In the Midst of Darkness, a Bright Sign of Hope: The Consecration of Scotland
by Nelson Hertel
September 6, 2017
In the midst of the Centenary year of Our Lady’s Apparitions at Fatima, we are all too cognizant and disheartened that one-hundred long years later, Heaven’s requests go unanswered.
The Pope and the bishops will not do their part in bringing about the Consecration of Russia — the one, true and lasting solution for peace and order. We remain in ecclesiastical and secular chaos because they will not perform a simple, brief ceremony.
The vast majority of lay people are still not doing what Our Lady asked of them at Fatima, e.g. praying the daily Rosary, making the Five First Saturdays, amendment of life, modest dress, etc. As Sr. Lucia told Fr. Fuentes in 1957: “The good continue on their way but without giving any importance to Her (Our Lady’s) message. The bad, not seeing the punishment of God actually falling upon them, continue their life of sin without even caring about the message.” (See: “Published Testimony: Father Fuentes (1957)”.)
Many people witnessing the ongoing — and indeed, seemingly incessant — deterioration in the Church and the world are tempted to discouragement and even despair. Catholics familiar with the full Fatima Message are worried and apprehensive at the thought of further spiritual and temporal chastisement. Catholics and others who do not know about Fatima, ignorant of the ‘Peace Plan’ established by Our Lord and Our Lady, see no solution and are left without hope. Human, or natural, reactions, no doubt. But we must rely on the supernatural, namely the theological virtues of Faith and Hope.
Although Our Lady of Fatima’s true Message has been hidden or rewritten for decades by unscrupulous prelates and other enemies, this Centenary year has seen a reawakened interest in Fatima. There has also been a rediscovery of devotion to Our Lady, particularly to Her Immaculate Heart. Granted, the extent of these positive developments is nowhere as extensive or widespread as it should be. But we are still blessed with various consolations amid so many troubles. These are cause for rejoicing and signs of hope.
Over the past several months, numerous countries as well as dioceses and other institutions have been consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The latest of these is Scotland, consecrated on Sunday, September 3, 2017.
Joining their country’s bishops at the Marian shrine at Carfin (about 35 miles west of Edinburgh) were thousands of the faithful, undeterred by the pouring rain. Bishop Brian McGee, who preached the sermon, explained: “Today, we consecrate Scotland to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. We express together sorrow for our personal and communal sinfulness, and we implore Mary’s guidance and strength that we live as a Christian nation should... Every one of us says I am determined to be consecrated to the Immaculate Heart as well.”
Recalling Our Lady’s requests at Fatima for reparation and amendment of life, Bishop McGee continued: “One hundred years ago in Fatima, Our Lady insisted to us, Her children, that Her Immaculate Heart will triumph. Our Lady reminded us that sin, most certainly yes, has a grip in the world. But a person, who relying on God’s grace, determines with his whole heart...to reject sin and embrace the ways of God, that person too will triumph. The Immaculate Heart of Mary is both a Consolation and an Inspiration to us.”
Part of the text of the Consecration read: “We consecrate Scotland to You: all that we have, all that we love, all that we are. To You we give our minds and hearts, our bodies and souls. We willingly place at Your service our homes and our families, our parishes and schools: we desire that all that is in us and around us may belong to You, O Mary, and may share in the benefits of Your motherly care.”
While we await the indispensable Consecration of Russia, we cannot help but rejoice at other consecrations, like that of Scotland. We know that innumerable graces await these countries as happened in Portugal. (See: “The Consecrations of Portugal (1931, 1938) and Their Benefits”.)
Another encouraging sign was the presence of a motion in Scottish parliament to recognize the consecration. Supported by six representatives, the motion was lodged on August 31, 2017, reading in part: “That the Parliament recognises that Scotland’s Catholic bishops will consecrate the nation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on 3 September 2017; understands that the bishops will pray for Scotland at the Marian Shrine at the Carfin Grotto, near Motherwell, asking that Scotland be energised with a renewed desire to seek the truth...” Can we forget the motion for the Consecration of Russia introduced into European Parliament several years ago? (See: “Our Lady Came Not to Announce Wars But to PREVENT Them,” at page 19 of http://www.fatimacrusader.com/cr104/cr104sm.pdf.)
As the late Father Nicholas Gruner said, “Fatima is coming into its own.” Yes, the situation in the Church is most grave. No one denies the increasing acts of terror, growing political unrest and economic instability, as well as various natural disasters unfolding in our world. But the moment of Our Lady’s Triumph is drawing closer. Let us be encouraged by recent, happy developments in this Centenary year, like the consecration of Scotland — itself the fruit of countless prayers, sacrifices and other efforts on the part of many, no doubt.
Recalling that “only Our Lady of the Rosary can help us,” as the Queen of Heaven told the Little Shepherds during the apparition of July 13, 1917, let us be confident while redoubling our own prayers, sacrifices and efforts. It is not in vain that we persevere in making the full Fatima Message known, loved and obeyed by all, even when things seem unchangeable or hopeless. Rather, we must continue to lay the groundwork for the key to peace in the world, the Consecration of Russia.
In difficult moments, recall these other words of Our Lady during the July apparition: “Do you suffer a great deal? 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.” We have Her solemn promise: “In the end, My Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to Me, and she will be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world.”