Francisco, and Jacinta. During the months that followed the initial visitation, the three visionaries were graced with six messages from the Blessed Virgin, as well as three apparitions of the “Angel of Portugal,” all of which culminated in the spectacular “Miracle of the Sun,” witnessed by tens of thousands of the faithful. Each month, on the 13th day, Our Lady of Fatima delivered a message to the children-- a message of the importance of devotion to the Immaculate Heart and praying the Rosary—through which the ruinous course of humanity could be converted and redeemed.
initial visits of the Angel of Portugal, who had taught the children how to pray, and prepared them for the first apparition of Our Blessed Mother, Mary had appeared in a wondrous light, conversed with the children, and instructed them: “Say the Rosary every day, to bring peace to the world and an end to the war.” She promised to return the following month. During her second visitation, in June 1917, Our Blessed Mother taught the children what has come to be known as “the Fatima Prayer:”
Oh my Jesus,
Forgive us our sins.
Save us from the fires of Hell.
Lead all souls to Heaven, especially those most in need of Your Mercy.
It was during this third apparition of Our Blessed Mother that the three secrets of Fatima were revealed to the visionaries. These secrets—the first a vision of Hell, and the second regarding the role of Russia in the world—were guarded by the visionaries until only Lucia remained (and wrote them down in her memoirs at the behest of her bishop). The third secret was delivered directly to Pope Pius XII.
"Lucia," Jacinta said, after a moment "speak. Our Lady is talking to you.
"Yes?" said Lucia. She spoke humbly, asking pardon for her doubts with every gesture. To the beautiful Lady she said (as she had the previous month as well): "What do you want of me?"
“I want you to come back here on the thirteenth of next month. 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 agreed, but worried about what her pastor had said, dared to ask Our Lady her name: "I would like to ask who you are, and if you will do a miracle so that everyone will know for certain that you have appeared to us."
“You must come here every month, and in October I will tell you who I am and what I want. I will then perform a miracle so that all may believe.”
Satisfied with the answer, Lucia lifted in prayer the petitions for healing that many had entrusted to her—Our Lady gently said that she would cure some, but not all. In particular, Lucia asked about a boy crippled since birth.
No, neither of his infirmity nor of his poverty would he be cured, and he must be certain to say the Rosary with his family every day.”
Mary, Our Lady of the Rosary, further said to the children: “Make sacrifices for sinners, and say often, especially while making a sacrifice: O Jesus, this is for love of Thee, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for offences committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.”
As Lucia recorded in her memoirs: As Our lady spoke these words she opened her hands once more, as had 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 in 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 together with great clouds of smoke, now following 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 do). The demons could be distinguished by their terrifying and repellant 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. It is to save them that God wants 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. This war will end, but if men do not refrain from offending God, another and more terrible war will begin during the pontificate of Pius XI. When you see a night that is lit by a strange and unknown light [this occurred on January 28, 1938], you will know it is the sign God gives you that He is about to punish the world with war and with hunger, and by the persecution of the Church and the Holy Father.
To prevent this, I shall come to the world to ask that Russia be consecrated to my Immaculate Heart, and I shall ask that on the First Saturday of every month Communions of reparation be made in atonement for the sins-of the world. If my wishes are fulfilled, Russia will be converted and there will be peace; if not, then Russia will spread her errors throughout the world, bringing new wars and persecution of the Church; the good will be martyred and the Holy Father will have much to suffer; certain 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 faith will always be preserved... "(It was here that Our Lady revealed the third secret). "Remember, you must not tell this to anyone except Francisco.” (Francisco could see Our Lady, but could not hear her words.)
“When you pray the Rosary, say after each mystery: O my Jesus, forgive us, save us from the fire of hell. Lead all souls to heaven, especially those who are most in need.”
As in past visitations, Our Lady then ascended from the tree, into the eastern sky, eventually disappearing. The secrets, bestowed upon the young shepherds by Our Blessed Mother, proved to cause great difficulty for them. First their families, friends, and neighbors tried to elicit the secrets. Then, the clergy became involved, attempted unsuccessfully the revelation of Mary’s words. Lastly, the police attempted to force the children to reveal their secrets, but they resisted. Our Blessed Mother would return again in August, continuing her dialogue with Francisco, Jacinta, and Lucia, and providing us with guidance in saving the world from the destructive influence of evil.
Inspired by the origins and spiritual history of the Holy Rosary, we continue our meditation on the psalms, one each day, in order, for 150 days.
Today’s Psalm: Psalm 79: The Destruction of Jerusalem and its Temple
1 O God, the nations have invaded your inheritance;
they have defiled your holy temple,
they have reduced Jerusalem to rubble.
2 They have given the dead bodies of your servants
as food to the birds of the air,
the flesh of your saints to the beasts of the earth.
3 They have poured out blood like water
all around Jerusalem,
and there is no one to bury the dead.
4 We are objects of reproach to our neighbors,
of scorn and derision to those around us.
5 How long, O LORD ? Will you be angry forever?
How long will your jealousy burn like fire?
6 Pour out your wrath on the nations
that do not acknowledge you,
on the kingdoms
that do not call on your name;
7 for they have devoured Jacob
and destroyed his homeland.
8 Do not hold against us the sins of the fathers;
may your mercy come quickly to meet us,
for we are in desperate need.
9 Help us, O God our Savior,
for the glory of your name;
deliver us and forgive our sins
for your name's sake.
10 Why should the nations say,
"Where is their God?"
Before our eyes, make known among the nations
that you avenge the outpoured blood of your servants.
11 May the groans of the prisoners come before you;
by the strength of your arm
preserve those condemned to die.
12 Pay back into the laps of our neighbors seven times
the reproach they have hurled at you, O Lord.
13 Then we your people, the sheep of your pasture,
will praise you forever;
from generation to generation
we will recount your praise.
Day 194 of 365
Prayer Intentions: Conversion; Reparation for Sinners; Peace in the World;
Requested Intentions: For successful conception (I); Thanksgiving for blessings received (K); Healing and financial assistance (F); Employment; Discernment of God’s will (A); Healing of illness (P); Small business assistance, blessings on jobs, financial aid for college student (M); Financial assistance (F); For a recovery and sanctification (X); For a daughter struggling with disease and illness (T); For all lost children (I); Prosperity, health, healing, and conversion for a family (M); Health and healing of a mother (A); Healing of heart and mind (T); Health for an ailing nephew (A); Those suffering from depression (J); Successful adoption (S); Healing of a father battling cancer (S).
Psalm: Psalm 79: The Destruction of Jerusalem and its Temple
Why pray the Rosary every day for a year?
Each time the Blessed Virgin has appeared-- whether it be to Saint Bernadette Soubirous at Lourdes; to Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco at Fatima; or to Mariette Beco at Banneux-- she has asserted the importance, saving grace, and power of praying the Holy Rosary on a daily basis. Based upon her words, the Rosary is penance and conversion for sinners, a pathway to peace, an end to war, and a powerful act of faith in Jesus Christ. Pope Paul VI presented the Rosary as a powerful means to reach Christ "not merely with Mary but indeed, insofar as this is possible to us, in the same way as Mary, who is certainly the one who thought about Him more than anyone else has ever done."
To show us how this is done, perhaps no one has been more eloquent than the great Cardinal Newman, who wrote: "The great power of the Rosary consists in the fact that it translates the Creed into Prayer. Of course, the Creed is already in a certain sense a prayer and a great act of homage towards God, but the Rosary brings us to meditate again on the great truth of His life and death, and brings this truth close to our hearts. Even Christians, although they know God, usually fear rather than love Him. The strength of the Rosary lies in the particular manner in which it considers these mysteries, since all our thinking about Christ is intertwined with the thought of His Mother, in the relations between Mother and Son; the Holy Family is presented to us, the home in which God lived His infinite love."
As Mary said at Fatima, "Jesus wants to use you to make Me known and loved. He wishes to establish the devotion to My Immaculate Heart throughout the world. I promise salvation to whoever embraces it; these souls will be dear to God, like flowers put by Me to adorn his throne."