ImmacHeartBy Barb Ernster

On June 13, the Church celebrates the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This day is also the 98th anniversary of the June 13, 1917 apparition at Fatima. During this apparition, Our Lady revealed an important part of God’s plan for salvation and peace—devotion to her Immaculate Heart. She told Lucia that she would take the three visionaries to Heaven—Francisco and Jacinta soon. “But you are to stay here some time longer. Jesus wishes to make use of you to make me known and loved. He wants to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart.” Lucia was her apostle for the spread of this devotion for 87 years.

In July, Our Lady told them: “You have seen hell where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace…but if people do not cease offending God, a worse war will break out… …To prevent this, I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart, and the Communion of reparation on the First Saturdays.”

Sister Lucia took very seriously this part of the Secret. By dedicating ourselves to the Immaculate Heart of Mary though the Five First Saturdays devotion, wars, famines, and persecutions of the Church could be averted. “Peace or war depends on [the Five First Saturdays] devotion along with the Consecration,” she wrote. In a letter, she showed her concern that Our Lady’s request for this devotion was not being faithfully carried out:

“Our Lady promised to postpone the scourge of war if this devotion is spread and practiced. We see her putting off this chastisement in the measure that efforts are being made to spread it. But I am afraid that we are not doing all that we are able to, and that God, in no way satisfied, may raise the arm of His mercy and let the world be ravaged by this punishment, which will be as never has been, horrible, horrible!”

Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the spread of this devotion worldwide is undoubtedly an essential part of the apparitions at Fatima. Sister Lucia explained in her book, “Calls” from the Message of Fatima: God began the work of redemption in the Heart of Mary, given that it was through her “fiat” that the redemption began to come about, Thus we see that devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary must be established in the world by means of a true consecration through conversion and self-giving. In the same way, through the consecration, the bread and wine are converted into the Body and Blood of Christ, which were drawn with this very life from the Heart of Mary. Hence, it is that this Immaculate Heart must be for us a refuge and the way that leads to God.

This refuge and this way were proclaimed to all humanity immediately after the fall of our first parents. To the devil, who had tempted the first human beings, and had induced them to disobey the divine order they had been given, the Lord said: “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel” (Gen. 3, 15). The ‘new generation’ God foretold would be born of this woman, and will triumph in the battle against the progeny of Satan, to the point of crushing its head. Mary is the Mother of this new generation, as if she were a new tree of life, planted by God in the garden of the world so that all her children can partake of her fruit.

The apparitions at Fatima are an exhortation to prayer as the path of “salvation of souls” and, the summons to penance and conversion. Our Lady promised, “My Immaculate Heart will triumph,” in the end. What does this mean? Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, as Prefect for the Doctrine of the Faith, explained: The Heart open to God, purified by contemplation of God, is stronger than guns and weapons of every kind. The fiat of Mary, the word of her heart, has changed the history of the world, because it brought the Savior into the world, because, thanks to her Yes, God could become man in our world and remains so at all times. The Evil One has power in this world, as we see and experience continually; he has power because our freedom continually lets itself be led away from God. But since God himself took a human heart and has thus steered human freedom towards what is good, the freedom to choose evil no longer has the last word. From that time forth, the word that prevails is this: “In this world you will have tribulation, but take heart; I have overcome the world” (Jn 16, 33). The message of Fatima invites us to trust in this promise.

Act of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, and tender Mother of all people,
I consecrate myself to you and to your Immaculate Heart,
and recommend to you my family, my country, and the whole human race.

Please accept my consecration, dearest Mother, and use me as you wish
to accomplish your designs upon the world.

O Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of Heaven and earth,
rule over me, and teach me how to allow the
Heart of Jesus to rule and triumph in me and around me,
as it has ruled and triumphed in you. Amen.


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  1. Dear Mrs. Ernster,

    Would you please tell me the source of your Act of Consecration to Mary?

    • It is a shortened version of one composed by Pope Pius XII.

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