April 2, 2005

News from the National Headquarters


From the National Director
April 2, 2005
Year of the Eucharist
1 st Saturday of the Month and
Eve of the Feast of Divine Mercy

John Paul the Second

“The Masterpiece Formed In
My Immaculate Heart” 1

(May 18, 1920 – April 2, 2005)

Today, the Church, the world, and we as individuals mourn the loss of a great pope, John Paul II. He is now among the saints in Heaven – with Our Blessed Mother to whom he had been consecrated from the beginning of his priesthood and to whom he entrusted his papacy.

“Totus Tuus”

On October 13, 2000, the anniversary of the miracle of Fatima, the Pope addressed the participants in the 8th Mariological Colloquium, which had as its theme “St. Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort: Trinitarian Spirituality in Communion with Mary”. The meeting was the occasion of an official petition to the Pope to have him declare Louis Marie Grignon de Montfort (1673-1716) a doctor of the Church.

Pope John Paul II spoke of his youth and how, during the dark years of the Nazi occupation of Poland, he came to discover the important role of Mary in his life.

He writes,
“When I was working as a clandestine seminarian at the Solvay factory in Kraków, my spiritual director advised me to meditate on the True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin. Many times and with great spiritual profit I read and reread this precious little ascetical book with the blue, soda-stained cover. By relating the Mother of Christ to the Trinitarian mystery, Montfort helped me to understand that the Virgin belongs to the plan of salvation, by the Father’s will, as the Mother of the incarnate Word, who was conceived by her through the power of the Holy Spirit. Mary’s every intervention in the work of the regeneration of the faithful is not in competition with Christ, but derives from him and is at his service. Mary’s action in the plan of salvation is always Christocentric, that is, it is directly related to a mediation that takes place in Christ. I then realized that I could not exclude the Mother of the Lord from my life without disregarding the will of God-the-Trinity, who wanted to “begin and complete” the great mysteries of salvation history with the responsible and faithful collaboration of the humble Handmaid of Nazareth… when the believer accepts Mary into his life in Christ and the Spirit, he is brought into the very heart of the Trinitarian mystery.” (Pope John Paul II, October 13, 2000)

His strong devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, then, grew out of his reading the Treatise of True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin by St. Louis de Montfort, and it is from this saint that he adopted the personal motto that he subsequently made his own when he was elected Pope – “Totus Tuus” (Latin for “All yours”, meaning Mary).

Throughout his pontificate, he continuously invoked the intercession of the holy Mother of God. In his Apostolic Letter, “Rosarium Virginis Mariae,” which was released on October 16, 2002, the beginning of the twenty-fifth year of his Pontificate, he wrote,

“The simple prayer of the Rosary marks the rhythm of human life…I set the first year of my Pontificate within the daily rhythm of the Rosary. Today, as I begin the twenty-fifth year of my service as the Successor of Peter, I wish to do the same. How many graces have I received in these years from the Blessed Virgin through the Rosary: Magnificat anima mea Dominum! I wish to lift up my thanks to the Lord in the words of His Most Holy Mother, under whose protection I have placed my Petrine ministry: Totus Tuus!” (Pope John Paul II)

“Her Pope”

On October 17, 1978, one day after his election, Our Blessed Mother told Fr. Gobbi that Pope John Paul II was the pope “whom [her] Immaculate Heart obtained from Jesus for the good of his Church.” She continued, “He is a son especially loved by me because he has consecrated himself to my Heart from the beginning of his priesthood.” (162c)

Obviously, then, this was the pope chosen by Heaven to lead the Church during all these years, precisely because he would entrust his papacy and the Church to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Following are just a few of the many references to him as “her pope” – “the one chosen by her” – “the greatest gift from her Immaculate Heart to the Church.”

“Precisely when Satan was under the illusion that he had conquered, after God had accepted the sacrifice of Pope Paul VI and of John Paul I, I obtained from God for the Church the Pope who had been prepared and formed by me.

He has consecrated himself to my Immaculate Heart and has solemnly entrusted to me the Church, of which I am the Mother and Queen.

In the person and the work of the Holy Father, John Paul II, I am reflecting my great light which will become stronger, the more the darkness envelops everything.” (January 1, 1979 – 167ijk)

“Pope John Paul II is the greatest gift which my Immaculate Heart has obtained from the Heart of Jesus for these times of yours, times of the painful purification.

He is my Pope. He has been formed by me. At every moment, he is led by me along the road of his personal consecration to your heavenly Mother, a road which he has followed with docility, with filial abandonment and with great trust. He is an important part of my plan.
He is the Pope of my light…” (August 13, 1987 – 359abc)

“ As a sorrowful and concerned Mother, I urge you all to look today to the successor of Peter, Pope John Paul II. He is my Pope. He is the Pope who has been formed by me in the depths of my Immaculate Heart. He is the Pope of my great light, in these times of greatest darkness.” (June 29, 1988 – 385d)

“This Pope is the greatest gift which my Immaculate Heart has given you for the time of the purification and the great tribulation.” (May 13, 1995 – 545d)

His Sufferings

In addition to the obvious physical suffering due to his many ailments, Pope John Paul II endured a tremendous moral suffering because of what he witnessed happening in the Church and in the world.

On May 13, 1995, again on the anniversary of the First Apparition at Fatima, Our Lady urged us to pray for the pope, precisely because of the weight of the cross which he was carrying.

d — Pray for the Pope . This Pope is the greatest gift which my Immaculate Heart has given you for the time of the purification and the great tribulation. An important part of my message and of my secret, that I revealed to the three children to whom I appeared, refers precisely to the person and the mission of Pope John Paul II.

e How great is his suffering! Often it is as though he were being crushed beneath the weight of a cross which has become so very heavy. Humanity is hastening along the road of violence and hatred, of fratricidal struggle and war, despite his anguished cry, which he causes to go out to all in order to invoke peace.

f This humanity has become more and more enslaved to comfort and pleasure, to materialism and hedonism, to hardness of heart toward the needs of the little, the poor, the marginalized, the oppressed and the exploited.

g How great is the suffering of the Pope, in seeing humanity so threatened with running irresponsibly along the way of its own destruction.

h — Pray for the Pope. How his heart is caused to bleed because of the division which is taking root in the Church, the loss of faith which is becoming more widespread, the errors which are being taught and propagated despite the courage and force with which he goes everywhere in the world to confirm all in faithfulness to Christ and to his Gospel.

i His encyclical letters are true beacons of light, which shine down from heaven upon the intense darkness which envelops all the world.

j — Pray for the Pope. He is living the hour of Gethsemane and Calvary, of crucifixion and of his immolation. The Lord looks upon him as the most precious victim, who must now be immolated on the altar of his priestly sacrifice. (May 13, 1995, 545d-j)

Most painful for him must have been the indifference with which his teachings were met by many, even his priests. In Message #207, “The Rock of the Great Division,” given in New York City in 1980, Our Lady said of this suffering:

“Look at the great light which my Immaculate Heart has given to the Church: it is the first of my beloved sons, Pope John Paul II. From this time on this light will become much stronger, as the struggle becomes more bitter.

This Pope is a sign of my extraordinary presence at your side; he is becoming the stumbling-stone for all my enemies and the rock against which the great division will take place.

He has been even here and has spoken with firmness, but how few they are who follow his trustworthy and inspired teaching!… Even some of my beloved sons continue to ignore him, and thus slip into a greater darkness and the Church in this country becomes so ill and wounded.” (September 2, 1980, 207efg)

She continues, always urging her priests to be a support to him in helping him to shoulder the burden of a very heavy cross:

“ May you, sons consecrated to my Immaculate Heart, be living examples of love for, of fidelity to, and of full unity with the Pope. Thus you will draw a great number of poor, confused children along the road of unity and of salvation in the true faith.” (September 2, 1980, 207h)

And later, she said,

“ And so, my beloved ones and children consecrated to my Heart, you be his great crown of joy, by your filial affection, by your unceasing prayer, by your suffering which is accepted and offered up, by your unity which is lived out and witnessed to. Help him, by your priestly fidelity, to carry a very heavy cross. Sustain him by your loving presence in the painful journey towards Calvary. And be, all of you, beneath his cross, by your filial affection, like John, together with your heavenly Mother, to live with him the hour of his sacrifice.” (August 13, 1987, 359e)

His Teachings

Christ sets a Pope as the foundation of his Church and as the infallible guardian of the truth. A Pope must teach the truth of the Gospel to the letter!

Our Lady said of “her Pope”:

“With the faith of Peter, he is enlightening the earth and confirming all the Church in the truth. The Pope today, as a new Peter, is reaffirming the total faith in Christ the Son of God and, as a new Paul, is going to every part of the world to proclaim with courage his Gospel of salvation.” (June 29, 1988, 385e)

Of his writings, the Blessed Mother said,

“ His encyclical letters are true beacons of light, which shine down from heaven upon the intense darkness which envelops all the world.” (May 13, 1995, 545i)

And of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, she said,

“A special gift of my Immaculate Heart for these times of yours is the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which my Pope has wished to promulgate, to be as it were his shining last testament.” (January 1, 1993, 486p)

In Message #540, “I Am Consoled By You,” given in Spain in 1995, Our Lady spoke of the need to be strong witnesses of the fundamental truths found in the Gospel of Jesus.

“ In this country of yours, how widespread and dangerous is the contestation directed against the Pope and the opposition to his Magisterium! And thus, fundamental truths of the Catholic faith are questioned and denied; errors are taught and followed; the loss of faith becomes diffused, and the great apostasy from Jesus and his Gospel spreads everywhere.

You must be strong witnesses of unity with the Pope and fidelity to the Gospel, whose ministers you are.  Pay no attention to the bad example which superiors and confreres may give you in this matter. Look only at the profound sorrow and the bleeding wound which this increasing apostasy, spreading more and more in the Church, causes the Heart of your heavenly Mother.” (March 22, 1995, 540kl)

If ever in doubt, then, look to the faith; seek the truth; live the Gospel! Remember to bear witness always to the ONE and ONLY truth as given in the Gospel of Jesus.

2471 “Before Pilate, Christ proclaims that he “has come into the world , to bear witness to the truth …In situations that require witness to the faith, the Christian must profess it without equivocation, after the example of St. Paul before his judges.

2472 The duty of Christians to take part in the life of the Church impels them to act as witnesses of the Gospel and of the obligations that flow from it. This witness is a transmission of the faith in words and deeds. Witness is an act of justice that establishes the truth or makes it known.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church)

A Shining Example

What words did Our Lady use to describe “her pope”? In 1982, on the 65 th anniversary of the first apparition at Fatima, Our Lady told us to “Look to the Pope!…as an example of prayer, of fidelity, and of fortitude.”

b Look to the Pope: he gives an example of prayer.

c His life, which belongs entirely to me, has been molded by me in the spirit of incessant and trusting prayer. His voice penetrates heaven and, united with my maternal intercession, brings down, still today, a shower of graces upon this lost humanity.

d You too, together with the Pope, must form a strong barrier of prayer to obtain the conversion of sinners, a return to God on the part of many straying children, peace for this humanity which is so threatened and a true and interior renewal for all the Church.

e Pray often, using the holy rosary, which I came here also to ask of you. If the most grave problems for the Church and for the world have not yet been successfully resolved, despite all the human means which have been taken, this is a sign for you that you must now put all your trust in the power of prayer.

f He gives an example of fidelity.

g He is faithful to the mandate received through his succession to the Chair of Peter; he is faithful to Jesus Christ whom he announces by word and the witness of his life. Thus the light which he spreads everywhere is one and the same with the light of the Gospel.

h You must all be united with him in giving witness to the life of my Son Jesus and in announcing faithfully the truth of his Gospel. The Pope is often surrounded by a great void and by loneliness. His words are those of a prophet, but often they fall upon an immense desert.

i You must be a powerful echo of his word which must be more and more propagated, listened to and acted upon. Until this light is once again enkindled, walk behind him in the secure wake of this great brilliance, because soon the darkness may become even greater upon the world and the Church.

j He gives an example of fortitude.

k He is going forward everywhere without fear, with the power that comes from his great love as universal Pastor and as Vicar of my Son Jesus. He fears neither criticism nor obstacles; he does not halt before threats and attempts upon his life. Led and defended by me, he proceeds along the way that I have pointed out to him, like a trusting child that always allows itself to be led by the hand. And thus each day he climbs his painful Calvary, carrying a great cross for the good and the salvation of all.

l What he is now living through has already been foretold him by me. Remain ever with him, beloved sons whom I am gathering from every part of the world into the refuge of my Immaculate Heart, and carry with him today the great cross of the whole Church. (May 13, 1982, 245b-l)

His “Superhuman Strength”

In Message #449 given on May 13, 1991, the Anniversary of the First Apparition at Fatima, Our Lady tells us:

“… With great courage and with superhuman strength , he goes about every part of the world, heedless of the fatigue and the many dangers, in order to confirm all in the faith, and thus he carries out his apostolic ministry as successor of Peter, Vicar of Christ, universal Pastor of the holy Catholic Church, founded on the rock of my Son, Jesus.

The Pope gives to all the light of Christ, in these times of great darkness. With vigor, he confirms us in the truth of the faith, in these times of general apostasy. He invites us to walk along the road of love and of peace, in these times of violence, of hatred, of tumult and of war.

My Immaculate Heart is wounded in seeing how, all about him, there is an expanding emptiness and indifference; contestation on the part of some of my poor children — bishops, priests, religious and faithful; haughty opposition to his Magisterium. For this reason, my Church is today wounded by a deep division; it is threatened with the loss of the true faith; it is pervaded with an infidelity which is becoming greater and greater.” (May 13, 1991, 449cde)

Follow in His Footsteps

In the person of Pope John Paul II, Our Lady gave us a shining example to imitate and follow. She has, if you will, given us marching orders, and we have been told how to put her words into practice. As we have been asked by Jesus to “Follow Him,” we follow then in the footsteps of this great pope who did just that.

“ May you, sons consecrated to my Immaculate Heart, be living examples of love for, of fidelity to, and of full unity with the Pope. Thus you will draw a great number of poor, confused children along the road of unity and of salvation in the true faith.” (September 2, 1980, 207h)

“Take up your cross and follow me.” (cf. Mt 15:24) Pope John Paul II did that to perfection , not concerned about his infirmity, his physical weakness or the agonizing weight of his aging body.

On March 15, 2005, during his second hospitalization and following his tracheotomy, from his hospital room he wrote a very personal letter to his priests for Holy Thursday 2005. Therein he wrote, My thoughts turn to you, dear priests, as I spend this time recuperating in hospital, a patient alongside other patients, uniting in the Eucharist my own sufferings with those of Christ.

Now that he is gone, I urge you to take up your cross as he did…to live by his example. Let us go forward in his footsteps, the very footsteps of Jesus. Let us carry the Cross that he carried for the Church. Let us evangelize the way he evangelized. Let us work to bring all souls to the fount of mercy. Let us take care of the sick, the dying, the hungry, the destitute, the demoralized, the youth and families in need of spiritual direction.

In essence, then, our task as apostles of these last times has now taken on new meaning.

Our Role as Members of the MMP

Our Lady tells us, the members of her cohort:

“ I have prepared you so that you may help him to carry his great cross. For this, the hour has come when there must appear, in all its force and its splendor, the great army which, in silence and in hiddenness, I have been forming for myself during these years in every part of the world, through my Marian Movement of Priests, for the defense and the strong support of the Pope.

Thus there is beginning to be delineated clearly the plan of the little flock, which will remain faithful to Christ and to his Church, guarded whole and entire in the garden of my Immaculate Heart.” (385ij, June 29, 1988)

“There will remain faithful only that little remnant which, in these years, by accepting my motherly invitation, has let itself be enfolded in the secure refuge of my Immaculate Heart. And it will be this little faithful remnant, prepared and formed by me, that will have the task of receiving Christ, who will return to you in glory, bringing about in this way the beginning of the new era which awaits you.” (May 13, 1991, 449g)

In her last message to Fr. Gobbi, given on December 31, 1997, her final words urge us to “go and shed light upon the earth.”

t The moment has come for you to come out from your hiddenness in order to go and shed light upon the earth.

u Show yourselves to all as my children, for I am with you always. Let the faith be the light which enlightens you in these days of darkness, and let zeal alone consume you, zeal for the honor and glory of my Son Jesus.

v Fight, children of the light, because the hour of my battle has now arrived. In the harshest of winters, you are the buds which are opening up from my Immaculate Heart and which I am placing on the branches of the Church to tell you that her most beautiful springtime is about to arrive.

w This will be for her the second Pentecost. For this reason, I invite you to repeat often in the cenacles, the prayer that I have asked of you: ‘Come, Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well-beloved Spouse.’

x With the love of a Mother who, during these years, has been listened to, followed and glorified by you, I bless you all in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” (December 31, 1997, 604 t-x)

Pope of Divine Mercy

Oh, what a gift he was to the Church, handpicked by Heaven to lead the Church into the greatest time of the outpouring of God’s mercy. Because of him, the hand of Divine Justice was held back, and more and more people were converted.

Pope John Paul II declared an extraordinary Jubilee year from 1983-84 for the 1950 th Anniversary of the Redemption, the anniversary of the death of Christ. And of course, from December 24, 1999 to January 6, 2001, the Church celebrated the great Jubilee of the Year 2000 to commemorate the anniversary of the Nativity of the Lord.

And what a great grace of mercy did indeed occur during the Great Jubilee! In a special way I believe that this Jubilee Year DID occasion Our Lady’s triumph in hearts and souls, as noted below, and this has been a definitive triumph of her personal mission which is to bring souls back to Jesus.

“The triumph will be realized through
a new birth of Jesus in hearts and souls.” (cf. #89o)

– At least 25 million persons passed through the Holy Doors in Rome, expressing their sincere desire to return to Jesus and to receive his mercy and forgiveness by means of the Sacraments and the indulgences.

– How many more millions passed through the doors of the designated Jubilee sites – cathedrals, basilicas and churches – in dioceses throughout the world.

– Countless others who could not travel to these sites took the occasion in other ways to receive the plenary indulgences to purify themselves and to atone for their sins.

– Two million young people gathered in Rome for the Jubilee event for the youth, expressing their unity with the Holy Father and their desire to experience Jesus in their lives. This event, in and of itself, can be seen as a tremendous triumph in this day and age.

– Hundreds of thousands attended the week-long Eucharistic Congress in June.

– Throughout the great Jubilee Year, by means of her Pope, Our Lady brought to Rome countless members of various professions of the world, both secular and religious, to sharpen their focus on Jesus.” (…)

(from my statement on “The Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary” February 22, 2001)

In 1987 he proclaimed a Marian Year to begin to prepare for the approaching millennium, in commemoration of the 2000 th anniversary of the birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

As the Holy Father explained, just as Mary had preceded Christ in the story of our salvation, so then should meditation on her precede the Jubilee Year of his nativity.

Following the great Jubilee, announcements of the two more special years followed: the Year of the Rosary (October 2002-2003), and the current Year of the Eucharist (October 2004-2005).

During these special years, God extends his mercy and forgiveness to all who ask it of him with a sincere heart and repentance. During the Papacy of Pope John Paul II, then, how many were able to receive this great gift of God’s mercy.

And only later will we truly realize how his perseverance through suffering was instrumental in saving thousands, if not millions, of souls. It is precisely because of his sufferings, Our Lady tells us, that a great mercy has been won for the whole world!

In a message given to Fr. Gobbi on May 13, 1995, again on the anniversary of the First Apparition at Fatima, Our Lady spoke of the need to pray for the pope because of the weight of the great suffering he was undergoing. It was in God’s divine plan that Pope John Paul II had to follow in the very footsteps of Christ. And she promised that, because of his sufferings, “divine justice will be espoused to a great mercy.” In other words, precisely because of this Pope’s great suffering and sacrifice, divine mercy will attenuate the justice of God. 

“ — Pray for the Pope. He is living the hour of Gethsemane and Calvary, of crucifixion and of his immolation. The Lord looks upon him as the most precious victim, who must now be immolated on the altar of his priestly sacrifice.

Beloved children, remain ever with me beneath the cross upon which my Pope, fashioned, led and so loved by me, is as of now consummating his great offering of love and sorrow.

It is precisely through the sacrifice of this, the first of my beloved sons, that divine justice will be espoused to a great mercy. After the time of the trial, which will be one of purification for all the earth, there will spring up upon the world the new era foretold and announced by him; and thus, in these final times, he invites you all to cross the bright thresholds of hope.” (May 13, 1995, 545jkl)

We will miss you, Holy Father, and all those things that made you one of the greatest popes of all time – your great love for the Church which you served untiringly, your strong leadership, your guidance, your compassion for the sick and dying and the many other attributes that made you a “masterpiece” of God’s plan.

May the Immaculate Heart of Mary receive you in her loving embrace, and present you to her Son Jesus.

With God’s choicest blessings,

Rev. Albert G. Roux
National Director