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St. Margaret Mary Alacoque and Jesus (left), Our Lady of Fatima Shutterstock

(LifeSiteNews) — On May 13, 1917, Our Lady famously appeared, for the first time, to three shepherd children at Fatima.

Exactly three years later – on May 13, 1920 – Margaret Mary Alacoque, a nun who received visions of Jesus and His Sacred Heart, was canonized a saint.

This providential alignment of dates carries a message: the visions of St. Margaret Mary and the apparitions at Fatima are related. How?


Firstly, both events begin with images of the Sacred or Immaculate Heart and proceed to mention the Devil or Hell.

On December 27, 1673, St. Margaret Mary saw Jesus’s “divine Heart as on a throne of flames, more brilliant than the sun and transparent as crystal.” According to the saint, Jesus made known his desire that the image of His Sacred Heart be exposed for veneration. But there was also a warning about Satan. As St. Margaret Mary explains: “This devotion was as a last effort of His love which wished to favor men in these last centuries… in order to withdraw them from the empire of Satan” (Letters of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque).

At Fatima, 244 years later, there was a similar pattern of seeing a heavenly heart before receiving a warning. On June 13, 1917, the Fatima children saw the Blessed Virgin holding her Immaculate Heart encircled with thorns. A month later, the children beheld a terrifying vision of Hell. In Lucia’s words:

Our Lady showed us a great sea of fire which seemed to be under the earth. Plunged in this fire were demons and souls in human form, like transparent burning embers, all blackened or burnished bronze, floating about in the conflagration, now raised into the air by the flames that issued from within themselves together with great clouds of smoke, now falling back on every side like sparks in a huge fire, without weight or equilibrium, and amid shrieks and groans of pain and despair, which horrified us and made us tremble with fear. The demons could be distinguished by their terrifying and repulsive likeness to frightful and unknown animals, all black and transparent…

Here the repetition of hellish images of flames and fire contrasts with both the peaceful imagery of the Immaculate Heart and the holy flames of the Sacred Heart. Ultimately, for both the Fatima children and St. Margaret Mary, early visions of the Sacred or Immaculate Heart reveal a safeguard against the dangers of Satan and Hell.


Secondly, both events request special, complementary devotions.

In 1674 – possibly on the First Friday in June – St. Margaret Mary had her second revelation. With the Blessed Sacrament exposed, the nun received word from Jesus about the First Fridays devotion, in which souls receive Holy Communion and go to Confession on the First Friday of nine consecutive months. St. Margaret Mary’s third revelation – on June 16, 1675 – was closely related, featuring a vision of Jesus on the altar. “Behold,” He said, “this Heart which has so loved men that it has spared nothing…In return, I receive from the greater part only ingratitude” (The Life of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque).

On June 13, 1917, 243 years later, Our Lady of Fatima said that to save souls, God wished to establish devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. To prevent the punishments of “war, famine, and persecutions of the Church and of the Holy Father,” the Blessed Virgin said she would come to request, among other things, “the Communion of reparation on the First Saturdays.” In December 1925, the Blessed Virgin Mary returned to Lucia and called for completion of the First Saturdays devotion. As Our Lady told Lucia:

Look, my daughter, at my Heart surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce me every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You at least try to console me and say that I promise to assist at the hour of death, with all the graces necessary for salvation, all those who on the first Saturday of five consecutive months, shall confess, receive Holy Communion, pray the Rosary, and keep me company for fifteen minutes while meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary, with the intention of making reparation to me. (Pathway Under the Gaze of Mary)

In this way, Fatima presents itself as a kind of follow-up and complement to the Sacred Heart visions. With certain overlapping requirements (such as Confession), the devotions encourage souls to make reparation to both the Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart if possible.


Thirdly, both events carry requests for consecrations.

On June 17, 1689, St. Margaret Mary received her last great revelation (Life of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque). In her letters, she quoted Our Lord’s message for King Louis XIV regarding a consecration: “Make known to the eldest son of my sacred heart that…he will obtain his birth into grace and eternal glory by consecrating himself to My adorable Heart” (Letters of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque). Yet the consecration requests were not heeded. On June 17, 1789 – a hundred years to the day of the June 17, 1689 consecration request – Louis XVI had his power removed, later dying by the guillotine.

But the story does not end there. On June 13, 1929 – just four days shy of the 240th anniversary of the 1689 consecration request – Our Lady told Lucia of Fatima: “The moment has come in which God asks the Holy Father, in union with all the Bishops of the world, to make the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart.” “Later,” Lucia says Jesus told her: “If they do not wish to heed my request, as like the king of France [Louis XIV], they will repent, but it will be late. Russia will have already spread her errors throughout the world, provoking wars, and persecutions of the Church. The Holy Father will have much to suffer.” (Pathway Under the Gaze of Mary)

In other words, there is a parallel between Louis XIV’s failure to comply with Jesus’s consecration requests and the situation of the Church and world should a papal consecration of Russia come too late. Over 300 years later, the story of Jesus’s consecration requests to Louis XIV still lives on as a cautionary tale for the era of Fatima.

Ultimately, since St. Margaret Mary’s story is intricately related to the Fatima story, both events belong to our times. They belong, firstly, as revelations of the splendor of the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts amid warnings about the Devil and Hell. Secondly, they belong as revelations of the power of the First Fridays and First Saturdays devotions. Thirdly, they speak to the ongoing importance of heeding consecration requests.

So let us try, if possible, to fulfill both the First Fridays and the First Saturdays devotions. Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us. Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us.