Today, October 13, 2017, is the one hundreth anniversary of Our Lady's final apparition to Jacinta and Francisco Marto and their cousin, Lucia dos Santos, in the Cova da Iria near Fatima, Portugal. It is no accident that that Our Heavenly Queen of the Most Holy Rosary chose to appear this day, which is the semi-double of one the great exemplars of the Social Reign of Christ the King: Saint Edward the Confessor.
Saint Edward spent thirty years of his life, from age ten to age forty, in exile in Normandy, growing in sanctity, especially by his devotion to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, at which he was once privileged to actually see the Chief Priest and Victim of every Mass, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, smiling at him. He was solicitous of the poor and the underprivileged.
Saint Edward the Confessor acceded to the throne at the age of thirty-nine, in 1042, receiving a warm welcome from the Danes who had invaded England and gained political mastery there. Edward was respected by all precisely because of his sanctity, which exhibited itself in his gentleness and his ability to avert conflicts. Although he did repel an invasion from the Welsh and sought to aid King Malcolm III in Scotland as Macbeth plotted to secure the Scottish throne for himself, his twenty-four year reign was one of peace with other kingdoms and justice for the poor in his own kingdom. Saint Edward, the last Anglo-Saxon King of England, was ever conscious of his obligation to rule according to the Mind of Christ the King as He has discharged It exclusively in His Catholic Church. Thus mindful of the rights of private property and the limits of just government Saint Edward the Confessor reduced taxes during his reign in England.
Saint Edward the Confessor was particularly devoted to Saint John the Evangelist. He refused no request made in the name of the Beloved Apostle. Saint John appeared to Saint Edward as a beggar, who asked him for alms. Having no money to give him, the king took off his ring and gave it away. Saint John returned the ring with a note telling him on what day, January 5, he would die in the year of 1066, just nine months before the Battle of Hastings. Saint Edward immediately ordered that prayers be said for him in preparation for his death. The man who was chosen to be a king in this world was ever mindful of his duties to be submissive to the King of Kings, to Whom he would have to make an account of his life and of the secular authority that had been given to him at the moment of his Particular Judgment.
Saint Edward is thus quite a contrast to the egomaniacal, delusional civil potentates of our own day, some of whom believe that God actually speaks to them ("George, go into Iraq and get Hussein") and "orders" them to rain down bombs on others in order to spread, say, the American concept of civil liberty as the means of a just social order within nations and peace among nations ("George, go into Iraq and get Hussein"), while others, perhaps one currently in power, suffer from delusions of being a secular saviour ("We are the ones we've been waiting for," Text of Barack Obama's Super Tuesday Speech).
Saint Edward knew that the basis of peace among men is the peace of Christ in the souls of men that is the fruit of being in a state of sanctifying grace. Saint Edward knew that no man is free who has not been liberated from sin in Christ by means of being baptized as a member of the Catholic Church. Saint Edward knew that no country will be just if it attempts to make idols of his own national myths and ideologies, dismissing as so much "impractical nonsense" the necessity of formal membership in the true Church as the means of the salvation of men and the necessity of kingdoms being subordinated to the King of Kings and the authority of His true Church.
Dom Prosper Gueranger wrote the following in The Liturgical Year about the life and the kingly rule of Saint Edward the Confessor:
This glorious saint was like a beautiful lily, crowning the ancient branch of the kings of Wessex. The times had progressed since the sixth century, when the pagan Cerdic and other pirate chiefs from the North Sea scattered with ruins the island of saints. Having accomplished their mission of wrath, the Anglo-Saxons became instruments of grace to the land they had conquered. Evangelized by Rome, even as the Britons they had just chastised, they remembered, better than the latter, whence their salvation had come; a spring-tide blossoming of sanctity showed the pleasure God took once more in Albion, for the constant fidelity of the princes and people of the heptarchy towards the See of Peter. The in year of our Lord 800, Egbert, a descendant of Cerdic, had gone on pilgrimage to Rome, when a deputation from the West Saxons offered him the crown, beside the tomb of the Prince of the apostles, at whose feet Charlemagne, at that very time, was restoring the empire. As Egbert united one sceptre the power of the seven kingdoms, so Saint Edward, his last descendant, represents to-day in his own person the glorious holiness of them all.
Nephew to St. Edward the martyr, our holy king is known to God and man by the beautiful title of Confessor. The Church, in her account of his life, sets forth more particularly the virtues which won him so glorious an appellation; but we must remember moreover that his reign of twenty-four years was one of the happiest England has ever known. Alfred the Great had no more illustrious imitator. The Danes, so long masters, now entirely subjugated within the kingdom, and without, held at bay by the noble attitude of the prince; Macbeth, the usurper of the Scotch throne, vanquished in a campaign that Shakespeare has immortalized; St. Edward's Laws, which remain to this day the basis of the British constitution; the saint's munificence towards all noble enterprises, while at the same time he diminished the taxes: all this proves with sufficient clearness, that the sweetness of virtue, which made him the intimate friend of St. John the beloved disciple, is not incompatible with the greatness of a monarch:
Edward, surnamed the Confessor, nephew to St. Edward king and martyr, was the last king of the Anglo-Saxon race. Our Lord had revealed that he would one day be king, to a holy man named Brithwald. When Edward was ten years old, the Danes, who were devastating England, sought his life; he was therefore obliged to go into exile, to the court of his uncle the duke of Normandy. Amid the vices and temptations of the Norman court, he grew up pure and innocent, a subject of admiration to all. His pious devotion towards God and holy things was most remarkable. He was of a very gentle disposition, and so great a stranger to ambition that he was wont to say he would rather forgo the kingdom than take possession of it by violence and bloodshed.
On the death of the tyrants who had murdered his brothers and seized their kingdom, he was recalled to his country, and ascended to the throne to the greatest satisfaction and joy of all his subjects. Hen then applied himself to remove all traces of the havoc wrought by the enemy. To begin at the sanctuary, he build many churches, and restored others, endowing them with rents and privileges; for he was very anxious see religion, which had been neglected, flourish again. All writers attest that, though compelled by his nobles to marry, both he and his pride preserved their virginity intact. Such were his love of Christ, and his faith, that he was one day permitted to see our Lord in the Mass, shining with heavenly light and smiling upon him. His lavish charity won him the name of the father of orphans and of the poor; and he was never so happy as when he had exhausted the royal treasury on their behalf.
He was honoured with the gift of prophecy, and foresaw much of England's future history. A remarkable instance is, that when Sweyn, the king of Denmark, was drowned in the very act of embarking on his fleet to invade England, Edward was supernaturally aware of the event the very moment it happened. He had a special devotion to St. John the evangelist, and was accustomed never to refuse anything asked in his name. One day St. John appeared to him as a poor man begging alms in this manner; the king, having no money about him, took off his ring and gave it to him. Soon afterwards the saint sent the ring back to Edward, with a message that his death was at hand. The king then ordered prayers to be said for himself; and died most piously on the day foretold by St. John, the Nones of January, in the year of salvation 1066. Pope Alexander III enrolled him, famous for miracles, among the saints. Innocent XI ordered his memory to be celebrated by the whole Church with a public Office, on the day of his Translation, which took place thirty-six years after his death, his body being found incorrupt and exhaling a sweet fragrance. (The Roman Breviary account of the life of Saint Edward the Confessor, found in Dom Prosper Gueranger's The Liturgical Year.)
Thou representest on the sacred cycle the nation which Gregory the Great foresaw wold rival the angels; so many kings, illustrious virgins, grand bishops, and great monks, who were its glory, now from thy brilliant court. When are now the unwise in whose sight thou and thy race seemed to die? History must be judged in the light of heaven. While thou and thine reign there eternally, judging nations and ruling over peoples; the dynasties of thy successors on earth, ever jealous of the Church, and long wandering in schism and heresy, have become extinct one after another, sterilized by God's wrath, and having none but that vain renown whereof no trace is found in the book of life. How much more noble and more durable, O Edward, were the fruits of thy holy virginity! Teach us to look upon the present world as a preparation for another, an everlasting world; and to value human events by their eternal results. Our admiring worship seeks and finds thee in thy royal abbey of Westminster; and we love to contemplate, by anticipation, thy glorious resurrection on the day of judgment, when all around thee so many false grandeurs will acknowledge their same and their nothingness. Bless us, prostrate in spirit or in reality, beside thy tomb, where heresy, fearful of the result, would fain forbid our prayer. Offer to God the supplications rising to-day from all parts of the world, for the wandering sheep, whom the Shepherd's voice is no so earnestly calling back to the one fold! (Dom Prosper Gueranger, O.S.B., The Liturgical Year: Time After Pentecost: Book V, pp. 382-386.)
Saint Edward the Confessor is the sort of ruler who should be governing every land in the world. Pious and just and solicitous for the needs of the poor, Saint Edward accepted an earthly crown in the recognition that a crown of eternal glory awaited him if he ruled according to the mind of Christ the King. There are not the likes of such a man today among any of the midget naturalists of the false opposite of the "left" and the "right."
It is therefore no accident in the Providence of God that the date of Saint Edward the Confessor's feast day, October 13, was the one on which the Blessed Mother would make her final public apparition in the Cova da Iria near Fatima, Portugal. The Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, which will be the result of the faithful fulfillment of her Fatima Message by the proper consecration of Russia to that Immaculate Heart by a true pope with all of the world's true bishops, will usher in a "certain period of peace," a new Christendom, if you will, where statesmen of Saint Edward the Confessor's purity of life and ambition to serve Christ the King alone will be the rule of the day. The petty, shallow, self-deluded careerists of the present will be swept away, becoming but footnotes in the annals of world history. Men will emerge who will seek, as Saint Louis IX, King of France did, to root out from their lands the conditions that breed sin and indifference to the Faith as essential in all aspects of daily life.
On a day when it was raining heavily and with nearly 70,000 pilgrims standing or kneeling in the mud as the rain soaked them to the bone, Our Lady told Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta that they must continue to do penance for sins and to pray the Rosary every day:
I want to tell you that a chapel is to be built here in my honour. I am the Lady of the Rosary. Continue always to pray the Rosary every day. The war is going to end, and the soldiers will soon return to their homes.
After telling the seers that people must amend their lives, Our Lady said:
Do not offend the Lord our God any more, because He is already so much offended.
Our Lady then disappeared after opening her hands to the sun, reappearing first to all three children with Saint Joseph as he blessed the crowd at the Cova da Iria by making the Sign of the Cross three times with his foster-Child. It was shortly thereafter that Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ was seen carrying His Cross by Lucia dos Santos alone as Our Lady or Sorrows, without the sword in her Immaculate Heart, appeared to her. The final apparition, seen once again only by Lucia, was that of Our Lady, dressed as Our Lady of Mount Carmel, with the Infant Jesus. Each of the three apparitions represented the three sets of mysteries of Our Lady's Most Holy Rosary: Joyful, Sorrowful, Glorious.
The long-awaited miracle that Our Lady had promised she would make manifest was seen by the children and by the large crowd of pilgrims. A secular journalist, Avelino de Almeida, who had written pieces that were scathing in their criticism of the children's claims to have seen Our Lady, wrote the following eye-witness report for his anti-clerical newspaper, O Seculo:
One could see the immense multitude turn towards the sun, which appeared free from clouds and at its zenith. It looked like a plaque of dull silver and it was possible to look at it without the least discomfort. It might have been an eclipse which was taking place. But at that moment a great shout went up and one could hear the spectators nearest at hand shouting: "A miracle! A miracle!" Before the astonished eyes of the crowd, whose aspect was Biblical as they stood bareheaded, eagerly searching the sky, the sun trembled, made sudden incredible movements outside all cosmic laws - the sun "danced" according to the typical expression of the people.
People then began to ask each other what they had seen. The great majority admitted to having seen the trembling and dancing of the sun; others affirmed that they saw the face of the Blessed Virgin; others, again, swore that the sun whirled on itself like a giant Catherine wheel and that it lowered itself to the earth as if to burn it with its rays. Some said they saw it change colors successively.
The thousands of people who had been soaked to the bone were completely dry within ten minutes of the appearance of the sun. They were dry. Their clothes were dry. The ground upon which they stood, which had was nothing other than mud and large puddles of water, was completely dry.
Three months before, on July 13, 1917, Our Lady had outlined the essence of the Fatima Message that we must continue to spread with all of the strength and courage that her Divine Son can send us:
Sacrifice yourselves for sinners, and say many times, especially when 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.
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; but 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.
Our Lady then told Lucia to add what we call the Fatima Prayer at the end of each mystery of her Most Holy Rosary.
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."
Twelve years later, on June 13, 1929, Sister Lucia saw the now famous image of the Most Holy Trinity during a Holy Hour. Our Lady spoke to her the following words:
The moment has come in which God asks the Holy Father, in union with all the Bishops in 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.
Our Lord Himself amplified the words of His Most Holy Mother, speaking the following to Sister Lucia in 1931:
They did not wish to heed My request. Like the king of France, they will repent and do it, but it will be late. Russia will have already spread her errors throughout the world, provoking wars and persecutions of the Church; the Holy Father will have much to suffer.
A simple act require simple obedience as simply as Naaman obeyed the command of God, given to him by the Prophet Eliseus, to wash in the Jordan River seven times to be cleansed of his leprosy:
So Naaman came with his horses and chariots, and stood at the door of the house of Eliseus: And Eliseus sent a messenger to him, saying: "Go, and wash seven times in the Jordan, thy flesh shall recover health, and thou shalt be clean."
Naaman was angry and went away, saying: "I thought he would have come out to me, and standing would have invoked the name of the Lord his God, and touched with his hand the place of the leprosy, and healed me. Are not the Abana, and the Pharphar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel, that I may wash in them, and be made clean?" So, as he turned, and was going away with indignation, his servants came to him and said to him: "Father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, surely thou shouldst have done it: how much rather what he now hath said to thee: 'Wash, and thou shalt be clean'?"
Then he went down, and washed in the Jordan seven times: according to the word of the man of God, and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was made clean. (4 Kings 5:9-14)
As we know, though, the apostate leaders of the counterfeit church of conciliarism too much of themselves in accommodating the errors of Russia, starting with the prohibition of any mention of Communism in the "Second" Vatican Council that was imposed by Angelo Roncalli/John XXIII. Efforts to seek to convert souls out of any branch of Orthodoxy, no less Russian Orthodoxy, are actively discouraged by the conciliar Vatican as a result of the Balamand Statement..It is as though the conversion of Russia to the true Church, which is what Our Lady said would be the fruit of the proper consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart, is considered to be too much of a political and/or theological impediment to the "vision" of the "Second" Vatican Council. Thus, prideful men, many of whom have embraced the naturalistic foundation of the Modern State that would have caused great exemplars of the Social Reign of Christ the King such as Saint Edward the Confessor to weep with sorrow, believe that they know better than the Mother of God herself.
In the midst of all of the inter-related problems facing the Church Militant on earth and the world, especially in this time of apostasy and betrayal, we must rely tenderly upon the patronage of Our Lady, seeking to fulfill on a daily basis the demands of the Fatima Message, especially by praying the Rosary, making the Five First Saturdays (over and over and over again until we die), going to Confession regularly, and seeking to do penance for our sins and those of the whole world
That is, each of us is called to fulfill the daily duties demanded of our state-in-life with great love and attention to detail, offering all to the Most Blessed Trinity through the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Examples of such penances are, well, everything we do if we do and everything we are asked to suffer during the course of a day if it is given to God through the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
That is, getting up when we would prefer to stay in bed.
Dealing kindly and patiently with those around us. Bearing insults and misunderstandings with the patient self-abnegation of Our Lord Himself, praying fervently each day for those who insult us or who think they know the inner workings of our hearts and souls.
Attending to the mundane duties of daily living, such as taking out the garbage or having to endure the horrors of the modern world when shopping for food or other supplies.
Suffering with Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and Our Lady during the cataclysm afflicting Holy Mother Church in this time of apostasy and betrayal at present.
Offering up all of the aches and pains associated with the aging process readily and with joy in reparation for our sins and those of the whole world. "Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, we love you. Save souls." "All to thee Blessed Mother." "All to thy Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart."
The work of spreading the Fatima Message is the work of our time. If we want to see a world where our civil rulers reflect the sanctity of Saint Edward the Confessor and to see our dioceses and our parishes restored to the true Church, then we had better pray and make sacrifices for the miracle that it will take to place a Catholic back on the Throne of Saint Peter so that he can fulfill Our Lady's Fatima Message.
Such a miracle does not seem likely at present. Miracles are possible. One occurred on this very day ninety-three years ago. One occurs every day when a mere man utters mere words over the mere elements of this earth, making God Himself incarnate under the appearances of bread and wine. Oh, yes, miracles are possible. We must never cease praying for the miracle of the fulfillment of Our Lady's Fatima Message. The Church Militant on earth will be brought out of her Mystical Burial. Christendom will be restored in the world.
Is it too much to ask that we pray as many Rosaries each day as our states-in-life permits?
Viva Cristo Rey? Vivat Christus Rex!
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our deaths.
All to thee, Blessed Mother. All to thy Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, we love you. Save souls!
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.
Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.
Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us.
Saints Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, pray for us.
Saint Edward the Confessor, pray for us.
Jacinta, Francisco, and Lucia, pray for us.