8 05 2012

The children agreed not to tell anyone about the Lady’s visit.  But Jacinta couldn’t wait to tell her mother.  Her mother only laughed and called her a little saint. But Jacinta kept telling the same story over and over.  Finally the mother insisted she tell it to her father and the rest of the family who had gathered for supper.  Jacinta told the story once more.  Francisco agreed with all that she said. Some of the family made fun and laughed at them.  Their father believed them though. He knew they would not lie.

During the coming weeks, the children tried to follow the Lady’s requests to offer sacrifices for the conversion of sinners.  They gave their lunches to the sheep and ate the acorns from the trees instead.

Lucia’s sister heard the story in town and asked her sister.  Then her mother heard the story and was incensed to think her youngest daughter would lie so.  Over the next days, she threatened her child with various punisments, but Lucia would not change her story.  In desperation, the mother threatened to take Lucia to see the local Pastor.

Meanwhile, the story spread all through the town and people were laughing at the thought that a Lady from Heaven would come here to visit with three children.  Very few of them believed the story.  Even other children laughed at them.  Adults ridiculed the parents, saying they were not fit to raise their children.

Lucia’s mother did  talk to the Pastor who suggestd the children be allowed to visit the Cova de Iria the following month.  He said he would then talk to them individually.  Jacinta’s father also went to see the Pastor.  The Pastor  told the father to make up his own mind.  If he wanted to bring the children, the Pastor would talk to them.  If not, do not bring them.

The 13th of the month was also time for the local Feast of St. Anthony which was celebrated with great festivity.  Both mothers tried to discourage their children from returning to the Cova da Iria.  But the children were determined to follow the Lady’s request.   When they arrived, other people were also waiting.  One lady named Senhora Maria Carreira was there with her 17 year old crippled son.

The children sat down under a tree, ate their lunch and waited for Our Lady. They all began to say the Rosary.  Then Lucia jumped up and said, ‘Jacinta, Jacinta, here comes Our Lady.  I just saw the flash.’  The three ran to the smaller tree.  Others followed.  Lucia was heard to say, ‘You told me to come here today. What do you want me to do?’  ‘I want you to come here on the thirteenth of the next month.  Say the Rosary, inserting between the mysteries the following ejaculation – O My Jesus, forgive us.  Save us from the fire of Hell.  Bring all souls to Heaven, especially those in most need.’  I want you to learn to read and write and later I will tell you what else I want.’

Lucia then asked Our Lady to cure a certain person.  The Lady answered, ‘If he is converted, he will be cured within the year.’

Lucia said, ‘I would like to ask you also to take us to Heaven!’ ‘Yes’, Our Lady answered.  ‘I will take Jacinta and Francisco soon.  You, however, are to stay here a longer time.  Jesus wants to use you to make me known and loved.  He wants to establish the Devotion to My Immaculate Heart in the World.  I promise salvation to those who embrace it and their souls will be loved by God as flowers placed by Myself to adorn His throne.’

‘Am I going to stay here alone?’ asked Lucia beginning to cry.  ‘No my daughter.  Does this cause you to suffer a great deal?  I will never leave you, My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God.’

Then Our Lady opened her hands and an immense light covered her.  The three were in it, as if submerged in God.  Jacinta and Francisco were on the side ascending to Heaven.  Lucia was on the side spreading over the earth. There was a Heart before the palm of the right hand of Our Lady with thorns piercing it.  This was the Immaculate Heart of Mary so offended by the sins of mankind, desiring reparation.

Our Lady then ascended towards Heaven.