Our Lady of Fatima
by Diane-Lynn Broda
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Dear Blessed Mother,
I can't understand that there still can be disbelievers after You have appeared many times during the last 2,000 years.
Let me relate the story of Fatima:
Our Lady appeared to three children in Fatima, Portugal, in 1917. Prior to her appearance, an Angel appeared to Lucy dos Santos and her cousins, Francisco and Jacinta Marto in the spring of 1916.
The Angel said, "Fear not. I am the Angel of Peace. Pray with me ... O my God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love You. I ask pardon for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope and do not love You."
In the summer, the Angel came again and said, "Pray! Pray a great deal. The Hearts of Jesus and Mary have merciful designs on you. Offer prayers and sacrifices continually to the Most High. Make everything you do a sacrifice, and offer it as an act of reparation for the sins by which God is offended, and as a petition for the conversion of sinners. Bring peace to our country in this way ... I am the Guardian Angel of Portugal. Accept and bear with submission all the sufferings the Lord will send you."
The Angel appeared again in the fall of 1916. He held a golden Chalice in one hand and a Host above it in the Other. Drops of blood were falling from the Host into the Chalice. The Angel left both suspended in mid-air and knelt on the ground and said the following prayer:
"Most Holy Trinity -- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit -- I adore You profoundly. I offer You 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 indifferences whereby He is offended. And through the infinite merits of His Most Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of You the conversion of poor sinners."
On Sunday, May 13, 1917, a lovely lady appeared to the children standing atop a tree. She wore a long white dress, and the mantle over her head and shoulders reaching to her feet was edged in burnished gold. She held an exquisite rosary of white pearls. Lucy described her as a "Lady more brilliant than the sun."
The lovely lady told the children, "I come from Heaven. I want you to come here at this same hour on the 13th of each month until October. Then I will tell you who I am and what I want." She also told them to say the Rosary every day, and to bear all the sufferings God would send them.
In June, Our Lady appeared again. There were about 70 people present. Only the childen could see the Vision. She told the children that many souls go to hell because they have no one to pray and make sacrifices for them. She said Francisco and Jacinta would soon leave the world for Heaven. She held out her heart surrounded by thorns which pierced it. Our Lady told Lucy, "God wishes you to remain in the world for some time because He wants to use you to establish in the world the devotion to my Immaculate Heart. I promise salvation to those who embrace it, and their souls will be loved by God as flowers placed by myself to adorn His Throne."
During her appearance in July, Our Lady promised that in October she would work a great public miracle so that all might believe and know who she was.
By this time, all Portugal was interested in the events taking place at Fatima. Many reporters and photographers were on hand to report on the events.
For the October 13th apparition, people came from all parts of the land. Many walked for miles. It rained the night of the 12th and the morning of the 13th. More than 70,000 people had crowded into the area. They stood in mud up to their ankles.
Our Lady arrived for her final appearance to the children. She said to them:
"I am the Lady of the Rosary. I have come to warn the faithful to amend their lives and to ask pardon for their sins. They must not offend Our Lord any more, for He is already too grievously offended by the sins of men. People must say the Rosary. Let them continue saying it every day."
As the Lady was about to leave, she pointed to the sun. Lucy repeated the gesture and the people looked into the sky. The rain had stopped, and the sun shone forth, but not in its usual brilliance. Instead, it appeared like a silver disc, pale as the moon, at which all could look without straining their eyes. Suddenly, impelled by some mysterious force, the disc began to whirl in the sky, casting off great rays of multi-colored light. Red, green, blue, yellow, violet, the enormous rays shot across the sky at all angles, lighting up the entire countryside for many miles around.
After three minutes, the wonder stopped but was resumed again a second and a third time -- three times in all, in about 12 minutes. It seemed that the whole world was on fire, with the sun spinning at a great speed each time.
Then the sun seemed to tear itself from the Heavens and come crashing down upon the spellbound crowd. Just when it seemed that the ball of fire would fall upon and destroy them, the miracles ceased and the sun resumed its normal place in the sky.
The crowd was astonished. Their clothes, which had been soaking wet and muddy, now were clean and dry. Many of the sick and crippled had been cured of their illnesses.
The newspaper reporters gave detailed stories of what had taken place, while the newspapers published many photographs of the enormous crowds and the children. Although these were released to the entire earth, few people outside Portugal paid any attention to them, and newspapers in most other countries ignored the story completely.
In humble Faith, Hope, and Charity,
Elizabeth, Roselle, New Jersey (USA)
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