Eucharistic reparation through the third apparition of the Angel of Peace


Editor’s note: This guest column by Grace Small, a parishioner of St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Attleboro and a high school teacher, is the third in a nine-part series on the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima.

The consecutive apparitions of the Angel of Peace had the effect of forming the three shepherd children to live the words and example of the Angel more fully. After the three little shepherds had brought their flock to the place where the Angel had previously appeared, Lucia states in her memoirs, “As soon as we arrived there, we knelt down, with our foreheads touching the ground, and began to repeat the prayer of the Angel.” 

The children were now fervently living the words of the Angel, offering to the “hearts of Jesus and Mary” their prayers and penances in the manner the Angel had taught them. They obeyed the Angel faithfully as a representative of God putting His Words into practice. Sacred Scripture exhorts us to read and follow God’s Word in the same way: “Be doers of the Word, and not hearers only. Otherwise, you are deceiving yourselves”(Jas 1:23-25). They were not forgetful listeners, but eager learners who were eager to follow where the Angel was leading them.

Having brought the children through a catechesis of prayer and penance, the Angel now brought the children to the central mystery of our faith — the Holy Eucharist. The Angel teaches the children to adore the Blessed Sacrament for Jesus is truly present in the Sacred Host and the Precious Blood which we receive in Holy Communion. In fact, the angel’s prayer accentuates these truths dramatically:

“He was holding a chalice in his left hand, with the Host suspended above it, from which some drops of Blood fell into the chalice. Leaving the chalice suspended in the air, the Angel knelt down beside us and made us repeat three times: 

“‘Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I offer You the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all Tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the sacrileges, outrages and indifferences by which He Himself is offended. Through the infinite merits of His most Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of You the conversion of poor sinners.’ 

“Then rising, he took the chalice and the Host in his hands. He gave the Sacred Host to me, and shared the Blood from the chalice between Jacinta and Francisco, saying as he did so: 

 “‘Take and drink the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, horribly outraged by ungrateful men! Make reparation for their crimes and console your God.’ Once again, he prostrated on the ground and repeated with us, three times more, the same prayer ‘Most Holy Trinity,’ and then disappeared. Moved by a supernatural force which enveloped us, we had imitated the Angel in everything, that is, we prostrated as he did and repeated the prayers that he said. We remained a long time in this position, repeating the same words over and over again.”

First we must notice that the Angel brings a chalice and “Host suspended above it from which some drops of Blood fell into the chalice.” The Angel imitates the priest from whose Consecration of the Sacred Species we receive the Sacred Body and Precious Blood of Our Lord under the appearances of bread and wine. We are reminded of the special character of the ministerial priesthood who offers for the faithful the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and from whom the Holy Eucharist is received. 

What great reverence we ought to have for our priests! The holy Curé of Ars used to say, “If I met a priest and an angel, I would pay respect to the priest first, and then to the angel. If it were not for the priest, the Passion and death of Jesus would not help us. What good would a chest full of gold be if there were no one to open it? The priest has the key to the Heavenly treasures” (“Jesus Our Eucharistic Love,” Stefano Manelli, chapter five). Let us pray often for our priests and for an increase of vocations to the priesthood so that we may always have Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament with us.

This supernatural manifestation of the Host from which “some drops of Blood fell” manifests the most solemn teaching on the Holy Eucharist that in the Sacred Host, Jesus Christ is truly and substantially present coming forth from the sacrifice of the cross by its presentation and renewal on the altar. In one concise statement, Holy Mother Church professes belief in the true presence: “In the most Blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist ‘the Body and Blood, together with the Soul and Divinity, of Our Lord Jesus Christ and, therefore, the whole Christ is truly, really, and substantially contained’ (Council of Trent)” (CCC 1374). 

This statement is plainly taught by Our Lord Himself in Sacred Scripture: “I am the living Bread that came down from Heaven; whoever eats this Bread will live forever; and the Bread that I will give is My Flesh for the life of the world (Jn 6: 51). What admiration and awe must have filled the hearts of Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta to behold the Lamb of God brought by the Angel of Peace!

The Angel, having left the host and chalice suspended in the air, knelt with the children to adore the Flesh and Blood of Jesus, fruit of His suffering and death “for the remission of sins.” We are reminded of the profound reverence we should have for Our Lord’s reception in Holy Communion and throughout Eucharistic Adoration, and also genuflecting when we pass Jesus in the Tabernacle. In our Catholic churches Jesus resides in the Tabernacles, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. The Sanctuary lamp near the Tabernacle burns to remind us of the real presence of Jesus Who loves and waits to be loved by us. Eucharistic miracles throughout the world reveal similar supernatural occurrences where the Flesh and Blood of Our Lord become unveiled for us to adore. 

One of the most famous Eucharistic miracles happened in the eighth century, in Lanciano, Italy to a Basilian monk who doubted the real presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist while he was celebrating Holy Mass. The bread and the wine he was consecrating at Mass turned into the Lord’s visible Flesh and Blood. Scientists who examined the Host and Precious Blood found that it had turned into muscular heart tissue which extraordinarily can still be adored today. It was a Divine response to doubt that Our Lord appeared to increase our supernatural faith in His Word become Flesh for us! 

Like the Eucharistic miracle of Lanciano the supernatural manifestation of the Eucharist by the Angel is a Divine response to modern man’s ingratitude toward so great a gift.  Heaven asks us for reparation not only for the lack of faith, hope and love but as the Angel stated for the many “sacrileges, outrages and indifferences by which He Himself is offended.” The Angel now brings the children to a level of reparative love. They are called to adore and love Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament in reparation for the sins against the Holy Eucharist by which poor sinners offend their God and they are called by the Angel to pray for their conversion through the “infinite merits of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.” By Eucharistic sacrilege is meant the sins of desecration committed against Jesus present in the Eucharist, for example, by receiving Communion when one is in a state of mortal sin, and other sins by which our Lord is offended and mistreated in this Sacrament. 

When we reflect that under the sacramental veil, in each little particle of the Host, the true Presence of the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ resides, the very idea of such sacrileges should cause moral pain and should shake us from our indifference to correct these abuses in our parishes. Indifference toward Our Lord’s real presence in the Blessed Sacrament will clearly lead to a loss of faith and charity will grow cold in the hearts of men. If our heart is not warm for Jesus the God-Man, then we may not expect or have any real charity for our fellow man. But if we receive the Lord in living faith, in His Word and His Sacrament He abides with us. For as Jesus says, “As the Father has loved Me, so have I loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My Commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s Commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full” (Jn 15:9-11). 

Some, however, no longer distinguish between the special Presence of God in this most Blessed Sacrament Who remains truly present in us after Holy Communion. Without conscious preparation to prepare for Holy Mass, Our Lord is hastily received by many. People seem too eager to give themselves over to talk and dissipation without spending time in silence with Jesus, the King of Kings, Who gives Himself to dwell in them as in His temples. How precious is this time with Jesus in our heart! It is the time to offer Him our fervent prayers of thanksgiving, love and petition! The Lord of Lords comes to us hoping to find us disposed to receive Him with loving hearts. The angels rejoice as at Bethlehem singing their praises of love and adoration. The prayers of the Angel are a beautiful preparation disposing our hearts to receive the living God and for offering our Holy Communion to God in a Spirit of reparation, for our own negligence and indifference and that of others. 

Finally the Angel exhorts by word and example that the faithful children of the Church perform acts of reparation to console our God and to obtain from the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary the conversion of poor sinners. This is Fatima’s call for us in our day. There is no better offering to the Father that will draw down His mercy more abundantly than the offering of His Son. Therefore the Angel taught the prayer to the Most Holy Trinity above. Let us be inspired by the Angel and these three children to live the Fatima message and do as the Angel of Peace instructed: “Make reparation for their crimes and console your God.” 

It is amazing that we can cooperate with Jesus in the Salvation of souls by receiving Holy Communion in a Spirit of reparation. It is amazing that we can console our God by devoutly praying the prayer to the Most Holy Trinity to console the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. May the frequent meditation of these apparitions bring us to a deeper love for God and prepare us by the humility and love they teach to approach these holy mysteries with reverence and love. May we learn the true attitude of beloved children toward their Merciful Father and grow in a true appreciation of His presence among us, especially in the Most Blessed Sacrament.

© 2019 The Anchor and Anchor Publishing    †    Fall River, Massachusetts