Sunday, May 13,1917: I AM OF HEAVEN
On Sunday, May 13,1917, the three little shepherds had gone to the chapel of Boleiros to assist at the first Mass, "the Mass of the souls," as they used to say then, for it was a Mass celebrated for the souls in Purgatory, which was a treasured devotion in the piety of the Portuguese. After returning home early in the morning, they left at once to feed their flocks. As a place of pasture, Lucy writes, we had chosen that day, by chance, or rather according to a plan of Divine Providence, the property belonging to my parents, called Cova da Iria... For that, we had to pass through an uncultivated terrain, which doubled the length of our long road.
After eating their meal and praying the Rosary, the children were at the point of building a wall around a bush. Suddenly, Sister Lucy relates in her fourth Memoir, we saw a kind of lightning. "It is better to return home", I said to my cousins, "for there is lightning, and there could come a storm." - "Oh yes!"
Arriving more or less half-way down the slope, at the level of the top of a large holm-oak which was situated there, after walking a few more steps we saw another flash of light. On a small holm-oak there stood a Lady, all dressed in white, more brilliant than the sun, radiating a light clearer and more intense than a crystal glass filled with clear water pierced by the most burning rays of the sun. We stopped, surprised by this Apparition. We were so close that we found ourselves in the light which surrounded Her, or rather which emanated from Her, perhaps a meter and a half away, more or less.
Then Our Lady said to us:
Do not be afraid. I will do you no harm.
Where is Your Grace from? I asked Her.
I am of Heaven.
What does Your Grace want of me?
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.
Also, but he will have to say many Rosaries.
I remembered then to ask about two girls who had died recently. They were friends of mine and they used to come to my home to learn weaving with my eldest sister.
Is Maria das Neves already in Heaven?
Yes, she is.
It seems to me that she was about sixteen years old.
She will be in Purgatory until the end of the world.
It seems to me that she must have been between eighteen and twenty years old.
Are you willing to offer yourselves to God to bear all the sufferings He wants to send you, as an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended, and for the conversion of sinners?
Yes, we are willing.
You are then going to have much to suffer, but the grace of God will be your comfort.
It was in pronouncing those last words (the grace of God, etc.) that Our Lady opened Her hands for the first time, and communicated to us, as by a reflection which emanated from them, a light so intense that, penetrating our heart and even to the depths of our soul, it made us see ourselves in God, Who was this light, more clearly than we see ourselves in the best mirrors.
Then, moved by an interior impulse which was communicated to us, we fell on our knees and we repeated: "O Most Holy Trinity, I adore Thee. My God, my God, I love Thee in the Most Holy Sacrament."
The first moments passed, and Our Lady added:
Recite the Rosary every day in order to obtain peace for the world and the end of the war.
Can You tell me whether the war will still last a long time, or if it will soon end?
I cannot tell you yet, as I have not yet told you what I want.
Then She began to rise serenely, going up towards the east until She disappeared in the immensity of the sky. The light which surrounded Her seemed to open a path for Her among the stars, and for this reason we said sometimes that we had seen Heaven opening.
The Lady of the Apparition, Lucy affirmed, seemed not to be more than eighteen years of age. Her dress was of a very pure snow-whiteness. Her veil which covered Her head and most of Her body was embroidered with gold. Her face, with an incomparable nobility, had something of the supernatural and Divine; She seemed serene and grave, and was shaded in sorrow. From Her hands, joined at the height of the chest, was hanging a beautiful Rosary with beads like white ermine resembling pearls and terminating with a crucifix. Her whole person, surrounded by a splendor more brilliant than the sun, radiated clusters of light, and especially Her face is of a beauty impossible to describe and incomparably superior to any human beauty.
Wednesday, June 13,1917: THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY PIERCED WITH THORNS
Let us now listen to Lucy relate the Apparition in her fourth Memoir.
After reciting the Rosary with Jacinta, Francisco and other people present, we again saw the reflection of the light which was approaching (what we would call lightning) and then we saw Our Lady, on the holm-oak, just as in the month of May.
What does Your Grace 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 how 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 within the year.
I would like to ask You to take us to Heaven.
Yes, I will take Jacinta and Francisco soon, but you, Lucy, are to stay here some time longer. Jesus wishes to make use of you in order to make Me known and loved. He wishes to establish in the world devotion to My Immaculate Heart. To whoever embraces this devotion, I promise salvation, those souls will be cherished by God, as flowers placed by Me to adorn His Throne.
Am I to stay here alone? I asked painfully.
No, My daughter. Are you suffering a great deal? Do not lose heart, I will never forsake you! My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God.
It was at the moment when She pronounced those last words that She opened Her hands and communicated to us, for the second time, the reflection of that immense light. In it we saw ourselves as submerged in God. Jacinta and Francisco appeared to be in the part of that light which elevated itself to Heaven, and I in the part which spread itself on the earth.
In the palm of the right hand of Our Lady there was a Heart, surrounded by thorns which seemed to pierce it. We understood that it was the Immaculate Heart of Mary, outraged by the sins of humanity, which demanded reparation.
Friday, July 13: THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE GREAT MIRACLE AND THE SECRET
Let us now listen to the messenger of Heaven relate this apparition.
Some moments after our arrival at the Cova da Iria, near the holm-oak, in the midst of a great crowd of people, while we were reciting the Rosary, we saw the flash of the usual light and then saw Our Lady on the holm-oak.
What does Your Grace want of me? I asked.
I want you to come here on the 13th of next month, to continue reciting the Rosary every day in honor of Our Lady of the Rosary, in order to obtain peace in the world and the end of the war, because only She can help you.
I should like to ask You to tell us who You are, and to work a miracle so that everyone will believe that Your Grace is appearing to us.
Continue to come here every month. In October, I will say who I am and what I want, and I will perform a miracle so that all might see in order to believe.
Here I made some requests which I do not remember. What I do remember, is that Our Lady said it was necessary to say the Rosary in order to obtain these graces throughout the year. And she continued:
Sacrifice yourselves for sinners, and say often to Jesus, especially whenever you make a sacrifice: "O Jesus, it is for love of Thee, 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 together with great clouds of smoke, now falling 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). The demons could be distinguished by their terrifying and repellent likeness to frightful and unknown animals, black and transparent like burning coals.
Here, in her Third Memoir, Lucy added: that vision lasted only a moment, thanks to our Good Mother of Heaven, Who, at the first apparition, promised to bring us to Heaven. Without that, I think we would have died of terror and fear.
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. 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 if people do not cease offending God, a worse one will break out during the reign 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 of 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 Saturdays. 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 martyred, 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 the 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.
Monday, August 13: CERTAINLY OUR LADY HAS COME
The day was chosen by Our Lady to appear at the Cova da Iria, the district Administrator went to Aljustrel, and while pretending to give the children a ride to the Cova where Our Lady was waiting for them, he took them in the opposite direction, he kidnapped them and took them to Vila Nova de Ourem. There they were detained in the town hall, then at the home of the Administrator and finally in the prison. He spared neither promises nor threats to extract the Secret from them, even to the point of threatening to boil them in oil.
Seeing he was getting nowhere with his promises and threats the Administrator released the three little children on the 15th of August back in Fatima.
Meanwhile on August 13th let us listen to one of the witnesses:
Around the holm-oak, we prayed, we sang hymns of the Church. But the little ones were late in coming, and everyone began to get impatient. Thereupon, someone came from Fatima saying that the Administrator had taken the children away.
There arose then a disturbance, and I do not know what would have happened if, suddenly, a clap of thunder had not made itself heard. The clap of thunder was more or less similar to that of the preceding time.
At the clap of thunder there followed lightning, and at once we began to notice a small cloud, very pretty, white in color, very light, which hovered some moments over the holm-oak, then rose towards the sky, and disappeared in the atmosphere.
While looking around us, we observed a strange thing, which we had already seen the previous time, and which we were going to see again in the future. The faces of the people had all the colors of the rainbow: pink, red, blue... The trees did not appear to have branches and leaves but only flowers; everything seemed laden with flowers, and every leaf appeared to be a flower. The ground was covered with squares of different colors. Clothes were also of every color of the rainbow. The two lanterns attached to the arch appeared to be made of gold.
Briefly, everything had happened outwardly as if the apparition had taken place. Our Lady, it was obvious, had not missed the rendezvous. And She had manifested Her presence by imposing signs, witnessed by most of the pilgrims present that day. Manuel Gonfalves, from the hamlet of Montelo, would be able to testify to Canon Formigao on October 11:
There were many extraordinary signs. In August, almost all those who were there saw them.
Sunday, August 19: THE APPARITION AT "VALINHOS"
After assisting at the parish Mass, the three little shepherds, accompanied by several persons, left for the Cova da Iria in order to say the Rosary there. In the afternoon, Lucy and Francisco, with John, his brother a little older, took the road of Valinhos (the small valleys), to feed their flocks. It was the closest, most grassy pasture, at mid-elevation between Aljustrel and the top of the Cabeco. Let us listen to Sister Lucy relate the unexpected apparition which came to shower them with an immense joy:
I felt that something supernatural was approaching and enveloping us. Suspecting that Our Lady was going to appear to us, and feeling sorry that Jacinta would not be there to see Her, we asked her brother John to go and get her. But John wanted to stay, to see Our Lady as well! Then Lucy, who had with her two coins, had an idea: "I will give you two nickels if you bring back Jacinta to me! Here is one now, and I will give you the other when you return!" He left with all haste while Francisco shouted to him: "Tell her to come running!" It was about 4 o'clock in the afternoon.
In the meantime, Lucy continues, I saw with Francisco the flash of light, what we called lightning. Jacinta having arrived, an instant later, we saw Our Lady upon a holm-oak.
What does Your Grace want from me?
I want you to continue going to the Cova da Iria on the 13th, that you continue praying the Rosary every day. On the last month, I will perform a miracle so that all may believe. If they had not taken you to the city, the miracle would have been greater. Saint Joseph will come with the Child Jesus, to give peace to the world. Our Lord will come to bless the people. Our Lady of the Rosary and Our Lady of Sorrows will come also.
What do You want them to do with the money the people leave at the Cova da Iria?
Have two litters made. You will carry one with Jacinta and two other girls dressed in white; the other one Francisco is to carry, with three boys, like him, dressed in white. It will be for the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. What is left over will help towards the construction of a chapel that is to be built.
I should like to ask You to cure some sick persons.
Yes, I will cure some of them during the year.
Then, looking more sad, Our Lady said:
Pray, pray very much, and make sacrifices for sinners, for many souls go to Hell because they have no one to make sacrifices and pray for them.
And as usual, She began to ascend towards the east.
Thursday, September 13: A MARVELLOUS APPARITION
It was Lucy who recited the Rosary in a loud voice, while the people answered. Only the murmur of prayers could be heard. Suddenly, shouts of joy rang out... some arms were raised, and showed something in the sky. "Look! ... You don't see it?" "Yes, I see it!"... A luminous globe, travelling from the east to the west, gliding slowly and majestically in space ...
... It floated in fact towards the holm-oak of the apparition. Then, the light of the sun dimmed, the atmosphere became a yellow-gold, like the previous times. The day so darkened that some reported having seen the stars in the sky. It was then that Lucy questioned the Immaculate Virgin:
What does Your Grace want of me?
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 Mount Carmel, and Saint Joseph will appear with the Child Jesus in order to bless the world.
God is satisfied with your sacrifices, but He does not want you to sleep with the rope. Wear it only during the day.
There is a little girl here who is a deaf-mute.
Would not Your Grace wish to cure her?
Our Lady replied that a year from now, she would be better.
I have many other requests, some for conversion, others for a cure.
I shall cure some, but others no, because Our Lord does not trust them.
The people would indeed like to have a chapel here.
With half of the money received so far, they should make litters and carry them on the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary; the other half can be used to build the chapel.
Lucy then said that she offered Her two letters and a small flask of water with a fragrance which had been given her by a man of the parish of Olival. In offering them to Our Lady, she said to Her:
They gave me that. Does Your Grace want it?
That is not suitable for Heaven, Our Lady replied.
The Fourth Memoir adds:
In October I will perform the miracle, so that all may believe.
And She began to ascend, disappearing as usual.
Saturday, October 13: "I AM OUR LADY OF THE ROSARY"
At noon, solar time, when the apparition of the miracle was to occur, at the Cova da Iria there were from fifty to seventy thousand persons. Suddenly, Lucy looked towards the east and said to Jacinta: 'Oh, Jacinte Kneel down, Our Lady is arriving! I have already seen the lightning! Our Lady was appearing above the holm-oak. And Lucy, that time, fell as into an ecstasy: Jacinta then gave Lucy a nudge with her elbow, and said to her: "Speak Lucy, Our Lady is already there!" Then Lucy came to herself, breathed twice deeply, as someone who had no more breath, and began her conversation with Our Lady.
What does Your Grace 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. May you 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: to cure some sick people, to convert some sinners, etc.
Some yes, others no. They must amend their lives and ask pardon for their sins.
And taking on a more sorrowful air:
Do not offend the Lord Our God any more, for He is already too much offended.