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Francis’ Use of Our Lady of Fatima

Marian T. Horvat, Ph.D.
Prior to October 13, 2013, a wild campaign of rumors was circulating over the supposed consecration Pope Francis would make of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary as part of the Year of Faith celebrations. These rumors echoed in the media where headlines announced the event: “Pope to consecrate the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.”

Francis entrusts world to Our Lady of Fatima

Francis made no mention of consecration or Our Lady's Immaculate Heart...

Even a press statement from the directors of the Fatima Shrine – which was sending the original statue of the Virgin to the Vatican for the “celebration” – announced that Pope Francis would consecrate the world to Mary during the event. On the Internet some conservative and traditionalist blogs speculated that this Pope would fulfill Our Lady’s mandate and consecrate Russia specifically to her Immaculate Heart.

The consecration would take place as part of a “Marian Day” pilgrimage to Rome. In fact, 100,000 devotees traveled to the Vatican on this day to commemorate the sixth and last apparition of Our Lady of Fatima to the three shepherd children at Fatima on October 13, 1917.

On that date a crowd of 70,000 spectators witnessed the Miracle of the Sun, where the sun whirled out of its normal orbit in the sky, “danced” in the sky and moved rapidly toward the earth as if it were falling. None of the Vatican or Fatima press reports, however, mentioned either the apparitions of Our Lady at Fatima or this momentous miracle.

Nor was any mention made of Our Lady’s request to Sister Lucy in 1929 that the Holy Father, together with all the Bishops of the world, should consecrate Russia to her Immaculate Heart. Also ignored were the subsequent eight consecrations and entrustments made to Our Lady – three by Pius XII, one by Paul VI and four by John Paul II – none of which fulfilled the precise request of Our Lady.

All the prophetic aspects of Fatima were ignored, and the Vatican “event” was simply a “Marian day” to present to the Catholic faithful “one of the most significant Marian icons for Christians throughout the world.”

A great ado about nothing…

So the day of October 13, 2013 came and went, and what happened?

miracle of the sun

Also, he did not mention the Miracle of the Sun witnessed by thousands 96 years ago

Very little, I am sad to say. In fact, so little that it is difficult to find a report with the actual words Francis spoke during the “event” he staged. At the end of Sunday's Mass, Pope Francis entrusted the world to Our Lady of Fatima with a special prayer in front of thousands of pilgrims at St. Peter’s Square.

Essentially, he asked for “Mary’s protection to revive faith and charity in people so that they look after the suffering and the marginaized of society.” Not a word about the sins that are offending her beloved Son, nothing about praying the daily Rosary – which was a request she urgently made at each of her apparitions at Fatima, nothing about the conversion of Russia, the spreading Communism or the consequent chastisement that will come if Our Lady’s requests are not fulfilled.

For the record, here is the text of the Pope’s prayer, which cannot be called a consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, since neither the word consecration nor the Immaculate Heart is mentioned:

‘Holy Mary Virgin of Fatima, with renewed gratitude for your maternal presence, we join our voice to that of all the generations who call you blessed.

“We celebrate in you the works of God, who never tires of looking down with mercy upon humanity, afflicted with the wound of sin, to heal it and save it.

“Accept with the benevolence of a Mother the act of entrustment that we perform today with confidence before this image of you that is so dear to us.

“We are certain that each of us is precious in your eyes and that all that dwells in our hearts is known to you. We allow ourselves to be touched by your most sweet gaze and we welcome the comforting caress of your smile.

“Safeguard our lives in your arms: bless and strengthen every desire for goodness, revive and nourish our faith; sustain and enlighten hope; awaken and animate charity; guide all of us along the path of holiness.

"Teach us your own preferential love for the little and the poor, for the marginalized and the suffering, for sinners and the downhearted: gather all under your protection and entrust everyone to your beloved Son, our Lord Jesus. Amen.

One can compare this to past “consecrations” made and realize that effectively none of the requests made by Our Lady were fulfilled.

In 1942, for example, Pope Pius XII directed the faithful to address the Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, declaring that “in thee and in thy Immaculate Heart, at this grave hour of human history, do we put our trust; to thee we consecrate ourselves, not only with all of the Holy Church … but also with the whole world, torn by discords, agitated with hatred, the victim of its own iniquities.”

This was the consecration he made at Fatima on October 13, 1942, and repeated in St. Peter’s Basilica on December 8, 1942. In both acts, however, the Pontiff made no specific mention of Russia, as Our Lady had commanded.

pope francis celebrity

Using Our Lady to increase his popularity with Marian devotees

Francis, on the other hand, makes no mention of the gravity of our times. Instead, he uses his “entrustment” to promote his agenda of serving the poor and marginalized, something Our Lady never referred to at Fatima. There her chief concerns were sin and the spread of the errors of Russia. She placed great emphasis on sin because it offends her beloved Son and is the root cause for the wars and strife that beset our modern world. It is sin, especially those against the Sixth Commandment, that send so many souls to Hell, she told the three children.

Instead of repeating Our Lady’s warning, Francis, following the pattern of the Conciliar Popes who never speak of Hell, chose to emphasize only the mercy and benevolence of God and His Mother.

In retrospect, Francis’ feeble “entrustment” certainly appears to be nothing more than a exploitation of Our Lady of Fatima so that he might appear well before the many Catholic faithful who have devotion to the Most Holy Virgin.

Posted October 16, 2013

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