My new name: KNIGHT OF THE IMMACULATA!
Dear Knights of the Immaculata!
When St. Maximilian founded the Knighthood of the Immaculata, he did not want it to be compared with other pious associations, confraternities, third orders, Marian movements etc. These latter oblige its members to a certain amount of prayers, pious exercises, concrete apostolate. The Militia Immaculatae is both less and more:
Less, because it obliges the knights to almost nothing, just one ejaculatory prayer per day and the wearing of the Miraculous Medal – and even that does not oblige under sin.
More, because it gives the knight a new law of life, a great ideal to follow always and everywhere: the Catholic receives a deeper understanding, who he is exactly or should be: not only a private worshipper, not only an individualist taking care of his own salvation, but a member of the Militant Church, a disciple of Our Lord, who has received a very special task to accomplish in his short life: to work and to fight for the extension of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ. And because Jesus Christ appointed his own mother as “commander in chief of the Christian armies”, as the “apocalyptic woman”, who alone stands against the dragon and the beasts and alone has received the promise to “crush his head” and “to vanquish all heresies over the world”, therefore the Catholic can only accomplish his role and task in the militant Church, if he gives himself to Our Lady, enters in Her services, fulfils Her Will, becomes her child, slave, instrument, soldier, apostle, legionary, KNIGHT!
When you wake up in the morning and you ask yourself: “who am I”? The answer should be: Catholic, Knight of the Immaculata! And when you ask “what’s up today”? The answer should be: in all little details of my day I am HER instrument and so I fight today for the honour of Our Lord and for the salvation of many souls. In this way I accomplish the great commandment of my Lord: “Love God above all and one another, as I have loved you! … I have given you an example!” The more this IDEA enters into the depths of your soul, penetrates your intelligence, heart ,will and emotions, penetrates your thoughts, words and actions, influences you from morning till evening, the more you are KNIGHT OF THE IMMACULATA!
To become a knight it is sufficient to have the will to accept this great IDEA as a new law of my life (this is the act of consecration), and at least once a day (if possible) to remember it and at least once a day to do something as Her instrument to help her to save souls, even a small ejaculatory prayer would be sufficient. Then you would have done at least once a day something really valuable, eternal, something that pleases God. At least once a day you would have given your little finger to HER. And our Saint promises that such a little gesture will not be forgotten by Her and often SHE takes this occasion to attract the poor sinner to her loving heart and make him little by little quit his sins and grow in holiness.
However, it is evident that the Immaculata desires to give more to her child and knight. In fact, if I understand more and more my role in this short life as INSTRUMENT in Her immaculate hands, then I will think more and more about it, I will do more and more for her to help her to make men truly happy and get them out of the tyranny of Satan. The IDEA of being HER KNIGHT will become somehow the motor, the motivation of my activities, will wake up possibilities, strengths and talents hidden in my soul and little by little transform my life. After some time the narrow, egoistic, negligent, bored, indifferent Christian changes into a man full of ideals, in his eyes a fire of love, a hunter of souls. This precisely is the history of the Militia Immaculatae and the secret of its marvellous success!
From 1917 till 1974 millions of simple Catholics inspired by this NEW LAW OF LIFE changed completely and became HER fervent soldiers, with more than 100 beatified and canonized Saints, thousands of heroic souls fighting and dying for God's rights in the atheistic communist countries of Eastern Europe, and innumerable Knights who converted people all over the world to the Catholic Truth.
You will remember this “NEW LAW OF LIFE” by simply meditating about your “new name”: KNIGHT OF THE IMMACULATA! It contains everything!
1. The central word is IMMACULATA: there is no way of being Catholic without Her.
“Who are you, O Immaculata?” One minute meditating on this question will open your horizon infinitely: her first and principal privilege to be the Mother of God, the Mother of Christ, the way by which God came from heaven to earth and by which we return from earth to heaven. Immaculata without stain of sin, most pure, fullness of grace: God's absolute masterpiece, in comparison to which all creatures are like dust. “Oh Immaculata, Queen of heaven and earth”: the apocalyptic woman, who crushes Satan’s head and whose heart at the end will certainly and totally triumph. And “mother who loves us so much”: our refuge, our way which leads us to God, our hope, our joy! The only thing that really counts on earth: the Immaculate Heart of Mary in which shines forth the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the fire of love penetrating these hearts with the fullness of God: the Holy Spirit! Immaculata, tabernacle of the Most Holy Trinity, and all what God wanted to give us, completely. Everything comes to us through HER.
2. The second word concerns you: Knight! I am a knight. What does that mean?
First of all: it is a military word and contains the realities of a fight, of dangerous enemies and remind me that life on earth is a war, between two absolutely opposite forces: Truth and error, light and darkness, Love and hatred, happiness and unhappiness, heaven and hell, true church and false religions, Christ against Satan.
Secondly: the knight is more than a simple soldier. His heart is burning for the great cause, for which he fights, ready to give his life, convinced about the good reason of the fight, the first to battle, the last to rest. A knight has a noble heart, a brave heart. He fights for great things, he is not narrow-minded, and certainly not lazy, not a coward. The history of the medieval knights is a good illustration for this.
Thirdly: one doesn't make himself knight, he is dubbed by his superior, often by the King himself. It is an outstanding privilege, and in the medieval times one had to demonstrate by many efforts and proofs that he is worthy of such a title. Therefore the great virtues of a knight are both courage and gratitude, total consecration to his King and being reliable in all situations: totality, integrity, magnanimity, generosity!
What a contrast to me, when I see myself being often lazy, negligent and indifferent, running all over the place without purpose and reason, victim of all kinds of illusions, wild emotions, victim of publicity and public opinion. Wasting my precious time seeking little pleasures and fun experiences, destroying my body and soul and allowing my heart to be devastated by so many false friends.
But also from a different perspective and motivation: what God wants me to be! What he asks me through Mary to become: great, noble, with an eternal destiny, created for heroism.
3. The third word is the synthesis of the two previous: Knight of the Immaculata!
I am from Her: even if I agree to become Her knight, in reality she chose me, she prepared my conversion and my heart to answer to her call.
I am for Her: the noble cause for which I fight is Her honour. She sends me into the world as instrument in Her immaculate hands to rescue her lost children from the prison of error and sin, so that she may deliver them from the chains of the devil and eternal damnation. In this my short life she gives me a task almost without limits. All depends on me, whether I would use the precious time of my remaining days of my life to win an infinite reward and to conquer the world through HER (each immortal soul is even more than the whole material world!).
Her great wishes should become my wishes: “Bring me back my children! Let me bring them the light, and the grace, but I need you as my instrument: you go to them through your little prayers, you prepare their souls through your sacrifices, you approach them giving them my miraculous medal, my words and the words of my faithful servants, you tell them about my miracles and my love. And I will use all these little bridges you build between me and them and come over to convert them and bring them back to my son!”
If Divine Providence allowed the Militia Immaculatae to be established again amongst traditional Catholics, it is to give us a new identity or better to let us recover our identity! Are we not too much confined to ourselves? Are we in danger of not appreciating any more the immense treasure we received? Are the young people not getting bored with religion and getting more and more interested in a world full of pleasure, movies, games and fun? Are we not losing our spiritual strength in fighting all the time with people who praise themselves as 'resistant', who in the name of 'conservation of faith', worship only their own little personality and originality? Are we not in danger of shutting ourselves up in our little comfortable lives without any other rule than our own inspirations and views? Are we not getting all more or less “independent”, just doing what we want? The result: complete loss of identity!
And here comes the IMMACULATA herself to wake us up: my beloved child, come now and do MY work! You belong to the very little remnant of those, who know yet, who I am, who pray to me, who keep the faith. Only to you I can come and ask to help me to save souls in these worst of all times! So please don't waste your times on sterile comments and judgements about everything and everybody. Don't waste your time in reading all the internet-kings' opinions and statements. Leave the politics to the politicians, leave the discussions with the hierarchy to the superiors, and you – just do YOUR WORK!
Recover your identity, which is to save your immortal soul and which is to help to save many others! As you are my child and I am your mother, only I can give you back the sense of your identity and protect you, so that you would not lose yourself. So come and let me take you to Calvary and your cold heart will beat with more love towards my son, who offered all his blood for you. Come and I will make you meditate about all the marvellous mysteries of the Faith you have received. Come and I will make you my instrument and your life will again become GREAT, and the most banal things of your daily business become important means to do the best you can on earth: gain immortal and eternal treasures! “So many souls go to eternal damnation, because there is nobody who prays or makes sacrifices for them!”
The more you try to be HER KNIGHT, the more you will have peace in your soul, joy in your heart and light in your mind! You will have found your identity: who you are, and what your goal should be!
You see, in giving your little finger to HER, you receive so incredibly much from Her in return. If all faithful would give themselves to HER as knights, then SHE would make them much more faithful and the word of Our Lord would be realized in us: “One thing only is necessary – seek first the kingdom of God, all the rest will be given to you!”
Singapore, 11 September 2015
Fr. Karl Stehlin
TOWARDS FATIMA 2017
We knights of the Immaculata desire to prepare the great jubilee of the 100th anniversary of Our Lady's apparitions in Fatima as well as the 100th anniversary of the foundation of the Militia Immaculatae. We want to bring to Her foot as many souls as possible, to be Her little army fighting for the triumph of Her Immaculate Heart, the victory of the apocalyptic woman over the dragon and its beasts.
As knights of the Immaculata we have to live according to the rules of the MILITIA IMMACULATAE, and therefore we must know, what SHE through her instrument Saint Maximilian Kolbe orders us to do. Therefore each knight should read and meditate from the book “The Immaculata Our Ideal”, which explains thoroughly the spirit, the goal and the means of the Militia.
As apostles of Fatima we have to answer to HER request that she gave to the three children in Fatima and spread them as much as we can amongst the people in order to ensure their salvation and bring them to Our Lord. Therefore we must know the exact history of the apparitions, the words and deeds of Our Lady, as well as the life and messages of the three chosen by her to transmit Her great message for the latter times of the world.
First of all we have to define, what are the apparitions of Fatima?
Fatima begins with a prelude in 1915 (see below). In 1916 Lucy, Francis and Hyacinta had 3 apparitions of an angel, in spring, summer and autumn. In 1917 Our Lady appeared to them 6 times from 13 May until 13 October at a place called Cova da Iria, with the exception of August 1917. That day the children were brought into prison and could not be present at the place of the apparition. However, on August 19 Our Lady appeared to them at a place called Valinhos. On 13 July Our Lady promised to come again two times to establish the devotion to her Immaculate Heart and to ask for the consecration of Russia. On 10 December 1925 she appeared to the postulant Lucy in Pontevedra, and on 13 May 1929 in Tuy. Both Hyacinta and Sr. Lucy had further apparitions of Our Lady for their personal benefits. Sr. Lucy had several revelations from Our Lord and Our Lady (not visions but like interior voices), who answered her questions concerning the practise of the devotion to the Immaculate heart.
If someone wants to understand the full message of Fatima, he has to know all the details of the 3 apparitions of the angel and the 8 apparitions of Our Lady herself. It is also of utmost importance to collect the major words spoken by the children of Fatima about the subject, as well as to consider their life and behaviour as an authentic answer to the request of Our Lady. In this way they become guides for us to live the message of Fatima and so become true apostles of Fatima.
The year 1915
The history of Fatima has an interesting prelude in 1915: The day of Lucy's first confession she had knelt before the statue of Our Lady of the Rosary in the parish church “to ask her with all the ardour of my soul, to keep my poor heart for God alone. As I repeated this humble prayer over and over again, with my eyes fixed on the statue, it seemed to me that she smiled and, with a loving look and kindly gesture, assured me that she would. My heart was overflowing with joy, and I could scarcely utter a single word”. After her first communion (Lucy was then 8 years old), she took over the care of the sheep of the family. One day together with 3 other girls she went into the surrounding fields to pasture the sheep: “Around midday, we ate our lunch. After this, I invited my companions to pray the Rosary with me, to which they eagerly agreed. We had hardly begun when, there before our eyes, we saw a figure poised in the air above the trees; it looked like a statue made of snow, rendered almost transparent by the rays of the sun. “What is that?” asked my companions, quite frightened. “I don't know”. We went on praying, with our eyes fixed on the figure before us, and as we finished our prayer, the figure disappeared”. This apparition occurred 2 times. Later Lucy explained that “this apparition made a certain impression upon me, which I don't know how to explain. Little by little, this impression faded away, and were it not for the events that followed, I think I would have forgotten it completely”.
What is the sens of these silent heavenly interventions?
First: If God is about to accomplish great things amongst men, he usually prepares those chosen ones, so that they may become his fit and proper instruments. Lucy was a little child, full of common sense and a very simple soul. But she was chosen for an extraordinary life, which demands heroic humility and a deep love ready to suffer immensely.
This extraordinary task needs extraordinary graces. The smile of Our Lady was the first deep and overwhelming contact with the supernatural world, and such “touches” sanctify the soul enormously. The angel's presence gives an understanding of the greatness of this supernatural world, which makes a deep 'impression' in the soul, so great, that human words cannot explain.
Second: After these apparitions, little Lucy’s first few sufferings were from her family. Before she was the cherished 'little one'. Now she had to learn what it costs “to have visions” and to be the confidante of Heaven. Far from profiting from it, from finding herself exalted and adulated she lost everything that made her childhood happy. Speaking of the criticisms from her mother and her sisters, Lucy wrote: “I felt these contemptuous words and gestures very keenly, as up to now I had been used to nothing but caresses”.
LESSON FOR US:
Already these silent preludes give us important lessons.
First lesson: if great events are about to come, God prepares. He sends his messengers, angels and saints to make the people open for the future graces. For Lucy it was the smile of the Queen of the Holy Rosary (Saint Therese of the Child Jesus also was cured by the smile of Our Lady of Victories!) and the three silent apparitions of an angel. For us it is the grace of becoming Knights of the Immaculata, and the messengers sent to us are first of all the great Marian Saints to bring us close to our heavenly mother. Saint Grignion de Montfort makes us understand, how much we need her to sanctify ourselves, Saint Maximilian brings us under her banner, so that we can fulfill the will of God and answer the call of Christ the King. We also should be closer to Saint Michael the Archangel and to our Guardian Angel, who in similar ways are silent yet giving us deep heavenly “impressions”.
Second lesson: Heaven, the angels and saints, God himself, are so infinitely above our experience, that God himself must prepare us to this infinite light. The modernism and charismatic movements of nowadays besides many other protestantisms has also the sad merit to destroy the true understanding of God as infinite MAJESTY. If the children already tremble before an angel appearing to them from quite far away, what must it be like to be before God himself, the creator of an almost infinite number of angels?
We are accustomed to talk to Jesus almost like to a colleague, to approach our Lady like a nice beautiful mother. We complain to them, as if they would be just a little bit more than we are.
If St. John falls on his knees before an angel because of his majesty, if the apparition of Saints made people fall on the ground, not having the courage to look into their eyes, how much this behaviour of deepest reverence differs from ours.
Therefore we have to learn again to behave properly before the supernatural realities. Otherwise we will never really meet them.
Third lesson: The closer we come to God, the more we have to suffer. The children of Fatima will receive immense happiness and joy from Our Lady, but they have to 'pay for it'. The same for us “apostles of Fatima”: the more we want to serve God, the more the worldlings reject us. The suffering generally come from people to whom we had been close to. If you want to serve Our Lady, you will lose your so-called friends. You will suffer misunderstanding, humiliation, derision, contempt. But be assured that you will receive other friends, you will receive consolations the world does not know.
Dear Knights of the Immaculata, apostles of Fatima: WE ARE IN 2015.
Exactly 100 years after these events, be sure, that again Heaven wants to prepare for the great events to come in 2017. How much better instruments we would be in Her immaculate hands, if we learnt these lessons and apply them in our life!