The Holy Icon of Tuy
by Peter Chojnowski, Ph.D.
This is an edited excerpt from Mr. Chojnowski's conference speech:
"Holy Icon of Tuy: Image of Universal Restoration".
It really is an awesome task to speak about such issues when you are in a place where these things occurred, these great apparitions. And it is an awesome task, and I am in front of a very intimidating audience, so I will try to be brave and address the topic the best that I can.
I very much appreciate having to prepare for these lectures on the apparition at Tuy and the Icon of the Redemptive Trinity, as the Vision is called, because it helped to clarify my own understanding of Fatima. Too often, Fatima becomes one devotion among many. The First Saturdays become something of a devotion which is optional. And also, we see that too often Fatima loses its intensity, its necessity, but of course, this is not the fault of Our Lady, this is not the fault of Sister Lucy. Actually, when you look at the apparitions themselves, when you look at the messages that we have received from Our Lady and Our Lord, even right here in Tuy, and Rianjo, we see that there is this mark of obligation that attaches to the Fatima devotions, that attaches to the First Saturday devotions, that attaches to the Consecration of Russia. I want to emphasize at the beginning, and I will emphasize it at the end also, that when you study the topic of Fatima, you see that we are not dealing with a devotion merely, we are dealing with a duty. And we foresee this displayed in a very profound way when we look at Sister Lucy’s apparition, which she had at Pontevedra, just miles down the road. You see from her letter to her confidant she describes what that vision entailed. And this is what she says — here is the subject of the revelation at Pontevedra — Our Lord is profoundly displeased with the offenses made against His Most Holy Mother and He can no longer tolerate them. Because of these sins, because of the outrages and blasphemies which caused so much suffering to the Most loving Heart of the Son, many souls have fallen into hell and many others are in danger of being lost. Our Lord promises to save them to the degree this devotion is practiced and with the intention of making reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
|When you study the topic of Fatima you see that we are not dealing with a devotion merely, we are dealing with a duty.|
We see something here that’s very stark — we see Our Lord indicating that Our Lady, as Queen of Heaven, as Mother of the Church, as Mother of God, has a certain dignity that is objective, that must be respected. We are bound to pay Her homage, we are bound to act towards Her accordingly. We are bound to honor Her as Queen and Mother.
Here we have an obligation and the obligation is characterized here by the threat of great punishment for those who do not honor Our Lady as She ought to be honored. For those who blaspheme Her, for those who neglect Her status as Mother of God, for those who desecrate Her images, there are profound consequences to all of this. And Our Lord even says that many have already fallen into hell. Our Lady says many have already fallen into hell because of what they have done — because of the blasphemies that they have committed. These are serious words, and immediately we see that there is something about Fatima, the apparitions at Pontevedra and Tuy that are going to be binding on the human race. What are those, what is binding? Well at Pontevedra, we find out that honor to Our Lady is binding on all human beings. And Our Lady says that Reparation must be made for those who have blasphemed, so that these souls can be saved from hell.
When Sister Lucy left Pontevedra on July 16, 1926, for the novitiate here at Tuy, to receive the habit of the Dorothean Sisters, she did not forget her mission given to her by Our Lady to practice these devotions of reparation on the First Saturdays and also to speak of those devotions to others. And in the few years before 1929, she was able to speak about those devotions to the Jesuit house which was here at Tuy, and they began to practice those devotions; also to the small community of families that circled the convent, they began to practice these devotions. But she always knew again this aspect of obligation. Sister Lucy always knew that she was obligated to spread these devotions. She had that obligation to spread devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Not only devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, also Sister Lucy was a faithful practitioner of the devotions advocated by St. Margaret Mary, the devotions to the Sacred Heart. In fact, it was on that night of the Vision at Tuy, June 13, 1929 from 11 to 12, as was her practice every week, on Thursday evening going into the night on Friday, she would practice the devotion to the Sacred Heart advocated by St. Margaret Mary. And here we see, Sister Lucy gives an account of what happened to her on that night, in this very city. What is that account? This is what she says and we all tremble:
“Being alone one night (for a holy hour) I knelt down before the communion rail in the middle of the chapel to say the prayers of the angel, lying prostrate. Feeling tired, I got up and knelt, and continued to say them with my arms in the form of a Cross. The only light came from the sanctuary lamp. Suddenly a supernatural light illumined the whole chapel and on the altar appeared a Cross of Light which reached to the ceiling. In a brighter part could be seen, on the upper part of the Cross, the face of a man and His body to the waist; on His breast was an equally luminous dove. And nailed to the Cross, the body of another man. And below the waist, suspended in mid-air, was to be seen a Chalice and a large Host onto which fell some drops of Blood from the face of the Crucified, and from a wound in His breast. These drops ran down over the Host and fell into the Chalice. Under the right arm of the Cross was Our Lady with Her Immaculate Heart in Her hand.”
(Sister Lucy says it was Our Lady of Fatima with Her Immaculate Heart — and bear witness here — “without a sword or roses but with a crown of thorns and flames.” This will be very important later.)
So under the right arm of the Cross, you have Our Lady. You have a magnificent portrayal of the Holy Trinity, Father, Son on the Cross, and the Holy Ghost on the bosom of the Father. Then you have Our Lady, under the right arm of the Cross and near Her is the Chalice and the Host. And from Our Lord, from the crucified Christ, there drops blood down onto the Host and then into the Chalice. This is the image so far.
This is the vision so far, this luminous vision that enlightened the whole chapel. Then she said this,
“Under the left arm (of the Cross), some big letters, as it were of crystal clear water running down over the altar, formed these words, ‘Grace and Mercy’.”
So that came from the left side of the Cross; there is running down these crystal clear letters as if it is crystal clear waters, like the waters of baptism, perfectly clean, the words, ‘Grace and Mercy’. This is the vision of Tuy. And then there is this humility that is present. Sister Lucy says “I understood that it was the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity that was shown to me, and I received lights about this mystery which I am not permitted to reveal.”
So that was the apparition, that was the appearance. And I just want to make one point here, before we discuss the message. What a perfect portrayal of the essentials of the faith, the Catholic Faith. What a perfect portrayal, from the Holy Trinity to the redemptive act to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Everything that God has required man to believe, everything that God has required man to do, is present in that apparition. And then Sister Lucy speaks the message which will run throughout the world and create an earthquake throughout the world. Sister Lucy says: “Then Our Lady said to me:
‘The moment has come when God asks the Holy Father to make, in union with all the bishops of the world, the Consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart, promising to save it by this means.’”
The second request is this, it seems different, it seems as if its extraneous, but the second request is perfectly part of the first request, they go together.
What is the second request? Our Lady says this,
“So numerous are the souls which the justice of God condemns for sins committed against Me, that I come to ask for reparation. Sacrifice yourself for this intention and pray.”
So we have two points, we have two requests. How do they go together? How does the Consecration of Russia and these Acts of Reparation that were to be performed go together?
Well, Sister Lucy tells us in a letter from 1930, which she wrote to her confessor. She tells us how those two things go together. She says, “the Good Lord promises to end the persecution of Russia if the Holy Father will, himself, make a solemn act of reparation and Consecration of Russia to the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, as well as ordering all the bishops of the world to do the same. The Holy Father must then promise that upon the ending of this persecution he will approve and recommend the practice of the reparatory devotion already described.”
So after Russia is consecrated, after the persecutions end, then the Pope must recommend this devotion of reparation, meaning the First Five Saturdays, meaning the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and the first Saturdays made as acts of reparation for sins. Then Our Lady says, categorically here, “In the end, My Immaculate Heart will triumph, the Holy Father will consecrate Russia to Me. She will be converted, and a period of peace will be given to the world.” This is the message, this is the image, this is the Icon of Tuy.