The Consecrations of Portugal (1931, 1938) and Their Benefits
When the Pope, along with all of the world’s bishops, consecrates Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, what will we see? What will the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary look like? Many people are not aware that Our Lady already gave the world a glimpse, a prelude, of what the Triumph of Her Immaculate Heart will be like. She did this in Portugal after the Portuguese bishops consecrated that nation – by name – to the Immaculate Heart, on May 13, 1931.
It seems that Our Lady used Portugal to demonstrate on a national level what She will do worldwide when the Pope, in union with the world’s bishops, consecrates Russia to Her Immaculate Heart. Perhaps Our Lady also gave us this preview so that an insipid pan-religious "civilization of love" could never masquerade successfully as the Triumph of Heaven’s Queen.
The Consecration of Portugal (1931)
On May 13, 1931, in the presence of the 300,000 faithful who had come to Fatima for the event, the bishops of Portugal solemnly consecrated their nation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. These good bishops placed Portugal under the protection of Our Lady to preserve that nation from the Communist contagion that was sweeping through Europe, and especially Spain. As a result of this Consecration, Portugal experienced a three-fold miracle. Here, we will outline this miracle.
1) There was a magnificent Catholic Renaissance, a great rebirth of Catholic life, so striking that those who lived through it attributed it unquestionably to the work of God. During this period, Portugal enjoyed a drastic upsurge in priestly vocations. The number of religious almost quadrupled in 10 years. Religious communities arose likewise. There was a vast renewal of Christian life, which showed itself in many areas, including the development of a Catholic press, Catholic radio, pilgrimages, spiritual retreats, and a robust movement of Catholic Action that was integrated into the framework of diocesan and parish life.
This Catholic Renaissance was of such a magnitude that in 1942 the bishops of Portugal declared in a collective Pastoral Letter: "Anybody who would have closed his eyes twenty-five years ago and opened them now would no longer recognize Portugal, so vast is the transformation worked by the modest and invisible factor of the apparition of the Blessed Virgin at Fatima. Really, Our Lady wishes to save Portugal." 1
2) There was a miracle of political and social reform, in accordance with Catholic social principles. Shortly after the 1931 Consecration, a Catholic leader in Portugal ascended to power, Antonio Salazar, who inaugurated a Catholic, counter-revolutionary program. He strove to create, as much as possible, a Catholic social order wherein the laws of government and social institutions harmonize with the law of Christ, His Gospel and His Church. 2 A fierce adversary of socialism and liberalism, he was opposed to "everything which diminishes or dissolves the family." 3
President Salazar did not simply talk a good line: he enacted legislation to protect the family, including laws that frowned upon divorce. One such law read, "In harmony with the essential properties of Catholic marriages: It is understood that by the very fact of the celebration of a canonical marriage, the spouses renounce the legal right to ask for a divorce." 4 The effect of this law was that Catholic marriages did not diminish in number, but increased, so that by 1960, nearly 91 percent of all marriages in the country were canonical marriages.
That is a civilization of love, and it is nowhere in sight as we progress into the Third Millennium.
3) There was the twofold miracle of peace as a result of the Consecration. Portugal was preserved from the Communist terror, especially from the Spanish Civil War, which was raging next door. Portugal was also preserved from the devastations of World War II.
The Consecration of Portugal (1938)
Regarding the Spanish Civil War, the Portuguese bishops had vowed in 1936 that if Our Lady protected Portugal from the Communists, they would express their gratitude by renewing the National Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. True to their word, on May 13, 1938, they renewed the Consecration of Portugal to the Immaculate Heart in thanksgiving for Our Lady’s protection. Cardinal Cerejeira acknowledged publicly:
Since Our Lady of Fatima appeared in 1917 ... A special blessing of God has descended upon the land of Portugal ... especially if we review the two years which have gone since our vow, one cannot fail to recognize that the invisible hand of God has protected Portugal, sparing it the scourge of war and the leprosy of atheistic communism.
Even Pope Pius XII expressed astonishment that Portugal was spared the horrors of the Spanish Civil War and the Communist menace. In an address to the Portuguese people, the Pope spoke of "the Red Peril, so menacing and so close to you, and yet avoided in such an unexpected manner." 5
The Portuguese passed this first danger unscathed, but immediately there was a second staring them in the face. World War II was about to break out.
On February 6, 1938, seven months before the declaration of war, Sister Lucy wrote to her bishop, Msgr. da Silva. She told him that war was imminent, but then spoke of a miraculous promise. She said "in this horrible war, Portugal would be spared because of the national consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary made by the bishops." 6
And Portugal was spared the horrors of war, the details of which are too numerous to here recount.7 Even more remarkable, Sister Lucy wrote to Pope Pius XII on December 2, 1940, to tell him that Portugal was receiving special protection during the war that other nations would have received if the bishops would have consecrated their nations to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. She wrote:
Most Holy Father, Our Lord promises a special protection to our country in this war, due to the consecration of the nation, by the Portuguese prelates, to the Immaculate Heart of Mary; as proof of the graces that would have been granted to other nations, had they also consecrated themselves to Her. 8
Likewise, Portugal’s Cardinal Cerejeira did not hesitate to attribute to Our Lady of Fatima the great graces that had been obtained for Portugal during this time. On May 13, 1942 he said,
To express what has been going on here for twenty-five years, the Portuguese vocabulary has but one word: miracle. Yes, we are firmly convinced that we owe the wonderful transformation of Portugal to the protection of the Most Holy Virgin.9
Cardinal Cerejeira further explained that the miraculous blessings that Our Lady obtained for Portugal due to the 1931 Consecration were a preview of what She will do for the entire world after Russia is properly consecrated to Her Immaculate Heart. The Cardinal said: "What has taken place in Portugal proclaims the miracle. And it foreshadows what the Immaculate Heart of Mary has prepared for the world." 10
Thus, it is not difficult to understand why the Portugal of this time period has been called the "Showcase of Our Lady". And this triple miracle of Portugal stands as a preview of how Russia and the world will look after the Collegial Consecration of Russia.
1. Collective Pastoral Letter for the Jubilee of the Apparitions in 1942, Merv. XX’s, p. 338. Cited from The Whole Truth About Fatima, Vol. II: The Secret and the Church, FrPre Michel de la Sainte Trinité (English edition, Immaculate Heart Publications, Buffalo, NY, 1989) p. 410.
2. Salazar’s influence in the Portuguese government had been growing since 1928. He became President of the Council in 1933. Later, Salazar received for his efforts the praise and blessing of Pope Pius XII. Pius said, "I bless him with all my heart, and I cherish the most ardent desire that he be able to complete successfully his work of national restoration, both spiritual and material." Cited from The Whole Truth About Fatima, Vol. II, p. 412.
3. Ibid., p. 415. (Salazar’s own words).
4. Ibid., p. 421.
5. Ibid., p. 422.
6. Ibid., pp. 427-428.
7. See The Whole Truth About Fatima, Vol. II, pp. 369-439.
8. Ibid., p. 428.
9. Ibid., p. 405. Cardinal Cerejeira spoke these words during the 1942 Jubilee celebration of the Fatima apparitions.
10. Cardinal Cerejeira, Preface to Jacinta (1942), Obras Pastorais, Vol. II, p. 333. Cf. Also his homily of May 13, 1942, Merv. XX’s, p. 339. Cited from The Whole Truth About Fatima, Vol. II, p. 437.
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