In the famous visions of Saints Lucia, Jacinta and Francisco, the angels come first, as if to prepare the Children for what would occur from May through October of 1917. Again, one key indicator of the genuineness of the visions is the concern of both the angels and Mary with saving, rather than condemning, the souls of the damned. Another indicator is the disregard of the visions for convention, as in giving the Eucharist and wine to the children. The Children take convention seriously, while the angels do not, but the vision allows the children to be “religious” through whatever convention. Protestants do not even regard these visions, and many will object to the Trinity inherent, but the living complexity contains a “theology” quite beyond intentional invention.
This is the very first apparition, in 1915:
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 above the trees; it looked like a statue made of
snow, rendered almost transparent by the rays of the sun.
“What is that?” asked my companions, quite frightened.
“I don’t know!”
We went on praying, with our eyes fixed on the figure before
us, and as we finished our prayer, the figure disappeared. As was
usual with me, 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:
Fatima in Lucia’s Own Words, p. 76
In 1916, for the first time with Jacinta and Francisco, Lucia relates:
We ate our lunch and said our Rosary. I’m not sure whether
we said it that day in the way I have already described to Your
Excellency, saying just the word 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 had 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 towards 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. On reaching
us, he said:
“Do not be afraid! I am the Angel of Peace. Pray with me.”
Kneeling on the ground, he bowed down until his forehead
touched the ground, and made us repeat these words three times:
“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.”
Then, rising, he said: “Pray thus. The Hearts of Jesus and Mary
are attentive to the voice of your supplications.”
Lucia continues, describing the vision of the Angel of Portugal:
…As soon as we arrived there, we knelt down, with our foreheads touching the ground, and began to repeat the prayer of the
Angel: “My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love You…”, I don’t
know how many times we had 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 14. Leaving the chalice suspended in
the air, the Angel knelt down beside us and made us repeat three
“Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I adore You
profoundly, and I offer You the most precious Body, Blood, Soul
and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the
world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifference
with 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 15, saying as he did so:
“Take and drink the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, horribly
outraged by ungrateful men! Make reparation for their crimes and
console your God.”
His words engraved themselves so deeply on our minds that
we could never forget them. From then on, we used to spend long
periods of time, prostrate like the Angel, repeating his words, until
sometimes we fell, exhausted. I warned my companions, right away,
that this must be kept secret and, thank God, they did what I wanted.
Some time passed 13, and summer came, when we had to go
home for siesta. One day, we were playing on the stone slabs of
the well down at the bottom of the garden belonging to my parents,
which we called the Arneiro. (I have already mentioned this well to
Your Excellency in my account of Jacinta). Suddenly, we saw beside us the same figure, or rather Angel, as it seemed to me.
“What are you doing?” he asked. “Pray, pray very much! The
most holy Hearts of Jesus and Mary have designs of mercy on
you. Offer prayers and sacrifices constantly to the Most High.”
“How are we to make sacrifices?” I asked.
“Make of everything you can a sacrifice, and offer it 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.”
These three visions prepared the children for the visions of Fatima, and so, as it is Palm Day, it seems a good preparation. To pray and make sacrifice for the conversion of sinners, even the people we know who hate us for nothing, etc- is the profound teaching that little kids would not think of and churchmen not think to invent. The angel of Portugal, too, makes clearer the line “In Portugal, the faith will always…which begins the third secret, after some lacuna.
[The Three Secrets of Fatima are addressed in an earlier blog]
The Church has of course been asked to perform the consecration of Russia to the immaculate heart of Mary, the Pope and all the Bishops, but the Bishops now won’t do it, and Russia takes offence, and threatens this or that. A great stumbling block seems to me to be the assumption of the East and West churches that the human organization by region is the true church- like they never read the allegory of the cave!