A note by Eamon Henry. 21 April 2011

History

The “World Apostolate of Fatima” (WAF) was founded in 1947 as “The Blue Army of Our Lady of Fatima”, by Fr. Harold Colgan and Mr. John Haffert, in New Jersey, USA. Its name was meant to suggest a Catholic spiritual response to “The Red Army” of the atheistic Soviet Union. Since its foundation it has become a worldwide movement of some 20 million members in at least 100 countries. Its present International Secretariat resides in Fatima, Portugal. After five years probation, WAF has received permanent approval on October7th, 2010, by a Decree of the Pontifical Council for the Laity. This Decree erects the Apostolate as a “public association of the faithful, with a juridical personality”, and its statutes have been definitely approved.

Purpose

WAF is intended to be an instrument of personal sanctification of its members, learning and living the messages of the 1917 six apparitions of Our Lady at Fatima to the three shepherd children, and trying to spread this message everywhere. Thus the Apostolate exists to serve the Church in the ways Our Lady has requested at Fatima. It also shares the “new evangelisation” proposed by Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI. The Decree of October 7th 2010 states that members of WAF should commit themselves to faithfully witness to the Catholic Faith, in their home life, at work, and in their parishes and communities, thus sharing in the new evangelisation.

Personal Action of WAF Individual Members:

1 – Recite daily at least five decades of the Rosary;
2 – Offer up sacrifices demanded by their daily duty, as penance;
3 – Wear the Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel as profession of this promise
and as an act of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary;
4 – Observe the Five First Saturdays devotion as requested by Our Lady of Fatima.

Pledges are sent to the International Secretariat at Fatima and buried near the site (Cova Da Iria) where Our Lady appeared five times to the children shepherds.

Fatima Prayers

These prayers were first used at Fatima by the children, after receiving them from Our Lady, from the Angel, or by direct inspiration. The Eucharistic Prayer is “Most Holy Trinity, I adore You! My God, My God, I love You in the Most Blessed Sacrament.” The Pardon Prayer is “My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love You. I ask pardon for those who do not believe, nor adore, nor hope, nor love You.” The Angel’s Prayer is “Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I adore You profoundly. I offer You the most Precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for all the outrages, sacrileges and indifferences by which He Himself is offended. By the infinite merits of His Most Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg the conversation of poor sinners.” The prayer at the end of each Rosary decade is “Oh my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of Hell, and lead all souls to Heaven, especially those in most need of your mercy.” The sacrifice prayer (when we offer up something) is “Oh Jesus, this is for love of You, for the conversation of sinners, and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.”

The Five First Saturdays

Our Lady said to Sister Lucia “Behold my heart surrounded by thorns which ungrateful men place therein at every moment by their ingratitude and blasphemies. You, at least, try to console me, and tell them that I promise to help at the hour of death, with the graces needed for salvation, whoever on the First Saturday of five consecutive months, shall:
1 – Confess and receive Holy Communion
2 – Recite five decades of the Rosary
3 – And keep me company for fifteen minutes while meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary, with the intention of making reparation to me.”

This devotion was requested by Our Lady and the Child Jesus when they appeared to Sister Lucia on December 10th 1925, the same Lucia who was one of the three visionaries of the Apparitions at Fatima in 1917, and now a postulant nun in the Convent of St. Dorothy in Pontevedra in north-west Spain. Why five First Saturdays? To make reparation for:
a) The blasphemies against Mary’s Immaculate Conception;
b) Against her virginity;
c) Against her Divine Maternity;
d) For the outrages committed against her images;
e) For the harm done to children by teaching them to despise or even hate our Heavenly Mother.

Fatima, More Important Now Than Ever

These words of Pope John Paul II give the theme of a Conference in Fatima during March 23-30, 2011, attended by this writer, and organized by the World Apostolate of Fatima (WAF) of the USA. The Conference Intentions were: “for the salvation of souls, world peace and strengthening of the Church.” The Conference Objective was: “to further prepare us to help others to Learn, Live and Spread Our Lady of Fatima’s Message of Hope, Peace and Salvation. To understand the problems we face in the world today and how to solve them in the context of Our Lady of Fatima’s Message.”
For those attending, there was a further Personal Objective: “Thy will be done on earth. To put God’s will above our will in thought, word, action and deed. May God grant me the grace to know the path he would have me walk and may learning and living Our Lady of Fatima’s requests help me receive the grace and strength to choose God’s will over my own.”
Speakers included the present and retired Bishops of Leiria-Fatima, the present and retired Rectors of the Fatima Shrine, Messrs. Carollo and LaCorte of the USA WAF, and Fr. Andrew Apostoli, CFR, regularly seen on the EWTN TV channel. Further information is available through the web/e-mail address www.wafusa.org and also info@worldfatima.com. We may remember here that the source of our present WAF was the USA “Blue Army of Our Lady of Fatima”, implying that we might pay attention to activities of the present USA WAF, as possible guidelines to us all.

The World Apostolate of Fatima Exists in Ireland

The World Apostolate of Fatima has existed in Ireland for many years, having the Bishop of Galway as its National Patron. We have a summary description on page 283 of the Archdiocese of Dublin Diocesan Guidebook 2011, with a similar description in previous Guidebook issues.
Our national website is www.fatima.ie for background information, and our National Secretary Mr. Chris Rush has e-mail address chrisrush2010@gmail.com.
Our National Vice-President is Mr. Leo O’Sullivan, of e-mail address osullivanleo@gmail.com. The Dublin Secretary and National President, the writer of this note, has e-mail address ewilhenry@upcmail.ie
On Sunday 10th July 2011 we have our next annual national pilgrimage to Knock Shrine.