This past weekend at the Saint Benedict Center’s (SBC) 20th annual conference, Sister Maria Philomena, M.I.C.M., gave a speech entitled “Hatred, Ambition, Salvation” based off the theme of the conference “A Worldview in the Light of Fatima.” In order to inspire the audience positively to love Our Lady more than before and to encourage them to see her Immaculate Heart as a mother who cares for them personally, Sister focused her talk on Our Lady’s apparitions to Sister Lucy of Fatima, especially the apparition of 1944.
At that time, Sister Lucy suffered illness and battled with the decision of writing down the third Fatima secret (which she had been implored to do by the bishop out of fear that she would die before the secret was revealed) or to obey Our Lord who had earlier commanded her not to copy down the secret. On top of this, she also toiled through the inability of being able to write no matter how much effort was put into it. Sister Lucy wrote, “… Feeling perplexed and and half absorbed under the weight of a dark cloud that seemed to hang over me, with my face between my hands, I hoped, without knowing how, for a response. Then I felt a friendly, affectionate, and motherly hand touch me on the shoulder, and I looked up and saw the beloved Mother from Heaven…”
At that moment, Our Lady spoke to Sister Lucy instructing her to write down the secret, put it in an envelope, and write on the front of it that it should only be opened in 1960 by the Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon. This apparition displays proof of a promise Our Lady had made previously in 1917: “I will never forsake you. My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God.”
These words of Our Blessed Mother were not only intended for Sister Lucy, but for everyone of her time and everyone after her time. “Notice Our Lady’s loving care for Sister Lucy…and she has that same care for us….remember, you have a mother who loves you more than any creature ever could,” said Sister Maria Philomena, “But how do we know Our Lady’s Heart?…..By prayer, work, and study… But first and foremost we need to pray our rosaries.”
She acquainted her audience with the fact that Our Lady treasures every little act of love and effort we put into reflecting on the charitable acts which she had made during her life on this earth, in other words, the mysteries of the rosary. “Meditating on the mysteries gives us an opportunity to mine the riches of Our Lady’s Heart,” said Sister Maria Philomena. Our Lord implores that we make reparation for the sins committed against His Immaculate Mother.
“The best reparation,” stressed Sister Maria Philomena “is love.”