SPECIAL FATIMA ISSUE|
May 11-14, 2000
volume 11, no. 91
part two of two parts
By this same time Jacinta was also sick. She was devastated by Franciscoís death, but nevertheless rejoiced that he was in Heaven. Over the Summer and Fall she developed pleurisy which became very serious. Finally, she was sent to a hospital in Lisbon, many miles from her home. As she had foretold, as had been foretold to her, Jacinta died on February 20, 1910, alone when Our Lady of the Rosary came to take her to Heaven. Before she died, Jacinta disclosed some of what Our Lady had told her, comments that reflect the United States more than any country: "More souls go to hell because of sins of the flesh than for any reason and certain fashions will be introduced that will offend Our Lord very much...Many marriages are not good; they do not please Our Lord and are not of God...Priests must be pure, very pure. They should not busy themselves with anything except what concerns the Church and souls. The disobedience of priests to their superiors and to the Holy Father is very displeasing to Our Lord." This last commentary strongly reflects what is happening around the world today, especially here in the U.S. where priests and bishops are openly defying what Pope John Paul II is decreeing. Sister Lucia confirmed this in an October 11, 1992 interview, "He that is not with the Pope is not with God, and he that wants to be with God, has to be with the Pope."
Finally, Our Lady echoed that which has been repeated by countless visionaries and messengers today, "The Blessed Mother can no longer restrain the hand of her Divine Son from striking the world with just punishment for its many crimes."
In 1927 Our Lady again appeared to Lucia, granting permission to the young nun to reveal the first "Two Secrets" of Fatima - first, their vision of hell which included her promise to take the visionary children to Heaven, the prophesy of another world war, martyrdom of Christians, destruction of many nations, the persecution of the Church and her Vicar of Christ, and the spread of the hammer and sickle; and second, the devotion she had imparted for all to honor her Immaculate Heart. Prior to this Lucia had kept it hidden at Our Ladyís request. Two years later the Mother of God once again returned on July 13 entreating Lucia to ask the world for the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart, "The moment has come in which God asks the Holy Father, in union with all the bishops of the world, to make the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart, promising to save it by this means. There are so many souls whom the Justice of God condemns for sins committed against me, that I have come to ask reparation: sacrifice yourself for this intention and pray."
On January 25, 1938 as Sr. Lucia was looking out from her convent window she saw an apocalyptic red glow in the evening sky. It was later revealed that people all over the world also saw this ominous phenomena which scientists tried to explain away as the Aurora Borealis, but Lucia knew it was a fulfillment of what Our Lady had prophesied on July 13, 1917. A month later Adolf Hitler invaded Austria and the rest, as we know, is history.
It was in 1930, ironically after 13 years of intensive study to symbolize the fact Our Lady came on the 13th of the month, that the local Bishop of Leiria-Fatima declared the events at Fatima worthy of belief. Many were the cures reported there. Pius XI, who had succeeded Benedict XV on February 12, 1922, concurred. Immediately pilgrims began to flock from all over the world to this special place in Portugal chosen by God. Pius XIís successor Pope Pius XII personally consecrated the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on October 31, 1942 and encouraged all bishops, priests and laity to do the same in a special encyclical letter on May 1, 1948. He followed this up by once again consecrating the world, particularly Russia, to the Immaculate Heart on July 7, 1952.
Known in her religious life as a Sister of St. Dorothy as Sr. Maria das Dores (Mary of Sorrows), Lucia penned her first account of the events of Fatima in 1936. Other accounts were written in 1937, and two in 1941. She revealed the third part of the so-called "Secret of Fatima" for the eyes of the Holy Father alone. It was not to be opened until 1960, or earlier in the event of Luciaís death. There is speculation that John XXIII read it and immediately put it away, deciding not to share it with the world at that time.
When will it be shared? When the Vicar of Christ is inspired by the Holy Spirit to make it known. Until then, all speculation is just that and we need to be less curious and more intent on carrying out Our Lady's directions given to the three shepherd children - two of whom will be beatified this weekend. The fact that Sister Lucia is still alive is the only reason she is not included with her two young friends. Count on her cause being introduced almost immediately once she is called home. While holy luminaries like Bishop Fulton J. Sheen, Padre Pio, Mother Teresa, His Eminence Cardinal John J. O'Connor have been called by the Father to begin their eternal glory, God has decided to keep Sister Lucia and His Holiness John Paul II with us for yet a while longer and for that we are eternally grateful for it is in the fiat of these two living saints that the promise of Fatima is being fulfilled.
May 8, 2000 |
volume 11, no. 88
THIS DAY IN CHURCH HISTORY