Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Santuario de Fátima website
[Public domain]

I have always felt close to St. Jacinta.  Her constant prayers and sacrifices for the conversion and salvation of poor sinners and her constant prayer and sacrifices for the Holy Father have always touched me.  I have often felt her presence with me in this regard.  I pray that you too might sense her presence with you during this centenary year of her death.  She is truly a wonderful saint for us as members of the Marian Movement of Priests.

I would like to share with you excerpts from the 2020 newsletter of Fr. Luca Pescatori, our new International Director, about St. Jacinta and her great love and concern for the Holy Father. I pray that you will be inspired by what he says, as I have been.  The remainder of his letter will be released later.  MMP members who have asked to be on our mailing list will receive a copy of the letter in its entirety. 

May God through the intercession of Our Lady and Saint Jacinta bless you.

Sincerely in the
Immaculate Heart of Mary,
Fr. Richard Cortese
National Director for the U.S.

In his circular letter, Fr. Luca Pescatori writes…

I would like to suggest that on February 20, 2020, the centenary of the death of St. Jacinta, all of us throughout the world, each of us in our own cenacles, enter into a spiritual unity, in particular with the intention of our second commitment [that is, unity with the Pope], and carefully reread the messages of October 18, 1975 and December 31, 1997. Let us together pray and ask for the grace to fulfill her desire to live trustingly in Her Immaculate Heart, and to be Her Apostles as she desires.

In the Act of Consecration, Our Lady asks us to pray very much for the Pope and to “set up a barrier to the growing confrontation directed against the Magisterium.” (…) St. Jacinta Marto so very much offered her suffering for sinners and for the Holy Father. Every time someone asked her to pray for something, she would always add, “and for the Holy Father! (and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.)

Fr. Luca Pescatori

In his letter, Fr. Luca goes on to emphasize the importance of always praying for the Pope, most especially for those of us in the Marian Movement of Priests who have this as our second commitment of membership.  I invite you to especially invoke the intercession of St. Jacinta in your prayers for the Holy Father, Pope Francis. 

“Calling to mind the vision that St. Jacinta alone had near the well at Lucia’s house (Third Memoir, 6: the Holy Father kneeling in a house surrounded by people who were cursing and throwing stones at him), let me share a reflection with you.

“This insistent request to pray for the Pope and to form a barrier to defend the Magisterium can be seen as if we – the Church (and even more us in the MMP) – are the ones who fortify this “house” that defends the ministry of the Pope and the Magisterium from the evil one.  And if our prayer and sacrifices are weakened – if we in the MMP do not live well our consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary – the barrier that defends the ministry of the Pope and the Magisterium is weakened and is overcome by an ever greater number of stones and blows (that is, from the works of the evil one), and it then becomes wounded, blocked, and to some extent destroyed…It is up to us to fight with the weapons that Our Lady has given us, so that the Magisterium and the ministry entrusted to the Pope, that of confirming the brothers in the faith, be protected from evil and be supported and defended according to her expectations of us.  Our Lady greatly insists on this, so much so that she has requested it as a second commitment of our Consecration to Her Immaculate Heart.  There are countless messages in which Our Lady asks this of us. 

“To be united with the Pope does not mean just applauding him, and so always being happy and leaving it at that, but rather it means first and foremost defending his Petrine ministry from the action of the evil one, with our prayer and the spiritual means we have at our disposal.  No one in the Church can feel themselves exempt from this, because everyone in the Church has a shared responsibility in supporting this ministry which, since the time of Peter, is the one most subjected to the snares of the evil one.

“In the Church, we cannot behave like those in politics: “I like it” – “I don’t like it”;  “I’m pleased” – “I’m not pleased”; “I pray – I don’t pray.”  People who do not feel the duty to spiritually defend the Pope weaken him.  This is not part of the spiritual tradition of the Church.  From the earliest years of the Movement, Our Lady tells us that she expects a different attitude from us:

there will even be a time at which, like Jesus on the way to Calvary, he will be as though abandoned by everyone. Then these sons of mine will be his comfort and his defense, and together with me they will be victorious in the greatest battle of the Church.

(17 mn, September 23, 1973)

And some will even go so far as to say…

Where are they now, those priests who are close to the first priest (…) Let it be you, O priests consecrated to my Immaculate Heart, who are closest to the heart of the Pope.” Pray for him; suffer with him; be always with him!

(86 s-u, November 9, 1975)

…Close to him in fidelity to the Gospel, and close to him in spiritual support and defense.”