Words from Heaven to us - Our Lady of Fatima in 1917
The children saw what they thought was a flash of lightning streak across the sky. They were sure it meant that rain was coming. But it was followed by complete silence. No wind, not even a breeze broke the calm and quiet of the moment. They were confused. There were no clouds in the sky. But it must have been lightning. They had better get the flock to safety. Another burst of light flew by them. They couldn’t move.
Then, gently, quietly, what seemed like a bubble of light rested on top of the holmoak tree in front of them, and Mary was there. The most powerful message Mary had ever given the world was beginning. Years later, Lucia described the scene,
“It was a lady, clothed in white, brighter than the sun, radiating a light more clear and intense than a crystal cup filled with sparkling water, lit by burning sunlight.”
To anyone analyzing the visits of Our Lady to earth, it becomes immediately obvious that she had an urgency this time that we’ve never seen before. On that first day, she gave these little children, who could not possibly understand, HER KEYNOTE MESSAGE OF FATIMA. Everything she wanted to communicate to the people on earth was touched on in that first apparition.
Mary opened the conversation. “Do not be afraid. I will not harm you.”
Lucia asked her “Where do you come from?”
Our Lady answered “I come from Heaven”. Then she pointed to the blue skies above.
Lucia asked her “What to do you want of me?”
The Lady responded “I have come to ask you to come here for six months on the 13th day of each month, at this same hour. Later I shall tell you who I am and what I want. And I shall return here yet a seventh time.”
Lucia asked “Will I go to Heaven?”
Mary smiled at her and answered “Yes, you will.”
“She will go too.”
“Francisco too, but he will have to say many Rosaries first.”
Lucia then asked about two girls who had died recently in her village. One was in heaven, and the other in Purgatory, Our Lady told her.
Mary got back to the point of her visit quickly. “Will you offer yourselves to God, and bear all the sufferings which He sends you, in reparation for the sins which offend Him, and in supplication for the conversion of sinners?”
Lucia answered “Yes, we will.”
Our Lady continued “Then you will have much to suffer, but the grace of God will be your strength.”
Lucia described what happened next.
“As she pronounced these words, she opened her hands and bathed us in a very intense light; it was like a reflection coming from her hands, which penetrated our hearts to the depths of our souls, so that we saw ourselves in God, who was this light, more clearly than in a mirror. Then by an impulse which came from our hearts, we fell on our knees in unison, and repeated inwardly: “O Holy Trinity, I adore You. My God, My God, I love You in the Blessed Sacrament.”
Then Mary said, “Say the Rosary every day, to bring peace to the world and the end of the war.”
Enough! Our Lady wanted to tell them all that she would share with them over the next six months, but knew that she had better stop now. After all, this trio consisted of a 10 year old, an 8 year old, and a 7 year old. How much could their little minds absorb?
The Lady from Heaven slowly ascended. The bubble of light enveloped her; she moved slowly to the east, back to from where she had come, and finally out of sight. The children watched until there was not a sign of her left in the sky.
On their way back to their homes, they made a pact that they would tell no one about what they had seen. There was no way that this would happen, however. They were so filled with joy, they were about to burst. Lucia was able to maintain the discipline they had vowed to keep. Francisco went off by himself to try to sort out what had happened. Keep in mind that on this first apparition, he did not see the Lady. He saw the light, and knew that something important was happening. On the way home, he heard Lucia and Jacinta talking about the most beautiful lady, but he had not seen anything.
Jacinta, for her part, might just as well not have made any promise. First off, she looked for her mother, who had not as yet returned home. Determined to tell her as soon as she saw her, Jacinta waited outside the house for her parents to come home. Spotting her mother in the distance, she ran to her, and told her all that had happened. This was the beginning of the childrens’ suffering.
Mary had told the children many things that first day. When she told them she was from Heaven, they automatically assumed she was the Blessed Mother. She asked them to come to the Cova da Iria for the next six months.
She asked them to bear the sufferings the Lord would send them.This has become almost a tradition in our Faith Belief. Does this sound familiar? Our Dear Lord Jesus suffered and died for the sins of man. Throughout our Church History, we learn about the suffering servants of Christ. St. Paul tells us “I bear the wounds of Christ.” Bernadette Soubirous, Francis of Assisi, Rita of Cascia, Catherine of Siena, Teresa of Avila, Therese of Lisieux, most recently in our time, Padre Pio, plus many many others have been given the gift of suffering for the sins of men. Were these children being asked to suffer as a means of turning men back to God?
Redemption is through the Cross. “Take up your cross and follow Me.” Our Lady knew that if these children were to accept the gift of her physical presence, they would experience suffering. She asked them up front to accept the inevitable.
“The Grace of God will be your strength.” Again, we go to St. Paul, who tells us that the grace of God was enough to handle the sufferings he was given. We are given strength not only by not sinning, which is a negative, but by doing something, receiving the Sacraments. We need that nourishment, that grace that comes from reception of the Sacraments.
“My God, My God, I love You in the Blessed Sacrament.” That tells it all. How can we really know God? While it’s true that He exists in all His creation, in the trees, and the fields, and the wind, and most especially in His inspired Word, what can be more powerful than in His Body and Blood, the Blessed Sacrament?
The last important thing she told them that first day was PRAY THE ROSARY EVERY DAY, TO BRING PEACE TO THE WORLD” In Medjugorje, Our Lady tells us to say 15 decades of the Rosary every day. In 1986, in the Phillipine Islands, during the revolution against Marcos, the people walked through the streets with the Rosary in their hands, to fight off the tanks, and they were victorious. What weapon do you and I, the little people have, against the satanic forces of war mongers, armed with nuclear weapons? PRAYER!! We have nothing else, and there is nothing stronger than the power of prayer. Mary was trying to tell us that through these children in 1917.
From May 13 to June 13, speculation about what might be happening at the Cova da Iria spread among the people of the village. It really never went very far beyond Fatima. But in a close knit community like Aljustrel, all the emotions of the entire world could be found, and were indeed manifested towards the children and their families. Anger, envy, jealousy, and disbelief spit its poison out on one hand; love, happiness, great hope and joy poured outon the other. Unfortunately, the anger, envy, jealousy and disbelief, far outweighed the love, happiness, hope and joy. The children became immediately aware on a small scale what the suffering Our Lady spoke of might be like. Both families were split as to who believed and who thought the children were lying or fantasizing. Snide comments from neighbors, like “The mothers and fathers can’t take care of their own children.” and “If they were my children, I’d know how to stop them from spreading these lies.”
June 13 was the Feast of St. Anthony. Most of the world honors this great Franciscan saint as St. Anthony of Padua, Italy, and while St. Francis is the Patron Saint of the country, St. Anthony is by far the most popular saint in Italy. In Portugal, however, it’s a different story. He is a NATIVE SON of the Portugese, and is called St. Anthony of Lisbon, which is where he was born and raised. So for the people of Portugal to go all out for this most famous saint is justified. They even try to outdo the Italians on this day.
For the people of the combined villages of Fatima, the feast day was an occasion for dancing, singing, a special Mass, and games. It was a community event which no one ever missed. However, the Lady told the three children to come out to the Cova da Iria on June 13th. Their parents were sure the prospect of the Feast would dim their zeal for going to the Cova. They could not have been more mistaken. The children were up at the crack of dawn to go to the Cova.
It was an even more difficult decision for Lucia to make. June 13 was the day that her First Holy Communion Class was having a reunion in Fatima. She wanted to go there badly, and indeed, did go. But instead of becoming preoccupied with the reunion, all her classmates asked if they could join her at the Cova da Iria at the time of the Apparition. So they all went together.
There were about 50 people at the Cova da Iria that day. When the time came and Mary appeared to the children, it felt to them like their entire existence from May to June was just in anticipation of this time. She was so warm and loving. The conversation that we’re aware of, was very similar to that of May 13th.
MARY -”I want you to come here on the 13th of next month. Say the Rosary every day, and after each mystery, pray O MY JESUS, FORGIVE US AND DELIVER US FROM THE FIRE OF HELL; TAKE ALL SOULS TO HEAVEN, ESPECIALLY THOSE WHO ARE IN MOST NEED.”
Lucia asked for the cure of a sick person who had asked for Our Lady’s intercession. Mary responded that if the sick person were to convert, she would be cured within a year.
LUCIA -”Will you take us to Heaven?”
MARY - “Yes, I shall take Jacinta and Francisco before very long, but you will stay a little longer. Jesus wishes to use you to make me known and loved. He wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart.”
LUCIA - “Must I stay here alone?”
MARY - “No, my child. Do not be sad because of this. You will never be alone. My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way which will lead you to God.”
In this apparition, Our Lady opened her hands and enclosed the children into the light that surrounded her. Lucia said that Jacinta and Francisco were in the light that was of Heaven, and she was in that which was poured into the earth.
Bystanders, including Ti Marto, the father of Jacinta and Francisco, testified that they heard what sounded like a rocket off in the distance at the time the Apparition was over. They could see a little cloud a few inches from the tree; it rose very slowly and went off towards the east. Senor Marto also said he could hear a buzzing sound during the apparition, like a bee.
The 30 day period between June and July brought the Apparitions from the level of a local phenomenon to a national curiosity. It was also the time the children learned the meaning of the Scripture Passage of Jesus “NO PROPHET IS ACCEPTED IN HIS OWN HOME TOWN. Anyone who has ever accomplished anything, gained any degree of acceptance in the national or world community is just about shunned by his own. Close friends become very distant, almost strangers. The easiest way to become invisible to those you love in your hometown, is to gain recognition outside the community. You just about don’t exist any more. It’s not easy for anyone to accept, but we believe it must be easier for an adult to understand, than for children. It must have been devastating for these beautiful young people to experience.
By and large, the people of Fatima scorned the children and were ashamed of what was happening. Lucia, Jacinta and Francisco became the brunt of very cruel jokes. Adults, whom they had looked up to, yelled at them, and cursed them. The locals were annoyed with the visitors from all over Portugal, who were descending on their quiet village, and creating such a commotion over these “little brats”.
Lucia went through a particularly bad time. Her Parish Priest had a meeting with her. He all but convinced her that it was not Our Lady from Heaven who was visiting her, but the devil. For a ten year old, whatever a Parish Priest said was akin to Gospel Truth. This little girl didn’t have the inner strength of Bernadette at this time in her life; but keep in mind that Bernadette was older than Lucia at the time of the Apparitions in Lourdes. Also, these little ones were being given a series of the most serious messages Our Lady had ever given the world; therefore, it was understandable that the attacks would be greater.
As the time for the July 13 meeting approached, Lucia had decided not to go back to the Cova da Iria. She was convinced she was being assaulted by the devil himself in the form of this beautiful lady. The other two couldn’t understand Lucia’s logic. For them it was impossible that it was anyone other than the Queen of Heaven. So much good was going on at the Cova. It was a contradiction of what satan would have wanted. But they couldn’t budge Lucia. Brave little Jacinta said that if Lucy didn’t go, she would speak to the Lady, though she was frightened out of her mind.
On the day of the Apparition, Lucia hid out from everyone. She was determined to stay away. But she didn’t stand a chance against Mary. We’re told that Lucia had an irresistible urge to go to the Cova that morning. She couldn’t control herself. She knew she had to go!
This time there were about 2,000 people at the Cova da Iria. The word had spread all over Spain and Portugal. While many were praying near the holmoak tree, others just wandered around, curiously trying to see what was going on. However, once the children arrived, order was maintained immediately without anyone having to be a policeman.
The messages given to the children at this meeting, were the heaviest to share with such little people. We have to believe that at this time, Lucia, who was to bear the burden of telling the secrets to the world at the proper time, did not understand the real meaning of what the Lady was saying to her. These were powerful messages.
Mary spent a lot of time with Lucia at that meeting, before she gave her any messages. She had to convince the child that she was from Heaven. She had to soothe her and comfort her because of all the pain Lucia had suffered, the hell she had gone through from June to July. Mary knew that this was just the tip of the iceberg, the beginning of years of suffering the child had to look forward to. But this was the first real attack. Lucia needed the reassurance and attention, the love and support from this most Splendid Lady.
After Lucia was confident that she was being honored by the Queen of Heaven, the conversation assumed an almost ceremonial form. Lucia asked Our Lady what she wanted from her. The Lady repeated her request that the children return on the 13th of the following month, and say the Rosary daily. The only difference this time was “Continue to say 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, because only she can obtain it....”
LUCIA - “I would like to ask you who you are and if you will do a miracle so that everyone will believe that you appeared to us.”
MARY - “Come here every month and in October, I will perform a Miracle so that everyone can believe.”
Then Lucia asked for cures and healings for the many people who had asked for favors over the month. The list was getting very long. Mary smiled, and said that some would be healed, and others would not. She made a very important condition, however. “All would have to say the Rosary as a general condition for the reception of grace.”
Then the great Secret was revealed to the children, of which two parts have been revealed to the world, and the third part is in the hands of the Pope. It was supposed to be revealed to us in 1960, but all the Popes in power from 1960, John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I and John Paul II have decided not to share it with us, at least not yet.
First, she said to Lucia, “Make sacrifices for sinners, and say often, especially when you make a sacrifice,
O JESUS, THIS IS FOR LOVE OF THEE, FOR THE CONVERSION OF SINNERS AND IN REPARATION FOR SINS AGAINST THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY”.
After this, Mary opened her hands and pointed down to the earth. The brilliant light opened the earth, burrowing deep into the bowels of the Underworld. The children were given a vision of Hell. They spoke about a sea of fire, filled with devils and the souls of people, black or bronzed, burning fiercely, ghastly screams of indescribable pain coming out of them, being carried down a river of fire, like molten lava, embers flying off their charred bodies. The demons could be distinguished from the people in that they looked like ghoulish, deformed animals. The grotesque vision would have bristled the hair on the necks of the strongest adults. These innocent little children were petrified.
Mary spoke to Lucia. “You have seen Hell where the souls of sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If you do what I tell you, many souls will be saved and there will be peace. The war will end, but if men do not cease to offend God, another worse one will begin.”
The following is part of what Our Lady told Lucia, but it was not revealed until the time of the Second World War.
WHEN YOU SEE A LIGHT LIT BY A STRANGE UNKNOWN LIGHT, YOU WILL KNOW THAT IT IS THE SIGN THAT GOD GIVES YOU THAT HE IS GOING TO PUNISH THE WORLD FOR ITS CRIMES BY MEANS OF WAR, HUNGER AND THE PERSECUTION OF THE CHURCH AND THE HOLY FATHER. TO PREVENT IT, I SHALL COME TO ASK FOR THE CONSECRATION OF RUSSIA TO MY IMMACULATE HEART AND THE REPARATORY COMMUNION OF THE FIRST SATURDAYS.
IF MY DESIRES ARE FULFILLED, 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 AND THE HOLY FATHER WILL HAVE MUCH TO SUFFER, VARIOUS NATIONS WILL BE ANNIHILATED.
BUT IN THE END, MY IMMACULATE HEART WILL TRIUMPH!
THE HOLY FATHER WILL CONSECRATE RUSSIA TO ME AND SHE WILL BE CONVERTED AND THE WORLD WILL ENJOY A PERIOD OF PEACE. IN PORTUGAL, THE DOGMA OF FAITH WILL ALWAYS BE CONSERVED. YOU MUST NOT TELL THIS TO ANYONE EXCEPT FRANCISCO.”
LUCIA - Do you want anything more?
MARY - No, today there is nothing more.
The people heard a clap of thunder, followed by a rumbling vibration, like an earthquake. The little cloud moved eastward again, and the apparition was over.
It appears that on each successive visit from Our Lady to the children, she was preparing them more and more for this, the most important message that could be given them. Could you picture any adult giving this kind of information to three children, completely uneducated, the oldest of whom was 10 years old? Obviously, Mary had great faith in the power of Our Lord Jesus to open their minds, so that His work could be accomplished through them.
If we’ve ever had a complaint with Mary, other than that she chooses the most remote places to visit us, it’s that she has always given us a way out of praying. If only she had left out But in the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me and she will be converted and the world will enjoy a period of peace.
This apparition, the third from Mary to Lucia, Jacinta and Francisco, is really the climax of her visit to Fatima. On August 13, the children were kidnapped by the Mayor of the town, in an effort to show his superiors that he was doing something about “this farce in Fatima, which has gotten completely out of hand.” It was a stupid attempt on his part. The crowd at the Cova da Iria heard about it, and marched en masse on his office. It could have been a very ugly incident; however, the Lady, she who was in charge of all that would happen, came to the aid of the mayor, and he survived the incident unscathed.
She then came to the children 6 days later at Valinhos, a short distance from their homes, very close to the Loca da Cabeco. On this visit, she reiterated that in October, she would perform a miracle that everyone could witness. Possibly the most important aspect of this visit was that her mantle left her fragrance on the branch of a tree, above which she stood. Lucia cut the branch off, and let her mother smell it. The Heavenly aroma melted the mother’s heart; finally, she became a supporter of Lucia and the children.
The crowds grew larger from one apparition to the next. By the 13th of September, 25,000 people were gathered at the Cova da Iria. Unquestionably, there was a mix between believers and curiosity seekers, but the fervor of the faithful, the manner in which they behaved, the prayers and reverence to Our Lady before, during and after the apparition, was a beautiful tribute to the Heavenly Visitor.
The ritual that Lucia and Mary had developed was the same this day.
LUCIA - “What do you want?”
MARY - “Continue to say the Rosary every day for the end of the war.”
Then Our Lady repeated all that she had said in August, that they were to come on the 13th of October, when they would see St. Joseph and the Holy Child, Our Lord Himself and the likeness of Our Lady of Dolors and Our Lady of Mount Carmel. She also said, “God is content with your sacrifices, but does not want you to continue to sleep with the rope. Wear it only during the day.”
LUCIA - “I have many petitions. Will you cure a little deaf and dumb girl?”
MARY - “She will improve during the year.”
LUCIA - “And the conversions and the cures?”
MARY - “Some will be cured; others will not. Our Lord does not trust them all.”
Our Lady shared with Lucia that the obstacle to miracles occurring for some would be the lack of faith and prayer on their parts. For others, Mary said a healing might jeopardize their souls; sickness would be better for them than a cure.
LUCIA - “The people want to build a chapel here.”
MARY - “Use half the money which you have received up to the present for Pedestals (Columns), and place on one of them the statue of Our Lady of the Rosary. The other half of the money may be used to build a chapel.”
LUCIA - “Many people say that I am deceiving people and that I should be hanged or burned. Will you do a miracle so that they may believe?”
MARY - “Yes, in October I will perform a Miracle.”
Then Our Lady disappeared. There is a beautiful eyewitness account written by a priest, some 15 years after this day. He had been to the Cova da Iria on the 13th of September, 1917. His name is Monsignor John Quaresma.
“AT MIDDAY, THERE WAS COMPLETE SILENCE. ONE ONLY HEARD THE MURMUR OF PRAYERS. SUDDENLY THERE WERE SOUNDS OF JUBILATION AND VOICES PRAISING THE BLESSED VIRGIN. ARMS WERE RAISED POINTING TO SOMETHING IN THE SKY. ‘LOOK, DON’T YOU SEE? ‘YES, ;YES, I DO...’ I TOO RAISED MY EYES AND SCRUTINIZED IT IN CASE I SHOULD BE ABLE TO DISTINGUISH WHAT THE OTHERS, MORE FORTUNATE THAN I, HAD ALREADY CLAIMED TO HAVE SEEN...WITH GREAT ASTONISHMENT I SAW, CLEARLY AND DISTINCTLY, A LUMINOUS GLOBE, WHICH MOVED FROM THE EAST TO THE WEST, GLIDING SLOWLY AND MAJESTICALLY THROUGH SPACE. MY FRIEND, (A PRIEST), ALSO LOOKED AND HAD THE GOOD FORTUNE TO ENJOY THE SAME UNEXPECTED AND DELIGHTFUL VISION. SUDDENLY THE GLOBE, WITH ITS EXTRAORDINARY LIGHT, DISAPPEARED.
‘WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE GLOBE?’ I ASKED MY FRIEND, WHO SEEMED ENTHUSIASTIC AT WHAT HE HAD SEEN. ‘THAT IT WAS OUR LADY’, HE REPLIED WITHOUT HESITATION.”
October 12 was a night filled with rage. We can picture in our mind’s eye, the powers of Heaven and hell, battling violently for possession of the earth and its inhabitants. Satan had his way with the weather. He created a vicious storm over the entire continent of Europe. He didn’t want to take chances that anyone would come to Fatima on that fateful day. God, for His part, filled His children with such a burning desire to witness the promised Miracle, that nothing could stop them. They were willing to die for the privilege of whatever the Mother Of God had in store for them.
There were reports that the villages in the surrounding area, indeed as far as a hundred miles away, were deserted. All the inhabitants had left to go to the little Cova da Iria in Fatima. The roads, which Lucifer had turned to mud, were filled with peasants, some walking, others trying to ride bicycles, a favored few with horses, automobiles and motorcycles. Torrents of rain pelleted the pilgrims. Everyone who came had to sleep out in the open, because there were no facilities in this little farming village. They tried as best they could to protect themselves from the satanic attack of weather. They were committed. Their eyes looked straight ahead to their final destination. Their mouths uttered silent prayers of the Rosary, their Rosary Beads slowly cascading from their soaked fingers.
The estimate is that anywhere between 70,000 and 100,000 people came to Fatima that day. There was a great contrast in attitude between the Pilgrims to the shrine and the local people of Aljustrel, in particular Lucia’s mother, who didn’t share the faith of the thousands that Our Lady would keep her promise. She wasn’t even that sure that the Lady had ever come. She was sure that she and her family, Lucia in particular, and her niece and nephew, Jacinta and Francisco, would all be killed when the Miracle did not take place. However, something told her to be with her child, so she went to the Cova da Iria that day, confident that it would be her last.
Considering the enourmous amount of humanity at the cramped, little area of the Cova, the behavior was outstanding. For the most part, there was peace and tranquility about everyone who came. They didn’t speak to each other very much. They mostly prayed. These were the serious pilgrims. They had a reason to be there. They had struggled and sacrificed to come. They were not about to let anything interfere with their goal. In addition, there were indeed the non-believers, the doubting Thomases; we are certain that deep down in their souls, they desperately wanted to believe. They just had to be shown. Why not? Aren’t we all that way? Don’t we all need the sign and symbol?
There were newspaper reporters from all over Portugal. They were here to see the children fall flat on their faces. They wanted to be able to write about the hoax of Fatima firsthand. They believed that would be the greatest news story of all. What they were given was a much greater story, one that would continue to be told for the next 70 years, and then some.
With all of the above, it becomes increasingly clear why this was such an important day, and why the battle raged between the powers of light and darkness to have their way. This was an opportunity for great conversion. It was also a tool for Lucifer to cause Our Lady and the Church to suffer a crushing defeat. Because of this, Satan used every trick he had at his disposal. Rumor has it that there was not one demon left in hell that cold, rainy October day. They were all in Fatima, trying to turn the tide, and create disaster. Rumor also has it that every guardian Angel in Heaven was working a double shift that day, with St. Michael in charge, moving at lightning speed from place to place, and person to person, to foil every attempt of his deadly enemy, Satan, to ruin the day.
Lucifer’s wicked weapon of weather continued on, pounding the entire assemblage with great torrents of rain, right up to the last minute. There is also a story of a man believed to be a priest, who had stationed himself near the place of the Apparitions the night before. When the children arrived at the appointed time, the man kept looking at his watch. He asked Lucia what time Our Lady would come.
She answered “At Midday.”
He replied, “It’s past noon now. Our Lady would not tell an untruth.”
He then tried to push the children out of the place, telling them to go home, that the charade was over. At that instant, Lucia pointed to the east, and exclaimed: “LOOK, SHE’S COMING NOW!” The man disappeared, and was never seen again.
Everybody went down on their knees. The now familiar flash of lightning streaked through the sky. The little cloud moved slowly towards the holmoak tree. She was here!
The Lady spoke first to Lucia, telling her to continue saying the Rosary every day for the end of the war, and to have a chapel built in this place. But she was really here this time for the people. This was her greatest opportunity.
At a given point, Our Lady raised her hand in the direction of the sun. The brilliant light emanating from her hand shot up into the sky. As if the clouds were the curtains of a great stage, they parted, revealing the brilliant sun. Lucia shouted “LOOK AT THE SUN” It turned from a blinding gold to a dull silver. It began to dance in the sky. It twirled uncertainly on its axis. Then it began to descend on the people. It grew bigger and bigger as it came down on them. Streaks of varied colors shot out like sparks from a wheel, covering the people, causing changes of color on their faces and clothes. Reds, yellows, blues, greens hurled down onto the little Cova. “IT’S THE END OF THE WORLD” “FORGIVE ME MY SINS”. There were reports of open confessions, shouted at the top of the lungs of the sinners. They thought the Lord was taking His final vengeance on them.
And then it stopped. A command was given from Heaven; the sun moved slowly back, up into the sky. It returned to its proper place in the atmosphere, and at once turned from dull to brilliant. The pilgrims could not look directly into it again. A great hush took place on earth. The 70,000 were stunned. They had been saved, but they weren’t quite certain about it yet. Then they began to look around them. Their clothes, soaking wet moments before, were completely dry. The mud which had caked on them, was gone. They were clean. Then from various parts of the assemblage, voices rang out, “I CAN WALK!!” “I CAN SEE!” The blind opened their eyes; the lame threw down their crutches. Others went down on their knees in tears of reconciliation. Mass miracles, cures and conversions took place in a period of minutes.
The children didn’t actually take part in this miracle. They were being given special gifts from Our Lady. They saw St. Joseph with the Child Jesus, Our Lady of the Dolors, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel with the Scapular hanging from her hands, and Our Dear Lord Jesus blessing the people at the Cova da Iria. The children were saved. Our Lady, as usual, had kept her promise, and more. The number of conversions due to this miracle, called THE MIRACLE OF THE SUN’, is beyond comprehension.
Lucia looked around her, noticing for the first time all that was happening at the Cova. She could hear the sobs of joy, the shouts of thanksgiving from those cured of illnesses and deformities. She turned quickly towards Our Lady, who was beginning to fade away. Their eyes met that one last time. A sweet smile broke out on the face of the Lady. Lucia began to cry. Without saying a word, just by looking at Lucia, Mary told her it was not over for them. In that final exchange of glances, their bond was sealed. They would see each other again. Then she left. The little cloud slowly moved back toward its final destination. Lucia watched every movement of the cloud, hoping Mary would come back again, though she knew she would not. A single tear ran down her face. Then she smiled. She knew.
The finale of this great series of Heavenly apparitions by the Queen of Heaven, under the title of the Queen of the Rosary, catapulted into motion, a movement which, though slow in beginning, has emcompassed the entire world. The message of the children of Fatima, the pleas of Our Lady, and the promises of Fatima have been repeated to and embraced by everyone she has touched. A new generation of believers, people like us who were not born when Our Lady gave us this gift, have become completely enthralled by the power of Jesus and the love of Mary, as revealed to us at Fatima.