Monday, 4 February 2013




Countries’ List: WAF Regional Centre – Africa
Dem. Rep. Congo
Ivory Coast
South Africa

Abuja, Nigeria: 6-10 October 2010

From the 6th to the 10th of October, 2010 the Second African Congress of the World Apostolate of Fatima took place at Abuja, Nigeria; precisely in the Papal Ground at Kubwa, Abuja,  where some years ago the Holy Father, the Servant of God John Paul II, celebrated mass before an enormous crowd. The African Congress was entrusted to John Paul II as it considered the main theme of "The Fatima Apostolate in Africa and the New Evangelization in the light of the African Synods."

Seven countries sent nearly seventy delegates to this Second Regional African Summit: Côte d'Ivoire, Cameroon (where the First Regional Congress took place), Tanzania, Gabon, Botswana, Ghana and Nigeria (our excellent host). Nearly three thousand members of the WAF-Nigeria attended all the sessions of this Regional Congress and Third National Rosary Congress.  

            For this special occasion, the International President of the World Apostolate of Fatima, Prof. Américo Pablo López-Ortiz and the Director of the WAF International Secretariat, Nuno Prazeres, traveled to Nigeria. Prof. López Ortiz offered two conferences on "The New Evangelization of Africa and the Message of Fatima" and "Consecration to God through the Immaculate Heart of Mary". Mr. Nuno Prazeres offered a talk on "The Role of the International Secretariat in the Propagation of the Message of Fatima."

            A special guest of honour was Nigerian Archbishop Jude Mary Thaddeus Okolo, Apostolic Nuncio to Central African Republic & Chad, who offered a talk on the "The Fatima Apostolate in Africa and the New Evangelization in the Light of the Synods of Africa". Archbishop Jude Mary is a member of the WAF since he was a child and, as he witnessed, his vocation to the priesthood comes from his devotion to Our Lady of Fatima. As many other Nigerian priests attending the Congress, he was sponsored by the WAF International as part of the missionary effort of the WAF Secretariat to make possible their ecclesiastical studies.   

The international delegates paid a visit to His Grace Most Reverend John Onaiyekan, Archbishop of Abuja and to the Apostolic Nuncio of Nigeria, His Excellency Most Reverend Augustine Kasujja. The WAF-Nigeria is in total consonance with the Church in Nigeria, working together for the New Evangelization of the nation.
            A great gratitude goes to Prof. Michael Ogunu, the National President of the WAF in Nigeria, as well as to Reverend Father Mark Binang, National Chaplain, for their excellent job in coordinating a wonderful Programme of Events, including the Eucharistic Celebrations, Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, Candlelight Procession with thousands of participants, penitential services and confessions for all, meditation of the Holy Rosary, Brown Scapular Investiture and Installation of National Patrons/Patroness of the WAF Nigeria. One of them was the former International Lay Delegate, Mr. Maurice Archibong, who attended the meeting with his wife. Other special guests were His Eminence Edidem Emmanuel Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu V, Obong of Calabar and Natural Ruler, who is a member of the WAF-Nigeria and Mr. Dominic U. Jack, first organizer of the Blue Army in Nigeria and National Secretary for many years.

Some of the remarkable talks were: "The Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel and the First Saturday's Devotion" by Prof. Michael Ogunu (a Carmelite Tertiary and National President of the WAF-Nigeria); "The Rosary as an Indispensable Instrument of Evangelization and an Unfailing Weapon against the forces of evil in African Societies" by Rev. Fr. (Dr.) Michael Sasa, Rector of the Ss Peter & Paul Major Seminary at Ibadan, Nigeria (more than 550 seminarians attend this seminary and some of them attended the Congress too as WAF members) and "Promoting the Sanctity and Dignity of Human Life among African communities" by Eng. Jerry Okwuosama, a Pro-Life Specialist.
            A great contribution was made by His Excellency Bishop Evaristus Chengula from Tanzania, still an active diocesan bishop, who presided Holy Mass and offered a great witnessing of pastoral care with his presence as he has been doing for decades looking after the WAF in his country.
            Several Executive sessions were held for the international delegates coordinated by Father Roland Berngeh, from Cameroon, Regional Coordinator for Africa and member of the International Board of Trustees of the WAF. These meetings were chaired by Prof. Américo López-Ortiz, the International President of the WAF. A strong need for materials was expressed by the delegates, especially in French. The International WAF- Catalogue in English is much appreciated. All copies of dvd's and books in English were distributed and very well received. The dvd in English: "Fatima, Hope of the World - A Catechesis on Fatima" by the International President offers 13 Programmes of 28 minutes each on the main topics of the Message of Fatima to form national leaders at all levels and is available from the International Secretariat.
Our gratitude goes to the WAF-India and the WAF-USA in developing some of these materials. 

            The delegates petitioned to the Holy Father an apostolic exhortation on the First Saturday's Devotion for the Universal Church. The original text was drafted by Mr. Polycarp, President of the WAF-Cameroon and Fr. Roland Berngeh, Regional Coordinator and approved unanimously to be submitted to the Holy See.
            After five days of great discipline, personal sacrifices of many participants to the Congress and special reverence and love for the Good Lord and Our Lady of Fatima, mixed with unique human warmth and friendship, the Congress finished as a great success. It was like if "the sun have danced again" with a spiritual bouquet of graces and mercy poured on the many participants. The Church in Africa has a brilliant future.


The Fatima Apostolate in Africa and the New Evangelization in the Light of the Synods on Africa
By Most Rev. Archbishop Jude Thaddeus Okolo, Apostolic Nuncio to Central African Republic and Chad

The II Regional Congress of the World Apostolate of Fatima for Africa had a special guest of honour, the Nigerian Archbishop Jude Okolo, Apostolic Nuncio in the Central African Republic and in Chad. Apart from presiding the Eucharist he also offered an inspiring talk on the "The Fatima Apostolate in Africa and the New Evangelization in the Light of the Synods of Africa", which is worthy publishing here in its entirety. Archbishop Jude Mary has been a member of the WAF since he was a child and his vocation to the priesthood comes from his devotion to Our Lady of Fatima.

When the Archangel Gabriel was sent to the Blessed Virgin Mary, to announce the divine intention of sending his Son into the world, salvation dawned onto humanity. Subsequently, on the occasion of Mary's visit to Elizabeth, she echoed a message which continues to be valid till today: that all generations would call her blessed, and that the Most High has done great things to her. She therefore, as our Mother, comes back to our world to share with us the great things which the Lord has done for her.
The Blessed Virgin Mary has therefore bequeathed to humanity a very rich and gracious legacy. As the first fruit of divine redemption, she is the most effective instrument of divine mercy. Through her, we draw closer to her Son, to know what he wants of us.
The Christian Church rejoices that it possesses a heritage of excellence, a patrimony of rich piety and devotion, with a profound theological orientation, and which, over the centuries, has had a dynamic continuity, a gradual evolution, and an open development, faithful to its tradition.
It is a devotion which continues to find its place within the Christological context. It is a devotion that is not too attached to any particular epoch or people. It is universal. Its biblical context is the solid point of reference for authenticity and relevance.

The Fatima Event
Ninety-three years have come and gone by since Our Lady first appeared to the three little children at the Cova da Iria, Lucia, Jacinta and Francisco, as they were busy pasturing their sheep, on that beautiful and blessed 13th day of May 1917. The Blessed Virgin Mary gave a message that was too much for the children to keep to themselves, a message that was to touch the whole world - she invited everyone to prayer and to penitential acts, to diminish the presence and the impact of sin/evil in the world. She asked for the consecration of the world, and that we pray for the conversion of Russia. She then promised that later, there would be peace. 

The geo-political implications of the message were immediately evident. These implications created a lot of sensitivity to the entire Fatima event - people feared unnecessary interference in political matters. On the one hand, scepticism grew around it; on the other hand, interested individuals sought to take advantage of it to project their personal ideologies, especially against communism.
The three little children understood the message, simple as it was in itself, simple as it was communicated to them. Very strikingly, they also transmitted it simply and honestly. Little as they were, they became efficacious and reliable instruments of spreading the good news of salvation.
Today, the World Apostolate of Fatima is here to do exactly the same thing: to spread the good news of salvation of mankind through "prayer and penance".
Our Lady assigned various intentions to her request for prayer: for the well-being of the Holy Father, for the conversion of sinners, for the conversion of Russia from communistic tendencies.
She warned that certain ideologies would spread across the world, that the Holy Father would have to suffer a lot and that many souls go to hell because of sin.
She made some promises: the end of the First World War, the conversion of sinners, and in the end, her Immaculate Heart would triumph.
         The various intentions made an impression on the children. Obviously, they did not understand everything. On one occasion, Jacinta, at that early age of seven, was asked by Lucia if she had any preference regarding the intentions. She simply replied: "I want to pray for all the intentions". For her, they were all important; they had the same level of priority and urgency. Moreover, the little children felt that the need was immediate.
We are only seven years away from the Centenary of the first apparitions at Fatima. In his eminent homily on the 13th of May this year, the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI 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".
This once again sounds the note of urgency and immediacy concerning the message, and its actualisation. All available means are supposed to be put into action for its full realisation. It is a universal message, especially for adults - although it was received through the mediacy of children.
If the call, or rather the message of Our Lady of Fatima is still immediate and urgent, it means that the Fatima event is not yet over. We have to acknowledge its relevance. In fact, as said the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI on his way to Fatima in May this year, we would be mistaken to think that the prophetic mission of Fatima is complete. It is still unfolding, and the dramatic effects are yet to be fathomed to the fullest.

Understanding the Fatima Message
We are here to answer a call. The call of the Mother of Christ. To a mother's call, no child remains indifferent. This time, the call was received through three little children. In normal daily life, examples of Christian life are found in adults who have matured, and have been tested by a variety of experiences. However, when unexperienced children are presented as examples of evangelical life, the reality becomes very striking.
The organised appeal which the way of life of these children imposes is inspiring and enticing, simple and uncouth, eloquent and coherent, authentic and enduring. Its appeal is not limited to age or class, to race or epoch. Its overwhelming and impressive power of expression finds its outburst and projection in the words and bold gestures especially of the two last pontiffs.
It even seems that the childlike context and vehicle gives it more appeal and authenticity. Here, the words of Christ ring strongly: "unless you change and become like little children, you will not enter the kingdom of God". And in another place he says: "Allow little children to come to me, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven".

The Universality of the Message - going beyond political and cultural barriers and frontiers
One of the greatest miracles which the devotion to the Blessed Virgin continues to perform is the constant redefinition of natural borders. It is a continuation of the process of the Gospel message right from the beginning. The Apostles had to go beyond their Jewish culture and borders, and in all this, the image and presence of Mary is involved. Her presence in Ephesus shows this clearly. In fact, there is a tradition which shows that the Assumption must have taken place in Ephesus and not in Jerusalem. The evidence of the House of Mary in Ephesus (present day Turkey) gives some clear verdict to this dimension and reality.
The tendency to go beyond frontiers is quite evident in the message of Our Lady of Fatima: the word "world" was used several times, meaning that the message was not simply for the three little children, for their complaisance. It was to go beyond them.
The Christian message, valid in itself, cannot be closed unto itself. It is like steam in an enclosure that seeks its own exit. "Go out to the whole world, and proclaim the good news", Christ told the Apostles (Mk 16, 7). If the message is good, valid, authentic and fresh, it has to be disseminated. An interesting aspect of it is this: in going beyond cultural borders, the identity of the message is "reinvented", is inculturated, but not modified. It fits into new milieux and contexts, but remains the same. The new context gives it a new validity and confirms its authenticity.
In going beyond borders, the structure and the organisational form have to change, but the essence remains integral. In the Fatima message, the three children no longer needed to organise prayer sessions or forms. They did not make any effort to invite people to sit, in order to let them know the contents of the message they brought. Others had to do all that for them. The immense numbers later determined how, when, where, etc. The place suddenly changed, in order to accommodate the crowds and the needs. Charisms, ministries, groups, communities, religious orders, associations, were formed (even competing ones), each according to competencies.
The message is thus adapted to age, social conditions, ecclesial contexts, political sensitivities, cultural forms, psychological and age constraints. A typical example would be the Pilgrim Virgin. The organisational form of the Visit of the Pilgrim Virgin to Russia can never be equiperated or compared with the same to Spain. In the one, it was discreet, in the other it was real fanfare. Thus, the Church shows Mary in her various "faces", and discovers her as full of grace and charism, capable of responding to all needs, adapting to geo-political conditions, even to the extent of allowing herself to be typologically and variedly personified. She fits into all generations, and they would call her blessed.
Whatever has good value, can never go unperceived. The identity of Mary is also being discovered within ecumenical and interreligious circles. Now, more than ever, Christians of other faiths are increasingly informing Catholics not to usurp the Mother of Christ to themselves as if she belongs exclusively to the Catholic Church. In those years when the Block Rosary Crusade was in full bloom, when practically every street in the major cities had a Catholic prayer group, even the children from Anglican families wanted to participate. Their parents had to hold them back. Eventually, in places like Onitsha, the APA, Anglican Prayer Association, was formed as a counter group.
Muslims, more and more, discover her identity through the various references in the Koran. Obviously, the various sensitivities have to be respected in these areas. However, it is opportune to make the mention within this context of Marian cross-border interfaith reality.
Mary does not exclusively belong to the Catholic Church. In the devotion to her as the Mother of Christ, there are many spiritual realities. Those who believe in divine revelation can also attribute to themselves such aspects.
Renewal and Relevance
The Christian message has remained dynamic and relevant over the centuries and in the various cultures. This is because of constant renewal and update. The apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the form of private revelations in various countries is part of this renewal of orientation and content. The human person has the tendency to forget and lose awareness of realities, even urgent ones.
In many places, some aspects of this renewal, due to human excesses, have taken exaggerated forms of fanaticism or irrational devotional expressions, or even in our times on sometimes sees the demonstration of myopic hermeneutics devoid of cultural and rational content. Even the tendency towards secularisation or the neo-protestant iconoclasm have taken their toll. However, at the end, what emerges is a mature, dynamic expression of true devotion to Mary.
Even the effort to change the name of the Association from "Blue Army" to "World Apostolate of Fatima" is part of this effort towards reform, review, and reorientation. There is no longer any 'Red Army' as such to be counterbalanced with the weapon of the Rosary. The major battle which now faces us is that of a world which is losing the sensitivity to the religious and the sacred. When the Christian society becomes insensitive to moral evil, anything is possible.
In those places where integral inculturation has been applied, the devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary has found its adequate place - not only through art but also and especially through liturgical design, form and ornamentation, through popular devotion. Hymns and popular chants have been composed in her honour, reflecting the prayers and thoughts of the people.
All these have contributed towards a concentration of attention to the maternal role of Mary in African traditions, in the family, in difficult and challenging circumstances.
Thus, devotion to Mary has not been a static, mental activity of Christian veneration which ended in Church celebrations. The faithful have learnt, through inculturation and practice, through experience and need, to take their heavenly Mother home with them, to find her in their natural, biological mothers, to seek her help in their needs, to give her a place in their homesteads. That was what the Block Rosary did for us, especially in the seventies and the eighties.
As the facts can prove very eloquently, one of the particularly impressive contributions of Marian devotion in our times is that of a rich, dynamic catechesis. As a young seminarian, as a young priest, my commitment was the direct care of the Block Rosary Crusade. It was an efficient and simple means of education and the formation of the moral conscience of children, leading them unto goodness. It was the means, the context and the reason for catechesis, especially for the reception of the sacraments. It was the pre-eminent place for the inculcation of moral values. It was the point of reference for parents.
As is evident through Marian devotions, for the common people, for the Nigerian faithful, the Blessed Virgin is not simply another goddess far away, to be manipulated for our needs, and relegated to a corner when these needs are satisfied. No, she is the Mother of the family, and she is the sure guide along the path to God. She is our Mother.

         The Laity and Evangelization
In Nigeria, just like in many other places, the lay persons have been playing key roles in evangelization, and these roles cannot be underestimated. Whenever the history of evangelization in Nigeria is written, the pre-eminent role of the laity must always be highlighted. It is known, and it is widely acknowledged that the laity has always been at the forefront of catechesis and evangelization in Nigeria. It is not so much the literate, professional, well-groomed public functionary, although this latter group is at its core, but here we are talking about the simple, non-professional believer, the migrant Nigerian, in search of his daily bread, who after the day's work, or at the weekend, without any prompting by any priest or religious, looks around for a place of prayer.
As soon as a group is formed, together with those who manifest a similar zeal, they look for the nearest parish house and invite the priest to come and visit them. Thus, a mission post is already fixed. The ensuring activities become organized around the most zealous of the new community. He becomes the acting catechist - and begins his mission. With the little doctrine he knows or remembers, he begins to teach the new community and you can be sure that his teachings range from originality to authenticity, from heresy to fanaticism, all manifesting his ingenuity and sometimes blunt ignorance. However, the central point is the belief in Christ, and the trust in him. His docility leaves him open to receive completion from the priest who visits regularly or occasionally depending on his zeal and depending on how much his other commitments allow him.
This role of the laity in our midst explains the rapidity with which the Fatima message was received especially in the early seventies and eighties in Nigeria.

What Image for the Future?
Reading along the lines of the portrait presented to us by the Holy Father during his recent visit to Fatima, interpreting the Secret of Fatima, with a cursory view of the reality in the world today, it is obvious that the Church is not going to face a rosy, happy future. It has already begun : from within and from without, the Church will go through very bitter times and will be severely persecuted, the Holy Father will suffer a lot (he is already undergoing real suffering and embarrassment), many members of the faithful will lose their faith (as is happening in Europe). We hope that it would not reach the point of returning to the catacombs, in a different manner.
However, from the little I know, I am convinced that we are drifting towards tragic times, and therefore the clarion call to a great awareness of the new era of evangelization. The call is urgent. The means were already defined 93 years ago: "prayer and penance". The goal is clear : "the triumph of the Immaculate Heart", to the glory of the Blessed Trinity. It is therefore not allowed to lower the level of attention. The "watchman" is called to action. If the watchman sleeps off, what happens?
In the end, says Our Lady, "my Immaculate Heart will triumph". With her will triumph also all those who have been faithful to her call.
At a time when globalization seeks to concentrate economic and political power in fewer hands and larger entities, globalization in religion seeks to disseminate some religious realties and impose them on others. Obviously, globalization offers the potential for human advancement, but then it also makes individuals more vulnerable, more powerless. It also makes negative values more difficult to be confronted. Making the world therefore a global village, the threats to religion find themselves personified in persons who position themselves in places where they can manipulate the thoughts and fears of others, reinforcing the perception that the Message of Fatima has to make a difference in our present-day world.

A Message that Needs Attention
As we enter into the activities of the Congress, I would like to draw our attention to two points, to help us not to lose sight of the central message of Fatima: "simplicity" and "thoughtfulness".
Without knowing it, we could be carried away by the maze and the craze of the world around us and forget our mission of "prayer and penance". The world of today as we all know is drifting away out of control. The sacred is no longer respected; spiritual values are sacrificed very easily especially in the search for fame and resources.
Talking of attention and thoughtfulness, Jacinta Marto was known for being thoughtful and attentive. She received a message and gave it her full attention. Even at her young age, she knew how to see things in depth, in the search to discover their profound meaning, and find ways to communicate them. She was not indifferent to the world around her.
The superficiality of our society can easily carry us along with it. The rush, the distractions, the intense daily activities and duties could condition us to such an extent that we hardly find time to reflect and ponder on matters of higher values.
Clear-sightedness, awareness, attention, sense of purpose, will help us look and see beyond the surface. Consciousness of our purpose, sense of orientation, will propel us out of our stupor of the present moment into a clearer vision of the mysteries laid out before us.
While the Mother of God would not want to be secluded within a sacred fence, inaccessible except to a few, she would surely not opt for the uncontrolled secularized perception of her place and role in the world.
Another danger would be the utilitarian tendency to use her for our gains, when and where we need her. In a society where the materialistic tendency is on the increase with an uncontrolled rapidity, such a danger is real and has to be constantly addressed.

Conclusion — A Debt of Gratitude to Our Blessed Mother 

We all owe a debt of gratitude to Our Blessed Mother Mary for all we have received. I particularly, I owe my vocation to the Holy Priesthood to her, in a mysterious way, difficult to explain. We thank her for the positive influences in our lives, and we pray that she would continue to help us remain faithful to her Son Jesus Christ.
We pray that the deliberations and discussions during this Congress would go a long way towards the fulfillment of the yearnings of Our Lady as she requested during her visit to Fatima ninety-three years ago.


By Prof. Americo Pablo Lopez-Ortiz, International President of the WAF

Ave Maria!

From Thursday, 3rd of April to Sunday 6th of April, 2008 the First Regional Meeting of Africa and the 2008 National Congress of World Apostolate of Fatima were held at Regina Pacis College, in Mutengene, Buea Diocese, Cameroon. More that one thousand members of the World Apostolate of Fatima participated, including delegates from Nigeria (Dr. Michael Ogunu, National President), the Democratic Republic of Congo (H.E. Nestor  Ngoy Katahwa , Bishop of Kolwezi and National Spiritual Director), Côte D’Avoir (Mr. Matthew Assemian Fiand, National President and Miss Sylviane Yacé) and Cameroon (National Executive Committee). Delegates from Togo and Sudan sent reports but could not attend.

This international meeting follows the policy of having regional meetings to coordinate the Pastoral Plan of the region and strengthen the efforts of its members to spread the Message of Fatima in their particular context The First Regional Meeting was that of Asia at Cebu City in the Philippines from August 21-24, 2006. Next year, we will have the Latin American and Caribbean Regional meeting at Mayaguez, Puerto Rico and the European Regional meeting at Fatima, Portugal. We expect to have another Regional Meeting for North America in the coming future. The regional meetings are focused on the New Evangelization through the authentic Message of Fatima, the formation of lay people, especially of families.

Father Roland Berngeh, National Spiritual Director of the WAF in Cameroon and member of the WAF International Board of Trustees, hosted the meeting assisted by a wonderful group of staff members that organized splendidly every detail of the encounter. The National Executive Committee of Cameroon prepared their Work Plan and Agenda for next year. H.E. George Nkuo, Bishop of Kumbo, invited the International President of the WAF to attend this meeting and congress. H.E. Immanuel Bushu, Bishop of Buea, hosted the encounter and was the main celebrant at the closing solemn mass.

As International President of the WAF, I was blessed with this opportunity to preside the congress, whose theme was: “Living the Message of Fatima in Depth”.  I offered three talks in their English and French versions, respectively: “A Marian Apostolate for our times”, “Guide for the Formation of Leaders of the World Apostolate of Fatima” and “The Spirituality of the Fatima Apostolate, The Primacy of God in the Message of Fatima.” The talks were followed by “Questions and Answers” that elicited many important issues that were clarified, specifically on the new charisma of the Apostolate, the New Evangelization of lay people and families.

                                                                NEW CHARISMA

By “Living the Message of Fatima in Depth” we are implementing the NEW EVANGELIZATION proposed by the Holy Father, John Paul II, the Great, and his successor, Benedict XVI. Africa is the center of all hopes for the Universal Church. Here, in this continent, millions of new Catholics are formed every year in Faith and Morals. Vocations to the priesthood and religious life flourish, Catholic education expands, marriages increase in numbers and young people are searching for God. While in other parts of the world that call themselves “developed” Faith is in crisis because of materialism and consumerism, we can experience in Africa the splendid atmosphere of the first Christian communities sharing all they have with the poor and needy, strengthening family ties, experiencing joy and happiness. It is Faith, Hope and Charity that produces this experience of God, the living and personal God that comes to dwell in our hearts, filling them with joy and peace!

The members of the World Apostolate of Fatima in Africa are now aware, more than ever before, that the promotion of the WAF Pledge and its specific spiritual conditions is a wonderful tool for the New Evangelization, a suitable instrument for the formation of lay people and family values development, to make possible “a true Springtime of the Spirit”. As a public association of the faithful, the WAF in Africa has a unique opportunity to contribute with its wonderful spirituality and message to the efforts of the Universal Church to spread the Gospel of Christ. In the coming future, we will see the African missionaries assisting in the re-evangelization of other developed parts of the world that are now losing their Faith. The Message of Fatima is an urgent call, now more urgent than ever before, to keep the Faith, to prevent the apostasy of those societies full of pride and materialistic anti-values. Ideological and practical atheism are destroying the family values of the Christian civilization. The Message of Fatima stands as a formidable wall to prevent the flood... We must see with the eyes of Faith that the same maternal hand that spared the life of John Paul II, that of the Blessed Virgin of Fatima, also wants to save her spiritual children from the terrible consequences of sin: war, famine, crimes, violence, persecutions of the Church, in one word, lack of God’s presence and grace.    

The liturgical ceremonies took place at All Saints’ Parish at Mutengene. Fr. Celestine Diang serves as Pastor and Fr. Michael Ngwa Suh is assigned to the parish. Both of them were very enthusiastic of the World Apostolate of Fatima and its mission. The liturgies were rich in their folklore, singing and dancing. The offering was rich of symbolism resembling that of the first Christian communities in their sharing of all goods among themselves. A sense of brotherhood and sisterhood, a knack of doing things in the way of the Apostles, even the marriage at the closing of the congress, portrayed a particular church living a new Springtime! Who says that the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary has not begun already?

The detailed program included the First Saturday devotion, two meetings of the International President with the Bishop of Buea Diocese, a courtesy call to His Grace Christian Cardinal Tumi in Douala and the meeting of the International President with the African leaders and the National Council of Cameroon.

                                                        THE MESSAGE: URGENT CALLS

Our Lady of Fatima appeared at the Cova da Iria, Fatima, Portugal, in 1917. There were six apparitions at the Cova da Iria and the complementary apparitions at Pontevedra and Tuy, Spain. These apparitions are integrated and there is one sole message, the Message of Our Lady of Fatima, a message of hope and love that calls humanity to conversion. It calls to meditative prayer in order to have peace on earth. It calls to penance and the fulfillment of our daily duties to sanctify ourselves. It calls to the Communion of Reparation of the Five Consecutive First Saturdays of the month. This is the Great Promise of the Immaculate Heart of Mary: the grace of final perseverance at the individual level for those practicing this devotion of reparation, but also at the collective level it offers the grace of unity and strength  for the Universal Church, to overcome inner dissensions. The consecration to God, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary is the soul of the Fatima Message and has a wonderful dimension of protection and alliance of the soul and the Good Lord by which the Immaculate Heart of Mary will be the refuge and consolation of those souls that are called to a closer life to God. The Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel is the sign of this consecration. The Immaculate Heart of Mary has promised a triumph at the end, an era of peace, an era of evangelization, an era of triumph of God’s kingdom on earth.

Fatima is more urgent than ever before because the present spiritual and moral situation of the world. The Message is a response from heaven of the things that should be done to save our modern societies from the terrible crisis. The members of the World Apostolate of Fatima are trying to put into heir lives a response to the four petitions of Our Lady of Fatima and their respective objective:  (1) Meditative prayer: Through the meditation of the mysteries of the Holy Rosary we will achieve inner peace and contemplation of the mystery of God and this will bring peace on earth!  (2)Penance: By the fulfillment of our daily duties, we will bear our own cross and become true disciples of Christ, coming closer to God, closer to perfection and holiness! (3)Eucharistic reparation: By the Communion of Reparation of the Five First Consecutive Saturdays of the month, Our Lady has promised all the necessary graces at the hour of death for the salvation of souls and the great grace of unity and strength for the Universal Church to overcome inner dissentions of true doctrine!  (4) Through consecration of the world to God through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, we will renew our baptismal promises and establish a new alliance between our souls and God himself; by which we will become his people and he will become our Lord and Savior. By it, Our Lady has promised the conversion of those countries in most need of conversion, including Russia. This special consecration was lived fully by the late John Paul II, the Great, who adopted as the slogan of his pontificate the phrase: “TOTUS TUUS”, that is, all yours, referring to Mary, the Most Blessed Virgin. This consecration is the soul of the Message of Fatima. It is an entrustment of one’s life to God and it brings joy and happiness because one is abandoned in the hands of Divine Providence and this brings security, peace, and unity with God. THIS IS THE SECRET OF OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS, MEMBERS OF THE WAF IN AFRICA, FOR THEIR JOY AND HAPPINESS COMES FROM ABANDONING THEMSELVES TO DIVINE PROVIDENCE! For they are truly living the Message of Our Lady with their humble attitude of “FIAT”, saying “yes!” to God’s will in their lives. Our Western societies have much to learn from their spirituality!

                                               WORLD IMPACT OF THIS MESSAGE

The impact is greater than anyone could think. It is helping to renew the world and bringing a wonderful spirituality to many souls in need: A new springtime for the Church! This is why Pope John XXIII said about Fatima: “Fatima is the center of all Christian hopes.”  Pope Paul VI said of the Message: “Fatima is the Gospel adapted to our times.“ But, more than anyone, Pope John Paul II, the Great, was the model of the Fatima message ; he had a special vocation to the Fatima message that was discovered  after the assassination  attempt of May 13, 1981, on the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary of Fatima, at Rome, at St. Peter’s Square, a hand shot the bullet that tried to kill him, but another hand, more powerful then the first one, that of Our Lady of Fatima, deviated the bullet to save his life for the welfare of the world, that was served by him  for so many years from the throne of St. Peter. The pontificate of John Paul II was one of the greatest in history by making possible a renewal of the Church, the collapse of the Soviet Union without violence, preventing nuclear war and granting the conditions for the freedom of the Eastern European nations from atheistic communism, creating a new era of possibilities including the new evangelization of these unfortunate countries. The measures to be taken to prevent lack of Faith among nations are foretold by Our Lady from Heaven, who promised that Portugal will remain faithful. An era of triumph of Her Immaculate Heart has begun already but develops with difficulties aroused by human frailties, lack of Faith and collective sins, like abortion and euthanasia.

                                                                MEMORIES FROM AFRICA

My grateful recognition for all our brothers and sisters of the WAF-Africa, especially for those of Cameroon, in particular to Fr. Roland Berngeh and his National Executive Committee, for your affection, hunger for God’s message and detailed implementation of our pastoral guidelines. I will always have in my heart the welcome at Douala’s International Airport with nearly 500 members of the WAF in their beautiful blue dresses, singing and dancing the welcome ceremony...Your offering of true friendship and solidarity is unique...“A mfufbe Sim Sim o o o h zaa ee a... Z aa eeh - Zaa eeh, Zaa- Zaa ee ee ee”

                            THE MESSAGE OF FATIMA

                          By: Prof. Américo Pablo López-Ortiz
                     International President of the World Apostolate of Fatima

“Repent and do penance! The Kingdom of God is at hand!” The evangelical call to conversion echoes more powerful than ever in the authentic Message of Fatima, the “evangelical message of prayer and penance” as Pope Paul VI called it.

The Message of Fatima has it all: The doctrinal richness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ; its freshness, images, gestures of the primitive Christian catechesis; the calls to penance from Saint John, the Baptist, preparing the way for the Redeemer; the strong eschatological accents of Christ before the ruins of Jerusalem; the didactic force of Jesus’ parables; the simple life of the villagers, their emotional gestures and learned prayers; the prophetic contents of the Book of Revelation with the confrontation between “the Woman dressed in sun… and the red dragon”; as well as God’s seal with the miracle of the sun and the profound spiritual peace found in that holy place where heaven and earth meet for the welfare of humanity.

Everything occurred in Europe: Three apparitions of the Angel, the messenger who prepared the way for the visitation of the Mother of God and seven apparitions of Our Lady of the Rosary at Fatima (including that special one to Lucia on her departure from Fatima) were located in Portugal. Then, two apparitions of great magnitude and transcendence occurred in the other half of Iberia, Spain, at Pontevedra and Tuy, all of them forming a unique and perfect message coming from heaven, having the objective of explaining the Gospel of the beloved Son of God for our times so that nobody could excuse himself or herself from not been capable of interpreting “the signs for our time”.

Our Lady came to Fatima to speak to the world, but firstly, to speak to Europe, her beloved “old continent”, whose history of wars and conflicts, ideologies and politics, geographical and scientific discoveries as well as technological developments, had the greater influence to the rest of the world. Through Europe, Christianity was spread to most nations in a constant pattern of light and darkness that produced many saints and heroes that portrayed some of the best of what human beings are capable of, as well as some of the bigger tragedies in history, armed conflicts, persecutions and slander. Then, at our modern times, through Europe, the philosophical trends of illustration, rationalism and dialectic materialism engendered a struggle against faith and morals, against the spiritual destiny of humanity, against God himself; not only denying His existence, but also persecuting in many ways those who believe in Him.

The Message of Fatima is heaven’s reply to human pride neglecting God and pretending to build “a civilization without God” because He is not needed any more.

Lourdes at France stands as heaven’s reply to illustration and rationalism, showing the great limitations of human knowledge and power when confronted with sickness, aging and death. The great advances of humanity are nothing when compared to the inexplicable intervention of God in the individual history of men and women completely cured from their infirmities when coming with faith to the waters of Our Lady’s well at Lourdes. Reason, technology, pride are mute and humiliated by God’s acts. Then, suddenly, God is needed again in the European heart! The heavenly mother showed the way to recover faith in God!

Fatima stands as heaven’s reply to the threats posed by substituting God with the idol of material progress and totalitarianism. The “paradise” promised on earth turns to be a real hell of hatred, struggles for power, violence, assassinations, jealousy and genocide. The twentieth century is the century of martyrs where millions of people were sacrificed to construct an elusive “paradise on earth without God” that never came! The Message of Fatima offers the best possible interpretation of the philosophy of history of that century whose developments come well into our present XXI century forcing our future generations to become protagonists in the drama of our times: We must choose between the “civilization of love” or that of hatred; we must choose between the “culture of life” or the “culture of death” as the great options that will define our own collective history!
Fatima provides an interpretation of God’s intervention on the COLLECTIVE HISTORY of men and women of the XX and XXI centuries as Lourdes provided in the XIX century the historical interpretation of God’s intervention in the INDIVIDUAL HISTORY of men and women longing for health and wellness in the midst of misery and suffering caused by sickness.

God is still needed! The fall of the Soviet Union, the collapse of the Iron Curtain in Eastern Europe and the reunification of Germany, are all great signs of the fulfillment of the Fatima prophecy: “At the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph… Russia will be converted and a time of peace will be granted to the world.” The great qualitative changes in the world at the end of the twentieth century constitute an authentic new Marian Lepanto, a great Marian triumph that occurred exactly on the same dates of liturgical Marian feasts, commemorating the spiritual victories of the Woman dressed in sun:

1. August 22, 1991: The attempt to overthrow Russian President Mikhail Gorbachov failed. The Soviet Communist Party has sealed its fate after three days of a military take over; three days of confusion and despair in which the forces of the hard core atheistic Communists confronted the forces of grandmothers and young citizens, ending in the collapse of their attempt. –Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen! 

2. December 8, 1991: It was announced publicly that the new Community of Independent States substituted the USSR, precisely when the Catholic world celebrates the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of Mary!
3. December 25, 1991: On this date, the Presidents of Russia, Ukraine and Byelorussia announced the formal dissolution of the Soviet Union. It was Christmas Day, the greatest joy in the life of the Blessed Mother, her giving birth to her only Son, the great Solemnity of Nativity Day!

4. January 1, 1992: Russia emerges as an independent state, open to religious freedom, public cult and religious practices. The new Community of Independent States recognizes the independence and sovereignty of the former Soviet republics. The Soviet Union of Marxist and atheistic republics passed away at the age of 74 years. This day the Catholic Church celebrates the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, principal Marian feast in the liturgical calendar. (The Soviet Union could not celebrate her Diamond Jubilee, that is, its 75th Anniversary. The Fatima Message could! Both began on October 1917 at the same time!)

The four major dates of the historical changes that ended an era are marked by the Marian presence, according to God’s will, the Lord of History!  The Servant of God, John Paul II, was a wonderful instrument in the hands of God to comply with the petitions of Our Lady of Fatima, including the entrustment of Russia and the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in union with all the bishops of the Catholic world and those of the Orthodox Church who united with them. By this collegial consecration of March 25, 1984, the Universal Church complied with the desires of Our Lady of Fatima, who prescribed this act of collegiality among the bishops of the world to convert Russia and many sinners and bring an era of peace to earth. Just six years later, the world would see the great qualitative changes in the political map of Europe without the shedding of blood!

The great efforts and contributions of Pope John Paul’s crusade to fulfill the Fatima prophesy are most remarkable: The fall of atheistic communism in Eastern Europe, beginning with Poland, the Pope’s Motherland; the collapse of the Soviet Union and its regime, without bloodshed; the openness of the old Communist countries to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and religious freedom; the prevention of a disastrous nuclear war that could have happened between 1985-1986, according to some disclosed documents of the intelligence agencies and the correspondence of Sister Lucia with the Holy Father; the fall of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of Germany; an end to the old Cold War and the opening of a new era of collaboration and better understanding between nations. The contributions of Pope John Paul II to these achievements are of the greatest magnitude.  These changes in the world can be labeled as “the Great Miracle of the twentieth century”. Such GRACE AND MERCY coming through Fatima should have produced in the hearts of people the most profound gratitude to the Lord of History who saved the the world from terrible threats of war and destruction! That gratitude should have moved the people hearts to the conversion of many sinners!

Although there were great improvements in removing the malignant structures that prevented whole societies to believe, love and serve God, it is also true that many more people have ignored the great GRACE AND MERCY granted from heaven.
But humanity is free to follow God or to walk away from His path. At present, the world is submerged into a spiritual and moral crisis. Pope John Paul II, illuminated by the Holy Spirit, foresaw the present crisis and launched precisely from the Shrine of Fatima the encyclical letter “Centesimus annus” commemorating the 100 years of the encyclical letter “Rerum Novarum” by Pope Leo XIII. The social doctrine of the Church and the New Evangelization are offered by Pope John Paul II as the needed instruments to build a new world after the collapse of the Iron Curtain. It is essential to substitute the oppressive structures of the materialistic and atheistic societies of with the “civilization of love” taught by the Gospel of Jesus Christ, acquiring the values and lifestyle of Christian life. The world must be re-evangelized. God must be at the center of cultures and civilization. God must be first! God has the primacy!


Many Catholics, including those with a cultural formation and knowledge of the theology and spirituality of the Church, despise the Social Doctrine as a mere assistance activity to help the poor and the disabled. They forget that the principal role of the Church is the practice of CHARITY. Precisely, there is no spirituality without charity. God himself is charity, according to the First Epistle of St. John: 4:8.

Charity is the basis for Divine Liturgy. The Eucharistic Sacrifice is pure charity. The Holy Communion is absolute charity. Divine Office, the official prayer of the Church is charity in its maximum expression. Thus, charity is the core of authentic spirituality! Spirituality without charity is an empty devotional practice not acceptable to God! It is a mere exercise of egocentric individualism.

Then, charity projects to all members of human societies, inspiring justice and fair distribution of goods according to the needs of our brothers and sisters.

Human ideologies with atheistic background and totalitarianism can not forge the New World. Their oppressive structures were the cause of great suffering and lack of authentic democracy and personal freedom for millions of people throughout the world.

On the other hand, an ideology, expressed in its version of savage ambition for profits and luxuries, can not serve as model. It would be like replacing one monster’s head with another, but still the same dragon. Materialism is not only dialectic, it can also be pragmatic, that of consumerism. Pope John Paul II understood from the beginning that this should not be a political competition between systems. The savage ambition of a system could not serve to rebuild the world since it will plunge people to a spiritual and moral crisis, substituting God’s primacy with greed, goods consumption and unfair distribution of riches. At the end, such system will end in pragmatic atheism, a different head of the same monster of Materialism.


On May 21, 2010, Pope Benedict XVI attended a concert in honor of his birthday and the anniversary of his election as Pope, offered by the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, Kirill I. In his address at that occasion, the Holy Father said how deep in these musical works is the soul of the Russian people and therewith the Christian faith. The musical heritage of Russian tradition in some way creates encounter, dialogue and synergy between East and West, between tradition and modernity. The Pope said:
“It was of just such a unified and harmonious vision of Europe that the Venerable John Paul II was thinking when, referring to the image of the ‘two lungs’ suggested by Vjaceslav Ivanovic Ivanov, he expressed his hope in a renewed awareness of the continent’s profound and shared cultural and religious roots, without which today’s Europe would be deprived of a soul or, at least, victim of a reduced and partial vision.”

The Holy Father added: “Modern culture, particularly in Europe, runs the risk of amnesia, of forgetting and thus abandoning the extraordinary heritage aroused and inspired by Christian faith, which is the essential framework of the culture of Europe… Today too these roots are alive and fruitful in East and West, and can inspire a new humanism…to respond to the numerous and sometimes crucial challenges that our Christian communities and societies have to face: first among them, that of secularism, which not only impels us to ignore God and His designs, but ends up by denying the very dignity of human beings, in view of a society regulated only by selfish interests”

Pope Benedict XVI concluded: “Let us again let Europe breathe with both lungs, restore a soul not only to believers, but to all peoples of the continent, promote trust and hope, rooting them in the millennial experience of the Christian faith. THE COHERENT, GENEROUS AND COURAGEOUS WITNESS OF BELIEVERS MUST NOT NOW BE LACKING, so that together we may look to our shared future, a future in which the freedom and dignity of all men and women are recognized as a fundamental value, in which openness to the Transcendent, the experience of faith, is recognized as an essential element of the human being.”

To secularism we must oppose the witnessing of believers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all, proclaiming that God is first, speaking about the rights of God as Creator and Redeemer to humanity. This is the great call of the Message of Fatima, capable of providing a religious experience that can transform the human heart as it transformed the hearts of Blessed Jacinta and Francisco and Venerable Sister Lucia. We should focus on the formation of leaders that will guide our communities and societies to construct the Kingdom of God on earth, a new civilization of love so much needed to attain peace and happiness.


When the Holy Father, Benedict XVI received participants to the twenty-fourth plenary assembly of the Pontifical Council for the Laity on May 21, 2010, he invited them to reflect on the theme: “Witnesses to Christ in the political community”.

The Pope told them that, although the “technical formation of politicians” is not part of the Church’s mission, she reserves the right to “pass moral judgment in those matters which regard public order when the fundamental rights of the person or the salvation of souls require it”.

Christ’s disciples in our days must accomplish the great threefold mission, to defeat “the spread of a confused relativism, and of a utilitarian and hedonistic individualism (that) weakens democracy and favors the dominance of strong powers”:

  1. “It is up to the lay faithful to show –in their personal and family life, in social cultural and political life- that the faith enables them to read reality in a new and profound way, and to transform it”, said the Pope.
  2. “It is also the duty of the laity to participate actively in the political life, in a manner coherent with the teaching of the Church, bringing their well-founded reasoning and great ideals into the democratic debate, and into the search for a broad consensus among everyone who cares about the defense of life and freedom, the protection of truth and the good of the family, solidarity with the needy and the vital search for the common good”.
  3. The Holy Father went on: “There is the need for authentically Christian politicians but, even more so, for lay faithful who bear witness to Christ and the Gospel in the civil and political community. This need must be reflected in the educational prospectus of the ecclesial community and requires new forms of presence and support from pastors, Christian membership of associations, ecclesial movements and new communities can be a good school for such disciples and witnesses, supported by the charismatic, community, educational and missionary resources of those groups”.


Pope Benedict XVI in his recent visitation to the Shrine of Fatima, on May 13th, 2010, insisted that all communities must live the Message of Fatima since all communities are called by this message to repent and do penance, to convert to Jesus Christ and abandon the evil spirit and his worldly deeds as was promised in our baptism. The World Apostolate of Fatima, an international public association of the faithful has as its charisma the formation of lay people in the New Evangelization using as instrument the authentic Message of Fatima. This is the educational prospectus of our association, to carry on this mission enriching the ecclesial community with a new vision for our families in the present times of confusion and uncertainty. As Pope Benedict XVI said at Fatima: “DO NOT BE AFRAID TO TALK OF GOD!” The great challenge of our times is “the separation and the opposition between secularism and the culture of faith…something anomalous...must be transcended. The present moment is for the two to come together, and in this way to discover its true identity.”

The world must renew its spiritual and apostolic zeal, accepting the Gospel of Christ in its entirety and witnessing with passion the experience of charity, the religious experience of God’s mystery, that light shed from the Immaculate Heart of Mary at Fatima, which was God himself, transforming the hearts of the three little shepherds of Fatima. The experience of God’s love to humanity will transform also the hearts of the African continent with the ever new, everlasting power of Jesus Christ Risen from the dead! Suffering, anguish and death are all overcome by the power of the Risen One! This is the great existential lesson of the Fatima Message for all!


As the traditional procession marking the end of the month of May 2010, month devoted to Our Blessed Mother, took place in the Vatican Gardens, the Holy Father Benedict XVI remarked: “By its nature, the Church is called to proclaim the Gospel everywhere and at all times, to spread the faith to every man and woman and to every culture.”

He continued: “Mary remained with Elizabeth for three months to offer her loving nearness, concrete assistance and all the everyday services that were needed… and Mary, -who called herself ‘the handmaid of the Lord’- made herself the servant of mankind. More specifically, she served the Lord whom she encountered in her brothers and sisters.
It should be noted that ‘Mary’s charity’ is not limited to concrete assistance but achieves its highest form in bestowing Jesus himself, in ‘making him present’”, the Pope said.

The Holy Father continued: “THIS IS THE HEART AND THE HEIGHT OF THE EVANGELICAL MISSION. THIS IS THE TRUE MEANING AND THE MOST GENUINE PURPOSE OF EVERY MISSIONARY PATH: TO OFFER HUMAN BEINGS THE LIVING AND PERSONAL GOSPEL, WHICH IS THE LORD JESUS HIMSELF. Jesus is the true and only treasure that we have to give humanity. Today’s men and women have a profound longing for Him, including when it seems they are ignoring or rejecting Him. The society we live in, Africa the entire world has a great need of Him.”

The World Apostolate of Fatima, Region of Africa, has been entrusted with this extraordinary responsibility: To live with joy and devotion the experience of the mystery of God, Jesus Himself, shared with us by the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Fatima. Through meditative prayer, daily sanctification of our duties, Eucharistic Reparation and the entrustment to God through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the members of the World Apostolate of Fatima use the Plan designed by Our Lady to bring humanity closer to her Divine Son by softening the human heart with Grace and Mercy!

The World Apostolate of Fatima must contribute to reinforce the bond between the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the African cultural identity. As Christians, this is our duty!

Pope Benedict XVI declared during the commemoration of Saints Cyril and Methodius on the month of May, 2010: “In moments of trial and joy they felt that God accompanied them daily experiencing His love and that of their brethren. We too understand that when we feel loved by the Lord, and know that we return this love, we are enveloped and guided by His grace in everything we do. Thanks to the effusion of the multiple gifts of the Holy Spirit, the more we know we are loved and give ourselves to others, the more that Spirit will come in our succor of our weaknesses, opening new roads for our activities.”  

It is this experience of God’s love that can transform the routine of apostolic endeavors into something new and exciting. We feel that we are contributing to Christ’s efforts to salvation of men and women, we feel united with the Holy Spirit, fulfilling Christ’s mission on earth through the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Then, what was not possible according to human standards is now possible and accessible since love transforms all things, bringing joy and happiness in the midst of trials and sufferings.


On May 22, 2010, the Holy Father Benedict XVI pronounced a speech to the “Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice Foundation” stating: “Today, more than ever, the human family can grow as a free society of free peoples so long as globalization is guided by solidarity and the common good and by social justice, all of which find a precious wellspring in the message of Christ and of the Church. The common good is the goal that gives meaning to progress and development, which otherwise would be limited only to the production of material goods. These goods are necessary, but without the orientation to the common good, consumerism, waste, poverty and inequality come to prevail, which are negative factors for progress and development.”

Today’s moment in history presents the terrible financial crisis of the more developed countries, specifically more profound in the United States of America and Europe, due to the wrong decisions made to embrace a war in Iraq and not limiting the greed and avarice of the finance stock and mortgage markets that threatens whole nations to bankruptcy. The irresponsible speculation of so many should have been restricted by politics that must have primacy over finance and by ethics that must be the guiding force for them all.

After all, this is what happens when humanity turns to the old ways of the Babel Tower, pretending to have access to heaven without God; that is, pretending to obtain happiness and glory eradicating God from human public life. But this is not possible. When human beings pretend to act as if God does not exist, they are abandoned to their own luck ending in humiliation and despair. Should America and Europe learn the lesson from history, from its two great wars of the twentieth century, from its Cold War, from the collapse of the Western economies?

Pope Benedict XVI stated: “The fundamental priority for the development of the entire family of peoples, however, is to strive to recognize the true scale of goods and values. The notion of integral human development presupposes such things as subsidiarity and solidarity, and interdependence between State, society and the market. In a global society
made up of many different peoples and religions, the common good and integral development must be achieved with everyone’s contribution. Religions have a crucial role to play in this, especially when they teach fraternity and peace. THE EXCLUSION OF RELIGION FROM PUBLIC LIFE –AND AT THE OTHER EXTREME, RELIGIOUS FUNDAMENTALISM – HINDERS AND ENCOUNTER BETWEEN PERSONS AND THEIR COLLABORATION FOR THE PROGRESS OF HUMANITY. PUBLIC LIFE IS SAPPED OF ITS MOTIVATION AND POLITICS BECOMES DOMINEERING AND AGGRESSIVE”.

The Message of Fatima insists on three main teachings in the same direction as the papal teachings of the encyclical letter:

  1. God is first! He must be at the center of human life. All things orbit around His laws and commandments. This is the primacy of God!
  2. The fate of nations, the fate of the world, has been entrusted to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. We must pray to her Immaculate Heart to obtain world peace. This is God’s will.
  3. The collapse of the Soviet Union, the openness of Eastern Europe to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the reunification of Germany and the fall of the Berlin Wall, signs of the beginning of the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary promised at Fatima, are a great grace from Heaven that must be completed by the European efforts to build new societies based on the “civilization of love” principles, the “globalization of solidarity” in a world full of greed and exploitation, as the papal doctrine teaches.


We must strive to put God again at the center of public life by building a civilization of love and peace, a culture of life, the Christian values portrayed by the great philosopher Saint Augustine, an African, Father of the Church, Father of Europe and of the Western Civilization. It is Saint Augustine who focused on the role of religious experience and its significance in providing the human heart with peace and happiness. It is precisely Saint Augustine the object of Joseph Ratzinger’s doctoral thesis, whose symbol appears in the papal coat of arms, for he considers himself a disciple of the Bishop of Hippo. And by Divine Providence, it is Saint Augustine the patron saint of the Diocese of Leiria-Fatima.
I must confide you that the great Saint Augustine, the most prolific writer in history and the most quoted author of them all, must recover his role in thought as provider of the great experience of God in the human heart, the awesome psychological traits of interior life and his role in the interpretation of history.

In the “City of God”, Saint Augustine begins the philosophy of history with the great drama of the century, the confrontation between the forces of the Redeemer and the force of the Antichrist, competing to govern the human heart. But charity, true and perfect love, triumphs over. The African Doctor of the Church teaches it all.

In the Message of Fatima, “the Woman dressed in sun” confronts the red dragon and defeats it by the power of her Divine Son. The spiritual Mother of humanity promises a great triumph of her Immaculate Heart to bring an era of peace to all. And as St. Augustine is the master of Conversion and the great teacher of the most sacred mystery of Christianity, the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity, we see that the key and central topic of the Message of Fatima is the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity revealed to the three little children while the great call of the Message is that of Conversion: Conversion to God, “metanoia”, a transformation of the ‘old creature’ to the ‘new one’ dressed in Christ’s grace and mercy.


At the Solemnity of Pentecost on May 23rd, 2010, Pope Benedict stated: “At Pentecost, the Holy Spirit appeared as fire. How different this fire was from that of wars and bombs…from the fires ignited by dictators of all ages, even last century, which left behind them only scorched earth. The flame of the Holy Spirit burns but does not injure, and yet it achieves a transformation…However, this effect of the divine fire scares us, we are afraid of being ‘scalded’ and would prefer to remain as we are. This depends on the fact that our lives often follow a logic of having, of possession and not of giving… On the one hand we want to be with Jesus to follow Him closely, on the other we are afraid of the consequences this brings”.

The Holy Father said: “We must be able to recognize that losing something, losing ourselves for the true God, the God of love and life is in fact a gain, it means rediscovering oneself more fully. Those who entrust themselves to Jesus experience peace  and joy of heart, already in this life, things the world cannot give, and cannot take away once God has given them to us.


 The continent of Africa must use her spiritual reserves to transform the great collective pain and suffering caused by many wars, conflicts and the great inequalities and injustices in the past and present crisis. I must say that of theses crisis the worst is the crisis of identity, where many have lost a great amount of their cultural, spiritual and moral values. Africa needs the fire of the Holy Spirit, a fire which is Perfect Love, Charity, the only force capable of redeeming.

The mystery of Pentecost is essential to the Church. There is no Church without Pentecost. The Holy Spirit descended over the Apostles praying at the Cenacle with the Blessed Mother Mary. The Church was “baptized” that day. The Holy Father said: “The Church lives constantly in the effusion of the Holy Spirit without which she would exhaust her energies like a sailing ship without wind. Pentecost is renewed especially in certain particularly intense moments, both at the local and universal level, in small assemblies and in great gatherings. Yet, the Church experiences countless ‘Pentecosts’ which enliven local communities: the liturgies, especially those experienced at special moments in community life, in which the power of God is perceived particularly clearly, infusing souls with joy and enthusiasm. Thus, there is no Church without Pentecost. And I would like to add, there is no Pentecost without the Virgin Mary. So, it was at the beginning, in the Cenacle… So it is always, in all places and times. I myself witnessed as much a few days ago in Fatima, Portugal. What did that immense multitude experience on the esplanade of the shrine, if not a renewed Pentecost? This is the experience typical of the great Marian shrines and of the smaller ones. WHEREVER CHRISTIANS COME TOGETHER IN PRAYER WITH MARY, THE LORD GIVES HIS SPIRIT.”

Fatima, we may say, is the Marian Pentecost in our times. Through Fatima, the Holy Spirit has given a Message to the world. The sins of the world have terrible consequences; War, crimes, hunger, destruction of nations, persecutions against the Church and the Holy Father, damnation of poor sinners… Precisely during his recent pilgrimage on May 2010 to the Fatima Shrine, the Holy Father, entrusted to Our Lady of Fatima the solution of the terrible moral and spiritual problem of the sexual abuses of children by members of the clergy in some countries, an abomination that has much to do with the prophesies by Blessed Jacinta Marto about the sins against purity and the many souls condemned to hell because of them.

The triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary promised at Fatima had begun already. It is a difficult process that can be hastened or delayed, enhanced or diminished accordingly with our correspondence with grace and mercy. As the miracle of the sun was diminished because God was so much offended by the kidnapping of the three little shepherds of Fatima by the local authorities of the government of Vila Nova de Ourem; the triumph of            the Immaculate Heart of Mary, begun with collapse of the Soviet Union, can also be affected by our correspondence with grace.  But we must have faith and hope. I believe in a new springtime for the world. As the great Saint John Bosco, Marian prophet and precursor of the Fatima Message prophesied, there will be a new Marian Pentecost in the first third of the XXI century bringing a new springtime to the Church and the triumph of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

In Africa, the Bishops of the Catholic Church have celebrated several synods on the Evangelization of the continent, guided by the Holy Spirit and the Successor of Peter, the Holy Father. The Servant of God, John Paul II and his successor, Pope Benedict XVI had launched the great challenge of the New Evangelization of our cultures and civilizations as the only way to establish God’s Kingdom on earth. The diocesan bishops have the charisma to judge the charismas, that is, to discern what is good and what is bad for their flock, as the Holy Spirit governs the Church. Let us follow their indications in communion with the Holy Father. Let us discover the tremendous role of the Message of Fatima for the success of this unique mission of evangelization. Let us put our trust in He who has triumphed over suffering, anguish and death. Let us entrust ourselves and our families to the Prince of Peace, Lord of History, who lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen.
                           JOHN PAUL II, BELOVED SON OF OUR LADY OF FATIMA

                                     By: Prof. Américo Pablo López-Ortiz
                                            International President of the World Apostolate of Fátima

Pope Benedict XVI will celebrate the tenth anniversary of the beatification of Blessed Jacinta and Francisco Marto with a pilgrimage to the Shrine of Fátima on May 13, 2010.
Ten years ago, the Servant of God, John Paul II, the Great, beatified the little shepherds of Fátima in a public ceremony before an audience of more than one million pilgrims and many more millions of the faithful through satellite television. At the end of the liturgical   ceremony, the third part of the secret of Fátima was revealed to the world by Angelo Cardinal Sodano, Secretary of State of the Vatican, following the desire of the Holy Father, John Paul II.

Sister Lucia wrote that during the Apparition of July 13, 1917, the three little shepherds of Fátima saw “a bishop dressed in white who, half trembling, with halting step, afflicted by pain and sorrow, crossed, together with other bishops, priests, men and women religious, a great city in ruins, praying for the souls of the dead that he found on the way and (he) climbed up a steep mountain, on whose summit was a cross at whose foot he was killed.”

 Pope John Paul II recognized himself as the Bishop of Rome “dressed in white.” He suffered an assassination attempt on the 13th of May, 1981, the feast of Our Lady of Fátima and anniversary of her first apparition. The Pope survived the attack as a maternal hand deviate the bullet. In his autobiography, “Crossing the threshold of Hope”,  John Paul II wrote that at the moment of the assassination attempt, he felt  spiritually carried to the Shrine of Fátima where Our Lady covered him in her mantle as he felt protected and saved by Divine Providence. It was a true miracle the saving of his life to serve the See of Peter and the world for many years to come. As the Bishop of Fátima, Don Alberto Cosme do Amaral, announced in his welcome address of John Paul II to the Shrine of Fátima on the 12th of May, 1982, this assassination attempt marked a change in the course of history, marking the Holy Father himself with the shed of blood of martyrdom, as he offered his life with Christ as a victim for the salvation of the world at the time he better understood his personal vocation and mission on earth: “Totus tuus” (All yours, Blessed Mother.)

Thus, the Holy Father, summoned by the Message of Fátima and its third part of the secret, which he read and meditated while still recovering at the Gemelli Clinic in Rome, began a great crusade that changed the face of earth: Through calling all Christians to prayer, especially children and young people, Christianity endorsed his agenda of international meetings to urge the New Evangelization of our cultures and societies; his encyclical letters to offer guidelines to the Church; the new Universal Catechism to clarify the doctrinal teachings of the Church to the world; the new code of Canon Law; the pastoral plan for the third millennium of Christianity.

The Holy Spirit guided him in an era of weakness and terrible confusion as to offer fortitude and authentic truth with tremendous power: “Do not have fear!” John Paul II was convinced of his mission as he put into practice the Message of Fátima and its urgent calls, devoting himself to comply with the petitions of Our Lady of Fátima. On March 25, 1984, John Paul II presided the collegial consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, in union with all the bishops of the Catholic world and those of the Orthodox Church who united with him, complying the desires of Our Lady of Fátima who prescribed this act of collegiality among the bishops of the world to convert Russia and many sinners and bring an era of peace to earth. In this same place of the collegial consecration, St. Peter’s Square, the Holy Father had shed his blood in a 13th of May, feast of Our Lady of Fátima and date of her first apparition! Just six years later, the world would see the great qualitative changes occurring in the political map of the world without the shedding of blood! The entrustment of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary was made before the statue of Our Lady of Fatima brought from her Shrine in Portugal to Rome just for the occasion!

The great achievements of the Pope’s crusade: The fall of atheistic communism in Eastern Europe, beginning with Poland, his motherland; the collapse of the Soviet Union and its regime, without bloodshed; the openness of these Communist countries to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and religious freedom; the prevention of a disastrous nuclear war that could have happened between 1985-1986, according to some disclosed documents of the intelligence agencies; the fall of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of Germany;
an end to the Cold War and the opening of a new era of collaboration and better understanding between nations. The contributions of Pope John Paul II to these achievements are of the greatest magnitude. These changes can be labeled as “the Great Miracle of the XX century”, indeed the new Great Marian Lepanto at the end of the XX century, announced by St. John Bosco, Marian Prophet and Precursor of the Message of Fátima.

On the 13th of July, 1917, Our Lady of Fátima said to the three little shepherds: “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.”

Saint Augustine, Patron Saint of Leiría-Fátima, taught that a certain degree of predestination exists. The link between John Paul II and Fátima is truly supernatural.
Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina, Spiritual Father of the World Apostolate of Fátima, (formerly the Blue Army of Our Lady of Fátima) met at San Giovanni Rotondo a young priest, named Karol Wojtyla, a student in Rome at the moment, during Easter vacation in 1948. Their conversation marked the Polish youngster forever. Padre Pio saw Wojtyla dressed as Pope with blood stains on his white cassock.

Then, in 1962, Wojtyla, then a bishop participating in the Second Vatican Council, wrote a letter to Padre Pio, asking his prayers for the cure of his collaborator, Dr. Wanda Poltawska, who suffered from a serious tumor. She was miraculously cured and eleven days later, Bishop Wojtyla wrote a second letter to Padre Pio thanking him for his prayers that granted such a great grace from heaven. Angelo Battisti, an employee of the Secretariat of State of the Vatican offered the testimony that when he read to Padre Pio the letter from Bishop Wojtyla, Padre Pio  said: “Angiolino, one cannot say no to this”, because of the great importance that Karol Wojtyla, the future Pope John Paul II, have for the Church.     

The great signs of our time are those that we need to see to comprehend reality in its full sense. We must pray to the Holy Spirit to be able to see the signs of time, as the Holy Scripture says in order to discover God’s voice behind the signs! These great events in history occurred on the dates of Marian solemnities in the liturgical calendar of the Catholic Church. Let us see the chronology:

  1. The attempt to overthrow President Mikhail Gorbachov failed. The Communist Party had sealed its fate after three days of a military take over; three days of confusion and despair in which the forces of the hard core atheistic Communists confronted the forces of grandmothers and young citizens, ending in the collapse of their attempt. August 22, 1991 – Feast of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary!
  1. The Soviet Union ceased to exist on December 8, 1991 when the Catholic world
celebrates the Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord; the greatest joy in the life of a mother, her giving birth to her only Son. In this same day of 1991, the Presidents of Russia, Ukraine and Byelorussia announced the formal dissolution of the Soviet Union. It was Christmas Day!

  1. Russia emerges as an independent state, open to religious freedom, democracy,
public cult and religious practices. The new Community of Independent States
recognizes the independence and sovereignty of the former Soviet republics.
The Soviet Union of Marxist and atheistic republics is dead. The passing away of this materialistic state is dated on January 1, 1992 at the age of 74. This day, the Catholic Church celebrates the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, principal Marian feast in the liturgical calendar. (The Soviet Union could not celebrate her Diamond Jubilee, that is, its 75th Anniversary. Fátima could! Both began on October of 1917 at the same time!) As Josef Stalin once said: “How many divisions (of an army) has the Pope?” The lesson to remind in our collective memory: Military force is nothing before God’s power and mighty!

Are these coincidences?  The three major dates of the historical changes that ended an era are marked by the Marian presence, according to God’s will, the Lord of History!

John Paul II was a wonderful instrument in the hands of God to comply with the petitions of Our Lady of Fátima and her prophesy on the triumph of her Immaculate Heart and this is why he deserves the title of the Fátima Pope. .

The triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary has begun already. There are many obstacles on the way. It is true that the triumph might be diminished or expanded according to our response to God’s grace and mercy. The correspondence with grace may hasten or delay her triumph. The triumph is a gradual process of highs and lows. But at the end, a new era of peace and hope will be granted to humanity through the Kingdom of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, a new Marian Pentecost, a new springtime for the Church!

Today, we may have the great storms and trials. But “do not be afraid.” Thanks to the life and legacy of John Paul II, humanity has a bright future again. Let us be proactive as the great John Paul II was. Let us see the great changes occurred in Russia, her children and young people longing for a religious experience, praying publicly in their classrooms and public meetings, having crucifixes and icons of Our Lady in public schools and buildings,
rebuilding churches and monasteries to be handed to the Church, or building a Marian Shrine at Kazan with public funds to be used by the Orthodox, Catholic and Moslem communities to venerate the most sacred icon of Russia! (The same one venerated at the International House of the WAF in its Byzantine chapel for many years and returned to Russia as was the desire of the Servant of God, John Paul II.) We must exercise our collective memory to prevent the great sin of omission, to prevent been ungrateful to the Good Lord and His Grace and Mercy!

The Servant of God rendered a service to the Church and fulfilled his mission on this earth in one of the longest pontificates in history and perhaps the greatest since the days of Saint Peter.  Indeed, John Paul II was a beloved son of Our Lady of Fátima. His successor, Pope Benedict XVI, his loyal collaborator for so many years, who explained for the Church the third part of the secret of Fatima, carries brilliantly the legacy of Pope John Paul II into this XXI century. For this he will have to suffer much but we will accompany him, “climbing up a steep mountain on whose summit is a cross.”
 The Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel
800 years ago St. Dominic, founder
of the Dominicans, made this prophecy:
"One Day, Through The Rosary And
Scapular, She Will Save The World"
The Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel is a great gift from heaven. Our Lady wanted to signify her spiritual motherhood over mankind. The Brown Scapular is the sign of that spiritual motherhood. Our Lady was made Spiritual Mother of mankind by her Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, at the Cross on Good Friday. There, John, the Apostle, the preferred disciple of Jesus, received her in his heart and at his home, as Jesus gave him His Beloved Mother to look after her as He was about to die. The Church sees in St. John the image of mankind as all good Christians invested in the Brown Scapular should become like John, other preferred disciples of Jesus. Mother Mary wants us to become her preferred children too and the Brown Scapular is the sign of that beautiful spiritual motherhood and of our entrustment to her Immaculate Heart. Let us proclaim to the world that we are the children of Mary, the beloved disciples of Jesus Christ!

Q. What is the Brown Scapular?
A. The Brown Scapular is a sacramental, a sign of faith.  It is part of the habit of Carmel. In miniature form, it consists of two small pieces of brown material connected by string and worn over the shoulders. The Carmelite Order, to which the scapular belongs, originated on Mount Carmel in the Holy Land near the cave of Elijah the Prophet, who was the inspiration of the early members of Carmel. During the last apparition at Fatima (October 13, 1917), the Blessed Mother held in her hand a Brown Scapular while she presented herself as Our Lady of Mount Carmel. When asked why Our Lady held it, Sr. Lucia answered, “….because she wants everyone to wear the scapular… because it is our sign of consecration to Her Immaculate Heart”.

Q. What is the history of the Scapular?
A. Let us proclaim to the world that we are the children of Mary, the beloved disciples of Christ by using devoutly the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel! St. Simon Stock, General of the Carmelite Order, was the man God chose to accomplish great work in his Order. About 1251, when difficulties seemed insurmountable, Simon had recourse to Mary, who he loved. According to tradition, she appeared to him and made the scapular of the Carmelite habit a sign of her special love and a pledge of her motherly protection, saying:
            “This shall be to you and all Carmelites a privilege,that anyone who dies clothed in this shall not suffer eternal fire; and if wearing it they die, they shall be saved”.

            Catholic theology explains the promise to mean that anyone dying in Mary's family (Carmelite Order or Scapular Confraternity) will receive from her, at the hour of death, either the grace of perseverance in the state of grace or the grace of final contrition.
            The wearing of the scapular must be understood to mean that one is striving earnestly to live up to all Christian ideals. It does not take the place of the Church's sacraments, but is an outward sign of inward commitment to virtue and Christian piety, under the patronage of Mary.
            Saints and Pontiffs have often warned us of the folly of abusing Mary's promise. At the same time Pope Pius XI joyfully professed: “I learned to love the Scapular Virgin in the arms of my mother”, he also warned the faithful that “…although it is very true that the Blessed Virgin loves all who love her, nevertheless those who wish to have the Blessed Mother as a helper at the hour of death, must in life merit such a signal favor by abstaining from sin and laboring in her honor”.
            To lead a willfully sinful life while trusting in the scapular promise is to commit a sin of presumption.

Q. What is the Sabbatine Privilege? How does it relate to the scapular?
A. The Church permits it to be said that those who faithfully wear the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel after being enrolled in the Scapular Confraternity, observe chastity for their state in life and daily recite the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary will be released from purgatory, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, soon after death, and especially on Saturday (Sabbatine). All priests have the faculty to permit the substitution of the daily Rosary or some other prayers for the daily recitation of the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This Sabbatine Privilege has been supported by Pope Paul V in the seventeenth century as well as by Popes Benedict XV and Pius XI in the twentieth century.
            For the members of the World Apostolate of Fatima, the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary automatically gets substituted for the Rosary.

Q. What are the conditions for the Sabbatine Privilege?
A. The conditions for the Sabbatine Privilege are: (1) Wear the Brown Scapular faithfully; (2) Observe chastity according to one's state in life; (3) Say the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary which has been substituted for Rosary for all those who make the Pledge and become members of WAF. (4) Live a Christian life of prayer and penance.

Q. What is the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary?
A. TheLittle Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary is an ancient prayer of the Church, consisting mostly of psalms and hymns commemorating the role of Mary in the great mysteries of our Faith. It is arranged according to the eight hours of the liturgical office, and requires from forty-five minutes to an hour. It is recited daily by many orders of sisters and brothers.
Q. Do I simply begin wearing the Brown Scapular, or must I be invested in it first?
A. To obtain the full benefit of the Brown Scapular devotion, one must be validly invested in the Brown Scapular. The investiture “enrolls” the wearer in the Confraternity of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
            A Catholic can be invested in the Brown Scapular by a priest, using the Scapular Ritual for Priests in which the scapular is blessed.  Once invested, you are invested until death. A Scapular Ritual for Priests, which also has a special blessing for the scapular, is available for priests from the World Apostolate of Fatima upon request. In many places, it is traditional to invest children in the Brown Scapular on the day of their Baptism or First Holy Communion.

Q. May a layperson receive the faculty for investing others in the Brown Scapular?
A. Only priests are permitted to invest someone in the Brown Scapular.

Q. May a non-Catholic wear the Brown Scapular?
A. Yes, and in so doing, a non-Catholic will receive many graces and blessings with this special sign of devotion to the Mother of God. Although baptized Catholics are the only one who can be officially invested in the Brown Scapular Confraternity and share in the special scapular privileges, non-Catholics are warmly encouraged to avail themselves to this special way of honoring Jesus' Mother.

Q. I was once invested in the Brown Scapular but have failed to wear it for some time. Must I be reinvested in order to derive the scapular benefits?
A. Membership in the Confraternity is not forfeited by merely laying aside the scapular. One need only begin wearing it again.

Q. How should I wear the Brown Scapular?
A. The scapular is a habit; Our Lady's habit. The scapular is worn over the shoulders in such a manner that one part hangs in front of the body and the other in back. It is usually worn under one's outer clothing but not necessarily next to the skin. It can be carried next to your body, as long as you carry it on your person. Members of the WAF are encouraged to wear it over their neck to witness their Faith. The scapular may be enclosed in some sort of case:  metal or plastic,provided the case does not prevent the scapular material from being attached to the braid or chain. A deteriorated scapular should be burned or buried; any metal or plastic covering may be discarded. The new scapular must be blessed before using it.

Q. Must the Brown Scapular be made of wool?
A. At one time, this was a requirement. However, Carmelite regulations now permit the scapular to be made from any suitable brown material.

Q. May I substitute the Scapular Medal for the cloth Scapular?
A. While the Scapular Medal enjoys all the privileges granted to those wearing the cloth scapular (except for the partial indulgence for kissing the scapular granted by Pope Benedict XV), the substitution of the medal for the cloth should only be made for a good and serious reason. St. Pius X insisted that he “…did not intend that the Scapular Medal should supplant the Brown Scapular in Europe and America”. He said, “I wear the cloth; let us never take it off”.

Q. There are many different scapulars. Why does the World Apostolate of Fatima promote the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel?
A. The World Apostolate of Fatima promotes the Brown Scapular because it is the sign of our personal consecration to God through the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Also, because of the tremendous privileges granted to those who faithfully use it as a sign of their efforts to come closer to God by living a Christian life. Those privileges are protection in this life, at the hour of death a promise of salvation (either by the grace of perseverance or by the grace of final contrition) and after death, the maternal promise of Mary to bring us to heaven as soon as possible. In addition, Our Lady appeared at Fatima on October 13, 1917 as Our Lady of Mt. Carmel to show us the way to spiritual perfection.
            The Ritual of Investiture admits the one being invested to a participation “in all the Masses, prayers and good works performed by the religious of Mount Carmel”. This participation, plus the great promise of salvation and the privileges offered give an unspeakable spiritual value to the Brown Scapular devotion.
            In 1950, Pope Pius XII wrote the now-famous words concerning the scapular: “Let it be your sign of consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, which We are particularly urging in these perilous times”.
            On 17th July 2011, Pope Benedict XVI referred to wearing the scapular as a "particular sign of union with Jesus and Mary," when he addressed Polish-speaking pilgrims gathered at the papal summer residence in Castel Gandolfo to pray the midday Angelus. "For those who wear it, it is a sign of filial abandonment to the protection of the Immaculate Virgin," he said. "In our battle against evil, may Mary, our Mother wrap us in her mantle."

NihilObstat: In accordance with Canon 827 of the New Code of Canon Law, this publication has been  submitted to the censor of the Archdiocese of San Juan, Puerto Rico, Msgr. Fernando Felices, and nothing has been found contrary to the faith and morals, we hereby grant permission in accordance with canon 824 that it may be published. +H. E. Roberto O. Gonzalez Nieves, O.F.M., Archbishop of San Juan, Puerto Rico, dated 4th November 2011.
N.B.: The ecclesiastical permission implies nothing more than the material contained in this publication has been examined by the diocesan censors and nothing contrary to faith and morals has been found therein.

Apostolado Mundial de Fátima
Secretariado Internacional
Rua S. Vicente Paulo, 32  ANEXO
Apartado 1, 2495-438 Fátima, Portugal
Tel: 00351 249 539 865 Fax: 00351 249 539 864


God is love! God is also a family! We usually think about the Holy Family of Nazareth, having Jesus Christ, the Son of God, as a member. But the Most Holy Trinity is a family in a mysterious way. There is only one God, one nature, one essence but three persons for that God. Every person is different in the way it expresses its personality. The Almighty father is the first person, the Creator. The Divine Son is the second person, the Wisdom, the divine intelligence, the “Logos”. The second person has a second nature, the human nature, as He is our Savior and Redeemer. He and only He is the Word of God. The Holy Spirit is the person with the function of sanctifying our souls. The Holy Spirit is the love between the Father and the Son. This Love between the Father and the Son is so unique, so perfect and marvelous that He is the third person of the Most Holy Trinity. The Most Holy Trinity was described by St. Augustine, the greatest of the Fathers of the Church. He described the Most Holy Trinity in a symbol that will live forever:  The triangle. One area is shaped by the three sides of a triangle. The same is with the mystery of God. There is only one nature shared by the three persons but every person is special and unique; every member of the family has its own personality.

In her personality, Mary relates to each of the persons in the Most Holy Trinity in a different way. Mary is the daughter of God, the Father. Mary is the Mother of God, the Christ.  Mary is the wife of God, the Holy Spirit. These are family relations. Mary is the child of the Father; mother of the Son and spouse of the Holy Spirit. There you can find the perfect relationship of the family, seen through the beatific vision of Our Lady. She contemplates god in the Holy Mystery, in a threefold relationship, setting up the model relation of a natural human family.

Then we must state that Fatima is a message from heaven for our families, not only because of the miracle of the Sun, or because the vision of the Holy Family of Nazareth, but much more important, because of the relationship of the Blessed Virgin Mary with the Most Holy Trinity, revealed at Fatima to the three little shepherds-children.

In the vision of the 13th October, 1917, the Holy Family of Nazareth appeared in Fatima during the miracle of the Sun. Then, several apparitions occurred, one after the other. Many scholars investigating the Message of Fatima questioned why. There is an explanation: On the 13th October, 1917, the Good Lord gave us a summary of the major Catholic devotions that have contributed to the salvation of the greater number of souls in the Church: (1) Our Lady of Sorrows, (2) St Joseph with the Child Jesus; (3)the Holy Family of Nazareth. Then, a very curious one; which still has no name, is that of the image of Jesus Christ risen with luminous rays coming from his hands apart, as Sr. Lucia described in her Memoirs. This happened before the apparition of Jesus of Divine Mercy to Sister Faustina Kowalska in Poland. The devotion of Divine Mercy was not known in the world at this time. In my opinion, this apparition to the three little shepherds of Fatima is that of (4) Jesus of Divine Mercy, a devotion that would be crucial in our days to bring many souls closer to God.      

(5)Finally, Our Lady of Mount Carmel with the Child Jesus carrying the Brown Scapular in His hand. The Carmelite Spirituality has produced the greatest number of canonized saints in the history of the Universal Church and comprises the same spirituality of the Message of Fatima at the time that also served to show Lucia her way to serve God as a Carmelite nun.

These five devotions are a summary, a compendium of the best schools of spirituality in the Catholic Church that have contributed so much to bring souls closer to God. 

In the Church, sometimes we see so many competitions between apostolic movements. But God who is wise cannot divide His own creation. The people of God all share one Holy Spirit and call Him to come to their hearts, bringing unity and strength to the Church, as He complements the gifts spread between them. All charismas of the Church work to achieve a single goal: The salvation of souls for the greater glory of God. The Message of Fatima is the same. It brings in the last apparition at the Cova da iria the summary of the major Catholic devotions responsible for saving so many souls.  Because the Message of Fatima is not only for one apostolic movement, but a universal call to humanity, even to those who are not Catholic, to pray, do  penance and seek God; offering peace, hope and joy to all those that put the Message into practice.

But a special call, the most important, is given to families. The great miracle of the sun occurred so that all people might believe; this is God’s sign, His personal signature on the Fatima events for all to see and believe that authenticated the Message of Fatima. The miracle was cosmological. There is only one precedent in the Old Covenant. The people of Israel were losing their fight against the Philistines. God sent a cosmological event to change the course of this battle. The people of God defeated their enemies because of the intervention of God. Now, in the twentieth century, God intervenes to change the course of another battle, when good people were losing the fight against the forces of evil, when the terrible world wars were annihilating whole nations, when the persecution against the Church was worse than ever, producing the greater number of martyrs in that century; the Woman dressed in sun came to the battle to confront the red dragon (Book of Revelation, chapter 12) in the supernatural events occurred in Fatima, Portugal, on the 13th of October, 1917. In the twentieth century, the century of martyrs, in the century of two world wars, hundreds of millions were assassinated, the Mother of God came to Fatima to defeat the enemy of Christ, as she did before as prophesied in the of Book of Genesis, chapter 3:15, responding to God’s mandate.

In the Apparition of the 13th of October, the topic of the family is presented in the Message of Fatima, because the Blessed Virgin Mary is the spiritual Mother of humanity. As a mother, she brings to Fatima her concerns and worries on how a human family will survive this moral, social and spiritual crisis. The Mother is worried because her children are losing faith and separating themselves from God. If you look at the statue of the Immaculate Heart of Mary at Fatima, this spiritual motherhood of Mary over mankind is shown. Our Blessed Mother is barefoot as she is the Handmaid of the Lord. The statue is not crowned because it portrays this spiritual motherhood to her children; because she comes mainly as a mother not as a queen. Her hands are in this position because it represents the moment she embraces Sister Lucia consoling her of her solitude and suffering. There is physical contact between the Mother and the child seer.  

This is the same kind of physical contact that we see in the Apparition of the Miraculous Medal. The Mother took her child in her lap, like a mother talks to her daughter. This gesture of Mother Mary is a catechesis more profound than any possible speech in Marian theology: A mother taking care of her child. We are all there with our Mother. She is calling all the families of the world to live the authentic Christian life.  She is calling families to pray together, especially the prayer of meditation, i.e. the Holy Rosary; to love each other and be patient, to bear sufferings and sacrifices out of love, to care for each other and be merciful, to communicate and share time and efforts; which are the effective means more than ever before to reject the worldly spirit, to abandon materialism and hedonism, the search for worldly pleasures, pride and selfishness.

Families are call to live simple lives, humble lives as simple and humble people are the preferred people of God. Our families should learn to be hungry for salvation and eternal happiness. We all are thirsty of God. We need to recognize that God is first in our lives. This is the principal teaching of the Message of Fatima: God’s primacy. God is first!  The word “Fatima” is an Arabic word that means “a high place from where light illuminates the darkness of the surroundings.” Fatima is a unique gift given to the world to re-discover Faith in    God. If families live having God at the center of their lives, families will be renewed, happy, at peace, because God dwells in their hearts.

The children of Fatima were renewed and transformed and with them their families were renewed too. It is important that the instruments of God used in Fatima to renew these families were three little children. It is if like the Good Lord wishes to renew our families today through the role of the little ones in bringing people closer to God.

The family members were evangelized after the example of the three little shepherds who lived the Christian virtues in an extraordinary and heroic way, re-writing the manuals of theology as such little children were capable of living a holy life, sanctifying themselves and their families in such a way that they can say with St. Paul “It is no longer I who live… it is Christ that lives in me.”. The three little shepherds became other Christ, their families were transformed and we must look how!

Let use examine the people in the village of Fatima in the days of the Apparitions. Our Lady called first the children to live the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The adults were more or less living a Christian life. But they were far away from perfection. Through the children, their parents were called to come closer to God. First, their parents tried to evangelize their children with good examples and catechesis. But they were far away from perfection. Then, the conversion and transformation of the children took place.  The conversion of parents came later. This is a great lesson of Fatima to our Pastoral work. Let us focus on children and young people first; then parents and adults will come. The triumph of the Heart of Mary will be a reality when this is achieved. The soul of the family is the mother. The Mother portrays the love needed to keep the family together. The father is essential to the family. But the mother is the soul of the family. The same is Fatima: The soul of the Message of Fatima is the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

The Immaculate Heart of Mary represents the spiritual motherhood of Mary over humanity. When she appeared to Sr. Lucia, Our Lady had the Heart in her hand and she offered her heart to Lucia. Lucia was representing all human beings when Our Lady said: “My heart will stay with you till the end.” Our Lady was risen and assumed to heaven in body and soul, by her Son, Jesus Christ, but she left the Heart with us on earth: the heart is the spiritual presence of Mary. The spiritual action of the Mother is so much needed by her children. She wants to save her children. She has given us her heart. So her Immaculate Heart is with us on earth. We have two wonderful gifts from heaven. The most important one is the divine and real presence of Jesus Christ in the Most Blessed Sacrament: His body, blood, soul and Divinity, till the end of times. The second greatest gift is the spiritual motherhood of Mary given over humanity given to us by Jesus Christ on the First Good Friday, when Jesus said to his beloved disciple: “Behold your mother.” From that moment on, John the beloved disciple of Christ, received Mother Mary in her Heart and in his own house.

From the beginning, the Church has seen in St. John, the evangelist, the Children of God, all human beings, receiving Blessed Mother Mary as their spiritual Mother. This calls us to a new family life, rich in God’s grace and mercy!
1.                  God is first. God is a family. The Most Holy Trinity is a family. Our Blessed Mother relates to each of the three persons in a threefold role as child (to the Father), mother (to the Son) and wife (to the Holy Spirit).
2.                  The family of Nazareth which appeared on 13 October 1917 is the mother of all human families. We better follow the Holy Family, not the bad examples set by other false idols and celebrities of our sick societies that have abandoned Christian values and virtues.

Those who do not believe in marriage or the sanctity of life are in favor of a culture of death. There are parents who spoil their children through TV, internet, profane music, magazines, publications and movies. The false idols destroy the authentic human family. We should not follow these fashions as they oppose the Gospel. Our Lady said in the Message of Fatima: “Many fashions will come that will greatly offend God.” So, Our Lady of Fatima is the Mother of families, the mother for children; mother for the parents, mother for the husbands and wives.

We must look at the the home of Nazareth to make our own home a domestic church, in the model of the Sacred Family: Jesus, Joseph and Mary. Our own family must be transformed from within by accepting the call from heaven. We have to love each other, to communicate, to accept God’s, grace and mercy. We must consecrate our family to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, so that they will dwell in our own home.

Children must look to Jesus Christ as their model in His obedience to God, the Father. Wives must follow the example of the Blessed Virgin Mary in her offering of herself and the acceptance of God’s will. Husbands must look to St. Joseph to follow his marvelous example of the sanctification of his daily duties. The spirituality of Fatima can transform the family. We pray that the God Lord will bless our needy families granting the Church a new Marian Pentecost. The authentic triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary will come through our families. Grace and Mercy to all!
                            THE OFFERING  TO  GOD  OF  ONE’S   LIFE
Prof. Américo Pablo López Ortiz
International  President of the World Apostolate of Fatima

As Our Lady of Fatima promised Sister Lucia that “My Immaculate Heart will lead you to God”, we can also say that today’s believers will be leaded to God through the Immaculate Heart of Mary if we follow the teachings of the Message of Fatima. The Shrine of Fatima has developed a thematic itinerary to prepare spiritually for the 100th Anniversary of the Fatima Apparitions in the year 2017, following the request of the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI during his pilgrimage to the Fatima Shrine on May, 2010.

For the cycle of years 2011-2012 the Fatima event of reference is the May 1917 Apparition, where Our Lady of Fatima said to the three little shepherds:  “Do not be afraid… Are you willing to offer yourselves to God and bear all the sufferings  He wills to send you, as an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended, and of supplication for the conversion of sinners?” And the three children of Fatima answered through Lucia: “Yes, we are willing.”  Our Lady advised: “Then, you are going to have much to suffer, but the grace of God will be your comfort.”

“As Our Lady pronounced these last words, she opened her hands for the first time, communicating to the three children a light so intense that as it streamed from her hands, its rays penetrated their hearts and the innermost depths of their souls, making them see themselves in God, Who was the light, more clearly than they could see themselves in the best of mirrors. Then moved by an interior impulse from the Holy Spirit, they felt on their knees, repeating in their hearts the prayers of adoration taught to them by the Angel of Fatima, the Angel of Peace: Oh most Holy Trinity, I adore Thee! My God, my God, I love Thee in the most Blessed Sacrament!”  (Source:  LUCIA SPEAKS, published by the WAF-USA).

This same statement and question is stated and asked to us today:  Do not be afraid… Are we willing to offer ourselves to God and bear all the sufferings He wills to send us, as an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended, and of supplication for the conversion of sinners?

First, an important statement, so much repeated by the Blessed John Paul II during his pontificate, is given to us, as Our Lady knows very well our psychological traits: DO NOT BE AFRAID! The Good Lord calls us to a better life of intimate friendship with Himself through our Blessed Mother Mary.

We must conquer fear and respond in the same pure, brave attitude of the three little shepherds of Fatima, entrusting ourselves to Divine Providence: “YES, WE ARE WILLING!” This is possible when we abandon ourselves in God’s hands as we no longer fear since we trust Him and we depend on His power. His grace and His mercy sustain us, supporting us in a way that there is no stress, no anguish, no desperation, as everything is taken care of by Himself. We will receive the peace of Jesus Christ, our Savior, who conquered the world. 

This is the theme and inspiring sentence for the spiritual preparations for year 2011-2012: “Do you want to offer yourselves to God?” To develop this important topic we must know the theological nucleus which is “GOD THE SAVIOR” and the catechetical element which is “SHARERS IN THE REDEMPTION”.  Catechists, homilists, parish priests and missionaries can develop a wonderful instrument for their respective apostolates. By the offering to God of one’s life we discover in our inner selves that Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, is our personal and communitarian Savior and that we must share with our brothers and sisters in the redemption process initiated and culminated by Him, as we share with Him our own efforts and sanctification of our daily duties; our prayer of adoration that discovers the Trinitarian face of God; our good deeds and merciful actions; our sufferings that make us closer to the Crucified One; our joys that are an anticipation of the eternal happiness in heaven; in other words, as we entrust to God through the Immaculate Heart of Mary our being, our existence, in order for us to become like Christ – a pure sacrifice, an acceptable oblation to God the Almighty Father.  And we become acceptable to God only because we are the loved disciples of Jesus Christ and when the Eternal Father sees us, he sees the image of Christ, His only Son, in us! Then, we can say along with Saint Paul: “I am no longer the one who lives; it is Christ who lives in me.”

The offering to God of one’s life is possible as we assume the life attitude of Mother Mary: “I am the handmaid of the Lord. Be it done unto me according to thy word.” The principal role of Mary in the life of the Church today is to mold our souls in the image and likeness of her Divine Son. It is the essence of Mary, her “FIAT” of joyous acceptance of God’s will. It is a free, voluntary and spontaneous giving up of her personal freedom which is transformed into a loving promise with the self-revealing Truth, God Himself.  And by “loosing” the personal freedom, by giving to God out of love her free will, she bestows human dignity upon us again, making possible redemption. Christ, our only Savior, chose His beloved mother to assist Him in the salvation process.

If we correspond to God’s grace and mercy, we will share in the life attitude of Mary and our personal and communitarian “FIAT” will grant us human dignity which will surpass all our possibilities as we submerge into the ocean of God’s infinite love and affection. By coming closer to the mystery of God, the Trinitarian face of love and affection for humanity, we will discover the way to happiness; in this world, through the peace of Christ that nobody can take from us; and in the eternal world when we will share in Christ’s divinity. This is God’s plan for us, a plan that must be proclaimed everywhere through the New Evangelization, the proclamation of the good news of salvation.

As a corollary to such an attitude towards life, mortifying acts undertaken for love become possible, to the extent of being willing to give up permissible pleasures, in order to discipline ourselves spiritually and morally. Sacrifice will root our essence in Christ, which will be the true directing center of our lives. Rooted in Christ, our true essence, we will truly belong to Our Lord, as effective instruments in the pursuit of His plans of salvation for our times. The results will not be long in waiting, as Our Lady said in Fatima: “Numerous souls will convert, because many are lost for lack of someone to pray and SACRIFICE for them.”And after the conversion of many, other people will forsake their indifference for an authentic fervor, while those already blessed with fervor will attain high levels of perfection.   We as believers must have the attitude of offering ourselves to God often, as to renew our lives frequently “in that light which is God himself”. The Message of Fatima is a perfect instrument for the New Evangelization of the world, the most important task of the Universal Church in the new millennium.     
                        The Sanctification of our Daily Duties

Prof. Américo Pablo López-Ortiz
International President of the World Apostolate of Fatima

In Fatima, reparation is offered in a threefold path: Penance, reparatory prayer and reparatory Holy Communion.

The spirit of Penance is understood in its double significance as:
1.     Bearing our own personal cross, conforming our souls to Christ’s himself, by patiently accepting God’s will, including suffering in the same lifestyle attitude exhibited in Mary’s fiat (“I am the handmaid of the Lord…”).

2.     Offering our own personal mortifications and privations as to exercise ourselves in the “Christian art of Renunciation” so that we can also become Christ’s disciples, as to strengthen our will in the pursuit of true love, CHARITY. It is through this well ordained love that we will pursuit those objectives of actual value in life, according to God’s hierarchy in Creation. Fatima is most useful today in clarifying our own scale of values, following not human logics, but God’s logics, so different to that of mankind “that is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle that for a rich man to enter into God’s kingdom.”

The New Evangelization is based on witnessing Jesus Christ in our lives, becoming true disciples, bearing our personal cross and walking through life doing our best to build the Kingdom of God on earth. We do this by sanctifying our daily duties. In this way, we proclaim to the world the values and attitudes of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He has transformed our lives and we are at peace in the midst of suffering and trial. Jesus Christ is the root and cause of our happiness. “Look how much they love each other” was said of the first Christian communities.

We need to express our Faith in concrete deeds that may seem completely natural but that are really transformed by God’s grace.

The Good Lord sanctifies our daily routine as we deepen ourselves into an interior life shared with Him. Everything is then transformed in His presence. God dwells in ourselves, we share His life, grace and mercy and we must irradiate it among our neighbors. This is the true religion, fed by the sacraments, mostly by the Eucharist, by prayer and penance.  The fruits excel themselves: Inner peace and spiritual joy!

The revitalizing penance, understood in its most important significance, as was taught by the Angel of Fatima, is the sanctification of our daily duties: “Make of everything you can a sacrifice, and offer it to God, as an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended, and in supplication for the conversion of sinners. You will draw down peace upon your country… Above all, accept and bear with submission, the suffering which the Lord will send you.”

Our world needs this revolutionary idea to be spread among so many who dwell in egocentric and selfish practices, ruining their lives and those of their beloved ones and throwing themselves to destructive pleasures and vices. The true Gospel of Jesus Christ must be made known in its authentic splendor. By sanctifying our daily duties we grow in the image of Jesus Christ, the Son, who obeyed the Heavenly Father and followed His plans, lovingly, offering His sufferings for our redemption.

The sanctification of our daily duties will crush the evil in our souls, it will forgive our faults, thus improving the spiritual health of the Mystic Body of Christ, the Church, “which today suffers and bleeds for so many afflicted parts” (Pope Paul VI). Therefore, let us contribute to “the economy of grace” whereby the situation of the People of God improves when one of His sons and daughters return to the sheepfold, as is taught to us by the doctrine of “the communion of saints”.
                                         WHAT IS THE NEW EVANGELIZATION?
By: Prof. Americo Pablo Lopez-Ortiz
                         International President of the World Apostolate of Fatima

The Church must fulfill its mission and to do this the Church must remember its condition of disciple of Jesus Christ, living the faithfulness and docility to the Word of God, to the Eucharist and to the service of charity. The Church has a need for a “pastoral conversion”, so that the pastoral actions of the hierarchy move from a conservative pastoral to a missionary pastoral.

There is a great need for a new attitude of “missionary audacity”, as requested by Pope Benedict XVI, an attitude portrayed by Blessed Jacinta and Francisco of Fatima, where the message of the Gospel, contained in the Message of Fatima, properly understood and lived, is a radical call to holiness. The children-shepherds of Fatima became holy by following Our Lady’s requests with fidelity and commitment as Blessed John Paul II said at their beatification ceremony. By sanctifying their daily duties in a spirit of reparation, they offered themselves to God, in an act of entrustment and consecration, thus living their baptismal promises in the best possible way.

Pope Benedict XVI asked European bishops meeting at Tirana, Albania, to be audacious in thinking of new ways to spread the Gospel message. The Fatima message is an echo of the Gospel adapted by Our Lady, the Mother of Jesus, to our present needs. To present as models to the Universal Church, the little shepherds of Fatima, for their heroic virtues and holy lives; is really a true move in the direction of the “missionary audacity” requested by Pope Benedict XVI.

The present pope has structured the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization, presided by Archbishop Salvatore Fisichella, who sees the present lack of faith of many as an opportunity for growth: “The New Evangelization is an opportunity given to us to read and interpret the current historical moment in order that the Church’s work might become extraordinary,” he said. “In other words, we are called to live, in an extraordinary way, the ordinary event in the life of the Church, which is the evangelization.”

“Evangelization is the manifestation of the Church’s life and vitality. It should not be understood simply as a pastoral activity, but as the manifestation of its very nature and mission.” This very important statement was made by the European Bishop’s Conference.  The New Evangelization is for everyone! “It seeks to proclaim Christ, true God and true man, crucified to bear every human grief, raised from the dead, that we may have life.” Through our baptism we are all called to take part in the New Evangelization: families, young people, parishes, apostolic movements, new communities, places of catechesis, Catholic schools. New technologies should be used, internet, social networking sites… But first, we have to follow the example of the Christians of the Acts of the Apostles, we must open our hearts in a new way to the Holy Spirit as “there will be no New Evangelization without a New Pentecost.”

In our days, there are many nations that received the Gospel and developed faith that have produced abundant fruits but at present, because of secularism and the growth of religious sects, that faith is deteriorating and weak; this is when the New Evangelization is needed to proclaim the Gospel in its integrity “with a new fervor, new methods and new expressions.”

Our modern world has very positive developments like new sciences and their applications, new medical treatments to cure sickness, a greater conscience of human rights and respect for minorities. But, there are developments that have caused a severe crisis in the moral, spiritual and cultural spheres: Extreme individualism, the negation and rupture of solidarity among people, the inability to observe engagements for life, like holy matrimony and family ties. Secularism makes people live as if there is no God. People turn indifferent toward religion and reject moral values. This mentality affects, little by little, even those who have known the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And at some time, even the faithful turn out to be unfaithful in their attitudes, mores and folkways. Then, the Christian civilization is diminished and people who are still hungry for God walk away from the right path.

Formation is much needed. As a public association of the faithful of pontifical right, the World Apostolate of Fatima, must devote to its mission of contributing to the New Evangelization through the authentic Message of Fatima. The Message of Fatima is a charisma for the Universal Church, an ideal instrument to spread the Good News of Salvation to our modern societies that have been losing their “sense of God”, their faith and Christian morality, thus falling into a profound spiritual crisis that is precisely the central topic of the Message of Fatima, that stands as a formidable medicine for our needy times.

Following the examples of Blessed John Paul II, who launched the call to the New Evangelization of Europe and the whole world from the Shrine of Fatima by presenting the encyclical letter “CentessimusAnnus”, and Pope Benedict XVI, who during his recent pilgrimage to Fatima invited the Universal Church to live in every Christian community the Message of Fatima as the way to accelerate the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in the world; the World Apostolate of Fatima is ready to fulfill its ecclesial mission.

The evangelical message at Fatima, a message of CONVERSION; PRAYER AND PENANCE; ENTRUSTMENT TO GOD THROUGH THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY;  EUCHARISTIC REPARATION AND SANCTIFICATION OF OUR DAILY DUTIES is more actual now, more urgent, more needed and represents the ideal call to the New Evangelization.

October 13, 2012
95th Anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima, Portugal

Dear reader:

May I take this opportunity to introduce you to my book: THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY IN TODAY’S CHURCH. This book has three parts. The first part is devoted to the role of our Blessed Mother, the Virgin Mary, in today’s Church. The Second Vatican Council will guide us in our formation. The second part focuses on the New Evangelization and the Message of Fatima, the great sign given by heaven to overcome the present spiritual, moral and religious crisis. The third part provides for the first time an account of the apostolic work of the International World Apostolate of Fatima as a public association of the faithful of pontifical right, present in 110 countries.

By this book you will be introduce in a simple but profound way to the religious experience of Fatima, where you will discover God’s primacy in your life as you will be able to contemplate the mystery of God, the Trinitarian love that will transform your life forever as the three children-shepherds of Fatima were transformed: Lucia, Jacinta and Francisco.  

I hope and pray that this book will also serve as a handbook for all WAF members and leaders in their spiritual and doctrinal formation so as to serve the Church in the New Evangelization, using the Message of Fatima as the ideal instrument for this most important task of the Church in the third millennium of Christianity. The WAF is present in 110 countries having millions of members among its ranks.

Again, I am most grateful for all you can do to spread the good news about this book. Thanks again to dear Dr. Celcio Dias, the International Secretary of the WAF, for all his support and hard work in making possible the publication of my book. Thanks to the sponsors that made it a reality. May the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the Woman dressed in sun, show you her joyful smile and serve you as refuge, fortress and sweet maternal home in our needy times.

In Christ and Mary Queen,

Prof. Américo Pablo López Ortiz
International President of the World Apostolate of Fatima

N.B.: Please contact info@worldfatima,com for discounted copies!
The First Saturdays Devotion

1. Introduction

Besides conversion through Prayer, Penance and Sacrifice Our Lady requested two other important things at Fatima:
  1. The Collegial Consecration of Russia to Her Immaculate Heart.
  2. The Five First Saturdays of Reparation.

As we all know, the First request depended on the hierarchy of the Church and specially the Holy Father. We also know that the Holy Father late John Paul II accomplished the consecration on 25th March 1984 thus accomplishing what was requested of them

As a result we have seen how communism got abolished in Poland, disintegrated in Russia and all the other good things that followed as a result.

However, we have to further the conversion of Russia and sinners and the promised peace by spreading the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the First Saturdays of reparation .

Unlike the Consecration, the fulfillment of this request depends on us the lay faithful and the WAF with cooperation from the local bishops and the parish priests. Both the Collegial Consecration and First Saturdays are required to obtain the Promises of Mary

2. Vision of Hell

On July 13, 1917, Our Lady appeared for the third time to the three children of Fatima and showed them the vision of hell and made a few prophecies.

Frightened and as though pleading for help, the children raised their eyes to Our Lady, who said with kindness and sadness: “You saw hell, where the souls of poor sinners go. It is then she predicts war, hunger, persecution of the Church and the Holy Father if her requests are not granted To save them, God wishes to establish devotion to My Immaculate Heart in the world. If they do what I shall tell you, many souls will be saved and there will be peace”. Our Lady adds: In order to prevent this, I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart, and the Communion of reparation on First Saturdays.

Our Lady promised that she would come back to ask for the Communion of reparation on the First Saturdays….

3. Our Lady keeps Her promise

Eight years later, on December 10, 1925, Our Lady did indeed come back. She appeared (with the Child Jesus) to Lucia in the convent of the Dorothean Sisters in Pontevedra, Spain.

The child Jesus spoke first: “Have compassion on the heart of your most holy mother, which is covered with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce at every moment, while there is no one to remove them with an act of reparation”.

4. The Great Promise

Our Lady then said: “My daughter, look at My Heart surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You, at least, try to console Me, and say that I promise to assist at the hour of death with all the graces necessary for salvation. All those who, on the First Saturday of Five consecutive months go to (1) Confession and receive Holy Communion, (2) recite Five Decades of the Rosary and (3) keep me company for a quarter of an hour while meditating on mysteries of the Rosary, (4) with the intention of making reparation to Me”.
Imprimatur: Santuario de Fátima, 21st of September, 1939, JOSE, Bishop of Leiria

As our Mother, Mary is deeply concerned about the salvation of each and every one of her children. As Jesus will leave the 99 sheep and go in search of the one that is lost (Mat.18:12}, since He loves each one of us individually, so it is with His Mother. It was to express her personal love for each one of us, her children, that Mary included a personal promise for the First Saturdays. Calling each one of us for First Saturdays Mary said

“I promise to assist at the hour of death with all the graces necessary for salvation all those who, on the FIRST Saturdays of five consecutive months, go to Confession and receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary and keep me company for a quarter of an hour while meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary, with the intention of making reparation to me.”     

The promise of dying in God’s favour for having consecutively made “Five First Saturdays is a bonus for her children as individuals. First Saturdays, nonetheless are to be made primarily for the good of others, for the Pope and for the universal Church.

Our Lady promised Lucia that she would remain many years upon earth as God wanted her to make known and loved devotion to His Mother’s Immaculate Heart. On June 13, 1929 Our Lady appeared to Sr. Lucia to ask for the Consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart, “promising by this means to prevent the spreading of its errors and to bring about its conversion”. She was making a Holy Hour at midnight before the Blessed Sacrament at the time. Sr. Lucia wrote:

“Suddenly the whole chapel was illumined by a supernatural light, and a cross of light appeared above the altar, reaching to the ceiling. In a bright light at the upper part of the cross could be seen the face of a man and his body to the waist (Father), on his breast there was a dove also of light (Holy Spirit) and, nailed to the cross, was the body of another man (Son). Somewhat above the waist, I could see a chalice and a large host suspended in the air, on to which drops of blood were falling from the face of Jesus Crucified and from the wound in His side. These drops ran down on to the host and fell into the chalice. Our Lady was beneath the right arm of the cross (…it was Our Lady of Fatima with her Immaculate Heart. …in her left hand. … without sword or roses, but with the crown of thorns and flames. …). Under the left arm of the cross, large letters, as of crystal clear water which ran down over the altar, formed these words: ’Graces and Mercy.’

“I understood that it was the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity which was shown to me, and I received lights about this mystery which I am not permitted to reveal.”

“Our Lady then said to me: ‘The moment has come when God asks the Holy Father, in union all the bishops of the world, to make the Consecration of Russia to my Heart, promising to save it by this means.”our at midnight before the Most Blessed Sacrament at the time. Sr. Lucia wrote:



5. Why are there FIVE First Saturdays and not Seven or Nine?

The Five Reasons

Lucia once asked this question of Our Lord and received as an answer: “My daughter, the motive is simple. There are Five kinds of offences and blasphemies uttered against the Immaculate Heart of Mary; (1) Blasphemies against the Immaculate Conception; (2) Blasphemies against Her Virginity; (3) Blasphemies against Her Divine Maternity; (4) Blasphemies of those who openly seek to Foster in the Hearts of children indifference or even hatred for this Immaculate Mother; (5) The offences of those who directly outrage Her in Holy Images.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church, in 2148, states that Blasphemy is directly opposed to the second commandment.  Blasphemy is contrary to the respect due God and His holy name. It is in itself a grave sin.

From the above, it is easy to see that each of the Five Saturdays can correspond to a specific offence. By offering the graces received during each First Saturday as reparation for the offence being prayed for, the participant can hope to help remove the thorns from Our Lady’s Heart

On May 18, 1936, Sr Lucia wrote to Fr. Gonzalvez about the Collegial Consecration of Russia: “…Without any doubt, through this act, the Holy Father would gladden our Lord and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Intimately, I have spoken to our Lord about the subject, and not too long ago, I asked Him why He would not convert Russia without the Holy Father making that consecration.”

“Because I want my whole Church to acknowledge that consecration as a triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, so that it may extend its cult later on, and put the devotion to this Immaculate Heart beside the devotion to my Sacred Heart.”

“…The Holy Father. Pray very much for the Holy Father. He will do it, but it will be too late. Nevertheless, the Immaculate Heart of Mary will save Russia. It has been entrusted to her.”

Lucia said that the Apostolate  would have to respond to this Consecration to further the conversion of Russia and sinners and the promised peace by spreading the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the First Saturdays.

6. What do I have to do?

The devotion of First Saturdays, as requested by Our Lady of Fatima, carries with it the assurance of salvation. However, to derive profit from such a great promise of Our Lady, the devotion must be properly understood and duly performed.

The requirements as stipulated by Our Lady are as follows:
  1. Good Sacramental Confession
  2. Receive our Lord in Holy Communion while in grace
  3. Five Decades of the Rosary
  4. Keep Mary company for at least 15 minutes while meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary
(All four to be offered in reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on five consecutive First Saturdays)

7. Conversion

Unless sinners are converted, the movement against God and for sin will continue to spread, promoting wars and persecutions, and making the attainment for peace and justice impossible for this world. One means of obtaining conversion of sinners is to practice the Fatima Message. The stakes are so great that to encourage Catholics to practice the devotion of the First Saturdays, Our Lady has assured us that She will obtain salvation for all those who observe the First Saturdays for five consecutive months in accordance with Her conditions.

At the supreme moment the departing person will be either in the state of grace or not. In either case Our Lady will be by his side. If in the state of grace, She will console and help him to resist whatever temptations the devil might put before him in his last attempt to take the person with him to hell. If not in the state of grace, Our Lady will help the person to repent in a manner agreeable to God and so benefit by the fruits of redemption and be saved.

8. Jesus reminds Lucia

On 16th February 1926 the Child Jesus met Lucia in the garden while she was taking out the garbage. Jesus asked her “What is being done to establish in the world the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of My Mother?”

Lucia replied that though her Mother Superior ardently desired to propagate this devotion, she could do nothing by herself.

Jesus replied “It is true that your superior can do nothing by herself. With My Grace she can do all”.

Jesus comes back again and again, to explain, to clarify this devotion, to answer questions posed by Lucia’s Confessor and her Superior.

In March 1939 Our Lord appeared to Lucia, “Ask, ask again, insistently for the promulgation of the Communion of Reparation in honor of the Immaculate Heart of Mary on the First Saturdays. The time is coming when the rigor of my justice will punish the crimes of diverse nations”.

9. Pope John Paul II

The late Pope John Paul II not only encouraged but practiced the devotion of the First Saturdays by leading the Rosary on the Vatican Radio every First Saturday.

10. Why Five First Saturdays in Parishes?

In the First place this devotion in a Parish does not impose any extra work on the Parish Priest except may be of making an announcement. On the contrary it helps him in his mission of bringing people to Church and a life of prayer.

Public prayer especially in churches is of the greatest benefit for Five Chief reasons:
  1. Normally our minds are far more alert during public prayer than they are when we pray alone.
  2. When we pray in common, the prayer of each one belongs to us all and these make but great prayer together; so that if one person is not praying well, someone else in the gathering who prays better may make up for his deficiency.
  3. For example, someone who prays the Rosary alone gains the merits of one Rosary, but if 30 people say it together, they gain the merit of 30 Rosaries.
  4. Pope Urban VIII attached extra indulgences whenever the Rosary was prayed in two choirs.
  5. Public Prayer is far more powerful than private to appease the anger of God and call down His mercy. Holy Mother Church, guided by the Holy Spirit has always advocated public prayer in times of public tragedy and sufferings…

Finally, when we pray the Rosary together it is far more formidable to the devil then one said privately, because in this public prayer it is an army that is attacking him.

Just as the apostles, together with Mary, “went up to the Upper Room” and there, “with one accord devoted themselves to prayer” (Acts 1:13-14), so too, shall we gather in our churches which will be our “Upper Rooms” where Mary, Mother of Our Lord, will be in our midst.

Plenary indulgences given: - 1) On Jun 13, 1912, Pope Pius X gave a to the faithful, who performed “some special exercises of devotion on the First Saturday of the month in reparation to the Blessed Virgin Mary Immaculate”.
2) On Nov 17, 1920 Pope Benedict XV, at the hour of death to those “who once in their Lifetime performed such a devotion exercise on the First Saturday of eight successive months

11. The Fatima Pledge

Dear Queen and Mother, who promised at Fatima to convert Russia and bring peace to all mankind, in reparation to Your Immaculate Heart, for my sins and of the whole world, I solemnly promise:
  1. To offer up everyday the sacrifices demanded by the daily duty;
  2. To say the Rosary daily while meditating on the mysteries;
  3. To wear the Scapular of Mount Carmel as profession of this promise and as an act of consecration to You,
  4. To observe the First Saturday Devotion.
I shall renew this promise often, especially in moments of temptation. 

Morning Offering

O my God, in union with the Immaculate Heart of Mary, (Here kiss your Brown Scapular as a sign of your Consecration). I offer Thee the Precious Blood of Jesus present on all the altars of the world, joining with it the offering of my every thought, word and action of this day.
O my Jesus, I desire today to gain every indulgence and merit I can, and I offer them, together with myself, to Mary Immaculate, that She may best apply them to the interests of Thy most Sacred Heart. Precious  Blood of Jesus, Save us! Immaculate Heart of Mary, Pray for us! Sacred Heart of Jesus, Have mercy on us!
(Pope Benedict XV, in 1916, granted an indulgence of 5oo days for each time the scapular is kissed with reverence).

So, let us sincerely make efforts to spread the First Saturdays in our Parishes. 

12. Act of Collegial Consecration of the World and Russia in particular.
By Pope John Paul II and World’s Bishops on March 25, 1984

We have recourse to your protection, holy Mother of God.” As we utter the words of this antiphon with which the Church of Christ has prayed for centuries, we find ourselves today before you, Mother, in the Jubilee Year of the Redemption.

We find ourselves united with all the Pastors of the Church in a particular bond whereby we constitute a body and a college, just as by Christ’s wish the Apostles constituted a body and college with Peter.

In the bond of this union, we utter the words of the present Act in which we wish to include, once more, the Church’s hopes and anxieties for the modern world.

Forty years ago and again ten years later, your servant Pope Pius XII, having before his eyes the painful experiences of the human family, entrusted and consecrated to your Immaculate Heart the whole world, especially the peoples for which by reason of their situation you have particular love and solicitude.

This world of individuals and nations we too have before our eyes today: the world of the second millennium that is drawing to a close, the modern world, our world!

The Church, mindful of the Lord’s words: “Go … and make disciples of all nations … and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age” (Mt.28:19-20), has, at the Second Vatican Council, given fresh life to her awareness of her mission in this world.

And therefore, O Mother of individuals and peoples, you who know all their sufferings and their hopes, you who have a mother’s awareness of all the struggles between good and evil, between light and darkness, which afflict the modern world, accept the cry which we, moved by the Holy Spirit, address directly to your Heart. Embrace, with love of the Mother and Handmaid of the Lord, this human world of ours, which we entrust and consecrate to you, for we are full of concern for the earthly and eternal destiny of individuals and peoples.

In a special way we entrust and consecrate to you those individuals and nations which particularly need to be thus entrusted and consecrated.

“We have recourse to your protection, holy Mother of God”: despise not our petitions in our necessities.

Behold as we stand before you, Mother of Christ, before your Immaculate Heart, we desire, together with the whole Church, to unite ourselves with the consecration which, for love of us, Your Son, made of Himself to the Father: “For their sake,” He said,, “I consecrate myself that also may be consecrated in the truth” (Jn. 17:19). We wish to unite ourselves with our Redeemer in His consecration for the world and for the human race, which, in His divine Heart, 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 heart of man and in his history.

How deeply we feel the need for the consecration of humanity and the world - our modern world - in union with Christ Himself! For the redeeming work of Christ must be shared in by the world through the Church.

The present Year of the Redemption shows this: the special Jubilee of the whole Church.

Above all creatures, may you be blessed, you, the Handmaid of the Lord, who in the fullest way obeyed the divine call!

Hail to you, who are wholly united to the redeeming consecration of your Son.!

Mother of the Church! Enlighten the People of God along the paths of faith, hope and love! Help us to live in the truth of the consecration of Christ for the entire human family of the modern world.

In entrusting to you, O Mother, the world, all individuals and peoples, we also entrust to you this very consecration of the world, placing it in your motherly Heart.

Immaculate Heart! Help us to conquer the menace of evil, which so easily takes root in the hearts of the people of today, and whose immeasurable effects already weigh down upon our modern world and seem to block the paths towards the future!

From famine and war, deliver us.

From nuclear war, from incalculable self destruction, from every kind of war, deliver us.

From sins against the life of man from its very beginning, deliver us.

From hatred and from the demeaning of the dignity of the children of God, deliver us.

From every kind of  injustice in the life of society, both national and international, deliver us.

From readiness to trample on the commandments of God, deliver us.

From attempts to stifle in human hearts the very truth of God. Deliver us.

From the loss of awareness of good and evil, deliver us.

From sins against the Holy Spirit, deliver us, deliver us. Accept, O Mother of Christ, this cry laden with the sufferings of whole societies.

Help us with the power of the Holy Spirit to conquer all sin: individual sin and the “sin of the world,” sin in all its manifestations.

Let there be revealed, once more in the history of the world, the infinite saving power  of the Redemption: the power of merciful Love! May it put a stop to evil! May it transform consciences! May your Immaculate Heart reveal for all the light of Hope!

How do we know that the Act of Consecration of the Holy Father has accomplished the Collegial Consecration requested by Our Lady of Fatima?

At Fatima Our Lady asked for the consecration of Russia and the world to her Immaculate Heart. She said if her requests are heard, Russia will be converted and there will be peace. If not, Russia will spread her errors throughout the world, promoting wars and persecution of the church. The good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer and various nations will be annihilated. “But in the end, My Immaculate Heart will triumph.”

In response Pope Pius XII consecrated the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on October 31, 1942 and renewed the same on July 7, 1952. Pope Paul VI entrusted the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on November 21, 1964. Pope John Paul II consecrated/entrusted the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on June 7, 1981, May 13, 1982 March 25, 1984, May 13, 1991 and finally October 8, 2000. In the official Vatican Document for the Doctrine of the Faith, entitled “The Message of Fatima”, Sr. Lucia was quoted as having personally confirmed that the solemn and universal act of consecration of March 25 1984 corresponded to what Our Lady wished. In her letter of November 8 1989, Sr. Lucia, the sole surviving seer of Fatima stated: “Yes it has been done just as Our Lady asked, on 25 March 1984.

Our Lady Keeps Her Promise

  1. Within two months of the Consecration, on May 13, the 67th Anniversary of the First Apparition at Fatima, an explosion destroyed 80% of the Soviet Union’s main munitions storage depot for its Northern Fleet. In 1984, Western Intelligence Services had found that Russia was preparing to start war by invading Western Europe through the North (Sweden etc). A large fleet was being readied. The West was quite worried. The faithful began a crusade of Rosaries for Peace. Millions prayed it individually, in families and Rosary Rallies too were held. On May 13, an explosion took place putting out of commission a hundred Russian War-Ships. No one knew how it happened but we know that it was the power of the Rosary.
  2. On December 13, 1984, an explosion in Siberia destroyed the Soviet Union’s largest ammunition base.
  3. The Soviet Union’s Minister of Defense, Marshal Ustinov, died or was killed on December 19, 1984. Three days later, Marshal Sodolov, the new Minister of Defense died.
  4. Just one year after the Consecration, in March of 1985, the President of the Soviet Union, Chernenko, died. Mikhail Gorbachev was made President. Gorbachev instituted glasnost and perestroika (freedom of the press and freedom of religion), which would lead to the downfall of Communism.
  5. Around August 15, 1989, the Solemnity of the Assumption, Poland moves towards a government led by non-Communists.
  6. On October 7, 1989, the Feast of the Holy Rosary, the Hungarian Communist Party votes to transform itself toward European democratic socialism.
  7. On November 9, 1989, the Berlin Wall came down. The fall of the “Iron Curtain” was an event that many of us never expected to see in our lifetime.
  8. On December 1, 1989, Gorbachev met with Pope John Paul II and promised religious freedom. The Holy Father referred to this meeting as a “sign of the times …a sign that is rich in promise”. The Pope would say that this meeting was “Divine Providence”.
  9. On March 15, 1990, the Vatican established diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union.
  10. In May of 1990, Bishop Amaral of Leiria-Fatima said: “Everything leads us to think that the consecration requested by Our Lady has been done”.
  11. On June 13, 1990, Cardinal Paskai of Hungary said: “Profound changes have begun in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe. The events that happened cannot be explained by purely human factors. Politicians who are believers also acknowledge the hand of God can be seen in these change. We too are certain that the promise of Our Lady is fulfilled, and that these changes are a result of her intercession”.
  12. On October 13, 1990, the first religious service, since the Communist Revolution of 1917, was held at the Cathedral of the Assumption inside the Kremlin. Prior to this, the Cathedral was used as a museum of atheism.
  13. On November 11, 1990, when congratulated for Poland being freed from Communism, Pope John Paul II said: “No, not me, but by the works of the Blessed Virgin, in line with her affirmations at Fatima”.
  14. On August 19 1991, the Communists tried to overthrow Gorbachev. Just days later, on August 22nd, the Feast of the Queenship of Mary, the Reds were defeated.
  15. The first Russian pilgrims in years came to Fatima on October 13 1991, the 74th anniversary of the 6th apparition of Fatima. This historic event was televised on 150 stations and twice as many radio stations in the Soviet Union.
  16. December 8 1991, the feast of the Immaculate Conception, marked the start of the Commonwealth of Republics, the end of the Soviet Union. Twelve days later, the newly named President of Russia, Boris Yeltsin met with the Pope in Rome.
  17. On Christmas Day, 1991, the Communists flag came down for the last time over Russia. On December 30th, fifteen republics were freed from Soviet domination as the Warsaw Pact ended.
  18. For years pilgrims to Fatima have walked the fourteen Stations of the Cross that wind serenely through olive, fig, and cork trees. These Stations, dedicated in 1962, were donated by Hungarian people of the “free-world” during the Communist occupation of Hungary, to remind pilgrims that the Soviet dominated Hungary was walking a true Way of the Cross. However, today one can see a 15th Station of the Cross which was dedicated on October 13, 1992 by Hungarians from Hungary. Accompanied by bishops and priests, the Hungarians came to Fatima to give thanks to Our Lady for their nation’s “resurrection from the dead”, that was caused by atheistic Communism.
  19. At perhaps the most often used entrance to the Fatima Sanctuary, there is dramatic testimony giving honor to Our Lady of Fatima and to Pope John Paul II for the events of March 25, 1984, a large piece of the Berlin Wall! This monument, dedicated on August 13, 1994, gives evidence that Our Lady keeps her promise. Grafitti can be seen on the side of the Wall that faced West Berlin, whereas the other side, facing Communist East Berlin, is completely free of marks. This symbolizes the freedom of expression in those lands that are not dominated by Communism.

13. Rosary Mysteries for First Saturday

Joyful Mysteries

1. The Annunciation.
(Intention: Population and right to life)
            When the darkness of sin covered mankind, your love and humility, kind Mother, turned the face of the Father toward His erring children. Though the message of the Angel was difficult for you to understand, you accepted the Will of God with trust and love.
            You questioned neither His Power nor His Wisdom, but asked only how this great Mystery was to be accomplished. We live in a world that does not accept the Father’s Wisdom, does not trust in His Providence, does not believe in His Power. We cannot see beyond tomorrow and so the present moment is bereft of the knowledge of His Presence.
            Your trust in the Father’s Will made the miraculous simple. Why can’t we trust His plan in our lives as you trusted Him in yours? Even though the child born to be the Saviour would suffer untold agonies, you never for a moment hesitated in your Fiat. The women of our day fear the future of their unborn children. In an act of misguided zeal they sometimes deprive the Father of the opportunity to manifest His Power. Bestow upon us His Goodness and populate the Kingdom with children of light.
            Give us a share of your Faith and Hope that we may bow before the Infinite Wisdom of God and accept the treasures He deigns to bestow upon us. Let us leave creation to His Omnipotence, the future to His Providence and mankind to His Wisdom.

2. The Visitation
(Intention: Aged and Social Justice)
            What impulse of love made you hurry to visit your cousin Elizabeth, kind Mother? At a moment when you had every right to rest in the jubilant news that you would be the Mother of the Messiah you left the place of your exaltation.
            No doubt the advanced age of Elizabeth caused you concern. Your compassionate Heart turned toward her. Elizabeth, in her old age, needed the comfort of your youth. The Child in your womb, conceived by the Holy Spirit, began His work of Redemption by sanctifying John.
            Your zeal to carry Jesus to others, no matter what the cost, embarrasses us and causes us to blush with shame. We neglect the aged because we are too busy. We permit the Generation Gap to widen because we do not possess the love to bridge the distance. We permit social injustice because we do not wish to be our brother’s keeper. Holy Mary, bring Jesus to us through the merits of your visit to Elizabeth. Obtain for us the graces we need to magnify the Lord by our humility in dealing with our neighbour, our concern for the aged, our zeal for social justice and our courage when duty calls for sacrifice.

3. The Nativity.
(Intention: Motherhood, Poverty, Social Ethnic Groups)
            We look with wonder at the Wisdom of God as the Promised Woman gives birth to the Promised Messiah in a cold cave! Deprived of all material things, the Splendor of Heaven entered the world - that work of His hands - in abject poverty.
            Jesus and Mary want us to know that their love for us is pure and devoid of any selfishness. The Mother of God says to all Mothers. “Let the dignity of your Motherhood rise above created things and the richness of your love cover your poverty”.
            Can we ever imagine the ecstasy of Mary as her eyes met the eyes of God in her tiny Infant? Can our hearts ever feel the agony as she saw His outstretched arms from a cross? Can we in our finest moments ever fathom such love and pain?
            Sweet Mother; we want to take our place with the Shepherds to tell Jesus of our love and gratitude. We want to reach out to the men of all nations just as the Infant reached out to the Wise Men of the East. We want to put aside our prejudice and bigotry and offer the gift of our love to all men.
            Obtain for us the grace to see Jesus in the lowly and offer Jesus to the forgotten. Teach us how to be holy, so we may give the Father the glory and Jesus the pleasure of making sinners into saints.

4. The Presentation.
(Intention: Mentally Retarded)
            Kind Mother, did another Magnificat rise to your lips as you walked up the Temple steps to present Jesus to the Father? What must have been your joy as you gave Jesus to Simeon! Were you expecting this man of God to prophesy the great things this Child would accomplish? Did you think he would shout throughout the Temple precincts, “The Lord has come”?
            If you expected great things to be pronounced, was your heart torn by the realization that this Child was a sign of contradiction - destined for the rise and fall of many?
            You did not fall beneath this bitter-sweet experience. The plan of God may not have been to your liking but you accepted it with all the love of your pure Heart.
            Obtain for all parents, whose retarded children are specially chosen, like Jesus, to accomplish hidden works for the glory of God - the same courage you manifested in the Temple. The Child of your womb was destined to be great how few recognized that greatness. Give the parents of these special children a deep realization of the power of their suffering. Let the suffering rise to heaven as a sweet smelling incense for the salvation of souls. Let the beauty of their souls, hidden from the eyes of men in this life, shine life bright stars in the glory of the Father’s Kingdom.

5. The Finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple.
(Intention: Family Life and Youth)
            Kind Mother, we cannot conceive the agony of your pure Heart as you looked for your Child for three days. The unspeakable torture of wondering what you had done wrong must have pierced your soul to its very core.
            Even the joy of finding Him was mixed with the wonder of why it happened. Today, dear Mother, many families are torn with the grief of those who stray from the right path. Your Son was found in the Temple of the Lord, but our loved ones are often lost on the highways of sin and evil.
            Though the place in which we find them is different, the agony is the same. Obtain for our families a deeper union with the Trinity. Make the father head, the mother heart, and the children members of one another. When the sword of separation in mind, heart or ideals tears the family apart, grant that the healing balm of love may find them in the Temple of God’s Will, listening to His voice speaking of harmony in the depths of their souls.

Luminous Mysteries

1. The Baptism of our Lord in the Jordan.
            While Jesus was being baptized in the river Jordan by St. John the Baptist, the Holy Spirit came upon him in the form of a dove, and the voice of the Father was heard saying, “This is my son the beloved in whom I am well pleased”. Jesus was the only begotten of the Father, the Son of God who became man to save us, true God of true God, and so there could not be any stain of sin in him, but he became obedient and took upon himself the appearance of a sinner even though he could have no sin in himself. In this way he gave power to the waters of baptism to purify from sin, both original and personal.
            The outward signs of baptism were both symbolic and prophetic: symbolic in that water is a sign of cleansing and a sign of life – living, rushing water; and prophetic because they pointed to the events that were taking place in our Lord’s own life. He was immersed in our human condition in all things except sin. He grew up as a young boy full of grace and truth, obedient to Our Lady and St. Joseph, and so sanctified youth; he worked as a carpenter and so sanctified human work. And he offered himself in sacrifice to make up for sin, the one sacrifice that could take away all the sins of the world on the cross on Calvary. He paid the penalty of sin, which was death, even though he himself had no sin.
            Finally, coming out of the water, he pointed to the victory of the resurrection: by dying he destroyed our death, rising he restored our life. In baptism we put on Christ so that our whole life becomes a sharing in the life of Christ. If we suffer, we suffer with Christ. If we work, we work with Christ. When we die, we die with Christ, so that as we have shared in his death, we may share also, by his power, in his resurrection from the dead.

2. The Wedding Feast at Cana.
            Jesus and his disciples, together with our blessed Lady, were invited to the marriage of a young couple from Cana. In this mystery we begin to see the role of Our Lady in the life of her divine Son and in the life of the Church. She saw the need of the young couple – they had run short of wine – and at her intercession, Jesus anticipated his hour. His words to her remind us of this: Woman, what is that to me and to thee? Mine hour is not yet come. And yet, now his hour was indeed come: and he performed his first miracle. The words of Our Lady, the last words of hers recorded in the Gospels, are a summary of her whole life. Her first words to the angel Gabriel were: “Be it done unto me according to thy word”, and her words to the servants and to us are similar: “Do whatever he shall tell you”.
            Our Lord provided the best wine. God is not mean, and the jars of water, twenty to thirty gallons in each, were filled to the brim. God is not kill-joy: he has sanctified human joy in the joy of the young couple in Cana. But this wedding celebration was not only the wedding of the young couple, but also the marriage-feast of the Messiah with his bride, the Church. In the Old Testament, the Messiah, the promised Saviour, was often spoken of a bridegroom, and the chosen people as the bride, even though the bride had to be purified and sanctified. That marriage-feast of the Messiah with the Church would reach its climax on the cross on Calvary, when he would wash away all the defilement of sin from the bride, so that she might be presented without spot or wrinkle in the eternal banquet. It was fitting that the best wine be provided for the wedding-feast of the Messiah with the chosen people, the Church, and the love of the young couple in Cana intermingles with the human and divine love of the Messiah for the Church.
            Our Lady was  there at the very beginning of her son’s public life and was instrumental in anticipating his hour; so also was she present at the final moments of his life, when Our Lord gave us his mother to be our mother when he was dying on the cross on Calvary. Woman, behold thy son. She is there to intercede for the needs  of her children, and one day to show unto them the blessed fruit of her womb, Jesus, in all his glory and all his beauty.

3. The Proclamation of the Kingdom and the Call to Conversion.
            The proclamation of the kingdom and the call to conversion were already begun in prophecy and promise in the Old Testament: The people who lived in darkness and in the shadow of death has seen a great light: for a child is born to us, and a son is given to us, and his name shall be called wonderful counselor, father of the world to come, prince of peace. The prophet Isaiah had foreshadowed that kingdom and that call to conversion when he said to the chosen people who had abandoned the God of Israel: Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be washed white as snow; though they be red as crimson, they shall be washed white as wool – washed clean in the precious blood of our Saviour. And that kingdom was proclaimed by the angels at the birth of our Saviour: Glory to God in the highest, and peace to men of good will.
            The words of Jesus show the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy: I am come not to call the just, but sinners to repentance. Jesus’ words to so many sinners remind us of this: to the paralytic, My child, thy sins are forgiven thee; to the woman taken in adultery, Go now and sin no more; to Mary Magdalene, weeping at his feet, many sins are forgiven her because she has loved much; to those who are disheartened and discouraged, Come to me all ye who labour and are overburdened and I will give you rest for your souls; to those who crucified him on Calvary, Father forgive them for they know not what they do; and to the penitent thief at the very last moment of his life, This day thou shalt be with me in paradise. With the publican at the back of the church we cry out, Lord have mercy upon me a sinner; and the power of God’s grace can wipe away our sins and make us share in his victory.
            That victory comes to us especially through the sacraments he established. The words of the priest in absolution, I absolve you from your sins, echo our Lord’s own words, and indeed the call to conversion and that power of forgiveness are not just a memory in the past, but a reality through the sacraments our Lord has established: whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven; whose sins you retain, they are retained, and not only mortal sins, but venial sins too are wiped away in confession.

4. The Transfiguration.
            Jesus took with him Peter, James and John to the top of the mountain, where he was transfigured before them. They saw him, his face brighter than the sun, His garment dazzlingly white, talking to Moses and Elijah. And a voice came from the cloud: This is my son, the beloved; listen to him.
            Our Lord shows his disciples something of the glory that was his. No wonder that Peter could only cry out: Lord, it is good for us to be here. Let us make here three tabernacles, one for thee, one for Moses and one for Elijah. St. Paul, when he was taken up to see something of heaven, wrote: Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor has it entered into the heart of man, what God has prepared for those that love him. Our Lord was preparing his disciples for his passion and death, and this scene would remind them when the time came that our Lord had prophesied that he would rise again from the dead.
            Moses’ and Elijah’s speaking to Jesus was a reminder that he was the fulfillment of all the promises of the Old Testament, a Messiah who would bring salvation to his people. But then they saw only Jesus, and Jesus descended from the mountain with his disciples and spoke to them about the cross: The son of man is to be handed over to sinful men and be put to death and on the third day rise again. Peter exclaims, Lord this must not happen to thee. But Jesus replies, Be off Satan! Thou think as man thinks, not as God. The only path to the happiness of heaven is the royal path of the cross. Our Lord says to His disciples and to us:  If anyone wishes to follow me, let him take up his cross daily and follow me.

5. The Institution of the Holy Eucharist.
            Our Lord at the last supper gave His disciples the greatest gift of his love, that of himself in sacrifice. The gospels tell us that on the night in which he was betrayed, Jesus took bread into his hands and said, “This is My body which is to be handed over for you in sacrifice on Calvary; and This is My blood which is to be shed for you – shed in sacrifice”.
            This was above all a sacrificial banquet. As the Exsultet puts it: This is our Passover meal, when Christ the true lamb is slain His blood consecrates the homes of all believers. In the institution of the Holy Eucharist, Christ gave himself to his disciples in sacrifice. This was truly the climax of the greatest love story of all time. Our Lord’s answer to the betrayal of Judas was to give Himself in sacrificial love. That sacrifice was consummated the following day, when what Christ had promised was fulfilled and he was crucified on the cross on Calvary. And there at the foot of the cross was our blessed Lady. In giving us his body in sacrifice, he gave us also his mother, to be at the foot of our cross: Behold thy son, Behold thy mother. The Eucharist, in the words of Pope John Paul II, is above all else a sacrifice, and that sacrifice offered at the last supper was completed on Good Friday when our Lord laid down his life for mankind.
            The fruits of that sacrifice were the gift of his body and blood as food for the journey through life, and his abiding presence: “I am with you always, even to the consummation of the world”. And our Lord said to his disciples, “Do this in memory of me”: he gave them power to make present that self-same sacrifice until the end of time, giving himself in love, providing food for the journey, and abiding always with his disciples and the church.

Sorrowful Mysteries

1. The Agony in the Garden.
            Jesus and His disciples went to a place called the Garden of Gethsemane. Today this garden is guarded by Franciscans as one of the holy places of our redemption. There are still present eight of the olive trees that were there the night Jesus went in to pray.
            Jesus said, “Sit down here while I pray”. He then took with Him Peter, James and John. Why did Jesus ask these to go an extra way with Him? Even today, He asks some to go that extra mile. Can we not assume that when, today, Jesus asks something extra of us, that He is placing us in the same company in which He placed Peter, James and John? And what a blessing this is… for we know Peter became the cornerstone of our Church… John was the one who loved Jesus the greatest and was greatly loved by Jesus …and James, the brother of John, became so devoted to Jesus that he traveled the farthest ends of the earth spreading the word of God, and he became the first Apostle-martyr.
            And Jesus went off to pray. He was overcome by a supernatural vision which caused Him to see all that He would undergo. This sight was full of such horror that His Sacred Heart was filled with sorrow to the point of death. But, being God as well as man, Jesus knew why His suffering had to be. There were souls already awaiting redemption through Him…and Jesus beheld the just of the Old Law, His Mother’s parents, His beloved foster father, and St. John the Baptist. They, and many others, were there… longing with such intensity for His coming into that nether world that at this sight Jesus’ loving Heart responded. His death was to open Heaven for these poor souls and for the countless souls of future generations.
            The vision of His Passion and of the sins which made this Passion necessary caused an agony so intense that His Blood began to flow that night through sweat falling in drops of blood.
            The answer to His prayer came when, exhausted and trembling, He exclaimed: “My Father, if it be Thy will, remove this cup from Me. But not My will, but Thine be done!”
            During these ten Hail Marys let us beg our most holy Mother to intercede for us that we may understand the great challenge which is ours to be chosen by Jesus, to follow His tremendous example of the need for prayer …. And to understand in depth the words the Angel of Fatima spoke: “Pray, pray a great deal… the Hearts of Jesus and Mary have designs of mercy on you”.

2. The Scourging at the Pillar.
            At daybreak, the elders of the people, the chief priests, and the scribes assembled again. They brought Jesus before the council and asked, “Tell us, are you the Messiah?” He replied, “From now on, the Son of Man will have His seat at the right hand of the Power of God”. Soon they had reached a decision. They bound Jesus, led Him away, and handed Him over to Pilate.
            Pilate asked, “Are you a king?” And Pilate was not kidding. Being a man of authority, Pilate recognized authority. When he looked into Jesus’ eyes, he saw the eyes of a king, and he asked, “Are you a king?” Jesus admitted that He was.
            At this point, if we watch Pilate we are taught a grave lesson indeed. Pilate could see no wrong committed by Jesus. He saw in Jesus the grand manner and authority of a king. This insight was a tremendous blessing from God. Yet Pilate failed to take advantage of this blessing. He acted through fear of the people instead of fear of God. And it was to satisfy the people that Pilate permitted the Son of God to be scourged and then put to death.
            And Jesus was scourged at the pillar.
            Consider the magnitude of the suffering Jesus underwent. His body was vastly more sensitive than ours. Everything Jesus felt throughout His life was felt to a degree of perfection far greater than anything we have ever felt. And this scourging was so severe that it took three pairs of scourgers a quarter of an hour each to complete their tasks. Each pair came at Jesus with fresh fury. Jesus shuddered in His agony… and He continued to pray.
            These men who were scourging our Saviour were motivated by a diabolical hatred. As we watch them move with fury and act with cruelty, we watch Jesus submit His will to God’s … we watch Jesus silently pray at the very moment His sacred body is being caused such agonizing pain.
            During these ten Hail Marys, let us once again implore our heavenly Mother to pray for us… that we may understand how to submit our wills to God’s … that we may understand this mystery of redemption as She was able to understand it…and that we will understand to a far greater degree the words of the Angel at Fatima: “Above all, accept and bear with submission all the sufferings God sends into your life”.

3. Jesus is Crowned with Thorns.
            The soldiers now led Jesus away into the hall known as the praetorium, where the whole cohort was assembled. They mockingly dressed Him in a royal purple mantle that was much torn and soiled and began to prepare a crown for His head. The mob now assembled within the inner court of the guardhouse, stood jeering and laughing, thus adding to Jesus’ sufferings. Their laughter encouraged the guards as applause does an actor.
            And Jesus was crowned with thorns.
            They placed upon His sacred head a cap made of skillfully woven thorns…the thorn-branches were three fingers thick, the thorns of which grew straight out. In weaving the thorn-branches, care was taken to have as many thorns as possible point inward. Amid the jeers of the crowd, this crown was placed on Jesus’ head and crushed downward until some thorns pressed into His brows, while others cut into His ears and the entire top of His head. Though blinded by blood, He could still hear the laughter and shouts of mockery of the people about Him. He seemed alone, without anyone to lend support.
            With mock solemnity, they knelt before Him and bowing low, placed a reed in His bound hands. They hit Him with assorted weapons, spat into His sacred face, threw insulting words at Him and mocked Him with shouts of “Hail, King of the Jews!” Jesus, deep in prayer with His Holy Father, spoke not a word in protest or defense.
            Through such diabolically infested hatred, it appeared to those present that Jesus was beaten and destroyed… that they had defeated Him. Yet they were wrong. For despite the cruelty of their attack, they were unable to touch Jesus’ will… and here lies the secret of His undefeatable strength. Jesus was prepared to face whatever they wanted to inflict on Him, for this was the price of our redemption and He had come to pay that price.
            Recall that God wills everything that happens… He either causes it, or He permits it. If it is impossible for good to be the final outcome, God will not permit it. Through the outrageous outpouring of evil inflicted upon Jesus that day came our redemption. A redemption for all mankind – from the first man born to the last one who ever will be! To bring about such good – such is the power of God!
            Through these next ten Hail Marys, let us ask our holy Mother to teach us to conform our wills to God’s so that we, too, will be able to fulfill God’s plan in our lives. Let us ask Her to help us understand the deep meaning in the words She spoke at Fatima: “If you wish to offer up to God all the sufferings He desires to send you, you will have much to suffer, but the grace of God will comfort you”.
4. Jesus Carries His Cross.
            They brought Jesus to another part of the house of Pilate where they stripped Him of the purple mantle and dressed Him in His own garments.
            The executioners loaded the heavy cross upon His shoulders and then tied ropes around Him so as to be able to jerk Him forward or pull Him backwards. In this way, Jesus was never sure, step by step, which way He would be pulled.
            Painfully, Jesus started His journey of carrying His cross.
            Since the Last Supper of the preceding night, Jesus had been without food, drink or sleep. He was now consumed by loss of blood, wounds, fever, thirst and unutterable interior pain. Thus, under faltering steps, He moved through the streets amid the confusion and turbulent noise of the crowd, His back bent low under the weight of the heavy cross, His feet bleeding.
            Insults and horrible affronts were still being hurled at Him. He had fallen under the weight of the cross onto the jagged stones of the street. Because of the many deep lashings which struck His shoulder, the cross which was resting on His shoulder bone caused Him excruciating pain. His knees were open wounds from falling. His eyes, which had been looking all around Him with such divine mercy, finally fell upon the face of His Mother! No words were spoken; no words had to be. Their souls cried out, “My Son!”… “My Mother!” How Mary’s heart broke at the sight of Her Son being so outrageously treated. How She suffered within Herself the pains being inflicted upon Her adorable Son. Yet there was nothing in Her outward appearance to reflect any feelings against those who were causing this pain.
            How could Mary keep silent at such a time? Being ‘full of grace’, She knew there was only one course of action She could follow which would be fruitful. Mary prayed.
            And what was the result of Mary’s intercession? Suddenly there was a very radical change in the Passion. First, there was a reduction in the weight of the cross, for now Simon was helping Jesus. A woman came forward and wiped Jesus’ face. A whole group of women began to weep for Him. Jesus now received acts of love and consolation where before there had been none.
            During these ten Hail Marys let us ask our holy Mother to intercede for us and to teach us to look with Her great glance of love upon the life of Her Son. Let us ask Her to help us understand fully the meaning of Her words at Fatima: “Offer up your daily duty in reparation for the sins of the world”.

5. The Crucifixion.
            Jesus was stretched on the cross by His executioners as bystanders moaned with sighs of pity; some turned their heads away, unable to endure what they were seeing. Then God sent them this sign – the sun, which had been burning brilliantly in the sky, became obscured by a murky, red fog. This filled them with great fear.
            As  they nailed His sacred hands and feet to the cross – with the aid of ropes, and levering themselves against the cross for added strength – His executioners pulled His arms and legs far beyond their natural reach in order that His hands and feet would extend to the appropriate points on the cross. Thus His bones were dislocated from their sockets; His shoulders were distended; His elbows, disjointed. As the nails were hammered in, Jesus emitted moans which were cries of pure pain.
            The sacred hands which made the heavens and all that exists were now held in place by nails, and it appeared to man that Jesus was helpless. “If thou art the Christ, help thyself!” came mocking voices from the crowd.
            Yet, to God, the scene appeared quite different.
            This was His beloved Son, fulfilling His mission. Instead of being helpless, the power of God was upon Him….and never had God looked upon Jesus with more love and tender compassion than He did at that moment.
            As the ninth hour approached (three o’clock in the afternoon), fear filled the crowd and the scoffers were silenced because the sky was becoming still darker. It appeared as though they were in the midst of a chaotic night. Slowly, various groups among the crowd left for the safety of their homes. Jesus’ Mother and the holy people with Her remained at the foot of the cross.
            As the holy Mother witnessed all that was happening to Her Child, Her grief was so intense that Her outward appearance changed to such a degree that those closest to Her could hardly recognize Her. Only by the power of God was She able to endure the pain She felt that day.
            No one need ever doubt the importance of the Mother of God in our lives. Jesus could have given us His Mother during any part of His life, but He chose to give Her to us during His last moments here on earth when He had nothing on His mind except our redemption. Therefore, as part of our redemption, Jesus gave us His Mother.
            During these ten Hail Marys let us ask our heavenly Mother to help us understand as She did the mystery of Jesus’ agony on the cross. Let us remember with deep awareness Her words spoken at Fatima: “So many souls are lost because there is no one to pray and make sacrifices for them”.

Glorious Mysteries

1. The Resurrection
            The Word of God: He is not here but has risen. Behold the place where they had laid Him to rest.

Reflection: Christ triumphed over sin and death. With the help of His grace, rise to a new and better life.

Petition: Pray for the spirit of faith, joy, peace.

Points for Consideration
1.            Easter Sunday dawns bright and serene. The risen Jesus appears to Mary His Mother, all smiles.
2.            The holy women hurry to the Lord’s tomb in the morning twilight to
anoint His body fittingly.
3.      They are amazed and frightened to find the entrance open, the stone rolled back, the tomb empty.
4.      The two angels calm their fear saying: He is risen. Go and tell His apostles and disciples.
5.      Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene to soothe her broken heart at the loss of her beloved Master.
6.      She rushes back and bursts into the midst of the apostles saying: I have seen the Lord, Jesus.
7.      The risen Jesus manifests Himself to the crestfallen but repentant St. Peter to reassure his love and confidence as head of the apostolic college.
8.      He joins the two disciples on their way to Emmaus. They recognize Him at the breaking of the bread.
9.      Jesus enters the barred room. He assures the apostles that it is Himself: Peace be to you all.
10.      He breathes upon them and gives them power to forgive or retain the sins of fallen mankind.

Note Well
            Insist on doing even the most ordinary duties of the day according to your state of life with extraordinary love, fidelity and generosity to please God alone.

2. The Ascension
            The Word of God: And He was taken up to heaven and sits at the right hand of God: Mk.XVI. 19.
            Reflection: Jesus returns to His Father. God is our destiny and Christ our advocate. Salvation was bought at a great price.
            Petition: Pray for everlasting bliss in heaven above.

Points for Consideration
  1. Jesus shows His resplendent glory to His disciples on and off for full forty days.
  2. The task appointed by His Father being completed Jesus goes to Mount Olives once again.
  3. He says to His apostles: I shall not leave you orphans but send the Paraclete to help and guide you right up to the end of the world.
  4. He deputes them to preach and teach the Good News even unto the ends of the earth.
  5. Then raising His hand in benediction, gradually He ascends to His Father in Heaven.
  6. A nebulous cloud absorbs Him vanishing out of sight before His bewildered disciples.
  7. They still stand and stare at the heavens with mixed feeling of joy and understandable sorrow.
  8. Two men in immaculate white suddenly appear in their midst saying: Why stand you and stare?
  9. This same Jesus will come back again on the last day to judge the living and the dead.
  10. The apostles then return to Jerusalem to attend to their mission of spreading the Kingdom of God.

Note Well
            Insist on doing even the most ordinary duties of the day according to your state of life with extraordinary love, fidelity and generosity to please God alone.

3. Descent of Holy Spirit.
            The Word of God: Suddenly there came a sound from Heaven and there appeared to them parted tongues; they were filled with the Holy Spirit: Acts. 112.
            Reflection: I shall not live you orphans. The Paraclete will teach you all things. Be My faithful witnesses.
            Petition: Pray for zeal for souls to God’s greater Glory.

Points for Consideration
  1. The apostles and disciples go back to the Cenacle where the Last Supper was held in farewell.
  2. There, one in mind and heart, they persevere in prayer and holy expectation for the Will of God to be made manifest.
  3. The Mother of Jesus and the holy women have also joined this community in prayerful living.
  4. The time between the Ascension and Pentecost is spent in a close bond of charity and fervent worship.
  5. On Pentecost Sunday, whilst at prayer, the sound of mighty and strong wind heard.
  6. It fills and echoes through the Upper Room during the routine prayer get-together session.
  7. On the head of each one of this pious assembly, they see parted tongues as if of fire.
  8. Instantly, all present are filled with the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit, the promised Paraclete.
  9. They begin to speak in diverse tongues under the inspiration of the indwelling Holy Spirit.
  10. Filled with new zest and courage, they now step out to rout and subdue the enemies of God.

Note Well
            Insist on doing even the most ordinary duties of the day according to your state of life with extraordinary love, fidelity and generosity to please God alone.

4. The Assumption
            The Word of God: Now a great sign appeared in heaven - a woman adorned with the sun:          Revelation. XII. 1
            Reflection: The ample reward of Christian fidelity. No pains, no gains. No cross, no          crown.
            Petition: Pray for a good life and a happy death.

Points for Consideration
1.      As the apostles disperse our Lady goes to stay with St. John, the beloved disciple.
2.      A life on earth is drawing to a close. She yearns and pines to be with Her Son, Jesus.
3.      Those who knew and loved Her in life, start for Her home to be with Her in Her last moments.
4.      They gather around her bed side anxiously awaiting some parting advice. They are sad to lose Her.
5.      But their sorrow and grief is not without any hope. They are resigned to God’s holy will.
6.      They waste no time in fruitless lamentations. Instead, they fervently pray for calm and peace.
7.      With the greatest affection and reverence, they embalm Her body before the burial ceremony.
8.      Later, they are astonished not to find Her body in the tomb where it was laid to rest.
9.      Exultantly it dawns upon them that Jesus must have lifted Her body and soul, incorrupt into heaven.
10.  What a splendid and befitting reward for the heroic role the Blessed Virgin played in our redemption.

Note Well
            Insist on doing even the most ordinary duties of the day according to your state of life with extraordinary love, fidelity and generosity to please God alone.

5. The Coronation
            The Word of God: Thou art the glory of Jerusalem. Thou art the joy and honour of our people: Judith: XV.10, 11.
            Reflection: Pray the Rosary daily with attention and devotion meditating on the mysteries they contain with practical concrete reference to our daily duties.
            Petition: Pray for the gift of final perseverance.

Points for Consideration
1. Amidst choirs of angels, Our Blessed Mother, is triumphantly borne into heaven.
2. She is seated on a throne next to Her Divine Son in ravishing resplendent celestial glory.
3. She is crowned Queen Mother and Mediatrix of heaven, the Cherubim, Seraphim and the whole of creation before the throne of God
4. God the Father rejoices in his daughter’s most perfect submission and execution of his holy will.
5. God the Son looks with rapturous filial love on His best and greatest conquest of earthly mould.
6. God the Holy Spirit is thrilled and captivated at the sight of His one and beloved Spouse.
7. Her bewitching beauty of body and soul send the whole court of heaven into an ecstasy of joy and love.
8. From heaven, our Queen and Mother, dispenses all graces through the merits of Jesus Christ.
9. Even as we say this Rosary in her honour, She readily grants us mercy and pardon for our sins.
10. Pray the Rosary daily with deep faith and due attention and devotion. As promised our Heavenly Mother will pardon sinners and save their souls.

Note Well
            Insist on doing even the most ordinary duties of the day according to your state of life with extraordinary love, fidelity and generosity to please God alone.

CONCLUSION: Our Lady to Lucia in 1920: “I promise salvation to all those who embrace it (The First Saturdays Devotion) and their souls will be loved by God as flowers placed by me to adorn His throne”.