- WHY FATIMA
- FATIMA CENTER
- PRAYER & DEVOTION
by Father Marcel Nault
This article is based on a talk given by the author to the bishops at our Fatima Bishops Conference.
When I am invited to preach, I remember the words of Christ; the Holy Spirit will speak in you and through you.' And when I think about the Apostles, I don't imagine them going from town to town with their computer, their microphones, their recording machine, their filing cabinet. They go and they let the Holy Spirit speak. Because it is the Holy Spirit that changes the heart of sinners, I put all my trust in the wisdom and the strength of the Holy Spirit.
I preach everywhere, the message of Our Lady of Fatima. What will I preach? I preach what I think is the most important. I preach what is the most important teachings of Our Lord Jesus and when Jesus Christ came on earth, He came for one reason, to save souls from Hell.
St. John Chrysostom, a beloved Father of the Church used to say and repeat that the Lord Jesus has preached more often on the Catholic Dogma of Hell than any other subject.
Some people say it is better to preach on Heaven. I believe that the more a person meditates on that truth that we call Hell, that meditation produces many fruits of conversion.
St. Benedict, the founder of the Benedictines was in Rome and the Holy Spirit told him, "You are going to lose your soul." He left Rome and he went into solitude to meditate on the Holy Gospel. He meditated, prayed and did penance and the Holy Spirit spread the word and people flocked to him. Holiness attracts souls.
Why do you think St. Augustine changed his life? Because of the fear of Hell. I preach often on Hell because the Lord Jesus and Our Blessed Mother asked me to preach on Hell and when I preach on Hell you feel, you know that I believe in the reality that we call a Roman Catholic Dogma, Hell.
Pope Pius IX, who gave us the Roman Catholic Dogma on the Immaculate Conception; Pope Pius IX who has given us the Syllabus, used to preach and ask preachers to please, please, preach more often on Hell.
The thought of Hell makes saints. Curiously, saints are afraid to go to Hell. The Curé of Ars was afraid to go to Hell. St. Therese of the Infant Jesus was afraid to go to Hell. Saint Simon Stock, the Superior General of the Carmel priests said that his monks were even afraid to go to Hell despite the fact that they were fasting, praying and living out of the world.
Mary, Our Lady of Mount Carmel appeared to Saint Simon Stock and told him: Don't be afraid anymore, I'm giving you Carmelites a special vestment; all those who will die wearing that vestment will not go to Hell.
I wear the Brown Scapular inside my vestment and I have another one in my pocket because I never know when people will ask me to preach, and when I preach, I preach the Holy Rosary and the Brown Scapular.
Mary said, "Through the Rosary and Scapular I will save the world."
One can not specialize and preach everything, but the Lord Jesus invites me to preach on Hell. A Monsignor said to me, "Marcel, don't preach on Hell. People don't like that, you scare them." And in a very friendly way that Monsignor said to me, "Marcel, I have never preached on Hell and look at the position I have. I will never preach on Hell."
After a long silence, I looked him in the eye and said, "Monsignor, you are on the road to Hell for all eternity. You preach, Monsignor, to please the crowd, instead of preaching to please Christ."
When God sent prophets in the Old Testament, it was to remind the people to come back to the truth, come back to holiness. Jesus came, Jesus preached. He sent His Apostles into the world to preach the Holy Gospel.
The serpent came and spread his poisons of heresy and the Lord Jesus decided to send His Beloved Mother, the Queen of Prophets to earth to destroy heresies. And it is written by the Fathers of the Church that the Mother of God is the hammer of all heresies.
On July l3, l9l7, Mary came to Fatima as a prophet of The Most High to save souls from Hell. Our Lady lowered Her hands and suddenly, the three children saw a hole in the ground.
That hole, says Lucy, was like a sea of fire in which she saw the forms of humans, men and women, shouting and crying in despair. And she saw demons in forms of ugly animals. The vision was so horrible that the children feared they would die from fright.
And Mary said to the three children, "You have seen Hell where the souls of poor sinners go."
Each time you say the Rosary, my children, do say after each decade, "O My Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fire of Hell, lead all souls to Heaven, especially those most in need."
Mary came to Fatima to save souls from Hell. The Curé of Ars, the patron of all parish priests, used to preach that the greatest act of charity towards your neighbor is to save souls from Hell.
One day when he was hearing Confession in a little church, the devil appeared as a man, enraged and screaming, "I hate you, I hate you because you stole from my hand 85,000 souls."
Your Excellencies, Cardinals and we Priests, when we come to the judgment, Jesus will ask one question. "I made you a priest, a bishop, a cardinal, a pope. How many souls have you saved? How many souls have you saved from Hell?"
The Curé of Ars saved more than 75,000 sinners. How many souls have we saved? When you read the Fathers of the Church, the Doctors of the Church, the Saints, you are struck by one thing; they all preach the Holy Gospel of Jesus; Heaven, Purgatory and they never fail to preach on the Roman Catholic Dogma of Hell.
Read the Fathers of the Church, the Doctors of the Church, all those priests, magnificent apostles of Jesus Christ. They all preach on the Catholic Dogma of Hell because when we meditate on Hell we become a saint.
I don't want to criticize the bishops but it is sad for me to say that in my thirty years of priesthood I have never heard a bishop; my bishops or any other bishop, preach on the Roman Catholic Dogma of Hell. I suppose in India and elsewhere they do, but in America, we don't preach on Hell.
In many dioceses I have often heard bishops recite the Rosary but they decline to add the little Fatima prayer after each decade because "the people don't like that".
We are not there preaching to please the crowd but to save souls, to prevent them from going to Hell for all eternity. And I think the little prayer of Our Lady of Fatima given to the children on July l3, l9l7 is more powerful and more pleasing to God than any kind of meditation. The meditations that we priests write down and pronounce, they might be nice, but after each decade do you know a meditation more powerful, more holy than the prayer given by Our Lady of Fatima? Please, after each decade, do recite it.
I preach often on Hell. My friends, you have received your catechism, you have received your gifts from God. For me, Jesus wants me, Jesus asks me, Jesus begs me, Our Lady of Fatima begs me to preach on Hell.
There are many revelations that we can read in the holy books and some souls in Hell have spoken, given the privilege by God, to help us in our faith. And those souls in Hell would say, "We could accept to be in Hell a thousand years. We could accept to be in Hell a million years, if we knew that one day, we would leave Hell."
But no, my friends, we must meditate, not only on the pre-destination of seeing God in Heaven, we must also meditate on the eternity of Hell. I heard a priest in the charismatic conference with about l0,000 laypeople and 300 priests present. He was preaching, "My friends, God is love, God is mercy and you will see His Infinite Mercy at the end of the world, delivering souls from Hell."
What heresy! Yet his bishop did not remove his faculties and he was allowed to continue to preach such heresy. With our little human intelligence we make a little "philosophic reasoning". God is love, God is our Father. How can a loving Father take His little Peter and throw him into the furnace of Hell? Why that would be an insult to God, Who is love.
How many times have you heard that hypocrisy? My friends, Hell exists. Hell is eternal. I can go into Hell. You can go into Hell. And if God had called me to my eternal reward some years ago, I would have gone to Hell for all eternity, weeping, crying. Not for a million years, not for a thousand, million years, but for all eternity.
And in gratitude to the Most Holy Trinity, to Our Blessed Mother, I go to Confession every week, I recite my l5 Mysteries of the Rosary every day, my breviary, I wear my Brown Scapular. And I preach the Rosary and the Brown Scapular to everyone. I preach to bishops like I preach to everyone because bishops too have a soul to be saved.
The Lord Jesus has chosen us among men to make us priests for one reason; to offer sacrifice to the Almighty Father and save souls from Hell. When I preach at parish retreats, I always end with the preaching on Hell.
I am not holy but I pray my Rosary, I wear my Scapular, I say my breviary, seven days a week. I say my Mass every day, I go to Confession every week and I hope (I'm not sure, nobody is sure) to go to Heaven.
Nobody is sure unless they have a private revelation from God. Why not take all the insurance Our Lady of Fatima has given us, "Devotion to My Rosary is a great sign of predestination."
She has given us another insurance, "that anyone dying in this habit shall not suffer eternal fire."
If only one Bishop among you would have come to Fatima and go back to his diocese and beseech his people, "I am your bishop. I am here to save your souls from Hell. Please accept my teaching today, listen to my teaching today. Meditate on my teaching today. And please, my priests, imitate your bishop, preach on Hell."
If only you would do this, you will be doing the greatest act of charity of your priesthood, of your episcopal apostolate.
Preach Hell and Jesus will bless you, Jesus will forgive you your weakness, Jesus will forgive your sins if you do preach Hell. By preaching Hell, you are making a terrific act of charity because those that will hear you, they will believe, they will change their lives and they will go to Confession.
Saints go to Confession, Saints go to Confession! And those that go to Confession become Saints.
I thank you for coming to encourage Father Gruner. He is a man that I love the most on earth. Not for his person, but because of what he is doing for Our Lady of Fatima ... To preach the message of Fatima, to save souls from Hell.