In “Defending Our Queen’s Prerogatives” (The Remnant, 12/31/2010), Joseph Romanoski wrote: “Our Lady’s directives at Fatima were directed to Catholics (italics original) only, and not to the rest of Her children and subjects.” While plausible arguments can be offered showing it is profoundly mistaken for anyone to ignore the message of Fatima, let us here remind ourselves of our responsibilities — as Catholics — in complying with her requests. These requests were part of the messages given by Mary during her Fatima apparitions to three shepherd children in 1917, which were, after the required investigations, officially approved as reliable by the Catholic Church.
Our Lady’s requests require the obedience of all Catholics. The Blessed Virgin explained at the July apparition, after showing the three children a vision of hell: “You have seen Hell—where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them God (emphasis mine) wants established throughout the world the devotion to My Immaculate Heart.” Therefore, it is not only because Mary is our Queen and Mother, but, most importantly, it is because God requires to be fulfilled precisely what her message of Fatima requests before He will give peace to the world, that we are obliged as her subjects and as creatures of God to comply with her requests.
At Rianjo, Spain, in 1931, Our Lord told Sister Lucia: “Make it known to My ministers, given they follow the example of the King of France in delaying the execution of My request, they will follow him into misfortune.” As has been thoroughly documented, the delay of “My ministers,” especially those at the top of the hierarchy of the Church, continues to this day.
On December 26, 1957, Father Fuentes, postulator for the causes of Francisco and Jacinta Marto, interviewed Sister Lucia. She told him: “Father, the Most Holy Virgin is very sad because no one has paid any attention to Her message, neither the good nor the bad. The good continue on their way but without giving any importance to Her message. The bad, not seeing the punishment of God falling upon them, continue their life of sin without even caring about the message. But believe me, Father, God will chastise the world and this will be in a terrible manner. The punishment from Heaven is imminent.” Some in the hierarchy, who have read the Third Secret, have said the punishment involves apostasy at the highest levels in the Church and the abandonment of the sheep by their shepherds.
Brother André Marie recently gave us an excellent reminder of the laymen’s responsibilities (“Motives and Methods for Lay Apostles” [2/10/2011]), in which he quoted from Canon Law: “This obligation is all the more insistent in circumstances in which only through them are people able to hear the Gospel and to know Christ.” Can we not rededicate our efforts to spread the message of Fatima, emphasizing the importance of the daily recitation of five decades of the Rosary, and encouraging our fellow Catholics to attend Mass and receive Communion on five consecutive First Saturdays as Our Lady requested?
Our Lady’s Fatima requests can be summed up thusly: 1) reciting the daily Rosary of five decades (For those, like me, who might at times worry about the quality of our daily recitation, see Sister Marie Thérèse’s facilitative article here and her conference talk that treated each of the mysteries of the Rosary, which can be ordered here); 2) penance (particularly the fulfillment of one’s ordinary daily duties) and sacrifices; 3) the Five First Saturdays; 4) devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary; and 5) reparation.
Brother Francis often quoted Father Feeney saying, “If we can get someone to say just ONE Hail Mary, Our Lady will take care of the rest.” Perhaps we might start with this request, following it up with the request for the five decade Rosary, made with a brief but thorough description of why a Catholic is obliged to do this. Somewhere in the writings of Frere Michel de la Trinité on Fatima, he states that Sister Lucia remarked that Our Lady said most Catholics will be lost because they do not go to confession and do not say her Rosary.
Sister Lucia spoke of a new efficacy attached to the Rosary, saying that no problem is too great that it cannot be solved by this daily devotion. The minimal expression, so typical of the seemingly understated, but yet profound, requests of Fatima, is one of the prayers taught to the three shepherd children: “O my Jesus, I offer this (specify what is being offered) for love of You, for the conversion of sinners, in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary” and, added later, “for the Holy Father.” This simple intention covers everything requested by Our Lady, and for the entirety of the purposes she proposed.
Finally, at the end of any Low Mass we may attend, let us fervently, with appropriate attention and reverence, join in the recitation of the Leonine Prayers for the conversion of Russia.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.