"To Whomever Embraces This Devotion, I Promise Salvation"
... Our Lady of Fatima, June 13, 1917
What an admirable, stupefying promise made June 13, 1917! Yet in spite of this promise we are still tempted to doubt. Jacinta of Fatima, by a special grace, felt her heart consumed by an ardent love for the Immaculate Heart of Mary. But we? We are cold, or our fervor is so short-lived! Could we ever know if we had sufficient devotion so that Our Lady would be bound to keep Her promise to us?
It is here that we are wonderstruck by the limitless Divine Mercy, and the profoundly Catholic character of the revelations of Fatima. In the whole message, there is not an ounce of Protestant subjectivism! Here, Heaven goes to the limits of indulgence, and the most sublime prophecies ("God wishes to establish in the world devotion to My Immaculate Heart") are exchanged, translated into very small requests, clear and precise requests, easy requests which leave no room for doubt. Everyone can know if he has accomplished them or not. A "little devotion" practiced with a good heart is enough to receive infallibly for us, this grace — ex opere operato, so to speak — as with the sacraments; and what a grace — the grace of eternal salvation! It is worth the effort to give careful study to such a magnificent promise. It is the fulfillment, the perfect expression of the first part of the great Secret, which is entirely concerned with the salvation of souls.
From Fatima to Pontevedra: the fulfillment of the Secret. In describing the apparitions and explaining the message of Pontevedra, we will simply comment on the words pronounced by Our Lady on July 13, 1917. They are concise, but so rich in meaning:
"If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved ... I will come to ask for ... the Communion of Reparation on the First Saturdays of the month."
Here then is the first "Secret of Mary" which we must discover and understand. It is a sure and easy way of tearing souls away from the danger of hell; first our own; then those of our neighbors; and even the souls of the greatest sinners, for the mercy and power of the Immaculate Heart of Mary are without limits.