by Barb Ernster –
Sister Lucia had numerous moments in prayer and contemplation in which she would discern Our Lord’s authentic voice and words to her. These were not locutions or audible voices, but she learned to hear His voice in her prayers and communion with Him, and was able to discern His will in all things. Always under the guidance of a spiritual director, she often prefaced her insights from Our Lord or Our Lady by stating, “If I understand Our Lord correctly…” or “If these communications are authentic…”
The three shepherd children experienced the apparitions of Fatima in a similar manner in that they understood the events and communications of heaven interiorly. They were compelled to remain silent about certain things. They understood that the sorrowful Immaculate Heart was in need of reparation. By an interior impulse that was communicated to them, they prayed in their hearts, “O Most Holy Trinity, I adore Thee; my God, my God, I love Thee in the most Blessed Sacrament.”
Sister Lucia never lost this child-like attention to heaven’s directives. In one communication, she understood Our Lady to have revealed to her that the more people do the First Saturday devotions, the more graces will flow from her like a river, drawing souls closer to her Immaculate Heart and to her Divine Son. Right after I read this, my teenage daughter walked into the room and said she was feeling more drawn to the Blessed Mother lately. I took that as a little signal grace from Our Lady to encourage me to continue doing the First Saturdays, because they do indeed draw down rivers of grace that leads to conversions.
Sister Lucia was always concerned about the salvation of souls. She knew that the devotions Our Lady asked for were the means to save them. Having seen hell and all of the tortures a soul endures there, including perpetual darkness, constant presence of evil and the eternal loss of God, she, like her two cousins, were zealous for souls, ardently longing for their conversions and salvation.
In a letter to the Bishop of Leiria, she told of the great number of souls that would fall into hell because of the sins against the Immaculate Conception, but that “God promises to save them in the measure that the devotion of Reparation (First Saturdays) is practiced.”
St. Louis de Montfort says, when Mary was created even the angels were taken aback by the Immaculata, exclaiming, “Who can she possibly be?” The saint writes, “She is the supreme masterpiece of Almighty God and He has preserved the knowledge and possession of her for Himself. She is the sanctuary and resting place of the Blessed Trinity where God dwells in greater and divine splendor than anywhere else in the universe, not excluding His dwelling above the Cherubim and Seraphim.” (True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, p 4)
One can only imagine how offensive it is to God when sins are committed against the Immaculate Conception – His greatest masterpiece.
Our Fatima devotions draw down God’s mercy
Sister Lucia, in another letter to the Bishop of Gurza on May 27, 1943, shared a message from Our Lord, which she believed to be authentic:
“I long for the coming of the Office in honor of the Immaculate Heart of Mary throughout the whole world…,” she wrote. “[The Holy Hearts of Jesus and Mary] love these devotions, because by them, they attract souls to themselves. All their desires are summed up in this: To save souls, many souls, each and every soul! (Lucia’s emphasis) A few days ago, Jesus said to me: ‘I desire that the cult and devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary be spread, for it is the magnet that will attract souls to Me; the spotlight that will throw the rays of My Light and love on the earth; the Eternal Spring that will flood the earth with the living water of My Mercy.’”
As late as 1991, with atheistic Marxism well-entrenched in our society, Sister Lucia relayed to Cardinal Ricardo Vidal that the Rosary “is the most important spiritual weapon we have in these times when the devil is so active” and the First Saturday Communions of Reparation “is the means to combat atheism.”
Many people are concerned about the direction of our world and that not enough conversions are taking place. But God promises to flood the earth with His mercy and Mary promises grace will flow like a river to bring souls back to them. Our devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and our reparations on the First Saturdays are acts of mercy. By them, we can expect our children, our grandchildren, our siblings and neighbors to be drawn to the Hearts of Mary and Jesus. God honors our obedience and trust; we should honor Him by believing in His word.
We ask you to join with us every First Saturday this year at BlueArmy.com/YearofStJoseph for our virtual speaker presentations, followed by live-streamed rosary, 15-minute meditation and Holy Mass from the Blue Army Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima. We also invoke St. Joseph to pray for us and help us in these times. And please, pray the Rosary every day.
Barb Ernster is the communications manager and editor for the World Apostolate of Fatima, USA.