of 13 June 1917
In Portugal the 13th of June is a great
feast, the feast of St. Anthony of Lisbon, known to most Catholics as
St. Anthony of Padua. This Franciscan miracle-worker was born in
Lisbon and had entered religious life as a Canon Regular of the Holy
Cross, residing first in Lisbon and then Coimbra, before leaving
the Portuguese order for the new Order of Friars Minor and a hope of
martyrdom. It was, and is, THE children's feast in Portugal, so the
parents of Lucia naturally thought that the festivities at the parish
church in Fátima would distract her from the appointment at the Cova.
However, undismayed by this tactic Lucia and the Marto children
proceeded to the apparition site to keep their noon day rendezvous.
When they arrived they found a small
crowd awaiting them.
After having said the rosary with
Jacinta and Francisco and other people who were present, we saw
again the reflection of light nearing us, (we used to say it was
lightening), and following, Our Lady on the holm oak as in May.
"Please tell me, Madam, what it is that you want of
I want you to come here on the thirteenth of next month. I want
you to continue saying the Rosary every day. And after each one of
the mysteries, my children, I want you to pray in this way: O my
Jesus, forgive us our sins , save us from the fire of hell. Take all
souls to heaven, especially those who are most in need. I want you
to learn to read and write, and later I will tell you what else I
want of you.
"Will you take us to heaven?"
Yes, I shall take Jacinta and Francisco soon, but you will remain
a little longer, since Jesus wishes you to make me known and loved
on earth. He wishes also for you to establish devotion in the world
to my Immaculate Heart.
"Must I remain in the world alone?"
Not alone, my child, and you must not be sad. I will be with you
always, and my Immaculate Heart will be your comfort and the way
which will lead you to God.
The moment she said the last words, opening her hands, She
transmitted to us, for the second time, the reflection of that
intense light. In it we felt we were submerged in God. Jacinta and
Francisco seemed to be in that part of the light which was rising to
Heaven, and I in the part spreading over the earth. In front of the
palm of Our Lady's right hand was a heart encircled with thorns
which appeared to pierce it. We understood it was the Immaculate
Heart of Mary offended by the sins of mankind, craving reparation.
The apparition then concluded as on the first occasion, with the
Lady going off toward the east and disappearing in the
"immensity of heaven."
Despite the joy of those precious moments the sorrows of the
children continued in the following weeks, moderated by the belief
of very many at the Cova that day. They knew that something unusual had
occurred - they saw the "lightening," some perceived a
certain dimming of the sun, others a little gray cloud that came and
went as the apparition did and they believed. However, the difficulties with their
families did not abate, especially with their mothers, who became
genuinely alarmed that the events were not just continuing but
expanding. To this was added the painful caution of the parish
priest, that after all it might be real but of demonic origin.