Sunday, March 29, 2020

'The Raising of Lazarus' by Rembrandt

From Aleteia:
Most significant in this canvas is the play of chiaroscuro: the light that rends the shadows, the love that routs evil more powerfully than suffering suffuses the flesh, life that ultimately triumphs over death. An intense ray of light flowing from the center left casts an oblique beam into the midst of the scene before striking the tomb of Lazarus. Those present at the miracle—the backlit Martha, Mary in full light, and the Jewish dignitaries—are spellbound. The figure of the Lord forms the vertical axis dividing the composition: a Jesus of human visage, still grief-stricken, but a Christ of superhuman stature. Twice the height of the other figures, his right hand masterfully raised, with the power of God he commands his friend to rise. (Read more.)

The Road to Suffering

The Crowning with Thorns by Caravaggio (1602)
Let us go up to Jerusalem. To quote Fr. Angelo:
One of the worst things about suffering and the thing, perhaps, from which we recoil most of all, is the solitude of suffering. It seems to be the worst when there can be no real commiseration, as when a loved one dies and we are left alone, or when we are confronted with a critical illness, or when we carry a heavy responsibility. Even when we share a tragedy in common with family or friends, our own inner confrontation with reality is unique and no one can bring resolution but ourselves. And the more interior the suffering is the worse the predicament in which we find ourselves.

But Our Lord embraced not only the horror of his murder, but the mental anguish of our betrayal and our guilt. He became the scapegoat for our sins, a curse for our sake, by assuming our guilt. He felt the guilt keenly for sins he did not commit, whereas we make light of them. He willingly entered in to our misery out of love for us, as we shrink from toil and effort to correct our faults. Read this and weep—seriously.

Father Daniel Lord, S.J. writes that, like the knights errant of Arthurian legend, Christ fought alone, suffered alone, persevered alone. His companions abandoned him and while His Mother was his stalwart companion and monolith of solidarity, Her broken heart just broke His even more. No one could bear His sorrow or carry His burden, but Her. The love between them was a martyrdom, more for their great union of purpose and determination. (Read entire post.)

Friday, March 27, 2020

The Calming Of The Storm

The Storm on the Sea of Galilee by Rembrandt, 1632
“When evening had come” (Mk 4:35). The Gospel passage we have just heard begins like this. For weeks now it has been evening. Thick darkness has gathered over our squares, our streets and our cities; it has taken over our lives, filling everything with a deafening silence and a distressing void, that stops everything as it passes by; we feel it in the air, we notice in people’s gestures, their glances give them away. We find ourselves afraid and lost. Like the disciples in the Gospel we were caught off guard by an unexpected, turbulent storm. We have realized that we are on the same boat, all of us fragile and disoriented, but at the same time important and needed, all of us called to row together, each of us in need of comforting the other. On this boat… are all of us. Just like those disciples, who spoke anxiously with one voice, saying “We are perishing” (v. 38), so we too have realized that we cannot go on thinking of ourselves, but only together can we do this. 
It is easy to recognize ourselves in this story. What is harder to understand is Jesus’ attitude. While his disciples are quite naturally alarmed and desperate, he stands in the stern, in the part of the boat that sinks first. And what does he do? In spite of the tempest, he sleeps on soundly, trusting in the Father; this is the only time in the Gospels we see Jesus sleeping. When he wakes up, after calming the wind and the waters, he turns to the disciples in a reproaching voice: “Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?” (v. 40). 
Let us try to understand. In what does the lack of the disciples’ faith consist, as contrasted with Jesus’ trust? They had not stopped believing in him; in fact, they called on him. But we see how they call on him: “Teacher, do you not care if we perish?” (v. 38). Do you not care: they think that Jesus is not interested in them, does not care about them. One of the things that hurts us and our families most when we hear it said is: “Do you not care about me?” It is a phrase that wounds and unleashes storms in our hearts. It would have shaken Jesus too. Because he, more than anyone, cares about us. Indeed, once they have called on him, he saves his disciples from their discouragement. 
The storm exposes our vulnerability and uncovers those false and superfluous certainties around which we have constructed our daily schedules, our projects, our habits and priorities. It shows us how we have allowed to become dull and feeble the very things that nourish, sustain and strengthen our lives and our communities. The tempest lays bare all our prepackaged ideas and forgetfulness of what nourishes our people’s souls; all those attempts that anesthetize us with ways of thinking and acting that supposedly “save” us, but instead prove incapable of putting us in touch with our roots and keeping alive the memory of those who have gone before us. We deprive ourselves of the antibodies we need to confront adversity. 
In this storm, the façade of those stereotypes with which we camouflaged our egos, always worrying about our image, has fallen away, uncovering once more that (blessed) common belonging, of which we cannot be deprived: our belonging as brothers and sisters. 
“Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?” Lord, your word this evening strikes us and regards us, all of us. In this world, that you love more than we do, we have gone ahead at breakneck speed, feeling powerful and able to do anything. Greedy for profit, we let ourselves get caught up in things, and lured away by haste. We did not stop at your reproach to us, we were not shaken awake by wars or injustice across the world, nor did we listen to the cry of the poor or of our ailing planet. We carried on regardless, thinking we would stay healthy in a world that was sick. Now that we are in a stormy sea, we implore you: “Wake up, Lord!”. (Read more.)
Madonna Salus Populi Romani

Watch the historical event, HERE. Believe me, it's worth watching.

Today: Urbi et Orbi

From Aleteia:
This is the English translation of the formula of the “Urbi et Orbi” blessing, which the pope will pronounce in Latin this Friday at 6:00 p.m. in Rome.
May the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, in whose power and authority we trust, intercede for us before the Lord.
℟: Amen.
Through the prayers and merits of Blessed Mary ever Virgin, Saint Michael the Archangel, Saint John the Baptist, the holy apostles Peter and Paul, and all the saints, may Almighty God have mercy on you and forgive all your sins, and may Jesus Christ bring you to everlasting life.
℟: Amen.
May the almighty and merciful Lord grant you indulgence, absolution and the remission of all your sins, a season of true and fruitful penance, a well-disposed heart, amendment of life, the grace and comfort of the Holy Spirit and final perseverance in good works.
℟: Amen.
And may the blessing of Almighty God, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, come down on you and remain with you forever.
℟: Amen.
~ ~ ~
Here we offer the text in Latin, in case you want to follow Pope Francis’ exact words:
Sancti Apostoli Petrus et Paulus: de quorum potestate et auctoritate confidimus, ipsi intercedant pro nobis ad Dominum.
℟: Amen.
Precibus et meritis beatae Mariae semper Virginis, beati Michaelis Archangeli, beati Ioannis Baptistae et sanctorum Apostolorum Petri et Pauli et omnium Sanctorum, misereatur vestri omnipotens Deus; et dimissis omnibus peccatis vestris, perducat vos Iesus Christus ad vitam æternam.
℟: Amen.
Indulgentiam, absolutionem, et remissionem omnium peccatorum vestrorum, spatium veræ et fructuosae pœnitentiae, cor semper paenitens, et emendationem vitae, gratiam et consolationem Sancti Spiritus; et finalem perseverantiam in bonis operibus tribuat vobis omnipotens et misericors Dominus.
℟: Amen.
Et benedictio Dei omnipotentis, Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti, descendat super vos et maneat semper.
℟: Amen.
(Read more.)

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Lady Day

 From A Clerk of Oxford:
Today is the feast of the Annunciation, 'Lady Day'. As I explored last year, the medieval church considered 25 March to be the single most important date in history, at once the beginning and the end of Christ's life on earth: it was the date of the Annunciation, the Crucifixion, the eighth day of Creation, the crossing of the Red Sea, and the sacrifice of Isaac, all profoundly meaningful events in the carefully-crafted divine story of salvation history. Its resonances reached even unto Middle Earth, as Tolkien aligned the downfall of the Ring to this most auspicious of dates. (Read more.)

Monday, March 23, 2020

An Extraordinary Urbi et Orbi Blessing

To the City and the World. From Vatican News:
Pope Francis on Sunday called for all Christians to respond to the coronavirus pandemic “with the universality of prayer, of compassion, of tenderness”, adding, “Let us remain united. Let us make our closeness felt toward those persons who are the most lonely and tried”. Speaking after the traditional recitation of the Angelus, the Holy Father called on all Christians to join together in prayer. “In these trying days, while humanity trembles due to the thread of the pandemic, I would like to propose to all Christians that together we lift our voices towards Heaven,” he said.

 On Wednesday, 25 March, the feast of the Annunciation, he has invited “the Heads of the Churches and the leaders of every Christian community, together with all Christians of the various confessions, to invoke the Almighty, the omnipotent God, to recite at the same time the prayer that Jesus, our Lord, taught us” – the Our Father. “On that day  on which many  Christians recall the Annunciation to the Virgin Mary of the Incarnation of the Word”, Pope Francis prayed, “may the Lord listen to the united prayer of all of His disciples who are preparing themselves to celebrate the victory of the Risen Christ”.

The Pope also announced that on the following Friday, 27 March, he will preside over a moment of prayer on the sagrato of St Peter’s Basilica, the platform at the top of the steps immediately in front of the façade of the Church. “I invite everyone to participate spiritually through the means of communication”, he said.

The ceremony will consist in readings from the Scriptures, prayers of supplication, and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament; and will conclude with Pope Francis giving the Urbi et orbi Blessing, with the possibility of gaining a plenary indulgence for all those who listen to it live through the various forms of communication. The blessing “to the City [of Rome] and to the World” is normally only given on Christmas and Easter. The Director of the Holy See Press Office confirmed that the moment of prayer on Friday will be broadcast live from the Vatican, beginning at 6 pm Rome time. He noted that the plenary indulgence attached to the Urbi et orbi blessing is subject to the conditions foreseen by the recent Decree of the Apostolic Penitentiary. (Read more.)

Saturday, March 21, 2020

When Masses Are Suspended

Many Masses are being livestreamed so we can assist at the Holy Sacrifice from afar and make spiritual communions. Also, when the French royal family were imprisoned and deprived of the sacraments, the King, and after he was killed, the Queen or Madame Elisabeth, would read aloud the entire words of the Mass to the family, daily. And my Irish ancestors often went months without a priest to say Mass. Meanwhile, here are some words from Bishop Athanasius Schneider:
In spite of the painful situation of being deprived of Holy Mass and Holy Communion, Catholics should not yield to frustration or melancholy. They should accept this trial as an occasion of abundant graces, which Divine Providence has prepared for them. Many Catholics have now in some way the chance to experience the situation of the catacombs, of the underground Church. One can hope that such a situation will produce the new spiritual fruits of confessors of faith and of holiness.
This situation forces Catholic families to experience literally the meaning of a domestic church. In the absence of the possibility to assist at Holy Mass even on Sundays, Catholic parents should gather their families in their homes. They could assist in their homes at a Holy Mass broadcast on television or the internet, or if this is not possible, they should dedicate a holy hour of prayers to sanctify the Day of the Lord and to unite themselves spiritually with the Holy Masses celebrated by priests behind closed doors even in their towns or in their vicinity. Such a Sunday holy hour of a domestic church could be done for instance in a following way:
Prayer of the rosary, reading of the Sunday Gospel, Act of Contrition, act of Spiritual Communion, Litany, prayer for all who suffer and die, for all who are persecuted, prayer for the pope and the priests, prayer for the end of the current physical and spiritual epidemic. The Catholic family should also pray the Stations of the Cross on Fridays of Lent. Furthermore, on Sundays, parents could gather their children in the afternoon or in the evening to read to them from the Lives of the Saints, especially those stories drawn from times of persecution of the Church. I had the privilege to have lived such an experience in my childhood, and that gave me the foundation of the Catholic faith for my entire life.
Catholics who are now deprived of assisting at Holy Mass and receiving sacramentally Holy Communion, perhaps only for a short time of some weeks or months, may think about these times of persecution, where faithful for years couldn’t assist at Holy Mass and receive other sacraments, as was the case, for instance, during the communist persecution in many places of the Soviet Empire.
Let the following words of God strengthen all Catholics who are currently suffering from being deprived of the Holy Mass and Holy Communion:
 “Do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.” (1 Peter 4: 12–13) (Read more.)

Pope Grants Coronavirus Indulgence

 Mother of the Church (Mater Ecclesiae)
A full plenary indulgence is offered by the Apostolic Pentitentiary for this time of universal pandemic, with the usual conditions mitigated. From the Vatican website:
The Plenary Indulgence is granted to the faithful suffering from Coronavirus, who are subject to quarantine by order of the health authority in hospitals or in their own homes if, with a spirit detached from any sin, they unite spiritually through the media to the celebration of Holy Mass, the recitation of the Holy Rosary, to the pious practice of the Way of the Cross or other forms of devotion, or if at least they will recite the Creed, the Lord's Prayer and a pious invocation to the Blessed Virgin Mary, offering this trial in a spirit of faith in God and charity towards their brothers and sisters, with the will to fulfil the usual conditions (sacramental confession, Eucharistic communion and prayer according to the Holy Father's intentions), as soon as possible.
Health care workers, family members and all those who, following the example of the Good Samaritan, exposing themselves to the risk of contagion, care for the sick of Coronavirus according to the words of the divine Redeemer: “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (Jn 15: 13), will obtain the same gift of the Plenary Indulgence under the same conditions.
This Apostolic Penitentiary also willingly grants a Plenary Indulgence under the same conditions on the occasion of the current world epidemic, also to those faithful who offer a visit to the Blessed Sacrament, or Eucharistic adoration, or reading the Holy Scriptures for at least half an hour, or the recitation of the Holy Rosary, or the pious exercise of the Way of the Cross, or the recitation of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, to implore from Almighty God the end of the epidemic, relief for those who are afflicted and eternal salvation for those whom the Lord has called to Himself.
The Church prays for those who find themselves unable to receive the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick and of the Viaticum, entrusting each and every one to divine Mercy by virtue of the communion of saints and granting the faithful a Plenary Indulgence on the point of death, provided that they are duly disposed and have recited a few prayers during their lifetime (in this case the Church makes up for the three usual conditions required). For the attainment of this indulgence the use of the crucifix or the cross is recommended (cf. Enchiridion indulgentiarum, no.12).' (Read more.)

Friday, March 20, 2020

Our Gethsemane

From Mark Mallet:
There is a palpable sense of abandonment spreading, especially when the faithful are being deprived of “private” Sacraments such as Confession or Communion to the sick. In Belgium, even Baptism is being denied to small gatherings. All of this seems unfathomable to a Church whose saints once boldly walked among the sick to comfort and help them, rather than “self-isolate.” Indeed, it would seem that the Pope has heard the lament of the lambs as he addressed the shepherds recently:
In the epidemic of fear that all of us are living because of the pandemic of the coronavirus, we risk acting like hired hands and not like shepherds… Think of all the souls who feel terrified and abandoned because we pastors follow the instructions of civil authorities — which is right in these circumstances to avoid contagion — while we risk putting aside divine instructions — which is a sin. We think as men think and not as God. —POPE FRANCIS, March 15th, 2020;
Thus, many souls are making their way to Gethsemane where the Vigil of Sorrows has begun. In fact, as Christ handed over His liberty to the authorities through the “kiss of Judas,” so too, the Church is subjecting nearly all her freedom to the government and those who “know best.” But this has been long in the making ever since the “separation of Church and State” has, little by little, removed the Church from influence in the public sphere. While this is not necessarily related to the coronavirus, it is relevant, as we see clearly now that the Church is hardly autonomous today.
When we have cast ourselves upon the world and depend for protection upon it, and have given up our independence and our strength, then [Antichrist] will burst upon us in fury as far as God allows him. —St. John Henry Newman, Sermon IV: The Persecution of Antichrist
(Read more.)

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Litany of the Holy Heart of St. Joseph


Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Our Lady of Akita, the Sign of Jonah, and the Coronavirus Pestilence

From Unveiling the Apocalypse:
Given the fact that the appearance of Coronavirus took place roughly 40 days after Sr. Agnes issued her latest private revelation in October 2019 (after decades of silence) gives us serious pause for thought. Especially since this private revelation is also so closely linked with the "sign of Jonah" - which originally involved not just a solar eclipse, but also a series of pestilences and a period of social unrest, before the Ninevites were eventually brought to repentance by adorning sackcloth and ashes. (See my previous blog post The Sign of Jonah and the Binding of Satan) The world has now been suddenly brought to the greatest point of crisis seen since the Second World War, in the very year which I highlighted as being of considerable importance in my book Unveiling the Apocalypse: The Final Passover of the Church (published in 2016). In Sr. Agnes' recent private revelation, the call to repentance by adorning sackcloth and ashes has become more clear than ever, and the world cannot go on ignoring the numerous signs that have been given by God of the chastisement that awaits if we continue to turn our backs on Him. (Read more.)

More on Akita, HERE.

Monday, March 16, 2020

Salus Populi Romani

The Vicar of Christ before the Crucifix at St Marcello al Corso
Pope Francis before the Madonna Salus Populi Romani at St. Mary Major

Salus Populi Romani: Protectress and Health of the Roman People
The Holy Father makes a pilgrimage. From The Daily Mail:
Pope Francis defied Italian government advice to stay indoors and today walked to church through Rome's deserted streets to pray for the end of coronavirus. The Catholic leader had earlier delivered a blessing from his balcony window above an eerily empty St Peter's Square, which has been closed to worshippers as part of the country's sweeping lockdown. Francis then left the Vatican to visit two churches in the Italian capital, first praying in the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore before strolling down the usually bustling Via del Corso. He headed to the St Marcello al Corso, which poignantly hosts a crucifix carried in a 1522 procession in Rome when the city was stricken with plague. (Read more.)

From The National Catholic Register:
The Byzantine icon of Salus Populi Romani was also processed through Rome by Pope Gregory I in 593 for an end to the plague known as the Black Death. The icon has been revered by the people of Rome for centuries and is considered a symbol of the city and its people. According to Fr. Lops, Pope Francis wanted to make the visit to encourage Italians during the quarantine conditions across Italy.

“It was all a surprise,” Fr. Lops said, adding that Pope Francis had wanted to go to the Basilica of St. Mary Major on March 13, the seventh anniversary of his pontificate, but being unable to, had told Cardinal Rylko he would come at another, unspecified time. Rome, like all of Italy, is currently under lockdown, with people required to stay home except for strict cases of necessity. All non-essential businesses are also closed. The action by the pope was not in any way intended to be against the decrees of the Italian government, Fr. Lops explained, but was meant as a sign of encouragement to Romans. It was “also risky in a certain sense for his health, because he is old,” Lops added. Fr. Lops has been assigned to serve at the Basilica of St. Mary Major during the coronavirus lockdown in Italy. Though public Masses have been suspended throughout the diocese, the Papal Basilica of St. Mary Major remains open for prayer, confessions, and communion for any Catholics who may request it, Fr. Lops said. (Read more.)

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Love Is a Liturgical Act

From Francis Etheredge at Homiletic and Pastoral Review:
Prayer, like marriage and family life, needs the whole Christian life to live it; and, therefore, whatever our state in life, in a certain sense the whole Catechism is for each of us: single; married; religious, and ordained. Moreover, given the immense range of conversation that is possible between any two people, never mind the various members of a particular family, it is a wonderful resource in terms of stimulating all kinds of discussions. What is an angel? (cf. CCC, 325-336) How are we to understand the opening chapters of Genesis? (cf. CCC, 286, 289, 337, 375 etc.) How do we help or hinder the “Holy Spirit as the interior Teacher of Christian prayer”? (CCC, 2681) Why is it, for example, if prayer is an instantaneous communication with God, are we infatuated with the speed and complexity of human devices? If prayer is a powerful help in daily life, why do people prefer to write and dream about being superheroes, semi-mechanistic, and magicians? If prayer can reach across the universe in one immeasurably generous leap, then why not send a “prayer-gram”? It is not a matter, however, of being other than we are; and, if our reality is that we are “very little a family”36, then let that be the beginning, or point of renewal, and not a terminus of hope and help. There are two, if not three, particular times of family prayer: meal-times; bed-times; and Sunday lauds, or the morning prayer of the Church. (Read more.)
And here is a podcast by Mr. Etheredge at the Catholic Current on the Stations of the Cross.

More articles by Francis Etheredge, HERE and HERE. And his books are HERE.

Friday, March 13, 2020

Some Churches in Rome Re-open

"Many shall be chosen, and made white, and shall be tried as fire: and the wicked shall deal wickedly, and none of the wicked shall understand, but the learned shall understand. And from the time when the continual sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination unto desolation shall be set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred ninety days." Daniel 12: 10-11
"When therefore you shall see the abomination of desolation, which was spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place: he that readeth let him understand. Then they that are in Judea, let them flee to the mountains: And he that is on the housetop, let him not come down to take any thing out of his house: And he that is in the field, let him not go back to take his coat. And woe to them that are with child, and that give suck in those days. But pray that your flight be not in the winter, or on the sabbath." Matthew 24:15-20
The Holy Father is re-opening some churches in Rome. This is good, since people were starting to talk about the prophecy of the "abomination of desolation" which can be defined thus:
The abomination of desolation, abomination that makes desolate, or desolating sacrilege (Hebrew: הַשִּׁקּוּץ מְשׁוֹמֵֽם, ha-shikkuts meshomem, Latin: abominatio desolationis) is a term found in the Book of Daniel and the Gospels of Matthew and Mark, which means literally "an abomination that desolates" or "an abomination that depopulates."
 We will continue to watch and wait, as churches close and mass is suspended around the world. But not in Rome. From RTE:
The Pope has re-opened some churches in Rome, defying political pressure to close all public buildings in the battle to curb the spread of coronavirus. The rare standoff between the 83-year-old pontiff and Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte's government came as Italy's death toll topped 1,000. Some of Rome's Catholic churches have now re-opened after Pope Francis voiced displeasure with the Italian authorities' push to shut them because of the coronavirus pandemic. Italians have been told to avoid going outside without a good reason and machine-gun toting soldiers now patrol city streets. But churches had stayed opened in the overwhelmingly Catholic country throughout what many now see as Italy's biggest crisis since World War II. 
That changed yesterday when the vicar of Rome Angelo De Donatis said he could no longer withstand government pressure and was closing all Catholic places of worship across the Italian capital, about 900 in total. Pope Francis' response was unusually swift and blunt. 
"Drastic measures are not always good," the Argentine-born pope said in his live streamed morning prayer on Friday morning. (Read more.)

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

"God Gives Holy Communion"

Taken at St. Peter's Basilica in Rome yesterday, the first day of the St. Joseph novena. Via Sr. Mary Joseph Calore.

Monday, March 9, 2020

St. Frances of Rome

She could detect diabolical plots.
Her visions often assumed the form of drama enacted for her by heavenly personages. She had the gift of miracles and ecstasy, we well as the bodily vision of her guardian angel, had revelations concerning purgatory and hell, and foretold the ending of the Western Schism. She could read the secrets of consciences and detect plots of diabolical origin. She was remarkable for her humility and detachment, her obedience and patience, exemplified on the occasion of her husband’s banishment, the captivity of Battista, her sons’ death, and the loss of all her property. (Read entire post.)

The Book of Esther and the Secrets of Fatima

Catholic author Marianna Bartold recently posted an article about the Jewish feast of Purim from Breaking Israel News as well as her own article on The Star of Esther and the Secrets of Fatima. To quote Mrs.Bartold:
When Sr. Lucia, the last Fatima visionary, was called into eternity on February 13, 2005, both the Catholic and mainstream media sought the significance of the date. Most sources tied-in to May 13, noting the “13” in the anniversary date of the Fatima apparitions (1917), the papal assassination attempt (1981), and the late pope’s world consecration to the Immaculate Heart (1982). Ultimately, the mainstream efforts implied that Sr. Lucia’s death was a sign that Fatima is finished. Yet when an incredible Scriptural connection to February 13th and Fatima is examined as a whole, the opposite conclusion is made: While the date of Lucia’s death is definitely a sign, it is one alerting the world that we have reached the most critical chapter of the Fatima revelations.

Heretofore, it was never noticed that the date of Sr. Lucia’s passing links to a small yellow star, worn by Our Lady of Fatima. This star is a profound symbol long recognized by tradition as the “Star of Esther.” It points to an Old Testament history called The Book of Esther, which relates the story of a Jewish queen whose intercession saved her people from annihilation. Queen Esther’s mediation allowed the ancient Hebrews “to gather themselves together, and to stand for their lives” on “the 13th day of Adar.” [1]

Until Lucia’s passing, the magnitude of “the 13th of Adar” could not be realized, even by Fatima scholars. Her death signals that, like the Jews who stood for their lives on the 13th of Adar, our own great battle against annihilation is begun. The secret significance of Lucia’s date of death has been right before our eyes all the time: It occurred exactly 40 minutes before sunset,[2] on the 13th of February[3] – in the Hebrew month of Adar.[4]

P.S. to the Message of Fatima 

Thus it seems that even Lucia’s death accentuated the entire Fatima message, manifesting a kind of heavenly post-script: “Hear, O foolish people, and without understanding: who have eyes, and see not: and ears, and hear not.”[5]

In the Scriptures, the 13th day of Adar is one with historical portent. It marks the Machabees’ liberation of the Holy Land after a four-year combat; the battle throughout the Persian Empire during the reign of Esther; and the day warriors fasted before going out to war. [6] The theme becomes obvious: An epic battle of God’s ecclesia against her enemies.

Because there are no insignificancies in God’s designs, there are great reasons for the Star of Esther adorning Our Lady of Fatima. Only three years ago, its purpose was again emphasized when God willed that Lucia should leave this world on a date directing our attention to both Esther and Our Lady of Fatima.

Of Mary, There is Never Enough

Just as the star adorning Our Lady of Fatima points to The Book of Esther, so does The Book of Esther point to all of the Fatima revelations. Esther’s theme centers on secrets and revelations, suggesting that The Book of Esther is a figure type for The Apocalypse (Greek for Revelations).

The Book of Esther appears to encapsulate what Fatima highlights about both the Virgin’s and the Church’s singular office in salvation history. Esther’s Star on Our Lady’s gown directs the Church to “the history of Queen Esther, who was herself a great [figure] type of our Queen Mary!”[7]

But first, what is meant by a figure type? In its application to the whole of Scripture, an Old Testament figure type is a person, place, thing or event foreshadowing a New Testament archetype (a perfect model or type). The New Testament archetype is always greater than its Old Testament figure type.[8]

Our Lord Himself plainly alluded to Scriptural figure types when, after His Resurrection, he appeared to two disciples on the road to Emmaus. “And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded to them in all the scriptures the things that were concerning him.” Our Lord used similar words when He subsequently appeared to the apostles.[9]

(Read more.)

More HERE. And HERE.

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