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Monday, 8 May 2017

FATIMA -- DID YOU KNOW?? PART ONE



Our Lady of Fatima and the Seers
Fatima Detailed Facts

I thought I knew enough about Fatima.. as much as was necessary.. I read a few books, watched the various movies about Our Lady’s apparitions and the three children, then I found this book, I was fortunate enough to find it in the parish library. "The Whole Truth about Fatima, Volume I Science and the Facts" by Fere Michel de la Sainte Trinete of the Little Brothers of the Sacred Heart Published by the International Fatima Crusade, Immaculate Heart Publications. Nothing prepared me to the onslaught of facts I found in it,  Unfortunately, this book is now out of print because I would LOVE to get my own copy (I really think they should do a reprint!). 

Because of the great information I found in it, I searched for it on the internet and found it in an archive online called 'Open Library'. 

If you are as keen as I am to learn more about Fatima and the most detailed information, you can read it at: 

As I read hungrily absorbing every word. I was bookmarking pages left and right that had information that I thought was quite interesting and in my case unknown.  

There are many more details that I have not added to this page, space is limited, I’d have to include the whole book!  

I would encourage you to read the book yourselves for all the details of the history of the area and the devotion to Our Lady in centuries before this apparition; information regarding the children themselves, what they were like and the many marvelous signs that Our Lady gave to the people who faithfully came to the site of the apparitions.. many I never heard about before.

I have also included other information that I have gleaned from research on the internet I have included them here as well with their web addresses for your perusal which you will find immediately after the quote from their page.


A Short HISTORY OF the area of FATIMA

Alfonso Henriques
       Portugal always had a special love and devotion for the Blessed Virgin Mary from its beginning “and which in spite of conquest by foreigners and a more and more suffocating Masonic domination, has remained unshakably faithful to its Heavenly Patroness until the eve of the great miracle of 1917.”

    In 711, the Moors invaded the country.  It was nearly three centuries before Alfonso VI, King of Castile and Leon called upon the French for help.  They were able to free the northern part of the country.  In 1139, Alfonso Henriques consolidated the independence of Portugal by his victory over the Moors at Ourica.  Portugal was born.  This new king chose the Mother of God as   Patroness of the country.




         In 1142, St. Bernard  of Clairvaux and his disciples, developed “among the people a tender devotion to Our Lady.  A magnificent monastery of Santa Maria Alcobaca  was built only a few miles from Fatima.


      • At the Monastery of Santa Maria Alcobaca
          In subsequent battles with the Moors, the Crusaders carried with them the statue of Our Lady with the standard of Santa Maria of Alcobaca.  This statue was venerated until the 18th centuryin the church of Our Lady of the Martyrs, at Lisbon.
         The name “Fatima” is an Arabic name.  Fatima was the daughter of a powerful Moslem prince of Alcacer do Sal who was captured by a Crusader named Goncalo Hermingues.  This Crusader married the girl who had converted to the Christian faith.  But this princess died young, the knight in his distress gave his life to God in the Cistercian abbey of Alcobaca.  The abbey founded a small priory in the neighbouring mountains; Brother Goncalo was sent there and took with him the remains of his dear Fatima.  The place took and kept her name.




           In subsequent battles for independence and control, on August 13, 1385, the King of Castille with his troops solemnly invoked the protection of the Virgin Mary at Fatima.  This was the first “13th” of the month. The victory took place on the Vigil of the Assumption August 14th which assured the country’s independence for two centuries.


      St. Boniface IX
           As coincidence, a few years later on May 13th, by the request of King John I, Pope Boniface IX (1389-1404) ordered all the Cathedrals in Portugal to be dedicated to the Virgin Mary.
           
           In 1654, Portugal officially consecrated itself to the Immaculate Virgin by John IV, restorer of national independence.

         
            In centuries past, many other events happened in Portugal     regarding Our Lady they are too many to state here… check out the book.

           Is it any wonder why Our Lady 
      picked this country and this place 
      called Fatima to appear?




      THE  THREE CHILDREN
      THE SEERS OF FATIMA BEFORE

      THE APPARITIONS


      The Seers of Fatima left to right - Lucia, Francisco, Jacinta


      LUCY (LUCIA)

      Lucia dos Santos, 
      eldest Fatima Seer, 10 years old

      Lucia was the youngest of five daughters and one son, by Lucy’s memoirs she states that all of her family doted on her and gave her much love.  She was an intelligent child, her mother taught her the whole catechism before she was 6 years old.


         Lucia received the privilege of receiving Holy Communion at age 6 although the pastor, Father Pena, was very strict about the age of first communion. He wanted to make her wait until she was seven even though she knew the Catechism extremely well, enough so that the priest would have her stand next to him when he was questioning the other children so that she could give the correct answer if they could not.  ". . . the new parish priest at Fatima Father Manuel Marques Ferreira, like many priests at that time, was still tinged with the with the remains of Jansenism. He did not want to hear about First Holy Communion before the age of ten.

           It was by the intervention of another priest, Father Cruz, who  had been called to help with confessions that got her this  privilege  after he saw her crying.  After questioning her about  the   catechism he went to Father Pena and declared that she should be allowed to receiving her first communion.  Because of his intervention she was allowed to receive Jesus!

           It must be noted her that Father Cruz was recognized for his piety and holiness in Portugal and was one of the first priests to recognize the truth of the apparitions.  (You must read the accounts of Lucy as she relates her anticipation to receive Our Lord in the Eucharist, how even then it was a profound importance.) In her memoirs, Lucy said, that receiving the Eucharist have always had “a great influence in uniting me to God.”

      Vintage photo of First Holy Communion


            

      Lucia states, 


          "After this, 
          I lost the taste and attraction 
           for the things 
      of the world, 
           and only felt at home 
      in a solitary place 
          where, alone, 
      I could recall 
           the delights of my First Communion."

            


         





      JACINTA


      Jacinta youngest Seer of Fatima
      Little Jacinta was always so gentle. . .  “Jacinta had a good heart, and God endowed her with a sweet and gentle character which made her both lovable and attractive.”

      Above all she had a heart of gold, capable of immense affection.  She also had an astonishingly pure heart, completely docile to the baptismal grace, which already guided her thoughts and her childish actions.

      She loved to dance and sing.  She was very exuberant. . . a marvelous dancer.
      The love of truth was so profoundly anchored in her soul that the least little lie scandalized her.

      She was out-spoken, “She had her wits about her and she calls a spade a spade” comments Dom Jean-Nesmy

      The three children playing a game of forfeits, the rule of the game is that the loser has to do whatever the winner tells him.  Lucy relates, “. . . I won, so this time it was I who  told her what to do.  My brother was sitting at a table writing.  I told her to give him a hug and a kiss but she protested. . . Why don’t you tell me to go and kiss Our Lord over there?  There was a crucifix hanging on the wall. . . (Lucy said) kneel down and give Him three hugs and three kisses; one for Francisco, one for me and one for yourself.”  Jacinta replied, “To Our Lord, yes, I’ll give as many as you like. . . She kissed it and hugged it with such devotion that I have never forgotten.”


      “. . .Looking attentively at Our Lord, she asked, ‘Why is Our Lord nailed to a cross like that?’  Lucy relates after she explained to Jacinta the Passion of Our Lord, “In hearing of His sufferings, the little girl was moved and began to cry.  Many times later she wold come and ask me to tell the story again.   She would weep and grieve, saying ,

      "Our poor Dear Lord!  
        I’ll never sin again!  
        
            I don’t want 
              Our Lord 
         to suffer more!”



        







      FRANCISCO
      ·  

      Francisco Marto, Fatima seer 9 yrs old

        Unlike his sister Jacinta, “He was neither capricious nor vivacious.  On the contrary, he was quiet and submissive by nature.”

        Like his father, he was gentle, humble and patient.  Always having a joyful countenance, he was invariably polite and accommodating to all, even at the cost of considerable sacrifices.  “If one of the other children insisted on taking away something belonging to him, he said: ‘Let them have it! What do I care?’

         He was a robust and lively boy. . . He could be mischievous, he too could become capricious.

        Manuel Pedro said, “Once Francisco refused to say his prayers and hid in the out-kitchen.  I went out to him and when he say me coming he cried out at once that he would pray!  That was before Our Lady appeared.  After that he never failed to say them.  In fact he and Jacinta would almost force us to say the Rosary. . .”

         “He was anything but fearful.  He’d go anywhere in the dark alone at night, without the slightest hesitation. . .”

      Francisco was a meditative soul.  He had little taste for noisy games and the shouts of his companions. . .

           

      His passion was music and song, “He showed no love for dancing, as Jacinta did; he much preferred playing the flute while the others danced.  What Francisco enjoyed most, when we were out on the mountain together, was to perch on top of the highest rock, and sing or play his flute. . .”

           His greatest sin stealing a tostao (a very small coin) from his father to buy a music box that he coveted.

      “  
      In the evening, we would wait for Our Lady and the Angels to light their lamps.”    (the Moon and stars)

         “Francisco eagerly counted the stars with us, but nothing enchanted him so much as the beauty of sunrise or sunset.  As long as he could still glimpse one last ray of the setting sun, he made no attempt to watch for the first lamp to be lit in the sky. 

         "No lamp is as beautiful as Our Lord’s’", (the sun) "he used to remark to Jacinta, who much preferred Our Lady’s lamp because , as she explained, ‘It doesn’t hurt our eyes.’ 

           Enraptured, he watched the sun’s rays glinting on the window panes of the homes in the neighboring villages, or glistening in the drops of water which spangled the trees and furze bushes of the serra, making them shine like so many stars; in his eyes these were a thousand times more beautiful than Angel’s lamps.”

      “   Sometimes alone, sometimes with his sister and his cousin, Francisco, perched on top of a rock, loved to repeat often this beautiful hymn:  
      "I love God in heaven, I love Him, too, on earth, 
      I love the flowers of the fields,
      I love the sheep on the mountains.
      I am a poor shepherd girl, I always pray to Mary,
      In the midst of my flock, I am like the sun at noon. 
      Together with my lampkins, I learn to skip and jump, 
      I am the joy of the serra, And the lily of the vale.”

      + + + + + +
         

          How so very different are these children compared to the children of today.  Many don’t even know Our Lord, they are selfish and self-centered -- They were not taught about Our Lord...The sins of the parents have caused this.  How many will be lost because of our turning away from God!


        

      Before 
      Our Lady’s 

      Appearances 

      an Angel Comes

         



       

           The Apparitions of the Angel all began in 1915. . .
         

          Lucy was entrusted with taking care of the family flock.  At this time Jacinta would have been 5 years old and Francisco 7 years old, they were not as yet given permission to go with their cousin.  Lucy had chosen three companions: Teresa Matias, her sister Maria Rosa and Maria Justino. 

           It was in the company of these three companions that Lucy was favored three times, in a mysterious way, with the apparition of the angel. 

           Around midday, we ate our lunch.  After this, I invited my companions to pray the Rosary with me, to which they eagerly agreed. . . We had hardly begun when, there before our eyes, we saw a figure poised in the air before the trees; it looked like a statue made of snow, rendered almost transparent by the rays of the sun.”

          Later on Lucy would recognize in this mysterious figure the same Angel that she was to contemplate again in 1916.  But this first time, the luminous figure, which appeared from afar off, neither spoke nor even manifested itself very distinctly.

         The other children saw this apparition as well, and on returning home told everyone what they had seen.  Lucy states, “I resolved to say nothing, but my companions told their families what had happened the very moment they reached home.  The news soon spread and one day when I arrived home, my mother questioned me. . .”  “After some time, we returned with our flocks to the same place, and the very same thing happened again.  My companions once more told the whole story.  After a brief interval, the same thing was repeated.  It was the third time that my mother heard all these things being talked about outside, without my having said a single word about them at home.  She called me, therefore, quite displeased. . ."

        “This apparition,” Lucy writes, “left an impression on my mind that I cannot explain.”     
        “. . . little by little this impression disappeared and I believe that with time I would have completely forgotten it had it not been for the events which followed.”

          Lucy’s first trial of suffering was because of these apparitions, she lost everything that made up her childhood happiness. She had been loved and cherished by all her family; now she lost their confidence and affection.  “I felt these contemptuous words and gestures very keenly, as up to now I had been used to nothing but caresses.  But this was nothing, really.  You see, I did not know what the good Lord had in store for me in the future.”
         


      Three Angel Apparitions in 1916

      Lucia, Francisco, Jacinta Seers of Fatima


        “Around this time Francisco and Jacinta sought and obtained permission from their parents to start taking care of their own flock.  So I left my good companions, and I joined my cousins, Francisco and Jacinta, instead.  To avoid going to the serra with all the other shepherds we arranged to pasture our flocks on properties belonging to my uncle and aunt and my parents.” 

           The apparitions began with this trio in the spring, summer and fall of 1916.   “The dates I cannot set down with certainty, because at that time I did not know how to reckon the years, the months, or even the days of the week.”  However by remembering the weather outside, she was able to indicate the season when each of the three apparitions took place.  Lucy had just turned nine, Francisco was barely eight, and Jacinta was only six years old.

         The 1st Angel Apparition
      "I am the Angel of Peace"

      Angel of Peace
          ". . . We ate our lunch and said our Rosary. I’m not sure if it was said in the way I have already described, saying just the words “Hail Mary” and “Our Father” on each bead, so great was our eagerness to get to our play!  Our prayer finished, we started to play ‘pebbles’.  

       We enjoyed the game for a few moments only, when a strong wind began to shake the trees.  We looked up startled, to see what was happening, for the day was unusually calm.  Then we saw coming torwards us, above the olive trees, the figure I have already spoken about.  

        Jacinta and Francisco had never seen it before, nor had I ever mentioned it to them.  As it drew closer, we were able to distinguish its features.  It was a young man, about fourteen or fifteen years old, whiter than snow, transparent as crystal when the sun shines through it, and of great beauty.”

      Angel teaching the children to pray
        


      “‘Do not be afraid!  I am the Angel 
         of Peace.  Pray with me.’ Kneeling '
      on the ground, he bowed down until 
      his forehead reach the ground.  Led 
      by a supernatural impulse, we did 
      the same, and repeated the words 
      which we heard him say:  

      ‘My God, I believe, I adore, 
      I hope and I love You!  
      I ask pardon of You for those 
      who do not believe, do not adore, 
      do not hope and do not love You!’  





          


           After repeated these words three times, he rose and said, ‘Pray thus.  The Hearts of Jesus and Mary are attentive to the voice of your supplications.’” “The supernatural atmosphere which enveloped us, was so intense that for a long time we were scarcely aware of our own existence, remaining in the same posture in which he had left us, and continuing repeating the same prayer.  The presence of God made itself so intimately and so intensely that we  did not even venture to speak to one another. .  . It did not occur to us to speak about this Apparition, nor did we think of recommending that it be kept a secret.  The very Apparition itself imposed secrecy.  .  .”

          Francisco did not have the privilege of hearing the words of the Angel; the others had to repeat them to him.  The same is true of all the other apparitions.  He was however favored with the essential: the heavenly vision and the infused graces which this imparted to their souls.

          Lucy continues, “ . . . from then on, we used to spend long periods of time, prostrate like the Angel, repeating his words, until sometimes we fell exhausted. .  .”  “the peace and happiness which we felt were great, but wholly interior, for our souls were completely immersed in God.  The physical weakness that came over us was also great.”

          After a few days, however our shepherds recovered along with their normal state, their customary gaiety as well as their games and chants.  And so they quickly resumed their lives as young shepherds, doubtless with more piety, but without anything apparently to distinguish them from the other children . . .

         




      The 2nd Apparition

      "I am the

      Guardian Angel 

      of Portugal"


         




      “.  .  . at the height of summer when the heat of the day was so intense that we had to take the sheep home before noon and only let them out again in the early evening.  We went to spend the siesta hours in the shade of the trees which surrounded the well. . .” 

         “Suddenly, we saw the same Angel right beside us.  ‘What are you doing?  Pray, pray very much! 


      The Holy Hearts of Jesus and Mary 
      have designs of mercy on you.  
      Offer prayers and sacrifices 
      constantly to the Most High.  .  .  

         Make of everything you can a sacrifice, 
      and offer to God as an act of 
      reparation 
      for the sins 
      by which He is offended, 
      and in supplication 
      for the conversion of sinners.  

         

         You will thus draw down peace upon your country.  I am its Angel Guardian the Angel of Portugal.  



      Above all, accept and bear 
      with submission the suffering 
      which the Lord will send you.”


      Angel of the Eucharist

         


      The 3rd Apparition

      The Angel

      of the Eucharist
         












         “The third apparition must have taken place in October, or towards the end of September, as we were no longer returning for siesta.  .  . After our lunch, we decided to go and pray in the hollow among the rocks on the opposite side of the hill.  .  . 

       

          As soon as we arrived there, we knelt down, with our foreheads touching the ground, and began to repeat the prayer of the Angel. . .  .  

          I don’t know how many times we repeated this prayer, when an extraordinary light shone upon us.  We sprang up to see what was happening, and beheld the Angel.  


         He was holding a chalice in his left hand, with the Host suspended above it, from which some drops of blood fell into the chalice.  Leaving the chalice suspended in the air, the Angel knelt down beside us and made us repeat three times:

      “Most Holy Trinity, 
      Father, Son and Holy Spirit, 

      I offer You the precious 
      Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity 
      of Jesus Christ, 

      present in all the tabernacles of the world, 
      in reparation of the sacrileges, outrages, 
      and indifference by 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.”

         “Then, rising, he took the chalice and the Host in his hands.  He gave the Sacred Host to me, and shared the Blood from the Chalice between Jacinta and Francisco, saying as he did so: 

       
      Receiving the Eucharist



      “Take and drink 
      the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, 
      horribly outraged by ungrateful men!  
      Make reparation for their 
      crimes and console your God.  .  .  


         Once again, prostrated on the ground 

      and repeated with us, three times more
      the same prayer ‘Most Holy Trinity. . .’ 
      and then disappeared. 

         Jacinta and Francisco were given their 
      First Holy Communion by an Angel!


        


          “In the third apparition, the presence of the Angel was still more intense.  For several days, even Francisco did not dare to talk.  He said later on, ‘I love to see the Angel, but the trouble is that later one, we are incapable of doing anything.  I could not even walk any more, I didn’t know what as the matter!’”

         A quick note here:  In 1916, Jacinta had just turned six and a half and her brother Francisco eight, and Father Ferreira still did not want to admit either one to the Holy Table.  In the spring of 1918, he would refuse to admit Francisco, on the pretext that he did not know the answer to a catechism question.  But heaven had already judged otherwise; Jacinta and Francisco, without the knowledge of their parish priest, had already made their First Communion! A real Communion.  In fact, although they had never dared to go to Communion in Church without the authorization of the parish priest, Jacinta and Francisco were sure that they had truly received Communion from the hand of the Angel, at the Cabeco.  Although extraordinary and miraculous, their Communion was none the less real, as Lucy has always affirmed without hesitation.


           These apparitions of the Angel the children kept secret, “the apparition itself imposed on us the secret.”  

         Did they tell anybody about the Angel?  YES, “In the first place to the archpriest of Olival.  He enjoyed my complete confidence, I hid nothing from him. He recommended that I say nothing to anybody.”  Unfortunately this priest in 1924 died before having the chance to confirm the fact.  Also, she spoke about it to Bishop da Silva, “He recommended I kept it secret.”  In one of her memoirs, reminds her bishop of the fact and the other received: “For me to keep silent”, she wrote to him, “was even the first order and the first counsel that God deigned to give me by means of Your Excellency.”  

            Canon Formigao testified both to Father de Marchi as well as to Canon Barthas, that early on he had received the confidences of Sister Lucy on the apparitions of the Angel.  But he also recommended silence.  From then on, Sister Lucy felt bound by obedience.  Father Martin dos Reins also acknowledged she told him, “Lucy remembered perfectly, word for word, the prayers of the Angel and that she recited them already in 1921-1922. In fact, without revealing the secret she taught the prayers to one of her intimate friends.  

          Mortifications and Penances

      Statues of the Fatima seers (in Fatima)
        

          “From this moment on, we had begun to offer to the Lord everything that mortified us, but without looking to impose particular penances on ourselves, except to pass entire hours prostrated on the ground, repeating the prayer which the Angel taught us.  .  .”

         ". . .we used to spend long periods of time, prostrate like the Angel, repeating his words, until sometimes we fell, exhausted. . ."

            ". . . we imitated the Angel in everything, that is, we prostrated as he did and repeated the words he said. . . we remained a long time in this position, repeating the same words over and over again. . ."

          This was the beginning of many trials and sorrows for Lucy for her family would not believe in the apparitions.  They would scorn her, ridicule her and her mother even beat her.  She offered all up to God. “.  .  . My poor mother seemed just drowned in the depths of distress. . . My God , where has all the joy of our home gone?”  

          By an infused grace, the words of the Angel had penetrated  very profoundly into their souls.  "These words were indelibly impressed upon our minds.  They were like a light which made us understand who God is, how He loves us and desires to be loved, the value of sacrifice, how pleasing it is to Him and how, on account of it, He gives the grace of conversion to sinners.  It was for this reason that we began, from then on, to offer to the Lord all that mortified us. . ."

      SEE PART TWO CONTINUING THE STORY. . .