Homily of a Votive Mass of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

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Homily list

Votive Mass of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

World Apostolate of Fatima U.S.A.
National Blue Army Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima
Washington, New Jersey

Is 61, 9-11
1 Sam 2, 1. 4-5. 6-7. 8abcd
Lk 2:41-51


In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

With deepest gratitude, I offer the Holy Mass in this privileged place of devotion to the Virgin Mother of God under her title of Our Lady of Fatima. I thank Mr. David Carollo, the Executive Director of the World Apostolate of Fatima USA, for the invitation to offer the Holy Mass today. At the same time, I express my deepest esteem for his faithful service to Our Lady, which redounds to the spiritual benefit of countless souls. In thanking him, I thank also his good wife Dorothy and all of his staff, and all of the benefactors of the Shrine. I also thank the Most Reverend James F. Checchio, Bishop of Metuchen, for his welcome to the Diocese. I am offering the Holy Mass for the intentions of the pilgrims to the Shrine and of all who have asked to be remembered in prayer here.

It was on the occasion of the July 13th apparition of Our Lady to the three shepherd children, Saints Francisco and Jacinta Marto, and the Servant of God Lucia dos Santos, that she revealed the third part of her Message or Secret. The Message, which Sister Lucia committed to writing on January 3, 1944, speaks about the practical apostasy of our time, that is, the going away from Christ by many in the Church. While they may not directly espouse heretical teachings, in practice they reject the truth and love which flows unceasingly and immeasurably from the glorious pierced Heart of Jesus, in order to embrace the falsehood and violence of contemporary culture. Their lives contradict the most fundamental truths of the faith.

They condone and promote the daily and widespread attack on innocent and defenseless human life with the resulting unprecedented violence in family life and in society, in general. At the same time, they espouse the ever more virulent gender ideology which propagates total confusion about our identity as male and female, and leads to the profound unhappiness and self-destruction of many in society. There is also the denial of the freedom of religion which attempts to hinder, if not snuff out completely, any public discourse about God and our necessary relationship with Him. With the denial of the freedom of religion comes the attempt to force God-fearing individuals to act against their well-formed conscience, that is, against God’s law written upon the human heart. In supposedly free countries, the government forces upon society practices of abortion, sterilization, contraception, euthanasia, and lack of respect for human sexuality, even to the point of indoctrinating small children in the iniquitous “gender theory.”

At the same time, the embrace of atheistic materialism and relativism leads to the unscrupulous pursuit of wealth, pleasure and power, while the rule of law, dictated by justice, is trampled underfoot. In such a pervasively disordered cultural condition, the faith is abandoned, hope is lost, and loves grows cold or is even extinguished.

One thinks, for instance, of the scandal of Catholic legislators rebuking the Bishops of our country for seeking to apply the universal law of the Church regarding the worthy reception of the Holy Eucharist. The Bishops rightly seek to safeguard the sanctity of the Holy Eucharist, to prevent the faithful from committing sacrilege by the unworthy reception of the Holy Eucharist, and to stop the scandal caused by Catholic politicians presenting themselves to receive Holy Communion, while they obstinately persist in promoting legislation in violation of the most fundamental truths of the moral law. These politicians, while grievously violating divine law, make themselves the law. Thus, they are offended by their Bishops, when they exercise their office of teachers of the faith and guardians of sacred discipline.

In her description of the third part of the Secret, Sister Lucia quotes “the Angel with a flaming sword” whom she saw at Our Lady’s left side:

Pointing to the earth with his right hand, the Angel cried out in a loud voice: “Penance, Penance, Penance!”[1]

She then describes the martyrdom of those remaining true to Our Lord, those of one heart, in her Immaculate Heart, with His Most Sacred Heart. Beneath the two arms of “a big cross of rough-hewn trunks as of a cork tree with the bark … there were two Angels each with a crystal aspersorium in their hand, in which they gathered up the blood of the martyrs and with it sprinkled the souls that were making their way to God.”[2] As is clear from Our Lady’s message, only the Faith, which places man in the relationship of unity of heart with the Sacred Heart of Jesus, through the mediation of her Immaculate Heart, can save man from the spiritual chastisements which rebellion against God necessarily brings upon its perpetrators and upon the whole of society. It is also clear that living the Faith in a totally secularized culture means readiness to accept ridicule, misunderstanding, persecution, exile and even death, in order to remain one with Christ in the Church under the maternal protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Thus, the promise of Our Lord, through the Prophet Isaiah is realized: “For as the earth brings forth its shoots, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring up, so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.”[3]

It was fulfilled, first of all and most perfectly of all, in the life of the Blessed Virgin Mary by her irreplaceable cooperation in the Mystery of the Redemptive Incarnation. As the account of the Finding of Our Lord in the Temple teaches us, the Virgin Mother of God was always treasuring that mystery in her heart.[4] She maternally draws our hearts to her Immaculate Heart, so that we may place our hearts ever more into the Sacred Heart of Jesus, treasuring in our hearts the great mystery of Christ alive within us through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Thus, we, with Our Lady of Fatima, will give powerful witness in the world to Christ, to His divine truth and divine love, even at the cost of ridicule, misunderstanding, persecution and death.

The intercession of the Virgin Mother of God and of all the saints will give us the strength and courage in what seems an impossible battle. Remember the two angels who are pouring the blood of the martyrs upon the souls who are making their way to God. If we are seeking the way to God, we must be ever confident in the help of Our Lady and of all the saints, especially the martyrs, who obtain for us the grace which we need to be faithful and courageous. Thus, by God’s grace, through the intercession of the Mother of God, Saint Joseph, her most chaste spouse, and all the saints, the evils of the present time will be overcome and the world will be prepared to welcome the Bridegroom at His coming on the Last Day.[5] Our only concern should be the Faith and its practice in action, so that, at the end of our days, we can say with Saint Paul:

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith. For the rest, there is laid up for me a crown of justice, which the Lord, the just Judge, will give to me in that day; yet not to me only, but also to those who love his coming.[6][6]

Let us love His coming by the manner of our daily living, by living always in His company.

Let us now lift upon our hearts, one with the Immaculate Heart of Mary, to the glorious pierced Heart of Jesus, opened for us in the Eucharistic Sacrifice by which He makes sacramentally present for us His Sacrifice on Calvary. Let us lift up, with our hearts, the sufferings caused by the practical apostasy of so many in the Church, trusting that in the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus we will be confirmed in grace and thus strengthened to be His faithful co-workers for the salvation of the world.

Heart of Jesus, salvation of those who trust in Thee, have mercy on us!
Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us!
Saint Joseph, Protector of holy Church, pray for us!
Saints Francisco and Jacinta, pray for us!

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Raymond Leo Cardinal BURKE

[1] “O Anjo aponque da mão direita para a terra, com voz forte disse: Penitência, Penitência, Penitência!” Carmelo de Coimbra, Um caminho sob o olhar de Maria. Biografia da Irmã Maria Lúcia de Jesus e do Coração Imaculado O.C.D. (Marco de Canaveses: Edições Carmelo, 2013), p. 64, [Hereafter, Carmelo de Coimbra]. English translation: Carmel of Coimbra, A Pathway under the Gaze of Mary: Biography of Sister Maria Lucia of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart, tr. James A. Colson (Washington, NJ: World Apostolate of Fatima, USA, 2015), p. 69. [Hereafter, Carmelo de Coimbra Eng].

[2] “… una grande Cruz de troncos toscos como se fora de sobreiro com a casca … estavam dois Anjos cada um com um regador de cristal em a mão, neles recolhiam o sangue dos Mártires e com ele regavam as almas que se aproximavam de Deus.” Carmelo de Coimbra, p. 64. English translation: Carmelo de Coimbra Eng, p. 69.

[3] Is 61, 10-11.

[4] Lk 2, 51.

[5] Cf. Mt 25, 13.

[6] 2 Tim 4, 7-8.