The story of Fatima actually begins in the year 1915. At the time Lucia dos Santos would have been eight years old. She was not able to reckon the months of the year exactly but did remember the seasons and estimated that the first events must have taken place between April and October of that year. Lucia had recently received the privilege of taking the family flock of sheep out for grazing. Her cousins Jacinta and Francisco Marto were still too young for this type of chore and during the intial events Lucia was in the company of other children, Maria and Teresa Matias and Maria Justino. The children were grazing the sheep and had just finished lunch and were beginning to say the rosary when they noticed ,just above the tree in the valley where they were, a figure. Lucia described it as being, " whiter than snow, transparent, and in human form." The figure simply hung there and did not make any approach toward the children. During the the following days this same figure would appear two more times. Word got around of these events but not much was made of it and Lucia was teased by her sisters as having seen some one wrapped up in a sheet.
The following year, 1916, Francisco and Jacinta begged their parents to let them herd the sheep and their parents let them. From this time on they would meet with their cousin, Lucia, and take both their flocks out together to graze. One day in the spring of 1916 the children were herding the sheep in a location called Loca do Cabeco. It was a calm day and while the children were playing a game a strong wing began to shake the trees. They looked up to see what was happening and saw in the distance, above thetrees, toward the east, a light whiter than snow, transparent, and in the form of a young man coming towards them. As he drew nearer they could distinguish his features more clearly. The angel spoke to them saying, " Do not be afraid. I am the angel of peace. Pray with me." He knelt down and bent foreward until his forehead touched the ground. The children were moved to do the same. The angel repeated the following prayer three times:
" My God, I believe, I adore, I hope, and I love You! I ask pardon of You for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope, and do not love You." The angel then rose and said: " Pray thus. The hearts of Jesus and Mary are attentive to your supplications. " The angel then disappeared. Lucia later described that after this apparition the atmosphere of the supernatural was so intense, that the presence of God was so intimate, that they were barely aware of their own existence. They were so absorbed by this that they could not even speak amongst themselves. This absorbtion would last well into the following day. Although Francisco saw the angel as did Lucia and Jacinta, he could not hear what the angel said. He learned the prayer by hearing his sister and his cousin repeat it. This is a characteristic which would remain constant through all the apparitions both of the angel as well as those of the Blessed Mother. Lucia and Jacinta would always tell him later what was said. The children did not tell anyone of this apparition. Lucia describes it as such:
" The very apparition itself imposed secrecy. It was so intimate, that it was not easy to speak of it at all."
The second apparition occurred in the summer of the same year. Lucia remembers the intense summer heat. There was a well at the bottom of a garden near Lucia's house which was shaded by the surrounding trees. The children would often spend the siesta hours there in the shade. One day as they were there during the siesta suddenly the Angel appeared. " What are you doing?", he asked. " Pray! Pray very much! The Hearts of Jesus and Mary have designs of mercy on you. Offer prayers and sacrifices constantly to the Most High."
"How are we to make sacrifices", asked Lucia. The Angel replied, " Make of everything you can a sacrifice, and offer it to God as an act of reparation for the sins by which He is so offended, and in supplication for the conversion of sinners. You will thus draw down peace upon your country. I am its Angel Guardian, the Angel of Portugal. Above all, accept and bear with submission, the suffering which the Lord will send you."
As with the first apparition of the Angel the children were overcome with the supernatural. Lucia recounts, " These words were indelibly impressed upon our minds. They were like a light which made us understand who God is, how He loves us and desires to be loved, the value of sacrifice, how it is pleasing to Him and how, on account of it, He grants the grace of conversion to sinners."
The third apparition of the Angel occurred in the fall, for the vintage was already over and the season of the siestas also. The children had taken the flocks out and after they had eaten their lunch they prayed the rosary and then knelt down and prayed the prayer which the Angel had taught them. While so praying, with their foreheads to the ground, an extraordinary light shone upon them. They looked up to see what it was and the Angel was there. He was holding a chalice in his left hand and suspended above the chalice was a Host, from which drops of blood fell into the chalice. The chalice remained suspended in midair as the Angel knelt down and made the children repeat the following prayer 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 the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges, and indifference with which He Himself is offended. And, through the infinite merits of His most Sacred Heart, and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of you the conversion of poor sinners. " He then arose and taking the chalice and the Host he gave the Host to Lucia and the chalice to both Jacinta and Francisco saying, " Take and drink the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, horribly outraged by ungrateful men! Make reparation for their crimes and console your God." The Angel then prostrated himself and repeated the prayer he had just taught them three more times then disappeared. The children continued to pray in this fashion until they noticed that it was dark and time to go home.
MAY 13, 1917
Time passed and the children returned to their happy childhood lives and nothing was said to anyone else concerning these apparitions. May 13, 1917 was a bright, sunny Sunday, and after attending Mass the children took their flocks out to a piece of property which was owned by Lucia's parents called the Cova da Iria. After lunch the children said their rosary and then began to play. Suddenly they saw what appeared to be a flash of lightening and they became afraid for fear of an approaching thunderstorm. They gathered the sheep together and began to proceed down the slope. Less than halfway down the slope they saw a second flash of what appeared to be lightening, although there was not a cloud in the sky. Lucia recounts what took place next in her memoires:
...We had only gone a few steps further when, there before us on a small holmoak, we beheld a Lady all dressed in white. She was more brilliat than the sun. and radiated a light more clear and intense than a crystal glass with sparkling water. When the rays of the buring sun shine through it. We stopped astounded before the apparition. We were so close, just a few feet from her, that we were bathed in the light which surrounded her, or rather. which radiated from her. Then Our Lady spoke:
" Do not be afraid. I will do you no harm."
" Where are you from?"
" I am from heaven."
" What do you want of me?"
" I have asked you to come here for six months in succession, on the 13th day, at this same hour. Later on I will tell you who I am and what I want. Afterwards
I will return here yet a seventh time."
" Shall I go to heaven too?"
" Yes you will."
" And Jacinta?"
" She will go also."
" And Francisco?"
" He will go there too, but must say many Rosaries."
Then I remembered to ask about two girls who had died recently. They were friends of mine and used to come to my home to learn weaving from my eldest sister.
" Is Maria das Neves in heaven?"
" Yes she is." ( I think that she was about 16 years old).
" And Amelia?"
" She will be in Purgatory until the end of the world."
( It seems to me that she was between 18 or 20 years of age.)
" Are you willing to offer yourselves to God and bear all the sufferings He wills to send you as an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended, and of supplication for the conversion of sinners?"
" Yes, we are willing."
" Then you are going to have much to suffer, but the grace of God will be your comfort."
As she pronounced these last words, "...the grace of God will be your comfort", Our Lady opened her hands for the first time, communicating to us a light so intense that, as it streamed from her hands, its rays penetrated our hearts and the innermost depths of our souls, making us see ourselves in God, Who was that Light, more clearly than we see ourselves in the best of mirrors. Then moved by an interior impuse that was also communicated to us, we fell on our knees, repeating in our hearts:
" O most Holy Trinity, I adore You! My God, my God, I adore You in the most Blessed Sacrament."
After a few minutes Our Lady spoke again:
" Pray the rosary every day, in order to obtain peace for the world, and the end of the war."
Then she began to rise serenely, going up towards the east, until she disappeared in the immensity of space. The light that surrounded her seemed to open a path for her in the firmament, and for this reason we sometimes said that we saw heaven opening.
Although the apparitons of the Angel gave the children the feeling of being lost in the Divine, as it were a feeling of annihilation, the apparitions of Our Lady gave them a great sense of peace and joy. Lucia advised the other two children that they should not say a word of this to anyone. Jacinta, however, could not contain herself and told her parents of the apparition that very night. The suffering would start from the beginning. Lucia suffered much at the hands of her own family which mocked her and tried to get her to admit that she was lying.
JUNE 13, 1917
The three children were waiting for Our Lady at the Cova da Iria. There was a crowd of people present and they had finished saying the rosary when the children saw the flash of light. Our Lady then appeared on the holmoak as she had done the month before. Lucia recounts in her memoires:
" What do you want of me?", I asked.
" I wish you to come here on the 13th of next month, to pray the Rosary every day, and to learn to read. Later I will tell you what I want."
I asked for the cure of a sick person.
" If he is converted he will be cured during this year."
" I would like to ask you to take us to heaven."
" Yes, I will take Jacinta and Francisco soon. But you are to stay here some time longer. Jesus wishes to make use of you to make me known and loved. He wants to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate heart."
" Am I to stay here alone?", I asked, sadly.
" No, my daughter. Are you suffering a great deal? Don't lose heart. I will never forsake you. My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God."
As Our Lady spoke these last words, she opened her hands and for the second time , she communicated to us the rays of that same immense light. We saw ourselves in this light, as it were, immersed in God. Jacinta and Francisco seemed to be in that part of the light which rose toward heaven, and I in that part which was poured out on the earth. In front of the palm of Our Lady's right hand was a heart encircled by thorns which pierced it. We understood that this was the Immaculate Heart ofMary, outraged by the sins of humanity, and seeking reparation. The Blessed Mother then began to rise and left toward heaven in the same way she had done the month before.
JULY 13, 1917
After the second apparition the inquiries increased. People would come looking for the children to ask them about the apparitions. The children were also plagued and mocked by the incredulous. During this the local clegy inquired into the matter but remained aloof. Lucia received even more torment from her own family, which continued to insist that she admit that she was lying. By July 13 the size of the crowd present on the day of the apparition had grown to a few thousand. These people were praying the rosary at the Cova da Iria when the children saw the flash of light and Our Lady appeared on the holmoak. Lucia recounts from her memoires:
Our Lady appeared on the holmoak.
" What do you want of me?" , I asked.
" I want you to come here on the 13th of next month, to continue to pray the Rosary every day in honor of Our Lady of the rosary, in order to obtain peace for the world and the end of the war, because only she can help you."
" I would like to ask you to tell us who you are, and to work a miracle so that everybody will believe that you are appearing to us."
Continue to come here every month. In October, I will tell you who I am and what I want, and I will perform a miracle for all to see and believe."
..." Sacrifice yourselves for sinners, and say many times , especially whenever you make some sacrifice: O Jesus it is for the love of You, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary."
As Our Lady spoke these last words, she opened her hands once more, as she had done during the two previous months. The rays of light seemed to penetrate the earth, and we saw as it were a sea of fire. 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 with great clouds of smoke, now falling back on every side like sparks in huge fires, without weight or equilibrium, amid shreiks and groans of pain and despair, which horrified us and made us tremble with fear. ( It must have been this sight which caused me to cry out, as people say they heard me). The demons could be distinguished by their terrifying and repellent likeness to frightful and unknown animals, black and transparent like burning coals. Terrified and as if to plead for succour, we looked up at Our Lady, who said to us so kindly and so sadly:
" You have seen hell where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace. The war is going to end; but lf people do not cease offending God a worse one will break out during the pontificate of Pius XI . When you see a night illumined by an unknown light know that this is the great sign given you by God that he is about to punish the world for its crimes, by means of war, famine, and persecutions of the Church and the Holy Father.
" To prevent this, I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart, and the Communion of Reparation on the First Satudays. If My requests are heeded Russia will be converted, and there will be peace; if not she will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church.
The good will be matyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer, various nations will be annihilated. In the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, and she will be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world. In Portugal the dogma of faith will always be preserved; etc... Do not tell this to anybody. Francisco, yes, you may tell him.
" When you pray the rosary, say after each mystery: O my Jesus, forgive us, save us from the fire of hell. Lead all souls to heaven, especially those who are most in need."
After this there was a moment of silence, and then I asked:
" Is there anything more that you want of me?"
" No, I do not want anything more of you today."
Then as before Our Lady began to ascend towards the east, until she finally disappeared in the immense distance of the firmament.
The July 13 apparition is very important because during it the Blessed Virgin enunciates what have become the main themes of Fatima: The importance of prayer; the meaning and importance of sacrifice; the vision of hell; the establishment of devotion and the communion of reparation on the First Saturdays to the Immaculate Heart; the consecretion of Russia to the Immaculate Heart. The Blessed Mother also makes two predictions which are conditional upon our response to her. She states: " If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace." This is the hope that our Blessed Mother gives to us: that we, by our positive response to her requests, have the ability to change the outcome of history, of our very lives. She then goes on to predict the consequences of our not responding: the Second World War, the time and the sign of the beginning of the war is given in detail. The second prediction which our Blessed Mother makes is the rise of communism and Russia as its main proponent and the devastation that it would wreak. The Blessed Virgin appeared at Fatima from May to October 1917. The Bolshevik revolution and the rise to power of communism in Russia occurred in November, 1917. Again our Blessed Mother states: " If my requests are heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace." The option, the hope, the choice is given to us. In retrospect we did not fare well. The Second World War did take place; the rise of Russia and the devestation of communism are historical fact. The words of Our Lady:
" In Portugal, the dogma of Faith will always be preserved; etc..." begins a revelation which has become known as the third part of the secret of Fatima. Aside from Lucia there is a very limited number of individuals who know what the Blessed Virgin revealed after these words. This revelation have been revealed recently. See the section entitled: "Third Secret of Fatima".
AUGUST 15, 1917
Lucia estimates that the apparition in August actually took place on August 15, the Feast of the Assumption of Our Lady but other witnesses say it was Sunday August 19. One must remember the Lucia was not able to reckon dates accurately. The children did not see Our Lady on the 13th. The children were in prison in Vila Nova de Ourem where, among other sufferings, they were threatened with death, being made to believe that they were being taken to be boiled alive in oil. At the Cova da Iria, however, unusual phenomena did take place. At the usual time of the apparition the people in the Cova saw the flash of light. A cloud was seen which was very white, very delicate which seemed to come through the air and rested for a few moments over the holmoak and then ascended into the air and disappeared. As the people looked around they noticed that the faces of whomever they should look at were reflecting the colors of the rainbow. The trees seemed to not have leaves on them but rather flowers, the ground appeared to be in colors.
On August 15 Lucia and Francisco and Francisco's brother Joao were grazing the sheep in a location known as Valinhos. At about 4 p. m. Lucia noticed the changes in the air which usually preceded the apparitions of Our Lady; the air became fresher, the sunlight dimmed somewhat, and there was the flash of light. Lucia sent Joao to fetch Jacinta and to bring her to where they were for she knew that Our Lady would appear. Jacinta arrived and Our Lady appeared. Lucia recounts from her memoires:
Jacinta arrived, and a moment later, we saw Our Lady on a holmoak tree.
" What do you want of me?"
" I want you to continue going to the Cova da Iria on the 13th, and to continue praying the Rosary every day. In the last month, I will perform a miracle so that all may believe."
" What do you want done with the money the people leave in the Cova da Iria?"
" Have two litters made one to be carried by you and Jacinta and two other girls dressed in white; the other to be carried by Francisco and three other boys. The money from the litters is for the ' festa' of Our Lady of the rosary, and what is left over will help towards the construction of a chapel that is to be built here."
" I would like to ask you to cure some sick persons."
" Yes, I will cure some of them during the year."
Then looking very sad, Our Lady said:
" Pray, pray very much, and make sacrifices for sinners; for many souls go to hell, because there are none to sacrifice themselves and to pray for them."
And she began to ascend as usual towards the east.
SEPTEMBER 13, 1917
As news of the apparitions spread the number of people coming to Fatima grew. Lucia recounts from her memoires:
As the hour approached, I set out with Jacinta and Francisco, but owing to the crowds around us we could only advance with difficulty. The roads were packed with people, and everyone wanted to see us and to speak to us...All the afflictions of poor humanity were assembled there. Some climbed up to the tops of trees and walls to see us go by, and shouted down to us...Now, when I read in the New Testament about those enchanting scenes of Our Lord's passing through Palestine, I think of those which Our Lord allowed me to witness, while yet a child, on the poor roads and lanes from Aljustrel to Fatima and on to the Cova da Iria! I give thanks to God offering Him the faith of our good Potugese people, and I think, ' If these people humbled themselves before three poor children, just because they were mercifully granted the grace to speak to the Mother of God, what would they not do if they saw Our Lord Himself in person before them.'
At last we arrived at the Cova da Iria and on reaching the holmoak we began to say the rosary with the people. Shortly afterwards, we saw the flash of light, and then Our Lady appeared on the holmoak.
"Continue to pray the Rosary in order to obtain the end of the war. In October Our Lord will come, as well as Our Lady of Sorrows and Our Lady of Carmel. Saint Joseph will appear with the Child Jesus to bless the world. God is pleased with your sacrifices. He does not want you to sleep with the rope on, but only to wear it during the daytime."
"I was told to ask you many things,, the cure of some sick people, of a deaf mute...."
"Yes, I will cure some, and not others. In October I will perform a miracle so that all may believe."
Then Our Lady began to rise as usual, and disappeared.
The rope to which Our Lady refers, is a rope which the children wore around their waists under their clothes and caused discomfort which they offered as a sacrifice.
OCTOBER 13, 1917
THE MIRACLE OF THE SUN
The crowd which came to Fatima on this date was enormous, estimated at 100,000. Lucia's family , especially her mother, was apprehensive, fearing that this would be thelast day of the child's life; that she would be killed by the crowd if no miracle occurred. The Marto household, Jacinta and Francisco's family, was supportive of their children. It was pouring rain that day as well. Lucia recounts from her memoires:
We left home quite early, expecting that we would be delayed along the way. Masses of people thronged the roards. The rain fell in torrents. My mother, her heart torn with uncertainty as to what was going to happen , and fearing it would be the last day of my life, wanted to accompany me.
On the way the scenes of the previous month, still more numerous and moving, were repeated. Not even the muddy roads could prevent these people from kneeling in the most humble and suppliant of attitudes. We reached the holmoak in the Cova da Iria.
Once there, moved by an interior impulse. I asked the people to shut their umbrellas and say the rosary. A little later, we saw the flash of light, and then Our Lady appeared on the holmoak.
"What do you want of me?"
" I want to tell you that a chapel is to be built here in my honor. I am the Lady of the rosary. Continue always to pray the rosary every day. The war is going to end, and the soldiers will soon return to their homes."
"I have many things to ask you: the cure of some sick persons, the conversion of sinners, and other things..."
"Some yes, but not others. They must amend their lives and ask forgiveness for their sins."
Looking very sad, Our Lady said:
" Do not offend the Lord Our God any more, because He is already so much offended."
Then opening her hands she made them reflect on the sun, and as she ascended, the reflection of her own light continued to be projected on the sun itself.
Here, Your Excellency, is the reason why I cried out to the people to look at the sun. My aim was not to call their attention to the sun, because I was not even aware of their presence. I was moved to do so under the guidance of an interior impulse.
After Our Lady had disappeared into the immense distance of the firmament, we beheld St. Joseph and the Child Jesus and Our Lady robed in white with a blue mantle, beside the sun. St. Joseph and the Child Jesus appeared to bless the world, for they traced the Sign of the Cross with their hands. When, a little later, this apparition disappeared, I saw Our Lord and Our Lady; it seemed to me that it was Our Lady of Sorrows (Dolors). Our Lord appeared to bless the world in the same manner as St. Joseph had done. This apparition vanished, and I saw Our Lady once more, this time resembling Our Lady of Carmel.
When Lucia cried out, "Look at the sun!", the people looked up. There are innumerable accounts of the miracle of the sun by the witnesses to this event. There were nearly 70 - 100, 000 people present at Fatima that day. Some of the accounts of the miracle are from individuals who were as far away from the site as 70 miles. The miracle was witnessed by both believers and nonbelievers alike. It had been raining in torrents and when the sun broke through the clouds people were able to look directly at it without shielding their eyes as would be normal. The sun did not remain stationery; it began to spin around on its own axis, like a coin made to spin on its edge. It then seemed to whirl madly about the sky. A great cry of anguish went up from the crowd because the sun then seemed to be hurling itself towards the earth as if it would collide with earth. It was a terrible feeling for those present. When people looked at each other during these events they noticed that the objects on the earth, including themselves, were changing into different colors amethyst, purple, yellow, blue. One must remember that it had been raining in torrents, the ground and foliage were drenched, as well as the clothes of many people. After the sun stopped its dance, the earth, the trees and plants, the clothes of the people, which minutes before had been soaked, were all bone dry.
THE FIVE FIRST SATURDAYS OF REPARATION TO THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY
The July 13, 1917 apparition is of particular importance, because it was during this apparition that the three part secret of Fatima was revealed to the children. The information that we now have from Lucia's memoires was not written down or revealed immediately but remained secret. The first part of the secret was the vision of hell, which Lucia later revealed when requested by the Bishop of Leiria to set down the events in writing. The second part of the secret concerns the devotion of reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Consecretion of Russia. It also deals with the prediction of the Second World War. The third part of this secret, known by few individuals, has not yet been made public.
Lucia on December 10, 1925 was a member of the Dorethean Order and resided in their convent at Pontevedra, Spain. Lucia in her memoires recounts the following, she refers to herself in the third person:
On December 10, 1925, the most holy Virgin appeared to her, and by her side, elevated on a luminous cloud, was a child. The most holy Virgin rested her hand on her shoulder, and as she did so she showed her a heart encircled by thorns, which she was holding in the other hand. At the same time the Child said:
"Have compassion on the heart of your most holy Mother, covered with thorns, with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment, and there is no one to make an act of reparation to remove them."
Then the most holy Virgin said:
"Look my daughter, at my Heart, surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce me at 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 the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months, shall confess, receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary, and keep me company for fifteen minutes while meditating on the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary, with the intention of making reparation to me."
It was from this date on that Lucia began to spread the devotion of reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. She did run into some delays because of hesitation on the part of her confessor with regard to propagation of the devotion.
On February 15, 1926, the Infant Jesus appeared to her again. He asked her if she had spread the devotion to His most holy Mother. she told Him of the confessor's difficulties, and said that Mother Superior was prepared to propagate it, but that the confessor had said that she, alone, could do nothing.
" It is true that your Superior alone can do nothing, but with my grace she can do all."
She placed before Jesus the difficulty that some people had about confessing on Saturday, and asked that it might be valid to go to confession within eight days. Jesus answered:
"Yes, and it could be longer still, provided that, when they receive Me, they are in the state of grace and have the intention of making reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary."
She then asked:
"My Jesus, what about those who forget to make this intention?"
"They can do so at their next confession, taking advantage of the first opportunity to go to confession."
THE CONSECRATION OF RUSSIA
On June 13, 1929, Lucia resided in the Dorothean Convent in Tuy, Spain. It was on this date that the Blessed Virgin came to ask for the Consecration of Russia. This was the fulfillment of the Blessed Mother's statement that she would return a seventh time. Lucia recounts in her memoires:
I had sought and obtained permission from my superiors and confessor to make a Holy Hour from eleven o'clock until midnight, every Thursday to Friday night. Being alone one night, I knelt near the altar rails in the middle of the chapel and, prostrate, I prayed the prayers of the Angel. Feeling tired, I then stood up and continued to say the prayers with my arms in the form of a cross. The only light was that of the sanctuary lamp. Suddenly the whole chapel was illumined by a supernatural light, and above the altar appeared a cross of light reaching to the ceiling. In a brighter light on the upper part of the cross, could be seen the face of a man and his body as far as the waist; upon his breast was a dove of light; nailed to the cross was the body of another man. A little below the waist, I could see a chalice and a large host suspended in the air, onto which drops of blood were falling from the face of Jesus Crucified and from the wound in His side. These drops ran down onto the host and into the chalice. Beneath the right arm of the cross was Our Lady and in her hand was her Immaculate Heart. ( It was Our Lady of Fatima, with her Immaculate Heart in her left hand, without sword or roses, but with a crown of thorns and flames). Under the left arm of the cross, large letters, as if of crystal clear water which ran down upon the altar, formed these words: "Grace and Mercy".
I understood that it was the Mystery of the Most Holy Trinity which was shown to me, and I received lights about this mystery that I am not permitted to reveal.
Our Lady then said to me:
"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, promising to save it by this means. There are so many souls whom the Justice of God condemns for sins committed against me, that I have come to ask reparation: sacrifice yourself for this intention and pray."
I gave an account of this to the confessor, who ordered me to write down what Our Lady wanted done.
Later in an intimate communication, Our Lord complained to me, saying:
"They did not wish to heed My request. Like the King of France they will repent and do it, 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."
THE PREDICTION OF THE BEGINNING OF THE SECOND WORLD WAR
In her apparition of July 13, 1917 Our Blessed Mother had told the children that if people did not repent and mend their ways, "... a worse one (war) will break out during the pontificate of Pius XI. When you see a night illumined by an unknown light know that this is the great sign given you by God that he is about to punish the world for its crimes..."
On the night of January 25 to 26, 1938 there were strange and brilliant lights in the sky all over Europe, and reaching as far south as Spain and Portugal. the phenomenon received much attention in the press at the time. Lucia has always designated this occurence as the God given sign of the imminence of the war. Some have described the phenomenon as an "aurora borealis", however, it would be most extraordinary to see an aurora at the southern latitudes that it was seen, aside from the fact that there is doubt that the lights could be described as an aurora at all. Some contend that the war did not actually begin until September 12, 1939, with the invasion of Poland, and therfore not during the pontificate of Pius XI, however, many agree that the real war began with the annexation of Austria to Nazi Germany on the night of March 11-12, 1938. The Nazis had taken the country over, the war machine was rolling.
The Sign Of Jacinta
Jacinta died in the night of February 20, 1920. She died of staphylcoccal pneumonia, a secondary infection which developed after she had contracted influenza. She died, as did twenty million other people of this great epidemic, which swept Europe after the First World War. The child was buried on February 24, 1920 in Villa Nova de Ourem in the family vault of Baron Alvaiazere. Jacinta had stated before she died, " I shall go back to Fatima but only after my death." On September 12, 1935 the Bishop of Leiria allowed Jacinta's remains to be moved from the Baron's vault to a special one that had been built in the cemetery at Fatima to house both Jacinta's and Francisco's remains. Prior to removal from the Baron's vault Jacinta's coffin was opened and her body was found to be incorrupt.
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