The July Apparition of Our Lady of Fatima
(Collated from the Memoirs of Sr. Lucia)
(Collated from the Memoirs of Sr. Lucia)
In my opinion, it would be pleasing to God and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary that, in the book Jacinta, one chapter would be devoted to the subject of Hell, and another to the Immaculate Heart of Mary… This will entail my speaking about the secret… What is the secret?
It seems to me that I can reveal it, since I already have permission from Heaven to do so… Well, the secret is made up of three distinct parts, two of which I am now going to reveal.
The first part is the vision of Hell… The second part refers to the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary…
The Apparition of July 13, 1917
A few moments after arriving at the Cova da Iria, near the holmoak, where a large number of people were praying the Rosary, we saw a flash of light once more, and a moment later Our Lady appeared on the holmoak.
"What do you want of me?" I asked.
"I want you to come here on the 13th of next month, to continue to pray the Rosary every day in honor of Our Lady of the Rosary, in order to obtain peace for the world and the end of the war, because only she can help you."
"I would like to ask you to tell us who you are, and to work a miracle so that everybody will believe that you are appearing to us."
"Continue to come here every month. In October, I will tell you who I am and what I want, and I will perform a miracle for all to see and believe."
I then made some requests, but I cannot recall now just what they were. What I do remember is that Our Lady said it was necessary for such people to pray the Rosary in order to obtain these graces during the year. And she continued:
"Sacrifice yourselves for sinners, and say many times, especially whenever you make some sacrifice: O my Jesus, it is for love of Thee, in reparation for the offenses committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and for the conversion of sinners."
The First Secret
As Our Lady spoke these last words, she opened her hands once more, as she had done during the two previous months. The rays of light seemed to penetrate the earth, and we saw as it were a sea of fire. Plunged into this fire were demons and souls in human form, like transparent burning embers, all blackened or burnished bronze, floating about in the conflagration, now raised into the air by the flames that issued from within themselves with great clouds of smoke, now falling back on every side like sparks in huge fires, without weight or equilibrium, amid shrieks and groans of pain and despair, which horrified us and made us tremble with fear. (It must have been this sight which caused me to cry out, as people say they heard me.) The demons could be distinguished by their terrifying and repellent likeness to frightful and unknown animals, black and transparent like burning coals. Terrified and as if to plead for succor, we looked up at Our Lady, who said to us, so kindly and so sadly:
"You have seen Hell where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace. The war is going to end; but if people do not cease offending God, a worse one will break out during the pontificate of Pius XI. When you see a night illumined by an unknown light, know that this is the great sign given you by God that He is about to punish the world for its crimes, by means of war, famine, and persecutions of the Church and of the Holy Father."
The Second Secret
"To prevent this, I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart, and the Communion of Reparation on the First Saturdays. If my requests are heeded, 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, the Holy Father will have much to suffer, various nations will be annihilated. In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, and she will be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world. In Portugal, the dogma of the Faith will always be preserved; etc. Do not tell this to anybody. Francisco, yes, you may tell him.
"When you pray the Rosary, say after each mystery: O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of Hell. Lead all souls to Heaven, especially those in most need of Thy mercy."
Impressions on Jacinta
… Some of the things revealed in the secret made a very strong impression on Jacinta… The vision of Hell filled her with horror to such a degree, that every penance and mortification was as nothing in her eyes, if it could only prevent souls from going there…
Some people, even the most devout, refuse to speak to children about Hell, in case it would frighten them. Yet God did not hesitate to show Hell to three children, one of whom was only six years old, knowing well that they would be horrified to the point of, I would almost dare to say, withering away with fear.
Jacinta often sat thoughtfully on the ground or on a rock, and exclaimed, "Oh, Hell! Hell! How sorry I am for the souls who go to Hell! And the people there, burning alive, like wood in the fire!" Then, shuddering, she knelt down with her hands joined, and recited the prayer that Our Lady had taught us… Jacinta remained on her knees like this for long periods of time, saying the same prayer over and over again. From time to time, like someone awaking from sleep, she called out to her brother or myself:
"Francisco! Francisco! Are you praying with me? We must pray very much, to save souls from Hell! So many go there! So many!" At other times, she asked, "Why doesn't Our Lady show Hell to sinners? If they saw it, they would not sin, so as to avoid going there! You must tell Our Lady to show Hell to all the people… You'll see how they will be converted."
Afterwards, unsatisfied, she asked me, "Why didn't you tell Our Lady to show Hell to those people?"
"I forgot," I answered.
"I didn't remember either!" she said, looking very sad.
Sometimes, she also asked, "What are the sins people commit, for which they go to Hell?"
"I don't know! Perhaps the sin of not going to Mass on Sunday, of stealing, of saying ugly words, of cursing and swearing."
"So, for just one word, then, people can go to Hell?"
"Well, it's a sin!"
"It wouldn't be hard for them to keep quiet, and to go to Mass! I'm so sorry for sinners! If only I could show them Hell!"
… When people asked her questions, she answered in a friendly manner, but briefly. If they said anything which she thought improper, she promptly replied:
"Don't say that; it offends the Lord our God."
If they related something unbecoming about their families, she answered:
"Don't let your children commit sin, or they could go to Hell."
If there were grown-ups involved, she said:
"Tell them not to do that, for it is a sin. They offend the Lord our God, and later they could be damned."
The Immaculate Heart of Mary
… Our Lady told me on June 13th, 1917, that she would never forsake me, and that her Immaculate Heart would be my refuge and the way that would lead me to God. As she spoke these words, she opened her hands, and from them streamed a light that penetrated to our inmost hearts. I think that, on that day, the main purpose of this light was to infuse within us a special knowledge and love for the Immaculate Heart of Mary…
From that day onwards, our hearts were filled with a more ardent love for the Immaculate Heart of Mary. From time to time, Jacinta said to me, "The Lady said that her Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God. Don't you love that? Her Heart is so good! How I love it!"
As I explained earlier, Our Lady told us, in the July secret, that God wished to establish in the world devotion to her Immaculate Heart; and that to prevent a future war, she would come to ask for the consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart, and for the Communion of Reparation on First Saturdays. From then on, whenever we spoke of this among ourselves, Jacinta said, "I am so grieved to be unable to receive Communion in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary!"
Jacinta's Vision of the Holy Father
One day we spent our siesta down by my parents' well. Jacinta sat on the stone slabs on top of the well. Francisco and I climbed up a steep bank in search of wild honey among brambles in a nearby thicket. After a while, Jacinta called out to me:
"Didn't you see the Holy Father?"
"I don't know how it was, but I saw the Holy Father in a very big house, kneeling by a table, with his head buried in his hands, and he was weeping. Outside the house, there were many people. Some of them were throwing stones, others were cursing him and using bad language. Poor Holy Father, we must pray very much for him."
At another time, we went to the cave called Lapa do Cabeço. As soon as we got there, we prostrated on the ground, saying the prayers the Angel had taught us. After some time, Jacinta stood up and called to me:
"Can't you see all those highways and roads and fields full of people, who are crying with hunger and have nothing to eat? And the Holy Father in a church praying before the Immaculate Heart of Mary? And so many people praying with him?"
Some days later, she asked me, "Can I say that I saw the Holy Father and all those people?"
"No. Don't you see that that's part of the secret? If you do, they'll find out right away."
"All right! Then I'll say nothing at all."
Visions of War
One day, I went to Jacinta's house to spend a little while with her. I found her sitting on her bed, deep in thought.
"Jacinta, what are you thinking about?"
"About the war that is coming. So many people are going to die, and almost all of them are going to Hell! Many homes will be destroyed, and many priests will be killed. Look, I am going to Heaven, and as for you, when you see the light which the Lady told us would come one night before the war, you run up there too."
"Don't you see that nobody can just run off to Heaven!"
"That's true, you cannot! But don't be afraid…"
… God manifested that sign, which astronomers chose to call an aurora borealis. I don't know for certain, but I think if they investigated the matter, they would discover that, in the form in which it appeared, it could not possibly have been an aurora borealis. Be that as it may, God made use of this to make me understand that His justice was about to strike the guilty nations…
… It may be… that some people think that I should have made known all of this some time ago, because they consider that it would have been twice as valuable years beforehand. This would have been the case, if God had willed to present me to the world as a prophetess. But I believe that God had no such intention, when He made known these things to me. If that had been the case, I think that, in 1917, when He ordered me to keep silence, and this order was confirmed by those who represented Him, He would, on the contrary, have ordered me to speak. I consider then… that God willed only to make use of me to remind the world that it is necessary to avoid sin, and to make reparation to an offended God, by means of prayer and sacrifice.
… A little while before going to the hospital, Jacinta said to me,
"It will not be long now before I go to Heaven. You will remain here to make known that God wishes to establish in the world devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. When you are to say this, don't go and hide. Tell everybody that God grants us graces through the Immaculate Heart of Mary; that people are to ask for them;and that the Heart of Jesus wants the Immaculate Heart of Mary to be venerated at His side. Tell them also to pray to the Immaculate Heart of Mary for peace, since God has entrusted it to her. If I could only put into the hearts of all, the fire that is burning within my own heart, and that makes me love the Hearts of Jesus and Mary so very much!"