Prayer to Our Lady of Fatima

News: Commentary
by Fr. Paul John Kalchik  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  September 1, 2022   

No concern is too small for Mary

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This past December, Church Militant reached out to me to write a prayer to Our Lady of Fatima. The prayer would end each episode of Church Militant's program Marian Moment. The producers of this series wanted something fresh, as ending the program with a "Salve Regina" or a "Hail Mary" just wouldn't do. After prayer and reflection, I wrote that prayer during the Christmas holiday.

Here's a slightly redacted version of the prayer:

O Mary, Mother of God, we humbly ask for your intercession. Failing to heed your dire warnings at Fatima, Russia has spread her errors throughout the world over the last century, and now, at this most dreadful hour, millions have become atheists, numerous nations are communist and, worst of all, much of humanity has become indifferent to your Son, Jesus, Our Lord and Redeemer.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us. May humanity reject atheism in all its forms and return to the Church your Son, Jesus, founded.

How saddened the countenance must be of our risen Lord and Savior to look now upon this fallen world despite His death, resurrection and glorious redemption of humanity. How sad must be His gaze to behold a world recklessly embracing love of money, sodomy and the killing of millions of unborn children in the womb. God the Father has made it clear over the ages how sinful are these wayward practices.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us. May the world reject idolatry in all its forms, and return to the right worship of God, who alone should be given praise. 

We know, Mary, that in the divine presence of God the Father, your Son, Jesus, and God the Holy Spirit, you will advocate for our urgent pleas, just as you interceded at Cana at the humble behest of a young couple at their wedding.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us. We know that in your eyes even our small concerns are of importance. We ask you to pray for all of our families and friends heavily burdened by many trials in these evil days.

Pray for us, Mary, Mother of God. Amen.

Below are some considerations I made before putting pen to paper. I also explain why I added three additional strophes to the prayer.

Over the past few years, I've written a few articles on Fatima, its secrets, Our Blessed Mother's apparitions there, and her requests to the faithful. One thing that concerns me, however, is the number of individuals overly concerned with Fatima's "secrets" and Russia's consecration. These concerns can be found in the comments posted under the related articles.

On March 25, Pope Francis consecrated Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. After the consecration, I hoped that some of the craziness surrounding Fatima would lessen. But, as evidenced in conversations I had at a recent gathering of Catholics (and in the posts made on CM's reporting on the consecration), many individuals remain caught up in what I dub "Fatima hysteria."

Here are a couple of those comments left under reports on Church Militant's website after the consecration: 

  • "I disagree with all the comments posted that the pope's consecration was correct"
  • "By not consecrating exclusively the nation of Russia, Pope Francis diluted the consecration to 1.8%"
  • "Jorge, aka Francis, did not do what Our Lady asked: "Consecrate Russia to my Immaculate Heart"
The Consecration of Russia
 

As a man in my 60s, I clearly remember Sr. Madonna Marie in my third-grade class at St. Gertrude's talking about Fatima and its secrets. As a third grader, I had an early introduction by sister to common counternarratives concerning Fatima. In retrospect, it amounted to wasted time and idle speculation on things that had already happened and could not be undone.

Instead of wasting time talking about what can not be changed, like what the bishops did or did not do in the past, I recommend spending more time doing what Mary asked all of us to do. Our Blessed Mother was clear with the three very young visionaries about what she wanted them to do and, by extension, what she wanted all humanity to do. 

Over the course of the six apparitions, Mary asked the visionaries to do the following:

  1. At the first apparition on May 13, 1917 — "Pray the Rosary every day"
  2. At the apparition on July 13, 1917 — "Sacrifice yourselves for sinners, and say many times, especially when you make a sacrifice, 'O Jesus, this is for love of Thee, for the conversion of sinners and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary'" 
  3. At the sixth apparition on Oct. 13, 1917, after Lucia asked her, "I have many favors to ask. Do you wish to grant them or not?" Mary replied, "Some I will! Others I will not! They must mend their lives and ask forgiveness for their sins. Offend not Our Lord anymore, for He is already much offended"

These requests of Mary at Fatima are all straightforward: Pray the Rosary daily, offer up small penances for the conversion of others and seek reconciliation from God for all sins committed.

Mary does not make any requests that are too hard for us to fulfill. What's difficult about saying a Rosary every day, putting aside 20 minutes for saying it reverently? And what's so arduous about making little sacrifices for loved ones that have gone astray? When the eternal salvation of a loved one is at stake, no sacrifice is too hard to offer.

In my life, I've found that daily recitation of the Rosary makes all the difference in fending off the tempter and his many temptations. Additionally, I find that making little sacrifices like skipping a meal or offering an extra Rosary for a friend in need are game changers in winning the spiritual fight.

When the eternal salvation of a loved one is at stake, no sacrifice is too hard to offer.

Spending time making sacrifices for the conversion of sinners can and does save souls. I can honestly say that many sincere prayers said on my knees, offered through tears and suffering, have been answered. God answers prayers when they are sincerely prayed. Again, we must remember that Our Blessed Mother's instructions are not hard. Souls are saved when one follows Mary's guidance, and a great deal of joy comes from knowing that someone is now closer to God because of your prayers and atonements.

When I wrote the original prayer to Our Lady of Fatima, I had that dynamic clearly in mind. I understood how prayers and sacrifices offered by the faithful can be powerfully efficacious in the salvation of others. In short, souls can be saved by prayers offered! Just one man can make all the difference when it comes to saving those within his family and community.

This being said, I wish to highlight some theological aspects incorporated into my Fatima prayer.

The first paragraph addresses the principal error of Russia, which is atheistic communism. Of all the contagious beliefs that have taken hold of humanity in the past 100 years, this is the biggest. It's rooted in the false belief that there is no God.

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When you discuss this error, many people will say they do believe in God. But when you look more closely at their actions — like how they talk or their indifference to God's commandments — their true creed is revealed.

Atheism is rapidly becoming the largest "religion" in the world. In the Fatima prayer, we ask Mary to intercede on humanity's behalf to thwart the growth of atheism and that the hearts of all will be moved to return to the right worship of God in the Roman Catholic Church.

In the third paragraph, I make an observation about Our Lord's face. I can't imagine Our Lord looking down from heaven with anything other than a crestfallen countenance, one full of tears, seeing all the unprecedented evils wreaking havoc throughout the globe.

Pray your Rosary daily.

Our Lord beholds so many who simply waste the graces He obtained for them by His Passion and death. By choosing sin over grace and evil over holiness, these people reject God's gift of redemption. How tragic!

Of all the things to pray for, the conversion of sinners should top the list. Pray that God the Holy Spirit will reawaken His call to holiness placed within all those individuals who have lost all faith and who go about their day-to-day lives with such indifference to God's laws.

This may sound hopeless, but don't be discouraged. Yes, many are indifferent to the Faith. Still, Mary's proposed remedy — that of prayer and freely offered sacrifices — can and does change hearts, even those hearts so hardened by sin that they seem permanently shut off to God's redemption.

Image
St. Maximilian Kolbe

Recall, for example, what happened at Auschwitz, when Fr. Maximilian Kolbe, a prisoner at this Nazi concentration camp, offered himself as a substitute for another prisoner slated for torture and eventual death. This fortunate prisoner, Franciszek Gajowniczek, had been caught by the Nazis in an attempted prison break. The prison guards threatened to punish him, but Fr. Kolbe asked to take Gajowniczek's place.

The guards accepted Fr. Kolbe as a replacement. After a 14-day period of torture, starvation and dehydration, Fr. Kolbe was injected with a lethal dose of carbolic acid.

After heroically witnessing to the Faith and sacrificing his life for a fellow prisoner, Fr. Kolbe was canonized on Oct. 10, 1982, by Pope John Paul II. Gajowniczek was present at the canonization. Like Gajowniczek, others unbelievers would convert because of St. Maximilian's example of freely offering atonement for the redemption of others. The life of St. Kolbe was offered for the atonement of a single man, and yet, thousands, if not millions, have benefited from this gift.

In the last paragraph of my Fatima prayer, I recall the biblical account of the wedding at Cana. This miraculous story shows that, in Our Blessed Mother's eyes, no concern of ours is too small for her to bring to her Son. In the grand scheme of things, the problem of having insufficient drinks at a wedding banquet is not such a big deal compared to things like having the debilitating disease of leprosy or being born blind. But for a young couple starting off their married life together, not having enough wine for their guests would have been an embarrassing start to their married life.

Our Blessed Mother, as a good mother, was attentive to the small things going on behind the scenes. Therefore, we can feel comfortable bringing to Mary, via the Fatima prayer, all those concerns we have, both small and large, assured of her attentive care in passing them on to her Son.

This fall marks the 105th anniversary of the Fatima apparitions. Despite the passage of time, Mary's directives to the visionaries are just as important today:

  • Pray your Rosary daily
  • Make it a practice to offer up sacrifices for the conversion of sinners
  • Strive to always remain in a state of grace
  • Go to confession as needed

A new episode of Marian Moment will be published by Church Militant shortly, so don't miss it. And feel free to say the Fatima prayer at the show's conclusion.

Mary, the Mother of God, who reigns as Queen of Heaven, will bring to her Son, Jesus, all of our concerns.

 

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