Apparition Of Our Lady Of Fatima, 1917, Portugal
The Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, appeared six times to three shepherd children ("the Three Seers") near the town of Fatima, Portugal between May 13th and October 13th 1917. Appearing to the children, the Blessed Virgin told them that She had been sent by God with a message for every man, woman and child living in our century. Coming at a time when civilization was torn assunder by war and bloody violence, She promised that Heaven would grant peace to all the world if Her requests for prayer, reparation and consecration were heard and obeyed.
Our Lady of Fatima explained to the children that war is a punishment for sin and warned that God would further castigate the world for its disobedience to His Will by means of war, hunger and the persecution of the Church, the Holy Father and the Catholic Faithful. God's Mother prophesized that Russia would be God's chosen "instrument of chastisement," spreading the "errors" of atheism and materialism across the earth, fomenting wars, annihilating nations and persecuting the Faithful everywhere.
"If My requests are not granted, Russia will spread its errors throughout the world, raising up wars and persecutions against the Church. The good will be martryed, the Holy Father will suffer much and various nations will be annihilated."
In all Her appearances at Fatima, the Blessed Mother repeatedly emphasized the necessity of praying the Rosary daily, of wearing the Brown Scapular of Mount Carmel and of performing acts of reparation and sacrifice. To prevent the terrible chastisement at the hands of Russia and to convert "that poor nation", Our Lady requested the solemn public Consecration of Russia to Her Immaculate Heart by the Pope and all the Catholic bishops of the world. She also asked that the Faithful practice a new devotion of reparation on the first Saturday of five consecutive months ("the Five First Saturdays").
The heart of Our Lady's Message to the world is contained in what has come to be called the "Secret" which She confided to the three child seers in July 1917. The Secret actually consists of three parts, the first two of which have been publicly revealed. The first part of the Secret was a horrifying vision of hell "where the souls of poor sinners go" and contained an urgent plea from Our Lady for acts of prayer and sacrifice to save souls.
An urgent plea from Our Lady for acts of prayer and sacrifice to save souls. The second part of the Secret specifically prophesized the outbreak of World War II and contained the Mother of God's solemn request for the Consecration of Russia as a condition of world peace. It also predicted the inevitable triumph of Her Immaculate Heart following Russia's consecration and the conversion "of that poor nation" to the Catholic Faith.
The last part of the Secret (often called the "Third Secret") has not yet been made public, but was written down by Lucy Dos Santos, the last living Fatima seer, in 1944 and has been in the possession of the Holy See since 1957. Most informed sources speculate that this portion of the Secret concerns chaos in the Catholic Church, predicting widespread apostasy and a loss of faith beginning in the seventh decade of the 20th century.
"You saw hell where the souls of poor sinners go. In order to save them, God wishes to establish devotion to my Immaculate Heart in the world. If people do what I ask, many souls will be saved and there will be peace."
At the time that She confided the Fatima Secret to the three seers, the Blessed Virgin also promised that God would work a great miracle the following October "so that all may believe." On October 13th 1917, in the presence of 70,000 eyewitnesses, a miracle was worked in the sky above Fatima at the exact moment and in the precise spot that the children had announced earlier. Witnesses recounted that the sun appeared to actually "dance" in the sky and seemed to fall to the ground before resuming its normal place in the heavens.
"On the last month, I will perform a miracle so that all may believe."
This event has now become known as "the Miracle of the Sun" and has been justly characterized as the greatest supernatural occurance of the 20th century. As one leading Fatima authority has noted, this great miracle "does not belong (only) to the domain of faith, or even that of science. Before all else it is an historical event."
The Catholic Church has officially endorsed the Fatima Message "as worthy of belief" since 1930. Five successive popes have publicly indicated their approval and belief in the validity and critical importance of the Fatima apparitions. Several popes have visited Fatima on solemn pilgrimage and Pope John Paul II has gone at least once in every decade of his pontificate. His Holiness has publicly credited Our Lady of Fatima for saving his life during an assassination attempt in 1981 (which, parenthetically, took place on the 64th anniversary of the first Fatima apparition). The following year, while in Fatima to give thanks for Her intervention, the Pope stated that "the message of Fatima is more relevant and more urgent" today than even when Our Lady first appeared.
"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 the years since the Queen of Heaven's appearances at Fatima, innumerable books, pamphlets, recordings, films and video programs have been produced as part of a growing worldwide movement of faith and devotion (see Our Lady's Book Service ). Belief in the Fatima apparations and Our Lady's full Message are now widely synonymous with an orthodox adherence to the doctrines, rites and traditional practices and teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. Many theologians believe that Our Lady's Message is uniquely designed for the difficult and trying times in which we live today and suggest that it is Heaven's intervention to save the world from war, hunger and need, the Catholic Church from apostasy and chaos and the souls of countless millions from eternal damnation. While stern in its warning of the terrible punishments for sin and disobedience, Fatima remains fundamentally a life-affirming and faith-building message of hope and peace for all Catholics and others of good will everywhere.
"Only I can help you. My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God."
Apparitions of the Angel
First Apparition - Spring 1916 (in Lucia’s Own Words and taken from The Message of Fatima). The dates I cannot set down with certainty, because, at that time, I did not know how to reckon the years, …. But I think it must have been in the spring of 1916 that the angel appeared to us for the first time in our Loca do Cabeco. "…After having taken our lunch and said our prayers, we began to see, some distance off, above the trees that stretched away towards the east, a light, whiter than snow, in the form of a young man, transparent, and brighter than crystal pierced by the rays of the sun. As he drew nearer, we could distinguish his features more and more clearly. We were surprised, absorbed, and struck dumb with amazement. On reaching us, he said: " Do not be afraid. I am the Angel of Peace. Pray with me." Kneeling on the ground, he bowed down until his forehead touched the earth. Led by a supernatural impulse, we did the same, and repeated the words with we heard him say:
Pardon Prayer: " 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.!" Having repeated these words three time, he rose and said: "Pray thus. The Hearts of Jesus and Mary are attentive to the voice of your supplications." Then he disappeared…"
Second Apparition - At the height of summer 1916. "The second apparition must have been at the height of summer [...] Suddenly, we saw the same angel right beside us". "'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?" I asked. "Make of everything you can a sacrifice, and offer it to God as an act of reparation for the sins by which He is 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."
Third Apparition - [..] While we were there, the angel appeared to us for the third time, holding a chalice in his hands, with a Host above it from which some drops of Blood were falling into the sacred vessel. Leaving the chalice and the Host suspended in the air, the angel prostrated himself on the ground and repeated this prayer three times:
Angel Prayer: "Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I adore You profoundly, and 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 gave the Host to me, and to Jacinta and Francisco he gave the Contents of the chalice to drink, saying as he did so: "Take and drink the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, horribly outraged by ungrateful men. Repair their crimes and console your God." One again he prostrated himself on the ground and repeated with us three times more, the same prayer, "Most Holy Trinity, [...] "
First Apparition of Our Lady, May 13, 1917
...] In the Cova da Iria….we saw what seemed to be a flash of lightning. [...] there before us on a small holm oak, we beheld a Lady all dressed in white. She was more brilliant than a crystal glass filled with sparkling water, when the rays of the burning sun shine through it."
"…Do not be afraid. I will do you no harm. …I am from heaven. …I have come to ask 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 he must say many Rosaries. [...] 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? [...] Then you are going to have much to suffer, but the grace of God will be your comfort." [...] we fell on our knees, repeating in our hearts: (Eucharistic Prayer) "O Most Holy Trinity, I adore You! My God, my God, I love You in the most Blessed Sacrament!" [...] Our Lady spoke again: "Pray the Rosary every day, in order to obtain peace for the world, and the end of the war."
Second Apparition of Our Lady, June 13, 1917
[...] "…Our Lady was there on the holmoak, exactly the same as in May.""Please tell me, Madam, what it is that you want of me?"
"I want you to come here on the thirteenth of next month. I want you to continue saying the Rosary every day. And after each one of the mysteries, my children, I want you to pray in this way: O my Jesus, forgive us our sins , save us from the fire of hell. Take all souls to heaven, especially those who are most in need. I want you to learn to read and write, and later I will tell you what else I want of you." Will you take us to heaven? "Yes, I shall take Jacinta and Francisco soon, but you will remain a little longer, since Jesus wishes you to make me known and loved on earth. He wishes also for you to establish devotion in the world to my Immaculate Heart. " Must I remain in the world alone? "Not alone, my child, and you must not be sad. I will be with you always, and my Immaculate Heart will be your comfort and the way which will lead you to God."
Third Apparition of Our Lady, July 13, 1917
"Sacrifice yourselves for sinners, and say many times, especially whenever you make some sacrifice: O Jesus, It is for love of You, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary."
"Lucia," Jacinta said, "speak. Our Lady is talking to you." Yes?" said Lucia. She spoke humbly, asking pardon for her doubts with every gesture, and to the Lady: What do you want of me?
"I want you to come back here on the thirteenth of next month. Continue to say the Rosary every day in honor of Our Lady of the Rosary, to obtain the peace of the world and the end of the war, because only she can obtain it."
Yes, yes. I would like to ask who you are, and if you will do a miracle so that everyone will know for certain that you have appeared to us.
"You must come here every month, and in October I will tell you who I am and what I want. I will then perform a miracle so that all may believe."
Thus assured, Lucia began to place before the Lady the petitions for help that so many had entrusted to her. The Lady said gently that she would cure some, but others she would not cure. And the crippled son of Maria da Capelinha?
"No, neither of his infirmity nor of his poverty would he be cured, and he must be certain to say the Rosary with his family every day." Another case recommended by Lucia to the Lady's assistance was a sick woman from Atougia who asked to be taken to heaven."Tell her not to be in a hurry. Tell her I know very well when I shall come to fetch her. Make sacrifices for sinners, and say often, especially while making a sacrifice: O Jesus, this is for love of Thee, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for offences committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary."
First Part: Vision of Hell - Lucia later described their vision of Hell: As Our lady spoke these words she opened her hands once more, as had 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 together with great clouds of smoke, now following back on every side like sparks in huge fires, without weight or equilibrium, amid shrieks 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 do). The demons could be distinguished by their terrifying nad repellant likeness to frightful and unknown animals, black and transparent like burning coals. terrified and as if to plead for succor, 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. It is to save them that God wants to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If you do what I tell you, many souls will be saved, and there will be peace. This war will end, but if men do not refrain from offending God, another and more terrible war will begin during the pontificate of Pius XI. When you see a night that is lit by a strange and unknown light [this occurred on January 28, 1938], you will know it is the sign God gives you that He is about to punish the world with war and with hunger, and by the persecution of the Church and the Holy Father.
Second Part - To prevent this, I shall come to the world to ask that Russia be consecrated to my Immaculate Heart, and I shall ask that on the First Saturday of every month Communions of reparation be made in atonement for the sins of the world. If my wishes are fulfilled, Russia will be converted and there will be peace; if not, then Russia will spread her errors throughout the world, bringing new wars and persecution of the Church; the good will be martyred and the Holy Father will have much to suffer; certain nations will be annihilated. But in the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, and she will be converted, and the world will enjoy a period of peace. In Portugal the faith will always be preserved..."
Third Part - After the two parts which I have already explained, at the left of Our Lady and a little above, we saw an Angel with a flaming sword in his left hand; flashing, it gave out flames that looked as though they would set the world on fire; but they died out in contact with the splendour that Our Lady radiated towards him from her right hand: pointing to the earth with his right hand, the Angel cried out in a loud voice: ‘Penance, Penance, Penance!'. And we saw in an immense light that is God: ‘something similar to how people appear in a mirror when they pass in front of it' a Bishop dressed in White ‘we had the impression that it was the Holy Father'. Other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious going up a steep mountain, at the top of which there was a big Cross of rough-hewn trunks as of a cork-tree with the bark; before reaching there the Holy Father passed through a big city half in ruins and half trembling with halting step, afflicted with pain and sorrow, he prayed for the souls of the corpses he met on his way; having reached the top of the mountain, on his knees at the foot of the big Cross he was killed by a group of soldiers who fired bullets and arrows at him, and in the same way there died one after another the other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious, and various lay people of different ranks and positions. Beneath the two arms of the Cross there were two Angels each with a crystal aspersorium in his hand, in which they gathered up the blood of the Martyrs and with it sprinkled the souls that were making their way to God.
Decade Prayer: "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." Is there anything more that you want of me? "No, I do not want anything more of you today."
Fourth Apparition of Our Lady, August 19, 1917
What do you want of me?
"Come again to the Cova da Iria on the thirteenth of next month, my child, and continue to say the Rosary every day. In the last month I will perform a miracle so that all may believe."
What are we to do with the offerings of money that people leave at the Cova da Iria?
"I want you to have two ardors [litters to carry statues] made, for the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. I want you and Jacinta to carry one of them with two other girls. You will both dress in white. And then I want Francisco, with three boys helping him, to carry the other one. The boys, too, will be dressed in white. What is left over will help towards the construction of a chapel that is to be built here."
Lucia then asked for the cure of some sick people.
"Some I will cure during the year." (looking sadly at them) "Pray, pray very much. Make sacrifices for sinners. Many souls go to hell, because no one is willing to help them with sacrifice." Having said that she departed as she had on the other occasions.
Fifth Apparition of Our Lady, September 19, 1917
What do you want of me?
"Continue the Rosary, my children. Say it every day that the war may end. In October Our Lord will come, as well as Our Lady of Sorrows and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. Saint Joseph will appear with the Child Jesus to bless the world. God is pleased with your sacrifices, but He does not want you to wear the cords to bed. Keep them on during the day."
I have the petitions of many for your help. Will you assist a little girl who is deaf and dumb?
"She will improve within the year."
And the conversions that some have asked to have brought about? The cures of the sick ones?
"Some I will cure, and some I will not. In October I will perform a miracle so that all many believe."
With these last words still ringing in their ears, the Lady rose and disappeared in the heavens, as Lucia called to the crowd, "If you wish to see her --- look! Look!"
Sixth Apparition of Our Lady, October 13, 1917
(The Miracle of the Sun)
What do you want of me?
"I want a chapel built here in my honor. I want you to continue saying the Rosary every day. The war will end soon, and the soldiers will return to their homes."
Yes. Yes.Will you tell me your name?
"I am the Lady of the Rosary."
I have many petitions from many people. Will you grant them?
"Some I shall grant, and others I must deny. People must amend their lives and ask pardon for their sins. They must not offend our Lord any more, for He is already too much offended!"
And is that all you have to ask?
"There is nothing more."
As the Lady of the Rosary rises toward the east she turns the palms of her hands toward the dark sky. While the rain had stopped, dark clouds continued to obscure the sun, which suddenly bursts through them and is seen to be a soft spinning disk of silver.
"Look at the sun!"
From this point two distinct apparitions were seen, that of the phenomenon of the sun seen by the 70,000 or so spectators and that beheld by the children alone. Lucia describes the latter in her memoirs.
After our Lady had disappeared into the immense distance of the firmament, we beheld St. Joseph with the Child Jesus and Our Lady robed in white with a blue mantle, beside the sun. St. Joseph and the Child Jesus seemed 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 to 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 also vanished, and I saw Our Lady once more, this time resembling Our Lady of Carmel. [Only Lucia would see the later, presaging her entrance into Carmel some years later.]
This would be the last of the apparitions of Fátima for Jacinta and Francisco. However, for Lucia Our Lady would return a seventh time, in 1920, as she had promised the previous May. At that time Lucia would be praying in the Cova before leaving Fátima for a girls boarding school. The Lady would come to urge her to dedicate herself wholly to God.
As the children viewed the various apparitions of Jesus, Mary and Joseph the crowd witnessed a different prodigy, the now famous miracle of the sun.