Pope Puts the World In Her Hands

Marian priests and brothers around the world invite all Marian Helpers to join the Holy Father in prayer on Oct. 13, the anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima in Portugal, as he consecrates the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The original Fatima statue, in whose crown is placed the bullet that wounded Bl. Pope John Paul II during the assassination attempt in 1981, is being brought from the Shrine in Portugal for the occasion, and will be present at the papal consecration.

On Oct. 13, 1917, around 70,000 people were present to watch the sun dance in the sky, change colors, and appear to fall to the earth before returning to its place in the heavens. The ground, which had been soaked with two weeks' worth of rain, was completely dry at the end of the miracle. Those extraordinary events marked the end of the series of apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary over a span of six months to three shepherd children. The Fatima apparitions have since sparked a worldwide devotion to Our Lady of Fatima, who called for penance and prayer to bring peace to the world.

During the October apparition, Our Lady also said, "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 shall come to the world to ask that Russia be consecrated to my Immaculate Heart, and I shall ask that on the First Saturday of every month Communions of reparation be made in atonement for the sins of the world."

According to Sr. Lucia Santos, OCD, one of the three visionaries, Pope John Paul II accomplished the consecration of Russia on March 25, 1984, in union with all the bishops of the world. But as anyone can see from the state of the world, we are a long way from the full fruits of such a consecration and must continue spreading devotion to Mary's Immaculate Heart.

So observe the day! Offer your Mass for the Holy Father's intentions as well as that of your local bishop and continue the spread of devotion to the Immaculate Heart-that is, helping the world learn to love Mary as Jesus Himself did. Pray a Rosary in reparation for the sins of the world and for peace. Take action to spread devotion to the Immaculate Heart. Share pamphlets and prayercards after Mass on Marian devotion. Make or renew your total consecration to Jesus through Mary using Fr. Michael Gaitley's 33 Days to Morning Glory. Get a Miraculous Medal, have a priest bless it, and start wearing it on a chain around your neck or carry it in your wallet or purse. Consider enrolling in the Confraternity of the Immaculate Conception of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary. Get an image of Mary for your home, or give one to family or friends. Study to learn more about Our Blessed Mother, especially by reading Fr. Donald Calloway's Under the Mantle and other great Marian titles.

Join with the Holy Father in turning to Mary as the God-given answer to the present crisis of faith in the world. Trust that she who bore Jesus into the world 2000 years ago can bear Him into our time. He makes all things new (see Rev 21:5).


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