The Six Apparitions of Fatima

 

The apparitions of Our Lady were advanced one year before by three apparitions of an angel who prepared the little seers to become messengers of the Mother of God.

 

bullet First apparition of the Angel
 
In spring in 1916 Lucia Dos Santos age 9, and her cousins, Francisco and Jacinta Marto, ages 8 and 6 respectively, were at a meadow with their sheep in (hamlet of Fatima). It started raining, and they hid in a small cave to escape the rain. After the rain stopped and the sun came out, they stayed in the cave to eat their lunch, say the rosary and play a game of jacks. They had played but for a short while when, on the serene day, a strong wind blew that swayed the trees and a sudden white light enveloped them. In the middle of that light appeared a cloud in the form of a young man who said to them: "Fear not! I am the Angel of Peace. Pray with me!" The angel knelt on the ground and bowed very low. The children imitated the angel and repeated his words three times: "My God, I believe, I adore, I hope, and I love You. I beg pardon of You for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope, and do not love You." Then he rose and said: "Pray this way. The Hearts of Jesus and Mary are attentive to the voice of your supplications."

 

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Second apparition of the Angel
 

It Occurred in summer, when the seers were playing near the well of Lucia's house. The Angel said to them: "What are you doing? Pray! Pray a great deal. The Hearts of Jesus and Mary have merciful designs on you. Offer prayers and sacrifices continually to the Most High." The children asked: "How must we sacrifice ourselves?" The angel said: "Make everything you do a sacrifice, and offer it as an act of reparation for the sins by which God is offended, and as a petition for the conversion of sinners. By this you will bring peace to your country. I'm its Guardian Angel, the Angel of Portugal. Above all accept and bear with submission all the suffering the Lord will send you." From that moment, they began to offer to the Lord everything that offended Him, without trying to find any other ways of mortification or penance other than passing hour after hour, bowed to the ground, repeating the prayer that the angel had taught them.

 

bullet Third apparition of the Angel
 
It occurred in autumn at Cabeco. The children started prayers when they saw the angel, which had in his hand a chalice over which hung a Host, from which fell in the chalice some drops of Blood. He knelt and repeated three times with the children: "Most Holy Trinity-Father, Son, and Holy Spirit-I adore thee profoundly. I offer thee the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles in the world, in reparation for all the outrages, sacrileges and indifferences whereby he is offended. And through the infinite merits of His Most Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of Thee the conversion of poor sinners." Then he rose, took the Host, and gave it to Lucia, while the contents of the chalice he gave to Jacinta and Francisco, and said: " Take the Body and the Blood of Jesus Christ horribly outraged by thankless men. Recover their sins and comfort your God."

 

Apparitions of Our Lady

bullet First apparition of Our Lady
 
On Sunday May 13th 1917 the children were pasturing their flock as usual at the Cova da Iria, which was about a mile from their homes. They were playing when suddenly a bright shaft of light pierced the air. They described it as a flash of lightning. It was not really lightning, but rather the reflection of a light that approached little by little. Frightened by the flash, the children looked around at the sky that was clear and bright without the least spot of a cloud. No breeze stirred, the sun was strong, and there was no hint anywhere of a storm that might be responsible for a flash of lightning. The children, however, thought that they had better head home in case it might start raining. As they descended the hill. Another flash of lightning took them by surprise. Panicky with fear, they took a few steps and looked towards the right. There, standing over the foliage of a small holmoak, "a lady dressed all in white, more brilliant then the sun, shedding rays of light, clear and stronger than a crystal glass filled with the most sparkling water, pierced by the burning rays of the sun". The lady spoke to them and said: "Fear not! I will not harm you." "Where are you from?" the children asked. "I am from heaven" the beautiful lady replied, gently raising her hand towards the distant horizon. "What do you want of me?", Lucia asked. "I came to ask you to come here for six consecutive months, on the thirteenth day, at this same hour. I will tell you later who I am and what I want. And I shall return here again a seventh time." Lucia said : "Do you come from heaven...and will I go to heaven ?" " Yes, you'll go". "And Jacinta?" "As well" " And Francisco?" "Him too , but he will have to say many rosaries". In the end Our Lady asked : "Do you wish to offer yourselves to God, to endure all the suffering that He may please to send you, as an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended, and to ask for the conversion of sinners?" "Yes, we do." said the children. "You will have to suffer a lot, but the grace of God will be your comfort. "Then she opened her hands with a loving gesture of a mother who offers her heart. From it an intense light departed that seemed to go through them. The vision vanished telling them : "Recite the rosary every day to obtain the peace for the world and the end of the war." And She disappeared.
bullet Second apparition of Our Lady
 
On June 13 1917, accompanied by about 50 people, the children were reciting the rosary, when there was again the lightning, and immediately after the Lady on the holmoak appeared like in May. "What do you want from me?" asked Lucy. "I wish you to come here the 13th of next month; that you say the Rosary every day, and that you learn to read. In succeeding months I will tell you what else I want." "I would like to ask you to bring us to Heaven", said Lucy. "Yes, Jacinta and Francisco will be among the few, but you must stay here for a long time. Jesus wants to help Himself of you to make Me known and loved. God wishes you to remain in the world for some time because He wants to use you to establish in the world a devotion to my Immaculate Heart. I promise salvation to those who embrace it, and their souls will be loved by God as flowers placed by myself to adorn His throne." Lucy asked: "Will I stay here alone"?, "Don't be discouraged , I will not abandon you ever. My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and through it will conduct you to God." Then She opened her hands and emanated her light on the children, Jacinta and Francisco seemed to be in the light that went up toward the sky, Lucy in the light that spread on the earth. In front of the palm of the right hand of the Lady there was a heart surrounded by thorns that impaled it. They understood that it was the Immaculate Heart of Mary affronted from the sins of men, and She then asked for reparation.
bullet Third apparition of Our Lady
 
On July 13 1917 they recited the rosary with the crowd, they saw the usual reflex of light and then the Lady on the holm oak. Lucy asked: "What do you want from me?" She answered: "That you come the 13th of the next month, that you continue to recite the Rosary every day to our Lady of the Rosary to obtain peace in the world and the end of the war, because only She will be able to aid you." Lucy said " I want to ask you to tell us who you are, and to make a miracle for the crowd to believe that you appear." She Answered: "you continue to come here. In October I will tell you who I am, that which I want, and I will do a miracle that all can see and believe. Sacrifice yourselves for sinners, and say often this prayer, especially during any sacrifice: "O my Jesus, I offer this for love of Thee, for the conversion of poor sinners, and in reparation for all the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.". As she spoke these words, Our lady stretched out her hands, and bright rays came forth which seemed to penetrate into the earth. All at once the ground vanished, and the children saw Hell, frightened they lifted their eyes to the Lady who told them:" You have seen Hell, where the souls of poor sinners go. To save future souls God wishes to establish in the world the devotion to My Immaculate Heart. If people do what I tell you, many souls will be saved." Then She said:" If my requests are granted, Russia will be converted and there will be peace. If not, she will scatter her errors throughout the world, provoking wars and persecution of the Church. The good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer, and various nations will be destroyed...But in the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, Russia will be converted, and a certain period of peace will be granted to the world". "Do you want to learn a prayer?" the vision asked, "Yes we do!" the children responded. "When you recite the Rosary, say at the end of each decade: "Oh My Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, and lead all souls to Heaven, especially those in most need of Your Mercy."
bullet Fourth apparition of Our Lady
 
In August the children were prevented by the civil authorities to go to the meeting of the 13th in which had gathered an immense crowd. The children for two days were confined and threatened with many torments to make them deny, but they did not surrender, they were ready to offer their lives not to betray the promises made to the Lady. When they had been released on August 19, while they fed the flock in a place called Valinhos they saw the Lady above a holmoak. " What do you want from me?" Lucy asked. "I Want you to continue to go to the Cova da Iria on the 13th, that you continue to say the Rosary every day. I, in the last month will make the miracle that all will believe." Then with a sadder appearance told them: "Pray, pray a lot and offer sacrifices for the sinners. You know that many souls go the hell because there is none who pray for them."
bullet Fifth apparition of Our Lady
 
On September 13th the children and about 30.000 persons accompanied them to the Cova da Iria and they there recited the Rosary, soon after appeared the Lady on the holmoak. "I Want you to come here on October 13 and that you continue to recite the Rosary to obtain the end of the war. In October the Lord, the sorrowful Lady, the Lady of Mt. Carmel, and St Joseph with the child Jesus, will also come to bless the world. God is glad of your sacrifices, He does not want you to sleep with the chord to the sides, use it only during the day."
bullet Sixth and last apparition of Our Lady
 
On 13 October 1917 the children surrounded by a crowd of 70.000 persons under a torrential rain, Lucy asked again of the Lady: "What do you want from me?" she answered: "I am the Lady of the Rosary, I desire here a chapel in my honor to be built, that people continue to recite the Rosary every day. Will the war finish. The war is going to end, and the soldiers will soon return to their homes." Then Lucy asked: "may I ask you for cures and conversions, will you grant them?". "Some yes, others no. It is necessary that they ask pardon for their sins, that they don't offend God our Lord, and that he is already too much offended." "Do you Want anything else from me?" Lucy asked. "I do not want anything more."

Then She opened her hands again and She launched a ray of light in the direction of the sun as Lucy shouted that they should look at the sun. At this point the promised sign happened, Lucy shouted to look at the sun, the rain stopped suddenly and there appeared an exceptionally bright sun but not dazzling. The sun began to turn as if projecting in each direction bands of light of each color that lit and colored the clouds, the sky, the trees, and the crowd. It stayed for some moments then it went back to its normal position, it stayed still for a small while and then it happened again. Suddenly it looked as if it stood out from the sky to fall headlong on the crowd, that was looking terrorized, they fell to their knees and begged mercy. Meanwhile the children saw a Lady dressed like the white of the sun with a blue cope, St. Joseph with the Child Jesus that blessed the world.Then after this vision they saw The Lord bless the world, standing next to Our Lady of Sorrows. After these visions the Lady of Mt Carmel finished the miracle. The people then became aware that there clothes were completely dried.
 

One of the principal anti-clerical publications of the day was O Dia, a major Lisbon newspaper. On October 17th, O Dia reported the following: At one o'clock in the afternoon, midday by the sun, the rain stopped. The sky, pearly gray in color, illuminated the vast arid landscape with a strange light. The sun had a transparent gauzy veil so that eyes could easily be fixed upon it. The gray mother-of-pearl tone turned into a sheet of silver which broke up as the clouds were torn apart and the silver sun, enveloped in the same gauzy gray light, was seen to whirl and turn in the circle of broken clouds. A cry went up from every mouth and people fell on their knees on the muddy ground. The light turned a beautiful blue as if it had come through the stained-glass windows of a cathedral and spread itself over the people who knelt with outstretched hands. The blue faded slowly and then the light seemed to pass through yellow glass. Yellow stains fell against white handkerchiefs, against the dark skirts of women. They were reported on the trees, on the stones and on the serra. People wept and prayed with uncovered heads in the presence of the miracle they had awaited.

Our Lady of Fatima, the history of the secrets.

Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta

What Happened after the Visions?

 

Francisco died on 4 April 1919 and Jacinta died on 20 February 1920. Before she died, little Jacinta revealed little-known but remarkable statements made by Our Lady. Here are just some of them:
bulletMore souls go to hell because of sins of the flesh than for any other reason.
bulletCertain fashions will be introduced that will offend Our Lord very much.
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Many marriages are not good; they do not please Our Lord and are not of God.

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Priests must be pure, very pure. They should not busy themselves with anything except what concerns the Church and souls. The disobedience of priests to their superiors and to the Holy Father is very displeasing to Our Lord.

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The Blessed Mother can no longer restrain the hand of her Divine Son from striking the world with just punishment for its many crimes.

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Tell everybody that God gives graces through the Immaculate Heart of Mary. tell them to ask graces from her, and that the Heart of Jesus wishes to be venerated together with the Immaculate Heart of Mary. .

Lucy entered the Convent of the Sisters of St Dorothy to learn to read and write; then she entered in the convent of Coimbra where she was until her death in 2005.

On December 10, 1925, sister Lucy received an apparition by the Child Jesus and the Virgin Mary in her convent cell. The Holy Virgin shown her a Heart surrounded by thorns, Our Lady said to her:

"See, My daughter, My heart surrounded by thorns which ungrateful men pierce at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude... Say to all those who:

bulletfor five months, on the first Saturday, confess,
bulletreceive Holy Communion,
bulletrecite the Rosary
bullet

and keep Me company for 15 minutes while meditating on the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary, in a spirit of reparation,

I promise to assist them at the hour of death with all the graces necessary for the salvation of their souls."

(original picture of the given vision: note the altar was not the Novus Ordo table that is now depicted in the "updated" picture.)

As Our Lady said at the apparition of 13 July 1917, "I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia". She did this on 13 June 1929, when She appeared to Lucy in the Chapel of Dorotheas (known as the Last Vision of Fatima), in the town of Tuy. Lucy said: "I had sought and obtained permission from my superiors and confessor to make a Holy Hour from eleven o'clock until midnight, every Thursday to Friday night.

Being alone one night, I knelt near the altar rails in the middle of the chapel and, prostrate, I prayed the prayers of the Angel. Feeling tired, I then stood up and continued to say the prayers with my arms in the form of a cross. The only light was that of the sanctuary lamp. Suddenly the whole chapel was illumined by a supernatural light, and above the altar appeared a cross of light, reaching to the ceiling. In a brighter light on the upper part of the cross, could be seen the face of a man and his body as far as the waist; upon his breast was a dove of light; nailed to the cross was the body of another man. A little below the waist, I could see a chalice and a large host suspended in the air, on to which drops of blood were falling from the face of Jesus Crucified and from the wound in His side. These drops ran down on to the host and fell into the chalice. Beneath the right arm of the cross was Our Lady and in her hand was her Immaculate Heart. (it was Our Lady of Fatima, with her Immaculate Heart in her left hand, without sword or roses, but with a crown of thorns and flames). Under the left arm of the cross, large letters, -as if of crystal clear water which ran down upon the altar, formed these words: "Grace and Mercy". I understood that it was the Mystery of the Most Holy Trinity which was shown to me, and I received lights about this mystery which I am not permitted to reveal. Our Lady then said to me: "The moment has come in which God asks the Holy Father, in union with all the Bishops of the world, to make the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart, promising to save it by this means. There are so many souls whom the justice of God condemns for sins committed against me, that I have come to ask reparation: sacrifice yourself for this intention and pray."

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Pope Pius XI did not make the consecration which Our Lady had asked Lucia to make known. Pope Pius XII in his turn, did not consecrate Russia in the original form, he consecrated the whole world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary with a particular mention of Russia. Pope Pius XII did something similar in 1942, and later consecrated the Russian people in 1952. Though Our Lady was pleased with Pope Pius XII attempt, she told Lucia the attempt was not the fulfillment of the request. Pope  Pius XII could not get his bishops in union for the consecration, as Our Lady had requested. The consecration remains undone.

OUR LADY OF FATIMA CONFIRMS THE PROPHECY OF ST. DOMINIC

SAINT DOMINIC'S PROPHECY, FATIMA, ROSARY AND THE SCAPULAR WITH PLEDGE TO OUR LADY

Taken from the Book Mary and Her Scapular Promise
by John M. Haffert


Some might be surprised at the great emphasis given to a devotion as apparently simple as the Brown Scapular. But one of the most interesting testimonies to the importance of the Scapular devotion today has so far been scarcely mentioned.

In the pages of an ancient history of the Carmelite Order (written in mediaeval Latin by a forgotten writer named Ventimiglia) the author of this book found the following account:

Three famous men of God met on a street corner in Rome. They were Friar (St.) Dominic, busy gathering recruits to a new Religious Order of Preachers; Brother (St.) Francis, the friend of birds and beasts and especially dear to the poor; and (St.) Angelus, who had been invited to Rome from Mount Carmel, in Palestine, because of his fame as a preacher.

At their chance meeting, by the light of the Holy Ghost each of the three men recognized each other and, in the course of their conversation (as recorded by various followers who were present), they made prophecies to each other. Saint Angelus foretold the stigmata of Saint Francis, and Saint Dominic said:

"One day, Brother Angelus, to your Order of Carmel the Most Blessed Virgin Mary will give a devotion to be known as the Brown Scapular, and to my Order of Preachers she will give a devotion to be known as the Rosary. AND ONE DAY, THROUGH THE ROSARY AND THE SCAPULAR, SHE WILL SAVE THE WORLD."

Please note, Our Lady certainly would not put sacramentals as a greater means of grace and salvation unless Our Lord was not readily a in the Blessed Sacrament. The Novus Ordo Mass is nothing more than a Protestant service. Take heed of the warning given to us by Pope Pius XII:

"We believe that the present hour is a dread phase of the events foretold by Christ. It seems that darkness is about to fall on the world. Humanity is in the grip of a supreme crisis."

Eugene Cardinal Pacelli (the future Pope Pius XII) in 1931:

“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, in Her liturgy, Her theology and Her soul...I hear all around me innovators who wish to dismantle the Sacred Chapel, destroy the universal flame of the true Faith of the Church, reject Her ornaments and make Her feel remorse for Her historical past.”

“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 Magdalene, weeping before the empty tomb, they will ask, ‘Where have they taken Him?"

The red lamp burning in Catholic Churches signifies that God is really present before them in the Most Blessed Eucharist – Pope Pius XII is here prophesying that the Most Blessed Sacrament will no longer be able to be found in the ‘Catholic’ churches, a reality which took place shortly after his death as a result of Vatican Council II.


Since the author of this book was gathering material for a book on the Scapular Devotion, the present writer was deeply impressed on finding this story in Ventimiglia's History . . . and he was especially impressed by the prophecy of St. Dominic.

Yet that prophecy appears nowhere in the past sixteen chapters which (with the exception of Chapter Fifteen and a few paragraphs referring to Fatima) were for thirteen years the total of this book . . . unchanged through several printings totaling more than 70,000 copies.

St. Dominic's "prophecy" was omitted repeatedly, through all those printings and years, despite the fact that the author came later to know that today a Chapel, on that very street comer in Rome, commemorates the meeting of St. Dominic, St. Francis of Assisi, and St. Angelus as described by Ventimiglia.

Therefore, why the omission?

Why were not the words "Through the Rosary and the Scapular She will save the world" blazoned across the pages and even perhaps included in the title of this book?
 
There are two reasons.

First, the writer was not sure that Ventimiglia was a reliable historian.

But that would not have been sufficient reason to omit any reference whatever to a story of such importance. The second and graver reason is that, even though he was himself convinced that the Scapular Devotion is important, the writer was by no means convinced that the Scapular could be one of two instruments to SAVE THE WORLD. He did not believe that the Scapular, or any sacramental, could be that important.

Thus in the year of Our Lord 1940, Mary in Her Scapular Promise was published without the "finding" in Ventimiglia's history mentioned. And it was omitted through one reprinting after another.

In 1941, following the first success of the book, the author told the story of how it had all come about in a sequel titled From a Morning Prayer.

This second book told how a saintly Carmelite lay-brother, after what he thought was a vision, commissioned the author to make the Scapular devotion better known, and especially the practice of using the Scapular while making the Morning Offering (to emphasize the offering through the Immaculate Heart of Mary). . . carrying the offering through the day, in all our sacrifices, thoughts and deeds . . . walking always under the mantle of Mary and thus doing all, as She did on earth, for God and for the Reign of Christ in all hearts.

A few months after this second book was published Archbishop Finbar Ryan, of Trinidad, wrote a letter to the writer, congratulating him, and adding: "While I congratulate you on this book, From a Morning Prayer, I cannot help wondering why you have made no mention of OUR LADY OF FATIMA . . . since in the last apparition at Fatima Our Lady held the Brown Scapular in Her hands."

The author, like most people in the United States at that time, had heard only vague rumors about Our Lady of Fatima.

It happened that Archbishop Ryan had written the first book in the English language on the Fatima apparitions. It had just come off the press in Dublin and the copy which he then sent to the present writer opened a whole new view of Our Lady's role in the modern world.

Therein . . . for the first time . . . the author read of Our Lady's words at Fatima: "Only the Blessed Virgin, by the grace if God, can save you" . . . and of Her final appearances during the miracle of the sun: First, dressed in white and holding the Rosary, while Saint Joseph, holding the Infant Jesus, stood at Her side; second, dressed in blue, while Our Lord appeared at Her side; third and finally, dressed in the brown of Carmel, holding the Brown Scapular in Her hands . . . while Our Lord, Who had not changed from the second apparition, slowly raised His hand and blessed the great crowd in the Cova below.

With feelings he can hardly describe the author realized that, at Fatima, Our Lady had confirmed this prophecy of St. Dominic recorded by Ventimiglia. Holding the Rosary and the Scapular, She had come to say: "Only the Blessed Virgin can save you." And She promised the conversion of Russia and world peace if Her requests would be heard.

Although the previous chapter . . . and, indeed, most of this book . . . was completed in 1939, before the author had heard about Fatima, it would seem actually to have been based on the Fatima message.

Perhaps the explanation of this, as well as of many other events which have contributed to a sudden "bursting forth" of the Fatima Apostolate all over the world in this second half of the twentieth century, will be found solely in the designs and powers of Our Lady Herself.

If only the Blessed Virgin can save the world today, naturally it is because God wills that we establish the Reign of Christ only through Mary.

And for that reason her two most privileged, most indulgenced, most universal, most ancient and most valued sacramentals . . . the Rosary and the Brown Scapular . . . assume a greater importance than ever before in history.

The strongest evidence of this cannot be measured in words confirmed by footnotes and references. It is confirmed by the action of Our Lady in the world, now, all about us. Each one has the evidence he sees daily in many conversions and in the apostolates of the hour.

In 1940, following the first publication of this book, the V. Rev. Gabriel N. Pausbach, Assistant General of the Carmelite Order, founded a Scapular Apostolate at the Church of Our Lady of the Scapular of Mount Carmel, at 338 East 29th Street, in New York City. (It is now the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Scapular.)

Within three years, the morning offering dictated by the lay-brother (as described in From a Morning Prayer, Prayer") was printed three million times. Year after year, month after month, the devotion of the Scapular began to flourish more and more throughout the United States. Units of the Scapular Apostolate sprang up in most major cities. In 1953, the unit in Detroit was making and distributing over 400,000 Scapulars in one year
. . . a number in that one city which was equal to almost half of the number of Scapulars used annually in the entire nation before 1941. The unit in Cleveland, Ohio, was making and distributing over 100,000 a year. The total number of Scapulars produced annually now in the entire country is in the many millions.

Although the children of Fatima had said, in 1917, that Our Lady appeared in the final vision with the Scapular (as Archbishop Ryan published in his book, Our Lady of Fatima), attention of early writers focused rather on the prophecies of Our Lady of Fatima, on authenticity of the apparitions, on the miracle of the sun, cures at Fatima, etc.  . . . and very little authoritative work was done on the meaning of the message, particularly as regarded the multiple apparitions on the day of the miracle of the sun.

In 1946, in an interview lasting several hours, the present writer asked "Lucia," sole survivor of the three children who saw Our Lady of Fatima, about that last apparition on October 13 of Our Lady of the Scapular.

She confirmed what Archbishop Ryan and a few other early writers on the subject had said. But we found, especially among some of the "authorities" on Fatima in the United States, an inexplicable hostility to the inclusion of the Scapular in the Fatima message. We feel today that this was in the Providence of God because it led to an incontrovertible statement on the subject from "Lucia" on the Feast of the Assumption, August 15, 1950.

It was in an interview which two Carmelite Fathers had with "Lucia," who had herself become a Carmelite nun with the name, Sister Mary of the Immaculate Heart, in the Carmel of Coimbra, Portugal. The interrogator in the interview was the V. Rev. Howard Rafferty, O. Carm., Provincial Director of the Third Order Secular of the Carmelite Province of the Most Pure Heart of Mary in the United States. He began by remarking that most of the recent writers on Fatima (up to 1950) made no mention of the Scapular, and some even denied that the Scapular Devotion was a part of the Fatima message.
 
"Oh, they are wrong!" Lucia exclaimed Shortly after the apparitions in 1917, Lucia told interrogators that the vision of Our Lady of the Scapular on October 17, "Looked just like the picture of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in the parish church."
 
This picture is the very old, universally-used portrayal of Our Lady in the Carmelite Habit, with the Infant Jesus holding the little Scapular in His Hands and Angels descending into Purgatory . . . apparently at Our Lady's bidding . . . freeing Souls from the flames. From an explanation which Lucia gave to the present writer in 1946 it is apparent that reference in 1917 to this picture referred only to the Habit and general appearance of Our Lady. In the Fatima vision Our Lady Herself held the Scapular in Her hands and, instead of the Infant in Her arms, Our Lord stood at Her side, in the fullness of manhood, blessing the crowd below.

"Why do you think Our Lady appeared with the Scapular in this last vision?" Lucia was asked in 1950.

"Because," Lucia replied, "She wants everyone to wear the Scapular."

One Fatima apostolate, known as "The Blue Army" [the author's apostolate, which he co-founded] . . . which spread farthest in the world . . . insisted on the wearing of the Brown Scapular as a sign of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

In France, leaders of this apostolate met great opposition to the wearing of the Scapular. Some said: "Cannot we just as well wear the Miraculous Medal or any sign of devotion to Our Lady to show our consecration to Her?"
Therefore they sent a petition to the Bishop of Fatima, asking His Excellency to settle this matter once and for all. They wrote: "On this question we cannot have a sufficient and practical certainty unless through the intervention of Holy Church. If, Your Excellency, you could let us know your thought, it would help us to adopt a line of conduct and to work on public opinion for the better understanding of Our Lady's desires."

In the July, 1953, issue of the VOICE OF FATIMA, published as the official voice of the Bishop of Fatima, simultaneously in five languages, on the front page, in bold type, the Bishop of Fatima gave a detailed answer. It is only fitting that that answer, in its entirety, be quoted here because
. . . in the first definitive statement on this subject by the Bishop of Fatima . . . His Excellency pierced the three most controversial points of the Scapular Devotion:

STATEMENT OF THE BISHOP OF FATIMA

(I) Substitution of a medal for the Scapular. This was authorized by a decree of the Holy Office, December 16, 1910. According to this decree "in wearing the medal one participates, as with the Scapular proper, in all the Indulgences and in all the privileges, not excepting that called the Sabbatine Privilege of the Scapular of Mount Carmel."

But the same decree begins with the following words: "As the holy Scapular contributes efficaciously to the progress of the spiritual life among the faithful and is in great favor amongst them, the Holy Father desires that the habitual form be maintained." (Act. Ap. Sedis, III, 22.)

Therefore, the use of the medal instead of the Scapular is permitted. But it was the wish of St. Pius X, who granted the permission, and of the Pontiffs who succeeded him (Benedict XV, Pope Pius XI & Pius XII), that preference should be given to the use of the Scapular. Our Lady's wishes cannot be different from the wishes of the Vicar of Her Son.

Try then to use the Scapular (even with the medal as many people do in Portugal). You will find that in practice it is not so inconvenient to use as might at first appear. And besides, if on occasions it is necessary to make a little sacrifice and win a battle over human respect . . . so much the better.

(II) The Scapular of Mount Carmel or another? There is no doubt that, in Portugal at least, the Scapular of Mount Carmel is the Scapular par excellence. When we speak of the Scapular we have only one in mind. Very probably it is the oldest of all and is a model and example to all others. In the minds of the faithful it is the one which best symbolizes participation in a religious Order and subordination to Mary.

His Holiness Pope Pius XII, happily reigning, in a letter which he wrote to the Generals of the Carmelite Order, on the occasion of the seventh centenary of the Scapular of Mount Carmel on February 11, 1950, said explicitly that we should all recognize that the Scapular is the sign of our "consecration to the most holy Heart of the Immaculate Virgin." His Holiness on this occasion is most certainly referring to the Scapular of Mount Carmel and to no other. The Blue Army then was right in choosing, proposing and propagating the Scapular of Carmel------and not one of the many others which exist in the Church------as a sign of the consecration of its members to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

(III) The Apparition of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. The fact that Lucia, on October 13, 1917, saw the Blessed Virgin as She is generally represented under the invocation of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, lends itself to many interpretations. There is nothing to prevent people seeing in this fact the desire of Our Lady to be better known, loved and invoked as Queen of Mount Carmel, or that the use of Her Scapular, with all its obligations, be considered one of the points of Her message, as a very efficacious means of salvation of souls and of the world.

The "Blue Army," which we mentioned above, and to which the Bishop of Fatima refers in his statement on the Scapular, has caused millions of people, all over the world, to promise to wear the Scapular always as their sign of consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The "pledge" used by the Blue Army was first used in a "March of Pledges" which the present author inaugurated in the Scapular Apostolate in New York, in the fall of 1947.

Even as the "March of Pledges" was beginning (netting one and three-quarter million pledges in the United States in twelve months), Our Lady Herself was "founding" the Blue Army elsewhere in America . . . the Army which would, by the use of the Rosary and Scapular and fulfillment of daily duty . . . extend Her power over the earth even into the very heart of the Communist empire.

It began in the last weeks of 1946 when a devout priest, worn by years of intense labor in the Lord's Vineyard, was dying of a serious heart ailment. Five heart specialists had decided that he had but a few months to live.

In this extremity, the good priest . . . Father Harold V. Colgan, of Saint Mary's Church, in Plainfield, N. J.  . . . had recourse to Our Lady. He had ever loved Her with a simple, childlike devotion, and he had been one of the best promoters of Our Lady's Sodality among the secular clergy in America. "If you cure me," he said to Her, "I will give you the rest of my life . . . to do your work."

And he was cured. At once he began to do three things in his parish: He resolved that not one of his parishioners would die without the Scapular. He strove to establish the daily Rosary in every home. And he asked everyone in his parish to thus form for Our Lady, by their devotion and above all by their good daily lives, a small Marian army against the red armies of Communism. He asked them to wear some little outward sign of blue as a token that they had pledged themselves to this . . . that they were saying the Rosary, wearing the Scapular, and offering up their daily duties in a spirit of reparation for the sins of the world.

The number of daily Communions in the parish doubled in one year. Masses on the first Saturday filled the Church (which seats 1,000) to capacity.

 Everyone in the parish could see and could feel the spiritual light this Marian devotion had brought to them. They could see it above all in the greatly increased number of people at the Communion rail.

Other pastors in the area heard of it and took up the idea of the "Blue Army." And coincidentally there was a growing friendship between the author of this book and Father Colgan while the idea of the Blue Army . . . as though by a miracle . . . began to spread far and wide.  . . .

Within three years the Blue Army leaped to over two million signed members in the United States, and more than twice that number in other nations.


BLUE ARMY PLEDGE TO OUR LADY

DEAREST Queen-Mother, who didst appear at Fatima and promise on three conditions to convert Russia and bring peace to all mankind, I hereby solemnly pledge to Thine Immaculate Heart that in reparation for the sins Thou didst so sorrowfully lament, I shall offer up each day the sacrifices necessary for fulfillment of daily duty; I shall say a part of the Rosary each day while pondering the mysteries; I shall wear the Scapular as profession of this pledge and as an act of consecration to Thee. I also promise to renew this pledge especially in moments of temptation.

This pledge is not a vow and does not bind under sin

 

Text courtesy of Catholictradition.org