“We are at the end of a tradition and a civilization which believed we could preserve Christianity without Christ, religion without a creed, meditation without sacrifice, family life without moral responsibility, sex without purity and economics without ethics. We have completed our experiment of living without God…” – Archbishop Fulton Sheen (1933)
..with the atom. It says to man: “God made me. He put atomic fission in the universe. That is how the sun lights the world. The great power which the Omnipotence has locked within my heart was made to serve you for peaceful purposes: to light your cities, to drive your motors, to ease the burdens of men. But instead, like Prometheus, you have stolen this fire from heaven and used it for the first time to destroy noncombatants. You did not first use electricity to kill a man, but you first used atomic fission to annihilate cities. For that reason, I shall turn against you, make you fear what you should love, make millions of hearts shrink in terror from your enemies, doing to you what you have done to them, and turn humanity into a victim of Frankenstein, cowering in bomb shelters from the very monsters you have created.”
It is not that God has abandoned the world, but that the world has abandoned God and cast its lot with nature divorced from Nature’s God. Man throughout history has always become wicked when, turning his back on God, he identified himself with nature. The new name for nature is Science. Science rightly understood means reading the Wisdom of God in Nature, which God made. Science wrongly understood means reading the proofs of the Book of Nature while denying that the Book ever had an Author. Nature or Science is a servant of man under God; but divorced from God, Nature or Science is a tyrant, and the atom bomb is the symbol of that tyranny.
Since man trembles before Nature without God, the only hope for mankind must be found in nature itself. It is as if God in His Mercy, when man turned his head away from the heavens, still left hope for him in the very nature toward which he now lowers his eyes. There is Hope and a great Hope, too.
The Hope is ultimately in God, but people are so far away from God they cannot immediately make the leap. We have to start with the world as it is. The Divine seems far away. The start back to God must begin with nature. But is there anything unspoiled and unshattered in all nature with which we can start the way back? There is one thing, which Wordsworth called our “tainted nature’s solitary boast.” That hope is in The Woman. She is not a goddess, she is not divine, she is entitled to no adoration. But she came out of our physical and cosmic nature so holy and good that when God came to this earth He chose her to be His Mother and the Woman of the world.
It is particularly interesting that the theology of the Russians, before they were overwhelmed by the cold heart of the anti-God, taught that when the world rejected the Heavenly Father, He sent His Divine Son, Jesus Christ to illumine the world. Then they went on to predict that, when the world would reject Our Lord as it has done today, on that Dark Night the light of His Mother would arise to illumine the darkness and lead the world to peace. The beautiful revelation of Our Blessed Mother at Fatima in Portugal from April to October, 1917, was another proof of the Russian thesis that, when the world would fight against the Savior, He would send His Mother to save us. And her greatest Revelation took place in the very month the Bolshevik Revolution began.
What was said on those occasions is too well known to be repeated. Our present concern is with the Dance of the Sun which took place on October 13, 1917. Those who love the Mother of Our Lord need no further evidence of this event. Since those who unfortunately do not know either would take proof only from those who reject both Our Lord and His Mother, I offer this description of the phenomenon by the atheist editor of the anarchist Portuguese newspaper O Seculo, who was one among the 70,000 who witnessed the incident that day.
It was “a spectacle unique and incredible. . . . One can see the immense crowd turn toward the sun which reveals itself free of the clouds in full noon. The great star of day makes one think of a silver plaque, and it is possible to look straight at it without the least discomfort. . . . The astonished eyes of the people, full of terror, with heads uncovered, gaze into the blue of the sky. The sun has trembled, and has made some brusque movements, unprecedented, and outside of all cosmic laws. According to the typical expressions of the peasants ‘the sun danced.’ The sun turned around on itself like a wheel of fireworks, and it fell almost to the point of burning the earth with its rays … It remains for those competent to pronounce on the danse macabre of the sun, which today at Fatima has made Hosannas burst from the breasts of the faithful and has naturally impressed even freethinkers and other persons not at all interested in religious matter.”
Another atheistic and antireligious sheet, O Ordem, wrote: “The sun is sometimes surrounded with crimson flames, at other times aureoled with yellow and at still others, red; it seemed to revolve with a very rapid movement of rotation, apparently detaching itself from the sky, and approached the earth while radiating strong heat.”
Why should Almighty God have chosen to verify the 1917 message of Our Lady about the end of World War I, about the beginning of World War II in 1939 if men did not repent, through nature’s one indispensable light and heat? We may only conjecture.
There are three possible ways of interpreting the Miracle of the Sun. The first is to regard it as a warning of the atomic bomb, which, like a falling sun, would darken the world. It conceivably might be a portent of the day when man, Prometheus-like, would snatch fire from the heavens and then rain it down as death on Nagasaki and Hiroshima.
On the other hand, it could be seen as a sign of hope, namely, that the Woman who came out of nature is mightier than the forces of nature. The atomic bomb explodes through fission, or one atom rending and tearing another atom. But atomic fission is the way the sun lights the world. God put atomic fission in the universe; otherwise we would not have discovered it.
At Fatima, the fact that Mary could take this great center and seat of atomic power and make it her plaything, the fact that she could swing the sun “like a trinket at her wrist,” is a proof that God has given her power over it, not for death, but for light and life and hope. As Scripture foretold: “And now, in heaven, a great sign appeared; a woman clothed with the sun.” (Rev. 12:1)
There is a third way of viewing the Miracle of the Sun and that is to regard it as a miniature and a cameo of what may yet happen to the world, namely, some sudden cataclysm or catastrophe which would make the world shake in horror as the 70,000 shook at Fatima that day. This catastrophe would be a precocious or uncontrolled explosion of an atomic bomb which would literally shake the earth. This is not beyond the realm of possibility. Einstein and Lindbergh in their scientific writings have mentioned it as a danger. But better than either testimony is the address the Holy Father gave at the opening session of the Pontifical Academy of Science on February 21, 1943 two years before the first atomic bomb was dropped.
Since atoms are extremely small it was not thought seriously that they might also acquire practical importance. Today, instead, such a question has taken an unexpected form following the results of artificial radioactivity. It was, in fact, established that in the disintegration, which the atom of uranium undergoes when bombarded by neutrons, two or three neutrons are freed, each launching itself – one being able to meet and smash another uranium atom. From special calculation it has been ascertained that in such a way (neutron bombardment causing a breakdown in the uranium atom) in one cubic meter of oxide power of uranium, in less than one one-hundredth of a second, there develops enough energy to elevate more than sixteen miles a weight of a billion tons: a sum of energy which could substitute for many years the action of all the great power plants of the world.
Above all, therefore, it should be of utmost importance that the energy originated by such a machine should not be let loose to explode but a way found to control such power with suitable chemical means. Otherwise there could result, not only in a single place but also for our entire planet, a dangerous catastrophe.
On October 13, 1917, believers and unbelievers prostrated themselves upon the ground during the Miracle of the Sun, most of them pleading to God for Mercy and Forgiveness. That whirling sun, which spun like a giant wheel and thrust itself to the earth as if it would burn it with its rays, may have been the harbinger of a world spectacle that will draw millions to their knees in a rebirth of faith. And as Mary revealed herself in that first Miracle of the Sun, so may we look forward to another revelation of her power when the world has its next rehearsal for the Dies Irae.
Devotion to Our Lady of Fatima is actually a petition to a Woman to save man from nature made destructive through the rebellious intellect of man. At other moments in history, she was a Mediatrix of Her Divine Son for man; but here she is a Mediatrix for nature. She seizes the original atomic power which is the sun and proves it is hers to use for peace. And yet it is not apart from man that she would save him from nature, as it was not apart from her free consent that God would save humanity from sin. Man must cooperate through penance.
At La Salette, Our Lady asked for penance. At Lourdes, three times the Blessed Mother said: “Penance, penance, penance.” At Fatima, the same penitential antiphon is struck time and time again. The atom will not destroy man, if man will not destroy himself. An atom in revolt is only a symbol of man in revolt. But humanity in repentance will purchase a nature in complete control.
Like the threatened destruction of Nineveh, the threat of another World War is conditional. The Blessed Mother revealed at Fatima in 1917 that World War I would end in another year. If men repented, she said, a great era of peace and prosperity would come to the world. But if not, another World War, worse than the first, would begin in the reign of the next Pontiff (Pius XI).
The Civil War in Spain in 1936 was thus looked upon by Heaven as the curtain raiser and the prologue of World War II. This war would be the means by which “God will punish the world for its crimes by means of war, of hunger, and of persecution of the Church and the Holy Father.
“To prevent this I come to ask the consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart and the Communion of Reparation on the first Saturdays. Russia will be converted, and there will be peace. If my requests are not granted, Russia will scatter her errors throughout the world, provoking wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have to suffer much, and various nations will be annihilated.”
There then comes a missing paragraph, which the Church has not yet given to the world. It probably refers to these times. Then, as if to indicate that it will be a Time of Trouble, comes the concluding paragraph: “In the end My Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, and it will be converted and a certain period of peace will be granted to the world.”
Repentance, prayer, sacrifice – these are conditions of peace, for they are the means by which man is remade. Fatima throws a new light on Russia, for it makes a distinction between Russia and the Soviets. It is not the Russian people that must be conquered in war; they have already suffered enough since 1917. It is Communism that must be crushed.
This can be done by a Revolution from within. It is well to remember that Russia has not one, but two atomic bombs. Her second bomb is the pent-up sufferings of her people under the yoke of slavery, and when that explodes it will be with a force a thousand times greater than that which comes from the fission of an atom! We need a revolution, too, as well as Russia. Our revolution must be from within our hearts, that is, by the remaking of our lives. As we proceed with our Revolution, the Revolution in Russia will grow apace.
O Mary, we have exiled Your Divine Son from our lives, our councils, our education and families! Come with the light of the sun as the symbol of His Power! Heal our wars, our dark unrest; cool the cannon’s lips so hot with war! Take our minds off the atom and our souls out of the muck of nature! Give us rebirth in Your Divine Son, us, the poor children of the earth grown old with age! “Advance Woman, in Thy Assault upon Omnipotence!” Shame us all into enlisting as Your warriors of peace and love!
The World’s First Love
By FULTON J. SHEEN
In the 126th Psalm, King David warns us, “Unless the Lord builds the house: they labor in vain that build it.” Houses must be built on foundations that are slide-rule perfect, lest they tilt. King David’s teaching, of course, goes beyond houses. He means that without grace, whatever we do is in vain.
Philosophy is like this, and especially so. There must be no flaws, it must be perfect. In his Epistle to the Colossians, St. Paul’s words about philosophy are interesting in this regard:
“Beware lest any man cheat you by philosophy and vain deceit; according to the tradition of men according to the elements of the world and not according to Christ” (2:8).
Writing about the mentality that overthrew the Middle Ages, Prof. Plinio Correa de Oliveira noted that by the 15th century, “The appetite of men for earthly pleasures [was] transformed into a burning desire. ” They were increasingly attracted to “a life filled with delights of fancy and the senses.”
The professor went on to say what happened when this mentality penetrated the intellectual sphere:
“This moral climate produced clear manifestations of pride, such as a taste for ostentatious and vain disputes, for inconsistent tricks of argument and for fatuous exhibitions of learning. It encouraged old philosophical tendencies, over which Scholasticism had already triumphed.”
Now then, it matters nothing whether it be “old philosophical tendencies” or new ones that lead men into error. Scholasticism’s foundation was slide-rule perfect, and therefore blocked the program of Progressivism. It had to go, and in the wake of Vatican II it was replaced with something new. Why, exactly, was Scholasticism perfect? And what, exactly, took its place?
It was perfect because it brought “harmony between the laws of being and the laws of thought. Objectivity of our knowledge in the light of being.”
Important words, these. When we examine a thing, we do so as it exists in being. The method of this examination must be divorced from the clutter of our subjective thoughts. Any method of inquiry that seeks the truth must place the object first, and this is exactly what Scholasticism does. For this reason Pope St. Pius X said that Catholicism cannot be understood scientifically without utilizing the major theses of St. Thomas Aquinas, the father of Scholasticism.
The philosophy of John Paul II, known as Phenomenology, replaced Thomism, and locked Catholics globally into the progressivist New Church. Its method directly violates the principle of placing the object first, by taking “consciousness as its starting point, as Descartes did.” This is a problem of vital concern, because “for knowledge to be objective it is essential that things, not thoughts, be known first.” Whereas, “phenomenology sees reality as essentially relative and subjective.”
Fr. Karol Wojtyla wrote his philosophical doctoral dissertation on Max Scheler, an associate of Edmund Husserl. About Husserl the following was written:
“Existentialism is a philosophical movement characterized by an emphasis on subjectivity. It was inspired mainly by the German philosophers Edmund Husserl and Martin Heidegger. It, like the rest of the pus-filled growth on the back of philosophy called post-Modernism, should be disregarded by any philosophy that has a desire to know what is true and what is false.”
To repeat, a house built on a bad foundation will end up tilting. This means tearing the building down and beginning over. Phenomenology begins with self, which was the temptation of Lucifer. When God commanded adoration and reverence from the angelic realm, it caused a temptation for Lucifer, for he “was divided in his will between himself and the infallible truth of the Lord. Simply put, Lucifer violated the rule later codified by St. Thomas Aquinas, whereby focus on the object must be pure; it must not become entangled with self.
The house of God has been tilted for a long time. The progressivist New Church has to come down, its existentialist foundation has to be jack-hammered and buried in the hinterland.
Ninety years ago on July 13, 1917, Our Lady of Fatima warned us that “several nations will be annihilated.” Perhaps the present foundation and its tilted house must wait until then to be removed. In the Reign of Mary, her children will return to consulting the slide-rule to check its calculations, returning the foundation of St. Thomas Aquinas to its rightful place in the Catholic Church.
This article from The Washington Daily News reported the details of the death of Pope Pius XII and reflected on the highlights of his 19-year reign as Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church. His last words were, “Pray,” he said. “Pray that this regrettable situation for the church may end.”
Castel Gandolfo, Italy, Oct. 9, 1958 (UPI) –The church bells of Rome signaled today the start of nine days of official mourning for Pope Pius XII who died peacefully this morning in his summer palace at the age of 82.
Signs of mourning were donned throughout the Catholic world. Messages of condolences poured in from political and religious leaders of all denominations, for the late Pope was not only the spiritual and temporal head of Roman Catholicism but a diplomat and statesman of universal standing.
The body of the late Pope Pius XII, austere and kindly of face even in death, still lay in the room where he died at 3:52 a.m. (10:52 p.m. EDT) yesterday after a second stroke and heart and lung complications.
Later in the day, it was to be moved from the plain bedchamber on the second floor of the papal summer palace into the hall of the Swiss Guards. There Pius XII will lie in state until 2 p.m. (9 a.m. EDT) tomorrow when the body will be transported to Rome.
Vatican embalmers prepared the Pope’s body for the nine days of solemn ceremony before it is laid to rest in the grottoes of St. Peter’s Basilica close to the tomb of the first pope, St. Peter.
In the room where the Pope died, his body lay on a shiny brass bed. It was dressed in flowing white robes, topped by the ermine-lined scarlet “mozzetta” or cape. The top of the head was covered by a scarlet camauro, also trimmed with white ermine, which fitted closely around the ears and left only the face exposed.
In the Pope’s hands, clasped on his breast, were the small crucifix and the rosary he held when he died.
Only the communists showed no regrets. He had fought them bitterly, and for hours Moscow Radio did not even mention his death. During the final hours of his illness Russia jammed news bulletins on his condition.
In Rome where the solemn ceremonies will be held bells tolled in pre-dawn darkness and the altars of the city’s many churches were draped in purple, the sign of mourning. Italy declared three days of mourning and closed schools and places of entertainment.
The Pope had been unwell for a week and his final illness came at 8:30 a.m. Monday when he suffered a stroke, which left him paralyzed and weak. He received the last rites of the church but appeared to be making a recovery.
Then yesterday he was felled by a second stroke and the Vatican announced to the world there was little hope for his recovery. In mid-afternoon the doctors reported a grave cardio-pulmonary collapse. At 3 p.m. doctors abandoned hope. Just before sundown, pneumonia set in. Doctors brought in oxygen and blood plasma.
The end followed swiftly. Prof. Antonio Gasbarrini, one of the four doctors, signaled that death was near. All gathered at the bed–the family and the high papal officers. They recited prayers for the dying. There was a choked, rasping sound from the patient.
Sister Pasquilina, the faithful housekeeper for more than two decades, gently wiped the unconscious Pope’s lips with water during the recital of the prayers.
At one point she took the crucifix, which had been resting on the Pope’s chest and put it near his mouth.
At 3:52 a.m. Prof. Gasbarrini put a stethoscope to the Pontiff’s chest, felt the pulse, turned and said: “E morto”–he is dead.
Msgr. Tardini repeated the words: “E morto.” And then in a break from tradition intoned the inspiring “Magnificat”:
“My soul doth magnify the Lord.
“My spirit doth rejoice in Him…”
All present slowly filed past the Pope’s deathbed – the noble guards, the Swiss guards and gendarmes on duty.
Msgr. Angelo Dell-Acqua, Vatican assistant Pro-Secretary of State, moved into the adjoining chapel and recited the first funeral Mass.
The Pope, a statesman and diplomat, was a man of many firsts. He was the first to use radio and television; the first to use a typewriter; the first to use a plane–he was known as the “Flying Cardinal” when he visited the United States 22 years ago.
His formal title was:
“Bishop of Rome
“Vicar of Christ.
“Successor of the Prince of the Apostles, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, Patriarch of the West, Primate of Italy, Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Roman Province, Sovereign of The State of Vatican City.”
To Catholics he was the dauntless champion of mankind’s spiritual glory. To non-Catholics he was a statesman, a world leader who sought to prevent World War II through personal intervention, a man who fought against communism.
His death ended one of the most notable pontificates in the 19 centuries of the church. He was looked upon as a saint, and his early canonization was regarded as certain.
The church has reported that on the morning of Dec. 2, 1954, while suffering a serious illness, he saw “the sweet person of Jesus Christ at his bedside” while he was reciting the prayer, “Anima Christi.” Another apparent miracle attributed to him was the vision of the revolving suns, which appeared to him in the Vatican gardens during the 1950 holy year–a vision said to be similar to the one of Fatima.
The Pope’s last words before lapsing into unconsciousness showed that the church was foremost in his mind.
“Pray,” he said. “Pray that this regrettable situation for the church may end.”
Pope Pius XII was an implacable foe of communism, and the last half of his reign was devoted to a relentless struggle against its “cruel and bloody irony.”
But he served through an era that knew no peace, when the bloody World War II was succeeded by the “cold war,” the development of the atomic and hydrogen bombs, and the persecution of Christianity by the communists.
Though saddened by this struggle, the Pope remained convinced of the eventual victory of good over evil.
Extract from: The Washington Daily News, Thursday, October 9, 1958
A full generation before Vatican II, the techniques this so‑called “pastoral” council recommended for updating the Church had already been perfected by Communists working in the Church in China. There it was shown how the dialoguing “study club” could be gradually transformed into the “parish council” which would take over the direction of the parish and eventually the entire diocese.
The following article was written by Mrs. Hertz some years before the alleged “fall of Communism” was heralded by the heroes of Glasnost and Perestroika. As Mrs. Hertz explains, Marx’ philosophy has always hinged on the fomentation of constant change and evolution. Today, Communism is not so much “dead” as it is evolving into its next stage. The following retrospective look at Communism as it manifested itself during the Cold War, therefore, is quite revealing, since the rapid downward spiral of our world and our Church into Godless chaos is a direct consequence of the triumph of atheism, the bedrock of Communism. Indeed, the “errors of Russia” have now spread throughout the entire world—the Orthodox schism has not diminished in the least and atheistic Communism thrives out in the open in the world’s most populated nation and, everywhere else, has morphed itself “doctrinally” and “philosophically” into the very soul of the New World Order. Mrs. Hertz’ article, then, is perhaps more timely today than it was when it was written some 25 years ago.
How do you get a cat to eat hot pepper? This question, a classic in Marxist training manuals, opens an exercise in revolutionary technique. The answer, to which the student is led by logic and common experience, explains how Communism has been able to take over a third of the world without serious opposition.
How does one get a cat to eat pepper, a condiment as unpalatable to him as Marxist doctrine is to healthy human nature? The first answer to present itself says the primer, is obvious: Force open the cat’s jaws and cram the pepper in.
Wrong, the student is told, because the cat’s willing cooperation is lacking. The second answer – to conceal the pepper in a tasty fish – is equally inadequate, because as soon as the cat detects the pepper he simply regurgitates it.
The correct answer: Sprinkle the pepper all over the cat’s mat. When he lies on it the pepper will cling to his fur and sting, so that he will soon be licking himself to get it off. This method assures perfect assimilation because (1) the cat is actually ingesting (2) entirely on his own initiative, (3) and a completely conditioned initiative at that, (4) pepper, which he hates.
Pius XI in effect described this cat‑and‑pepper ploy in his encyclical Divini Redemptorist, promulgated on the feast of St. Joseph, 1937: “The Communist takes advantage of the present world‑ wide economic crisis,” which he foments “to draw into the sphere of his influence even those sections of the populace which on principle reject all forms of materialism and terrorism . . . The preachers of Communism are also proficient in exploiting racial antagonism and political divisions .
It wields “a propaganda so truly diabolical that the world has perhaps never witnessed its like before. It is directed from one common center. It is shrewdly adapted to the varying conditions of diverse peoples. It has at its disposal vast financial resources, gigantic organizations, international congresses and countless trained workers. It makes use of pamphlets and reviews of cinema, theatre and radio, of schools and universities” – a list to which must now be added television and our very churches. “Little by little it penetrates into all classes of the people and even reaches the better‑minded groups of the community with the result that few are aware of the poison which increasingly pervades their minds and hearts.”
Thus works the mystery of iniquity in our time, sprinkling its pepper everywhere. By its own admission it employs a simple technique of temptation which the devil first used on Eve at the outset of the Revolution in Eden. He teaches his followers the same kind of spiritual judo, whereby opponents are led to use their own virtues and strength against themselves, just as the poor cat is drawn to eat pepper through his very distaste for it.
Fallen irretrievably from grace, Satan has only natural means at his disposal to effect super-natural destruction, but he uses these with transcendent craft. Although even in cases of possession he cannot act directly on the human will, he can solicit it in countless ways from the outside, courting its cooperation through its desire for good.
“I have gone round about the earth, and walked through it,” says he in the book of Job (2:2) exposing the source of his know‑how. His superior intelligence understands our earthly nature far better than we do, and he turns it against us with great skill. The richer our nature, the more he has to work with. Despite all her preternatural gifts, he captured Eve’s consent by appealing to her natural desires for what is “good to eat, and fair to the eyes and delightful to behold” (Gen. 3:6), later tempting the Son of Man in the same three ways in the desert, through what ascetical theology calls the concupiscence of the flesh, the concupiscence of the eyes and the pride of life. By weakening the will and disrupting the judgment, original sin has rendered our good appetites dangerous for us.
Well did St. Paul warn us that our battle here was not against mere flesh and blood, but against “the spirits of wickedness in the high places” (Eph. 6:12), for throughout the ages Satan has taught his own techniques to his disciples. The Gospels reveal how, after his failure with our Lord in the desert, Satan inspired the Jews to continue the subversion he had begun. Inciting our Lord to revolution in the form of refusing Caesar’s taxes, they began adroitly by appealing to His integrity and love of justice: “Master, we know that thou art a true speaker, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou does not regard the person of men.” (Matt. 22:16).
Later, in the Acts of the Apostles, we see how judaizers carried the battle into the Church, for a time even subverting our first Pope. In the last century descendants of these Jews who rejected Christ – Marx, Engels, Heine, Lenin, Trotsky and their countless helpers then and now – have forged an instrument whereby every potential member of Christ’s kingdom can be tempted as was its Head. Popularly known as Communism, it actually constitutes a global temptation seeking to engulf the whole world in Satan’s revolution against God. Through the avenues of the three concupiscences the full force of our fallen nature can now be channeled and hurled against all mankind at once.
Communism may be properly called a Jewish heresy, for by its formal denial of an after life and the supernatural order, its crass materialism and blind faith in temporal Messianism, it is essentially a highly developed form of Saducceeism. The Gospels record conversions to Christianity among the Pharisees, but never from the Sadducees. Their heresy, now launched wholesale upon the world, would seem to be unto death.
“It exceeds in amplitude and violence anything yet experienced in the preceding persecutions launched against the Church,” said Pius XI. “Entire peoples find themselves in danger of falling back into a barbarism worse than that which oppressed the greater part of the world at the coming of the Redeemer.”
“How is it possible,” asks this Pope, “that such a system, long since rejected scientifically and now proved erroneous by experience, could spread so rapidly in all parts of the world?”
“The explanation,” he tells us, “lies in the fact that too few of us have been able to grasp the nature of Communism.”
Then too, as Fr. François Dufay points out in Etoile contre la Croix, we judge Communism much too leniently for the simple reason that communists are so much better than their doctrine. Recognizing in them qualities and virtues derived from natural law which remain in all of us despite the Fall, we attribute these to Communism. The reverse is true with Christians, who always look bad when judged against Christianity, a doctrine so sublime it can never be lived up to completely. Looking at Christians, we think Christianity defective; looking at communists, we find Communism not so bad.
“Brethren,” pleads St. Paul, “do not become children in mind, but in malice be children and in mind mature!” (I Cor. 14:20). There’s nothing Christian about being stupid. “Be wise as serpents,” commanded our Lord (Matt. 10:16).
Communism has been tragically underestimated by those who will not make the mental effort to understand it. For most, a communist is little more than an obnoxious organizer set on annoying us with strikes. Those who accept Pius XI’s word for it that it is “intrinsically perverse,” as often as not see it merely as some force which is out to deprive them of their hard‑earned property, even as they lick up its pepperiest propaganda.
In sober truth Communism provides a comprehensive explanation of all reality, geared to satisfy the most penetrating intellect. The proof is evident, it has won over some of the finest minds in the Church. No mere ideology, and least of all a political platform, Communism is a whole philosophy, a theology, a mystique. It has its Thomas Aquinases, its St. Pauls, its St. Johns of the Cross. For its “Redeemer” it proposes humanity itself! As our Lord predicted, it will be “many” who “will come in my name saying, I am the Christ… and they will lead many astray.” (Matt. 24:5).
Its historical development furthermore reveals a specifically anti‑Trinitarian, apocalyptic character which is even now coming to full term . Tempting man totally through the three concupiscences for food, glory and power as Satan did our Lord, it assaults in turn the three human faculties which constitute the divine Trinitarian image in the human soul, the intellect, the mind or “memory”, and the will. This interior trinity, by whose interchanges man lives as a human being, is analogous to the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost in the Godhead.
Communism confronts us therefore with a “trinity” of its own: Marx, Lenin and Mao.
Accepted generally as the Father of Communism, Karl Marx plays the role of creator and source from which the whole movement flows. A theorist who took little active part in revolutionary events, he laid the main lines of a direct and deadly temptation aimed primarily at the intellect. To this faculty, which specifically reflects God the Father in man and is designed to feed on truth, Marx would offer stones for food. He proposed the satanic error called dialectic materialism, whose inexorable laws were to regulate all philosophy, sociology and economics.
To read Marx is to hear Satan’s boast in Isaias: “I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God, I will sit in the mountain of the covenant, in the sides of the north. I will ascend above the height of the clouds, I will be like the Most High!” (Is. 14:13‑14). He will explain everything.
As a temptation offered specifically to the intellect, dialectic materialism necessarily opposes the theological virtue of faith – without which no one may please God (Heb. 11:6). Pretending to enlighten man’s thinking, it will plunge him into darkness, for to accept its tenets is direct denial of God, inasmuch as these hold that human history is produced by blind forces existing in matter, and not by the direction of Divine Providence. In other words, matter created itself, eventually evolving to the point where it began to think, and became man. The Marxist definition of man – borrowed, incidentally, from Benjamin Franklin, whom Marx greatly admired – is an animal which thinks.
The reader is begged to bear patiently with the next few paragraphs, which may not make easy reading, but they are essential in explaining Communism as the end product of a long chain of false philosophies:
1. Marx’ notion of materialism as “dynamic” was actually an adaptation of the German philosopher Feuerbach’s “metaphysical” materialism, wherein Marx replaced God by science as revealer of the universe. With Marx, man no longer receives moral directives from a force outside the world, but from science, which arises from the world itself, and whose origin, nature and direction it gradually explains.
This means there can be no morality outside matter, and inasmuch as matter is obviously in constant flux, human acts can only vary along with it. Man need no longer get in tune with an arbitrary God and His commandments, but must align his actions to developing matter in a perpetual aggiornamento or “situation ethics.”
2. Marx’ dialectics were derived from Hegel, for whom a “world‑soul” engendered matter. By simply reversing the process, Marx postulated that matter in fact engendered spirit – incidentally also engendering Fr. Teilhard de Chardin’s “noosphere” and other related nonsense now basic reading in Moscow. It is true that Hegel identified reason and “idea,” thought and being, but with him the universal principle was still spiritual. Not so with Marx, for whom matter generates the idea.
Hegel furthermore taught that “idea” moves in three (now well‑publicized) sequences: thesis, anti‑thesis and synthesis, which Marx adopted into his system, but for him “idea” is always just matter.
3. Matter moving through these three sequences is dialectic materialism, the struggle matter goes through which produces spirit – and history. Materialism and dialectics are the two poles of the global heresy, with which the world is now so well peppered that Pope Paul VI, Bishop of Rome, has spoken even of the Church as “evolving.”
On dialectics hangs change, the constantly shifting relations of things in themselves and with others. For instance, an apple can be a bud, a flower, a green apple, a ripe apple, or rotten and distributing its seeds to make more apples. The apple is constantly “becoming.” When this principle, which occurs in matter, is applied to all nature and being, we have constant transition and movement, appearances and disappearances, in all orders of reality. Nothing can be definite or absolute, which means ultimately that nothing can be sacred, because it won’t stand still long enough!
For the Marxist this universal flux is governed by four so‑called “laws”:
1. Autodynamism, or constant, self‑generated change, whether in apples or men.
2. Inter‑dependence, whereby these changes act on one another, but with no closed cycles, because the movement is open‑ended, as in the apple which liberates its seeds. This produces the ascending spiral by which matter proceeds in time, constituting “progress.” (For the Marxist any change is always upward and for the better. )
3. Contradiction. Everything in itself contains its contrary, a principle of affirmation as well as negation: Life engenders death; death, life. The apple rots that new apples may come. This battle of contraries insures development.
4. Finally, there occurs in the process an explosive “leap”, whereby quantitative changes become qualitative, in the same way that oxygen and hydrogen together produce water, qualitatively different from is two constituents. The change is sudden, but long in preparation. Essentially this is the analogy Darwin and Lysenko applied falsely to biology.
A classic example offered is that of water being changed into vapor, or ice, depending on the quantity of heat present. The tendency of water to remain as it is—thesis. Its tendency to vaporize (or freeze)—anti‑thesis. These two contradictory internal forces render its equilibrium precarious, and it is made more precarious by temperature changes. Arrived at the rupture point where water boils (or freezes), a sudden “leap” occurs, and vapor (or ice)—synthesis.
All this may be true enough on the purely material plane, but when we apply these laws to higher forms, the error is monstrous. If matter is in fact first in the order of reality, then human thought becomes simply the result of qualitative changes in matter. As soon as the material brain evolved, matter began thinking, for according to Engels, the brain is “the organ which produces thought.” He would not deny that spirit exists, but that’s only matter understanding itself. The evolution we hear so much about is therefore only the history of the dialogue matter has been carrying on with itself throughout the ages, slowly rising from one stage to the next by means of sudden resolutions of its conflicts. Human intelligence is merely a threshold, the cosmos as we know it merely the stage matter has reached for the present.
Applying the four “laws” to human society spells disaster. Autodynamism accounts for the automatic progress of humanity from slavery to servitude to feudalism to bourgeoisie to capitalism and on to the socialism whereby the antithetical “proletariat” is now being produced. (This view of history is powerfully depicted in mosaics at the University of Mexico and the works of the Mexican communist artist Diego Rivera.)
Social phenomena are also inter‑dependent, economic conditions acting on social conditions and producing certain kinds of politics, religion, art, music, etc., each factor being both cause and effect. Contradiction comes into play because according to Marx social structures rest on the economic. Believing that economics depend entirely on the means of production being ever perfected by technology, Marx envisaged the “class struggle” as an inevitable disequilibrium between these new means and the social structures always left over from the preceding stage. Capitalism is doomed, not by its sins, but because its growing means of production pit a huge collective work force against privately held property. Those who possess the means of production are therefore “exploiters” of the “exploited” workers.
We must note here that in Communism, work occupies the place of love in Christ’s kingdom. Christianity teaches that man’s proper act is union with God, but for the communist it is work – not personal work, but the collective work which is the very essence of humanity generating itself. (Marx never speaks of persons, but only of individuals in the “masses”.) It is work, furthermore, which confers ultimate value on things, whereas for the Christian, value is estimated according to its usefulness in helping him get to God. Marxism is not concerned with utility at all in fixing values.
Sociologically speaking, the qualitative “leap” is: revolution, generated by the innate tensions which produce the next stage of society. Although Marxists will espouse “reforms” for tactical reasons, they hold that society as such cannot be reformed. It can only erupt into its next stage.
Unfortunately not all this reasoning is false. In “dialectic” for instance, the classical philosopher easily recognizes the hallowed concepts of “act” and “potency.” What makes Marxism heretical is its wholesale rejection of any and all transcendental factors, with its mechanical application of material analogies, true enough in their place, to higher planes of being. Dialectic, which accurately describes the painful tensions in a human being seeking his proper end, is merely a new word for a very old idea now being misapplied.
As Marx sees it, identity and the principle of contradiction in the classical sense are wholly eliminated. Where everything is in flux, any number of postulates can be “true.” There is only one absolute truth in Marxism, and that is that everything is relative. One would say a thing can’t both be and not be, but Marxism says yes: in that being is forever resolving its own contradictions by becoming. It never “is” anything.
Given such a doctrine, what laws can stand? What vows can bind? Even to study it seriously is to deform the intelligence created for truth. To put it in practice leads us to the works of Lenin
In accordance with his own teaching, Marx expected world progress through revolution to take place automatically. At most one only had to cooperate with the forces at work in matter. When Marx died, Nicolai Lenin, the man destined to play “Son” to Marx the Father in the blasphemous trinity, was only thirteen years old, but soon he would implement on the moral plane what Marx had laid out on the speculative. A keen intellectual, Lenin was also a man of action, who saw immediately that the dictatorship of the proletariat could never be established without help. Although he continued preaching Marx’ false theory, he had no scruples about acting counter to it in practice. In him Communism was made visible to the world and dwelt amongst us. Following him is the destruction of the theological virtue of hope, for through him and in him Communism pretends to give us here and now the substance of the things a Christian must hope for in the world to come. He offers “glory now”, directing the temptation to the human faculty we call “memory” in the theological sense, leading to despair.
A student of the military scientist Karl von Clausewitz, he had been particularly impressed by the latter’s dictum that, “War does not necessarily result from invasion, but from the defense which the invaded puts up against the invader,” like the cat against the pepper. Brilliantly transposing Clausewitz’ strategical theories from the strictly military plane to the revolutionary scene, he developed advanced techniques for leading whole nations to devour themselves in their frenzy to eliminate the evils infecting them. Systematically arousing hatred wherever it was to be found, he learned to aggravate it by ruthlessly pitting every possible “anti‑thesis” against its “thesis” in order to achieve the desired “synthesis” by the leap of revolution. The demonic forces he unleashed produced a chain reaction which resulted in terror and enslavement for millions.
With Lenin, hating became a science. His satanic inspiration can hardly be doubted. He is the very “brightness of his father’s glory,” the “image of his substance.”
He envisaged world revolution in three stages, now only too well known. In opposition to Trotsky, who envisioned simultaneous revolution in all countries at once, Lenin insisted on first establishing the dictatorship in one country in order to provide a solid base of operation from which worldwide revolution could then be directed. This turned out to be Russia, as our Lady came to tell us at the time.
Marcel Clement in Le Communisme Face à Dieu, says he regarded the Russian regime “as the master brain of an immense nervous system spread throughout the world and working everywhere under detailed orders at agitation and communist propaganda.” Eventually “diplomatic representation in every country, through diplomatic immunity, afforded a practically invulnerable center for transmitting instructions to each country. Around this center, the ideological, financial and police units, the use of the revolutionary elite and the proletarian masses, became a simple matter of organization. In a few years the network of world revolutionary organization was extended with extraordinary efficiency over the whole world.” This “cold war” outside the borders of Russia constituted the second stage of the Revolution. Its third stage, establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat over all humanity, is now imminent.
Son Lenin, more astute than Father Marx, was well aware that mere workers could not be depended on to carry out such a program, that little could be expected of these sheep beyond organizing labor unions clamoring for better pay and working conditions. He saw the necessity for carefully choosing and training highly disciplined professional revolutionaries who would be totally consecrated to the cause, and who would in fact function in the satanic state very much as do the religious orders in the Church.
For this purpose was formed the Communist “Party,” which is no party at all in the accepted political sense. Its primary duty is implementing the directives of the international body in accordance with the national problems of each particular nation. Its second duty is adult education on a massive scale, by means of any media to hand, whereby a whole country can be psychologically prepared to take part in the coming revolution. Whereas workers are to be as many and as visible as possible, party members are strictly limited in number, periodically “purged,” and work consistently behind fronts.
So much for the over‑all strategy. Its zigzag tactics as perfected by Lenin are quintessential chutzpah.
The dialectics begin with vocabulary. Intending to substitute in men’s minds a view of reality radically different from the one God has revealed in nature and in the Church, communists as often as possible use the same words we do. They speak of democracy, nationality, liberty, morality, peace, the state, etc., but for them these words have totally different and sometimes entirely opposite meanings. Thus they are able to express their true thought publicly all the while their opponents interpret the words according to the generally accepted sense. By the time the true sense appears, the doctrine has been ingested.
For instance, Lenin defined dictatorship as power limited by no law, resting on force alone. After it became a bad word under Hitler and Mussolini, communists began speaking of “popular democracy,” meaning dictatorship. In like manner, the word “human” which for a Christian necessarily embodies the notion of person, for a Marxist actually means non‑person, or even anti‑person, because for him a man is only individualized matter that thinks. The orthodox definition of “peace” is the tranquillity of order, but in communist lingo peace is merely the freedom to carry on the dialectical conflict. In other words, peace is actually war, the establishment of permanent, self‑perpetuating revolution. Nor is “science” human knowledge, the handmaid of revelation, but simply materialism, for the communist has no God, and science explains everything as matter explaining itself.
There is actually no common language between Communism and Christianity, but by pretending there is, Communism can plead for “dialogue.” So indispensable is dialogue to its offensive, that wherever it meets with real resistance, it is suspended temporarily so that it may be resumed safely later, for without this “service of the word” no conflict could be whipped up and exacerbated.
As St. James warned, “The tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity. The tongue is placed among our members, defiling the whole body and setting on fire the course of our life, being itself set on fire by hell” (3:6). It is a matter of record that the Christians in China who were least corrupted by Communism were those to whom dialogue was repugnant. Taught by the devil who first used it on Eve, Marxists are trained to begin with orthodox interpretations of their doctrines. Dialogue once innocently begun leads to dialectic, dialectic to division, and division to death.
Never attacking religion on its own dogmatic ground, Communism sets out to destroy it as Cain did Abel, by inviting believers “into the field,” non‑religious ground where the battle is already lost. Proceeding almost exclusively on the moral, practical plane, Marxism first lures its victims to acts of which they have become doubtful, for instance, contraception. Once practiced, these are accepted, and eventually promoted.
Dialogue is rigged to produce dilemma from which the only escape always appears to be the Marxist solution. (Discussion of world population problems is a favorite introduction to the “necessity” of contraception.) By refusing dialogue at the outset as we would any other temptation, we refuse dilemma and all its consequences. The timid take refuge in the enemy’s ambiguous propositions to salve their consciences, being encouraged to accept Marxist theses in Christian dress which are later interpreted and executed in the full Marxist sense.
Post‑Vatican II developments are sufficient example of this master tactic whereby the dialectical struggle has been introduced into the Church herself. The only power on earth superior to Communism, she is being tempted at all levels to set her pace to the world, for she presents an insuperable obstacle to the Revolution.
The communist never lies or contradicts himself, because for him there is no absolute right or wrong. His Party, midwife of the Revolution, uses any means to accelerate delivery, espousing even reactionary causes if this will aggravate conflict. Lenin laid down as principle that “one must learn to work legally within the most reactionary organization.” Within these groups revolutionaries, always a minority, transmit party orders in the guise of their own personal opinions, harnessing as many non‑communists as possible to the work of the Revolution without their suspecting it.
Never openly preaching Communism, party members are adept at manipulating “peace” offensives, defending “motherhood” and “democracy,” encouraging “patriotism,” so as to neutralize and dismantle any real opposition. All the while, management is pitted against labor to produce the deadly wage vs. price cycle which will wreck the economy and destroy money itself through inflation. Conservatives are hurled against liberals, haves against have‑nots, black against white. In the women’s lib movement even the sexes are turned against each other to produce crisis in the family, basic cell of natural society. In the Church agents are found in traditionalist ranks as they are among the purveyors of the New Religion, promoting discord from both sides. This kind of super‑opportunism at work supporting all sides is incomprehensible to those who can’t see that the basic strategy never varies.
“The dictatorship of the proletariat,” said Lenin, “is a relentless battle, both bloody and unbloody, violent and peaceful, military and economic, pedagogical and administrative, against the forces and traditions of the old world.”
Marcel Clement, on whom this article has drawn heavily, calls Leninism “the methodical exteriorization of all conflicts, based on organized deception and incitement to envy and hatred. Christianity is the acceptance of the Cross, the light of Truth, the pardon of injuries. We are in a way at the eve of the great option. It’s the destiny of the world which is at stake.”
Communism, dedicated to such “exteriorization of conflict,” can never be reconciled with the Faith, which is founded precisely on interiorization of conflict as exemplified by Christ on the Cross, of whom the Psalmist had prophesied, “I bear in my bosom all the accusations of the nations!” (Ps. 88:51).
A full generation before Vatican II, the techniques this so‑called “pastoral” council recommended for updating the Church had already been perfected by Communists working in the Church in China. There it was shown how the dialoguing “study club” could be gradually transformed into the “parish council” which would take over the direction of the parish and eventually the entire diocese. Religious activities were systematically used as pretexts for disguised Marxist indoctrination or ecumenical meetings where real Catholics driven farther and farther “out into the field” were always outnumbered and finally excluded. This need not surprise us, for it was in China, with Mao Tse‑Tung, that Communism attained its Pentecost.
Chairman Mao plays the part of “Spirit” to Marx the Father and Lenin the Son in the satanic trinity. Proceeding from both, perfecting the thought of the one and the revolutionary strategy of the other, Mao’s cultural revolution means to achieve the satanic “sanctification” of the world by finishing touches from “the finger of the Father’s right hand.” There is an eminent congruity in that Mao rose, not from the world’s masculine west, but from its feminine east – woman being the ectype of the Holy Ghost according to the Fathers of the Church. And the Chinese have long been known as “the Jews of the orient.”
As we might expect, he addresses himself to the third power of the soul, the will. His specific temptation will therefore be against the permanent theological virtue of charity. By him humanity is to be led, not only to unbelief, or to despair, but to the consummate formal denial of God’s love which constitutes the unforgivable sin against the Holy Ghost.
Christian imperatives all reduce to one: Thou shalt love – first God, then one’s neighbor for His sake. As we have seen, being vowed to dialectical struggle, the Marxist’s imperative is actually: Thou shalt hate – and deliberately pits neighbor against neighbor. It is true the Christian also hates. He hates sin, but he loves persons. The Marxist also loves, but only humanity, and a kind of mystical, perfected humanity at that, existing only in the future. He hates persons in their actual state. The real “now generation” are the Christians, for they love now as well as in the future.
To effect radical reversal of Christian love, Mao brings to perfection the theories derived from Clausewitz by Lenin and later by Stalin. Developer of the concept of total war, Clausewitz had been guided by the principle that war is merely an extension of politics. He considered warfare as human activity rather than mere confrontation of physical forces, with victory not necessarily the result of greater numbers or physical strength. He taught that the enemy must therefore be weakened not only physically, but above all morally. Also he noted that the fight need not always be fought to a finish, but simply used as a way of bringing one’s adversary to the conference table.
As we saw, Lenin, reversing the thought of Clausewitz, saw politics as the extension of war. For him, peace was simply more and better war, but he didn’t neglect bloody terrorism when it suited his purpose. Compared to Mao, Lenin’s methods seem very crude, for when it comes to pervasive, indirect but relentless aggression, the oriental is matchless. With Mao Communism came into possession of refined psychological instruments so deadly accurate that the battle against God can now be carried not only into the heart of society, but into the human soul itself.
It is frightening to study in detail the campaign organized with such force and accuracy against the pagan Chinese, but especially against the Church. Although the Chinese Christians constituted hardly one percent of the total population, it is revealing that they received the lion’s share of attention from the Communist propaganda organs. Wherever she is found, the Church alone provides the opposition her enemy really fears.
Whereas Marx the Father attacked the juridical order by political revolution, and Lenin sapped the economic order by social revolution, Mao’s vast revolution against all existing culture is designed to liquidate the whole interior spiritual order of the human soul in order to reconstruct it on Marxist lines.
Gauging Marx’ superficiality even better than had Lenin, Mao contended that the most their methods could produce was a sort of consumer‑man conditioned to aspire merely to ever greater creature comforts – a prognostication only too willingly confirmed by both Plus XI and Pius XII
Mao’s truly pentecostal view of revolutionary man was that of a completely new creature, so free that he was liberated even of his entire past, his total human heritage. He saw that mere destruction of private property (on which personal human dignity is objectively based) could never of itself eradicate past culture from human consciousness. All of human memory would have to be blotted out in a new “baptism of the spirit” – of Chairman Mao.
Understanding the power of obsession, he advocates a total change of surroundings before addressing the intellect. Slogans, ideas, posters, radio, songs, dance, theatre, movies, study clubs, schools, demonstrations, lectures, meetings, all become tools for the systematic destruction of the past.
By its very nature behaviorist, Communism has always believed that man will automatically change if his environment can be changed, but Mao has refined such crudity. For him “class” and the class struggle are not found outside man, but inside him, and that is where he looks for it. He has developed what amounts to a whole program ordered to the production of the diabolic virtues, through a diametric reversal of the evangelical counsels.
In the name of “poverty” all the trappings of the past, whether Shakespeare or classical Chinese drama, miniskirts, Mah Jong, are forbidden to 700,000,000 people. Austerity is demanded of all in a land where students must work like coolies and coolies must become students. A Chinese Communist must be denuded of everything. His only possessions are the thought and will of those who command him, for his “obedience” must be total, expected in the internal forum of his conscience as well as in the external, governing not only his acts, but his most intimate thoughts, in private as in public. Nor is “chastity” overlooked, for young Maoists are expected to defer marriage until the age of thirty if they marry at all, in deference to the exigencies of the Revolution. Man’s noblest instincts have been harnessed: As one militant explained, “Several generations will have to be sacrificed before Communism triumphs. These generations are ours: Neither I nor my son, nor even my grandson will see this victory. That doesn’t matter, we are nothing; our job is to prepare a better future for those who will succeed us.”
(It might be asked here, “But what of the Jew Marcuse and the sexual revolution?” These seem contrary at first glance, but they are actually mirror images of Mao and his spiritual regime, achieving the same ends by reverse methods, playing Molinos to his Jansen. By one or the other means whole populations can and are being rendered hostile to their established government and to themselves in the diabolic pentecost whose corrupting fire and flame are even now seeking to consecrate the whole world to the “man of sin.”)
Needless to say, behind all the paraphernalia for destroying man’s past there lurks only the satanic desire to obliterate his religion, which Communism has always maintained is of his own manufacture, a form of thumb‑sucking which makes him dependent on illusion and alienates him from himself. Marx called religion “man’s self‑consciousness before he has found himself – or when he has lost himself,” a “super‑structure” in society designed to console the exploited in the class struggle, an “opiate for the people.”
For Mao religion isn’t even that, but merely a relic of the past. “No more martyrs” is now official policy. Christians are never convicted on religious grounds, but only for impeding the Revolution.
In the name of Marx, Communism denies God the Father, who created heaven and earth out of nothing and who personally directs its every event, whose eye is on the sparrow, and without whose consent not a hair falls from our heads. Communism says it was matter, and not God’s Word, which became man. In the name of Lenin is denied this very Word, God the Son who said, “I am the way, the truth and the life,” and outside whom there is nothing that was made. In the name of Mao it denies God the Holy Ghost, of whom the Son promised, “He will teach you all things” (John 14:26).
Aping the divine Persons in the Most Blessed Trinity, these three satanic personifications act in the Party as one throughout the world. There is still much work for them to do, for integral, perfected Communism exists nowhere yet, not even in China or Russia, which at best are still in the socialist stage. In so‑called communist countries, the government merely governs, all the while favoring the Party, which is the only direct agent of the communization which goes on internally over a long period of years. It keeps the dialectic ferment active in many “outmoded” structures which are allowed to persist until the new ones can be forged. This is happening now within the Catholic Church, which is being subjected to the same dialectics as other social categories. Like other holdovers, it will be allowed to subsist for a time, but transformed, its dogmatic content replaced by Marxism, its apostolate by Leninism and its interior life of grace by Maoism.
When Mao died on September 8, 1976, he joined Marx and Lenin definitively in their niche in history. The Satanic “trinity” is now complete. Despite any specious “revisionism” to the contrary, it is set from now on to spread error throughout the world with unimaginable coherence – as our Lady warned would happen if mankind does not fall to its knees.
What is the defense against this creeping horror?
Once we have thoroughly understood its tactics, the only possible defense is the one proposed by Pius XI: “No one . . . may collaborate with it in any undertaking whatsoever!” no matter how innocent this may appear. He warned how communists, “without receding an inch from their subversive principles, invite Catholics to collaborate with them in the realm of so‑called humanitarianism and charity; and at times even make proposals that are in perfect harmony with the Christian spirit and the doctrine of the Church.”
In the face of this warning, the “pastoral” Vatican II laid down in its declaration on Christian Education: “Cooperation is the order of the day.” In its decree on the Missions: Catholics “should cooperate in a brotherly spirit with other Christians, with non‑Christians, and with members of international organizations” with a view to “building up of the earthly city” – in the Lord! In the decree on the Church in the Modern World: “It is very much to be desired that Catholics, in order to fulfill their role properly in the international community, will seek to cooperate actively and in a positive manner both with their separated brethren who together with them profess the Gospel of charity, and with all men thirsting for true peace,” communists in no way excluded. The Council refused a petition to condemn Communism.
The choice lies before all, for the temptation is now global indeed: Apostasy or death? Not a question of saving human life, but of saving the Faith. “Every other enterprise,” said Pius XI, “however attractive or helpful, must yield before the vital need of protecting the very foundation of the Faith and of Christian civilization.”
Fr. Dufay, who witnessed the battle at close quarters in China, says to lose no time in preparing the Church of the Catacombs: “Take as principle that normal exterior life – liturgy, teaching, apostolate – should continue as far as possible. But, at the same time, prepare Christians to preserve their essential religious life in the absence of priests, worship and Sacraments . . . Prepare memory aids on the dogmas of necessary means, marriage without clergy, perfect contrition, assistance to the dying, Baptism, child education, etc., and place these leaflets in safe places…
“It would be good if trustworthy priests of high caliber were to set themselves to living the life of the people. They need profound dogmatic and spiritual formation, especially on the theology of the Church, the meaning and value of persecution and suffering, and should be steeped in the remembrance of the great saints and martyrs of the past. Thus armed, the Christian faith will use its bad times for growth in charity,” making the most of the service Communism will render it by purifying and detaching it from all that is not God here below. And again, “Actually it’s solitaries who must be found and trained, in other words, Christians capable of living their faith all alone, amid the strongest pressures, the most painful happenings and the most forbidding of deserts.”
The Counter‑revolution began in Eden with the Revolution itself, for there on the spot God told the serpent, “I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed” (Gen. 3:15). Centuries later, when the battle was approaching a climax in Russia in 1917, this “woman” appeared on earth at Fatima to warn that “the errors of Russia” would overflow the whole world unless supernatural means were marshalled against them.
Of necessity the “errors of Russia” can be overcome only by supernatural force, because there are no natural means superior to them. Given the impairment of nature by original sin, there are no natural means which are even proportioned to these “errors”. Certainly no material weapons can destroy Communism’s battlements, let alone shoot down its ideas. No political position can withstand it. No mere strategy can outwit it that is not rooted in grace.
The defeat of Communism will be effected by prayer and penance, in the name of Him who before His Passion said, “In the world you will have affliction. But take courage, I have overcome the world!” (John 16:33). It is not the dictatorship of the proletariat which is “inevitable,” but the triumph of the Church!
According to his own testimony, the Pope who declared the dogma of the Assumption saw the “miracle of the sun” four times.
This information is confirmed by a handwritten, unpublished note from Pope Pius XII, which is part of the “Pius XII: The Man and the Pontificate” display.
A commissioner of the display and a Vatican reporter for the Italian daily Il Giornale, Andrea Tornielli, explained to ZENIT that the note was found in the Pacelli family archives. It describes the “miracle of the sun,” an episode that until today had only been affirmed by the indirect testimony of Cardinal Federico Tedeschini (1873-1959), who recounted in a homily that the Holy Father had seen the miracle.
Pius XII wrote, “I have seen the ‘miracle of the sun,’ this is the pure truth.”
The miracle of the sun is most known as the episode that occurred in Fatima, Portugal, on Oct. 13, 1917. According to the Fatima visionaries, Mary had said there would be a miracle that day so that people would come to believe. Thousands had gathered at the site of the visions, and the sun “danced,” reportedly drying instantaneously the rain-soaked land and spectators.
Confirming the dogma
Pius XII’s note says that he saw the miracle in the year he was to proclaim the dogma of the Assumption, 1950, while he walked in the Vatican Gardens.
He said he saw the phenomenon various times, considering it a confirmation of his plan to declare the dogma.
The papal note says that at 4 p.m. on Oct. 30, 1950, during his “habitual walk in the Vatican Gardens, reading and studying,” having arrived to the statue of Our Lady of Lourdes, “toward the top of the hill […] I was awestruck by a phenomenon that before now I had never seen.”
“The sun, which was still quite high, looked like a pale, opaque sphere, entirely surrounded by a luminous circle,” he recounted. And one could look at the sun, “without the slightest bother. There was a very light little cloud in front of it.”
The Holy Father’s note goes on to describe “the opaque sphere” that “moved outward slightly, either spinning, or moving from left to right and vice versa. But within the sphere, you could see marked movements with total clarity and without interruption.”
Pius XII said he saw the same phenomenon “the 31st of October and Nov. 1, the day of the definition of the dogma of the Assumption, and then again Nov. 8, and after that, no more.”
The Pope acknowledged that on other days at about the same hour, he tried to see if the phenomenon would be repeated, “but in vain — I couldn’t fix my gaze [on the sun] for even an instant; my eyes would be dazzled.”
Pius XII spoke about the incident with a few cardinals and close collaborators, such that Sister Pascalina Lehnert, the nun in charge of the papal apartments, declared that “Pius XII was very convinced of the reality of the extraordinary phenomenon, which he had seen on four occasions.”
Son of Our Lady
Tornielli told ZENIT that there was always a close link between the life of Eugenio Pacelli and the mystery of the Virgin Mary.
“Since childhood,” he said, “Eugenio Pacelli was devoted to Our Lady and was registered in the Congregation of the Assumption, which had a chapel close to the Church of Jesus. A devotion that seemed prophetic, since he would be precisely the one to declare the dogma of the Assumption in 1950.”
The future Pope celebrated his first Mass on April 3, 1899, at the altar of the icon of Mary “Salus Populi Romani” in the Basilica of St. Mary Major. “And then,” Tornielli continued, “Eugenio Pacelli received episcopal ordination from Pope Benedict XV in the Sistine Chapel on May 13, 1917, the day of the first apparition of the Virgin of Fatima.”
As Pope, in 1940, he approved the Fatima apparitions, and in 1942, consecrated the entire world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
As well, Pius XII often spoke with Sister Lucia, the visionary of Fatima, and he asked her to transcribe the messages she received from the Virgin. He thus became the first Pope to know the “third secret of Fatima.”
Fr. Augustín Fuentes was the Mexican priest named vice-postulator of the cause of beatification for Francisco and Jacinta. In the interview Sr. Lucy said that Our Lady told her: “The last means that God will give to the world for its salvation are the Holy Rosary and My Immaculate Heart.”
This important conversation of December 26, 1957 was the last public interview of Sr. Lucy. After it, permission was refused for any other interviews and she was effectively silenced and completely hidden away for the next several decades.
Another very jovial Sr. Lucy appeared 10 years later in 1967 during Paul VI’s visit to Fatima. This Sr. Lucy, square-faced, cheerful and robust – incredibly different from the oval faced, sad and pale Sr. Lucy who spoke to Fr. Fuentes – was seen more regularly starting in 1982, after John Paul II’s visit to Fatima. [See our Two Sister Lucys’ analysis]
These are the authentic words of her 1957 conversation with Fr. Fuentes, which came from the records of the official archivist of Fatima, Fr. Joaquín María Alonso, CMF. Fr. Alonso spoke with Sr. Lucy and publicly testified that her statements to Fr. Fuentes in 1957 were genuine and true.
This text is from his book, La Verdad sobre el Secreto de Fátima sin Mitos [The Truth about the Secret of Fatima without Myths ]. The text has the approval and imprimatur of Archbishop Sánchez of Santa Cruz, Mexico.
What follows is the literal translation of Fr. Fuentes’ text reporting what he heard “from the lips of” the seer of Fatima.
Interview of December 26, 1957
Speaking to the sisters of Motherhouse of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart in Mexico on May 22, 1958, Fr. Fuentes said, “I want to tell you the last conversation I had with her [Sister Lucy], which was on December 26 of last year. It was in the convent, where I found her very sad, pale and drawn.”
He then proceeded to read Sister’s Lucy’s words to him at the December 26, 1957, interview:
“Father, the Blessed Virgin is very sad because no one has paid attention to her Message, neither the good nor the bad. The good, because they continue on the road of goodness, but without paying mind to this Message. The bad, because of their sins, do not see God’s chastisement already falling on them presently; they also continue on their path of badness, ignoring the Message. But, Father, you must believe me that God is going to punish the world and chastise it in a tremendous way.
“The chastisement from Heaven is imminent. The year 1960 is on us, and then what will happen? It will be very sad for everyone, and far from a happy thing if the world does not pray and do penance before then. I cannot give more details, because it is still a secret. By the will of the Blessed Virgin, only the Holy Father and the Bishop of Fatima can know the secret. Both have chosen, however, not to open it in order not to be influenced by it. (1)
“This is the third part of the Message of Our Lady, which still remains secret until 1960. Tell them, Father, that the Blessed Virgin said repeatedly – to my cousins Francisco and Jacinta as well as to me – that many nations would disappear from the face of the earth, that Russia would be the instrument of chastisement from Heaven for the whole world if the conversion of that poor Nation is not obtained beforehand. …”
A decisive battle with the devil
Sr. Lucy also told me:
“Father, the Devil is fighting a decisive battle against the Virgin and, as you know, what most offends God and what will gain him the greatest number of souls in the shortest time is to gain the souls consecrated to God. For this also leaves unprotected the field of the laity and the Devil can more easily seize them.
”Also, Father, tell them that my cousins Francisco and Jacinta made sacrifices because they always saw the Blessed Virgin was very sad in all her apparitions. She never smiled at us. This anguish that we saw in her, caused by offenses to God and the chastisements that threaten sinners, penetrated our souls. And being children, we did not know what measures to devise except to pray and make sacrifices. …”
We cannot wait for Rome to speak
Referring to the vision of Hell that Our Lady showed her and Jacinta and Francisco, she said:
“For this reason, Father, it is my mission not just to tell about the material punishments that will certainly come over the earth if the world does not pray and do penance. No, my mission is to tell everyone the imminent danger we are in of losing our souls for all eternity if we remain fixed in sin.
“Father, we should not wait for a call to the world from Rome on the part of the Holy Father to do penance. Nor should we wait for a call for penance to come from the Bishops in our Dioceses, nor from our Religious Congregations. No, Our Lord has often used these means, and the world has not paid heed. So, now each one of us must begin to reform himself spiritually. Each one has to save not only his own soul, but also all the souls that God has placed on his pathway.
Two last remedies to save the world
“Father, the Blessed Virgin did not tell me that we are in the last times of the world, but I understood this for three reasons:
“The first is because she told me that the Devil is engaging in a battle with the Virgin, a decisive battle. It is a final battle where one party will be victorious and the other will suffer defeat. So, from now on, we are either with God or we are with the Devil; there is no middle ground.
“The second reason is because she told me, as well as my cousins, that God is giving two last remedies to the world: the Holy Rosary and devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. And, being the last remedies, that is to say, they are the final ones, means that there will be no others.
“And the third, because in the plans of the Divine Providence, when God is going to chastise the world He always first exhausts all other remedies. When He sees that the world pays no attention whatsoever, then, as we say in our imperfect way of talking, with a certain fear He presents us the last means of salvation, His Blessed Mother.
If we despise and reject this last means, Heaven will no longer pardon us, because we will have committed a sin that the Gospel calls a sin against the Holy Spirit. This sin consists in openly rejecting – with full knowledge and will – the salvation that is put in our hands.
“Also, since Our Lord is a very good Son, He will not permit that we offend and despise His Blessed Mother. We have as obvious testimony the history of different centuries where Our Lord has shown us with terrible examples how He has always defended the honor of His Blessed Mother.
“Prayer and sacrifice are the two means to save the world. As for the Holy Rosary, Father, in these last times in which we are living, the Blessed Virgin has given a new efficacy to the praying of the Holy Rosary. This in such a way that there is no problem that cannot be resolved by praying the Rosary, no matter how difficult it is – be it temporal or above all spiritual – in the spiritual life of each of us or the lives of our families, be they our families in the world or Religious Communities, or even in the lives of peoples and nations.
“I repeat, there is no problem, as difficult as it may be, that we cannot resolve at this time by praying the Holy Rosary. With the Holy Rosary we will save ourselves, sanctify ourselves, console Our Lord and obtain the salvation of many souls.
“Then, there is devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, our Most Holy Mother, holding her as the seat of mercy, goodness and pardon and the sure door to enter Heaven. This is the first part of the Message referring to Our Lady of Fatima, and the second part, which is briefer but no less important, refers to the Holy Father.”
1. In 1943, the Bishop of Fatima José Correia da Silva authorized Sister Lucia to write down the Third Secret during her bout with pleurisy, which threatened her life. On June 17, 1944, this document was officially placed in his hands. When Sister Lucia gave the letter to Bishop da Silva, she told him that he could read it, but he refused. Instead, he ordered the sealed document to be kept in the safe of the Episcopal Curia. Pope Pius XII also chose not to read the message, and left it in the care of Bishop da Silva until 1957, when the sealed envelope was sent to Rome at his request.
Fatima, Portugal –October 13, 1917
The three shepherd children reported visions of a luminous lady, believed to be the Virgin Mary, in the Cova da Iria fields outside the hamlet of Aljustrel, near Fatima, Portugal between May and October of 1917. The lady appeared to the children on the 13th day of each month at approximately noon, for six straight months. The only exception was August, when the children were kidnapped by the local administrator-the children then saw her on August 19th in nearby Valinhos.
Lúcia described seeing the lady as “brighter than the sun, shedding rays of light clearer and stronger than a crystal glass filled with the most sparkling water and pierced by the burning rays of the sun.” According to Lucia’s account, the lady entrusted three secrets to the children. She also told the children to do penance and make sacrifices to save sinners. They did things such as, where tight cords to cause pain, go without water on hot days, and other works of penance. Most importantly the lady told Lucia to pray the Rosary everyday because it is the key to personal and world peace.
In July the Blessed Virgin promised a miracle to the children on October 13th , her final apparition, so all would believe. This miracle became known as “The Miracle of the Sun.” A crowd believed to be approximately 70,000 in number, including newspaper reporters and photographers, gathered at the Cova da Iria. When the steady rain had finally ceased and a thin layer of clouds cloaked the sun so that it could be looked upon without hurting one’s eyes. Lucia was pointing towards the sun and called out to the crowd. And seeing various religious figures in the sky, the sun appeared to change colors and rotate, like a fire wheel. For some, the sun appeared to fall from the sky before retreating, for others, it zig-zagged. The phenomenon was witnessed by most in the crowd as well as people many miles away.
Here are briefly the facts; starting from the day after the events, by a reporter who cannot possibly be accused of partiality in this matter and for a good reason! We refer to Avelino de Almeida, the chief editor of “O Seculo,” the large “liberal” anticlerical and Masonic daily of Lisbon. He writes,
“From the road, where the carriages were crowded together and where hundreds of persons had stayed for want of sufficient courage to advance across the muddy ground, we saw the huge crowd turn towards the sun which appeared at its zenith, clear of the clouds. It resembled a flat plate of silver, and it was possible to stare at it without the least discomfort. It did not burn the eyes. It did not blind. We would say that it produced an eclipse. Then a tremendous cry rang out, and the crowd nearest us were heard to shout: ‘Miracle! Miracle! Marvel! Marvel! Before the dazzled eyes of the people, whose attitude transported us to biblical times, and who, dumb-founded, heads uncovered, contemplated the blue of the sky, the sun trembled, it made strange and abrupt movements, outside of all cosmic laws, ‘the sun danced’, according to the typical expression of the peasants …
Attacked violently by all the anticlerical press, Avelino de Almeida renewed his testimony, 15 days later, in his review, l’”Ilustraçao Portuguesa”. This time he illustrated his account with a dozen photographs of the huge ecstatic crowd, and repeated as a refrain throughout his article: I saw… I saw… I saw. And he concluded fortuitously: Miracle, as the people shouted? Natural phenomenon, as the experts say? For the moment, that does not concern me, I am only saying what I saw … The rest is a matter for Science and the Church.
…Saturday, October 13, begins for the pilgrims, as a walk of penance because it had rained the whole preceding night. Now, this almost sudden change of weather, with the dusty roads transformed into muddy quagmires by a pelting rain, causing to replace abruptly, for a day, the sweetness of autumn with the biting rigors of winter, did not succeed in moving them, to make them give up or despair.
From dawn, our reporter relates, visibly impressed by that calm courage, groups looming up again, intrepid individuals who pass through, without stopping for a moment, the small town, whose silence is broken by the chant of hymns intoned by feminine voices in harmony which contrasts with the roughness of the men… The sun rises, but the aspect of the sky is threatening. Some black clouds accumulate, precisely from the Fatima side. Nothing however holds back the pilgrims who, from all roads and by all means of locomotion, flock in that direction… Some small bells on a chain tinkle; we see here and there a cart decorated with palms. However, the festive atmosphere is discreet; the general manner is grave, the order perfect … Towards ten o’clock, the sky is covered completely and a heavy rain begins to fall. The downpour, whipped by a bitter wind, beating against the face, inundates the gravel roads, and pierces to the bone those who did not take the precaution of carrying an umbrella or some other means of protection from the bad weather. But no one becomes impatient nor gives up following the road…
How many were assembled at the Cova da Iria?
The maximum estimate was from Dr. Almeida Garrett, and was proposed some months after the event. It estimates the spectators at more than one hundred thousand. In “O Seculo” of October 15, Avelino de Almeida wrote: The crowd, by the unprejudiced calculations of cultivated persons very new to mystical influences, was estimated at thirty or forty thousand people. In his article of October 29, he corrected his first estimate: On October 13, according to the calculations established by people free from every prejudice, some fifty thousand people were gathered on the moor of Fatima. A neutral newspaper, the “Primeiro de Janeiro”, also estimated the crowd at fifty thousand individuals. We can therefore say, with a quasi-certainty, that this figure is a minimum; that is why the majority of historians propose as probable the presence of a crowd of seventy thousand witnesses.
In comparing the numerous accounts of witnesses, we can distinguish the diverse aspects and the result of the astounding phenomena established by all. For each one of them, it would be possible to line up some ten pages of witnesses which would constitute in themselves an impressive book.
Here is the first marvelous fact described by Dr. Almeida Garrett: It must have been 1:30 p.m. when there arose at the exact spot where the children were, a column of smoke, thin, fine and bluish, which extended up to perhaps two meters above their heads, and evaporated at that height. This phenomenon, perfectly visible to the naked eye, lasted for a few seconds. Not having noted how long it had lasted, I cannot say whether it was more or less than a minute. The smoke dissipated abruptly, and after some time, it came back to occur a second time, then a third time…
The Sudden Stoppage of the Rain
Whereas the low and heavy sky had a very dark color, laden with moisture, released an abundant and long lasting rain, during the time of the apparition, the rain stopped totally. Abruptly the sky cleared: The sun triumphantly pierced the thick bed of clouds hiding it until then, and shone intensely. (Dr. Almeida Garrett).
This abrupt change of weather took all the eyewitnesses by surprise: It was a day of heavy and continuous rain. But a few minutes before the miracle, it stopped raining. (Alfredo da Silva Santos)
The Vision of the Sun Without Burning the Retina
Suddenly I heard the uproar of thousands of voices, and I saw the whole multitude spread out in that vast space at my feet … turn their backs to that spot where, until then, all their expectations focused, and look at the sun on the other side … I turned around, too, toward the point commanding their gazes, and I could see the sun, like a very clear disc, with its sharp edge, which gleamed without hurting the sight … It could not be confused with the sun seen through a fog (there was no fog at that moment), for it was neither veiled, nor dim. At Fatima, it kept its light and heat, and stood out clearly in the sky, with a sharp edge, like a large gaming table. The most astonishing thing was to be able to stare at the solar disc for a long time, brilliant with light and heat, without hurting the eyes, or damaging the retina. (Dr. Almeida Garrett).
And then we witnessed a unique spectacle, the reporter of “O Seculo” remarked in similar vein, an incredible spectacle, unbelievable if you did not witness it. From above the road … We see the immense crowd turn towards the sun, which appeared at its zenith, clear of the clouds. It looked like a plate of dull silver, and it was possible to stare at it without the least discomfort. It did not burn the eyes. It did not blind. One might say that an eclipse had occurred. (Article of October 15, 1917) The people could look at the sun as we look at the moon. (Maria do Carmo)
Suddenly, the heavenly body began to tremble, to shake with abrupt movements, and finally to turn on itself at a dizzying speed while throwing out rays of light, all colors of the rainbow: The sun turned like a fire wheel, taking on all the colors of the rainbow. (Maria do Carmo) It appeared like a globe of snow turning on itself. (Father Lourenço) The pearl-like disc had a giddy motion. This was not the twinkling of a star in all its brilliance. It turned on itself with impetuous speed. (Dr. Almeida Garrett) At a certain moment, the sun stopped and then began again to dance, to spin; it stopped again, and began again to dance. (Ti Marto) It is indeed therefore a triple “dance of the sun” which thousands of witnesses affirm, having contemplated it for several minutes.
The sun took on all the colors of the rainbow. Everything assumed those same colors: our faces, our clothes, the earth itself. (Maria do Carmo) A light, whose colors changed from one moment to the next, was reflected on the people and on things, notes Dr. Pereira Gens.
We suddenly heard a clamor, relates Almeida Garrett, like a cry of anguish of that entire crowd. The sun, in fact, keeping its rapid movement of rotation, seemed to free itself from the firmament and blood-red, to plunge towards the earth, threatening to crush us with its fiery mass. Those were some terrifying seconds. I saw the sun turn and it seemed to descend. It was like a bicycle wheel. (John Carreira) The sun began to dance and, at a certain moment, it appeared to detach itself from the firmament and to rush forward on us, like a fire wheel. (Alfredo da Silva Santos) I saw it perfectly descending as if it came to crash on the earth. It seemed to detach itself from the sky and rush toward us. It maintained itself at a short distance above our heads; but that sort of attack was of very short duration … It seemed very near the people and it continued to turn in the opposite direction. (Maria do Carmo) From those thousands of mouths, relates the engineer Mario Godinho, I heard shouts of joy and love to the Most Holy Virgin. And then I believed. I had the certainty of not having been the victim of a suggestion. I had seen the sun as I would never see it again.
Everyone Had Dry Clothes
A last astonishing fact: all those people, who were for the most part soaked to the bone, verified with joy and amazement that they were dry. The fact is attested to in the canonical process.
The Vision of the Solar Prodigy at a Distance
A marvelous thing, the phenomenon could be admired from beyond Fatima. And even, some perfectly credible witnesses, who were very far away from the Cova da Iria, related having seen the unprecedented spectacle of the dance of the sun, exactly like the thousands of pilgrims gathered around the holm-oak.
In the small village of Alburitel, situated eighteen or nineteen kilometers from Fatima, the whole town was able to enjoy the vision of the solar prodigy. The testimony frequently quoted is that of Father Inacio Lourenço, because it is the most detailed. But what he relates having seen, all the good villagers, questioned by the investigators, confirmed seeing it in exactly the same way.
In October, I will perform a miracle, Our Lady had sovereignty declared on July 13. And on October 13, it was at Her efficacious gesture that the marvelous “dance of the sun” began: Then, opening Her hands, She made them reflect on the sun, and as She rose, the reflection of Her own light continued to be projected on the sun itself.
Thus, the magnificent miracle, it is She Who promised it, Who announced it three months in advance, and at Her gesture the miracle was fulfilled. That is the reply of the Queen of Heaven to the instant supplication of Her shepherd: I would like to ask You to tell us Who You are, and to perform a miracle so that all may believe that You are appearing to us. A response surpassing all expectations and one of such magnitude, of such splendor, that no one would dare to dream it possible.
The witnesses of the event were indeed innumerable, their testimonies agree and we are flooded with the documents they have left us.
In the first place, the numerous accounts conveyed appeared at once in the Portuguese press. It is noteworthy that the first to provide testimony were the anticlerical reporters. The three articles of Avelino de Almeida, the one of October 13, immediately before the event, the other of October 15, edited at Vila Nova de Ourem on the evening of the 13th, and a third article of October 29, merit a special mention. In spite of the jeering tone and Voltarian irony which inspire in part the first article, in spite of the expected anticlerical tones which still appear in the article of the 15th. These texts from a reporter of talent, one who besides, is honest and conscientious, are historical documents of prime importance. But he was not the only one to relate the facts, for other reporters were present at the Cova da Iria.
Next there were the official investigations. In November, 1917, at the request of Bishop de Lima Vidal, who was then directing the diocese of Lisbon, the Parish Priest of Fatima led his investigation and questioned several witnesses of the parish. Unfortunately, he transcribed only… four depositions!
The investigations of the historians fortunately compensated for those negligences of the official investigators. Since Father Formigao, who obtained from Dr. José Maria de Almeida Garrett, professor at the Faculty of Sciences of Coimbra, a very thorough account, the most scientific report in our possession, all the top historians went to question the witnesses. Father da Fonseca, in order to verify the points disputed by Father Dhanis; Father De Marchi, Canon Barthas, Father Dias Coelho and Father Richard.
In 1977, to commemorate the sixtieth anniversary of the last apparition, it was still possible to assemble in Fatima more than thirty persons who had been present at the solar prodigy and who could reveal their memories.
Thanks to those numerous testimonies, it is possible to reconstruct a precise running commentary, allowing us to relive, hour by hour and minute by minute, this decisive day, assuredly one of the most important in the history of the world.
More Original Fatima Photographs:
On October 11, 1962, two days before the 45th anniversary of the final apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Fatima and the Miracle of the Sun, Pope John XXIII addressed the opening session of the Second Vatican Council. Pope John was pleased to announce to the assembled bishops that the calling of this Council “was completely unexpected, like a flash of heavenly light, shedding sweetness in eyes and hearts.”1
What is more, this unexpectedly-called Council would make no effort to condemn any of the errors threatening the Church and the world, including communism, because “Nowadays … the spouse of Christ prefers to make use of the medicine of mercy rather than the arms of severity. She considers that she meets the needs of the present day by demonstrating the validity of her teaching rather than by issuing condemnations.2 Considering that Pius XII had issued scathing condemnations of communism and neo-modernism, along with interdicts and automatic excommunications reserved to the Apostolic See, by “nowadays” Pope John presumably meant the four years which had elapsed since his predecessor’s death.
The “flash of heavenly light” which impelled Pope John to call his Council had occurred during a stroll in the Vatican gardens at the end of 1958, when he experienced “the first sudden bringing up in our hearts and lips of the simple words: ‘ecumenical council’ “. On January 25, 1959, Pope John announced his sudden inspiration to the Sacred College of Cardinals. Their reaction was stunned silence.3
Eight months after he had committed himself and the Church to the Council, Pope John would read the Third Secret of Fatima those 23 lines on a piece of notebook paper in the handwriting of Sister Lucia dos Santos, the last surviving seer of Our Lady’s apparitions at the Cova da Iria in 1917. The first two “secrets” had already been disclosed to the world in 1942 in the form of Sister Lucy’s memoirs, but Sister Lucy had entrusted the sealed text of the Third Secret to the bishop of Fatima-Leiria, who could have disclosed it at any time. By 1957, however, the sealed envelope had found its way to the Vatican where it was kept in a wooden safe in the papal apartments of Pius XII. It is generally supposed that Pius XII had not read The Third Secret before he died in 1958.
Sister Lucy had made the Bishop of Fatima-Leiria promise that the Secret would be read to the world at her death, but in no event later than 1960, “because Our Lady wishes it so.” As Sister Lucy would later explain to Cardinal Ottaviani and Canon Barthas (a renowned Fatima expert), Our Lady told her that the Secret must be disclosed by 1960 “because it will be clearer.” In 1946 Cardinal Cerejeira, the Patriarch of Portugal, publicly promised that the Secret “will be opened in 1960.” Rome voiced no objection. On the contrary, Cardinals Ottaviani and Tisserant publicly echoed the promise of Cardinal Cerejeira, as did numerous other Church authorities over the years.4 There was even an American television show entitled “Zero 1960”, which took its theme from the universally expected disclosure of the Secret. Produced by the once-militant Blue Army, the show was so popular it received a “star” rating in The New York Times.5
And so, as 1959 drew to a close, Catholics around the world waited eagerly for the imminent completion of the Message of Fatima. The Marian devotion which had flourished during the reign of Pius XII reached new heights in anticipation. But it was not to be. On February 8, 1960, the faithful received the devastating news: Acting through the double blind of a Portuguese press agency, anonymous “Vatican sources” let it be known that the Third Secret would not be disclosed that year and “would probably remain, forever, under absolute seal.”6
Obviously humiliated, Cardinal Cerejeira publicly declared: “I affirm categorically that I was not consulted.” The Blue Army’s spokesman at the time, John Haffert, would later express the mourning of the faithful:
“1960 came and went and the Pope to whom the Secret had been entrusted did not make it public. He did not even make known the fact that he had opened it. The silence from Rome lay heavily on all of us. People began to murmur that Fatima must have been a fake, that there was no secret, that the 1960 secret was a ‘hoax’ [By 1964] the effect of the long silence concerning the 1960 Secret still seemed to hang over us like a pall.”7
The Secret carried to earth by the Blessed Virgin Mary had been buried by those to whom it was entrusted. The Message of Fatima would remain incomplete. Two years after Pope John had read the Secret and placed it “under absolute seal”, the Second Vatican Council convened. The liberal media of the day were abuzz with rumors of great changes about to occur in the Church. The Council, with its unprecedented non-Catholic “observers” and its strangely ambiguous documents, did not disappoint them. As for the Council’s implementation, it would exceed their wildest dreams.
The Writing Down of the Secret
Bishop da Silva was greatly afraid that Sister Lucia dos Santos who had been ill for several months, would die at the convent in Tuy, Spain that October in 1943. In the days before antibiotics a case of pleurisy could easily become a terminal illness. If she died now, she would have left undone a task of immense importance.
In 1941 Sister Lucy had written her third and fourth memoirs, committing to writing the first two parts of the great Secret of Fatima, which she had already conveyed in substance in a note to Pius XII. We know well the first two parts of the Secret Our Lady disclosed to the seers:
“You have seen hell, where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish devotion to My Immaculate Heart. If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved. The war [World War I] is going to end, but if people do not cease offending God, a worse one [World War II] will break out during the Pontificate of Pius XI [who had not yet been elected]. When you see a night illumined by an unknown light, know that this is the great sign given to you by God that He is about to punish the world for its crimes, by means of war, famine and persecutions of the Church and of the Holy Father.”
“To prevent this, I will come to ask for the consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart and the Communion of Reparation on the First Saturdays. If My requests are heeded, Russia will be converted and there will be peace. If not, she [Russia] will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions against the Church. The good will be martyred; the Holy Father will have much to suffer; various nations will be annihilated.”
We know also that every prophecy contained in the first two parts of the Secret (except for the annihilation of nations) has been fulfilled. And that the predicted punishments are still being suffered by the Church and the world. Of course, there would have been little reason to doubt that the prophecies were true, for Sister Lucy had been granted by Heaven a singular prophetic credential: No one in the history of the world, not even Moses, has ever correctly predicted the precise date and time of a public miracle except for a little girl named Lucia dos Santos. Some 70,000 people, atheists included, had seen the Miracle of the Sun at the very time and place Our Lady had told Lucy it would occur. To suggest that God would waste this unprecedented credential on an unreliable witness would be little short of blasphemy.
Given the divine corroboration of Sister Lucy’s testimony, there could be no question that the great Secret of Fatima would be assimilated into the life and patrimony of the Church. And so, to this day we practice the Communion of Reparation on the First Saturdays, and our Rosaries include the very prayer Our Lady had dictated to Sister Lucy just after the second part of the Secret was concluded: “O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, and save us from the fires of Hell. Lead all souls to Heaven, especially those most in need.”
But what of the third part of the great Secret, the part which has come to be called, in itself, “the Third Secret of Fatima”? In her third memoir Sister Lucy has made it clear that “the secret is made up of three parts, two of which I am going to reveal.” In her fourth memoir she restated the first two parts, leaving out once again “that part of the Secret which I am not permitted to reveal at present.” Yet in the fourth memoir Sister Lucy did reveal one additional fragment of the Secret which had not appeared in the third memoir: Before the “O my Jesus”, and after the end of the second part of the Secret, we find this curious sentence, obviously deprived of its context –
“Em Portugal se conservera sempre o doguema da f‚.” – “In Portugal, the dogma of the Faith will always be preserved.”
The first two parts of the Secret say nothing about the loss of dogma anywhere in the world, so why this reference to the preservation of dogma in Portugal? Does the Third Secret warn us, then, of a loss of dogma throughout the rest of the world?
As Sister Lucy’s ordinary, Bishop da Silva undoubtedly perceived his obligation to insure that she did not die without disclosing the remainder of that great Secret which had already so greatly affected the life of the Church and the course of human history. This was no mere exercise in reminiscence; it was a grave duty to the Church and the world. What if she died?
In September of 1944, Bishop da Silva suggested that Sister Lucy write down the text of what we now refer to as the Third Secret, but she said that she could not take that responsibility upon herself without a formal, written order. Even when the order was given a month later, the seer who had written freely of wars, famines, persecutions and the annihilation of nations, could not commit to paper a prophecy that was evidently far more disturbing to her than these events. She, who had lived a life of obedience to her superiors, literally could not make her hand move across the paper. She attributed this paralysis to a preternatural cause.8
Finally, on January 2, 1944, Sister Lucy was able to write down the text of the Secret in the chapel at the convent of Tuy. According to the account of Canon Martins dos Reis, she was able to proceed only “after Our Lady appeared to her to tell her to write the famous secret … in conformity with what had been asked of her.”9
On January 9, 1944, Sister Lucy wrote to Bishop da Silva to tell him that the Third Secret of Fatima had been written down and placed in a sealed envelope. On June 17, 1944, the envelope was delivered to Bishop da Silva, by Sister Lucy’s bishop confessor in Tuy. The five month delay had resulted from Sister Lucy’s unwillingness to entrust the envelope to anyone but a bishop not even a priest would do. Bishop da Sliva offered to forward the envelope to the Holy Office. Rome rejected the offer. The burden of the Secret would remain on Bishop da Silva, who made the famous promise to Lucy that the envelope would be unsealed and the Secret revealed not later than 1960.
After an urgent interrogation of Sister Lucy by Cardinal Ottaviani in May 1955, the Holy Office rescinded its earlier rejection of the text of the Third Secret and requested it be delivered to Rome by the Nuncio in Lisbon. Just before the envelope was brought to the Nuncio, Bishop da Silva’s auxiliary, Bishop Venancio, held it up to the light: He could clearly discern the 23 lines in Sister Lucy’s handwriting which comprise one of the greatest mysteries in the history of the modern world. By the spring of 1957 the Third Secret of Fatima had been delivered to the Vatican.
The Spreading of Russia’s Errors
The years between the writing of the Third Secret and its transmission to Rome were, of course, one long fulfillment of Our Lady’s warning that Russia would “spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions against the Church. The good will be martyred; the Holy Father will have much to suffer …”
At Yalta, in February 1945, Roosevelt delivered the Catholic peoples of Albania, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and the Ukraine into the hands of the Bolsheviks, in return for Stalin’s worthless promises of respect for religious freedom. Stalin then proceeded to butcher, torture, starve to death and imprison tens of millions of Catholics. The Greek Catholic Church was destroyed by its forcible transplantation into the KGB-controlled Orthodox Church, which simply appropriated to itself Catholic parishes and cathedrals after the Catholic clergy had been killed or imprisoned. The Orthodox hierarchy itself had been reduced from 50,000 priests and bishops to a mere 500 KGB spy-clerics.
At Potsdam, in July and August of 1945, after having ordered the bombing of Hiroshima and the Catholic city of Nagasaki, Truman gifted Stalin with Manchuria and North Korea down to the 38th parallel, opening the way for Mao Tse Tung and the Cultural Revolution, with its 30 million additional victims. Mao defeated Chiang Kai-shek with the abandoned Japanese weapons Stalin had obligingly stockpiled and left behind for his Red Chinese comrades.
While the Third Secret remained in its sealed envelope, the errors of Russia swiftly infected the whole world. By the beginning of the reign of John XXIII in 1958, one-third of mankind had been enslaved by communism, as the rest of the world dallied with socialism, its cousin, and began succumbing to the regime of contraception and abortion first spawned in Soviet Russia. Abortion alone, among Russia’s errors, would claim the lives of 600 million innocent children around the world, and more than 38 million in America casulaties far vaster than those suffered by all the armies in all the wars in history; vaster than even the casualties of indigenous Russian and Chinese Communism combined.
In his encyclical Divini Redemptoris, Pius XI had denounced communism as “intrinsically perverse” and warned that “no one who would save Christian civilization and the social order may collaborate with it in any undertaking whatsoever.” On June 13, 1949, Pius XII reaffirmed the Church’s implacable opposition to communism by decreeing through the Holy Office that those who joined or aided communists in any way, or even read communist literature, would be denied the sacraments; and that those who profess the doctrine of the communists “incur, by the law itself, as apostates from the Catholic faith, excommunication especially reserved to the Holy See.” With the whole world infected by communism, would these condemnations hold fast? Or was it possible that the errors of Russia would spread even into the human elements of the Church herself?
On December 4, 1957, Bishop da Silva died. On October 9, 1958, Pius XII died, apparently without having read the Third Secret, which had remained locked away in a small wooden safe in his papal apartments.
In 1960, Pope John read and then suppressed the Secret, consigning it a drawer in his writing desk. No sooner had the drawer closed, than the Church’s opposition to the errors of Russia began to soften. And then things began to go terribly wrong within the Church Herself wrong in ways which had never been seen in Her entire history.
The opening session of the Second Vatican Council was attended by two “observers” from the Russian Orthodox spy-church: Vitali Borovoy and Vladimir Kotlyarov. Their attendance had been secured at the cost of the Vatican’s incredible promise that the Council would refrain from any condemnation of communism. The “Vatican-Moscow Agreement” had been reached in secret at Metz, France, after negotiations between the Russian Orthodox Metropolitan, Nikodim, a KGB agent, and Cardinal Tisserant.10
The Vatican-Moscow Agreement was the personal initiative of John XXIII, at the suggestion of Cardinal Montini, who would later become Pope Paul VI and preside over the remainder of Pope John’s Council. When he was still a Monsignor, Montini was suddenly dismissed from his position as Pro-Secretary of State under Pius XII and sent off to be Archbishop of Milan. This sacking of Montini by promotion-removal occurred after Pope Pius had been presented with documentary proof that Montini had undertaken clandestine diplomatic relations with the Soviets without the Pope’s knowledge.11 The vans which contained Montini’s possessions were searched by Vatican officials before they departed for Milan.12
The future Pope’s sudden dismissal capped a career of secretive disobedience to papal directives. In the 1930’s, for example, had hoarded in his apartment and given out to trusted friends copies of Karl Adam’s quasi-heretical book The Spirit of Catholicism, which had been banned in Rome.13 His admiring biographer, Peter Hebblethwaite, notes that “When theologians were being condemned in the early 1950s, they would always get a friendly reception from [Montini] in the Vatican and a shrug of the shoulders at the latest Ottaviani incident.”14 Ottaviani was then the Prefect of Pius XII’s Holy Office. He is always cast as the great villain in the liberals’ fable of the post-conciliar “renewal”, and Montini as the great hero, who kept the fires of liberty burning during the Dark Age of pre-conciliar “persecutions”.
In removing Montini to Milan, Pius XII had declined to make him a Cardinal, although Milan was traditionally a cardinalate See. Pius thereby kept Montini out of the line of Papal succession. But Montini would be the first Cardinal created by John XXIII, who upon his election joked that he was keeping the Chair of Peter warm for Montini.
Two months before his death in 1963, Pope John issued his encyclical Pacem in terris, which undermined the entire teaching of his predecessors condemning any involvement of the faithful with communism. Drawing a novel distinction between evil ideologies and the historical movement they spawn, Pacem in terris suggested that one could licitly join the Communist movements in various countries without necessarily subscribing to communism’s condemned principles: “Who can deny that there are in those movements, in so far as they conform to the dictates of right reason and are interpreters of the lawful aspirations of the human person, contain elements that are positive and deserving of approval?”15 In other words, one could participate in a Communist movement so long as one did not become a Communist!
But what of the teaching of Pope Pius XI in Divini Redemptoris? Pope John’s predecessor had warned Catholics to shun precisely those Communist-influenced movements which have “elements that are positive”:
“In the beginning, Communism showed itself for what it was in all its perversity, but very soon it realized that it was thus alienating people. It has therefore, changed its tactics and strives to entice the multitudes by trickery in various forms, hiding its real designs behind ideas that are in themselves good and attractive … Under various names that do not suggest Communism … [t]hey try perfidiously to worm their way even into professedly Catholic and religious organizations … [t]hey invite Catholics to collaborate with them in the realm of so-called humanitarianism and charity; and at times make proposals that are in perfect harmony with the Christian spirit and the doctrine of the Church … See to it, faithful brethren, that the Faithful do not allow themselves to be deceived.”
The warning of Pius XI was only one of a series of papal warnings by Pius IX, Pius X, Pius XI, and Pius XII which, by some strange process of forgetfulness, the Popes after 1960 no longer seemed to recall: warnings against modernism, against Communism, against the false doctrine of “religious liberty” for all sects, against any Catholic participation in the “ecumenical movement”, against tampering with the Sacred Liturgy.
Shortly before the promulgation of Pacem in terris, Pope John allowed himself to be photographed shaking the hand of Nikita Krushchev’s son-in-law, Alexi Adjubei, in the Vatican. Before the meeting took place, Pope John had worried about its effect on Italian politics, but he proceeded anyway.16 In the Italian elections of 1963, the Italian Communist Party gained a million votes, and the Christian Democrats suffered a corresponding reversal.17
John XXIII and Paul VI would preside over a Council that would teach us that we must read “the signs of the times”. But the Council itself would ignore the greatest sign of evil in the world which surrounded it, doing so under a secret agreement with the very perpetrators of that evil. The Council would also ignore perhaps the greatest of the “signs of the times” in our century: the Message of Fatima, including that portion of it which had been suppressed by Pope John only two years before.
“Disastrous Conditions of Humanity”
From the perspective of Fatima what occurred during and after the Second Vatican Council should have been no surprise. Indeed, Pope Pius XII had predicted it with eerie prophetic accuracy, in light of the Message of Fatima:
“I am worried by the Blessed Virgin’s messages to Lucy of Fatima. This persistence of Mary about the dangers which menace the Church is a divine warning against the suicide of altering the Faith and Her liturgy. A day will come when the civilized world will deny its God, when the Church will doubt as Peter doubted. She will be tempted to believe that man has become God … In our churches, Christians will search in vain for the red lamp where God awaits them. Like Mary Magdalen, weeping before the empty tomb, they will ask ‘Where have they taken Him’ “18
Surely “the Virgin’s Messages to Lucy of Fatima” had figured in Pius XII’s decision not to proceed with his own plans for an ecumenical council. Inded, the Pope’s own emissaries, including Cardinal Ottaviani, had interrogated Sister Lucy in 1955, before plans for a council were scrapped. Had she told them of the Third Secret? Perhaps, too, His Holiness was mindful of the famous advice of the great Cardinal Manning (quoting Cardinal Pallavicini) that “to convoke a General Council, except when absolutely necessary, is to tempt God.”
Pope Pius must also have pondered whether, at his advanced age, he would be able to control the very forces within the Church which his predecessor, Pope St. Pius X, had labored so mightily to contain. It was Pius XII himself who had canonized his great predecessor. Following in Pius X’s footsteps, he had condemned the neo-modernists in Humani generis. He knew, as Pius X knew, that modernists were still at work “almost in the very veins and heart of the Church”, and that although a modernist might “bow his head for a moment” when rebuked, “it was soon uplifted more arrogantly than ever”.19 Would not a Council improvidently called by an aged Pope, therefore, be an invitation to precisely what Pius XII feared “the suicide of altering the Faith and Her liturgy”?
Even a cursory reader of the great encyclicals of the pre-conciliar age will notice that the alarm expressed by Pius XII was part of a veritable Magisterium of admonition developed in the pronouncements of the great 19th and 20th Century Popes, until John XXIII. Gregory XVI, Pius IX, Leo XIII, Pius X, Pius XI and Pius XII were of one voice in warning that the world’s embrace of the false principles of modernity was bringing civilization to its ruin, and that the Church herself was threatened as never before by what Pius X had described in Pascendi as the “partisans of error”.
In his inaugural encyclical, E Supremi, issued fourteen years before the first apparition of Our Lady of Fatima, Pius X sounded perhaps the most dramatic warning of impending calamity for the Church and the world:
“We felt a sort of terror considering the disastrous conditions of humanity at the present hour. Can we ignore such a profound and grave evil, which at this moment much more than in the past is working away at its very marrow and leading it to its ruin? … Truly whoever ponders these things must necessarily and firmly fear whether such a perversion of minds is not the sign of announcing, and the beginning of the last times … So great is the audacity with which religion is mocked everywhere, and the dogmas of the faith are fought against … [M]an, with unspeakable temerity, has usurped the place of the Creator, lifting himself above everything that bears the name of God.”
Pius XII would echo this theme of an unprecedented deterioration in the state of the world in his letter of February 11, 1949: “We are overwhelmed with sadness and anguish, seeing that the wickedness of perverse men has reached a degree of impiety that is unbelievable and absolutely unknown in other times.”20
John XXIII did not share the alarm of his predecessors. On the contrary, in a world vastly more depraved than the one observed by Pius X, Pope John was somehow hugely optimistic. Indeed, it is reported that upon reading the Third Secret with the aid of a Portuguese translator, he had declared: “This does not concern the years of my pontificate.”21 In his opening address to the Council, Pope John expressed positive annoyance with those who “say that our era, in comparison with past eras, is getting worse … We feel we must disagree with those prophets of gloom, who are always forecasting disaster, as though the end of the world was at hand.” So much for Pope St. Pius X!
The Second Vatican Council would proceed, with Pope John euphorically exclaiming that “it rises in the Church like daybreak, a forerunner of a most splendid light. It is now only dawn.” In the darkness of Pope John’s desk drawer, the Third Secret of Fatima lay hidden from the world.
Place: Fatima, Portugal
Visionaries: 3 children — Lucia, Jacinta, Francisco
In the Spring of 1916, on the back edge of WWI, before the Russian Revolution and when the world was beginning to spin even more wildly out of control, an angel appeared to 3 shepherd children at Fatima, Portugal. The angel, who called himself the Angel of Portugal, appeared three times, taught the children various prayers and entreated them to penance and to offering sacrifices to the Lord.
After these 3 appearances, a lull of 8 months went by. Then, in 1917, when Lucia was 10, Francisco was 9, and Jacinta was 7, Our Lady appeared to the children, asking them to return to that site on the 13th day of each month for the next 6 months. (She would come 6 times to all the children, and also later to Lucia alone.)
During the first apparition (13 May), Our Lady answered questions from the children about their fates. She said that they would all go to Heaven (but Francisco would have a few Rosaries to say first). She told them that of two of their friends who’d died, one was in Heaven and another was in Purgatory. She then mentioned the war in Europe and told the children to pray the Rosary for peace.
During the second apparition, she told the children to pray what has become known as the “Fatima Prayer” during their Rosaries. When asked, she said that Francisco and Jacinta would be in Heaven soon, but that Lucia would stay to help bring people to Christ.
During the third apparition, three secrets were given to the children.
First, they were shown a vision of Hell.
Second, they were told of the “errors of Russia” and how they would spread throughout the world unless the world mended its ways. To that end, she called for penance and said that Russia should be consecrated to her Immaculate Heart by the Pope and the Bishops in union with him, and that the faithful should receive Communion of reparation in atonement for the sins of the world on the first Saturday of each month (the “First Saturdays” devotion). If these things aren’t done, Russia’s errors would spread, the Church will be persecuted, various nations will be annihilated, and the Holy Father will have much to suffer. She said, though, that in the end, her Immaculate Heart would triumph.
Lucia, warned by her Bishop that the apparitions could be demonic, asked the Lady if she would tell them who she was and if she would perform a miracle to help prove to others that the visions were real. The Lady said she would.
During the 4th apparition, Our Lady gave the children instructions concerning the chapel which was to be built and reassured them of the miracle that would take place.
During the 5th apparition, she said that the promised miracle that all could see would take place during her next visit (on 13 October).
During the last apparition common to all the children, crowds gathered; around 70,000 people sloshed through the mud caused by the heavy rains that had fallen all night to see the promise fulfilled. Mary referred to herself as the “Lady of the Rosary,” mentioned again the chapel that would be built, and said the war would end soon. Suddenly, the dark clouds that obscured the sky parted, revealing the sun as a softly lit disk of spinning silver or an opalescent pearl shade. Thousands and thousands saw the sun spin, dance, throw off many different rays of color — red, yellow, purple, blue light coloring all they saw. Some swore they saw the sun crashing toward the earth. Even secular newspapers reported what happened with the sun and that one could witness the phenomenon without hurting one’s eyes. People who’d gone to the site to mock the children and the faithful found themselves in tears, staring at the sky in amazement, converted to Christ. Then Our Lady disappeared, and St. Joseph, holding the child Jesus, appeared to the children, blessing the world by signing the Cross in the air. This apparition went away, and then Christ and Mary (as Our Lady of Sorrows) appeared, Christ blessing the world as his step-father had done. Then Our Lady appeared alone again, only to Lucia’s eyes, as Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. After the miracle of the sun, the crowds saw that the muddy, wet fields and their clothing had dried.
Francisco and Jacinta died very young, as Our Lady said. They were beatified in 2000. Lucia joined the Carmelite Order as a nun. In 1944, Our Lady appeared again to Lucia and asked her to write down the Third Secret given to her at Fatima — but not to reveal it until 1960 because “it will be much clearer then.”
1960 came and went, but the secret was not revealed; instead, Sr. Lucia was ordered to never speak to anyone about Fatima.
In the year 2000, the Vatican released its version of the “Third Secret”; that text appears below. The official interpretation of this “Third Secret” is that it referred to the assassination attempt on John Paul II’s life in 1981 and that all of its relevance is in the past.
THIRD PART OF THE “SECRET”
AS RELEASED BY THE VATICAN, MAY 2000
“I write in obedience to you, my God, who command me to do so through his Excellency the Bishop of Leiria and through your Most Holy Mother and mine.
“After the two parts which I have already explained, at the left of Our Lady and a little above, we saw an Angel with a flaming sword in his left hand; flashing, it gave out flames that looked as though they would set the world on fire; but they died out in contact with the splendor that Our Lady radiated towards him from her right hand: pointing to the earth with his right hand, the Angel cried out in a loud voice: “Penance, Penance, Penance!”
“And we saw in an immense light that is God: “something similar to how people appear in a mirror when they pass in front of it” a Bishop dressed in White “we had the impression that it was the Holy Father.”
“Other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious going up a steep mountain, at the top of which there was a big Cross of rough-hewn trunks as of a cork-tree with the bark; before reaching there the Holy Father passed through a big city half in ruins and half trembling with halting step, afflicted with pain and sorrow, he prayed for the souls of the corpses he met on his way;
“Having reached the top of the mountain, on his knees at the foot of the big Cross he was killed by a group of soldiers who fired bullets and arrows at him, and in the same way there died one after another the other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious, and various lay people of different ranks and positions.
“Beneath the two arms of the Cross there were two Angels each with a crystal aspergilium in his hand, in which they gathered up the blood of the Martyrs and with it sprinkled the souls that were making their way to God.”
Lucia dos Santos, the lone surviving seer of Fatima, died on February 13, 2005 at her Carmelite Convent in Coimbra. She was 97 years old.
“Consecration to the Mother of God,” says Pope Pius XII, “is a total gift of self, for the whole of life and for all eternity; and a gift which is not a mere formality or sentimentality, but effectual, comprising the full intensity of the Christian life – Marian life.” This consecration, the Pope explained, “tends essentially to union with Jesus, under the guidance of Mary.”
By our consecration we promise to become dependent on Mary in all things: to offer all our prayers and oblations to God through Mary, and to seek every gift from God through Mary. And we do this with the greatest confidence. Since she is our mother, she knows our needs better than we; and since she is Queen of Heaven, she has immediate access to the infinite treasury of graces in the Kingdom of her Divine Son.
Mary is not only the Mother of Jesus, Son of the Eternal Father; she is also Mother of all the Father’s adopted children. As their Mother, she has been given the role of molding them into the likeness of Jesus.
Every work of grace, every increase of grace, is a work of the Holy Spirit; but as in the Incarnation of the Divine Word God used human instruments, so does He in the sanctification of each individual soul. As He chose Mary as the instrument through whom He would come to us, so He chose Mary as the instrument through whom we should go to Him. And both the mystery of God coming to us through Mary, and our being led to God through Mary, is a work of the Holy Spirit. So when we speak of Mary’s unique role in our sanctification, she is but the instrument the Holy Spirit uses in sharing with us the divine life of grace. It is in this sense that Mary fashions us into the likeness of Christ.
However, that this transformation – through Mary’s help – be accomplished in a notable degree, there must be an awareness of her role in our sanctification, a confidence in her maternal concern and in her power under God, a surrender of oneself into her hands, and a fervent, frequent and confident seeking of her aid. This usually comes through some form of consecration to the Mother of God.
At Fatima Our Lady asked for consecration to her Immaculate Heart, a consecration which, among other things, calls for the devotion of the Five First Saturdays, which includes the Rosary, meditation and Communions of reparation – all done in reparation to her Immaculate Heart. It involves a striving to fulfill her requests for prayer and sacrifices for the conversion of sinners and in reparation for offenses against the Divine Majesty. In a word, it involves a striving to fulfill all that she asked for at Fatima, and trying to bring others to heed her requests.
Living that consecration means becoming an apostle of Mary, striving to imitate her virtues, and to place in her hands the flowers of little sacrifices of reparation for the salvation of souls, so that we might strengthen her hand against the attacks of the Evil One, and hasten the day of the triumph of her Immaculate Heart. To everyone who makes that consecration and sincerely tries to live it, the words of Our Lady to the child Lucia at Fatima would also apply: “I will never leave you; my Immaculate Heart will be your refuge, and the way that will lead you to God.”
If consecration to Mary “tends essentially to union with Jesus, under the guidance of Mary,” as Pope Pius XII pointed out, we must remember that any gradual transformation into Christ requires a gradual loving acceptance of a greater share in His redeeming Cross.
So when we offer ourselves to Mary to lead us, to form us into the likeness of her Son, we are offering to let her lead us along the way of the Cross.
Our Blessed Mother’s great concern is the salvation of the souls of her children, many of whom are being lost. She looks for generous souls among her children, who are willing to let her lead them close behind her Son, sharing more fully in His redemptive mission, filling up what is wanting in other members of the Body of Christ. Little by little they are transformed to see as Christ sees, and to desire what He desires. God wants to draw us closer to Himself, sharing more fully His Divine life; but we must understand what the fulfillment of this requires.
In our Rosary, we contemplate Mary in Heaven in the Glorious Mysteries, because she had so unique a role on earth in the Sorrowful Mysteries. This is the pattern that is offered to each of us, and of which we are reminded each time we pray the Rosary.
Consecration to Mary, then, requires a childlike simplicity and confidence, letting her lead one by the hand, trusting – regardless of what lies ahead – that she knows better than we what contributes most to God’s glory, our sanctification and the salvation of souls.
FATIMA – A TRUE PERSPECTIVE
While many decades have passed since Our Lady gave to the world her message at Fatima in 1917, there are comparatively few who have taken that message seriously, and of those who have, some have interpreted it erroneously. It is true that the fulfillment or nonfulfillment of her requests would have great consequences for the world situation, for world peace, for the very survival of nations. Nevertheless, her message is essentially a spiritual one, a call for prayer and penance – a conversion of life, and a dire warning of what would happen if her requests were not fulfilled. Her words were truly prophetic, for much of what she predicted has come to pass.
Fr. Thomas McGlynn, O.P. is the artist who carved the large marble statue of Our Lady above the main entrance to the basilica in Fatima. In the course of his work at Fatima, Fr. McGlynn had several long interviews with Sr. Lucia, the last living witness of the apparitions of Our Lady at Fatima in 1917. Sr. Lucia knew that Father McGlynn was going to write a book on Fatima as soon as he completed his work on the statue.
“In your writing,” Sr. Lucia said to Father, “please stress the spiritual meaning of things, in order to raise minds which today have become so materialistic to regions of the supernatural; so that they may understand the true meaning and purpose of the coming of Our Lady to earth, which is to bring souls to Heaven, to draw them to God.”
Unfortunately, however, there are some who stress predominantly the political aspects of the Fatima message, i.e., the worldwide political consequences, if Our Lady’s requests are not heeded. We all are aware of the terrible realities and consequences of war, and especially of nuclear war, or of persecution of the Church; and it is natural to think of Our Lady’s message in terms of avoiding these calamities. Yet, we must not let this perspective cloud our minds as to our own personal obligations. As Msgr. William McGrath has pointed out:
“When all is said and done, our primary responsibility is not the conversion of Russia or the prevention of world wars, but the salvation of that little world within ourselves over which, with God’s help, we must exercise control, and for which we shall one day have to render an account to God in judgment. What will it profit us, even if Russia is converted and an era of peace be granted to humanity, if we have failed in the great task for which we were created, the salvation of our own immortal souls.”
Fr. McGlynn pointed out in his book VISION OF FATIMA, that Fatima is, first of all, a dreadful warning to the world to stop sinning. The enormity of mankind’s rebellion against God, and God’s infinite aversion to sin, form the foundation of the Fatima message. It is a warning that the time of God’s justice will come to pass, if men do not take advantage of this time of His mercy, this special opportunity of making reparation through the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Our Lady showed the three children a vision of hell. That vision was not for their instruction and warning, but for ours. The Blessed Virgin had assured them that they were going to be saved. Yet, as Fr. McGlynn pointed out, “All the bleeding, dying and despair of a thousand wars cannot equal the disaster of a single soul being damned. We miss the spiritual meaning of things,” he said, “if we think Our Lady came to Fatima to tell us how to keep out of a third world war, or how to convert Russia, or how to achieve tranquility in our earthly existence. She came to tell us how to keep out of hell.”
ACT OF CONSECRATION TO THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY
Any formula may be used to consecrate oneself to the Mother of God, as long as it involves a total oblation of oneself. As a suggestion, one of the following consecrations could be renewed each first Saturday with the shorter formula renewed daily.
1. O Virgin Mary, most powerful Mother of Mercy, Queen of Heaven and earth, in accordance with your wish made known at Fatima, I consecrate myself today to your Immaculate Heart. To you I entrust all that I have, all that I am. Reign over me, dearest Mother, that I may be yours in prosperity, in adversity, in joy and in sorrow, in health and in sickness, in life and in death.
Most compassionate Heart of Mary, Queen of Virgins, watch over my mind and heart and preserve me from the deluge of impurity which you lamented so sorrowfully at Fatima. I want to be pure like you. I want to atone for the many crimes committed against Jesus and you. I want to call down upon this country and the whole world the peace of God in justice and charity.
Mindful of this consecration, I now promise to strive to imitate you by the practice of the Christian virtues without regard for human respect. I resolve to receive Holy Communion on the first Saturday of every month when possible, and to offer daily five decades of the Rosary, with all my sacrifices in the spirit of penance and reparation. Amen.
2, I, . . ., a faithless sinner, renew and ratify today in thy Heart, O Immaculate Mother, the vows of my Baptism; I renounce forever Satan, his pomps and works; and I give myself entirely to Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Wisdom, to carry my cross after Him all the days of my life, and to be more faithful to Him than I have ever been before.
Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, in the presence of all the heavenly court, I choose thee this day for my Mother and Mistress. I deliver and consecrate to thee, and to thy Immaculate Heart, as thy child and slave of love, my body and soul, my goods, both interior and exterior, and even the value of all my good actions, past, present and future; leaving to thee the entire and full right of disposing of me, and all that belongs to me, without exception, according to thy good pleasure, for the greater glory of God, in time and in eternity. Amen.
Short Daily Renewal of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, I renew my consecration to you and to your Immaculate Heart. Please accept me, my dear Mother, and use me as you wish to accomplish your designs upon the world. I am all yours, my Mother, my Queen, and all that I have is yours.
TO JESUS THROUGH MARY
Lest there should be any misconception about the place of devotion to Mary in Catholic piety, we honor in a special way the Immaculate Heart of the Mother of Jesus, i.e., the person of Mary in her eminent sanctity and glorification by God, because it is the wish of her Son – as Our Lady revealed in her second apparition at Fatima. Jesus knows well that true devotion to His Mother leads souls to Him. As Pope Paul VI wrote in his encyclical celebrating the centenary of the apparitions at Lourdes:
“Everything in Mary leads us toward her Son, our only Savior, by whose foreseen merits she was preserved immaculate and full of grace; everything in Mary lifts up our hearts to the praise of the Holy Trinity.”
And as Our Lady assured Lucy, June 13, 1917:
“I will never abandon you, my child. My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God.”
The Church sees Mary, then, not as the goal, but as the guide, who always leads souls who honor her with true devotion – to her Son, especially to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. When we pray to the Immaculate Heart of Mary for help in time of need, she in turn points to the Tabernacle, to Him who is “the Way, the Truth, and the Life,” and has a way of conveying to us what she said to the steward at Cana: “Do whatever he tells you.” (Jn.2:5)