Fatima Apparitions. Part 4: Our Lady’s Apparition On July 13, 1917
Virgin Mary’s apparition on July 13, 1917 had the most extensive message of all six Fatima apparitions. Here is how Lucia described it in her memoirs.
“A few moments after arriving at the Cova da Iria, near the holmoak, where a large number of people were praying the Rosary, we saw the flash of light once more, and a moment later Our Lady appeared on the holmoak.
“What do you want of me?” I asked.
“I want you to come here on the 13th of next month, to continue pray the Rosary every day in honor of Our Lady of the Rosary, in order to obtain peace for the world and the end of the war, because only she can help you.”
“I would like to ask you to tell us who you are, and to work a miracle so that everybody will believe that you are appearing to us.”
“Continue to come here every month. In October, I will tell you who I am and what I want, and I will perform a miracle for all to see and believe.”
I then made some requests, but I cannot recall now just what they were. What I do remember is that Our Lady said it was necessary for such people to pray the Rosary in order to obtain these graces during the year. And she continued:
“Sacrifice yourselves for sinners, and say many times, especially whenever you make some sacrifice: O Jesus, it is for love you You, 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 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. 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 pontificate of Pius XI. When you see a night illuminated 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 not 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… [Lucia omitted part of the message (so-called Third Secret of Fatima) here which she later described in a separate letter to her bishop] 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.” (Fatima In Lucia’s Words. Sister Lucia’s Memoirs. Published by Fundacao Francisco E Jacinta Marto. 19th Edition, May 2014. P. 177-179.)
Although the vision of hell and several prophesies about the history of the world may seem as the most impressive parts of this apparition, the essence of Mary’s message can be summed up in two simple words: sin and Rosary.
- Mary foretold the children that (1) World War I will end but (2) a bigger war will start during the pontificate of Pope Pius XI (who at the time was not even a cardinal) and that (3) a “night illuminated by an unknown light” will be a sign that God is “about to punish the world for its crimes by means of war…”. All three prophesies were fulfilled: (1) World War I ended the next year (1918); (2) on the night from January 25, 1938 to January 26, 1938 almost entire Europe and part of America witnessed an unusual aurora borealis (sky illuminated by light at night) which, according to Lucia, was a sign of the approaching war which started the next year; and (3) in March of 1938 (during pontificate of Pius XI) Nazi Germany annexed and occupied Austria which can be considered as an early beginning of the World War II.
- Mary warned that Russia will spread errors throughout the world causing wars and persecutions of the Church until it is consecrated to Her Immaculate Heart. Mary also foretold that Holy Father will consecrate Russia to Her, that Russia will be converted and a period of peace will be granted to the world. Communist revolution took place in Russia the same year as Fatima Apparitions. The revolution put communists in power for the next 74 years and made Russia (and later Soviet Union) the main exporter of Marxist and Communist ideas throughout the world. Nearly 100 million people were killed in Soviet Union and other countries under Marxist/Communist rule (or wars caused by them) with members of the Church being among the top targets of the Marxist/Communist regimes. Just as Mary foretold, Pope John Paul II consecrated Russia to Her Immaculate Heart on 1984. A year later Gorbachev became a new leader of Soviet Union. He started reforms that led to peaceful collapse of communist regimes in Eastern Europe a few years later and peaceful dissolution of Soviet Union on 1991. Since the collapse of Soviet Union, more churches and monasteries have been built or reopened in Russia than in any other country of the world. If you go to Christianity’s holiest places in Israel today, you will notice that the most common language spoken among the pilgrims there is Russian. So Russia was converted and another prophesy of Fatima fulfilled.
- By showing the vision of hell to the children Mary reminds us that hell exists. And hell is not empty but filled with the souls of sinners. Through her apparition Mary teaches us that sin has two consequences on people: it brings souls to hell after death and causes wars (or hell on earth) for those still living here.
- After showing the consequences of sin, Mary tells the children that sin can be defeated by the prayer of the Rosary and by the devotion to Her Immaculate Heart (with Rosary being a key part of this devotion along with Confession and Communion of Reparation). Mary encourages the children to pray the Rosary daily because this prayer can end wars, bring peace and convert sinners. Mary even expands the prayer of the Rosary during this apparition: she asks to add a short prayer after each decade of the Rosary with request for forgiveness of sins, protection from hell and conversion of sinners.