We will comment on the dialogue of the Fatima seer, now-Saint Francisco Marto, as recorded in an excerpt from the famous book, The True Story of Fatima, by Fr. John de Marchi. In this dialogue during Francisco’s last illness, Sister Lúcia sat next to Francisco’s bed and gently whispered to him:
“Francisco, are you suffering a great deal?”
“Yes, I am. I suffer it all for the love of Our Lord and Our Lady. I want to suffer more and I can’t.” He lifted himself up a little to see if the door was closed tight. He fumbled under the pillow for his rope of penance and handed it to Lucia. “You keep it for me. I’m afraid mother will see it. If I get up again, I want it back.” (Our Lady had told them that God did not want them wearing the rope in bed but they kept it nearby just in case they ever got up.)
Francisco knew well that he would not recover. “Look, Lucia, I’m going soon to Heaven. Jacinta is going to pray a great deal for sinners and for the Holy Father and for you. You’re going to stay here below because Our Lady wants you to. Do whatever She wants.”
“Jacinta seemed to be interested only in the conversion of sinners; she wanted to save people from Hell,” Lucia said later, “but Francisco’s only desire was to console Our Lord and Our Lady Who seemed to him so sorrowful.”
“I feel very sick,” he confided to Lucia, “but I’ll be in Heaven soon.”
“Then make sure you pray very much for sinners and for the Holy Father, Jacinta and me.”
“Yes, I’ll pray. But you should rather ask Jacinta for that. I’m afraid I’ll forget everything when I see Our Lord. After all, I would rather console Jesus and Mary.”
The Missions of the Three Children
Our Lady gave the three seers the sublime privilege of seeing her and disclosing the secret of Fatima. They each had a different mission. Lucia would stay on Earth to preserve the message. Francisco and Jacinta would go to Heaven after fulfilling their missions on Earth.
Jacinta’s mission was to pray for the conversion of sinners. Francisco was to make reparation for the sins of humanity. His mission was purely reparation in the face of the sadness of Our Lord and Our Lady caused by these sins. Reparation was a major part of the Fatima message.
The Importance of Reparation
Thus, we see the importance of reparation. Despite all our Lord’s efforts to save souls, He gave a strictly reparative mission to one of the seers. Francisco’s special and specific task consisted of consoling Him.
This consolation would clearly reflect favourably on the salvation of souls. However, that is not its principal focus. Thus, we can see just how much importance Our Lord and Our Lady attached to reparation. It merits a special consideration independent of its effect upon the salvation of souls. This emphasis should inspire us to cultivate a spirit of reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary for the atrocious offenses committed against Her.
Immensity of Sin
Fatima took place long ago in 1917. Today, the rising tide of sin grows immeasurably. We see individual and public sins. We see the sins of nations and institutions. Moreover, the members of the Church’s hierarchy keep silent and do not wage war on sin. Since the number and gravity of the offenses have grown, the spirit of reparation is all the more necessary.
In the face of this rising tide of sin, we must fight to have this spirit of reparation. This spirit is not the only or main objective of our struggle. Our struggle must have a higher objective. We do not only want to make reparation to God but also desire to be Our Lady’s instruments to establish Her reign on Earth. We must want to defeat Her enemies and remove entirely all obstacles to Her reign.
We can desire these things while having the spirit of reparation. However, She must reign so as to end the outrages committed during this present reign of the devil. We must be indignant at the offenses done to Her. This spirit of reparation is very much related to this work and spirit.
Asking for the Favour of Making Reparation
Thus, we should ask Saint Francisco to obtain for us this spirit whereby we have this burning desire to make reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and through Her Heart to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, for the unspeakable offenses of humanity.
Among these unspeakable offenses, the most unspeakable and unimaginable (for everything unimaginable is unspeakable) are certain sins committed within the Church by those we could never imagine doing this. Such offenses constitute the sin of sins.
The preceding article is taken from an informal lecture Professor Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira gave on 2nd April 1966. It has been translated and adapted for publication without his revision. –Ed.