OUR LADY OF FATIMA – PART 11

15 07 2012

tNow, Lucia was the only one of the three children left in this world.  Our Lady had told her She would never leave her alone but would be her comfort, but Lucia still missed her cousins.  Thousands of visitors came to the Cova at Fatima and many of them wanted to see and speak to Lucia.  They often came to her home asking questions of Lucia.  After a time, the visitors began to wear on Lucia.

In January of 1918, the Holy See, reestablished the diocese of Leiria, Portugal and sent the Reverend Joseph Coreia da Silva as Bishop.  He took possession of this See in August of 1920.  His duty was to investigate the complete facts regarding the apparitions at Fatima.  He would safeguard and implement true devotion to God and to His Holy Mother.  The Bishop was slow but prudent.  He insisted upon prayerful consideration of every detail.

He had his first meeting with Lucia on June 13, 1921.  He then invied Lucia and her mother to visit with him.  Because of all the commotion surrounding Lucia, the  Bishop suggested that she go to a convent school where no one would know her and where nothing would bother her.   And the B ishop had concluded that if all the cures that had already taken place at Fatima were true, then this would mean the apparitions were from Heaven. If not, all the commotion would soon die out.

The Bishop cautioned Lucia that she was not to tell anyone where she was going and she could not tell anyone at the school who she was.  Also, Lucia had to leave her home within five days.  And she could not even talk at all about Fatima.  Lucia was happy to do as the Bishop commanded her.  She was anxious to spend her time with Our Lord and Our Lady.

In the next few days, Lucia visited all the places she and her cousins had known, particularly the Cova, and where the Angel had appeared to them.   When it was time to leave her home, her mother accompanied her to the train station where another lady would then go with her to the school.  It was difficult to leave her mother, but she was obliged to do as the Bishop had said. 

When she reached the school, the Mother Superior gave her a new name.  She would become Maria das Dores.  The Superior also warned Lucia never to disclose who she was.  She was welcomed at the school and loved by many of the other children.  She never mentioned Fatima but she did tell of Our Lady and how we should all try to please her.  At the end of her studies, she requested admittance into the Order, the Sisters of St. Dorothy. 

Our Lady came to visit Lucia often in the convent.  She asked that the First Saturday be recognized as a day of reparation to Her Immaculate Heart.  The Child Jesus also appeared to Lucia with Our Lady in December of 1925.  Our Lady held a heart surrounded with sharp thorns.  The Child Jesus said,’Have pity on the Heart of our Most Holy Mother.  It is covered with the thorns with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment, and there is no one to remove them with an act of reparation.’ 

Our Lady said, ‘My daughter, look at my Heart encircled with the thorns with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude.  Do you at least try to console me and announce in my name that I promise to assist at the hour of death with the graces necessary for salvation all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months, go to Confession and receive Holy Communion, recite the Rosary and keep me company for a quarter of an hour while meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary with the intention of making reparation to me.’

Lucia told of this terrible vision of Our Lady’s bleeding heart to her Superior and the Superior wanted desperately to spread the devotion but was told by her confessor that she could do nothing by herself.  A year later, the Child Jesus again came to Lucia and asked if she had spread the devotion of reparation to the Immaculate Heart of His Mother.  Lucia told what had happened.  The Child Jesus then said, ‘It is true that your Superior alone can do nothing, but with my grace she can do all.’  Lucia then wrote to her own mother, asking her to help in spreading this devotion. Over time, the devotion was known by all. 

 

 

 

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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.





THE WAY IT WAS – PART TWO

1 07 2012

I brought up some things yesterday that had been the norm during the 1950’s. Earlier than that, very few people owned their own homes.  Almost everyone had to rent.  And what they rented was not all that great.  I know my in-laws lived in what I would have described as real dumps.  They laid their own linoleum floors and were always moving around trying to find a better place.  Not a good way to live.

My parents had rented for many years, but then they were finally able to buy their own house.  I remember going to look at the houses for sale.  One was really nice, but it cost $2,200. and they could not afford that one.  They settled on one that was not quite as nice, but still was o.k.  It only cost $2,000.  Payments were $16 a month.  My daddy borrowed the money from the group he worked with because I remember going by to make the payment every month.  He had a good job and was a good man.  Trustworthy, stable, and always taking good care of everyone.  There were my parents and three of us children.  Besides that, he had always taken good care of his mother.  As he said to me one time, she had no one else to take care of her so it was his job.  And he had done that since the age of 5 or 6.  His father had walked out and found someone else and my daddy was hung with providing for his mother.  If you would like to read more of that story, then order my book,  The Real Story for $10 plus $2 postage from Bet at P.O. Box 2249, Benton, AR  72018.   Enjoyment, pure enjoyment.

All us kids were expected to do well in school.  We were not straight A students but pretty close.  We did not get scholarships or anything like that, but we had a very good public school education.  That was back when they taught the necessary three R’s, if you remember, Reading, Writing and Arithmetic.  And we learned well.  All of us went to work upon graduation from high school.  I already had a job before I graduated.  Friday night was graduation and I went to work at 8 on Monday morning and was thrilled.  Was a great secretary.  Had a lot to learn, but learned well.  Worked for several years before starting a family.

My brother had worked from the time he was 14 or so.  He stuffed papers at the local newspaper office and delivered items and worked at general stuff.  Then he also had a full time sales job when he graduated from high school.  By that time, he had been working in sales for a local company for several years.  Now, it was just full time instead of part time.  

My sister also went to work early.  In fact, when I was 14, my brother took me to a friend who was hiring for a candidate’s run for governor.  He hired me on the spot thinking I was 16 and I made enough money that year to pay for my own school clothes.  Then my sister, cousin and other friends and myself all got a job during the next governor’s race and had a really great summer.  At that time, everything that went out of the office had to be typed individually, so they needed lots of typists.  We all learned typing in school and were very good on those manual typewriters, so we were well paid and again, bought all our own school clothes.  Life was a lot of fun.  Challenging, full of education, and happiness.  Because we made it that way.

No one in my home argued a lot or had a lot of problems.  We just simply got along because we had to.  There were too many of us not to. We had chickens in the back yard and only one car, and rode the bus everywhere we went.  Wouldn’t have traded that life for anything.

I also have another book entitled #2503 which was our address.  My brother and sister wanted me to write about our growing up years and that was the title I chose.  Probably not a good one, but we all like it.  Same price and same address if you want that book also.  In fact, if you would like 3 books, they are only 3 for $25 plus the postage.  A third book is about the 1940’s and all the changes due to the World War II years.  Exciting, scary, and educational once again.  You will definitely enjoy all these books.  Thanks,  Bet





THE WAY IT WAS

30 06 2012

Everyone seems to be so surprised when we talk of how things really were back then.  And I don’t mean a long time ago.  Did you know that in the early 1950’s most people had never used a shampoo?  Or a hair brush?  We washed our hair with soap and rinsed with vinegar or sometimes coal oil and used a comb.  I was so glad to have a hair brush because I had terribly tangled hair and that comb just about did me in.  When the tv came along, people could see those commercials and began to buy those things they saw.  The radio had been an opener for a lot of things, but the television made it even more so.

Also, in this awful hot weather, be thankful for that air conditioner, no matter how well it works.  We grew up in the 40’s and 50’s with a fan if we were lucky.  Most people just spent a lot of time on the porch fanning with a funeral home fan or wiping their face with a handkerchief.  And this, again, is not that long ago.  Oscillating fans had been on the market only a short time and a family usually only had one or perhaps two.  They moved the fans from one room to another, depending upon the need.  For instance if my mother was cooking, she had the fan to blow  in the kitchen.  Same way with washing dishes.  Then when the children were put to bed at night, they had the fan until they dropped off to sleep and then the parents would have it the rest of the night.  And by the way, due to the hot weather, all children had what was called heat rash and cried a lot over that.  I don’t ever want to see that one again. 

After that, the window fan and the attic fan came along and that was a real change for the better.  I remember the men putting the attic fan in our house and the breeze blowing in the window all night long.  That was truly wonderful.  Why, you could plan on being able to sleep the whole night through.  And the window fan was great for the kitchen area or the room where mother ironed.  It helped a great deal in the hot, humid weather. Of course the windows were always open to allow for that cool breeze.  How wonderful it was! 

I don’t want to live like that again.  I really like the way I live now.  I like the air conditioning and the being able to sleep and the sitting in my chair reading the paper without sweating like a hog.  I really like all this.   Do you?  If you don’t want to go back to living like that again, be sure and DO NOT vote for Mr. Obama because he will put us right back there.   With his monetary policies, we are moving backwards every day. 

If you enjoy the things you have in this country, vote for the Republican, whoever it might be.  And be sure you VOTE!!!  It is very important. Remember that every time you turn on that air conditioner.  Make that vote count this time.  





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 9

19 06 2012

After the miracle of the sun at the Cova, the children were hounded constantly by others.  People came from everywhere to ask them questions and to pry into their thoughts.  Many came to learn the secret, but the children would always remain silent.  The three children had originally pledged themselves to silence and secrecy regarding Our Lady and the apparitions, not because they had been instructed to do so, but simply because they were sure this was what God expected of them. 

They did have one friend who helped them immensely. The pastor in a nearby village had met them earlier and the children were immediately drawn to him.  They were free to visit with him often and to ask him any questions they wanted.  His counsel gave them much peace regarding all their difficulties and for this, they were most grateful.  However, the priest realized it was not his words that consoled them, but the acts of the Mother of God who was always in their hearts.

On May 13, 1917 at the time of the first apparition of Our Lady, the children had been told that Jacinta and Francisco would  both go to Heaven soon, but that Lucia was to stay in the world.

At that time, Francisco did not see Our Lady, but was told that if he said many Rosaries, he could see her.  By now, Francisco had seen the beautiful Lady and talked about it many times.  He spent much of his time saying the Rosary. He prayed constantly to console Our Lady and Our Lord. Later on, he said, ‘I liked to see the Angel so much, but I liked Our Lady much more.  What I liked best about the apparitions was seeing Our Lord in that light that the  Blessed Virgin put into our hearts.  I love God very much.  He is so sad because of so many sins. We must not commit even the smallest sin.’

The children lost all interest in play, preferring to spend their time in prayer.  Neither Jacinta nor Francisco were interested in school because it seemed a waste of time.  They preferred to spend their time in the presence of Our Lord in the Eucharist.

Both children had made their first Confession in the year of the apparitions, but their First Communion was put off for another year. Francisco failed the catechism test and had to wait longer to receive the Eucharist.  When Jacinta received Jesus in the Eucharist, Francisco was so upset that he stayed outside the church sobbing.

According to the children, Our Lady appeared to them several more times during the coming years. And their prayers had great power for intercession. One story is that of a man who was lost and Jacinta suddenly appeared to him and led him to the right road for home.  When the man told his story later, Jacinta had no recollection of it.  Lucia’s mother became gravely ill and was miraculously cured through Lucia’s faith.

In 1918, the whole Marto family was sick with the dreaded flu.  The father was the only one able to take care of the rest of the family.  In Lucia’s family, everyone became sick except for Lucia and she took care of the rest of her family.

Francisco became ever sicker over time with high fevers and loss of strength.  Our Lady appeared to both Francisco and Jacinta, telling them she would come for Francisco soon and then for Jacinta not long after.  Jacinta was told that she would go to two different hospitals and would suffer a great deal to save more souls.

Francisco improved and would walk to the Cova,  kneeling at the stump to pray.  Then he suffered a great deal more for the love of Our Lord and Our Lady.  Francisco begged to receive Our Lord in the Holy Eucharist before he died. This was arranged.  He made his final Confession and received Our Lord.  The next morning,  April 4, 1919,  he died peacefully at the age of 10 years. 





DEAR GOD: THANK YOU FOR ALL FAMILY

18 06 2012

A bit of advice – always stay close to all your relatives.  This does not mean you have to see them often or even think of them often.  But do make a point of contacting them once in awhile.  An email or a simple phone call or even a card in the mail would suffice.  Just enough to say, ‘Hey, remember me.  I am your sister or your brother or your cousin or your aunt.  I am still alive and I just wanted to say Hi.  Hope you are doing o.k.  I am.

That is all you have to do in order to remain a real family.  Sometimes words have been said or situations have been stretched too far.  But write that off and make amends that you need to make if you need to at all.  If all that happened is someone else’s fault, then just write that off, too and act like nothing has happened to your relationship.  I know that is hard to do sometimes, but it will work if you want it to.  Just remember that nothing is worth the problems.  So smile nicely and make amends even if you are not at fault.

If you don’t keep up with family and them keep up with you, sometimes there is no one left who remembers you way back when.  I want someone to remember me as a skinny, long legged kid who was always messing things up.  I want to be remembered for what I was way back when.

My mother was one of nine children and I watched as they died, one by one until the only other sibling she had was her youngest brother.  She hardly even knew him as she was gone from home while he was still a child.  But she was so happy to hear from him and to talk with him and to visit with him as they both got older.  There was no one else who remembered all those family members and all those situations.  And the only other person who remembered their parents and how much life meant to them as they grew up.  Eventually my mother was the only one left and she was always so sorry that everyone else in her early life was gone.  She missed them all a lot.

So keep in touch no matter what it costs you.  Even if you get no response to your tries, keep in touch anyway.  As you get older, you will be glad you did.  For you may find that you and one other person from the family are all that is left.  Who else knew you when. Who else remembers all those things in your life.

And remember to always Thank God For All Your Family, no matter what or where they may be.  Keep in touch!