International Pilgrim Virgin Statue

I am quite excited this morning!

150758970318271.pngThe International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima is at Holy Family Cathedral in downtown Tulsa. She arrived yesterday (Friday, October 20, 2017). Two presentations have been scheduled for the faithful:  8:00 PM to Midnight on Friday evening and 8:00 AM to 11:00 AM on Saturday, October 21, 2017. I opted for the latter.

It is my understanding the session/presentation will include the following:

  • Procession of the statue into the Cathedral
  • Holy Mass
  • Talk about the Fatima message
  • Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament
  • Rosary
  • Consecration

What a great two-hour lineup!

Later this afternoon/early evening, I will travel to St. Patrick’s Parish in Sand Springs for confession and Mass. What a great day today will be spent adoring and loving my risen Savior through His holy Mother.

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Great Victory For Our Lady!

I was thrilled to read the following email from Stephen D. Minis, President of Benedictine College, Kansas …

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Happy October — month of the Most Holy Rosary!

Did you hear the great news about religious freedom? Last week the Little Sisters of the Poor received another boost in their fight to live their Catholic consciences.

A memorandum from the U.S. Attorney General’s Office further supports the victory they won last year in the U.S. Supreme Court where they were represented by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty.

This is truly an answer to prayer. Five years ago, we started the Memorare Army for Religious Freedom and gathered more than 3 million memorares for religious freedom. In this Fatima Centennial year, we have added prayers for religious freedom to our daily rosaries at the Grotto.

The federal religious freedom memorandum is dated Oct. 6. That is the vigil of the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, marking the victory of the Battle of Lepanto. It is also seven days before the 100th anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima.

Last week, shortly before the new religious freedom victory, Becket Fund chairman Bill Mumma was on campus. In his inspiring message, he told our students to keep praying and fighting for religious liberty.

To learn more about this new victory and to join the Memorare Army for Religious Freedom, click here. Join us to keep up the fight.

Forward, Always Forward,

Stephen D. Minnis
President
Benedictine College


Reference:

Minnis, S. (2017). Memorare Army Thankful for New Victory. [email].

First Saturday Devotion

e414d5ffba2264088927814ed0e076baI read a startling statistic the other day. ”Most Catholics under the age of fifty today have never heard of Fatima.” [1] Based on the number of participants at yesterday’s Five First Saturday devotion, I would have to concur with that statistic.

Don’t get me wrong, I was happy to see twelve (12) souls, plus Father, present in the pews at my local parish honoring our Lady’s request to observe the First Saturday devotion. It’s a start; something we can build from. But twelve! One would think with as many Catholics as there are locally and in the world and in a world gone mad with secularism, attacks against the family, the devaluation of life in a culture that only considers ”What is in it for me?” etc., — the pews would have been filled to over-flowing with devout Catholics answering our Lady’s call to:

  • Pray the Rosary
  • Meditate an additional 15 minutes [apart from the Rosary] on one or more of the mysteries of the Rosary
  • Go to confession
  • Receive Holy Communion

All with the intention of making reparation for the blasphemies made against our heavenly Mother over five successive months.

Why five First Saturdays? Why not first Monday’s or Friday’s?

Our Lady told the children at Fatima during the July 13, 1917, apparition that … ”God wanted to establish in the world devotion to her Immaculate Heart, in order to save souls and bring about peace.” She then told the children that she would return at a future time to ask for the ”Communion of Reparation on the First Saturday’s.” 

32427c21313a8caf6c2d9a365619e50dTrue to her word, Our Lady returned eight (8) years later, appearing to Lucia (the sole survivor of the three visionaries), who was then living in a convent [Dec. 10, 1925]. She appeared holding her Immaculate Heart in her hand, with the child Jesus standing beside her in a cloud of light [2]

It was during this apparition when our Lady explained how we could make reparation in order to remove the thorns from her heart, hence, the Five First Saturday devotion.

Our Lady also said [although this should not be viewed as a promise or ”get out of jail” free card on our part], that she would assist those who have fulfilled the devotion, at the hour of death, with the graces necessary for salvation. [2]

Lucia wondered why the five Saturday’s were chosen. During her holy hour from 11 pm to Midnight on May 29-30, 1930, Lucia asked Jesus to explain the reason for the Five First Saturdays. Our Lord answered Lucia with the following:

”My daughter, the reason is simple. Against the Immaculate Heart of Mary, five kinds of offenses and blasphemies are committed.”

  1. Blasphemies against the Immaculate Conception,
  2. Blasphemies against her Perpetual Virginity,
  3. Blasphemies against her Divine Maternity, refusing, at the same time to accept her as the Mother of mankind,
  4. Blasphemies of those who try publicly to implant in the hearts of children, indifference, contempt, and even hatred against this Immaculate Mother,
  5. The offenses of those who insult her directly in her sacred images. [2]

Since returning to the Catholic Church and reconsecrating myself to the Blessed Virgin, I began my First Five Saturday devotion in June of this year. Yesterday’s First Saturday would have been the fifth month of my devotion. I say “would have been” because I misunderstood the requirements of the devotion. What I mean to say is that I failed to spend fifteen minutes with Our Lady meditating on the mysteries separate from the Rosary between June and September.

No problem. Prayer is never wasted or goes unanswered.

When I learned the Legion of Mary at my local parish [St. Patrick’s] was sponsoring the Five First Saturday devotion at the parish beginning Saturday, October 7th, I just knew in my heart that Heaven had provided an opportunity to make a course correction and complete the Five First Saturday Devotion correctly. Isn’t God awesome? I think so, too!

Although there were only twelve of the church’s faithful present at yesterday’s First Saturday devotion, I will spend my time in prayer and fasting between now and the next First Saturday [November 4, 2017] asking Our Lady to double the faithful from 12 to 24 (or more) with the prayer of seeing the church filled to capacity by the final month (February 3, 2017).

To quote the young African-American boy in Disney’s, ”Angels In The Outfield,” (1994), ”Hey, it can happen!”

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References:

[1] The First Saturday Devotion. (2017). Obstacles to the practice of the devotion: Too much, too soon, p5. Retrieved October 08, 2017, from https://sites.google.com/site/pray4americannet/the-first-saturday-devotion

[2] Holy Heroes. (2014) The First Saturday’s Devotion. Retrieved October 08, 2017 from http://www.holyheroes.net/hhfun/First-Five-Saturdays.pdf

International Week of Prayer and Fasting (IWOPF)

JMJ/LJF, Pray for us!

sowl8”Continue to say the Rosary every day in honor of Our Lady of the Rosary, to obtain the peace of the world and the end of the war, because only she can obtain it.”

Our Lady of Fatima

During the July apparition, Our Lady showed the children a vision of hell. After which she said to the children, ”You have seen hell, where the souls of poor sinners go. It is to save them that God wants to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If you do what I tell you, many souls will be saved, and there will be peace.”

I cannot even begin to imagine how horrifying such a vision would be. Standing before the Mother of God, if not for His grace to sustain me would be enough for me. In fact, a visit from the angel would have sufficed, although I am not worthy of any such blessing, however, to bear witness to the very place that so many in today’s culture believe to be non-existent — horrifying!

This conversation was part of an article I read in the National Catholic Register, (09/28/17), titled, The Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary is Front and Center Oct. 1, by Joseph Pronechen.

Pronechen wrote about the upcoming 25th International Week of Prayer and Fasting, scheduled to begin October 1st and conclude, October 9th. The theme of this year’s event is appropriately titled, The Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

8575ce08b05bff94e5f07ef8091aefcbAppropriate because the event concludes four (4) days before the final apparition at Fatima — the apparition in which the Sun danced. This concluded an event that was so remarkable, it would change the lives of many, myself included. My only regret is that I did not spend the last 20+ years in service and prayer of others, promoting Fatima, attending Mass, receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation and most especially the Holy Eucharist. Instead, I was living a life of sin, believing the lie that the new normal was actually just another lie; another way the devil used to lead me away from, rather than to God!

I now stand before the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in union with the Lady of the Rosary, humiliated, humbled, sorrowful, ashamed, remorseful and grateful — not only because of my sin(s) — I stand humbled and grateful, for if not for the grace of God and one of many praying for me, my heart would not have been converted.

If conversion could happen to me, it could happen to others.

According to the IWOPF flyer (2017), The International Prayer and Fasting Campaign is a grassroots movement of Catholics and other Christians from around the world participating in a global network of prayer and fasting. The goal is to mobilize churches, communities, schools, prayer groups, and clergy to pray and fast:

  • for the conversion of all people and nations,
  • to build a culture of life,
  • to defend the sanctity of marriage and family life,
  • for peace and to implore God’s mercy.

The international prayer movement is asking for people to sign up and participate (IWOPF) as individuals, families, and parishes by organizing and offering the following:

  • Daily Masses
  • Holy Hours
  • Divine Mercy Chaplet
  • Holy Rosary
  • Fasting

For more information or to register, please call 888.478.PRAY or 703.707.0799 or go online for information and registration.

Someone praying for me converted my heart. Together we can do the same for others.

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The September Apparition

christ-cross-clipart-6Today marks the fifth month, one hundred years ago when the mother of God appeared to the three simple shepherd children at Fatima, Portugal in 1917. Those children are Lucia dos Santos and her two cousins, Francisco and Jacinto Marto. This “White Lady of Peace” would later become known as Our Lady of Fatima.

These six apparitions were preceded by that of The Angel of Peace or the angel of Portugal who appeared to the children in the Spring, Summer, and Fall of 1916 in what could only be described as preparation for the visit that was to come.

Imagine the enormous cross placed upon and so willingly received by these three children who agreed to accept all the sufferings that God wills to send them as an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended and in supplication for the conversion of sinners.

Today is a good day for Catholics the world over whom have lapsed in their Marian devotion to answer the call of Our Lady of Fatima by enrolling in the World Apostolate of Fatima, pledging to honor Our Lady’s call to turn away from sin and stop offending God in addition to making sacrifices and offering prayer for those souls who have no one to pray or make sacrifices for them.

I was blessed and privileged in April 2017 to renew my commitment to the White Lady of Peace following a 20+ year absence. Imagine the good I could have done; the souls I might have played a role in saving with prayers and sacrifices had I not given into temptation and the sins of the flesh during those years that I acted selfishly, instead of attending Mass, praying the Rosary and completing the First Five Saturday devotion.

And yet, despite my sinfulness, the grace of God reached out to me, this most undeserving and wretched soul and pulled me back into His grace. This is the second time in my lifetime that the grace of God has saved me from a path that was certain to lead me to hell. I do not make that statement lightly. More importantly, the grace of God waited until just before the centennial apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima to bring me to my senses. To quote the mother of my children, ”God’s timing is always perfect.”

God knew this time would have the most impact upon me … and He was right.

It is my prayer that I will spend the remainder of my life bringing souls to Christ through His most Holy Mother through prayer, such as the daily recitation of the Rosary. I also pledge to make everything that is part of my daily life a sacrifice as an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended and in supplication for the conversion of sinners.

Make no mistake, I am deeply grateful and humbled by this ”second chance” and I intend through the grace of God to fulfill the responsibility I originally pledged to do during the early 80’s. How about you?

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The Message of Fatima

 

JMJ/LJF, Pray for us!

9a863e7a04e503ff7cf7bea8d509b824The more I research, read, and study the message of Fatima, the stronger my faith becomes. First, in the existence of God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). Second, in the power of God (with God, the impossible is possible). Third, the mercy and love of God (that He would send His only son to give His life that we might have eternal life, and the mother of God to help guide us in proper adoration and love of God through her appearances at Guadalupe, La Salette, Knock, Lourdes, and Fatima. And finally, fourth, that the Roman Catholic Church is the true church established by Christ which he founded upon Peter; the rock upon which He said he would build His church.

I realize my brothers and sisters of other faith traditions would beg to differ or disagree. That is okay, I am not here to debate semantics or ideology. I am merely stating what I believe to be true for myself as a Roman Catholic based on sacred scripture, tradition and on several apparitions of the great mother of God leading up to Fatima — all of which are focused on Jesus Christ, sin, and reparation.

According to Soul Magazine (Summer, 2017, p.31, WAF), “Our Lady had said a miracle would occur on Oct. 13. This is the only time a known miracle has been witnessed, that was predicted for a specific time and place and actually occurred exactly as predicted.”

The Miracle of the Sun took place on October 13, 1917, with over 70,000 plus witnesses, not all believers, present as it occurred. How can an occurrence that was predicted and with that many witnesses present not be a true event? Some claim it was the result of mass hysteria or atmospheric conditions, etc.

Even if that were true (just for the sake of argument), how did three young shepherd children know that an event would occur on a specific day in a specific month only for that even to take place? Also, how does one explain the events that took place in the former Soviet Union following the consecration of Russia (by name) in union with most of the bishops around the world by then Pope John Paul II? Coincidence? I don’t think so!

I can no more explain the Miracle of the Sun than I can explain the vastness of the universe or why we have found no traces of life other than our own in our universe or the surrounding cosmos.

I choose to believe in the message of Fatima on faith.

I do not require proof regarding the existence of God to believe that God exists. One of two things will happen when I die … I will die and that will be the end of me — no Heaven, Hell or in-between, or, I will die physically, but live on spiritually where I pray I will join those who have gone before me praising, loving, and adoring the magnificence of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in union with the White Lady of Peace, the angels, and saints.