Our Lady of Fatima is the Fulfillment of Biblical Prophecy
By Father Joseph de Ste. Marie Professor of Theology, Pontifical Faculty of Saint Theresa, Rome
The intervention of God in human history through the Fatima events was predicted in the Bible and is God's definitive response to the revolt of many nations and peoples away from the revelation and rule of Jesus Christ. The revolt against God is the "mystery of iniquity" of which Saint Paul speaks saying that it is already in operation.
The revolt against God manifested itself during the Apostolic Age in the form of Gnosticism, reappeared in the Middle Ages as the Gnostic dualism of the Albigensians, and finally exploded in the beginning of the Modern Age as the Godless philosophy of the enlightenment of the 16th Century.
The Godless and violently anti-religious enlightenment ideology was the basis of the modern attack against Christian Civilization and it is the idealized basis according to which Marx patterned the depraved doctrine of Atheistic Communism.
The revolt against God has culminated in the Communist Revolution of Russia, and it is at this climactic juncture of human history that God has intervened in history by means of the Fatima events.
Mary Mediatrix of All Graces
What is the central truth? It is that Mary is Mediatrix of all graces. The time has come when God wants the whole world to recognize Mary's role in the history of salvation. That is the heart of Fatima and all the many other interventions of Our Lady, but especially that of Fatima.
I shall try to demonstrate this in two complementary ways: through history and then through theology, the latter being the most illuminating but also the most difficult.
Let us examine how this truth of the mediation of Mary appears in the history of the 20th Century, in the West; for the history of the world has been dominated by the West from the time of Christ until the 20th Century. From the 16th Century there emerges the drama of the revolt, over which God wishes to triumph by means of Mary's mediation. In order to demonstrate this, certain historical study is required; it is necessary to study the parallel development, on the one hand of the rising tide of atheism in the modern world and, on the other hand, of a multiplicity of prophetic voices given by God to the Church in order to contain this sin. What we discover in the course of this historical study is the vision given in Chapter 12 of the Apocalypse. Fatima is the 'Woman clothed with the sun': the miracle of October 13, 1917. Communism is the 'Red Dragon' of the denial of God: the Red Star of Moscow. Is it not obvious that the 20th Century is the story of this battle between the Woman of the Apocalypse on the one hand and the Red Dragon of Communistic atheism of the East and the practical atheism of the West on the other hand? For these are brother enemies but also brothers in arms. East and West are joined in this common negation of God. It is this history which we must retrace.
Significance of 16th Century
I simply propose to you certain dates modifying somewhat the presentation of my text. For it is necessary to begin not as I did at the 17th Century but at the 16th which in the textbooks of history and literature etc. is regarded as the beginning of modern times. The 16th Century is the epoch of humanism and also of the Lutheran drama, of the Protestant revolt. Humanism was a cultural movement admittedly, but it was also a return to paganism under the color of culture. As for Luther, he was at the very beginning of the division of Christian Europe. He was the great divider: "Gott ist im Himmel, du bist auf Erden". ('God's in His Heaven; you are on earth'.) Between heaven and earth, Luther establishes an impassable abyss. He denies all mediations. In the end Luther, who talks so much about Christ, denies the mediation of Christ's Humanity. A fortiori he denies the mediation of Christ's Mother, His Co-Redemptrix.
Therein lies the essential significance of the 16th Century: The affirmation of man, of rupture between heaven and earth by the denial of the mediations which unite them: Christ, Mary and first of all the Church. Such is the beginning of the revolt of modern times against God.
Faced with this attack, the Church replied through the Hierarchy - through the Council of Trent - and by means of a galaxy of Saints - Saint Ignatius, Saint Theresa, Saint John of the Cross, Saint Peter of Alcantara, and so on: it was through them that the prophetic charisma was realized and superabundantly exercised.
The 17th Century
During the 17th Century the evil continued to spread. Whereas the 16th Century had been the Golden Century of Spain with Charles V and the great glories of Spain, the 17th was the 'grand siècle' of France. The evil originated in Germany, with the revolt of Protestantism. Then it spread to France. There it took root within the Church under the form of Jansenism, a sort of 'Catholic' rehash of Protestantism and especially of Calvinism, which had the effect of freezing the very heart of Christ. And it was then that occurred the first prophecies of modern times: the revelations of the Sacred Heart to Saint Margaret-Mary Alacoque in 1675. They took place at Paray-le-Monial and they represented an event in the history of the Church which was at one and the same time both old and new: old because prophecy had always been a factor and new because of the form it took. In response to the denial of His love, Christ came Himself to once more open His heart to us, and He did so by means of His apparition (to a young nun) and through the prophetic message (conveyed to her). And just as in the 17th Century we had the apparition of prophecies centered on the Heart of Christ, so in the 20th Century Fatima is the continuation of Paray-le-Monial: for it is the revelation of Mary's Heart in union with the Heart of Christ. And God in His mercy granted this gift to His Church because it had not responded properly to Christ's appeal and because, in consequence, the revolt had continued to cause havoc.
The 18th Century
The 18th Century saw a further expansion of rebellion which reached its climax in the French Revolution, the first great act of organized political rebellion against God. It was a consequence of the negation and ruptures of the 16th Century, of the cooling of faith in the 17th Century, of the exaltation of reason in the 18th, and of the exploitation of this revolt by the power of Freemasonry, which had been founded in 1717.
Consider the dates: 1517: the revolt of Luther; 1717: the foundation of Freemasonry; 1917: the birth of Bolshevism and the response of God through Mary's Immaculate Heart (at Fatima, also in 1917).
I have anticipated a little in order to show this striking series of dates (to which of course many other events could be added). But going back to the 18th Century we see the French Revolution as the work of Masonry which had come into being at the beginning of the century, and as the exaltation of reason: in other words we see man rejecting God, so as to become his own master and be entirely self-sufficient.
The 19th Century
This rending of Christian Europe by means of the Revolution - it is indeed Europe we are talking about: it was accomplished through the frightful if 'glorious' epic of Napoleon who sowed revolt throughout Europe destroying kingdoms and wrecking Christendom. And the beginning of the 19th Century was also a catastrophe for the Church and for the Faith. However, it was then that the series of great prophecies began: 1830, at the Rue du Bac, with the 'miraculous medal' and the invocation: 'O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to Thee.'
Thus from the beginning these prophecies were under the sign of the Immaculate Conception. And in the middle of the century, in 1854, there came the definition of this dogma; and four years later, Our Lady Herself came to Lourdes to confirm the action of the Vicar of Her Son, by declaring to young Bernadette on March 25, 1858: 'I am the Immaculate Conception.' 1830, 1854, 1858: thus it was that the 19th Century ushered in the era of Mary Immaculate, into both the Church and the world.
The 20th Century
Passing on quickly, as we must, to the 20th Century, we have the great turning point of 1917 - yet another point which I shall develop in my study - the turning point which is at one and the same time the outcome of, and a new point of departure for, not only this entire process of revolution, but also the whole of this prophetic revelation. After the consecration of the human race to the Sacred Heart by Leo XIII in 1899, and the subsequent non-cooperation by men, God could tolerate no more; He could no longer permit men's crimes to go without chastisement; yet neither could He cease to seek to spare us through pure mercy. And when men had refused to respond, or had given insufficient response, to the appeal of His Son's Heart, He sent them His Mother. The Heart of Christ somehow withdrew behind the Heart of Mary. Such was the great turning point of 1917. And let it be noted; at the very moment when as a consequence of the Bolshevik victory, the 'Red Dragon' emerged at one extremity of Europe in Leningrad, which then was still Petrograd, at the other extremity of Europe, at Fatima where we are now, there appeared the 'Woman Clothed with the Sun', the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Such was the miracle of October 13, 1917, the Miracle of the Sun, a miracle which calls for an entire book to itself... But, dear friends, this sun is the symbol of Christ. And as you know - I recalled it yesterday in meditating the Rosary with the priests - this Miracle of the Sun was renewed four times at the Vatican, for Pius XII in 1950, when he defined the dogma of the Assumption: i.e. the dogma of Mary taken up into heaven, of Mary 'assumed' by Christ, the dogma of the Woman totally reclaimed by the 'Sun of Justice' and established by Him in glory and in the power of His Kingship as Sun of both Heaven and earth.
Fatima And The Assumption
You can therefore see the relationship between Fatima and the dogma of the Assumption. That is why it can and must be affirmed that with Fatima, but also with this date, 1950, right in the middle of the 20th Century, which is the date of the definition of the dogma of the Assumption with these two dates which are inseparable there began, as an extension of the era of the Immaculate in the 19th Century, the era of the Assumption, the era of the 'Woman Clothed with the Sun'. Such then is the Message of Fatima in all its glorious brilliance, in all its salvific power.
Alas! we are now in 1981 and still the world has not yet responded to this glorious Queen established in the Sun. It is not even yet understood that Christ, this Sun, does not wish to give us His life-giving, victory-giving rays other than through Mary's Immaculate Heart.
That is why mankind is sinking ever deeper into sin and running headlong towards catastrophe; it is because it is not yet understood that Christ wishes to reign only through Mary.
My conclusion is as follows. The Message has been given. Sister Lucia has suffered a sort of martyrdom since 1917 because there has been no effective response to Our Lady's demands. We must therefore meditate on the Message and concentrate our attention on the Heart of Mary and Her appeal, which is not an abstract appeal but the appeal of our Mother's Heart. We must look towards Her, listen to Her and hear what She says to us all: 'Come to My Heart, for only by so doing will you be converted and become sufficiently steadfast in the battles which await you and able for the crosses which you must bear.' Such is Her appeal to all of us. And this appeal is for the theologians and for those in positions of responsibility as well as for every Christian called to apostolate. ' Listen to Me (She says) but also make My appeal heard.'
The Collegial Consecration of Russia
And I think (this is) especially (true) of the appeal to the Hierarchy, the Pope and all the bishops: 'Consecrate Russia to Me and you will have peace; for Christ Who is the Prince of Peace wishes to give it to you through Me alone, and through My Heart He will give Himself to you.'
Finally, a word of practical advice. For people often wonder what the Pope and the bishops are waiting for before responding to this appeal. Dear friends, what they are waiting for is that each of us should individually obey Our Lady. For the graces of enlightenment and strength, the extraordinary graces which the Pope, first of all and above all, but also the bishops, require to perform this act, which is unheard of and unthinkable in present-day circumstances, these graces, I realize only too well, can be obtained only by us through prayer. Thus what is humanly unthinkable will become possible through the grace of God, through these extraordinary graces which will permit the Hierarchy to obey Our Lady. These graces will be merited by the sum total of efforts, prayer and sacrifices on the part of all Christians, on the part of the entire Church.
My conclusion is therefore very practical. Let there be no hysteria concerning dates or concerning expectation of chastisements. The dates are unknown; the chastisements certain. The practical conclusion for us all is to look towards the Heart of Our Mother. And we are going to begin doing so immediately with this pilgrimage which will be a point of departure, not something done in passing or a pious act occupying a moment or two while we are on tour. It will be a point of departure as from your hearing Our Lady's appeal and my joy will derive from having contributed towards this. It will be a point of departure in that, having heard Our Lady's appeal, you will learn to make each succeeding day's response increasingly effective. My talk is offered to you among so many other things in order to help you make it A POINT OF DEPARTURE FOR LEARNING TO RESPOND TO MARY.
It is from the efforts of the entire Church, from the prayer and sacrifice of each one of us that there will come the movement and the graces necessary to permit the Pope and the successors of the Apostles to make this liberating consecration.
It is then that Mary's Heart will triumph. It is then that peace will be given to Russia and, starting with Russia, to the entire world. It is then that Mary will be proclaimed Mediatrix of all graces. It is then that Renewal will come, the veritable Renewal, not a 'renewal' that is false and calculated to deceive. It is then that there will come the true Renewal promised by God in the entire Church and throughout the entire world, to the greater glory of the Hearts of Christ and Mary, of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost. AMEN.