The Angels and the Apparitions of Fatima

July 10, 2009

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Preface

The world needs a return of angels that would bring God’s forgiveness and benevolence to a penitent mankind.

Yes, the great majority of modern men live estranged from God, immersed in futile ideas and purely earthly longings, when not wallowing in the mire of crime and sin.

God warns man of the insane and sinful situation in which he finds himself and He offers salvation through prayer and penance. If man obstinately closes himself to this salutary offer, God will have no alternative but to have recourse to forceful means, such as unprecedented chastisements that will awaken man out of his sinful stupor and redirect him back onto the path of truth and goodness.

After these punishments – which are becoming ever more imminent – the Angels will disperse the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ over humanity, who will, in turn, re-approach God. To this will be added the blood of countless faithful from all social conditions and walks of life, who generously accepted God’s call to offer themselves up as expiatory victims for the conversion of sinners.

This is, essentially, the message of Salvation that Our Lady brought to mankind in the renowned apparitions of Fatima in Portugal in the year of 1917.

In the previous year, in the summer of 1916, the three privileged seers of those apparitions of Mary Most Holy were prepared for them by means of three extraordinary apparitions of the Angel of Portugal, which will be described and commentated further on.

On the occasion of the 90th anniversary comme- morations of these  apparitions of the Angel, the Brazilian Devotees of Fatima Association asked  the well-known Fatimologist, Antonio Augusto Borelli Machado, if he  would prepare for their followers a special study about these apparitions,  drawing links with the revival of devotion to the Angels, of which the modern  world is so much in need.

Today, we are pleased to be able to offer this study to our readers, asking  the Most Holy Virgin that this inciative will bear as a fruit for each of us, a  greater understanding of the Message of Fatima and a burning enthusiasm to  spread it. God will assist, with special protection, those families that are so  terribly threatened in these days.

Dublin, October 2006
Irish Society for Christian Civilisation

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INTRODUCTION
THE ANGEL OF PEACE IN PORTUGAL:
An Urgent Call To Seriousness

The world of Angels is a beneficial reality that has been forgotten.

In contrast to man, who has body and soul, the Angels are pure spirits that God created for His glory and service. He gave them the task of governing the created universe and, more specifically, of helping man in his path to life everlasting in Heaven.

In the midst of the trials of daily life, we frequently forget these beneficial beings, and thus we deprive ourselves of their help, which is never lacking to us – since they do not fail to accomplish the mission confided to them by God. This help would be incomparably more if we opened our souls to them.

In His eternal plan, at a time in which mankind was in most need of angelic aid, God determined that the renowned apparitions of Our Lady in Fatima in 1917, be preceded by three apparitions of an Angel – presenting himself as the Angel of Peace, or the Angel of Portugal – who prepared the privileged children for the later visit of the Virgin Mother of God.

The primary goal of these apparitions of the Angel of Peace was, then, to introduce the future seers of Our Lady into a spiritual atmosphere that would enable them to receive adequately the supernatural phenomena of which they would be protagonists. However, there was more. The divine teaching also had in mind the millions of men that would learn from this, and thus tear themselves away from their usual superficial thoughts and elevate their minds to the great panoramas of the Catholic Faith.

What are these panoramas? They are so elevated, and at the same time so simple, that they were taught to us in our first Catechism classes: man was created by God to know, love and serve Him in this world, and afterwards to contemplate Him face to face, in perfect happiness, for all eternity.

Due to the sin of Adam and Eve, however, man lost his original innocence and the gates of Heaven were closed to him. It was necessary for the Son of God to become incarnate in the most pure womb of the Virgin Mary, and to suffer and die on the Cross for us, thus freeing us from the slavery of sin. This Redemption of the human race, worked by Our Lord Jesus Christ, had the effect that the Gates of Heaven were reopened to us, and through which we would once again have access through Baptism and the other Sacraments.

Meanwhile, as a consequence of Original sin – the sin of Adam and Eve that is transmitted onto us by way of procreation, like a genetic disease which is passed on from father to son – we have difficultly in keeping ourselves constantly focused on Heaven, in carrying on without swaying from the right path. It was exactly for that reason that Jesus Christ instituted the Seven Sacraments, through which grace is infused – a divine assistance – which enables us to get back onto the path of Salvation, when we have the misfortuneof going astray. If we don’t resort to the Sacraments – especially the Sacraments of Penance and Holy Eucharist –we risk eternal damnation in Hell.

The simple outline of these basic truths of our Faith shows how life on this earth is an extremely serious subject, and how it really constitutes lunacy for us not to fight the spiritual frivolousness that induces us to ignore these fundamental truths.

One who happily expressed this was a Basque Poet (Sueskunen, 1620) in the famous poem, better known in Spanish, a translation of which we transcribe as follows:

- Why was I born? – To save myself;

That I must die is infallible;

To give up seeing God and condemning myself,

It would be a sad thing, but possible.Possible! – And I laugh, and sleep,
and want to entertain myself?

Possible! – And I only love that which is visible?

What do I do? In what do I occupy myself? With what do I delight myself?

Mad I must be; since I am not a saint!

As we will see later, the three apparitions of the Angel of Portugal in Fatima in 1916, constitute an urgent and incisive call to seriousness, which
jolts us out of our careless foolishness in which we frequently live our lives, forgetting our eternal destiny.

The appeal of the Angel of Portugal is an incitement both for us, to alert our neighbours, and for them also, so that they too can convince themselves of the importance of these truths.

We shouldn’t, however, restrict this action to those who live near us. Lack of seriousness is generally a spiritual condition in all of contempory society, with honourable – however rare – exceptions in practice. Such a realisation should incite us, in every possible way, to reunite with others who are aware of the gravity of this situation, persuading them to organise and act in a co-ordinated effort, with the view to the Salvation of the greatest possible number of souls.

This is just the goal with which Irish Society for Christian Civilisation was set up, wishing to spread the message of Our Lady of Fatima, and more concretely to promote a worthy commemoration of the 90 years since the apparitions of the Angel of Portugal.

So, the time is come to see how this opportune appeal for seriousness was given in each of the mentioned apparitions.

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PART 1
APPARITIONS OF THE ANGEL OF PORTUGAL

Before the apparition’s of Our Lady, in 1917, Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta – Lucia Rosa Santos, and her cousins Francisco and Jacinta Marto, all residents in the village of Aljustrel, parish of Fatima – had three visions of the Angel of Portugal, or of Peace.

First Appatition of the Angel

The first apparition of the Angel happened in the spring (March – June) or in the summer (June – September) of 1916, in a cave (or grotto) on the outskirts of Cabeço, near Aljustrel, and happened in this way, according to the narrations of Sister Lucia:

We had been playing for a while when a strong wind shook the trees. Since it was a calm day, this made us raise our eyes to see what was happening. Then we began to see, well above the trees that covered the stretch of land to the east, a light whiter than snow in the shape of a transparent young man who was more brilliant than a crystal struck by the rays of the sun.

As he approached, we began to see his features. He was a young man of great beauty about fourteen or fifteen years old. We were surprised and ecstatic. We did not utter a word.

Once he drew near us, he said:

— ‘Fear not. I am the Angel of Peace. Pray with me.’

Kneeling down, he bowed forward until his forehead touched the ground. We imitated him, led by a supernatural inspiration, and repeated the words we heard him say:

‘My God, I believe, I adore, I hope, and I love Thee. I beg Thee forgiveness for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope, and do not love Thee.’

After he had repeated this twice, he rose and said:

‘Pray thus. The Hearts of Jesus and Mary are attentive to the voice of your supplications.’

Then he disappeared.

The supernatural atmosphere that enveloped us was so intense, that we were almost unaware of our own existence. For a long time, we remained in the same position we were in when he left, repeating the same prayer. The presence of God was so intense and intimate, that we dared not speak to each other. On the following day, we felt our spirits still enveloped in that atmosphere, which was but slowly disappearing. None of us thought oftalking about this apparition or of recommending secrecy, for the incident itself demanded it. It was so intimate that it was difficult to utter a word about it. This might well have been the apparition that impressed us the most, because it was the first one thus manifested.

(Cf. Memoirs II, pp. 114, 116; IV, pp. 318, 320; De Marchi, pp. 51-52; Walsh, pp. 39-40; Ayres da Fonseca, p. 121; Galamba de Oliveira, pp. 52-57).

COMMENTARY

Sister Lucia emphasises the intense “supernatural atmosphere” that surrounded them, as well as “the presence of God” that they felt “so intense and intimate” “that we dared not speak to each other.” Such is the atmosphere of seriousness that we described in the Introduction, and in which the Angel immersed the three children, then nine, eight and six years old, respectively. They lived with the unconcern appropriate to their age, but the Angel – fulfilling the mission God confided in him – calls them in their most tender childhood to direct towards God their supplications, asking “forgiveness for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope and who do not love Thee”.

The Angel, therefore, puts before the eyes of the seers the fundamental problem of our times, that is, the existence of so great a proportion of humanity “that does not believe, does not adore, does not hope and does not love God”.

When we see the leaders of this world looking for solutions to the problems of our times, they suggest methods that other than restoration of faith in God – in the legitimate God that only the Catholic Church presents to us – we can immediately affirm that their efforts are in vain and won’t resolve any problem! Many will apply palliative measures which don’t reach the root of the problem.

It is very important, then, that we correct our way of seeing the problems of the modern world, so as not to lose time with vain solutions and mistakes.

This is a serious view of the situation in which we find ourselves, and to which the Angel invited the three children, already from this first apparition.

Second Apparition of the Angel

The second apparition happened in the summer (June – September) of 1916, at the well of Lucia’s parents’ home, near where the children were playing. This is how Sister Lucia narrates what the Angel told them – to her and her cousins – then:

“What are you doing? Pray! Pray a great deal! The Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary have merciful designs concerning you. Offer prayers and sacrifices constantly to the Most High.”

— “How must we make sacrifices” I asked.

“Offer to God a sacrifice of anything you can as an act of reparation for sins by which He is offended and as a supplication for the conversion of sinners. Draw peace upon your country by doing this. I am its Guardian Angel, the Angel of Portugal. Above all, accept and endure with submission whatever suffering the Lord sends you.”

And he disappeared.

The Angel’s words were impressed upon our souls like a light that made us understand who God is, how much He loves us and wishes to be loved, the value of sacrifice, and how it pleases God, and how He converts sinners because of it.

(Cf. Memoirs II, p. 116; IV, pp. 320,322; De Marchi, p. 53; Walsh, p. 42; Ayres da Fonseca, pp. 121-122; Galamba de Oliveira, pp. 57-58).

COMMENTARY

After having summoned the three children to prayer (first apparition) the Angel now introduces the notion and the value of sacrifice for the conversion of sinners.

In this second apparition, the Angel interrupts the children’s play with an admonition: “What are you doing?” The call to seriousness is evident.

How many educators of our day wouldn’t consider this an absurdity, contrary to the most elementary principles of childhood education which they  defend. Many of these “educators” probably do not see anything wrong with children of this age being corrupted in front of a TV set. But they would protest vehemently before the “untimely” appeal of the Angel to seriousness – Children at such a tender age!

However, this is what the Angel did. Needless to say we take the Angel’s position and not that of the so called educators.

At any rate, the Angel goes much further: he asks these children of such a tender age to abandon their games and encourages them towards a life of permanent holocaust: “Offer to God a sacrifice of anything you can as an act of reparation for sins by which He is offended and as a supplication for the conversion of sinners.”

Inevitably we recognise how, if we are used to smile and laugh heartily at  everything, faced with these words, the smile fades from our faces. We  remain serious!Such is the Angel’s invitation to the children. And evidently  to us as well.For that reason, Sister Lucia concludes:

The Angel’s words were impressed upon our souls like a light that made us  understand who God is, how much He loves us and wishes to be loved, the value of sacrifice, and how it pleases God, and how He converts sinners because of it.

The Third Apparitionof the Angel

The third apparition happened at the end of summer or beginning of autumn (September) of 1916, again at Loca do Cabeço, and it happened like this, according to the description of Sister Lucia:

As soon as we arrived there, we began to say the angel’s prayer on our  knees, with our faces to the ground. ‘My God, I believe, I adore, I hope, and I  love Thee…’I do not know how many times we had said this prayer when we  saw an unknown light shining over our heads. We rose to see what was happening,  and we saw the angel bearing a chalice in his left hand. Drops of  blood fell into the chalice from a Host suspended over it. Leaving the chalice  and Host suspended in the air, the angel prostrated himself beside us and said the following prayer three times:

—“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 Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the earth, in reparation for the insults,  sacrileges and indifferences with which He is offended. And through the infinite  merits of His Most Sacred Heart and of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg  Thee for the conversion of poor sinners.”

After this, rising up, he again took the chalice and the Host in his hand; he  gave the Host to me and the contents of the chalice to Jacinta and Francisco to  drink, saying:

— “Take and drink the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, who is horribly  insulted by ungrateful men. Make reparation for their crimes and console your God.”

He again prostrated himself on the ground and repeated with us the same prayer three more times: – “Most Holy Trinity… etc.” Then he disappeared.

Compelled by the supernatural force that enveloped us, we imitated the angel in everything, i.e., prostrating ourselves as he did and repeating the prayers he said. The strength of God’s presence was so intense that it absorbed and annihilated us almost completely. It seemed to deprive us even of the use of our bodily senses for a long period of time. For several days afterwards, we performed our physical actions as though sustained by that same supernatural being that compelled us to do them. The peace and happiness we felt were great, but intimate, as our souls were entirely concentrated on God. The physical weariness that overwhelmed us was also great.

I do not know why, but the fact is that the apparitions of Our Lady had a very different effect on us. There was the same intimate gladness, the same peace and happiness. But instead of physical weariness, we felt a certain expansive liveliness, a sense of glee instead of that annihilation in the Divine Presence, a certain communicative enthusiasm instead of that difficulty in speaking. But, in spite of these feelings, I felt the inspiration to remain silent, especially about certain things. In the interrogations, I felt an intimate inspiration that suggested to me the answers, which, although true, would not disclose what I should still keep secret.

(Cf. Memoirs II, p.118; IV, pp. 322-326; De Marchi, pp. 54-55; Walsh, pp. 43-44; Ayres da Fonseca, pp. 122-123; Galamba de Oliveira, pp. 58-59).

COMMENTARY

After prayer and sacrifice comes the Sacrament of the Eucharist. We can see that the Angel, instructed by God, proceeds gradually with the instruction and preparation of the seers for their mission.

While in the first apparition they were asked that they would pray for those who “do not believe, do not adore, do not hope, and do not love God”, thus letting them understand that there were people like that, in the second apparition he takes another step forward, speaking clearly about those “sins with which He [God] is offended” and of the necessity of offering reparation for these sins, praying and making sacrifices “for the conversion of sinners”. In the third apparition, the Angel uses stronger words and says that Jesus Christ is “horribly insulted by ungrateful men”, making it necessary then to make acts of “reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifferences with which He Himself [Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament] is offended”. And he finishes: “Make reparation for their crimes [of sinners] and console your God”.

How can we console God? By offering to the Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son, Holy Ghost, “the Most Precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the earth”, and by asking for the conversion of sinners, “through the infinite merits of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and of the Immaculate Heart of Mary”.

This was the state of mankind at the beginning of the XX century! What can we say about the beginning of the XXI century, when everything has deteriorated enormously during this lapse of time?

Therefore, it is a picture which leads us towards seriousness, and to fight against easy optimism and superficiality of spirit. And such was the effect produced in the seers, as described by Sister Lucia:

“The strength of God’s presence was so intense that it absorbed and annihilated us almost completely. It seemed to deprive us even of the use of our bodily senses for a long period of time. For several days afterwards, we performed our physical actions as though sustained by that same supernatural being [the Angel] who compelled us to do them”.

Sister Lucia concludes by establishing a parallel between the effects produced by the apparitions of the Angel, and those which she felt after the apparitions of Our Lady:

“The apparitions of Our Lady had a very different effect on us. There was  the same intimate gladness, the same peace and happiness. But instead of  physical weariness, we felt a certain expansive liveliness, a sense of glee  instead of that annihilation in the Divine Presence, a certain communicative  enthusiasm instead of that difficulty in speaking”.

Thus, well prepared by the Angel, the three children were in condition to fully correspond to the designs that Our Lady had for them.

Three Mysterious Apparitions from the Angel in the Previous Year

The apparitions of the Angel, in 1916, were preceded by three other visions, from April to October of 1915, in which Lucia and three other shepherds, Maria Rosa Matias, Teresa Matias, and Maria Justino, saw also in Cabeço, suspended in the air above the trees in the valley. It was “a kind of cloud whiter than the snow, somewhat transparent, with a human form… a figure like a statue make of snow that the rays of the sun had turned somewhat transparent”. This description is given by Sister Lucia herself.

(Cf. Memoirs II, p. 110; IV, pp. 316 & 318; De Marchi, pp. 50-51; Walsh, pp. 27-28;  Ayres da Fonseca, p. 119; Galamba de Oliveira, p. 51).

COMMENTARY

One more step in the preparation for the apparitions of Our Lady, this time favouring only the main seer, Lucia. She was, thus, gently introduced, from the age of eight years, into the supernatural atmosphere which would afterwards mark her whole life, until a most advanced age.

In all, there were six apparitions of the Angel in the preparatory period for the apparitions of Our Lady. Afterwards the Angels would return to appear, in a symbolic vision, as we will see next.

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PART 2
THE ANGELS PREACH PENANCE AND WELCOME SOULS THAT RETURN TO GOD

In what is referred to as the third Secret of Fatima, the Angels return to fulfil diverse roles. Let us start by looking at the text written by Sister Lucia and disclosed by order of Pope John Paul II in the year 2000. The division into scenes is done by us to facilitate the understanding of the text. The original writings of Sister Lucia were adhered to.

THIRD PART OF THE SECRET:
PROPHETIC VISION OF AN IMMINENT CHASTISEMENT, OF AN IMMENSE CATASTROPHE AND OF A GREAT RETURN OF SOULS TO GOD.

J.M.J.
The third part of the secret revealed on 13th of July in 1917 in Cova Da Iria – Fatima.

I write in obedience to You my God who commands me through His Excellency the Bishop of Leiria and throughYour Most Holy Mother and mine.

First scene: the threat of chastisement that hangs over the world.

After the two parts which I have already explained, at the left of our Lady and a little above, we saw an Angel with a flaming sword in his left hand; flashing, it gave out flames that looked as though they would set theworld on fire; but they died out in contact with the splendour that Our Lady radiated towards him from her right hand: pointing to the earth with his right hand, the Angel cried in a loud voice: ‘Penance, Penance, Penance!’”

COMMENTARY

Sister Lucia agrees with the interpretation of Mons. Tarcisio Bertorre, the then Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, according to which the third part of the secret; “consists of a prophetic vision, similar to those found in sacred history” (cf. the report of Mons. Bertone, on his conversation with the seer on 27th April, 2000).

The vision is divided into three scenes, schematically distinct, but which flow in a very coherent and profound way. In the first scene, “the Angel with a sword of fire to the left side of the Mother of God, brings to mind analogous images from the Apocalypse: he represents a threat of judgement which hangs over the world.” (cfr. Cardinal J. Ratzinger, Theological Commentator) The Angel – writes Sister Lucia – with a flaming sword “which looked as though he would set the world on fire”.  Obviously the Angel is not about to do so of his own accord, but he had received orders from God to do so. One easily concludes then that the world is in such a spiritual and moral state as to deserve to be chastised by God in this way. And, it appears, it would be a total destruction.  This was the interpretation of Cardinal Ratzinger: “The possibility that It [the world] will be reduced to ashes in a sea of fire, today does not appear to be a pure fantasy: man himself has prepared, with his inventions, a sword of fire” (cf. Theological Commentary)

The first point to note, therefore, is that humanity has strayed so far from God and from His Church – as is manifested clearly in the rejection of His Doctrines and Morals, theoretically and /or in practice – that it constitutes a rebellion against God, which merits a supreme chastisement. It’s vital to emphasis this conclusion, since so many Catholics of today, even prominent ones, think, speak, and behave as if the present state of the world was not so bad.

Even so, Our Lady intervenes and obtains mercy from God so that the Angel does not destroy the world. The flames cast down from the Angel in direction of the world “quench in contact with the  radiance coming from Our Lady’s right hand”, describes Sister Lucia. This means that Our Lady has merciful designs for the world and she want to give it an opportunity to save itself. But for this to be possible, humanity first needs to recognise its sinfulness and to do penance. Hence, in the final part of this scene “the Angel pointing with the right hand towards the world, says in a loud voice: Penance, Penance, Penance!

The fact that the Angel exclaimed “in a loud voice” and repeated “penance” three times (underlined in the original by Sister Lucia herself) indicates that it is no small penance that is demanded. But it means a great penance, which implies a profound conversion, which, to repeat, indicates the grave state of forgetfulness of God into which humanity has fallen.

The first scene is therefore perfectly coherent.

Second scene: A terrible catastrophe befalls the world, leaving it half ruined. The cataclysm engulfs victims from all social classes, even His Holiness the Pope.

And we saw in an immense light that is God: something similar to how people appear in a mirror when they pass in front of it. ABishop dressed in White (we had the impression that it was the Holy Father). Other bishops, priests, men, and women religious going up a steep mountain, at the top of which there was a big Cross of rough-hewn trunks as of a cork tree with the bark. Before reaching there the Holy Father passed through a big city half in ruins, and half trembling with halting step, afflicted with pain and sorrow, he prayed for the souls of the corpses he met on his way. Having reached the top of the mountain, on his knees at the foot of the big Cross he was killed by a group of soldiers who fired bullets and arrows at him, and in the same way there died one after another the other bishops, priests, men and women religious, and various lay people of different ranks and positions.

COMMENTARY

The world now appears half destroyed (“a big city half in ruins”). Our Lady’s intervention prevented a total destruction, but even so there has been a lot of destruction. Obviously men did not do penance and the chastisement was unleashed.

The key person in this scene is the Holy Father. Together with many “other bishops, priests, and religious” he climbs “a step mountain at the top of which there was a big Cross of rough-hewn trunks”. Yet, before arriving there the Pope passes through “a big city half in ruins, and half trembling with halting step, afflicted with pain and sorrow, he prayer for the souls of thecorpses he met on this way.”

This scene is one of frightful catastrophe. It would hardly be exaggerating to say it qualifies as apocalyptic, as is also the Angel who unleashed it is apocalyptic (keeping in mind that this vision is not about the end of the world).

As indicated by Sr. Lucia in her Letter to John Paul II on 12 May 1982, the third part of the Secret must be interpreted in light of the second part, specifically the words: “If they heed my requests Russia will convert and there will be peace; if not, it will spread it’s errors throughout the world, promoting wars and persecutions of the Church; the good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer and many nations will be annihilated.” On this Sister Lucia herself comments. “Since we did not heed this appeal of the Message, we see that it has been fulfilled, Russia has invaded the world with her errors. And if we have not yet seen the complete fulfilment of the final part of this prophecy, we are going towards it little by little with great strides.

In his first mention of the third part of the Secret on 13 May 2000 at Fatima, Cardinal Sodano included amongst the agents of these persecutions all the atheistic political systems of the twentieth century. And he did so with good reason, for systems like Socialism and Nazism are but veiled or open lackeys of Communism, even when they portray themselves as the very opponents of Communism. And, alas they have simply evolved into new forms better adapted to twenty-first century conditions.

The whole world has become secularised and amoral in our days – it is enough to think about abortion, free love, homosexual unions being legalised everywhere, the abolition of private property, and the most radical egalitarianism which continues to promote class warfare in order to destroy just, proportional and harmonious social inequalities – the whole world is standing up in open revolt against God and His Holy Church.

Finally, what is the fruit of these martyrdoms of past, present, and future?

The third scene of the vision gives us an indication.

Third scene: The great return of humanity to God. “Beneath the two arms of the Cross there were two Angels each with a crystal aspersorium in his hand, in which they gathered up the blood of the
Martyrs and with it sprinkled the souls that were making their way to God.

Tuy 3-1-1944

COMMENTARY

The predictions made at Fatima will only be brought to a happy conclusion when apostate humanity returns to God. But for that to be possible, it is first necessary that humanity be irrigated with special graces from God. These are symbolised by the blood of the martyrs which the angels sprinkle on the souls that strayed so far from God and now return to Him (since they now ‘approach’, it implies they had first strayed away).

The earth renewed and purified by the blood of authentic martyrs corresponds to the idea of the ‘Reign of Mary’ spoken about by St. Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort in his famous Treatise on the true devotion to the Blessed Virgin: “… that happy day when God’s Mother is enthroned in men’s  hearts as Queen, subjecting them to the dominion of Her great and princely  Son… Lord, that your kingdom come, may the reign of Mary come!” (No. 217).  This is an idea which ties in admirably with Our Lady’s famous prediction at the end of the second part of the Secret of Fatima: “Finally, my Immaculate Heart will triumph”.

Either this triumph happens above all in the hearts of men, as Saint Louis de Montfort insists, or the whole third part of the Secret becomes void of meaning. It must be a permanent return of humanity to God, an immense Great Return [Grand Retour, in French, was the motto of a spiritual movement in France which had as its goal the Grand Retour of souls to Jesus through Mary] – only with this is it possible that the world to be given that “period of peace” which Our Lady promised at Fatima. (Cf. text of the second part of the secret).

As it can be seen, the two Angels that “beneath the arms of the Cross”, “gathered up the blood of the martyrs and with it sprinkled the souls making their way up to God” fulfil a fundamental role in this Grande Retour of humanity to God.

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EPILOGUE – SUMMARY
THE ANGELS, CARRIERS OF GRACES OF THE REIGN OF MARY

Since the present small work is a commemorative publication for the 90th anniversary of the apparitions of the Angel, our comments are directed towards emphasising the role of the Angels, like the way a theatre uses analogous means to focus on the role of certain personalities.

So it is important to remember, that in the symbolic vision that made up the Third Secret of Fatima, Most Holy Mary occupies the central place. And it is at Her service, and under Her orders, that each Angel fulfilled the role that was attributed to him.

In summary, one can see that mankind lives in a time of crises which it is not exaggerated to classify as apocalyptic. In this crisis, Our Lady allowed a long period for men to reflect and convert. If the conversion does not happen in this time, she will have no other alternative other than to let fall the arm of her Divine Son in an immense Chastisement, the effects of which we can foresee through the city “half in ruins” which occurs in the second scene of the symbolic vision. In this Chastisement not only the evil will be afflicted. Just as the work of Redemption required that the Word of God Incarnate would shed His Most Precious Blood on the Cross, also in the present day work of regeneration of humanity it is necessary that many of the good – from all classes and social categories, amongst whom is the prominent figure of a Pope – unite their blood to that of the Divine Redeemer.

In the first scene, an Angel was in charge of warning sinful mankind about the imminence of a Chastisement. In the final scene, there are other Angels that have the task of giving to repentant humanity the graces acquired by the expiatory victims whose blood is gathered beneath the arms of the Cross.

It is not unreasonable to interpret that the two Angels figured in the symbolic vision represented the myriad of Angels that God will send to Earth as carriers of these graces – graces of the Grand Retour – without which it would not be possible to establish in the world the Reign of Mary.

In that sense it is legitimate to speak about a flight of Angels, the idea in turn which we started the present article (small work, opercula).


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