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.
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.
July 1917 apparition, Our Blessed Mother revealed to the visionaries the three secrets of Fatima—secrets they guarded carefully until after the deaths of Francisco and Jacinta, and revealed only by Lucia at the behest of her bishop. Our Lady of the Rosary showed a vision of hell to the children, and said to them (among other things): “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.”
Following the last apparition, the children had been placed under great scrutiny by both the Church and the local government. As the date of Our Lady’s next apparition approached, the local district administrator, Artur de Oliveira Santos, imprisoned the children. Against their families’ wishes, he held Francisco, Jacinta, and Lucia for two days, during which time he threatened them with various tortures (including boiling them in oil) to procure the release of the secrets of Fatima. Each of the three seers demonstrated great courage, refusing to reveal any of the truths sworn to them, and withstanding all threats and fears. All three—but Francisco in particular—believing themselves to be killed during interrogation, were filled with joy at the thought of being reunited with Our Blessed Mother in heaven.
“The clap of thunder was more or less similar to that of the preceding time. Some say that it came from the road, others from the holm-oak …. It seemed to me that it came from very far. Everyone kept quiet, frightened .... At the clap of thunder there followed lightning, and at once we began to notice a small cloud, very pretty, white in color, very light, which hovered some moments over the holm-oak, then rose towards the sky, and disappeared in the atmosphere.
While looking around us, we observed a strange thing, which we had already seen the previous time, and which we were going to see again in the future. The faces of the people had all the colors of the rainbow: pink, red, blue ... The trees did not appear to have branches and leaves but only flowers; everything seemed laden with flowers, and every leaf appeared to be a flower. The ground was covered with squares of different colors. Clothes were also of every color of the rainbow.”
Our Lady would return to speak to the visionaries in just six days—on August 19, continuing her message of penance and salvation. Through prayers of adoration and reparation, we turn to Our Lady of Fatima—to whom God has entrusted our redemption through her grace and cooperation with her divine spouse—to rectify the state of the world, reduce the influence of evil, save the sinful, and draw ourselves closer to Our God through devotion to the Immaculate Heart
Most Holy Virgin, who has deigned to come to Fatima to reveal to the three little shepherds the treasures of graces hidden in the recitation of the Rosary, inspire our hearts with a sincere love of this devotion, so that by meditating on the mysteries of our redemption that are recalled in it, we may gather the fruits and obtain the conversion of sinners, the conversion of Russia, and this favor that I so earnestly seek, request which I ask of you in this novena, for the greater glory of God, for your own honor, and for the good of all people. Amen.
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.
Psalm: Psalm 110: The Messiah: King, Priest, and Conqueror
1 The LORD says to my Lord:
"Sit at my right hand
until I make your enemies
a footstool for your feet."
2 The LORD will extend your mighty scepter from Zion;
you will rule in the midst of your enemies.
3 Your troops will be willing
on your day of battle.
Arrayed in holy majesty,
from the womb of the dawn
you will receive the dew of your youth.
4 The LORD has sworn
and will not change his mind:
"You are a priest forever,
in the order of Melchizedek."
5 The Lord is at your right hand;
he will crush kings on the day of his wrath.
6 He will judge the nations, heaping up the dead
and crushing the rulers of the whole earth.
7 He will drink from a brook beside the way;
therefore he will lift up his head.
Day 225 of 365
Prayer Intentions: An end to prejudice and discrimination; For those who are unjustly punished, oppressed, and mistreated.
Requested Intentions: For answers to prayers (J); Restoration of a relationship (L); Diagnosis and recovery (A); For a successful relationship (J); For healing of a head injury (S); For employment for two sons (R); For sanctification of a fried considering a move (A); For friends experiencing job difficulties (A); Health, employment, and conversion of a son (S); Health, financial success, positive move (S); Financial security, and health, guidance, and protection for children (ML); For the religious and children of Saint Xavier’s Boarding School, India (FB); Fortitude and faith, Career success (A); Healing of a relationship, employment (A); End to debt and legal difficulties; immigration success (B); For a mother’s continued employment (S); For continued blessings on a relationship (S); For a sick grandmother (R); For the building of a Catholic community, family, and law practice (M); Those suffering from depression (J); Successful adoption (S); Healing of a father battling cancer (S).
Psalm: Psalm 110: The Messiah: King, Priest, and Conqueror
Day 7 of Novena to Saint Cajetan for the Unemployed
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."