OUR LADY OF FATIMA PART 10

11 07 2012

Jacinta, still suffering with the influenza always offered up her sufferings for the salvation of souls.  She did not want any soul to go to the Hell she had seen and so she prayed constantly.  She confided her deepest thoughts to Lucia, telling her about the war that was to come soon and the many people who would die and the cities that would be burned to the ground and the many priests to be killed.  She also told Lucia about the light that would be shown in the sky when the war started.  And she always spoke of how, in Heaven, she would pray constantly for all.

A doctor came to their house and advised her parents to take her to a hospital at Ourem.  Jacinta was very afraid and did not want to leave her home, but in June, her father placed her on his donkey and took her to the hospital.  She received treatment for two months.  By now, she had a large wound on her chest which was open and running. The doctors realized she would be as well off at home, so she returned to her home.

She had a constant fever, pneumonia, tuberculosis and pleurisy.  She told Lucia that when she could, she got out of bed and said the Angel’s prayer, but could no longer bend her head to the floor, so stayed on her knees.  Lucia talked this over with a pastor and he advised that Jacinta should stay in bed to say her prayers.  She visited the Cova as long as she could, and attended Mass whenever possible.  It was very difficult for her to eat or drink, but she would force herself and then offer up this sacrifice.

Our Lady visited Jacinta many times during her illness.  Jacinta was told she would go to a hospital in Lisbon next.  This was an utter impossibility as she had no way to go there.  But in January 1920, a doctor stopped in Fatima to talk to the priest about the happenings and to visit Jacinta.  He recommended she go to Lisbon and she was sent there in February.  Her diagnosis was purulent pleurisy of her left cavity and fistulous osteitis of the seventh and eighth ribs on the same side.  Before she left, she cautioned Lucia once again not to reveal the special secret the Lady had confided to them.  She also said Lucia would establish the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary throughout the whole world.

Jacinta and her mother rode the train to Lisbon but could find no place to stay.  They eventually knocked on the door of an orphanage of Our Lady of the Miracles.  They were welcomed there and Jacinta was well treated.  The Superior took personal care of her.  Jacinta had many visits from Our Lady and revealed to the Superior some of these.  Jacinta said if people amend their lives, Our Lord will forgive the world, but if they do not, the punishment will come. Beginning with Spain, great events will come sometime around 1940. She also told of offenses against Our Lord including sins of the flesh.  There would be fashions which offend Our Lord, marriages which will offend God, and governments which persecute the religion of Our Lord.  She said to be charitable to all, never criticize, have patience, and offer mortifications and sacrifices to Our Lord.  Confession, the Sacrament of mercy, should be approached with confidence and joy. Without Confession, there is no salvation.  She also said to be pure in body, preserve chastity.  To be pure in soul, avoid sin, never steal, lie or look at what would be sinful.

Eventually, she was moved to the hospital where she suffered even more for Our Lord and Our Lady.  The doctors operated and removed two of her ribs.  The anesthesia did not work well and she suffered more pain. She had someone write Lucia telling of the day and hour of her death.  Then Our Lady appeared again and took away all her pain much to the astonishment of the doctors.  She appeared the same, but the evening of February 20, 1920, she asked for the last rites of the Church.  A priest heard her Confession and promised to bring her Communion in the morning.  Jacinta asked that he bring it now, but he did not  At 10:30, she passed away without receiving Our Lord.  She was only 9 years old.

Her body was placed in the Church in a special room under lock and key.   The undertaker took only a few at a time to see her.  He said she looked alive and had an odor of a bouquet of flowers.  On September 12, 1935, her body was exhumed and found to be whole and incorrupt.  Her body was exhumed again in 1951, thirty years after her death and  had not decayed.

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GREEN GREEN GRASS

19 06 2012

I was making my usual run around town today trying to get all those errands done and happened to notice how pretty the yards looked.  Most were very green with lots and lots of flowers.  That got me to thinking as usual.

Not too long ago, no one had a pretty yard.  You cut the grass if it needed it.  No one ever trimmed.  Bushes were cut when absolutely necessary.  But most people had to borrow tools to do this.  Flowers were planted, but usually just the same old things such as bulbs that would outlast everything else.  There was not much choice.  Few greenhouses to buy from anyway.  Most of the flowers were either given to you or were already in the yard.  

And the grass was usually almost brown as soon as hot weather set in.  No one and I do mean no one ever watered their grass.  That was mostly unheard of.  You had to be rich to even think of such a thing.  What a waste.  Besides, there were no sprinklers and a lot of people did not even have a water hose. If they did, they would have just used it to wash their car.  Or wash off the porch once or twice a year.   You just had to wait until it rained and if the grass and flowers were not already dead, they might come back out after a good rain.  

No one fertilized their yard either.  That didn’t come along until even much later.  These were just expenses simply not heard of before.  It was not something necessary anyway.  So no one thought much about it.  

Now we all take those things for granted.  We expect to have a nice thick green yard.  And lots of flowers if we want them. And fertilize at least a couple of times a year.  

I still think raking the leaves in the Fall was the most fun thing of all.  It was such fun to rake all day so that all the leaves were in one big pile.  Then all the kids in the neighborhood came over to jump in the pile of leaves.  That in itself was a real luxury.   Those were really fun times.  Then, if you were old enough, you could help burn those leaves. We had so many leaves that they had to be burned in stages over the next few days.  If we were lucky, our mother would let us cook potatoes down in the bottom of the pile of burning leaves.  These were absolutely terrible to eat, but we all smiled a lot and thoroughly enjoyed them.  All the kids wanted a potato.  

Life really wasn’t too bad when we didn’t have as much.  It was pretty nice – sometimes. But I wouldn’t want to go backward to another time.  Think I’ll keep my green grass.  





OUR LADY OF FATIMA – PART 5

22 05 2012

After the third apparition, the children talked often about seeing the poor souls crying out in Hell and prayed more for the salvation of souls. They were followed everywhere they went by people asking about the secret.  To avoid this, they went to their pastures over back roads and through deserted areas.  They longed to be left alone so they could pray even more.

Jacinta was particularly disturbed after seeing the suffering souls in Hell.  She prayed almost constantly. At one time, she saw a vision of the Pope kneeling before a table in a big house.  He was crying and holding his face in his hands.  Outside, some people were throwing stones at him and saying many ugly words.  Another time, she began to cry and asked Lucia if she could see the great number of people who were crying from lack of food.  And the Holy Father praying before the Immaculate Heart of Mary and all those praying with him.

Great numbers of people, even priests, began to visit the Cova and some wanted to see the children.  Most wanted to know the secret and would offer presents and special favors.  But the children never told the secret to anyone.  In fact, they would run and hide when they saw people coming.  This interfered with their daily lives.

Lucia’s family still ridiculed her often and now visitors tramped on their garden until all the plants were ruined.  Lucia could no longer watch the sheep and they had to sell them.  Her mother was particularly distressed.  One of the visitors said Lucia had taken a dollar from another visitor.  Lucia denied this but her mother thrashed her with a broomstick.  Too late, it was found that Jacinta was the one who was given a dollar.

Even newspaper reporters came to talk to the children.  The stories written later depicted the children as epileptic and victims of greed and fraud. This only served to further divide the community.

The Chief Magistrate of the County where Fatima is located was a man of great power.  He had been baptized as a Catholic but had left the Church to join the Masonic Lodge.  He then started his own Lodge and was its head.  He also published a newspaper which served to ridicule the Faith and the Catholic Chuch and its Priests.

Both fathers of the children had been summoned to appear before this Magistrate to answer for their stories.  Lucia’s father willingly took Lucia.  Jacinta and Francisco’s father refused to let them go. The Magistrate began to question Lucia but she remained quiet.  Her father answered that this was all women’s talk and was not to be believed. Jacinta and Francisco’s father spoke up and said he believed the children. The Magistrate warned Lucia that if he did not learn her secret, he would kill her.  And then they were dismissed.

Early morning of August 13th, the Magistrate came to Jacinta and Francisco’s house.  He said he wanted to see the miracle too.  He insisted on taking the children in his carriage.  On the way, they were to stop at the rectory so he could ask some questions.  Lucia was questioned by the Pastor, who now believed the apparitions not to be the work of the devil,  but invented stories.  When she would not disclose the secret, he accused her of spreading lies.

Now, the Magistrate kidnapped the children, putting them in his carriage and driving them to his house.  There, he locked them in a room and said they would never leave the room until they told him the secret.  However, his wife let them out of the room, gave them lunch and let them play with her children. Meanwhile, everyone became angry at the Magistrate over the kidnapping of the children.

At the Cova, the thunder sounded and then a flash was seen and there was a little bright cloud that appeared over the holmoak. It stayed a few minutes and then ascended towards Heaven.  At that time, everyone’s face seemed to glow in all the colors of the rainbow.  The tree leaves were replaced with flowers and the ground was in little squares of different colors as was all clothing. The lanterns hanging over the holy spot were of gold.  Next day, the Pastor wrote an apology for his unbelief.

 





THE KNITTER- THAT’S ME

4 05 2012

I have already told you how terrible I am at sewing.  Well, that is nothing to compare with knitting.  I had already taken classes in quilting and while there, they were demonstrating a knitting machine.  Well, that one was for me.  I could just see myself making all these beautiful sweaters for me and all my family.  Oh, what fun it would be.  And that wonder of wonders machine just did it all by itself, almost.  All I had to do was put it together, figure out what all that instruction meant and I would be in business.

Well, I bought the machine and paid for it up front because I just knew it would pay for itself real quick.  Then I bought all the attachments.  Not very much more. And then I bought all the yarn I would need to learn.  That wasn’t just a whole lot either.  And then I hurried home to begin knitting like a pro.  That’s what the lady told me.  She was the one who had sold me the machine.

I went back for the instructions that were included with the sale.  And I learned how to thread the machine with the beautiful yarn.  That wasn’t too hard to learn.  See, I just knew I could do this one. Now, all I had to do was learn the terminology – that foreign language- that everyone else seems to be born with.

I put the thing-a-ma-jig on the machine and threaded the yarn through all the holes they had told me.  Then I ran the thing across the carriage and it worked!  Oh boy! I was really going to love this.  I practiced quite a lot on moving that thing across the needles. And it worked every time.  I wasn’t making anything yet, but I was on my way. No doubt about that.

Then I actually made a sweater for myself at the knitting machine shop.  It would have been perfect except for those little holes here and there.  But I figured I could probably repair them only I didn’t know how, so guess I will just forget that anyway.  Too busy learning other things by this time.  I suppose I could iron some flower patches on those holes and the sweater would be good enough to wear at home – if I took up painting the house.

But I moved on.  Nothing was going to stop me now.  I did make quite a few things, just nothing that was worth wearing.  I made one of the children a little dress and it was really cute.  Sort of crooked, but cute.  And I made a couple of throws, just straight knitting for that.  They didn’t look very good but hey – I’m just learning here.

The only problem was that I was always learning, still learning.   I moved the knitting machine to another room where I could see out the window while knitting.  And then in the Spring, my neighbor sat on his deck right in front of the window.  I’m sure he thought I was spying on him but I wasn’t.  I was there first, you know.  But it sort of took the fun out of reacting to my mistakes if someone could see me scream.

I kept on trying and trying and trying, but I wasn’t much smarter at knitting than I was at sewing.  I finally decided to move it down to the laundry room where I spent a lot of time every day anyway. This thing takes up a lot of room, about 8′ across the room by the time you have to have enough room to remove that thing-a-ma-jig that sometimes reaches the end of the machine.  Sometimes I have to put it back on without losing any stitches and that is almost impossible.  In fact it is impossible.  And if anyone started talking to me while I was knitting, I would invariably drop a stitch and then the conversation would be over and I would be upset and that was enough of that.

I finally moved it all the way out to the garage and took it apart.  I had all sorts of attachments by now and lots and lots of yarn.  I told a lady where I had bought some yarn that I was interested in selling it.  She just could not believe anyone would want to sell their knitting machine.  So I sold it all to her. Gladly.

Think I’ll take up gardening.  I know how to dig holes and watch dead flowers.  I can do that really well.





DEAR GOD: THANK YOU AGAIN

2 03 2012

Woke up this morning and the whole world had changed again.  Those daffodils/jonquils had drooped their heads and are getting ready to call it a day.  But in their place, the Bartlett Pear trees have all burst into bloom.  Lovely white blooms cover the whole town.  And sitting right below them are the Japonicas with their orange and red blossoms.  And the Forsythia has stretched out its arms in all directions with beautiful yellow flowers all over the place.  Even a few of the Azaleas are blooming now with various colors from red to pink and purple and even some of the white.  Mingled in with that are the red and purple leaves of the Barberries.

It is truly, truly beautiful outside today.  Thank You, Dear God once again.  You provide us with such overwhelming glorious color to make our world even better.

Think I will open all the windows and doors today and let some of that beautiful sunshine come right on in.  But then, I just remembered that the pollen will be coming in, too.  So guess I’ll just have to watch this beautiful world from inside the window.  But that’s alright.  It’s still beautiful and I appreciate being able to enjoy it.  Hope you do, too.





FROZEN DAFFODILS

13 02 2012

Out here in my world it is time for the Annual Frozen Daffodil Festival.  This phrase was not coined by me but by a columnist in one of our local newspapers many years ago.  And it is so true.  Of course we don’t really have a festival, but we sure have the frozen daffodils.

Every year it is the same.  We have this Springtime right in the middle of the winter months.   The temperature will hover around 60 for about 10 days and all the flowers begin to think Spring has arrived early.  A Crocus pops its head up with a tiny yellow bloom.  The Daffodils come up in all their lovely glory and soon we have yards full of the beautiful yellow flowers.  And then sometimes we also have trees that would like to bloom with buds showing everywhere.  And just the other day, I saw a Hyacinth come up in my own flower garden. Today, an Azalea had one bud on it that was open enough to see the color.

And then, then, then, we have a cold snap that zaps everything in sight.  The Daffodils are standing upright being held that way by the snow at their feet.  The snow is covering all but the yellow flowers  blooming above the white snow.  The trees are drooping with the ice that has formed on their branches.  And the Crocus blooms have all but disappeared.  Can’t find the Hyacinth under that snow. And that poor Azalea is drooping big time.

So, it has arrived once again.  Our Annual Frozen Daffodil Festival.  If we are lucky, the cold snap will disappear as quickly as it came and the flowers will once again be blooming every day.  Have to wait and see.  If the weather takes a turn for the freezer, then everything will finally droop away.  Hope Spring does come soon.  Enough of this false hope and wishing for those flowers.  We just try to enjoy them when and for as long as we can here in the middle of Winter.

Happy Spring already!