- WHY FATIMA
- FATIMA CENTER
- PRAYER & DEVOTION
When Sister Lucy was situated at Tuy, her confessor, Father Gonçalves, had given her in writing a series of questions. We have already mentioned some of them. Let us retain here only the fourth question: «Why five Saturdays and not nine or seven, in honor of the Sorrows of Our Lady?1» That same evening, the seer implored Our Lord to inspire her with the answer to those questions. A few days later, she transmitted to her confessor the answer:2
«As I was in the chapel with Our Lord part of the night of May 29-30, 1930 [we know that it was her habit to make a holy hour from eleven oclock to midnight, especially on Thursday evenings, according to the requests of the Sacred Heart at Paray-le-Monial], and speaking to Our Lord about questions four and five, I suddenly found myself more intimately possessed by the Divine Presence, and if I am not mistaken,3 here is what was revealed to me:
"My daughter, the reason is simple. There are five kinds of offenses and blasphemies uttered against the Immaculate Heart of Mary:
- Blasphemies against the Immaculate Conception.
- Blasphemies against Her perpetual Virginity.
- Blasphemies against Her divine Maternity, while refusing at the same time to recognize Her as Mother of men.
- The blasphemies of those who publicly seek to place in the hearts of children indifference or scorn, or even hatred towards this Immaculate Mother.
- The offenses of those who outrage Her directly in Her holy Images.
«There, My daughter, is the reason why the Immaculate Heart of Mary inspired Me to request this small act of reparation, and in consideration of it, to move My mercy to forgive souls who have had the misfortune to offend Her. As for you, seek unceasingly, through your prayers and sacrifices, to move My mercy with regard to these poor souls.4»
We have there one of the most important ideas in the message of Fatima: Since God decided to manifest His plan of love, which is to grant His Graces to men through the mediation of the Immaculate Virgin, it seems that their refusal to submit with docility to that Divine Will is a sin which particularly wounds His Heart and for which He no longer finds in Himself any inclination to forgive. That sin appears unpardonable, for there is not, as far as Our Savior is concerned, any crime more unpardonable than to scorn His Most Holy Mother and to outrage Her Immaculate Heart which is the sanctuary of the Holy Ghost. That is to commit «blasphemy against the Spirit which will not be remitted in this world or in the next» (Matt. 12, 31-32). Sister Lucy herself suggests this comparison in her conversation with Father Fuentes.5
The Vision of Tuy, June 13, 1929
In 1929, when Our Lady appeared at Tuy at the great Theophany of the Most Holy Trinity, She concluded this most important apparition with these impressive words: «Souls are so numerous whom the justice of God condemns for sins committed against Me that I come to request reparation. Sacrifice yourself for this intention and pray.» Words so strong that several translators have allowed themselves to mitigate them!6 Now, there is absolutely no doubt about the text, Our Lady affirms it with sadness, many souls are lost because of their scorn, their blasphemies towards Her ... Then, giving the example of love of enemies, it is She Herself Who intervenes as "Mother of mercy and Mother of forgiveness," as is sung in the Salve Mater.
She intercedes to Her Son for them. May the Communions of the Five First Saturdays, offered to console Her outraged Heart, be accepted by Him in reparation for the crimes of sinners. That, taking into account «that small reparation» to Her Immaculate Heart, He deign to forgive the ungrateful and the blasphemers, all the poor wretches who have had the audacity to offend Her, His Most Holy Mother! And Our Lord accedes to Her wish. He thus makes the reparatory devotion a sure and easy means for converting souls who are in danger of being lost eternally. The mystery of the Communion of Saints is exalted and terrible. It makes the salvation of souls really depend on our own generosity because the Blessed Virgin Mary, constituted by Her Son as universal Mediatrix and Mother of Divine Grace, cannot act alone. She needs us, our consoling love, and our reparatory "small devotions" in order to save souls from Hell. The salvation of souls is definitively, therefore, one of the great purposes for the practice of the First Saturdays of the month, as this motive was already one Our Lady indicated on August 19, 1917, inviting the three shepherds instantly to prayer and sacrifice.7
From this we can understand the urgent insistence of Our Lady, Her ardent wish that this reparatory devotion be practiced everywhere as much as possible. This practice is so dear to Her, because it is perfect and therefore so effective for the salvation of souls.
«It seems to me, Sister Lucy wrote Father Gonçalves in May 1930, that the Good God, in the depths of my heart, insists with me that I ask the Holy Father to approve the reparatory devotion, which God Himself and the Most Holy Virgin deigned to request in 1925. In consideration for that small devotion, They will to give the grace of forgiveness to souls who have had the misfortune of offending the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The Most Holy Virgin promises to assist at the hour of death with all the graces necessary for their salvation those souls who make reparation to Her in this way.8»
It is because She desires at all cost to enlist us into this practice that Our Lady has attached such marvelous promises. In fact, over and above our own eternal salvation and the conversion of sinners, She wanted to add to the reparatory Communion another magnificent promise, that of the gift of peace. On March 19, 1939, Sister Lucy was able to write: «On the practice of this devotion together with the consecration (of Russia) to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, depend peace or war for the world. That is why I have so much wanted its propagation; and then above all, because such is the Will of our Good God and our so dear Heavenly Mother.9»
1) Documentos, page 407, quoted in "The Whole Truth About Fatima, Volume II", page 509 (English edition).
2) On that letter which is not dated, Father Gonçalves wrote: June 12, 1930. Documentos, pages 409-410, quoted in "The Whole Truth About Fatima, volume II", pages 509-511. (English edition)
3) As in the writings of St. Margaret-Mary, it would be an error to see in that restrictive formula the expression of an uncertainty or of a real doubt. It is a formula of humility and obedience by which the seer acknowledges in advance of her reliance on the judgment of her director.
4) Documentos, page 409.
5) Cf. chapter 13, "Fatima Joie Intime".
6) Documentos, page 465. Cf "The Whole Truth About Fatima, volume II", page 245.
7) We find in "The Whole Truth About Fatima, volume I" (pages 214-216 - English edition) a commentary on the words of Our Lady: «Pray, pray a great deal and make sacrifices for sinners, for many souls go to Hell because they have no one to pray and make sacrifices for them.»
8) Letter of May 29, 1930, Documentos, page 405.
9) Letter to Father Aparicio, Documentos, page 483.