Fr. Raffy Suarez gave a mid-afternoon talk on ‘Messages of Fatima’ last Wednesday, June 14. The talk was organized by the Legion of Mary. Despite the short lead time, the room was full of legionnaires, family members and friends plus several representatives from the Parish Pastoral Council and lectors-commentators.
Fr. Raffy talked through the Fatima and Sr. Lucia apparitions timeline: The three secrets are revealed to the children on July 13, 1917. On October 13, Our Lady reveals herself as the Lady of the Rosary, also as the Lady of Mount Carmel with the Scapular, then as our Lady of Sorrows. In 1918, World War I ends; then in 1922, Pope Pius XI was elected. On December 10, 1925, the apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary with the Child Jesus asks Lucia for five First Saturdays devotion. Sr. Lucia told her superior and confessor but no action was taken. As a result, on February 15, 1926, the apparition of the Child Jesus appears to her to ask if she had revealed to the world what his Mother had asked.
Fr. Raffy focused part of the talk on Russia and the requested ‘consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart’, which is at the heart of the second Fatima secret. Without such consecration, Sr. Lucia recalled Our Lady saying that Russia will ‘spread its errors throughout the world, fomenting wars and persecution of the church.’ True enough, what the Blessed Virgin Mary warned about began to unfold. First, in April 1929, Stalin takes over from Lenin and he, through the Communist Party, initiates a 5-year Stalinist purge. A month later, in May 1929, Stalin modifies the Russian constitution and declares religious propaganda a crime vs. the state; religious leaders and their families lose their civil rights such as ration cards,
free medical insurance, apartments, and children’s free education; children are encouraged to renounce their religion if they want to live; Sunday worship is abolished; and finally, all churches are demolished. In November 1929, 13 million ‘undesirables’ are deported to Siberia where 3.5 million quickly starve to death, mostly women and children.
By 1931, despi te real izing and understanding the satanic nature of Russian communism, the Holy See, through Pope Pius XI, ignores Lucia’s appeal. He never wanted to hear any talk
of Fatima, recalled Cardinal Confalonieri, the pope’s secretary. Pope Pius XI supposedly argued, ‘Since I am his vicar on earth, if He had something He wished me to know, He would have told me directly.’ As a result, in September 1931, Our Lady declared that a worse war – meaning, World War II – will begin under his pontificate. By June 1939, Sr. Lucia said, ‘God, displeased, will lift the arm of His mercy and allow the world to be devastated, which will be more horrible than we have ever seen.’ World War II begins immediately after.
In October 1942, Pope Pius XII, the successor, consecrates the Church and the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Within three days, the Allies are victorious, their first ever, at the Battle of El Alamein, the first in a string of military successes that culminate in final victory. In July 1952, 35 years after Fatima, Pope Pius XII finally consecrated Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. By October 1952, Stalin outlines an offensive to trans form Europe and military preparations commence. But – Stalin unexpectedly dies of cerebral hemorrhage in March 1953, within eight months of Pius XII’s consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Fr. Raffy included a postscript – the message from Our Lady to stigmatist Sr. Elena Aiello, which said: Spread the devotion to my Immaculate Heart in order that many souls may be conquered by My love and that many sinners may return to My Maternal Heart. Do not fear, for I will accompany with My Maternal protection My faithful ones and all those who accept My urgent warnings; and they – especially by the recitation of My Rosary – will be saved.