The Apparitions of Fatima took place in 1917 in Fatima, Portugal. Three young shepherds saw Our Lady of Fatima come to give a message to the world. The message of Fatima calls us to prayer and asks for devotion. The feast of Our Lady of Fatima, on May 13, is prepared for by the novena to Our Lady of Fatima.
The first appearance to the three shepherds of Fatima, Lucia Dos Santos and her cousins Francisco and Jacinta Marto, was that of an angel in the spring of 1916. The children were playing on the hill of Cabeço, when a luminous being appeared to them who said: “Do not be afraid! I am the Angel of Peace. Pray with me! ». He knelt down, and bowed his forehead to the ground. The children imitated him and repeated after him: “My God, I believe, I love, I hope and I love you! I beg your forgiveness for those who do not believe, who do not worship, who do not hope, who do not love you! They said this prayer three times, and the angel rose up and said to them, “Pray like this! The Hearts of Jesus and Mary are attentive to the voice of your supplications.”
While the children were playing near a well at the place called the Arneiro on a summer day 1916, the second appearance of the angel took place. Lucia, the eldest of the witnesses, said: "suddenly, we saw the same angel.” He said: “What are you doing? Pray, pray a lot! The holy hearts of Jesus and Mary have mercy toward you. Always offer prayers and sacrifices to the Lord. ” Lucia asked how they should sacrifice themselves and the angel answered: "Offer God a sacrifice of all that you can, as reparation for the sins with which He is offended, and as a supplication for the conversion of sinners. In this way, you will draw peace to your homeland. I am its guardian angel, the angel of Portugal. Above all, accept and endure with submission the sufferings that the Lord will send you. "
One last time, the angel returned to see the children in the autumn of 1916. Keeping their flock on the hill, the little shepherds prostrated themselves, reciting the angel's prayer, when they saw a light. Lucia testifies: "We saw again the Angel who held in his left hand a chalice with a Host suspended on it, from which a few drops of Blood fell into the chalice." The angel bowed to the ground and repeated this prayer three times: “Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I adore you deeply, and I offer you the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the earth, in reparation for the insults, sacrileges and indifferences by which He Himself is offended. Through the infinite merits of his Most Holy Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I ask you to convert the poor sinners. " The angel gave the holy host to Lucia and shared the Blood of the chalice between Francis and Jacinta, saying: “Eat and drink the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, horribly offended by ungrateful men. Repair their crimes and comfort your God . ”
On that day, the three little shepherds took their sheep to the Cova da Iria. After reciting the rosary as usual, they saw two flashes of lightning and decided to go home. On the way, they saw above a small green oak "a Lady, all dressed in white, brighter than the sun, radiating an intense light". Here is the dialogue that took place between Lucia and the Blessed Virgin:
“Don't be afraid, I won't hurt you.
-Where does Your Grace come from?
-I'm from Heaven.
And what does Your Grace want from me?
I've come to ask you to come here for six months in a row, on the 13th, at the same time. Then I'll tell you who I am and what I want. Then I'll come back here a seventh time.
-And I too, will I go to Heaven?
-Yes, you will.
-What about Jacinta?
-She as well.
- And Francis?
"Yes, but he will have to recite many rosaries."
Lucia then remembered to ask a question about two young girls who had recently died.
"- Is Maria das Neves already in Heaven?
- Yes, she is.
- She will be in Purgatory until the end of the world."
The Virgin then said:
“Will you offer yourselves to God to bear all the sufferings which He wills to send you, in reparation for the sins by which He is offended, and in supplication for the conversion of sinners?
- Yes, we do.
-You will then have much to suffer, but the grace of God will be your comfort."
By a supernatural impulse, the children falling on their knees began to repeat: “O Most Holy Trinity, I worship You. My God, my God, I love You in the Most Blessed Sacrament. "
Our Lady added:
"-Write the rosary every day in order to obtain peace for the world and the end of the war.
Then the Virgin rose up and disappeared into Heaven.
For the second apparition, several dozen people had gathered at the Cova da Iria in addition to the three shepherds, and together they recited the rosary. Like the previous time, the coming of Our Lady was preceded by a lightning bolt, then she appeared on the same little green oak. This time again, it was Lucia who spoke to the Blessed Virgin.
“What does Your Grace want from me?
– I want you to come here on the 13th of next month, say the rosary every day and learn to read. Then I will tell you what I want. "
Lucia asked for the healing of a sick man.
– "If he converts, he will be healed during the year.
– I'd like to ask you to take us to Heaven.
– Yes, Jacinta and Francis, I'll take them soon, but you, Lucy, will stay here for a while. Jesus wants to use you to make me known and loved. He wants to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. To whomsoever will embrace this devotion, I promise salvation, these souls will be cherished by God, like flowers placed by Me to adorn his throne.
- Am I going stay here alone? "asked Lucie with sorrow.
- “No, my daughter. Are you in a lot of pain? Don't be discouraged, I'll never abandon you! My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God. "
The Virgin communicated to the children an intense light that enveloped them, Lucia specifies: "Jacinta and Francis seemed to be in the part of this light that rose to Heaven, and I in the part that spread over the earth." Lucie describes what they then saw: "Before the palm of Our Lady's right hand was a Heart, surrounded by thorns that seemed to sink into it." Then the apparition disappeared.
This time, thousands of people were gathered at the Cova da Iria for the apparition. The previous month, the children had been very distressed by the accusations of the priests and their parents. They came despite the prohibitions to the usual place and Lucie asked:
“What does Your Grace want from me?
- I want you to come here on the 13th of the coming month, that you continue to recite 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 she alone will be able to help you. ”
“I would like to ask you to tell us who you are, and to do a miracle so that all believe that Your Grace appears to us.
- Keep coming here every month. In October, I will say who I am, what I want, and I will do a miracle that all will see to believe. ”
Lucie then presented the requests that had been entrusted to her. Then the Virgin Mary again impressed upon her the necessity of the sacrifice, and entrusted to the children words of prophecy to keep secret. The Virgin said again: “Sacrifice yourselves for sinners, and speak often of Jesus, especially when you make a sacrifice: “O Jesus, it is out of love for you, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary. ”
The children then received the "Secret of Fatima", divided into three parts: first of all they had a vision of Hell which frightened them so much that Lucia uttered a cry. Scared, they looked up at Our Lady who then told them the second part of the Secret of Fatima. It was then that the three seers had another vision which constitutes the third part of the Secret of Fatima. Our Lady asked the children not to tell anyone about this except Francis. She said to them: “When you recite the rosary, say after each mystery: “O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fire of hell, draw into Heaven all souls, especially those who need it most.”
On August 13, 1917, when the apparition was to take place, the three children were in prison. Having been released on the 15th, they went on the 19th with their flock to the surroundings of the Cova da Iria where the Virgin appeared to them, Lucia repeated her usual words:
“What does Your Grace want from me?
– I want you to continue to go to Cova da Iria on the 13th, to continue to recite the rosary every day. In the last month, I will do the miracle so that everyone will believe. Had you not been taken to the city, the miracle would have been better known. Saint Joseph will come with the Child Jesus, to give peace to the world. Our Lord will come and bless the people. Also coming will be Our Lady of the Rosary and Our Lady of Pain. ”
Lucie asked a question that had been asked about the money given by the pilgrims. Our Lady replied: "Let us make two stretches of procession. You shall bear one with Jacinta and two other little daughters dressed in white; the other, let Francis bear it with three boys, dressed in a white alb. It will be for the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. What will remain will be to help build a chapel."
Lucie again asked for the healing of a few sick people. Then, looking sadder, the Virgin said: “Pray, pray much, and make sacrifices for sinners, for many souls go to hell because they have no one to sacrifice and pray for them. At last the Virgin began to rise in the direction of the rising sun.
While children were constantly tested by interrogations and mockery, the number of people believing in the apparitions only grew. On September 13th, 30,000 people gathered at the Cova da Iria. “What does Your Grace want from me? Lucie asked.
"– Keep saying 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 Carmel, Saint Joseph 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 cord. Wear it only during the day. ”
Lucia presented to the Virgin the requests for healing and conversions that had been entrusted to her. The Virgin replied with kindness and patience, she repeated that making donations and reassured Lucia that she would perform a miracle in October. Then the Virgin began to rise, disappearing as usual.
After Our Lady had announced a great miracle for October 13, between 50,000 and 80,000 people had gathered that day, believers and unbelievers. Suddenly, the three children saw the lightning, and Lucie said: “What does Your Grace want from me?
– I want to tell you a chapel ill be built here in my honor. I am Our Lady of the Rosary. Always continue to recite the rosary every day. The war will end and the military will soon return home. Lucia asked the Blessed Virgin to heal the sick and convert sinners. Taking a sadder look, Notre-Dame added: "Let no one further offend God, Our Lord, for He is already too offended! ”
Soon after, Lucie cried out “She's leaving! She's leaving! Lucie reported on what she saw then: "Opening her hands, Our Lady made them reflect on the sun and, as she rose, the reflection of her own light continued to project on the sun. Lucie then shouted: “Look at the sun! ”
Jacinta's father witnessed the miracle of the sun, he says: "It was then that we could look perfectly at the sun, without our eyes hurting. It looked like it was going out and back on, sometimes in one way, sometimes in another. It threw beams of light, from here and there, and painted everything in different colors: the trees, the people, the ground, the air. But the great proof of the miracle was that the sun did not hurt the eyes. He continues: “Everyone was standing still. Everyone was silent... They were all looking up at the sky. At some point, the sun stopped, and then started dancing, spinning again; it stopped again, and started dancing again, until the moment, at last, when it seemed to break away from heaven and come upon us. It was a terrible moment! ”
During the ten minutes when the crowd watched the grandiose cosmic miracle, the three seers contemplated a different spectacle. According to her promise, the Virgin Mary showed them three successive paintings in full sky: the vision of the holy family, the vision of Our Lady of Sorrows and the vision of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.