The Feast of Corpus Christi and the Angel of Portugal
The Fatima Center wishes you a blessed and grace-filled feast of Corpus Christi!
“For My flesh is meat indeed: and My blood is drink indeed. He that eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, abideth in Me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent Me, and I live by the Father; so he that eateth Me, the same also shall live by Me. This is the bread that came down from Heaven. Not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead. He that eateth this bread, shall live forever.” (John 6:56-59)
At Fatima, the Angel of Portugal taught us about the Real Presence of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament, as well as proper reverence for and reception of the Sacred Host. Let us first review the circumstances of the relevant apparition of the Angel.
The Third Apparition of the Angel of Portugal
One day in the autumn of 1916, the three young shepherds of Fatima – Lucia dos Santos (age 9) and her cousins, Francisco (age 8) and Jacinta Marto (age 6) – brought their sheep to graze on a grassy hill called the Cabeço, which offered the shade of trees. It is the same spot where the Angel of Fatima first appeared to the children in the spring. They were reciting the prayer the Angel had taught them when suddenly the Angel appeared to them for the third time.
He had in his left hand a chalice over which was suspended a Host, from which fell some drops of Blood into the chalice. Leaving the chalice and Host suspended in mid-air, he prostrated himself on the ground near the children and repeated three times this prayer:
“Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, I adore Thee profoundly, and I offer Thee the Most Precious Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of the same Son Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for all the sacrileges, outrages and indifferences by which He Himself is offended. And by the infinite merits of His Most Sacred Heart and through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of Thee the conversion of poor sinners.”
Then, getting up, the Angel held the chalice and the Host again. He gave Lucia the Sacred Host on the tongue. Then while giving the Precious Blood from the chalice to Francisco and Jacinta, he said:
“Take and drink the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, horribly outraged by ungrateful men. Make reparation for their crimes and console your God.”
Then, again prostrating himself on the ground, he repeated with the children three times the same prayer: “Most Holy Trinity …,” and disappeared.
Parallels: The Feast of Corpus Christi and the Apparition of the Angel
We now consider three parallels between Our Lord’s teaching on His Real Presence in the Blessed Sacrament – the great Mystery of the feast of Corpus Christi – and the third apparition of the Angel of Portugal at Fatima. We invite you to add additional connections you have considered in our comment section below.
(1) The Real Presence
“Therefore whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the Body and of the Blood of the Lord.” (1 Cor. 11:27)
We are reminded of this Scripture passage by the Angel of Portugal’s prayer and instruction cited above:
- “I offer Thee the Most Precious Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of the same Son Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world …”
- “Take and drink the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, horribly outraged by ungrateful men. Make reparation for their crimes and console your God.”
The prayer and instruction both affirm the Catholic dogma that during the consecration of the host and wine at Holy Mass, they are changed into Our Lord’s Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity.
As further confirmation, the children were graced to see some drops of the Precious Blood of Our Lord fall from the Sacred Host into the chalice. This also affirms that the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Our Lord are all present in both species of the Blessed Sacrament. As Fatima scholar Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité tells us in The Whole Truth About Fatima:
“This formula, first of all, has a remarkable theological precision: Lucia shall receive the Host, and Jacinta and Francisco the Blood of the chalice, but to all three the Angel says: ‘Take and drink the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ,’ to show that whoever communicates under either species, receives Jesus Christ whole and entire, His Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity.”
For more about the Eucharistic species, see “Holy Communion Under One or Both Species?”
And the way in which the three children received Holy Communion is particularly instructive for our time: The Angel gave Lucia the Sacred Host on the tongue; and they all received Communion while kneeling, out of respect for the Real Presence. They then spent a great length of time adoring God while remaining prostrated. In contrast, prevalent in the Church today are heterodox practices (i.e., contrary to the Faith) which implicitly deny the Real Presence due to the lack of respect shown to the Blessed Sacrament.
(2) Reverence for the Blessed Sacrament
“Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, I adore Thee profoundly, and I offer Thee the Most Precious Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of the same Son Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for all the sacrileges, outrages and indifferences by which He Himself is offended.
“Take and drink the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, horribly outraged by ungrateful men. Make reparation for their crimes and console your God.” – Angel of Portugal, 1916
So what did the Angel of Portugal mean by “sacrileges, outrages and indifferences” by which Our Lord is offended, and “the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, horribly outraged by ungrateful men”? We readily recognize this can refer to instances where diabolical revolutionaries have desecrated churches, shot bullets into tabernacles, and trampled upon the Sacred Species. These terribly evil incidents have occurred throughout the 20th century, notably during the Mexican, Spanish, and Communist Revolutions. It is also clear that these outrages could refer to how atheistic and irreverent “artists” have displayed the Sacred Host, and even how consecrated Hosts have been stolen and used in diabolical rituals.
Few of us will ever be involved in such outrages. Does this mean these words have no import for us? Or might the Angel of Fatima’s words also have a highly applicable meaning to the vast majority of Catholics? What of Catholics who receive Holy Communion in a state of mortal sin? Could this not also even refer to denials (at least implicitly) – or even attacks! – of the dogma of the Real Presence by the lack of proper reverence being shown for the Blessed Sacrament?
This will be the subject of tomorrow’s article, which will be a direct continuation of this reflection.
On this great feast of Corpus Christi, we encourage all Catholics to make Acts of Reparation to Our Lord in the Most Blessed Sacrament for the many sacrileges, outrages, and indifferences by which He is offended. Here are just a few suggestions; please add your own:
- Make conscious acts of loving reverence when you are in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. For example, when you genuflect inside a church or make the Sign of the Cross as you pass it by on the outside.
- Talk to other Catholics about the infallible dogma that Christ is really present in the Blessed Sacrament; especially, discuss it with young children.
- Offer your Mass, Holy Communion, or Rosary specifically for the intention of making loving reparation to Our Lord so horribly offended.
- Spend more time preparing to receive Holy Communion and offering thanksgiving thereafter. (Here are some helpful prayers in this regard.)
- Make a Holy Hour of Reparation; be it in your home in front of an image of the Sacred Heart, or in a church, or adoringly before the exposed Blessed Sacrament in a monstrance.
- Offer prayers and penances specifically as Acts of Reparation. The Raccolta, Father Lasance’s The Blessed Sacrament Prayer Book, and other traditional Catholic devotional books have copious prayers which can be offered to this end.
- Memorize and pray the simple prayers taught by the Angel of Fatima. Even little children can learn them. They have been given to us from Heaven for the specific purpose of making reparation! Perhaps you can offer them when you wake up in the middle of the night, or at noon and 3 p.m., or at the conclusion of your daily Rosary, or during the Elevation at Holy Mass. But offer them frequently and with great fervor!
O Sacrament most holy! O Sacrament divine! All praise and all thanksgiving be every moment Thine!
 “My God, I believe, I adore, I hope, and I love Thee. I ask pardon for all those who do not believe in Thee, do not adore Thee, do not hope in Thee, do not love Thee.”
 Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité, The Whole Truth About Fatima, Vol. I: Science and the Facts (Buffalo, Immaculate Heart Publications, 1989), p. 89.
 Although Francisco and Jacinta did not receive the Sacred Host as Lucia did – on account that they had not yet made their First Communion – Lucia always affirmed without hesitation that, although extraordinary and miraculous, their Communion was nonetheless real. Why Francisco and Jacinta were allowed to receive the Precious Blood from the chalice is a mystery of God, for which nothing in the words of the Angel sheds any light on it. (Ibid., pp. 90-91.) Man’s ways are not God’s ways; thus, let not anyone perceive this as a justification for the faithful to receive Holy Communion under this species, which is traditionally reserved for the celebrating priest alone.