Prayer, penance, and conversion

Asked Our Lady at Fatima

Wars are chastisements for the sins of men

If one does'nt stop offending God, there will be a third world war 

français

 

Sister Lucia of Fatima

Sister Lucia Dos Santos, one of the three seers of Fatima, Portugal, in 1917, is still alive. She was born on March 22, 1907; she is now 96 years old. As the Virgin Mary had told them, the two other seers died at a very young age: Francisco Marto died on April 4, 1919, at the age of 10, and his sister, Jacinta, died on February 20, 1920, at the age of 9. To Lucia, Our Lady had said: “You must remain a little longer here on earth. Jesus wants to use you to make Me known and loved. He wants to establish in the world the devotion to My Immaculate Heart.” Francisco and Jacinta Marto were declared “blessed” on May 13, 2000, in Fatima, in a ceremony presided over by Pope John Paul II, in the presence of Sister Lucia.

Upon the request of her Bishop, Lucia wrote all that she knew about Jacinta and the Apparitions, after she entered the Carmel in Coimbra, Portugal. Here are excerpts from this book, “Memórias e Cartas da Irmã Lucia” (Memories of Sister Lucy of Fatima), which begins with a foreword by Father Antonio Maria Martins, SJ:

Fatima, a work of God

Fatima, like all the other true Apparitions of Our Lady, is a work of God, and God leaves nothing to chance. As in Israel, from time to time, God sent prophets to remind His people of their eternal destiny after Christ's coming, so God in His utmost sapient Providence used Apparitions of Christ and Our Lady – strong enough in themselves to have worldwide influence – to recall the attention of His children to the eternal truths of Revelation which were very often forgotten or distorted due to human passions.

Let us remember that in Christ's time most of the priests and doctors of the law, in spite of their frequent readings of the Holy Scriptures, had wandered so far from the true meaning of Revelation that they were expecting a political messiah to set Israel free from Roman bondage. Is not something like this going on in our day?

As a matter of fact, are there not some priests and bishops who pretend to turn the Church into an institution of social assistance and as a means of development for underdeveloped people or countries? There are many who attack the authentic Magisterium under the pretence of liberating the Church from medieval structures.

But the most dangerous error that has led many priests to leave the priesthood is the pagan naturalism that pretends to achieve supernatural goals by human means. Therefore they do not care about prayer and penance, but trust only in action, action, action.

Is not such a mentality in conflict with the eternal words of Christ, “for apart from Me, you can do nothing”? There are some too who pretend to banish all responsibility for sin, fictionalizing strange theories. Christ has already fulminated such baseless intents (Mt 7:15-23). The Apparitions of Our Lady at Fatima, are they not a strong admonition against the above-mentioned distortions of Revelation?

In short, what is the Message of Fatima? It is to remind us that our eternal destiny depends on keeping our souls in the grace of God by means of prayer and penance. Prayer includes devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Rosary.

Another point of Revelation which is very often forgotten is that Fatima reminds us that wars and cataclysms are God's punishments for our sins. Do not the Holy Scriptures say that Sodom was destroyed because there were not ten just men in it? And Jerusalem, because it had not understood the message of peace? And what is meant by the Flood, the forty years of God's people in the desert, the captivity of Babylon?

God has not changed, and moreover, He cannot change. Therefore what happened in the past will be so until the end of the world. Men are looking for pleasure with increasing refinements. They easily forget the lessons of History and God's Commandments.

Fatima is a tocsin in men's and countries' ways. It is also a loving invitation for sincere contrition, an indispensable way to obtain the pardon of God our Father.

Fr. A. M. Martins, SJ

Memories of Sister Lucia of Fatima

“A sea of fire”

The secret is composed of three different parts... The first is the vision of hell! Our Lady showed us a large sea of fire which seemed to be beneath the earth. Plunged in this fire were demons and souls, who were like embers, transparent and black or bronze-colored, with human forms that floated about in the conflagration, borne by the flames which issued from it with clouds of smoke, falling on all sides as sparks fall in great conflagrations, without weight or equilibrium, among shrieks and groans of sorrow and despair which horrified us and caused us to quake with fear. The devils were distinguished by horrible and loathsome forms of animals, frightful and unknown, but transparent and black.

This vision vanished in a moment. Providentially, our good Heavenly Mother had promised us, in the first Apparition, to take us to Heaven. Otherwise I think we would have died of fright and horror. Shortly afterwards, we raised our eyes to Our Lady who said with goodness and sadness:

Words of the Virgin Mary

“You saw hell where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them God wishes to establish in the world the devotion to My Immaculate Heart. If they do what I will tell you, many souls will be saved, and there will be peace. The war is going to end. But if they don't stop offending God, another and worse one will begin in the reign of Pius XI. When you shall see a night illuminated by an unknown light (the night of the 25th to 26th of January, 1938), know that this is the great sign God will give you that He is going to punish the world by means of war, hunger, and persecutions of the Church and of the Holy Father. To prevent this, I come to ask for the consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart, and the Communion of reparation on the first Saturdays. If they listen to My requests, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace. If not, she will scatter her errors throughout the world, provoking 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.

“In the end, My Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to Me, and she will be converted, and a certain period of peace will be granted to the world.”

Blessed Jacinta and Francisco Marto

Horrified by the sight of hell

Your Excellency, as I told you in the writings I sent to you after I had read the book about Jacinta, she was greatly impressed by some things revealed in the secret. As a matter of fact, this was one of them. The vision of hell frightened her so much that she did all the penances and mortifications she could to prevent more souls from going there.

Now I shall answer the second question which is asked from all sides. How had Jacinta, still a child, understood such a spirit of mortification and penance, and how had she conquered it?

In my opinion, it was, first of all, through a special grace God granted her through the Immaculate Heart of Mary; and secondly, through the vision of hell and the unfortunate souls falling into it. There are people, even devout ones, who are afraid to speak about hell to children lest they frighten them, but God did not hesitate to show it to three children, one of whom was only seven years old. He knew she would be horrified to the point — I would say — of shrivelling with fear.

People burning like wood in fire

Frequently she sat, meditating, on the ground or some stone, and began to exclaim, “Hell! Hell! How sorry I am for the souls that are going to hell! And people burn there alive, like wood in fire!” And quivering a little, she would kneel on the ground with her hands joined and say the prayer Our Lady had taught us:

“O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fire of hell, lead all souls into Heaven, especially those who are most in need of Thy Mercy!”

Now you can understand why I got the impression that the last words of this prayer are concerned with souls who are most in danger of damnation or nearest to it. Jacinta stayed for a long time on her knees, repeating the same prayer. Every now and then, as if waking us, she called to me or her brother, Francisco. “Francisco, are you praying with me? We need to pray a great deal to save souls from hell. So many are going there! So many!”

At other times she asked, “Why doesn't Our Lady show hell to sinners? If they saw it, they would never sin again and wouldn't have to go there. You must tell Our Lady to show hell to all those people. (She meant the people staying in Cova da Iria at the time of the Apparition.) You will see that they will be converted.” Some days later, a little despondent, she asked, “Why didn't you tell Our Lady to show hell to those people?”

“I forgot,” I answered.

“I didn't remember, either,” she said sadly. Sometimes, she also asked, “What sins are committed by those people to make them go to hell?”

“I don't know. Perhaps not going to Mass on Sundays, stealing, saying wicked words, cursing, swearing.”

“What would it cost them to keep quiet and go to Mass! I am sorry for sinners! Oh, if I could only let them see hell!”

Sometimes she hugged me and said, “I am going to Heaven, but you have to stay here. If Our Lady lets you, tell everybody what hell is like, so that they can escape it by not committing sins.”

Other times, after thinking for a while, she said, “So many falling into hell! So many in hell!” To reassure her, I said, “Don't be afraid. You are going to Heaven!” “Yes, I am going there,” she said calmly. “But I also want everyone to go there!”

Sacrifice for sinners

When, to mortify herself, she didn't want to eat, I said, “Jacinta, come on, eat now.” ”No, I am offering this sacrifice for sinners who eat too much.” When she was sick but was going to go to Mass anyway, I said, “Jacinta, don't. You aren't able. And it's not Sunday today.” “It doesn't matter. I will go for sinners who don't even go on Sundays.”

If she happened to hear any loud cursing, she covered her face with her hands and said, “Oh my God, these people don't realize this kind of talk might send them to hell! Forgive them, Jesus, and convert them. They certainly don't know they are offending God. Oh, what a pity, Jesus! I will pray for them!” And she repeated the prayer Our Lady had taught us, “O my Jesus, forgive us” etc.

Now, your Excellency, I have revealed the first part of the secret. The second part refers to the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. As I mentioned to you previously, Our Lady, on July 13th, 1917, told us that God wishes to establish in the world the devotion to Her Immaculate Heart and to prevent the forthcoming war. She came to ask the consecration of Russia to Her Immaculate Heart and the Communion of reparation on the first Saturdays...

And I still say, prayer and penance as done in Portugal has not yet placated Divine Justice, for they have been accompanied neither by contrition nor amendment. I hope Jacinta is interceding for us in Heaven.

As I said in the writings I sent about the book “Jacinta”, she was very impressed by some things revealed in the secret. For instance, the vision of hell, the misfortune of so many souls falling into it, the forthcoming war whose horrors, it seemed, were present to her. All this filled her with consternation. When I saw her deep in thought, I asked, “Jacinta, of what are you thinking?”

Often, she answered, ”Of that war which is coming, of the many people who are going to die and go to hell. What a shame! If they would stop offending God, neither the war would come nor would they go to hell!”

Sister Lucia of Fatima  

Third part of the “secret” of Fatima

A drawing from J. Gill illustrating the third part of the secret pf Fatima, taken from the new book of Sister Lucia of Fatima, “Calls from the Message of Fatima”, Secção de Livraria, Cova da Iria 2496-908 Fatima, Portugal, tel.: 249 539 691, fax: 249 539 605.

Here is the third part of the secret revealed at the Cova da Iria-Fatima on July 13, 1917, as written by Sister Lucia:

I write in obedience to you, my God, who commands me to do so through his Excellency the Bishop of Leiria and through your Most Holy Mother and mine.

After the two parts which I have already explained, at the left of Our Lady and a little above, we saw an Angel with a flaming sword in his left hand. Flashing, it gave out flames that looked as though they would set the world on fire, but they died out when they came in contact with the splendour that Our Lady radiated towards him from Her right hand. Pointing to the earth with his right hand, the Angel cried out in a loud voice: “Penance, Penance, Penance!” And we saw, in an immense light that is God, “something similar to how people appear in a mirror when they pass in front of it,” a Bishop dressed in white. “We had the impression that it was the Holy Father.” Other Bishops, priests, men and women religious went up a steep mountain, at the top of which there was a big cross of rough-hewn trunks as of a cork tree with the bark. Before reaching there, the Holy Father passed through a big city half in ruins, and half trembling with halting steps, afflicted with pain and sorrow, he prayed for the souls of the corpses he met on his way. Having reached the top of the mountain, on his knees at the foot of the big cross, he was killed by a group of soldiers who fired bullets and arrows at him, and in the same way there died, one after another, the other Bishops, priests, men and women religious, and various lay people of different ranks and positions. Beneath the two arms of the cross, there were two Angels, each with a crystal water can in his hand in which they gathered up the blood of the martyrs, and with it sprinkled the souls that were making their way to God.

Tuy-3-1-1944”.

This article was published in the March-April, 2003 issue of “Michael”.

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