Through her Fatima messages, Our Lady requests a number of sincere actions from us that will benefit our own souls and the souls of others as well.
The Blessed Mother desires that we pray the rosary. “Pray the rosary every day in honor of Our Lady of the rosary to obtain peace in the world…for she alone can save it” (The Blessed Mother on July 13, 1917).
In all six of her apparitions at Fatima, the Blessed Mother emphasized the daily recitation of the rosary. Fr. Andrew Apostoli, CFR, believes that everyone can and should fulfill the Blessed Mother’s requests by committing to praying the daily rosary. He also believes that Mary needs our prayers. Specifically, he wrote, “Our Lady told the children of the rosary’s power to end wars, bring world peace and convert sinners. Everyone who wants to fulfill our Lady’s requests at Fatima must make the resolution to pray the rosary every day. Remember, Mary wants our prayers; Mary needs our prayers for the triumph of her Immaculate Heart.”
The Immaculate Heart of Mary
Our Lady of Fatima asks us to become devoted to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. “Jesus wishes to establish devotion to my Immaculate Heart in the world. I promise salvation to those who embrace it” (The Blessed Mother on June 13, 1917).
Professor Americo Pablo Lopez-Ortiz, international president of the World Apostolate of Fatima, explained the Immaculate Heart of Mary as one of the greatest gifts from heaven and the spiritual presence of Mary with us through her Immaculate Heart. He said:
The Immaculate Heart of Mary represents the spiritual motherhood of Mary over humanity. When she appeared to Sr. Lucia, Our Lady had the Heart in her hand and she offered her heart to Lucia. Lucia was representing all human beings when Our Lady said: “My heart will stay with you till the end.” Our Lady was risen and assumed to heaven in body and soul, by her Son, Jesus Christ, but she left the Heart with us on earth: the heart is the spiritual presence of Mary. The spiritual action of the Mother is so much needed by her children. She wants to save her children. She has given us her heart. So her Immaculate Heart is with us on earth. We have two wonderful gifts from heaven. The most important one is the divine and real presence of Jesus Christ in the Most Blessed Sacrament: His body, blood, soul and Divinity, till the end of times. The second greatest gift is the spiritual motherhood of Mary given over humanity given to us by Jesus Christ on the First Good Friday, when Jesus said to his beloved disciple: “Behold your mother.” From that moment on, John the beloved disciple of Christ, received Mother Mary in her Heart and in his own house.
A Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary
We are encouraged to consecrate our lives to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Any formula can be used as long as it is sincere and confides oneself without reserve to the Blessed Mother.
Five First Saturdays
The Blessed Mother asks us to do our part and make the commitment to the Five First Saturdays devotion, which include: reception of Holy Communion and confession (within eight days before or after), to pray five decades of the rosary, and to spend fifteen minutes in meditation on the mysteries of the rosary to be offered up in reparation for sins and ingratitude against the Immaculate Heart of Our Lady.
Transforming the world and establishing the Kingdom of God on earth begins with our own conversion of heart. We pray daily for graces to convert our hearts, to receive those graces and allow God to dwell in us in our interior life. Conversion of heart is an ongoing process. It is not just once in a lifetime. We need to pray every day for the conversion of our hearts so that we can become a brilliant light of God’s love in a darkened world.
We are all called to conversion and holiness, not just the children at Fatima or someone else. St. Teresa of Calcutta often said, “Holiness is not the luxury of a few, but a simple duty for you and me.”
With regard to the Fatima messages, in an interview on EWTN Live, Prof. Lopez-Ortiz said, “It is a great mistake to focus on the prophesies or what could happen at any moment in history…we would not be giving importance to what really matters. The same information available to the children is available to us too.”
Host Fr. Mitch Pacwa, SJ, responded, “We need that kind of intimacy with God that they experienced.”
Reparation and Sacrifice
Our Lady of Fatima asks that we offer in reparation our own personal crosses and trials of life and to make sacrifices for the conversion of sinners, especially those sacrifices involved in keeping God’s commandments, in patiently accepting God’s will, and in fulfilling the duties of one’s state in life. We are to offer them through the Immaculate Heart of Mary in reparation to God so offended by sin, and for the conversion of sinners. This instruction made a lasting impression on the young visionaries and should on us too.
“Sacrifice yourselves for sinners and say often whenever you make a sacrifice: ‘O Jesus, it is for love of You, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the o enses committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary’” (The Blessed Mother on July 13, 1917). “Pray much and make sacrifices for sinners, for many souls go to hell because there is no one to make sacrifices for them” (The Blessed Mother on August 19, 1917).
In My Own Life
Our Lady of Fatima speaks to us about our responsibilities to prayer and to love. Are you loving your family members enough to care about their eternal salvation? is is truly our indispensable role in the family. What about your neighbors? Do you walk or drive by them but don’t take time to get to know them? Do you pray for their salvation? Do you pray for your community? Do you make sacrifices and take time to pray for the needs of others? Our Lady of Fatima is calling us to a renewed fidelity to penance and prayer. We need to step up to the plate. Now is the time. Our Lord and his Mother are counting on us.
Dear Lord Jesus, I want to give my life to you. I want to help to save souls with my sincere, loving prayers, sacrifices, penance, and actions. Dear Our Lady of Fatima, open my heart, my eyes, and ears to see the needs around me. Please pray for me and grant me the graces I need. Saint Joseph, all of the angels and saints, please pray for me.
Excerpted from Our Lady of Fatima: 100 Years of Stories, Prayers, and Devotions, by Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle.
Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle is an award-winning and best-selling author of more than twenty books including The Miraculous Medal: Stories, Prayers, and Devotions. She is a journalist, speaker, pilgrimage host, and the EWTN television host and creator of “Everyday Blessings for Catholic Moms” and “Catholic Mom’s Café.” Donna-Marie was blessed to know St. Teresa of Calcutta (Mother Teresa) and received a special blessing from St. John Paul II for her work on this great saint. Donna-Marie is a frequent guest on national Catholic radio and television.