Fatima: the Family and the Church

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FATIMA THE FAMILY & THE CHURCH Mary’s Message with Prayers and Devotions Timothy Tindal-Robertson and Donal Anthony Foley

All booklets are published thanks to the generosity of the supporters of the Catholic Truth Society

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Contents Fatima’s Message to the Church Today . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Fatima Prayers and Devotions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Our Lady of Fatima and the Rosary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .34 Acts of Consecration and Reparation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 Other Marian Prayers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 Novenas to Our Lady of Fatima . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53 Fatima and Immaculate Heart Litanies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58 Fatima Hymns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 The World Apostolate of Fatima . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69

All rights reserved. First published 2021 by The Incorporated Catholic Truth Society. 42-46 Harleyford, Road, London SE11 5AY. Tel: 020 7640 0042. www.ctsbooks.org. © 2021 Timothy Tindal-Robertson and Donal Anthony Foley. ISBN 978 1 78469 656 6

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Fatima’s Message to the Church Today

T

he first edition of this booklet was published in 2016, some six months before the announcement of a marvellous and quite unexpected development that caused the celebration on 13th May 2017 of the one hundredth anniversary of Our Lady’s first apparition at Fatima to become a truly unique event. For only a few weeks beforehand, on 23rd March 2017, it was announced by the Vatican that on that day Pope Francis had approved the second miracle that was required for the canonisation of Blessed Francisco and Jacinta Marto. It was further announced that the date and place for the ceremony of canonisation would not be decided until the next consistory to be held in Rome, on 20th April, less than one month before the anniversary on 13th May. It was at that consistory that Pope Francis announced he would canonise Francisco and Jacinta just over three weeks later in the Portuguese shrine, on 13th May 2017, in the course of an apostolic visit to Fatima on 12-13th May to commemorate the centenary of Our Lady’s apparitions.

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“There are no mere coincidences in the plans of divine Providence”, Pope St John Paul II famously observed, in referring to the assassination attempt on his life on 13th May 1981. The miracle required for the canonisation of the two seers was a further sign that this development was more than a mere coincidence, for it concerned the miraculous and permanent healing of a five year old boy, whose skull was fractured and brain tissue lost, when he fell on to a pavement from a third floor balcony. The parents were told that the boy’s chances of surviving were low, and if he did survive, his recovery would be very slow, and leave him with severe cognitive disabilities or even remaining in a semi-comatose state. When his condition worsened the parents appealed to a Carmelite convent for prayers. It so happened that there were relics of Blessed Francisco and Jacinta on the altar next to the tabernacle, and one of the nuns was inspired to pray, “Shepherds, save this child, who is a child like you”. The community, the parents and many others joined in making this appeal to God for a cure, through the intercession of the two seers. Within one week, the child was discharged from the hospital, and his father recounted at the press conference in Fatima how since then the boy has been completely well, with no symptoms or after effects: “he has the same intelligence as before the accident, the same character, everything is the same”. In medical terms, his cure was inexplicable.

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More than a ‘Mere Coincidence’ In this miracle, a brain-damaged child is restored to normal health through the intercession of the first child saints in the history of the Church to die not as martyrs, but in the ordinary course of their family life. It is significant that Our Lady chose three uneducated children from a very simple village background, the youngest offspring of two devout and large Catholic families, to receive her message for the salvation of sinners (Mk 2:17), and the deliverance of the Church from contemporary evils caused by the denial and rejection of God that has spread throughout the world in multiple forms in our time. Is not their canonisation on the one hundredth anniversary of Our Lady’s apparition, more than a ‘mere coincidence’ that divine Providence has given to us, in order to highlight the importance of Our Lady’s message in the life of the family, which is “as it were, a church in the home” (Lumen Gentium [LG] 11), the domestic Church, as lived according to the heroic example of Saints Francisco and Jacinta? And is this not even more true when one considers that this development has come at a time when the Christian family today is facing unprecedented threats from a secularised society, which has divorced itself from Christian morality, accepts adultery, co-habitation and alternative forms of marriage, advocates abortion as a right on a huge scale, and even believes in manipulating one’s own human nature, as given to each individual by God?

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These damaging trends in society have inevitably impacted the Church, which as a result has suffered a very serious decline in vocations, and also in the numbers of Catholics who continue to practice their faith. This process has been documented by Professor Stephen Bullivant of St Mary’s Catholic University, Twickenham, in a detailed academic study full of statistics and tables, Mass Exodus: Catholic Disaffiliation in Britain and America since Vatican II, published by Oxford University Press in 2019. Our Lady’s Requests A century ago Our Lady of Fatima gave us a specific warning, in her prophecy on 13th July 1917, that such developments would arise if people did not cease offending God, when she spoke of the “errors of Russia”, meaning the denial and rejection of God. In our time it is this spirit of the denial and rejection of God which has come to dominate the culture of present-day society, in the form of secularism, relativism, and living one’s life as if God does not exist, thereby ignoring and rejecting the teaching of the Gospel and the Church, which has been marginalised, or treated as irrelevant. In order to prevent such a scenario from arising, all that Our Lady asked people to do, was to fulfil her requests for prayer, penance in reparation for sin which offends God, sacrifices for the conversion of sinners – the primary purpose of Jesus’s incarnation – and especially to make the Five First Saturdays devotion

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of reparation to her Immaculate Heart, and to pray the Rosary every day. These requests were so simple that very young uneducated shepherd children, no older than seven, nine and ten, were able to fulfil them to a heroic degree, as Pope St John Paul II stated at their beatification on 13th May 2000. Thereby Francisco and Jacinta were raised up to become saints, and in due course were canonised by Pope Francis on 13th May 2017. With the exception of a few countries – and some significant examples in the past century of how compliance with her requests, especially the recitation of the Rosary when taken up by large numbers, has delivered the Church from grave evils and restored its position in society – it would appear that, despite the unprecedented approval for Our Lady’s message, in the teaching and acts of five popes, these requests from Mary most holy, Mother of God and of the Church, have for no apparent reason been disregarded by the great majority of bishops, as well as priests and the laity, particularly in Western Europe. While it is true that Fatima is a private revelation and voluntary devotion which one is not obliged to accept, nevertheless, since Our Lady’s message has received such unanimous papal approval, it is difficult to understand

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why so many Church leaders throughout the world have not followed the example and teaching of the popes who, from the reign of Pius XII onwards, have strongly urged acceptance of Our Lady’s message, none more so than Pope Francis, as we will see. The Devotion of the Popes Pope St Paul VI was the first pope to visit Fatima, on 13th May 1967, and meet Sr Lucia, who he presented to the huge crowd outside the basilica, thereby signifying his approval of the message which it was her mission to proclaim in the Church. While there, he blessed statues of Our Lady of Fatima, one of which was presented to the World Apostolate of Fatima in England. Then in May 1982 Pope St John Paul II went to Fatima for the first time, to thank Our Lady for saving his life from the assassination attempt in the previous year, and his homily on 13th May was the first time a pope had given formal teaching on Our Lady’s message. The Church had accepted the message of Fatima, said the Pope, because its basic content is the same as the first words the Messiah addressed to humanity: “Repent and believe in the gospel” (Mk 1:15); and later, in a message to the Bishop of Fatima dated 1st October 1997, the Pope said that Fatima was certainly one of the greatest signs of the times “because its message announces many of the later events and conditions them on the response to its appeals” (Message of Fatima, pp. 76, 77).

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Our Lady and the Rosary The truth of this statement has tragically been borne out by the unceasing wars and ever-increasing persecution of the Church in countries throughout the world, and this situation continues principally because sadly so many in the Church have not yet understood the need to comply with Our Lady’s requests. Pope St John Paul II fulfilled Our Lady’s request for the consecration of Russia by his act of 25th March 1984, but the counterpart of that request, the Five First Saturdays devotion, which pertains to the Church, has only been fulfilled in a small number of parishes and dioceses. Equally important, as pertaining to individuals to fulfil in their daily life, is Our Lady’s request in each of her six apparitions, to pray the Rosary every day for peace. In her final apparition on 13th October, she revealed, “I am the Lady of the Rosary”, and in the Litany of Loreto she is addressed as Queen of the most Holy Rosary and Queen of Peace. If we are serious about obtaining peace, we should take equally seriously Our Lady’s request for daily recitation of the Rosary. The history of the Rosary’s remarkable power to overcome evil, convert people, bring peace in society and raise up saints, is admirably documented in Champions of the Rosary by Fr Donald Calloway, MIC. In a video message to the people of Portugal at the time of his visit to Fatima in May 2017, Pope Francis urged them: “Never abandon the Rosary. Never abandon the Rosary. Pray the Rosary, as she asked”. After the stupendous miracle

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of the sun on 13th October 1917, that was seen by around seventy thousand people who had made the pilgrimage to Fatima from all over Portugal, many on foot, there was no longer any doubt that Our Lady had been appearing to the three child seers, and a nation-wide movement of people praying the Rosary every day sprang up spontaneously. The result, in the course of the next two decades, was the miraculous and peaceful transformation of Portugal, as Cardinal Cerejeira, Patriarch of Lisbon, testified. The republican party, which had fiercely repressed and persecuted the Church after it overthrew the monarchy in 1908, and had even publicly vowed to eliminate it, gradually subsided and died out, while the Church emerged stronger than ever, with numerous conversions and vocations. The exceptional role of the Mother of God In the light of similar historical examples, and the teaching on the Rosary of Popes Leo XIII and St John Paul II, as well as great Marian saints such as Louis de Montfort, author of The Secret of the Rosary, there is every reason to believe that a similar transformation could take place in our country. All that is required is for bishops and priests to work with the laity in order to build up a national movement of people praying the Rosary every day. The great virtue of the Rosary, in the words of Pope St John Paul II, in his Apostolic Letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae, is that it puts one “in living communion with the mysteries of Christ”,

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whenever and wherever it is prayed with devotion. The Rosary is an ideal method of praying because it is simple, young children can easily become proficient in it, and it can be prayed anywhere at any time throughout the week, especially when many people in work are unable to get to daily Mass. Many popes and Marian saints have demonstrated the great spiritual benefits that the Rosary can bring to the lives of the faithful, through assisting them on the path to personal sanctification. There is no doubt that such a movement at a national level would make an important contribution to the urgent task of reevangelisation; and history has demonstrated the power of the Rosary to counter difficulties that today confront families, in terms of the pressure to conform to purely secular values that undermine the Faith, and that the government is seeking to enforce in schools. In the eighth chapter of Lumen Gentium, there is an admirable account of the exceptional role of “the Mother of God in the Mystery of Christ and the Church”, as it is entitled. In heaven, “she persists, with many pleas, in winning the gifts of divine salvation for her Son’s brethren… still involved in dangers and difficulties. For this reason the Blessed Virgin is called upon in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Auxiliatrix, Adjutrix, Mediatrix” (op. cit., n. 62). This is why we need to turn to her for help in overcoming the trials we face today.

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England’s Devotion to Our Lady As we saw with the amazing response to the re-dedication of England as Mary’s Dowry, on Sunday 29th March 2020, and last year in the great response to the Rosary at the Coast initiative, many of the faithful have a deep love for the Blessed Virgin, and would welcome and support initiatives to foster her devotions. There was a similar response when the World Apostolate of Fatima in England and Wales, brought the national Pilgrim Virgin statue, presented to England by Pope Paul VI in 1967, to be crowned by Cardinal Nichols in Westminster Cathedral, at a special Mass in her honour in February 2017. (see: https://worldfatima-englandwales.org.uk/national-pilgrimvirgin-statue-of-our-lady-of-fatima/)

So many people packed in to the cathedral, the doors had to be closed to prevent overcrowding, thousands of petitions were accepted and forwarded to her shrine in Fatima, to be placed under her statue, and many people presented Our Lady with voluntary offerings of personal items of gold and silver jewellery, in thanksgiving for her visitation and as a contribution to the cost of the silver-gilt crown, that had been specially created in Lisbon for the visitations of her statue to the cathedrals of England and Wales, which took place throughout the Centenary Year of 2017.

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