Heaven’s Peace Plan in Microcosm
The “enlightened” minds of the “modern world” scoff at the notion that a simple public ceremony consecrating Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary could produce the conversion of that nation, and with it enormous benefits to the whole world, including peace among nations. But then, the “modern world” scoffs at miracles in general, and indeed at the divine claims of the Church whose saints have performed miracles in such abundance.
But a consecration of Russia is precisely what God had ordained in the very Message He authenticated with the solar miracle of October 13, 1917—a message which, we hasten to point out again, has received the approbation of the Catholic Church's highest authorities, including a series of Popes since the time of the apparitions at Fatima. As we will see, in 2002 the currently reigning Pope even decreed that the Feast of the Virgin of Fatima be included in the Church's universal calendar of liturgical feast days, for inclusion in the Third Typical Edition of the Roman Missal. Thus, the Magisterium formally validates the authenticity of the apparitions.
We recall that in the Message of July 13, 1917, Our Lady had promised Lucy that “I shall come to ask for the Consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart and the Communion of Reparation on the first Saturdays.” True to Her word, the Virgin appeared again to Lucy on June 13, 1929 in Tuy, Spain, where Lucy—now Sister Lucia dos Santos, a Dorothean nun (she would not become a Carmelite until 1948)—was in prayer in the convent chapel during the Holy Hour of Adoration and Reparation. Even among the annals of recognized heavenly apparitions to the saints of the Catholic Church, this one was extraordinary.
We will let Sister Lucy recount the apparition in her own simple but quite dramatic words—and remember that here also we are dealing with an apparition that the Church, including the currently reigning Pope, has pronounced worthy of belief:
Frère Michel has rightly called this apparition “the Trinitarian Theophany”. As with the Miracle of the Sun, there is nothing else like it in the history of the world. Thus did God Himself signify the singular importance of what Our Lady was about to tell Sister Lucy:
God Himself had requested this. Sister Lucy had been in the presence not merely of the Mother of God, but the Most Holy Trinity. Of course, Sister Lucy immediately conveyed the divine request to her confessor, Father Gonçalves, as reflected in her published correspondence with him.2
For at least the next seventy years Sister Lucy—the same Lucy who would not deny the truth even though threatened with a horrible death by the Masonic Mayor of Ourem—gave the same testimony: Our Lady, as God's messenger, had requested the public consecration of Russia in a ceremony to be conducted jointly by the Pope and all the world's bishops. As was noted in the Preface and Introduction, the persistent effort by certain persons to change that testimony for the sake of human respect (to avoid offending the Russians) and to serve a new orientation of the Church, is the crux of the great Fatima controversy that persists to this day, and which has prompted this book. We shall return to this point in due course.
As if to demonstrate the efficacy of the Consecration the Virgin had requested, God saw fit to allow a demonstration project, as it were, in Portugal. On the anniversary of the first apparition at Fatima, May 13, 1931, and in the presence of 300,000 faithful who came to Fatima for the event, the bishops of Portugal solemnly consecrated their nation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. These good bishops placed Portugal under the protection of Our Lady to preserve that nation from the Communist contagion that was sweeping through Europe, and especially Spain. Indeed, the Virgin's prophecy of the spread of Russia's errors throughout the world was already being fulfilled with relentless exactitude. And who, in July of 1917, could have foreseen the emergence of world communism out of Russia—months before the Bolshevik revolution and Lenin's ascent to power? Only Heaven could have foreseen it; only the Mother of God, informed by Her Divine Son.
As a result of this (1931) Consecration Portugal experienced a three-fold miracle. Here, we will give only the barest details.
There was, first of all, a magnificent Catholic Renaissance, a great rebirth of Catholic life so striking that those who lived through it attributed it unquestionably to the work of God. During this period, Portugal enjoyed a drastic upsurge in priestly vocations. The number of religious almost quadrupled in 10 years. Religious communities rose likewise. There was a vast renewal of Christian life, which showed itself in many areas, including the development of a Catholic press, Catholic radio, pilgrimages, spiritual retreats, and a robust movement of Catholic Action that was integrated into the framework of diocesan and parish life.
This Catholic Renaissance was of such magnitude that in 1942 the bishops of Portugal declared in a Collective Pastoral Letter: “Anybody who would have closed his eyes twenty-five years ago and opened them now would no longer recognize Portugal, so vast is the transformation worked by the modest and invisible factor of the apparition of the Blessed Virgin at Fatima. Really, Our Lady wishes to save Portugal.”3
There was also a miracle of political and social reform, in accordance with Catholic social principles. Shortly after the 1931 Consecration, a Catholic leader in Portugal ascended to power, Antonio Salazar, who inaugurated a Catholic, counter-revolutionary program. He strove to create, as much as possible, a Catholic social order wherein the laws of government and social institutions harmonize with the law of Christ, His Gospel and His Church.4 A fierce adversary of socialism and liberalism, he was opposed to “everything which diminishes or dissolves the family.”5
President Salazar did not simply talk a good line; he enacted legislation to protect the family, including laws that frowned upon divorce. Article 24 read “In harmony with the essential properties of Catholic marriages: It is understood that by the very fact of the celebration of a canonical marriage, the spouses renounce the legal right to ask for a divorce.”6 The effect of this law was that Catholic marriages did not diminish in number, but increased. So that by 1960—a very critical year, as we shall see—nearly 91 percent of all marriages in the country were canonical marriages.
In addition to these astonishing religious and political changes, there was a twofold miracle of peace. Portugal was preserved from the Communist terror, especially from the Spanish Civil War which was raging next door. Portugal was also preserved from the devastations of World War II.
Regarding the Spanish Civil War, the Portuguese bishops had vowed in 1936 that if Our Lady protected Portugal, they would express their gratitude by renewing the National Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. True to their word, on May 13, 1938, they renewed the Consecration of Portugal to the Immaculate Heart in thanksgiving for Our Lady's protection. Cardinal Cerejeira acknowledged publicly: “Since Our Lady of Fatima appeared in 1917 ... A special blessing of God has descended upon the land of Portugal ... especially if we review the two years which have gone since our vow, one cannot fail to recognize that the invisible hand of God has protected Portugal, sparing it the scourge of war and the leprosy of atheistic communism.”
Even Pope Pius XII expressed astonishment that Portugal was spared the horrors of the Spanish Civil War and the Communist menace. In an address to the Portuguese people, the Pope spoke of “the Red Peril, so menacing and so close to you, and yet avoided in such an unexpected manner.”7
The Portuguese passed this first danger unscathed, but immediately there was a second staring them in the face. World War II was about to break out. In yet another fulfillment of the Virgin's prophecy of July 13, 1917, the war would begin “in the reign of Pius XI,” following “a night illumined by an unknown light ...”
On February 6, 1939, seven months before the declaration of war, Sister Lucy wrote to her bishop, Msgr. da Silva. She told him that war was imminent, but then spoke of a miraculous promise. She said “in this horrible war, Portugal would be spared because of the national consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary made by the bishops.”8
And Portugal was spared the horrors of war, the details of which are too numerous to recount here.9 Even more remarkable, Sister Lucy wrote to Pope Pius XII on December 2, 1940, to tell him that Portugal was receiving special protection during the war that other nations would have received if the bishops would have consecrated their nations to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. She wrote: “Most Holy Father, Our Lord promises a special protection to our country in this war, due to the consecration of the nation, by the Portuguese prelates, to the Immaculate Heart of Mary; as proof of the graces that would have been granted to other nations, had they also consecrated themselves to Her.”10
Likewise, Portugal's Cardinal Cerejeira did not hesitate to attribute to Our Lady of Fatima the great graces that She had obtained for Portugal during this time. On May 13, 1942 he said: “To express what has been going on here for twenty-five years, the Portuguese vocabulary has but one word: miracle. Yes, we are convinced that we owe the wonderful transformation of Portugal to the protection of the Most Holy Virgin.”11
Cardinal Cerejeira maintained what we will maintain throughout this presentation: that the miraculous blessings Our Lady obtained for Portugal as a heavenly reward for the 1931 consecration of that nation were only a foretaste of what She will do for the entire world, once Russia is also properly consecrated to Her Immaculate Heart.12 As the Cardinal said:
It is not hard to understand why Portugal at this time has been called the “Showcase of Our Lady”. And the triple miracle of Portugal is but a preview of how Russia and the world will look after the Collegial Consecration of Russia. The miraculous example of Portugal is also helpful to us as a gauge by which we can judge the present. If we contrast the threefold miracle of Portugal with the present condition of Russia and the world, it is obvious that the consecration of Russia has yet to be achieved. (We shall return to this point in a later chapter.)
For men with high offices in the Church to take actions that impede the consecration of Russia, thereby denying to the Church and the world the heavenly bounty Mary's intercession obtained for Portugal, is not only a monumental folly but also an incalculable crime. It is this crime that has motivated the publication of this book.
1. Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité, The Whole Truth About Fatima - Vol. II , pp. 463-464.
2. Sister Lucy's words cited from Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité, The Whole Truth About Fatima - Vol. II: The Secret and the Church, p. 462-465. See also Sister Lucy, Memorias e Cartas da Irma Lucia, (Porto, Portugal, 1973, edited by Father Antonio Maria Martins) pp. 463-465.
3. Collective Pastoral Letter for the Jubilee of the Apparitions in 1942, Merv. XX's, p. 338. Cited from The Whole Truth About Fatima - Vol. II, p. 410.
4. Salazar's influence in the Portuguese government had been growing since 1928. He became President of the Council in 1933. Later, Salazar received for his efforts the praise and blessing of Pope Pius XII. Pius said, “I bless him with all my heart, and I cherish the most ardent desire that he be able to complete successfully his work of national restoration, both spiritual and material.” Cited from The Whole Truth About Fatima - Vol. II , p. 412.
5. Ibid., p. 415. (Salazar's own words).
6. Ibid., p. 421.
7. Ibid., p. 422.
8. Ibid., p. 428.
9. See The Whole Truth About Fatima - Vol. II, pp. 369-439.
10. Ibid., p. 428.
11. Ibid., p. 405. Cardinal Cerejeira spoke these words during the 1942 Jubilee celebration of the Fatima apparitions.
12. We trust the word of a Fatima believer such as Cardinal Cerejeira, rather than a Fatima debunker such as Cardinal Ratzinger. See later chapters.
13. Cardinal Cerejeira, Preface to Jacinta (1942), Obras Pastorais, Vol. II , p. 333. Cf. also his homily of May 13, 1942, Merv. XX's, p. 339. Cited from The Whole Truth About Fatima - Vol. II , p. 437.