How the God cares
We are living in a time when God seems to be far away and to have forgotten about us. However, we may not notice very serious facts that, when drawn next to each other on one timeline, create a highly interesting chain and prove that the Heaven is literally leading us by hand and tries to help us, especially in this very difficult time. It is not surprising. Let's take a look at a prophecy about this era by pope Leo XIII who lived in the 19th century (1810-1903).
The prophecy of Pope Leo XIII
Pope Leo XIII had a vision during a holly mass which surprised him very much. He saw Lucifer ask Heavenly Father for a century to try this world. This century was supposed to be the 20th century. We can recall here what Jesus told Peter: “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.” (Lk 22,31-32)
Peter’s successor saw the sky turn dark with many evil spirits descending onto the earth to destroy everything, and to attack Russia in particular.
It is a historic truth that Russia has been tried very hard since 1917, including World War II during which it suffered very much.
Back then, Pope Leo XIII wrote a prayer to St. Archangel Michael.
In 1917, Virgin Mary showed how to avoid the danger in her apparition n Fatima, where she once again warned against evil in this century and that Russia in particular will be tried hard. She, however, showed how to endure the trial and promised to help Russia. We are talking about this apparition elsewhere in the magazine.
These prophecies by Pope Leo XIII and the one from Fatima resemble one of the paintings in the Tretyakov gallery in Moscow. Bishop Hnilica from Rome visited the gallery in 1984 and he the painting depicting the history of Russia attracted his attention. On the right-hand side of the painting, there is a Tatar invasion to Russia, their atrocities and burning of churches. All people are rushing to the other side, where there is a large cathedral representing the Church with many windows and doors. In the centre of it stands Virgin Mary who summons saints from heaven to help Russia. The guide said that back then, Virgin Mary saved Russia. She added that yet worse times were to come and that it would be Virgin Mary once again who will save the troubled country.
The pilgrim recognised the message from Fatima about Mary’s help to Russia. As he was thinking about the painting, a group of children came to the gallery. Their teacher described the painting in the same way as the guide.
The bishop was pleased: “What a faith in Virgin Mary’s help there is these days amongst common people!”
It reminded him of St. Sarov who was beatified in 1903.
St. Sarov foretold that after his blessing, Russia will suffer the hardest test. The Lord will call so many people for sacrifice that guardian angels will be very busy to bring them before the God’s throne. But after this trial, Russia and the whole world will enjoy the most glorious resurrection.
We really do live in great times. How can we work with Virgin Mary towards the final victory of good? Let’s try and think about it in the following articles.
Let’s look first at God’s intervention into the history of mankind over the past 200 years. There have been many such interventions, we will therefore select only the main ones with a brief description. We will deal with the events in more detail elsewhere in the magazine.
1673 – The apparition of the Most Holy Heart of Jesus to St. Margaret Alacoque – the apparition contained a message of His great love for us. It came as a warning against defection of people from faith, which eventually happened as this urge was not heeded.
1700 - St. Grignion wrote a prophetic book about Virgin Mary in which he predicts that the God will send Her to help people. He foresaw a time when Mary will intervene in favour of the human race. St. Grignion calls on worshippers of Maria to be fully at Her service.
1789 – The French revolution – Christian Europe starts turning atheistic.
1830 - The apparition of Virgin Mary in Paris – another heavenly warning against troubles Europeans are getting into by their deeds. She points out that people are forgetting to ask the God for mercy. For memory of that event, people wear a little medal depicting Virgin Mary as a mediator of God’s clemency.
1846 – Apparition in La Saletta – a warning against the horrors of world wars and violence. Wars could be avoided if people turned to the God.
1854 – The declaration of dogma about the immaculate conception of Virgin Mary. This was an important moment – the Church accepted Virgin Mary as the one who had for no time whatsoever been possessed by Satan. Souls entrusted and consecrated to Her receive the best leadership to fulfil God’s will. Virgin Mary is the best way to Jesus.
1864-69 – The Illfurt case – an evidence of Satan’s existence. We were warned that this highly intelligent being exists, even though it makes all effort to conceal the fact.
1860 –1890 – Don Bosko’s prophecy and Leo XIII’s prophecy on the world facing Satan’s trial.
1873 – 1897 – St. Therese of Lisieux shows a way to sanctity by disclaiming all possessions and letting the God lead her to sanctity. Hers is a way of humbleness.
1891 – Pope Leo XIII issues the encyclical Rerum novarum about the rights of labourers and about the current unsatisfactory, humiliating conditions God’s creatures must live in. He warns against neglecting this problem as it may lead to a situation when a remedy would be worse than the illness.
1914 – The mankind’s failure to heed the call for repentance from La Saletta results in World War I.
1917 – The apparition of Virgin Mary in Fatima, a warning that people are not good and do much evil. She predicts that unless people change, there will be World War II, heralded by a shining light. The way to salvation – conversion to the God and consecration of each and everyone to the Immaculate Heart of Virgin Mary, telling the Rosary. To consecrate oneself to Virgin Mary means to absolutely entrust oneself to Her so that She can lead and change us. At the same time, there was a prophecy about Russia similar to the vision of Pope Leo XIII. Maria suggests a way to save Russia – to consecrate it to the Immaculate Heart of Virgin Mary by the Pope amidst bishops and believers. Amongst other things, She predicts an assassination attempt on the Holy Father and begs for prayers for him because all prophecies can be diverted.
1917 – The Great Socialist Revolution
1925 – Portugal accepts Fatima and is saved from World War II.
1925 – Another apparition to the Fatima visionary, further demands building on the 1st apparition, people consecrated to the Immaculate Heart should attend a holy mass on the first Saturday of every month, receive a Communion of reparation, and besides telling the Rosary, contemplate on its mysteries for 15 minutes.
1931 – Amidst the economic crisis, Pope Pius XI issues the encyclical Quadragesimo anno which summarises the experience of the 40 years from the encyclical Rerum novarum and its increasingly urgent message.
1937 – Pope Pius XI issues encyclicals warning against problems this century brought, such as fascism.
1938 – Strange light appears over the Northern hemisphere, as announced in Fatima. It was declared to be aurora borealis.
1939 – World War II breaks out.
1942 – The world was consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Virgin Mary. From that moment, until then victorious German armies started losing. The main defeats fell on Marian holidays.
1947 – Maria’s Blue Army was established as a reaction of some people to the plea for first Saturdays from 1925. There has been no other world war but Russia still is not consecrated to Maria.
1950 – The dogma on the Assumption of Virgin Mary. It is connected with Her role in today’s world. The Church takes Mary for the Queen of all creatures (compare LG 59). AT the same time, Pope Pius XII calls this century a “Marian century” and “Maria’s hour”.
1962 - 65 – The Second Vatican Council. Besides other things, it made a significant step in clarifying the role of Virgin Mary in the Church and her role as co-redemptrix. One of the signs of Maria’s time.
1967 – In his encyclical Signum magnum, Pope Paul VI calls this era a “Marian era”, during which the God, seeing his people in great distress, sends his Mother to intervene more strongly.
1973 – The establishment of the Marian Movement of Priests. As it had been written earlier, this was another step in heeding the Fatima appeal. Virgin Mary asks for tyhe formation of cenacles of prayer and wants the children consecrated to Her to be brought up fully in line with the teaching of St. Grignion, St. don Bosco, St. M. Kolbe and others.
1978 – Pope John Paul II – fully devoted to Virgin Mary – Fully Yours, Maria. The pontiff himself leads the way. At the end of every encyclical he entrusts the issues to Maria. During his office, he issued for example the encyclical Centesimus annus which reminds of the encyclical of Leo XIII Rerum novarum and highlights its message, once again applicable, especially in the post-communist countries of Central and Eastern Europe.
1978 – The approval of the Revelation of God’s Mercy to sister Faustyna. Here, Jesus tells people not to be afraid and come to him with any sins and he would forgive those repentant. The God offers His mercy to people despite their ignorance of previous calls for conversion.
1981 – An assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II (see the prophetic dream of Don Bosco, Fatima and some other events. Partly described in the previous article.).
1982, 84 – John Paul II consecrates the world and countries that need it most (Russia) to the Immaculate Heart. A year later, totalitarian regimes become looser.
1987 – Marian year – the beginning of a visible fall of Communism. On the occasion, Pope John Paul II issues the encyclical Redemptoris Mater about Blessed Virgin Mary in the life of the pilgrim Church: “...Maria, who gave birth to the God’s son... far exceeds all both heavenly and earthly creatures...” Elsewhere in the encyclical, he says about the Marian year that “it is a question not only of recalling that Mary "preceded" the entry of Christ the Lord into the history of the human family, but also of emphasizing, in the light of Mary, that from the moment when the mystery of the Incarnation was accomplished, human history entered "the fullness of time," and that the Church is the sign of this fullness. As the People of God, the Church makes her pilgrim way towards eternity through faith, in the midst of all the peoples and nations, beginning from the day of Pentecost. Christ's Mother who was present at the beginning of "the time of the Church," when in expectation of the coming of the Holy Spirit she devoted herself to prayer in the midst of the Apostles and her Son's disciples – constantly "precedes" the Church in her journey through human history. She is also the one who, precisely as the "handmaid of the Lord," cooperates unceasingly with the work of salvation accomplished by Christ, her Son. Thus by means of this Marian Year the Church is called not only to remember everything in her past that testifies to the special maternal cooperation of the Mother of God in the work of salvation in Christ the Lord, but also, on her own part, to prepare for the future the paths of this cooperation. For the end of the Second Christian Millennium opens up as a new prospect.”
John Paul II says: “The Church is aware that Maria appeared on the horizon of history of redemption before Christ.” That is why the Marian year preceded the Jubilee Year 2000, and as the pope continues, the Marian year was “a kind of overture of the jubilee year 2000. t contained much of what will be possible to expressed in full in the year 2000.”
1989 – The fall of Communism
1994 – The Pope issues the encyclical Tertio millenio adveniente, for the preparation for the jubilee year 2000, in which he points out that “In the Church's history every jubilee is prepared for by Divine Providence... we look with the eyes of faith to our own century, searching out whatever bears witness not only to man's history but also to God's intervention in human affairs.” The encyclical also says: “From this point of view we can affirm that the Second Vatican Council was a providential event whereby the church began the more immediate preparation for the Jubilee of the Second Millennium. It was... focused on the mystery of Christ and his Church, and at the same time, open to the world. This openness was an evangelical response to recent change sin the world, including the profoundly disturbing experiences of the Twentieth Century, a century scarred by the First and Second World Wars, by the experience of concentration camps and by horrendous massacres. All these events demonstrate most vividly that the world needs purification; it needs to be converted.
What these Popes [starting with John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I, up to the present Pope] have accomplished during and since the Council, in their Magisterium no less than in their pastoral activity, has certainly made a significant contribution to the preparation of that new springtime of Christian life which will be revealed by the Great Jubilee, if Christians are docile to the action of the Holy Spirit.
1998 – The pope issues the Bulla Incarnationis mysterium – on the occasion of announcing the Great Jubilee of the year 2000: “Christians are invited to acknowledge, before God and before those offended by their actions, the faults which they have committed. Let them do so without seeking anything in return, but strengthened only by “the love of God which has been poured into our hearts” (Rom 5:5)... Thus the Bride will shine before the eyes of the world with the beauty and holiness which come from the Lord's grace. For two thousand years, the Church has been the cradle in which Mary places Jesus and entrusts him to the adoration and contemplation of all peoples. May the humility of the Bride cause to shine forth still more brightly the glory and power of the Eucharist, which she celebrates and treasures in her heart.”
The blue book writes that Virgin Mary’s triumph will come through the triumph of the Eucharist.
As we can see from the other events on the timeline and we will see in following articles, Virgin Mary leads all those who consecrate themselves to Her, to live the way the Pope asks.
The announcement of the Jubilee Year 2000:
The church is Christ’s mystical body. This must be take seriously, not as a flowery phrase. As much as the Church manages to purge itself, people will see Christ in the Church accordingly. That is why the pope “asks that in this year of mercy the Church, strong in the holiness which she receives from her Lord, should kneel before God and implore forgiveness for the past and present sins of her sons and daughters. All have sinned and none can claim righteousness before God (cf. 1 Kgs 8:46)”. The pope calls on every local Church to “make all effort for an authentic recreation. No one can help better with such a process than Maria. She was the first to experience impersonation of the Word in her womb. That is why she can teach believers how to accept Christ in their lives and how to present Him to their brethren so that they can see His fullness.”
This is another evidence that Virgin Mary leads all those consecrated to Her to the full unity with Christ and leads the believers consecrated to Her in cenacles of prayer to become modern apostles.
When the pope writes in the Bulla that the God: “is now doing something new, and in the love which forgives he anticipates the new heavens and the new earth.” Then he also writes that Maria “will obtain new spring for the Church from the Lord” and will accompany “all Her sons and daughters with Her motherly presence during the great Jubilee”.
The more we accept the offered mercy of the Jubilee Year and the more we offer ourselves to Virgin Mary, the more we can speed up the triumph promised by Virgin Mary in Fatima and make it easier to accomplish.
Pope John Paul II says: “The Church lives in the Spirit sent onto them by Christ, and perceives the millennium as a time for an overall internal restoration. The Holy Spirit has the power to bring new Pentecost to the Church. This requires from us a renewed humbleness, broad-mindedness and openness for the purgatory work of the Spirit.”
Then we will see once again that Virgin Mary „constantly cooperates in a strange way as a ‘handmaid of the Lord’ in Christ’s, her son’s, work of Redemption,“ whom she calls to be with Her in the Cenacle, in which we also ask for another pouring of the Holy Spirit onto the world, so that people convert and become sensitive to the Holy Spirit for a new evangelisation as the pope wishes.
The true Marian apparitions are in harmony with the Church built upon the rock - Peter. That is why the triumph will come through Her. It is not possible that the Church “stands away from happenings”.
John Paul II says: “The Great Jubilee of the Year 2000 is almost upon us. Ever since my first Encyclical Letter Redemptor Hominis, I have looked towards this occasion with the sole purpose of preparing everyone to be docile to the working of the Spirit.“
and in the end of his encyclical Redemptor Hominis he writes: “We feel not only the need but even a categorical imperative for great, intense and growing prayer by all the Church... I wish the Church to devote herself to this prayer, together with Mary the Mother of Jesus, as the apostles and disciples of the Lord did in the Upper Room in Jerusalem after His ascension. Above all, I implore Mary, the heavenly Mother of the Church, to be so good as to devote herself to this prayer of humanity's new advent... I hope that through this prayer we shall be able to receive the Holy Spirit coming upon us(204) and thus become Christ's witnesses "to the end of the earth.”
1992 – Before World War II, St. Maxmillian Kolbe foretold that Virgin Mary’s statute will once stand on the top of Kremlin. Now, a statue of Virgin Mary of Fatima stands in place of the inscription “Communism is victorious” in the Red Square.
199X – An increasing number of UFO’s and some other phenomena we were warned against in La Saletta (surveys show that reported contacts have been made by people who study occultism. The Bible writes: „…for he shall wring miracles to deceive even the Chosen…“).
End of 19th century – Efforts predicted to destroy the Catholic Church not by a direct attack on the faith but by undermining morality. The 20th century saw a boom of pornography, erotic movies, billboards in the streets, etc.
John Paul II – Crossing the threshold of hope:
“Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski told me that his predecessor, Cardinal August Hlond, had spoken these prophetic words as he was dying: "The victory, if it comes, will come through Mary." During my pastoral ministry in Poland, I saw for myself how those words were coming true. After my election as Pope, as I became more involved in the problems of the universal Church, I came to have a similar conviction: On this universal level, if victory comes it will be brought by Mary. Christ will conquer through her, because He wants the Church's victories now and in the future to be linked to her.”
For space reasons, the timeline includes only the most important events.
Similarly, we have mentioned only the basic social encyclicals which indicate a provident warning to the Church against impending problems.
The timeline does not include Lourdes which was the first apparition, when many people gathered at the moment of the apparition. The previous apparitions were Virgin Mary’s private contacts with one person only. She had been getting us used to the Mother’s presence. Lourdes thus was a preparation for the great apparition for many people in Fatima. In Lourdes, Virgin Mary did not speak so much (Rosary, repentance) and expressed Herself rather by the circumstances. The apparition took place at a dumpsite, which might be understood as a hint that the world was becoming a spiritual dumpsite, and in a cave which travelling people use to hide in bad weather. So, Virgin Mary becomes a refuge in difficult times – one of the pillars, as St. don Bosco saw them (the Eucharist and Virgin Mary).
As the Mother, Virgin Mary was preparing us for one of the major apparitions in Fatima step by step from St. Grignion’s prophecy “...Maria will be present to the order of the Highest...”, through apparitions with one person and apparitions with many pilgrims in the Lourdes. Here, we must recall that Virgin Mary says nothing new in her apparitions and revelations, She only reminds us of the original divine plan with the Creation. A true message has the nature of Her speech in Cana: “Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.“
The whole Divine Revelation is completed in the New Testament, Virgin Mary’s messages only reminds us of that, they neither alter nor extend it!
The supreme goal of the divine “leadership”, as the timeline suggests, is to bring all souls to what St. Grignion foretold – to let Virgin Mary transform themselves to Her picture. To consecrate themselves to Her.
After St. Therese of Lisieux showed the way to holiness as the way of humbleness, it was St. Grignion who started the Mrian era when the God wishes little souls to be transformed by Virgin Mary. His followers included St. don Bosco, St. M. Kolbe and others. Maria asked for it for the first time in Fatima, and it developed into Her promise to lead people in cenacles.
St. Louis Maria Grignion writes: “Maria is a holy place a mould in which saints are formed and cast. Please note that I say: Saints are cast in Maria. There is a big difference between creating a statue using a hammer and a chisel and casting it in a mould. Wood carvers and sculptors must work hard and it takes the a long time to create a statue by the using the former method. However, if they cast it, the work is done easily and quickly. St. Augustin calls Virgin Mary a Divine mould. Who is cast into this divine mould is created soon and cast in Christ and Christ in him or her because he or she was cast in the same mould that had already shaped one God. It seems to me that spiritual leaders and pious people who want to create Christ in themselves or in other people using other methods than this, can be compared to sculptors who trust their own skill, ingenuity and art. Many times they hit a hard stone or a rough piece of wood with a hammer and chisel in order to shape it into the form of Jesus Christ but often they fail to match Christ's true form. It is either because of their insufficient knowledge of and experience with Jesus Christ or because of a wrong blow which spoiled their work. On the other hand, I compare pious people who let Virgin Mary lead them, to casters who found the beautiful mould of Virgin Mary which shaped Jesus Christ, both naturally and divinely. They do not rely on their own ingenuity but trust the mould. They cast themselves into Maria and get lost inside Her to become true images of Jesus Christ.
How beautiful and very true the comparison is! But who can understand? I wish it were you, dear brother. But don't forget that only what is molten and liquid can be cast into the mould. That means that you need to destroy and melt the old Adam inside yourself, if you want to become a new Adam in Maria.”
Virgin Mary's message from Fatima.
As we have shown in the previous article, the message communicated to us by Virgin Mary in Fatima in 1917 is present throughout the whole of the 20th century.
Fatima is a small, mountain village some 100 km north of Lisbon. Here, Virgin Mary appeared to three children: Lucy dos Santos, aged 10, Francisco Mart, aged 9 and his sister Jacinta, aged 7. Being from poor families, they did not go to school, yet they had a basic knowledge of religious matters from their mothers. When they grazed sheep, they used to tell the Rosary.
Before Maria appeared to the children Herself, angel Michael had been preparing them for the apparition. She appeared to them for the first time at the beginning of 1916 on a hill near Fatima: "Don't be afraid! I am an angel of peace. Pray with me: My God, I believe in You, I bow to You, I hope in You, I love You. Please forgive all those who do not believe in You, do not bow to You, do not hope in You and do not love You. Pray this. Jesus' and Maria's hearts hear your prayers."
he appeared to them for the second time in summer when they were playing and called on them to pray: “What are you doing? Do pray. Pray much. Pray and bring sacrifice to the Highest.”
Lucy asked: “How shall we sacrifice ourselves?" The angel replied: "However you can. Make sacrifice in your deeds, compensate for sins and pray for conversion of sinners. Ask for peace for your homeland. I am its guardian angel, I am the angel of Portugal. Before all, do accept suffering the God sends on you.”
The angel came for the last time in October 1916. The children were telling the Rosary when they were enlightened and saw the angel. He carried a chalice above which the Host was floating. He knelt down beside the children and prayed three times: "The Holiest Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I bow deep to you and I sacrifice to you the precious Body, Blood, Soul and Deity of Jesus Christ in all sanctuaries of the world to console you for humiliation, sacrilege and negligence that abuse you. For the infinite merits of his Holiest Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Virgin Mary, I beg you for conversion of poor sinners."
Then the angel stood up, gave the Host to Lucy and gave Jacinta and Francisco drink, saying: "Accept the flesh and blood of Jesus Christ, whom ungrateful people offend so terribly. Repent of their sins and please your God."
Only after this preparation the children met with the "beautiful Lady" as they called her, in the valley Cova da Iria near Fatima. The children were playing and praying the Rosary when there was a flash of lightening. They decided to return home earlier, thinking a storm was brewing in the distance. Passing by a large oak, there was a second, much brighter flash. A few metres away, above a small oak, they saw a beautiful Lady stand in dazzling light. She spoke to them: "Don't be afraid. I won't hurt you."
"Where are you from?" Lucy managed to ask.
"I am from Heaven," replied the Lady.
"What do you want of us?" asked Lucia, somewhat more self-confident.
"I came to ask you," said the Lady, "to come here on the thirteenth day for six months at the same time. In October, I will tell you who I am and what I want of you. And then I will return here a seventh time."
Lucy was the only one to speak to the Lady, Jacinta saw and heard Her as well but Francisco neither saw nor heard Her in the beginning. Only after he was told to pray the Rosary more thoroughly was he able to see Her, but still could not hear what She was saying. Lucy told him everything the Lady said.
The Lady continued: "Do you want to devote yourselves to the God, are you ready to bring every sacrifice and bear every suffering sent onto you by God as a reparation for sins and conversion of sinners?"
"Yes, we want that," replied Lucy for all three of them.
"All right, you will suffer very much but God's mercy will be your consolation." Having said that, the beautiful Lady spread Her hands and they could see themselves as the God sees them. They could see themselves clearer than in any mirror. They were moved to such a degree that the fell on their knees and starter praying: "O, the Holiest Trinity, I bow to You! My God, I love You in the Most Blessed Sacrament.!"
After a while, Virgin Mary added: "Recite the Rosary daily for peace and an end to the war."
When the children told others what they experienced, nobody believed them and they suffered much hardship and mockery. A month later, on June 13, some 60 people gathered in the valley. The Lady the children saw repeated: "Pray the rosary every day and I want you to learn to read. Then I will tell you what I want of you."
"I want you to take us to Heaven," Lucia asked.
"Yes ," the Lady replied, "I will take Francisco and Jacinta soon, but you must remain on earth for some time. Jesus wishes to use you to make me better known and loved. He wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. I promise redemption to those who will propagate it. These souls will be given priority with the God, they will be like flowers I will bring before his throne.".
As we have learned in the previous article, the Church teaches that we are living in a time when we should learn more about the role of Virgin Mary in God's plans. There is nothing extraordinary about the fact that the God will like specially the souls that will propagate reverence for Virgin Mary and struggle to learn Virgin Mary according to the Church's teaching, because they will thus be fulfilling his will.
"Am I to stay here alone then?" Lucy asked, saddened, recalling the humiliations of the past moth.
"No, you are not, my daughter. Are you suffering much? Don't lose courage! I shall never leave you!" the Lady consoled her. "My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will take you to the God." The Lady spread Her hands again a Lucy was enlightened with a shine Her palms emitted. It seemed as if Jacinta and Francesco stood in rays that ascended to the Heaven and Lucy was enlightened with light that was shed on the ground.
A month later, on July 13, the children begged the Lady to perform a miracle so that people believe them since they had been suffering humiliation and torment because nobody believed them. The Lady asked them again to pray the rosary every day and said "In October I will tell you who I am and what I want. And I will perform a miracle so that everyone can see and believe. Sacrifice yourselves for sinners and say often: 'O my Jesus, this is for love of You, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the offences committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary'." With this She opened Her hands. A flash from Her hands as if pierced the ground and the children could see a vision of hell and the immense suffering of lost souls (the vision of hell is part of the so-called 1st secret of Fatima). In horror the children raised their eyes to Our Lady. Lucy revealed many years later: "Terrified, we sought help from the Blessed Virgin, who, full of grace and sorrow, told us (the so-called 2nd secret of Fatima): 'You saw Hell where the souls of poor sinners go. (It is noteworthy that Virgin Mary feels sympathy for them) In order to save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If people do what I ask, many souls will be saved and there will be peace. The war (World War I) is going to end. But if people do not stop offending God, another, even worse war (World War II), will begin in the reign of Pius XI. When you see a night illuminated by an unknown light, know that it is the great sign that God gives you that He is going to punish the world by means of war, hunger and persecution of the Church and of the Holy Father.
To prevent it, I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart and the Communion of reparation on the first Saturdays. If people attend to my requests, Russia will be converted and the world will have peace. If not, Russia will spread its errors throughout the world, fomenting wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer, and various nations will be annihilated. ... (Here follows the third secret which has never been revealed). ...In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me; it will be converted, and a certain period of peace will be granted to the world.
When you say the rosary, say after each mystery: O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of Hell and lead all souls to Heaven, especially those in need'."
Western Europe must not think that Russia is the only one to be blamed. All warnings including Fatima were given in Western Europe because with the French Revolution, it started diverting from the God. If we recall the prophecy of Pope Leo XIII, the evil spirit attacked mainly Russia. But according to he prophecy, its suffering will be followed by Virgin Mary's triumph. How is it possible to bring it forward? By collaborating with Virgin Mary. (We will talk about that in other articles.)
The substance of the Fatima message is not in the warning of war, it is not supposed to sate our curiosity, but to bring and ensure salvation of souls. It wants to present us with the truth that earthly misfortunes come as a vehicle of divine justice, provoked by the evil in people. At the same time, it is a warning that earthly suffering might turn into eternal destruction.
These three humble, illiterate children of Fatima who knew only their native highland could not understand - the less could they imagine - the events described by Virgin Mary, since not even people who were aware of world developments could predict them.
The apparitions started to attract more attention. The non-catholic press unintentionally contributed to the popularity as it considered the apparitions to be a deception. But paradoxically, the whole Portugal and other countries were able to learn about the Fatima apparitions this way. On August 13, 1917, some 20 thousand pilgrims gathered in Cova da Iria. They prayed the rosary, sang Marian songs and waited for the children. But these were not turning up. What happened?
The Civil Administrator of the district of Fatima, Artur d’Oliviera, a great enemy of the Church, decided to end the “Fatima manifestations”. He therefore kidnapped the children on the day of the apparition and imprisoned them in the magistrate headquarters. The administrator started with promises but then switched to threatening the children with torture and even death, only to make them confess that it all had been a deception. But his threats, such as that he would boil them in hot oil or torture them in prison, could not scare the children to deny the apparitions – they would have rather died.
Meanwhile, at the usual time of the apparition, pilgrims in Cova da Iria heard a clap of thunder and saw a flash of lightning. Then they noticed a little cloud symbolising Virgin Mary’s presence that came and stayed over the holm oak where She used to appear.
Two days later, the children were released at last and after another two days, a protest gathering of Church opponents took place in Fatima. On the very same day, the children had a chance to see and hear the beautiful Lady: “Continue to pray, pray a great deal and sacrifice yourselves for sinners. There are many souls that will go to hell as there is no-one to sacrifice and pray for them.”
After the kidnapping, imprisonment and heroism of the three children people no longer doubted about the apparitions. On September 13, more than 25 000 pilgrims arrived in Fatima. In this apparition, too, the Lady encouraged the children to pray the Rosary in order to obtain the end of the war. She also renewed Her promise of a visible sign She would give in October. The apparition was accompanied by various visions. Besides the aforementioned cloud that surrounded both the oak and the children, all the people observed a globe of light which accompanied Virgin Mary. The sun lost its brightness so that the moon and the stars became visible. There was a rain of white flakes resembling petals which were vanishing several metres above the ground. This phenomenon was repeatedly observed in Fatima afterwards. The visions were an overture to the grand miracle promised for the next month, October.
The whole country could not wait for 13 October 1917. In spite of heavy rain, some 60-70 thousand people gathered in Cova da Iria. The Lady appeared again above the holm oak: “I am Our Lady of the Rosary. I want a chapel to be built here in my honour. Continue to say the Rosary every day. The war will end soon and the soldiers will return to their homes. People must amend their lives and ask forgiveness for sinners. They must not offend Our Lord any more for He is already too much offended.”
Once again the Heavenly Lady opened her hands and threw beams of light towards the sun. All of the more than 60,000 then witnessed a sun miracle. For the previous 24 hours, the sky had been overcast and it had been raining constantly. Suddenly, sun rays penetrated the heavy clouds and the sun looked like a shining silvery and glossy wheel, but it didn’t dazzle anyone’s eyes. The sun was clearly distinguishable from the background and was whirling at an incredible speed. It detached itself from the sky and blood-red, it came plunging down as if it was about to smash the Earth. It was as if the sun was falling onto the huge crowd of people and all could see it including atheists. People thought they were going to die in a few seconds (the situation can be seen from is existing photographs) and even atheists truly turned to the God. It was very hot. Everywhere people were falling into the mud, and on their knees, they prayed and pleaded for divine mercy. It was a miracle in a miracle.
This moment was a demonstration of Christ’s mercy and a victory of the Immaculate Heart of Virgin Mary. It showed a divine miracle people may experience in the last moments of their life, when they may receive a great mercy of being converted to the God and be saved forever.
In ten minutes, the sun regained its usual look.
During the first part of the miracle, the Three Seers had a vision. Lucy later described it in these words: “When Our Lady began to depart into the immensity of the sky, we could see St. Joseph with the child Jesus, and the Holy Mother in dressed in a blue gown. It seemed as if the Holy Family blessed the world. Soon after that I saw Our Lord and Our Lady in such a vision that it occurred to me that She is Our lady of Sorrows. Then the multiple vision ended.”
The Heavenly Mother gave Her children gathered in Cova da Iria yet another little present – their soaked clothes were perfectly dry after the event.
As Virgin Mary foretold, Jacinta and Francisco were soon taken to heaven after a brief bout of illness during which they suffered, but fully devoted themselves to the God. Lucia became a nun. In 1925 (as seen from the timeline in the previous article), Virgin Mary appeared to her again. Her heart was encircled with thorns. She was accompanied by Jesus who said: “Have mercy with the Heart of Thy Holy Mother surrounded with thorns, with which ungrateful men pierce it, no-one making an act of reparation to take the thorns away.”
Then spoke Virgin Mary:
“Look, my Daughter, at my heart, surrounded with thorns, with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You at least try to console me and say that I promise to assist at the hour of death, with the graces necessary for salvation, all those 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 fifteen mysteries of the Rosary, with the intention of making reparation to me.”
The request for five first Saturdays was later changed to nine.
Sister Lucy reminds us that the first great plea of Virgin Mary to the Three Seers (and through them to us) was whether they are willing to sacrifice themselves for sinners and bear the crosses God may send ion order to save them. St. Paul wrote: “...[I] now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake...“ (Col 1,24)
Jesus Christ, who could have paid for everything, wanted us to have a share in the greatest work of the Son of Man as His brothers. The divine mercy gives us, who would be condemned to go to hell be it not for the redemption, the role of God’s collaborators.
But let’s return to Virgin Mary’s message once more. Having shown the Hell to the children, she said: “You saw Hell where the souls of poor sinners go. In order to save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If people do what I ask, many souls will be saved...” That means that the more we are willing to cooperate with the God, the more souls will be saved and the world would enjoy more peace. “...In order to save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If people do what I ask, many souls will be saved...” Consecration to the Immaculate Heart plays a key role in this work of salvation – as we will explain in the next article.
The urge to help sinners is included in the prayers Our Lady of Fatima taught us:
After each decade of the Rosary, we should pray: “O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of Hell and lead all souls to Heaven, especially those in need.”
When praying for conversion of sinners: “O my Jesus, this is for love of You, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the offences committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.”
In the preparatory apparition, the angel taught the children pray this: “My God, I believe in You, I believe for the sake of those who do not believe in you, I love you and I bow to you even for the sake of those who do not love you.”
In the end, let’s just briefly mention further developments concerning Fatima:
Between 1917-24, there were repeated attacks against Fatima from enemies of the Church, including a bomb attack when 4 blasts destroyed the chapel built on the place of the apparitions. The fifth bomb, placed under the holm oak where Virgin Mary appeared, did not go off.
On 13 May 1922, the Church established a commission to investigate into the genuineness of the apparitions.
Between 1922-30, an association for helping the ill was established in Fatima, a Way of the Cross and a hospital were was built, the construction of an exercise house began, the magazine Voice of Fatima started to be published and various other activities were launched.
On 13 October 1930, the Church commission concluded its investigations and proclaimed the apparitions genuine.
In May 1936, the Portuguese bishopric assembly makes and pledges to organise an all-nation thankful pilgrimage to Fatima to thank Virgin Mary and consecrate themselves to Her Immaculate Heart if she saves Portugal from a civil war until the end of 1937 (there was a danger of one in Spain and it broke out there eventually).
Despite all contrary attempts, Portugal was eventually saved not only from a civil war but also exempt from both world wars.
On 13 May 1938 20 archbishops and bishops led by a cardinal, 1000 priests and 500 000 believers made a pilgrimage to Fatima, other believers gathered in their parishes and jointly consecrated themselves.
The aforementioned facts show that back then, the Portuguese people accepted the apparitions.
It is not true that Portugal was not in danger of a war. On the contrary, on 31 December 1940, Hitler wrote to Mussolini in Italy: “We have made all provisions to be able to cross the Spanish border on 10 January 1941 and reach Gibraltar in mid-February.” As he further explained, he wanted to seize Portuguese ports to gain a favourable position for his marine strategy. The offensive was codenamed “Operation Felix”. The invasion troops had 8 divisions, 2000 aircraft and one armoured division. This division was supposed to penetrate from Caeres in Spain to Lisbon and Porto in order to prevent a possible British landing. The danger was so imminent that the Portuguese government planned moving its headquarters to the Azores. In his second address about Fatima on the radio on 13 May 1946, Pope Pius XII said: “This war which was much more atrocious than any previous, was going round you borders for four long years, but did not cross them.”
This is only one example how far Fatima influenced the dynamics and drama of world developments. We have presented a basic description of the Fatima apparition. A more detailed account of the events exceeds the scope of this magazine. We talk about some of the situation in more detail in other articles describing events that are closely linked to Fatima.
The Holy rosary
In Fatima as well as in other places where Virgin Mary gave us a warning she asked mainly for conversion, sacrifice and the prayer of the holy rosary.
This prayer consists of all most important prayers and we will see later that it embraces the entire New Testament. That way the rosary helps us maintain knowledge of dogmatics in times when it is fading away. This is wonderfully illustrated in a story told by Father Cardinal J. Meisner: ”When still an ordination bishop in Erfurt I encountered on one pilgrimage a group of pilgrims from around the Volga river who were forced to live in Siberia for 35 years and grew out of touch with the Church. They told me: ”We miss the Church! Which truths of faith must we teach to our children so that they have eternal life?”
I replied: ”I will give you the catechism and the New Testament.”
Back then, however, books were prohibited from importing into the USSR. After they pointed that out to me I asked: ”Well, how about a rosary? You can bring it back with you, can’t you?”
They answered: ”Yes, we can hang it around the neck. But how does it relate to our question?” I showed them the cross on the rosary: ”We pray the confession of faith on it- that is what we believe in. St. Thomas Aquinas says: ´The cross is a book I will never finish studying.´ And then three pearls follow: Faith, hope, love. That is what we live. And then, the entire New Testament comes, as beads on a string:: The mystery of God’s incarnation in the joyous rosary, the mystery of suffering in the grievous rosary and the mystery of Christ’s redemption and the mystery of our completion in the glorious rosary.” One of the Russian pilgrims took the rosary and said: ”Well, here I hold the entire catholic faith in one hand!” Yes, in a single hand he had the fullness of our faith.”
This is how Virgin Mary gives us this simple yet efficient ammunition in times when faith is being lost and people don’t read the Holy Script any longer.
The point is not only in remembering the truth of faith by praying the holy rosary. This interpretation would be too oversimplified. Let’s raise our eyes higher. God loves his creature and desires his happiness. Yet he cannot and will not force his miracles and gifts upon anyone. A meditative prayer of the rosary must aim at showing our interest in God’s mystery, in God himself and in fulfilling of his will. And God will gladly give to us after we have shown we care for his gifts. It is mostly gifts from Him and his mercy which help us in faith, in hope and in love.
This view is further expressed in words of beatified H. M. Cormier OP who considered this prayer a way to holiness: ”.... At first, simplicity of the mystery will catch your eye; soon you will discover its meaning; step by step you will start to understand spirit included in this prayer; finally, through living faith and effective grace the reality of the mystery will fill your hearts and be reflected in your actions. Jesus and Virgin Mary live in you just as they live in individual mysteries of the rosary.
What are these mysteries? It is gospel hidden in 15 decades which strive to show us Mary’s heart. The rosary is medicine to our souls and principle of life.”
Finally, let’s recollect the words of Father Habánì: ”The mystery of life, death and Christ’s redemption is filled with strength and life from the fullness of which we all receive. Christian life is impossible without participation in Christ’s mysteries; therefore it is not possible without the prayer of the holy rosary. The rosary is a sum of soul’s respect for God-man and for Virgin Mary, his mother. Christ’s mysteries are related to Virgin Mary and that is why the rosary embraces both - Christ’s mysteries as well as the greatness of the Mother of God - and it still hails her as Mother of the Redeemer of the World. Only great souls know how to pray the rosary, those who desire salvation and sanctification; poor earthly souls have many objections against it as they cannot comprehend the sublime nature and the greatness of the prayer. As they are shallow and cumbersome they cannot immerse deeper in the mystery of Christ.
Praying the holy rosary, or at least its decade, every day brings a refreshing moment into the soul amidst tiredness and worries of earthly life. The rosary - what a brief yet substantial prayer book!”
Why do we consecrate ourselves to the Immaculate Heart of Virgin Mary?
As we have learned in the article “Divine mould”, consecration to the Immaculate heart of Virgin Mary is invaluable. The Church teaches that Virgin Mary, conceived without the original sin, never was under Satan’s power, not for the least moment. Souls that seek Virgin Mary’s protection and leadership, consecrate themselves to Her, receive the best leadership for fulfilling God’s will in their lives. Virgin Mary is the best way to Jesus. She is a living being, as the 2nd Vatican Council says, “Taken up to heaven she did not lay aside this salvific duty, but by her constant intercession continued to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation. By her maternal charity, she cares for the brethren of her Son, who still journey on earth surrounded by dangers and cultics, until they are led into the happiness of their true home. Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked by the Church under the titles of Advocate, Auxiliatrix, Adjutrix, and Mediatrix.“
Virgin Mary thus helps us from heaven as a Queen and an Immaculate one. That is why the proclamation of dogmas on the Immaculate conception and Assumption was very important. The Church thus accepted a heavenly gift also in this respect.
If we consecrate ourselves to Virgin Mary, she will help us as the best guide on our way to her Son. The God has plans with each and everyone in this world. It was Virgin Mary who fulfilled God’s will to the fullest extent and it is her who can help us best understand God’s intentions.
By consecration we give Virgin Mary the whole life and all our deeds. And here a fantastic phenomenon emerges, as described by St. Maxmilian Kolbe. He writes: “...it is also true that our deeds, however “pious”, are not flawless, and when we want to sacrifice them to Lord Jesus clean and spotless, we have to direct them to the Immaculate One and give them to Her, so that She may pass them as Her property to Her Son. Our deeds will then acquire incalculable value through Jesus’ Divinity, and we will thus solemnly celebrate the God.”
Similarly, St. Louis Grignion teaches in parables: “...it is as if someone wanted to win the king’s favour, went to the queen and gave her an apple which was the whole harvest, and ask her to pass it to the king. The queen would put the apple in a large, beautiful, golden bowl and offered it to the king. The apple, although inappropriate as a gift on itself, would, placed in the golden bowl, become a gift worthy Her who would offer it...”
Every good deed of ours is infected with pride, egotism and Virgin Mary “...cleanses it of all self-love and the untraceable adherence, which, unnoticed, sneaks into the best deeds...”
through Mary to Jesus
From St. Maxmilian Kolbe´s letter to his fellow brother Mateusz:
You write: “I cannot comprehend how I could love both Jesus and Mary at the same time...?” And your father and mother, you could have loved them both and besides them also brothers or sisters? Of course, our target is God, Holy Trinity, yet it does not prevent us from loving God Father as God Father, God Son as God Son, Holy Spirit as Holy Spirit, Lord Jesus as Lord Jesus, Mother of God as Mother of God and also our father and mother, relatives or angels and saints and all people - and obviously not one after another but all of them at the same time. You cannot think of them all simultaneously but it does not prevent simultaneous true love for all of them. You write: “I walk in front of the tabernacle, I talk to Jesus...” and you ask: “Where is Maria? She without whom it is difficult to approach Jesus, she who is the shortest route?” I must add to your words, not only “difficult”, it is virtually impossible to approach Jesus without Mary. Why? Leaving alone the fact She gave birth to Jesus and brought him up for us, approaching Jesus is doubtlessly grace and all grace comes to us through Her, just as Lord Jesus himself came through Her. You may think: Can I then speak directly to Jesus without thinking of Mary? My dear, it is not for you to think or feel. The fact is that it is so without you even realizing it. If you truly love Lord Jesus you desire most of all to fulfil His will in everything which includes to receive grace in a way determined by Him. With this attitude you can and you should always turn to the heart of Lord Jesus with conviction you will receive everything.
You write: “She must receive something from me, too, I must breathe with Her, live with Her, devote myself fully to Her, think of Her ... but Jesus is the source of mercy and love. He invites us to Himself, He gives Himself in the sacrament of the altar - Maria only helps.” My dear, the source of all good, in any order whether natural or supernatural (i.e. grace) is apparently God Father who always acts through the Son and Holy Spirit, which form Holy Trinity. It is true that the only Mediator to the Father is Incarnated Son Jesus Christ, Man of God, through whom our praise for the Father is turned from human into divine, our praise of negligible value is transformed into praise of eternal value and as such becomes truly worthy of the Father’s majesty. It is true that the Father we love in the Son, in Jesus Christ. To Him we must pass all our love so that the Father receives all our love in Him and through Him. Yet it is also true that our actions, as “holy” as may be, are not immaculate, and when we wish to sacrifice them to Lord Jesus purely and immaculately we must give them directly to the Immaculate Lady so that She can give them as her property to her Son. In such manner, our actions will gain infinite value through deity of Jesus and we will worship God with dignity.
What is the Cenacle of prayer with Virgin Mary?
The place where Our Lord Jesus ate the Easter Lamb with his disciples before his suffering was given the name Cenacle. There the disciples gathered after Jesus’ Ascension:
“These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.” (Acts 1:14)
A big change took place in the Cenacle. After the crucifixion of Lord Jesus, the apostles were weak, frightened, their faith was shaken. The future of the Church, from a human point of view, seemed to be gloomy but the prayers of the apostles and Mary, the mother of Jesus, had an incredible effect. They prepared them for the descent of Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, their miraculous conversion into brave disseminators of the Gospel. The Holy Spirit, prayed for in the Cenacle, affected not only the apostles but all people. All those who listened to them understood, believed and were baptised. The Holy Spirit accomplished what no-one could imagine. It was the miracle of Pentecost which originated in the Cenacle.
Thus Virgin Mary wants to summon all her children in present time, which is a time of hardship for the Church and for the world, because only the Holy Spirit can do the miracle of God’s merciful love so that all people of the world understand, believe and convert. The Cenacle of prayer is a way Virgin Mary leads us to a new Pentecost which will be the ultimate triumph of her Immaculate Heart she had promised in Fatima.
Two great events took place in the Cenacle in Jerusalem:
The institution of the Eucharist on Palm Thursday and the Pentecost as described in the Acts.
The whole Church was present in the Cenacle back then. There, it was established and spread to the world.
The current Pope John Paul II says that the world needs new evangelisation. Not even the first evangelisation would not work without help from the Holy Spirit prayed for in the Cenacle. Likewise, the new evangelisation will not be possible without praying for a new descent of the Holy Spirit.
Virgin Mary says in Don Gobbi’s book:
“I invite all sons of the Church to unite in a permanent cenacle of prayer with me, your Heavenly Mother. I invite all bishops, priests, religious people and believers. My Immaculate Heart is a place of this new spiritual and universal cenacle. You must enter it by consecration which entrusts you to me forever so that I can join my voice with yours when praying for the gift of the second Pentecost for the Church and the whole mankind.”
(May 4, 1989)
“The second Pentecost will come because cenacles of prayer I was asking you for so often and with growing urge, are now spread all over the world…
The second Pentecost will come as a river of mercy and grace…
The second Pentecost will come as dew and will turn desert into garden where the whole mankind will haste like bride to the hands of their Lord… Take this poor sick mankind into your clerical arms and bring it to the motherly clinic of my Immaculate Heart so that your heavenly Mother can heal them. You are doing so by making all - priests, believers, children, youth, families - consecrate to my Immaculate Heart… Have courage, my beloved…”
Virgin Mary calls up her children to pray with her – these prayers and moments of brotherly love are called the Cenacle.
Cenacles of the Marian Movement of Priests can be cenacles of priests or cenacles with believers. These can be parish cenacles, family cenacles where one or more families gather together, children’s cenacles, youth cenacles… Wherever believers gather in the spirit of Virgin Mary’s message from Fatima and pray for the triumph of Her Immaculate Heart, there is the Cenacle.
The basic elements of the Cenacle of the Marian Movement of Priests are as follows:
- Invocation to the Holy Spirit,
- showing intention to meet with Virgin Mary in meditation and prayers, to lay ourselves fully in Her hands and await new Pentecost together with Her, at the same time to ignite faith in the triumph of Her Immaculate Heart. Readings and meditation of a message from “Blue Book” - “To the Priests, Our Lady’s Beloved Sons” should help with this.
- Recitation of the Holy Rosary,
- The Act of Consecration to Immaculate Heart of Mary,
- Prayers for our Holy Father, the Pope.
At the end of the cenacle, we can sing the “anthem of MMP”.
Besides that, a Cenacle should provide room for brotherly getting together of the participants, or fraternity.
It is forbidden to change this structure, “enhance” it in any way, not even with messages from other apparitions. The reasons have been discussed in the Marian Era magazine.
The Fatima Saturday Service - Cenacle
People often ask whether these two holy services are the same or different, because they both mean the acceptance of Virgin Mary’s call from Fatima.
In Fatima, Our Lady came to announce the decisive era in the history of redemption, when the final battle against the God will end with a definite victory of the God. She revealed that She will be the one who will lead us to that victory and therefore the God’s great victory will mean a triumph of Her Immaculate Heart.
Some time passed and we can see certain progress as Our Lady leads us to the promised victory:
In Fatima, she asked only for the basics of spiritual life:
sacrifice for the conversion of sinners.
8 years later, when her appeal was partly accepted, the Mother of God appears to sister Lucy (this event has is described in the timeline elsewhere in the magazine) in her cell in December 1925 and asked for Communion of Reparation on first Saturdays. She started to mobilise those who accepted the Fatima message – she sets a day when they are supposed to unite in this spirit. She was not asking for converging as yet, she was only asking for fulfilling the five requests for the first Saturdays:
· holy communion,
· prayer of the Rosary,
· contemplation of its secrets,
· intent to provide reparation for insults of Her Immaculate Heart.
Step by step she was leading people to deeper experience of their Christian lives. But those who accepted Her message from Fatima, under Her leadership, desired to unite and join in these worships. These became the first Saturday Communions, called Fatima Saturdays.
These were all acts connected with spiritual life of individuals.
Time has passed and Virgin Mary, through Don Gobbi, establishes the Marian Movement of Priests. The movement is disseminated by means of the “Blue Book”. There Virgin Mary addresses all Her children who have the apostolic spirit. In this movement, people say “yes” to become contemporary apostles, like the ancient apostles said their “yes” to Jesus. They may be even weak people, because strength is not important for the God. The God does the greatest things himself, he needs just our “yes”. The texts of the Blue Book help us live in consecration. They are a permanent invitation to say our “yes” to the God through consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Virgin Mary, because its triumph is the God’s plan for our era.
As we are open to listen to the messages contained in the Blue Book, an internal transformation takes place inside us, unnoticed. The transformation is supernatural in the first place, because when we said “yes”, the God started acting. However, we can see a change on the natural level. Let’s see how: a major weakness of today’s Christianity is a kind of “faith of security”, that means that people turn to the God in order to “secure” their needs, including redemption. But in cenacles, people are led to take God’s intents for their own, getting closer and closer to the God so that they can offer themselves to Him for His plans, obtaining thus the apostolic spirit. What else does the world need for its revival than this?
Besides the supernatural power of prayers, people get together naturally in the cenacles and when they grow in the apostolic spirit, and when there is some need in the parish, they are able to act. Thus the movement helps revive parishes.
And finally, there is perhaps the best understandable aspect from the human point of view - education. The messages of the Blue Book invite readers to become contemporary apostles, they prepare us to be the apostles of new evangelisation which will develop fully at the time of the second Pentecost and for which we are praying in our cenacles. The messages of the Blue Book talk about events from the lives of Jesus and Mary throughout the liturgical year, especially from the point of vie of their inner attitudes - the inner attitude of Virgin Mary which led Her to offer herself to God’s plans, the inner attitude of Jesus which led him to fulfil Father’s will. Likewise, we are asked for the same attitude, applied to the present world. And suddenly, we can see the “security” Christian turning into a mature Christian who takes God’s plans for his or her own.
Participation in cenacles is another step on the way from the Fatima apparition to the promised triumph of the Immaculate Heart. Fatima Saturdays are supposed to teach us devote at least one day every month to think about the triumph and the quality of our spiritual lives. Now, as time is running, we should recall the promised victory in cenacles more and more often and an effort to improve one’s spiritual life should be a matter-of-course, and so should our effort to understand God’s intentions with us. Because the God has an intention with everyone of us.
EVANGELISATION FROM THE CENACLE
The Apostles received the gift of the Holy Spirit not only for themselves but also to go and spread the gospel. Thus, our cenacles, are not the aim but the means, help in new evangelisations which is an urgent task for the Church.
Our Lady leads the modern apostles to be sensitive to the God’s will and God’s acts in both their lives and history and thus realise what their role is. She wants to teach us recognise divine acts the lives of ourselves, our nations and the whole mankind, so that we can participate in and fulfil the God’s will. In the cenacle, we are waiting for our chance, refreshed by the Holy Spirit, to herald great divine deeds like the Apostles at Pentecost.
The God often comes in assistance in the form of the Holy Spirit.
Let’s recall two events:
The Advent of the Redeemer to the world - the descent of the Holy Spirit onto a humble girl of Nazareth who then became the Mother of Our Lord.
Or on Good Friday, when Christ’s work was hopeless from the human point of view, the Holy Spirit descends upon the disciples who gathered for prayer in the cenacle and causes their mysterious conversion.
At the present time, we have to face a large number of dangers of all kinds, our efforts are often marred. But we have a great hope. That is why we meet in Cenacles of Prayer in order to obtain divine help, the power of the Holy Spirit.
Maria is always present when the Holy Spirit comes to help. She was present when the God was born as a Man from the Holy Spirit. She was present in the Cenacle at the Pentecost, when the Church was born. Today, she is present in Cenacles. She is a guarantee that the Holy Spirit is present.
The advent of the Redeemer had been foretold by ancient prophets. The Pentecost miracle had been foretold as well. Jesus promised it to His disciples at the Last Supper. Even our era was promised Heaven that will end the rule of the evil – Our Lady’s promise in Fatima: “In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph!“
That is why we are waiting for it while praying in cenacles, the same way the disciples awaited it in the Upper Chamber in Jerusalem.
SPIRITUAL OBLIGATIONS OF THE MARIAN MOVEMENT OF PRIESTS:
1. consecration to the immaculate heart of Virgin Mary
2. unity with the Pope and the Church (that means with the apostolic office of the Church and its proclamations and documents).
3. bring Christians to great confidence in Virgin Mary.
“To him that knocketh it shall be opened...”
The Epistle to the Ephesians reads: “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints” (Ephesians 6:18).
This advice comes from Jesus. He told the parable about a troublesome widow in order to emphasise “that men ought always to pray, and not to faint” (viz. Luke 18:1).
The woman of Canaan perfectly illustrates the need for such an urgent prayer that does not let itself to be turned down and eventually gets what it is asking for. At first, she is asking for healing her daughter. And Jesus, so it is written, “answered her not a word”. When the woman insisted, Jesus retorted he was not sent but to the sheep of the house of Israel. Then she fell on the ground in front of him and worshipped him but Jesus said it was not meet to take the children’s bread and to cast it to dogs. Fairly enough to deter anyone. However, the woman of Canaan did not give in and said: “Truth, Lord: yet the dogs...” Then Jesus cried joyously: “O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt.” (Matthew 15:21an).
Praying long and consistently does not mean to use many words, prattle pointlessly like pagans (viz. Matthew 6:7). It means to pray often, not to cease to pray, not to cease to hope, never to give in. It means not to take a rest and not to give a rest to the God. “Ye that make mention of the Lord, keep not silence, And give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth.” (Isaiah 62:6-7).
But why should our prayer be persistent and why the God does not hear our prayers immediately? Does not he promise in the Holy Scripture that he will hear prayers at the moment someone prays, yes, even before he finishes his prayer? “Before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.” (Isaiah 65:24) Jesus stresses: “And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily.” (Luke 18:7-8).
But does our experience not refute these words clearly? No. The God promised to hear our prayers every time and that he will hear them immediately, and so he does. We just have to open our eyes. That is very true. The God keeps His word. When He hesitates with help, He is already helping. Such hesitation is a help of a kind. That is because if He swiftly heard someone’s prayer, He would not be able to heal him or her completely. We have to differentiate between hearing a prayer and hearing the real need of the person praying, which is salvation. The Gods hears always and instantly according to what is needed for the salvation of the praying person. (Which is or should be his or her innermost wish.) The God cannot always hear his or her will if it is not good. Sometimes we say, as in Psalms: “Hear my prayer…, hear me when I call, O God…”, and it seems to us that the God never hears us. But if we look better, we can see that the God did hear our prayers! If we continue praying, it is because the God heard our prayer, otherwise would not be praying any longer. The God promised to always give “good things”, “the Holy Spirit”, to those who ask. He promised to do everything we ask of Him “according to His will” (viz. 1 John 5:14). He does not give us what is not according to His will or what is not a “good thing” and what would therefore do us bad. But isn’t this an evidence that He hears us? Doesn’t this mean that he takes our lives and prayers seriously? If a son asked his father for bread, would he give him a snake? Never! (viz. Matthew 7:9-10). But if a son asked his father for a snake and did not know it was a snake he was asking for, and if the son then cried and accused his father that he did not love him, would the father give it to him? By no means! He would rather bear unjust accusation than give his child something poisonous.
The God is hearing, even though he appears not to be. Even if He hesitates with giving us good things, he does hear us. By hesitating, He makes it possible for our faith to grow, helps us to pray better. At the beginning, we usually ask for trifles, ask for small needs of our present lives. We do not realise what is really worth asking for. When the God waits, we may gradually realise the real needs, we realise how much we need God, faith, patience, love, humility more than material things. So, in the end, when the God opened our heart, He can fill it as it deserves. Let’s look at the case of the woman of Canaan. If Jesus had heard her immediately as she prayed, what would have happened? Her daughter would have no longer been vexed with devil, but everything else would remain the same and both the mother and daughter would have ended their lives as everyone else. Instead, by his hesitation, Jesus made it possible for her faith and humility to grow until he could cry with joy “O woman, great is thy faith” (Matthew 15:28). She then went home to find her daughter made whole, but she, herself, was changed, she believed in Christ. Being of a Syrian-Phoenician origin, she was one of the first believers among pagans. And this holds forever and ever. So it happens when our prayers are not heard immediately and we continue praying.
Based on p. R. Cantalamessa.