Re: The Fatima Crusader, Issue 79
Because of the generosity of thousands of Catholics in North America, we are able to send this issue of The Fatima Crusader, Issue 79, to you. Their belief in the importance of the Message of Our Lady of Fatima has made it possible both to print this issue and pay for the postage.
Both the members of this lay apostolate and our supporters hope that in sending this and other issues of The Fatima Crusader to you, you will likewise embrace Our Lady's Message and its importance, and share it with your parishioners and those whom God has placed on your path.
Often the question arises, why promote Fatima as distinct from other Marian apparitions? Certainly there are many wonderful Marian apparitions approved by the Church but Fatima stands apart for very important reasons:
Our Lady came to Fatima in direct response to the appeal of the Vicar of Christ. In 1917, World War I had already been raging for 3 years. The Pope at the time, Pope Benedict XV, recognizing that human efforts alone did not and could not bring the war to an end, turned to the Holy Mother of God for help.
On May 5, 1917, Pope Benedict XV solemnly appealed to the Blessed Virgin, in a public manner, to show mankind the way to peace. Eight days later, on May 13, She responded to Her Son's Vicar, appearing at Fatima to three shepherd children with a Message to the Pope and to the faithful on how to achieve true peace.
Fatima stands apart from other apparitions because of the Miracle of the Sun. Not only was the miracle itself one of most spectacular proportions, but what made it truly unique was that the miracle was foretold 3 months in advance -- the day, the time and the place when and where the miracle would occur.
We can think of no time since Our Lord Jesus Christ was here on earth, that a miracle was foretold 3 months in advance. Because of that, there were 70,000 people there to witness the miracle.
As we are sure you already know, the sun changed colors, began to spin and then to move in a manner that was outside of all cosmic laws. This was not a brief, two minute miracle, it lasted for over 10 minutes. The sun detached itself from the heavens and began to plunge to earth, frightening all 70,000 people. After dropping a great distance, it stopped and then slowly returned to its proper place in the heavens.
In addition to the above is the fact that no human can stare at the sun without damaging his eyes; yet on that day, at that time, 70,000 people stared at the sun for 10 minutes, without experiencing pain and without damaging their eyes.
Prior to Our Lady's apparition at noon on October 13, 1917, there had been heavy rainfall that morning which had started the night before. Because of that rainfall, the clothes of the pilgrims were drenched, and the ground was a muddy mess. Some people stood ankle deep in mud waiting for the miracle. When the sun plunged toward them, thousands of people fell on their knees in the mud to ask God for mercy and Our Lady's intercession.
After the sun plunged and then receded back into the heavens, everything -- the ground, the clothing of the pilgrims -- was completely dry. Scientists have said that the amount of energy required to do that is equal to that of an atomic bomb, and the energy released there was so great that everything on the ground and all the people should have been incinerated. Yet all were uninjured.
Fatima stands apart from other apparitions -- because of the worldwide, historic implications of Our Lady's Message to Lucy, Jacinta and Francisco. Our Lady told the children that World War I would end but that there would be an even greater war if mankind did not heed Her requests.
She foretold that the greater war would begin during the reign of Pius XI -- which is exactly what happened. She also said that if Her requests were not heeded, then Russia would spread her errors throughout the world, raising up wars and persecutions against the Church. She said the good would be martyred, the Holy Father would have much to suffer, and various nations would be annihilated.
Our Lady said that if Her requests were granted, Russia would be converted. She meant the only thing that conversion means to a Catholic -- She meant conversion to the Catholic Faith.
Causes of Confusion
Somehow this has become confused in more recent times and people think Our Lady was talking about some political change. Why would Heaven care about politics except as to how it applied to or influenced the salvation of a greater number of souls?
However, when Our Lady appeared at Fatima, Russia was not yet a Communist country but was Orthodox. It was not until days after Our Lady's last apparition that the Bolshevik Revolution occurred and a godless, atheistic, Communist government took over.
The other confusion regarding the conversion of Russia seems to involve politics in the sense of not wanting to offend the schismatic Orthodox Church. We are referring to the fact that today, the Consecration of Russia still remains undone.
Pope John Paul II did the consecration of the world on at least two occasions, but not the Consecration of Russia. Some think this is because he did not want to offend the schismatic Orthodox Church. Yet the Mother of God had no qualms in promising that when Her requests were heeded, Russia would be converted to the Catholic Faith and that the whole world would have true peace.
The schismatic Orthodox were the main religious group in Russia when Our Lady appeared at Fatima. She saw no problem with saying they need to convert, so why should we see a problem with it today?
You may be asking yourself, "why are they telling me all this?" We have two reasons.
The first is to respectfully ask you to help us make known the Message of Our Lady of Fatima. Our Heavenly Mother asked certain things of all Catholics when She appeared at Fatima. She asked the lay faithful to amend their lives, offer sacrifices for the conversion of sinners, pray the Rosary daily, and make the First Saturday Communion of Reparation to Her Immaculate Heart.
Please Help Us Reach Out
As lay Catholics we can reach out to individuals one at a time. But you, Father, because of your sacred calling to the priesthood, have the ability to reach hundreds and even thousands in a very short period of time.
So we ask you to reach out to the many souls Our Lord has placed upon your path, with Our Lady's Message, which is so important for their eternal salvation and the salvation of many other souls.
To help you do this, we are prepared to provide you with free literature on the Message of Fatima -- including booklets on how to pray the Rosary, the First Saturday Communion of Reparation, etc.
St. Padre Pio said that when enough of the Catholic faithful are doing what Our Lady of Fatima asked of them, then God will give the graces for the Holy Father to do the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Please Appeal to Your Bishop
The second reason we are telling you all of this is because of your influence with your bishop. Our Lady asked of the Holy Father to consecrate Russia to Her Immaculate Heart in a solemn public ceremony together with all the Catholic Bishops of the world, at the same time.
We are asking you to appeal to your bishop, and any other bishops you may know, to do two things. The first thing is to appeal to the Holy Father to call for the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
The second thing is to ask your bishop to consider (while waiting for the Consecration of Russia to be done) consecrating his diocese to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and perhaps encourage his brother bishops to join him in consecrating our country to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Spanish Bishops Consecrate Spain
You may not be aware of this but recently in Spain, nearly half of the bishops joined together on May 22, 2005, and publicly consecrated their country to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Published reports estimated there were approximately 70,000 people present for this consecration.
After the Consecration by the Spanish bishops, Pope Benedict XVI publicly gave his support of this act.
We know the magnificent promise Heaven has given of what will occur in Russia and throughout the world once Russia is consecrated to Our Lady's Immaculate Heart.
Bishops' Public Consecrations
Draw Down Blessings Upon Their Countries
History has shown that bishops joining together to publicly consecrate their country to the Immaculate Heart of Mary have brought great blessings and protection upon those countries. We have the examples of Portugal in 1931 and again in 1938, and the example of the Diocese of Seville, Spain in 1936.
Following the Consecrations in Portugal there was a three-fold miracle:
1) There was a change in the civil government. The masonically inspired government (which was in control after the 1910 revolution) was replaced by a Catholic government, that was inspired by and reflected the teachings of the Gospel and the laws of Jesus Christ, the King.
2) There was peace within the Portuguese borders and peace with its neighbor, Spain. Portugal was spared from the Spanish Civil War and subsequently Portugal was spared from World War II.
3) The Catholic Church flourished after 1938. There was an increase in vocations to the priesthood and to the religious life; and by 1960, 90% of all marriages were Catholic marriages.
In Seville, Spain, the Archbishop consecrated his diocese to the Immaculate Heart of Mary -- there was not one violent death, or death as a result of the Spanish Civil War, in any section of this diocese. 1,500,000 persons died in the Spanish Civil War -- but not one war-related death occurred in Seville.
We hope we have convinced you that there is simply no Marian apparition to compare to the apparition of Our Lady at Fatima.
In Remembrance of Sister Lucy
The enclosed issue of The Fatima Crusader is dedicated to Sister Lucy, the longest surviving seer of the Fatima apparitions, who died in February of this year at the age of 97.
Her heroic faith and deep personal courage are as real and alive today as they were during the long years of her life. They are a source of great strength and enduring inspiration to us all.
In the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
Lay Faithful of the Fatima Center
Joanna Swords Coralie Graham Andrew Cesanek
Elizabeth Holdsworth Mary Sedore Darlene Jackson