Sermon Given by Fr. De Pauw on the 60th Anniversary of the First Apparition of the Blessed Mother at Fatima, Portugal, May 13, 1977
An added reason for every one of you coming back here this afternoon at 5 o'clock and making this year's May Procession the best and largest attended ever is that this year, 1977, is the 60th anniversary of our Blessed Mother's apparitions at Fatima.
As a matter of fact it was exactly 60 years ago the day before yesterday, May 13, 1917, that the Virgin Mary appeared for the first time to three children in a field called Cova da Iria near Fatima, north of Lisbon, Portugal.
It was during that apparition and the five subsequent apparitions between that day and October 13 of the same year that the Mother of God urged frequent recitation of the rosary; asked for penance and mortification for the conversion of sinners; called for devotion to herself under the title of her Immaculate Heart; asked that the peoples of Russia be dedicated to her under that title, and that the faithful make a Communion of reparation on the first Saturday of each month.
The apparitions at Fatima were declared authentic and worthy of belief thirteen years later, in 1930, after a seven-year canonical investigation by Pope Pius XI, who authorized devotion to Our Lady of Fatima under the title of Our Lady of the Rosary.
On October 1942, in the middle of World War II, Pope Pius XII dedicated the world, and what a world it was already becoming then, to the Virgin Mary under the title of her Immaculate Heart. Ten years later, in 1952, in the first apostolic letter ever addressed to the peoples of Russia, he dedicated them in a special manner to the mother of God.
Of special interest in the entire Fatima chapter is the last apparition of October 13, 1917, where one of the three shepherd children to whom the Virgin Mary appeared, the only one still alive today in a Portuguese Carmelite convent as Sister Lucy, wrote a three-part account. The first part concerned a vision of hell. The second dealt with the possible conversion of Russia. And the third part was what became known as the so-called "secret of Fatima”, which, it was said, was not to be opened until 1960 or the death of Sister Lucy, whichever would come first.
Pope John XXIII, who was pope in 1960, did not make the secret public, but so it was told in Rome, gave a copy of it to the then President Kennedy and Soviet Chairman Kruschev. From there it allegedly fell into the hands of certain ambassadors, and I personally when I was at the Second Vatican Council in Rome in 1962 got a hold of at least part of it which was then being circulated in diplomatic circles. (Fr. DePauw was attending a news conference about the Council in Rome and at his place he found a sealed envelope containing part of the "secret of Fatima". He stated that he did not know who left it for him, but it was obvious that whoever did wanted him to have this part.)
It is said that Pope Paul VI who met with Sister Lucy at Fatima 10 years ago gets very nervous when the secret of Fatima is mentioned to him. Maybe he should!. .. Maybe we all should get a little nervous when we hear the name Fatima! ...For this is part of the Fatima message the Mother of God sent us 60 years ago, a message the world has laughed at, the Church has ignored, and neither you nor I have paid sufficient attention: This is how the Mother of God sounded:
"I am the Mother of God speaking to you and begging you to proclaim in my name the following message to the entire world:
A great tragedy shall come to all mankind, not as yet today, nor even tomorrow, but in the second half of the 20th century ie. between 1950 and the year 2000, that is NOW!
Humanity will not develop as God wants it. Mankind will become sacrilegious and trample underfoot the gifts God gave it.
There will be no order and law left anywhere. In the highest positions it will be Satan who rules and decides how affairs are to be conducted.
With the mighty ones already under his thumb Satan will also possess the minds of great scientists and bring them to produce weapons which can destroy half of humanity in a few minutes…
In the second half of this century Satan will even succeed in infiltrating into the highest positions in the Church. It will be a time of greatest trial for the Church. Cardinals will fight cardinals, and bishops will fight bishops. Satan will be right in their midst, and in Rome itself there will be big changes. The Church will be darkened and the entire world plunged into confusion.
I call on all true followers of my Son Jesus Christ and on the leaders of the world and the leaders of the Church to oppose these acts and end all this. For if this conversion does not come about, God will punish men more severely than he punished them by the flood, and the great and mighty shall perish thereby as well as the small and weak.
Woe to the world and the Church! If conversion does not come about, the biggest war ever will happen in the second half of the twentieth century. Fire and smoke will fall from the sky and the waters of the oceans will be turned to steam, hurling their foam towards the sky; and all that is standing will be overthrown. Millions and more millions will lose their lives from one hour to the next. There will be desolation wherever the eye can see and misery over the entire earth and tribulation in every country. And those who survive will at first envy those who are dead, seeing the good die with the wicked, the old with the young, the princes of the Church with their followers, and the leaders of the world with their subjects. A time which neither political nor Church leaders will be expecting, but which will nevertheless come in accordance with my Father's plan to finally punish and avenge.
For a while Satan's henchmen will be the only rulers on earth. But next, the few survivors will once again turn to God and His glory, and worship Him as He was before the world became corrupted.
So spoke the Mother of God at Fatima 60 years ago. Twelve years ago I traveled all over the country and to several other countries as well, with this message.
The choice is clear: Conversion or Destruction.
Won't you come back this afternoon at 5 o'clock to join me in praying to Our Lady of Fatima for the conversion of the world, for the conversion of our Church? So that all the beautiful things that still surround us may not be destroyed in a nuclear holocaust! Or, if this is to be according to God's plan of justice, that at least we may be like Noah and his family when the flood came, among the few God will select to survive, and with the undiluted faith of our forefathers start, all over again, a new and better world for these...your children and grandchildren.
See you all this afternoon!