For some time, now, I have queried the claim (widely spread around these days, not least in the Blogosphere) that the Consecration of Russia has not been done because not enough of us are doing our bit by carrying out the Fatima requests to make the First Saturdays, pray the daily Rosary, wear the Brown Scapular etc. In my humble opinion, that doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t make sense to me that Our Lady would ask the Pope and Bishops to do this Consecration, in a precise manner, with no mention of any such conditions involving the rest of the faithful, and then, some years later, find the Fatima “experts” are blaming us for the failure of the Pope/Bishops to carry out the Consecration. At our recent Conference, Father Nicholas Mary C.SS.R mentioned this claim, and when I queried it, he promised to find the origin of it. Today, I received the following email from him providing the source. Father wrote:
Many sound authors quote Sr Lucia’s assertion that the consecration of Russia would take place “when a sufficient number are fulfilling the requests” of Our Lady of Fatima. There are also other passages from her writings and interviews where she says something similar. Nonetheless the origin of the precise quotation you questioned me about in public recently is as follows:
In 1946 Sr Lucia told John Haffert in an interview that “the Holy Father and all the Bishops will unite to consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.” He then writes:
“‘And do you think the conversion of Russia and peace will follow?’ I asked, catching my breath. ‘Yes,’ she said deliberately. ‘Yes, that is what Our Lady promised.’ ‘But when, Sister,’ I asked, ‘when will it happen?’ ‘It will happen,’ she replied. ‘There might be much more suffering (we had been talking of the awful civil war in Spain), more nations may be afflicted, but it will happen when a sufficient number are fulfilling the requests.’” [John M. Haffert – Russia will be converted, Washington, New Jersey, 1956 (2nd ed.), AMI Press, p. 246]
Although John Haffert (of Blue Army fame) later went astray, at the time of the above writing, he was regarded as a reliable Fatima source, so this quotation surprised me. Still, I noted that Sr Lucia does not claim to be quoting Our Lady; arguably, then, it is possible that she was giving her own opinion. In any case, I sent the above text to a friend in the south of England, who is something of an expert on Marian apparitions in general and Fatima in particular. He replies:
It does seem difficult to refute [that quote]. But in 1929 at the Tuy vision, Our Lady said that the moment had come (emphasis mine) for the Pope & bishops to consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart. I wouldn’t have thought it was entirely dependent on how many were living the Fatima message, because at that time, only 12 years after the initial events occurred, the full message wasn’t widely known then. As I understand it, the message of Fatima applies to all humanity – for the laity, religious and priests to live the Fatima message:- i.e. the daily rosary, brown scapular, consecration to the Immaculate Heart, First Saturdays etc, and for the Pope and the Bishops in union with him to do all those things as well, but in their case also to specifically consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The Fatima Network seems to say that there must be some co-operation from the laity in the Fatima message, obviously, but it doesn’t seem to make the consecration absolutely dependent on it. Source
Self-evidently, it can only be a good thing if more and more Catholics make the First Saturdays, pray the Rosary, wear the Brown Scapular and make sacrifices for sinners etc. That’s not the issue. The issue is, IS the fulfilment of those of Our Lady’s requests which apply to the faithful at large, a condition of the Pope’s/Bishops’ fulfilment of Our Lady’s request to them to consecrate Russia to her Immaculate Heart? I can’t see it. Can you?
Note: in the original post, submitted earlier today, I omitted Father Nicholas Mary’s name and mention of the Conference, but he has asked me to amend the post to make the context entirely clear: thus, I have restored that part of his email which states that I “questioned him in public”. Those bloggers/readers who attended the Conference and witnessed the exchange will recall that it was polite and respectful. Some may consider that I, as a mere laywoman, had no right “questioning” Father “in public”, but I did so merely to correct what I believe to be a misleading opinion about where responsibility for the Consecration of Russia, lies. If I am proven to be wrong, I will gladly apologise for questioning Father Nicholas Mary. I am always grateful for necessary correction myself, so feel free to speak your minds, one and all.