Fatima Apparitions. Part 3: Our Lady’s Apparition On June 13, 1917
After the apparition of May 13, 1917, Jacinta, Francisco and Lucia agreed to not tell anybody about what they had witnessed on that day. However that same evening the secret was revealed – Jacinta told her mother about the apparition who later told other family members about it. When Jacinta’s father asked Francisco to confirm or deny what Jacinta was saying, Francisco confirmed that Jacinta was telling the truth (Francisco did not want to lie to his father).
The next day Lucia’s parents and other neighbors learned about the apparition. Most people did not believe that the apparition really had happened and kept accusing Jacinta, Francisco and Lucia of lies which caused a lot of suffering for the children, especially for Lucia, whose mother was constantly pressing her to admit that she was lying.
However there were also people who believed the children or at least were open to the possibility that they were telling the truth. On June 13, 1917 they (around 50-70 people) came with the three children to Cova da Iria to witness the second apparition of Our Lady.
Only Jacinta, Francisco and Lucia saw Our Lady on that day. But here is what other people during the apparition were able to see and hear (Maria Carreira’s testimony): “we started to hear something that sounded like a very gentle voice, but we could not understand what was being said; it sounded like bees humming (…) As soon as dialogue was over, Lucia exclaimed: “Look! Do you want to see her? There she goes, there she goes!” (…) we saw nothing: just a small cloud, a leaf from the branch rising slowly, moving toward the east until it disappeared completely.” (The Shepherds Of Fatima. Silva, Manuel Fernando Sousa. 1st English edition. Pauline Books and Media. 2008. P. 87-88).
And here is how Lucia described the apparition of June 13, 1917: “we saw once more the flash reflecting the light which was approaching (which we called lightning). The next moment, Our Lady was there on the holm oak, exactly the same as in May.
“What do you want of me?” I asked.
“I wish you to come here on the 13th of the next month, to pray the Rosary every day, and to learn to read. Later, I will tell you what I want.”
I asked for the cure of a sick person.
“If he is converted, he will be cured during the year.”
“I would like to ask you to take us to Heaven.”
“Yes. I will take Jacinta and Francisco soon. But you are to stay here some time longer. Jesus wishes to make use of you to make me known and loved. He wants to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart.”
“Am I to stay here alone?” I asked, sadly.
“No, my daughter. Are you suffering a great deal? Don’t lose heart. I will never forsake you. My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God.”
As Our Lady spoke these last words, she opened her hands and for the second time, she communicated to us the rays of that same immense light. We saw ourselves in this light, as it were, immersed in God. Jacinta and Francisco seemed to be in that part of the light which rose towards Heaven, and I in that which was poured out on the earth. In front of the palm of Our Lady’s right hand was a heart encircled by thorns which pierced it. We understood that this was the Immaculate Heart of Mary, outraged by the sins of humanity, and seeking reparation.” (Fatima In Lucia’s Words. Sister Lucia’s Memoirs. Published by Fundacao Francisco E Jacinta Marto. 19th Edition, May 2014. P. 176-177.)
Mary’s apparition on June 13, 1917 could be considered as an extension of her apparition on May 13, 1917. Although the message in June for the most part was focused on the same topics as in May, it also offered a deeper understanding of some of them:
- Just like in May, Mary’s message was focused on the life after death (confirming that Jacinta and Francisco will go to heaven soon), prayer (asked again to pray the Rosary every day) and sin.
- June’s apparition revealed two new consequences of our sins: (a) they are causing suffering not only to God (as it was revealed in May) but also to Mary’s Immaculate Heart and (b) sins not only prevent us from going to heaven after death (as revealed in May) but also prevent us from receiving God’s graces here on earth (Mary said that a certain person will be healed only if he converts).
- Mary also revealed to Lucia that she was called to spread the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary which Lucia later did mostly through her writings (that is why Mary also asked Lucia to learn to read during this apparition). Lucia appears to be frightened by God’s call to make Mary “known and loved” especially with Jacinta and Francisco going to heaven and leaving her soon. Mary immediately shows her motherly understanding of Lucia’s concerns, tells Lucia that she will always be with her and offers her Immaculate Heart as a refuge.