Maternity.

These blasphemies against the Holy Virgin are unfortunately very real.  We’ve recently seen a sad example on the programme presented by Daniel Morin and broadcast by France Inter on the 12th of February regarding the announcement of the recognition of the 70th miracle at Lourdes.  During the programme, the miracle of the healing of Sister Bernadette Moriau in 2008 was ridiculed in a truly odious, not to say blasphemous, way.  So offer our communion of reparation of this first Saturday of the month, on the one hand to repair the offense against our Heavenly Mother which constitutes this programme, on the other hand, for the conversion of the journalist who presented it.

Pray for the conversion of sinners

We should never forget to offer these first Saturdays of the month for the conversion of sinners.  Offering our prayers and sacrifices for the conversion of sinners is at the centre of the message of Fatima;  it was a constant preoccupation of the Angel and of Our Lady and they asked for this during six of the nine apparitions of 1916 and 1917.  Our Lady’s insistence is easy to understand.  After being created by God, at the moment a new, tiny being is conceived, a soul can then be in one of four states:  on earth in the body of this person until their death, and then in Heaven, Purgatory or hell.  But, souls in Heaven don’t need our prayers or our sacrifices, neither do those which are in hell, alas.  Those in Purgatory need our prayers and sacrifices to be able to enter Heaven more quickly, and God very much wishes this.  But there is no fear for their salvation:  they will go to Heaven anyway, even if we neglect to pray for them, which we should obviously avoid.  But souls on earth are free and can damn themselves;  their fate is not yet decided:  this will only be at the moment of their death.  But God wants all souls to be saved.  This is why Our Lady insisted so much that we pray especially for sinners so that they go to Purgatory if their life does not allow them to go directly to Heaven;  at least they avoid hell.

The fruits of the Rosary

We regularly receive very touching testimonies on fruits received following the practise of the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  We recently received one which its author has allowed us to publish.  We do this very willingly to show you an example of the graces which this devotion can bring us:

The Rosary is a formidable weapon against the devil.  Yes, Our Lady accompanies us during its meditation and gradually enters into our hearts.  Yes, the Rosary said daily is a weapon of conversion for the poor sinners that we are:  I have experienced this personally since the 15th of August 2017.  Nothing is ever lost:  in following the teachings of Fatima, the Holy and Merciful Virgin picks us up because she loves us like a mother loves her children, all her children.  My faith does not cease to grow and my heart opens more and more to the Divine Love of the Holy Trinity and that of its sweet mother.  So we should continue together on this path of spirituality and meditate on the teachings of Fatima !

We hope you will be able to follow the same path.  But this can only be done with perseverance:  even if a whole Rosary seems really impossible for you say, at least try to pray one or two decades a day, then three, then four, …  And if you are still having trouble, think of asking Our Lady for the grace to love the prayer that she asks of us which such insistence.  You can do this by saying, for example, the prayer suggested in newsletter n°67.

Prayers taught by Our Lady

Many of you have enquired as to the exact phrase that Our Lady asked us to say after each decade of the Rosary.  The text of this prayer appears three times in the memoirs of Sister Lucia:  once in the third memoir written in August 1941 and twice in the fourth memoir written in December of the same year.  It is rigorously the same each time: «O meu Jesus !  Perdoai-nos, livrai-nos do fogo do inferno, levai as alminhas todas para o Céu, principalmente aquelas que mais precisarem. »  These are the words actually pronounced by Our Lady.

We have been able to consult five translations:  that of Father Alonso, s.j., of 1973, that of Father Simonin, o.p., of 1976, and the official translations given out by the sanctuary at Fatima in its editions of 1980, 2008 and 2013, namely 15 translations of the same text in all.  The sanctuary’s translations of 1980 and 2008 are exact reproductions of Father Alonso’s, then it adopts Father Simonin’s translation for its 2013 edition.

All the translations begin by:  “O my Jesus, pardon us, preserve us from the fires of hell.”  To the phrase generally used in France was added “our sins”, after “pardon us”.  But this addition changes absolutely nothing in the meaning of the sentence.  It is very common to say pardon us our sins, even though it is quite certain that it is only our faults or sins which can be pardoned.  In the ‘Our Father’, we say:  “Forgive us our trespasses”. 

Next, Father Alonso translates the verb “levai” by:  “Take all souls to Paradise” in the third memoir, then by “Lead all souls to Paradise” in the fourth memoir.  As for Father Simonin, he translates it each time as:  “Draw all souls to Heaven”.  The 2013 edition of the sanctuary’s translation justifies this choice by indicating in a note:  “c.f. the word of Jesus: ‘And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.’ (John 12:32)”  While it is praiseworthy to want to be as close as possible to our Lord’s word, the verb “levar” in Portugese actually means:  take, take away, lead, … So the translation of the verb “levai” by “draw” is a slight deviation from the common usage of the Portugese verb.  The translation “lead” seems to us to be more precise.

The end of the prayer is translated by “above all those most in need” by Father Alonso as well as the sanctuary’s three editions.  Father Simonin’s translation is practically the same except that “above all” is replaced by “mainly”.

The French way of saying it is slightly different:  “above all those most in need of Thy Divine Mercy”, with “above all” sometimes replaced by “especially”.  Be that as it may, the French version contains a second addition to the Portugese text.  But this addition does not in any way change the meaning of the prayer!

These two additions in the French version are quite legitimate.  In fact, prayers taught by Heaven have already more than once been slightly modified by a saint or by the Church.  The Rosary was enriched in this way by the Church and by Saint Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort.  And no-one would dream of saying the “Hail Mary” as it was said at the time of Saint Dominic or Saint Thomas Aquinas.

Likewise, to the prayer:  “O Jesus, it is for the love of Thee, for the conversion of sinners and in reparation for the offences committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary” Jacinta added “… and for the Holy Father.”  A slight modification which respects Our Lady’s intention and the meaning of her words is therefore possible.  This is why the slighty modified version used in France is perfectly acceptable.

In a translation, it is always difficult to reconcile the literal, word-for-word sense of the text with an interpretation of its overall meaning.  Which is best?  It’s a question often asked by experts, and anyone who has to translate texts from one language to another.  A literal translation is not always a faithful rendering of the spirit of the original text.

Ideally, the best version would be that of Father Alonso.  But we can’t ignore common usage.  But the two additions in the French version change absolutely nothing of the meaning.  Therefore, it seems that the best option for France, given that the habit has already been acquired, is “O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to Heaven, above all those most in need of Thy Divine Mercy.”  Be that as it may, never forget to say this prayer after each decade of the Rosary, as well as the prayer “O Jesus, it is for the love of Thee, etc.” after each sacrifice.

In union of prayer in the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
Yves de Lassus

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