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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

FATIMA and the Traditional Latin Mass

Written by  Father Ladis J. Cizik
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(This sermon was delivered at a monthly Traditional Latin Mass often attended by Latin Rite Catholics who fled to Eastern Rite Churches rather than attend the Novus Ordo Mass.)

In Nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen.

In this 100th
Anniversary Year of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima, tradition-minded Catholics, which should be ALL Catholics, rejoice in a special way in the Heaven-sent messages of Fatima for our troubled times.  One of the messages, for our edification, was that when Our Lady of Fatima appeared in 1917, the three shepherd children who saw Her, Jacinta, Francisco and Lucia, ONLY attended the Traditional Latin Mass.  


The Traditional Latin Mass being offered at Fatima may come as a shock to a significant number of Catholics born into the post-Vatican II Church, who only know of the Novus Ordo Mass. Most modern-day Catholics might only know that the Traditional Latin Mass was thought to be forbidden and later allowed only with permission and/or with numerous restrictions; that people who attended the Traditional Latin Mass were somehow bad or unfaithful to the Church.  The Fatima children, who attended the Traditional Latin Mass, were traditional Catholics, as were the vast majority of Saints in the Church.

As traditional Catholics we, like the three shepherd children of Fatima, are essentially just ‘Catholics’ who want to adhere to the fullness of the teachings of the One True Church founded by Christ. We are Catholics who want to go to that Mass, the Traditional Latin Mass, which for centuries made Saints and safeguarded the truths of our One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Faith.  We are in diabolically confused times now where to be a tradition-minded Catholic who wants to go to the Traditional Latin Mass is to be in an often despised minority, a part of a small remnant: “…At the present time there is a remnant left, selected out of grace” (Romans 11:5).

The Fatima Message resonates with faithful Catholics who love the Traditional Latin Mass and who likewise love the Holy Catholic Church and its Apostolic history dating back to the time of Christ and his Apostles. As we fight an uphill battle to defend and promote the One True Faith founded by Christ, we are comforted by the words of Our Lady of Fatima Who, on July 13, 1917, said: “In the end, My Immaculate Heart will triumph.”

Today, I wish to speak of a message of Fatima that will help to prepare us for the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary that She promised.   I wish to speak of the last of the 1916 appearances of the Angel of Peace, also known as the Guardian Angel of Portugal, who prepared Francisco, Jacinta, and Lucia for Our Lady’s appearances the following year.  The Guardian Angel of Portugal is known to the Portuguese people to be Saint Michael the Archangel, whom we at the Traditional Latin Mass regularly invoke after Low Mass in our Leonine Prayers.

The Guardian Angel of Portugal appeared, for the third and last time, to the three shepherd children at the Cabeco. The Cabeco is a rocky hill with a cave near its bottom, reminiscent of Calvary with the tomb of Christ at its base.  The Cabeco is a favorite place of mine to talk to the pilgrims about the Most Blessed Sacrament since the Angel appeared here with a Bleeding Host from which drops of the Precious Blood were seen by the children falling into a Chalice.  This appearance of the Angel calls to mind the Precious Blood that Our Lord and God, Jesus Christ, shed at Calvary, which we recall at each and every Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

As the Angel gave Holy Communion to the three Children, only the eldest, Lucia, received the Sacred Host as she had already made her First Holy Communion.   But the younger children, Francisco and Jacinta, having never made their First Holy Communion drank the Precious Blood of Christ from the Chalice.  This was NOT an endorsement of the Protestant practice of Communion under both species.

When the Angel disappeared, along with the Chalice, Francisco asked Lucia whether he and his sister had received Holy Communion since they did not receive a Host. Lucia responded correctly that in either the Sacred Host or in the Precious Blood, Jesus was really and truly Present.  This confirms the centuries old practice of receiving only the Consecrated Host at a Traditional Latin Mass.  It confirms that our Eucharistic Lord is really and truly Present in His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Host alone.  One does not have to “drink from the cup,” as they now say, in order to receive the Precious Blood of Christ, as it is contained in the Sacred Host.

At the consecration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the whole substance of bread becomes the substance of the Body of Christ, and the whole substance of wine becomes the substance of the Blood of Christ. This is a description of the Catholic Dogma of Transubstantiation, reaffirmed by this angelic apparition at Fatima. 

But then, why did the Angel give the Precious Blood to Jacinta and Francisco?   I feel that it was teaching that the Fatima Message was not just for Latin Rite Catholics but for Eastern Rite Catholics as well, in the former Soviet States, who would soon find their Holy Catholic Faith threatened by the errors of Russia.  In the Eastern Rites, young children make their First Holy Communion as infants at the time of their Baptism by receiving a drop of the Precious Blood in the form of Wine.  After that, as they are growing up and are too young to receive Jesus in the form of Bread, the Priest gives them a drop of the Precious Blood with the tiny spoon used to administer Holy Communion in the Byzantine Catholic Rite.

For our times, this reference to the Eastern Rites could also bring comfort to those tradition-minded Catholics who felt abandoned by the Protestantized man-centered Novus Ordo Mass. Like Eastern Rite refugees fleeing from Communist Russia, many Latin Rite Catholics fled for a safe haven to the Byzantine Rite Catholic Churches where their centuries-old beautiful God-centered Traditional Divine Liturgies were still being offered after Vatican II.  Perhaps this too is a part of the Fatima Message.   

But ultimately, we are Latin Rite Catholics and we are not at home without our Traditional Latin Mass. We thank God and Our Lady of Fatima for the few opportunities that we have to publicly offer the Immemorial Mass of the Ages.  It may seem that we have a long way to go before the Traditional Latin Mass is fully restored and available to Catholics everywhere and on an everyday basis without restrictions.  But, Our Lady of Fatima gives us hope, as She said at Fatima:  “In the end, My Immaculate Heart will triumph.”

In the Litany to Saint Michael the Archangel, two of the titles used in reference to the Prince of the Heavenly Host are “Angel of Peace” and “Guardian Angel of the Eucharist” – titles associated with the 1916 Angel appearances at Fatima. As we determinedly fight for the full restoration of the Traditional Latin Mass, and pray for the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, let us close with the prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel:

Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle; be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray: and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, thrust into hell satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen. 

In Nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen.

 

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