Rorate Caeli

Bishop Athanasius Schneider: "The devotion to Our Lady of Fatima in times of tribulation"

The devotion to Our Lady of Fatima in times of tribulation

The Right Rev. Athanasius Schneider
Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Mary Most Holy in Astana

Humanity and especially the Catholic faithful are currently experiencing a time of tribulation. For Christians, is an atmosphere of catacombs and persecution of the faith. However, the facts show that, under the pretext of the Covid-19 epidemic, the inalienable rights of citizens were violated, disproportionately and unjustifiably limiting their fundamental freedoms, and in first place the exercise of freedom of worship.

On the next 12th and 13th of May, the enclosure of Cova da Iria, in the Sanctuary of Fatima, will be, since the first apparition of Our Lady, for the first time almost empty. This fact already reveals an extraordinary dimension and can be seen in a certain sense as a harbinger of times of persecution and martyrdom, of which Our Lady spoke in the third part of the secret of Fatima. There it is said that “several Bishops, Priests and religious men and women have climbed a rugged mountain, on top of which was a great Cross. Bishops, priests and religious men and women and several secular people, gentlemen and ladies of various social classes and positions, died one after another”.

These days, true Catholics experience not so much physical, but psychological and spiritual martyrdom, because of the deprivation of the right and the possibility of publicly celebrating acts of worship and devotion. It is particularly painful for portuguese catholics that they are prohibited from making the pilgrimage to the Shrine of Fatima on May 12 and 13.

However, all devotees of Our Lady of Fatima can and should organize themselves to make a spiritual pilgrimage to the Shrine of Fátima. Such a spiritual pilgrimage can be made according to the conditions and possibilities of each one. The pilgrimage can be made individually, or at a family gathering, or in a group of the faithful gathered together in a house, as it was in the days of the catacombs or communist persecution, e.g. in the Soviet Union or in China today or in other countries. A holy hour of prayer can be held in honor of Our Lady of Fatima in front of her image, praying the Rosary, this year especially for the end of the world health dictatorship, the full freedom of worship, the preservation of the apocalyptic ills of slavery from forced vaccination and mandatory “chipization”. A special intention can also be the perfect consecration of Russia as requested by Our Lady, because only from such a perfect consecration will the true conversion of Russia come and humanity will be given a time of peace. Another important intention would be to relieve the horrendous sacrileges against the Most Holy Eucharist, perpetrated in the last decades within the Church, through unworthy Communions and the trivialization of the Communion rite. The most important intention, however, is for the triumph of Our Lady's Immaculate Heart.

The more sin and tribulations increase, the more abundantly God, through the hands of Mary, will grant special graces and effective help. May all devotees of Our Lady of Fatima be unite spiritually on the 13th of May (or the day before) and with tears and filial trust present to God, through the intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the pleas, and especially the prayer of the holy Rosary with the mentioned intentions. "And will not God revenge his elect, who cry to Him day and night?" (Luke 18, 7).

Our Lady promised that in Portugal the faith would always be preserved, i.e. the true Catholic faith. The preservation of the faith is not a question of numbers and percentages. Also in these days of tribulation and desolation, of abandonment of the integrity and purity of the faith and the liturgy, Our Lady has in Portugal and in other countries Her faithful, Her little ones. These faithful, these little ones of Our Lady are those members of the Catholic clergy and people, of all ages and social positions, who have kept in their souls the pure faith of the holy Shepherds of Fatima, the ardent and reverent love for the Most Holy Eucharist, the filial surrender and devotion to Our Lady and Her Immaculate Heart.

By the mysterious Divine permission, the devotees and pilgrims of Our Lady of Fatima cannot go on May 13, this year, to the Sanctuary of Cova da Iria. However, they can meet each other this day spiritually, wherever they are, and form an army of the "little" devotees of Our Lady of Fatima.

I beg God that in Portugal and in other countries there are such small “armies” of Our Lady of Fatima, that on the blessed day of the first apparition these “armies” become more numerous and a large army is formed around the world. With this army of Her little ones Our Lady will overcome the present attacks against the faith and freedom of worship.

May all catholics who suffer because of current religious repression and spiritual desolation renew their supernatural confidence in the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. May they ask Our Lady of Fatima to send the Angels with the crystal watering cans, in which they collected the blood of the Martyrs, to water the souls of all who approach God, who are thirsty for God and the Holy Eucharist.

The human powers of this world, both civil and ecclesiastical, prevent the devotees of Our Lady of Fatima from gathering in Cova da Iria this May 13th. However, they do not have the power to prohibit them from meeting spiritually at a holy hour at the local, national or world level in honor of Our Lady of Fatima. Our Lady will reward with special graces such acts of love, veneration and filial trust towards Her.

Let us pray often at this time with the saints Francisco and Jacinta this prayer taught by the Angel: "O Jesus, it is for your love, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary."

May these words, which Our Lady said to the Little Shepherds, comfort and give spiritual encouragement and joy to all the devotees of Our Lady of Fatima, especially those who suffer and those who are slaughtered during these tribulation days: “My Immaculate Heart will be yours refuge and the path that will lead you to God.”

Original version: A devoção a Nossa Senhora de Fátima em tempo de tribulação
Translation by Simão Agostinho