Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta

The story of Fatima

Published June 23, 2017

FATIMA, Portugal–It was 1917. World War I was in progress.

Children Lucia dos Santos and her cousins, Francisco and Jacinta Marto, were sent every day with their families’ sheep to graze on a field known as Cova da Iria about a mile from their village.

On May 13, 1917, the children saw for the first time Our Lady, who asked them to come back on the 13th day of the month at the same time for six months. She asked them if they were willing to offer themselves to God and to accept suffering in reparation for sins and for the conversion of sinners. The children said yes and were illuminated by a penetrating light in which they saw themselves “in God, Who was that light.”

Our Lady asked them to “pray the rosary every day, in order to obtain peace for the world, and the end of the war.”

On June 13, 1917, 50 to 60 people came to watch as the children kept the appointed time. In answer to their questions, Our Lady told them Jacinta and Francisco would soon be in heaven, but Lucia would remain on earth longer. She said Jesus wanted to establish devotion to her Immaculate Heart. She showed them the image of a heart encircled and pierced by thorns.

On July 13, 1917, several thousand people came. Our Lady told the children to make sacrifices for sinners and to pray, “O Jesus, it is for love of You, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.” The children received a vision of souls in hell. Our Lady told them in order to save souls, God wished to establish devotion to her Immaculate Heart.

She told them the war would end, but a worse war would begin if people did not cease offending God. She asked for the consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart and the Communion of Reparation to be made by people on the first Saturdays of the month. If this was done, she said, Russia would be converted and there would be peace. If not, she said, Russia would spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the church. “The good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer, various nations will be annihilated. In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, and she will be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world. In Portugal, the dogma of the Faith will always be preserved.”

She told them to pray after each mystery of the rosary, “O my Jesus, forgive us, save us from the fire of hell. Lead all souls to heaven, especially those who are most in need.”

On Aug. 13, 1917, many thousands were present, but the children were prevented from going to Cova da Iria by the police. However, on Aug. 19, Our Lady appeared to them in their own village of Valinhos. She told them that, on the last apparition date, she would perform a miracle so that all present would believe. She again told the children to pray and make sacrifices for sinners “for many souls go to hell, because there are none to sacrifice themselves and to pray for them.”

On Sept. 13, 1917, 20,000 to 30,000 people were present. Our Lady told them in October Our Lord would come and St. Joseph with the Child Jesus “to bless the world.” The children asked for healing for specific people who were giving the children petitions. They said people wanted to build a chapel at the site.

On Oct. 13, 1917, 50,000 to 70,000 people were present. Our Lady told them she was the Lady of the Rosary and to have a chapel built on the site. She asked them to continue to pray the rosary every day and not to offend God. “Then, opening her hands, she made them reflect on the sun, and as she ascended, the reflection of her own light continued to be projected on the sun itself,” Lucia wrote.

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