Fatima Apparitions. Part 2: Our Lady’s Apparition On May 13, 1917
April 18, 2018
Less than a year passed after the apparitions of the Angel of Portugal when on a sunny day of May 13, 1917 Jacinta, Francisco and Lucia were tending their sheep and playing in a place called Cova da Iria (Cove of Peace), about 2 miles away from their homes. Suddenly, they saw a flash of lightning and immediately decided to go home to avoid the upcoming thunderstorm. As soon as they started their journey home, there was another flash of lightning and then, on a small holm oak tree they saw, in Lucia’s words,
“a Lady all dressed in white. She was more brilliant than the sun, and radiated a light more clear and intense than a crystal glass filled with sparkling water, when the rays of the burning sun shine through it”. (Fatima In Lucia’s Words. Sister Lucia’s Memoirs. Published by Fundacao Francisco E Jacinta Marto. 19th Edition, May 2014. P. 174.)
All three children were able to see Our Lady. However Lucia was the only one who had a conversation with her. Jacinta was able to hear that conversation but did not say anything, and Francisco was not able to hear what Our Lady was saying.
Here is how Lucia described her conversation with Mary: “Our Lady spoke to us:
“Do not be afraid. I will do you no harm.”
“Where are you from?”
“I am from Heaven.”
“What do you 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”
“She will go also.”
“He will go there too, but he must say many Rosaries.”
Then I remembered to ask about two girls who had died recently. They were friends of mine and used to come to my home to learn weaving with my eldest sister.
“Is Maria das Neves in Heaven?”
“Yes, she is” (I think she was about 16 years old).
“She will be in purgatory until the end of the world” (It seems to me that she was between 19 and 20 years of age).
“Are you willing to offer yourselves to God and bear all the sufferings He wills to send you, as an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended, and of supplication for the conversion of sinners?”
“Yes, we are willing.”
“Then you are going to have much to suffer, but the grace of God will be your comfort.”
As she pronounced these last words “…the grace of God will be your comfort”, Our Lady opened her hands for the first time, communicating to us a light so intense that, as it streamed from her hands, its rays penetrated our hearts and the innermost depths of our souls, making us see ourselves in God, Who was that light, more clearly than we see ourselves in the best mirrors. Then, moved by an interior impulse that was also communicated to us, we fell on our knees, repeating in our hearts:
“O most holy Trinity, I adore You! My God, my God, I love You in the most Blessed Sacrament!”
After a few moments, Our Lady spoke again:
“Pray the Rosary every day, in order to obtain peace for the world, and the end of the war.”
Then she began to rise serenely, going up towards the east, until she disappeared in the immensity of space. The light that surrounded her seemed to open up a path before her in the firmament, and for this reason we sometimes said that we saw heaven opening.” (Fatima In Lucia’s Words. Sister Lucia’s Memoirs. Published by Fundacao Francisco E Jacinta Marto. 19th Edition, May 2014. P. 174-176.)
Although this apparition of Virgin Mary took place more than a hundred year ago, it has a few important lessons for today’s world (probably even more important today than a hundred years ago):
Mary’s entire message is about something that, unfortunately, a lot of Catholics (including even some priests and religious) today no longer think, pray or talk about: heaven, purgatory, daily prayer of the Rosary, our sinfulness that cause suffering to Christ, and the value of our own suffering. Mary’s message is an invitation to turn away from worldliness and focus more on the pursuit of holiness and the divine things instead.
In her conversation with Lucia, Mary reminds that not everybody is going to heaven after death (as it is so popular to believe today); purgatory and (as we will see in July’s apparition) hell are the other two and real options.
Mary tells us that our sins offend Christ and these offenses cause suffering to Him. Mary invites us to alleviate Christ’s suffering by offering our own sufferings to Him as reparation for the sins that cause Him to suffer.
Mary also tells us that our sufferings can be used as a form of prayer (or sacrifice) that helps to convert other sinners and thus bring great joy to God.
When asking to pray the Rosary every day, Mary mentions that this prayer can bring peace to the world and the end of the war. As we know, war and absence of peace are always caused by sin. Therefore when Mary says that daily prayer of the Rosary can bring peace and the end of the war, she is also saying that daily Rosary can bring holiness and the end of sinfulness to human heart.
Marius Z., the author of the Heaven-Bound Pilgrim is writing about travel to holy places in Israel, Italy, Poland, France, Lithuania, Spain, Portugal and other countries. He writes about how to travel to the holy places cheaply or even for free while using credit card rewards points, frequent flyer miles, and hotel rewards points. History and spiritual message of each holy place is presented along with the information on where to eat, shop and stay while on pilgrimage.