Sacred Heart

Catholic Church

Imlay City, Michigan  Tel: (810) 724-1135

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Fr. Paul Ward


Sat. & Sun., June 10 & 11, 2017; Holy Trinity, A



Fatima: The Second Apparition


   Today the Church celebrates the feast of the Holy Trinity. The Trinity is the object of our religion and worship, that which is seen in the beatific vision, and the one true God. That we Christians alone worship this one true God is contested by other religions; for example, the Muslims say that they also worship the one true God. However, if you ask them who this God is, whether it is the Trinity – they say no – or whether it is Jesus – they again say no – it is clear that, while both religions worship one God, the personal identity of this one God is not the same. It is by the Lord’s mercy that we truly know him in faith.

   Next week we will celebrate Corpus Christi, the feast of the Body and Blood of the Lord in the Eucharist. For which, at the end of the Mass, we will have our traditional procession to the four altars, representing the four points of the compass, so please be encouraged to participate. The first communion children are invited to attend with their special first communion clothing and occupy a special place in the procession; parents, please make an effort to get them here early. Also, on Friday evening, starting at 6pm, the Trailblazers will have their preparatory retreat for the pilgrimage to the Upper Peninsula, to walk and canoe the missionary paths of Venerable Baraga. The youth will be dismissed at the end of the Corpus Christi procession.

   I would like to meditate on Fatima on one Sunday of each month this year, at least, as it is the 100th anniversary of the apparitions of Mary in that place. In May we considered Mary’s first appearance which was in May of 1917; so today, let us, now in June, consider her second appearance, on June 13, 1917.

   After the three apparitions of the Angel and then the first one of Mary, people were starting to hear what was going on. This brought on, first of all, the wrath of Lucia’s mother. She was convinced that her daughter was lying, and insisted that she deny it all; but Lucia could not deny it without lying. Her mother, furthermore, had quite a temper. Lucia, still just a young girl, sometimes wept with sorrow for the disapproval and wrath of her mother; but Jacinta, half Lucia’s age, would encourage her, saying, “Don’t cry. Surely, these are the sacrifics which the Angel said that God was going to send us. That’s why you are suffering, so that you can make reparation to him and convert sinners.”

   But also, people started coming in from the countryside and from neighboring villages. On June 13, at dawn, Lucia’s brother woke her and said he would take the sheep out, because she had to attend to her guests. People had gathered, and wanted to go with her to the Cova de Iria, and ask her many questions. All of this only incurred more anger on the part of her mother.

   So by mid-day the three children went to the same holm oak, a gnarly type of oak common around the Mediterranean countries, the short one where Mary appeared to them for the first time. And with the same flashes of light, our beautiful Lady appeared to them as promised,
[2] just as they finished praying the rosary.

            Lucia spoke, “What do you want of me?”

            Mary replied, “I wish you to come here on the 13th of next month, to pray the Rosary every day, and to learn to read. Later, I will tell you what I want.

            Lucia asked for the cure of a sick person.

            Mary answered, “If he is converted, he will be cured during the year.”

            “I would like to ask you to take us to heaven,” Lucia said. If only we could follow her example, not begging heaven for so many passing things, but desiring profoundly to leave it all behind to enter eternal bliss with the holy Trinity! But we desire often God’s gifts, but not God, seeking the gift but caring nothing for the giver.

   The Mother of God replied, “Yes. I will take Jacinta and Francisco soon. 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.  I promise salvation to those who embrace it, and those souls will be loved by God like flowers placed by me to adorn his throne.”

   Lucia loved her two younger cousins Jacinta and Francisco, and felt sadness, so she said, “Am I to stay here alone?” For if Mary would bring them to heaven soon, and Lucia much later – which is in fact what happened later on – then Lucia would be separated from them.

   And our Lady, a good mother, to console this little girl, said, “No, my daughter. Are you suffering a great deal? Don’t lose heart. I will never forsake you. My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God.” See how Mary is so sensitive to our sufferings and anoints the pain with her sweet consolation.

   She opened her arms, and light came forth. In the palm of one of her hands, they saw a heart, pierced by encircling thorns, and they understood that to be the Immaculate Heart of Mary, outraged by the sins of humanity, and seeking reparation. For some sins offend God, but there are other sins that offend angels and Saints, and even Mary. There are, for example, some persons, who, in the name of the protestant rejection of the intercession of Mary, will say the most horrible and sacrilegious things about her.

   But you see, Mary is not some margin to Christianity, something one can take or leave. She is at the heart of our faith, right there with Jesus: where you find Jesus you find Mary. She said to the children, you may have noticed, that it was the will of Jesus that devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary be established. It is the will of Jesus, Son of God and Savior of the World, that we all know and love Mary. And that she can intercede for us is demonstrated by the wedding at Cana, where Mary persuaded Jesus to do a miracle he was not initially willing to do, interceding for the young newlyweds.

   And so may Mary intercede for us, that we may desire heaven above all things, know her, love her, have devotion to her immaculate Heart, pray the Rosary daily and so follow down the ancient paths that lead to eternal salvation. Amen.


[1] P. 84.

[2] P. 176 ff.











Compendium of Social Doctrine of the Church, from the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Librevia Editrice Vaticana


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