Newsletter N.º 74 – April 2001

“PROOF OF LOVE”

In Fatima, Our Lady announced that: “;God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart.”; (June and July 13th, 1917) This devotion would consist of Communion of Reparation on the Five First Saturdays.

January 1, 2000, Solemnity of the Mother of God and World Day of Peace, occurs on the First Saturday. Thus, the Third Millennium of the Christian era begins under the powerful, loving, maternal patronage of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Mother of God and our Mother!

The purpose of this article is to call everyone to embrace devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Our Lady said: “;…if what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace.”;(July 13, 1917) The salvation of souls and peace go together! The triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary is the triumph of Christ – Prince of Peace – reigning in the hearts of all.

St. Louis de Montfort wrote nearly three centuries ago: “;It is in the Heart of Mary that the world will find again true fraternity, it is by the Heart of Mary that it will obtain pardon and mercy of God; it is with the Heart of Mary that the new city will be built in truth, justice and charity; it is for the Heart of Mary, for its honour and glory, that humanity, grateful and free, will in the near future increase its manifestations of love and filial gratitude.”;

Cardinal Cerejeira, Patriarch of Lisbon in 1942 said: “;We believe that the Apparitions of Fatima open a new era, that of the Immaculate Heart of Mary…With great hope we have confidence that through the intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, whom we call Mother of Mercy, God is preparing great things for the world…Many might be tempted to expect the approach of the end of the world. Why not rather think, since we believe in Providence and in the maternal Heart of the Immaculate Virgin, that it is the painful birth of a new world?…”;

To Sister Lucia, Our Lady taught the essence of this devotion in a vision on December 10, 1925: “;Look, my daughter, at my Heart, surrounded by thorns with which ungrateful men pierce me at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You at least try to console me and say that I promise to assist at the hour of death, with the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the First Saturday of five consecutive months, shall confess, receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary, and keep me company for fifteen minutes while meditating on the fifteen Mysteries of the Rosary, with the intention of making reparation to me.”;

As a Mother, who knows what is best for her children, Our Lady asks us to receive the Sacraments, to pray the Rosary and to meditate, all with the specific intention of making reparation to Her Immaculate Heart. Reparation means to make peace. To make peace for our sins and the sins of society.

“;It is indeed the devotion for today. Our time, so full of errors, tormented by wars and by cruel miseries, will find its salvation in the Immaculate Heart of Mary. It is a Mother’s Heart; it knows how to understand and to forgive. By heavenly wisdom and by sorrowful experience, that Heart, which felt so much pain, knows how to console our grief… It is the first time in the history of apparitions that the Most Holy Virgin invites us to meditation. The good Mother knows the characteristic of our times: the lack of reflection on everything that speaks with respect to God and the mania for exterior action…And thus, the most Holy Virgin wants to lead us to the meditation of the Gospel, of the Mysteries of the Rosary – the drama of the Incarnation. Each meditation should be an echo of a divine invitation, a ray of light which casts itself on the Ocean of Truth. Yes, through the Rosary, the Virgin wishes to lead us to Jesus, the WAY, the TRUTH and the LIFE. Therefore, she calls us to keep her faithful company.”;(Fr. Eugenio Fornasari, A Grande Promessa)

Some may wonder why the Blessed Virgin asks for five First Saturdays. As Jesus made known to Sr. Lucia, there are five offenses or blasphemies against the Immaculate Heart of His Mother Mary: 1) Blasphemies against the Immaculate Conception; 2) Against Her Virginity; 3) Against the Divine Maternity, refusing, at the same time to receive her as Mother of humanity; 4) Those who seek publicly to implant in the hearts of children, indifference, disrespect, and even hate for the Immaculate Mother; 5) Those who revile Her directly in Her sacred images.

Mary is the one whom God favoured by grace in a special way. Conceived without Original sin, Mary’s redemption was unique. To attack Mary’s privileges of grace is to attack the One Who is the source and author of such graces. Today, in various elements of the mass media, including books, films and advertising, the Blessed Virgin Mary is openly mocked and ridiculed. To console our heavenly Mother and obtain mercy from the Heart of Christ, the need for loving reparation is urgent.

Sister Lucia, writing to her godmother in 1930 said: “;…I think…that we will be happy at being able to give our dearest heavenly Mother this proof of love which we know She wishes us to offer Her. As for me, I must confess that I never feel so happy as when the First Saturday arrives. And isn’t it true that our greatest happiness is being all for Jesus and Mary, and loving Them, and Them only, unreservedly?”;


“CHRIST WILL CONQUER THROUGH MARY…”

“…To save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart…” These words spoken by Our Lady in Fatima in July 1917, reveal the means of salvation that God, in His loving mercy, offers to a world of souls in such great need. Earlier in June, the Blessed Virgin told Lucia: “God wishes to make use of you to make me known and loved. He wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart…My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God.”
Before his death in 1716, St. Louis de Montfort wrote in his Treatise on True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin (TD): “God wishes His Blessed Mother to be now more known, more loved and more honoured than she has ever been…This will doubtless come to pass if, with the grace and light of the Holy Spirit, the predestinate enter into the interior and perfect practice which I shall unfold…They will realize that she is the easiest, shortest, the most perfect means of approaching Jesus Christ, and will surrender themselves to her, soul and body, without reserve, in order to belong entirely to Jesus Christ. (55) …they will be true disciples of Jesus Christ, walking in the steps of His poverty, His humility, His contempt for the world and His charity, teaching the straight way of God, in pure truth, according to the Gospel and not according to the maxims of the world” (59).
In the book, Crossing the Threshold of Hope, Pope John Paul II spoke of Mary’s participation in the victory of Christ: “Christ will conquer through her, because He wants the Church’s victories now and in the future to be linked to her.”
On 8 December 2000 in Rome, commemorating the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, the Holy Father reflected on those prophetic words of hope from the dawn of history: “I will put enmity between you and the woman…he shall bruise your head” (Gen. 3:15). They foretell the victory that Jesus ‘born of woman’ (Gal 4:4) would win over Satan, the prince of this world. “He shall bruise your head”: the Son’s victory is the Mother’s victory, the victory of the Immaculate Servant of the Lord who intercedes for us as advocate of mercy.”
These words echo those of St. Louis de Montfort who wrote: “…the humble Mary will always be victorious over this proud serpent, so strikingly that she will even crush his head – the seat of his pride -…in union with Mary, so strongly will they [her servants] be upheld by divine assistance, that with the lowliness of their heel they will crush the head of Satan and bring victory to Jesus Christ”(TD, 54).

In his homily for the Beatification of Francisco and Jacinta Marto, the Holy Father reflected on the reading from the book of Revelation: “Another portent appeared in heaven; behold a great red dragon” (Rev 12:3). These words make us think of the great struggle between good and evil, showing how, when man puts God aside, he cannot achieve happiness, but ends up destroying himself. The message of Fatima is a call to conversion, alerting humanity to have nothing to do with the “dragon’ whose “tail swept a third of the stars of heaven, and cast them to earth”(Rev 12:4). Man’s final goal is heaven, his true home, where the heavenly Father awaits everyone with His merciful love. God does not want anyone to be lost…In her Motherly concern, the Blessed Virgin came here to Fatima to ask men and women to “stop offending God, Our Lord, who is already very offended”. It is a Mother’s sorrow that compels her to speak: the destiny of her children is at stake. For this reason she asks the Little Shepherds: ‘Pray, pray very much and make sacrifices for sinners; for many souls go to hell because there are none to sacrifice themselves and to pray for them.’”
And finally, after the sorrowful and prophetic vision given the Little Shepherds on 13 July 1917, Our Lady promises victory: “In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph.” Cardinal Ratzinger, explains the meaning of this promise thus: “The Heart open to God, purified by contemplation of God, is stronger than guns and weapons of every kind. The fiat of Mary, the word of her heart, has changed the history of the world, because it brought the Saviour into the world – because, thanks to her Yes, God could become man in our world and remains so for all time. The Evil One has power in this world, as we see and experience continually; he has power because our freedom continually allows itself to be led away from God. But since God Himself took a human heart and has thus steered human freedom towards what is good, the freedom to choose evil no longer has the last word. From that time forth, the word that prevails is this: “In the world you will have tribulation, but take heart; I have overcome the world” (Jn 16:33). The Message of Fatima invites us to trust in this promise.” (The Message of Fatima, Cong. For the Doctrine of the Faith, June 2000)
The secret of this victory today is to align ourselves totally with Mary, the Immaculate One, according to the practice of St. Louis de Montfort. Our beloved Holy Father recommends this way of True Devotion not only in his words but more powerfully still by his entire life. In Fatima last May he took the occasion to quote St. Louis again: “I tell you that ‘one makes more progress in a short time of submission and dependence on Mary than during entire years of personal initiatives, relying on one self alone’ (TD, 55)…This is how the Little Shepherds became saints so quickly …devoting themselves with total generosity to the direction of such a good Teacher, Jacinta and Francisco soon reached the heights of perfection.”
Therefore, let us open our hearts to God, contemplating Him in His goodness, mercy, love and patience. Let us make and renew our own fiat to Him in imitation of Mary, His most humble and pure Servant. Placing our entire lives under the care and guidance of the Immaculate Heart of Mary we too shall make swift progress in that sweet ‘refuge that leads straight to God’.

ST. JOSEPH – PROTECTOR OF THE CHURCH

On 15 August 1889 Pope Leo XIII wrote this prayer in honour of St. Joseph. “Most beloved father, dispel the evil of falsehood and sin…graciously assist us from heaven in our struggle with the powers of darkness…and just as once you saved the Child Jesus from mortal danger, so now defend God’s holy Church from the snares of her enemies and from all adversity.” After the miracle of the sun on 13 October 1917, the Little Shepherds of Fatima saw St. Joseph with the Child Jesus in his arms, who appeared to bless the world as they traced the Sign of the Cross with their hands. On 15 August 1989 Pope John Paul II issued his Apostolic Exhortation on St. Joseph, Guardian of the Redeemer: “so that all may grow in devotion to the Patron of the Universal Church and in love for the Saviour whom he served in such an exemplary way.”
The Pope continues: “At a difficult time in the Church’s history, Pope Pius IX, wishing to place her under the powerful protection of the holy patriarch Joseph, declared him “Patron of the Universal Church.” For Pius IX it was no idle gesture, since by the virtue of the sublime dignity, which God has granted his most faithful servant Joseph, “the Church, after the Blessed Virgin, his spouse, has always held him in great honor and showered him with praise, having recourse to him amid tribulations.”…
This patronage must be invoked as ever necessary for the Church, not only as a defense against all dangers, but also, and indeed primarily, as an impetus for her renewed commitment to evangelization in the world and to re-evangelization in those lands and nations where- “religion and the Christian life were formerly flourishing and…are now put to a hard test”…
Besides trusting in Joseph’s sure protection, the Church also trusts in his noble example, which transcends all individual states of life and serves as a model for the entire Christian community, whatever the condition and duties of each of its members may be…May St. Joseph become for all of us an exceptional teacher in the service of Christ’s saving mission, a mission which is the responsibility of each and every member of the Church: husbands and wives, parents, those who live by the work of their hands or by any other kind of work, those called to the contemplative life and those called to the apostolate…
Our prayers and the very person of Joseph have renewed significance for the Church in our day in light of the Third Christian Millennium.”

EASTER 2001

DEAR ROSARIANS,

In our last letter we spoke of offering the Rosary to others as a key to the Holy Door, Who is Christ. The Lord provides any number of opportunities to do this. The following story illustrates one such occasion.
One day, while waiting in a doctor’s office one of our Sister’s was approached by a middle-aged woman who asked:
“Are you a Dominican Sister?”
“Yes, I am.”
“Oh, I was taught by the Dominican Sisters as a child. I thought I recognized your habit!”
After speaking together for a few minutes the woman began to leave. Presuming that, as a child taught by Dominicans, she must be familiar with the prayer of the Rosary Sister bid her: “Continue praying the Rosary”. At this, the woman’s expression changed suddenly and she said:
“Oh, Sister, I haven’t said a prayer in years.” She then paused in silence as tears welled up in her eyes. With emotion she said: “Sister, please pray for me.”
The clerical clothing of the priest or the religious habit of the consecrated person, are a sign pointing straight to God, a reminder to those who do not pray and an encouragement to those who do.
Wherever you are there are people who may need a hand to guide them to prayer: those who have lost all contact with God, who have withdrawn themselves from the practice of their faith. The Gospels recount numerous occasions when Christ Himself ‘stretched out his hand’ to those in need. We too must stretch out our hand to others. Don’t be shy about praying your Rosary as you wait for the doctor or the dentist or as you travel on the bus, the plane or in the car. It may just be that sign – a silent call – that another needs to come back to God – through prayer.

GOD BLESS YOU ALWAYS!

Your grateful Perpetual Rosary Sisters




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