NEWS FROM THE SHRINE:
In November, the World Apostolate of Fatima USA declared 2021 a Year of St. Joseph, under the title “the greatest consoler of the Immaculate Heart,” to address the needs of (1) rebuilding families, especially through the father; (2) rebuilding a united Church, which is very divided among varying degrees of belief; and (3) to aid in the work of this apostolate in spreading the message of Fatima, which is a solution for our times. Soon after, Pope Francis declared a Year of St. Joseph on December 8, which was a most welcome message for everyone in the Church, especially following the challenges of 2020. In dedicating the year 2021 to St. Joseph, the greatest consoler of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the World Apostolate of Fatima, USA is recognizing the role of Joseph in the “treasures” that Mary pondered in her heart, sharing in her joys and sorrows, and his anticipated role in the triumph of the Immaculate Heart. Bringing St. Joseph into our First Saturday devotions, St. Joseph was not only the spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary, but he was also the protector and head of the Holy Family. Venerable Pope Pius IX proclaimed St. Joseph the Patron of the Universal Church in 1870. It is no coincidence that he chose to do so on the feast of the Immaculate Conception, a dogma he also declared in 1854. St. Joseph was present at the prophecy of Simeon, when he heard that a sword of sorrow would pierce the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Simeon, whose name in Greek means the “God-receiver,” told Our Lady, “This child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted — and you yourself a sword will pierce — so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” (Lk 2: 34-35). St. Joseph, a just and devout Jew, knew of the Old Testament prophecies concerning the sufferings and death of Jesus, the Messiah. His own sufferings began with the anxiety of seeing Jesus born in a cave. They were followed by the pain of seeing Jesus’s blood spilt during His circumcision, the agony of Joseph’s own soul on hearing Simeon’s prophecy of Mary’s pierced heart, the burden of being told to flee to Egypt to escape Herod’s massacre of the Bethlehem infants, the fear of Herod’s son in Judea when returning from Egypt, and the terror of losing Jesus in Jerusalem for three days. One excellent point to meditate upon is how the tender and loving heart of St. Joseph must have suffered knowing he would not be present when the prophecies of Simeon would be fulfilled. The love he bore his chaste and pure spouse and her future sufferings only increased and intensified his own sufferings. It is because of his sufferings, compassion and love for his beloved spouse that we all need to “go to Joseph.” St. Joseph truly knows how to console the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary. One of the requirements for the First Saturdays is to spend 15 minutes with Our Lady, consoling her by meditating on one or all of the mysteries of the Rosary, in reparation for the blasphemies and ingratitude that pierce her Immaculate Heart. Before beginning this meditation, let us “go to St. Joseph.” Incorporate him into your meditations and ponder how he, too, lived these mysteries. Our beloved father and protector will unite his perfect love for the Immaculate Heart of Mary with our small acts of reparation, thereby helping us remove the thorns that cause her sorrows. Sister Lucia said in a 1993 interview with Cardinal Ricardo Vidal that the First Saturday Communions of Reparations “is a fulfillment of what the Virgin requested” during the July 13, 1917, apparition and it is “the means to combat atheism.” We can be assured St. Joseph is with us in this battle. We invite everyone to take up this practice with renewed enthusiasm during this grace-filled Year of St. Joseph.
by Catherine Moran, Ph.D. Soul | World Apostolate of Fatima USA | Our Lady’s Blue Army See the full version in Soul Magazine
On March 6th, we will celebrate First Saturday Mass and devotion at the Shrine. We asked that you use your own judgement and stay home if you are sick or feel compromised because of a pre-existing condition in any way. We asked that you wear face masks and keep a healthy social distance from each other while at the shrine. We will have hand sanitizer on hand. Mass will begin at 9am; Rev. Richard Mwisheni SMA, will celebrate the mass.
REMINDER: A Pro-Life Rosary for our nation continues being offered at the Shrine daily around noon all are welcomed. With a special attention given to the devotion of the Holy Face of Christ.