Pope Francis entrusted the world to Our Lady of Fatima on October 12th; DICI provides some comments and pertinent quotes related to this event.
Pope Francis entrusted the world to Our Lady of Fatima
Within the context of the Year of Faith and on the occasion of the Marian Days, October 12-13, 2013, the Pilgrim Virgin statue of Our Lady of Fatima was transported by way of exception from Portugal to the Vatican. On Saturday afternoon, October 12, this statue of Our Lady of the Rosary, which ordinarily is found in the little Chapel of the Apparitions in Fatima, was exposed to the veneration of the faithful on St. Peter’s Square.
Then it was taken to the Marian shrine of the Divine Love, about ten kilometers [6 miles] south of Rome, where pilgrims could venerate it throughout the night. Pope Francis spoke in a video message, associating
all those who are joining us from the Marian shrines of Lourdes, Nazareth, Lujan, Vailankanni, Guadalupe, Akita, Nairobi, Banneux, Czestochowa and Marian Valley…
…united with all of you in praying the Holy Rosary and in Eucharistic Adoration, under the watchful eyes of the Virgin Mary."
On the morning of October 13, Pope Francis presided at a Mass in St. Peter’s Square, before the statue of Our Lady of Fatima, in the presence of more than 100,000 persons. At the end of the ceremony, the pope recited the “Act of Entrustment to Mary”:
O Blessed Virgin Mary of Fatima, with renewed gratitude for your maternal presence, we unite our voices to those of all the generations that call you blessed…. Receive with motherly benevolence this act of entrustment that we confidently make to you today, before this image of you that is so dear to us. We are sure that each one of us is precious in your sight and that of all that is in our hearts, nothing is foreign to you…. Keep our life safe in your arms: bless and strengthen every desire for good; revive and nourish our faith; sustain and enlighten our hope; stir up and animate our charity; guide us all on the path of holiness."
In Rome, Vatican Radio clarified, officials insist that this gesture of the pope is not strictly speaking a “consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary”, as the Fatima Shrine announced on its website. Archbishop Rino Fisichella, President of the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization, which organized these Marian Days, explained that there was a “very intense theological debate” about the meaning of the term “consecration”, but that it had been abandoned by John Paul II after his Encyclical Redemptoris mater (March 1987). Previously, according to Vatican Radio, in May 1982 in Fatima, and then in March 1984 at the Vatican, the Polish pope had publicly pronounced acts of consecration of the world to the Virgin Mary.
After his election on March 13 of this year, Pope Francis had asked Cardinal Jose da Cruz Policarpo, then Patriarch of Lisbon, for his pontificate to be consecrated to Our Lady of Fatima. The consecration took place on May 13, during the Mass for the 96th anniversary of the apparition of the Blessed Virgin to the three shepherd children of Fatima in 1917. (Cf. DICI no. 274, 4-26-2013).
Reminder: The message of Our Lady to the three children at the Cova da Iria, in Fatima, includes three secrets, the first of which declared:
You have seen hell where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace. The war is going to end; but if people do not cease offending God, a worse one will break out during the pontificate of Pius XI. When you see a night illumined by an unknown light, know that this is the great sign given you by God that he is about to punish the world for its crimes, by means of war, famine, and persecutions of the Church and of the Holy Father."
The second secret said:
To prevent this [cf. the first secret], I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart, and the Communion of Reparation on the First Saturdays. If my requests are heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace; if not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer, various nations will be annihilated. In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me and she will be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world."
During a holy hour during the night of Tuesday, June 13, 1929, in Tuy, Our Lady said to Sister Lucy:
The moment has come in which God asks the Holy Father, in union with all the Bishops in the world, to make the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart, promising to save it by this means."
And in August 1931, Our Lord Jesus Christ revealed to Sister Lucy, who was convalescing in Rianjo:
They did not wish to heed My request! …Like the King of France they will repent of it, and they will do it, but it will be late. Russia will have already spread its errors in the world, provoking wars and persecutions against the Church. The Holy Father will have much to suffer."
On October 31, 1942, Pius XII consecrated the Church and the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in a radio address, then solemnly on December 8, 1942.
Since he was uninformed about the revelations that Sister Lucy had had in Tuy and about her original letter of October 24, 1940, it was difficult for the Holy Father [Pius XII] to know that there were two requests and that the request of Our Lady had to be fulfilled in union with the bishops of the whole world. (Joseph de Belfont, Mysteres et verites cachees du troisieme secret de Fatima [Mysteries and Hidden Truths of the Third Secret of Fatima], Editions Lanore, p. 93).
Pius XII therefore responded to the request that he had known about since 1936… for the consecration of the world; he thus obtained the end of the war. He still had to respond to the second, which he only gradually learned about (ibid., p. 94)."
On May 4, 1944, in view of the results that had been obtained, Pius XII declared August 22 (Octave of the Assumption) the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, as a commemoration, he explained, of the consecration of December 8, 1942. On July 7, 1952, Pius XII issued an Apostolic Letter Sacro vergente anno, consecrating “all the peoples of Russia” to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, but without the bishops of the whole world as the Blessed Virgin had requested.
John Paul II, “in union with all the pastors of the Church by that special bond that makes us constitute a body and a college”, pronounced on May 13, 1982, during his journey to Fatima, these words:
O Mother of all men and women, and of all peoples,… accept the cry which we… address directly to your Heart. Embrace… this human world of ours, which we entrust and consecrate to you.
In a special way we entrust and consecrate to you those individuals and nations which particularly need to be thus entrusted and consecrated (Ibid., pp. 160-161)."
On March 25, 1984, the bishops were invited to join the pope for a consecration in which Russia was not mentioned by name.
(Sources: apic/imedia/VIS/radiovatican/belfont—DICI no. 283, 10-18-2013)