February 9, 2017
I wanted to give my impressions of the Apparition of the Angel tonight as I may not be able to post for a few days.
1) A step into the minefield
And already here at the very beginning we must take our first step into the minefield that men have made of Fatima. It all concerns a footnote. And footnotes do seem to cause such problems in the Church these days. This particular footnote was written in regards to one of the prayers dictated by the Angel, “Most Holy Trinity…” and it occurs in the 1998 edition of Fatima in Lucia’s own words. First I will recount the prayer of the Angel as remembered by the Venerable Sister Lucia herself:
Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I adore You profoundly, and I offer You the most precious Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifference with 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.
And now here is the footnote, footnote 15 on page 64 to be exact:
15. Some theologians have difficulties regarding this prayer. Two aspects should therefore be taken into account: 1) it is not necessary to regard this version as verbatim. 2) This is a form of prayer which was influenced by other popular prayers.
First question: which theologians? give an example please. Second question: what difficulties? Who are the theologians and what are their difficulties? Don’t you think that these would be important details. I mean if there are problems here that could lead the faithful astray don’t you think that you should tell us. So please tell us what are the difficulties with this prayer? That is the sound of crickets chirping in the background (in case you were wondering) because you are not going to get a direct answer to that question.
On to the next difficulty I have with this footnote: “it is not necessary to regard this as verbatim.” Really? Why not? I have discovered two different places where Sister Lucia recounts this prayer in her memoirs and in both places EXACTLY the same words are used in both places. So why should I not “regard this version as verbatim?”
“This is a form of prayer which was influenced by other popular prayers.” Which prayers? Shouldn’t you tell us? Of course the motivations behind this footnote are a bit too obvious, aren’t they? Somebody is trying to slither the idea quietly into our brains that the children didn’t really hear this prayer from an angel now did they? They just concocted it based on popular ‘superstitious’ piety didn’t they?
I challenge anyone to read this prayer, to meditate on it, to recite it with your forehead touching the earth, and then to proclaim that this prayer did not come from Heaven. It is so elegantly crafted and theologically deep as the ocean and wide as the expanse of the heavens. The subtle and quiet linkage between the Hearts of Jesus and Mary echoing Saint John Eudes a quarter of a millennium before. That Jesus Christ Himself in the Eucharist is both the offended one and the reparation. There is such a deep and rich emphasis on the Real Presence of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament that it is no wonder that the enemy seeks to dissuade us from using this prayer.
I only bring this whole matter up because you will either see or hear this prayer recited strangely, sometimes with missing words and disconnected ideas. This footnote or at least the sentiments behind it are the reason for it. Just learn the prayer as it was given to us from the beginning, recite it with your forehead touching the earth from time to time, and forget all the rest.
2) More important stuff
The first thing that I want to note is the posture of prayer that the Angel introduced: prostrate with the forehead touching the earth. In our time this position of prayer is universally associated with Islam.
I have heard it said that the Muslims did not come up with this posture for prayer themselves, but rather that they copied it from the Catholics that they encountered in Syria and Egypt during their first conquests. It is difficult to be certain of this at a distance in time of fourteen centuries from those days, but maybe the Angel was reminding us of where we came from and of things that we should not have forgotten.
At the very least we might consider what Our Lord might say to us on Judgement Day if we refuse to adopt this prostrate position before our Creator, in our hearts at least if we cannot do it with our bodies: “If these people, the Muslims, who do not know Me and have sparse understanding of true religion in comparison to yourselves could at least fall on their faces before their Creator then why couldn’t you?” Do you want to hear that question?
Scitote quoniam Dominus ipse est Deus; ipse fecit nos et non ipsi nos!
“Know that the Lord, He is God; He made us, we did not make ourselves! (the proper translation of Psalm 100  v. 3 from both the Latin [Septuagint] and Hebrew psalters)”
The second thing that I find fascinating about this last Apparition of the Angel is the Chalice. He gave the Chalice specifically to Jacinta and to Francisco while Lucia received Holy Communion under the species of the Host. The reason for this is often stated that Jacinta and Francisco received the Chalice because they had not received their First Communion yet before this while Lucia had, but it is difficult to see why this would matter. The Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ are the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ whether under the species of Bread or of Wine. So why the difference?
What follows is only my opinion. The sign of the chalice reminds me of Matthew 20:22 when Our Lord asked Saint James and Saint John in a very different context Can you drink the chalice that I shall drink? And again in Matthew 26:42 Father, if this chalice may not pass away, but I must drink it, thy will be done.
I say this because Francisco and Jacinta were caught up in martyrdom almost immediately after the Apparitions of Our Lady were concluded a year later. Both were caught up in the Spanish flu outbreak that devastated the planet around the conclusion of the First World War. Francisco died in the spring of 1919 and Jacinta died less than a year later in February, 1920 alone in a hospital in Lisbon, both of them having suffered grievously and having offered that suffering for the conversion of sinners. Jacinta had two ribs removed not long before she left this world and was left with a wound on her small body that must have resembled Our Lord’s pierced side. Both Francisco and Jacinta were beatified by Pope Saint John Paul II in the year 2000 and both can properly be called Blessed, though I use that title sparingly for the sake of brevity. The chalice is the sign of martyrdom and I think that this is why they received the Blood of Jesus Christ from the Chalice.
Pray the Rosary daily and join the Rosary Confraternity!