Monday, July 1, 2013

The Precious Blood of Jesus and the Great Secret of Fatima

 Below is an excerpt from my book, "Fatima: The Signs and Secrets" (available through Amazon in both paperback and Kindle readers). Numbers in brackets indicate the soft-cover paperback's footnote numbers.

“God’s goodness is at once the most public of all His attributes and, at the same time, the most secret.”Fr. Frederick Faber

“Devotion to the Precious Blood is as old as the world, and the devotion to this redemptive and Eucharistic Blood of Jesus is as old as the Church.” [741] At Fatima in 1917, Our Lady chose the month of July to give the Great Secret, in its three distinct parts, in the same month in which the Church commemorates the Precious Blood of Jesus.  Is there a connection between the each of the three parts of the Great Secret of Fatima and July, the month of the Precious Blood?

The First Secret, which provides the means to save poor sinners of this era from hell, offers a spiritual remedy – i.e., worldwide devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The Second Secret tells the Pope and the rest of the Church how to administer the remedy. It includes two specific requests, conditional prophecies, and gives an infallible promise of robust spiritual health and vitality for the Church and the world when the remedy is given. The Third Secret, insofar as only the Vision is known but not Our Lady’s words explaining it, describes what seems to be a particular historic era that will culminate in the Church’s Way of the Cross. Where in all this is the Precious Blood of Jesus?

First, let us look to the initial supernatural manifestations at Fatima, which began with the appearance of an angel. Three times through the spring and late summer of 1916, the angel appeared to three shepherd children, Lucia dos Santos (now Servant of God) and her two younger cousins, Blessed Francisco Marto and Blessed Jacinta Marto.  On his first visit, he identified himself as the Angel of Peace, commanded the children to pray with him, and taught them a brief prayer, to be prayed thrice (once each time to each Person of the Holy Trinity): "O my God, I believe, I adore, I trust, and I love Thee. I beg pardon of those who do not believe, do not adore, do not trust, and do not love Thee."

On his second visit, the angel appeared suddenly, during the children’s afternoon rest on an unbearably hot summer day, admonishing them, “What are you doing? Pray! Pray very much! The Hearts of Jesus and Mary have designs of mercy on you. Offer prayers and sacrifices constantly to the Most High!” [742] Telling them that they could make everything they do as a sacrifice offered to God as an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended, and in supplication for the conversion of sinners, the angel also revealed himself as the Angel Guardian of Portugal. He did not give his name but we can say with moral certainty that he was the great St. Michael the archangel, the Prince of the heavenly host who for 1,000 years has been invoked as Portugal’s guardian. The wondrous St. Michael concluded his visit by saying “Above all, accept and bear with submission the suffering which the Lord will send you.”[743]

Years later as a Discalced Carmelite, Sr. Lucia later wrote in her memoirs that on his third and last visit (which took place about a year before the Great Miracle of Sun), the angel appeared “holding a chalice in his hands, with a host above it, from which some drops of blood were falling into the sacred vessel. Leaving the chalice and the host suspended in the air, the Angel prostrated on the ground and repeated this prayer three times:

‘O Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I adore Thee profoundly. I offer Thee the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifference by which He Himself is offended. And by the infinite merits of His Most Sacred Heart and those of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of Thee the conversion of poor sinners.’

“Then, rising, he once more took the chalice and the host in his hands. He gave the host to me, and to Jacinta and Francisco he gave the contents of the chalice to drink, saying as he did so:  “Take and eat the Body and drink the Blood of Jesus Christ, horribly outraged by ungrateful men. Make reparation for their crimes and console your God.” [744]

Our Lady and the Precious Blood

From the beginning of the Fatima apparitions, focus began with the Holy Trinity, the True Presence of Jesus under the mere appearance of bread and wine, and reparatory prayer and sacrifice. The children were being prepared for increasing sacrifices, first with those made of their own accord and later with those which God sent them. This latter part is what so many shy away from, forgetting that “there is an apostolate of suffering, as well as an apostolate of prayer and labor,” [745] as St. Paul reminds Christians: For whom He foreknew, he also predestinated to be made conformable to the image of His Son. [746]

The Holy Trinity prayer (offered three times in succession) is one that we, too, are meant to pray. It is the perfect prayer to offer when in the Presence of the Blessed Sacrament, before or after receiving absolution, when the Host is elevated as Mass, or when at Benediction, before or after our Rosary prayers, and most certainly in thanksgiving after receiving Holy Communion.

---Continued in "Fatima: The Signs and Secrets" (available through Amazon in both paperback and Kindle).

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