Newsletter N.º 83 – June 2006

May the Peace of Christ be with you!

On 29 January 2006, Fatima awoke to a beautiful and historic snowfall! The Cova da Iria… ‘hollow of peace’, where the shrine stands was covered with a blanket of snow – an awesome sight and experience. A moment of heavenly peace!
A mystical reminder that peace is a gift from God.
We are deeply grateful to all of our Friends of Fatima and we continue to pray for you and all your loved ones. A Triduum of Masses and prayers is being offered in honor of the sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary for all your intentions.

Very gratefully, Mother Prioress and Sisters

Sacred Heart in front of Basilica

Pope Preaches Fatima

On May 13th in Rome a statue of Our Lady of Fatima was carried in procession along the main avenue leading to st. Peter’s square. Holy Mass was celebrated and the faithful prayed the Rosary.
In a letter to Cardinal Ruini for this occasion, Pope Benedict XVI wrote:
“It is with joy that I join with all those who are gathered around the statue of Our Lady of Fatima today in St Peter’s Square, to entrust to the intercession of Mary the great intentions of the Church and of the world…
May Mary watch over the Pastors and over the Christian people; may she guide the steps of the nations towards the full realization of the Lord’s will and obtain peace for all: peace in hearts, in families and among peoples. May the message of Fatima be always more welcomed, understood and lived in every community…
May the Mother of Christ protect the city of Rome, the Church and the entire world.”
On the following day, in his Angelus message, the Holy Father again spoke of the message of Fatima:
“A sure way of remaining united to Christ, as branches to the vine, is to have recourse to the intercession of Mary, whom we venerated yesterday, 13 May, in a particular way, recalling the apparitions at Fatima, where she appeared on several occasions to three shepherd children, Francisco, Jacinta and Lucia, in 1917.
The message that she entrusted to them, in continuity with that of Lourdes, was a strong appeal to prayer and conversion; a truly prophetic message, considering that the 20th century was scourged by unheard-of destruction caused by war and totalitarian regimes, as well as widespread persecution of the Church.
Moreover, on 13 May 1981, 25 years ago, the Servant of God John Paul II felt that he was saved miraculously from death by the intervention of “a maternal hand” – as he himself said – and his entire Pontificate was marked by what the Virgin had foretold at Fatima.
Although there is no lack of anxiety and suffering, and although there are still reasons for apprehension about the future of humanity, what the “Lady in white” promised the shepherd children is consoling: “In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph.”
With this awareness, we now turn with confidence to Mary Most Holy, thanking her for her constant intercession and asking her to continue to watch over the journey of the Church and of humanity, especially families, mothers and children.”

Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Occasionally we still receive letters asking if the Consecration of the world and Russia has been accomplished as Our Lady requested. We quote here from The Message of Fatima, by Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone, SDB, Secretary of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith who personally met and spoke with Sr. Lucia at the request of Pope John Paul II on 27 April 2000 in the Carmel of St. Teresa, Coimbra, Portugal.
“On 25 March 1984 in Saint Peter’s Square, while recalling the fiat uttered by Mary at the Annunciation, the Holy Father, in spiritual union with the Bishops of the world, who had been “convoked” beforehand, entrusted all men and women and all peoples to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, in terms which recalled the heartfelt words spoken in 1981…Sister Lucia personally confirmed that this solemn and universal act of consecration corresponded to what Our Lady wished.
“Yes, it has been done just as Our Lady asked, on 25 March 1984.” (Sim, está feita, tal como Nossa Senhora pediu, desde o dia 25 de Março de1984”: Letter of 8 November 1989)
Hence any further discussion or request is without basis.”

Profession of Solemn Vows of Sr. Maria Francisco, OP

In this year of the Angel, when we recall his invitation to the Little Shepherds to “Pray! Pray very much; sacrifice yourselves”, our dear Sr. Maria Francisco of the Blessed Sacrament has indeed responded with her whole life to these words. Like Abraham of old, who followed the call of God to “leave your own country…” (Gen 12:1) Sister left her native Sri Lanka for Canada some years ago. One day while pondering her vocation to the religious life, she happened upon a small notice in the Catholic newspaper, which told of our monastery.
The marvel of the Providence of God! wrote to inquire…We responded:
“Come and see!” and on 25th of March, having completed seven years of preparation and formation, pronounced her Solemn Vows – until death – in the hands of our Prioress, Maria.
We were especially grateful that Fr. Pedro Luis Gonzalez, OP our Vicar could be here to preside at the Eucharist and the ceremony of Profession. Several of our Portuguese Dominican Brethren with our ever so faithful chaplains Fr. Francis and Fr. Rossi came to concelebrate with Fr. Pedro Luis. Many of Sister’s family and friends came from various countries to share in this beautiful and solemn occasion.
It was an added joy to have so many members of the Dominican spiritual family present while they were on retreat here in Fatima.

The consecrated life is a gift in the Church. It is a way of life through which the Light of Christ shines more brightly in the world. The outward sign of the habit and, in our case, the cloister too point to a life of simplicity, totally given to God for His glory and the salvation of souls. This way of life is sealed with a Solemn Fiat pronounced publicly in the presence of the Church. This Yes is a participation in the Fiat of Mary, uttered in response to the Angel’s message 2000 years ago and which lives and is renewed every time we say ‘Yes’ to God.
Imitating her patron, Bl. Francisco of Fatima, our dear Sister is utterly dedicated to praying many Rosaries and staying near the Hidden Jesus to console Him by her life of poverty, chastity and obedience.
Thank You, Lord Jesus, for this new grace for our Community!

Blessing of Solemn Professed Sister

“Are You Willing…?”
Reparation in the Message of Fatima

The 20th century with its “eruption of evil” has left many today suffering from a serious disease, unaware that they are even ill. The disease is called sin –grave sin. Pope John Paul II wrote in Memory and Identity: “Sin is the greatest evil from which man has to be delivered.” If we believe and wish to comprehend the depth of truth in this statement we must prayerfully study the Cross of Christ. The Father, having sent His Son into the world “to save His people from their sins” (Mt 1:21; 1Jn 4:10), willed that man’s salvation would come through the Cross. In total abandonment to the Father, “Christ took the lowest place in the world – the Cross – and by this radical humility He redeemed us and constantly comes to our aid.” (DCE, Nº. 35).
Only beneath the Cross of Christ are the eyes of our heart opened to the dis- ease of sin and the power of merciful Love that heals us and raises us up from it. Oh! How much the Father loves His wayward children and how much He longs to see them regain their ease, their peace with Him, in other words, to be converted and abide in His Love (Jn 15:9). Yes, the Cross teaches us the consequences of and, at the same time, the remedy for our sins.
In Fatima, the Most Holy Virgin, the sinless one, shared with the Little Shepherds Her knowledge of sin: its consequences and its cure, that is, conversion.
Mary also taught them how to help bring about this cure: the prayer of the Rosary and reparation. The call of Our Lady in Fatima is a plea for help…help for sinners, who have no one to pray and sacrifice in reparation for their conversion and eternal salvation.
Always respecting our freedom, Our Lady gently but firmly asks:
May 1917: “Are you willing to offer yourselves to God and bear all the sufferings
He wills to send you as an act of reparation for the sins by which he is offended, and in supplication for the conversion of sinners?” The children replied: “Yes, we are willing.”
June 1917: Lucia asked Our Lady for the cure of a sick person. “If he is converted, he will be cured during the year.”
July 1917: Our Lady said: “Sacrifice yourselves for sinners and say many times, especially whenever you make any sacrifice: ‘O Jesus, it is for love of You, for the conversion of sinners and in reparation for sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.’ And a little later she said:
“You have seen hell where the souls of poor sinners go…”
August 1917: “Pray, pray very much and make sacrifices for sinners; for many souls go to hell because there are none to sacrifice themselves and pray for them.”
October 1917: Lucia again asked for the cure of some sick persons, conversion of sinners…
Our Lady replied: “Some yes, but not others. They must amend their lives and ask forgiveness of their sins…Do not offend the Lord our God any more, because He is already so much offended.”
The Angel too spoke of the need for prayer and sacrifice in reparation for sins. (See article on page 9.)
With her brother Bl. Francisco and her cousin Lucia, Bl. Jacinta, the youngest of the children, who was 6 years old at the time of the Apparitions and died less than three years later, gave her personal fiat to the Message of Our Lady and the Angel. Here is a glimpse of Jacinta’s sacrifices:
“Let’s give our lunch to those poor children, for the conversion of sinners.”
“But it’s because it’s bitter (an acorn) that I’m eating it, for the conversion of sinners.”
“I’m not going to dance anymore. Because I want to offer this sacrifice to Our Lord.”
“I’ve a terrible headache and I’m so thirsty! But I won’t take a drink because
I want to suffer for sinners.”
At times Jacinta kissed and embraced the crucifix, exclaiming: “O my Jesus! I love You and want to suffer very much for love of You.” And she often said: “O Jesus! Now You can convert many sinners because this is really a big sacrifice!”
In a spirit of mortification Jacinta refused to take something to eat saying: “I’m offering this sacrifice for sinners who eat too much.”
Another time, though she was ill, she went to Holy Mass on a weekday. Lucia tried to dissuade her but Jacinta said: “I’m going for sinners who don’t go on Sunday!”
“I’m so thirsty, but I don’t want to take a drink. I’m offering it to Jesus for sinners.”
“I am so grieved to be unable to receive Communion in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary!” (Here Jacinta refers to the devotion of the Five First Saturdays of which we will speak in the next issue.)
“Sweet Heart of Mary, be my salvation! Immaculate Heart of Mary, convert sinners, save souls from hell!”
Her final words to Lucia were: “Love esus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary very much and make many sacrifices for sinners.”
Bl. Jacinta in her pure and innocent heart realized to the full that Fatima is for others. Her sacrifices were simple, but extraordinary in number and depth of love. At Fatima Mary calls each of Her children to be renewed in Faith, Hope and Love and then to pray and sacrifice for the conversion of Her other children. Fatima, at its deepest level, is the Christian message of salvation and the truth that we are our brother’s keeper.
Mary, our Mother reminds us of our Christian duty to help one another, especially those who may be in greatest need. Conversion is the cure, loving reparation is the treatment! Not forgetting that we are all poor sinners, still we are called to help others, by making ‘a practical commitment here and now’(DCE, Nº15). Christ, the Divine Physician, Who took the lowest place on earth – the Cross – awaits your response.

Are You willing?”
Sister Lucia’s Thoughts on the Third Secret of Fatima

In a letter sent to Pope John Paul II on 12 May 1982, Sister Lucia spoke of the third secret of Fatima. She wrote the following:
“The third part of the secret refers to Our Lady’s words: ‘If not [Russia] will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred; the Holy Father will have much to suffer; various nations will be annihilated’ (13-VII-1917).
The third part of the secret is a symbolic revelation, referring to this part of the Message, conditioned by whether we accept or not what the Message itself asks of us: ‘If my requests are heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace; if not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, etc.’. 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 fulfillment of the final part of this prophecy, we are going towards it little by little with great strides. If we do not reject the path of sin, hatred, revenge, injustice, violations of the rights of the human person, immorality and violence, etc… And let us not say that it is God who is punishing us in this way; on the contrary it is people themselves who are preparing their own punishment. In his kindness God warns us and calls us to the right path, while respecting the freedom he has given us; hence people are responsible.” (Source: Message of Fatima, Archbishop Bertone, SDB)

Apparitions of the Angel of Portugal 90 Years
From Fatima in Lucia’s Own Words:
First of the – Spring 1916
“After having taken our lunch and said our prayers, we began to see some distance off, above the trees that stretched away towards the east, a light, whiter than snow, in the form of a young man, transparent, and brighter than crystal pierced by the rays of the sun. As he drew nearer, we could distinguish his features more and more clearly. We were surprised, absorbed and struck dumb with amazement.
On reaching us, he said:
“Do not be afraid. I am the Angel of Peace. Pray with me.”
Kneeling on the ground, he bowed down until his forehead touched the earth. Led by a supernatural impulse, we did the same and repeated the words which we heard him say:
“My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love You! I ask pardon of You for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope and do not love You!”
Having repeated these words three times, he rose and said:
“Pray thus. The Hearts of Jesus and Mary are attentive to the voice of your supplications.” Then he disappeared.

Second Apparition of the Angel – Summer 1916
“We went to spend the siesta hours in the shade of the trees which surrounded the well…Suddenly, we saw the same Angel right beside us.
“What are you doing?” he asked. “Pray! Pray very much! The Hearts of Jesus and Mary have designs of mercy on you. Offer prayers and sacrifices constantly to the Most High.”
“How are we to make sacrifices?” I asked.
“Make of everything you can a sacrifice and offer it to God as an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended and in supplication for the conversion of sinners. You will thus draw down peace upon your country. I am its Guardian Angel, the angel of Portugal. Above all, accept and bear with submission, the sufferings which the Lord will send you.”
Third Apparition of the Angel – September or October 1916
“…we went one day… to the Lapa, making our way along the slope of the hill…We said our Rosary there and the prayer that the Angel had taught us at the first Apparition. While we were there, the Angel appeared to us for the third time, holding a chalice in his hands, with a Host above it from which drops of blood were falling into the sacred vessel.
Leaving the chalice and the host suspended in the air, the Angel prostrated on the ground and repeated this prayer three times:
“Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I adore Thee profoundly. I offer Thee the most Precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifference by which He is offended. By the infinite merits of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg the conversion of poor sinners.”
Then, rising once more he took the chalice and the host in his hands. He gave the host to me, and to Jacinta and Francisco he gave the contents of the chalice to drink, saying as he did so:
“Take and drink the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, horribly outraged by ungrateful men. Repair their crimes and console your God.”
Once again, he prostrated on the ground and repeated with us three times more, the same prayer “Most Holy Trinity…” and then disappeared.”

Mortal Remains of Sr Lucia Returned to Fatima

On 19 February 2006, the mortal remains of Sr. Lucia were transferred to Fatima from the Carmelite Monastery of Santa Teresa in Coimbra. About 250,000 persons from around the world were present to welcome Sister Lucia home!
The weather was unique: severe cold, gusty winds, pouring rain, hailstones and finally sunshine and a rainbow!
The rainbow appeared across the sky during the Holy Mass at the moment of the Sign of Peace.
A tomb had been prepared next to Bl. Jacinta on the left side of the Altar in the Basilica. Now all three Little Shepherds are once again united and together they form a powerful celestial trio of intercession for all who invoke their help.

Coffin of Sr. Lucia Pilgrims seen from the high Altar

One Hour with St. Therese
29 October 2005

The unexpected happened on 29 October last year. We were aware that the Relics of St. Therese would be brought to Portugal and our desire that they be brought to our Monastery was not small.
But we were not listed on the program that was published ahead of time. Yet, St. Therese must have heard the silent, persistent prayers of our Sisters because just 24 hours before their arrival in Fatima we were informed that we would be allowed to receive the precious Relics in our church. And our Monastery would be the first to receive them here in Fatima!
Fr. Carlos Furtado, OP and Frei Bruno, OP came to lead the Holy Hour of prayer for Priests and vocations in the presence of the Relics.
Many members of the Dominican spiritual family also joined with us. And despite the pouring rain, the church was overflowing with the faithful, who came to honor the Saint and to pray for all their needs. Many graces were received. Roses were present in abundance. All of our Friends of Fatima were remembered in prayer.
Thank you Jesus for Your Love!

Deus Caritas Est – God is Love

After the election of Pope Benedict XVI the Church eagerly awaited the publication of his first Encyclical Letter. Traditionally, this first Encyclical shows the direction, which his pontificate will follow.
When Deus Caritas Est – God is Love dated 25 December 2005 was issued during the week of Church Unity Octave, not only the Church but also the whole world received a gift. In times like these when man allows himself to be consumed by his intellectual and technological ‘genius’ this Encyclical calls everyone to rediscover their heart through faith and reason. Pope Benedict XVI is a ‘professor’ with a heart for his students. By the grace of God, he now stands in a classroom no smaller than the entire world!
“By contemplating the pierced side of Christ (Jn19:37), we can understand the starting –point of this Encyclical Letter: “God is Love” (1Jn 4:8). It is there that this truth can be contemplated. It is from there that our definition of love must begin.
In this contemplation the Christian discovers the path along which his life and love must move.” (DCE, N.º 12)
Young people, guided through this Letter will learn to identify true Christian love from counterfeit ideas of love, which the media and secular society promote. Husbands and wives prayerfully reading and reflecting together on this Letter, will undoubtedly grow in their love for God and for each other while gaining an ever deeper understanding of their vocation in Catholic marriage. We strongly recommend that all our Friends of Fatima, read and prayerfully reflect on this ‘love letter’ from Pope Benedict XVI.

“Holy Mary, Mother of God,
you have given the world its true light,
Jesus, your Son – the Son of God.
You abandoned yourself completely
to God’s call.
And thus became a wellspring
of the goodness which flows forth
from Him.
Show us Jesus. Lead us to Him.
Teach us to know and love Him,
so that we too can become
capable of true love
and be fountains of living water
in the midst of a thirsting world.”

Take and read!

June 2006

Dear Rosarians,

In this month of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary we send our loving greetings to each of you. As always we thank you for your fidelity to the Rosary Hour of Guard – this treasured Hour once a month when you keep Mary company meditating the Mysteries of our Faith. May we share two thoughts with you.
First, we would like to encourage you to pray the Apostles’ Creed frequently, praying slowly and giving thanks and praise to God for your Faith. At the same time, asking Him to increase your Faith more and more and grant this inestimable gift to others.
The second thought is this. In our last letter to our Rosarians we spoke about the Rosary of Mary leading us to in the Eucharist. Receiving we receive the One Who gave His life for all mankind. In his Encyclical Deus Caritas Est, the Pope said: “The Eucharist draws us into Jesus’ act of self oblation. More than just statically receiving the incarnate Logos, we enter into the very dynamic of His self-giving… in sacramental Communion I become one with the Lord, like all the other communicants… Union with Christ is also union with all those to whom He gives Himself.
I cannot possess Christ just for myself; I can belong to Him only in union with all those who have become, or will become, His own.” (DCE, Nº 13,14)
This union, which culminates in and is nurtured by the Eucharist, is sustained from Communion to Communion through the Holy Rosary.
With their brothers and sisters all over the world our Rosarians pray and beseech God for the needs of all mankind. We especially ask you at this time, to pray the Rosary in a spirit of universal reparation for the sins of so many who cannot, or will not pray for themselves. Pray the Rosary in reparation for what Pope John Paul II called the ‘legal extermination of human beings’… abortion, euthanasia: for the doctors and nurses, judges and politicians who assist or promote these crimes against humanity. Pray in reparation: for those who profit by making and selling weapons; for all the injustices against women and children, immigrants and the poor who cannot defend themselves.
Through the prayer of the Holy Rosary you will help bring the healing of Christ to the wounded and His grace of conversion to those in need. Pope Benedict XVI wrote: “It is time to reaffirm the importance of prayer in the face of the activism and the growing secularism of many Christians engaged in charitable work.” (DCE, º 37) Fatima affirms that the prayer of the Holy Rosary, offered in loving reparation, is a Christian work of charity par excellence!

Your devoted Sisters
of the Perpetual Rosary

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