"You have seen hell where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace. The war is going to end: but if people do not cease offending God, a worse one will break out during the Pontificate of Pius XI. When you see a night illumined by an unknown light, know that this is the great sign given you by God that he is about to punish the world for its crimes, by means of war, famine, and persecutions of the Church and of the Holy Father. To prevent this, I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart, and the Communion of reparation on the First Saturdays. If my requests are heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace; if not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred; the Holy Father will have much to suffer; various nations will be annihilated. In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, and she shall be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world".-Second Secret of Fatima
The second secret of Fatima is the heart of the Fatima devotion and message - about a specific Heart, in fact. Our Lady introduces the importance of the devotion to her Immaculate Heart, the practice of the First Saturdays devotion, and the request of the consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart.
The prophetic words of this secret, as with the other two secrets, may seem harsh or unsettling. But if you look deeper, they are full of mercy and hope. Our Lady is our mother, constantly warning her children of danger and seeking ways to save them. She has a history of appearing on earth before the outbreak of wars, pleading for us to turn back to God before it’s too late. Fatima is no different. Her words came at the height of World War I, just before the Russian Revolution that would lead to decades of atheistic Communism and persecution of the Church. Our Lady warns of a greater war (WWII) and the deadly effects of Communism brought about by mankind if God’s requests aren’t heeded.
As we know, this greater war happened. The strange light of a brilliant Aurora borealis illuminated the sky across Europe on January 28, 1938, as far south as Portugal. Millions of people died thereafter, either on the battlefield, in the gas chambers of Auschwitz, or later in the firing squads of anti-church communists. It was the horror of the 20th century. Starting in 1942, multiple attempts were made by different popes to publicly consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart.
Finally, Pope John Paul II, who became intimately connected with the 3rd Fatima secret you’ll read about tomorrow, succeeded in publicly consecrating Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in 1984 (according to Sr. Lucia herself). Five years later, the unimaginable happened in the fall of Communism. It is no coincidence that a Polish pope, who lived under the effects and prophesied trials of Communism himself, was the one to succeed in heeding Our Lady’s request.
But back to this Immaculate Heart of hers. How is it so powerful that nations can be saved by it? The simple answer is because God wishes it to be so, and gives her the necessary grace. Devotion to the Immaculate Heart goes all the way back to the prophecy of Simeon in Luke 2:35, that a sword would pierce her heart. Christians ever since have venerated Mary’s heart, which intimately participated in the saving action of her Son on Calvary. The heart is the center of a person, the core of being, the crossroads between the body and the soul. This very ministry is named after her beautiful heart and seeks to lead our own hearts closer to hers, and through her to her Son’s.
In my own life, the Immaculate Heart of Mary has been a constant source of grace, comfort, and peace for my own anxious heart. The promise that her Immaculate Heart would triumph has gotten me through a number of times of hopelessness, despair, or suffering in my own life. Her Immaculate Heart constantly leads me to the depths of her son’s Sacred Heart, burning with love for each one of us.
In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph. Mankind did not listen, there was a second World War and atheism and communism caused untold suffering, yet in the end her Immaculate Heart did triumph. And it will continue to triumph, to bring peace to this world that is so in need of it. What a beautiful promise of hope that we can carry within our own hearts, both with our own struggles and those of the world.
Have peace, her Immaculate Heart will triumph.
Question: How can you deepen your devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and help console her heart? To learn more about the First Saturday devotion in particular, visit https://www.catholiccompany.com/getfed/what-is-the-first-friday-and-first-saturday-devotion/.