by Barb Ernster
On June 13, 1929, Sister Lucia had a vision of the Holy Trinity, known as the “Last Vision,” in the convent chapel at Tuy, Spain. Our Lady told her, “The moment has come in which God asks the Holy Father in union with all the bishops of the world, to consecrate Russia to my Immaculate Heart, promising to save it by this means.” It was the time of Pope Pius XI, identified by Our Lady in the July 1917 apparition as the one whose pontificate would see the outbreak of a worse war as punishment for sin if we did not heed her warnings.
Sister Lucia had frequent correspondence with her superiors throughout the 1930s about the need for the pope to act. Already in 1932, our Lord and Our Lady made it known to her their disappointment that it had not already been done. In 1935, she wrote, “Three years ago, our Lord was quite upset at His wish not being fulfilled.” (Fatima for Today, p 170)
In 1936, she wrote about her conversations with our Lord in prayer. In one instance, our Lord told her, “Like the King of France, they will repent and do it, but it will be late. Russia will have already spread her errors throughout the world, provoking wars and persecution of the Church. The Holy Father will have much to suffer.” On another occasion, our Lord said to her: “The Holy Father. Pray very much for the Holy Father. He will do it, but it will be too late. Nevertheless, the Immaculate Heart of Mary will save Russia. It has been entrusted to her.” (Fatima for Today, pp 168, 170)
Around the same time, on Dec. 16, 1936, St. Faustina wrote in her diary: “I have offered this day for Russia. I have offered all my sufferings and prayers for that poor country. After Holy Communion, Jesus said to me, ‘I cannot suffer that country any longer. Do not tie my hands, My daughter.’ I understood that if it had not been for the prayers of souls that are pleasing to God, that whole nation would have already been reduced to nothingness. Oh how I suffer that nation, which has banished God from its borders.” (Diary 818)
The 1984 Consecration
On March 25, 1984, when St. John Paul II gathered with a great majority of the bishops around the world, including five patriarchs of the Orthodox Church, to make the consecration, it was, indeed, “too late.” Russia had already spread her errors around the world, just as Jesus foretold. The Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc countries were still in the ironclad grip of communism and needed to be unchained in order to begin a process of conversion. The pope and bishops knew the consecration was about Russia, which was in their hearts and specially referenced with these words in their prayer: “In a special way we entrust and consecrate to you those individuals and nations that particularly need to be thus entrusted and consecrated. We have recourse to your protection, holy Mother of God.”
Sister Lucia confirmed that John Paul II had done “all that was in his power” to make the consecration; specifically, it was necessary that it be done publicly in union with the bishops. In 1989, she firmly stated, “Yes! It is made from that time (1984).” In a recorded 1993 interview with Cardinal Vidal, she affirmed, “The Holy Father has performed the consecration – it is done.” Again she confirmed to Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone in 2001, “I’ve already said that the consecration Our Lady wished for was performed in 1984 and that it was accepted by Heaven.”
Words have meaning
Many argue conversion hasn’t happened in Russia. But what does the word conversion mean? Sister Lucia said to Cardinal Vidal: “The word conversion means a change – it does not mean that evil will disappear, but that there is a conversion from evil to good. That is what the word means.”
The Soviet Union broke apart and Russia turned away from communism, enacting new laws that allow religious freedom and the worship of God. We know that conversion most often involves a process of gradual changes, as we have seen in Russia since, and as we saw in the Christian Church after the Resurrection of Jesus. If we trust in the promises of our Lord and Our Lady regarding Fatima, we must believe that the Immaculate Heart of Mary will save Russia – however long it takes.
Sister Lucia gave a rather compelling recorded interview with Cardinal Vidal on Oct. 11, 1993, in which she stated famously, “Fatima has just begun.”
“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 … How can one expect it to be over immediately? People expect things to happen in their own time-frame, but Fatima is still in its third day. The triumph is an ongoing process.”
Sister Lucia upheld the tools of Fatima as our weapons in the spiritual war waged against us: “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 First Saturdays) and the consecration.
She further stated: “The Rosary, which is the most important spiritual weapon we have in these times when the devil is so active, should be recited.” (The interview is available in a booklet titled Two Hours with Sister Lucia and on DVD, “Misterios de Fatima”).
While questions about the consecration of Russia and the third part of the secret has divided Fatima devotees and caused much discussion and opinion, Sister Lucia handily dismisses these concerns: “If they would just devote their energy to living out the real essence of the message…Our Lady’s request for prayer and penance.”
We would be wise to heed Sister Lucia’s words, the most credible source on Fatima.
Barb Ernster is the communications manager and editor of Soul Magazine.