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The Five Sins Against Our Lady

An edited version of Guido Del Rose's Article: "Fatima: The Five Sins"

Mr. Del Rose stresses that Our Lady asked for the conversion of sinners and reparation made for sins that offend her Immaculate Heart, along with the consecration of Russia.
"My daughter, the motive is simple: there are five ways in which people offend and blaspheme against the Immaculate Heart of Mary:
  1. the blasphemies against the Immaculate Conception,

  2. against her virginity,

  3. against the Divine Maternity, refusing at the same time to accept her as the Mother of all mankind,

  4. those who try publicly to implant in the children's hearts indifference, contempt, and even hatred against this Immaculate Mother, and

  5. those who insult her directly in her sacred images.
A statue of the International Pilgrim Virgin of Fatima

One of statues of the International Pilgrim Virgin of Fatima
"Here, my daughter, is the reason why the Immaculate Heart of Mary [My Mother] causes Me to ask for this little act of reparation and by means of it, move My mercy to forgive those souls who had the misfortune of offending her. As for you, try without ceasing, with all your prayers and sacrifices, to move Me to mercy toward those poor souls." (1)

Spoken by Our Savior in 1930 to Sister Lucia, these words and others given afterwards reveal to the world a most surprising truth, one with imperative significance for mankind. However, despite their importance, they have had little impact upon the faithful, remaining virtually unnoticed for over a half-century, a hidden gem in the vast spiritual treasure now known as Fatima.

Concerning these sins, much evidence in the Fatima Message indicates that the predicted great triumph of the Immaculate Heart and the peace to follow can result only after they have been sufficiently repaired. These sins, more than all other causes, are delaying the fulfillment of the Divine Will, threatening mankind with terrible punishments.

An ever-spreading cancer, these offenses against the Virgin Mary are effecting among the faithful a decrease of belief in her special role as Mediatrix of All Graces, producing a corresponding dwindling of those graces. At the same time, these sins preclude the possibility that the people in large numbers will seek special, extraordinary graces from her Heart, powerful graces offered to all by our Redeemer through trust and confidence in her Immaculate Heart. A decline in the flow of grace permits the forces of evil to grow in power, resulting in a massive surge of sin, both in quality and quantity.

Were this development to continue, ultimately Divine Justice would demand a severe worldwide chastisement, never before experienced by the human race since the birth of Christ. This is precisely one of the Fatima prophecies of Our Lady – to be fulfilled or avoided.

Our Savior's wish

The Divine Will is clearly defined both by Our Savior and His Mother, revealed to us in the Fatima Message. The initial expression was made during the second apparition of June 13, 1917. Our Lady addressed the visionaries as follows:
Yes, I will take Jacinta and Francisco soon [to Heaven]. But you are to stay here some time longer. Jesus wishes to make use of you to make me known and loved. He wants to establish in the world devotion to My Immaculate Heart. “ (2)
Those prophecies have indeed been fulfilled. The two seers, Francisco and Jacinta, passed on to their eternal reward in 1919 and 1920. Lucia became a nun in the Order of the Sisters of St. Dorothy and afterward received many visits from Our Lord and Our Lady, most of them from the Redeemer Himself. Thus, she has served as the "Apostle of the Immaculate Heart" in revealing to the world much information about the Savior's will concerning this devotion to His Mother.

A photograph of the three seers of Fatima and their parents

A picture of the three seers after Our Lady showed them a vision of Hell on July 13, 1917
A second reference to this desire of Our Lord came in the third apparition in the following month of July, when Our Lady showed the children Hell and told them:

“You have seen Hell where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace.” (3)

After her entry into the religious order, the Savior appeared several times to Lucia, clarifying this great desire of the Holy Trinity and His own ardent wish concerning this Immaculate Heart Devotion. Since it is a wish and not a command, He did not and does not oblige the Church collectively or individually to honor this request. He leaves it to our free will, preferring the generous offering, freely given.

An overview of the problem

By way of a brief survey, we can list a few propositions and then examine them in detail so that we can judge whether these sins are truly a most urgent matter for the human race.
  1. Mary is the Mediatrix of All Graces.

  2. It is God's will that we seek unique, powerful graces from the Virgin by means of a special devotion to her Immaculate Heart.

  3. These extraordinary graces will, in turn, help remove the obstacles (the five sins) which currently restrict the ordinary flow of graces from her Heart, producing a condition which permits evil to grow at an alarming rate, plunging many souls into Hell.

  4. This divine wish is a challenge to individual Catholics and to the Church as a whole [the Hierarchy] to exhibit a new and higher level of confidence in Mary's role, the sacred mission given to her by God which entails all her privileges and roles, under which can be listed all her many titles.

  5. Peace or punishment hinges upon fulfillment or disregard for this Divine Plan.

  6. Our Lady's role as Mediatrix of All Graces is well established in Church teachings. Not yet a solemnly defined dogma of our Catholic Faith, it has been a constant part of Church Tradition dating back to the early Christian era. In recent times, Popes have accorded her this title again and again in various documents.

The Fatima Message has introduced a new dimension to this truth. Special, extraordinary graces are now offered to all by Our Lord Himself through devotion to His Mother's Immaculate Heart, which will be the successful remedy for Satan's latest and most deadly attack against the Church. Although both Our Lord and Our Lady have referred to this devotion by using the singular rather than a plural form, we can, nevertheless, clearly distinguish its two aspects.

The Devil’s decisive battle

Let us appraise this challenge from Hell. We were warned about it at the moment of its inception by Our Lady of Fatima in July 1917 in her now famous prophecy:
Russia will spread her errors throughout the world promoting wars and persecution of the Church.” (4)
It was not by chance that this prediction was made the very year that Russia would apostatize officially, thus empowering Satan to initiate a new, all-out assault against the Mystical Body of Christ. Moreover, we have seen that prediction continue to unfold, even to the present, in the increasing number of States that have followed Russia’s example and are now also formally in apostasy, their governments denying publicly the supernatural origin and destiny of their lands and their Founder Christ. Even more frightening to contemplate is the possibility that many more nations may join this growing movement to solemnly disavow Christ until all Christendom will have rejected Him to Whom they owe their existence, their only reason for being.

From the substantial evidence verifying this threat, we cite two examples.

Sister Lucy in 1946

Sister Lucy in May 1946
in front of the Chapel of the Aparitions at Fatima
In a 1957 interview with the Vice-postulator of the Causes of Jacinta and Francisco, Fr. Augustin Fuentes, Sister Lucia made an urgent appeal to the faithful:

The good continue in their life of virtue, but without paying any attention to the message of Fatima. Sinners keep following the road of evil, because they fail to see the terrible chastisement that is about to befall them.

"Believe me, Father, God is going to punish the world, and very soon. The chastisement of heaven is imminent. . . . Our Lady has said repeatedly: Many nations will disappear from the face of the earth, and Russia will be the instrument of heaven’s chastisement for the entire world, unless you obtain the conversion of that poor nation.”

“Father, the devil is carrying on a decisive battle with the Virgin Mary. He sees that his time is getting short, and he is making every effort to gain as many souls as possible. He wants to get hold of consecrated souls. Our Lady did not tell me that we are living in the last epoch of the world, but she did give me to understand that, firstly, we are going through a decisive battle, at the end of which we will be either of God or of the evil one: there will be no middle way; secondly, that the last means God will give to the world for its salvation are the Holy Rosary and the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary; and third, when God in His providence is about to chastise the world, He first uses every means to save us, and when He sees we have not made use of them, then He gives us the last anchor of salvation, His Mother
.” (5)

This interview, revealed to the world at a press conference in 1958 by the Vice-postulator Fr. Fuentes, should be a trumpet call to the faithful, announcing to them that the great battle has indeed begun.

A second piece of evidence is also very much to the point. An even more recent testimony, the Apparitions of Our Lady of Akita in Japan, seem to constitute part of that effort God is making to save us through His Mother. Approved officially in 1984 by the Bishop of the Nigata Diocese after consultation with the Holy See and eight years of study, these apparitions are, as the Bishop himself indicated, basically a repetition of the Fatima Message. Given in Japan by Our Lady on October 13, 1973, a Fatima anniversary date, part of this Message confirms Lucia’s grave warnings:

If men do not repent and amend their lives, the Father is going to inflict a terrible chastisement on all mankind. It will be a chastisement more serious than the Deluge, such as no one has ever yet seen. A fire will fall from the heavens and will annihilate a great part of humanity. . . . The only arms which will remain to you then will be the Rosary and the Sign which the Son has left. Pray the Rosary every day for the Pope, the Bishops, and priests. The action of the devil will infiltrate even into the Church ...

"There will be many in the Church who will accept compromises. The Devil will press many priests and consecrated souls to leave the service of the Lord. He will rage especially against souls consecrated to God. The thought of the loss of human souls makes me sad. Already the cup overflows…” (6)

So simple and so stark a warning! The choice for us is clear. Either we offer to God enough “voluntary” reparation for sins and lost souls, or in due time, it will be forcibly required of us through “involuntary” reparation by way of tragic, cataclysmic and apocalypitical sufferings for the human race.

Surely, a continued disregard for this Immaculate Heart Devotion requested by Our Lord would permit the forces of evil to score a great victory over the Church (even if only for a brief duration). Our Lady predicted in July, 1917 that the good would be martyred. Further, the last book of Sacred Scriptures seems to affirm that prophecy: “And it [the Beast] was allowed to wage war with the saints and to overcome them.” (Apoc. 13: 7).

In his popular work The Book of Destiny, Fr. Bernard Leonard interprets this verse in full agreement with the Fatima prophecy. (7)

The latest full-scale aggression from Satan is of such dimensions that it requires exceptional graces from Heaven in response, a cascading stream of mercy from the Virgin's Pure Heart. But first a fitting confidence in her must be demonstrated by the Church both individually and collectively. We know that the amount of grace bestowed depends, to a large extent, upon the degree of belief. Consequently, new and very extraordinary graces demand a proportionate level of faith on the part of the recipients.

Immaculate Heart devotion

We must appreciate, at this stage of analysis, what exactly the Immaculate Heart Devotion is before considering the baneful effects of the five sins. During the July 1917 prophecy, Our Lady stated that she would return to make two requests, which together would constitute this Devotion. Her first request was this:
In order to prevent this [World War II], I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart and the Communion of reparation on the first Saturdays.” (8)

She fulfilled that promise by appearing twice, each time pleading that this part of the Devotion be fulfilled: the first one, in 1925, was directed primarily to individual Catholics; the second, in 1929, was intended for the Church hierarchy.

Our Lady's Immaculate Heart encircled by thorns

In 1925 Our Lady showed Sister Lucy
her Immaculate Heart encircled with thorns
On December 10, 1925, the most holy Virgin appeared to Sister Lucia [who referred to herself in the third person in her account]:

“ By her side and elevated on a luminous cloud was a Child. The most holy Virgin rested her hand on Lucia’s shoulder. As she did so, she showed her a heart encircled by thorns which she was holding in her hand. At the same time, the Child said: “Have compassion on the Heart of your Most Holy Mother, covered with thorns, which ungrateful men pierce at every moment, and there is no one to make an act of reparation to remove them.”

“Then the most holy Virgin said: ‘Look, my daughter, at my Heart, surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You at least try to console me and say that I promise to assist, at the hour of death, with the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months, shall confess, receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary, and keep me company for fifteen minutes while meditating on the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary, with the intention of making reparation to me.’” (9)

The importance of this First Saturday’s Devotion is even more apparent when we consider that Our Redeemer returned two months later to inquire about its implementation.

On February 15, 1926, the Infant Jesus appeared to Lucia again and asked her if she had begun to spread this devotion to His Most Holy Mother. Sister Lucia wrote:

“She told Him of difficulties with her confessor, saying that the Mother Superior was prepared to propagate it, but the confessor had said that she could do nothing by herself. Jesus replied: “It is true that your Superior alone can do nothing, but with My grace, she can do all.”

She placed before Jesus the difficulty that some people had about confessing on Saturday, and asked that it might be valid to go to confession within eight days of the First Saturday. Jesus answered: ‘Yes, and it could be longer still, provided that, when they receive Me, they are in the state of grace and have the intention of making reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

“She then asked: ‘My Jesus, what about those who forget to make this intention?”

Jesus replied: “They can do so at their next confession, taking advantage of the first opportunity to go to confession.’” (10)

Notice that Christ came as the Divine Child to insist that this Devotion be authorized and spread. He did not appear as an adult, as the Man of Sorrows, for example. Rather, He wished to impress upon us the reality of the Virgin’s Spiritual Motherhood and that we are truly her children, having within our grasp the power to redress the appalling blasphemies and ingratitude that offend her.

Later, during the 1930’s, the Savior continued to visit Lucia, demanding this Devotion and further revealing its sublime importance in the divine plan.

The second request, featuring the second aspect of the Immaculate Heart Devotion, was made on June 13, 1929, while Lucia was in a convent at Tuy, Spain. Making a private holy hour in the darkened chapel, she describes this vision she received just before midnight:

The only light was that of the sanctuary lamp. Suddenly the whole chapel was illumined by a supernatural light, and above the altar appeared a cross of light, reaching to the ceiling. In a brighter light on the upper part of the cross could be seen the face of a Man and his Body as far as the waist; upon his Breast was a dove filled with light; nailed to the cross was the body of another Man. A little below the waist, I could see a chalice and a large Host suspended in the air, on to which drops of blood were falling from the face of Jesus Crucified and from the wound in His side. These drops ran down on to the Host and fell into the chalice. Beneath the right arm of the cross was Our Lady and in her hand was her Immaculate Heart. (It was Our Lady of Fatima with her Immaculate Heart in her left hand, without a sword or cross, but with a crown of thorns and flames.) Under the left arm of the cross, large letters, as if of crystal clear water, ran down upon the altar and formed these words: Grace and Mercy.

“I understood that it was the Mystery of the Most Holy Trinity which was shown to me, and I received lights about this mystery which I am not permitted to reveal. Our Lady then said to me: ‘The moment has come in which God asks the Holy Father, in union with all the Bishops of the world, to make the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart, promising to save it by this means. There are so many souls whom the justice of God condemns for sins committed against me, that I have come to ask reparation: sacrifice yourself for this intention and pray
.’ (11)

This plea concerns the Church as a whole, and bids its leaders to demonstrate publicly an act of confidence in the Fatima Message far beyond what the Church would normally display toward private revelations, even if approved. It is certainly a challenge to the Church Hierarchy to trust in the Virgin’s promise by solemnly complying with this request, as given.

But that is a matter not immediately of concern to the thesis we are considering. For the time being, we must set aside this question and try to observe Our Lady’s wish that we sacrifice ourselves for this intention and pray. There is, however, one statement by Our Lady in this "Last Vision," as it is now called, made to Sister Lucia at Tuy, Spain on June 13, 1929, which is an integral part of our analysis: “There are so many souls whom the justice of God condemns for sins committed against me.” (12)

Why these five sins are so serious

Why are these sins so serious that those who commit them are condemned in such forceful terms? What makes them so evil as to merit the judgment of condemnation?

Once common pictures of Hell

Before the Council, pictures of Hell were normally displayed
The answer must lie in a connection between these sins and those many souls being lost to Hell. We know that the Immaculate Heart devotion is God's prescription for the saving of many souls. This devotion, then, must counteract the main cause of many persons being separated eternally from Christ. This devotion aims at repairing the five sins committed against the Virgin. Thus, these sins are truly responsible for many who fail to gain salvation and the Beatific Vision.

A distinction should be drawn here between those sinners who do not try to block the flow of grace available to all, and the sinners who purposely curb it through their sins of blasphemy and ingratitude. These latter, if permitted, would spread their poison throughout the Mystical Body of Christ. The Immaculate Heart Devotion is the needed antidote to ensure that the faithful’s immunity to the noxious effects of the five sins. This Devotion would provide new energies for the mortal combat with the Devil and his legions. The Devotion demonstrates anew the constant love and mercy with which the Holy Trinity would favor members of the Holy Church.

We are now prepared to see the mystery of iniquity at work in an analysis of the five sins and how they restrict the flow of grace by undermining belief in the sacred vocation of the Holy Virgin. To understand this evil, we will now compare and contrast the five sins and the four acts of the First Saturday's devotion. In both we can detect a movement, a progression, from a more general description of Our Lady’s role to a much more specific and developed explication.

The five sins are a complete, graduating negation of that role while the First Saturday's devotion is a thorough, particularizing affirmation. The five sins attack five prerogatives of Our Lady, each privilege being a further refinement of her sacred mission. Each sin is more destructive than the previous one, in that it further impedes the flow of grace from her Immaculate Heart and results in more souls lost.

Taking the five sins in the sequence given by Our Lord in 1930, we can trace a mounting unfolding of the sacred mission of Our Lady. Each sin reveals a more direct attack against the Blessed Mother and Mystical Body of Christ.

The first sin: Blasphemies against the Immaculate Conception

The first stage of Satan's total war against the Virgin is the blasphemies committed in the denial of her Immaculate Conception.

The immaculate conception, Zurbanan

The Immaculate Conception, by Zurbanan
Did God really create the Holy Virgin from the first moment of her life fully immaculate, endowed with the all-encompassing graces of that most pure conception? Does He maintain these graces in her throughout human history? If not, then all those truths which build on this one would collapse. Mary's sacred vocation is entirely dependent upon this truth. Allowing the first sin to weaken this belief in the hearts of the faithful and even to remove it completely is to ensure the loss of innumerable souls.

This prerogative of Mary, a solemnly proclaimed dogma of our Catholic Faith, is not just a pious or unnecessary tenet of faith, nor is it of second or third-class stature as a few present-day theologians would have it. Without this gift from God she could not have performed the role assigned to her as the "new Eve," meriting all those titles and prerogatives of her sacred mission. She would not have been chosen to be the Mother of Christ and of His Mystical Body.

The importance of this privilege will be further highlighted as we continue to assess the other sins. In passing on, we should mark the fact that in this stage Our Lady did nothing. She was totally passive, fully a recipient with no activity on her part. The next four phases, on the other hand, are the story of her acting upon the plenary graces of the Immaculate Conception, an ascending revelation of her sacred mission.

The second sin: Blasphemies against Our Lady's perpetual virginity

In the second stage the Devil attacks her perpetual virginity. The Virgin's perfect correspondence to those all-powerful graces is denied here. Her cooperation was total and complete, not one moment of let-up, not one flaw!

Although her virginity is the main feature of this mystery, her entire and matchless acknowledgment of these super-abundant graces is very much at issue. Think for a moment of that mystery: She received all-powerful graces from God and cooperated with each and every one in an unblemished, absolute way.

This incomprehensible mystery is due to the overshadowing of the Holy Ghost, effecting a perfect union with the Virgin as His Immaculate Spouse. It is He, the Third Person of the Holy Trinity, Who propitiates her unqualified correspondence. To deny this activity on the part of Our Lady is to repudiate the Holy Ghost as the guarantor of her ineffable collaboration with Him. Attacking her perpetual virginity or reducing it to a lesser position, as modern theologians do, is to destroy the divine plan whereby the Sanctifier accomplishes the salvation of souls in and through His most holy Spouse.

Moreover, not only did she cooperate totally with these graces, she also had the perfect intention of doing so. Her intentions were fully in accord with the desires of the Holy Ghost regarding the effects of these graces, namely, the Redemption of all men and the salvation of the elect. Her intelligence and will, unimpaired and unhampered by original sin, were in absolute union with her Divine Spouse.

What would the fruit of so sublime a union be? It is not entirely beyond our imagination. If ordinary people can cooperate with graces and produce wonderful results, and if the great Saints could respond in excellent ways to achieve outstanding works, then what unbelievable consequences would issue forth from Mary's faultless application of these indescribable graces!

The third sin: Blasphemies against Our Lady's Divine Maternity

The Fruit of that Union, that sacred work prompted by the Holy Ghost, constitutes the third stage of the attack against Our Lady: the Divine Maternity and her Spiritual Motherhood of all Men. This vicious assault, the third sin, would not only rob the Virgin of her Divine and Mystical Child, it would also, even more perniciously, deny her right to spiritual maternity over all mankind. It would nullify her just claim to enlist her offspring as agents of her Divine Spouse in fulfilling His plan of saving the elect.

St. Maximilian Kolbe, the Franciscan priest of Auschwitz, expounded clearly this unfathomable oneness between the Holy Ghost and the Virgin of Nazareth. He said:
"So, while their union is not of the same order as the hypostatic union linking the human and the divine natures in Christ, it remains true to say that Mary's action is the very action of the Holy Ghost. For Mary as the Spouse of the Holy Ghost is raised to such a height of perfection above all creatures that she accomplishes in everything the will of the Holy Ghost Who dwelt in her from the first instant of her conception." (13)
Thus, the Holy Ghost, the Sanctifier, through His holy Spouse, could conceive, give birth to, nurture, prepare, and offer up as a sacrifice [in the past, present, and future] both the Divine Child as Head and the elect as members of the Mystical Body of Christ to gain respectively redemption and salvation. The Sacrifice of Calvary, by being renewed and re-enacted daily on the altars of the world, merits the redemptive graces which the Holy Ghost can then apply in and through the agency of His Spouse. It is truly the work of the Sanctifier, accomplished in and through the Immaculate Heart of Mary. It is her sacred mission for which the Holy Ghost stands as Sponsor.

Pilgrims in Fatima

Pilgrims in Fatima making reparation for sins and asking for graces

A penitential pilgrim in Fatima
Deny this truth, cause it to diminish in the hearts of the faithful, and then see the enormous harvest of souls reaped by the enemy of Christ. For, if the degree of cooperation on the part of the Mystical Body is a most important factor, then to lessen this effort is to reduce the number of those eventually saved. Since persons cannot be saved unless they will it and work for it, it is absolutely essential that they have the graces of the Redemption applied to them by the Holy Ghost working in and through the maternal bosom of Mary, who distributes these graces as a proper exercise of her Sacred Commission.

The level of these salvific graces which the Mediatrix of All Graces can bestow depends mainly upon the degree that the faithful will, each day, become her clients, permitting her to work in and through them in the achievement of her mission. Our Lady at Fatima specifically requested this relationship with her in the August apparition: “Pray, pray very much, and make sacrifices for sinners, so many souls go to Hell because there is no one to pray and to make sacrifices for them. “ (14)

The situation since 1917 has not improved. So it is most surely an even more urgent plea. With this dolorous supplication echoing in our hearts, we should be fully aware of the pressing need for her children to become ever more consciously her eager clients in carrying out daily the wish of her Divine Spouse: sanctification.

At all costs, Satan wants to abolish the belief that the faithful each day, through the re-enactment of Calvary at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, can offer themselves as victims also, thus imitating in some way that Redemptive Sacrifice. Since the graces bestowed each day depend to a high degree upon the disposition of the recipients, then this belief is vital to the eternal destiny of mankind.

Any effort to negate or obscure this part of Mary's mission would aid and abet the diabolical assault against the Mystical Body of Christ, reducing significantly the eventual number of the elect. The third sin would achieve this goal if left unopposed. The cure for this ailment is to have the children of Mary become ever more united with her by intellect and will, so that they might be her agents of the first order.

A Los Angeles dancing girl mass

A Mass is offered on a plain table behind dancing girls at a youth event in Los Angeles
Until the Protestant Revolt, Satan had little success in subverting this belief. Now the poison of Luther's doctrine is so widespread that many Catholics, priests included, no longer view the Mass as the Sacrifice of Calvary that takes place daily. Rather, they regard it as a commemoration of the Last Supper. Consequently, the ever-more-frequently-heard expression of "banquet" becomes the essence of the Mass for them.

What ever happened to the total union of the Divine Head with the members of the Mystical Body throughout time until He comes to judge the world? And, how would this loss of faith affect the plans of the Holy Ghost to sanctify the would-be elect? How will He have His holy Spouse continue to distribute and munificently apply salvific graces through her children who no longer believe that they benefit from the sacrifice the Divine Victim offered up daily, thereby meriting graces for themselves and others?

The fourth sin: Blasphemies to foster indifference or contempt in children

The fourth sin constitutes blasphemies of those who openly seek to foster in the hearts of children indifference or contempt, and even hatred for our Immaculate Mother.

With all the power at his command, the Archfiend wants to deny the Virgin the opportunity to use her children as agents of grace. To achieve this end, he would first render her maternal womb infertile, barren, robbing her of those future conduits of grace, performing, in effect, a spiritual abortion. What he would like to do is completely deprive the Holy Spirit of any future means of sanctifying the Chosen by corrupting the children and turning them away from her, and even against her. This is the terrible iniquity which is the fourth sin and the fourth stage in this conflict between Mary and Lucifer announced in Genesis, “I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed;” (Gen. 3:15).

Removing little ones from her side before they can be nurtured into fully-developed enlistees in her cause, the Devil would strip her of her Motherhood and deprive the Holy Ghost of this conduit of grace. By negation, this crime confirms the truth of our Faith whereby we believe that the Sanctifier does indeed save souls through the spiritual maternity of His Immaculate Spouse. St. Maximilian Kolbe affirmed this belief in his typically concise manner: “Till the end of the world it will be the task of the Holy Ghost to form the new members predestined to glory in the Mystical Body of Christ”. As St. de Montfort shows, “this task is carried to completion with Mary, in Mary and through Mary.”

How many souls will be cast into Hell in the future because of this sin?

The fifth sin: The offenses of those who directly affront her in her holy images

If the fourth stage of attack is aimed toward the future, the fifth sin would deprive her of that Office today. She continues to have those loyal, devoted children who daily strive to be her conscious and willing agents, placing themselves entirely at her bidding. These, then, are the real targets, the ones he must destroy, using every weapon in his arsenal and any strategy that might succeed. They are the “seed” (of the woman) whose enmity Satan cannot tolerate or withstand, under whose “heel” the Cursed One is to be forever humbled and trod upon: “And thou shalt lie in wait for her heel.” (Gen. 3:15)

To eliminate these special devotees, remove them as her agents, dispossess the Holy Ghost of this means of sanctifying souls, would be to ensure a monumental victory for Lucifer. It will certainly happen if the fifth sin is permitted to continue unchecked.

The Devil would pry these souls away from the Virgin by a personal assault rather than an attack on her Office. Knowing that these devoted children of Mary firmly believe in her, he must shift his efforts from the Virgin to her children. He well understands that he must inject into their hearts doubt that she should fill so exalted an Office. It is a clever strategem. Instead of trying to force a direct denial of her divine commission, he tries to make them at least uncertain about it, putting doubts about her worthiness to hold so exalted a place. In effect, the result of this indirect attack is the same as for the direct attack: to disqualify the only person who could possibly satisfy that position is in effect to eliminate that position. These stalwart devotees of Mary remain as the last obstacles barring him from a complete victory.

Openly destroying and desecrating holy images of Mary is Satan’s old trick, a certain sign of his weakness to the eyes of her faithful offspring. When all else fails, he resorts to tactics of shock, fear, and intimidation, indirect attacks, which prove his inability to make a successful frontal assault against the faithful. Cunning in his evil ways, he knows that he cannot frontally assault them because they are specially protected by the Immaculate Heart and are outside his power to be won over to his camp.

Unable to dissuade them from their loyal service to their Mother, he tries to at least reduce their activity in her behalf; then, much later, he can further induce them to abandon the battle altogether. He would intimidate them, jolt them into a state of near-paralysis, and sow the seeds of doubt in their hearts. In the lives of the great saints, one finds repeated instances of how he tries to use this strategy to curb their zeal. How often he has used blasphemies, loud cursing, hideous visions, false apparitions, physical violence, and other similar deceitful methods to weaken these “strong ones”, Mary’s true channels of grace! The fifth sin is meant to disconcert and dislodge these stubborn and valiant workers of hers.

A statue of Our Lady

The fifth sin against Our Lady is affronts to her sacred images
The archetype of all rebels will surely continue in his efforts to stop wholly or to scale down considerably their offerings of prayers, sufferings, penances, and sacrifices of all kinds. Most especially the Devil wants to vanquish those persons who go even further: those who make a formal and solemn consecration of their whole beings to her Immaculate Heart. How profoundly these generous souls torment him! How he rages against them! They are, in truth, “extensions” of the holy Virgin by means of their full union with her and her Divine Spouse. Once again, we turn to the wisdom of St. Kolbe, who says that “the ideal of our perfection is our consecration to the Immaculata, always by day and night, so that it may not be we who suffer and act, but she through us. (15)

He points out that through her, we are united to Christ: “The Immaculata has left this earth; but her life has only grown deeper and richer; it grows and flourishes more and more in the lives of Christians . . . . She strives to shape them after the model, Jesus, her first-born, the archetype of all sanctity, the man-God. (16)

These are the words of the apostle of true devotion to Mary, St. Louis de Montfort: “When the Holy Ghost, her Spouse, has found Mary in a soul, He flies there. He enters there in His fullness; He communicates Himself to that soul abundantly, and to the full extent to which it makes room for His Spouse.” (17)

Lucifer intends this sin to be the coup de grace, the final blow. We see how these words of Our Lady (July 1917) take on new meaning: “You have just seen hell where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace.” (18)

Emphasizing the role of Our Lady takes not one iota from Christ of what is His due. The honor we give her is only possible because of His Passion and Death. Rather, the intention of this article is to increase His honor and glory by focusing on the part of the Holy Ghost working in and through His Immaculate Spouse in applying the very graces which Christ won for us. Further, the Redeemer Himself came to promulgate and insist upon this special attention to His Mother. Doing this, we carry out His wishes and please Him.

The analysis of the five sins concluded, the reader may well experience a feeling of helplessness, a sense that it is impossible to correct the evil. It is not difficult to resolve this problem. We need only remember we have the practice of the First Saturday’s Devotion [for more on these remedies, click here], a heaven-sent prescription, a sure remedy for this insidious assault of Satan.
1.Lucia Speaks, Memoirs and Letters of Sister Lucia (Wash., NJ: AMI Press, 1976), p. 238.
2. Ibid., 198.
3. Ibid., 200.
4. Lucia Speaks, p. 200.
5. Joaquin Maria Alonso, C.M.F., The Secret of Fatima, Fact and Legend (Cambridge: The Ravengate Press, 1979), pp. 109-10.
6. Alonso, The Secret of Fatima, Fact and Legend, pp. 109-10.
7. John M. Haffert, “A Terrible Warning”. Soul Magazine, Jan.-Feb. 1987, p. 6.
8. Lucia Speaks, p. 200.
9. Ibid., p. 230.
10. Ibid., p. 231.
11. Ibid., 231.
12. Ibid.
13. Fr. H. M. Manteau-Bonamy, O. P., Immaculate Conception and the Holy Spirit (Kenosha, WI: Franciscan Marytown Press, 1977), p. 91.
14. Lucia Speaks, p. 202.
15. Bernard F. Leonard, The Book of Destiny (Bellville, IL: Buechler Publishing Co., 1955), Book II, p. 76.
16. Lucia Speaks ,p. 200.
17. Joaquin Maria Alonso, C.M.F., The Secret of Fatima, Fact and Legend, (Cambridge: The Ravengate Press, 1979), pp. 109-10.
18. John M. Haffert, “A Terrible Warning”. Soul Magazine, Jan.-Feb. 1987, p 6.

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Posted on March 13, 2006

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