BY Prof. Américo Pablo López Ortiz, International President of the World Apostolate of Fatima
Indeed, the people of God are enjoying a special grace with the renewal of the consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary by Pope Francis on Sunday, 13 October, 2013.
Pope Francis was elected Pope on the 13 March, 2013. Our Lady of Fatima appeared from the 13 May to the 13 October, 1917 at the Cova da Iria, Fatima, Portugal. On the 13 May, 2013, Pope Francis entrusted and consecrated his pontificate to the Immaculate Heart of Mary revealed at Fatima, through his legate, Jose Cardinal Policarpo, Patriarch of Lisbon, before the original statue of Our Lady of Fatima at her shrine in Portugal. The Bishop’s Conference of Portugal accompanied Cardinal Policarpo, entrusting the Petrine ministry of the new Pope to the Lady of the Rosary of Fatima.
Then, on the 13 October, 2013, Pope Francis consecrated the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary before the original statue of Our Lady of Fatima, brought to St. Peter’s Basilica for the memorable event. By entrusting the fate of the world, the Universal Church and every human being on earth to the Mother of God, Mother of the Church and Mother of humanity, Pope Francis followed the path of Blessed John Paul II, who also asked the maternal protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary in another crucial moment of history: When the battle between good and evil is stronger than ever; when great perils appear on the horizon for St. Peter’s boat; when terrible scandals and the consequences of sin tarnish the white vestment of our spiritual life and Christian civilization.
In a difficult time for human existence, when the devastation caused by lack of charity between individuals and nations seems to destroy all efforts of solidarity and peaceful co-existence among human beings, we must return to our Heavenly Mother to find the north again, to steer St. Peter’s boat to a safe cove! Yes, a safe “cove” is that of the “Cove” of Iria, at Fatima, whose name symbolically represent that safe cove of St. John Bosco’s dream of the great storm that threatened to sink all ships representing human institutions. But the Church (St. Peter’s boat) is also a divine institution and guided by the Pope, finds a safe “cove” where it survives the great universal catastrophe and sinking of human institutions.
From now on, we must support more and more the efforts of Pope Francis to steer the boat of St. Peter to that safe “cove”. The new Pope adopted the name Francis to honor the memory of St. Francis of Assisi. St. Francis was the great reformer of the Church who by his virtue, love for poverty, humility and solidarity with the needy ones “rebuilt” the corrupted structures of his time to the image of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, evangelizing those in most need of God’s grace and mercy!
Pope Francis has announced with his words and deeds that he intends to follow in the steps of St. Francis in our times with all its consequences. The first thing he did when he became Pope was to visit Rome’s Marian Shrine to request the maternal blessing and protection of the Mother of Jesus. It is Mother Mary that crushes the head of the serpent; it is Mother Mary who can hasten God’s hour as in Cana; it is Mother Mary the first believer; it is Mother Mary the greatest evangelizer (Star of the New Evangelization as well as Star of the First Evangelization); it is Mother Mary that engenders new children of God as the model of virtue and dispenser of all graces.
For the Fatima community we must start looking to Pope Francis as a special gift of Divine Providence opened to God’s plan to save the modern world, an ideal instrument to achieve these goals. Pope Francis will probably canonize Blessed Francisco and Jacinta Marto, and maybe the Venerable Sister Lucia too; as he will probably be the Pope to commemorate the centennial of the Fatima Apparitions and possibly the Pope to witness the complete triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary promised at Fatima and mentioned by his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, in a prophetic statement during his pilgrimage to the Shrine of Fatima on the 13 May, 2010, when he said: “May the seven years which separate us from the centenary of the apparitions hasten the fulfilment of the prophecy of the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, to the glory of the Most Holy Trinity.” But before that, the New Evangelization efforts through the Message of Fatima should affect all Christian communities as the Message is known and lived all over the world.
In the very short time of his pontificate, Pope Francis has done much to spread the authentic Message of Fatima and its prestige throughout the world, focusing on the need to CONVERSION; PRAYER; SANCTIFICATION OF OUR DAILY DUTIES; CONSECRATION TO THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY (SOUL OF THE MESSAGE OF FATIMA) AND EUCHARISTIC REPARATION (specifically the Communion of Reparation of the First Saturday’s Devotion).
These are the main petitions of Our Lady of Fatima designed to bring us the graces of WORLD PEACE; CONVERSION OF SINNERS; CONVERSION OF RUSSIA AND THOSE NATIONS IN MOST NEED OF GOD’S MERCY; THE STRENGTH AND UNITY OF THE UNIVERSAL CHURCH; AND THE TRIUMPH OF THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY.
Pope Francis’s efforts in his first seven months as Successor of Peter go in exactly the same direction of the Gospel of Jesus Christ whose echo is the Message of Fatima. Let us protect our beloved Holy Father with our prayers and penance as he requested in his first public appearance; as Blessed Jacinta taught us in her private revelations; as the present Pope becomes more and more the ideal instrument for the full triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in our modern world.
CONSECRATION OF THE WORLD TO THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY BY BLESSED JOHN PAUL II (SOLEMNITY OF THE INCARNATION, 25 MARCH, 1984, ST. PETER’S SQUARE, BEFORE THE ORIGINAL STATUE OF OUR LADY OF FATIMA BROUGHT FROM PORTUGAL FOR THE OCCASION)
1. This entrustment and consecration recurred to the maternal protection on the Jubilee Year of the Redemption.
2. It was a collegial consecration in which the Pope as head of the Universal Church united with the Catholic Diocesan Bishops, “constituted a body and a college, just as by Christ’s wish the Apostles constituted a body and a college with Peter.”
3. It fulfilled the conditions posed by the request of Our Lady of Fatima at Tuy, Spain, when she appeared to Sister Lucia on June 13, 1929 asking for a “collegial consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary” for her conversion.
4. Russia was included in the consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary: “IN A SPECIAL WAY WE ENTRUST AND CONSECRATE TO YOU THOSE INDIVIDUALS AND NATIONS WHICH PARTICULARLY NEED TO BE THUS ENTRUSTED AND CONSECRATED.”
At this moment, Pope John Paul II uttered the name “Russia” and a series of other names of nations that needed much conversion… The efficacy of this entrustment and consecration of Russia is seen with the results achieved: collapse of the Iron Curtain, beginning with the Pope’s motherland, Poland; collapse of the Soviet Union without bloodshed; fall of the Berlin Wall and the unification of Germany, total defeat of atheistic communism; prevention of a nuclear war that was in preparation as part of the Cold War… Sister Lucia responded that the collegial consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary was accepted by heaven and fulfilled all the conditions of the request of Our Lady of Fatima at Tuy.
5. The effects of this entrustment and consecration can be labeled as the Great Miracle of the 20th century; the “New Marian Lepanto” at the end of the 20th century as prophesied by St. John Bosco in his famous Marian dreams.
6. The maternal awareness of the struggles between good and evil, between light and darkness; the sufferings and hopes of humanity, the destinies of individuals, peoples and nations, all are embraced by the action of the Holy Spirit in our Mother’s Heart to protect us and provide for all our needs.
7. The consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is based on the consecration of her Divine Son to the Eternal Father (John 17:19) at the Cross; an entrustment and consecration that “has the power to obtain pardon and to secure reparation. The power of this consecration lasts for all time and embraces all individuals, peoples and nations. IT OVERCOMES EVERY EVIL THAT THE SPIRIT OF DARKNESS IS ABLE TO AWAKEN, AND HAS IN FACT AWAKENED IN OUR TIMES, IN THE HEAT OF MAN AND IN HIS HISTORY.”
8. This entrustment and consecration is much needed as the Mother of God will “enlighten the People of God along the paths of faith, hope and love! Enlighten especially the peoples whose consecration and entrustment by us you are awaiting.”
Here we can see clearly the intention of entrusting and consecrating the peoples of Russia that Our Lady of Fatima requested at Tuy, a complementary apparition of Fatima. Who dares now to question the entrustment and consecration made by Blessed John Paul II as lacking the specific mention of Russia as a pre-condition to fulfill the Fatima requests? Don’t you see, man of poor faith, that this is a prayer between Jesus Christ and the Pope in union with all the diocesan bishops participating of it, representing the People of God, passing through the Immaculate Heart of Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit to the hands of the Almighty Father?
Don’t you see that Our Lady knows better than us to whom this prayer refers to as she is the one awaiting for it, longing in her Immaculate Heart the entrustment of her beloved peoples of Russia? The great qualitative changes in the religious practices in public of the peoples of Russia are a great sign of the beginning of their conversion to the Gospel after rejecting atheistic communism!
Moreover, to affirm that this consecration is not the one petitioned by Our Lady of Fatima to Sister Lucia at Tuy is to doubt of God Himself, to doubt of His grace and mercy, as this very consecration of the world was entrusted to our Heavenly Mother by the Holy Father, placing it in her motherly Heart to “conquer the menace of evil that seem to block the paths towards the future!”: Famine, war, nuclear war, sins against the life of man from its very beginning, hatred and demeaning of the dignity of children, injustice, trampling on the commandments of God; from the attempts to stifle in human hearts the very truth of God; from the loss of awareness of good and evil; from the sins against the Holy Spirit.
The consecration is an antidote against sin and its terrible consequences, a “cry laden with the sufferings of all individual human beings, laden with the sufferings of whole societies.” The consecration confronts the power of the Holy Spirit, the infinite saving power of the Redemption by Jesus Christ, the power of MERCIFUL LOVE! with the menace of evil, to conquer all sin, individual and social sin, bringing to earth a new springtime, the civilization of love, a global solidarity that constitutes a new Marian Pentecost coming from the Immaculate Heart that at Fatima revealed itself as “the Light of Hope!” That light coming from the Heart of Mary was Jesus Christ Himself and in that light the children-shepherds of Fatima were transformed as they experienced God’s love! (Memoirs of Sister Lucia.)
CONSECRATION OF THE WORLD TO THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY BY POPE FRANCIS (OCTOBER 13, 2013; ANNIVERSARY OF THE SIXTH FATIMA APPARITION AND OF THE MIRACLE OF THE SUN; ST. PETER’S SQUARE; BEFORE THE ORIGINAL STATUE OF OUR LADY OF FATIMA BROUGHT FROM PORTUGAL FOR THE OCCASION)
1. The act of consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is simple but profound. It is a renewal of the previous consecration by Blessed John Paul II, a tribute to the spiritual motherhood of Mary.
2. It seeks the healing and saving of our hearts from the wounds and consequences of sin.
3. It focuses on the interior life of our Christian experience, the intimacy of God’s love and sweetness, the theater where our religious experiences develop into a special bond of filial love with the Father, a fraternal love with the Son and a matrimonial type of love with the Spirit, as children of the Father’s daughter; children of the Mother of the Word of God Incarnate; children of the Spouse of the Holy Spirit.
A familiar relationship that inserts us into the Trinitarian Life, one of the main topics of the Message of Fatima, as it was in Fatima that the mystery of the Holy Trinity was revealed to the children-shepherds of Fatima, making them into other Christ’s. (The new Basilica of Fatima is named Church of the Most Holy Trinity.)
4. By putting ourselves into our Mother’s hands, we intend to grow in Faith, Hope and Charity, to “strengthen every desire for good”, along our path to holiness.
5. We must learn from our Heavenly Mother her “preferential love for the little and the poor, for the excluded and the suffering, for sinners and the downhearted.” This is the Christian recipe for becoming disciples of Jesus Christ. This is the formula for renewing the Church following the model of the “poor one of Assisi”, the great reformer in times of need.
6. This consecration, of course, depends on the entrusting of everyone to Mary’s beloved Son, Our Lord and Redeemer, Jesus Christ, who offered Himself to the Eternal Father in a perfect and pure oblation that reconciled humanity with the Creator.
7. The criticism against the simplicity of this formula of consecration and supposed deception caused by it ignores the profound meaning of the Gospel, of its echo, the Message of Fatima, so profound that it changed the face of earth and the history of humanity; but at the same time it was so simple that children and youngsters were enchanted with its purity of intention and humility to the extent of transforming their lives into the way of holiness following the simple example of Jesus Christ.
The rebellion and harsh criticism of some pseudo-theologians against this papal act of humility and entrustment to the Mother of God, of the destiny of the Church and of humanity, ignores the fact that from time to time, it is necessary to renew the act of entrustment and consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, to make known to the people of God the need to return to “the paths of holiness” and for Our Lady to bring everyone under her protection.
The Pope knows better than us. The special assistance of the Holy Spirit to the Successor of Peter is the guarantee given by Christ Himself that His Church will triumph over the evil spirit and the consequences of sin. This is a biblical doctrine that serves as the foundation for our Faith. This is the hour of unity in the Church as one of the main spiritual effects of the entrustment and consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is unity and communion with the Successor of Peter as in the first Pentecost!
ACT of Consecration of all Individuals and Peoples of the World to the Immaculate Heart of Mary Pope John Paul II, March 25, 1984
Act of CONSECRATION of the World to the Immaculate Heart of Mary Pope Francis, October 13, 2013