by Luiz Solimeo
When Sister Lucy died at the age of 97, some have asked if the passing away of this last visionary closes the Fatima cycle, and if Our Lady’s message to the three little shepherds is still valid and current.
To answer these two questions, we must examine the events and heavenly manifestations that occurred 96 years ago from the right perspective.
Importance of the Messenger and Divine Confirmation
An event of this nature is considered significant based on the importance of the person involved, and when its authenticity is proven beyond a doubt.
In the case of the Fatima apparitions, the leading person is the most exalted of creatures, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and God Himself authenticated the apparitions by means of the miracle of the sun, an event of biblical proportions.1
The Stupendous Miracle of the Sun
The atheist journalist Avelino de Almeida (an unbiased source) described the events at the Cova da Iria in an article titled, “Amazing! How the Sun Danced at Noon in Fatima.” Here follows an excerpt of the article published in the anti-clerical Lisbon newspaper, O Século:
From beside the parked carriages where many thousands stood, afraid to descend into the muddy soil of the Cova da Iria, we saw the immense crowd turn toward the sun at its highest, free of all clouds. The sun seemed to us like a plate of dull silver. It could be seen without the least effort. It did not blind or burn. It seemed as though an eclipse were taking place. All of a sudden, a tremendous shout burst forth, “Miracle, miracle!” Before the astonished eyes of the people, whose attitude carried us back to biblical times, and who, white with terror, heads uncovered, gazed at the sun that trembled and made brusque and unheard of movements beyond all cosmic laws, the sun seemed literally to dance in the sky.2
John Haffert, who did so much to spread the devotion to Our Lady of Fatima in America and in the world, compiled a well-documented book with testimonies from eyewitnesses of the phenomenon. Among these are some who watched it nine miles away, such as Father Joaquim Lourenço. The writer Afonso Vieira saw it from 30 miles away. Such witnesses exclude all possibility of mass suggestion.3
The Message is Still All-important
An unprecedented miracle, such as that of the “dancing of the sun,” would only make sense if the message it confirmed was also unprecedented in the history of heavenly communications. Thus, we should look at Fatima as heaven’s message for our times par excellence.
Accordingly, the evils this message predicted are ongoing. Likewise, the solution is also still applicable to our days. What are these evils and the respective solution? Basically, Mary Most Holy came to remind a world steeped in apostasy of the gravity of sin and its consequences, the punishment of hell for unrepentant sinners, and the chastisement of the world for offending God.
To forestall the damnation of so many souls and God’s chastisement, Mary Most Holy offered as a solution the devotion to her Immaculate Heart, the Communion of reparation on the First Saturdays for five consecutive months, and Russia’s consecration to her Immaculate Heart.
The Blessed Virgin warned that, if her requests went unheeded, World War II would break out and Communism would spread its errors throughout the world, provoking wars and persecutions of the Church. Finally, she promised divine forgiveness and the triumph of her Immaculate Heart, which would be followed by Russia’s consecration and conversion.
It is painfully obvious that her requests were not heeded in time. World War II broke out, and the errors of Russia spread throughout the world, not only with the implementation of communist regimes in many countries of Europe, Asia and America, but equally through the spread of doctrines and customs that are consistently leading the world to abandon natural and Christian order. Drives for homosexual “marriage,” abortion and euthanasia are but a few of these manifestations.
Therefore, although the power of Communism has somewhat waned in its political form,4 its cultural aspects are now at their zenith. In fact, divorce, free love, and immodesty find their philosophical systematization and political support in socialism. Communism is merely socialism’s extreme form (see box at the end of this article).
In turn, socialism thrives on unbridled sensuality and unrestrained pride—two vices that bring down the barriers of proper behavior and thinking in accordance to the law of God and the order established by Him.5
Thus, we must admit that we are still within the phase of the chastisement foreseen at Fatima, and must strive to advance toward what Our Lady promised: the triumph of her Immaculate Heart.
Devotion, Conversion and Amendment
When Our Lady appeared in 1917, two events were changing the face of the world: World War I and the Russian Communist Revolution.
World War I was not only one of the bloodiest wars in history, but also set in motion a cultural war that severed the West from the traditions of Christian civilization. This cultural war introduced grossly immoderate fashions, customs and personal behavior. It was the onset of a process that culminates in today’s unabashed semi-nudism and complete sexual licentiousness.
While this was happening in the West, Communism dominated one of the most powerful countries in the East, the age-old empire of the Czars. From Russia, Communism advanced militarily and propagandistically throughout the world, spreading wars, revolutions, persecution of the Church, class conflict and social upheaval.
Consequently, a true conversion of humanity would necessarily mean not only a moral and religious transformation but also a complete regeneration in the political and social fields. This is why Mary Most Holy showed hell that chastises sin and at the same time mentioned the errors of communism. And she indicated an authentic and sincere devotion to her Immaculate Heart as a solution for these evils.
The Consecration of Russia and Devotion to Her Immaculate Heart When Sister Lucy asked Our Lord why He did not convert Russia independent of the consecration, He gave the following answer:
Because I want My whole Church to acknowledge this consecration as a triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, so that it may extend its cult later on, and place the devotion of this Immaculate Heart beside the devotion to My Sacred Heart.6
Hence, the request for the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary was made to propagate and increase this devotion.
Was There a Deadline for the Consecration of Russia?
Much has been written about the formalities attached to Russia’s consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary (or the consecration of the world with a special mention of Russia in the formula proposed by Sister Lucy’s confessor, which, according to her, was acceptable to Our Lord).7 However, there is a particular point that deserves to be addressed here. This point has to do with the most proper moment for this consecration whereby it can have its full effect according to divine designs.
Analyzing the Fatima message, along with the words Our Lord and Our Lady later communicated privately to Sister Lucy, and the events following the apparitions, we are led to conclude that this proper moment was during Pius XI’s pontificate (1922–1939).
Analysis of Fatima’s Message
After showing hell to the little shepherds, the Most Holy Virgin stated that the establishment of the devotion to her Immaculate Heart was the means by which sinners would avoid going there. And she made a promise:8
If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace.
On the contrary, there would be a chastisement and a new war:
The war [World War I] is going to end: but if people do not cease offending God, a worse one will break out during the pontificate of Pius XI . . . to punish the world for its crimes, by means of war, famine, and persecutions of the Church and of the Holy Father.
Nevertheless, this terrible Second World War could be avoided in case the Holy Father consecrated Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary:
To prevent it [World War II and its consequences], I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart and the Communion of reparation on the First Saturdays. If my requests are heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace; . . .
But in case the request went unheeded, the war would come, as well as the expansion of Communism:
If not, [Russia] will spread its errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred; the Holy Father will have much to suffer; various nations will be annihilated.
In this case, the effective consecration of Russia would only be carried out after the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, as a consequence of this triumph:
In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, and she shall be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world.9
Our Lady and Our Lord’s Words Confirm This
On April 24, 1941, Father José Bernardo Gonçalves, S.J., Sister Lucy’s confessor at the time, copied some texts written by her.
The seer describes a vision of Our Lady with the Infant Jesus on June 13, 1929 in which the Blessed Virgin communicates to her that the hour had come for the consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart. Sister Lucy then adds:
Later on, by means of an interior communication, Our Lady complainingly said to me: “They didn’t want to pay attention to my petition. Like the king of France they will repent and do so, but it will be too late.10 Russia will already have spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church. The Holy Father will have much to suffer!”11
In a letter to Father Gonçalves, dated May 18, 1936, the seer narrates a locution she had from Our Lord regarding the same:
The Holy Father. Pray very much for the Holy Father. He will do [the consecration to Russia], but it will be too late. Nevertheless, the Immaculate Heart of Mary will save Russia. It has been entrusted to Her.12
Meanwhile, in 1940, at the beginning of World War II, Sister Lucy wrote to Pope Pius XII asking for the consecration. Nevertheless, she no longer mentions the possibility of preventing the chastisement and the war:
Our Lord promised only to shorten the days of tribulation with which He was determined to punish the world for its crimes through war, famine, and the persecution of the Church and Your Holiness.13
Undoubtedly then, the chastisement predicted in case Russia was not consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary was fully realized. The consecrations carried out afterwards were certainly pleasing to God but, as the historical events clearly show, they no longer had the power to forestall the chastisement.
These were the several consecrations:
- On October 31, 1942, Pope Pius XII consecrated the Church and the human race to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and on July 7, 1952, Pope Pius XII consecrated the Russians to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
- On November 21, 1964, Pope Paul VI confided the human race to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
- Pope John Paul II made two consecrations of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary: in Fatima, on May 13, 1982; and in Rome on March 25, 1984.14
Fatima, More Important Than Ever
We are in the midst of an unprecedented cultural war in which an aggressive and ideological secularism aims to destroy all that is still Christian in our culture and institutions.
Through judicial activism, orchestrated media campaigns and the entertainment industry, all our basic Christian values are being contested, ridiculed, disdained, blasphemed, ruined and destroyed.
Never has there been so many insults against our Blessed Mother. For example, a Catholic university in Dayton recently displayed a picture of Mary Most Holy among prostitutes.15 This same university was founded by a religious congregation dedicated to spreading devotion to Our Lady and has the offices of The Mariological Society of America.
To continue fighting for our Faith and our Christian identity, we must become ever more aware of the evils pointed out in Fatima: sin and its consequences, hell, and the chastisement of nations. We must remember that the solution for today’s worldwide crisis lies in a true devotion to Mary confiding in her promise in Fatima,
“In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph.”
Communism, in its full expression, is an ideology that denies God’s natural order and His natural law, which He inscribed on the hearts of all men. It rejects the basic rights to private property, monogamous and indissoluble marriage, and it transfers all personal responsibility to the Party and the totalitarian State. Dictatorship is not a chance fact in communism, but the logical and necessary consequence of its ideology. Denying God, it attaches divinity status to the Party and to the State. For strategic reasons, communism may take on different political forms, including the most apparently democratic ones, and hide behind the most varied labels. Already in the 1930’s, it launched the so-called policy of the extended hand, in which it showed to the outside world a smiling, friendly face while, Stalin’s iron hand imposed a ferocious, despotic dictatorship in Russia. [back]
Footnotes1. “So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven; hasted not to go down the space of one day.” (Josue 10:13). [back]
2. John M. Haffert, Meet the Witness (Ave Maria Institute, 1961), 107. [back]
3. Haffert, supra note 2, at 64–65. There is good photographic documentation of this event some of it in Mr. Haffert’s book. [back]
4. We must not forget that Communism continues strong in China, Cuba, Laos, North Korea and Vietnam. In Russia, though the political system has ceased to be communist, key positions are still occupied by apparatchiks from the Soviet era. [back]
5. Cf. Professor Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, Revolution and Counter-Revolution, at http://www.tfp.org_/ what_we_think/_rcr_book_online/rcr_intro.html [back]
6. Letter of Sister Lucy to Father José Bernardo Gonçalves, S.J, written from Tuy (Spain) May, 28, 1936 in Pe. Dr. Antonio Maria Martins, S.J., Memórias e cartas da Irmã Lúcia, (Porto, 1973, L.E.), 415. [back]
7. In a letter to Pope Pius XII dated October 24, 1940, Sister Lucy writes: Most Holy Father, our good Lord in several intimate communications has not stopped insisting on this request, promising lately to shorten the days of tribulation with which He was determined to punish the world for its crimes, through war, famine, and the persecution of the Church and Your Holiness, if you will consecrate the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, with a special mention for Russia. (Pe. Martins, supra note 6, at 433). [back]
8. “The Message of Fatima,” at http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20000626_mes sage-fatima_en.html [back]
9. “The Message of Fatima,” n. 7, supra note 8: “In the “Fourth Memoir,” Sister Lucy adds: “In Portugal, the dogma of the faith will always be preserved, etc. . . ." [back]
10. “This is an allusion to the promise Our Lord made to Louis XIV through Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque. Our Lord promised to grant the king a life of grace and eternal glory, as well as victory over his enemies, if he would consecrate himself to the Sacred Heart, let It reign in his palace, paint It on his banners, and have It engraved on his coat of arms. As of 1792, after Louis XVI had been imprisoned in the Tower of the Temple, this request had still not been heeded. This king then made the vow to consecrate himself, his family, and his kingdom to the Sacred Heart of Jesus if he regained his freedom, the crown, and royal power. It was too late: the king left prison only for his execution.” (Antonio A. Borelli, John R. Spann, Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, Our Lady at Fátima: Prophecies of Tragedy or Hope? (American Society for the Defense of Tradition, 1994), 75 n. 4. [back]
11. Pe. Martins, supra note 6, at 465. [back]
12. Pe. Martins, supra note 6, at 415. [back]
13. Pe. Martins, supra note 6, at 433. [back]
14. Cf. Borelli et al., supra note 11, at 79-82. [back]
15. Cf. http://www.tfp.org/what_ we_do/index/dayton_protest.htm [back]
- See more at: http://www.americaneedsfatima.org/Articles/fatima-more-urgent-redo.html#sthash.W7a5dCdO.dpuf