Sister Lucy Has Gone to Her Eternal Reward:
Now Its Up to YOU
by Father Nicholas Gruner, S.T.L., S.T.D. (Cand.)
On October 13, 1917 an unprecedented miracle took place:
For four minutes, the noontime sun spun around giving off various colors, one after the other. If a person at Fatima that day had on a white shirt — it would turn red, green and blue as the sun spun around. It stopped and started again for four more minutes, this time giving off even more beautiful colors. Then it stopped again.
Then it started again. This time it detached itself from its regular position and began to zigzag in the sky. It "danced" for about four minutes, then started to plummet to the earth. It looked like it was the end of the world. Many people fell on their knees to ask for mercy of God. The sun then returned to its original position in the sky.
Besides this, another miracle occurred. The 70,000, whose clothing had been drenched from the torrential rainstorm and covered with dirt from standing and kneeling in ankle-deep mud, were instantly dry and clean. Scientists say it would have taken the magnitude of an atomic bomb to dry the people and the land in that instant. Yet no one was injured by this sudden release of energy.
This miracle was witnessed by 70,000 people, Catholics and non-believers alike, and was even reported by the secular and anti-Catholic press.
God performed the great Miracle of the Sun to certify to the world the veracity of the Message the Blessed Mother had given to three Portuguese peasant children at Fatima. The Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to these three children every month for six consecutive months, and entrusted to them the means of saving very many souls and bringing peace to the entire world.
I: You Must Believe
Why are you obliged to believe the Message Our Lady gave at Fatima? Wasn’t Fatima just a "private revelation"? To address these issues let me first of all remind you that each and every Catholic is obliged to do and believe certain things, in order to remain in union with Jesus Christ and the Church and in the state of grace. Every Catholic must first of all accept all that is contained in the Deposit of Faith, for as the Catholic profession of faith known as the Creed of St. Athanasius explains:
"Whoever wishes to be saved, must above all keep the Catholic Faith; for unless a person keeps this faith whole and inviolate, he will without a doubt perish in eternity."
What, then, does it mean to hold fast to the Catholic Faith, "whole and inviolate"? What is of the Faith? St. Thomas Aquinas tells us that the Faith is all that God has revealed: that is, everything God has revealed in both Sacred Scripture and Catholic Tradition. That is the Catholic Faith, and to be saved we are bound to believe it.
Must We Believe Fatima?
There are two theological positions which maintain that we are required to believe in the Message Our Lady gave at Fatima.
The first position argues that Fatima is contained in Sacred Scripture by way of prophecy; thus it would follow that it is part of the Deposit of Faith and we are bound to believe it. This position in today’s climate of skepticism and unbelief may seem to some to be extreme, but consider for a moment the possibility: In Apocalypse Chapter 12, we read the prophecy of the "Woman clothed with the sun", who is engaged in battle with the dragon.
This "Woman" is clearly the Blessed Virgin, and could very well be Our Lady of Fatima.
I’m not saying that it is an absolute certitude that the Woman in Apocalypse 12:1 is Our Lady of Fatima, but no one can say for certain that it isn’t.
In fact, two popes have implied that it indeed is Our Lady of Fatima prophesied there: Paul VI, in his encyclical Signum magnum, and John Paul II in his sermon at Fatima on May 13, 2000. Though Pope Paul VI did not state unequivocally that the Woman of Apocalypse 12 is Our Lady of Fatima, he, nevertheless, suggested it quite clearly. Pope John Paul II also gave the same indication, yet even more forcefully, when he visited Fatima in 2000 to beatify the two deceased seers, Jacinta and Francisco Marto, who died shortly after 1917.
Once again, I’m not saying that the above position is definitive — the Pope would have to make a solemn pronouncement intending to bind the entire Church to this position to make it binding on all Catholics. However, we cannot dismiss this position entirely or treat it with indifference, as there is no valid argument against it.
Either Way, We Must Believe Fatima
The other theological position arguing that we must believe the Message of Fatima bases its argument on the fact that Fatima is a public, prophetic revelation. This stands in direct opposition to the "Fatima is a private revelation" argument, which asserts that we are not bound to believe the Message because private revelations, which are by definition unverifiable, are not binding on anyone except the individual to whom the message is given.
Fatima, however, is not unverifiable, and it’s not a message for one individual. It’s a public message given to the whole Church and verified by a public miracle and public prophecies. And the Message states that the consequences of ignoring Our Lady’s requests at Fatima are disastrous for all. Fatima is a public, prophetic revelation and as such, once the Church has examined it and found it worthy of belief, Natural Law and Sacred Scripture tell us what we must do. St. Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians 5:19-21: "Do not extinguish the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. But test all things and hold fast to that which is good."
The Message of Fatima is a public revelation; it’s a prophecy. The Church has tested it and found it to be good, and we are therefore bound to hold fast to it. It would be despising prophecy to ignore the Message, and there are certainly consequences for doing this: in her famous interview with Father Fuentes (See the article "Authentic Prophetic Interview with Sister Lucy of Fatima" in this issue), Sister Lucy explained that to refuse the known truth is a sin against the Holy Spirit. The Message of Fatima, authenticated by the Miracle of the Sun, countless cures and conversions, and the realization of prophecies, has been tested and found to be true. To know this and yet continue to disbelieve is to put your soul and the souls of many others at grave risk.
II: You Must Obey Our Lady of Fatima
Once you accept and understand Our Lady’s Fatima Message you must put your knowledge into action, first in your own life. At Fatima the Blessed Virgin Mary made very simple requests of us. She asked us again and again to pray at least five decades of the Rosary every day. She asked that we amend our lives and stop offending God, "Who is already too much offended." She asked us to pray and make sacrifices, especially for poor sinners and the Holy Father.
On October 13, 1917, while the crowds were witnessing the Miracle of the Sun, the three children were granted several visions, one of them Our Lady of Mount Carmel, holding out the scapular to us, indicating that She wants each one of us to wear it. At Fatima we learned of God’s desire that we practice and promote devotion to Mary’s Immaculate Heart. We also learned of the necessity of knowing our Faith and holding onto it whole and inviolate.
God knows that in the times we are living in, it is difficult to live as true Catholics and to hold onto our Faith in the midst of so many errors. As a barrier to the errors and temptations surrounding us, Our Lady urged us to pray the Rosary daily. In addition, we, by reason of our baptismal vows (and renewed implicitly with every Holy Communion), must cling to the Dogma and Tradition of the Catholic Faith, and resist, to the extent of our abilities, any attempts by anyone — be he even priest, bishop or Pope — who undermines or contradicts our Catholic Faith.
God sent His Blessed Mother to Fatima for our benefit — to help us to save our souls in the present time and in the times ahead, and to offer protection from the countless dangers threatening our eternal salvation. Why must we obey and live the Message of Fatima? Because we want to save our souls and the souls of all those dear to us. Because the Message Our Lady gave at Fatima is our best hope and perhaps our only hope, our only defense against all the evils assaulting us at present. Sister Lucy summed up our current position when she said: "... from now on we must choose sides. Either we are for God or we are for the devil. There is no other possibility." Once we have chosen to be on the winning side, God’s side, we must utilize the weapons He has provided for this "final battle", as Sister Lucy called it, the weapons that Our Lady of Fatima urged us to use.
III: You Must Spread the Fatima Message
In her famous December 26, 1957 interview (see "Authentic Prophetic Interview with Sister Lucy of Fatima" in this issue) with Father Fuentes, Sister Lucy told us that:
"we should not wait for an appeal to the world to come from Rome on the part of the Holy Father, to do penance. Nor should we wait for the call to penance to come from our bishops in our dioceses, nor from the religious congregations. No! Our Lord has already very often used these means and the world has not paid attention. That is why now, it is necessary for each one of us to begin to reform himself spiritually. Each person must not only save his own soul but also help all the souls that God has placed on our path."
Through this statement, Sister Lucy was implicitly releasing an essential element of the Third Secret of Fatima: She was forewarning us of the apostasy that would envelop the world, and alerting us to the fact that the apostasy would begin within the highest levels of the Church. Cardinal Ciappi, who was personal papal theologian to Pope John XXIII, to Pope Paul VI, to Pope John Paul I and to Pope John Paul II, and who had access to the Third Secret, said:
"In the Third Secret it is foretold, among other things, that the great apostasy in the Church will begin at the top."
We are in the midst of the apostasy predicted by Our Lord and by St. Paul in Sacred Scripture. (See 2 Thessalonians, Chapter 2.)
Clearly, we are living in a unique historic moment. We are living in the time of the great apostasy, in which "even the elect would be deceived", if that were possible. A great number of our shepherds have either lost the Faith or suffer from what Sister Lucy called "diabolical disorientation" and we must realize that we cannot wait around for the Pope or the bishops or the Religious Orders to sound the alarm to the world. We must rouse ourselves spiritually and inform ourselves. God has placed us in these times for a reason, and He expects us to cooperate with His divine plan. He sent His Mother to Fatima to remind us of our obligations.
Again, because the apostasy is so widespread, you cannot just depend upon all the clergy to be doctrinally sound, or to warn you of the dangers threatening your soul. Therefore, the way to be safe is to measure everything you are taught or advised to do by the standard of the Catholic Faith, and especially to compare everything to the dogmatic definitions of the Faith. The dogmatic definitions are infallible, the only guide guaranteed by God to never fail, ever.
Any priest, bishop, Cardinal or Pope can err, but the dogmas of the faith are free from error. Yet most people don’t even know that the infallible definitions are there. They follow pastors, some of whom either blindly or knowingly deviate from defined infallible dogma and, instead, propound heresy.
Thus, our present situation is critical, and we who understand this fact have an important task before us. What else are we called upon to do in these extraordinary times? Once we have recognized the perilous situation we are in, and once we have thoroughly educated ourselves in the truths of the Catholic Faith, we are called upon to take action. Remember, Sister Lucy said: "Each person must not only save his own soul but also help all the souls that God has placed on our path."
Where Do You Begin?
The first thing we must do is to seek our own sanctification. We must seek to become saints. "Be you perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect", Jesus said. By being good, our lives will influence others to be better. It is not necessary that you do anything beyond your means or your talents. It doesnt take much at all to become an apostle of Our Lady, just love God with all your heart, mind, and strength and love His Most Holy Mother Mary; and the desire to save souls.
Dedicate yourself to Her service and ask Her every day and at all times to guide you. It seems that most everywhere we turn, we face the results of rejecting God and despising the truth. We see how the family has been severely attacked in our society by legalized divorce, contraception, abortion, adultery, etc. We see also how morality and society have almost collapsed. We are devastated by the state of the world, yet feel helpless to do much about it. Yet we can do something about the problem. We can help heal our families and our country. We can be the means of bringing numerous souls to eternal happiness. We can achieve so much if we just turn to Our Lady, if we just listen to Her Message and put it into action.
It is crucial that we realize that we are on the edge of an abyss, and countless souls hang in the balance, including, doubtless, many people you know. Our Lady of Fatima showed the three children a vision of hell, "where the souls of poor sinners go", which horrified them so much that they dedicated themselves even more fervently to saving souls from hell. No sacrifice or penance was too great for these three young children. If children are capable of sacrificing so much for the eternal welfare of others, should not we strive to do the same?
Start with your own family, friends and neighbors. Tell them about the Faith and the profound Message the Blessed Mother of God communicated to us at Fatima. Perhaps many of them will not listen to you, but you cannot estimate the value of the seeds you will plant. And whether you know very few people or thousands of people, your attempt to spread the Faith and the Message will never be in vain.
Recall that the three children alone were present for the first apparition of Our Lady. Jacinta, moved by a special grace, told her mother, and word spread so that fifty people were present for the June apparition. Those fifty people told their friends, which led to 5000 people coming for the July apparition. Those people influenced 15,000 people to come in August, who in turn influenced 30,000 to come in September. Finally, in October, 70,000 people witnessed the Miracle of the Sun due to that first group of fifty. 70,000 people came in October despite the harsh elements, and despite opposition from the government, the media and even some of the clergy. How had God chosen to publicize the event? He did it by word of mouth.
Each of Us Has God-Given Talents and Opportunities
God has given each of us particular talents and resources, whether they be intellectual, financial, or the means of influencing others, and expects that we use them for His greater honor and glory. You can utilize whatever resources you possess to spread the Message. God has graced you to receive this Message. In return, He asks that you use the gifts He has given you, and in charity pass your knowledge on to others.
Catholic Action, that is, works "sustained and promoted chiefly by lay Catholics" for the furtherance of the Kingdom of God and the welfare of His people, has been blessed and encouraged by the popes, including Pope Saint Pius X who said: "At all times [Catholic Action] came to the aid of the Church, and the Church has always cherished and blessed such help, using it in many ways according to the exigencies of the age."1
It is time for Catholic Action. The "exigencies of the age" demand it. We cannot wait for the appeal to come from the Church hierarchy in Rome, from the religious congregations, or from the local bishops, to begin.
For those of you who hear God appealing to you — that is, if you understand that the obligations described above are binding on you ...
God is Calling You to Use Your Talents Now!
1) Kneel down in the privacy of your room and dedicate yourself now to the Immaculate Heart of Mary saying: "All that I am, all that I have is Yours, O Blessed Virgin Mary."
2) You can formally dedicate yourself by reading and making the Act of Consecration to Our Lady as taught by St. Louis de Montfort. (Click Here to contact us to get a copy of this book of prayer and consecration.)
3) Commit yourself as an Ambassador of Jesus and Mary. (See ad "Fatima, Faith and Fidelity in Action …".) (See the "Ambassador Promise" in The Fatima Crusader - Issue 78 or ask for your free pledge form from the Fatima Center. Click Here for addresses.)
4) Be better informed about Fatima, so as to be able to explain it, defend it and advance it. Read the most recent and solidly based books and booklets on Fatima. (See booklet ad "Be a Messenger of Truth & Hope!" and books listed below.)
5) Read this issue and back issues of The Fatima Crusader cover to cover. (See ads "Our Lady Onlne" and "Keep the Fatima Message Alive" on how to get back issues or read them on the web at www.fatimacrusader.com).
6) Visit our Fatima Website (www.fatima.org) for 15-30 minutes on a daily basis to keep yourself informed and to nourish your soul spiritually.
7) Pray at least five decades of your Rosary daily.
8) Do the Five First Saturdays in the spirit of reparation to the Immaculate Heart. This is explained in our booklet, The Magnificent Promise for the Five First Saturdays. (See ad "Be a Messenger of Truth & Hope!".)
11) Help us keep you informed. Help the Fatima Center pay its heavy expenses of sending out The Fatima Crusader and other Fatima materials free of charge, all over the world, by sending a generous donation. To make a tax-deductible offering, see https://secure.fatima.org/gift.asp.
Our Lady is waiting for you. There are so many ways you can help Her bring about the fulfillment of Her urgent Fatima requests.
Please don’t keep Her waiting too long. Time is short.
God bless you.
1. Il Fermo Proposito (§8), June 11, 1905.
Highly Recommended Fatima Books
World Enslavement or Peace …
It’s Up To The Pope
by Father Nicholas Grune
FATIMA: The Only Way to World Peace
by Frère François de Marie des Anges
Tragedy and Triumph
by Frère François de Marie des Anges
The Divine Impatience
Speeches from the First Fatima Peace Conference
The Awesome Fatima Consecrations
by Father Paul Trinchard
Fatima in Twilight
by Mark Fellows
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