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Friday, 21 October 2022

Fatima and the Immaculate Heart of Mary - Father Anton Nadrah, O Cist - CTS Devotions

Fatima and the Immaculate Heart of Mary 
Fr Anton Nadrah, O Cist
ISBN 9781784691257
eISBN 9781784692216
ASIN B071RNCN63
CTS Booklet D808


This is the first volume I have encountered by Fr Anton Nadrah and I believe the only one of his books available in an English translation. This volume was originally published in Slovenian as Pet Prvih Sobot by Salve Publishers, Ljubljana, Slovenia 2012. The English edition was published by the CTS in 2016 and the eBook was released in 2017. I have attempted the First Five Saturdays a number of times now, including breaking at 4 in September of 2022, as I was travelling, to help my parents move, and the only Saturday mass I found online was not actually offered when I arrived at the church. But reading this volume after that last failed attempt inspired me to try again. This was a wonderful volume and I am thankful I gave it a read.

The description of this volume is:

“Rediscover the heart of the Message of Fatima, through the Five First Fridays devotion, consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the Rosary prayer and scripture.

On the centenary of the apparitions of Our Lady at Fatima, we can personally engage in the heart of its message through reflection and prayer. Fr Nadrah helps us to rediscover consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the devotion of the first five Saturdays and how we can live out this consecration on our daily lives. The riches of the rosary prayer are also uncovered in a new light, aided by accompanying scripture texts.”

The chapters in the book are:

Preface
The Immaculate Heart of Mary
Devotion of the Five First Saturdays
Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary
I am the Lady of the Rosary
Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Texts to Accompany the Rosary
Prayers for Consecration

This is a very moving and inspirational volume. It is one that will challenge readers, but also encourage and challenge. I highlighted many passages my first time through it. Here are some of them:

“During his pastoral visit to Portugal, Pope Benedict XVI said that in 1917, when the Virgin Mary appeared to the three simple shepherd children, “heaven opened like a window of hope above Portugal”, and “This window of hope is opened by God when man closes the door to him.” Today, many have closed the door to God. If we, at the centenary of Fatima, want “heaven opened” to us and to others as “the window of hope” we must prepare well for it. We can do that by celebrating the Five First Saturdays and the consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary as found in the message of Fatima, which is the best way of venerating the Immaculate Heart of Mary. This booklet aims to be a source of support both now and later on, since we always need heaven as an open “window of hope”.”

“For those who might be put off by this notion of the “triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary” as appearing to suggest she is taking precedence over God, it might be appropriate to explain the centuries-old understanding in the Church, especially by St Louis de Montfort, that Mary exists only to fulfil the holy will of God and lead souls to Jesus, and hence that this triumph of her Heart is God’s will as the means to introduce the reign of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.”

“It was this deeper meaning Pope Benedict XVI meant when he visited Fatima in 2010 and said: “May the seven years which separate us from the centenary of the apparitions hasten the fulfilment of the prophecy of the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, to the glory of the Most Holy Trinity.””

“One form of co-operating with our Mother Mary is to celebrate the first Saturday of five consecutive months that was revealed in the message of Fatima.”

“The oldest Fatima seer, Lucia dos Santos, was a postulant with the Dorothean Sisters in the Spanish town Pontevedra preparing to enter religious life. On 10th December 1925, she saw Mary with the child Jesus by her side, elevated on a luminous cloud in her cell. Mary asked her to spread the devotion of the first Saturday of five consecutive months, and promised the grace of salvation to those who will practise it. That is the great promise of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.”

“It is necessary to distinguish between the devotion of the first Saturday and the devotion of the first Saturday of five consecutive months. The great promise of Mary to assist at the moment of death, with all the graces necessary for salvation refers to those who at least once in their life on the first Saturday of five consecutive months fulfil all five listed conditions.”

“Pope Pius X already recommended the first Saturdays devotion before Fatima, where the intention is to fulfil all the conditions in reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The first Saturdays devotion had already been an established custom in the Catholic Church. On 1st July 1905, Pope Pius X approved and granted indulgences for the practice of the first Saturdays of twelve consecutive months in honour of the Immaculate Conception.”

“The Fatima seer was aware of the fact that this devotion should be spread all over the world. Therefore, on 2nd December 1940, she wrote to Pope Pius XII, asking him: “I ask your Holiness to spread this devotion all over the world.” The devotion of the first Saturday of five consecutive months was accepted in many places in the world, however it did not last everywhere. Now it is being introduced again.”

“To sum up the thoughts of Jesus, Mary and Lucia regarding celebrating the first Saturdays devotion we can say that by this devotion we comply with the desire of Jesus and Mary. We bring consolation to both of them and honour the Immaculate Heart of Mary in an excellent way and make reparation to it. It leads us to a warm childlike relationship with our heavenly Mother and promises us eternal salvation. In this way it gives or imparts a Marian character to our faith as it fully takes into account the mediatory role of Mary. At the same time it is a means of preventing wars and thus for the achievement of world peace. All these fruits, however, depend on our personal co-operation.”

“Whoever loves Jesus and Mary and his neighbours and also himself, will not attend or participate in the first Saturdays devotion only on the Five First Saturdays, but it may become a rule of life for him and an opportunity to prove his love of Jesus, the Virgin Mary and of all people.”

“The events in Fatima are, like every authentic apparition, first proof for the existence of the living God, the Virgin Mary, angels and Saints. The three Fatima shepherds, a nine year-old Lucia, an eight year-old Francisco, and a six year-old Jacinta experienced an encounter with the world of God in a threefold meeting with the angel in 1916, and also the next year when the Virgin Mary appeared to them six times and addressed them.”

“The three theological virtues, faith, hope and charity, and prayer are the basis and the alphabet of every Christian life. We already received these virtues at holy Baptism as the foundation that must be developed throughout our lives by the help of God’s grace. They are like flowers we have to water steadily and by the help of the Holy Spirit live them out.”

“First Saturdays are just one form of devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. We will understand them better if we connect them with the events in Fatima. It is the Heart of Mary that takes the central place in the message of Fatima.”

“The first Saturdays devotion is above all directed to make reparation for ingratitude to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.”

“Reciting the Rosary is very much emphasised with the devotion of the first Saturday and is an excellent and proven way that leads to the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. We not only pray one part of the Rosary, but we also meditate on one or more of the mysteries for fifteen minutes. So we dedicate a bit more than half an hour to the Rosary.”

“At the beginning we set ourselves a task to co-operate with the preparation of the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Reading this booklet we realise what fruits an active co-operation with the Five First Saturdays according to the Fatima apparitions brings to us.”

“The triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary will first start in our hearts when we allow our Mother Mary to shape our hearts after the Sacred Heart of Jesus. When we strive for faithfulness in following Christ, our lives will bear fruit. And after death we will come to him and to our Mother in heaven.”

The section at the end of the volume ‘Prayers for Consecration’ has the following prayers:

Prayer in preparation for a personal consecration
Prayer in preparation for the consecration of a parish
Prayer for the personal consecration of individuals and groups
Prayer for the personal consecration of a family
Prayer for the consecration of a parish (1)
Prayer for the consecration of a parish (2)
Prayer after the consecration of individuals
Prayer after the consecration of a family
Prayer after the consecration of a parish

This is an excellent little volume. It is perfect for personal use, use in a small group, or for a parish-wide effort. I see myself returning to this volume again and again. The English version in translation is very moving. Once I started I could hardly put it down. A great resource from the Catholic Truth Society.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2022 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.










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