A Missed Opportunity
The October 8, 2000 "Entrustment" to Our Lady
by Mark Fellows
The largest concentration of bishops since the Second Vatican Council came to Rome in October to observe the Great Jubilee. In addressing the august assembly, Archbishop Giovanni Battista Re noted that the bishops had gathered on "October 7, the Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary, and the first Saturday of the month, both integral elements of the message of Fatima."
It was nice to hear someone at the Vatican get the message of Fatima straight. In so doing Archbishop Re probably hadn't consulted "The Message of Fatima", that woefully misnamed Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) document that ignored the Rosary and the First Saturday Communions of Reparation, among other things. The CDF made it easy to forget that at Pontevedra in 1925 the Blessed Virgin promised eternal salvation to anyone 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 Her Immaculate Heart. (The Whole Truth About Fatima, Vol. 2, p. 247.)
According to Sister Lucy, the principal condition was to perform the devotions with "a spirit of reparation" to the Immaculate Heart. It was fitting then, that the Pope, so often mentioned in the Fatima message, should lead a worldwide Rosary on the First Saturday of October, the month of the Rosary. In so doing, however, Pope John Paul II did not mention First Saturday devotions, the title "Immaculate Heart" or the word "reparation." He also omitted the Fatima prayers customarily said at the end of each decade of the Rosary: "O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell," etc.
The next day the Pope and 1500 bishops prayed the Pope's "Act of Entrustment" of the future to Mary, of whom the Pope petitioned:
"O Mother, You know the sufferings and hopes of the Church and the world: come to the aid of Your children in the daily trials which life brings to each one, and grant that, thanks to the efforts of all, the darkness will not prevail over the light."
Absent from John Paul's Act of Entrustment were the words "consecration," "Russia," "Immaculate Heart," "conversion," "Fatima," and "eternal salvation." Thus were dashed the hopes of thousands around the world (including Robert Moynihan, Editor of Inside The Vatican) that the Pope and his bishops would finally consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart.