The Apparitions of Mary at Fatima

by Brother John Raymond

Throughout the Old Testament God, in His great mercy, chose
prophets to call His people back to Him. In recent times God is
sending His Mother. One of the apparitions of the Mother of God
in this century took place in 1917 at Fatima, a little village
in Portugal. Our Lady came there to warn us of the harm we would
inflict upon ourselves as a result of our sins: wars, famines,
plagues, persecution of the Church and the loss of many souls in
Hell. God, in His great mercy, wished to save us from these
miseries through the Immaculate Heart of His Mother. Our
Heavenly Mother revealed at Fatima a plan of hope for this world
which continues to plunge headlong toward its own destruction.

In 1915 an Angel appeared to four little girls, among them
Lucia de Jesus dos Santos. While saying the Rosary they saw what
looked like a cloud that was whiter than snow, slightly
transparent, with a human outline. This same apparition took
place on two more occasions, leaving the girls in a state of

One year later Lucia was tending sheep with her two cousins,
Francisco and Jacinta Marto. This time the Angel came with very
distinguishable features. He said to them: "Don't be afraid. I
am the Angel of Peace. Pray with me." He then knelt and, bowing
with his forehead to the ground, prayed three times: "My God, I
believe, I adore, I hope, and I love Thee! I beg pardon of Thee
for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope and do
not love Thee!" Then He said to the children: "Pray thus. The
Hearts of Jesus and Mary are attentive to the voice of your
supplications." With these words the Angel left them. The
children felt so enveloped by God's Presence that they remained
bowed to the ground for a long time repeating this prayer. This
special atmosphere which they felt then gradually left them.
Soon the three children were back to spending their days playing
games together.

Lucia, the oldest of the children, was born on March 22, 1907
and was the youngest of seven. Francisco was born on June 11,
1908 and Jacinta on March 11, 1910. One day, while the three
were playing, the Angel visited them again and said, "What are
you doing? Pray! Pray a great deal! The Hearts of Jesus and Mary
have merciful designs for you. Offer prayers and sacrifices
constantly to the Most High." Lucia asked how they were to
sacrifice. The Angel responded, "With all your power offer a
sacrifice as an act of reparation for the sinners by whom He
[the Lord] is offended, and of supplication for the conversion
of sinners. Thus draw peace upon your country. I am its Guardian
Angel, the Angel of Portugal. Above all accept and endure with
submission the suffering which the Lord will send you."

Only Lucia and Jacinta heard the Angel. Francisco had to
learn what he said from them. By the light of grace the children
understood the value of sacrifice. They spent many hours
repeating the prayer he had taught them. In Autumn of that year
the Angel appeared to them again. He was holding a chalice in
his hand with a Host suspended over it from which drops of Blood
were falling into the chalice. Leaving the Host and chalice
suspended in mid-air the Angel prostrated himself on the ground
praying three times, "Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy
Spirit, I adore Thee profoundly and offer Thee 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 by which He Himself is offended.
And, through the infinite merits of His Most Sacred Heart and of
the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of Thee the conversion of
poor sinners." Then the Angel arose and gave the Sacred Host to
Lucia. The contents of the chalice were given to Francisco and
Jacinta while he said, "Take and drink the Body and Blood of
Jesus Christ, horribly insulted by ungrateful men. Make
reparation for their crimes and console your God." Then the
Angel again prostrated himself, praying three times, "Most Holy
Trinity. . .."

On May 13th, 1917 the children were again playing their
games, this time building castles out of rock in the field.
Suddenly they saw a flash of light. Believing it to be
lightning, even though the sky was clear, the children gathered
the sheep and started for home. They took refuge under a tree
about a hundred yards away. They saw a flash of light again.
They began running, going about a hundred yards further when
suddenly they saw, standing over a small holmoak tree, a Lady
dressed in white more brilliant than the sun. She said, "Don't
be afraid. I won't hurt you! I am from Heaven. I come to ask you
to come here for six months in succession, on the thirteenth day
at this same hour. Then I will tell you who I am, and what I
want. And afterwards I will return here a seventh time." (Our
Lady appeared at the holmoak a total of six times. To this day
there are only conjectures about when the seventh apparition
took or will take place.) Lucia asked if the three of them would
go to Heaven. The Lady said they would except that Francisco
would have to say many Rosaries first. Lucia asked about two of
her friends who had died. The Lady responded that one was in
Heaven but the other would be in Purgatory until the end of the
world. The Lady went on to say, "Do you wish to offer yourselves
to God, to endure all the sufferings that He may please to send
you, as an act of reparation for the sins by which He is
offended and to ask for the conversion of sinners?" Lucia
responded, "Yes" for all three of them. Then the Lady said,
"Then you will have much to suffer. But the grace of God will be
your comfort." With this the Lady opened Her Hands and enveloped
the children in light. Moved by an inward impulse, they fell to
their knees praying, "O most Holy Trinity, I adore Thee! My God,
my God, I love Thee in the Most Blessed Sacrament." Again the
Lady spoke saying, "Say the Rosary every day to obtain peace for
the world and the end of the war" [World War I].

Up to this point the visions of the children remained secret.
This time Jacinta told her mother about her experience. News
spread quickly around the village exposing the children to
ridicule and disbelief. On June 13th Our Lady appeared again at
the same spot, known as the Cova da Iria, and said to the
children, "I want you to come here on the thirteenth day of the
coming month and to recite five decades of the Rosary every
day." Lucia asked if the Lady would take them to Heaven. The
Lady responded that Jacinta and Francisco would be taken soon.
But Lucia would have to remain to help establish in the world
devotion to Her Immaculate Heart. Lucia began to cry thinking
she would be left all alone. Our Lady comforted her by saying
She would not forsake her. Then the children saw a Heart in Our
Lady's right hand with thorns encircling It. They understood
that this was the Immaculate Heart of Mary, outraged by the sins
of humanity, for which reparation had to be made.

On July 13th crowds began to gather for the apparition. This
time Our Lady said, "I want you to come here on the thirteenth
day of the coming month, and to continue to say five decades of
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. For She
alone will be able to help." Lucia asked for a miracle to prove
Her appearances to people who doubted. The Lady responded,
"Continue to come here every month. In October I will tell you
who I am and what I wish, and will perform a miracle that
everyone will have to believe. . . Sacrifice yourselves for
sinners and say many times, especially when you make some
sacrifice: `O Jesus, it is for Thy love, for the conversion of
sinners and in reparation for sins committed against the
Immaculate Heart of Mary.'"

With these words light streamed from the Lady penetrating the
earth. The children saw demons and people immersed in a sea of
fire. From them came shrieks and groans of despair. Our Lady
then said, "You see Hell, where the souls of poor sinners go. To
save them God wishes to establish in the world the devotion to
my Immaculate Heart. If they do what I will tell you, many souls
will be saved, and there will be peace. The war is going to end.
But if they do not stop offending God, another and worse one
will begin in the reign of Pius XI. When you see a night
illuminated by an unknown light, know that is the great sign God
gives you that He is going to punish the world for its crimes by
means of war, of hunger, and of persecution of the Church and of
the Holy Father. To prevent this I come to ask the consecration
of Russia to My Immaculate Heart and the Communion of reparation
on the first Saturdays. If they listen to my requests, Russia
will be converted and there will be peace. If not she will
scatter her errors through the world, provoking wars and
persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred, the Holy
Father will have much to suffer [Jacinta later had more visions
concerning a future Pope's suffering], various nations will be
annihilated. In the end My Immaculate Heart will triumph. The
Holy Father will consecrate Russia to Me, and it will be
converted and a certain period of peace will be granted to the
world. In Portugal the dogma of the Faith will always be kept.
Do not tell this to anyone. Francisco, yes, you may tell. [This
became known as the secret, only part of which is disclosed
here] When you say the Rosary, say after each Mystery, `O my
Jesus, pardon us and deliver us from the fire of Hell. Draw all
souls to Heaven, especially those in most need.'"

The governor of the area was a former Catholic turned Mason
who was very set against the Church. On August 13th he offered
to take the children to the apparition site in his carriage.
Once they got inside he kidnapped them. He locked them in a room
of his house. The next day he took them to the Town Hall. The
children were questioned. He was especially interested in the
"secret" which the Lady told them. The children would not tell
him. Finding that he was getting nowhere he threw them in jail.
After they spent a short time in the jail he questioned them
again. At one point the governor threatened to throw them in
boiling oil. Even this failed. He kept them locked up overnight
at his house. The next day he questioned them again. Finally,
seeing that his efforts were useless, he released them.

On August 19th the Lady appeared to the children in a
different place. She said, "I want you to continue to go to Cova
da Iria on the thirteenth day and to continue to recite the
Rosary every day. In the last month [October] I will perform the
miracle so that all shall believe. . . Pray, pray a great deal,
and make sacrifices for sinners, for many souls go to Hell
because they have no one to sacrifice and pray for them." Lucia
asked the Lady what to do with the money that the crowd had left
at the Cova da Iria. She said some should be used for a
procession on the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary and the rest
should go for the support of the chapel which the people would

On September 13th the crowd had grown so much that the
children could barely make their way to the apparition site.
That day Our Lady said, "Continue to say the Rosary to bring
about the end of the War. In October Our Lord will come also,
and Our Lady of Sorrows and Our Lady of Mount Carmel, and Saint
Joseph with the Child Jesus, to bless the world. . ."

October 13th was a very rainy day. Yet this did not keep
believers and non-believers from coming to witness the miracle
the Lady had promised. Some estimated the crowd at around
70,000. The Lady came at noon and Lucia asked Her, "What do You
want of me?" She responded, "I want to tell you to have them
build a Chapel here in My honor. I am the Lady of the Rosary.
Let them continue to say the Rosary every day. The war is going
to end, and the soldiers will soon return to their homes." Lucia
asked Our Lady if She would grant some requests given to her by
the people. Our Lady said, "Some yes, others no. It is necessary
that they amend their lives and ask pardon for their sins. Let
them offend Our Lord God no more, for He is already much
offended." As Our Lady ascended from their sight She opened Her
Hands and pointed toward the sun. The children then saw in the
sky three tableau of the Joyful, Sorrowful and Glorious
Mysteries of the Rosary. Then the Holy Family appeared. St.
Joseph and the Infant Jesus blessed the crowd three times. Next
only Lucia saw Our Lady of Sorrows beside Her Suffering Son Who
also blessed the crowd. Finally the children saw Our Lady of
Mount Carmel with the Infant Jesus upon Her knee.

The crowd, on the other hand, saw something very different.
The people stared at the sun which started dancing in the sky.
Then it whirled rapidly, emitting flames of fire which reflected
many different colors upon the earth. Finally it appeared to be
plummeting from the sky toward the crowd which frightened the
people very much. Some thought it was the end of the world. Then
the sun reversed its direction and returned to its normal
position in the sky. As the people regained their senses they
noticed still another miracle. Although it had been a very rainy
day now the ground and even their clothes were dry.

The public apparitions ceased but the children, from time to
time, would still see Our Lady. Toward the end of October, 1918,
Francisco and Jacinta became ill with influenza. On April 4th,
1919 Francisco died of this disease. He had spent the remainder
of his short life in prayer and penance. He was often seen
praying before the Most Blessed Sacrament. Francisco, with great
insight for his young age, talked about "the hidden Jesus" in
the tabernacle. Jacinta's agony would last longer. She offered
up heroic sacrifices during her illness. She developed pneumonia
and then pleurisy. She was taken to a hospital at Ourem. After
two months she returned home with an incision in her chest. A
doctor on pilgrimage visited Jacinta and said she should go to
the children's hospital in Lisbon. So mother and child set out
on the journey. In Lisbon they stayed for a few days at an
orphanage run by a Franciscan nun, Mother Godinho.

Mother Godinho had an opportunity to converse with Jacinta.
Jacinta told her that war is the punishment for the sins of
mankind. If people would repent Jesus would save the world but
if they did not He would punish it. She talked about the
importance of Confession, that it was a Sacrament of mercy and
that it was necessary for salvation. Jacinta mentioned the great
charity we must have, even for the wicked, and that we should
never speak ill words about anyone. She emphasized the value of
patience and that it would bring us to Heaven. Jacinta said that
many people were in Hell due to the sins of the flesh. She
prophesied that certain women's fashions would be introduced
which would be very offensive to Our Lady.

When Jacinta was at the hospital in Lisbon the doctors talked
about performing an operation. She said that it would all be in
vain because she was going to die. She even had someone write to
Lucia informing her of the day and hour of her death. Mother
Godinho continued to converse with her. Jacinta prophesied other
incidents about certain people and these later came true.

Because of her weakened state only a local anaesthesia could
be given for the operation. They removed two ribs and left an
open wound in her chest the size of a fist. She suffered very
much but never complained. Four days before her death Our Lady
came and took all her pains away. On February 20th, 1920, she
died. Fifteen years later her body was moved to a cemetery at
Fatima and was found still whole and incorrupt.

A small chapel was built by the people to Our Lady. In 1922 a
bomb destroyed this chapel. Another bomb placed at the holmoak
above which Our Lady stood during the apparitions did not
explode. Many years later a great shrine to Our Lady of Fatima
was built which included a hospital, convent and retreat house.

In 1921 the Bishop, due to the numerous pilgrims who came to
see Lucia and her family, told Lucia to attend the school of the
Sisters of St. Dorothy near Oporto where she would be unknown.
At the school the Mother Superior changed her name to Maria of
the Sorrows. Lucia was told not to speak about the apparitions.
In 1925 Lucia joined the Sisters of St. Dorothy.

On December 10, 1925, Our Lady, with the Child Jesus beside
Her, appeared to Sister Lucia in her room. She was holding out
Her Heart surrounded by sharp thorns. Both asked for reparation
to be made to the Immaculate Heart. Our Lady promised to assist
with all the necessary graces for salvation at death those who
would make the Five First Saturdays. That is, those who, for
five consecutive first Saturdays of the month, would go to
Confession, receive Holy Communion, recite the Rosary and spend
fifteen minutes meditating on the Mysteries of the Rosary, all
with the intention of making reparation to Her. (Later Our Lord
said that Confession could be on another day as long as one
receives Holy Communion in the state of grace.)

On May 29, 1930 Our Lord explained to Sr. Lucy that the five
Saturdays were in reparation for:

1. Those who deny the Immaculate Conception.
2. Those who deny Our Lady's virginity.
3. Those who deny Our Lady's Divine maternity and that She is the
Mother of all mankind.
4. Those who cause children to have indifference, contempt or
hatred toward Our Lady.
5. Those who commit outrages against Holy Images of Our Lady.

In 1927, at the Convent in Spain to which she was
transferred, Lucia, in a vision, received permission to reveal
two parts of a three-part secret which she received from Our
Lady at the Cova da Iria during the July 13th apparitions: the
vision of Hell and the urgent need for devotion to the
Immaculate Heart. The third part of this secret was given to the
Bishop and later was given to the Pope. Sr. Lucia asked that it
not be made public before 1960. This part of the secret was
never made public until June 26th, 2000. (Read about it here)

In 1929, during Lucia's weekly Thursday Holy Hour between 11
P.M. and midnight, she saw a cross of light appear above the
altar. On the cross was Jesus Crucified. From Our Lord's wounded
side and His face drops of Blood fell onto a Host, then into a
chalice below, which were suspended in the air. From the left
arm of the cross large letters reading "Grace and Mercy" made of
what appeared to be water ran down upon the altar. On the top of
the cross was the image of the Eternal Father. Before Him was a
dove of light representing the Holy Spirit. Beneath the right
arm of the cross was Our Lady of Fatima with Her Immaculate
Heart in Her left hand. In the midst of this vision Our Lady
made a request for the Pope to consecrate the world to Her
Immaculate Heart in union with all the Bishops of the world,
making a special mention of Russia.

This request was brought to the attention of the Pope. Our
Lord told Sr. Lucy He wanted this consecration so that, by Our
Lady's triumph, devotion to the Immaculate Heart would spread
throughout the whole Church placing it beside the devotion to
the Sacred Heart. Our Lord said that the Holy Father would make
the consecration but it would be late. He added that the
Immaculate Heart would save Russia.

World War II began just as predicted by Our Lady of Fatima.
In 1938 unusual lights appeared in the sky which, according to
Lucia, was the sign promised by Our Lady before God's punishment
of the world. Shortly thereafter the war began with the
annexation of Austria by Hitler during the pontificate of Pope
Pius XI. In 1942, Pope Pius XII consecrated the world to the
Immaculate Heart. He did not, however, do this in union with all
the Bishops. Our Lord told Lucia that He was pleased with this
act although incomplete according to His desire. Because of it
He promised to end World War II. But the conversion of Russia
would not take place.

Some people thought, based on the example of the Fatima
children, that the sacrifices requested by Our Lady were too
great for them to perform. In 1943 Our Lord told Sr. Lucy that
the penance He now desired was the fulfillment of one's duties
in life and the sacrifices required in the observance of His
Law. This type of penance was possible for everyone.

In 1944 the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary was put on
the Church Calendar to be celebrated on August 22nd. After
Vatican II the Church Calendar was revised changing the
celebration of August 22nd to the Saturday following the Feast
of the Sacred Heart, which is always the Friday after the Feast
of Corpus Christi.

In 1946 John M. Haffert, a great promoter of the Brown
Scapular, asked Sr. Lucy to help him formulate a Fatima message
pledge which people could make. In 1947 Msgr. Colgan, inspired
by the Fatima messages, began the Blue Army. A little later he
met John Haffert who told him about the Fatima Pledge. Fr.
Colgan appointed him to spread the Blue Army in the U.S. The
Blue Army became the greatest apostolate for promoting the
messages of Fatima. For those interested in information on the
Blue Army (now called The World Apostolate of Fatima) send an
S.A.S.E. to:
The World Apostolate of Fatima
P.O. Box 976
Washington, NJ 07882

In 1948 Sr. Lucia entered the Carmelite convent in Coimbra,
Portugal. Later she took for her religious name Sr. Maria of the
Immaculate Heart of Mary. In an interview with John Haffert that
same year Sister said the most important request of Fatima is
the fulfillment of one's daily duty. Praying the Rosary aids one
in doing this. The First Saturdays help one to free oneself from
sin and renews the commitment to fulfill one's daily duties. Two
years later in another interview with John Haffert Sister
explained that wearing the Brown Scapular is also part of the
Fatima message. It is a sign of one's consecration to the
Immaculate Heart.

Russia continued to spread her errors all around the world,
fulfilling Our Lady's prophecies. An attempt was even made on
the life of Pope John Paul II on May 13th, 1981. The Holy Father
believed that Our Lady of Fatima saved his life. This led him to
see that the only way to save the world from atheism was the
consecration requested by Our Lady of Fatima. On March 25, 1984,
the Holy Father consecrated the world to the Immaculate Heart of
Mary. According to Sr. Lucia this consecration was accepted by
Our Lady. The result was the peaceful fall of Communism a few
years later.

Both Jacinta and Francisco were beatified by Pope John Paul II
on May 13, 2000. They were the youngest non-martyred children
ever to be beatified in Church history.

Certainly we see the mercy of God in the Fatima apparitions.
God really wishes to have mercy on the whole world. He forewarns
us of evils which will befall us, by our own fault, if we do not
return to Him. He gives us His Mother to help us and guide us.
Had we responded to His grace World War II would never have
happened, Russia would have been converted sooner and the world
would have peace. It is evident that we have not lived the
Fatima messages as we should. How patient God has been with
humanity! God wishes all people to save their souls. Because we
are all part of God's family His mercy allows us to make
reparation for the sins of others. This not only consoles God
for their offenses but can bring about the conversion of the
offenders. If wars and punishments come upon the earth it is
still God's mercy. By allowing these events He wishes sinners to
turn to Him with a purpose of amendment and say, "My Jesus,
mercy." And those in the state of God's grace, some lukewarm in
their love of God and neighbor, are brought to greater fervor
and more detachment from the passing things of this world. God
is our Father. He doesn't want us to suffer. But sometimes it is
necessary for the salvation of many souls.

Let us respond to Our Lady's messages by living God-centered
lives and by fulfilling the requests of Our Lady of Fatima, the
fulfillment of our daily duty and the keeping of God's
Commandments, making the Five First Saturdays, wearing the Brown
Scapular as a sign of our consecration to the Immaculate Heart
of Mary and praying the Holy Rosary every day!

Check Out This May, 2005 Fatima Conference!

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