What believing Catholic today does not grieve over the crisis of faith and discipline in so many parts of the Church, and the danger to so many souls at risk of eternal damnation? What prudent Catholic does not feel alarm at the accelerating decline of our entire civilization, a decline that seems with each passing hour to bring closer the divine chastisement of all humanity?
And yet Heaven has not ignored our plight. The very Mother of God, whom we address as “Mother of Mercy, our light, our sweetness and our hope,” and to whom we fly in times of trouble, has delivered to us a special message from Heaven itself, recognized as such by the highest authorities of the Church: the Message of Fatima.
In this Message, Mary Immaculate has promised a way out of danger and toward the glorious triumph of Her Immaculate Heart that will bring about the salvation of many souls and peace in the world.
In his sermon at Fatima on May 13, 1982, Pope John Paul II asked: “Can the Mother who, with all the force of the love that She fosters in the Holy Spirit and desires everyone’s salvation, can She remain silent when She sees the very bases of Her children’s salvation undermined?” The Pope then answered his own question, “No, She cannot remain silent.”
Here the Pope clearly presented the Message of Fatima as Heaven’s remedy for the crisis in the Church today, in which the very salvation of souls is at risk because the faith is being undermined in so many places. And in the same sermon the Holy Father spoke also of “the almost apocalyptic menaces looming over the nations and mankind as a whole.” The Message of Fatima addresses the threat to the whole human race that arises with what the Pope in his sermon identified as “the evil that is spreading throughout the world and menacing the individual human being, the nations, and mankind as a whole…”
On May 13, 2000 the Pope returned to Fatima to conduct the beatification of Jacinta and Francisco, the two Fatima seers who died soon after the Fatima apparitions of 1917. On this occasion the Pope made it clear that the content of the Message of Fatima including the Third Secret of Fatima is apocalyptic in nature and relates to Chapter 12 of the Book of the Apocalypse. He declared to the vast crowd assembled for the beatifications:
“The Message of Fátima is a call to conversion, alerting humanity to have nothing to do with the ‘dragon’ whose ‘tail swept down a third of the stars of Heaven, and cast them to the earth’ (Apoc. 12: 4). Man’s final goal is Heaven, his true home, where the heavenly Father awaits everyone with His merciful love.
“God does not want anyone to be lost; that is why 2,000 years ago He sent His Son to earth, ‘to seek and to save the lost’ (Lk 19: 10). And He saved us by His death on the cross. Let no one empty that Cross of its power! Jesus died and rose from the dead to be ‘the first-born among many brethren’ (Rom 8: 29).
“In Her motherly concern, the Blessed Virgin came here to Fátima to ask men and women ‘to stop offending God, Our Lord, who is already very offended.’ It is a mother’s sorrow that compels Her to speak; the destiny of Her children is at stake. For this reason She asks the little shepherds: ‘Pray, pray much and make sacrifices for sinners; many souls go to hell because they have no one to pray and make sacrifices for them.’”
The Message of Fatima, therefore, relates to the “the tail of the dragon”—the devil—seen in the Book of the Apocalypse, which sweeps away one-third of the stars from Heaven, traditionally interpreted as referring to consecrated souls. The Pope linked the very mission of Christ Himself and His revelation to the warnings and prescriptions of the Mother of God at Fatima.
Toward the end of his 1982 sermon at Fatima, the Pope specifically declared that because the Message of Fatima is intimately related to the Gospel and Tradition, it imposes an obligation on the Church to obey what the Message prescribes. Let the Pope’s own words serve as the theme of this booklet:
“The appeal of the Lady of the message of Fatima is so deeply rooted in the Gospel and the whole of Tradition that the Church feels that the message imposes a commitment on her.”
The Message of Fatima, therefore, is not “just a private revelation.” Every member of the Church has a duty to honor the commitment imposed upon the Church by the Mother of God Herself at Fatima. As the Pope makes clear, nothing less than the eternal destiny of countless souls and the temporal fate of the whole world are at stake.
The purpose of this booklet is to show how the Message of Fatima holds the answer to the dangers that threaten the Faith and the life of the Catholic and the life of everyone in the world in the present day, and to propose a way for the members of the priesthood to honor and obey the commitment that the Message imposes upon each one of us as priests.
We propose here the formation of a worldwide Fatima Movement of Priests—a movement of priests dedicated to promoting understanding of, and adherence to, the Message of Fatima by all the members of the Church for the good of souls and the safety and protection of the world.
This movement will not involve the creation of any formal canonical entity, but rather a unity of purpose of prayer and action by individual priests responding to Our Lady of Fatima’s requests. The members of the movement would communicate with each other on this vitally important Church matter through various means, as the law of the Church and the Second Vatican Council encourage us to do.
There will be no leadership or organizational structure of the usual sort in this movement. The leader of this movement is the Virgin Mother of God, and its structure is the Catholic priesthood. The charter of the movement is nothing other than the rights and duties of each and every Catholic priest, as taught for all time by the Magisterium of the Church and explained by her Saints and Doctors. In keeping with Our Lord’s divine commission itself, our primary duty as priests is to “go forth and preach the Gospel to all nations, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded thee.” As Pope John Paul II made clear, the Message of Fatima is linked to that very mission in the most intimate way. If we priests are to be faithful to the divine commission as carried out in our time, we cannot ignore the Message, which was delivered by Mary precisely for the assistance of the Church today.
Why do we need a Fatima Movement of Priests? The basic reasons are these:
- As Pope John Paul II indicated, the Message of Fatima is beyond any doubt an authentic apparition of the Mother of God, recognized by a series of Popes. John Paul II beatified two of the three Fatima seers and decreed the annual Feast of Our Lady of Fatima for the Roman Missal. The Message of Fatima is formally and irrevocably part of the life of the Catholic Church.
- Pope John Paul II stated that the contents of the Message, confirmed as true by a public miracle witnessed by 70,000 people, are crucially important for the salvation of souls and the avoidance of “the almost apocalyptic menaces looming over the nations and mankind as a whole,” and “the evil that is spreading throughout the world and menacing the individual human being, the nations, and mankind as a whole…”
- The Message itself warns that failure to heed what it requires—including the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary by the Pope together with all the bishops of the world —will result in the persecution of the Church, the martyrdom of bishops, priests and laity, not excluding the Pope himself, and the annihilation of various nations.
- As Our Lady Herself has warned, if the Message is not made known and heeded, many millions will die horribly and countless souls will be lost for all eternity.
- Our Lord Himself warned that “My ministers” must know and heed the Message in order to avoid the disastrous consequences of disobeying it, and this means not only bishops and the Pope,but all the members of His sacred priesthood.
- If the Message is made known and heeded by the Church, many souls will be saved and the world as a whole will receive enormous spiritual and material benefits, including the conversion of Russia and a consequent period of world peace that will be nothing short of miraculous.
- In keeping with all of God’s promises to His creatures, what the Message requires of us is very little, but what it promises in return is of incalculable worth. On the other hand, the consequences of failing to heed the Message will be catastrophic.
- To make known and heed the Message of Fatima, therefore, is the utmost prudence; to ignore and disobey, is the utmost folly.
In short, if we priests of the 21st Century are to be faithful to our mission of saving souls through the administration of the sacraments and the preaching of the Gospel, we have no choice but to incorporate the Message of Fatima into that mission. The Message of Fatima is Heaven’s own set of particular instructions for carrying out the Church’s salvific mission in this day and age, complete with prayers and devotionsthat Heaven itself has deemed essential for our time. The Message of Fatima is a veritable catechism of the Faith for this point of time in salvation history—not a substitute for divine revelation, but a companion to it, for the edification and growth in grace of every Catholic.
The booklet is divided into two parts. In the first part, those who may not be familiar with the story of the Message of Fatima can learn something of its history and content. The controversy surrounding the Consecration of Russia called for by Our Lady at Fatima and the Third Secret of Fatima,which almost certainly contains the most important elements of the apocalyptic content to which John Paul II alluded in his homilies at Fatima in 1982 and 2000, will also be discussed.
In the second part, we set out five principles of the proposed Fatima Movement of Priests and provide practical suggestions for putting the five principles of the Movement into practice to hasten the fulfillment of the Message of Fatima and secure those miraculous spiritual and material benefits for the Church and the world promised by Our Lady.
We have made this booklet available to thousands of priests with the hope and prayer that it will in some small way help to bring closer that ultimate Triumph of the Immaculate Heart—a glorious gift for the Church, for souls in need of salvation, and for a world desperately in need of the true peace that only God’s grace can engender. Our Lady of Fatima, intercede for us!Continue Reading