by Donal Anthony Foley
One of the most enigmatic sayings of Sister Lucia concerns the idea that we are part way through the “Week of Fatima.” She stated this in a rather compelling interview with Filipino Cardinal Ricardo Vidal on Oct. 11, 1993, in which she asserted, “Fatima has just begun.” By this is understood the idea that Fatima, far from being a past historical event, is something that is being worked out even now in Church and world history, and still has much significance for the future.
In a video-taped interview with the Cardinal, Sister Lucia stated, “Fatima is still in its third day. We are now in the post-consecration period. The first day was the apparition period. The second was the post-apparition, pre-consecration period. The Fatima week has not yet ended…Fatima has just begun.”
There is much food for thought in these statements. The implication is that we may well have many years to wait before the promised Triumph of the Immaculate Heart is finally fulfilled.
In fact, this is the clear impression Sister Lucia gave in the interview: “People expect things to happen immediately within their own time frame,” she said. “But Fatima is still in its third day. The Triumph is an ongoing process.”
The collegial consecration of Russia, requested by Our Lady at Tuy in Spain in 1929, was carried out by Saint John Paul II in union with many of the world’s bishops, in Rome, in 1984. Sister Lucia categorically stated this during the interview: “The Holy Father has performed the Consecration and it is done.” While some critics have denied that the consecration was actually done, no one can deny that Communism in Russia and Eastern Europe collapsed peacefully in the years following the consecration.
Regarding this question, she told the Cardinal: “Our Lady said that Russia will spread her errors throughout the world causing wars and persecutions to the Church. Many will be martyred and others will be tormented and some nations will be destroyed. In the end, after all of this, the Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me – but she (Mary) did not say how – and Russia will be converted and an era of peace will be granted, but this was Our Lady’s way of referring to the wars and persecutions and mistakes that atheistic communism was causing throughout the world.”
Regarding the conversion of Russia, Sister Lucia explained, “The word conversion means a change; it does not mean that evil will disappear, but that there is a conversion from evil to good. This is the meaning of the word conversion.”
Sister Lucia further commented: “All the wars which have occurred could have been avoided through prayer and sacrifice. This is the reason Our Lady asked for the Communion of Reparation (on the First Saturdays) and the consecration.”
As regards “prayer”, Sister Lucia was primarily referring to the Rosary, for she stated. “The Rosary, which is the most important spiritual weapon we have in these times when the devil is so active, should be recited.”
Following a question from the Cardinal, Sister Lucia also said, “To promote the Communions of Reparation is the means to combat atheism… The Virgin is interested in everything, but particularly in the Communions of Reparation.”
By “everything”, Sister Lucia here was referring to the other aspects of the requests at Fatima that make up the devotion to the Immaculate Heart as defined on the World Apostolate of Fatima Pledge: 1) offering up the sacrifices demanded by your daily duty (Morning Offering), 2) wearing the Brown Scapular and living the consecration it signifies and 3) praying the Rosary daily.
From what Sister Lucia emphasized, the daily recitation of the Rosary and the Communions of Reparation on First Saturday are powerful spiritual weapons against the evil forces that plague our world today – a world that is living with the spread of Russia’s errors – and should be vigorously promoted. The Mother of God gave us these tools at Fatima for these times.
Sister Lucia reiterated the importance of the First Saturday devotion of reparation in connection with the conversion of Russia in a letter to her confessor, Fr. Gonzalves, dated May 29, 1930:
“If I am not mistaken, the Good Lord promises to put an end to the persecutions in Russia, if the Holy Father condescends to make, and likewise ordains the Bishops of the Catholic World to make a solemn and public act of reparation and consecration of Russia to the Most Holy Hearts of Jesus and Mary. In response to the end of this persecution, His Holiness is to promise to approve of and recommend the practice of the already mentioned devotion of reparation.” (Martins & Fox, Documents on Fatima, p. 281).
The persecution of Christians in Russia has ended, thanks to the 1984 collegial consecration, albeit it was done “late” as Jesus predicted to Lucia. It seems, then, that what is required now to defeat the godlessness that has spread throughout the world from the errors of Russia, is a much wider adoption of the First Saturday devotion amongst Catholics everywhere. Sister Lucia herself said this is “the means to combat atheism.” Therefore, we should all be praying that the Pope does, in fact, quickly approve of this devotion in an official way and recommend it to the whole Church.
And we should pray the Rosary every day as Our Lady requested.
Extracts from the video recording of the interview with Sister Lucia can be seen on the Misterios de Fatima DVD set, which is available in Portuguese with subtitles; and a transcript of the interview can be found in a booklet entitled, Two Hours with Sister Lucia (1997 Carlos Evaristos). Details of this interview can likewise be seen in chapter eleven of John Haffert’s book Too Late (available through the WAF/Blue Army bookstore).
Donal Anthony Foley is the author of a number of books on Marian Apparitions, and maintains a related web site at www.theotokos.org.uk. He has also written two time-travel/adventure books for young people, and the third in the series is due to be published next year available in our bookstore.