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Saturday, December 9, 2017

Sermon of Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke Featured

Written by  Cardinal Burke
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On the Occasion of the Pilgrimage of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest to Fatima, Portugal

In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen.

Our Lord, in his Providence, has allowed our pilgrimage, to commemorate the centenary of the apparitions of the Mother of God to the holy shepherd children at Cova da Iria, to include the first Friday of November.  On the first Friday of every month, we celebrate with special joy the covenant of love which God the Father has sealed with us by sending his only son into human flesh for, in the words of St. Paul,  “to abide in our hearts by faith,”[1] that “we may be filled with all the fullness of God.”[2]  In connection with the great mystery of faith, Our Creator, who has no need of our love, has chosen us as His adopted sons and daughters in his only Son. He chose to love us with a human heart, unconditionally, totally and forever.  Dom Prosper Gueranger in his commentary for the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, highlights the covenant of love between God and man in the Heart of Jesus, with these words:

“Thus the love of the God-Man finds in the heartbeat of the Sacred Heart its direct and sensible expression: thus again He pours it through Him on the world, with the water and blood coming out from the side of the Savior, redemption and grace, the foretaste and sure pledge of future glory.”[3]

From his faithful and permanent love for us, God the Son has come to guide us to redeem us from our sins, to give us an earthly abode through the Church and finally our ultimate abode with Him in the heavenly Jerusalem.

When Christ died for us on the Cross, He permitted that side to be pierced by the spear of the Roman soldier. From His Heart pierced as the Gospel reports, “came out of the blood and water,”[4] signs of the outpouring of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit of His Sacred Heart into the hearts of all the faithful.  Indeed, the Divine Heart never stops beating with immeasurable love for all men of the Holy Church.

Considering the birth of the Church, Bride of Christ, by His glorious pierced Heart, Dom Gueranger shows how the Sacred Heart of Jesus is an unceasing fountain of a sure hope for the faithful:

“His Bride (The Church), based on this origin, must always have recourse to His love, and let the way always be open before her, that she may surely heal her heart quickly and in all things.”[5]

Having conquered death and ascended to the Father's right hand, our Lord has never ceased pouring upon us in the Church, the grace of the Holy Spirit with abundance.  Saint Paul expresses the great confidence of the Christian life: “The Charity of God is spread in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”[6]

Our Blessed Mother, as she did in an extraordinary way in this holy place in 1917, inspires us and guides us in renewing our covenant of love with Our Lord.  She is in truth, the Mother of Divine Grace. Her Immaculate Heart is the channel of all the graces that arrive in our hearts.  She was given as Mother to men by Her Divine Son, as He was dying upon the Cross for our eternal salvation.[7]  The ever Virgin Mary attracts us with a maternal love to her Immaculate Heart, under which God the Son took on human flesh.  She helps us to place our hearts with her own Immaculate Heart totally in His Sacred Heart.  She supports us so that we may trust God's infallible mercy to believe, as she herself believed, that God's promises to us will be fulfilled.[8]

Her divine Maternity is manifested in her last words reported by the Gospels. She addresses them to the wine stewards during the Wedding of Cana, who come to her, anxious about the lack of wine for the wedding guests.  She responds to their distress by sending them to her Divine Son, who is also invited for the feast, saying, “Do whatever He tells you.”[9]  She manifested the deep meaning of her maternal counsel, standing at the foot of the Cross at the death of her Divine Son, her heart united to the Sacred Heart, pierced by the spear of the Roman soldier after He died for our salvation.[10]

Her words, so simple in Cana, express the mystery of the divine Maternity through which the Virgin Mary became the Mother of God, bringing into the world God the Son, made flesh for our salvation.  By this same mystery she continues to be the channel of all the graces that spring forth, innumerable, incessant, from the

glorious pierced Heart of her Divine Son in the hearts of her brothers and sisters, adopted by Baptism, while they make their earthly pilgrimage in view of their last home with Him in Heaven.  We are the sons and sons and daughters of Mary in her Son, God the Son made flesh.  With maternal care, she draws our hearts to her glorious Immaculate Heart and takes them for Him, for His Sacred Heart, and she says to us:  “Do whatever He tells you.”[11]


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How beautifully did she show us her Divine Maternity, through her appearances and the message of Fatima, confirmed by God Himself 100 years ago, on the 13th of October, by means of the miracle of the Sun!  Remember the words with which Our Lady of Fatima concluded the second part of the Secret entrusted to the holy shepherd children on July 13, 1917:

“In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph, the Holy Father will consecrate Russia to Me and it will be converted and a period of peace will be ensured for the world, and in Portugal the dogma of Faith will always be preserved, etc.”[12]

Since our Mother reassures us of the triumph of Faith, of the triumph of the Divine Heart, by the mediation of her Immaculate Heart, we ask her to lead us to her Son by an act of Consecration to His Sacred Heart.  When we consecrate our hearts to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, we consecrate them at the same time to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Virgin, Mother of God and Mother of Divine Grace.

By the morning offering, by the devotion of the first Friday of the month and the holy hour of charity and reparation of the Thursday preceding each first Friday, we contemplate, as well as the Virgin Mother of God at the foot of the Cross, the mystery of the love of God springing for us from the Heart of Jesus, especially by the Sacraments of Eucharist and Penance. We unite our hearts and the Immaculate Heart of Mary with the Sacred Heart, in a pure love and selflessness.

Our devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary is also expressed in a special way when we recite the Rosary. Remember in all her appearances, from May 13th to October 13th, 1917, the Mother of God enjoined the shepherd children to pray the Rosary. On October 13, after having requested that a chapel be built in honor of Our Lady of the Rosary and having recommended the daily prayer of the Rosary, as well as penance and reparation sins, God allowed the miracle of the sun to strengthen faith in the message that Our Lady brought to the world at Fatima.[13] When we meditate on the mysteries of our salvation by reciting our Rosary, our hearts are attracted to the Heart of Jesus, opened for us in the Holy Eucharist.

By placing our hearts, with the Immaculate Heart of Mary, in the glorious pierced Heart of Jesus, we receive grace to fulfill our mission of new evangelization of the Church, and through the Church, of the world. Our love of the Lord Jesus, expressed in devotion to His Sacred Heart, is not any static state or mere feeling.  It is, rather, a bond with God the Son made man.  With His Immaculate Mother, we share with Him in the mission entrusted to Him by the Father, so that every man may be saved and our world be made ready to receive him when he comes on the last day.  Having put our hearts in the Sacred Heart of Jesus we are, as Mary Immaculate, necessarily committed to His royal mission, in which to reign is to serve, and to serve our brothers and sisters in all their needs.[14]  So may Christ the King reign in our hearts, as He reigned perfectly in the Heart of Mary since her Immaculate Conception. May His Kingdom of mercy and love be spread all over the world!

Let us rise now and, through the Eucharistic Sacrifice, place our poor hearts filled with sin in the Sacred Heart of Jesus. May Mary Immaculate guide us and protect us at all times, constantly drawing us to make our hearts, like hers, one and the same with the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus.  May we grow in an ever deeper love for our Lord and serve Him in ever more pure and selfless ways as well as our neighbor, especially the one who is in need.

Heart of Jesus, Whose plentitude we have received, have mercy on us.

Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us.

Saint Joseph, Adoptive Father of Jesus and true Bridegroom of the Virgin Mary, pray for us.

Saint Francisco and Saint Jacinta, pray for us.


In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen.


(Copies of Cardinal Burke’s Sermon in French were distributed to those in attendance by the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest. The preceding English version was translated for The Remnant from the original French by Father Ladis J, Cizik, who was in attendance at this Pontifical Solemn High Mass at Fatima)

[1]  Eph 3,17

[2]  Eph 3,10.

[3]  Prosper Gueranger, L’annee liturgique, Le temps après la Pentecote, Tome I, 18eme  ed. (Tours: Maison Alfred et Fils, 1926), p.486n [Gueranger].

[4]  Jn 19,34.

[5]  Gueranger, p.509.

[6]  Rom 5,5.

[7]  Cf. Jn 19, 26-27.

[8]  Cf. Lc 1, 45.

[9]  Jn 2,5.

[10]  Cf. Jn 19, 25. 34.

[11]  Jn 2, 5.

[12]  “By definition, my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will Consecrate Russia to me and  will be converted  and the world will be granted some time of peace. In Portugal, the dogma of the Faith will be preserved, etc.”  Carmelo de Coimbra, Um caminho sob o olhar de Maria. Biografia da Irma Lucia de JJesus e do Coracao Imaculado O.C.D. (Marco de Canaveses: Edicoes Carmelo, 2013), p. 64. [Carmelo de Coimbra]

[13]  Cf, Carmelo de Coimbra, pp. 90-91.

[14]  Cf. Ioannes Paulus PP. II. Litterae encyclicae Redemptor hominis, “Pontificali ejus Ministerio ineunte,” 4 Martii 1979, Acta Apostolicae Sedis 71 (1979), 316, n. 21.

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