4th Sunday

Our Lady of Fatima – 4th Sunday after Easter – 2020

An angel appeared and said to three small children and said: “What are you doing? Pray! Pray much! The Hearts of Jesus and Mary have merciful designs upon you.  Offer prayers and sacrifices constantly to the Most High.”

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

Europe in the 1910’s was devastated with the deadliest war on record, the “War to end all wars”: with military use of flamethrowers, poisonous gas, powerful artillery, devastatingly powerful shotguns, frightening tanks, and with air raids launched against civilian populations. 18.5M soldiers and civilians lost their lives in the war and additionally some 20M were wounded globally.  Serbia lost up to 27% of it’s population in casualties. France, the UK, Austria, Germany, and Italy’s lost around 4% of their population due to war casualties. 2.3% of the world’s population was either killed or wounded in World War I.  
In addition, the flu pandemic of 1918, infected a third of the world’s population and killed 10% of those infected and up to 3% of the world’s population was killed by the 1918 flu.  To put that into perspective, the deaths of Covid-19 for the world’s population so far has killed .003 percent of the population.  Thus, the flu pandemic of 1918, killed 1000 times more people than Covid-19 so far.  In sum, because of WWI and the 1918 flu, the 1910’s was a devastatingly violent and deadly decade for the entire world popultation losing roughly 4% of its population to these two causes alone.

And it was right in the middle of this decade, beginning in 1915/1916, that an Angel of Peace appeared to three very young children in Fatima, Portugal.  The children were Lucia and her cousins Francisco and Jacinta.  In the Spring of 1916, the first words of the Angel to them were: “Do not be afraid.  I am the Angel of Peace.  Pray with me.”  In the midst of so much sorrow and mourning, Our Lord  sent His messenger to deliver the consoling words of peace and how to obtain peace for our world through prayer.  And like a good pedagogue: the angel taught them the “My God, I believe, I adore” prayer.  The children were left in wonder and awe at the blessing of such a visitation from Heaven.  

Then just a few months later, in the summer of 1916, the same angel appeared to the three children as they were playing and said: “What are you doing?  Pray! Pray much! The Hearts of Jesus and Mary have merciful designs upon you.  Offer prayers and sacrifices constantly to the Most High.”  Imagine if an angel appeared to us on just any given day, any given time, how would we be spending our time?  Would we be praying, meditating, or reading holy books?  Would we be doing our duties? Or would we likely be wasting our time?  It’s not that to be holy we aren’t allowed time for recreation, but it must always be in moderation, if not we fall into sloth which is a predominant vice of our modern society.   I hope these words of the Angel resound in our ears: “Pray! Pray much!”   And Lucia asked the Angel: “How must we sacrifice?” To which the Angel responded: “Make of everything you can a sacrifice and offer it to God as an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended and in supplication for the conversion of sinners.  You will thus draw down peace upon your country.  I am it’s Guardian Angel, the Angel of Portugal…”  By the grace of God, when we’re in the State of Grace, we are a friend/a child of God.  But notice that the angel appeared to little children, telling little children that they have to pray for the conversion of sinners.  What a marvelous revelation!  Interestingly, the Angel didn’t appear to cloistered monks or nuns who do long hours of prayer and penance but to little children still in the world.  Dear parents of little children, I cannot tell you enough the power of the prayers of your children.  You want peace in your family?  Have them pray!  You want peace in the world?  Have them pray!  You want greater saints in the Church!  Have them pray! 
Also, praying for peace and the conversion of sinners is not something optional.  Prayer is a precept of God: meaning it is necessary to do and we’re morally bound to do so.  When members of the Church grow luke-warm and forget to pray, and forget to pray for one another and for sinners, the Church grows more tepid in charity and the power of prayer.  Yes, the Church can grow more tepid – notice I didn’t say lose charity but yes more tepid.  We must pray and do penance for peace the conversion of sinners.  How can we notice tepidity?  In the early Church there were countless virgins who lost their lives because they refused to do one mortal sin of lust.  It was from their martyrdom that the seed of Christianity and the faith was spread.   From their great love of God, they valued their mortal lives as nothing when compared to the eternal glory of God and refused to commit sin.  If only we had more of their zeal, purity, and courage now!
The famous Fr. Faber, a member of the 19th Century Oxford Movement in England, recommended the devotion of praying to Mary that she offer up to the Father the Blood of Her son to stop one mortal sin.  The prayer would be said before going to bed and upon rising the next morning.  The prayer goes as follows: “O Mary, Immaculate Mother of Jesus, offer we beseech Thee, to the Eternal Father, the Precious Blood of Thy Divine Son, to prevent at least one mortal sin from being committed somewhere in the world this day or this night.”  This seems to fall perfectly in line with what the angel was requesting from the children of Fatima, that they pray for a conversion of poor sinners that are led to Hell.  

On May 13, on the following year, 1917, Our Lady appeared to the three children for the first time and said: “Please don’t be afraid of me, I’m not going to harm you. … I am from Heaven… Are you willing to offer yourselves up to God and to bear all sufferings He wills to send you? In atonement for all the sins that offend Him?  And for the conversion of sinners?”  From the beginning, Our Blessed Mother appears to comfort these children and encourage them to appease Our Lord offended by sin and to pray for sinners.  Isn’t this often the case with any mother, she intercedes between children and father, to appease justice on the behalf of the children and yet encouraging her children to better conduct and behavior and to not fight with their siblings.  [pause] Then before ascending Our Lady addressed them her final words: “Pray the Rosary every day in order to obtain peace for the world and the end of the war.”

Then again, Our Lady appeared to Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta on June 13th and said: “…pray the Rosary every day, and learn to read… Jesus wants to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart… Do not be discouraged.  I will never forsake you.  My Immaculate Heart will be your consolation and the way that will lead you to God.”

Then on July 13th: She appeared again and said to the children: “Continue to pray the Rosary every day in honor of Our Lady of the Rosary in order to obtain peace for the world and the end of the war because only She can help you.” And She continued in how they should offer up their sacrifices: “Say many times, especially whenever you make some sacrifice: “O my 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.”  She directs us in how to offer up our sacrifices as a please prayer to God to convert sinners and to appease Our Lady offended by sin.  Yes, sin also offends Mary.  No one loves God more than Mary, no ones’ heart is more in union with His than hers, and so as He’s offended by sin, so is Her Immaculate Heart wounded by our sins.  As She is the Mother of our soul, as Co-Remdemptrix and as Mother of Grace, every sin not only offends God but it wounds our Blessed Mother.  
Then Our Lady showed them Hell as a sea of fire where the souls of poor sinners go and explained that God wanted to establish devotion to Her Immaculate Heart to save poor sinners.  So also warned of a greater and more destructive war unless people stop offending God.  She said: “To prevent this, I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart and the communion of reparation on the First Saturdays.” Yet unfortunately, Russia has still not been consecrated by name and her atheist errors have been spread throughout the world and we certainly are not in an era of peace as many throughout the world are being martyred for their Christian Faith.  Yet Our Lady closes to reassure the children: “In the end, My Immaculate Heart will triumph.  The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me and she will be converted, and an era of peace will be granted to the world.”

Next month, August, in addition to telling the children to continue praying the daily Rosary, Our Lady said: “Pray, pray very much and make sacrifices for sinners.  So many souls go to hell because there is no one to pray and to make sacrifices for them.” 

Our Lady appeared again in September for the fifth time encouraging them to pray the Rosary and that God was pleased with their sacrifices.

Then on October 13th, the long awaited miracle promised by Our Lady was to take place.  After the usual flash of light, Our Lady appeared and said to the children: “A chapel is to be built here in my honor.  I am the Lady of the Rosary.  Continue to pray the Rosary every day.  The war is going to end and the soldiers will son return to their homes.”  And looking very sad, Our Lady added: “Do not offend the Lord, our God, any more, because He is already much offended.”  Then the 100,000 spectators began to see the sun dance in the sky.  In the meantime, St. Joseph and the Holy Infant appeared to the children with Christ blessing the world.  Then Our Lady of Sorrows and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel appeared to the children as the scapular is how Mary recognizes us as devoted to Her Immaculate Heart.  This was the last of the visions of Our Lady publicly to the three children together in the Cova of Fatima.

Shortly before her death in 1920, Our Lady revealed to Jacinta further details.  Jacinta then shared these private revelations.  She said : “The sins that bring most souls to Hell are the sins of the flesh. Certain fashions are going to be introduced which will offend Our Lord very much. Those who serve God should not follow these fashions. The Church has no fashions; Our Lord is always the same. The sins of the world are too great.  Woe to women lacking in modesty …People lose their souls because they do not think about the death of Our Lord and do not do penance...”  Needless to say that since 1920 immodest fashions have eroded the sense of decency: about the sense of modesty, purity, and chastity in attire, in thought, in action - destroying many souls along the way.

Our Lady appeared again to Lucia in 1925 to complete her message about spreading devotion to Her Immaculate Heart.  Look, my daughter, at my Heart, surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce me every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude.  You at least, try to console me and say that I promise to assist at the hour of death, with the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months, shall 1) confess, 2) receive Holy Communion (in the spirit of reparation), 3) recite five decades of the Rosary, and 4) keep me company for fifteen minutes while meditation on the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary, with the intention of making reparation to me.”  

And why 5 first Saturdays?  Our Lord said to Lucia that they correspond to five sorts of offenses and blasphemies against the Immaculate Heart of Mary: 1) against Her Immaculate Conception, 2) Against Her Perpetual Virginity, 3) Against Her Divine Maternity, as Mother of God, 4) by instilling in children’s hearts indifference, contempt, and even hatred of the Immaculate Mother, and 5) by insulting Her directly in Her holy images.
Our Lady revealed elsewhere at Pellevoisin, that what most offends her Immaculate Heart are careless Communions.  Thus, to combat these careless communions, Our Lord and Our Lady requested the communions of reparation on the 1st Saturdays.   In this current pandemic in which many have lost access to the Holy Eucharist, when less than 25% of Catholics know and believe in the True Presence, let us seek to make reparation for past careless and sacrilegious communions by having recourse to Mary’s Immaculate Heart.  

And most recently, Lucia revealed one additional element for our times shortly before her death in 2005.  She wrote to Cardinal Caffara who had been recently asked by the Holy Father to establish a Pontifical Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family.  She wrote him these words: The final battle between the Lord and the kingdom of Satan will be about Marriage and the Family.’ “Don't be afraid”, she added, “because whoever works for the sanctity of Marriage and the Family will always be fought against and opposed in every way, because this is the decisive issue. Then she concluded: ‘nevertheless, Our Lady has already crushed his head’.”  

My dear faithful, what a message for our times: 1) to prayer: The Angel said: “Pray often… constantly offer prayers and sacrifices to the Most High.” Our Lady said in each of Her apparitions to “continue praying the Rosary daily” and particularly for peace.  “Pray, pray very much and make sacrifices for sinners.  So many souls go to hell because there is no one to pray and to make sacrifices for them.” 2) The Angel never ceased to remind the children of the need to do sacrifice to God and penance for sinners: “Make of everything you can a sacrifice and offer it to God as an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended, and in supplication for the conversion of sinners.” I think we’re all suffering from this present pandemic but are we patiently and lovingly offering it up to God?   And Our Lady asked the children on Her first apparition: “Will you offer yourselves to God, and bear all the sufferings that He sends you?  In atonement for all the sins that offend Him?  And the conversion of sinners?” 3) to console God and Our Lady much offended by sin, by doing the 5 first Saturday devotions in the spirit of reparation.  And let us not just be satisfied with doing 5 for the “necessary graces of salvation” but let us continue this practice piously every month.  4) to be modest in attire and pure in thought and action to avoid the sins that lead many souls to Hell.  5) to pray that the Holy Father, in union with all the bishops, will do the consecration of Russia by name to the Immaculate Heart as we pray for an end to atheism and all its errors. 6) to wear our scapular to cloth ourselves with Mary’s protection and remind ourselves of our consecration to hear.  

My dear faithful, 100 years ago humanity was suffering from WWI that killed 1% of its population, today we’re suffering from the war of abortion that kills 25% as 1 in 4 pregnancies worldwide end in abortion.   They were suffering from the 1918 flu that killed 3% of the worldwide population whereas we’re suffering from the coronavirus that has killed .003%.  But Our Lady of Fatima appeared to them calling them to prayer, penance, and conversion.  As we know that Our Lady is the New Eve, the Mother of Life, let us heed Her message at Fatima, let us devoutly pray our Rosary, let us offer up sacrifices and penances for the conversion of sinners, and let us increase our devotion to Our Lady.  To whoever embraces this devotion, I promise salvation: those souls will be cherished by God, as flowers placed by Me to adorn His throne.  Don’t lose heart. I will never forsake you.  My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God.” Amen.

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

1 http://flandersfieldsmusic.com/WWI-statistics.html
3 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_I_casualties
4 https://www.worldometers.info/world-population/world-population-by-year/
5 https://www.livescience.com/spanish-flu.html, https://www.history.com/topics/world-war-i/1918-flu-pandemic
6 https://www.worldometers.info/
7 Spring 1916 – 1st Apparition to the Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta.
8 Summer 1916.
9 Ibid.
10 Ibid.
11 June 13th.
12 July 13th.
13 Ibid.
14 Ibid.
15 Aug. 15, 1917.
16 Sept. 13, 1917.
17 Oct. 13, 1917.
18 Pg 73 - https://fatima.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/The-True-Story-of-Fatima-2018.pdf
20 Aug 15, 1917. 
21 Summer 1916.
22 May 13, 1917. 
23 https://www.upi.com/Health_News/2016/05/12/WHO-One-in-four-pregnancies-worldwide-ends-in-abortion/7281463055002/
24 June 13th, 1917.