“Woman, behold Thy son … Behold thy Mother.” (John 19:26-27)
Dying on the Cross on that first Good Friday, Our suffering Savior gave His beloved disciple, St. John, into the care of His Blessed Mother (“Woman, behold Thy son”), and then He gave His Mother into the care of His disciple (“Behold thy Mother”). The Catholic Church teaches that, at that moment, St. John was representing every faithful disciple.
Father Nicholas Gruner, in a speech given at The Fatima Center’s Fatima: The Last Chance for World Peace conference in October 2006, explained how these words of Our Lord relate to the Message of Fatima. It pertains to the apparition of Our Lady of Fatima to the seer Lucia in 1925.
On December 10, 1925, when Lucia was a postulant at the Dorothean Sisters’ convent at Pontevedra, Spain, Our Lady came, as She promised in 1917, with the Child Jesus to reveal the first part of God’s plan for the salvation of sinners: the reparatory Communion of the First Saturdays of the month.
As Father Gruner explained:
“The Blessed Virgin had in Her right hand Her Immaculate Heart all surrounded with thorns. The Child Jesus spoke first and pointed to Our Lady’s Heart and said: ‘Behold the Heart of your Mother.’ He didn’t say: ‘Behold the Heart of My Mother.’ He said:
“‘Behold the Heart of your Mother all circled with thorns which ungrateful men put there at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude.’
“… Why does Our Lord say: ‘your Mother’ and not ‘My Mother?’ On the Cross, Jesus said to Saint John: ‘Behold your Mother.’ At Fatima, Our Lord says: ‘Behold the Heart of your Mother.’ Why is She our Mother? The Second Vatican Council, interestingly enough, explains it very well. It says that the Blessed Virgin Mary generates us into a life of grace. Saint Peter tells us in Sacred Scripture that we are made God-like; we are adopted sons by grace. And so this God-likeness quality which the Council of Trent tells us is a created quality, this is Divine Life. It transforms us, but this Sanctifying Grace or this Divine Life, this created Divine Life in us, is generated in our hearts and our souls by the Blessed Virgin Mary…
“Just as Mary is the Mother of Jesus, of a Person Who preexists, Jesus is a Divine Person, nevertheless, a Person Who pre-existed. She becomes His Mother by giving birth to Him in His human form. Similarly, She becomes our spiritual Mother, giving us birth in supernatural form and so She is, truly and strictly speaking, our Mother. She is as much our Mother as our own natural mother is. You can see the depth of just this one word, where Our Lord says: ‘Behold the Heart of your Mother.’ There is so much meaning in that one phrase.”
A Time for Repentance, Prayer and Sacrifice
In this same speech, Father Gruner made the following statement, and these words – though spoken more than 13 years ago – are very applicable to today’s COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
“The first thing we should do in this time of crisis is to pray and sacrifice. The second thing is to get others to pray and sacrifice.”
As Church historian Professor Roberto de Mattei explains, citing St. Bernardine of Sienna: “There are three scourges with which God chastises: war, plague, and famine. Saint Bernardine belongs to a number of saints like Catherine of Siena, Bridget of Sweden, Vincent Ferrer, and Louis Marie Grignon de Montfort, who warned how throughout history natural disasters have always accompanied the infidelities and apostasy of nations. It happened at the end of the Christian Middle Ages, and it seems to be happening today. Saints like Bernardine of Siena did not attribute these events to the work of evil agents but to the sins of men – which are even graver if they are collective sins, and graver still if tolerated or promoted by the rulers of the peoples and by those who govern the Church.”
Both Church history and common sense point the way to the only proper and efficacious response to such a calamity as the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, in which the sins of society at large are being punished – namely, by applying ourselves to prayer and penance as well as to personal conversion to living a more holy life.
We must now more than ever turn to God, and to the power of the Cross of Jesus Christ through the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. We need to do real penance for the outrageous crimes of our civil and Church leaders, for those of our families, and for our own sins as well. Sin itself is the most deadly and contagious of all ‘viruses.’ None of us is unaffected by the godless milieu in which we live, so saturated as it is by heresy, blasphemy, and impurity. We are all affected and stained by the great sinfulness of our sad times. For each and every one of us, conversion and penance are our first order of business.
The Solution: The Consecration of Russia
On July 13, 1917, when the First World War was raging without any sign of abatement, Our Lady of Fatima warned of worse punishments to come. She said:
“The war is going to end; but if people do not cease offending God, a worse one will break out during the reign of Pius XI. When you see a night illumined by an unknown light, know that this is the great sign given you by God that He is about to punish the world for its crimes, by means of war, hunger, and persecutions of the Church and of the Holy Father. To prevent this, I shall come to ask for the Consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart, and the Communion of Reparation on the First Saturdays. If My requests are heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace…”
Then on June 13, 1929, Our Lady of Fatima appeared to Sister Lucia (now a Dorothean nun in Tuy, Spain) to reiterate and formalize this request:
“The moment has come in which God asks the Holy Father to make, in union with all the bishops of the world, the Consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart, promising to save it by this means.”
Unfortunately, since that time, while the nations continue to offend God (in ever more perverse and horrifying ways) and churchmen continue to spurn Our Lady’s request for the Consecration of Russia, mankind has endured historically unparalleled chastisements and violent loss of life.
Obey Our Lady of Fatima
These are worrisome times, certainly. The pitch of mankind’s rebellion against God, despising even His Holy Mother whom He sent to Fatima as a sort of last resort, has reached such an intensity that we can only expect to undergo the most dire punishments imaginable. The coronavirus will pass, yielding in turn to more and even worse punishments until Heaven is finally obeyed. Our Lady of Fatima has already told us as much, and the real wonder is that Heaven has tolerated so much evil for so long. Truly, God is merciful and thus is granting mankind as much time as possible to repent and offer reparation.
We must hearken attentively to the Message of Fatima, and speak plainly and emphatically to others about it in connection with the punishments which many people are already recognizing in that context. So many horrible and shameful errors which have been festering in Western society and in the Church for many years are now undeniably visible to all as the very punishments of which Our Lady of Fatima warned. The truth of Our Lady of Fatima’s unheeded requests can no longer be denied.
Facts are facts, and they can be stubborn. The fact is that no Consecration of Russia such as was requested by Our Lady of Fatima has ever been performed, by the Pope in union with all the Catholic bishops of the world, specifically and explicitly consecrating Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. It is therefore no wonder that Her associated promises of conversion and world peace have remained unfulfilled throughout all these years.
Offering prayers and sacrifices for the Pope and Catholic bishops of the world so that they may receive the grace to finally obey Our Lady of Fatima is now more needed than ever!
 Father Nicholas Gruner, “The Fatima Prayers Teach Us: Mary Is OUR Mother” (The Fatima Crusader, Issue 114, pp. 45-49), an edited transcript of this speech.
 Ibid., pp. 47-48.
 Ibid., p. 45.