Thou art beautiful, O my love, sweet and comely as Jerusalem: terrible as an army set in array.
(Song of Songs 6:4)
March 1, 2017 Ash Wednesday
In a certain sense the July 13, 1917 apparition is the mother lode. The heart of the Message of Fatima is a call to penance and to make reparation. The prophetic warnings and the Secret revealed in the July 13 Apparition are what give this call to penance its great urgency. And that is why any attempt to make Fatima a “part of the past” is a grave threat to the future of the human race.
William Thomas Walsh in his 1947 work, Our Lady of Fatima, that word had gotten out and two to three thousand people gathered with the three children on the Cova da Iria on July 13, 1917. He describes the scene as follows (p. 78):
On this particular thirteenth of July, in 1917, there was something unusual afoot in all the villages and fields of the Serra. Even before the children arrived within sight of the Cova da Iria they must have become aware of it. For all over the mountains and beyond people had been hearing, by the mysterious grapevine that disperses news so thoroughly and so fast in country places, of what had taken place on the feast of Saint Anthony. An astonishing number had made up their minds to be on hand for the next apparition.
Lucia herself describes the momentous revelation of Our Lady this day as follows in Volume IV of her memoirs:
A few moments after arriving at the Cova da Iria, near the holmoak, where a large number of people were praying the Rosary, we saw the flash of light once more, and a moment later Our Lady appeared on the holmoak.
“What do you want of me?” I asked.
“I want you to come here on the 13th of next month, to continue to pray the Rosary every day in honour of Our Lady of the Rosary, in order to obtain peace for the world and the end of the war, because only she can help you.”
“I would like to ask you to tell us who you are, and to work a miracle so that everybody will believe that you are appearing to us.”
“Continue to come here every month. In October, I will tell you who I am and what I want, and I will perform a miracle for all to see and believe.”
I then made some requests, but I cannot recall now just what they were. What I do remember is that Our Lady said it was necessary for such people to pray the Rosary in order to obtain these graces during the year. And she continued:
“Sacrifice yourselves for sinners, and say many times, especially whenever you make some sacrifice: O 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.”
As Our Lady spoke these last words, she opened her hands once more, as she had done during the two previous months. The rays of light seemed to penetrate the earth, and we saw as it were a sea of fire. Plunged in this fire were demons and souls in human form, transparent burning embers, all blackened or burnished bronze, floating about in the conflagration, now raised into the air by the flames that issued from within themselves together with great clouds of smoke now falling back on every side like sparks in huge fires, without weight or equilibrium, amid shrieks and groans of pain and despair, which horrified us and made us tremble with fear. (It must have been this sight which caused me to cry out, as people say they heard me). The demons could be distinguished by their terrifying and repellant likeness to frightful and unknown animals, black and transparent like burning coals. Terrified and as if to plead for succour, we looked up at Our Lady, who said to us, so kindly and so sadly:
“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 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 will be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world. In Portugal, the dogma of the Faith will always be preserved; etc… Do not tell this to anybody. Francisco, yes, you may tell him.
“When you pray the Rosary, say after each mystery: O my Jesus, forgive us, save us from the fire of hell. Lead all souls to heaven, especially those most in need.”
After this, there was a moment of silence, and then I asked:
“Is there anything more that you want of me?”
“No, I do not want anything more of you today.”
Then, as before Our Lady began to ascend towards the east, until she finally disappeared in the immense distance of the firmament.
Put that in your pipe and smoke it, as the saying goes. There are very many things to say about this Apparition. Each sentence in some way shape or form warrants its own post but I won’t go to that length. The one thing to keep in mind is that Heaven does not issue empty threats, but the Almighty bides his time to give a chance for repentance. Very many of the things Our Lady warned us about have already happened, but not all of them, and not the worst. We still do not know the rest of what she told the children: the “etc…” was not included or clarified or even commented on in any way, shape, or form in the Vatican’s 2000 release about the Secret of Fatima. And we have not stopped offending God, but rather have made things much much worse. You do the math.
O Jesus, it is for the love of You, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.