Now It’s Time to Do Our Part in the Conversion of Russia
Sister Lúcia said Our Lady asked for observance of the Five First Saturdays devotion, and especially desired ‘the sanctification of our daily life.’
Pope Francis, in union with all the bishops, consecrated Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on Friday. The impulse comes from Our Lady of Fatima’s messages. Everyone should know about the story of Fatima, one of the Church-approved apparitions.
In an interview for the Register, Deacon Bob Ellis, National Coordinator for the World Apostolate of Fatima, USA, pointed out that the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary was only part of what Our Blessed Mother said was necessary for the conversion of Russia and for the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart. He explained that during the Fatima apparitions in 1917 to three shepherd children, “The Blessed Virgin Mary revealed that World War I would end, and predicted another war during the papacy of Pius XI if people continued to offend God. She promised to come and ask the consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart.”
Our Lady returned multiple times to visit Sister Lúcia (1907-2005), the only surviving visionary, in her Discalced Carmelite convent. In 1925, she gave Lúcia the Five First Saturdays devotion, promising to all who make them to supply all the graces they needed at the time of their death. “It’s misunderstood by many people,” Ellis said. “You are not just to do them for one series of five, but for the reminder of your life. Every time you complete a series of five, you merit that grace for another soul.”
The Blessed Mother then returned June 13, 1929, telling Lúcia that the time was now for Russia to be consecrated to prevent the spreading its errors of atheism and communism. The consecration was to be done by the Pope in union with the bishops throughout the world.
Attempts in 1942, 1952 and 1964 were not accepted as following the instructions correctly, but according to Lúcia, the 1984 consecration by St. John Paul II satisfied the request. On March 25, 1984, in St. Peter’s Basilica, Pope John Paul II consecrated the whole world in front of the statue of Our Lady of Fatima, inviting all other bishops to join him in prayer to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. According to the Vatican, and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Sister Lúcia confirmed that it satisfied Our Lady’s request.
Skeptics say that the Pope did not explicitly say “Russia” in his public prayer, so it did not count. “But by the time it was attempted ‘now’ has passed and Russia had spread its errors throughout the world,” Ellis said. But why, then, has Russia not been converted and it continues to spread its errors? Ellis responded: “People are neglecting that Our Lady asked for two things to secure the conversion of Russia and peace in the world: the consecration of Russia and the First Saturdays devotion.”
He also shared that when John Haffert, one of the founders of the Blue Army (now named the World Apostolate of Fatima, USA), met with Sister Lúcia, he asked: “The Rosary is the most important thing, right?”
“No,” she told him. “The sanctification of our daily life is.” Ellis explained this means offering up our daily duties with all its aches, pains, trials and tribulations. “So, if you bang your head, say, ‘O Jesus, I offer this up to you.’” He said we should pray a daily Rosary and also make a morning offering, thereby tagging all we do that day for Jesus. Ellis recommended this prayer:
O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
I offer you my prayers, works, joys, and suffering of this day in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world.
I offer them for all the intentions of Your Sacred Heart: the salvation of souls, reparation for sins, the reunion of all Christians;
I offer them for the intentions of our Bishops and of all Apostles of Prayer and in particular for those recommended by our Holy Father this month.
What so many people are neglecting, according to him, is that although the consecration is vital, we have a part in the conversion of Russia and of the world. As confirmation, however, of the power of the 1984 consecration, Ellis shared this story.
The March 25, 1984, world Consecration to Mary’s Immaculate Heart led to what happened on May 13, 1984, the feast of Our Lady of Fatima. An unexplained fire broke out at the Severomorsk Naval Base in Russia which killed between 200-300 nuclear scientists and technicians, thereby ending Russia’s nuclear dominance. Sister Lúcia said in her diary that if the 1984 Consecration hadn’t been done, 1985 would have seen a Third World War and it would have been nuclear.
While we put great hope in today’s consecration, Ellis asked for Catholics to respond to also do our part as requested by Our Lady.
The First Five Saturdays
The Blessed Mother explained the Five First Saturdays to Lúcia on Dec. 10, 1925:
See, my daughter, my Heart encircled by thorns with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. Tell them that I promise to assist at the hour of death with the graces necessary for salvation all those who, in order to make reparation to me, on the First Saturday of five successive months, go to Confession, receive Holy Communion, say five decades of the Rosary, and keep me company for a quarter of an hour, meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary.
In a 1930 locution from Jesus to Sister Lúcia, he explained that the Five Saturdays’ devotion is in response to the five kinds of offenses and blasphemies spoken against the Immaculate Heart of Mary:
- First, blasphemies against the Immaculate Conception;
- Second, against her perpetual virginity;
- Third, against the Divine Maternity, refusing, at the same time, to receive her as the Mother of mankind;
- Fourth, those who seek publicly to implant, in the hearts of children, indifference, disrespect and even hatred for this Immaculate Mother;
- Fifth, those who revile her directly in her sacred images.
Jesus told Lúcia:
Here, dear daughter, is the motive that led the Immaculate Heart of Mary to petition me to ask for this small act of reparation. And, out of regard for her, to move my mercy to pardon those souls who have had the misfortune to offend her. As for you, seek endlessly, with your prayers and sacrifices, to move me to mercy in regard to these poor souls.