Week 2: Lent with Jacinta – The “sins of war”

“War is a punishment from God for sins” – St. Jacinta Marto –

From the beginning of the fall, mankind has been at war with one another. Adam blamed Eve for his sin. Eve blamed the serpent; both now viewed each other suspiciously. Cain became jealous of Able. Ishmael was at odds with Isaac; Esau with Jacob; Jacob’s sons with Joseph; Saul with David. 

All of these conflicts can be blamed on one thing – personal sin. Nothing else caused this.

Sin is social. When you sin, it afflicts someone else, who then afflicts another and the consequences extend beyond our knowledge.  

Jacinta Marto after hearing that another worse war would come unless people responded to Our Lady's requests
Jactina Marto after learning that a worse war would come unless people responded to Our Lady’s requests.

During St. Jacinta’s time, the whole world was at war. Surely Jacinta heard the stories of the wounded and dying soldiers, of bombs blowing things up, of guns that fired constantly.  When these soldiers came home, their experiences came with them and the war perhaps continued into their own families.

The 20th century marked the first time in human history that man would develop the means to destroy itself and the entire planet.  It is no longer just about one person capable of murdering another.  Now it is about entire civilizations capable of mass destruction on a scale never seen before.  

Is this something to celebrate on our list of accomplishments? Does this advancement make us enlightened, empowered, capable of controlling our destiny – like gods? 

“You surely will not die,” said the serpent to Eve in the garden. “No…You will be like gods who know what is good and what is bad” (Gn 3:4).

And where does this lie lead mankind?  Calling good evil and evil good (cf Is 5:20); Claiming to be wise, but instead we become fools (cf Rom. 1:22); Lured by our desires, we bring forth sin and eventually death (cf Jm 1:14).

St. Paul tells us in the Letter to James, “Where do the wars and where do the conflicts among you come from? Is it not from your passions that make war within your members?  You covet but do not possess. You kill and envy but you cannot obtain; you fight and wage war” (Jm 4:1-2).

At Fatima, Our Lady implored the children to pray the Rosary every day for peace. The three children recited the Rosary fervently, certain that they would thus hasten the end of the war. Throughout her life, Lucia prayed so zealously for the conversion of Russia that people wondered:  Did an illiterate peasant girl from central Portugal do more to prevent conflicts than any diplomat? (Fatima Mysteries, pg 116).

So while Our Lady told little Jacinta that “war is a punishment from God for sin,” she also provided us the perfect weapon to fight the war:  the Rosary.  And directing the children to the importance of her role in this spiritual war, she told them, “Pray the Rosary every day in honor of Our Lady of the Rosary in order to obtain peace for the world and the end of the war, because only she can help you.”

Like our sins which create the conflicts, the prayer of the Rosary can bring peace to any situation. We cannot hope to achieve it through any other means, especially in our current darkened world that calls good evil and evil good.

St. Jacinta, who had visions of the terrible war that was coming, pleaded with Lucia in her last days:   “Tell (everyone) to pray to the Immaculate Heart of Mary for peace, since God has entrusted it to her.”

Mary, Queen of Peace, pray for us.  St. Jacinta, pray for us.

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  1. Of the requests for peace from the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the consecration of Russia has been accomplished, but Our Lady’s second request for the First Saturday devotions has not. Personally, it has been my experience that pastors of parishes are reluctant or even against adopting this devotion. If a directive from Bishops ordered First Saturday devotions in all dioceses, that would change everything. I think it is up to our Bishops to make this happen. If WAF has a program to help convince Bishops to promote Our Lady’s request for First Saturday devotions, I want to be involved. If there is no program, why not start one?

  2. AMEN! I want to be involved too and will send this to our Bishop! TY!

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