WELCOME! to THE FATIMA MOVEMENT OF PRIESTS
What believing Catholic today does not grieve over the crisis of faith and discipline in so many parts of the Church, and the danger to so many souls at risk of eternal damnation? What prudent Catholic does not feel alarm at the accelerating decline of our entire civilization, a decline that seems with each passing hour to bring closer the divine chastisement of all humanity?
And yet Heaven has not ignored our plight. The very Mother of God, whom we address as “Mother of Mercy, our light, our sweetness and our hope,” and to whom we fly in times of trouble, has delivered to us a special message from Heaven itself, recognized as such by the highest authorities of the Church: the Message of Fatima.
In this Message, Mary Immaculate has promised a way out of danger and toward the glorious triumph of Her Immaculate Heart that will bring about the salvation of many souls and peace in the world.
In his sermon at Fatima on May 13, 1982, Pope John Paul II asked: “Can the Mother who, with all the force of the love that She fosters in the Holy Spirit and desires everyone’s salvation, can She remain silent when She sees the very bases of Her children’s salvation undermined?” The Pope then answered his own question, “No, She cannot remain silent.”
Here the Pope clearly presented the Message of Fatima as Heaven’s remedy for the crisis in the Church today, in which the very salvation of souls is at risk because the faith is being undermined in so many places. And in the same sermon the Holy Father spoke also of “the almost apocalyptic menaces looming over the nations and mankind as a whole.” The Message of Fatima addresses the threat to the whole human race that arises with what the Pope in his sermon identified as “the evil that is spreading throughout the world and menacing the individual human being, the nations, and mankind as a whole…”
On May 13, 2000 the Pope returned to Fatima to conduct the beatification of Jacinta and Francisco, the two Fatima seers who died soon after the Fatima apparitions of 1917. On this occasion the Pope made it clear that the content of the Message of Fatima including the Third Secret of Fatima is apocalyptic in nature and
relates to Chapter 12 of the Book of the Apocalypse. He declared
to the vast crowd assembled for the beatifications:
“The Message of Fátima is a call to conversion, alerting humanity to have nothing to do with the ‘dragon’ whose ‘tail swept down a third of the stars of Heaven, and cast them to the earth’ (Apoc. 12: 4). Man’s final goal is Heaven, his true home, where the heavenly Father awaits everyone with His merciful love.
“God does not want anyone to be lost; that is why 2,000 years ago He sent His Son to earth, ‘to seek and to save the lost’ (Lk 19: 10). And He saved us by His death on the cross. Let no one empty that Cross of its power! Jesus died and rose from the dead to be ‘the
“In Her motherly concern, the Blessed Virgin came here to Fátima to ask men and women ‘to stop offending God, Our Lord, who is already very offended.’ It is a mother’s sorrow that compels Her to speak; the destiny of Her children is at stake. For this reason She asks the little shepherds: ‘Pray, pray much and make sacrifices for sinners; many souls go to hell because they have no one to pray and make sacrifices for them.’”
The Message of Fatima, therefore, relates to the “the tail of the
Toward the end of his 1982 sermon at Fatima, the Pope specifically declared that because the Message of Fatima is intimately related to the Gospel and Tradition, it imposes an obligation on the Church to obey what the Message prescribes. Let the Pope’s own words serve as the theme of this booklet:
“The appeal of the Lady of the message of Fatima is so deeply rooted in the Gospel and the whole of Tradition that the Church feels that the message imposes a commitment on her.”
The Message of Fatima, therefore, is not “just a private
revelation.” Every member of the Church has a duty to honor the
commitment imposed upon the Church by the Mother of God Herself at Fatima. As the Pope makes clear, nothing less than the eternal destiny of countless souls and the temporal fate of the whole world are at stake.
The purpose of this booklet is to show how the Message of Fatima holds the answer to the dangers that threaten the Faith and the life of the Catholic and the life of everyone in the world in the present day, and to propose a way for the members of the priesthood to honor and obey the commitment that the Message imposes upon each one of us as priests.
We propose here the formation of a worldwide Fatima Movement of
This movement will not involve the creation of any formal canonical entity, but rather a unity of purpose of prayer and action by individual priests responding to Our Lady of Fatima’s requests. The members of the movement would communicate with each other on this vitally important Church matter through various means, as the law of the Church and the Second Vatican Council encourage us to do.
There will be no leadership or organizational structure of the usual sort in this movement. The leader of this movement is the Virgin Mother of God, and its structure is the Catholic priesthood. The charter of the movement is nothing other than the rights and duties of each and every Catholic priest, as taught for all time by the Magisterium of the Church and explained by her Saints and Doctors. In keeping with Our Lord’s divine commission itself, our primary duty as priests is to “go forth and preach the Gospel to all nations, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded thee.” As Pope John Paul
IImade clear, the Message of Fatima is linked to that very mission in the most intimate way. If we priests are to be faithful to the divine commission as carried out in our time, we cannot ignore the Message, which was delivered by Mary precisely for the assistance of the Church today.
Why do we need a Fatima Movement of Priests? The basic reasons are these:
•As Pope John Paul II indicated, the Message of Fatima is beyond any doubt an authentic apparition of the Mother of God, recognized by a series of Popes. John Paul II beatified two of the three Fatima seers and decreed the annual Feast of Our Lady of Fatima for the Roman Missal. The Message of Fatima is formally and irrevocably part of the life of the Catholic Church.
•Pope John Paul II stated that the contents of the Message, confirmed as true by a public miracle witnessed by 70,000 people, are crucially important for the salvation of souls and the avoidance of “the almost apocalyptic menaces looming over the nations and mankind as a whole,” and “the evil that is spreading throughout the world and menacing the individual human being, the nations, and mankind as a whole…”
•The Message itself warns that failure to heed what it
•As Our Lady Herself has warned, if the Message is not made known and heeded, many millions will die horribly and countless souls will be lost for all eternity.
•Our Lord Himself warned that “My ministers” must know and heed the Message in order to avoid the disastrous consequences of disobeying it, and this means not only bishops and the Pope, but all the members of His sacred priesthood.
•If the Message is made known and heeded by the Church, many souls will be saved and the world as a whole will receive enormous spiritual and material benefits, including the conversion of Russia and a consequent period of world peace that will be nothing short of miraculous.
•In keeping with all of God’s promises to His creatures, what the Message requires of us is very little, but what it
promises in return is of incalculable worth. On the other hand, the consequences of failing to heed the Message will be catastrophic.
•To make known and heed the Message of Fatima, therefore, is the utmost prudence; to ignore and disobey, is the utmost folly.
In short, if we priests of the 21st Century are to be faithful to our mission of saving souls through the administration of the sacraments and the preaching of the Gospel, we have no choice but to incorporate the Message of Fatima into that mission. The Message of Fatima is Heaven’s own set of particular instructions for carrying out the Church’s salvific mission in this day and age, complete with prayers and devotions that Heaven itself has deemed essential for our time. The Message of Fatima is a veritable catechism of the Faith for this point of time in salvation
The booklet is divided into two parts. In the first part, those who may not be familiar with the story of the Message of Fatima can learn something of its history and content. The controversy surrounding the Consecration of Russia called for by Our Lady at Fatima and the Third Secret of Fatima, which almost certainly contains the most important elements of the apocalyptic content to which John Paul II alluded in his homilies at Fatima in 1982 and 2000, will also be discussed.
In the second part, we set out five principles of the proposed Fatima Movement of Priests and provide practical suggestions for putting the five principles of the Movement into practice to hasten the fulfillment of the Message of Fatima and secure those miraculous spiritual and material benefits for the Church and the world promised by Our Lady.
We have made this booklet available to thousands of priests with the hope and prayer that it will in some small way help to bring closer that ultimate Triumph of the Immaculate
The Gathering Storm
“Russia’s errors will spread throughout the world…” This is one of the many warnings Our Lady conveyed in the Message of Fatima as a consequence of failing to heed its requests. Despite the
As you read these pages, the Middle East threatens to erupt into a conflagration, the carnage in Iraq increases by the day, and conflicts elsewhere result in bloodbaths, such as the one in Darfur in the Sudan, where 400,000 innocent civilians have been butchered over the past three years by Arab militias. Russia, with its financial and other links to Islamic terrorism in Iraq and elsewhere, has become a
While the forces of total war gather, the holocaust of abortion continues all over the globe, with the blood of every slain infant crying out for divine retribution. Women are now using cells from the bodies of aborted children for beauty
In every nation of the
Earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes and other natural disasters also batter our troubled world, with threats of even worse disasters to come. The tsunami of 2004 alone killed more than 213,000 people in eleven different countries.
In 1907, Pope Saint Pius
In 1922, Pope Pius XI lamented that with men in rebellion against God throughout the world and Christ excluded from the life of nations, “we behold with sorrow society lapsing back slowly but surely into a state of barbarism.” Humanity, he warned, was even then “tottering to its fall.”
In 1950 Pope Pius XII said that “The world now is worse than before the Flood.” What would great and holy Popes like Pius X, Pius XI and Pius XII say about the state of the world today?
Even Pope John Paul II, for all his optimism about the modern world, was compelled to admit that all of Europe has succumbed to “a vision of man apart from God and apart from Christ” and that “European culture gives the impression of ‘silent apostasy’ on the part of people… who live as if God does not exist.” The results of this silent apostasy, said the late Pope, are “the diminishing number of births, the decline in the number of vocations to the priesthood and religious life, and the difficulty, if not the outright refusal, to make lifelong commitments, including marriage.”
John Paul II’s words reflect the awful reality that throughout
the nations of former Christendom the great mass of the people practice contraception, which renders their marriages infertile. Living in this state of disobedience to the natural law and the infallible teaching of the Church against contraception, people lose the grace of God and His blessings on their families and put themselves unwittingly under the power of the devil. As the Old Testament noted, St. Raphael the Archangel taught, “they who in such manner receive matrimony as to shut out God from themselves and from their mind, and to give themselves to their lust, as the horse and mule which have not understanding, over them the devil hath power.” (Tob. 6:17).
Who can deny that in this age of contraception, abortion, divorce and “gay marriage,” the devil has indeed gained power over vast masses of people who were once Christian? The family is disintegrating and society is disintegrating along with it. The nations of the West are dying out for lack of children, while Muslim populations are threatening to overwhelm the last vestiges of Christian civilization.
At the same time, the Church is also undergoing a crisis that is perhaps the worst in her entire history: the collapse of faith and discipline, scandals everywhere, the loss of vocations, and mass defections from the True Faith into sects of all kinds.
The Vatican’s own statistics show that from 1978 to 2004 the total number of priests in the world has declined by 3.5%, the number of male religious by 27%, and the number of women religious by 22% all while the population of the world has grown by approximately 50%. Even if we accept the Vatican’s assumption that every student of philosophy and theology attending a diocesan and religious seminary is a candidate for the priesthood, worldwide there are only 28 “candidates” for the priesthood for every 100 priests now in service. Clearly, many of these “candidates” will not proceed all the way to priestly ordination. So where will the priests of tomorrow come from? Absent a miracle, there will be no priests. Even now, priests from Africa are being transferred to Ireland to minister to the faithful, because
The proportion of the world’s population that is Catholic has
stagnated at between 17 and 18 percent over the past 26 years, reflecting a marked drop in the Church’s missionary activities. Moreover, the majority of those who still call themselves Catholic no longer feel any obligation to adhere to any teaching of the Church with which they happen to disagree. Catholics are now largely indistinguishable from Protestants and Jews in their views of legalized abortion, contraception, divorce and other moral issues. No wonder John Paul II spoke of a silent apostasy in the Church!
Looking at the state of the world today, one can only come to the same conclusion as the one reached by all of the Popes over the past 100 years: The forces of rebellion against Christ and His Church have pushed the world ever closer to the brink of apocalyptic war and worldwide devastation, which will be a divine punishment for the sins of a world that is defying God as never before in human history. As even
Fortunately, Heaven has not remained silent in the face of humanity’s rebellion. God sent His own Mother to Fatima to warn us to change our ways, and to offer the means of averting the divine punishment our rebellious world so richly deserves.
What is the Message of Fatima?
As Saint Thomas Aquinas teaches us (Summa Theologica,
God’s prophet for our age is no one other than the Virgin Mother of God, who has appeared again and again since the
Only a few years after Saint Pius X wrote of the growing apostasy in the world, heralding the advent of Antichrist, Our Lady appeared yet again at Fatima, Portugal, on the 13th day of each month from May to October in 1917. In the course of these apparitions, the Mother of God confided a Message for the Church and the world to three shepherd children: Blessed Jacinta and Blessed Francisco, whom John Paul II beatified, and Sister Lucy, who departed this earth on February 13, 2005.
The most important part of the Message of Fatima was revealed by the Mother of God in Her apparition of July 13, 1917, when She confided what is called the Great Secret of Fatima. The Secret is divided into three parts. The first part was a terrifying vision of hell, in which the three children saw many souls suffering horrible torments. The second part, conveyed immediately after the vision of hell, contains the very words of the Virgin Herself as
recorded by Sister Lucy in her diaries. We use here the translation
published on the Vatican’s own website:
“You have seen hell where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to My Immaculate Heart. If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace. 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. When you see a night illumined by an unknown light, know that this is the great sign given you by God that He is about to punish the world for its crimes, by means of war, famine, and persecutions of the Church and of the Holy Father. To prevent this, 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; if not, she will spread her 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 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.”
In her Fourth Memoir, Sister Lucy revealed that after uttering the second part of the Secret Our Lady made this mysterious reference to the nation of Portugal: “In Portugal, the dogma of the faith will always be preserved etc.” Fatima scholars were unanimous in concluding that these words are the beginning of the third part of the Great Secret, known as the Third Secret of Fatima, and that the Third Secret predicts a crisis of faith and discipline in the Church outside of Portugal. Sister Lucy advised her superiors that Our Lady wished the Third Secret to be revealed to the world by no later than 1960, because, she explained, its meaning “will be clearer (mais claro)” by then.
As the words of Our Lady quoted above reveal, the second part of the Message of Fatima contains both a glorious promise and a dire warning:
“If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and
there will be peace.”
“If My requests are heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace; if not, she will spread her 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.”
The Mother of God could not have been clearer: souls will be lost and various nations will be annihilated if Her requests are not granted. And what were Her requests? First, Our Lady promised She would come to ask for the collegial Consecration of Russia to Her Immaculate Heart in a solemn public ceremony conducted by the Pope and the Catholic bishops of the world.
Second, Our Lady also promised that She would come to request “the Communion of Reparation on the First Saturdays,” which has become known in the Church as the Five First Saturdays devotion.
In addition to these two requests, Our Lady made these other urgent requests during the Fatima apparitions, all related to the “Great Secret” confided on July 13, 1917:
•That the faithful “amend their lives and ask pardon for their sins. They must not offend Our Lord any more, for He is already too much offended.”
•That we wear the Brown
•That we do penance by making sacrifices required by our daily duties.
Our Lady was especially persistent in requesting that we pray the Rosary. During Her apparition on October 13,
Finally, the Message of Fatima includes seven prayers that God has ordained as additions to the devotional life of Catholics. During the course of the apparitions at Fatima, the three child seers were taught five unique and powerful prayers: two by the Angel of
Peace and three by the Mother of God. Later, speaking to Sister Lucy at Rianjo, Spain, Our Lord Himself dictated two further prayers. For millions of people, these prayers embody the Message of hope and peace which Our Lady gave the world at Fatima. Here are the prayers:
My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love You! I ask pardon of You for all those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope and do not love You!
[When making a sacrifice for sinners, pray as follows]: O my Jesus, it is for love of You, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer this sacrifice to You.
O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell. Lead all souls to Heaven, especially those who are most in need.
O Most Holy Trinity, I adore You! My God, my God, I love You in the most Blessed Sacrament!
Sweet Heart of Mary, be the salvation of Russia, Spain, Portugal, Europe and the whole world.
By Your pure and Immaculate Conception, O Mary, obtain for me the conversion of Russia, Spain, Portugal, Europe and the entire world.
Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, I offer You the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of the same Son Jesus Christ, present in the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the sacrileges, outrages and indifferences by which He Himself is offended. And through the infinite merits of His most Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of You the conversion of poor sinners.
This, then, is the substance of the Message of Fatima: the collegial Consecration of Russia, the Five First Saturdays devotion, the offering of penance in reparation for our sins and those of others, the wearing of the Brown Scapular, the praying of the Rosary, and the seven Fatima prayers. By these means souls will be saved, peace will be granted to the world, and the annihilation of nations will be avoided.
“So That People Will Believe….”
During the apparition of Our Lady of Fatima on July 13, 1917, Lucy asked Our Lady “to perform a miracle so that people will believe that You are appearing to us.” In reply Our Lady promised that on October 13th of that year “I will perform a miracle so that everyone may see and believe.”
What happened on October 13, 1917 was unique in salvation history: a public miracle whose occurrence was literally scheduled in advance by the Mother of God. And Our Lady kept Her appointment. That day in a driving rainstorm some 70,000 people, believers and
Beginning at precisely midday, when the sun was at its zenith, the vast crowd witnessed the sun defy all of the laws of physics. First, the sun’s appearance was altered so that it became like a silver disc and one could look at it directly without the least discomfort or damage to the eyes. Then, spinning about in the sky, the sun threw off a splendid array of colors which bathed and transformed the landscape. Finally, in a moment of sheer terror, the sun plummeted down upon the Cova as if to incinerate everyone there, before returning to its normal appearance and place in the sky. As the sun descended, people fell to their knees, pleading for God’s mercy. Sinners and
Secular journalists, scientists, and even the most virulently
“The sky, which had been overcast all day, suddenly cleared; the rain stopped and it looked as if the sun were about to fill with light the countryside that the wintery morning had made
so gloomy. I was looking at the spot of the apparitions in a serene, if cold, expectation of something happening and with diminishing curiosity because a long time had passed without anything to excite my attention. The sun, a few moments before, had broken through the thick layer of clouds which hid it and now shone clearly and intensely.
“Suddenly I heard the uproar of thousands of voices, and I saw the whole multitude spread out in that vast space at my feet...turn their backs to that spot where, until then, all their expectations had been focused, and look at the sun on the other side. I turned around, too, toward the point commanding their gaze and I could see the sun, like a very clear disc, with its sharp edge, which gleamed without hurting the sight. It could not be confused with the sun seen through a fog (there was no fog at that moment), for it was neither veiled nor dim. At Fatima, it kept its light and heat, and stood out clearly in the sky, with a sharp edge, like a large gaming table. The most astonishing thing was to be able to stare at the solar disc for a long time, brilliant with light and heat, without hurting the eyes or damaging the retina. [During this time], the sun’s disc did not remain immobile, it had a giddy motion, [but] not like the twinkling of a star in all its brilliance for it spun round upon itself in a mad whirl.
“During the solar phenomenon, which I have just described, there were also changes of color in the atmosphere. Looking at the sun, I noticed that everything was becoming darkened. I looked first at the nearest objects and then extended my glance further afield as far as the horizon. I saw everything had assumed an amethyst color. Objects around me, the sky and the atmosphere, were of the same color. Everything both near and far had changed, taking on the color of old yellow damask. People looked as if they were suffering from jaundice and I recall a sensation of amusement at seeing them look so ugly and unattractive. My own hand was the same color.
“Then, suddenly, one heard a clamor, a cry of anguish breaking from all the people. The sun, whirling wildly, seemed all at once to loosen itself from the firmament and, blood red, advance threateningly upon the earth as if to crush us with its huge and fiery weight. The sensation during those moments was truly terrible.
“All the phenomena which I have described were observed by me in a calm and serene state of mind without any emotional disturbance. It is for others to interpret and explain them. Finally, I must declare that never, before or after October 13 , have I observed similar atmospheric or solar phenomena.”
There was another astounding aspect to the miracle. The
Even more dramatic than all of this, however, were the instantaneous cures of thousands of people of various ailments who stood in the
The promises and the warnings that had been given by Our Lady of Fatima were verified as authentic beyond all doubt by the Miracle of the
The Miracle of the Sun makes a mockery of later claims that the Message of Fatima is just a “private revelation” that Catholics can take or leave as they see fit. God would not work a public miracle to authenticate a Message we have the option of disregarding. No message from Heaven is dispensable, least of all this one. The words of Our Lady of Fatima were meant by God to be heeded by the entire Church for the welfare of souls and the safety of the world. The threat of the annihilation of nations was no
“private revelation” but a warning to us all.
Our Lady of Fatima would soon return to keep Her promise with respect to the Consecration of Russia and the Five First Saturdays devotion. On the day of the Miracle of the Sun itself, however, Our Lady revealed three of the prescriptions for carrying out the Fatima Message we have already touched upon.
First, Our Lady held out the Brown Scapular, indicating She wants us all to wear it, placing ourselves under Her special protection and thereby assuring us of salvation. Sister Lucy has said the Rosary and the Scapular are inseparable.
Second, Our Lady said this of Herself: “I am the Lady of the Rosary. May you continue always to pray the Rosary every day.”
Third, Our Lady called for repentance and the amendment of lives in order to avoid divine punishments. In explaining why some people would be cured that day but not others, She said: “They must amend their lives and ask pardon for their sins. Do not offend the Lord Our God any more, for He is already too much offended!”
The Brown Scapular, the Rosary, repentance and
The Five First Saturdays Devotion
As we have seen, on July 13, 1917, in a Message deemed authentic by the Church and confirmed by a unprecedented public miracle, the Mother of God promised: “I shall come to ask for the Consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart, and the Communion of Reparation on the First Saturdays.”
True to Her word, on December 10, 1925 Our Lady appeared to Lucy, now Sister Lucy, at Pontevedra, Spain, where she was then living. Our Lady honored one part of Her twofold promise by requesting the Five First Saturdays devotion. She appeared with the Child Jesus by Her side, elevated on a luminous cloud. Our Lady displayed Her Heart encircled by thorns, and the Child Jesus said to Sister Lucy:
“Have compassion on the Heart of your Most Holy Mother, covered with thorns, with which ungrateful men pierce It at every moment, and there is no one to make an act of reparation to remove them.”
Then, as Sister Lucy faithfully recounted, the Most Holy
“Look, My daughter, at My Heart, surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce Me at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You at least try to console Me and announce in My name that I promise to assist at the moment of death, with all the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months shall confess, receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary, and keep Me company for fifteen minutes while meditating on the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary, with the intention of making reparation to Me.”
As Our Lord later explained to Sister Lucy, the devotion involves five Saturdays because there are five ways in which people offend or blaspheme the Immaculate Heart:
“There are five types of offenses and blasphemies committed
against the Immaculate Heart of Mary:
•Blasphemies against the Immaculate Conception;
•Blasphemies against Her Perpetual Virginity;
•Blasphemies against Her Divine Maternity in refusing at the same time to recognize Her as the Mother of men;
•The blasphemies of those who publicly seek to sow in the hearts of children, indifference or scorn or even hatred of this Immaculate Mother;
•The offenses of those who outrage Her directly in Her holy images.
Here, My daughter, is the reason why the Immaculate Heart
of Mary inspired Me to ask for this little act of reparation.”
Soon after this apparition, Our Lady would appear
time to keep Her promise concerning the Consecration of Russia.
The Consecration of Russia
On June 13, 1929, at Tuy, Spain, Our Lady appeared to Sister Lucy to fulfill the second part of Her promise: that She would come to ask for the Consecration of Russia. Sister Lucy was in prayer in the convent chapel during the Holy Hour of Adoration and Reparation. Even among the annals of recognized heavenly apparitions to the saints of the Catholic Church, this one was extraordinary. In her own simple but dramatic words, Sister Lucy recounted what transpired:
“I had requested and obtained permission from my superiors and confessor to make the Holy Hour from 11:00 p.m. until midnight from Thursday to Friday. Being alone one night, I knelt down before the communion rail in the middle of the chapel to say the prayers of the Angel, lying prostrate. Feeling tired, I got up and knelt, and continued to say them with my arms in the form of a cross.
“The only light came from the sanctuary lamp. Suddenly a supernatural light illumined the whole chapel and on the altar appeared a cross of light which reached to the ceiling. In a brighter part could be seen, on the upper part of the Cross, the face of a man and His body to the waist. On His breast was an equally luminous dove, and nailed to the Cross, the body of another man.
“A little below the waist, suspended in
“I understood that it was the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity that was shown to me…”
Frère Michel has rightly called this apparition “the Trinitarian
Theophany.” As with the Miracle of the Sun, there is nothing else like it in the history of the world. By this apparition, God Himself signified the singular importance of what Our Lady was about to tell Sister Lucy:
“The moment has come when God asks the Holy Father to make, in union with all the bishops of the world, the Consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart, promising to save it by this means.”
God Himself had requested this. Sister Lucy had been in the presence not merely of the Mother of God, but the Most Holy Trinity. Of course, Sister Lucy immediately conveyed the divine request to her confessor, Father Gonçalves, as reflected in her published correspondence with him.
When Sister Lucy later asked Our Lord why He would not convert Russia without the consecration of that nation to the Immaculate Heart, He replied:
“Because I will that My whole Church acknowledge that consecration as a triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, so as to extend its devotion later on and to place the devotion to Her Immaculate Heart alongside devotion to My Sacred Heart.”
For at least the next seventy years Sister
We have already been given a foretaste of the incomparable benefits God will bestow on the Church and the world once Our Lady’s simple request is honored. The
The Showcase of Our Lady
As if to demonstrate the efficacy of the Consecration the Virgin had requested, God saw fit to allow a demonstration project, as it were, in Portugal. On May 13,
These good bishops placed Portugal under the protection of Our Lady to preserve that nation from the communist contagion that was sweeping through Europe, and especially Spain. The world knows well of the genocide of tens of millions by Lenin and Stalin in Russia and Eastern Europe and later by Mao in China. What is less well known is that communist revolutionaries in Spain had been responsible for the slaughter of thousands of priests, brothers, nuns and laity during the Spanish Civil War
By 1931 the Virgin’s prophecy of the spread of Russia’s errors throughout the world was already being fulfilled with relentless exactitude. As a result of the Consecration to Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart that year, Portugal experienced a threefold miracle: a magnificent Catholic Renaissance, a political and social reform in accordance with Catholic social principles, and protection from the ravages of Communism and war.
There was a great rebirth of Catholic life so striking that those who lived through it attributed it unquestionably to the work of God. During this period, Portugal enjoyed a drastic upsurge in priestly vocations. The number of religious almost quadrupled in 10 years. Religious communities rose likewise. There was a vast renewal of Christian life, which showed itself in many areas, including the development of a Catholic press, Catholic radio, pilgrimages, spiritual retreats, and a robust movement of Catholic
Action that was integrated into the framework of diocesan and parish life.
This Catholic Renaissance was of such magnitude that in 1942 the bishops of Portugal declared in a pastoral letter: “Anybody who would have closed his eyes
Shortly after the 1931 Consecration, Antonio Salazar ascended to power in Portugal and inaugurated a Catholic,
President Salazar did not merely engage in empty propaganda. He enacted legislation to protect the family, including laws that banned divorce for marriages celebrated in the Church. Remarkably, the number of Catholic marriages actually increased after this law was passed. By 1960, Salazar had succeeded in almost completely reversing the destruction of the institution of marriage in Portugal, which had almost been achieved by liberal divorce laws previously enacted in accordance with a Masonic conception of the secular social order. As of 1960, near 91 percent of all marriages in the country were Catholic canonical
In addition to these astonishing religious and political changes, there was a twofold miracle of peace: Portugal was preserved from the Communist terror, especially from the Spanish Civil War, raging next door, and from the devastation of World War II.
The Portuguese bishops had vowed in 1936 that if Our Lady protected Portugal from the effects of the Spanish Civil War, they would express their gratitude by renewing the national Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. True to their word, on May 13, 1938, they renewed the Consecration of Portugal to the
Immaculate Heart in thanksgiving for Our Lady’s protection. Cardinal Cerejeira acknowledged publicly: “Since Our Lady of Fatima appeared in 1917 ... A special blessing of God has descended upon the land of Portugal ... especially if we review the two years which have gone since our vow, one cannot fail to recognize that the invisible hand of God has protected Portugal, sparing it the scourge of war and the leprosy of atheistic Communism.”
Even Pope Pius XII expressed astonishment that Portugal had escaped the horrors of the Spanish Civil War and the Communist menace in general. In an address to the Portuguese people, the Pope spoke of “the Red Peril, so menacing and so close to you [in Spain], and yet avoided in such an unexpected manner.” Few Catholics know that even in Spain itself one diocese, the Diocese of Seville, was preserved from the devastation of the War. Why? Because the Archbishop of Seville had consecrated his diocese to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. There was not one violent death as a result of the Spanish Civil War in any part of this diocese, even though the War claimed 1.5 million lives throughout the rest of Spain.
After escaping the menace of Communism from Spain, a second, even greater danger stared Portugal in the face. World War
IIwas about to break out. In yet another fulfillment of the Virgin’s prophecy of July 13, 1917, the war would begin “in the reign of Pius XI,” following “a night illumined by an unknown light ...”
On February 6, 1939, seven months before the declaration of war, Sister Lucy wrote to her bishop, Msgr. da Silva. She told him that war was imminent, but then spoke of a miraculous promise. She said “in this horrible war, Portugal would be spared because of the national consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary made by the bishops.” And Portugal was spared the horrors of the war.
Even more remarkable, Sister Lucy wrote to Pope Pius XII on December 2, 1940, to tell him that Portugal was receiving special protection during the war that other nations would also have received if their bishops would have consecrated their countries to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. She wrote: “Most Holy Father, Our Lord promises a special protection to our country in this war, due to the consecration of the nation, by the Portuguese prelates, to the Immaculate Heart of Mary; as proof of the graces that would have
been granted to other nations, had they also consecrated themselves to Her.”
Likewise, Portugal’s Cardinal Cerejeira did not hesitate to attribute to Our Lady of Fatima the great graces that She had obtained for Portugal during this time. On May 13, 1942 he said: “To express what has been going on here for
Cardinal Cerejeira maintained that the miraculous blessings Our Lady obtained for Portugal as a heavenly reward for the 1931 and 1938 consecrations of that nation are only a foretaste of what She will do for the entire world, once Russia is also properly consecrated to Her Immaculate Heart. As the Cardinal said: “What has taken place in Portugal proclaims the miracle. And it foreshadows what the Immaculate Heart of Mary has prepared for the world.”
It is not hard to understand why Portugal at this time was called the “Showcase of Our Lady.” The triple miracle of Portugal is but a preview of how the Consecration of Russia done in a solemn public ceremony conducted by the Pope and all the Catholic bishops of the world will affect Russia and the world. The miraculous example of Portugal is also helpful to us in judging the present. If we contrast the threefold miracle of Portugal after it was consecrated with the present condition of Russia and the world, it is obvious that the Consecration of Russia has yet to be achieved.
The Mother of God Herself has promised us that the entire world will become Our Lady’s Showcase once Russia is consecrated to Her Immaculate Heart: “In the end, My Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to Me, which will be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world.”
The remaining question is stark: Will this Triumph of the Immaculate Heart “in the end” come before or after the loss of countless souls and the annihilation of various nations, which Our Lady made clear are the consequences for delaying for too long in carrying out Her requests? The answer to that question may well depend upon whether a Fatima Movement of Priests can succeed in securing the Church’s obedience to the Fatima Message.
Warning After Warning Ignored
At Rianjo, Spain in 1931 Our Lord Himself told Sister Lucy: “Make it known to My ministers, given that they follow the example of the King of France in delaying the execution of My command, they will follow him into misfortune.”
What was the example of the King of France? He failed to consecrate France to the Sacred Heart as Our Lord had commanded in His apparition to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque on June 17,
At Rianjo, Our Lord Himself warned us that if we fail to follow His command at Fatima, that another consecration be
These events are yet to occur. The Message of Fatima is not merely a prophecy of two world wars and the rise of Communism, as some would have us believe today. In her interview with Father Fuentes on December 26, 1957, long after World War II had ended and Stalin had subjugated half of Europe, Sister Lucy spoke of even worse calamities to come:
“Father, the Most Holy Virgin is very sad because no one has paid any attention to Her Message, neither the good nor the bad. The good continue on their way but without giving any importance to Her Message. The bad, not seeing the punishment of God actually falling upon them, continue
their life of sin without even caring about the message. But believe me, Father, God will chastise the world and this will be in a terrible manner. The punishment from Heaven is imminent.
“Father, how much time is there before 1960 arrives? It will be very sad for everyone, not one person will rejoice at all if beforehand the world does not pray and do penance. I am not able to give any other details, because it is still a secret. According to the will of the Most Holy Virgin, only the Holy Father and the Bishop of Fatima are permitted to know the secret, but they have chosen to not know it so that they would not be influenced. This is the third part of the Message of Our Lady which will remain secret until 1960.
“Tell them, Father, that many times the Most Holy Virgin told my cousins Francisco and Jacinta, as well as myself, that many nations will disappear from the face of the earth. She said that Russia will be the instrument of chastisement chosen by Heaven to punish the whole world if we do not beforehand obtain the conversion of that poor nation.”
Sister Lucy also told me: “Father, the devil is in the mood for engaging in a decisive battle against the Blessed Virgin. And the devil knows what it is that most offends God and which in a short space of time will gain for him the greatest number of souls. Thus the devil does everything to overcome souls consecrated to God because in this way, the devil will succeed in leaving the souls of the faithful abandoned by their leaders, thereby the more easily will he seize them.”
Sister Lucy reported with particular alarm the warning of Our Lady that the devil will attack consecrated
Sister Lucy warned that along with the fall of consecrated souls, entire nations will disappear from the earth, and that this disastrous chain of events will begin in the years following 1960.
Sister Lucy also specifically revealed that these terrible events are predicted in “the third part of the Message of Our Lady, which will remain secret until 1960.” This is an unmistakable reference to the Third Secret of Fatima. The Third Secret evidently predicts a double chastisement, material and spiritual, in which a crisis of faith and discipline in the Church will be accompanied by a global catastrophe that will cause “many nations [to] disappear from the face of the earth.”
This view of the Third Secret was dramatically confirmed in a crucial interview of then Cardinal Ratzinger by Vittorio Messori in the Italian magazine entitled Jesus, published on November 11, 1984. In the interview, Cardinal Ratzinger revealed that he had read the Third Secret and that it speaks of “the dangers threatening the Faith and the life of the Christian and therefore [the life] of the world.” Again we see the theme of a crisis in the Church and the consequent danger to the whole world.
This interview together with many other pieces of evidence, a discussion of which is beyond the scope of this booklet, has led the renowned Catholic author Antonio Socci to conclude in his recent book The Fourth Secret of Fatima that the Third Secret undoubtedly contains words of Our Lady warning of a crisis in the Church and catastrophic events in the world.1 As Vittorio Messori himself notes in a review of Socci’s book, Socci concludes that “the part of the secret revealed [by the Vatican] (that of the ‘bishop in white’ who is killed by ‘gunshots and arrows’) is authentic, but constitutes only a fragment. In its entirety, the message would contain terrible words on the crisis of the faith, on betrayal by part of the hierarchy, on catastrophic events in store for the Church and, with it, the whole of humanity.”2
It is very telling that the Vatican has not denied any aspect of Socci’s conclusions, not even his claim that there exists a suppressed text of the Third Secret. Socci is not someone who can simply be ignored. He is a national celebrity in Italy, and has personally conducted press conferences for Cardinal Ratzinger. The Vatican’s silence in the face of Socci’s book speaks volumes.
The subsequent book by Cardinal Bertone, published May 10,
2007, and his television interview of May 31, 2007, reinforce the conviction that Antonio Socci’s conclusion is
The publication of Socci’s book brings into bold relief the absolute urgency of the Fatima Message, the implications of which reach beyond the Catholic Church to the entire world. The whole world is in danger, and the warning of that danger is contained in the Third Secret. In his 1984 interview with Messori, Cardinal Ratzinger further revealed that “the things contained in this ‘Third Secret’ correspond to what has been announced in Scripture and has been said again and again in many other Marian apparitions, first of all that of Fatima ...”
The Cardinal’s reference to “what has been announced in many other Marian apparitions,” is quite revealing. On October 13,
“As I told you, if men do not repent and better themselves, the Father will inflict a terrible punishment on all humanity. It will be punishment greater than the deluge, such as one will never have seen before. Fire will fall from the sky and will wipe out a great part of humanity, the good as well as the bad, sparing neither priests nor faithful.
“The survivors will find themselves so desolate that they will envy the dead. The only arms which will remain for you will be the Rosary and the Sign left by My Son. Each day, recite the prayers of the Rosary. With the Rosary, pray for the Pope, the bishops and the priests.
“The work of the devil will infiltrate even into the Church in such a way that one will see cardinals opposing cardinals, bishops against other bishops.3 The priests who venerate Me will be scorned and opposed by their confreres (other priests). Churches and altars will be sacked. The Church will
be full of those who accept compromises and the demon will press many priests and consecrated souls to leave the service of the Lord.
“The demon will rage especially against souls consecrated to God. The thought of the loss of so many souls is the cause of My sadness. If sins increase in number and gravity, there will be no longer pardon for them.”
The parallel between the Message of Akita and the Message of Fatima, including the Third Secret as described by Sister Lucy, could not be more exact: both Messages predict a crisis in the Church and the destruction of a great part of humanity if the apostasy of many priests and bishops and lay people against God continues. We have already noted the massive defection of consecrated souls from the priesthood, the religious orders, and the convents that Our Lady warned us about at both Fatima and Akita. Can the consequent divine chastisement of the whole world be far behind?
The parallel between Fatima and Akita is made even clearer by the vision from the Third Secret which the Vatican published in June of 2000. In the published vision of the “bishop dressed in white,” we see a hobbling figure, evidently the Pope, trudging through a
The first two parts of the Message of Fatima, however, provide no explanation of the bishop dressed in white, the
concerning the Third Secret. The part of the Third Secret not yet released by the Vatican, namely, the words of Our Lady that follow Her statement “In Portugal, the dogma of the Faith will always be preserved…”, almost certainly contains an explanation of the vision released by the Vatican in 2000.
The first two parts of the Message of Fatima, the warning of Our Lord to Sister Lucy in 1931, Sister’s Lucy’s 1957 interview with Father Fuentes, the Message of Akita in 1973, Cardinal Ratzinger’s 1984 interview concerning the Third Secret, and the vision from the Third Secret published by the Vatican in 2000 all point to the same conclusion: Heaven has warned us of a crisis in the Church and a divine chastisement of the whole world the likes of which has never occurred before.
Who can deny that this prophecy of a dual chastisement of the Church and the world is playing out before our very eyes? The Second Vatican Council urged us to read “the signs of the times.” With Heaven’s assistance we can indeed read those signs, and they all point to
Has It Been Done?
The Mother of God came to earth and, with the solicitude of a perfect Mother and the very Queen of Heaven, warned us of danger to souls and to the world and gave us the means to avoid that danger. What have we done with Her Message? We have failed to obey it even as the world moves closer and closer to a disaster of apocalyptic proportions. How sad this must make our Mother! As Sister Lucy confided to Father Fuentes:
“Father, the Most Holy Virgin is very sad because no one has paid any attention to Her message, neither the good nor the bad. The good continue on their way but without giving any importance to Her message. The bad, not seeing the punishment of God actually falling upon them, continue their life of sin without even caring about the message.”
As we have seen, the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart is the key to avoiding the full measure of the punishment from
There are some who say that Russia was consecrated to the Immaculate Heart in 1982 and again in 1984, when the Pope conducted consecration ceremonies in which he mentioned the world, but not Russia. A consecration of the world, they say, is as good as a consecration of Russia because, after all, Russia is part of the world. They persist in this facile argument even as they themselves witness the worsening condition of the Church and the world since those two ceremonies were conducted. We have not seen anything even resembling the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart since 1982 and 1984, but only growing immorality and unrest in the world, and what John Paul II himself called “a silent apostasy” in the Church. Clearly, Pope John Paul’s 1982 and 1984
consecrations have not led to the results which Our Lady promised would occur after the Consecration of Russia.
As the dictionary explains, the word “consecration” means the “sanctification of something by setting it apart (usually with religious rites) as dedicated to God.”4 To consecrate a
It would be completely absurd for someone to say that a bishop could consecrate a new church or a new cemetery by simply consecrating his whole diocese without ever specifying the particular church building or the cemetery grounds. Yet that absurdity is advanced by some to justify the claim that the 1982 and 1984 ceremonies by Pope John Paul II, consecrating the world to the Immaculate Heart, were also consecrations of Russia. Common sense is enough to tell us that Russia cannot be
We have something more than common sense to guide us on this point. Sister Lucy made it plain repeatedly that what Our Lady wanted was the Consecration of Russia, not the world. She emphasized this point many times. Let us consider a few examples.
In 1947, the eminent Catholic historian William Thomas Walsh recounted in his definitive history of Fatima, Our Lady of Fatima, that “Lucy made it plain that Our Lady did not ask for the consecration of the world to Her Immaculate Heart. What She demanded specifically was the consecration of Russia.” He noted:
“Sister Lucy said more than once, and with deliberate emphasis: ‘What Our Lady wants is that the Pope and all the bishops in the world shall consecrate Russia to Her Immaculate Heart on one special day. If this is done She will convert Russia, and there will be peace. If it is not done, the
errors of Russia will spread through every country in the
As reported by Father Thomas McGlynn in his book Vision of Fatima (p. 80), in 1949 Sister Lucy corrected his misunderstanding of Our Lady’s request by insisting: “No, not the world, Russia, Russia.” It is striking that this obedient and submissive nun felt obliged to strongly correct a priest on this point.
In 1952, the Virgin Mary Herself said to Sister Lucy: “Make it known to the Holy Father that I am always awaiting the Consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart. Without the Consecration of Russia, Russia will not be able to convert nor will the world have peace.”
In 1982 L’Osservatore Romano reported that in 1978 Sister Lucy had been asked by her confidant Father Pasquale Umberto, S.D.B.: “Has Our Lady ever spoken to you about the consecration of the world to Her Immaculate Heart?” She replied: “No, Father Umberto, never. At the Cova da Iria in 1917, Our Lady promised, ‘I shall come to ask for the Consecration of Russia.’”
In a letter to Pope Pius XII, Sister Lucy had referred to a consecration of the world with an explicit mention of Russia. When Father Umberto asked her why she had done so, she answered: “In replying to your question, I will clarify. Our Lady of Fatima, in Her request, only referred to the Consecration of Russia. In the letter I wrote to the Holy Father on the instruction of my confessor, I asked for the consecration of the world with explicit mention of Russia.” Sister Lucy, being obedient and submissive, followed the suggestion of her confessor and added a request for consecration of the world to what Our Lady had requested. She stressed, nevertheless, that Our Lady had not asked for this, but only for the Consecration of Russia. The witness chosen by God could not and would not deviate from the Message she had been given.
Accordingly, Sister Lucy could not fail to speak the truth when officially asked by the Pope’s personal representative if the 1982 ceremony had fulfilled Our Lady’s request. On March 19, 1983 she told the Papal Nuncio, His Excellency Archbishop Portalupi, in the presence of Dr. Lacerda and Father Messias Coelho that:
“In the act of offering of May 13, 1982, Russia did not appear as being the object of the consecration… The Consecration of Russia has not been done as Our Lady had demanded it.”
On March 22,
Pestana: “That consecration cannot have a decisive character.”
In September 1985, eighteen months after the 1984 consecration of the world, Sister Lucy was interviewed by Sol de Fatima magazine, the publication of the Blue Army in Spain and
said the following:
Has he [John Paul II] not therefore done what was
requested at Tuy?
There was no participation of all the bishops, and
there was no mention of Russia.
So the consecration was not done as requested by
No. Many bishops attached no importance to this
Finally, on July 20, 1987, Sister Lucy, on her way to vote as commanded by her superior, told journalist Enrique Romero that the Consecration of Russia had not been done as requested.
In view of this repeated and unwavering testimony over a period of some seventy years
Moreover, the claims that Sister Lucy suddenly changed her testimony are surrounded by suspicious circumstances as had been amply demonstrated elsewhere.5 These circumstances include the sudden appearance of
Some have suggested that Pope John Paul II declared that he
had done the Consecration in the manner Our Lady requested. The evidence, however, makes it clear that His Holiness knew he had not done so.
On May 19, 1982, six days after the 1982 consecration of the world, John Paul II stated: “I tried to do everything possible in the concrete circumstances to emphasize the collegial unity of the Bishop of Rome with all his brothers in episcopal ministry and service in the world.”
During the consecration ceremony of 1984, and after he had pronounced the words “entrusting” the world, but not Russia, to the Immaculate Heart, the Pope spontaneously added these words: “Enlighten especially the peoples of which You Yourself are awaiting our consecration and confiding.” The Pope thus publicly acknowledged that the consecration requested by Our Lady had still not been performed. These words were included in an official report of the event in L’Osservatore Romano on March 26, 1984.
The next day in the Italian bishops’ newspaper, Avvenire, a report appeared in which the Pope is quoted as follows during his remarks in St. Peter’s Basilica, several hours after the consecration ceremony:
“We wished to choose this Sunday, the Third Sunday of Lent,
Thus, hours after the 1984 ceremony was over, the Pope continued to say that Our Lady was still awaiting the Consecration of Russia to Her Immaculate Heart. In the same remarks, he repeated his sentiment of 1982, that he had done all he could in the circumstances: “We have been able to do all this according to our poor human possibilities and the measure of human weakness, but with immense confidence in Your maternal love and immense confidence in Your maternal solicitude.”
Why would the Pope refrain from mentioning Russia in a consecration ceremony that was obviously supposed to have Russia as its object? What were the “concrete circumstances,” “poor human possibilities” and “human weakness” that had
limited his ability to act? We have the answer to these questions from a highly placed Vatican source, quoted in Inside the Vatican (November 2000): “Rome fears that the Russian Orthodox might regard it as an offense if Rome were to make specific mention of Russia in such a prayer, as if Russia especially is in need of help when the whole world, including the
We know, then, the Pope was advised not to make specific mention of Russia in any consecration ceremony for fear of offending the Russian Orthodox by singling out their nation for Heaven’s special intervention, even though that is precisely what Our Lady requested. The result, of course, is that the ceremonies of 1982 and 1984 were designed, for diplomatic and ecumenical reasons, precisely not to give the impression that Russia was being specially consecrated. Is it reasonable to ask Catholics to believe that Russia was consecrated in ceremonies that deliberately omitted any reference to Russia? How does one consecrate a place by refusing to mention the place lest its inhabitants be offended? Does anyone seriously believe that events over the past
As we have seen, since the ceremonies of 1982 and 1984 and despite the “fall of Communism” in 1991, Russia has become a virtual dictatorship under Vladimir Putin. Under his rule there has certainly been no conversion of Russia to Roman Catholicism nor even a tendency in that direction. Indeed, Putin is persecuting the Catholic Church. Under a 1997 Russian law, the Church is subjected to severe legal constraints on her very existence, while Russian Orthodoxy, Islam, Buddhism and Judaism are given privileged status. Key Catholic clerics, including the Bishop of Siberia, have been expelled from Russia as “dangerous to the Russian federation,” leading Archbishop Kondrusiewicz to protest:
“Catholics in Russia ask themselves what will happen next. Are the constitutional guarantees valid also for them, including liberty of conscience? And what of the right to have their own pastors which comprises inviting them from abroad, not forgetting that for 81 years the Catholic Church [in Russia] was deprived of the right of forming and ordaining its own priests?”
In short, Putin has positively prevented any conversion of Russia to Catholicism, which is the only conversion Our Lady of Fatima promised. As Father Alonso, the official Fatima archivist, noted:
“… [W]e should affirm that Lucia always thought that the ‘conversion’ of Russia is not to be limited to the return of the Russian People to the Orthodox Christian religions, rejecting the Marxist atheism of the Soviets, but rather, it refers purely, plainly and simply to the total, integral conversion of Russia to the one true Church of Christ, the Catholic Church.”
Russia has not even undergone a conversion to Russian Orthodoxy! In fact, 94 percent of Russians aged 18 to 29 do not even go to church. They live as pagans.
Some suggest that the “conversion” of which Our Lady promised was a conversion away from Communism to democracy. It is clear, however, that Russia has not even “converted” in this way. Putin has seized the authority to appoint all local governors, used state entities to acquire and shut down all opposition TV stations and major newspapers, ended broadcasts of Radio Free Europe and Voice of America, and placed under Kremlin surveillance and control all
There has certainly been no moral conversion in Russia. Since the 1982 and 1984 ceremonies, the Russian population has been declining by 700,000 to 800,000 persons each year due in large measure to the fact that Russian women undergo 13 abortions for every 10 live births. Newly affluent Russian women, in a society that is still overwhelmingly impoverished, are using the cells of aborted babies for beauty treatments. Alcoholism, crime and pornography are rampant and life expectancy has declined substantially since “the fall of Communism.” The average Russian male in 1990 lived to 68 years of age; today he lives to age 60. The leading causes of death are alcoholism and violence. Obviously, Russia has not converted even to the Natural Law.
Lastly, there has also not been a “conversion to peace” in
Russia. Putin has entered into a military alliance with Red China, with which Russia recently staged joint military exercises, and he recently announced that Russia has developed hypersonic ballistic missiles that can change course in
Thus, as a spiritually and morally bankrupt Russia ruled by a virtual dictator prepares for war, some Catholics are foolish enough to suggest that Russia has undergone a “miraculous transformation” because of the 1982 and 1984 consecration ceremonies that deliberately made no mention of Russia despite Our Lady of Fatima’s request. That such a conclusion is untenable is obvious.
Thus, the Consecration of Russia remains undone, and Russia remains unconverted in every sense of the word. Moreover, since the ceremonies of 1982 and 1984, it cannot be said that the world has entered into a period of peace, as promised by Our Lady of Fatima if the Consecration of Russia was properly done. Indeed, since those consecrations there has only been an increase in war, bloodshed, apostasy from God, and the moral corruption of men and nations on every continent, along with an increase in natural disasters. The Church herself has been wracked by one scandal after another. In the present state of affairs in the Church and in the world, it is impossible to see the triumph of the Immaculate
This conclusion was also reached by Antonio Socci, the respected Italian Catholic author and journalist, in his recent book, The Fourth Secret of Fatima, which we have discussed above. Socci, a man of good will and intellectual honesty and by no means an extremist, could not ignore the evidence that Our Lady’s request has simply not been obeyed.
Like Socci, no Catholic of good will can ignore the evidence. The Consecration of Russia has not yet been done and, as a result, our time grows short. A punishment of the world greater than the deluge is fast approaching. How many times must Heaven warn us before we will listen? Have we not already received our final warning?
Yet God will spare us if we heed His commands. When the prophet Jonah warned the Ninevites that their city would be destroyed by a divine chastisement because of its immorality, the
king covered himself in sackcloth and ashes, declared days of penance and fasting for the entire city, and decreed that “every man shall turn from his evil way and from the violence he has in hand. Who knows, God may relent and forgive, and withhold His blazing wrath, so that we shall not perish.” God did withhold His punishment, because He “saw by their actions how they turned from their evil way… He did not carry it out.”8
If the Ninevites heeded the warning of Jonah concerning the divine chastisement of their city, how can we Catholics not heed the warning of the very Mother of God concerning the divine chastisement of the whole world?
That is why we priests must initiate a great movement for adherence to the Message of Fatima by every member of the Church. Each of us must begin this movement by reforming himself and becoming no less than an apostle of Fatima. As Sister Lucy said, we cannot wait for initiatives to be taken by those in authority above us:
“… we should not wait for an appeal to the world to come from Rome on the part of the Holy Father, to do penance. Nor should we wait for the call to penance to come from our bishops in our dioceses, nor from the religious congregations. No! Our Lord has already very often used these means, and the world has not paid attention. That is why now, it is necessary for each one of us to begin to reform himself spiritually. Each person must not only save his own soul but also help the souls that God has placed on our path.”
As priests, we have a particular commission to care not only for our own souls but for the souls of those faithful that God has placed on our path. Indeed, it is the diocesan priest who has the immediate responsibility for the spiritual welfare of those in his flock, and who will need to be in the forefront of the reform called for by Sister Lucy to avert divine punishment of our rebellious world.
No one priest can do this alone. We must act together and we were given the program for such concerted action by the Mother of God at Fatima. We priests must follow that program together even if no one else will.
The Five Principles of the
Fatima Movement of Priests
The priesthood to which we belong is a vocation founded by God Himself for the salvation of souls. Physicians practice the vocation of healing the body; lawyers the vocation of legal rights and remedies; accountants the vocation of accounting for money and taxes. Priests practice the vocation of saving souls, and their tools are the seven sacraments, prayer, and the spiritual life.
In earthly professions such as medicine and the law, there are “trends” and even fads on how best to practice these professions. It should not be so in the Catholic priesthood. The methods of the
St. Thomas tell us in the Summa Theologica,
Priests have the immediate care of the faithful, so priests will be decisive in determining whether the prophet sent by God for our
When Sister Lucy, speaking of the duty of everyone to heed the Message of Fatima, said “we should not wait for an appeal to the world to come from Rome on the part of the Holy Father… [n]or should we wait for… our bishops in our dioceses, nor… the religious congregations,” she was not suggesting that we should disregard the hierarchical structure of the Church. Instead, she was noting that the Church is more than just the hierarchy. The Church is a community of the faithful, and each member of that community has the duty to know and live the Faith. With or without orders from above, therefore, we must heed what Christ has commanded through His Virgin Mother at Fatima. Our Lord did not send His Mother to Fatima and furnish Her with the Miracle of the Sun in order to have Her Message ignored.
As Pope Pius XII taught so beautifully in his great encyclical Mystici Corporis (1943), the Catholic Church is the Mystical Body of Christ. In his Letter to the Ephesians, Saint Paul repeatedly described the Mystical Body as an organic unity of the members of the Church in Christ and the Holy Ghost. In a key passage in that epistle, Saint Paul taught infallibly that the Mystical Body thrives and grows when all of its members live the truth of the Gospel of Christ in charity:
“But doing the truth in charity, we may in all things grow up in him who is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body, being compacted and fitly joined together, by what every joint supplieth, according to the operation in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body, unto the edifying of itself in charity.” (Ephesians
In his Letter to the Corinthians, Saint Paul further teaches infallibly that the unity of the members of the Mystical Body is so intimate that each member functions analogously to a cell or organ in a human body, so that the health of the Mystical Body depends upon each member performing its function assigned by God. While the failure of any part of the Mystical Body causes harm to the whole and the suffering of one member is the suffering of all, the glory of one member of the Mystical Body is also the glory of all its members:
“For as the body is one, and hath many members; and all the members of the body, whereas they are many, yet are one
body, so also is Christ. For in one Spirit were we all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Gentiles, whether bond or free; and in one Spirit we have all been made to drink. For the body also is not one member, but many.
“If the foot should say, because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear should say, because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were the eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling?
“But now God hath set the members every one of them in the body as it hath pleased Him. And if they all were one member, where would be the body? But now there are many members indeed, yet one body.
“And the eye cannot say to the hand: I need not thy help; nor
again the head to the feet: I have no need of you…. And if
one member suffer any thing, all the members suffer with it; or if one member glory, all the members rejoice with it….
“And God indeed hath set some in the church; first apostles, secondly prophets, thirdly doctors; after that miracles; then the graces of healing, helps, governments, kinds of tongues, interpretations of speeches. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all doctors? Are all workers of miracles? Have all the grace of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?” (From 1 Corinthians
We priests as members of the Mystical Body have a direct responsibility to God for the care of the souls placed in our charge. We cannot point to other members of the Body and say it is up to them to give us orders to do something about the state of the Church. Our failure to act is a failure of the whole Body, and the ill consequences of our failure causes illness throughout the Body for which we alone are responsible.
We are the ministers who administer the sacraments that provide to the faithful under our care the sanctifying grace necessary for salvation. We are the preachers of the Gospel who convey to our flocks the revealed truths they must know and follow in order to be saved. We do not need, and must not wait for, orders from above to administer the sacraments and preach the Gospel. So it is with the Message of Fatima.
When God sends a prophet to give counsel and warning to His Church in a particular age, priests have the primary responsibility for making that counsel and warning known to the faithful. We priests of today have the primary responsibility for making known and promoting adherence to the Message of
What is needed in this time of unparalleled danger to the Church and the world, therefore, is a Fatima Movement of
This Movement must have as its aim the spiritual reformation of each of us priests and of each member of the faithful in our charge. The Message of Fatima gives us a roadmap to such a spiritual reformation. We see in that Message five principles to guide the Movement we propose:
First, is total adherence to the dogmas of the Faith as infallibly defined by the Magisterium. Catholic
What has been lost or obscured in this time of confusion is the fact that our faith is not a feeling, but a body of revealed truths to which the mind must assent for salvation. If dogma is attacked, the Faith is attacked, and if the attack succeeds, the Church descends into chaos. Our Lady warned us at Fatima about this very danger when She said, at the beginning of the Third Secret, that “In Portugal the dogma of the faith will always be preserved…” Clearly, since
The attack on dogma is not only an attack on the integrity of the Church, but also on the safety of the entire human race. As the
Council of Trent teaches us, the prayers and penances of the Catholic faithful, especially when united with the supreme sacrifice of Christ in a rightly offered Mass, stays the wrath of God and averts His divine punishments. When the faithful lose the Faith, however, the efficacy of the Church’s prayer is diminished and the hand of God can no longer be stayed. Did not Our Lord Himself warn us: “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is good for nothing any more but to be cast out, and to be trodden on by men.” (Matthew 5:13). That is precisely the warning that Our Lady gave us at Fatima and Akita: If the members of the Church lose the Faith, a faithless world will not be able to avoid a divine chastisement.
The spiritual reformation of the individual called for by Our Lady of Fatima presupposes a foundation of dogma to which each person has assented. On the foundation of dogma, the grace of the sacraments builds up the Catholic soul into a healthy member of the Mystical Body; when there are enough such healthy members, everything promised to us by the Message of Fatima will take place.
Let no one say that today the dogmas of the Faith are understood differently than they were in earlier times because the “spirit of Vatican II” has given us a “deeper insight” into those truths. No one in the Church, not even a Pope, can require us to abandon the traditional understanding of the dogma of the Faith in favor of some new understanding. As the First Vatican Council declared: “For the Holy Spirit was not promised to the Successors of Peter that by His revelation they might disclose new doctrine, but that by His help they might guard the revelation transmitted through the apostles and the deposit of faith, and might faithfully set it forth.”9 Moreover, the same Council declared: “[T]hat understanding of the sacred dogmas must be perpetually retained, which Holy Mother Church has once declared; and there must never be recession from that meaning under the specious name of a deeper understanding…”
That is why Saint Paul has warned the Church: “But though we, or an angel from Heaven, preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema.” (Gal. 1:8) The infallibly defined dogmas of the Faith are the way by which we can know with absolute certainty whether someone is
attempting to urge upon us something that runs contrary to the truths handed down to us from the Apostles. The loss of understanding of and adherence to dogma is the greatest threat to the Church today, for without dogma the entire Faith collapses and disappears.
In short, the very beginning of our work as priests in the Fatima Movement of Priests is to recover and promote the dogmas of the Faith so widely neglected over the past forty years. When this work is completed such that we and the faithful in our care have been renewed in the truths of the Faith, grace can build upon those truths to restore health to the whole Mystical Body. This restoration of dogma will help bring about the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Second, we must believe and preach the constant teaching of the Ordinary and Universal Magisterium on Our Lady’s special role as Mediatrix of All Graces. The Message of Fatima demonstrates Our Blessed Mother’s role as Mediatrix: Russia will be converted, souls will be saved, and there will be peace if we practice devotion to Her Immaculate Heart and consecrate Russia to that same Heart, so that the whole world will recognize the connection between this Catholic dogma and the miraculous benefits which will be showered on the world when the Consecration is done.
Third, we must understand and promote the full Message of Fatima.
We cannot listen to anyone who says that Fatima is “just a private revelation.” Nonsense! The Message of Fatima is a public prophetic revelation confirmed by a public miracle witnessed by 70,000 people. Our Lady promised the three children this miracle precisely so that no one could reasonably doubt the authenticity of Her Message, which is meant for the Church and the whole world.
Popes Pius XI, Pius XII, Paul VI, John Paul I and John Paul II have all attested to the authenticity of the Fatima Message. The Message of Fatima is part of the life of the Church! It was given to the Church for the benefit of every living soul. The Mother of God did not come to earth and God did not cause the Miracle of the Sun in order to dispense some gratuitous advice the faithful could ignore at their pleasure. We must not insult the Mother of God by dismissing Her Message for to insult God’s Mother is to insult
God Himself. We know the fate of those throughout salvation history who have ignored the advice of God’s true prophets.
On the other hand, if we heed the prophecy of Our Lady of Fatima and practice the spiritual measures She prescribed for
Fourth, the Fatima Movement of Priests must pursue unwaveringly the true Consecration of Russia, by name, in a public ceremony conducted by the Pope and all the bishops of the world in obedience to Our Lady of Fatima and Her divine Son. We have seen that the 1982 and 1984 consecration ceremonies did not mention Russia for mere human reasons of diplomacy and ecumenical courtesy.
Our Lady promised, by the authority of God Himself, that if Russia were consecrated to Her Immaculate Heart it would be converted, many souls would be saved, and there would be peace in the world, but that if Russia were not consecrated many souls would be lost, the Church would be persecuted, the Holy Father would suffer greatly and various nations would be annihilated. The fate of countless souls and of the whole world is at stake. There is no room for doubt or ambiguity. The Church and the world have nothing to lose and everything to gain by precisely obeying Our Lady. The Church and the world have everything to lose and nothing to gain by ignoring the Message of Fatima.
Fifth, all of us priests must live the Fatima Message in our daily lives and promote it by word and example. This requires first that we come to understand the prophecies revealed in the Fatima Message, the prayers and devotions it prescribes, the promises it offers, and the warnings it gives. We must ensure that our understanding of these things is passed on to the faithful in our care. Lastly, we must live the Fatima Message in our daily lives, by words and example.
These then are the five basic principles of the Fatima
Movement of Priests. In the last chapter of this booklet, we will outline a program by which we priests can put these principles into practice as part of our sacred ministry to the faithful, to hasten the day when the world will witness the Triumph of Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart.
A Fatima Program for the Priesthood
It is fitting to conclude this booklet with a discussion of the ways in which the five principles for the Fatima Movement of Priests outlined in the previous chapter can be put into practice. The Message of Fatima itself supplies the guidance we need, for our heavenly Mother would hardly leave us without the means to do what She requested.
With respect to the first
Therefore, our first task as priests in the Fatima Movement of Priests is to reform ourselves spiritually, following not only the commandments which apply to all people, but also those which pertain to our personal sanctification as priests. First, we must faithfully perform the daily spiritual duties of the priesthood: offering the
A priest who does not pray is a warrior who has thrown down his spiritual weapons and is waiting to be decimated by the devil. The crisis in the priesthood today has arisen from lack of prayer, which led to a loss of grace and the fall of many priests from the exalted state to which God deigned to raise them through priestly ordination. It is precisely because priests have been raised to this exalted state that they are under intense attack from the devil. The protection of priests from satanic influence is the very reason the Church prescribes a regimen of prayer and discipline for priests
that goes far beyond that which is expected of the laity. If we do not adhere to that regimen, we will become easy prey for the devil. Let us strive to keep our regimen of prayer. Let us do this especially out of love and devotion to God and His Blessed Mother.
The Gospel is full of admonitions to pray constantly, which apply all the more to priests:
“Watch ye, therefore, praying at all times, that you may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that are to come, and to stand before the Son of Man” (Lk. 21:36).
“Rejoice in your hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer” (Rom. 12:12).
“By all prayer and supplication praying at all times in the Spirit; and in the same watching with all instance and supplication for all the saints” (Eph. 6:18).
“Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving” (Col. 4:2).
“Pray without ceasing” (I Thess. 5:17).
Without a spiritually armed Catholic
In addition to prayer, we must also do penance. Here too, what is required of the laity applies with even greater force to us priests. Penance is necessary for our personal mortification and spiritual growth. An overly comfortable or even luxurious priestly life is a victory already won by the devil. No priest who flies from penance and seeks only comfort can do battle effectively with the evil one.
We can accomplish the second principle of the
The faithful need to understand that the Message of Fatima is a
most dramatic demonstration that Mary is Mediatrix of All Graces. Indeed, the whole Message revolves around Her mediation of divine grace to humanity, including the grace of Russia’s conversion and peace in the world. God wants His subjects to see, through fulfillment of the glorious promises of Fatima, that He deigns to bestow no grace except through Mary’s mediation.
As priests we are especially bound, in our imperfect human way, to give Mary the same importance and show Her the same honor as Her own divine Son does. Every priest should be a Marian priest in obedience to Our Lord Himself. Promoting the dogma of Mary as Mediatrix of All Graces is essential to that aspect of our priesthood.
There are innumerable ways to accomplish the third
•Preaching the history and contents of the Message of Fatima in sermons, parish bulletins and parish newsletters, and making it a part of the catechesis of the faithful in our charge. The theological richness of the Message is inexhaustible, but many sources provide excellent material for sermons.
•Establishing the Five First Saturdays devotion in the parish, which accomplishes Our Lady’s request for prayer, penance and Communions of Reparation.
•Making sure every member of our flock is enrolled in the Brown Scapular, the faithful wearing of which secures Our Lady’s personal promise of final perseverance and salvation.
•Teaching our flocks to wear and distribute the Green Scapular for personal conversion and the conversion of others.
•Encouraging and performing the enthronement of the Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart in every home.
•Encouraging every home to place prominently images of the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts.
•Inculcating in the members of our flocks the habit of praying the Rosary daily. The Rosary is the most powerful
spiritual weapon the people have at their disposal. It has saved entire nations from disaster, and will save the world from disaster if enough Catholics pray it habitually and reverently.
•Establish Fatima sodalities in the parishes through which members of the laity can unite in living the Fatima Message and making it known to others.
•Making available to everyone in the parish Fatima literature, holy cards related to Fatima, and blessed sacramentals to give to neighbors and friends.
•Establishing a Fatima catechetic institute in each parish to teach children, families and neighbors the contents of the Message.
•Promoting “block Rosaries” at a different home each week at which a statue of the Pilgrim Virgin of Fatima will visit and neighbors will gather to pray the Rosary.
•Teaching the members of our flocks to recite often the seven “Fatima prayers” set out in Chapter 2.
•Celebrating in the parish with appropriate festivities the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima on May 13th of each year.
•Conducting processions for Our Lady of Fatima on the 13th of each month or on the First Saturday of each month, or both.
By these and other means, each parish and each home within a parish can become a veritable “Fatima Center” and help to spread the Fatima Message throughout the world. The embrace of the Message of Fatima by the whole Church and its incorporation into the life of the Church are long overdue. Here and there the Message is heeded and practiced in the way that it should be, but Heaven ordains that it be heeded and practiced throughout the Church. When this happens in enough homes and parishes, the promises of Fatima will be fulfilled.
We priests will be instrumental in bringing about the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart. We are the ones who have the most immediate duty to lead the faithful in the work of learning, heeding and practicing the Message of Fatima. If we do not do this, who will? The faithful are waiting for us, and they are ready to follow
and the bishops consecrate Russia will be that much nearer.
In addition to the spiritual reform of the individual, we must petition Heaven for the graces that will bring about the Consecration. We must offer Masses, parish Novenas, vigils before the Blessed Sacrament, Holy Hours, parish Rosaries and block
And, of course, on the natural level we must promote petitions to the Holy Father that he order his bishops, without delay, to join him in a proper Consecration of Russia, by name, to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. And let us not be intimidated by the objection that we are “pestering” the Pope. God Himself, in the person of Jesus Christ, was pestered by the Canaanite woman, who continued to beg Him to exorcise her daughter even after He said, to test her Faith, that He had been sent for the lost children of Israel, not for the likes of her, and that “It is not fair to take the children’s bread and cast it to dogs.” But the woman persevered, daring to say to God Incarnate: “Yes, Lord, for even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” Because of her perseverance in petitioning for the divine favor, Christ finally said to her: “O woman, great is thy faith. Let it be done to thee as thou wilt.” And her daughter was at that moment exorcised.
Likewise Bartimeus, a blind beggar, literally shouted at Our Lord, demanding to be cured of his
Lord, hearing him, commanded Bartimeus to be brought to Him. Our Lord then asked him: “What wilt thou that I should do to thee?” and Bartimeus replied: “Rabboni, that I may see.” And Our Lord, rewarding him for his persistence in faith, cured him, saying, “Go thy way, thy faith hath made thee whole.” (Mark
If God Himself rewards our “pestering,” no one has the right to insist that we not “pester” the Pope. It is because of our faith in God and the promises of His Blessed Mother that we must persist in petitioning for the Consecration of Russia, until the day when, like the daughter of the Canaanite woman, Russia is exorcised and peace is granted to the whole world.
And if we do not persevere in this request, if out of timidity and human respect we refrain from “pestering the Pope,” then not only the Church but the whole world will
As for the fifth and final principle, teaching others to live and learn the Fatima Message by both word and example, this will involve, at a minimum, for every member of the Movement:
•Praying five decades of the Rosary each day;
•Wearing the Brown Scapular at all times;
•Doing our duty, in a spirit of penance and sacrifice, to God, to Jesus in His sacred humanity, to the Mother of God, to the Church, to our vows and to the truth;
•Learning all we can about the Message of Fatima, including what was confided to Sister Lucy in the apparitions at Pontevedra, Tuy and Rianjo. This will require reading and studying of all the material provided by reputable Fatima apostolates and scholars, so that we ourselves become experts on this
•Acquainting others with the true contents of the Message. We must preach and teach on the Message, according to our offices as pastors in the Church, using all of the means of social communication at our disposal: the mass media, the Internet, conferences, discussion groups and so forth;
•Defending the Message against falsification and disparagement by its enemies;
•Doing everything else in our
great or small our influence in the Church, and without fear of any loss of prestige or human
The aim of these measures is to make every Catholic priest an apostle of Fatima, just as Our Lord and Our Lady would wish us to be. And, if it is possible for the individual priest, he should develop a
This, then, is a Fatima program for priesthood, a program for the Fatima Movement of Priests in the Church. If every priest were to make of himself an apostle of Fatima, and if both priests and laity were to know, live and promote the Message of Fatima both spiritually and practically, then the Consecration of Russia, the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart and peace in the world would not be long in coming. So many souls would be saved! The annihilation of nations would be averted! How can we delay even one moment in beginning this undertaking together?
It remains for us now to end this little book by answering a common objection: That we must obtain “permission” from “ecclesiastical authority” to engage in a Fatima Movement of Priests or else we are “disobedient.” That is simply not so. In fact, this claim is contrary to divine law itself.
First of all, no “permission” is required, nor is it “disobedient” to petition the Pope for the Consecration of Russia, as we propose here. Neither John Paul II nor his successor, Benedict XVI, has forbidden such activity by members of the Church. There is no
papal command whatever to cease petitioning the Pope for the Consecration of Russia, or for that matter, to refrain from promoting the integral Message of Fatima, including the Third Secret. Cardinal Ratzinger has even stated that the faithful are free to differ with his interpretation of the vision of the Third Secret published by the Vatican in June of 2000.
As the First Vatican Council and the Second Council of Lyons infallibly decreed, all baptized Catholics have the
Furthermore, the Message of Fatima is a matter of utmost importance in the Church, and every member of the faithful has not only the right, but the duty, to express his concerns on such an important matter to the Supreme Pontiff and to every other pastor of the Church. As the 1983 Code of Canon Law provides, in recognition of the natural rights of the faithful: “The Christian faithful are free to make known to the pastors of the Church their needs, especially spiritual ones, and their desires... According to the knowledge, competence, and prestige which they possess, they have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful…” CIC 1983, §§ 2, 3.
What is more, the faithful, including diocesan priests, may freely establish and direct associations, hold meetings and use all means of social communications for “pious purposes which foster the Christian vocation in the world.” CIC 1983, § 215. There is no more pious purpose than promoting the Message of Fatima, which is Heaven’s own prescription for pious activity in our time.
But even supposing, however, that the Pope or some other authority in the Church were to attempt to “forbid” petitions concerning the Consecration of Russia or some other aspect of the legitimate Fatima
My ministers…” He did not add: “upon receiving orders from the bishops and the Pope.”
As members of the Fatima Movement of Priests we must never lose sight of the fundamental principle of divine law that governs obedience in every society, and especially the Holy Catholic Church. Our first obedience is to God, and then to the rulers of the Church. Even the Pope is subject to God. As St. Peter and the apostles teach: “it is necessary to obey God rather than men” (Acts 6:29), and the Pope is no exception to this teaching.
“Anyone”, says St. Thomas, “should be subject of a lower power only in so far as it preserves the order established by a power higher than itself: but if it (the lower power) departs from the order of the higher power, then it is not right for anyone to be subjected to that lower power, for
Moreover, any command of ecclesiastical authority that would prevent promulgation of, and obedience to, the Message of Fatima would be an abuse of that authority according to the very nature of the Church as a perfect society founded for the common good of its members. Of course, the Church is a hierarchical institution whose members owe obedience to the sacred Pastors in their authentic teaching on faith and morals and their acts of
Indeed, the sacred Pastors, including even the Pope himself, have an even higher duty than secular rulers to rule justly and accept correction where it is warranted. This truth, which is rooted in the natural and divine law, was expressed by the eminent 16th Century theologian Francisco Suarez, whom Pope Paul V praised as Doctor Eximius et Pius, (“Exceptional and Pious Doctor”):
“If [the Pope] gives an order contrary to right customs
(morality), he should not be obeyed; if he attempts to do
something manifestly opposed to justice and the common
good, it will be lawful to resist him ...”11
The greatest Saints and Doctors of the Church have not hesitated to affirm the right and duty of the
As explained in Sacred Scripture (Gal.
St. Robert Bellarmine, in answer to the spurious Protestant claim that Catholics view the Pope as an absolute monarch who is not bound by any law or restraint, wrote as follows:
“Just as it is licit to resist the Pontiff that aggresses the body, it is also licit to resist the one who aggresses souls or who disturbs civil order, or above all, who attempts to destroy the Church. I say that it is licit to resist him by not doing what he orders and by preventing his will from being executed; it is not licit, however, to judge, punish or depose him, since these acts are proper to a superior.”13
Examples of such teaching by Church Doctors and Saints
could be multiplied, but the point is made: the Church’s loyal subjects have the right and the duty to voice loyal opposition to prelates whose commands would harm the Church, and to seek correction of any damage caused. Such would be the case if any prelate, even if it be the Pope himself, would seek to “ban” or “prohibit” efforts by priests or laity to promote the Church’s adherence to the Fatima Message and the fulfillment of Our Lady’s requests.
For all these reasons, even if we were to assume for argument’s sake that some superior would “forbid” petitions for the Consecration of Russia or the conduct of a Fatima apostolate such as the one we have proposed for this Movement, whoever would issue such a command would have no authority from God to do so, and would be acting contrary to God’s will and the common good of the Church. In giving such a command a superior need not, and must not, be obeyed, because that command would be contrary to the will of God that the Message of Fatima be promoted and obeyed in the Church. No one, least of all a Catholic priest, can raise before God the defense that “I was only following orders” if the order in question is plainly contrary to His will. Orders to disregard the imperatives of the Fatima Message, including orders to dispense with it as a mere “private revelation,” would clearly be orders contrary to the will of God, Who bestowed an unprecedented public miracle to authenticate the Message precisely so that no one would have any excuse for disregarding it.
Nothing, therefore, stands in the way of a Fatima Movement of Priests, and everything we have presented here commends it. Even the brief discussion we have presented here shows that there is no room for doubting that the Mother of God has warned us that failure to heed Her requests at Fatima will mean the loss of souls and the annihilation of nations. As priests of the Holy Catholic Church our duty is clear: We must do everything in our power to make the Message of Fatima known, and to secure the Church’s obedience to it at every level. For the good of souls and the welfare of all mankind, we must begin that work today. We have no choice but to do so if we are to be true to our divinely appointed vocation as priests, as doctors of souls, in this troubled and increasingly dangerous epoch of the Church’s history. Our Lady of Fatima, Pray for Us!
1.Cfr. Father Paul Kramer, The Devil’s Final Battle (Terryville, Connecticut: The Missionary Association, 2002), Chapter 12 for a meticulous discussion of the evidence for the existence of a
2.Vittorio Messori, “Fatima, There is a Fourth Secret to Reveal,” Corriere della Sera, November 21, 2006.
3.This is evidently a reference to the conflict arising in the Church from the defense of orthodoxy by some prelates against others who depart from orthodox teaching and practice. Here too the apocalyptic nature of the Third Secret is suggested. As St. Paul prophesied: “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own likings, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander into myths" (II Tim.
4.The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition.
5.Cfr. The Devil’s Final Battle, Chapter 14.
6.Father Alonso’s monumental work, entitled Fatima Texts and Critical Studies, consisting of 24 volumes containing 5,396 documents, was withheld from publication by the Bishop of
7.“Cheney as Pot, Putin as Kettle,” New York Times, May 9, 2006.
9. Denzinger, 1836.
10.St. Thomas, Summa Theologica,
11.Francisco Suarez, De Fide, Disp. X, Sec. VI, N. 16.
12.Saint Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Part
13.St. Robert Bellarmine, De Romano Pontifice, Book II, Chapter 29.
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