According to Sr. Lucia, seer of the Fatima apparitions, in the spring of 1916… “When three little Fatima shepherds were on the slope of the hill known as the Cabeco, beneath a rock called the Loca, they saw, some way off, a young man approaching them who seemed to be made of light. When he reached them, he said, Do not be afraid. I am the Angel of Peace. Pray with me. Then kneeling down on the ground, he bowed low until his forehead touched the earth and said the following words three times, My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love You. I ask Your pardon for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope and do not love You. He then straightened himself up and said, Pray thus; the Hearts of Jesus and Mary are attentive to the voice of your supplications. (Sr. Lucia, Calls from the Message of Fatima, p 64).
This first message of the angel given to Lucia Santos, Jacinta and Francesco Marto before the apparitions of Mary prepares the way. This is consistent with the work of the angels in scripture. The Fatima angel’s message is a prayer of faith, adoration, hope and love. It’s the prayer I’ve silently uttered at every liturgy in preparation for receiving the Eucharist. It’s a Eucharistic prayer of intercession, reparation and beauty. The angel’s last sentence assures the children that the “Hearts of Jesus and Mary are attentive to their supplications”—a good reminder for all. This prayer of the angel is a little catechism on the message of Fatima.
Mary’s Deliverance Team: Lucia, Jacinta, and Francesco
Recently I had the honor of coordinating a conference on the subject of Mary’s role in the defeat of Satan. Priests and laity serving in the Church’s ministry of healing, deliverance and exorcism were the attendees. One of the speakers, a monsignor, gave a conference on the relevancy of the message of Fatima for the present age. During his power point presentation, the picture of the three little children of Fatima was shown and monsignor said, “Here is Mary’s deliverance team!” His comment struck me as being a profound lesson on Fatima’s message as it relates to the armor of God (cf. Ephs. 6). Jesus Christ is the chief exorcist and He commissions The Virgin Mary to proclaim His victory by her unfathomable love and virtue that crushes the evil one. Once we witnessed a possessed young man who was completely liberated by praying Mary’s Magnificat prayer in Luke’s Gospel.
Mary, the rosary, intercessory prayer and reparation are part of God’s armor. Lucia, Jacinta and Francesco were taught by Our Lady, Pray, pray very much, and make sacrifices for sinners. Many souls go to hell because there is none to make sacrifice to prayer for them (Fatima, 19th 1917). This is a vital, perennial Marian exhortation. It’s an urgent call to reparation for sinners. It focuses on the eternal salvation of souls. The response of the children was exemplary, so concerned were they about souls falling into hell. An unforgettable vision of hell was granted them. The children of Fatima were part of Mary’s deliverance team because they interceded against the powers of hell that want to drag as many souls as possible into the abyss of eternal suffering.
If, by self-sacrificing, intercessory prayer and reparation, Lucia, Jacinta and Francesco were part of Mary’s deliverance team, could those who do the same be part of Mary’s deliverance team? Some may resist the thought of spiritual warfare. It’s unpleasant but it’s real. Denying or disengaging from the reality of spiritual warfare is futile and makes one more vulnerable. The work of saving souls in cooperation with God’s plan, the Gospel, is the work of the entire Church. Living sacramentally united to Christ and His church qualifies us to be part of the deliverance team of Jesus and Mary. Our yes to God is a yes to becoming Christ’s soldier. The Fatima apparitions remind us of the reality of hell, the consequence of un-repented sin and rejection of God. The message of Fatima is relevant as ever now.
The spiritual arsenal entrusted to Catholics is infinitely more powerful than demonic tactics of destruction and death. The one third fallen angels, Satan and his cohorts are wreaking havoc presently but we should not attribute to the powers of darkness more credit than is due them. As children of the Light, our weaponry of Light is more powerful then we comprehend. Evil spirits cower to Our Lady, the Eucharist, angels and saints, and the rosary prayer. These are all components of the Fatima message.
Fatima: The Marian Monstrance
Fr. Donald Calloway, in his new, magnificent, Marian opus, Champions of the Rosary, writes, “When Sr. Lucia became a cloistered nun, she was able to enter into a more prayerful and intense Eucharistic life. Sister Lucia viewed Mary as the first monstrance that revealed Jesus to the nations. (The word ‘monstrance’ stems from the Latin word monstrare, which means, ‘to show.’) In her writings, Sr. Lucia emphasized that Mary is also the living tabernacle of the presence of Jesus Christ. The entire work of our redemption started in Mary’s Immaculate Heart.”
Fatima’s Marian apparitions are a revelation of Christ’s incarnational love and mercy. Mary is sent from heaven. She doesn’t come of her own will but she appears according to the divine will. She always comes as Christ-bearer. The Eucharist is the incarnational love of God—body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ. The message of Our Lady of Fatima is about the salvation of souls. The call is to faith, the Eucharist, prayer, reparation, hope, and transforming love.
In union with Christ and with his Church, the message of Fatima invites and reminds us to offer ourselves as victims of incarnational love, victims of expiation for the conversion of humanity. We are to be incarnational love, Christ-bearers even to those who contradict or persecute us. Real love sacrifices, repairs, and creates. Mary, who radiates the light of Christ and is a living monstrance, helps us to become humble, poor and broken so we can become a living Eucharistic monstrance.
Fatima: The Weapon of the Rosary
Regarding Sr. Lucia, according to Fr. Donald Calloway, “after receiving the Eucharist for the first time, she knelt down and prayed before a statue of Our Lady of the Rosary, and later testified that the statue smiled at her. During the Fatima apparitions, Mary stressed the importance of the recitation of the rosary. All three children became champions of the rosary and encouraged others to pray it with them before each apparition. …After the Fatima apparitions, Our Lady continued to instruct Sr. Lucia on the importance of the rosary” (Champions of the Rosary, p 246).
From the Servant of God Lucia Dos Santos, as quoted by Fr. Calloway:
The Most Holy Virgin, in these last times in which we live, has given a new efficacy in the recitation of the rosary to such an extend that there is no problem, no matter how difficult it is, whether temporal or above all spiritual, in the personal life of each one of us, our families…that cannot be solved by the rosary. There is no problem, I tell you, no matter how difficult it is, that we cannot resolve by the pray of the holy rosary.
All well-intentioned people can, and should, recite the five decades of the rosary every day. The rosary should constitute each person’s spiritual food.
When lovers are together, they spend hours and hours repeating the same thing: “I love you!” What is missing in the people who think the rosary monotonous is Love; and everything that is not done for love is worthless (Champions of the Rosary, p 247).
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us, your children on earth who have great need of your help. Grant, through your maternal intercession, that we are fully clothed in the armor of God. Mother of Grace, aid us to become a living Eucharistic monstrance, and a member of God’s deliverance team for the work of saving souls. With you, holy Mother, we believe, adore, hope and love your Son Jesus. We beg pardon for those who do not believe, adore, hope and love the Lord.