It is to Exalt the Pope and Bishops
by Father Nicholas Gruner, S.T.L., S.T.D. (Cand.)
Extract of a sermon given on January 13, 1989, in Dagupan City, Philippines, by Father Nicholas Gruner in the presence of Archbishop Frederico Limon Archbishop of Lingayen - Dagupan, and a large number of clergy and faithful with the International Fatima Rosary Crusade Pilgrim Statue present.
|Archbishop Limon, pictured here with Father Gruner, gave a royal welcome to the International Fatima Rosary Crusade Pilgrim Virgin in his Cathedral on January 13, 1989. He concelebrated Mass with Father Paul Leonard and invited Father Gruner to give the sermon. Also pictured here are Miss Remy Madamba, (in the white dress) of Manila, who organized the three-week Pilgrim visit to the Philippines in January 1989, and Mrs. Tessie Tavora, who organized our visit to Dagupan City.|
Our Lady came in response to the Pope's appeal, (Pope Benedict XV) on the 5th day of May, 1917. He made a public anguished appeal to Our Lady to show the world and the Church the way to peace. Our Lady of Fatima responded by coming eight days later, on May 13, to the three shepherd children and She came and She promised peace.
This is indeed a great grace, the grace of world peace which the world up to now has not experienced. Our Lady promises us there will be a Christian peace, a peace that will only come to us through Christ Our Lord Who is the Prince of Peace. This great grace is a grace we do not deserve to receive but God in His great goodness wants to give it to us.
God by this very simple request for the Consecration of Russia will achieve extraordinarily great things when this request, this command for the Consecration of Russia, is fulfilled. He will not only exalt the Blessed Virgin Mary which He certainly intends to do by this act of consecration, but He will also exalt the Pope and the bishops.
The office of the Pope and of the bishops will be exalted incomparably around the world because the people will see that real world peace comes to us through the Pope's and the bishops' obedience. The people will see that God has given this longed for grace and gift of world peace through the Pope and the bishops.
Cebu City Cathedral
A large number of the Faithful turned out to welcome the International Fatima Rosary Crusade Pilgrim Virgin Statue. After the Mass and Homily by Father Gruner in this Cathedral, scapulars were given to all present. In our brief visit, many tens of thousands of people were enrolled in the Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
God Shows Mercy To An Undeserving World
Above all, it is through the Immaculate Heart of Mary that this gift will be given to us. In fact St. Augustine tells us that God in His great love and His goodness for mankind wants to give us great graces, great favors. However, these great favors and great graces God knows we do not deserve. But God nevertheless in His great love and His great mercy wants to give them to us.
But He will not give them to us simply by our own prayers and by our own merits because He knows that as inclined as we are to pride that we will somehow think that we deserve this great grace of world peace, when in fact it is obvious to everyone that we do not.
With 50,000,000 abortions each year and with many other sins, like homosexuality, increasing each year, all of which are crying to Heaven for vengeance, this is not a time worthy of such a grace but a time worthy of chastisement.
God nevertheless in His great love for the 20th Century has offered us a very simple grace, a great grace, the grace of world peace. But He knows we do not deserve it. He wants to give it to us anyway, in our time, and so He will give it to us, but only (as St. Augustine explains) through the merits and intercessions of the Saints.
We are told at Fatima that He will give us the great grace of world peace only through the merits and intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
And so that is why when Sister Lucia asked Our Lord why He would not convert Russia without the Pope and the bishops making that act of consecration, Our Lord answered Sister Lucia and said, "It is because I want My whole Church to recognize that consecration as a triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, thereby placing devotion to My Mother's Immaculate Heart beside devotion to My Sacred Heart."
And so it is that God will give us this great grace of world peace through the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
|The Pilgrim Virgin in procession in the Philippines on one of Her visits in January, 1989.|
World Peace Prophesied in Sacred Scripture
This grace of world peace God has predicted in Sacred Scriptures over 2,500 years ago through the prophet Isaiah.
There we read for example that the lion will lie down with the lamb and both will live in peace. We read in Isaiah the prophecy which refers to a time of peace which has not yet come. Isaiah predicted a time yet to come, that men will "turn their swords into ploughshares" and they will "make war no more".
That is the period of peace that we are just about to enter into. But it will not happen until the Pope and the bishops make this act of consecration. First of all, because God wants to establish in the world devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary as Our Lady said in the first part of the Secret, which has been officially and publicly revealed.
The first secret was the vision of hell. And after the vision of hell, the Blessed Virgin also referred us to God's plan for the salvation of sinners. She said, "You have seen hell where the souls of poor sinners go. It is in order to save them that God wishes to establish in the world devotion to My Immaculate Heart." How is it then that God will establish in the world, devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary?
We are told at Fatima, certainly by the Five First Saturdays, but especially, that it is by the Pope and the bishops consecrating Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. So, when this era of world peace is ushered in by this act of consecrating Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, people will realize that it is indeed through the merits and intercession of Our Lady that Russia has been converted and peace given to the world.
On TV in the Philippines
The Pilgrim Virgin, Father Nicholas Gruner and Father Paul Leonard on channel 4 TV, one of the largest Metro Manila TV stations, with host of Flour of Divine Merry program Don Emil De Castro. The topic of the interview was the Secret of Fatima.
Devotion to the Immaculate Heart Will be Established and the Office of the Pope and Bishops will be Exalted
Thus people will realize that this great grace that mankind has never seen before has been gained for us only through the merits and intercession of the Immaculate Heart.
People will turn with confidence and will be devoted to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. So God's plan for saving souls is establishing in the world devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. God will do this through the Pope's and the bishops' obedience to the demand that they consecrate Russia together on the same day in a solemn and public way to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
But besides being a way to establish devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, it will also be the way to establish in the world that the Catholic Church is the true Church of God and that the Pope and the bishops are the pastors appointed by God Himself to shepherd His flock.
Because when people see that it is through the obedience of the bishops to the Pope and it is through obedience of the Pope to the requests of Our Lady of Fatima and of the Sacred Heart Himself and they see then that God has given the grace of the conversion of Russia and world peace through the Pope and the bishops, they will also recognize that the Pope and the bishops have altogether an exalted office.
Thus not only will devotion to Mary increase tenfold and many times over, but also will increase respect and devotion for the Catholic Pope and for the bishops and their office.
This is the way God will establish, for a long time to come, a great respect and reverence that we owe to the Pope and the bishops throughout the world. It is important then for all to realize that by speaking about this, we do this with the purpose of safeguarding the office of the Pope and enhancing it.
There are some who think that by talking about this, it will detract from the office of the Pope and the bishops. On the contrary, it will not detract from but rather enhance their office. And it is well for us to realize too that the Pope and the bishops need our help.
Sister Lucia tells us that on July 13, 1917, the Blessed Virgin speaking in the third person about Our Lady of the Rosary said, "Only She can help you." And so it is important for us, the lay people and for the priests to realize the importance of having a campaign of Rosaries for the Pope and the bishops so that they will receive the grace and receive the strength to resist the many and powerful forces against them to make this act of consecration.
Pope John Paul II knows of this request and he has acknowledged publicly that the consecration of March 25, 1984, has not fulfilled the request of Our Lady of Fatima. The Pope has told Archbishop Hurley of South Africa, in the early 1980's, that he will do the Consecration of Russia when enough bishops show their willingness to join together with him in doing this Consecration.