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Our Lady of Fatima’s Demands Concerning Russia Not Yet Fulfilled

Because there still seems to be some confusion regarding the Consecration made by Pope John Paul II on May 13, 1982, we reprint here the entire letter of the Roman theologian Father Joseph de Sainte-Marie to Mr. Hamish Fraser editor of Approaches magazine. We are grateful to Approaches for allowing us to print it as it appeared in the March 1983 issue. We include here below the introduction by Approaches.


By asserting that the May 13, 1982 Consecration has fulfilled Our Lady’s demand for the Collegial Consecration of Russia to Her Immaculate Heart, and therefore that no further petition requesting the collegial consecration of Russia need be sent to the Bishops, a number of Marian journals, however unwittingly, have recently done more to undermine the Fatima apostolate than anything done hitherto by no matter whom.

In the hope of showing that this complacent attitude of mind is at variance not only with the facts but also with the mind of Our Lady of Fatima, we decided to ask Père Joseph de Sainte-Marie, OCD, one of the greatest living authorities on the Message of Fatima for his observations concerning such misleading statements.

We publish our translations of his reply in the following pages and we would draw particular attention to his references to a lengthy article by him in a recent issue of the Roman review MARIANUM, the most prestigious Marian theological review in the Church. In this article which will soon be published by the Augustine Publishing Company at an anticipated £1.50 plus postage (and we hope simultaneously in the USA by TAN Books), he examines the May 13 consecration theologically.

Considering Père Joseph de Sainte-Marie’s responsibilities as a professor at the Carmelite University in Rome, as well as onerous writing commitments which have fallen behind schedule due to persistently recurring illness, we are most grateful that he has gone to such trouble on our behalf.


Père Joseph de Sainte-Marie’s Letter

January 16, 1983.

Dear Mr. Fraser,

Thank you for your letter to which I hasten to reply. Like you, I profoundly deplore all these more or less authorized declarations made in the wake of the Pope’s visit to Fatima on May 13 last. Until now, they have given rise only to confusion of mind, a division of hearts and the dissipation of forces.

It is indispensable and urgent to remedy this state of affairs. And in my opinion the only means of doing so is to pay no attention whatever to all these statements and to discount them as being valueless. In effect it is utopian to pretend that it might be possible to obtain a retraction from those who have given rise to these rumors, some of them manifestly false in that they are opposed to the most certain words of the Blessed Virgin. Moreover, it would always be possible to oppose the testimony of one person to that of another, and this would lead to endless argument and an immense waste of time and energy.

It is therefore necessary to confine oneself exclusively to statements by the Blessed Virgin. It is these and these alone which will enable us to see whether what has been done fulfills Her demands. Which in turn enables us to see what still remains to be done. Only then can one consider the opinions of such persons as truly have authority to speak on the matter, people whose testimony is guaranteed with certainty.

(1) The Statements Of The Blessed Virgin

They are known, and concerning what we are at present discussing — the consecration of Russia to Her Immaculate Heart, the two principal ones are the following:

  • ‘To prevent it (war), I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart, and the Communion of Reparation on the First Saturdays … In the end, My Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to Me; it will he converted and a certain period of peace will be granted to the world.’ (July 13, 1917)1.
  • ‘Our Lady then said to me: “The moment has come for God to ask the Holy Father to make, in union with all the Bishops of the world, the consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart”.’ (June 13, 1929. Written August 19312).

(2) What Has Been Done

It was Pius XII who first began to reply to the demands of the Blessed Virgin. From him we had two great acts, the first of which is not directly related to Fatima; the consecration of the world in 1942. In effect, this act replied to another demand by the Blessed Virgin, which demand she had addressed to the Church through the intermediary of another Portuguese mystic, Alexandrina Maria da Costa, and it had as its purpose, not the conversion of Russia, but to put an end to the atrocities and the sufferings of the Second World War. Accomplished by Pius XII at Rome on October 31, 1942, this act effectively obtained the end envisaged: the end of that year, 1942, saw the turning point in the war and the beginning of the defeat of Nazism. Unfortunately, this turning point of the situation coincided with the beginning of the rise of Communist Russia and of the process by which it has not ceased to spread its errors and its dictatorship through the world. This fact confirms that the act of consecration of 1942 did not respond to the demands of Fatima.

With the passing of time, Pius XII well understood this. And on July 7, 1952 he explicitly consecrated ‘the peoples of Russia’ to Mary’s Immaculate Heart. It was a first, very important step in replying to the demands of the Blessed Virgin. But it was only a first step. What it lacked, principally, was the association of the bishops with the act of the Holy Father. It was also, in my opinion, a consecration of Russia itself as a nation, and not simply of ‘the peoples of Russia’.

Since then, Paul VI and John Paul II have limited themselves to renewing ‘the acts’ accomplished by Pius XII. They added nothing new to them. And the lack of historical studies concerning these questions has resulted in losing sight of the essential difference between the act of consecration of 1942 and that of 1952. Concerning this question I permit myself to refer you to my recent study published in the Roman theological review Marianum: ‘Reflections on an act of consecration: Fatima. May 13, 1982’ (Vol. 44, 1982 pp. 88-142. cf. in particular pp. 110-117 ‘Consecration of the world and consecration of Russia’).

Consequently, concerning the act of John Paul II, that of May 13, 1983, it must be recognized that it does not fulfill the demands of the Blessed Virgin any more than the ones preceding it. It even represents a backing down vis-à-vis the act of 1952 for it returns to a consecration of the world instead of sticking to the consecration of Russia alone, as the Blessed Virgin had demanded. Undoubtedly this country is mentioned, in veiled but clear terms, in the consecration of the world, but Pius XII had already done this in 1942. And that is not sufficient to fulfill the precise demand of the Blessed Virgin.

(3) Our Lady’s Demands Therefore Not Yet Fulfilled

This conclusion is unavoidable simply from an analysis, on the one hand, of the demands of Our Heavenly Mother and, on the other hand, of the acts which have so far been accomplished.

It is the act of 1952 which comes nearest (to fulfilling Her demands), but we have said what it still lacked principally: the association of the bishops with the action of the Pope.

Concerning the act of 1982, it lacked first of all the consecration of Russia itself. The collegial aspect was no less absent, for if John Paul II declared that he was acting in union with all the bishops in the world, the latter did not act in union with him. Now it is that that is required by the Blessed Virgin. I have indicated the theological reasons in the study already referred to. It is perhaps possible to count on the fingers of one's hand the number of bishops who effectively, in communion with the Holy Father, made the act of consecration which he pronounced on May 13, 1982. And how could the bishops be associated with it when they had not been asked to do so? For contrary to what has been said, they had not been asked to do so. Read again the letter from Cardinal Casaroli informing them of the Pope’s pilgrimage to Fatima, for it is on it that reliance is placed by those who say that the bishops had been begged to unite themselves with his act of consecration. Here are the principal passages (in Cardinal Casaroli’s letter): ‘By order of His Holiness, I am to inform you that when he goes next May 13 to Fatima, the Holy Father … has … the intention of renewing, in spiritual union with all the bishops of the world, the two acts performed by Pius XII.

‘Asking you to be so good as to accompany his pilgrimage to Fatima with your prayers from now on, that it may contribute to making devotion to Mary grow in the Church and may be for the glory of the Blessed Trinity, the Pope sends you a heartfelt special Apostolic Blessing …’3

The Pope’s intention to act in union with the bishops is indeed recalled. But the latter are asked only to pray for the Pope’s pilgrimage, the real purpose of which moreover is omitted: no longer peace (not to speak of the conversion of Russia) but simply ‘devotion to Mary’.

The least that can be said is that light does not shine forth from this letter, which is indeed far from the demands of the Blessed Virgin. What is certain is that the consecration of May 13, 1982, did not have ‘Russia’ as its own and immediate object, and that it was made without the participation of the bishops.

The demands of the Virgin of Fatima have therefore not yet been fulfilled.

Immaculate Heart of Mary

Jesus wants us all to see the conversion of Russia as a triumph of Mary’s loving Immaculate Heart over the forces of hatred and evil. Therefore, He has ordained that this very special grace of Russia’s conversion will only be granted through the solemn public act of all the Catholic bishops in which they as a body together Consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

(4) What Remains To Be Done

From this observation it is therefore clear what remains to be done: it is necessary to work with all energy in order that the demands of the Immaculate Heart of Mary may be fulfilled. This demands above all prayer and penance from each Christian, first of all in fulfilling the duties of one's state in life. Among prayers, the Rosary is of primary importance. But to this must be added the Eucharist, and especially communion of reparation on the First Saturdays of the month.

There then is what each and all of us must do before anything else.

Thereafter, and only thereafter, but necessarily thereafter, we must continue to pray that the Pope and the bishops may make the consecration demanded by Mary, and that they do precisely what She has asked. To this prayer must be added the need to approach one's bishop in order to remind him of the demands of the Blessed Virgin. Even if they come last in the order of the means to be employed, these petitions are nevertheless absolutely necessary. For it is only at the demand of Christian people that the Bishops will act. It is imperative that an immense movement should result in activating all the energies of the Church. In this general mobilization, the initiatives and work of the laity are of primary importance.

Once more (it must be emphasized), to guide them they have the statements of the Blessed Virgin. Let them confine themselves to these: they suffice. And if they wish further confirmation may they learn to distinguish between testimonies which are trustworthy and those which must be rejected.

(5) Authorized Statements That Can Be Relied On

Authorized testimony that can be relied upon must be discerned in accordance with the three following criteria:

1.

conformity with the statements of the Blessed Virgin;

2.

the authority of the person pronouncing them;

3.

the certainty of the source of the testimony (i.e. the source or the channel from which the testimony comes to us).

Among such statements I shall confine myself to three.

The first is that of Sister Lucia:

1.

it fully conforms to the statements of the Blessed Virgin, those of the major apparitions;

2.

Lucia has authority to speak on these questions;

3.

her testimony was reported to us by Don U. Pasquale and published in L'Osservatore Romano of May 12, 1982 (cf. my article already cited). On April 13, 1980, she wrote to Don U. Pasquale: 'At Fatima, the Blessed Virgin has referred exclusively in Her demands to the consecration of Russia'. From which it follows that a consecration of the world, even with a special mention of Russia, does not fulfill Her demands.

The second statement is that of John Paul II:

1.

it too conforms to the demands of the Blessed Virgin;

2.

more than anyone else, the Pope has authority to judge on this question;

3.

the source: L'Osservatore Romano and all other publications reporting the words of the Pope. On the occasion of the general audience of May 19, 1982, the Holy Father recalled the purpose of his pilgrimage to Fatima: 'So, along these main lines, the guiding thoughts of my pilgrimage to Fatima were expressed on May 13 in the words of the homily and also in the final act of the consecration. I tried to do everything possible in the concrete circumstances to emphasize the collegial unity of the Bishop of Rome with all his brothers in episcopal ministry and service in the world.3

In speaking of ‘everything possible in the concrete circumstances’, John Paul II clearly revealed his awareness of what was still lacking in his act in order to give it the full collegial episcopal dimension requested by the Blessed Virgin. Substantially, he said: I did what today seemed to me to be possible, ‘everything possible’; but much still remains to be done in order to fulfill the demands of the Blessed Virgin, the demands which She has made known: that the consecration of Russia be made with the active participation of the bishops themselves.

The third statement is that of the former Bishop of Fatima, Mgr. J. Venancio:

1.

it conforms to the demands of the Blessed Virgin;

2.

As Bishop, and Bishop of Fatima, Mgr. Venancio is authorized to speak;

3.

his evidence has been given to me directly.

When I met him on October 16, 1981, he declared: ‘It is not to the Pope that it is necessary to send petitions; he is convinced, it is to the bishops’. Such is my testimony. Accept it or not, as you please.

Let this at least be noted: it conforms to the demands of the Blessed Virgin in that it calls on us to work to obtain what is still lacking for the complete fulfillment of demands of the Blessed Virgin.

Now the same cannot be said of those who affirm that the act of John Paul II on May 13, 1982 had finally and fully fulfilled the demands of the Blessed Virgin, or of those who say that it is now no longer necessary to address petitions to the bishops, or other similar things.

Not only are such declarations in opposition to the explicit statements of the Blessed Virgin, but there is often doubt concerning their origin or concerning the entitlement to speak possessed by those who have made such declarations: (those who have) quoted a bishop, a Carmelite prioress, an advocate, etc.

Moreover, I would remind you — she herself reminded me recently in reply to a request I had addressed to her — that Sister Lucia cannot speak to anyone on the question of the apparitions without the express permission either of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith or of the Holy Father himself. Now none of those who claimed to report what she said can show evidence of such permission. In these circumstances, the statements reported are necessarily questionable. Even if Lucia had made them, she did so without being authorized to do so; they cannot therefore be considered as certain evidence.

Moreover, the conditions in which certain statements were made by her give added reason for doubt. It is not in the jostle of a pilgrimage that it is possible to reply to such serious questions. And it was scarcely the moment to ask her, so soon after the act of the Pope, whether it had fulfilled the demands of the Blessed Virgin. She could neither seem to be in opposition to the Holy Father nor be unfaithful to the message of the Blessed Virgin. One would like to know how she replied to a question so uncalled for at so inopportune a moment. And in what language did she speak? Moreover, there is this further question: did the person who interviewed her really understand what she said to him? Did he not rather interpret it?

As can be seen, the questions go on increasing to the point of making it practically impossible to have a certain reply.

That is why, in conclusion, I say to you once more, the only sure way of knowing the truth and of knowing what the Blessed Virgin expects of us now, is to confine oneself to her own statements and to draw such conclusions as must necessarily be inferred from them. If one so desires, one can add to that the statements of authorized commentary, but only in so far as they conform to those of the Blessed Virgin. In saying that, I think above all of the two first statements of this kind that I have cited, that of Sister Lucia and that of John Paul II. Not that I consider that of Mgr. Venancio as being less valid, having had it from him in person, but there will always be folk who would question my testimony.

May the Blessed Virgin aid you, my very dear friend, in your excellent apostolate.

In the Immaculate Heart of Mary, believe me.

Sincerely yours.

JOSEPH DE SAINTE-MARIE, OC

P.S. If you consider it useful, you can reproduce this letter or use it publicly.

Footnotes

1.

Cf. Fatima: The Great Sign, pp. 33-34, Augustine Publishing Co.

2.

Ibid, p. 86.

3.

L'Osservatore Romano, Eng. May 24, 1982.