The Church is the centre of the human race and the entity that the Blessed Virgin loves most on earth. Now, since the chastisement foretold by Our Lady at Fatima has begun with the Church, have we not every reason to fear its effects on civil society, if it persists in evil?
Today, May 13, we will comment upon Our Lady of Fatima, a topic which has been addressed innumerable times among us, and which, nevertheless should be recalled on this date with special solemnity.
From 1917 until today, the world has worsened dramatically
Of the many aspects contained in the Fatima event, I believe there is one which it is most fitting to point out in this commentary.
First of all, we should consider as a salient feature in these apparitions, which are clothed with a prophetic character, the fact that Our Lady promised the world mercy if there were an amendment of life and if the consecration She requested were made; and, at the same time, She threatened the world with punishment if it did not amend and if the consecration was not made.
This essential summary of the Fatima revelations is also the substance of the Old Testament prophecies. They use the same language and present the same alternative as that applied to the Jewish people and their enemies: blessing and praise if they make amends, punishment if there is no conversion.
Now, the warning Our Lady makes in the Cova da Iria is in reality an act of mercy. She cautions like a kind mother who says: “My child, I do not wish to punish you, but your attitude is such that if you persist in it I shall be forced to punish you.”
At Fatima, Our Lady made a prophecy following the classic pattern. And, more than half a century after the apparitions, we see that everything that at that time grieved Her, giving rise to her censures against the contemporary world, has not only failed to improve, but has worsened dramatically.
Dr. Plinio praying before the Statue of Our Lady of Fatima, in the mid-1970s
The crisis of the Church is included in the chastisement…
We are therefore on the way to a chastisement, and we cannot but conclude that the present state of the Church is part of it. The Blessed Virgin promised to punish the world, of which the Mystical Body of Christ is the axis; once the axis is struck, the punishment spreads to the entire circumference. The crisis raging within the Church is undoubtedly included, implicitly or explicitly, in the chastisements prophesied at Fatima.
Now, was this crisis really foretold in the apparitions?
If Our Lady had announced this chastisement at the Cova da Iria, it is certain that it would have been kept secret, which leads one to believe this to be one of the elements of the message not yet revealed. The Blessed Virgin must have said very harsh things about the future of the Church and the clergy, and since they did not heed her warnings, what She promised has come to pass.
In view of this, we should not see the punishments announced by Our Lady at Fatima as something yet to be carried out, but as already having begun. The punitive process has been set in motion and it is much more plausible to suppose that it will continue until its culmination than to expect it to stop.
…which will then spread to the entire world
The Church is a spiritual society, the centre of humankind, the highest point on earth. All of history revolves around it. It is the institution that Our Lady loves most on earth, and on its wellbeing depend the moral and religious order of this world.
In what I have said above, I emphasize the last two features.
If I consider the first, I see that Our Lady has punished what She loves most. Will She then spare the rest, which also shows no signs of making amends? If the Church, the noblest part and the one that has the least to fear, is already being punished, does not the less noble part have every reason to fear punishment if it persists in evil?
The second aspect concerns the wellbeing of the Church as a condition for the health of society. If at the moment it is undergoing a crisis without historical precedents, is it possible for the world not to be also contaminated?
Therefore, the chastisements prophesied by Our Lady are already underway, and this should lead us to believe even more in the Fatima message.
Punitive process that is reaching its climax
I will repeat the reasoning schematically.
First point: the message of Fatima is a prophecy – not official, like those of the Old Testament or Revelation, but with all the characteristics of an authentic prophecy. It contains the denunciation of a highly condemnable situation, a loving invitation to abandon it, the threat and the prediction of a punishment if the situation does not change.
Second point: in its public nature, this message does not speak, or at least does not speak emphatically, of a punishment for the Church, but for mankind. At one point it says that the Pope will suffer greatly, but it does not attribute the cause of these sufferings to the sins of the Church.
However, knowing that the prophecy has secret parts, the question arises: did Our Lady not reveal this punishment there? Certainly yes, for it is natural that one who announces the punishment of the world should speak of the worst aspect of that punishment.
Immaculate Heart of Mary – Church of San Benedetto in Piscinula, Rome (Italy)
Everything leads one to believe, then, that the punishment of the Church is one of the central elements of the Fatima prophecy. And, if this is true, it has already begun to be fulfilled, leading us to ask ourselves: is there reason to hope that the punitive process will stop?
Now, if this process is reaching a climax as regards the noblest part, and that most loved by Our Lady, why can it not also reach a climax as regards the less noble and less loved part, which is civil society? All the more so because civil society – greatly loved by Mary Most Holy, but less so than the Church – has not amended itself; on the contrary, it persists in sin.
When the Church is in an unhealthy state, the world becomes equally unhealthy, and the state of the world has reached the point of foreshadowing a supreme convulsion. If the punishment has already begun in the Church, it is inevitable that sooner or later it will reach civil society, for he who strikes a tree at its root strikes the whole tree.
Joy because, at last, Mary’s Reign will come
Someone might say: “Dr. Plinio, I do not understand… Today, the day of Our Lady of Fatima, we commemorate the tenderness and affection of our Mother. And instead of dealing with that, you make a dry analysis of her message, which torments and terrifies us. Is this the way to celebrate a Mother?”
To this objection I reply as follows: “Is there a better way to acclaim a prophet than by making an act of faith in his message?” The Blessed Virgin revealed all this out of love, giving us the possibility of contemplating God as the Ruler of all history and of admiring His sublime designs, certain that even when He permits evil, He does so for His greater glory. There are a thousand reasons, which do not fit into the scope of a conference, why we should be enchanted with this consideration and adore Him.
Once Our Lady has spoken, there is no better act of acknowledgment of her loving words than for us to seek to understand and take them seriously. Therefore, a serious commemoration of the day of Fatima must include a serious analysis of the prophecy.
Would that the Blessed Virgin give each one of us graces so that this analysis may bear fruit in the joy, enthusiasm and spirit of detachment that come from the certainty of the fulfilment of her prophecies. The prospect of this fulfilment does not torment or terrify, nor does it elicit cold indifference; rather, it fills the soul with contentment.
There is a form of zeal for the Law and for the glory of the Most High that makes one feel relief to see that, at last, the God of vengeance is drawing near and will prevail, that Mary’s Reign will come. That is the only joy capable of completely filling the soul of the counter-revolutionary who has renounced himself entirely.
This is what I wish for everyone on this day. ◊
Taken, with slight adaptations, from:
Dr. Plinio. São Paulo. Year XXI.
N.242 (May, 2018); p.19-21
The Shepherd Children of Fatima and the Secret of Mary
The Immaculate Heart of Mary triumphed over Francisco and Jacinta, transforming them into natural intercessors to implore that her Reign soon begin in our souls.
The successive apparitions of Our Lady in the Cova da Iria gently transformed the three shepherd children. And something similar happens to those who open themselves to the Secret of Mary.1
This devotion produces one of those profound effects of grace that unfold without the person being fully aware of it. The soul feels freer and freer to do good; the faults that bind it to evil gradually dissolve. It grows in love for God, it grows in the desire to devote itself to Him, it grows in opposition to sin, but all this takes place in a marvellous way within its interior.
The soul touched by the Secret of Mary does not fight the same tremendous, methodical and admirable battles to grow in sanctity and attain Heaven as those fought according to the classical system of the spiritual life. It is Our Lady who transforms it from one moment to the next.
Considering how Mary Most Holy proceeded at Fatima – especially with Jacinta and Francisco, who were soon called to Heaven – we can ask ourselves how She will act upon humanity as a whole when the promises made there are fulfilled, and it is valid for us to predict that they will be fulfilled in a similar way.
Therefore, I believe that, in the transformation worked in the souls of the two children, we should see one of the multiple beginnings of the Reign of Mary – because enormous works have many beginnings – and a symbol of the profound transformations that will mark this era of history.
The Immaculate Heart of Mary triumphed over two souls who were preachers of her great revelation, who, by the sacrifices and prayers they made on earth, and the prayers they offer today in Heaven, have helped and are helping souls to accept the message of Fatima.
Francisco and Jacinta are, therefore, the natural intercessors to beseech so that the Reign of Mary may begin at once in our souls, through the mysterious action of the Secret of Mary. We must beg them both insistently to make us share in the gifts they have received, and to watch over especially those whose mission it is to preach the message of Fatima and to live in accordance with it. ◊
Taken, with slight adaptations,
from: Dr. Plinio. São Paulo. Year XVI.
N.179 (Feb., 2013); p.28-30
Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta – Parish church of Fatima, (Portugal)
1 Dr. Plinio used this expression to refer to the form of devotion recommended by St. Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort, which consists in doing all things with Mary, in Mary, through Mary and for Mary. Fidelity to this devotion is an extremely rich source of new graces, and its principal fruit is the establishment of the very life of the Blessed Virgin in the soul.