- WHY FATIMA
- FATIMA CENTER
- PRAYER & DEVOTION
The Mother of God came to earth and, with the solicitude of a perfect Mother and the very Queen of Heaven, warned us of danger to souls and to the world and gave us the means to avoid that danger. What have we done with Her Message? We have failed to obey it even as the world moves closer and closer to a disaster of apocalyptic proportions. How sad this must make our Mother! As Sister Lucy confided to Father Fuentes:
“Father, the Most Holy Virgin is very sad because no one has paid any 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.”
As we have seen, the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart is the key to avoiding the full measure of the punishment from Heaven—and mitigating the punishment that has already been inflicted upon the Church and the world since 1957. This Consecration opens the dam, so to speak, and brings a miraculous flood of grace into the world. As Our Lady promised: “In the end, My Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to Me, and she shall be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world.”
There are some who say that Russia was consecrated to the Immaculate Heart in 1982 and again in 1984, when the Pope conducted consecration ceremonies in which he mentioned the world, but not Russia. A consecration of the world, they say, is as good as a consecration of Russia because, after all, Russia is part of the world. They persist in this facile argument even as they themselves witness the worsening condition of the Church and the world since those two ceremonies were conducted. We have not seen anything even resembling the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart since 1982 and 1984, but only growing immorality and unrest in the world, and what John Paul II himself called “a silent apostasy” in the Church. Clearly, Pope John Paul’s 1982 and 1984 consecrations have not led to the results which Our Lady promised would occur after the Consecration of Russia.
As the dictionary explains, the word “consecration” means the “sanctification of something by setting it apart (usually with religious rites) as dedicated to God.”4 To consecrate a thing—that is, to sanctify it by setting it apart from other things—one must obviously specify the thing being consecrated and set apart. When a new church is consecrated for Catholic worship by a bishop, for example, the bishop must specify in the ritual that he is consecrating that particular church, or else it will not be consecrated. Likewise, a cemetery cannot be consecrated as hallowed ground for Catholic burials unless that particular parcel of land is specified by the bishop as the object of the consecration.
It would be completely absurd for someone to say that a bishop could consecrate a new church or a new cemetery by simply consecrating his whole diocese without ever specifying the particular church building or the cemetery grounds. Yet that absurdity is advanced by some to justify the claim that the 1982 and 1984 ceremonies by Pope John Paul II, consecrating the world to the Immaculate Heart, were also consecrations of Russia. Common sense is enough to tell us that Russia cannot be consecrated—sanctified by being set apart from the world—in a ceremony that does not even mention Russia, much less set it apart from the other nations of the world.
We have something more than common sense to guide us on this point. Sister Lucy made it plain repeatedly that what Our Lady wanted was the Consecration of Russia, not the world. She emphasized this point many times. Let us consider a few examples.
In 1947, the eminent Catholic historian William Thomas Walsh recounted in his definitive history of Fatima, Our Lady of Fatima, that “Lucy made it plain that Our Lady did not ask for the consecration of the world to Her Immaculate Heart. What She demanded specifically was the consecration of Russia.” He noted:
“Sister Lucy said more than once, and with deliberate emphasis: ‘What Our Lady wants is that the Pope and all the bishops in the world shall consecrate Russia to Her Immaculate Heart on one special day. If this is done She will convert Russia, and there will be peace. If it is not done, the errors of Russia will spread through every country in the world.’”
As reported by Father Thomas McGlynn in his book Vision of Fatima (p. 80), in 1949 Sister Lucy corrected his misunderstanding of Our Lady’s request by insisting: “No, not the world, Russia, Russia.” It is striking that this obedient and submissive nun felt obliged to strongly correct a priest on this point.
In 1952, the Virgin Mary Herself said to Sister Lucy: “Make it known to the Holy Father that I am always awaiting the Consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart. Without the Consecration of Russia, Russia will not be able to convert nor will the world have peace.”
In 1982 L’Osservatore Romano reported that in 1978 Sister Lucy had been asked by her confidant Father Pasquale Umberto, S.D.B.: “Has Our Lady ever spoken to you about the consecration of the world to Her Immaculate Heart?” She replied: “No, Father Umberto, never. At the Cova da Iria in 1917, Our Lady promised, ‘I shall come to ask for the Consecration of Russia.’”
In a letter to Pope Pius XII, Sister Lucy had referred to a consecration of the world with an explicit mention of Russia. When Father Umberto asked her why she had done so, she answered: “In replying to your question, I will clarify. Our Lady of Fatima, in Her request, only referred to the Consecration of Russia. In the letter I wrote to the Holy Father on the instruction of my confessor, I asked for the consecration of the world with explicit mention of Russia.” Sister Lucy, being obedient and submissive, followed the suggestion of her confessor and added a request for consecration of the world to what Our Lady had requested. She stressed, nevertheless, that Our Lady had not asked for this, but only for the Consecration of Russia. The witness chosen by God could not and would not deviate from the Message she had been given.
Accordingly, Sister Lucy could not fail to speak the truth when officially asked by the Pope’s personal representative if the 1982 ceremony had fulfilled Our Lady’s request. On March 19, 1983 she told the Papal Nuncio, His Excellency Archbishop Portalupi, in the presence of Dr. Lacerda and Father Messias Coelho that:
“In the act of offering of May 13, 1982, Russia did not appear as being the object of the consecration… The Consecration of Russia has not been done as Our Lady had demanded it.”
On March 22, 1984—two days before the 1984 consecration of the world—Sister Lucy told her old friend, Mrs. Eugenia Pestana: “That consecration cannot have a decisive character.”
In September 1985, eighteen months after the 1984 consecration of the world, Sister Lucy was interviewed by Sol de Fatima magazine, the publication of the Blue Army in Spain and said the following:Question: Has he [John Paul II] not therefore done what was requested at Tuy?
Finally, on July 20, 1987, Sister Lucy, on her way to vote as commanded by her superior, told journalist Enrique Romero that the Consecration of Russia had not been done as requested.
In view of this repeated and unwavering testimony over a period of some seventy years (1917-1987), claims that Sister Lucy later “changed her mind” and came to “agree” that Russia was consecrated without mention of Russia are not worthy of belief. Such claims would have Sister Lucy rejecting not only what Our Lady specifically requested of her, and all of her own prior testimony, but also reason and common sense.
Moreover, the claims that Sister Lucy suddenly changed her testimony are surrounded by suspicious circumstances as had been amply demonstrated elsewhere.5 These circumstances include the sudden appearance of computer-generated letters from Sister Lucy, who never used a computer; Sister Lucy being rendered inaccessible to independent interviewers after 1960; and the suppression of the definitive study of the Message of Fatima by Father Joaquin Maria Alonso, S.T.D., Ph.D, who for sixteen years was the official archivist of Fatima during which time he interviewed Sister Lucy on numerous occasions.6
Some have suggested that Pope John Paul II declared that he had done the Consecration in the manner Our Lady requested. The evidence, however, makes it clear that His Holiness knew he had not done so.
On May 19, 1982, six days after the 1982 consecration of the world, John Paul II stated: “I tried to do everything possible in the concrete circumstances to emphasize the collegial unity of the Bishop of Rome with all his brothers in episcopal ministry and service in the world.”
During the consecration ceremony of 1984, and after he had pronounced the words “entrusting” the world, but not Russia, to the Immaculate Heart, the Pope spontaneously added these words: “Enlighten especially the peoples of which You Yourself are awaiting our consecration and confiding.” The Pope thus publicly acknowledged that the consecration requested by Our Lady had still not been performed. These words were included in an official report of the event in L’Osservatore Romano on March 26, 1984.
The next day in the Italian bishops’ newspaper, Avvenire, a report appeared in which the Pope is quoted as follows during his remarks in St. Peter’s Basilica, several hours after the consecration ceremony:
“We wished to choose this Sunday, the Third Sunday of Lent, 1984—still within the Holy Year of Redemption—for the act of entrusting and consecration of the world, of the great human family, of all peoples, especially those who have a very great need of this consecration and entrustment, of those peoples for whom You Yourself are awaiting our act of consecration and entrusting.”
Thus, hours after the 1984 ceremony was over, the Pope continued to say that Our Lady was still awaiting the Consecration of Russia to Her Immaculate Heart. In the same remarks, he repeated his sentiment of 1982, that he had done all he could in the circumstances: “We have been able to do all this according to our poor human possibilities and the measure of human weakness, but with immense confidence in Your maternal love and immense confidence in Your maternal solicitude.”
Why would the Pope refrain from mentioning Russia in a consecration ceremony that was obviously supposed to have Russia as its object? What were the “concrete circumstances,” “poor human possibilities” and “human weakness” that had limited his ability to act? We have the answer to these questions from a highly placed Vatican source, quoted in Inside the Vatican (November 2000): “Rome fears that the Russian Orthodox might regard it as an offense if Rome were to make specific mention of Russia in such a prayer, as if Russia especially is in need of help when the whole world, including the post-Christian West, faces profound problems.”
We know, then, the Pope was advised not to make specific mention of Russia in any consecration ceremony for fear of offending the Russian Orthodox by singling out their nation for Heaven’s special intervention, even though that is precisely what Our Lady requested. The result, of course, is that the ceremonies of 1982 and 1984 were designed, for diplomatic and ecumenical reasons, precisely not to give the impression that Russia was being specially consecrated. Is it reasonable to ask Catholics to believe that Russia was consecrated in ceremonies that deliberately omitted any reference to Russia? How does one consecrate a place by refusing to mention the place lest its inhabitants be offended? Does anyone seriously believe that events over the past twenty-three years bespeak Russia’s conversion, the triumph of the Immaculate Heart, and a period of peace in the world?
As we have seen, since the ceremonies of 1982 and 1984 and despite the “fall of Communism” in 1991, Russia has become a virtual dictatorship under Vladimir Putin. Under his rule there has certainly been no conversion of Russia to Roman Catholicism nor even a tendency in that direction. Indeed, Putin is persecuting the Catholic Church. Under a 1997 Russian law, the Church is subjected to severe legal constraints on her very existence, while Russian Orthodoxy, Islam, Buddhism and Judaism are given privileged status. Key Catholic clerics, including the Bishop of Siberia, have been expelled from Russia as “dangerous to the Russian federation,” leading Archbishop Kondrusiewicz to protest:
“Catholics in Russia ask themselves what will happen next. Are the constitutional guarantees valid also for them, including liberty of conscience? And what of the right to have their own pastors which comprises inviting them from abroad, not forgetting that for 81 years the Catholic Church [in Russia] was deprived of the right of forming and ordaining its own priests?”
In short, Putin has positively prevented any conversion of Russia to Catholicism, which is the only conversion Our Lady of Fatima promised. As Father Alonso, the official Fatima archivist, noted:
“… [W]e should affirm that Lucia always thought that the ‘conversion’ of Russia is not to be limited to the return of the Russian People to the Orthodox Christian religions, rejecting the Marxist atheism of the Soviets, but rather, it refers purely, plainly and simply to the total, integral conversion of Russia to the one true Church of Christ, the Catholic Church.”
Russia has not even undergone a conversion to Russian Orthodoxy! In fact, 94 percent of Russians aged 18 to 29 do not even go to church. They live as pagans.
Some suggest that the “conversion” of which Our Lady promised was a conversion away from Communism to democracy. It is clear, however, that Russia has not even “converted” in this way. Putin has seized the authority to appoint all local governors, used state entities to acquire and shut down all opposition TV stations and major newspapers, ended broadcasts of Radio Free Europe and Voice of America, and placed under Kremlin surveillance and control all non-government organizations in Russia. The New York Times concluded that “Vladimir Putin has indeed reversed the democratizing courses that were set clumsily and incompletely by Boris Yeltsin, and he is using Russia’s vast reservoirs of oil and gas as tools of intimidation and blackmail.”7
There has certainly been no moral conversion in Russia. Since the 1982 and 1984 ceremonies, the Russian population has been declining by 700,000 to 800,000 persons each year due in large measure to the fact that Russian women undergo 13 abortions for every 10 live births. Newly affluent Russian women, in a society that is still overwhelmingly impoverished, are using the cells of aborted babies for beauty treatments. Alcoholism, crime and pornography are rampant and life expectancy has declined substantially since “the fall of Communism.” The average Russian male in 1990 lived to 68 years of age; today he lives to age 60. The leading causes of death are alcoholism and violence. Obviously, Russia has not converted even to the Natural Law.
Lastly, there has also not been a “conversion to peace” in Russia. Putin has entered into a military alliance with Red China, with which Russia recently staged joint military exercises, and he recently announced that Russia has developed hypersonic ballistic missiles that can change course in mid-flight and evade any existing missile defense system.
Thus, as a spiritually and morally bankrupt Russia ruled by a virtual dictator prepares for war, some Catholics are foolish enough to suggest that Russia has undergone a “miraculous transformation” because of the 1982 and 1984 consecration ceremonies that deliberately made no mention of Russia despite Our Lady of Fatima’s request. That such a conclusion is untenable is obvious.
Thus, the Consecration of Russia remains undone, and Russia remains unconverted in every sense of the word. Moreover, since the ceremonies of 1982 and 1984, it cannot be said that the world has entered into a period of peace, as promised by Our Lady of Fatima if the Consecration of Russia was properly done. Indeed, since those consecrations there has only been an increase in war, bloodshed, apostasy from God, and the moral corruption of men and nations on every continent, along with an increase in natural disasters. The Church herself has been wracked by one scandal after another. In the present state of affairs in the Church and in the world, it is impossible to see the triumph of the Immaculate Heart—the promised fruit of Russia’s consecration.
This conclusion was also reached by Antonio Socci, the respected Italian Catholic author and journalist, in his recent book, The Fourth Secret of Fatima, which we have discussed above. Socci, a man of good will and intellectual honesty and by no means an extremist, could not ignore the evidence that Our Lady’s request has simply not been obeyed.
Like Socci, no Catholic of good will can ignore the evidence. The Consecration of Russia has not yet been done and, as a result, our time grows short. A punishment of the world greater than the deluge is fast approaching. How many times must Heaven warn us before we will listen? Have we not already received our final warning?
Yet God will spare us if we heed His commands. When the prophet Jonah warned the Ninevites that their city would be destroyed by a divine chastisement because of its immorality, the king covered himself in sackcloth and ashes, declared days of penance and fasting for the entire city, and decreed that “every man shall turn from his evil way and from the violence he has in hand. Who knows, God may relent and forgive, and withhold His blazing wrath, so that we shall not perish.” God did withhold His punishment, because He “saw by their actions how they turned from their evil way… He did not carry it out.”8
If the Ninevites heeded the warning of Jonah concerning the divine chastisement of their city, how can we Catholics not heed the warning of the very Mother of God concerning the divine chastisement of the whole world?
That is why we priests must initiate a great movement for adherence to the Message of Fatima by every member of the Church. Each of us must begin this movement by reforming himself and becoming no less than an apostle of Fatima. As Sister Lucy said, we cannot wait for initiatives to be taken by those in authority above us:
“… we should not wait for an appeal to the world to come from Rome on the part of the Holy Father, to do penance. Nor should we wait for the call to penance to come from our bishops in our dioceses, nor from the religious congregations. No! Our Lord has already very often used these means, and the world has not paid attention. That is why now, it is necessary for each one of us to begin to reform himself spiritually. Each person must not only save his own soul but also help the souls that God has placed on our path.”
As priests, we have a particular commission to care not only for our own souls but for the souls of those faithful that God has placed on our path. Indeed, it is the diocesan priest who has the immediate responsibility for the spiritual welfare of those in his flock, and who will need to be in the forefront of the reform called for by Sister Lucy to avert divine punishment of our rebellious world.
No one priest can do this alone. We must act together and we were given the program for such concerted action by the Mother of God at Fatima. We priests must follow that program together even if no one else will.Notes