Fatima Message Emphasizes Need for Today’s Eucharistic Revival
All of the visionaries, particularly Francisco, had a deep devotion to the Eucharist. Francisco would spend hours before the tabernacle to console the Hidden Jesus.
More than a century before today’s National Eucharistic Revival in the United States, which began in 2022, the apparitions at Fatima were already heralding Eucharistic devotion.
“Right from the beginning of Fatima, there is the Eucharist,” David Carollo, executive director of the World Apostolate of Fatima USA, told the Register. “Before Our Lady came, the apparitions began with the manifestation of the Eucharist.”
In 1916, a year before the first apparition of our Blessed Mother in 1917, the Angel of Peace appeared to the three Fatima children and gave the children the Eucharist.
Carollo emphasized that the prayers in the angel’s appearances were all Eucharistic prayers. “The children were taught to adore God in the Eucharist before they were even met by Our Lady. That tells you right there that this was their novitiate to holiness prepared by the angel, and they were Eucharistic in form.”
During the Third Apparition in October 1916, the angel held a chalice with a Host suspended in the air over it. Drops of blood fell from the Host into the chalice. The angel left the chalice and Host suspended in the air, knelt and told the children to repeat three times: “O Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I adore you profoundly, and I offer you the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifferences by which he himself is offended. And, through the infinite merits of his Most Sacred Heart, and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of you the conversion of poor sinners.”
“We know that the bottom line for Fatima is reparation, and it is Eucharistic reparation,” Carollo said, adding that the whole Fatima apparition message is about making reparation for sin in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament.
Then, when Our Lady first appeared to the children on May 13, 1917, the Fatima children turned to a Eucharistic prayer showing their great reverence for the Eucharist. In her memoirs, Servant of God Lucia dos Santos described how Our Lady opened her hands, and from them streamed light “so intense” that it penetrated their “hearts and innermost depths of our souls.”
Realizing it was God “who was that light,” Lucia, along with cousins Sts. Jacinta and Francisco Marto, fell to their knees. Lucia recounted how the three began “repeating in our hearts: ‘O most Holy Trinity, I adore you! My God, my God, I love you in the most Blessed Sacrament!’” It was a variation of the prayer the children had learned during that third visit of the Angel of Peace.
Then Our Lady spoke again:
“Pray the Rosary every day, in order to obtain peace for the world, and the end of the war.”
Providentially, Our Lady’s first apparition was on May 13, a date celebrated in some parts of the Church as the feast of Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament. St. Peter Julian Eymard was first to give Mary the title of “Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament,” having founded the Congregation of the Most Blessed Sacrament on May 13, 1856. The children intuitively realized the connection, not because they recognized the significance of that date, but based on what had happened during the early apparitions.
Soon after, during her July 13 apparition, Mary mentioned the First Five Saturdays devotion, the two major pillars of which are the Communion of reparation and the Rosary: “I shall ask that, on the first Saturday of every month, Communions of reparation be made in atonement for the sins of the world.” Later, when Jesus and Mary appeared to Sister Lucia in her convent, she was again told of the Five First Saturdays devotion, which included receiving Holy Communion.
Consequently, devotion to the Eucharist is an important teaching from Our Lady at Fatima.
Ricardo Casimiro, a campus minister at the Newman Center at Montclair State University in New Jersey, underscored that the prayer the Angel of Peace teaches the Fatima children at his first appearance in 1916 begins, “My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love you!” He explained, “It really teaches the sense of adoration, that God is in the center. And in the center is adoration. So the Eucharist is there. The message of Fatima calls us to put God in the center.”
There is “deep theology and focus on Communion, on the sacrament. It’s really the call of Fatima,” added Casimiro, who is also guardian of one of the international Pilgrim Statues of Our Lady of Fatima traveling to churches in the Newark Archdiocese during May.
He also sees that Fatima can be a strong partner in the National Eucharistic Revival in progress. “The message of Fatima happened so close to us. It’s actually for our time; it’s a call for us now,” he said.
Bishop Frank Caggiano of the Diocese of Bridgeport, Connecticut, who has served by papal invitation as a catechist at several World Youth Days, spoke with the Register of this connection between Our Lady, Our Lord, the Eucharistic presence, the visionaries, and today’s Eucharistic Revival, enumerating three major connections.
“The first is that the Eucharistic Revival is teaching us, reteaching us, asking us to deepen our belief in who the Eucharist is and what we believe the Eucharist to be,” Bishop Caggiano told the Register. In that third vision of the Angel of Peace, the visionaries “understood that this is not bread and wine. They understood that they were communing with the Lord himself. And that is why they had such a great devotion.”
All of the visionaries, particularly Francisco, had a deep devotion to the Eucharist. “Francisco’s only plea before he died was to receive Holy Communion, which he did,” the bishop recounted.
St. Francisco’s favorite name for Jesus in the Eucharist in the tabernacle was the “Hidden Jesus.” He would spend hours before the tabernacle to console the Hidden Jesus. The three Fatima seers came to realize the connection and became models of devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. Lucia recorded that, when she was sick in the hospital before her death, St. Jacinta said: “I am so grieved to be unable to receive Communion in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.”
Bishop Caggiano continued, “The people of God are being called to remember, and if they did not know, to learn, whom the Eucharist is and what we believe the Eucharistic presence to be. And the visionaries teach us that by their own devotion.”
“The second,” he said, “is the need to receive Eucharist worthily — that is, to seek holiness in our lives, and to seek forgiveness of our sins. Because, in the end, you receive Communion as the antipasto of heaven, as a foretaste of what heaven will be for us when we are in the presence of the Lord for eternity.” He called this “a central part of Fatima.”
“It’s also the first sign of the peace that’s promised to us,” he added, highlighting how Our Lady at Fatima spoke about the conversion of Russia and the peace that will come from that. “The peace the world is looking for is going to be found in Jesus Christ. And there’s no more profound way to encounter him than in the Eucharist because it is him that we receive — Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity.”
Bishop Caggiano emphasized again that the Fatima visionaries are “the vehicle by which Our Lady reminds us that we have to seek reparation for our sins and we have to seek forgiveness of our sins so we can receive the Eucharist — that is, Communion with her Son — ever more worthily and ever more fruitfully. That leads to the peace.”
He introduced the last point, saying that he thinks “for anyone who has Eucharistic spirituality, there’s naturally going to be a connection with Our Lady.”
“Clearly, Our Lady is the bridge,” he emphasized. “She’s the tabernacle of the Lord’s presence in the world. And she is the one who reminds us of what it means to be a perfect disciple because she always did the will of God — not because she bore Jesus into the world, but because she always did the will of God — that’s St. Augustine. Where do we get strength to do the will of God? It is by seeking forgiveness of our sins, receiving the Eucharist as often as we can, and asking for that gift of peace.”
Along these same lines, Pope St. John Paul II wrote in Ecclesia de Eucharistia, “Mary is a ‘woman of the Eucharist’ in her whole life.” He observed, “If the Church and the Eucharist are inseparably united, the same ought to be said of Mary and the Eucharist. … Mary is present … at each of our celebrations of the Eucharist.”
Bishop Caggiano summarized the connection between Our Lady’s apparitions and the current revival. “In my mind,” he emphasized, “Fatima can play many essential roles in the Eucharistic Revival by reminding us who the Lord is, and what we believe the Eucharist to be, and the need to receive the Eucharist in grace, and to seek forgiveness of our sins, and pointing us to Our Lady, who is the bridge.”
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