Those words uttered a century ago in one of the six apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary every 13th of the month from May to October to three shepherd children in the rural parish of Fatima in Portugal, offers the greatest hope for the world amid her warnings of sinfulness, chastisements and hell.
As devotees joined Pope Francis in marking the first apparition’s centenary in Fatima the past two days, it is most uplifting to bring to mind and heart Mary’s pledge that despite humanity’s turning away from God and His call to be one with Him in faith, hope and love, her Immaculate Heart, mirroring the sanctity and perfection of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, shall overcome, just as He has.
So, in commemorating this most spectacular of divine manifestations in human history since the Resurrection, with 70,000 people witnessing the miracle of the dancing sun performed by God to glorify our Lady, let us first of all recall her promise and prophecy that the good all of us wish in our heart of hearts, shall eventually triumph.
From this absolute surety straight from the Mother of God, affirming her Son’s everlasting triumph, we draw deep and lifelong strength in the face of godlessness, violence, hate, and immorality around and within.
We need this divinely inspired resoluteness to rule both world and self, mired in the fallenness of creation, which only the Creator’s saving grace can lift to His unsullied perfection. For there is much to fear and little to give hope in the way things have gone since our Lady appeared to convey God’s warning to humanity.
“The world has gone in the opposite direction than the one intended by Our Lady at Fatima.”
So declared then-Pope Saint John Paul II in 1982, six and a half decades since the apparitions and a year after his near-assassination in Saint Peter’s Basilica square.
The Holy Father saw the shooting prefigured in a vision of a pope killed by bullets and arrows, given to Fatima visionary Sister Lucia dos Santos, who lived till age 97 in 2005, while her cousins Saints Jacintha and Francisco, canonized yesterday by Francis in Fatima, died in the 1918-19 Spanish flu epidemic.
But far graver than the murder attempt on the Vicar of Christ is the world’s disregard of Him and His message, even in the Christian world, prompting Sister Lucia to lament even in 1957, when there was far more religiosity and moral uprightness than today:
“The Most Holy Virgin is very sad because no one has paid 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.”
Pray for us sinners
So, how does the devout believer commemorate Our Lady of Fatima’s centenary in a world unmindful of it and transgressing its admonitions?
Let’s take from Mary herself, speaking to Sister Lucia on August 19, 1917, the only day when the Blessed Mother did not appear on the 13th, because a judge detained the children in a failed attempt to make them reveal the three Fatima secrets imparted in July:
“Pray, pray a great deal and make sacrifices, for many souls go to Hell because they have no one to make sacrifices and pray for them.”
Today, 100 years since the Mother of God appeared above a bush to Jacintha, 6; Francesco, 8; and Lucia, 9; let us heed her urging in all six apparitions to pray the Rosary daily. Recite it at least seven days this coming week, offering each beaded string of five Mysteries and decades in reparation for sin and for conversion of sinners.
A further reparation which also offers sure redemption is the Five First Saturday’s devotion, which can begin on June 3 and end before the centennial of the last apparition and its accompanying Miracle of the Sun on October 13. Avail your soul of our Lady’s pledge:
“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.”
And in the coming week, devotees can pray and ponder five prayers from our Lady and the Angel of Peace, who prepared them for her visit, and two from Jesus Himself, appearing to Lucia in 1931:
Monday: “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!”
Tuesday: “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.”
Wednesday: “O my Jesus, forgive us, save us from the fire of hell. Lead all souls to Heaven, especially those who are most in need.”
Thursday: “O Most Holy Trinity, I adore You! My God, my God, I love You in the most Blessed Sacrament!”
Friday: “Sweet Heart of Mary, be the salvation of Russia, Spain, Portugal, Europe and the whole world.”
Saturday: “By your pure and Immaculate Conception, O Mary, obtain for me the conversion of Russia, Spain, Portugal, Europe and the entire world.”
Sunday: “Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, 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 sacrileges, outrages and indifference 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.”
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us. Amen.