Our Lady of Fatima
“I come from Heaven,
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 anymore, for He
is already too grievously
offended by the sins of men.
People must say the Rosary.
If people do as I ask,
many souls will be converted
and there will be peace.”
–Our Lady of Fatima to the three Shepherd Children in 1917; Fatima, Portugal.
About Our Lady of Fatima
Our Lady of Fatima is the title given to the Blessed Virgin Mary when she appeared six different times to three young and unsuspecting shepherd children at Fatima, Portugal between May and October of 1917.
Lucia Santos and her cousins Jacinta and Francisco Marto were tending sheep when a flash of bright light caught their attention and settled above a tree. Within the light was a Lady dressed in all white with a rosary in her hand. She told them she was from Heaven and then asked the children to meet her at the same spot on the thirteenth of the next five consecutive months. She also asked them to pray the rosary daily for world peace.
On June 13th, Mary told them that Francisco and Jacinta would soon go to Heaven but that Lucia would remain on earth to promote devotion to her Immaculate Heart. Three statements that would later prove to be true (Francisco and Jacinta both died in 1919 and 1920, respectively, of the influenza epidemic that struck Europe). Mary also added a specific prayer, the “Fatima Prayer,” after each decade of the rosary: “O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, and lead all souls to Heaven, especially those in most need of Thy mercy.”
One month later, on July 13th, about 5,000 people gathered but only the three children could see Mary as she spread out her hands and gave them a terrifying vision of hell. She predicted another war and asked for the consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart. She then gave the children three secrets and asked that people receive Communion for the reparation of sinners on the first Saturday of each month for five consecutive months (called: “The First Five Saturdays”).
As word spread and people continued to gather, a government official jailed the children on August 13th, threatening to boil them alive in oil if they did not tell him the three secrets. But the children would have rather died for their faith and promise to Mother Mary. On August 19th, the fourth visit, Mary appeared to them in a different place. Then during the fifth apparition on September 13th, over 30,000 people witnessed a shower of white petals. On the sixth and final apparition on October 13th, after a heavy rain, 70,000 people witnessed what has now become known as the “Miracle of the sun.” According to a local, secular newspaper of that time: “Before the astonished eyes of the crowd … as they stood bare-headed, eagerly searching the sky, the sun [violently] trembled, made sudden incredible movements outside all cosmic laws — the sun ‘danced’ according to the typical expression of the people [who were there].” This experience was confirmed by both believers and non-believers alike and later authenticated (confirmed to be true) by the Vatican. Since this phenomena, a phenomena that cannot be explained by science, wherein 70,000 people witnessed the same act from Heaven, the Fatima site has since become a mystifying source of numerous healings and miracles.
At the final apparition, the three children also saw Our Lady and St. Joseph, her spouse, with the Child Jesus blessing the world, Jesus blessing the crowd and Mary depicted also as Our Lady of Sorrows and Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Throughout her life, Lucia continued to receive visions of Our Lady and in 1927 revealed the first two secrets. In 1989, Lucia announced the acceptance of the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary by Pope John Paul II; the same year that the Berlin Wall fell. In 2000, Pope John Paul II revealed the third secret interpreting it as a prediction of his assassination attempt. Sr. Lucia passed away in 2005 just as the Virgin Mary had said.
Feast Day: May 13
Patron Saint of: Portugal