The three shepherds were threatened with a horrible death in a cauldron of boiling oil unless they would save their lives by denying the truth of seeing Our Lady. We know that the children preferred death, rather than to deny the truth. They would, however, later be released from prison and see Our Blessed Mother soon thereafter near their homes at Valinhos, on a date some believe to be August 15th, the Feast of the Assumption.
The three young shepherd children spent the Vigil of the Assumption in prayer and penance in a prison. No doubt they were making reparation for the public sacrileges and blasphemies against the Church, and in consequence, against the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, by the communist/masonic administrator.
The government of Portugal wanted the Fatima apparitions to cease before the Catholic sentiments of the people would be further aroused by the continued appearances of Our Lady of Fatima in 1917 to larger and larger crowds at the Cova da Iria; leading to the overthrow of the man-centered communist/masonic revolution in that country.
The Fatima Message is prophetic. In our own time, nearly a century later, it seems that we are experiencing a man-centered communist/masonic revolution filled with public sacrileges and blasphemies. We are seeing communism being promoted within the Church by the apparent acceptance of the formerly condemned, Marxist-leaning, “liberation theology.”
In addition, a blasphemous communist “crucifix” has been seen in the news; a version of which had recently been presented by the Bishop of Rome to a South American Marian Sanctuary. This “crucifix” has the Corpus of Christ mounted on a “cross” designed in the form of a hammer and sickle – the symbol of communism.
The masonic ideals of religious indifferentism are being promoted from the highest levels of the Church, whereby it is now stated that there is no need to convert others to Catholicism, since everyone goes to Heaven, even atheists.
In our own country, and seemingly even within our Church, homosexual unions and other irregular living situations are being promoted and/or accepted in a way that is inconsistent with the traditional teachings of Christ and His Church.
Catholics today are being threatened to deny the truths of our Faith or face serious consequences. Like Jacinta, Francisco and Lucia, we must be willing to choose prison or death, rather than to deny the truths of our One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Faith. Like the three shepherd children, we must be willing to offer up prayers and sacrifices in reparation for sins.
That is why this Traditional Latin Mass is being offered in reparation for the public sacrileges and blasphemies committed against the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. In addition to offering the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass today, we were once required to offer further reparation to Almighty God in the form of fasting and complete abstinence from meat on this Vigil day of the Assumption.
According to the traditional discipline, prior to Vatican II, this entire day, August 14th, the Vigil of the Assumption, was a day of fast and complete abstinence. On Traditional Latin Mass fast days, such as today was, only one full meal was allowed. Two other meals were permitted to maintain one’s health, but together should not equal a full meal. The complete abstinence, that was required on the Vigil of the Assumption, forbade the eating of meat, or of soups and gravies made of meat. Eating between meals was prohibited, but liquids, including fruit juices and milk, were allowed. Where health or the ability to perform one’s work would be negatively impacted, the laws did not apply. The law of fast was binding between the ages of 21 to 59, inclusive. Everyone over 7 years of age was bound by the law of abstinence; which would mean that Lucia, Francisco and even little Jacinta would ALL have been bound to observe the law of abstinence.
To remind us that today is a penitential day, the Traditional Latin Mass priest wears purple (violet) vestments for the Vigil of the Assumption. In the classic work, The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Gihr, he writes: “Violet is a fitting emblem of that holy sadness pleasing to God, which produces a spirit of penance steadfast unto salvation (II Cor. 7:10), and also of that laudable sorrow felt by the soul in being obliged to remain far from the Lord in a world foreign to her, which daily, even hourly, endangers her salvation.” He continues, “…violet reminds the faithful that they should be intent upon appeasing the justice of God by penance and by cleansing their hearts from sin; they should implore God to free them from famine and tribulation and turn away from them calamities and divine judgments.” The white, joyful, vestments of the Assumption are not for today’s vigil, but are reserved for tomorrow’s feast day.
This evening’s Vigil Mass is a preparation for the worthy celebration of tomorrow’s Feast of the Assumption. Please note that “Vigils” of the Traditional Latin Mass traditionally did NOT fulfill your obligation to attend the next day’s required Mass. In other words, this evening’s Vigil Mass is not the Mass of the Assumption – you would have had to attend the Mass of the Assumption tomorrow.
Likewise, there were generally no such things as Saturday evening Traditional Latin Masses that would fulfill your Sunday obligation. After Vatican II, Novus Ordo “Vigil Masses” were established in the late 1960’s (and incorporated into the 1983 Code of Canon Law – canon 1248) which would allow for fulfilling the next day’s obligation. Consequently, a Catholic today could not be accused of mortal sin for missing an obligatory Mass on a Sunday or holy day, if he had assisted at Mass the afternoon or evening before.
In addition, note that because the Feast of the Assumption falls on a Saturday, the Catholic Bishops of the United States have declared that it is not a holy day of obligation this year. Nevertheless, there is nothing to stop you from going to a Mass of the Assumption tomorrow, thereby embracing and practicing the meaningful and spiritually rich traditions of the Church that were followed by thousands of saints from antiquity.
In addition, the traditional laws of fasting and abstinence in effect in 1962, which were referred to previously, are no longer binding under pain of sin. The current universal laws of the Church, pertaining to this sermon, that also apply to the Latin Mass communities, include: abstinence begins at 14 years of age; fasting is from the ages of 18-59; the only days of fasting are on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday; and, complete abstinence is now only required, without exception, on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday and all Fridays of Lent. The Vigil of the Assumption is, accordingly, no longer a required day of fast and abstinence binding under the penalty of sin.
Nevertheless, for the Glory of God and the salvation of souls, Catholics should be encouraged to follow, as much as possible, the more difficult traditional Catholic practices in a spirit of penance and reparation, even if not “required” to do so.
For those who voluntarily choose to walk the less traveled road of the traditional pre-Vatican II fasting, abstinence and liturgical practices, there will be more penance and more inconveniences. However, the Guardian Angel of Portugal told the three shepherd children: “Make of everything you can a sacrifice, and offer it to God as an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended, and in supplication for the conversion of sinners. You will thus draw down peace upon your country.” The Angel also said: “The Hearts of Jesus and Mary are attentive to the voice of your supplications.”
In accord with the Message of Fatima, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass tonight, as well as our voluntary penances on this day, are being offered to Almighty God in reparation for the public sacrileges and blasphemies committed against the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. This will help bring us peace in this life and one day happiness forever in the life of the world to come.
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.
Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.
In Nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen.
This article appears in the new print/e-edition of The Remnant, to 'hit the stands' this weekend.
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