This series is being written because of the immense importance of Fatima for the modern world.
THIS YEAR THE CHURCH IS CELEBRATING the centenary of the appearance of the Mother of God at Fatima, Portugal in 1917. Since that time Fatima has become the world’s most prominent center of Marian devotion, a place that John Paul II referred to as the “Marian capitol of the world.” Given the fact that the Our Lady of Fatima precisely foretold the outbreak of World War II, the rise of communism and the persecution of the Church, Her other prophecies concerning the conversion of Russia to be correlated with an “Era of Peace” are of especial relevance since, unlike the former that have already occurred, these prophesied events are in the process of occurring. Any impartial observer of global events can discern the Hand of God at work in the world as Russia is being converted and the nations of the world are one by one in the process of rejecting global liberalism while many are reasserting their Christian patrimonies (Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Africa, Poland, France, Asia, Argentina, Middle East).
While New Era has been reporting on these changes since its inception, secular and liberal pundits have also begun to observe the many changes occurring world-wide. They are, however, misinterpreting, and thus misrepresenting, them as a political movements, movements referred to as “Populist“, when in fact these are primarily moral, cultural, spiritual and religious movements. Unlike other populist movements that have focused on economic and social justice, equal rights for the little guy etc. this new “populist movement” differs from the such movements because of its global scope and because it is characterized by moral and spiritual dimensions including the frothy rejection of liberalism that, all taken together, indicate or hint at its religious nature. Although the movement has profound political ramifications, it is not political in essence. At its core, the populist movement sweeping the globe is related to Our Lady’s promises made at Fatima, promises pertaining to the “Conversion of Russia” and a corollary “Era of Peace“. This highly unusual global movement has a religious or theological etiology that intersects with politics, what New Era refers to as theo-politcal or “Theopolitcs“.
It behooves everyone, Catholic, Protestant and non-Christian to know the Fatima message due to the impot of its contents, contents that are unfolding in front of our eyes on a daily basis. The current spiritual movement was foreseen by St. Louis Marie de Montfort. De Montfort is a highy significant saint for our times. His evangelical work is so exceptional , that another saint, Saint John Paul II exhorted the “apostles of today” to draw inspiration from his life and work
“Now that the need for a new evangelization has become imperative in most parts of the world, Fr de Montfort’s zeal for the Word of God, his solicitude for the very poor, his ability to make himself understood by the simplest folk and to stimulate their piety, his qualities for organizing, his initiatives to sustain fervour by founding spiritual movements and to involve the laity in the service of the poor, all that, with practical adaptations, can inspire the apostles of today” (Letter on 50th anniversary of de Montfort’s canonization).
De Montfort’s facund treatises on the Virgin Mary are so exceptional that John Paul II (in his Encyclical Redemptoris Mater) recommended de Montfort’s Marian spirituality to all the faithful:
“Marian spirituality, like its corresponding devotion, finds a very rich source in the historical experience of individuals and of the various Christian communities present among the different peoples and nations of the world. In this regard, I would like to recall, among the many witnesses and teachers of this spirituality, the figure of Saint Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort, who proposes consecration to Christ through the hands of Mary, as an effective means for Christians to live faithfully their baptismal commitments”.
One of the main reasons for De Montfort’s contemporary relevance is his perspicacious understanding of the role of the Virgin Mary in the “End Times”, times which we are entering.
How do we know we are entering the end times? One complex and difficult way is the study of sacred scripture especially eschatological literature. A more simple approach is the fact that Jesus promised to be with His Church until the end of time:
“Behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world” (Matt 28:20)
And that the Holy Trinity would reveal to the Church all that was going to happen:
“I have yet many things to say to you: but you cannot bear them now. But when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will teach you all truth. For he shall not speak of himself; but what things soever he shall hear, he shall speak; and the things that are to come, he shall shew you” (John 16: 12-13).
Then, years after His Ascension, Jesus appeared to Saint John on the island of Patmos and He has continued to appear to His saints at special times throughout history.
“And I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks: And in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks, one like to the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the feet, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. And his head and his hairs were white, as white wool, and as snow, and his eyes were as a flame of fire, And his feet like unto fine brass, as in a burning furnace. And his voice as the sound of many waters. And he had in his right hand seven stars. And from his mouth came out a sharp two edged sword: and his face was as the sun shineth in his power.”
“And when I had seen him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying: Fear not. I am the First and the Last, And alive, and was dead, and behold I am living for ever and ever, and have the keys of death and of hell. Write therefore the things which thou hast seen, and which are, and which must be done hereafter” (Revelation 1: 12-19).
In the 20th century Jesus revealed Himself to a highly regarded Polish saint, Saint Faustina Kowalska, a poor Polish nun to whom Jesus appeared prior to World War II. Among other things, He confided to her His love for humanity, His desire to bless the world with an outpouring of Divine Mercy before His final coming as “Just Judge”. he also revealed His special love for the nation of Poland from which He said would come the “spark” that would prepare the world for His Second Coming in Glory.
Saint Faustina Divine Mercy Message and the End Times
The Divine Mercy Message and Devotion is based on revelations given by Jesus Christ to Saint Faustina who recorded the revelations she received about the Mercy of God in a voluminous diary, which contains the Message of Divine Mercy (PDF), mercy that God intends for all humanity, especially for those most steeped in sin. Thanks to the love and work of Saint Faustina, Devotion to the Divine Mercy has spread throughout the world.
(c) Knights of Columbus Supreme Council
Devotion to Divine Mercy has gained the highest approbation of the Catholic Church. It has been placed on the universal liturgical calendar of the Church as the Feast of Divine Mercy celebrated on the first Sunday after Easter, also the day on which Pope John Paul II, the “Pope of Mercy” breathed his last breath as the Vicar of Christ and “Apostle of Mercy.”
“I bear a special love for Poland, and if she will be obedient to My will, I will exalt her in might and holiness. From her will come forth the spark that will prepare the world for My final coming” (Diary, 1732).
In the presence of President Andrej Duda, Prime Minister, Beata Szydło, and other ranking state officials the bishops prayed: “We entrust to you the Polish people and Polish leaders. Let them exercise their power fairly and in accordance with Your laws.”
“Rule us, Christ! Reign in our homeland and reign in every nation — for the greater glory of the Most Holy Trinity and the salvation of mankind.”
The Polish Parliament (Sejm) announced its conviction that the Mother of God has a place of “special importance” for the nation, so special that they, the Polish Parliament itself, have officially declared 2017 as a jubilee year in honor of Mary whose coronation they have formality recognized as Queen of Poland.
“The Polish Sejm, convinced of the special importance of Marian devotion for our homeland – not only in the religious aspect, but also social, cultural and patriotic – establishes 2017 (as) the Year of the 300th anniversary of the Coronation of the image of Our Lady of Czestochowa,”
Russia is being converted as promised at Fatima, but Poland has stepped forward igniting the flame of love promised by Jesus. From Poland is coming forth the spark of spiritual renewal, of life giving and cleansing mercy, that flows from the Heart of Christ the King.
Jesus told Saint Faustina that Poland would be the instrumental “spark” that would prepare the world for His “final coming”. Images of that spark that is igniting a fire across Europe and beyond can be viewed in the video below (be sure to activate English subtitles by pressing “CC”).
We are living in the “Hour of Mercy”, the time preparatory to Christ’s final coming, a time foreseen by St. Louis Marie de Montfort, a time, in his words, when
“…great men filled with the Holy Spirit and imbued with the spirit of Mary” who will destroy sin and establish the kingdom of Jesus Christ.”
“They are the “great souls filled with . . . zeal” (True Devotion 48), “superior to all creatures by their great zeal” (True Devotion 54). The action of the “true apostles of the end times” (True Devotion 58) consists of spreading “the fire of divine love” everywhere; they are themselves “a flaming fire” (True Devotion 56). In the battle against evil and the enemies of God, these great saints “will become, in Mary’s powerful hands, like sharp arrows,” and they will leave “an odor of death” among the worldly (True Devotion 56). Their work will not be limited to reforming the Church, but will include extending it to “the idolators and Muslims” (True Devotion 59).
De Montfort wrote of the Second Coming of Christ to “reign over all the earth and to judge the living and the dead”. Prior to His coming, he foresaw “great men filled with the Holy Spirit and imbued with the spirit of Mary”, men whom he said will “destroy sin and establish the kingdom of Jesus Christ.” Poland has already taken the first steps in bringing this eschatological vision of De Montfort to fruition. As of November 1, 2016, Jesus Christ is the King of Poland
“These great souls filled with grace and zeal will be chosen to oppose the enemies of God who are raging on all sides. They will be exceptionally devoted to the Blessed Virgin. Illumined by her light, strengthened by her spirit, supported by her arms, sheltered under her protection, they will fight with one hand and build with the other.”
De Montfort concludes:
“Towards the end of the world … Almighty God and His holy Mother are to raise up saints who will surpass in holiness most other saints as much as the cedars of Lebanon tower above little shrubs….Mary scarcely appeared in the first coming of Christ. … But in the second coming of Jesus Christ, Mary must be known and openly revealed by the Holy Spirit so that Jesus may be known, loved and served through her.”
All the above provide strong reason to believe that the world is entering (or has already entered) into a graced moment of sacred history, a time that Jesus, Himself, said was preparatory to His final coming, a time that has been confirmed by the highest authority in the Church, a time in which the Virgin Mary’s Fatima prophecies pertaining to the conversion of Russia and a corollary Era of Peace are being fulfilled. Since there is strong reason to believe what Our Lady foretold at Fatima is upon us (during this 100th anniversary year of Her 1917 appearances), it is through this “Fatima Lens” that we can correctly discern what is happening around the globe – the so-called global populist phenomenon is a prodigious phenomenon related to Fatima and the coming Christian renewal during an Era of Peace prior to the final onslaught by the anti-Christ at the end of the world.
It is the purpose of this “Fatima Series” to familiarize the reader with the Fatima Message beginning with the three visits by the archangel Michael in 1916, followed by six visits of Our Lady in 1917 and other visits to Sister Lucia at Tuy and Pontevedra, Spain and Rianjo. The series will also include an article on the Three Secrets of Fatima and another about the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart. This later article will conclude the series; it is also the most contentious issue in Fatima circles. There are many strong Catholic traditionalists who argue that the consecration requested by Our Lady has not been fulfilled because She specifically asked for the consecration of “Russia”, but John Paul II, who made the consecration in 1984, did not mention Russia.
“In a special way we entrust and consecrate to you those individuals and nations which particularly need to be entrusted and consecrated.”
“In entrusting to you, oh Mother, the world, all individuals and peoples, we also entrust to you this very consecration of the world, placing it in your motherly Heart.”
Because he did not mention “Russia” specifically, many have wrongly concluded that the consecration is invalid – even though affirmed by every pope since John Paul II and by Sister Lucia herself.
New Era will demonstrate the erroneous nature of this false contention. Using the formal Fatima literature accepted by both parties (those who accept and those who reject the validity of John Paul II’s 1984 consecration) it will be demonstrated that Pope John Paul II’s 1984 Act of Consecration accurately fulfill’s Our Lady’s requests and that the far-right Fatima detractors are not only disobedient but also in gross error.
In fact, for the first time it will be shown from the Fatima documents themselves that it was the “world” not “Russia” that should have been consecrated In other words, John Paul II after studying the literature brought to him in Gemelli Hospital (where he was treated and recovering from assassin’s wounds) acted correctly: The “world” not just “Russia” needed to be consecrated. The pope was not derelict in his papal duties; he was not hemmed in by diplomatic agreements (ostpolitik), nor did he suffer from fear of Communist retaliation as maintained by many ultra-traditionalists. John Paul II acting in his role as Supreme Pontiff understood the Fatima Message and its cultural and historical contexts, the contexts in which it was given in 1917 and in which the Church was living in 1984. After conducting an exhaustive and prayerful study of the documents, graced by wounds he united to the blood of Christ, he purposefully worded the consecration the way it was delivered because it was the correct prayer formula as requested by both Our Lord and Our Lady as will be shown.
UNDERSCORING THE IMPORTANCE OF FATIMA FOR THE MODERN WORLD
Beginning with Pope Pius XII, every modern pope has either pointed out the importance of Fatima, visited Fatima, or consecrated “humanity”, the “world”, or “Russia” to Our Lady of Fatima. Modern papal consecrations include:
- Pope Pius XII October 31, 1942 consecrated all of humanity over Vatican radio in Portuguese to the Immaculate Heart of Mary
- Pope Pius XII December 28, 1942 repeated the consecration at St. Peter’s
- Then on July 7, 1952, the same pope consecrated all the people in Russian lands to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
- Pope Paul VI November 21, 1964 renewed in the presence of the Fathers of the Vatican Council (but without their participation) the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart.
- Pope John Paul II May 13, 1982 on a trip to Fatima to thank Virgin for miraculous recovery, consecrated the world to the Mother of all Peoples.
- Then on March 25, 1984, Pope John Paul II conducted a worldwide collegial consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary at St. Peter’s Square before statue of Our Lady of Fatima flown in from Fatima.
Later Sister Lucia, the last survivor of the three children to whom Our Lady appeared in 1917, confirmed the validity of the March 25 consecration made by Pope John Paul II
WHERE IS FATIMA AND WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT?
Fatima is situated in the foothills of the Serra de Aire Mountains about one hundred miles north of Lisbon, Portugal. It has become a worldwide pilgrimage destination and international shrine visited by every modern pope as a place of human spiritual and social renewal. Saint John Paul II referred to Fatima as the, “Marian capitol of the world.” Fatima was once a little known Portuguese village, until a series of three angelic apparitions prepared the way for a visitation by Blessed Virgin Mary to three small children thereafter drawing more than four million visitors annually to the site. Fatima is of such contemporary importance that one of the first actions taken by newly elected Pope Francis was to consecrate his entire pontificate to Our Lady of Fatima. This was followed by World Youth Day in Rio de Janero, which he also consecrated to Our Lady of Fatima. Then, on Oct. 13, 2013 he consecrated the entire world to Our Lady of Fatima followed by conversations with Vladimir Putin relevant to Christianity in the modern world and the role of Russia in defending Christians in the Middle East as will be detailed in this series of articles on Fatima.
The first apparition of Our Lady took place on May 13, 1917, just prior to the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia. On this date the Mother of Jesus appeared at Fatima to three shepherd children, Lucia Santos and her cousins Jacinta and Francisco Marto. She came to turn the nations embroiled in world war back to God and to make an appeal for world peace.
Thereafter, she visited the children on the 13th of every month for six consecutive months making a number of prophecies now popularly known as the “Three Secrets of Fatima.” According to the official Catholic interpretation, the three secrets involve Hell, World War I and World War II, and the attempted assassination by gunshot of Pope John Paul II. The apparitions culminated with the unprecedented “Miracle of the Sun,” which she performed before a gathering of some 70,000 pilgrims and skeptics (including atheists and Free Masons) on October 13, 1917 as she had said she would so that “all might believe”.
The Virgin Mary told the children that Holy Mother Russia, the bastion of Orthodox Christianity, would become a communist nation and that it would lead a world-wide persecution of the church and that various nations would be annihilated.
She also told the children that in the end Russia would be converted if and when the pope in union with all the bishops of the world consecrated Russia to her Immaculate Heart.
After much stalling, intrigue and diplomacy, as mentioned above, Pope John Paul II finally made the requested consecration on March 25, 1984. He was moved to do this for several reasons, chief among them the would-be assassin’s bullets that struck him landed on May 13, the Feast Day of Our Lady of Fatima, which he was celebrating in Rome. In his own words,
“It was a mother’s hand that guided the bullet’s path and in his throes the Pope halted at the threshold of death” (Pope John Paul II, Meditation from the Policlinico Gemelli to the Italian Bishops, 13 May 1994).
While recovering in Rome’s Gemelli Hospital he had the Fatima texts removed from the Vatican Archives and personally presented to him. Lying in the hospital, prayerfully studying the Fatima dossier, he recognized himself as the pope “dressed in white” spoken about in the “third secret”, the pope whom Our Lady referred to when she told the children that the “holy father” would have much to suffer, implicitly at the hands of the communists.
Pope John Paul II Recognized Himself as the Pope Dressed in White in the Third Secret of Fatima
Subsequently, he had the bullet removed from his body sent to Fatima to be placed in the crown of the Virgin statue. Then, on March 25, 1984, he proceeded to consecrate the world to Our Lady of Fatima in union with the bishops. Following that collegial act he then also decided to publicly reveal the much guarded “Third Secret of Fatima” for the first time since it was given to the children in 1917.
Pope John Paul II Consecrating the World to Our Lady of Fatima
Following the 1984 papal consecration, as promised, communism was toppled, the Solidarity movement gained momentum in Poland, the Berlin wall came down and one after another the nations behind the “Iron Curtain” were given political and then religious freedom – Russia was being converted as Our Lady of Fatima had promised.
The granting of religious freedom in Russia was followed by an increasing number of significant events including the removal of the communist flag from over the Kremlin for the last time on Christmas day, December 25, 1991 thereby symbolizing the end of atheistic communism and foreshadowing the return of Russia as a world power to its ancient Christian patrimony—the rebirth of Christianity on Christmas day.
A new spring-time was occurring in the North. Russia had reemerged as a sovereign nation granting religious freedom to Christians and other world religions. and then Vladimir Putin committed Russia to the protection of Christians throughout the Middle East. On June 1, 2010, President Dmitry Medvedev signed a new law commemorating July 28 as a national holiday thereby officially recognizing the founding of Russia as a Christian nation with the baptism of Prince Vladimir in Kiev in 988. Speaking at the annual celebration commemorating the “Baptism of the Russ,” he said:
“The continual work of the Russian Orthodox Church will affect the revival of Christianity in our nation. Thanks to the Orthodox faith, Russian culture through the years, has acquired Biblical values on which the system of moral ideals for our nation is built” (US Department of State, 2010).
It is the purpose of this “Fatima Series” to familiarize the reader with Fatima beginning with the three visits by the archangel Michael in 1916, followed by six visits of Our Lady in 1917 and other visits to Sister Lucia at Tuy and Pontevedra, Spain and Rianjo. In all there were 14 apparitions and locutions: Three angelic apparitions prior to the six consecutive appearances of Our Lady in 1917. These were followed by five more post 1917 apparitions/locutions to Sister Lucia from 1925 through 1931 and several important communications between Sister Lucia and her spiritual director that are essential to the Message of Fatima.
The following articles will focus on the essential communications that took place on each of these dates. Description of the apparitions are borrowed from Sister Lucia’s Memoirs: “Fatima in Lucia’s Own Words” (2007), Fatima, Portugal.