The Apparition of May 13, 1917

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.”

“And Jacinta?”

“She will go also.”

“And Francisco?”

“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).

“And Amelia?”

“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.

My impressions of the Apparitions of the Angel

February 9, 2017

I wanted to give my impressions of the Apparition of the Angel tonight as I may not be able to post for a few days.

1) A step into the minefield

And already here at the very beginning we must take our first step into the minefield that men have made of Fatima.  It all concerns a footnote.  And footnotes do seem to cause such problems in the Church these days.  This particular footnote was written in regards to one of the prayers dictated by the Angel, “Most Holy Trinity…” and it occurs in the 1998 edition of Fatima in Lucia’s own words.  First I will recount the prayer of the Angel as remembered by the Venerable Sister Lucia herself:

Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I adore You profoundly, and 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 indifference with which He Himself 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.

And now here is the footnote, footnote 15 on page 64 to be exact:

15. Some theologians have difficulties regarding this prayer.  Two aspects should therefore be taken into account: 1) it is not necessary to regard this version as verbatim.  2) This is a form of prayer which was influenced by other popular prayers.

First question: which theologians? give an example please.  Second question: what difficulties?  Who are the theologians and what are their difficulties?  Don’t you think that these would be important details.  I mean if there are problems here that could lead the faithful astray don’t you think that you should tell us.  So please tell us what are the difficulties with this prayer?  That is the sound of crickets chirping in the background (in case you were wondering) because you are not going to get a direct answer to that question.

On to the next difficulty I have with this footnote: “it is not necessary to regard this as verbatim.”  Really?  Why not?  I have discovered two different places where Sister Lucia recounts this prayer in her memoirs and in both places EXACTLY the same words are used in both places.  So why should I not “regard this version as verbatim?”

“This is a form of prayer which was influenced by other popular prayers.”  Which prayers?  Shouldn’t you tell us?  Of course the motivations behind this footnote are a bit too obvious, aren’t they?  Somebody is trying to slither the idea quietly into our brains that the children didn’t really hear this prayer from an angel now did they?  They just concocted it based on popular ‘superstitious’ piety didn’t they?

I challenge anyone to read this prayer, to meditate on it, to recite it with your forehead touching the earth, and then to proclaim that this prayer did not come from Heaven.  It is so elegantly crafted and theologically deep as the ocean and wide as the expanse of the heavens.  The subtle and quiet linkage between the Hearts of Jesus and Mary echoing Saint John Eudes a quarter of a millennium before.  That Jesus Christ Himself in the Eucharist is both the offended one and the reparation.  There is such a deep and rich emphasis on the Real Presence of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament that it is no wonder that the enemy seeks to dissuade us from using this prayer.

I only bring this whole matter up because you will either see or hear this prayer recited strangely, sometimes with missing words and disconnected ideas.  This footnote or at least the sentiments behind it are the reason for it.  Just learn the prayer as it was given to us from the beginning, recite it with your forehead touching the earth from time to time, and forget all the rest.

2) More important stuff

The first thing that I want to note is the posture of prayer that the Angel introduced: prostrate with the forehead touching the earth.  In our time this position of prayer is universally associated with Islam.

I have heard it said that the Muslims did not come up with this posture for prayer themselves, but rather that they copied it from the Catholics that they encountered in Syria and Egypt during their first conquests.  It is difficult to be certain of this at a distance in time of fourteen centuries from those days, but maybe the Angel was reminding us of where we came from and of things that we should not have forgotten.

At the very least we might consider what Our Lord might say to us on Judgement Day if we refuse to adopt this prostrate position before our Creator, in our hearts at least if we cannot do it with our bodies: “If these people, the Muslims, who do not know Me and have sparse understanding of true religion in comparison to yourselves could at least fall on their faces before their Creator then why couldn’t you?”  Do you want to hear that question?

Scitote quoniam Dominus ipse est Deus; ipse fecit nos et non ipsi nos!

“Know that the Lord, He is God; He made us, we did not make ourselves! (the proper translation of Psalm 100 [99] v. 3  from both the Latin [Septuagint] and Hebrew psalters)”

The second thing that I find fascinating about this last Apparition of the Angel is the Chalice.  He gave the Chalice specifically to Jacinta and to Francisco while Lucia received Holy Communion under the species of the Host.  The reason for this is often stated that Jacinta and Francisco received the Chalice because they had not received their First Communion yet before this while Lucia had, but it is difficult to see why this would matter.  The Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ are the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ whether under the species of Bread or of Wine.  So why the difference?

What follows is only my opinion.  The sign of the chalice reminds me of Matthew 20:22 when Our Lord asked Saint James and Saint John in a very different context Can you drink the chalice that I shall drink?  And again in Matthew 26:42 Father, if this chalice may not pass away, but I must drink it, thy will be done.

I say this because Francisco and Jacinta were caught up in martyrdom almost immediately after the Apparitions of Our Lady were concluded a year later.  Both were caught up in the Spanish flu outbreak that devastated the planet around the conclusion of the First World War.  Francisco died in the spring of 1919 and Jacinta died less than a year later in February, 1920 alone in a hospital in Lisbon, both of them having suffered grievously and having offered that suffering for the conversion of sinners.  Jacinta had two ribs removed not long before she left this world and was left with a wound on her small body that must have resembled Our Lord’s pierced side.  Both Francisco and Jacinta were beatified by Pope Saint John Paul II in the year 2000 and both can properly be called Blessed, though I use that title sparingly for the sake of brevity.  The chalice is the sign of martyrdom and I think that this is why they received the Blood of Jesus Christ from the Chalice.

Pray the Rosary daily and join the Rosary Confraternity!

The Story of Fatima

February 4, 2017

I have noticed that during the two years since I stopped posting regularly on this blog it has continued to receive frequent visitors, at least one or two a day, mostly to the pages outlining the prayers of the Rosary.  I am immensely grateful if this small effort can be used by Heaven and by the Immaculate Heart of Mary to expand the practice of this unfathomably deep and rich devotion: the greatest form of meditation known to the human race.

During the last two years events in the Middle East have gone in a radically new direction for both the region and for the planet as a whole with the Russian military intervention in Syria.  The world has changed and is hurtling towards something (we know not what) very fast.  These events we are living through continually bring my mind back to the events of a century ago when the Lady of the Rosary appeared to three small children (Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco) in the Cova da Iria at Fatima, Portugal and entrusted to them a message with grave implications for the future of the human race.

This story is intimately linked with the purpose of this website for a number of reasons.  Firstly because it involves the Lady of the Rosary and the central concern of this blog is the spread of devotion to the Holy Rosary.  And the second is the intention for which I urge people to pray: the salvation and the liberation of the five ancient Sees of the Middle East and North Africa and the conversion of the Muslim peoples.  How so?  The name of the town where she appeared is called Fatima.  That name is a leftover from the era when the Muslims ruled Portugal which ended seven centuries prior to the apparitions.  Nothing that Heaven does is a coincidence, and this is especially the case with names.  Names in Sacred Scripture mean things and Fatima (the daughter of Muhammad) is a great name among the Muslims.  Though the Venerable Servant of God Sister Lucia never told us that the Lady said anything concerning Islam I would propose that the name of the place itself is a revelation for those who are willing to hear it.

For this reason among others I feel motivated to tell the story of Fatima.  Another reason is the public nature of these events.  These apparitions along with the attached revelations are more similar to some of the miraculous events recorded in the Old Testament than what we usually class as ‘private revelations.’  How so?  Well take for example the Divine Mercy revelations to Saint Faustina during the 1930s which have been validated by the Church as well.  The experiences of Saint Faustina were purely personal, that is she was the only one who experienced them.  She sometimes saw visions but they were strictly for her.  No one else sees them.  If one reads her wonderful diary what Our Lord tells her is recorded as an interior experience that takes place within her soul.  Now don’t mistake me: I am not questioning the veracity of the Divine Mercy revelation.  This is simply how Our Lord chose to present this revelation, and it can properly be called ‘private revelation.’

Fatima is another case altogether.  First the primary witnesses to the Lady’s appearance were three, not one.  All three of the children saw the same Lady.  Two of them (Lucia and Jacinta) heard the Lady’s words.  And one (Lucia) actually spoke to her.  Moreover these apparitions after the first were public events.  When one reads the older books on Fatima published during the 1940s and ’50s, when very many of the townspeople and other witnesses were still alive, one gets the sense that these really were public events, more akin to the revelations made to Moses on Mount Sinai than a vision beheld by a monk or a nun alone in their cell in the middle of the night.  Other witnesses to the events of Fatima actually did see and hear things i.e. they knew something was going on out of the ordinary but they did not see the Lady or hear what she said.  Kind of like the Israelites seeing many great signs at Mount Sinai though they never saw God as Moses did nor did they hear his voice.  Not to mention the great Miracle of the Sun on October 13, 1917, witnessed by 70,000 people, that ranks up there with the Crossing of the Red Sea and the Sun and the Moon standing still for Joshua but has strangely enough been almost completely forgotten in our own day.  But I am getting ahead of myself.  In the next post, God willing, I will begin at the beginning.

Pray the Rosary daily, for the above intention if the Holy Spirit directs you there.  Go to Confession.  Adore the wounded Heart of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.