by Barb Ernster –
The Blue Army Pledge was formulated with the help of Sister Lucia on August 12, 1946. Our co-founder, John Haffert had been given permission by the Bishop of Fatima, Jose Alves Correia da Silva, to come to Portugal and interview Lucia, who was then a Dorothean Sister in Porto.
Mr. Haffert was sincere about his interest in finding out exactly what was necessary in order to obtain the conversion of Russia, and the bishop trusted him.
He reported on the conversation he had with Lucia in his book Dear Bishop:
“Of course, Sister, I know that it is the Rosary which is the first and most important request of Our Lady of Fatima, but what are the other things we must do in order to obtain the conversion of Russia?”
She immediately answered, “But the Rosary is not the most important request.”
And she went on to explain that the essential request of Our Lady of Fatima was conveyed to the children in the very first question Our Lady put to them when she said: “Are you be willing to accept whatever God will send you and to offer it up for the conversion of sinners and in reparation for the offenses committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary?”
She emphasized over and over that the fulfillment of one’s daily duty, according to one’s state in life (and the sanctification of this effort in reparation for our sins and for the conversion of sinners), is the primary condition for the turning back of the tide of evil which threatens the world, and which will also bring us the great favor of the conversion of Russia and an era of peace for mankind.
But she stressed that the Rosary is indeed important, because it is one of Our Lady’s principal aids given to us to facilitate the sanctification of our daily duty. In the mysteries of the Rosary, we have not only a synthesis of the principal mysteries of the life of Christ, but we have the inspiration to overcome every possible temptation.
We talked about the Scapular and consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and of the importance of this as an additional aid to the sanctification of daily duty.
The pledge, as I wrote it down during the course of this interview, contained the following conditions:
- Pray the Rosary daily
- Wear the Scapular as a sign of consecration to the Immaculate Heart
- Offer up the sacrifices demanded by daily duty, extending our Morning Offering throughout the day.
Lucia confirmed, “Yes, these are the basic (daily) things which must be done in order to obtain the conversion of Russia.”
Haffert then brought the pledge to Bishop da Silva, apprehensive about his reaction. “There was a slight frown and an intense air of concentration…But, as he finished the last word, he looked up and with a smile, said most solemnly: ‘You may promulgate this as coming from me.’” (Dear Bishop p. 38)
What about the First Saturdays
The Five First Saturdays Communion of Reparation, added later to the pledge, was one of two conditions, along with the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart, for Russia’s conversion, according to Our Lady in the July 13, 1917 apparition. Lucia explained years later that the consecration was to help unchain Russia from a godless State system so that it could convert, and the First Saturdays would help make that conversion more perfect.
Another reason why the First Saturdays are so important, she told Mr. Haffert, is because they are the occasion for renewing our purpose in our devotion to the Immaculate Heart, and in strengthening our resolve and motives once a month; thus being better able to fulfill the basic requests of Our Lady, which sanctify our lives daily. They also propel us to go to confession monthly.
Since the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart by the Church has been fulfilled, our First Saturday devotions continue to merit the graces for conversion, especially for all those who have been persuaded by atheistic communism and the godless State, which has, indeed, spread from Russia’s errors. Today, it is not hard to see the great need to combat this spiritual plague.
Sign the pledge and Join Our Lady’s Blue Army! Join – World Apostolate of Fatima, USA (bluearmy.com)
[Excerpt from the article “An Explosion for Our Lady” from the Spring 2022 issue of Soul Magazine.]