Blue Army of Our Lady of Fátima

Last updated

The pilgrim image of Our Lady of Fatima devoted by the Blue Army. Fatima Mary IC Sparks.jpg
The pilgrim image of Our Lady of Fátima devoted by the Blue Army.

The Blue Army of Our Lady of Fátima, now mostly known as the World Apostolate of Fátima , is a public international association of the Christian faithful that has as its general purpose "the promotion of the authentic teaching of the Roman Catholic Church and the strict adherence to the tenets of the Gospel; the personal sanctification of adherents through faithful adherence to the Message of Our Lady of Fátima and the promotion of the common good by the spreading of that Message of Fátima".

Fátima, Portugal Civil parish in Central Portugal, Portugal

Fátima is a city in the municipality of Ourém, Beira Litoral Province, in the Central Region and Middle Tagus Subregion of Portugal, with 71.29 km² of area and 11 788 inhabitants (2011). Its population density is 162,7 hab/km². The homonymous civil parish encompasses several villages and localities of which the city of Fátima, with a population of 7,756 residents, is the largest.

Catholic Church Christian church led by the Bishop of Rome

The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3 billion baptised Catholics worldwide as of 2017. As the world's "oldest continuously functioning international institution", it has played a prominent role in the history and development of Western civilisation. The church is headed by the Bishop of Rome, known as the Pope. Its central administration, the Holy See, is in the Vatican City, an enclave within the city of Rome in Italy.

Our Lady of Fátima title for the Virgin Mary due to her reputed apparitions to three shepherd children at Fátima, Portugal

Our Lady of Fátima, is a Catholic title of the Blessed Virgin Mary based on the famed Marian apparitions reported in 1917 by three shepherd children at the Cova da Iria, in Fátima, Portugal. The three children were Lúcia dos Santos and her cousins Francisco and Jacinta Marto.

Contents

History

The Blue Army was founded in 1946 by Rev. Fr. Harold V. Colgan, parish priest of St. Mary of Plainfield, New Jersey (USA). [1] [2] Father Colgan had fallen seriously ill and was hospitalized. During his illness he prayed to Our Lady of Fátima that if she should cure him he would spend the rest of his life spreading devotion to her. He attributed his recovery to his prayers and began preaching to his congregation on a regular basis about the Virgin Mary.

Plainfield, New Jersey City in New Jersey

Plainfield is a city in Union County, New Jersey, United States, known by its nickname as "The Queen City." As of the 2010 United States Census, the city's population increased to 49,808, its highest ever recorded population in any decennial census, with the population having increased by 1,979 (+4.1%) from the 47,829 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 1,262 (+2.7%) from the 46,567 counted in the 1990 Census.

He summed up the message of Our Lady's apparition as this:

Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic devotional title of Mary

The Immaculate Heart of Mary is a devotional name used to refer to the interior life of the Blessed Virgin Mary, her joys and sorrows, her virtues and hidden perfections, and, above all, her virginal love for God the Father, her maternal love for her son Jesus, and her compassionate love for all people.

Rosary Roman Catholic sacramental and Marian devotion to prayer

The Holy Rosary, also known as the Dominican Rosary, refers to a form of prayer used in the Catholic Church and to the string of knots or beads used to count the component prayers. When used for the prayer, the word is usually capitalized, as is customary for other names of prayers, such as "the Lord's Prayer", and "the Hail Mary"; when referring to the beads, it is written with a lower-case initial letter.

A vocation is an occupation to which a person is specially drawn or for which they are suited, trained, or qualified. Though now often used in non-religious contexts, the meanings of the term originated in Christianity.

His message was highly successful; however, he wanted to make more of a lasting impression upon his congregation, and so he added two further items of his own invention. The first was a signed promise that one would try to uphold these values and the second was to wear a blue ribbon or blue medal in order to remember the promise. This was also a success and the congregation all enrolled. It was then that Fr. Colgan began to think about extending this to other parishes and other nations. Thus was born the Blue Army, from Colgan's own words: "We will be the Blue army of Mary and Christ, against the red of the world and of Satan."

Red Army 1917–1946 ground and air warfare branch of the Soviet Unions military

The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army, frequently shortened to Red Army was the army and the air force of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, and, after 1922, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The army was established immediately after the 1917 October Revolution. The Bolsheviks raised an army to oppose the military confederations of their adversaries during the Russian Civil War. Beginning in February 1946, the Red Army, along with the Soviet Navy, embodied the main component of the Soviet Armed Forces; taking the official name of "Soviet Army", until its dissolution in December 1991.

Satan Figure in Abrahamic religions

Satan, also known as the Devil, is an entity in the Abrahamic religions that seduces humans into sin or falsehood. In Christianity and Islam, he is usually seen as either a fallen angel or a jinn, who used to possess great piety and beauty, but rebelled against God, who nevertheless allows him temporary power over the fallen world and a host of demons. In Judaism, Satan is typically regarded as a metaphor for the yetzer hara, or "evil inclination", or as an agent subservient to God.

Fr. Colgan began preaching his message and gained success, especially with the assistance of writer John Haffert who began delivering conferences on the message of Fátima and the Blue Army. Colgan then went to the Vatican in May 1947 to meet Pius XII in order to present his project for approval from the Pontiff. The foundation of the International Blue Army took place at the House of Pontevedra, Spain, where Mary is said to have appeared to request Communion of Reparation every First Saturday. [3] Currently, there are over 20 million members.

John Mathias Haffert was an American Roman Catholic author and editor. He wrote several books, mostly on Roman Catholic themes, co-founded Catholic societies, edited Catholic magazines and lectured on Catholic issues.

Apostolic Palace official residence of the Pope in Vatican City

The Apostolic Palace is the official residence of the Roman Catholic Pope and Bishop of Rome, which is located in Vatican City. It is also known as the Papal Palace, Palace of the Vatican and Vatican Palace. The Vatican itself refers to the building as the Palace of Sixtus V in honor of Pope Sixtus V, who built most of the present form of the palace.

Pope Pius XII 260th Pope of the Catholic Church

Pope Pius XII, born Eugenio Maria Giuseppe Giovanni Pacelli, was head of the Catholic Church from 2 March 1939 to his death. Before his election to the papacy, he served as secretary of the Department of Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs, papal nuncio to Germany, and Cardinal Secretary of State, in which capacity he worked to conclude treaties with European and Latin American nations, most notably the Reichskonkordat with Nazi Germany.

World Apostolate of Fátima

The World Apostolate of Fátima has its world headquarters in the Domus Pacis ("House of Peace"), a pilgrim guest house in Fátima, Portugal. While the Blue Army was founded in 1947, because of its rapid spread around the world, it became necessary to erect a new society. The Decree of Erection of the World Apostolate of Fatima was signed on 7 October (the Feast of the Holy Rosary), 2005. Then on 3 February 2006, the World Apostolate of Fátima held an official ceremony for the consignment of the decree and the approval of its statutes at the Pontifical Council for the Laity in Rome.

Organization

The Apostolate is broken up into prayer cells which are found in parishes throughout the world. These cells fall under state and national Apostolate centers which in turn are subordinate to the International Secretariat based at Fátima in the Domus Pacis. The International Secretariat exists in order to coordinate the activities of the organization throughout the world and to carry out the policy decisions of the Board of Trustees, an elected group of nine members of the Apostolate who represent various regional centers of the Apostolate. They meet once a year to discuss the internal affairs of the Apostolate.

Membership

Membership in its most basic sense is through making a Pledge promising the following:

The official pledge of membership is:

I pledge myself to Our Lady and wish, thereby, to join the World Apostolate of Fátima.

Dear Queen and Mother, who promised at Fátima to convert Russia and bring peace to all mankind, in reparation for my sins and the sins of the whole world, I solemnly promise to Your Immaculate Heart:

  1. To offer up every day the sacrifices demanded by my daily duty
  2. To pray at least five decades of the Rosary daily while meditating on the Mysteries
  3. To wear the Scapular of Mount Carmel as profession of this promise and as an act of consecration to You,
  4. To accomplish the devotion of the Five First Saturdays of the month, including the fifteen-minute meditation on the Mysteries of the Rosary.

I shall renew this promise often, especially in moments of temptation.

The daily offering mentioned, is traditionally the following:

O my God in union with the Immaculate Heart of Mary (here kiss the brown scapular). I offer Thee the Precious Blood of Jesus from all the altars throughout the world, joining with it the offering of my every thought, word and action of this day.



O my Jesus, I desire today to gain every indulgence and merit I can and I offer them, together with myself, to Mary Immaculate – that She may best apply them to the interests of Thy Most Sacred Heart. Precious Blood of Jesus, save us! Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us! Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us!

Thus are delineated the primary devotions of the World Apostolate. These are the devotions mandated by the Blessed Virgin Mary during the Apparitions at Fátima. Traditionally this pledge is printed, and signed by the person who desires membership. It is also traditional that this signed pledge is then sent to the international headquarters in Fátima where it is then taken and buried near the shrine there.

Aside from the daily offering, recitation of the rosary, the wearing of the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and the five Saturdays in honor of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the Apostolate also recommends to its members the practices of nine first Fridays in honor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Home Enthronement of the Sacred Heart, and family consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

A further practice associated with the World Apostolate is the Pilgrim statue of Our Lady of Fátima. There are several designated "pilgrim statues," however the primary one is the international pilgrim statue which has traversed the globe several times since its sculpting in 1947 by José Ferreira Thedim. The purpose of the statue is to renew interest in Catholic parishes in the message of Fátima, and to stir up affection to Our Lady.

Blue Army Shrine

The National Blue Army Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima, in Washington Township (Warren County), New Jersey, is located on 150 acres (0.61 km2) and rises over the Muscontecong Valley. It hosts more than 50,000 pilgrims annually. [4]

The Apostolate Symbol

The Symbol of the apostolate consists of a pair of doves forming an image of praying hands holding a rosary. These are then surrounded by an image of a brown scapular, containing the words in Latin Orbis Unus Orans, (One World Praying) the motto of the Apostolate. All of these surmounted on a blue disc, blue being the symbolic liturgical color of the Virgin Mary in the Catholic Church.

Media

In 1996, John Haffert (co-founder of the Blue Army of Our Lady of Fatima) spoke about Fatima and his book Meet the Witnesses in which he personally interviewed nearly 200 witnesses to the Fatima Miracle, describing their detailed witness accounts.

See also

Related Research Articles

Marian apparition Supernatural appearance by the Virgin Mary

A Marian apparition is a reported supernatural appearance by the Blessed Virgin Mary. The figure is often named after the town where it is reported, or on the sobriquet given to Mary on the occasion of the apparition.

Sacred Heart Christian devotion symbolising the love of Jesus Christ

The devotion to the Sacred Heart is one of the most widely practiced and well-known Roman Catholic devotions, taking the heart of the resurrected Body as the representation of the love by Jesus Christ God, which is "his heart, pierced on the Cross", and "in the texts of the New Testament is revealed to us as God's boundless and passionate love for mankind".

First Saturdays Devotion

The First Saturdays Devotion is a Catholic devotion which, according to Sister Lúcia of Fátima, was requested by the Virgin Mary in an apparition at Pontevedra, Spain, in December 1925. This devotion has been approved by the Roman Catholic Church.

The Fátima prayers are five Catholic prayers that originate from the Marian apparitions at Fátima, Portugal, in 1917. The Decade Prayer, as the best known of these five prayers, is commonly added at the end of each decade of the Dominican Rosary, one of the most popular devotional practices in Roman Catholicism. Another two other prayers are also associated with the visions and may be classed as Fátima Prayers. However, they did not come to existence in Fátima but in Spain many years later. This brings the number of prayers to seven.

Consecration of Russia

The Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary by a specific act of a Pope along with all the other Catholic bishops of the world was allegedly ordered in an apparition by Our Lady of Fátima in 1917. The Carmelite nun Sister Lúcia, one of the three visionaries of the apparitions, stated that at different times the Virgin Mary had given her messages that emphasized praying the Rosary, and that she had made a number of prophecies and promises, one of these being that the consecration of Russia would usher in a period of world peace. Sister Lúcia declared in writing during the 1980s that the consecration performed by Pope John Paul II in St. Peter's Square, in the Vatican City, on March 25, 1984 had been properly accomplished and was accepted in Heaven.

Robert J. Fox American priest

Robert J. Fox was an American priest of the Roman Catholic faith. He was a prolific author of religious books, and appeared on many Roman Catholic television programs and conferences. Fox also served as a diocesan priest for several rural towns in South Dakota. He was the Director of the International Fatima Family Apostolate and Youth for Fatima Pilgrimages , editor of the Immaculate Heart Messenger, and his writings appeared frequently in other Catholic publications in the US. He began the Marian Congress in the United States which is held annually and attended by thousands.

Marian devotions

Marian devotions are external pious practices directed to the person of Mary, mother of Jesus, by members of certain Christian traditions. They are performed in Roman Catholicism and Orthodox Christianity, but generally rejected in Protestant denominations.

Catholic devotions are prayers and practices that are "expressions of love and fidelity that arise from the intersection of one's own faith, culture and the Gospel of Jesus Christ". Catholic devotions are not part of liturgical worship, even if they are performed in a Catholic church, in a group, or in the presence of a priest. The Congregation for Divine Worship at the Vatican publishes a Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy.

Fivefold Scapular

The Fivefold Scapular, also known as Redemptorist Scapular, is a sacramental made up of the five most popular scapulars in the Catholic Church: the Brown Scapular, the Blue Scapular, the Black Scapular, the Red Scapular, and the White Scapular.

The Marian Movement of Priests (MMP) is a private association of Catholic clergy and lay associate members founded by Italian priest Fr. Stefano Gobbi in 1972. According to the MMP, its members now include over 400 Catholic cardinals and bishops, more than 100,000 Catholic priests, and several million lay Catholics worldwide.

America Needs Fatima organization

America Needs Fatima is a campaign of the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP), a Catholic 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Its stated goal is to "win the heart and soul of America for Mary by spreading Our Lady of Fátima message and promoting devotion to her Immaculate Heart."

Catholic Marian movements and societies

Catholic Marian movements and societies have developed from the veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary by members of the Catholic Church. These societies form part of the fabric of Mariology in the Catholic Church. Popular membership in Marian organizations grew significantly in the 20th century, as apparitions such as Our Lady of Fátima gave rise to societies with millions of members, and today many Marian societies exist around the world. This article reviews the major Marian movements and organizations.

Sanctuary of Fátima Church in Beira Litoral, Portugal

The Sanctuary of Fátima, also known as Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fátima, is a group of Catholic religious buildings and structures in Cova da Iria, in the civil parish of Fátima, in the municipality of Ourém, in Portugal.

Rosary and scapular

The exact origins of both the rosary and scapular are subject to debate among scholars. Pious tradition maintains that both the rosary and the brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel were given by the Virgin Mary to saints Dominic and Simon Stock respectively during the 13th century. Historical records document their growth during the 16th and 17th centuries in Europe. By the early 20th century they had gained such a strong following among Catholics worldwide that Josef Hilgers, writing in the Catholic Encyclopedia of 1914 stated: "Like the Rosary, the Brown scapular has become the badge of the devout Catholic."

Alliance of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary

The Alliance of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary refers to the historical, theological and spiritual links in Catholic devotions to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Devotions to the two hearts are key elements of Catholic teachings, and terms such as Holy Heart, Agonizing Heart and Compassionate Heart have also been used in devotions.

Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (Ermesinde) Church in Norte, Portugal

The Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is a Modernist church in the civil parish of Ermesinde, in the municipality of Valongo, in the Portuguese district of Porto. The religious sanctuary actually goes by several names, including the Church of the Good Shepherd or Sanctuary of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, a shrine dedicated to the worship of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

A Pathway Under the Gaze of Mary: Biography of Sister Maria Lucia of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart is a biographical book about Sister Lúcia of Fátima (O.C.D.), the last surviving seer of Virgin Mary apparitions in Cova da Iria, Fátima, Portugal.

References

  1. Peter Stravinskas, 2002, Catholic Dictionary, OSV Press ISBN   978-0-87973-390-2 page 141
  2. Bruno Becchio, 2006, Encyclopedia of World Religions Foreign Media Books ISBN   1-60136-000-2 page 127
  3. "World Apostolate of Fátima", Pontifical Council for the Laity
  4. About the Blue Army Shrine (National Blue Army Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima) Archived 13 February 2010 at the Wayback Machine ..