Our Lady's Apostles
"If my people will not obey, I shall be compelled to let loose my Son's arm."
Our Lady at LaSalette
"Those that work for me shall not sin, those that speak of me shall gain eternal life."
This particular talk was given at a semi-annual Rosary arch, that is sponsored world wide. The Rosary is prayed simultaneously at the same time with those praying the rosary throughout the world. The intention is the same. The Rosary march takes place on the 1st Sunday in May and in October. It was started by the Knights of Columbus in California and has been going on now for over 20 years. The following is the talk as I gave it.
The Rosary March intentions today are for the Apostolate of Fatima. What does this mean? Apostolate, according to Webster's definition, is the duties, office, and the period of activity of an apostle. Apostle comes from the Greek word "apostolos", which means a messenger. More specifically, according to Webster, it's a person sent out on a special mission. For those people who are committed to the Apostolate of Fatima, this means they are involved in a special mission and the spreading of a special message.
In order to understand more completely what this message and mission is, we need to go back in time, to May 13th, 1917, to Fatima, Portugal at the Cova de Ira at approximately noon. I will only briefly go over the main points of the apparition.
On Sunday, May 13, 1917 three children were tending their sheep; Lucia DeSantos 10 years old, and her cousins, a brother and a sister, Francisco and Jacinta Marcos, 9 and 7 years old respectively. They had just finished eating their lunch and were getting ready to play, when Lucia heard a loud clap of thunder. Thinking it was going to rain, she called to her cousins to bring in the sheep, when she heard a second loud clap of thunder, and there standing before the children, on a small holm oak tree, was a beautiful lady all dressed in white.
The lady looked at the children and said, "Do not be afraid, I will not harm you."
Lucia said, "Where do you come from?"
The lady answered, "I come from heaven."
Lucia then said, "What do you want of me?"
The lady again answered, "I want you to come here for the next six months in a row at the same hour. Later I will tell you who I am and what I want of you."
Francisco, who could not see the beautiful Lady asked who his cousin was talking to.
The lady said, "Tell Francisco to pray his rosary, and he will see me."
Francisco began praying his rosary and by the time he reached the first mystery, he to could see the lady. His sister Jacinta, could see and hear the Lady. Only their cousin Lucia could see, hear, and speak to the beautiful Lady. Lucia had two girlfriends, who had recently died. She asked the Lady what became of them. "Where is Maria?" she asked.
The Lady answered, "Maria is in heaven."
Lucia then said, "Where is Ameila?"
Ameila was 19 years old when she died. Our Lady answered, "Ameila is in purgatory, and will remain there until the end of the world, unless someone prays for her."
Lucia then asked, "Will I go to heaven?"
The Lady replied, "Yes Lucia, you will go to heaven."
Lucia asked, "Will Jacinta go to heaven?"
The Lady answered, "Yes Jacinta will go to heaven to."
Finally Lucia inquired, "Will Francisco go to heaven?"
Our Lady answered, "Yes, Francisco will go to heaven to, but first he must pray, many, many rosaries." Our Lady then, with her hands folded in prayer, and looking very sad, looked at the children and said, "Are you willing to offer to God all that He will send to you in reparation for the many offenses by which He is offended, and for the supplication of sinners?"
Lucia said, "Yes we are willing."
Our Lady answered, "Then you will have much to suffer, but the grace of God will be with you." The Lady then looked at the children, holding her rosary she said, "I want you to pray your rosary everyday for peace and the end of the war." Our Lady at this point, has asked for the first requirement of this apostolate, prayer. She was very specific on the kind of prayer, her Rosary. In fact she was so specific, that she asked for it at every one of her 6 apparitions. These are her very words, "I want you to pray the rosary. Pray the rosary everyday. Continue to pray the rosary everyday. You must pray the rosary everyday." It was during her second apparition, on June 13, 1917, that the heart of the message was given to the three children.
Lucia then asked Our Lady, "What do you want of me?"
And she answered, "Continue to pray the rosary everyday. I want you to come here next month, on the 13th, at the same hour." She then told the children, that Francisco and Jacinta would be going to heaven very soon. Francisco died in 1919, while Jacinta died in 1920. Our Lady looked at Lucia continuing, "She, Lucia would have to remain on Earth for a long, long time, because God wishes to make use of you, to make me known and loved. To establish in this world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. I promise salvation to those who embrace it. Their souls will be loved by God as flowers placed by myself at His throne."
Lucia at this point cried out, "Am I to remain here all alone?"
Our Lady's answer echoed in time to everyone, in the past, present and future who would say the same thing, "Dear Lady, am I to do this all alone? Is there anyone to help me? Must I be the only one to do your work?" Our Lady looked at her with great motherly love and concern and her words were meant for everyone who ever thought those words, when she said, "No. I will never leave you. My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the sure way that will lead you to God."
Our Lady here has made a excellent point; To Jesus through Mary. It was also during this apparition that Lucia was shown the Immaculate Heart of Mary, surrounded by thorns. Our Lady held her Heart in her hands. Lucia said the thorns were around the Heart, with the points of the thorns penetrating the inner chambers of her Heart. Our Lady said to her, "God wishes, the Immaculate Heart of Mary to be honored in the world." This laid the ground work for devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and the first Five Saturdays of reparation, which she would give Lucia at a later date.
It was during the third apparition, which is the most informative of them all, on July 13th, 1917, that Our Lady showed the three children why we need to pray, why we need penance, why we need sacrifice and why we need to make reparation to her Immaculate Heart.
At the beginning of the apparition, she asked the children, "When you make a sacrifice, say, 'Oh Jesus, it is for love of you, for the conversion of sinners and in the reparation for the many offenses committed against my Immaculate Heart.'"
As Our Lady said these words she lowered her hands to the ground, and powerful lights came off her hands, penetrating the earth, splitting it open, revealing to the children a horrifying vision. It was at this point, that one of the greatest graces was given to the world. The children saw hell. They saw the souls of the dammed and the demons. Several witnesses close by said the children grew pale as death at this vision. In that sea of fire, they saw the souls of the dammed, in human form black as coal. They fell from side to side, without weight or equilibrium in the flames, screaming out and crying in horror and despair, causing the children to tremble with fear. They saw the devils, in the most horrifying and unknown animal shapes, black as coal turned red hot.
Lucia cried out, "Oh, Our Lady!"
Our Lady answered, "You have seen hell, where the souls of poor sinners go. In order to save them, God wishes to establish in this world, devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If what I ask for is done, there will be peace and the war will end. But, if mankind does not stop offending God by sin, another greater war will break out during the reign of Pius the XI. When you see a night, lit up by a strange light in the sky, know by it, that God is going to punish the world for it's sins, by war, hunger and persecution. In order to prevent this, I shall come at a later date, to ask for the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart and the first five Saturdays of reparation. If what I ask for is done, Russia will be converted. If not, Russia will spread her errors throughout the world, promoting wars. The Holy Father will be persecuted, entire nations will be annihilated, but, in the end My Immaculate Heart will triumph and an era of peace will be granted to mankind."
She told the children the third secret and then said, "Tell this secret to no one. Francisco, yes you may tell him." She then said to the children, "After each decade of the rosary, I want you to say, 'Oh My Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls into heaven, especially those in most need of Thy mercy,'" and she disappeared into the east.
It was with love in her eyes during the fourth apparition that Our Lady sorrowfully complained, "Pray, pray, very much, especially for poor sinners who have no one to pray and offer sacrifice for them. So many souls go to hell." We have a noble apostolate, to pray and offer reparation for sinners who have no one to pray for them. This is accomplished by making reparation to the two hearts of Jesus and Mary.
The tools which Our Lady wants us to use were given to us during the last apparition on October 13, 1917, during the miracle of the sun. It was during this vision (which only Lucia witnessed) that Our Lady was clothed in the garments of Our Lady of Mount Caramel, holding in her one hand, her rosary, and in her other hand, the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Caramel. Our Lady silently asked the world, "To take them and use them."
Our Lady needs us today. She needs dedicated people to be her spokesperson, to go out and tell everyone about this message of peace. Lucia herself, in 1947, was ready to leave the convent, because there was no one spreading this very important and vital message.
Almost in an answer to her prayer, Monsignor Coligan, from Plainsville, New Jersey formed the Blue Army. Prior to that he had been very, very ill and near death's door. He told Our Lady, " Dear Lady, if you heal me, I'll do anything that you ask of me. Almost instantaneously he was healed. He later found out that Our Lady's will for him, was to form the Blue Army.
Today there are over 30 million Blue Army members in the entire world. They are doing very quietly, what Our Lady has asked of them!
Our international headquarters, is in Fatima, Portugal. The international president is Bishop Constanio Luna. Our national headquarters is in Washington, New Jersey. Our national lay director was Mr. John Haffert, who is now retired and inactive.
But there was a fourth request by Our Lady, which is an optional request; the first Five Saturdays of Reparation. Our Lady mentioned it in her third apparition. It was not until December 10, 1925 at Pontverda, Spain where Lucia was a postulant in the Dorthean convent, that Our Lady appeared to her, with the child Jesus at her side. She held in her hand, her Immaculate Heart surrounded by thorns.
The infant Jesus, at His mother's side, spoke to Lucia first, saying, "Have pity on the Heart of your most Holy Mother, which is covered with thorns, that ungrateful men, place there in every moment, and there is no one to remove them by a act of reparation."
Lucia looked at Our Lady. Then Our Lady held her thorn encircled Heart out to her. She said, "See my daughter. My Heart is surrounded by thorns, which ungrateful men place there in every moment, by their ingratitude, and blasphemies. Do you at least console me, and announce to the world, I promise to assist at the hour of their death, with all the graces necessary for salvation, to those on the first five Saturdays, of five consecutive months.
It was on May 13th, 1962, that the papal legate to John the XXIII, Cardinal Larrone, had this to say about this devotion, "It is urgent, for us to establish devotion in the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. God wishes it. Our Lady told us. Our efforts must therefore multiply. We must be assiduous is practicing the first five Saturday devotions not once, but over and over again, especially those who can_not or will not heed Our Lady's plea."
On December 10, 1975, the fiftieth Anniversary of this apparition, the Bishop of the diocese where the apparition occurred had this to say:
"In light of the Fatima message, sin is not a phenomena of the sociological order, but is in the true theological concept, an offense against God with necessary social consequences. Perhaps no other century, as the century we live in, has had a life so sinful. But there is something new added to the sins of this century. The man of today, more sinful than those who came before him has lost the sense of sin. He sins, but laughs and even boasts of his sin... Man of today has arrived at this stage because he has placed a division between himself and God...believing that when God is ignored, everything is possible. The man of this century wishes to realize himself as stronger than God and against God, and comes finally to the point of being man debased, anti-man, because man can only perfectly realize himself in God."
In the parable of Dives and Lazarus, God refused to show hell because He said it must be accepted on faith. That Our Lady obtained the grace of this vision is the action of a mother seeing great numbers of her children in dire peril of being cast into these eternal fires.
In a rare interview, with Sister Lucia, by Father Lombardi this point is further emphasized. Father asked Sister, "Tell me Sister Lucia, is the better world movement a response of the Church to the words spoken by Our Lady?"
Sister Lucia answered, "Father, there certainly is a great need for this renewal. If it is not done, and taking into account of the present development of humanity, only a limited number of the human race will be saved."
Father responded, "Do you really believe they will go to hell, Sister? I hope that God will save the better part of humanity." Father had just written a book called, "Salvation Without Faith".
Lucia answered, "No Father, many will be lost."
Father again said, "It is true the world is full of evil but there is always hope for salvation."
Lucia responded, " No Father, many will be lost."
Father remembered then that Sister Lucia had seen hell. He added, her words disturbed me, and I returned to Italy with this very grave warning in my heart.
The vision of hell was shown in the beginning of this century to impress upon men the existence of hell, to confirm the essential doctrine of hell, and to influence men to stop offending God by sin, by turning to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Today, the idea of hell is being cast aside. Nobody believes in hell, it doesn't exist. Some believe that they are here on earth forever. I have been told by certain people, that God in his mercy, would not allow anyone to stay in hell forever. At the end of time, when the world is judged, everyone in hell will be released and they will go to heaven.
I used to wonder how people could not fear hell, until one day I was talking to a priest who said to me, "Katie I just saw an unbelievable movie. It's called "The Legend"." I inquired, "What's it about Father." He replied, "I sat through that movie in mortal fear. It's about hell, the devil, the defeating of Christ and His goodness." I asked, "Well how scary was it?" He said, "Katie, Satan himself had to come out of the depths of hell, to make that movie. I could not believe the makeup in that movie. Satan had to be the inspiration, or he had to come himself to make that movie. I've watched Alfred Hitchock thrillers, and I've been scared. But nothing like the fear I sat through watching that movie."
What in God's name is wrong with the world today, when we have to be entertained by movies like that, with names like that? People have forgotten there is a hell. This is why Our Lady showed hell to the three children. Even Jacinta was profoundly effected by what she saw, and at the time she was only seven years old. These are some of the words she said after that vision, "Oh hell. Oh hell. Mother of God have pity on those who do not amend their lives."
"If man only knew what awaits them in eternity they would do everything in there power, to change there lives today". She would think of her brother Francisco and say, "Francisco are you praying with me? We must pray very much to save souls from hell, so that they won't go there". She would ask Lucia," Why doesn't Our Lady show hell to everybody? If they saw it, they would never commit sin again."
Padre Pio, who is a the living reminder of Christ Crucified, and the spiritual Father of all Blue Army members, before he died, made the statement, "When there is a Blue Army member for every communist member in the world, Russia will converted and there will be peace."
Think about it, no longer can we say, "What can I do? What do my small prayers accomplish? Padre Pio made it very plain, that our prayers are vitally important. You are praying for the conversation of one communist soul. It is now on a one to one basis. You are sacrificing for him\her, you are making reparation for him\her, you are praying for his\her conversion. Someday, in eternity, you will meet that one person, and that soul will thank you for your prayers and sacrifices.
The Fatima Apostolate is so important, not only because we are praying for peace, that's important, but if there is no peace, and mankind does not stop offending God by sin, millions upon millions of souls will go to hell for all eternity. A very horrifying and sobering thought. Jesus shed his very last drop of blood on the cross for everyone of those souls. That is why Our Lady does not want to see a single soul go to hell.
People must amend their lives, and pray, so we will not have war, but peace. The point here is to pray for souls, especially for souls who have no one to pray for them. There are so many souls today that have no one to pray for them, and because of this they go to hell. This is one thought that haunted little Jacinta, horribly, that there were souls out there who had no one to pray for them.
In the world today, we are in a state of crisis. We are in a state the world has never been in before, because the world powers have in their hands, weapons to destroy, millions and millions of lives in an instant. Ready or not, those souls will have to stand before the throne of Almighty God and give an account for their lives.
Such a thing happened on August 6th, 1945. I was not alive then, but perhaps some of you were. When the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaski, thousands and thousands of souls, whether they were ready or not, had to present themselves to Almighty God and give an accounting for their lives. That is an awesome thought to be instantly standing before the throne of the Almighty, without a moment's preparation.
As Catholics, we all pray that we will be ready for death when it comes, that we will have a Holy death with our loved ones around us. When you think of all those poor souls on August 6, 1945, it makes you realize that death can come like a thief in the night.
Our Lady has given us God's peace plan from Heaven. She has asked us to pray the rosary, wear the brown scapular and to offer up our daily duties. We must live this message.
To those who think it is to much to do, you have the words of Saint Louis De Montfort, who lived approximately 300 years ago. He is known as the Apostle of Mary and he made a rather interesting prophesy. He said, "The latter half of the twentieth century, would have the greatest Saints the Church has ever known. They would excel the early Christian martyrs in sanctity and holiness. These saints would not come from the priests and the religious, but they would come from the lay people."
It is rather interesting to think, that the Apostolate of Fatima is a movement promoting world peace, and this movement is run by lay people. We are those saints that Saint Louis De Montfort was referring to. Today we have to be Our Lady's apostle. That is what Saint Louis De Montfort called himself, the Apostle of Our Lady, and that's what we are today, Our Lady's Apostles, Our Lady's messengers. We must spread this vital message to everyone we meet.
St. Louis de Montfort. Tan Publishers, Rockford, Illinois.
Brother Michael of the Trinity, Tan Publishers, Rockford, Illinois.
Msgr. J. A. Cirrancione, Tan Publishers, Rockford, Illinois.
Francis Johnston, Tan Publishers, Rockford, Illinois.
By William Thomas Walsh, New York, MacMillan Co. 1947.
By Dom Jean-Baptiste Chautard, O.C.S.O., Tan Books and Publishers and Co.