Our Lady Returns as She Promised
December 10, 1925.
Promise of Salvation for the
Five First Saturdays
Vision of Our Lady and the Child Jesus where Jesus
asked for compassion on the Heart of His
Most Holy Mother, surrounded with thorns.
Eight years after the Fatima events, when Sister Lucy was living in a convent in Pontevedra, Spain, she experienced another apparition of Our Lady (see picture above). On this occasion, the Virgin returned as She had promised at Fatima to relate the specific requirements for the Communion of Reparation on the First Saturdays.
Lucy, writing in the third person, gives the account of the December 10, 1925, visit of Our Lady and the Child Jesus:
"The Most Holy Virgin appeared to her (Sister Lucy), and by Her side, elevated on a luminous cloud, was the Child Jesus. The Most Holy Virgin rested Her hand on her (Sister Lucy's) shoulder and as She did so, She showed her (Sister Lucy) a heart encircled by thorns, which She was holding in Her other hand. At the same time, the Child said:
"'Have compassion on the Heart of your Most Holy Mother, surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce It at every moment, and there is no one to make an act of reparation to remove them.'"
Then the Most Holy Virgin said to Sister Lucy:
"Look, My daughter at My Heart surrounded by thorns with which ungrateful men pierce Me at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You, at least, try to console Me and announce in My Name that I promise to assist at the moment of death, with all the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months shall confess, receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary, and keep Me company for fifteen minutes while meditating on the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary with the intention of making reparation to Me."
What a charming dialogue in which the Child Jesus and His Mother take turns speaking — He, to plead Her cause, while She makes Her requests … to lead us back to Him.
The devotion of the Communion of Reparation on the Five First Saturdays, mentioned by the Virgin at Fatima on July 13, 1917, and then confirmed at Pontevedra as described above, forms an essential part of the Message of Fatima.
The most astonishing thing at Pontevedra is the incomparable promise made by Our Lady.
The Most Holy Virgin grants there, with unmeasurable generosity, the grace of final perseverance, which not even a holy life of prayer and sacrifice will necessarily merit, for it is always a gratuitous gift of the Divine Mercy. The promise is without any restrictions.
The disproportion between the little devotion requested, and the grace which is attached to it, reveals to us the almost infinite power of intercession conceded to the Blessed Virgin Mary for the salvation of souls.
Let us keep to the letter the promise of Our Lady that whoever will have fulfilled all the wanted conditions, can be sure of obtaining, at least at the moment of death, and even after miserable relapses into a state of grave sin, the graces necessary for salvation in order to obtain God's pardon and be preserved from eternal punishment.
In calling for the Five First Saturdays, Our Lady was, in a way, reiterating the First Saturday devotions previously approved by the Church.
On July 1, 1905, St. Pius X approved and granted indulgences for the practice of the first Saturdays of twelve consecutive months in honor of the Immaculate Conception. On June 13, 1912, finally, he granted new indulgences to the practice of the first Saturday of each month. This practice greatly resembled the request of Pontevedra.
In order to promote the piety of the faithful towards Mary Immaculate, Mother of God, and in order to repair the outrages made against Her holy name and against Her privileges by wicked men, Pius X has granted, for the first Saturday of each month, a plenary indulgence, applicable to the souls in Purgatory.
Later on we will see the special reasons why Our Lady asks for the Five First Saturdays of Reparation.
In late autumn, 1925, Sister Lucy, busy with her duties at the convent, was emptying her garbage can outside the garden.
She recounts: "I had met a child, whom I asked if he knew the Hail Mary. He answered, 'Yes', and I asked him to say it to me to hear him say it. But as he would not say it alone, i recited it three times with him.
"At the end of the three Hail Mary's, I asked him to say it alone. As he remained silent and did not appear capable of saying it alone, I asked him if he knew the church of Saint Mary. He answered, 'Yes'. I then told him to go there every day and to pray thus: 'O my Heavenly Mother, give me Your Child Jesus!' I taught him that prayer and I went away."
"Then on February 15, while returning as usual (to empty a garbage can outside the garden), I found there a child who seemed to be the same one as before, and I asked him: 'Did you ask Our Heavenly Mother for the Child Jesus?'
"The child turned to me and said:
"'And you, have you revealed to the world what the Heavenly Mother asked you?'
"And having said that, He transformed Himself into a resplendent Child.
"Recognizing then that it was Jesus, I said to Him: 'My Jesus! You know what my confessor said to me in the letter I read to You. He said that this vision had to be repeated, there had to be facts permitting us to believe it, and that the Mother Superior alone could not spread this devotion.'"
"It is true that the Mother Superior alone can do nothing, but with My grace, she can do anything. …"
Sister Lucy responded that her confessor said that this devotion already existed in the world because many souls received Him every first Saturday of the month, in honor of Our Lady and the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary.
"It is true, My daughter, that many souls begin, but few persevere to the very end, and those who persevere do it to receive the graces promised. The souls who make the Five First Saturdays with fervor and to make reparation to the Heart of your Heavenly Mother, please Me more than those who make fifteen, but are lukewarm and indifferent."
June 13, 1929.
Promise of World Peace
The Vision of the Most Holy Trinity and Our Lady of Fatima at Tuy, Spain, where Our Lady announced, "The moment has come
" For a complete description of this Vision and its significance, see "The Tuy Apparition" below.
In this Tuy apparition (see picture above), the Blessed Virgin fulfilled the promise She made on July 13, 1917 at Fatima to come back later to ask for the consecration of Russia.
Sister Lucy writes:
"I had requested and obtained permission from my superiors and confessor to make the Holy Hour from 11:00 p.m. until midnight from Thursday to Friday. Being alone one night, I knelt down before the communion rail in the middle of the chapel to say the prayers of the Angel, lying prostrate. Feeling tired, I got up and knelt and continued to say them with my arms in the form of a cross. The only light came from the sanctuary lamp.
"Suddenly a supernatural light illuminated the whole chapel and on the altar appeared a cross of light which reached to the ceiling. In a brighter part could be seen, on the upper part of the cross, the face of a man and His body to the waist; On His breast was an equally luminous dove. And nailed to the cross, the body of another man. A little below the waist, suspended in midair, was to be seen a Chalice and a large Host onto which fell some drops of Blood from the face of the Crucified and from a wound in His breast. These drops ran down over the Host and fell into the Chalice.
"Under the right arm of the cross was Our Lady with Her Immaculate Heart in Her hand … (It was Our Lady of Fatima with Her Immaculate Heart … in Her left hand … without a sword or roses, but with a crown of thorns and flames …)
"Under the left arm (of the cross), some big letters as it were of crystal clear water running down over the Altar, formed these words: 'Grace and Mercy'. I understood that it was the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity that was shown to me, and I received lights about this mystery which I am not permitted to reveal.
"Then Our Lady said to me:
"'The moment has come when God asks the Holy Father to make, in union with all the bishops of the world, the consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart, promising to save it by this means. So numerous are the souls which the justice of God condemns for the sins committed against Me, that I come to ask you for reparation. Sacrifice yourself for this intention and pray.'
"Later on, by means of an interior communication, Our Lord said to me, complaining:
"'They did not want to heed My request! … Like the King of France they will repent and do it, but it will be late. Russia will have already spread its errors throughout the world, provoking wars and persecution against the Church: the Holy Father will have much to suffer."'
Let us point out right away that in 1930, in two letters to Father Goncalves, Sister Lucy was to express in a slightly different manner the requests of Heaven, closely associating the devotion of reparation on the five first Saturdays of the month with the consecration of Russia:
"The good Lord promises to end the persecution in Russia if the Holy Father will himself make a solemn act of reparation and consecration of Russia to the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, as well as ordering all the bishops of the Catholic world to do the same. The Holy Father must then promise that upon the ending of this persecution he will approve and recommend the practice of the reparatory devotion already described."
On May 29, 1930, in the Chapel at Tuy, Sister Lucy felt herself more intimately possessed by the Divine Presence. On behalf of her confessor, she asked Our Lord "Why five Saturdays and not 9, or 7, in honor of the Sorrows of Our Lady?"
"My daughter, the reason is simple. There are five kinds of offenses and blasphemies committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary:
1. Blasphemies against the Immaculate Conception.
2. Blasphemies against Her perpetual Virginity.
3. Blasphemies against Her divine Maternity, while refusing at the same time to recognize Her as the Mother of men.
4. The blasphemies of those who seek publicly to sow in the hearts of children indifference or scorn, or even hatred towards this Immaculate Mother.
5. 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."
We have there one of the most important ideas in the Message of Fatima. God has 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.
As far as Our Savior is concerned, there is not any crime less forgivable than to scorn His Most Holy Mother and to outrage Her Immaculate Heart which is the sanctuary of the Holy Ghost.
In August of 1931, because she was not well and in need of rest, Sister Lucy was sent incognito by her superiors to the small maritime city of Rianjo. Even the people in the house where she was staying did not, at the time, know who she was. It was there in the chapel in Rianjo, which was dedicated to Our Lady, that Our Lord spoke to Sister Lucy as she was praying for the conversion of Spain, Portugal, Europe, Russia and the world.
Jesus spoke to her and said:
"You please me very much by praying for the conversion of those countries. Ask this grace also of My Mother."
Then He dictated two prayers to her and asked that they be prayed often:
"Sweet Heart of Mary, be the salvation of Russia, Spain, Portugal, Europe and the whole world.
"By Thy pure and Immaculate Conception, O Mary, obtain for me the conversion of Russia, Spain, Portugal, Europe and the whole world."
He went on to say:
"Make it known to My ministers, given that they follow the example of the King of France in delaying the execution of My command, like him, they will follow him into misfortune. It will never be too late to have recourse to Jesus and Mary."
He refers to the King of France who had been commanded by Jesus through Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque on June 17, 1689 to consecrate France to His Sacred Heart.
For one hundred years the kings had refused to do this and on June 17, 1789, one hundred years to the day, the King of France was stripped of his power by the Third Estate and four years later publicly executed under the blade of the guillotine.
These are terrifying words. Our Lord would not predict such a dire chastisement for the Pope and the bishops if it were not a serious matter, if they were not obliged to obey.
On January 21, 1935, Sister Lucy wrote to her confessor, Father Goncalves in answer to his questions:
"Regarding the matter of Russia, I think that it would please Our Lord very much if you worked to make the Holy Father comply with His wishes.
"About three years ago, Our Lord was very displeased because His request had not been attended to and I made this fact known to the bishop in a letter. Up to the present, Our Lord has asked nothing more of me, except for prayers and sacrifices. When I am speaking intimately with Him, it seems to me that He is ready to show His mercy toward Russia, as He promised 5 years ago, and which He wishes so much to save.
"… if I think that you should insist with the Bishop? I think that it would please Our Lord very much.
"If you should modify anything? I think that it should be exactly as Our Lord asked it …"
The Message at Rianjo, Spain,
"Make it known …"
Then on July 29 Sister Lucy addressed Father Aparicio:
"I hope that Your Reverence will not have given up on the subject of Russia and the reparatory devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, for Our Lord has entrusted this enterprise especially to Your Reverence."
Father Goncalves, alarmed at seeing the prophecy "Russia will spread her errors" being fulfilled to the letter, wrote to Sister Lucy in 1936 to ask her whether it would not be opportune to insist that the Pope perform the Consecration. On May 18, 1936, Sister Lucy replied by letter as follows:
"About the other questions, will it be convenient to insist in order to obtain the consecration of Russia? I answer in almost the same way as I answered at other times. I am sorry that it has not been done yet, but the same God who asked for it has permitted it (the delay in doing the consecration)."
Sister Lucy exhibits here a certain reticence about the question of whether one ought to insist that the Pope perform the consecration, and this can be attributed to that extreme deference toward authority one would expect in a cloistered nun. Yet the remainder of her letter leaves no doubt that, with all due respect, the Pope's subjects can and ought to insist on what Our Lord Himself expects from His Vicar:
"I have spoken with Our Lord about the subject, and not too long ago I asked Him why He would not convert Russia without the Holy Father making that consecration. Jesus answered,'Because I want My whole Church to acknowledge that consecration as a triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary so that it may extend its cult later on and put the devotion to this Immaculate Heart beside the devotion to My Sacred Heart.'"
In the same letter Sister Lucy recounts that she responded to Our Lord's statement by exclaiming: "But, my God, the Holy Father probably will not believe me unless You Yourself move him with a special inspiration", whereupon Our Lord said to her:
"The Holy Father! Pray very much for the Holy Father. He will do it [the consecration] but it will be late. Nevertheless, the Immaculate Heart of Mary will save Russia. It has been entrusted to Her."