Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

As I posted yesterday at Contemplative Haven, this year the feasts of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary seem to have an extra special significance for our times and for the darkness in the world these days.  For one thing, they are not falling in June as they usually do, and for another, they are coinciding this year with the First Friday and First Saturday of the month. I hope you will have time to read the post at Contemplative Haven as a backdrop to my post here today, because reparation is as central to the feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary as I mentioned that it is to the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. This is entirely and divinely appropriate and ordained, isn’t it, since the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts are the Two Hearts United, after all.

Mary revealed her Immaculate Heart to the children at Fatima, and it was through the Fatima apparitions that reparation came to the fore, with the institution of the First Five Saturdays.

As Father Joseph Homick wrote in his  most recent book, A Place Prepared by God [see book image in the right-hand sidebar]“Reparation to the Heart of Mary is required simply because Jesus loves her so much and will not tolerate that she be reviled by evil or ignorant people….  Now in the glory of Heaven, Jesus wants the world to know that He loves his Mother as well, and therefore that reparation must be offered by his faithful people for those who wound her heart with their sins and their callous disregard for her whom God has loved so much and exalted so highly.”  [page 210]

Of course, our Mother’s Immaculate Heart is far more than a reminder to us of the need for reparation.  As Father Joseph so beautifully put it:  “The Immaculate Heart of Mary is the place prepared by God as a refuge for his children as they make their difficult way to Heaven along the narrow and hard but life-giving path to the Kingdom.  What a marvelous place of beauty, purity, holiness and joy, and what a source of wisdom, courage, and peace!  The Lord is so good to us to share with us this treasure of his.  He knows how much we need her, even if we have not come to the fullness of that awareness ourselves.  We will find her waiting for us when we do.”  [pages 209-210]

Feastday of Our Lady of Fatima

IN FATIMA’S COVE

Our Lady of Fatima, sent from above,
appeared to three children to tell of God’s love:

Refrain: Ave, Ave, Ave Maria! Ave, Ave, Ave Maria!

1. In Fatima’s cove on the thirteenth of May;
the Virgin Maria appeared at mid-day.

2. The Virgin Maria surrounded by light;
God’s Mother is ours for she gives us this sight.

3. The world was then suffering from war, plague, and strife,
and Portugal mourned for her great loss of life.

4. To three shepherd children the Virgin then spoke
a message so hopeful, with peace for all folk.

5. With sweet Mother’s pleading, she asked us to pray,
do penance, be modest, the Rosary each day.

6. All Portugal heard what God’s Mother did say,
converted it sings of that Queen to this day.

7. We all must remember Our Lady’s request,
do all that she asks for, obey her bequests.

8. She warned of behavior from which we must turn,
of thoughts, words, and actions which Christians must spurn.

9. To her sad, sweet pleading our promise is made,
that God’s Law in all things be strongly obeyed.

10. From nation to nation her fair name is praised,
as souls from sin’s bondage are contritely raised.

11. Our thanks to the Godhead, whose ways are so sure,
for giving us Mary, our Mother Most Pure.

12. Our hearts, overflowing with kindness and love,
thank her for God’s graces bestowed from above.

13. Hail, Refuge of sinners! Hail, Star of the Sea!
Hail, Queen of Creation! Our hope is in thee.

14. All hail, Virgin Mary! This Star guides our way,
our country’s Protectress, America’s Way!

Mary, the whole world’s Way, to Jesus.

* * * * * * * * * *

The Miracle of the Sun at Fatima

Today, as we remember the miracle of the sun that took place at Fatima, I would like to share part of one of Our Lady’s messages to Father Stefano Gobbi of the Marian Movement of Priests.  The particular locution from which I quote was received on October 13, 1981 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and is titled, “An Interior Wound”.

[Excerpt from: To the Priests. Our Lady’s Beloved Sons, entry no. 233, page 334]

Today you are at Lujan, in the most celebrated shrine of this great country, where I am so loved and venerated. With a cenacle, you are commemorating my last apparition at Fatima, which took place on this very day in 1917.

The entire plan which I am now carrying out was revealed to you at that time….

With the anxiety and concern of a mother, who sees how great the danger is through which you are passing, I beg you again to return to God who is awaiting you all to give you his forgiveness and his fatherly love.

See with how many signs I accompany this anguished appeal of mine!… With messages I have given and apparitions I have granted in many parts of the world, with my numerous weepings, even with blood, I want to make you understand that this is a grave hour, that the cup of divine justice is now full.

An interior wound has been inflicted on my motherly heart as I see that these extraordinary signs are neither believed in nor accepted.

What more can I do for you, my poor children, so menaced and exposed to danger?

In a final attempt to save you, I am giving you the secure refuge of my Immaculate Heart. I am calling you from every part of the world, through this work of mine, to enter into this refuge by way of your consecration.

Feastday of Our Lady of Fatima

It was ten years ago today that Pope John Paul II beatified little Jacinta and Francisco, two of the three seers at Fatima in 1917 (Lucia still being alive in the year 2000.)  There is to be a celebration of the 10th anniversary of these beatifications in Fatima, and many will be attending, including Pope Benedict XVI.

It is also the tenth anniversary year of Pope John Paul II having released the third secret of Fatima (which he did in April 2000), and today is the tenth anniversary of Cardinal Angelo Sodano’s public statement and interpretation of the third secret.  All the information relating to this can be found here, on the Vatican’s website.

At the same link can be found Pope Benedict XVI’s (then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger) interpretation and commentary on the third secret as well, part of which I would like to share here:

Let us now examine more closely the single images. The angel with the flaming sword on the left of the Mother of God recalls similar images in the Book of Revelation. This represents the threat of judgement which looms over the world. Today the prospect that the world might be reduced to ashes by a sea of fire no longer seems pure fantasy: man himself, with his inventions, has forged the flaming sword. The vision then shows the power which stands opposed to the force of destruction—the splendour of the Mother of God and, stemming from this in a certain way, the summons to penance. In this way, the importance of human freedom is underlined: the future is not in fact unchangeably set, and the image which the children saw is in no way a film preview of a future in which nothing can be changed. Indeed, the whole point of the vision is to bring freedom onto the scene and to steer freedom in a positive direction. The purpose of the vision is not to show a film of an irrevocably fixed future. Its meaning is exactly the opposite: it is meant to mobilize the forces of change in the right direction. Therefore we must totally discount fatalistic explanations of the “secret”, such as, for example, the claim that the would-be assassin of 13 May 1981 was merely an instrument of the divine plan guided by Providence and could not therefore have acted freely, or other similar ideas in circulation. Rather, the vision speaks of dangers and how we might be saved from them.  

“… the power which stands opposed to the force of destruction—the splendour of the Mother of God and, stemming from this in a certain way, the summons to penance.” 

Our Lady of Fatima, help all of those who are consecrated to you to stand with you, opposed to the force of destruction, eager to do penance, and to help “steer freedom in a positive direction”.   Help us never to despair or indulge in fatalistic mindsets, but to use our free will to aid you in bringing Christ’s light and love to the world.   Amen.

Fatima – The Miracle of the Sun

In his book, “The Whole Truth about Fatima. Science and the Facts” (pgs. 293-303), Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité writes that while the crowd was watching the miraculous spectacle of the sun moving around in the sky, Lucy, Jacinta and Francisco were witnessing something else as well. 

The three seers were given a sequence of three pictures, and Lucy describes each one:

  1. The Vision of the Holy Family“After Our Lady had disappeared into the immense distance of the firmament, we beheld St. Joseph with the Child Jesus and Our Lady robed in white with a blue mantle, beside the sun.  St. Joseph and the Child Jesus appeared to bless the world, for they traced the Sign of the Cross with their hands.”
  2. The Vision of Our Lady of Sorrows“When, a little later, this apparition disappeared, I saw Our Lord and Our Lady; it seemed to me that it was Our Lady of Sorrows.  Our Lord appeared to bless the world in the same manner as St. Joseph had done.”
  3. The Vision of Our Lady of Mount Carmel“This apparition also vanished, and I saw Our Lady once more, this time resembling Our Lady of Mount Carmel.”  

Now, it was on this day, October 13, 1917, that the Blessed Virgin first introduced herself as Our Lady of the Rosary.  Frère Michel makes a connection between the three apparitions noted above and the rosary; he writes that the three visions are “three living images of the mysteries of the rosary.”

He sees the vision of the Holy Family and the blessing being given as illustrative of the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary; the second vision, of Our Lady of Sorrows (and as Lucy later informed a priest, the Lord in this vision was dressed in red, “no doubt to remind us of the purple mantle in which he was dressed in the pretorium, during the scene of the outrages and the crowning with thorns”) he relates to the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary; the third vision, of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, he connects with the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary, because Mary was holding the scapular in her hand, offering it to the world. 

Isn’t it wonderful that Jesus and Mary leave nothing undone; they leave no loose ends.  As I was reading this interpretation by Frère Michel, of course the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary introduced by Pope John Paul II came to mind – and what would they correspond to on this special day of October 13, 1917?  Why, the main spectacle, of course – the Miracle of the Sun!

Fatima Miracle of the Sun 1

Fatima Miracle of the Sun 2

Immaculate Heart of Mary

Last spring I was exploring the inseparableness of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (which feastday was yesterday) and the Immaculate Heart of Mary (which feastday is today), and posted some entries on united novenas, Two Hearts United, etc. This year the unification of the Two Hearts is still on my own heart, along with how Fatima, where Mary first revealed her Immaculate Heart (as I posted about a few days ago) plays a role in this unification.

From, “Fatima. Mary’s Immaculate Heart and Your Salvation”, by Frère François de marie des Anges (pgs. 17-18), I would like to share the following:

Thus the revelation of Fatima comes to complete that of Paray-le-Monial [where Jesus revealed His Sacred Heart to Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque], and devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary to be joined to the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, commanded three centuries ago.  Indeed, most certainly, these two devotions, as the two Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, are inseparable and could not ever proceed one without the other.  Such is the great design of our Heavenly Father for <<the last centuries of history>>:  the reign and universal triumph of Their two Hearts united.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

My friend Carol shared a link with me from the Catholic Online video section; it’s called “Our Lady Smiles”. I think it will make your heart smile too.

Our Lady Smiles

Thanks, Carol.

The Revelation of the Immaculate Heart

Immaculate Heart of Mary 3The second apparition of Our Lady of Fatima occurred on June 13, 1917 (the first was on May 13, 1917, on which we celebrate the Feastday of Our Lady of Fatima).

It was on the occasion of this second apparition that the Blessed Virgin revealed her Immaculate Heart to Lucia, Jacinta and Francisco. Lucia had asked Mary to take them to heaven, to which the Blessed Virgin replied:

 

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. To whoever embraces this devotion I promise salvation; these souls shall be dear to God, as flowers placed by Me to adorn His throne.

The Blessed Virgin then opened her hands and rays of intense light shone out from them. Lucia’s writings tell us: “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.”

Lucia expressed her sadness to Mary at the thought of being left all alone on earth while Jacinta and Francisco would be taken sooner to heaven.  Mary replied, “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.”

[Source: The Whole Truth About Fatima, Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité, pgs. 158-159]