Our Lady of Fatima: A Sign of Hope

By Monique Sammut | May 13, 2018
The Angel of Peace

In 1916, during World War I, a time of upheaval around the world, three young shepherd children (Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta), were tending their family’s sheep in Fatima, Portugal.  One day, as the children were tending the sheep, an Angel appeared to them and asked them to pray with him.  He is known as the Angel of Peace.  The Angel appeared a total of about three times and each time he was preparing the children for Our Lady of Fatima’s visit.  He urged them to make sacrifices and to offer them to God as acts of reparation for sinners.

The Angel of Peace taught the children two prayers:

The Pardon Prayer

My God, I believe, I adore, I hope, and I love Thee!  I beg pardon for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope, and do not love Thee.

The Angel’s Prayer

O Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, I adore Thee profoundly.  I offer Thee 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 by which He is offended.  By the infinite merits of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg the conversion of poor sinners.  Amen.

During the Angel’s last visit, he held a bleeding Host over a chalice and he gave the children Communion.

Our Lady Appears

On May 13, 1917, Our Lady appeared at the Cova de Iria, while the children were tending the sheep.  She appeared primarily on the thirteenth of the month from May until October 1917 – six visits in all.

During Our Lady’s third visit in July, she showed Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta a deeply jarring vision of Hell.

In August, the children were threatened and imprisoned.  They thought that they were going to be boiled in oil if they did not admit they made up the apparitions, but they endured their hardships bravely and never denied Our Lady.  Because the children were in prison, they couldn’t go to the Cova on August 13, but they went two days later.

The Message of Fatima

During each of her visits, Our Lady of Fatima encouraged the children to pray and sacrifice.  She especially stressed the importance of praying the Rosary for the conversion of Russia and “to obtain peace for the world and the end of the war.”  Throughout her visits, Our Lady predicted the rise of communism in Russia and its spread around the world; the annihilation of nations; World War II, and the persecution of good people, especially the Holy Father.

Our Lady’s call was an urgent one to conversion and penance.  She reminds us that our future lies in the hands of a good but just God but that we also play an important role through our prayers and sacrifices.

Fatima Prayers

Our Lady also taught Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta three prayers.  The Decade Prayer is said after the Glory Be during the Rosary.

The Eucharistic Prayer

Most Holy Trinity, I adore Thee!  My God, my God, I love Thee in the Most Blessed Sacrament!

The Sacrifice Prayer

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 Decade Prayer

O My Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of Hell.  Lead all souls to Heaven, especially those most in need of Thy mercy.

The Miracle of the Sun

More than 70,000 people were present on October 13, to witness the miracle of the sun.

On October 13, 1930, the Bishop of Fatima declared the apparitions of Our Lady credible and permitted public devotion to Our Lady of the Rosary of Fatima.

Fatima Secrets

Our Lady of Fatima revealed three secrets to the children.  They all center around the important role of the Immaculate Conception in the story of our salvation.

On May 13, 1981, the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima.  Pope John Paul II was in Saint Peter’s Square for his Wednesday audience when he was shot by a gunman.  He was rushed to the hospital and lost nearly 3/4 of his blood.  The bullets narrowly missed two major arteries and Pope John Paul II attributed this to a miracle from Our Lady of Fatima.  He regained consciousness slightly before the surgery and asked the doctors not to remove his Brown Scapular during the five hour surgery.  The Pope later credited his survival to the intercession of Our Lady of Fatima.

The gunman was caught and sentenced to life in prison.  On December 27, 1983, Pope John Paul II visited the man who tried to kill him and spoke to him privately.  The Pope said the following about the visit:

“What we talked about will have to remain a secret between him and me.  I spoke to him as a brother whom I have pardoned and who has my complete trust.”

In 1982, Pope John Paul II visited Fatima for the first time.

Celebrating a Special Day

The feast of Our Lady of Fatima is very special.  Children will enjoy the Our Lady of Fatima magnet and a sticker also.  The most important part of this day is knowing how much Our Lady loves us.  She came at Fatima to give us a warning about the importance of changing our ways and acknowledging our need for a Savior.  On this feast, let us remember the new life we have been given at Easter, the eternal life we were created for, and the Savior who desires to “draw all mankind” to himself.  Mary will lead us to her son, but we have to turn to her and entrust ourselves completely to her.  She is our mother and she loves us more than the most perfect mother on earth ever could.

Our Lady of Fatima, Pray for us!

If men knew what eternity is, they would do everything to change their lives.