For just as the lightning comes from the east, and flashes even to the west, so shall the coming of the Son of Man be (Matthew 24: 27).
February 15, 2017
I will recount here the first apparition of Our Lady of the Rosary to the three young children as recounted by the Servant of God Venerable Sister Lúcia of Jesus and of the Immaculate Heart in her fourth memoir composed in 1941 using the English version published in 1998.
Just one word in advance. The primary witnesses of the Apparitions were the children Lucia dos Santos and her cousins Blessed Francisco and Blessed Jacinta Marto. During the Apparitions Francisco only saw the Blessed Virgin, but did not hear what she said while both Jacinta and Lucia heard the words of Our Lady. Lucia however was the only one who ever spoke to the Virgin. Now on to the account of the Apparition of May 13, 1917:
High up on the slope in the Cova da Iria, I was playing with Jacinta and Francisco at building a little stone wall around a clump of furze. Suddenly we saw what seemed to be a flash of lightning.
“We’d better go home,” I said to my cousins, “that’s lightning; we may have a thunderstorm.”
“Yes, indeed!” they answered.
We began to go down the slope, hurrying the sheep along toward the road. We were more or less half-way down the slope and almost level with a large holmoak tree that stood there, when we saw another flash of lightning. We had only gone a few steps further when, there before us on a small holmoak, we beheld 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.
We stopped, astounded, before the Apparition. We were so close, just a few feet from her, that we were bathed in the light which surrounded her, that we were bathed in the light which surrounded her, or rather, which radiated from her. Then 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 18 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 of 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.
There are a lot of things I want to say about this apparition, but I will let them be for a moment.
Pray the Rosary every day. Pray for the five lost Sees. Pray for the conversion of the Muslim peoples. Pray for the Holy Father. Pray for Pope Francis. He is our only pope and he is surrounded by men who are not his friends, and they are not your friends either.