Fatima Season Begins for 2003
Winter ended on May 13, 2003 where we had the first warm day since October of last year. 700,000 people came out to honor Our Lady and wave white handkerchiefs in honor of her as they did in 1917 when they saw the white ball of light drift back into the sky to the east and disappear in the heavens after each apparition. I was surprised at the numbers of people since May 13th landed on a Wednesday and people had to take off work to come. Few are coming from far away because of the terrorist threats and the new virus out of China but Europe is making up for the lack of overseas flights. Many are now coming from Eastern Europe and from Russia, and many are of the Orthodox faiths. At Fatima on October 13, 1917 Our Lady gave the name She wanted to be called here - Our Lady of the Rosary - and this is the year of the Rosary. In declaring this as the year of the Rosary the Holy Father said that we now need more than ever the intervention of Our Lady. What that means I do not know but will be watching for whatsoever might happen.
Past Three Months
I have been very busy in the past three months and have not kept up my web site as I would have liked but hope to make up for it in the next few days. After attending the 96th birthday Mass and party for Lucia at the Convent in Coimbra, I went back again to wish Mother Celina a happy birthday and then back again to take two of my favorite nuns up the mountains far to the north of Coimbra. Picked up the nuns at Coimbra at 7:30 and drove almost 3 hours to other convent in Guarda up in the mountains. Irma Maria Das Mercies De Jesus celebrated her 50th year as a nun. She is 77 years old. There were two bishops and ten priests concelebrating mass and then a party for her with many relatives. Went to three masses because of the wait at the castle Basilica (weddings to celebrate the 50th year as a nun of one of the Carmelites there. I had a wonderful time meeting the nuns of a different Carmelite convent and they also have that same happiness that I often talk about when writing about Carmel. Took Father Gordon, the blind priest, to Lisbon so that he could go home to England and later went back to Lisbon to pick him up on his return to Fatima. Helped move him into an apartment here and then taught his helper to cook, got his phone hooked up, and took him around to get furniture and other things to make house. I then found a home for Father Bob, also from England, and helped him with all the same things to set up a home in Fatima. In the mean time my truck insurance and my car insurance and the inspection stickers, and the taxes, etc. have come due and all this takes time.
I say all this nonsense so that you know why I have not put out a Newsletter for such a long time. My day is from 5:00 AM with three hours of emails, then three hours of Church at the Shrine, then three hours of gym, so that I can keep walking, then three hours of those things a wife would be doing if I had one. That gives me 12 hours left for sleep and writing if no one asks me for help somewhere here in Fatima.
I did manage to make the beach in Nazare twice since the sun came out and started two documents but never finished either one of them. I have worked some on the book, the Ark of Apocalypse but have much to do. I got 1000 Scapulars after a two month wait and have them ready for the season, but may not do more since it is just too hard to get them here.
My little war in Fatima is going very well but I must keep all this quiet for a few more weeks to let the authorities do their thing. Nonetheless, this also has taken a great deal of my time with almost an average of 15 phone calls a day - received not sent. Total time spent on this nonsense over the past year has to be two hours a day at least. Now that I am retired I am glad that I have nothing to do each day.
A long time email friend has died of a sudden heart attack, another long time friend is about to have a baby boy, and my young friend in America is graduating from College this week and going on for a masters in theology. I have make friends out of enemies and enemies out of friends by making my first love truth. But this is nothing new in my life and I do not let it bother me one way of the other. Busy but happy because I know I am doing what Our Lady wants of me and I am with Her three hours a day at Her favorite spot on Earth. I am doing a novena to Jacinta and Francisco for a friend in Jordan and praying for those who ask or simply those I know need it. I am communicating with Mirna in Damascus by email now and much to say about this in the future.
A new apparition has come up in England that has prompted me to write about "Limbo" and this will be coming soon. The apparition itself does not bother me, since I have watched these false apparitions for 35 years, but when otherwise good orthodox priests fall for these stupidities I must take time to respond.
Our Lady of the Eucharist
The Rector of the Shrine in Fatima gave a sermon in English the other day and it was the best talk I have ever heard since I was in Fatima. He talked about the Eucharist and how the Eucharist was not only the heart and soul of the Church but also how it was the heart and soul of Fatima. He told how the angels of Fatima came first to teach reverence and worship to Our Lord in the Eucharist, even before Our Lady came. He stressed how the angel bowed down with his face on the ground as an example to us of physical worship of Our Lord, and why we should spend time in perpetual adoration of such a great gift of God. Keeping in mind that the first feast day of the Eucharist, before the many feast days were combined into "Corpus Christi", was May 13th , the first visit of Our Lady of Fatima and this only a few miles from one of the great Eucharistic miracles of all time in Santarem.
As I said before the Fatima angels predicted the abuse of the Eucharist over the past 50 years because of the charges in the Mass, but things are changing. Last week it was learned that the Vatican is coming out with a new document on the Mass this year that will stop the random abuse of the Novas Order and will make it easier to have the Tridentine Mass in every parish in the world. It is believed that it will take the option out of the hands of the Bishop and give it to the priests.
When Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos was made head of the Sacramental rites I knew things would turn around after 50 years of abuse, and not only has he put a stop to many abuses but he has put out many new documents that will turn things around. This latest one should be great. Not only that but he, himself, will be honoring John Paul II's 25th anniversary as a Pope by celebrating a St. Pius V rite of Mass in Rome on May 24th in the Roman Basilica of St. Mary Major.
Thousands of faithful will attend this Mass as a way to thank the Holy Father for the motu proprio 'Ecclesia Dei' (July 2, 1988), in which, among other things, he said that 'respect must everywhere be shown for the feelings of all those who are attached to the Latin liturgical tradition, by a wide and generous application of the directives already issued some time ago by the Apostolic See for the use of the Roman Missal according to the typical edition of 1962.'
I think good things are about to come to the Church.
The Icon of Kazan
A great deal of news has been coming out lately about the Icon of Kazan. This icon was saved from the communist hands in 1917 and brought from Russia to England, where I was bought by the Blue Army of America and placed in Domus Pacus behind the shrine and a special room built for it. It was there for 50 years and then sent to the Holy Father at his request so that he could personally give it back to Russia. He wants to give it to the Patriarch of Russia's Orthodox Church face to face but is being stopped by the Patriarch, who wants all kind of conditions placed in this visit. The Holy Father believes, as I do, that this Icon will bring about massive changes to Russia and our relationship to that church. Much will happen in the next few months on this issue. The year of the Rosary, the Iraq war, the Icon of Kazan, Our Lady's help, it should be an interesting year.
May 1st, Feast of St. Joseph, the Worker
May 1st is the feast of St. Joseph, the Worker and the day that Blessed Charles Von Hapsburg died. Everything good that has ever happened to me has happened on this date. This last May 1st is no exception but I must be silent about these things for now. On April 17 2004 I will walk with thousands of other Europeans from the Benedictine monastery of Santo Domingo de Silos to Santiago de Compostela and arrive there on May 1, 2004. This is a way of the Europeans to ask Our Lord to help Europe bring back Christianity to the European Governments. Ten new countries from Central, Eastern, and Southern Europe will enter the European Union on May 1, 2004.
These random thoughts by Rick Salbato