He is risen !
N° 241 – March 2023
Director : Frère Bruno Bonnet-Eymard
Is the Reparatory Devotion
a Private Revelation or a New Covenant?
OUR friends, who strive to propagate the reparatory devotion of the Five First Saturdays of the month, encounter extremely varied reactions from their parish clergy: the parish priest, assistant priests or rectors. Some priests and religious are enthusiastic about this devotion and distribute our booklet on the Reparatory Devotion. Others are more reserved. One family man, highly esteemed in his parish, met with the refusal of his parish priest who justified his position in the letter that we print below:
“Hello J. – L.,
“I have consulted our local Doctor of Theology regarding your request. As matters stand, I cannot allow this private devotion to be propagated, although no one is forbidden to practice it individually (obviously!), provided that he experiences it with an enlightened theological sense in the light of the Magisterium of the Church.
“For there are 2 restrictions to the possibility of an ‘official’ propagation of a devotion (and therefore a kind of ‘nihil obstat’ on my part).
“First, this private devotion is not officially approved by the Catholic Church (which is something that I discovered due to your request!). As you must know, it originates from a private apparition made to Sister Lucy, not in 1917 (an officially recognised apparition) but in 1925 (no official recognition by the Church). There are details on Wikipedia.
“Then (and this is a matter of concern for me as your parish priest), in the little booklet on the Reparatory Devotion written by Brother Bruno, from which a passage on the poster that you gave me is taken, there is an element that is not compatible with the Catholic Faith. ‘A little devotion,’ practiced wholeheartedly, suffices to procure for us the grace – and what a grace, the grace of eternal salvation! – infallibly, so to speak, ex opere operato, like for the Sacraments.’
Booklet on the Reparatory devotion
“The consequence of this theological hypothesis is that the Revelation in Jesus Christ would not be closed, and that it would need to be supplemented by an external revelation. This would mean that there would be a new means of salvation that would be added to the ordinary means instituted by Christ: faith, the Sacraments, the commandments, prayer. This is contrary to the Catholic Faith!
“The Catechism of the Catholic Church states at No. 67: Over the centuries there have been so-called ‘private’ revelations, some of which have been recognised by the authority of the Church. They do not, however, belong to the deposit of Faith. Their role is not to ‘improve’ or ‘complete’ the definitive Revelation of Christ, but to help to live it more fully at a certain time in history. Guided by the Magisterium of the Church, the sense of the faithful knows how to discern and welcome what in these revelations constitutes an authentic call of Christ or his saints to the Church.
“It is important not to mislead on this precise point: nothing can be added to the Revelation, which is definitively closed!
“To sum up, and in addition to the question of doctrine that I have just mentioned, this private devotion is optional and cannot, to date, be promoted by the hierarchy that acts in the name of the Church.
“Yours, Father N.”
Dear Father N.,
At the request of our friend J.-L., I send you a commentary on the arguments that you give to justify your refusal to establish the reparatory devotion of the Five First Saturdays of the month in your parish.
I reproduce in italics the passages of your letter which will be followed by my responses.
FATIMA AND PONTEVEDRA FORM AN INDISSOLUBLE UNITY
A) “First, this private devotion is not officially approved by the Catholic Church, which is something that I discovered due to your request!
“As you must know, it originates from a private apparition made to Sister Lucy, not in 1917 (an officially recognised apparition) but in 1925 (no official recognition by the Church). There are details on Wikipedia.”
1. Wikipedia is your only source of information to know the apparitions of Pontevedra. This is not serious. Anyone can put almost anything on this website. However, you would have taken a completely different position if you had read the only good book indicated in the ‘bibliography’ section of the site page.●
2. The apparitions of 1917 were officially recognised on October 13, 1930 by Bishop José da Silva of Leiria. Our Lady had said to Lucia dos Santos on July 13, 1917: “I shall come to ask for the Communion of Reparation of the first Saturdays of the month.” This is why Father Joaquin Alonso, Claretian, official expert of Fatima, remarked: “Pontevedra and Fatima form an indissoluble unity. Firstly, according to the facts: the Virgin Who appears at Pontevedra does not claim to be known or invoked by any name other than that of Fatima. She appears with the same intentions and assumes the same symbolic characteristics as at Fatima. This is why it is most correct to say: ‘The apparition of the Virgin of Fatima at Pontevedra.’ Secondly, the message announced at Fatima in 1917 is fulfilled a few years later at Pontevedra. The unity of Pontevedra and Fatima is perfect.”●
3. Certainly, no canonical process took place for the apparitions of Pontevedra. However, in his Letter of Canonical Approval of those of 1917, A divina Providencia, Bishop da Silva recognised Lucy as an authentic messenger of Our Lady. Yet, when he published it in 1930, he was already aware of the apparitions of Pontevedra (1925-1926). If he did not think it useful to ask the local bishop for the opening of a specific canonical process, it was so that Lucy would remain unknown, in obscurity, to preserve her virtue of humility. He feared that one day she would be adulated and that she would experience the same drift as that of Melanie of La Salette. He, however, never doubted the supernatural character of Lucy’s revelations.
A HEAVENLY MESSAGE.
4. He was reinforced in his convictions on this subject by the opinions and judgements of the Dorothean superiors of the young nun. Mother Magalhaes wrote to him on December 25, 1925, so fifteen days after the apparition: “Mary of Sorrows [that is, Lucy] has already told me that she had received here a great grace from the Most Holy Virgin, and I do not doubt it because the child possesses virtue and simplicity in such great abundance that she must even charm the Most Holy Virgin! In these matters I am the most sceptical person you could find in the world, but in her case I absolutely do not doubt it!”
After having consulted the Jesuit Francisco Rodrigues, Mother Magalhaes, sure of the divine truth of the apparition, propagated the reparatory devotion within and without her congregation, with the encouragement of Mother Monfalim, the provincial superior.
Moreover, Sister Lucy’s spiritual directors, such as Canon Formigao and the Jesuit José Aparicio, novice master, hastened to propagate the devotion of the Five First Saturdays. The canon wrote to one of his spiritual daughters: “Father Mateo came to strengthen devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, now Sister Lucy comes to strengthen devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, which is its necessary complement. Thus by these two devotions of reparation, the offences against the Son and the Mother are atoned for, as is absolutely just. Yesterday afternoon, I rushed to Porto by car to make known this devotion, which was welcomed with the greatest enthusiasm.”
A DEVOTION RECOMMENDED BY BISHOP DA SILVA.
5. Finally, you ignore the publication of the Reparatory Devotion in 1939 by Bishop da Silva. He preached it at the Cova da Iria and published the account of the apparition of December 10, 1925 in the Voz da Fatima, the sanctuary’s monthly review. He immediately announced it to Sister Lucy: “On September 13, during the homily of the Mass for the sick, I made public the devotion of the Five First Saturdays, in the sanctuary. In the October issue (of Voz da Fatima) an article on the same subject has been published recommending it. Since the review has a large circulation (about 380,000 copies), I can say that this devotion is now known not only in Portugal, but in many foreign regions as well. May God deign to accept our reparation, however small and poor it be, for the offences that sadden the Heart of His Mother, the Most Holy Virgin Mary.”
In 1940, the 5th edition of the Pilgrim’s Manual of Fatima was published. It contained a good summary of the reparatory devotion, bearing the imprimatur of Bishop da Silva dated May 13, 1939.
THE REVELATION OF GOD’S HEART
B) Then (and this is a matter of concern for me as your parish priest), in the little booklet on the reparatory devotion written by Brother Bruno, from which a passage on the poster that you gave me is taken, there is an element that is not compatible with the Catholic Faith. ‘A little devotion, practiced wholeheartedly, suffices to procure for us the grace – and what a grace, the grace of eternal salvation!– infallibly, so to speak, ex opere operato, like for the Sacraments.’
“This would mean that there would be a new means of salvation that would be added to the ordinary means instituted by Christ: faith, the Sacraments, the commandments, prayer. This is contrary to the Catholic Faith!”
You do not remain cautiously reserved, you criticise the promise of the Virgin Mary, so you dispute the authenticity of the words reported by Sister Lucy: “To all those who on the first Saturday of five consecutive months” fulfil all the required conditions, “I promise to assist them at the hour of their death with all the graces necessary for the salvation of their souls.”
I answer you:
1. The reparatory devotion requires precisely the practice of those ordinary means of salvation instituted by Christ: the Catholic Faith especially in the privileges of the Immaculate; the Sacraments: Baptism, monthly Confession, Eucharistic Communion; prayer, namely the Rosary and a quarter of an hour of meditation during which we keep Our Lady company and console Her.
2. As for the grace of final perseverance, linked to this devotion, it is already promised by the apparition of June 13, 1917: “Jesus wishes to establish in the world devotion to My Immaculate Heart. To those who embrace this devotion I promise salvation; these souls will be favoured by God, like flowers placed by Me to adorn His throne.”
3. Since the Ascension of Our Lord, the ordinary way of grace has been participation in the life of the Church and in the sacraments. However, God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, remains sovereignly free in the choice of His means for the sanctification of souls and societies.
You seem not to be aware of the predilection of the Heart of Jesus for the Immaculate. Indeed, the disproportion between the little devotion that is requested and the grace of the final perseverance attached to it shows the power of intercession that has been granted to the Virgin Mary, our Mother, for the salvation of all souls. Father Alonso wrote: “The great promise is nothing less than a new manifestation of this love for the Blessed Virgin that inclines the Holy Trinity to do all to please Her. For those who understands this, it is easy to admit that such marvellous promises are attached to humble practices. They then finally engage in them with simplicity of heart and trust in the Blessed Virgin Mary.”●
4. Recourse and consecration to the Immaculate, considered as means of salvation, are not new in the Church.
Are you going to reject the promise attendant on the wearing of the scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, because neither Our Lord nor the Apostles explicitly spoke about it?
Certainly, the origin of the scapular of Mount Carmel has been much disputed by rationalists and Modernists. However, thanks to documents discovered in the 20th century and carefully studied by learned Carmelite Fathers, there can no longer be any doubt that the practice of wearing the scapular actually dates back to an apparition of the Most Holy Virgin Mary to Saint Simon Stock and to the words She spoke to him.● The oldest account we have of the apparition, an almost contemporary account of the events, is taken from the eulogy of the saint found in the Sanctoral of the Carmelites: “The glorious Virgin Mary Mother of God accompanied by a multitude of angels appeared to him. She held in Her hand the scapular of the Order and She said to him: ‘This is the privilege I give to you and to all the children of Carmel. Whoever dies wearing this habit will be saved.’ ”
In addition to this liturgical text, we have another solid testimony: it is the feast of the commemoration of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, in memory of this apparition, which undoubtedly took place in 1251 and was celebrated on July 16, from the end of the 13th century.
There were many saints who spread the devotion of the scapular by recalling the promise of Our Lady. Thus Saint Claude La Colombière: “It is not enough to say that the habit of the Blessed Virgin is a mark of predestination as well as all the other practices of piety that have been invented to honour Her. I submit that there is none that makes our predestination more certain than this, and therefore none to which we must attach ourselves with more zeal and confidence. I dare say that of all the practices of piety that have been inspired to the faithful to honour the Mother of God, there is none so sure as that of the scapular, since there is none that has been confirmed by so many and so authentic miracles. Mary pledged to save us, by giving us the scapular. The honour paid to Mary by the wearer of the scapular cannot fail to be extremely pleasing to Her.” In commenting on these words, our Founder, Father of Nantes, noted the precision of this formula. The Saint insists above all on the fact that it is the Virgin Mary Who commits Herself to us.
OUR MOTHER INTERVENES FOR THE SALVATION OF HER CHILDREN
C) “The consequence of this theological hypothesis is that the Revelation in Jesus Christ would not be closed, and that it would need to be supplemented by an external revelation.
“The Catechism of the Catholic Church states at No. 67:
“Throughout the ages, there have been so-called ‘private’ revelations, some of which have been recognised by the authority of the Church. They do not belong, however, to the deposit of Faith. It is not their role to ‘improve’ or ‘complete’ Christ’s definitive Revelation, but to help live more fully by it in a certain period of history.
“Guided by the Magisterium of the Church, the sensus fidelium knows how to discern and welcome in these revelations whatever constitutes an authentic call of Christ or his saints to the Church.
“It is important not to mislead on this precise point: nothing can be added to the Revelation, which is definitively closed!”
- The Revelation is closed at the death of the last Apostle. Surely!
Then how do you interpret the words of Our Lord Jesus Christ on the Cross, addressed to His Most Holy Mother, in the presence of the Apostle Saint John: “Woman, behold Your son.” Do these words not belong to the deposit of Revelation?
If the Virgin Mary is our Mother, does She not have the right and the duty to fulfil Her mission as Mother and to intervene in our world to foster the eternal salvation of Her children?
I am thus merely repeating what Father de Nantes wrote in polemics against the undue claims of certain theologians. He asked them: “Does Christ still have the right to intervene (the word says it all: intervene) in the life of His Church and the world, and even to beseech His Holy Mother to provide for our needs, be they private, or more general, or even universal, the right to go over the head of the bishops and the popes?”●
Bishop da Silva had answered Yes in advance to this question in his Letter A divina Providencia of October 13, 1930.
It is touching to note that in Pontevedra it was our Most Holy Mother Who inspired Her divine Son to ask for the practice of the reparatory devotion to repair the offenses that wound Her Immaculate Heart in order to save as many sinners as possible. Our Lord revealed this to Sister Lucy, after having enumerated the five kinds of offenses: “Here, My daughter, is the reason why the Immaculate Heart of Mary inspired Me to ask for this little act of reparation and, taking it into consideration, move My mercy to forgive those souls who had the misfortune of offending Her.”
2. Your objection: Revelation is closed!– has been belaboured by the opponents of Fatima, whether Modernists or Christian Democrats.
So true is this that Bishop Joao Venancio, Bishop da Silva’s successor on the episcopal see of Leiria, lamented the fact that the theologians and authorities of Holy Church accorded so little consideration to the revelations of Fatima. As he was very aware of their extraordinary character, he wrote on December 30, 1959 to the Secretary of Vatican II’s Ante-Preparatory Commission: “Generally speaking, it seems that amongst professional theologians and even a fair number of bishops, there reigns the greatest contempt towards all private revelations. Does not this betoken a fundamental contempt for God Who is supremely free in the dispensation of His gifts and in His manner of communicating with souls?” An admirable protest, which the Council would leave unanswered.
Father Félix Bourdier, an expert in the discernment of spirits, rejected the undue conclusions of theologians who claim that, since the death of the last Apostle, God cannot reveal anything new to us, not even the dearest wills of His Heart concerning our time. To these conclusions, Father Bourdier put forward the teaching of the Fifth Lateran Council, in its constitution Supremae majestatis of December 19, 1516, concerning preaching: “When Our Lord, through some inspiration, reveals future events to certain souls, then, as He proclaimed through the mouth of the Prophet Amos●, do not command prophets not to prophesy, and, as Saint Paul says●, do not quench the Spirit nor despise prophecies. We in no way wish these prophetic revelations to be numbered amongst fables or deceits, nor that their publication be hindered in any wise; for not only would one be quenching the grace of that Spirit by imposing silence on prophets, but one would also be doing a certain injury to the Holy Spirit.”●
Thus, God in His particular and prophetic manifestations expresses a direct and immediate will, which is so clear and imperative that He takes care to depart from the ordinary way of magisterial teaching; this character, far from removing authority from the message, can only give it an exceptional, even binding value.
For his part, Father André Richard remarked: “The apparitions of the Virgin Mary are more than just events whose renown echoes and resonates throughout the world, they are first and foremost events in the life of Mary Herself. Thus the apparitions at Lourdes did not primarily happen to Bernadette, but, we might say, to Mary Herself. In other words, although with the death of Saint John, the last Apostle, Revelation can receive no increment, the mystery of Jesus and Mary has not yet come to completion. Their activity is not bound.” He then emphasised that, for two hundred years, the intervention of the Immaculate “has taken the special form of the apparition, and better still of the ‘coming’ invested with a public character. The Virgin Mary is no longer content with granting a few visions to a holy person, or some miraculous protection, She now appears in such a manner as to compel the conviction that She has really descended, that She has come Herself, and that She has come for everyone.”●
When the Mother of God and our Mother descends to earth and manifests Her presence, goodness and will to grant mercy, Her message is objectively just as binding as a divine will.
It was, however, our Founder, Father Georges de Nantes, who provided the best theological answer. He showed that at Fatima a great plan of God is revealed to us “in the most striking manner by His incomparable envoy, the Immaculate Virgin Mary, and guaranteed by the most astounding miracles and prophecies in modern history:
“We must confess and proclaim that what has guided us these last thirty years and more in our close observation of world events has been the great revelation of Fatima of July 13, 1917, a light hidden under the bushel of the so-called ‘new evangelisation’. On that day, Our Lady offered us a Covenant between God Her Son Jesus Christ and men – a Covenant that is the daughter of the new and eternal Covenant sealed forever in the Blood of the Lamb and in the indefectible Faith of His Church-Spouse, true daughter of Abraham and holder of all His promises.
“It is a contractual Covenant, an unequal treaty, in which little is asked of the creature and much is promised, provided the creature is faithful to his Saviour, devoted to the Mediatrix of this accord, assiduously satisfies all Their requests and remains loyal in this service. That is a minimum! In exchange, peace on earth and glory in Heaven will be our reward.
“So that the whole world might believe, everyone who went to Fatima on October 13, 1917 saw with his own eyes the ‘dance of the sun’ – or, as I prefer to call it, ‘the fall of the sun’ – and its extraordinary re-establishment at the last second, just when it would have burnt the earth. Those who did not witness it, ourselves for example, learned enough from those who did see it to believe in it just as much. ‘Now, we cannot not believe in it,’ said Maria Rosa, Lucy’s mother, who until then had firmly opposed her daughter’s visions – for could her daughter have seen the Blessed Virgin! – ‘because the sun, no one can put a hand on the sun.’
“Therefore, the affairs of this century are conducted from On-High by God in accordance with the terms of this Covenant as were the vicissitudes of the Hebrew people in accordance with the Mosaic Covenant, and as the joys and woes of Christendom, in particular of France “eldest daughter of the Church”, resulted from their fidelity or failings towards the law of Jesus Christ, their Head and mystical Spouse. By reason of their blindness and hard-heartedness, all this is madness for other men, but for the good Catholic it is clear and satisfying.”●
To conclude this chapter, let us emphasise that the whirling and fall of the sun are apocalyptic miracles, that is to say, proper to a revelation, and more precisely to a revelation of the end times. Father Alonso understood this well:
“Fatima is nothing other than the continuation of the history of Salvation that is perpetuated in the history of the Church, and it is one of her essential moments. The story of Redemption continues and at Fatima it takes the particular form of a charismatic grace granted to the latter times of the Church.
“At Fatima as in Pontevedra, God offers a new pact of reconciliation and mercy, based on the most reliable guarantees: His love for the Holy Virgin.●
TO PROMOTE ITS PAPAL APPROVAL
D) “To sum up, and in addition to the question of doctrine that I have just mentioned, this private devotion is optional and cannot, to date, be promoted by the hierarchy that acts in the name of the Church.”
1. “This private devotion is optional” […] Yet since we have every guarantee that in 1917 the Virgin Mary, descended in Her glorious body to earth and said to the three shepherds: “I want... My Son wants”... It is even more galvanising than a duty! All the more so as it is a means to obtain peace on earth and Paradise on the day of our death: “Let us have devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Our Most Holy Mother, in considering Her as the seat of mercy, of goodness and of pardon, and as the sure door by which we are to enter Heaven.”● Therefore, we are obliged, certainly, in complete freedom, but if you want to go through the sure door by which you are to enter Heaven and thus be preserved from Hell ...
Fatima reveals to us God’s very secret, His most cherished will, the complete unveiling of His plan of mercy, of the meaning He wants to give to contemporary history that men, even theologians, cannot subject to their scrutiny!
WORLDWIDE PROPAGATION OF THIS DEVOTION.
2. “This private devotion cannot be promoted by the hierarchy,” you say. Yet it already has been! Let us repeat, Bishop da Silva recommended it publicly in 1939, which very quickly fostered its worldwide propagation.
For example, in Slovenia, in 1943, before consecrating his people to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Bishop Gregorij Rozman instituted in his parishes the devotion of the Five First Saturdays of the month to satisfy the request of Our Lady of Fatima.
Moreover, Blessed Lojze Grozde then became a martyr of the reparatory devotion. In fact, this twenty-year-old student, filled with zeal to obey his bishop, Gregorij Rozman, was arrested by the Communists who discovered in his suitcase the leaflets on the devotion, which he was going to distribute in his parish. After cruelly torturing him, they murdered him and then hid his mortal remains. However, a few months later, some children, looking for snowdrops in the forest, discovered his perfectly conserved body, it was intact! Certainly, such a miracle attests that Bishop Rozman’s action to satisfy the requests of Heaven and the apostolate of his diocesans were sovereignly pleasing to our Heavenly Father.
By the way, if you had read Isabel Greck’s book, La force des premiers samedis [The Power of the First Saturdays], you would have learned that “the First Saturdays are celebrated every month in the (Catholic) Cathedral of Moscow.” (p. 123)
THE PROGRESS OF THIS DEVOTION IN PORTUGAL.
3. In Portugal, Bishop Joao Venancio, who succeeded Bishop da Silva in 1958, was an ardent apostle of devotion to the Immaculate Heart. In his Pastoral Letter of July 25, 1966 to prepare the fiftieth anniversary of the apparitions, after recalling Our Lady’s request for the Rosary, he added: “For our part, we cannot fail to take advantage of this magnificent opportunity to recommend once again the practice of the reparatory devotion and to insist, as we have done so many times, and again most recently, that it be practiced faithfully throughout the diocese. It includes Confession, Communion, Rosary, meditation, reparation. All of this is linked to the immense strength of the Immaculate Heart of our Most Holy Mother Who intercedes with God.”
In 1972, Bishop Venancio, president of the International Council of the Blue Army, sent the proceedings of the Third International Seminary of Fatima on “the universal character” of the revelations of Fatima and Pontevedra to all the bishops of the world, saying that these revelations are “a singular grace granted to the entire Church of Christ, and indeed to the whole world.” These Acts contained a very comprehensive paper by Father Alonso on “the history and meaning of the revelations of the Immaculate Heart of Mary at Fatima, Pontevedra and Tuy.”
On the 50th anniversary of the apparitions of Pontevedra, the Fatima Crusaders, a dependency of the official Portuguese Catholic Action, launched a national campaign that Father Manuel de Sousa Antunes announced in the February 1976 issue of the Shrine of Fatima’s monthly, in these terms:
“By means of this First Saturday devotion, so recommended by Our Lady, She wants to fulfil Her spiritual motherhood in us.
“The campaign has been accepted in many parts of our country. Many priests and laity are preoccupied not only with practicing it themselves in their parishes, but also with trying to make it known in other places.
“Presently, Heaven is attentive to the heroic sacrifice of so many priests who on those days remain in their confessional to hear the confessions of the penitents.
“This practice will allow us to renovate the Church of Portugal. Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is not an infantile or bigoted devotion. Well understood and well-practiced, it leads us to concretise in our lives the penance that Our Lady asked for in Fatima: everyone must fulfil his duty of state. Jesus said this to Sister Lucy.”
Father Antunes launched new campaigns in the 1980s and he kept repeating what the little reparatory devotion consists of: “One of the important requests of Our Lady, which is also a will of God, is the practice of the Five First Saturdays.”●
He reminded the Fatima Crusaders of the heart of the message: “God wants to establish in the world devotion to My Immaculate Heart.” Let us ponder on these words: God wants. It is not a concept, an opinion or an alternative. This is an express truth that concerns the Church of our time.
“We deduce from this that devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is not just a desire, but it is truly a serious and urgent requirement. This is the lesson to be drawn from the various interventions of Heaven with Sister Lucy.”●
70 000 FATIMA CRUSADERS.
In June 1985, Father Antunes took another initiative: “As a gift to Our Lady on the occasion of Her bimillennium, we will perform the Five First Saturdays, at the national level, from July to November, to offer Her through the hands of the Holy Father, this birthday present, on Christmas Day of this year.”
Father Antunes published the result of his campaign in January 1986: “A letter was sent to the Holy Father by Cosme do Amaral, Bishop of Leiria-Fatima and national director of the Fatima Crusaders’ movement.” There it is:
“Most Holy Father,
“For Mary’s bimillennium, the Fatima Crusaders, a movement founded by the bishops, wanted to launch an appeal to all the good Portuguese people to offer the practice of the Five First Saturdays to Our Lady as a ‘birthday gift’ in order to make reparation to Her Immaculate Heart, according to what She so urgently beseeched, here at Fatima.
“We would like this gift to be given to Mary on Christmas Day through the hands of Your Holiness. That is why we take the liberty of sending it to You.
“70,000 people responded to this call.
“Fatima, December 13, 1985.”
Alas! Pope John Paul II despised this approach and offered nothing to the Immaculate Virgin Mary!
The Fatima Crusaders’ movement continued its efforts in the 1990s, as can be seen from the chronicle of its activities in the Voz da Fatima. For example, in June 1993: “We hope that parishes will continue to develop the practice of this devotion so highly recommended by Jesus and Our Lady. In responding to this request, we will make reparation to God and Our Lady for the five sins that greatly offend Her Immaculate Heart.”
More recently, in September 2021, a young Portuguese priest, Doctor of Theology, Father Ricardo Figueiredo, published the book A devoçao dos cinco primeiros sabados (ed. Paulus, 119 pages) to justify the reparatory devotion.
IN FRANCE, IT IS TIME TO JOIN IN!
4. Fatima was known at very early date in France since the Rosary Review dedicated one of its issues in 1929 to the apparitions and pilgrimage of the Cova da Iria. However, the French Christian Democrats were very distraught by the political fruits of Fatima: the establishment in Portugal of a corporative and anti-parliamentary State, favourable to the Church, under the presidency of Antonio Oliveira Salazar, was certainly linked to the Catholic renewal brought about by the heavenly and public apparitions of the Cova da Iria. Their political convictions led them to reject Fatima.
On the other hand, in 1943, F. Carret-Petit, clairvoyant on the dangers threatening the Church and France, gave a large place to the reparatory devotion in his book Our Lady of the Rosary of Fatima: the Apparitions, the Pilgrimage, Public Worship (ed. La bonne presse). He was enthusiastic about the Portuguese nation’s recovery: “Our Lady has preserved the Portuguese vessel from foundering, brought this people of Crusaders and missionaries back to its Christian and national traditions; but more especially, for twenty-five years, it has miraculously saved it from Masonic impiety, from internal anarchy, from economic ruin, from Satanic Bolshevism! She bestowed truly extraordinary blessings on it. Yet this miracle of Portugal’s religious and national recovery has its origin in Fatima and can be repeated in other countries!”
In the fervour generated by the consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart in 1942, Canon Barthas made efforts to propagate the reparatory devotion: 75,000 pamphlets exposing this devotion’s origin, reasons and conditions were published by the Apostolate of Prayer and distributed as early as 1943. Unfortunately, the Great Return, which was launched in the same period, was not systematically accompanied by preaching in favour of the reparatory devotion.
Today, after the consecration that Pope Francis made on March 25, 2022, it is necessary to complete what is still lacking to satisfy the requests of the Queen of Heaven and Earth, not only to save souls from Hell, but also to obtain the divine gift of peace: this consecration must be made efficacious through the practice of the reparatory devotion. In the revelations of Fatima, Father de Nantes noted, the consecration of Russia “is necessarily joined to the work of pure devotion and reparatory charity of the First Saturdays of the month. The intention of both requests is the same: to have the glory, consolation, praise and love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary established throughout the whole world. So far, the divinely certified link between these two requests has been constantly forgotten: they have to be satisfied together for their wonderful effects to be obtained. And so nothing happened.”●
As many parish priests have already done, for example in Paris, in the church of Mary Mediatrix, in the 19th arrondissement, or in Amiens, in the cathedral, it is urgent to establish the reparatory devotion in parishes in order to touch the Heart of our dearest Heavenly Mother and to console Her. And this so that one day the Holy Father himself will officially approve it, since She wants it.
Father, I hope that these clarifications and explanations will enable you to respond to the request of our fervent friends, which can only promote true devotion in your parish.
Brother Francis of Mary of the Angels.
Isabel Greck, La force des premiers samedis, Téqui, 2016, 144 pages
Quoted by Brother Francis of Mary of the Angels, Sœur Lucie, confidente du Cœur Immaculé de Marie, ed. CRC, 2014, p. 181
Quoted in The Whole Truth about Fatima, vol. 2
Father Elisha of the Nativity, OCD, The Scapular of Carmel. Historical study, French ed. of the Carmel, 1958, 115 pages
quoted in The Whole Truth about Fatima, vol. 4, p. 442
The Book of Amos 3:7
In truth, the Lord Yahweh does nothing without first revealing His plans to His servants the prophets.
The First Epistle to the Thessalonians 5:19-20
Do not quench the Spirit, do not despise prophesying.
quoted in The Whole Truth about Fatima, vol. 4, p. 440
The Whole Truth about Fatima, vol. 4, p. 515
The Whole Truth about Fatima, vol. 4, p. 13
La gran promesa del Corazon de Maria en Pontevedra, 1974, pp. 30-31
Sister Lucy to Father Fuentes, December 26, 1957
Voz da Fatima, August 13, 1984
Voz de Fatima, December 13, 1984
The catholic Counter-Reformation no. 245, January 1992, p. 3