Dear Friends of Our Lady,
In the presence of at least six Cardinals, fifty-six Bishops, and over one thousand priests and before approximately one million pilgrims gathered at Fatima, as well as before millions of the faithful following this historic visit of Pope John Paul II to Fatima by radio and television, and in spiritual union with the Catholic Bishops of the world, His Holiness on May 13, 1982, consecrated Russia and the whole world and each one of us, to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. On the 65th anniversary of the day of Our Lady’s first appearance at Fatima, the Pope for the first time ever, Collegially consecrated Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
In April 1982, Pope John Paul II wrote to all the Catholic Bishops in the world informing them that it was the Holy Father’s intention “in spiritual union with all the bishops of the world to renew the two acts whereby Pope Pius XII entrusted the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.” (What was different about the Consecration to the Immaculate Heart as done by Pope John Paul II was that he made the consecration Collegially, whereas Pope Pius XII made the act of consecration by himself alone).
His Holiness emphasized in making the Act of Consecration, on May 13, 1982, that he was doing this in union with the Catholic bishops of the world. This was the first time that any Pope ever collegially consecrated the world to Mary, Our Mother.
The words of this extremely important and historic act by the Pope, in union with all Catholic bishops, are reported in this Issue in “We Entrust, O Mary, and Consecrate the Whole World to Your Immaculate Heart.” The homily on the occasion of this act helps us to better understand the message of Fatima and its importance to us all at this time. The homily is printed in its entirety in this Issue, “13 May: Pope John Paul’s Homily at Mass in Fatima.”
For a number of years now, in response to the Message of Fatima, many Catholic Bishops, priests, and millions of faithful from all over the world, have petitioned the Pope to make the Collegial Act of Consecration of Russia and the world to the Immaculate Heart.
According to one report,* Sister Lucy tells us that the Pope on May 13, 1982, did fulfill Our Lord’s specific wishes regarding the Collegial Act of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart as was revealed to Sister Lucy on June 13, 1929. Sister Lucy said however that this Act is late and that it will have its effect but it will depend on the greater or lesser fidelity of men to this consecration. It would seem then that Sister Lucy is emphasizing to devotees of Our Lady of Fatima that they should strive more earnestly than before to fulfill and make even better known the message of Fatima. If men do not sufficiently respond to this historic grace of their Consecration to Our Lady, then Sister Lucy says that there could result another world war. She said that if men do not correspond there will be more suffering, which she pointed out is a result of their own evil doing. Sister Lucy reassured us that in the end the victory of Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart over the forces of evil will definitely come, because Our Lady promised this. Let us then work and pray that peace will soon come to the world without any more great wars and punishments.
*Also see a more recent report, “Last Minute News Flash”, where Sister Lucy is reported to deny that the consecration of May 13 fulfilled Our Lord’s specific requests.
It seems that nuclear war is a particular danger at this time. It would seem this is what Pope John Paul II meant at Fatima when he spoke of “almost apocalyptic menaces looming over the nations and mankind as a whole.” When the Pope, in union with all his bishops, solemnly made the Act of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, he prayed as follows:
“From nuclear war, from incalculable self-destruction, from every kind of war, deliver us.” Nuclear war is one thing the Secret of Fatima refers to and it may be why a few years ago Pope John Paul II spoke about the secret to a group of German Catholics. This report of Pope John Paul II’s remarks about the Fatima Secret is found in “Pope John Paul II Speaks on The Secret of Fatima” in this issue. We can see why Pope John Paul II at Fatima said that Our Mother’s Message of Fatima “is still more relevant than it was sixty-five years ago (when Our Lady first came to Fatima).” Pope John Paul further said that the Fatima message “is still more urgent. And so it is to be the subject of next year’s Synod of Bishops which we are already preparing for.” The message of Fatima is urgent. We must respond now more than ever before.
Another hopeful sign for our time is Brother Gino, a professed Religious, who is a deacon and who lives twenty miles outside Rome at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima. Many people in different countries consider Brother Gino to be a very holy man. Thousands each year come to meet Brother Gino including Cardinals and bishops and priests - to ask his prayers and his counsels. He is a most important apostle of Our Lady of Fatima. (See this issue,“Brother Gino Apostle of Our Lady of Fatima”, for the article about him.) In an interview published within the last year, he says that Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart will triumph in our time if all do their part to merit this miracle of grace. He hopes and prays and suffers for this.
Our Lady’s friends will be happy to know that the article in Issue number 8 — Our Lady’s Urgent Appeal to us in the 1980's — has been reprinted several times and there are at least one hundred and ninety-five thousand copies in print at this time. I hope and expect that before 1983 there will be two hundred thousand copies in circulation. Thank you for doing your part to make the urgency of Our Lady of Fatima’s message known. If you would like more copies of this article with the Imprimatur of a Canadian Bishop, please write us.Contact us to order: click Contact at page bottom.
As only the Blessed Virgin can obtain for us the grace of world peace, it is important for us to know Catholic theology about the fact that Mary is the Mediatrix of all graces. For this reason as well as for your own spiritual growth, we reprint “Mary’s Intercession Is Necessary for Our Salvation” part of St. Alphonsus Liguori’s article on this subject. We will continue his article in the next issue.
There are of course in this issue the continuing favorite articles of our readers: “The Story of Fatima” and “Jesus, Our Eucharistic Love”. We continue the enlightening article “Opposition to Fatima”.
I am well aware now by personal experience that there is still much opposition to the message of Fatima here in North America even from persons and places one would not expect to find it. As the Carmelite theologian Father Joseph de Sainte-Marie, O.C.D., says: “To undertake any theological or apostolic work to make this (the Fatima) message better known, is to embrace difficulties.” It has been now over five years since I have worked in this apostolate of Our Lady of Fatima and there is still much resistance to Her message, today. As Pope John Paul II said at Fatima: “How pained we are that the invitation to repentance, to conversion, to prayer, has not met with the acceptance that it should have received.”
The message of Our Lady of Fatima is a prophetic message from God about those things, which some people would often prefer to forget. As St. Thomas Aquinas says: “God sends prophets to every generation, not to give a new doctrine but to remind the faithful what they must do to save their souls.” Since the message of Fatima is against the current trends, some individuals as well as certain vested interests are bound to oppose this message unless they are converted by God’s grace. We must overcome this opposition by our prayers and sacrifices and hard work. Pray for us to be able to be more effective in doing Our Lady of Fatima’s work.
Part of this resistance in our own time comes from some Catholics who know some theology and have erroneously concluded that they are at complete liberty to personally reject the message of Fatima. Thus to help these people have a proper understanding and to encourage all Our Lady's friends, we publish part of Father Joseph de Sainte-Marie's talk at Fatima on October 12, 1981. It is entitled: “The Church’s Duty in the Face of the Fatima Message”. This material was part of the theological study which was personally presented to His Holiness on March 14, 1982 by Father Joseph.
You will also be interested to read about Saint Maximilian Kolbe, who was canonized on October 10 at St. Peter’s in Rome. He was a great Apostle of Our Lady given to the Church in our century. See the article about him.
I wish to thank each one of you personally for all your prayers and sacrifices and encouragement, and for your kind words about our apostolate and for your continued contributions which enable us to continue this work. Particularly I wish to thank those benefactors who responded so generously this summer when I appealed to them by a letter for help to meet some pressing bills. Thanks to God and Our Lady and you, we were able to pay our printing and other bills connected with the mailing out of issue number 8 of The Fatima Crusader. It cost about fifteen thousand dollars to print and mail out the last issue of The Fatima Crusader. In order to stretch your donation dollar as far as possible I take estimates from the printers so as to ensure the lowest possible price. I personally see to it that the men who fill your Crusader envelopes which are mailed to you, do a good job. We pay our office workers the minimum wage. Nevertheless the cost for the last issue was fifteen thousand dollars. It is not too much, considering that our circulation is over thirty thousand copies. But not everyone in these times who likes our magazine can afford to send a donation so we especially wish to thank those who helped us this summer to continue our work. We are publishing this issue trusting and hoping that enough of you will be able to send us your donations to cover the cost of printing and publishing. Your donations are tax-deductible.
A Novena of special Masses will be offered for the intentions of the benefactors and friends of this apostolate of Our Lady during the month of October, the month of the Holy Rosary. I offered a number of Masses for our friends and benefactors during the month of June, in honor of the Sacred Heart. Once again thank you for your continued support.
May God bless you and may Our Heavenly Mother Mary bring you closer to Her Divine Son.
Yours in Jesus and Mary,
Father Nicholas Gruner, S.T.L.