May 13, 1917. The Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to three shepherd children, Lucia Santos and her cousins Francisco and Jacinta Marto, in a cove at Fatima, Portugal. “The Lady”, as the children referred to her, would appear to them on the 13th of the month from May to October 1917. She asked them to pray the rosary daily for the conversion for poor sinners and to offer sacrifices (do penance) for them. “The Lady” also asked for devotion to her Immaculate Heart and for Russia* to be consecrated to it. In addition–I’m summarizing the basic message here– she asked that the First Saturdays of every month be observed by going to confession and receiving Holy Communion in reparation to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary. The detailed sequence of events can be found here. Finally on the last apparition of Oct. 13, 1917, “the Lady” identified herself with words “I am the Lady of the Rosary” and a promised public miracle took place.
The miracle was witnessed and experienced by 70,000 rain drenched people–the sun defied cosmic laws and ‘danced’ out of its place advancing toward the Earth. The rain had stopped abruptly and the ground as well as the witness were completely dry. Only the children could also see Jesus, Mary, and St. Joseph that day.
During the course of the apparitions, our Lady had entrusted the children with three secrets:
- Our Lady show them a vision of hell.
- She told them that God wishes to save souls from going to hell by way of devotion to immaculate heart of Mary. World War I would end but a worse one would break out if people would not cease offending God. “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 shall be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world”
In the year 2000, the Vatican released the Third Secret of Fatima. Here is the secret as transcribed by Lucia:
The third part of the secret revealed at the Cova da Iria-Fatima, on 13 July 1917.
I write in obedience to you, my God, who command me to do so through his Excellency the Bishop of Leiria and through your Most Holy Mother and mine. 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.
Tuy[located in Galicia, Spain]-3-1-1944”.
*Lenin was about to begin the Communist Russian Revolution
<to be concluded>