Today, men seek peace and freedom. However, the means that men use to obtain peace and freedom lead themselves into deeper despair and enslavement. The Supreme Pontiffs of history past have warned us of an increasing adherence to the errors of Russia, the rise of the Masons, the proposition of religious liberty, with an underlying factor of turning away from God and His Commandments. Our Lady came to Fatima, Portugal in 1917 to warn that if men continued to submit themselves to the ways of the wayward culture, it would be devastating for the world and the salvation of mankind.
While we could argue that the secularist culture has always influenced man, the official condemnation came in 1791 by Pope Pius VI in his document Quod Aliquantulum, a letter to the French Bishops in response to the newly ratified constitution of France. France had just annihilated the entirety of the Catholic religion from its government and proposing a so-called liberty to all men which allows him “…to think, to speak, to write, and even to have printed with impunity in matters of religion everything that the most unregulated imagination can suggest; a scandalous right…” Very similar teachings continue throughout the 19th and 20th centuries by Pius VII, Gregory XVI, Pius IX, Leo XIII, Pius X, Benedict XV, Pius XI and Pius XII, to name the majority.
While the popes warned of the increasing submission to scandalous ideologies, their efforts would eventually make little impact. Man created himself idols, contrary to that of the Catholic Church, worshiped the ways of the world and spread these errors. The Mother God in a final plea to both the Church and the world came to three shepherd children near Fatima, Portugal in 1917. Her message was that of a warning, but also that of a promise of peace. This peace, however, could only be granted if mankind turned away from his sin and the errors of the world and return to the Catholic Church and live a life of prayer and penance.
Briefly, Our Lady during the apparitions in Fatima left us the following message and warning: poor sinners will be condemned to hell, “God wishes to establish devotion to my Immaculate Heart”, “The war [First World War] is going to end. But if people do not stop offending God, another, and worse one will begin in the reign of Pius XI [Second World War]”, I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart and the Communion of Reparation on the five First Saturdays”, If [my requests are not granted], she [Russia] will scatter her errors throughout the world, provoking wars and persecution of the Church”, lastly, “in the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph.”
Most importantly, Our Lady told the children, “If people do what I tell you, many souls will be saved and there will be peace.” During her apparitions, Our Lady gave the following requests to be carried out by every man: penance and reparation, the daily recitation of the Rosary, the five First Saturdays, and consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Our Lady tells us that this is the way to obtain peace. We must not wait for a sign to tell us to begin these requests, for Our Lady has already came and sealed this message upon every Christian soul. For the soul that truly yearns for true peace, freedom, and Eternal Salvation, he must begin now.
May we briefly cover each of these elements:
Our Lady told us to make acts of penance and reparation. Men must amend their lives, giving up their easy lives enslaved to sin, going to the Sacrament of Reconciliation to ask pardon for sins, and make reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, which are both greatly offended by the sins of mankind. Reparation consists of offering sacrifice to atone for our sins, fulfilling our daily duties to the best of our abilities, accepting the responsibilities for our state in life, and obeying the Commandments given by God.
Our Lady requests that men pray the Holy Rosary every day! Shall we be reminded of the great power of the Rosary on October 7, 1571 when Pope Pius V organized the great Rosary Crusade in which Christendom was saved from the Turkish Armada? Or the power of the Rosary seen during 1964 in Brazil when 600,000 faithful women marched through the streets of San Paulo praying the Rosary, causing the Communists to flea? We must also pray the “Fatima Prayer” at the conclusion of each decade, “O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of Hell, lead all souls to Heaven, especially those who have most need of Thy mercy.” Our Lady gave St. Dominic in 1214 the Rosary, containing meditations on the mysteries of our Salvation, which is contained completely in the Joyful, Sorrowful, and Glorious Mysteries.
Our Lady also petitions us to observe the five First Saturdays, in which she promises to those faithful all graces necessary for salvation at the hour of death. The five First Saturdays can be observed by practicing the following devotions for any five consecutive months: going to Confession, receiving Holy Communion, reciting five decades of the Rosary, and spending fifteen minutes with Our Lady in meditation on the mysteries of the Rosary – all with the intention of making reparation to her.
Finally, Our Lady asks for men to consecrate themselves to her Immaculate Heart. This consecration serves as an act of giving oneself entirely to the care and protection of Our Lady by surrendering all that we have to her care. This consecration can be made in several different ways, but perhaps the best way is by following the method of St. Louis de Montfort in his masterpiece True Devotion to Mary. Along with this devotion, one should get enrolled in the Brown Scapular and wear the scapular daily.
Our Lady asks of us to adhere to these four pillars of peace and if one daily seeks to live the Message of Fatima, the same message that Our Lord reveals in the Gospels, and again the working of the Holy Ghost among the Apostles, and has continued throughout the Church by Her saints, he shall obtain peace and freedom. Our Lady promises that her Immaculate Heart will reign and that there will be peace, but peace will only be granted to those who have lived in accordance with her Message and that of the teachings of the Church.
Do not look for peace and freedom from the world which has continued to submit herself to the errors forewarned to us by the holy pontiffs, Our Lord, and Our Lady, but by seeking the things not of this world, but of next.
O Blessed Virgin, Mother of God, look down in mercy from Heaven, where thou art enthroned as Queen, upon me, a miserable sinner, thine unworthy servant. Although I know full well my own unworthiness, yet in order to atone for the offences that are done to thee by impious and blasphemous tongues, from the depths of my heart I praise and extol thee as the purest, the fairest, the holiest creature of all God’s handiwork.