"Remember, I am with you always to the end of the age" (Mt 28:20)

Laudato Si' And The Miracle Of The Sun In Fátima

Fatima: The Apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary
St. Francisco Marto and St. Jacinta Marto (middle and first from right) died in the international flu pandemic that occurred from 1918 to 1920. Francisco died on 4 April 1919 at the age of 10 and Jacinta on 20 February 1920, at the age of 9. Lucia dos Santos was 9 years old during the first apparition of the "Angel of Peace" in 1916. She died on 13 February 2005, at the age of 97. The Blessed Virgin Mary predicted the deaths of Francisco and Jacinta. Lucia asked the Virgin if all three of them will go to heaven after their death? She said, "Yes, I shall take Francisco and Jacinta soon, but you will remain a little longer, since Jesus wishes you to make me known and loved on earth." These children did not ask from the Virgin for a long life, nor for material riches nor for the life of the government authorities who imprisoned and threatened to torture and kill them. Being little heroes, they thought less about themselves but more about how they could console Jesus and the Virgin. When the youngest, Jacinta, was supposedly taken to be killed for refusing to give in to the authorities' demands, she confided: “Don’t worry, I won’t say a thing. I’d rather die first.”

(Photo by Tony Gentile/EPA)
Fatima secrets and prophesies

The three shepherd children reported seeing a luminous lady, every thirteenth day of each month, from May to October, "brighter than the sun, shedding rays of light clearer and stronger than a crystal goblet filled with the most sparkling water and pierced by the burning rays of the sun." The most significant prophecy was the propagation of the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary that would lead to the end to the Great War, and that on 13 October 1917, the Lady would reveal her identity and perform supernatural events later called "Miracle of the Sun," "so that all may believe." However, a Second War worst than the First will occur if humanity continues to offend God. Sr. Lucia revealed the secret about a menacing night illumined by an unknown light. On 25 January 1938, bright lights (Aurora Borealis) appeared over the northern hemisphere, and in those places as far south as North Africa, Bermuda and California.

Another significant prophecy was the need to pray for Russia and consecrate the nation to Mary's heart. Sr. Lucia admitted later that she and her companions initially thought the Virgin was requesting prayers for a girl named "Russia." Pope Pius XII initiated these consecrations including the whole of human race. The last three Popes including Pope Francis know full well the power of consecration to Mary. “There is no problem, I tell you, no matter how difficult it is, that we cannot resolve by the prayer of the Holy Rosary.”—Sister Lucia dos Santos of Fatima, O.C.D. (March 28, 1907–February 13, 2005).

Indeed, God has been faithfully accompanying the Church through Pope Francis' revolutionary messages. Laudato Si' is revolutionary in the sense of exposing other threats to humanity other than warlike this current pandemic which is similarly fuelled by the same human greed. Pope Francis tells in his letter, "We are faced not with two separate crises, one environmental and the other social, but rather with one complex crisis which is both social and environmental. Strategies for a solution demand an integrated approach to combating poverty, restoring dignity to the excluded, and at the same time protecting nature (LS 139)."  Climate change, migration, war, poverty, underdevelopment and pandemic are manifestations of a single crisis that demands an integral approach. He reiterates his call once again "that people may learn to respect creation like a "sister" and care for her as a gift of God.”

Pope Francis offers special rosary meditations that may help us reflect on the importance of human dignity which begins from respecting creation and its biodiversity. These special meditations ponder the mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary through the lenses of a Catholic understanding of human ecology, as taught to us by Saint John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and Pope Francis.

Never without his rosary
(Photo: Seychellesnewsagency.com)

Among the three, Francisco was the most contemplative. He was so hell-bent on finding ways to console God after the angel had told them, "Console your God." In spite of the threats to their lives, they said with a martyrs' unwavering spirit, "If we are killed, it doesn’t matter; we will go to heaven.”

When Francisco’s remains were reinterred on March 3, 1952, the rosary that had been placed in his hand at death was found embedded in his fingers. This shows that the boy shepherd was never without his rosary as he promised to say as many rosaries as Our Lady wanted.

A decision by Pope Pius XI in 1937 held that heroic virtue and practice were essential for canonization. Because of this the causes for minors were denied as they were seen too young to possess the required virtues. In 1979 the local bishop of Leiria-Fátima asked help from his fellow bishops and together they petitioned the Pope to make an exception. An overwhelming number of bishops wrote to the Pope saying that “the children were known, admired and attracted people to the way of sanctity. Favors were received through their intercession.”

In 1979 the Congregation for the Causes of Saints convened a general assembly to make a decision. The body upheld that, like the very few children who have a genius for music or mathematics, "in some supernatural way, some children could be spiritual prodigies. " They were declared Blessed by St. John Paul II on 13 May 2000. The two Marto children were solemnly canonized by Pope Francis at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fátima in Portugal on 13 May 2017, the first centenary of the Apparitions. They are among the youngest Catholic saints, with Jacinta being the youngest saint who did not die a martyr.

The Rosary Meditations (Adapted – Global Catholic Climate Movement)

I. Joyful Mysteries

1st Joyful Mystery - The Annunciation 
And the angel said to her in reply, “The holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God...Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her. Luke 1:35-38 

Mother, pray that your Son grants us the grace to listen to and say Yes to God. May our Yes prompt us to follow His laws, which make all life possible. Help us to discern and understand His plan of life and love in the natural order of creation. Pray that we may turn from fear and desire so that in all that we do and in all that we consume, we may be at peace with all people and all life.

2nd Joyful Mystery - The Visitation 
When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, “Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. Luke 1:41-42 

Mother, pray that your Son grants us the grace to receive and share His Gospel of life with all people so that we, like you, may participate in the salvation of all creation. Help each of us first to better know and live His words of everlasting life. And then, in how we live and in how we love, help us to proclaim to the world the greatness of your son, our Lord, who comforts the afflicted, gives strength to repentant sinners, and makes all things new.

3rd Joyful Mystery - The Birth of Jesus 
While they were there, the time came for her to have her child, and she gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. Luke 2:6-7 

Mother, pray that your Son grant us the grace to make Him present in the world through our lives, our choices, and our loving care for all people and all that He has created. Help us to listen to and be with those in need. Help us to protect all life. Help us to share what little we have so that God may make of us keepers of our sisters and brothers, as well as stewards of the good and ordered garden here on Earth.

4th Joyful Mystery - The Presentation of Jesus in the Temple 
Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, awaiting the consolation of Israel, and the holy Spirit was upon him... He took him into his arms and blessed God, saying: “Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word, for my eyes have seen your salvation. Luke 2:25-30 

Mother, pray that your Son grants us the grace to listen to and heed the words of modern prophets—those who speak of faith, those who speak of sound, scientific reason, and those who speak of both. Help us to understand those who have read the truths of the created order and who now speak of sacrifice. Pray for us, Mary, that like you we may face our own sacrifices and sufferings.

5th Joyful Mystery - Finding Jesus in the Temple 
After three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions, and all who heard him were astounded at his understanding and his answers. Luke 2:46-47 

Mother, pray that your Son grants us the grace to seek, to find, to listen to, and understand His truth. Help us to discern truth in all that nature reveals and in all that is spoken by the poor and suffering. Let us, and especially our leaders, see that our business must always be the business of doing the will of the Father. In doing so, we may live in harmony with Him, our neighbours, and all creation. 

II. Luminous Mysteries

1st Luminous Mystery - Baptism of Jesus 
It happened in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized in the Jordan by John. On coming up out of the water he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit, like a dove, descending upon him. And a voice came from the heavens, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” Mark 1:9-11 

Mother pray that your Son grants us the grace to fulfil our baptismal promises. Help us to offer our lives to God— to remain close to Him in Word and Sacrament—so that He, through us, may enter human history and all creation to elevate, protect, and transform it. Help us to baptize with our love of God all that we enter into—business, civil affairs, our relationships, and our homes. In doing so, help us to please God, the creator of all that is.

2nd Luminous Mystery - Wedding at Cana 
His mother said to the servers, “Do whatever he tells you.” Now there were six stone water jars there for Jewish ceremonial washings, each holding twenty to thirty gallons. Jesus told them, “Fill the jars with water.” So they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, “Draw some out now and take it to the headwaiter.” John 2:5-8 

Mother pray that your Son grants us the grace to have elevated the ordinary within us so that we may share our best to those close to us and those that we have never met. Help transform our daily activity in worldly affairs. Help us to see beyond our immediate needs and wants. Pray that we may instead discern the greater needs of the common good—the needs of all people, of all life, and all creation. 

3rd Luminous Mystery - Proclaiming the Kingdom 
“This is the time of fulfilment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” Mark 1:15 

Mother pray that your Son grants us the grace to believe in the promises and the challenges of His words. Help us to repent from all vice and all that is within us that seeks ultimate pleasure not from God but from consuming worldly and limited natural resources. Helps us to recognize that the time of true fulfilment has come. Help us to follow Christ, Who brings us to what we all desire and need—life eternal with God.

4th Luminous Mystery – The Transfiguration 
And he was transfigured before them; his face shone like the sun and his clothes became white as light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, conversing with him...While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud cast a shadow over them, then from the cloud came a voice that said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” Matthew 17:2-5 

Mother pray that your Son grants us the grace to see God’s glory in each other and in all creation. Help us to never to forget that all prayer and all grace must impel us to enter the fallen world and work for peace, charity, justice, and the restoration of all that is poisoned by sin. Help us, Mary, to be transfigured in faith, hope, and love. 

5th Luminous Mystery - Institution of the Eucharist 
While they were eating, Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and giving it to his disciples said, “Take and eat; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins.” Matthew 26:26-28 

Mother pray that your Son grants us the grace to remain in Him by remaining in communion with the Church. Help us to see in the Eucharist that which saves not only each of us but the entire cosmos. Mary, help us to see the bread and wine that are offered for the sacrifice of the Mass as they truly are: the fruits of the earth and the work of human hands.

III. Sorrowful Mysteries

1st Sorrowful Mystery - The Agony in the Garden 
Then he said to them, “My soul is sorrowful even to death. Remain here and keep watch.” He advanced a little and fell to the ground and prayed that if it were possible the hour might pass by him; he said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible to you. Take this cup away from me, but not what I will but what you will.” Mark 14:33-36 

Mother, pray that your Son grants us the grace to suffer along with those that suffer. Help us to embrace outcasts. Help us to change our ways from selfish consumption to selfless sacrifice and self-restraint. 

2nd Sorrowful Mystery - The Scourging at the Pillar 
Then Pilate took Jesus and had him scourged. John 19:1 

Mother, pray that your Son grants us the grace to build political, social, corporate, and scientific structures that respect the dignity of life. Mother Mary, help the Church bring to international and local communities the desire to care for the indigenous, the emigrants, and the ecosystems that allow all life to flourish. 

3rd Sorrowful Mystery - Crowning with Thorns 
They clothed him in purple and, weaving a crown of thorns, placed it on him. Mark 15:17 

Mother, pray that your Son grants us the grace to respect creation, all life, and the truth that He brought to the world. Help us all—as individuals and as members of governments, businesses, and communities—to always see the dignity of our fellow human beings. 

4th Sorrowful Mystery - Carrying of the Cross 
A large crowd of people followed Jesus, including many women who mourned and lamented him. Jesus turned to them and said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep instead for yourselves and for your children.” Luke 23:27-28 

Mother, pray that your Son grants us the grace to see the cost to all creation and all souls whenever we encounter those affected by a changed climate or by poisoned waters, land, and air. Mother Mary, help us to see the damage being done to ourselves and future generations whenever we watch from a distance the anguish of others. 

5th Sorrowful Mystery - The Crucifixion 
But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs, but one soldier thrust his lance into his side, and immediately blood and water flowed out. An eyewitness has testified, and his testimony is true; he knows that he is speaking the truth, so that you also may [come to] believe. John 19:33-35 

Mother, pray that your Son grants us the grace to die to self so that others may live. Help us to give of our lives so that the world we have broken may be healed for those here now and those not yet born.

IV. Glorious Mysteries

1st Glorious Mystery - The Resurrection 
On the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, and saw the stone removed from the tomb. John 20:1 

Mother, pray that your Son grants us the grace to see in His Resurrection
the promise of a world made new. Mary, help us to grow in certainty that the Author of Life is risen! Pray that we always see Him alive in our brothers and sisters in Christ. Pray that with the grace of God, all people of goodwill may boldly confront and defeat modern forms of sin, decay, and death. 

2nd Glorious Mystery - The Ascension 
“But you will receive power when the holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” When he had said this, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him from their sight. Acts 1:7-9 

Mother, pray that your Son grants us the grace to trust in Him, even if we cannot see Him. Help us to see a connection between our efforts in the world and the presence of Christ, who lives and reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. 

3rd Glorious Mystery - The Descent of the Holy Spirit 
And suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind, and it filled the entire house in which they were. Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them. And they were all filled with the holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim. Acts 2:2-4 

Mother, pray that your Son grants us the grace to welcome the Spirit’s life within us, so that, like you, we may give flesh to God’s Word in all we do. With the gifts of the Holy Spirit, may our Yes, like yours, proclaim the greatness of the Lord; may our spirit rejoice in God, our saviour—for to those who fear Him, He promises healing, even of the scars that we’ve inflicted on creation. 

4th Glorious Mystery - The Assumption of Mary 
Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God.” Luke 1:30 

Mother, pray that your Son grants us the grace to find hope in your Assumption. Help us to gain courage from the knowledge that you are with our great High Priest. Mother Mary, who sought help from Jesus at the wedding in Cana, help us to trust in your powerful intercession with He
Who sits at the right hand of the Father. And so, Mother Mary, to you do we entrust the needs of the poor, the displaced, the indigenous—the needs of all people and of Earth itself, which offers us life in accord with the laws of God. 

5th Glorious Mystery - The Coronation of Mary, Queen of Heaven 
A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. Revelation 12:1 

Mother, pray that your Son grants the whole world the grace to see in you a foretaste of the new heavens and the new earth. May your example encourage those who labour here on earth for the protection of all people and all creation.