Part II - Father Alonso Explains:
Meaning of the
"Consecration" of Russia
by Father Joaquin Maria Alonso, S.T.D., Ph.D.
(Official Archivist of Fatima)
We are indebted to Father Alonso for clearly seeing and marvelously explaining the true meaning of Our Lady of Fatima's words and promises. We continue here in Part II what Father Alonso started to explain in Part I published in The Fatima Crusader, Issue 50.
We live in a day of deception, and when there are so many lies about Russia and world peace in our time, we must go back to the solid ground of Our Lady's own words and the obvious and intended meaning of Our Lady as they were and are interpreted by all Fatima scholars for the past 65 years.
We live in days where words have lost their true meaning, so now and then, it is necessary to strictly define our terms. When lack of precision is applied to religious terms, it can have terrible consequences. Father Alonso helps us to understand not only the true meaning of the word "consecration", but also what its conditions are, and finally, how this applies to the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
To summarize briefly, Father Alonso, in Part I, showed us that the Act of Consecration is a religious act and the Consecration of a social structure, such as a state and a nation can be done by the Holy Father, who has this authority as the Vicar of Jesus Christ.
Jesus, Himself, is King of kings and Lord of lords, and has been given all power in Heaven and on earth by God the Father.
Regarding the Consecration of Russia, Father Alonso goes on to show it is both possible and very useful in our time for the Pope to do it together with all the bishops of the world.
He clearly shows from many quotes of Our Lady and Sister Lucy, that in fact this is what, through the Fatima Message, Heaven demands be done; the explicit, solemn, public Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary — by the Pope and all the Catholic bishops of the world on one special day.
Father Alonso goes on to point out in Part I that the consecration of the "world", which he and everyone else knows also contains Russia, is not enough to fulfill Our Lady's requests.
Rather, the solemn act by the Pope and bishops must be the explicit and specific Consecration of Russia exclusively. To substitute the word "world" for the word "Russia" in the act of consecration demanded by Our Lady is to invalidate, to ruin, to negate, to make null and void the fulfillment of Our Lady's request.
For a more complete understanding of Part I we urge you to reread "Meaning of the ‘Consecration’ of Russia (Part 1)" in Crusader 50.
We now open Part II of Father Alonso's scholarly treatise regarding Our Lady of Fatima's most important request.
On July 13, 1917, Our Lady predicted that the world would be punished for its sins by means of four punishments, namely, war, famine, persecution of the Church and persecution of the Holy Father. Our Lady of Fatima said that to prevent these punishments She would come back later to ask for the Communions of Reparation and for the Consecration of Russia. She did come back on June 13, 1929, for that Consecration. On that day, She appeared in Her most solemn and important appearance in the presence of the Most Holy Trinity (artist's conception pictured above) and She said: "The moment has Come in which God asks of the Holy Father to make and to order that in union with him and at the same time, all the bishops of the world make the consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart, promising to convert it because of this day of prayer and world-wide reparation."
Can it be said that when Pope Pius XII made the consecration of the "world" in 1942, that Sister Lucy had no part in it?
1. The consecration of the world.
Special mention of Russia
It is absolutely certain, we can say, that in the writings of Sister Lucy appears "another" communication from Heaven, distinct from those made in July 1917 and June 1929* and it proceeds from Our Lord — not from the Blessed Virgin. It asks for the consecration of the world with special mention of Russia, and attached to it is a distinct promise, already now completed, of the shortening of the war of 1939-45. Let us see how.
Until October 1940 all the documentation of Fatima speaks only of the Consecration of Russia. Where is the origin of the petition to the Pope about the consecration of the world?
On May 13, 1938, after having carried out their vow of consecrating Portugal to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the Portuguese episcopacy sent a petition to Pope Pius XII. In it, for the first time, what is asked for is not the Consecration of Russia, nor even a special mention of it, but simply the consecration of the world; and even this without mentioning the union of the Pope with all the bishops. It is asked simply that the consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary be accomplished along with the consecration to Jesus.
In the beginning of October, 1940, Don Manuel María, then titular Bishop of Gurza, and Father Gonçalves put together the petition for the Consecration of Russia to send to the Pope. But to avert any anticipated difficulty, what is proposed to Sister Lucy is that she write a letter to the Pope requesting the consecration of the world.
Sister Lucy is left perplexed because she is sure that what Heaven wants is strictly the Consecration of Russia. Nevertheless, recollecting herself in prayer, she receives the following communication from Heaven.
"His Holiness will obtain the shortening of these days of tribulation, if they attend to My desires, making the act of consecration of the entire world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary with special mention of Russia."
Let us observe carefully the important literary changes between this text and that already quoted in June 1929.
1. It is Our Lord Who speaks, not the Blessed Virgin.
2. It demonstrates a desire, not a requirement.
3. To the consecration of the world is added the special mention of Russia.
4. What is promised is not the conversion of Russia, but the shortening of the war.
Having received this communication, Sister Lucy is eased of her perplexity and writes according to the dictation of her confessors, following what the Bishop of Fatima ordained. It therefore dealt not with her own will, nor of the will of Heaven expressed in June 1929, but rather of the new communication of Our Lord, that accommodated itself to Sister Lucy's directors.
In both writings, that of October 1940, and that of December 1940 — in the letter which was actually sent to the Pope — Sister Lucy confuses neither the origins, nor the conditions, nor the promises of both petitions. In the case of one who does not read attentively, it can appear that Sister Lucy has already abandoned the petition of the Consecration of Russia specifically. This does not mean that the two consecrations, that of the world and that of Russia, are not related.
The communication from Heaven of October 1940 has added that special mention of Russia to the consecration of the world. This consecration which was carried out by Pope Pius XII, first on the 31st of October and later on the 8th of December of 1942, already brought the world immense benefits of graces and of peace. But all that should not be confused with the magnificent promises that are attached to the Consecration of Russia alone, whenever it may be done.
On the other hand, it is certain that the consecration of the world, promoting devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, prepares for the Consecration of Russia. But if we want to refer to a "specific" relationship to the Message of Fatima, it is best to respond that the consecration of the world did not have a direct relationship with the Message of Fatima. The consecration that will have included all the requirements specified by Our Lady and in an eminent manner, will be the Consecration of Russia.
The result of this is that many think that everything was already fulfilled with the consecration of the world in 1942 ... when in reality the great petition of Heaven, that of the Consecration of Russia, has yet to be fulfilled. Once, the sculptor of the great Statue of Our Lady of Fatima on the facade of the basilica, Father McGlynn, asked Sister Lucy:
"Would you consider the consecration of individuals, dioceses and nations, to the Immaculate Heart of Mary as an adequate expression of devotion to the Immaculate Heart?"
"Such consecrations were not expressly asked for, but I think that they would be agreeable to Our Lady and that they would attract special graces to the dioceses and nations."
2. Conditions not fulfilled:
We have just said that Pope Pius XII, in 1942, fulfilled the desires of Heaven manifested to Sister Lucy on October 22, 1940. The whole problem now to which our attention is centered is the first petition: the Consecration of Russia. Have the conditions that we have just finished studying been fulfilled?
Our response has to be in the negative.
Here are the reasons why:
The acts of the Pontifical Magisterium which up to now have been carried out, and which it is claimed have some relationship with a Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary are the following:
1. Pius XI, on March 19, 1930, makes a solemn Act of Reparation to the Lord for the injuries that He receives from Russia. This act, evidently, would not respond to the petitions of Heaven at Fatima.
2. Pius XI in the beginning of 1937, receives the petition for the Consecration of Russia which the Bishop of Fatima makes at the request of Sister Lucy. But nothing was done to fulfill this specific request.
3. In May 1938, the Portuguese Episcopacy makes the petition to the Pope of the consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary without result.
4. Pius XII, in the summer of 1940, finally receives two indications about the Consecration of Russia that Heaven requests by means of Sister Lucy. Nothing is done.
5. October 31 and December 8, 1942, Pope Pius XII makes the consecration of the world with special mention of Russia. But this act was neither the particular Consecration of Russia, nor was it made in union with all the bishops of the world.
6. July 7, 1952, in the Encyclical Letter Ad universos Rusiae populos, Pope Pius XII seemed to satisfy all the conditions:
a) The consecration of all the Russian people was the complement of the consecration of the world and it was done as a result of the Pope being moved by numerous petitions.
b) The Pope clearly made the distinction between the condemnation of the errors of atheistic communism, that he rejects, and the "erring" whom he calls paternally to the truth.
c) And after pointing out the uniquely spiritual purposes of his act, he then makes the act of consecration in the following words:
Nos interea, ut Nostrae vestraeque preces supplicationes que facilius exaudiantur, utque singulare erga vos benevolentiae Nostrae praebeamus documentum, quemadmodem paucis ante annis universum hominum genus Immaculato Deiparae Virginis Cordi consecravimus, ita in praesens cunctos Russiarum populus eidem Immaculato Corde peculiarissimo dedicamus ac consecramus ...
"We therefore, in order that Our and Your prayers and supplications may be heard more easily, and in order to give You a special proof of Our benevolence toward You as of a few years ago, we consecrated the whole human race to the Immaculate Heart of the Mother of God, thus now we dedicate and we consecrate in an absolutely particular manner to the same Immaculate Heart, the people of the Russias ..."
Really, given the circumstances in which the document appeared, it was believed that Pius XII had the very explicit intention of fulfilling the desires of Sister Lucy ... Only one condition was lacking: the explicit and formal union with the bishops of all the world.
7. The same servant of God, Pope Pius XII, in his Encyclical Ad coeli Reginam of October 11, 1954, says:
We, by our Apostolic Power, decree and institute the feast of Mary as Queen to be celebrated throughout the entire world every year on May 31. And likewise We command that on that same day there be renewed the consecration of the human race to the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Upon this there is founded a great hope that there may arise an era of happiness that will rejoice in the triumph of religion and in Christian peace.
In this order to all the bishops to renew the consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary every year, on a determined day, fulfilled one of the conditions: the union with all the Bishops. There is, besides, in those words an evident relationship to the great and ultimate promise of Fatima: "In the end My Immaculate Heart will triumph". But the other condition which is essential is evidently lacking: the express Consecration of Russia.
Principally, this renewal of the consecration of the world is in relation, not with the petition of June 1929, but with that of October 1940. Now then, concerning this, we have said before that it has been already completed and verified. That renewal of the consecration is exceedingly beneficial insofar as it can equally renovate the same promises already reached in 1942, but in relation to the Consecration of Russia, only indirectly can it be said that it will influence it.
8. Finally, Pope Paul VI on the 21st of November, 1964, in a discourse at the closing of the third session of the Second Vatican Council, made a renewal of the consecration of the whole world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and certainly in union with the date, hour, and even the place with all the episcopacy united in the Council ... but that consecration erred in something essential: the Consecration of Russia specifically.
The conclusion, thus - from the historical point of view, the only one to which we can refer - is evident. None of those pontifical acts has yet to satisfy the conditions of the documents of Fatima to obtain the desired conversion of atheistic, Marxist Communism. The authors to whom we have referred, who already judge that the consecration requested at Fatima has been done, have dedicated themselves to observing the "indications" by which it may be interpreted in some manner that the conversion of Russia had already begun. However, those indications turn out to be very vague and problematic.
For the rest, our conclusion can be confirmed with the conviction that Sister Lucy demonstrates that this Consecration of Russia has still not been realized. In effect:
a) When on October 31, 1942 Pope Pius XII carried out the consecration of the world, with special mention of Russia, Sister Lucy exalted with a lively joy. However a little afterwards she writes:
"I wait with anxiety for the order of His Holiness to the lord bishops; and afterwards, the grace of peace for the poor world".
b) A little later, in February 1943, she writes:
"The Good God had already demonstrated to me His contentment with the act (of consecration), although incomplete, following His desire, of the Holy Father and several bishops. In return it was promised the war would end soon. The conversion of Russia will not be for now".
That is to say since the act that was carried out is incomplete, not satisfying all the conditions required by Heaven, the grace promised of the conversion of Russia will not be granted as yet. Although other graces will be granted: i.e. shortening the present war.
c) We have already cited the text of the conversation of Father Jongen with Sister Lucy in February 1946, in which Sister Lucy speaks clearly, that we find ourselves in the period of the calamities that we deserve, not having yet carried out the Consecration, and therefore the conversion of Russia. The desires of Sister Lucy, of speaking personally to the Pope at that time, were not vain or curious desires. It was her intimate conviction that by speaking directly and personally with him that she would prevail in convincing him of the necessity of the express Consecration of Russia.
d) When the American sculptor, Father McGlynn, and Father Gardiner visited Sister Lucy in February 1947, the conversation about this point developed in the following manner:
"Has the Holy Father consecrated Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary?"
"He included Russia in the consecration", she said. Later, very humbly she indicated that she may have not spoken exactly, she added:
"According to the official way, according to what the Blessed Virgin requested, I think not."
Father Gardiner, wanting to be certain of this point, repeated the question:
"Do you think that the Blessed Virgin's request has not yet been granted?"
— "Exactly as the Blessed Virgin made the request? No." — Although she added: "Whether the Blessed Virgin accepted the consecration made in 1942 as satisfying Her desires, I do not know."
3. "It will be late"
There is another way, still, of knowing the thinking of Sister Lucy on this point. It is the following:
Sister Lucy has insisted many times that the Consecration of Russia still has not been done, and besides, that it must be carried out in a certain way, and that in the end, when it is done, it will be late. The reason is that we will have passed through innumerable calamities that Russia, not having yet been converted, will have brought to the world; although in the end, "it is never too late to have recourse to Jesus and Mary". This train of thought demonstrates that Sister Lucy is very certain in that difficult theology of the secret permissions of God, when His manifested Holy Will is not fulfilled.
Sister Lucy received the order for the Consecration of Russia in June 1929, in a time in which Stalinist terror ruled over Russia. All the attempts of Sister Lucy to obtain the act of Consecration of Russia have resulted inefficaciously. And very quickly in August 1931, the secret judgments of God were illuminated thus:
"Make it known to My ministers, given that they follow the example of the King of France in delaying the execution of My command, they also will follow him into misfortune. It is never too late to have recourse to Jesus and Mary."
Jesus is making reference to the well-known case in the history of the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, in which the "King of France" does not fulfill the desires of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, transmitted through Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque. And she is afraid that the same thing will happen with this request of Heaven concerning the Consecration of Russia.
A number of years ago, Sister Lucy received special graces regarding this matter. And in 1935 she knows that the Lord is still disposed to have mercy on Russia, if His request is granted. However, we have already seen how her confessors and the Bishop of Leiria contemplated the difficulty of a consecration of this type. And nevertheless Sister Lucy insists:
|a)||and always demonstrates her sorrow that the Consecration of Russia has not been carried out,|
|b)||but sees in it a divine, inscrutable permission|
|c)||It is convenient, however, to insist, because, although it is late, God always keeps His promises.|
|d)||If they ask Sister Lucy why God does not convert Russia without the necessity of having recourse to such difficult means, she answers: "Because I want (it is Our Lord Who speaks in the first person) all My Church to recognize that Consecration as a triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in order that thenceforth Her veneration will be extended. I also want the devotion to My Divine Heart to be placed alongside the devotion to this Immaculate Heart."|
|e)||Insofar as to the future we do not have to wait any longer than the fulfillment of the splendid eschatological promise: "In the end My Immaculate Heart will triumph." This celebrated phrase is understood by Sister Lucy thus: "The Holy Father ... Pray much for the Holy Father. He will make it (the Consecration) but it will be late. And nevertheless, the Immaculate Heart of Mary will save Russia. It has been entrusted to Her."|
Regarding the fulfillment of the conditions, Sister Lucy has always maintained that the Consecration ought to be done just as it had been requested:
"Should something be modified?" (Father Gonçalves had asked). "I think that it ought to be done exactly as Our Lord requested." (She responded)
When Sister Lucy observed the resistance that was encountered against the carrying out of the Consecration of Russia, she let slip words such as: "I am grieved that the Holy Father has not made the Consecration of Russia. Patience! Oh my God, patience!" That word "patience" from Sister Lucy's lips signifies supporting all that immense accumulation of calamities that Marxist-Leninist Communism was going to cause the world and the Church.
On account of that, when in September 1939, the Bishop of Fatima, terrified by the outbreak of the war, solemnly published at Fatima the devotion of the Five First Saturdays, Sister Lucy exclaimed, "Now the only thing lacking is that the Holy Father make, with all the bishops of the Catholic world, the Consecration of Russia. Who would assure me that His Holiness would be moved to do it?" During the years of the war, Sister Lucy clearly sees that we would have saved ourselves all those immense disasters if the Consecration of Russia had been carried out.
And why all this? Sister Lucy has a "supernatural instinct" to make the best theological explanation regarding the permission of God.
"He (God) if He wanted, could see to it that the cause (measures before Rome) move along rapidly; but to punish the world, He will let it go slowly. His justice, provoked by our sins, demands it. And He is displeased, not only by the great sins, but also by our laxity and negligence in attending to His petitions (...) Yes the crimes are many, but above all there is the negligence of those souls who should be ardent in His service, that is much greater. The number of those whom Our Lord finds spiritually well-disposed is very limited."
Sister Lucy succeeds in suffering a true martyrdom when she lives the sentiments of God, and observes that souls do not respond to them: "It is God Who permits it all. But, at the same time, it demonstrates how much punishment can be evoked for not paying attention to God's dictates." Sister Lucy is not judging for 'theological' reasons, but by the special graces which she has experienced. And pointing out that in spite of all the measures that had been carried out, the Holy Father had not done the consecration. She doubts of the fulfillment of the conditions and she is right. "Our Good God is able, by means of some prodigy, to demonstrate clearly that it is He Who asks for it. But He uses this time to punish the world, according to His justice, to atone for so many crimes and to prepare it for a more complete conversion to Himself."
In the following years, the mystical communications to Sister Lucy made her see that still the world does not merit the Consecration of Russia. In 1945 she writes saying that "in spite of the consecration of this nation not having been done by the terms requested by Our Lady, we should pray to obtain its return to God. I have great hopes, because the good God knows the difficulties."
When in the Apostolic Letter, Sacro vergente Anno of July 7, 1952, the Pope consecrated "the Russian peoples" to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, many believed that all was fulfilled. However, Sister Lucy writes:
"I remained griefstricken that it still was not done in the way that Our Lady requested. Patience! Let us hope that Our Lady, like a good Mother, might deign to accept it."
It was all that could be done in a matter in which the ecclesiastical Superiors, even the highest among them, in all their human prudence, had simply failed to understand how to orient themselves. And all the mystical graces of the saints indefectibly stumbled over a perverse human liberty that closed the paths to grace.