Sister Lucia prays silently in front of a statue of the Immaculate Heart of Mary given to her convent in Portugal.
In the grand scheme of things, one hundred years is really nothing at all – no more than a blink of an eye – although to us, it is more than the length of most human lives. During these past one hundred and two years, devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary has become well established in the world. That isn’t to say that it is as established as it should or could be, certainly, but it is definitely more so than before that point of time.
This devotion was already present in the world long before the events of Fatima in 1917. In fact, the devotion has gradually been gathering momentum over the last four hundred years or so, aided by various holy souls and a few great Saints, including St John Eudes in France.
But there can be no doubt that the apearances of the Mother of God at Fatima gave this devotion a very strong impetus; similarly. Her later appearances to Sister Lucia in the convent, at Pontevedra in Spain, gave much more detail about what the devotion consists of – the twin aspects of consecration to the Immaculate Heart by the Pope in union with the Bishops, and personal devotion in the form of the Communions of Reparation. And then the vision of the Most Holy Trinity, given to Sister Lucia in the convent in Tuy, Spain, was the moment in which Heaven announced it’s desire that the Consecration be made by the Church. Ever slow, we did not respond until 1984, when the Consecration was finally made by Pope Joihn Paul and accepted by Heaven.
Nowadays, many local Churches practice the Communions of Reparation, also kown as ‘the Five First Saturdays’. However, these Churches are the exception rather than the rule – there is a long way to go yet before we can claim to have done what Our Lady asked us to do. And I think this is perhaps a large part of the reason why we have not yet seen the triumph of the Immculate Heart of Mary, which She promised to Sister Lucia. I think, too, that the moment for this triumph, well-planned by Heaven, has not yet come. Our Lord told Lucia that He wanted this triumph to be clearly attributable to His Mother – while that moment draws ever nearer, it is not yet here quite yet.
And so, all we can to is to live out this devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and encourage others to follow our example. We may never see the triumph, but we will have done as She asked of us, and this will draw down a great many graces for souls and will help with our sanctification.