The Apparition of June 13, 1917

I am the mother of fair love, and of fear, and of knowledge, and of holy hope.  In me is all the grace of the way and of the truth, in me is all hope of life and of virtue.  Come over to me, all ye that desire me, and be filled with my fruits (Ecclesiasticus 24: 24-26).

February 22, 2017                                                                                                                           The Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter

The 13th day of June has been for a very long time a very important day for Portuguese Catholics.  It is the Festa of Saint Anthony of Lisbon, known to most of the rest of the world as Saint Anthony of Padua.  The great saint was born in Portugal so the Portuguese have always claimed him as their own.  He only made it to Italy after his course was diverted when he sought to head for North Africa to preach the Gospel to the Muslims.  In any case word had gone out far and wide in the regions surrounding the childrens’ native Aljustrel after the Apparition of May 13, 1917.  And the news that another appearance of the Virgin Mary could be expected on Saint Anthony’s Day attracted believers and pilgrims, scoffers, and those who were just plain curious.

William Thomas Walsh describes the scene when Lucia returned home from tending the sheep early in the morning of June 13, 1917 in his 1947 work Our Lady of Fatima as follows:

Leaving the boy in charge of the sheep, she hurried home and found men and women from various places far and near -from Minde near Tomar, from Carrascos, from Boleiros.  For the story of the May apparition had somehow spread all over the mountains.  Many believed it; others were merely curious to see what would happen; and quite a number had taken the trouble to get up before dawn dawn and walk over the hills to accompany the children to the Cova da Iria…

It was about eleven o’clock when the child finally left home, with the strangers fanning out on either side of her.

He then describes the scene leading up to the Apparition as follows with a woman named Maria Carreira, who would later go on to play a big role in the development of devotion to Our Lady of Fatima, asking Lucia how long it would be until Our Lady arrived:

“No, Senhora, not very long,” replied Lucia, scanning the eastern sky.

They all said five decades of the Rosary.  This done, the pious girl from Boleiros started the Litany of Our Lady.  Lucia interrupted her, remarking that there would not be time.  Then, arising from the ground, she cried,

“Jacinta, there comes Our Lady!  There is the light!”

To describe Our Lady’s appearance on June 13, 1917 I will be using for the most part the account rendered by Sister Lucia in Volume IV of her memoirs, but the paragraph spoken by Our Lady that starts with “Yes.  I will take Jacinta and Francisco soon.”  I took from  Appendix I where she gives a more complete account of the promise of Our Lady:

As soon as Jacinta, Francisco and I had finished prying the Rosary, with a number of other people who were present, we saw once more the flash reflecting the light which was approaching (which we called lightning).  The next moment, Our Lady was there on the holmoak, exactly the same as in May.

“What do you want of me?” I asked.

“I wish you to come here on the 13th of next month, to pray the Rosary every day, and to learn to read.  Later, I will tell you what I want.”

I asked for the cure of a sick person.

“If he is converted, he will be cured during the year.”

“I would like to ask you to take us to heaven.”

“Yes.  I will take Jacinta and Francisco soon.  But you are to stay here some time longer.  Jesus wishes to make use of you to make me known and loved.  He wants to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart.  I promise salvation to to those who embrace it, and these souls will be loved by God, like flowers placed by me to adorn His throne.”

“Am I to stay here alone?” I asked, sadly.

“No, my daughter.  Are you suffering a great deal?  Don’t lose heart.  I will never forsake you.  My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God.”

As Our Lady spoke these last words, she opened her hands and for the second time, she communicated to us the rays of that same immense light.  We saw ourselves in this light, as it were, immersed in God.  Jacinta and Francisco seemed to be in that part of the light which rose towards heaven, and I in that which was poured out on the earth.  In front of the palm of Our Lady’s right hand was a heart encircled by thorns which pierced it.  We understood that this was the Immaculate Heart of Mary, outraged by the sins of humanity, and seeking reparation.

Let your heart meditate on that scene for a moment.  Pray the Rosary every day.  Pray the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary on Monday for the See of Constantinople, the Sorrowful Mysteries on Tuesday for the See of Antioch, the Glorious Mysteries on Wednesday for the See of Jerusalem, the Luminous Mysteries on Thursday for the See of Alexandria, and the Sorrowful Mysteries on Friday for the See of Carthage.  For the conversion of the Jewish people, the conversion of the Muslim peoples.  These are her children too.  Make reparation for the outrages committed against the Immaculate Heart of your Mother.

Impressions of the May 13 Apparition

Now when it was late that same day, the first of the week, and the doors were shut, where the disciples were gathered together, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them: Peace be to you (John 20:19).

February 16, 2017

The following are my opinions and observations, so take them for what they are worth:

1) The name of the Apparition site: the Cova da Iria

Heaven does nothing by accident.  There are no coincidences.  And names mean things.  The name of the site of the Apparitions means in English the Cove of Irene.  Cova means, quite obviously, ‘cove’ and Iria is the Portuguese rendering of the name ‘Irene.’  And where does the name Irene come from?  It comes from the Greek word Εἰρήνη which can be rendered in the Latin alphabet as Eirene. The word means ‘peace.’

The first words Our Lord spoke to his apostles after He rose from the dead, as written down in Greek by Saint John, when He met them in the Upper Room on that first Easter night, now so long ago, were Εἰρήνη ὑμῖν; Peace be upon you.  Heaven does nothing by accident.

2) The call to bear and to love the Cross

The question Our Lady asked Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco was nothing very original.  It is the same question asked of all the baptized since the Advent of Jesus Christ: “Are you willing to offer yourselves to God and bear all the sufferings He wills to send you, as an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended, and of supplication for the conversion of sinners?”

This was the same question asked of all those martyrs who gave their answer and confessed their faith in Jesus Christ by shedding their blood during those first three hundred years.  And their answer won peace for the Church of Rome for more than a millennium, from the age of Constantine to the advent of Luther in the sixteenth and of the secret societies in the eighteenth centuries.

And so as a gracious reminder from Heaven of how to fight our battles Our Lady asked the question once again, a century ago, to three young children.  Lucia answered ‘yes’ for all three.  Our Lady then responding with these most consoling words “Then you are going to have much to suffer, but the grace of God will be your comfort.”

What is this suffering?  It is the Cross.  It is the rejection of my own will, of my own twisted and fallen nature.  It is the refusal to drink a draught of that shimmering liquid from the golden chalice that is laced with deadly poison.  It is primarily the refusal to sin, no matter what the temptation.

Blessed is the rich man that is found without blemish…  He that could have transgressed and hath not transgressed: and could do evil things and hath not done them (Sirach/Eccles 31: 8, 10).

And yes we all fall flat on our face some days but that is why there is Confession.  We in the Church seem to have lost track of something very crucial a very very long time ago: to bear the Cross and to love to bear the Cross is what it means to be a Christian.  Because that is what He did.  And we cannot do it on our own.  We must simply accept the sufferings that God sends us and the grace to suffer will come with that acceptance.  “The grace of God will be your comfort.”

It is the annihilation of my own will in order to allow the will of God to enter into my heart.  In this we unite ourselves with Jesus Christ.  Jesus Christ did the will of God no matter what the consequences to Himself because He knew that his Father loved Him and He therefore trusted Him.  This is what Adam did not do.  This is how we find peace.  In the Cross is where Εἰρήνη lives.  This is where we find our own Cova da Iria.  That cove of peace after a night journey on the storm tossed sea in a boat with no oars.  This is where the Blessed Virgin will come to dwell with us and bring her Divine Son with her.

3) The seventh Apparition and another step into the minefield

Ok, so there is one small but potentially astronomically important point that we have to deal with here.  And it requires us once again to enter the Fatima minefield.

Our Lady promised another Apparition that to my knowledge has not yet occurred.  I will quote her words to Lucia once again here from May 13, 1917 telling the children when they were supposed to come to the Cova da Iria:

I have come to ask you to come here for six months in succession, on the 13th day, at this same hour.  Later on, I will tell you who I am and what I want.  Afterwards, I will return here yet a seventh time.

“Afterwards, I will return here yet a seventh time.”  She promises to appear in Fatima once again, but she says nothing about Lucia, Jacinta, or Francisco being there, and all three of them have now left this earth.  Sister Lucia reported that Our Lady did appear to her again on other occasions after October 13, 1917 those Apparitions did not take place in the Cova da Iria but in the various convents that Sister Lucia was living in.  So what does this mean: “Afterwards, I will return here yet a seventh time”?

First we have to clear through the minefield a bit first.  And we must once again deal with a footnote.  Footnote number 12 on page 166 of Fatima in Lucia’s own words reads like this:

This “seventh time”, refers to the 16th of June, 1921, on the eve of Lucia’s departure to Vilar de Oporto.  The Apparition in question had a personal message for Lucia, which she did not consider necessary to relate here.

Really?  In fact Sister Lucia in all of her published writings NEVER NEVER NEVER mentions any Apparition taking place in the Cova da Iria in June, 1921.  She mentions having visited the Cova da Iria before leaving for Vilar but she says nothing anywhere about any Apparition.  And keep in mind something else: Lucia was writing her memoirs under obedience.  That means that that bit about her not considering it necessary to relate the story of this supposed apparition is pure poppycock.  Aside from the Secret Sister Lucia wrote down everything that the Blessed Virgin told her because she was doing it under obedience to the Bishop of Leira.  She would not have left this June 16, 1921 apparition out of her record if it had actually happened.

So if Lucia didn’t tell this tale then where did it come from? This is a question that can actually be answered.  It comes from the appendix to Father John de Marchi’s 1952 work The True Story of Fatima.  In this appendix Father de Marchi states the following:

Though no attempt has been made in this volume to describe the fulfillment of Our Lady’s promise to return to the Cova da Iria a seventh time, it can be said with certainty that the apparition did take place.  It occurred June 18, 1921, Lucia’s last day in Aljustrel before leaving for the convent school at Vilar.  That evening, having left her home, and paying a last visit to the Cova da Iria, she is said to have seen Our Lady standing at a spot now occupied by the lower steps of the basilica.  I wrote to Sister Lucia about this, but have not received a reply.  I have, however, been assured by a priest very close to Lucia that she has confirmed this happening.   -J.D.

I wish to cast no aspersions on Father de Marchi, God rest his soul, but there are a lot of problems with this.  First Lucia NEVER mentions anything in connection with the promised seventh Apparition anywhere in her writings, not once ever.  Second, she never wrote him back which tells me that she was not going to discuss the subject for whatever reason.  Third, this crazy footnote says it was the 16th of June, not the 18th.  Fourth, it is a lapse for a serious writer of history to ever use the phrase “she is said to have seen…”.  Said by who?  Fifth, where is the ‘personal message’?  And sixth who was this priest that Father de Marchi reports was “very close to Lucia” who heard her confirm the account that he gives us here.  This has all the marks of a story concocted by men (we do not know who, and I do not accuse Father de Marchi since I do not know where he got this from) and embellished over time.

I mention all of this because this is what you will hear.  This myth that the seventh Apparition has already taken place. and was no big deal has become part of ‘what people say’ about Fatima.  In other words it is part of ‘Church speak’ and the ‘acceptable telling’ of the Fatima story.

And I mention it as well because if it hasn’t happened yet then it is the story of the millennium.  If we believe that Our Lady appeared at the Cova da Iria on May 13, June 13, July 13, August 13 (witnesses said that they saw signs of Our Lady’s presence in the Cova da Iria even though the children were in prison on that day), September 13, and October 13, 1917 then we must believe that she will appear there again.  But to whom?  All of the original visionaries have now long since left this world.  We don’t know.  We only know that it will be “afterwards,” but after what exactly we cannot say.

4) Pray the Rosary every day, in order to obtain peace for the world, and the end of the war

Peace.  This promise was initially and probably quite legitimately applied to the First World War then raging across Europe with Portuguese soldiers fighting in France.  But there are many wars in the world.  There are political/military/social conflicts, there is my personal war with my own fallen nature and with temptation, and there is the general war waged by the devil against the human race.  And all of these wars intersect at various points along the continuum of our existence.

Writing eight decades after the Fatima Apparitions in her 1997 work “Calls” from the Message of Fatima Sister Lucia writes brilliantly on this topic and relates the call to daily recitation of the Rosary to victory in all of these wars.  Perserverance in daily recitation of the Rosary will in the end crush the head of the serpent.  It impresses the life of Jesus Christ on your mind which enables you, especially combined with frequent reception of the Sacraments of Penance and the Holy Eucharist, to better reproduce the life of Jesus Christ in your own life and to bring Him into a world that is starving for Him.  Peace.

Please pray the Rosary daily for the Five Lost Sees and for the conversion of the Muslims and the Jews.  And pray for the Holy Father Pope Francis.

 

 

The Apparition of May 13, 1917

For just as the lightning comes from the east, and flashes even to the west, so shall the coming of the Son of Man be (Matthew 24: 27).

February 15, 2017

I will recount here the first apparition of Our Lady of the Rosary to the three young children as recounted by the Servant of God Venerable Sister Lúcia of Jesus and of the Immaculate Heart in her fourth memoir composed in 1941 using the English version published in 1998.

Just one word in advance.  The primary witnesses of the Apparitions were the children Lucia dos Santos and her cousins Blessed Francisco and Blessed Jacinta Marto.  During the Apparitions Francisco only saw the Blessed Virgin, but did not hear what she said while both Jacinta and Lucia heard the words of Our Lady.  Lucia however was the only one who ever spoke to the Virgin.  Now on to the account of the Apparition of May 13, 1917:

High up on the slope in the Cova da Iria, I was playing with Jacinta and Francisco at building a little stone wall around a clump of furze.  Suddenly we saw what seemed to be a flash of lightning.

“We’d better go home,” I said to my cousins, “that’s lightning; we may have a thunderstorm.”

“Yes, indeed!” they answered.

We began to go down the slope, hurrying the sheep along toward the road.  We were more or less half-way down the slope and almost level with a large holmoak tree that stood there, when we saw another flash of lightning.  We had only gone a few steps further when, there before us on a small holmoak, we beheld a Lady all dressed in white.  She was more brilliant than the sun, and radiated a light more clear and intense than a crystal glass filled with sparkling water, when the rays of the burning sun shine through it.

We stopped, astounded, before the Apparition.  We were so close, just a few feet from her, that we were bathed in the light which surrounded her, that we were bathed in the light which surrounded her, or rather, which radiated from her.  Then Our Lady spoke to us:

“Do not be afraid.  I will do you no harm.”

“Where are you from?”

“I am from heaven.”

“What do you want of me?”

“I have come to ask you to come here for six months in succession, on the 13th day, at this same hour.  Later on, I will tell you who I am and what I want.  Afterwards, I will return here yet a seventh time.”

“Shall I go to heaven too?”

“Yes, you will.”

“And Jacinta?”

“She will go also.”

“And Francisco?”

“He will go there too, but he must say many Rosaries.”

Then I remembered to ask about two girls who had died recently.  They were friends of mine and used to come to my home to learn weaving with my eldest sister.

“Is Maria das Neves in heaven?”

“Yes, she is.”  (I think she was about 16 years old).

“And Amelia?”

“She will be in purgatory until the end of the world.”  (It seems to me that she was between 18 and 20 years of age).  “Are you willing to offer yourselves to God and bear all the sufferings He wills to send you, as an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended, and of supplication for the conversion of sinners?”

“Yes, we are willing.”

“Then you are going to have much to suffer, but the grace of God will be your comfort.”

As she pronounced these last words “…the grace of God will be your comfort”, Our Lady opened her hands for the first time, communicating to us a light so intense that, as it streamed from her hands, its rays penetrated our hearts and the innermost depths of our souls, making us see ourselves in God, Who was that light, more clearly than we see ourselves in the best of mirrors.  Then, moved by an interior impulse that was also communicated to us, we fell on our knees, repeating in our hearts:

“O most Holy Trinity, I adore You!  My God, My God, I love you in the most Blessed Sacrament!”

After a few moments, Our Lady spoke again:

“Pray the Rosary every day, in order to obtain peace for the world, and the end of the war.”

Then she began to rise serenely, going up towards the east, until she disappeared in the immensity of space.  The light that surrounded her seemed to open up a path before her in the firmament, and for this reason we sometimes said that we saw heaven opening.

There are a lot of things I want to say about this apparition, but I will let them be for a moment.

Pray the Rosary every day.  Pray for the five lost Sees.  Pray for the conversion of the Muslim peoples.  Pray for the Holy Father.  Pray for Pope Francis.  He is our only pope and he is surrounded by men who are not his friends, and they are not your friends either.

My impressions of the Apparitions of the Angel

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 [99] 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!

The Apparitions of the Angel

February 9, 2017

I will recount here the beginning of the story: the apparitions of the Angel that were to prepare the children for the later apparitions of the Θεοτόκος, the Mother of God.  The Angel appeared first to Lucia in a series of brief manifestation in 1915 and then three times to Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco together in 1916 that contained messages from Heaven.  The text I am using here is from Sister Lucia’s fourth memoir completed under the orders of the Bishop of Leira on December 8, 1941.  The English translation is from the volume published under the title Fatima in Lucia’s own words the 10th edition published on November 13, 1998 under the Imprimatur of the Bishop of Leira-Fatima.  Here is Sister Lucia’s account of the apparitions of the Angel:

Although I cannot give the exact date, it seems to me that it was in 1915 that the first Apparition took place.  As far as I can judge, it was the Angel, although at that time he did not venture to make himself fully known.  From what I can recall of the weather, I think that this must have happened between the months of April and October in the year 1915.

My three companions from the Casa Velha, by name Teresa Matias and her sister Maria Rosa, and Maria Justino, were with me on the southern slope of the Cabeço.  We were just about to start praying the Rosary when I saw, poised in the air above the trees that stretched down to the valley which lay at our feet, what appeared to be a cloud in human form, whiter than snow and almost transparent.  My companions asked me what it was.  I replied that I did not know.  This happened on two further occasions, but on different days.

This Apparition made a certain impression upon me, which I do not know how to explain.  Little by little, this impression faded away, and were it not for the events that followed, I think I would have forgotten it completely.

The dates I cannot set down with certainty, because, at that time, I did not know how to reckon the years, the months, or even the days of the week.  But I think it must have been in the spring of 1916 that the Angel appeared to us for the first time in our Loca do Cabeço.

As I have written in my account of Jacinta, we climbed th hillside in search of shelter.  After having taken our lunch and said our prayers, we began to see, some distance off, above the trees that stretched away towards the east, a light, whiter than snow, in the form of a young man, transparent, and brighter than crystal pierced by the rays of the sun.  As he drew nearer, we could distinguish his features more and more clearly.  We were surprised, absorbed, and struck dumb with amazement.

On reaching us he said:

“Do not be afraid.  I am the Angel of Peace.  Pray with me.”

Kneeling on the ground, he bowed down until his forehead touched the earth.  Led by a supernatural impulse, we did the same, and repeated the words which we heard him say:

“My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love You!  I ask pardon of You for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope, and do not love You!”

Having repeated these words three times, he rose and said:

“Pray thus.  The Hearts of Jesus and Mary are attentive to the voice of your supplications.”  Then he disappeared.

The supernatural atmosphere which enveloped us was so intense, that we were for a long time scarcely aware of our own existence, remaining in the same posture in which he had left us, and continually repeating the same prayer.  The presence of God made itself felt so intimately and so intensely that we did not even venture to speak to one another.  Next day, we were still immersed in this spiritual atmosphere, which only gradually began to disappear…

The second Apparition must have been at the height of summer, when the heat of the day was so intense that we had to take the sheep home before noon and only let them out again in the early evening.

We went to spend the siesta hours in the shade of the trees which surrounded the well that I have already mentioned several times.  Suddenly, we saw the same Angel right beside us.

“What are you doing?” he asked.  “Pray! Pray very much!”  The Hearts of Jesus and Mary have designs of mercy on you.  Offer prayers and sacrifices constantly to the Most High.”

How are we to make sacrifices?” I asked.

“Make of everything you can a sacrifice, and offer it to God as an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended, and in supplication for the conversion of sinners.  You will thus draw down peace upon your country.  I am its Angel Guardian, the Angel of Portugal.  Above all, accept and bear with submission, the sufferings which the Lord will send you.”

These words were indelibly impressed upon our minds.  They were like a light which made us understand who God is, how He loves us and desires to be loved, the value of sacrifice, how pleasing it is to Him and how, on account of it, He grants the grace of conversion to sinners.  It was for this reason that we began, from then on, to offer to the Lord all that mortified us, without, however, seeking out other forms of mortification and penance, except that we remained for hours on end with our foreheads touching the ground, repeating the prayer the Angel had taught us.

It seems to me that the third Apparition must have been in October, or towards the end of September, as we were no longer returning home for siesta.

As I have already written in my account of Jacinta, we went one day from Pregueira (a small grove belonging to my parents) to the Lapa, making our way along the slope of the hill on the side facing Aljustrel and Casa Velha.  We said our Rosary there and the prayer the Angel had taught us at the first Apparition.

While we were there, the Angel appeared to us for the third time, holding a chalice in his hands, with a host above it from which some drops of blood were falling into the sacred vessel.  Leaving the chalice and the host suspended in the air, the Angel prostrated on the ground and repeated this prayer three times:

“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.”

Then, rising, he once more took the chalice and the host in his hands.  He gave the host to me, and to Jacinta and  Francisco he gave the contents of the chalice to drink saying as he did so: “Take and drink the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, horribly outraged by ungrateful men.  Repair their crimes and console your God.”  Once again, he prostrated on the ground and repeated with us three times more, the same prayer “Most Holy Trinity…”, and then disappeared.

Impelled by the power of the supernatural that enveloped us, we imitated all that the Angel had done, prostrating ourselves on the ground as he did and repeating the prayers that he said.  The force of the presence of God was so intense that it absorbed us and almost completely annihilated us.  It seemed to deprive us even of the use of our bodily senses for a considerable length of time.  During those days, we performed all our exterior actions as though guided by that same supernatural being who was impelling us thereto.  The peace and happiness which we felt were great, but wholly interior, for our souls were completely immersed in God.  The physical exhaustion that came over us was also great.

Thus ends sister Lucia’s account of the Apparitions of the Angel of Portugal.  Just the act of copying this account and typing these words have strangely lightened my soul.  I want to say a few things about this apparition but I will leave that be until the next post.  For the moment I would just suggest reading and meditating on this wonderful passage.

Pray the Rosary daily.  Go to Confession.  Make reparation for the crimes committed against your outraged Lord and Savior by ungrateful men.  Pray and keep watch.

The minefield of Fatima

February 8, 2017                                                                                                                            The Memorial of Saint Jerome Emiliani

A few words before I begin at the beginning.  When I studied the accounts of Sister Lucia the message of Fatima seemed to me to be extremely clear and the requests of Our Lady seemed to me to be incredibly specific and precise.  Genuine penance and reparation were and are what Heaven demands, and if we follow this course we cannot fail.

I will detail the requests that Our Lady made of all of us and of the Holy Father and of his bishops, God willing, as I recount the individual apparitions but I do want to make one point very clear at the outset.  The message of Fatima has been incredibly muddied over during the last century.  Heaven made very clear and specific and easy to understand requests but the designs of men have confused things as we are always wont to do.  Fatima has been turned into a minefield.  How so?

Some misguided men have sought to distract people from the message or to subtly discredit it.  Others have sought to use it for their own personal gain and have therefore chosen to emphasize one portion of the message to the detriment of the other parts.  And this spreading of ignorance has confused almost everyone within the Church.

Fatima contains a clear and simple message that is crucially important for the human race that the Church herself has declared worthy of belief yet it is rarely spoken of, or if it is the prophetic import of the message is relegated to being a “part of the past” as one notable in the Church stated not so long ago.  But it is not part of the past.

Fatima is more important in 2017 than it was in 1917, much more important, and a simple run through the message, the message itself not what people say about  the message, will show that.  I will be expressing my opinions and those of others throughout this series of posts but I will always be clear that it is an opinion and not a fact.  Too many times in my research of this topic I have discovered that opinions are stated as if they were facts and unsourced claims are treated as if they were the Gospel truth.  So there we have it.  My little preamble is done.  In the next post, God willing, I will start with the apparitions of the Angel to three young shepherd children.

Please continue to pray the Rosary every day and join the Rosary Confraternity.

The Story of Fatima

February 4, 2017

I have noticed that during the two years since I stopped posting regularly on this blog it has continued to receive frequent visitors, at least one or two a day, mostly to the pages outlining the prayers of the Rosary.  I am immensely grateful if this small effort can be used by Heaven and by the Immaculate Heart of Mary to expand the practice of this unfathomably deep and rich devotion: the greatest form of meditation known to the human race.

During the last two years events in the Middle East have gone in a radically new direction for both the region and for the planet as a whole with the Russian military intervention in Syria.  The world has changed and is hurtling towards something (we know not what) very fast.  These events we are living through continually bring my mind back to the events of a century ago when the Lady of the Rosary appeared to three small children (Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco) in the Cova da Iria at Fatima, Portugal and entrusted to them a message with grave implications for the future of the human race.

This story is intimately linked with the purpose of this website for a number of reasons.  Firstly because it involves the Lady of the Rosary and the central concern of this blog is the spread of devotion to the Holy Rosary.  And the second is the intention for which I urge people to pray: the salvation and the liberation of the five ancient Sees of the Middle East and North Africa and the conversion of the Muslim peoples.  How so?  The name of the town where she appeared is called Fatima.  That name is a leftover from the era when the Muslims ruled Portugal which ended seven centuries prior to the apparitions.  Nothing that Heaven does is a coincidence, and this is especially the case with names.  Names in Sacred Scripture mean things and Fatima (the daughter of Muhammad) is a great name among the Muslims.  Though the Venerable Servant of God Sister Lucia never told us that the Lady said anything concerning Islam I would propose that the name of the place itself is a revelation for those who are willing to hear it.

For this reason among others I feel motivated to tell the story of Fatima.  Another reason is the public nature of these events.  These apparitions along with the attached revelations are more similar to some of the miraculous events recorded in the Old Testament than what we usually class as ‘private revelations.’  How so?  Well take for example the Divine Mercy revelations to Saint Faustina during the 1930s which have been validated by the Church as well.  The experiences of Saint Faustina were purely personal, that is she was the only one who experienced them.  She sometimes saw visions but they were strictly for her.  No one else sees them.  If one reads her wonderful diary what Our Lord tells her is recorded as an interior experience that takes place within her soul.  Now don’t mistake me: I am not questioning the veracity of the Divine Mercy revelation.  This is simply how Our Lord chose to present this revelation, and it can properly be called ‘private revelation.’

Fatima is another case altogether.  First the primary witnesses to the Lady’s appearance were three, not one.  All three of the children saw the same Lady.  Two of them (Lucia and Jacinta) heard the Lady’s words.  And one (Lucia) actually spoke to her.  Moreover these apparitions after the first were public events.  When one reads the older books on Fatima published during the 1940s and ’50s, when very many of the townspeople and other witnesses were still alive, one gets the sense that these really were public events, more akin to the revelations made to Moses on Mount Sinai than a vision beheld by a monk or a nun alone in their cell in the middle of the night.  Other witnesses to the events of Fatima actually did see and hear things i.e. they knew something was going on out of the ordinary but they did not see the Lady or hear what she said.  Kind of like the Israelites seeing many great signs at Mount Sinai though they never saw God as Moses did nor did they hear his voice.  Not to mention the great Miracle of the Sun on October 13, 1917, witnessed by 70,000 people, that ranks up there with the Crossing of the Red Sea and the Sun and the Moon standing still for Joshua but has strangely enough been almost completely forgotten in our own day.  But I am getting ahead of myself.  In the next post, God willing, I will begin at the beginning.

Pray the Rosary daily, for the above intention if the Holy Spirit directs you there.  Go to Confession.  Adore the wounded Heart of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.

 

A new project

September 10, 2015

I have decided to discontinue posting on this site for the time being and devote myself to another project.  I have started another blog, Vexillum Immaculatae (the banner of the Immaculate One) that examines historical evidence for Pope Pius VII’s claim made more than two hundred years ago in his encyclical Diu Satis of a great conspiracy to destroy the teaching of Jesus Christ, and to overthrow the Catholic Church.  My opinion is that there is a lot of evidence dating from the 18th century and later that documents, as much as can be done regarding something that of necessity has operated in the shadows, the existence of this thing.  At least in the time of Pius VII and probably extending to our own day.  We shall see.

I will keep this site up and ask anyone who comes across it to keep praying the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary on Monday for the See of Constantinople, the Sorrowful Mysteries on Tuesday for the See of Antioch, the Glorious Mysteries on Wednesday for the See of Jerusalem, the Luminous Mysteries on Thursday for the See of Alexandria, and the Sorrowful Mysteries on Friday for the See of Carthage; for their liberty and their salvation and the restoration of their ancient position as pillars of the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church in communion with the See of Peter in Rome and for the conversion the Jewish people and the conversion of the Muslim peoples.  And join the Rosary Confraternity!

Prayer and reparation and information are the only answers to what is making this world fall into ruin, so let’s get to work.

Requiescat in pace Francis Cardinal George

April 18, 2015

Francis Cardinal George, the recently retired Archbishop of Chicago died yesterday, April 17, 2015.

Francis Cardinal George, Archbishop Emeritus of Chicago (1937-2015).

Francis Cardinal George, Archbishop Emeritus of Chicago (1937-2015)

Requiem aeternam dona ei Domine, et lux perpetua luceat ei.  Requiescat in pace Francis Cardinal George.

Pray the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary on Monday for the See of Constantinople, the Sorrowful Mysteries on Tuesday for the See of Antioch, the Glorious Mysteries on Wednesday for the See of Jerusalem, the Luminous Mysteries on Thursday for the See of Alexandria, and the Sorrowful Mysteries on Friday for the See of Carthage; for their liberty and their salvation and the restoration of their ancient position as pillars of the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church in communion with the See of Peter in Rome; for the conversion of the Jewish people and the conversion of the Muslim peoples.  And join the Rosary Confraternity!

The Islamic State threatens to conquer Rome

February 16, 2015

The Islamic State today released a video that purports to show the beheading of twenty one Egyptian Coptic Christians who had been kidnapped during December and January around the Libyan city of Sirte which is around 250 miles east southeast of Tripoli on the Mediterranean coast.  An armed group who has sworn allegiance to the Islamic State, in a strange echo of what took place in Mosul last June, seized control of government buildings in Sirte on Saturday. The executioners of the hostages vowed that the Islamic State will “conquer Rome, by Allah’s permission, the promise of our Prophet.”    The Egyptian government launched retaliatory airstrikes on the eastern Libyan city of Derna, a stronghold of Islamic State militants, on the Mediterranean coast about halfway between the Egyptian border and Benghazi.

So will the Islamic State launch an attack on Rome from its new base on the south shore of the Mediterranean?

I doubt that we will see armies flying the black flag marching up the Via della Conciliazione anytime soon.  The groups loyal to IS are one of a hodgepodge of armed militias fighting in the internecine warfare that makes up life in post Qaddafi Libya.  And they are far from the center of the Islamic State’s base of operations in the landlocked area surrounding the Syria Iraq border.  If these armed Libyan IS affiliates ever do manage to carve out some territory on the Libyan coast, hold it, and somehow maintain regular communication with IS central in Raqaa and Mosul they may use it to transport terrorist operatives to Italy and southern Europe or follow that tried and true ancient Muslim practice of launching assaults on Mediterranean shipping, but we are a long ways from that at the present moment.

However we should all note that the world is changing.  The current geopolitical chessboard that puts several obstacles in the path of the Islamic State is growing shakier by the day and the seemingly calm period that we have all lived through since the collapse of the USSR in 1991 is now likely over.  The divisions between Russia and NATO over Ukraine and Russia’s proper place in the world are daily hardening and growing deeper.  While the cease fire agreed to in Minsk may hold for a time it is already looking shaky and will certainly not bring a long term solution to this problem.  Catholics should prepare themselves for the fact that conditions are being created for something this generation has deemed unthinkable, a general war in Europe, to take place.  We shall see.

If that does come to pass, and even if the continent were to avoid the nuclear annihilation that would always be a looming prospect in such a conflict, Europe (and North America) will be changed forever.  Maybe the NATO alliance will fracture and since this seems to be Vladimir Putin’s ultimate goal (add to that the abysmal qualities of the current leadership in NATO countries) we should not dismiss the possibility.  If this happened then southern Europe would be more open to Muslim harassment and attack than it has for several centuries.  And if the whole of Europe were weakened by some conflict with Russia then it would be exceedingly vulnerable to such threats.  Again we shall see.

The Muslims have always had the dream of conquering Rome.  They conquered the ancient Catholic Sees of Antioch, Jerusalem, Alexandria, and Carthage in the first great wave of Islamic conquest in the seventh century.  They took Constantinople during the great explosion of Turkish power in the fifteenth and immediately after tried to move into Italy at Otranto but Rome was saved by the death of Sultan Mehmet II.  They have always wanted Rome but have never been able to lay a finger on it save for one raid in the dark ninth century where Arab marauders actually managed to accost the city and break into old Saint Peter’s basilica (then outside the city walls) before being driven off and never (yet) returning.

So now at least some Muslims are remembering who they are and what their religion is about.  What should Catholics do?  WE SHOULD REMEMBER THAT WE ARE CATHOLIC AND WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A CATHOLIC.  We should learn the teachings of the Church and live them.  Participate in the Sacramental life of the Church.  Go to Confession.  Live your life in a state of grace.  If one is able he should learn Latin and pray the Divine Office in Latin.  Pope Benedict XVI reinstituted the Breviarium Romanum as an optional form for the prayer of the Church when he brought back the Tridentine Mass in his Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum.  Use it. Those Latin words of the Psalter were translated by Saint Jerome before the end of the Roman Empire, when the Mediterranean was still a unified Catholic sea.  Learn them.  Pray them.  Those words are older than Islam.

And pray the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary on Monday for the See of Constantinople, the Sorrowful Mysteries on Tuesday for the See of Antioch, the Glorious Mysteries on Wednesday for the See of Jerusalem, the Luminous Mysteries on Thursday for the See of Alexandria, and the Sorrowful Mysteries on Friday for the See of Carthage; for their liberty and their salvation and the restoration of their ancient position as a pillar of the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church in communion with the See of Peter in Rome; for the conversion of the Jewish people and the conversion of the Muslim peoples.  And join the Rosary Confraternity!