Padre Pio and the Immaculate Conception of Mary, 2021

St. Pio of Pietrelcina’s loving meditation on the Immaculate Conception of Mary and his prayer to her:

“From all eternity, Almighty God took delight in what was to be the most perfect work of His hands, and anticipated this wonderful plan with an outpouring of His grace. Man, created innocent, fell by disobeying Him; the mark of original sin remained engraved on his forehead and that of his progeny who will bear its consequences until the end of time.

A woman brought ruin, and a woman was to bring salvation. The one, being tempted by a serpent, stamped the mark of sin on the human race; the other was to rise, through grace, pure and immaculate. She would crush the head of the serpent who was helpless before her and who struggled in vain under her heel; for she was conceived without sin and through her came grace to mankind.

Protected by grace by Him Who was to be the Savior of mankind that had fallen into sin, she escaped all shadow of evil. She sprang from the mind of God as a pure ray of light, and will shine like a morning star over the human race that turns to her. She will be the sure guide who will direct our steps toward the Divine Sun which is Jesus Christ. He makes her radiant with divine splendor and points to her as our model of purity and sanctity. No creature surpasses her, but all creation defers to her through the grace of Him Who made her Immaculate. He Whom she was to carry in her womb was the Son of God participating with the Father and the Holy Ghost in the glory of her conception.

Clothed in light from the moment of her conception, she grew in grace and comeliness. After Almighty God, she is the most perfect of creatures; more pure than the angels; God is indeed well pleased in her, since she most resembles Him and is the only worthy repository of His secrets.

In the natural order she preceded her Divine Child, Our Lord, but in the divine order Jesus, the Divine Sun, arose before her, and she received from Him all grace, all purity, all beauty. All is darkness compared to the pure light that renews all creation through Him Whom she bore in her womb, as the dew on the rose.

The Immaculate Conception is the first step in our salvation. Through this singular and unique gift Mary received a profusion of Divine Grace, and through her cooperation she became worthy of absorbing infinitely more.

The three Divine persons imbue this sublime creature with all her privileges, her favors and her graces, and with all her holiness.

The Eternal Father created her pure and Immaculate and is well pleased in her for she is the worthy dwelling of His only Son. Through the generating of His Son in His bosom from all eternity, He forecasts the generation of His Son as Man in the pure womb of this Mother and He clothed her from her conception in the radiant snowy garment of grace and of most perfect sanctity; she participates in His perfection.

The Son Who chose her for His Mother poured His wisdom into her from that very beginning, by infused knowledge she knew her God. She loved and served Him in the most perfect manner as He had never been loved and served on this earth.

The Holy Ghost poured His love into her; she was the only creature worthy or capable of receiving this love in unlimited measure because no other had sufficient purity to come so near to God; and being near to Him could know and love Him ever more. She was the only creature capable of containing the stream of love which poured into her from on high. She alone was worthy to return to Him from Whom came that love. This very love prepared her for that “Fiat” which delivered the world from the tyranny of the infernal enemy and overshadowed her, the purest of doves, making her pregnant with the Son of God.

St. Pio’s Prayer to the Immaculata

My most pure Mother, my soul so poor, all stained with wretchedness and sin cries out to thy maternal heart. In thy goodness deign, I beseech thee, to pour out on me at least a little of the grace that flowed into thee with such infinite profusion from the Heart of God. Strengthened and supported by this grace, may I succeed in better loving and serving Almighty God Who filled thy heart completely, and Who created the temple of thy body from the moment of thine Immaculate Conception.

Oh, my Mother, how ashamed I feel in thy presence, weighed down as I am with faults! Thou art most pure and immaculate from the moment of thy conception, indeed, from the moment in eternity when thou wert conceived in the mind of God.

Have pity on me! May one compassionate look of thine eyes revive me, purify me and lift me up to God; raising me from the filth of this world so that I may go to Him Who created me, Who regenerated me in Holy Baptism, giving me back my white robe of innocence that original sin had so defiled. Dear Mother, make me love Him! Pour into my heart that love which burns in thine for Him. Even though I be clothed in misery, I revere the mystery of thine Immaculate Conception, and I ardently wish that through it, thou may purify my heart so that I may love thy God and my God. Cleanse my mind that it may reach up to Him and contemplate Him and adore Him in spirit and in truth. Purify my body that I too may be a tabernacle for Him and be less unworthy of possessing Him when He deigns to come to me in Holy Communion. Amen.

Whenever I read  St. Pio’s meditation on the Immaculata, it fills me with peace and hope.  And now I pray that you too are blessed! Take heart, for we are her children after all, and she assures us “I will never forsake you!”

Remember – Our Lady needs us to obey:  First Saturdays of Reparation, daily rosary, at least 5 mysteries, wear her brown scapular and live your Total Consecration to her Immaculate Heart, offering daily duties in reparation and for the conversion of poor sinners.

†  St. Padre Pio, pray for our priests, pray for the Church!

†  Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of our hearts, Mother of the Church, do thou offer to the Eternal Father the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the conversion of poor sinners, especially our Pontiff.

†  Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done!

†  St. Joseph, guardian of the Holy Family, protect our families, protect our priests!

†  St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle!

~ by evensong for love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O Sacred Virgin! Give me strength against thine enemies!

Novena in Honor of the Immaculate Conception

This is our second offering today – a lovely Novena composed by Saint Maximilian Kolbe. I hope you find it useful!

To prepare for the great feast of the Immaulate Conception of the most holy Mother of Our Lord Jesus Christ, we offer this Novena composed by Saint Maximilan Kolbe.

NOVENA IN HONOR OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

By St. Maximilian Kolbe

Opening prayer to the Immaculata

I greet you, ever-blessed Virgin, Mother of God throne of grace, miracle of almighty power! I greet you, sanctuary of the most Holy Trinity and Queen of the universe, Mother of mercy and refuge of sinners! Most loving Mother, attracted by your beauty and sweetness and by your tender compassion, I confidently turn to you, and beg of you to obtain for me of your dear Son the favor I request in this novena (here mention you request).

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Rosary Novena for the Immaculate Conception

Today, we feature not one but two Novenas for the Immaculate Conception. This is our accustomed post for the Novena, but in a couple hours, we will have a new Novena, composed by St. Maximilian. Kolbe. It is very beautiful and I’ve found it to be a fine inspiration!

Looking forward to the great feastday of the Immaculata on December 8, we prepare our souls for this feast day, the crown of the Marian year, when we will once again renew our Total Consecrations to her. Our Lord is suffering greatly now and so is Our Lady, let us renew our resolve to offer all for love of them! We must console them, offer reparation for this horrid flood of sins, beseech mercy for sinners. Each soul that is saved by our sacrifices and prayers is a defeat over satan and a victory for our Immaculate Queen and Mother!

If we begin our Rosary Novena today, we shall complete it on December 7. If at all possible, a full Rosary of all 15 decades each day would be the very best!

Resplendent Victory

Our Lady has already given us the keys to victory – her Rosary and devotion to her Immaculate Heart.  There has never been a better time to take up our Rosaries and join our Queen and Mother in her battle!

Solange Hertz explained this best:

“Damaged perspective is quickly corrected by reference to the Mysteries of the Rosary, which contain the whole of human history in prophecy. For the Church there is no possibility of failure. Faithfully reproducing the life of her blessed Lord on earth as Mary did, she has left the Joyful Mysteries far behind and is already at grips with the Sorrowful ones. Approaching her own crucifixion, she is even now on the Way of the Cross which leads to the Resurrection. Like her divine Master, “who having joy set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame” (Heb.12:2), she keeps her gaze fixed on the Glorious Mysteries lying ahead.

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Thanksgiving 2021

Happy Thanksgiving!

And thank you for your support.as we dealt with a series of attacks on Return to Fatima, and the moved our site to WordPress.com and with much help from the support team at WordPress, managed to get about 25% of our old posts restored plus several new posts.

And we do have so much to be thankful for!

When we think on it, thanksgiving is the language of heaven and all of our favorite saints were proficient at this most joyous virtue. This morning, I thought of this as I read the following from Saint Catherine, who personifies graciousness in her writings:

Oh! Good! oh! Eternal Greatness! You made Yourself low and small to make man great. On whichever side I turn I find nothing but the abyss and fire of Your charity. And can a wretch like me pay back to You the graces and the burning charity that You have shown and show with so much burning love in particular to me beyond common charity, and the love that You show to all Your creatures?

. . . You alone, most sweet and amorous Father, are He who will be thankful and grateful for me, that is, that the affection of Your charity itself will render You thanks, because I am she who is not, and if I spoke as being anything of myself, I should be lying by my own head, and should be a lying daughter of the Devil, who is the father of lies, because You alone are He who is. And my being and every further grace that You have bestowed upon me, I have from You, who give them to me through love, and not as my due.

I do not wish, oh! Eternal Father, ineffable Fire of Love, that my heart should ever grow weary, or my eyes fail through tears, in desiring Your honor and the salvation of souls, but I beg of You, by Your grace, that they may be as two streams of water issuing from You, the Sea Pacific. Thanks, thanks to You, oh! Father, for having granted me that which I asked You and that which I neither knew nor asked; for by thus giving me matter for grief, You have invited me to offer before You sweet, loving, and yearning desires, with humble and continual prayer.

Mercy for the Church

Now I beg of You that You will do mercy to the world and to the holy Church. I pray You to fulfill that which You caused me to ask You. Alas! what a wretched and sorrowful soul is mine, the cause of all these evils. Do not put off any longer Your merciful designs towards the world, but descend and fulfill the desire of Your servants. “Ah me! You cause them to cry in order to hear their voices! Your truth told us to cry out, and we should be answered; to knock, and it would be opened to us; to beg, and it would be given to us.

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The Eucharist and the Apocalypse

The judgments executed by the Eucharistic Lamb upon Satan shall involve the whole world not to destroy but to chasten it and wrest it from the hands of Satan liberating the human race from his sordid servitude. (Father Herman Bernard Kramer, The Book of Destiny)

Our good priests can (and often do!) prevent Eucharistic sacrilege and offer reparation for it. God bless our holy priests! To remind us of the pre-eminence of the Sacrifice of the Mass and the Blessed Sacrament in the unfolding of the Apocalypse, we offer the following.

In The Book of Destiny, Father Herman Bernard Kramer writes of satan that,

“… in trying to destroy Christ and His work, he brought the greatest defeat and humiliation of all upon himself and lost everything he had apparently gained in Paradise (with the temptation of Adam and Eve). With man redeemed and heaven re-opened, Satan’s kingdom in the world has been dismembered ever more and more, not so much by an almighty act of God or by an almighty word of the God-man, as by the words of mere man pronounced at the Consecration of the Mass. Man is here empowered to overthrow the kingdom of Satan and drive him out of the world. Christ is now triumphant over Satan in the humble and lifeless appearance of the eucharistic species.

This is the last phase of the final and hopeless defeat and utmost humiliation of the archenemy of God and man. 

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Sister Josefa Menendez on Purgatory, 2021

For November, we offer a few excerpts from a true saint for our times, Sister Josefa Menendez, the author of  “The Way of Divine Love”, a treasure of a book that I love dearly. These few quotes give a quite an insight into purgatory. There is much to think on in them.

The Abyss of Woe

In Lent 1922, God put Sister Josefa  in touch with an abyss of woe, Purgatory. Many souls came to solicit her suffrages and sacrifices in terms of very great humility. At first she was frightened, but by degrees she became accustomed to their confidences. She listened to them, asked them their names, encouraged them, and very humbly recommended herself to their intercession. The lessons they inculcated are worth remembering. One of them came to announce her deliverance and said: “The important thing is not entrance into religion, but entrance into the next world.” “If religious souls but realized the heavy price to be paid for concessions to the body …” said another, while asking for prayers.

“My exile is at an end and I am going to my eternal home….” A priest-soul said to her: “How great is the mercy of God, when He deigns to make use of the sufferings of other souls to repair our infidelities; what a degree of glory I might have acquired had my life been different.” A nun who, on her entrance into Heaven, confided to Josefa: “How different the things of earth appear when one passes into eternity. What are charges and offices in the sight of God? All He counts is the purity of our intention when exercising them, even in the smallest acts. How little is the earth and all it contains, and yet, how loved…. Ah, what comparison is there between life, however prolonged, and eternity! If only it were realized how in Purgatory the soul is wearied and consumed with desire to see God.”

There were also some poor souls, who having escaped through God’s mercy from a still greater peril, came to beg Josefa to hasten their deliverance. “I am here by God’s great mercy,” one of them said, “for my excessive pride had brought me to the gates of Hell. I influenced a great number of other people, and now I would gladly throw myself at the feet of the most abject pauper. “Have compassion on me and do acts of humility to make reparation for my pride, thus you will be able to deliver me from this abyss.”

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With Mary at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, 2021

A priest reader of ours from Africa recently commented favorably on this article, which we posted in September 2017. When I posted it, it was largely ignored, but I hope that perhaps with this repost, more will see its. Some time ago, several readers asked for an article or two about the Mass. Today, we offer a few excerpts from an  essay that appeared in 1935, written by a little known Jesuit, Father John Sexton Kennedy.

AT MASS WITH MARY

A glory of new stars, downward flung
And forged into seven swords, has stung
The heart of the Woman whom I pass
On my way to the altar for morning Mass.
There is no shrill crowd,
there are no hoarse cries,
But I meet One
bearing a cross in her eyes.

Those people who twenty centuries ago were present on Calvary because they hated Jesus Christ paid more attention to the sacrifice of the cross than do most of us who are Sunday after Sunday present at Mass because we love Jesus Christ. This is a fact at once startling and sobering. …

What is most difficult is to keep well focused the basic truth that the Sacrifice of the Mass is really the same sacrifice as that of Calvary. In the absence of glittering spears, strained and distorted faces, hideous cries, a grim cross we utterly forget that we attend the crucifixion of Christ.

Could we but sufficiently appreciate the fact, our problem of keeping attentive, devout at Mass would be solved. As a means to this end, a means not indeed perfect but if earnestly tried quite effective, we are suggesting the effort to hear Mass with Mary. The lessons which we can learn from Our Blessed Lady are quite beyond numbering; none of them is simpler or of greater value than that of worthy assistance at holy Mass. Herein we shall consider first the thorough excellence of Mary’s following of the first Mass, and then the value to us of her exceptional example.

UNION OF INTENTIONS

No one of us countless Christians who have come after her has ever heard Mass as well as Mary did on Calvary. No one of us has ever heard Mass under precisely the same circumstances as she. True the sacrifice of our altars is the same as that of the great, gaunt cross; but the rending of the body she had borne, delivered, nursed at her breast, the spilling of the Precious Blood which had had its fountain source in the quiet places of her heart were not screened from Mary’s eyes, as they are from ours, by the appearances of bread and wine. They were present to her in brutal, unescapable reality. However this fact contributed least to the perfection of Our Blessed Lady’s participation in the holy sacrifice. Contributing infinitely more were acts of her mind and of her will.

She realized that the exquisite fruit of her womb, utterly crushed by slow suffering, was God, only Son of the unsired Father. She realized that He was dying to undo the sins of the ages. She recognized here the culmination of the conflict between divine love and sin.

Sin had been man’s answer to God’s love;
Love, abandoned to sacrifice, was now God’s answer to man’s sin.

Penetrating the meaning, the worth of this sacrifice, Mary bowed her will to that of God the Father, united her breaking heart with that of the dying Christ, and heroically prayed that the unimaginable agony of the cross might not be in vain.

These acts of Our Blessed Lady we can profitably and without difficulty imitate in our assistance at holy Mass. We know that what takes place at the hands of the priests at our altars is what took place at the hands of the soldiers on the desolate hill outside Jerusalem twenty centuries ago.

We know that He who suffers so is God of very God. We know that He goes down silent to an appalling death to save us from sin. And so as we kneel in the presence of this great oblation of God to God, we shall be with Mary. Wherever, whenever the cross is set up, she stands beneath it. She will help us to attend well and profit by its surpassing mystery.

Confiteor

Mass begins with a solemn confession of guilt. In the Confiteor, said twice before the priest goes up to the spotless altar (once by him, once by the boy in the name of all of us present), the reason for the Mass is set forth; the tone, the chief quality of our participation is suggested.

The great sin of our day is the casual assumption that there is no sin.

But Mary, without sin though she was, appreciates its stinging reality. Sin it was which had torn the singing stars down from the Bethlehem night sky to beat them into seven swords and here to plunge the last of them into her wrung soul.

Sin it was, our sin, which alone separated sinless Son and Immaculate Mother, flinging Him on a cross to die, leaving her in tears at its foot. And as we kneel at the renewal of His staggering sacrifice, we know in our hearts that there is such a thing as sin. We know because we have been guilty of it. We have turned away from God Our Father.

The light has gone out of our lives,
and we cannot find our way back to Him.

To light that way, a savage spear-thrust had to tear open the fierce furnace of love burning in the breast of a dying God. And only so was reconciliation made possible. That reconciliation is in the Mass about to be renewed in all its sufficiency, in all its fullness. While the priest mounts the altar steps, as Jesus did the arid hill, Mary reminds us of the treasures that are ours for the asking. Prompted by her, we acknowledge the sins which we so much regret; we heap them upon the back of the priest; we beg for forgiveness, for healing, for strength against future temptation.

Introit and Kyrie

The priest first reads the Introit. This varies from day to day. Generally it consists of a few words from the Old Testament; words rich in memories, often on the lips of God-fearing men during the long centuries before the coming of Christ; words which watered wilted hopes and fed those who looked with hungry eyes for the dawning of the day which would see the dominion of sin shattered and men reconciled with their Father; words familiar to Mary, lovingly repeated by her as she awaited the advent of the blessed Messias.

Moving to the centre of the altar, the priest gives utterance to an ancient prayer, simple but grave with significance: “Lord, have mercy on us!” It is the cry of the sin-oppressed, the cry of those who are lost in the night of human weakness and terrified by the realization, the voice of one saying:

Cry!
And I said: What shall I cry?
All flesh is grass, and the glory thereof as the flower of the field.
The grass is withered, and the flower fallen.
But the mercy of God endureth forever!

With Mary in her humble home we say,
“Lord, have mercy on us!”
 And instant He is in mercy, instant and bountiful.
Be comforted, be comforted, my people, saith your God.
 Speak ye to the heart of Jerusalem and call to her;
 For her evil is come to an end; her iniquity is forgiven.
To save men from their fallen selves, God, so loving the world, promises salvation.

Gloria

And in the pregnant quiet of Nazareth a Virgin’s womb comes thrillingly alive with incarnate love. Mary is miraculously with child. She moves unknown, unnoticed down through the land of promise, through the very midst of those who are groaning for deliverance. And between the night’s end and the day’s beginning, under a roof of rock, in a lonely hillside cave Mary brings forth the Son of God, flesh-bound, and lays Him in a bin where oxen feed. High in the shining night wondering angels sing, and it is their song which the priest next takes up: “Glory to God in the highest and, at long last, peace to men. We adore thee; we bless thee.”

God has given us His only Son. Can we adequately phrase our gratitude? “We give thee thanks, O God the Father, and thee, Lamb of God, come to bear away the sins of the world.”

Epistle And Gospel

How to live in and by the eternal Son made man, as Mary did in the cloistered peace of the Holy Family, we learn from the Epistle. And as the Gospel is read, we stand with Mary on the fringe of the dusty, eager-faced throng that the words of the eternal Word rouse like lightning flashes or the shouts of a lusty wind.

Credo

After the Gospel comes the Creed, that sweeping, majestic act of faith in Christ and the truths He proclaimed by the lakeside. The awed Elizabeth had said to Mary: “Blessed art thou who hast believed.” And we, as soon as we have heard the magnificent message of Him whom Mary bore, are at once reminded that however naturally attractive the message may seem,  proper acceptance of it, worthy and fruitful living by it require divine faith. Our Blessed Lord Himself says:

“For God so loved the world that He sent His only-begotten Son, That whosoever believeth in Him may not perish, but may have everlasting life. He that believeth in me is not judged. He that believeth not is already judged: Because he hath not believed in the name of the only-begotten Son of God.”

Christ demands faith of us that we may carry Him into the sharp tests and crises of our every day, involving as they do temptation and sin. Christ demands faith of His Mother and His disciples that at the dramatic, humanly bewildering finish of His life they may stand firm and not fall miserably away.

Offertory

The finish of His life, the sacrifice that was to set the solemn seal on His mission of saving us from sin, is at once foreshadowed in the priest’s next action, the offering of the bread and the wine. Our thoughts seek out Gethsemani, the moon-swept garden where the Son of Mary, come to earth in a new and more humiliating sense, lies motionless under the crushing weight of human guilt there in the blood-wet grass. He is giving His all. God is yielding up His infinitude to the limits set by three nails and a thorny crown.

He is making to God the Father the surrender of His body to be broken, His blood to be poured out. This for us. Where Mary is during this endless night, we do not know. Wherever she is, her heart, ready now for the final thrust of that sword foreseen by Simeon as sunk deep into it, is upraised to the hidden face of God the Father; and she prays, as we must pray in all things trifling or tremendous:

“Thy will be done. That sin may be atoned for; that it may cease to stand as a barrier between us and Thee; that every sacrifice linked with that of Jesus Christ Thy Son may be availing unto life everlasting; Thy Will be done!”

Consecration

The accomplishment of that will is manifest as the Mass moves forward to the Consecration. With Mary we are silent, wrapped up in wordless prayer, as the body of Christ is breathed into the bread, His precious blood into the wine.*

They are lifted up-the body and the blood of Jesus Christ, elements of sacrifice. The one is drained of the other, separated in the condition of redeeming death.

We adore.

Pater Noster

Now that the Sacrifice has been outwardly realized, there pours from Mary’s lips, from our lips, the prayer taught us by Him slain for us, the perfect prayer to the offended Father placated by His obedient Son: “Our Father . . . Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done . . . forgive us our trespasses. . . .”

Agnus Dei

Under Mary’s brimming eyes, the spear is run through the Heart which has ceased to quiver with the agonizing urgency of its love, and the body of Christ is broken, the price of our peace. The priest says the Agnus Dei:

“Lamb of God, who at such great cost dost bear away the sins of the world, have mercy on us; grant us peace.”

Communion

As the disturbing dusk sets in, the body of Christ is taken down from the cross and laid in Mary’s arms. She looks into the wasted face with its mask of blood and sweat, spittle and dust and tears. She looks at the arms and legs, bloodless: and stiff and cold. The Victim is utterly destroyed. And Simeon’s sword is now thrust ruthlessly into her tender heart.

She has nowhere to lay Him, this victim of sin, her first-born. From her aching arms He is hurried with scant ceremony into a stranger’s tomb. Mary has recovered Him but briefly, and that only in death, only in her arms.

She who loves Him loses Him. And we, unworthy, receive Him in communion into our hearts, to live within us, to intensify the friendship of God so dearly bought by Him, to remain with us forever.

Thanksgiving

Communion finished, the priest reads prayers for our perseverance in the dispositions which attendance at Mass with Mary has fostered. Then with a blessing he bids us go – as the cross, bare but eloquent against the soft, spring twilight, bids Mary go – back to the everyday ways of life, with the remembrance of what we have shared driving us to Christian living. And the Mass will be with us through the monotonous days – as it was with Mary during the long years after the death of her Son – a source of strength, a principle of life.

It will be with us in the grey mornings when, perhaps ill, we go off to tiring occupation which may at any time be taken from us; it will be with us in the moment of temptation, when we are seized and shaken and our whole being seems irresistibly drawn to ruinous evil; it will be with us in the time of misunderstanding and piercing disappointment, when our every act is misjudged and there is no one too lowly to cast at us a stone of rebuke or of ridicule; it will be with us in the hour of bottomless sorrow, when all that warms and colors life falls to dust and all that was wonderfully sweet becomes as gall to the taste.

Then will the Mass be with us, to soothe and solace, to save us from sin, to confirm us in the grace purchased by the quenching of the Light of the World.

Last Gospel

Finally there is the Last Gospel, a perfect resume of the purpose and meaning of the Mass just offered, set at the end to balance the Confiteor at its beginning. The Word was made flesh. The light shineth in darkness. . . . He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not. . . . He came unto His own, and His own received Him not. . . .

Today He comes to us, His own, to us won back from perdition by His blood. May it never be said of us: “He came unto His own, and His own received Him not.”

Rather, as we go forth, grateful and thoughtful, let us remember that we are born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, Nor of the will of man, But of God . . . In Him is life.

[* Ed. Note: Father knows his theology, This is a reflection on Our Lord’s words, “This is My body”, etc. and not a denial of the dogma that the true body, blood, soul and divinity is present in both the consecrated host and wine.]

.  .

The above essay, “At Mass with Mary” may be found in several places online, and is also available in “The Catholic Collection”  by Catholic Way Publishing, in Kindle and in print.

Remember – Our Lady needs us to obey:  First Saturdays of Reparation, daily rosary, at least 5 mysteries, wear her brown scapular and live your Total Consecration to her Immaculate Heart, offering daily duties in reparation and for the conversion of poor sinners.

Open your hearts to the Lord and serve Him only: and He will free you from the hands of your enemies. With all your heart return to Him, and take away from your midst any strange gods” (I Kings 7:3)

  Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of our hearts, Mother of the Church, do thou offer to the Eternal Father the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the conversion of poor sinners, especially our Pontiff.

  Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy kingdom come! Viva Cristo Rey!

  Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our death.

  St. Joseph, protect us, protect our families, protect our priests.

  St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.

Pray for the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary!
~ by evensong for love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, King.
Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O Sacred Virgin! Give me strength against thine enemies!

The Spirits Who Guard Us

Today  we honor our holy and powerful guardian angels. There are many testimonies of saints, such as Saint Gemma Galgani and the great Saint Dominic who were favored with a particular ability to converse and interact with their angel guardians.

But given the assault which is occurring to our priests, perhaps it would profit us to recount the lovely story of Saint Thomas Aquinas, which we take from  All About The Angels”, by Father Paul O’Sullivan.

When St. Thomas Aquinas, who came of a very noble and illustrious family . . . joined the Dominican Order, his family was furious at his action. His brothers, who were officers in the army of Emperor Frederick, seized him and put him in prison in one of the family castles.

Here they did their best to persuade him to leave the Order and cast off the white habit, a course which he calmly but firmly refused to adopt. His captors then tore the habit from his shoulders and threw the pieces with contempt on the floor. The Saint quietly picked up the fragments of his habit and folded them reverently. The two brothers then planned a truly diabolical method of attack. They contrived to introduce into the prison a beautiful but abandoned woman, with the promise of a large reward if she could succeed in shaking the virtue and resolution of their brother. The very first words of the treacherous visitor opened the eyes of Thomas to a sense of his danger.

He shuddered, looked up to Heaven, and seizing a blazing brand from the hearth, drove the wretched creature from the room. Then, trembling at the thought of the danger he had escaped, he traced a cross on the wall with the smoldering brand and, kneeling down, made an act of intense gratitude for his deliverance and a fervent consecration of his whole being to God.

“WE HAVE COME FROM GOD”

While thus praying, he fell into an ecstatic sleep, during which two Angels from Heaven appeared lo him, and girded him with a miraculous cord, saying at the same time these words: “We have come from God, to invest thee with the girdle of perpetual chastity. The Lord has heard thy prayer, and that which human frailty could never merit is assured to thee by the irrevocable gift of God.”

This was no dream, but a reality, for the Angels girded him so tightly that the pain awoke St. Thomas from his ecstasy and made him utter an involuntary cry. Some servants ran to the spot, but Thomas, wishing to hide the favor he had received, dismissed them courteously and kept his secret till he was on his deathbed. He then revealed it to his friend and confessor, Brother Reginald, and declared that from that time, the spirit of darkness had never been suffered to approach his person. The girdle was worn by the Saint till his death and is still preserved in the Dominican Convent of Chieri.

ST. GEMMA’s ANGEL

Our Lord loved Saint Gemma so much that He gave her to see and converse with her Guardian Angel, and that Angel helped her greatly in her meditations, especially on the Passion of Jesus.

“Look,” he would exclaim, “at what Jesus has suffered for men; consider one by one these wounds; it is Love that has opened them all. See how execrable sin is, since to expiate it, so much pain and so much love have been necessary.”

From Father Germanus, her biographer, “The most important mission of the Angel with Gemma was in what concerned her spiritual advancement. Thus while on one side he acted as her watchful guide, on the other she found in him a perfect master of Christian perfection. He lost no opportunity of admonishing, instructing and directing her in lessons of heavenly wisdom that Gemma herself has preserved to us in the manifestations she made from time to time to her spiritual father. . . once, in order that a syllable might not be lost, the holy Angel wished her to write word for word what he said. . .  standing (before her) he thus began:

“Remember child, that one who truly loves Jesus, speaks little and endures much. I command thee on the part of Jesus never to give thy opinion unless it is asked; never to maintain thy opinion, but be silent at once. When thou hast committed any fault accuse thyself of it at once without waiting for others to do so. Punctual obedience, without reply to thy Confessor, and to others when he enjoins it; also sincerity with him and with them. Remember to guard thine eyes and reflect that the mortified eye shall behold the beauties of heaven.” (Venerable Reverend Germanus C.P.. “The Life of Saint Gemma Galgani “(pp. 219-220). Catholic Way Publishing. Kindle Edition.)

THE VIRTUES MOST LOVED BY THE ANGELS

The virtues in men that please the Angels most are purity, humility and love of God, and these virtues were most eminent in St. Thomas. No wonder then that he attracted the love and affection of these blessed spirits, about whom he has written so marvelously that some think that the Angels themselves came to reveal to him the secrets of their angelic natures. It is only natural to think so since, as they are desirous of helping all their clients who call on them, they would have been much more eager to help him who has for so many reasons been called the Angelic Doctor and who labored so successfully for the Church. (Fr. Paul O’Sullivan, “All about the Angels”. Kindle Edition)

Saint Gemma and Saint Thomas are the best examples I could find to offer for your consideration of the role of our Angel Guardians, a role that has been so tragically corrupted by modern sentimentalism. But I believe the most effective tool of satan to destroy our ability to work with our Guardians has been the internet and especially social media. The modern addiction to them is nothing more than vain curiosity and it has resulted in our nearly total estrangement to these essential spiritual helpers. I recommend reading the “Life of Saint Gemma Galgani” as a refresher course in Catholic simplicity and purity of heart.

Remember – Our Lady needs us to obey:  First Saturdays of Reparation, daily rosary, at least 5 mysteries, wear her brown scapular and live your Total Consecration to her Immaculate Heart, offering daily duties in reparation and for the conversion of poor sinners.

Open your hearts to the Lord and serve Him only: and He will free you from the hands of your enemies. With all your heart return to Him, and take away from your midst any strange gods” (I Kings 7:3)

†  Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of our hearts, Mother of the Church, do thou offer to the Eternal Father the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the conversion of poor sinners, especially our Pontiff.
†  Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy kingdom come! Viva Cristo Rey!
†  St. Joseph, protect us, protect our families, protect our priests.
†  St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.

~ by evensong for love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, King.
Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O Sacred Virgin! Give me strength against thine enemies!

She to Whom the Victory Has Been Given

SHE

   … To Whom the Victory Has Been Given

Now, in the month of October, the month of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, the powers of darkness are gathering force over the Vatican. Their victory seems inevitable but we know to whom victory has been given and that is what gives this October, this month of the Holy Rosary, such a poignancy.

It is through her holy Rosary that Our Lady of Fatima chooses to lead us to victory. As the Church has recognised for centuries, the Blessed Virgin Mary protects her Church (for she is Mother of the Church!) by means of her Holy Rosary. Our time with her each day, as the beads slip quietly through our fingers and we murmur our loving prayers, is the time she nourishes our souls with the graces Our Lord desires for us to have in order to know Him, and to increase in His love.

In our writings here at Return to Fatima, we see the Rosary as an intimate conversation between Mother and child, a loving exchange wherein such a deep union occurs as cannot be expressed in mere words.

THE IMPORTANCE OF THE ROSARY

But it is words that I must use, and although I am perhaps destined to fall short in the attempt, this short essay is my best effort. To understand the importance of the Rosary, we should first grasp the importance of the Immaculate Mother of God, she who “comes forth as the morning rising, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, terrible as an army set in array”. (Canticles 6, 9)

Why is Mary so great? Because from the beginning of creation, God willed this most blessed, perfect creature to be the Mother of His only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. She is the Sacred Tabernacle wherein the Holy Ghost fathered forth the Saviour of the world. Through her, entered salvation, although He might have chosen from an infinite variety of other ways… He chose Mary!

It was Mary’s humility, her humbleness before Him, so pure and so obedient, that made her such a perfect model for all of us, who are destined to become the heirs of His eternal Kingdom. St. Louis-Marie de Montfort assures us that Mary manifests her splendid power in these latter times because the salvation of the world began through Mary, and through her it will also be brought to completion.

GRACE HAS EBBED FROM THE WORLD

We have often noted that as a result of disobedience and indifference to the commands of our heavenly Father given to us  through the Immaculata, grace has ebbed from the world, leaving it in a state of darkness, death and despair. And now, we see this especially in this looming Synod which begins in less than a week.  And so we must recall, now more than ever, that it is precisely in these darkest of times when the working of God in His Church may be seen through the Immaculata, Mediatrix of Grace.

In his masterwork, Who are you, O Immaculata?, Father Stehlin assures us,

“… Mary comes to the help of endangered Christendom and brings about a victory over its enemies despite their overwhelmingly superior strength. The popes themselves have acknowledged over and over again this victory of Mary’s, particularly over the Turks, and have introduced special feast days in honor of the Blessed Virgin on the occasion of various miraculous interventions of the Mother of God. In his consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Pius XII summarizes this faith in Mary’s great power and entrusts to her the salvation of the Christian order: she establishes peace for a world at war and peace for souls; she leads those who have gone astray back to Christ’s sheepfold; she stops the onslaught of neo-paganism; she brings about the victory of Christ the King.

“In times of the greatest distress, God comes to the aid of the world by sending the Immaculata herself. Through her His actio comes to its full expression, because except for her all the other ways that God has of reaching us have been cut off, as it were, by the Enemy and the devil has occupied and controls all the bastions. God wills to save mankind, even in the end times. But how can this happen, when man can no longer find God’s truth in the confusion of the errors that prevail throughout the world, when he is tempted on all sides to be unfaithful to God and His law and to stray from the path of truth? Through the Immaculata!

“First God reveals to the world the true situation and the great danger through the personal intervention of the Immaculata, especially in her great messages of La Salette and Fatima. Then He sends His graces to the world as the “last means of salvation”, concentrating them in the Heart of the Immaculata:

‘With great longing I desire the spread of the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, for this Heart is the magnet that draws souls to Me, the hearth that radiates to the world the streams of My light and My love. It is, finally, the inexhaustible spring from which flows into the world the living water of My mercy.’ “ (“Who Are You, O Immaculata?“)

Dear readers, we continue to call for the Irresistible Novena of Rosaries, as our weapon of choice against the dark forces gathered in Rome, determined to complete their victory over Christ’s Church. They believe that their victory is assured, and I hope that you understand that, when this month closes, it may well appear to be so. Certainly, the Church appears to be shattered into fragments as never before. Many faithful seem determined to relieve what has become an intolerable anxiety by urging us all to proclaim Benedict the true Pope and formally reject Francis as an anti-pope. Regardless of which is the “true pope”,  we need to understand this one thing clearly:

THE CHURCH IS GOD’S

It was founded by Our Lord Jesus Christ, by His Sacred Blood, poured out for us on the Cross. He is the true Head of the Church. He established it as an absolute Monarchy, reserving to Himself the right to reign over the Pope, who serves only as His representative, His Vicar.

GOD HAS GIVEN US THE REMEDY

In the tragic event of a defective pope, and despite all the confusion and clamor, Christ Himself has decreed the solution to be through His own Immaculate Mother, to whom the Church is entrusted by His dying words from that same Cross of our salvation. Now this most Holy Mother of God has told us what to do. Her words were clear and simple and they were entrusted to little children at Fatima.

THE REMEDY IS THE IMMACULATA

Jacinta, Francisco and Lúcia, understood them. They were not able to read or write, they did not even know the name of the pope, much less feel confident of their ability to decide for themselves whether the pope was truly the pope, or opine on deep matters of theology and church history. And yet they were entrusted with the Message of Our Lady of Fatima. Think of this!

Obedience to the Immaculata’s message is not some sort of spiritual passivity. It requires that we put devotion to her, obedience to her message first, setting her will above our own. We must be totally consecrated to her Immaculate Heart. Only then will we all be given a leader and a way to follow the Immaculata to her inevitable victory over the powers of evil usurping the Church.

Anyone who presumes to lead the faithful to a solution of the present crisis will be, clearly and unequivocally a servant of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, proclaiming her message as fully and clearly as she gave it to us without any modernist obfuscation.

It is only when one of two things happen that the Church will truly be free of the present evils:

Either sufficient of us arise and follow Our Lady as she has commanded in her message of Fatima, in penance and reparation, in humility and obedience, -OR- Through the provident justice of God, reparation will be made by a spiritual and material chastisement far surpassing anything that has been proposed or could be imagined.

As darkness closes over us and false shepherds arise among us, leading many astray, we pray our Rosaries and look to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Our Most Holy Mother, “the seat of mercy, of goodness and of pardon, and as the certain door by which we are to enter Heaven.” (Sr. Lúcia)

A reader suggested we add the Consecration to the Immaculata here, and so, here are two:

SAINT LOUIS MARIE DE MONTFORT’S

Act of Consecration to Jesus through Mary

O ETERNAL and incarnate Wisdom! O sweetest and most adorable Jesus! True God and true man, only Son of the Eternal Father, and of Mary, always virgin! I adore Thee profoundly in the bosom and splendors of Thy Father during eternity; and I adore Thee also in the virginal bosom of Mary, Thy most worthy Mother, in the time of Thine incarnation.

I give Thee thanks for that Thou hast annihilated Thyself, taking the form of a slave in order to rescue me from the cruel slavery of the devil. I praise and glorify Thee for that Thou hast been pleased to submit Thyself to Mary, Thy holy Mother, in all things, in order to make me Thy faithful slave through her. But, alas! Ungrateful and faithless as I have been, I have not kept the promises which I made so solemnly to Thee in my Baptism; I have not fulfilled my obligations; I do not deserve to be called Thy child, nor yet Thy slave; and as there is nothing in me which does not merit Thine anger and Thy repulse, I dare not come by myself before Thy most holy and august Majesty. It is on this account that I have recourse to the intercession of Thy most holy Mother, whom Thou hast given me for a mediatrix with Thee. It is through her that I hope to obtain of Thee contrition, the pardon of my sins, and the acquisition and preservation of wisdom.

Hail, then, O immaculate Mary, living tabernacle of the Divinity, where the Eternal Wisdom willed to be hidden and to be adored by angels and by men! Hail, O Queen of Heaven and earth, to whose empire everything is subject which is under God. Hail, O sure refuge of sinners, whose mercy fails no one. Hear the desires which I have of the Divine Wisdom; and for that end receive the vows and offerings which in my lowliness I present to thee.

I, ________________, a faithless sinner, renew and ratify today in thy hands the vows of my Baptism; I renounce forever Satan, his pomps and works; and I give myself entirely to Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Wisdom, to carry my cross after Him all the days of my life, and to be more faithful to Him than I have ever been before. In the presence of all the heavenly court I choose thee this day for my Mother and Mistress. I deliver and consecrate to thee, as thy slave, my body and soul, my goods, both interior and exterior, and even the value of all my good actions, past, present and future; leaving to thee the entire and full right of disposing of me, and all that belongs to me, without exception, according to thy good pleasure, for the greater glory of God in time and in eternity.

Receive, O benignant Virgin, this little offering of my slavery, in honor of, and in union with, that subjection which the Eternal Wisdom deigned to have to thy maternity; in homage to the power which both of you have over this poor sinner, and in thanksgiving for the privileges with which the Holy Trinity has favored thee. I declare that I wish henceforth, as thy true slave, to seek thy honor and to obey thee in all things.

O admirable Mother, present me to thy dear Son as His eternal slave, so that as He has redeemed me by thee, by thee He may also receive me! O Mother of mercy, grant me the grace to obtain the true Wisdom of God; and for that end receive me among those whom thou lovest, teachest, and protectest as thy children and thy slaves.

O faithful Virgin, make me in all things so perfect a disciple, imitator and slave of the Incarnate Wisdom, Jesus Christ thy Son, that I may attain, by thine intercession and by thine example, to the fullness of His age on earth and of His glory in Heaven. Amen.

(St. Louis-Marie Grignion de Monfort, True Devotion to Mary, with Preparation for Total Consecration”, by Catholic Way, Kindle Edition).

SAINT MAXIMILIAN KOLBE’S

Act of Consecration to Mary Immaculate

O Immaculata, Queen of Heaven and Earth, Refuge of sinners and our most loving Mother, whom God has made the treasurer of His mercy, I, an unworthy sinner, throw myself at thy most holy feet and humbly beseech thee to accept me, whole and entire as thy property and possession.

To thee, O Mother, I offer all the faculties of my soul and body, and I place my life, my death and my eternity in thy hands, that thou may use my entire being according to thy will. Use me, O Immaculate Virgin as thou will, to fulfill that which was written of thee – “She shall crush thy head”, and “Thou hast destroyed all heresies in all the world”.

Deign that I may become in thy most pure and merciful hands a useful instrument to make thee known and loved by so many erring and indifferent souls, and also to increase as much as possible the number of those who truly admire and love thee in order that the Kingdom of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus may be spread throughout the world.

This I can do, O Most Holy and Immaculate Mother, only with thy help, for wherever thou bestow thy grace, there alone can the conversion and sanctification of souls be achieved, and there alone can the sweet Kingdom of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus be established. Amen.

 

Remember – Our Lady needs us to obey:  First Saturdays of Reparation, daily rosary, at least 5 mysteries, wear her brown scapular and live our Total Consecration to her Immaculate Heart, offering daily duties in reparation and for the conversion of poor sinners.

Open your hearts to the Lord and serve Him only: and He will free you from the hands of your enemies. With all your heart return to Him, and take away from your midst any strange gods” (I Kings 7:3)

†  Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of our hearts, Mother of the Church, do thou offer to the Eternal Father the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the conversion of poor sinners, especially our Pontiff.
†  Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy kingdom come! Viva Cristo Rey!
†  St. Joseph, protect us, protect our families, protect our priests.
†  St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.

~ by evensong for love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, King.
Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O Sacred Virgin! Give me strength against thine enemies!

Saint Michael, the Angel of Peace

“Take and drink the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, horribly outraged by ungrateful men. Make reparation for their crimes and console Our Lord.”

Today we honor the great Archangel Michael, who is the Angel of Fatima, the Angel of Peace. There is so much to learn here!

Our Lady of the Rosary appeared six times at Fatima from May through October, 1917; however, these important apparitions were preceded by the apparitions of The Angel of Peace, St. Michael the Archangel in 1916  to prepare the children for the work of the Blessed Virgin and may help prepare us for our work as her children in the time to come.

The following is compiled from a variety of Fatima resources, especially from Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité’s ‘The Whole Truth About Fatima, Volume I’ (Link).

The Angelic apparitions took place in spring, summer and fall, 1916, when Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta were nine, eight and six, respectively. On a spring day, they shepherded their flocks on the east side of the Cabeço. After lunch and the Rosary, they began to play when,

” … a strong wind began to shake the trees. We looked up, startled, to see what was happening, for the day was unusually calm. Then we saw coming towards us, above the olive trees, the figure I have already spoken about. Jacinta and Francisco had never seen it before, nor had I ever mentioned it to them. As it drew closer, we were able to distinguish its features. It was a young man, about fourteen or fifteen years old, whiter than snow, transparent as crystal when the sun shines through it, and of great beauty.”

“We were surprised, absorbed, and struck dumb with amazement. On reaching us, he said:

“Do not be afraid! I am the Angel of Peace. Pray with me.”

Kneeling on the ground, he bowed down until his forehead reached the ground. Led by a supernatural impulse, we did the same, and repeated the words which we heard him say:

“My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love You! I ask pardon of You for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope and do not love You!”

Having repeated these words three times, he rose and said:

“Pray thus. The Hearts of Jesus and Mary are attentive to the voice of your supplications.”

Then he disappeared.

Frère Michel remarks on the apparition, as at Horeb, when it was given to Elijah to enter into the presence of God, as at the Cenacle at the moment when the divine Spirit descended on the Apostles, or finally at Massabielle, when the Immaculate Conception came to visit Bernadette, it is by a sudden and mysterious wind that the Angel of Fatima announced his approach. ‘Who makest the clouds thy chariot: who walkest upon the wings of the winds.’ (Ps. 103:3)

And the words of the Angel echo the words of the Angels in other Biblical apparitions, ‘Fear not! I am the angel of peace.’ The presence of the Angel always fills the witnesses with astonishment, and he must first reassure them. ‘Fear not!’ he says to Zachary and to the Blessed Virgin, to the shepherds on the night of the Nativity, and to the holy women on the morning of the Resurrection.

Regarding his appearance, Lucia affirmed that he resembled a young man of great beauty, around fourteen or fifteen years old, whiter than snow and resplendent with a crystal-clear light, so much so that when Canon Barthas asked, ‘What was he like?’ she summed up her response in this laconic expression: ‘Era de luz.’ That is, ‘He was of light.’ Here also is a completely biblical expression. The Angel who announced the resurrection of Christ, relates St. Matthew, had an appearance as of lightning, and his raiment was white as snow. (Mt. 28:3) And the same Evangelist, describing Our Lord transfigured on Tabor says: ‘His face shone like the sun, and His garments became white as snow.’ (Mt. 17:2)

‘God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all’ (1 Jn. 1:5), and whenever He deigns to manifest Himself to men, by the ministry of Angels or the mediation of His Holy Mother, He appears to us clothed in splendour, according to the beautiful verses of the Psalm: ‘O Lord my God, Thou art exceedingly great. Thou hast put on praise and beauty: And art clothed with light as with a garment.’ (103:1-2) At Fatima, after each of the apparitions, this word “Light” always comes back to the lips of the seers.

Sister Lúcia recounted the overwhelming presence of the Divine in the Fatima apparitions,

The supernatural atmosphere which enveloped us was so intense that for a long time we were scarcely aware of our own existence, remaining in the same posture in which he had left us, and continually repeating the same prayer. The presence of God made itself felt so intimately and so intensely that we did not even venture to speak to one another. Next day, we were still immersed in this spiritual atmosphere, which only gradually began to disappear. It did not occur to us to speak about this apparition, nor did we think of recommending that it be kept secret. The very apparition itself imposed secrecy. It was so intimate, that it was not possible to speak of it at all.

From Frère Michel,

The Presence of God is something stupendous, even crushing, for our feeble human faculties. But this ‘annihilation before the Divine Presence’, to use the expression of Sister Lucia, was for the three future messengers of Our Lady the surest school of true and profound humility, which is first of all the intimate knowledge of the infinite sanctity of God and the nothingness of the creature. In addition to the message which the seers began to put in practice right away – ‘from then on, we used to spend long periods of time, prostrate like the Angel, repeating his words, until sometimes we fell, exhausted’ – the visit of the Angel also obtained for them intimate graces of peace and joy in God: ‘the peace and happiness which we felt were great, but wholly interior, for our souls were completely immersed in God. The physical weakness that came over us was also great.’

In time, however, their childhood natures took over and they began to play. Then, at the height of summer heat, they brought the sheep back to the shelter of home and spent the heat of day in the shade of the trees about the family well. Lucia remembers,

We were playing on the well. Suddenly, we saw the same Angel right beside us.

‘What are you doing? Pray, pray very much! The Holy Hearts of Jesus and Mary have designs of mercy on you. Offer prayers and sacrifices constantly to the Most High.’

‘How are we to make sacrifices?’ I asked.

“Make of everything you can a sacrifice, and offer it to God as an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended, and in supplication for the conversion of sinners. You will thus draw down peace upon your country. I am its Angel Guardian, the Angel of Portugal. Above all, accept and bear with submission the suffering which the Lord will send you.’

‘We chose this spot … for our more intimate talks, our fervent prayers, and … our tears as well – and sometimes very bitter tears they were. We mingled our tears with the water of the same well from which we drank. Does this not make the well itself an image of Mary, in whose Heart we dried our tears and drank of the purest consolation?’

Frère Michel notes, “In the book of Kings, when the Voice of God spoke to Elijah, at Mount Horeb: ‘What are you doing, Elijah?’ (1 Kg. 19, 13) It was the same with the seers of Fatima: ‘What are you doing? Pray! Pray much!’ The Angel’s admonition was not in vain, for in the fall, when the Angel returned for the third time, he found them prostrate and praying as he had taught them. It was in late September or early October and the children had returned to the Cabeço.

As soon as we arrived there, we knelt down, with our foreheads touching the ground, and began to repeat the prayer of the Angel: “My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love You… I don’t know how many times we repeated this prayer, when an extraordinary light shone upon us. We sprang up to see what was happening, and beheld the Angel. He was holding a chalice in his left hand, with the Host suspended above it, from which some drops of Blood fell into the chalice.

Leaving the Chalice and the Host suspended in the air, the Angel knelt down beside us and made us repeat three times:

‘Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, I adore Thee profoundly and I offer Thee the Most Precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of the same Son Jesus Christ, present in the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for all the sacrileges, outrages and indifferences by which He Himself is offended. And by the infinite merits of His Most Sacred Heart, and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of Thee the conversion of poor sinners.’

Then, rising, he took the Chalice and the Host in his hands. He gave the Sacred Host to me, and shared the Blood from the Chalice between Jacinta and Francisco, saying as he did so:

‘Take and drink the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, horribly outraged by ungrateful men! Make reparation for their crimes and console your God.’

Once again, he prostrated on the ground and repeated with us, three times more, the same prayer, “Most Holy Trinity…”, and then disappeared.

Moved by a supernatural force which enveloped us, we had imitated the Angel in everything, that is, we prostrated as he did and repeated the prayers that he said … We remained a long time in this position, repeating the same words over and over again.

Frère Michel, “There is a very clear gradation in the apparitions of the Angel, and the third, which was spent entirely in the miraculous Communion given to the seers, truly marks the high point. On that day they had a sort of ‘Eucharistic theophany’, during which it was given to them to contemplate the drops of Precious Blood falling from the Sacred Host into the chalice.”

Sister Lucia affirmed that by his apparitions, St. Michael had impressed them deeply,

“These words were indelibly impressed upon our minds. They were like a light which made us understand who God is, how He loves us and desires to be loved, the value of sacrifice, how pleasing it is to Him and how, on account of it, He gives the grace of conversion to sinners. It was for this reason that we began, from then on, to offer to the Lord all that mortified us …”

Thus, with the Angel as their teacher and catechist, the shepherds learned to pray and offer their sacrifices. Sanctified by the Bread of Angels, they were prepared to welcome the Queen of Heaven, and bear witness to Her apparitions and message even to the point of heroism. We too can learn from these three appearances of St. Michael.

The first lesson:

“Do not be afraid! I am the Angel of Peace. Pray with me.”

That is, do not waste your energy in fear, but pray!

The second lesson:

“My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love You! I ask pardon of You for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope and do not love You!”

This prayer teaches us by both its words and the manner in which the Angel demonstrates it, deepest worship of the Divinity of God. It is a profound yet simple act of faith, hope and love combined with the most profound adoration. What an eloquent “antitoxin” for the sacrilege and indifference exhibited today by our pontiff and prelates!

The third lesson:

“Pray thus. The Hearts of Jesus and Mary are attentive to the voice of your supplications.”

In this lesson, the Angel affirms that the Hearts of Jesus and Mary are inseparably linked and he affirms the efficacy of prayers addressed to Them as such.

The fourth lesson:

“What are you doing? Pray, pray very much! The Holy Hearts of Jesus and Mary have designs of mercy on you. Offer prayers and sacrifices constantly to the Most High.”

In this, the Angel affirms the importance of praying without ceasing. Indeed, God’s infinite mercy is offered to us and for this poor world, with the requirement that we must pray for it. In fact, as St. Michael states, we are to pray, “constantly”! And, moreover, our prayers must be accompanied by our sacrifices. Unlike the false mercy of imposters, God’s mercy must be prayed for!

The fifth lesson:

“Make of everything you can a sacrifice, and offer it to God as an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended, and in supplication for the conversion of sinners.”

In this passage, the Angel teaches us the way God wishes reparation to be made. Not histrionically, with much fanfare, but quietly, unobtrusively, by offering up our daily duties, the sacrifices we are called to make each day in order to live our lives as devout children of Mary, consecrated to her Immaculate Heart.

The sixth lesson:

“You will thus draw down peace upon your country.”

This profound lesson, so succinct, teaches us that war, which results from sin, can only be healed and peace restored, by sacrifices of reparation. Once again, only by reparation will we attain peace. Only by reparation. And what has the Church, beginning with John XXIII done? Where is reparation in the post-conciliar Church?

The seventh lesson:

“I am its Angel Guardian, the Angel of Portugal.”

Here, the Angel confirms that he is, in fact, St. Michael the Archangel, to whom Portugal has historically been entrusted. Now, you may remember that after Pope Leo XIII’s apocalyptic vision, he ordered the Church to pray to St. Michael the Archangel after every Low Mass that we be saved from Satan. After the Second Vatican Council, Pope Paul VI suppressed these prayers. Another sign of the darkness and diabolic disorientation of the Popes after John XXIII’s disobedience.

The eighth lesson:

“Above all, accept and bear with submission the suffering which the Lord will send you.”

This final lesson caps off the preparation for the following year’s apparitions of the Queen of Heaven. It still echoes across the years to us, today more urgently than ever. Accept and bear with submission the suffering which the Lord will send you! Yes, these times are rapidly approaching, when we may be denied the Mass and sacraments, and what is left will be to offer all to the Sacred Hearts with generous, sacrificial hearts united to theirs.

St. Michael, appears significantly in the Sacred Scriptures from Daniel * to Fatima’s last vision. He appeared also to St. Joan of Arc as well. This post is merely a small part of the significance of St. Michael. Chapter III of Frère  Michel’s “The Whole Truth About Fatima, Vol. I”  has much more information and all of it is most helpful to understand St. Michael’s role in Fatima and these  times. Marianna Bartold’s book, “Fatima, the Signs and Secrets” is also most useful. Both of the foregoing books have so many insights to offer, much more than I can recap here.

As we approach the end of the century of Fatima take heart, and offer always the Angel’s prayers .  If you are unable to assist at a true Mass each morning, offer Mass spiritually, renewing your consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, receiving Our Lord spiritually and frequently renew your intention to offer all to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary throughout the day in reparation, for the conversion of sinners, especially the Pope and hierarchy. With each Spiritual Communion, be sure to pray the Angel of Fatima’s Eucharistic Reparation Prayer. In this way, even if we are unable to offer Eucharistic Reparation in person, we can offer it spiritually.

Use Holy Water throughout the day and try to pray the whole Rosary, incorporating the Prayer of St. Michael in each decade, and repeating it after your examen and Act of Contrition before bedtime.

And in all trials, we must give thanks to Our Lord for allowing us to be here now, able to give Him our love and make reparation for the sins which wound Him so grievously.  We are very blessed to be children of Mary!  We cannot lose heart now, for we have, after all, her promise, “In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph”.

But at that time shall Michael rise up, the great prince, who standeth for the children of thy people: and a time shall come such as never was from the time that nations began even until that time. And at that time shall thy people be saved, every one that shall be found written in the book. (Daniel Chapter 12, verse 1)

For other posts on St. Michael:

“Daniel and St. Michael”

“We Saw an Angel with a Flaming Sword“,

† Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of our hearts, Mother of the Church, do thou offer to the Eternal Father the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the conversion of poor sinners, especially our Pontiff.
† Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done!
† St. Joseph, guardian of the Holy Family, protect our families!
† St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle!

For more posts on St. Michael, the Angel of Fatima:

The Angel of Fatima’s Prayer

The Angel’s Message — A Closer Look

NOTE: I hope to restore links soon. But it is late and I am tired. God bless you all and may Our Lady hold you close within her Immaculate Heart, always.

~ by evensong for love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O Sacred Virgin! Give me strength against thine enemies!