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Our Lady Of Fatima . . . The Last Vision And The Consecration Of Russia

December 30, 2017 Featured Today No Comments

By FR. SEAN CONNOLLY

(Editor’s Note: This is the eleventh in a series of articles on the one hundredth anniversary of our Lady’s apparitions at Fatima. Fr. Connolly is a priest of the Archdiocese of New York. Part eleven is devoted to recounting the life of Lucia dos Santos; because of its length, it is appearing in two separate issues of The Wanderer. The first installment of part eleven ran in the December 14 issue.)

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During the July 13, 1917 apparition, our Lady promised the conversion of Russia to avoid future wars, persecutions of the Church, and the spread of Communism, if two conditions were fulfilled — the devotion of the Five First Saturdays which we have detailed, and the consecration of Russia.
In that same apparition she promised to return to ask for the consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart. Twelve years later on June 13, 1929, our Lady’s promise was fulfilled when she appeared to Lucia who was worshipping alone in the darkened chapel of her convent in Tuy which was lit only by the flickering light of the lamp beside the tabernacle.
Suddenly the chapel was illuminated by a supernatural light and Lucia beheld a vision of the Most Holy Trinity. God the Father and God the Holy Spirit were seen above God the Son crucified upon the cross. Blood from the face and wounded side of the Crucified Jesus was falling upon a suspended Host and chalice. Beneath the right arms of the cross was Our Lady of Fatima with her Immaculate Heart crowned with thorns and flames.
Under the left arm of the cross were the words “Grace and Mercy.” After the vision, our Lady told her:
“The moment has come in which God asks the Holy Father, in union with all the Bishops of the world, to make the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart, promising to save it by this means. There are so many souls whom the Justice of God condemns for sins committed against me, that I have come to ask reparation: sacrifice yourself for this intention and pray.” (17)
The fulfillment of our Lady’s request for the consecration of Russia had not been easy. From this formal request at Tuy in 1929, 55 years passed until it was accomplished by Pope St. John Paul II in 1984. Much controversy persists over whether this consecration was truly accomplished. In a letter written in August of 1989 Lucia affirms that indeed, it was:
“Was the consecration of the World made as Our Lady had asked?
“On October 31, 1942 in a letter (sent to her) from His Holiness Pius XII: They asked me if it was done as Our Lady had asked; I said no, because it lacked the union with all of the bishops of the world.
“After this, Pope Paul VI made it on May 13, 1967. They asked me if it was done as Our Lady requested. I answered no, for the same reason; it lacked the union with all the bishops of the world. It was made again by Pope John Paul II on May 13, 1982. They asked me if it was done. I said no. It lacked the union with all the bishops of the world.
“Then, this same Supreme Pontiff John Paul II wrote to all the bishops of the world asking them to unite with him and he gave orders for the image of Our Lady of Fatima to be taken from the Capelinha and brought to Rome, and on March 25, 1984 — publicly and in union with all the bishops of the world who wished to unite — made the Consecration as Our Lady requested. They asked me then if it was made as Our Lady had asked for it, and I said yes. Since then it is done.” (18)
Sometime after this consecration, in a conversation with Fr. Luis Kondor who was the postulator of the Cause of Beatification of Francisco and Jacinta, to the question of whether the consecration was done as requested, she replied: “It was done, but it was already too late!” (19)
From this we can gather that Pope St. John Paul II’s consecration has had a tremendous effect in bringing about the downfall of Communist governments in Eastern Europe. But unfortunately, much damage was already done and Communism’s Godless errors had rooted themselves throughout the world. It is up to faithful Catholics today to take up the call to increase our devotion to the Five First Saturdays to hasten the triumph of our Lady’s Immaculate Heart as she promised.

Moments Of Great Joy

Lucia fulfilled her mission to spread the message of Fatima through her writings. Almost all the details of the Fatima event of 1917 were made known through Lucia’s many letters, the answers she gave to Church authorities during various interrogations, and most of all, through the four memoirs she wrote between 1935 and 1941 in response to further questions put to her by Church authorities.
These four memoirs contributed to most of what we know of the Fatima event, including, of course, the Secret. Lucia later wrote two other memoirs mostly about her mother and father but which include other added details not found in the first four. She also wrote a book titled, Calls From the Message of Fatima, which expresses her final thoughts on the message of our Lady.
While a Dorothean sister in 1946, she made her first return visit to Fatima to identify the places of the apparitions. Seeking a more contemplative life away from the many distractions that came with her fame, even in the convent, she was permitted by Pope Pius XII to transfer to the Discalced Carmelites of Coimbra, Portugal in 1948. She took the new name of Sr. Maria Lucia of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart.
Moments of great joy in her life were no doubt being present with Pope Blessed Paul VI on his visit to Fatima commemorating the Golden Jubilee of the apparitions in 1967 and with Pope St. John Paul II on his visits to Fatima, first in 1982 to thank our Lady for sparing his life and in 2000 when he beatified Francisco and Jacinta.
In their biography of Lucia, her fellow Carmelites of Coimbra described quite poignantly how she must have felt about being in the Cova witnessing the beatification of her two little cousins and the approaching end of her earthly life:
“How their cousin Lucia rejoiced! There she was in front of the entire terrace and a sea of people. In her mind must have passed a movie of her life captured by those who were now proclaimed Blessed. There again she saw herself between them playing with the gentle lambs, picking the flowers that abounded on this slope, and she sang with deep emotion:
“‘Let us sing cheerfully with one voice: Francisco and Jacinta, pray for us.’
“A dream! An ecstasy! Eighty-three years separated that day when only the three of them were in this place, and at the invitation of Mary gave their ‘Yes’ to God and to all that He wanted to ask of them, and who walked that long way, stepping on thorns, thorns, and thistles, putting their feet in the footprints of Christ, going forward in the marks left in the soil of the earth!
“Her cousins went very fast to Heaven, as they had been promised, and she was to be here for some time…how long would it be? Like the old man Simeon with the Infant Jesus in his arms in the Temple of Jerusalem, who could now sing Nunc Dimittis (Now dismiss.) The Message of the Lady was already given to the Church and has spread to all four corners of the world. The Consecration of the World was already made as Our Lady had requested and now her cousins were beatified, and the third part of the Secret would be made public within moments.
“Was her mission carried out? Yes, at whatever time the Lord wanted. She was, in the eyes of those who were with her on the 13th, a girl with a nostalgia, a longing for Heaven, who saw the real beauty, as nothing on earth could fill her soul.” (20)

The Shepherdess
And The Shepherd

When Lucia arrived back at the Carmel in Coimbra after the trip to Fatima, she had much joy in her heart, but her health began to decline. The hourglass of her life would begin the countdown of her final days in 2005 along with the Pope St. John Paul II who was so integral to the Fatima event. Lucia shared a deep spiritual bond with this Roman Pontiff, and offered her final sufferings for him. Her sisters in the Carmel detail this:
“At this same time we watched the declining health of the Holy Father who was hospitalized. We remembered Sr. Lucia lifting her hands, repeating:
“‘For the Holy Father! For the Holy Father!’
“She continued her offering in the silent sanctuary of her heart. We always noticed her great love for the Holy Father, a love that was imprinted in her heart from the revelation of the Secret. This love grew along with her because at the beginning she did not even know the name of the Pope, but now had a name and face. In addition to the faithful love that harbored them, they shared a mutual friendship. With great affection she grasped in her hands until the time of her departure for Heaven the Rosary that the Pope had given her on her birthday the year before.
“God had joined the two — the Shepherdess and the Shepherd — in the last climb to Calvary! On the morning of February 10, she said her last words and they were again an offering for the Holy Father. When the sister nurse asked her if she suffered much, she replied:
“ ‘I Suffer!’
“ ‘Do you offer this suffering for the Holy Father?’
“ ‘I offer for the Holy Father . . . for the Holy Father . . . for the Holy Father!’” (21)
Lucia died on February 13, 2005, less than two months before Pope St. John Paul II. Her requiem Mass was offered by Tarcisio Cardinal Bertone, the special envoy of the Holy Father. Her remains were originally interred at the Carmel in Coimbra, but later the decision was made by the bishop of Leiria-Fatima to transfer Lucia’s body to the Basilica of the Shrine of Fatima.
The transfer was made on February 19, 2006. Lucia was laid to rest on the left side of St. Jacinta beneath a marble plate which aptly reads: “Here lies the body that both walked the path in fulfilling the Will of God and in faithfulness to the requests of Our Lady.”

FOOTNOTES

17) dos Santos, p. 198.
18) Lucia dos Santos quoted in Carmel of Coimbra, p. 190.
19) Ibid.
20) Carmel of Coimbra, p. 385.
21) Ibid., p. 417.

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