Background on the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary
To understand the concept of the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart, one must study the apparitions of the Virgin Mary in Fatima, Portugal to three young shepherd children, on the thirteenth day of six consecutive months in 1917, beginning on May 13. The three children were Lúcia Santos and her cousins Jacinta and Francisco Marto. The apparitions at Fátima were officially declared “worthy of belief” in October 1930 by the Bishop of Leiria-Fátima.
The Revelation of the Immaculate Heart at Fatima, Portugal in 1917
The First Apparition occurred just eight days after the entreaty of Pope Benedict XV that the Mother of God intercede for the end of WW I. Our Lady came to the Cova da Iria, just outside the little village of Fatima, Portugal, and appeared on top of a small holm-oak to three little children: Lucia, Jacinta, and Francesco.
The First Apparition, May 13
Significantly in this first encounter the Blessed Virgin Mary taught the children about the gravity of sin which merits temporal punishment, the reality of Grace by which we are given the vision of God, and the efficacy of the daily recitation of the Rosary to bring about world peace. She also promised to take each of them to Heaven.
Our Lady’s question to the three children is also significant for those who wish to enter into the Admirable Alliance of Hearts like them: “Are you willing to offer yourselves to God and bear all the suffering He wills to send you, as an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended, and of supplication for the conversion of sinners?”
At the vision of God the three children fell to the ground and prayed the prayer that had been taught to them by the Angel of Peace: “O Most Holy Trinity, I adore You! My God, my God, I love You in the Most Blessed Sacrament!”
The Second Apparition, June 13
The second encounter took place on the Feast of St. Anthony of Padua. Our Lady asked the children to pray the Rosary daily. She promised to take Jacinta and Francesco to heaven soon. To Lucia, She gave the mission of remaining in the world to establish devotion to her Immaculate Heart. She promised Lucia: “My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God.”
On that occasion Our Lady gave the children another vision of God and revealed to the her Immaculate Heart, surrounded by thorns, outraged by the sins of humanity, and seeking reparation for them.
The Third Apparition, July 13
This third encounter took place just three days before the Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. Now Our Lady asked the children to pray the Rosary in honor of Our Lady of the Rosary, and said that only she could bring an end to the war. She promised to work a miracle to lead all to belief in her appearances at Fatima and to confirm her requests. To those who asked for bodily cures or conversions of loved ones, she promised that they would receive these graces if they prayed the Rosary. Then she said to the children: “Sacrifice yourselves for sinners, and say many times, especially whenever you make some sacrifice: O Jesus, it is for love of You, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.”
Then Our Lady opened her hands, as during the previous apparitions, and the light that was God streamed forth. In this light they were given, on this occasion, a vision of Hell so horrible and gruesome that the children shrieked aloud with fear. After showing them Hell Our Lady said to the children: “You have seen Hell where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace. The war is going to end; if people do not cease offending God, a worse one will break out during the pontificate of Pius XI. When you see a night illumined by an unknown light, know that this is the great sign given you by God that He is about to punish the world for its crimes, by means of war, famine, and persecutions of the Church and of the Holy Father. To prevent this, I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart, and the Communion of Reparation on the First Saturdays. If my requests are heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace; if not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer, various nations will be annihilated. In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, and she will be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world. In Portugal the dogma of the Faith will always be preserved … ” “When you pray the Rosary, say after each mystery: ‘O my Jesus, forgive us, save us from the fire of Hell. Lead all souls to heaven, especially those who are most in need.’”
The Fourth Apparition, August 15
This encounter was delay two days because of the attempts of the masonic government to bring an end to the apparitions, which were, by this time, drawing pilgrims from all parts of Portugal.
During this visit, Our Lady exhorted the children: “Pray, pray very much, and make sacrifices for sinners; for many souls go to Hell, because there are none to sacrifice themselves and to pray for them.”
The Fifth Apparition, September 13
This encounter took place on the day before the Feast of the Triumph of the Holy Cross. On this occasion Our Lady told the children about the miracle to take place in October, and that “God is pleased with your sacrifices.”
The Sixth Apparition, October 13
October 13, 1917 was marked by heavy rains throughout western Europe and especially in Fatima, Portugal. Approximately 70,000 persons had gathered to see the promised miracle, even reporters from the secular papers in Lisbon.
On this occasion, Our Lady revealed herself as the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Queen of the Most Holy Rosary. She asked the three children to continue to pray the Rosary daily and prophesied the end of the World War. After responding to a request for the conversion and healing of certain persons Our Lady, looking sad, said: “Do not offend the Lord Our God any more, because He is already so much offended.”
Then Our Lady ascended into the Heavens and the three children were given a vision of St. Joseph holding the Child Jesus and blessing the world, of Jesus Himself blessing the world, and of herself under her titles of the Immaculate Conception, Coredemptrix, and Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
While the children beheld these visions a most extraordinary miracle occurred in the heavens. The sun began to twirl about in the sky and rays of all colors came forth radiating from its disk. It began to move about erratically and then fell suddenly to the earth amid the cries and shouts of more than 70,000 pilgrims and critics who had assembled. Afterwards, it began to ascend to its former place, leaving the entire crowd and ground perfectly dry. This miracle was seen even as far away as 20 miles and was witnessed even by the atheistic reporters who were present.
Our Lady Establishes the Devotion of the Five First Saturdays
The Apparition of December 10, 1925
On this day Our Lady, holding Her Immaculate Heart in her hand, appeared to Lucia, and by her side stood the Child Jesus on a luminous cloud. The Child Jesus said: “Have compassion on the heart of your Most Holy Mother, covered with thorns, with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment, and there is no one to make an act of reparation to remove them.”
Then the Blessed Virgin Mary said to Lucia: “Look, my daughter, at my heart, surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce me at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You at least try to console me and say that I promise to assist at the hour of death, with the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months, shall confess, receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary, and keep me company for fifteen minutes while meditating on the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary, with the intention of making reparation to me.”
On another occasion the Child Jesus reappeared to Lucia and asked that those who practice this devotion, receive Him in Holy Communion when in the state of grace.
Our Lady Requests the Consecration of Russia
The Last Apparition, June 6, 1929
“I had sought and obtained permission from my superiors and confessor to make a Holy Hour from eleven o’clock until midnight, every Thursday to Friday night. Being alone one night, I knelt near the altar rails in the middle of the chapel and, prostrate, I prayed the prayers of the Angel. Feeling tired, I then stood up and continued to say the prayers with my arms in the form of a cross. The only light was that of the sanctuary lamp. Suddenly, the whole chapel was illumined by a supernatural light, and above the altar appeared a cross of light, reaching to the ceiling. In a brighter light on the upper part of the cross, could be seen the face of a man and his body as far as the waist; upon his breast was a dove of light; nailed to the cross was the body of another man. A little below the waist, I could see a chalice and a large host suspended in the air, upon which drops of blood were falling from the face of Jesus Crucified and from the wound in His side. These drops ran down upon the host and fell into the chalice. Beneath the right arm of the cross was Our Lady and in her hand was her Immaculate Heart. Under the left arm of the cross, large letters, as if of crystal clear water which ran down upon the altar, formed these words: “Grace and Mercy.”
I understood that it was the Mystery of the Most Holy Trinity which was shown to me, and I received lights about this mystery which I am not permitted to reveal.
Our Lady then said to me: “The moment has come in which God asks the Holy Father, in union with all the Bishops of the world, to make the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart, promising to save it by this means. There are so many souls whom the Justice of God condemns for sins committed against me, that I have come to ask reparation: sacrifice yourself for this intention and pray.”
We would be mistaken to think that Fatima’s prophetic mission is complete … May the [four] years which separate us from the centenary of the apparitions hasten the fulfillment of the prophecy of the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
— Pope Benedict XVI, May 13, 2010