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 By Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira

 

Two of the three Fatima seers, Blesseds Jacinta and Francisco, died young because of the need for victim souls to give necessary fecundity to Our Lady’s plan. Their lives were proof that nothing great is done without suffering.

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Indeed, suffering helps those souls who are absorbed with themselves and unwilling to open up. We should see suffering as normal for man and we should practice it with courage and daring. The acceptance of sacrifice is necessary to combat the Hollywood myth of the “happy end.”

Jacinta and Francisco died as children by Our Lady’s design as she had foretold. The third seer, Lucia, lived for many more years. What was the reason why

Jacinta and Francisco died so early? This was obvious for they spoke openly about it.

The reason was that Fatima asked people to offer up their sufferings. It called for victim souls to associate themselves with the entire mystery of Fatima, and through their sufferings and pains help bring about all the supernatural fecundity Our Lady wanted to give to the events at Fatima. . This is exactly what happened to both children who died in extraordinarily difficult and arduous circumstances that caused them much suffering.

Such sufferings are needed because when it comes to the salvation of souls, all great works of God are done with the participation of men. In general, this is only accomplished with people willing to fight, suffer and pray for God’s work to be brought to its fruition.

In other words, sacrifice is necessary. Otherwise, nothing great is done.

The importance of this principle stood out especially at Fatima. Our Lady directly intervened there by performing stupendous miracles especially the “miracle of the sun.” She did this to underscore the fact that Fatima is one of the most important if not the most important message she has ever given in history.

On that occasion and in those circumstances, Our Lady wanted the sacrifice of two souls who would offer themselves up for the fulfillment of the plan of Divine Providence. This clearly shows how the apostolate of suffering is truly irreplaceable and how it opens up the way for the Church to act upon souls.

A German painter once painted Our Lord as the Good Shepherd knocking on the door of a simple house. Afterwards someone told him: “You made a mistake, for the door has no outside knob to get in.” He answered: “That’s true, but it is not a mistake. This door symbolizes the human heart. Our Lord knocks on it, but there is no knob outside, only inside. There are certain souls that open up only to themselves and to no one else, and in that case no one can intervene, they are really closed.”

Prayer and sacrifice are precisely the way to influence this type of person. They open up to the grace and find life when they suffer and carry the Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ lovingly. They come to understand how normal it is to suffer. A person acquires greatness to the degree that he suffers. The great men in history are those who bear great sufferings for the love of God.

Clearly, this includes not only passive suffering like, for example, allowing another to strike us. It also means active suffering that is, taking the initiative in find suffering. This can be done by confronting bad public opinion or overcoming human respect. In short, it means accepting suffering entirely, embracing it fearlessly and daringly, and taking the initiative to look for ways to sacrifice for an ideal.  This is what it means to suffer par excellence and we should seek to do this.

The Hollywood myth of the “happy ending” is a great obstacle to accepting suffering and sacrifice. Not all things turn out well in the end as in the movies.

Not everything is joy and success. Thus, we should not look at suffering as a kind of seven-headed monster that invades people’s lives uninvited. To the contrary, we should realize that everyone suffers and a life without crosses is worthless. Saint Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort goes so far as to say that when a person does not suffer, he should ask for crosses. For a person to whom God gives no sufferings should be wary of his eternal salvation.

All this comes across very clearly in the sacrifice made by Blesseds Jacinta and Francisco.

In this sense, we should frequently pray to them to ask Our Lady of Fatima to obtain for us this true sense of suffering that is indispensable for all those faithful who want to become generous and dedicated Catholics.

 

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Quote of the day

DAILY QUOTE for July 12, 2020

“Know you not that you are the temple of God, and that the...

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July 12

 

“Know you not
that you are the temple of God, and
that the Spirit of God dwells in you?”
(1 Corinthians 3:16)

St. Paul the Apostle


My Mother, I will stand with you on OCTOBER 10, 2020

Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. John Gualbert

Meeting his brother’s murderer in a narrow alley, he was a...

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St. John Gualbert

John Gualbert or Giovanni Gualberto, was a Florentine nobleman who one day, meeting his brother’s murderer in a narrow alley was about to slay him when the culprit, falling to his knees, implored mercy with his arms outstretched in the form of a cross. It was a Good Friday, and Gualbert, suddenly reminded of Jesus Crucified, embraced the man and forgave him.

Going on his way, John entered the monastery of St. Miniato where he knelt before a crucifix. As he prayed, the crucifix miraculously bowed his head in thanks for John’s act of generosity. Struck to the heart, Gualbert sought the abbot, asked to be given the religious habit, and was ultimately accepted.

He later left St. Miniato with a companion, looking for a more perfect way of life and founded, in Vallombrosa near Fiesole, a new order based on the primitive, austere rule of St. Benedict adapted to the particular circumstances of his time.

He was known for his zeal but also for his mildness, and for making the burden of discipline sweet. In his humility he never received even minor orders. He zealously fought simony, which is the sale of ecclesiastical posts.

His order grew and monasteries multiplied, which were a blessing to their regions and especially to the poor, as no beggar was ever turned away empty handed.

Popes sought his wise counsel, and Pope Alexander II testified that the whole country where he lived owed the extinction of simony to his zeal.

John Gualbert died on July 12, 1073 being eighty or more years of age. Pope Celestine III canonized him in 1193.

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

John shared with me the story of his conversion from Protest...

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Walk to Conversion

In September, I brought the statue of Our Lady of Fatima to the home of Mr. John Black and his family in Kings City, California.  John shared with me the story of his conversion from Protestantism: about thirteen years ago he was visiting one of the 21 Spanish missions in California (though these are holy sites, they also serve as tourist attractions.)

“Who is this Junipero Serra anyways?”  he asked, as the tour guide shared the history of the mission. “Well,” the guide responded, “you are standing on his grave!”  Surprised, John looked down and read inscription on the stone. Sure enough, Blessed Father Junipero Serra was buried right there. “I became electrified,” John told me, “I had to learn more about this man and about the missions.”  The more he studied Blessed Serra, the founder of the first nine missions, the more impressed he became, and he decided to travel on-foot to all 21 missions. 

With the blessing of his wife, now left at home with their two infant sons, John left for his solo expedition, taking with him a single backpack, the bible and little money.  He told me that every mission he visited he felt the presence of someone receiving him, even if the mission was empty. He felt this ambiance in the missions so serene and uplifting, and began to realize it was the real presence of Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament that made him feel so at home.

At one point, John collapsed from exhaustion near a mission run by Franciscans, who kindly hosted him for the night. Before he left the next day, one of the friars gave him a first-class relic of Blessed Serra. Since he was Protestant, John did not know what a relic was, but not wanting to appear rude, he accepted it. Not long after he left the Franciscans, John became lost in the wilderness in the middle of the night. Through his exhaustion and fear he heard a voice say, “Let’s help John.” He had the distinct feeling that Blessed Serra was guiding him, and gathered the strength and courage to continue. About six hours later, he stumbled upon the next mission. “It was kind of a miracle,” he said, “I was really lost!”

During his journey, John slowly came to a realization. “I know what you want from me, God,” he thought to himself one day, “you what me to became a Catholic. That is what this is all about!” However, he still had many questions about aspects of Catholicism that have been rejected by his Protestant faith – mainly about the Blessed Mother. Yet, from that point on he received answers to all of his questions, especially his reservations about devotion to Mary: he believed that it was once again Blessed Serra answering him.

With the help of Blessed Serra, one problem after another was resolved in the solitude of his travels. By the time John reached the final mission, he wholly decided to become a Catholic. “I realized that by having devotion to Mary, you love Our Lord even more,” he told me.

John returned home, filled with zeal and enthusiasm for his newfound faith. He shared his astonishing experiences with his wife, and she too converted. “I feel at home in the Catholic church,” John said, “and I have never loved Our Lord Jesus Christ more than I do now.”

by Joseph Ferrara

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John shared with me the story of his conversion from Protestantism: about fourteen years ago he was visiting one of the 21 Spanish missions in California 

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