Editor’s note – The Church is commemorating the 100th year anniversary of Our Lady’s miraculous appearances to shepherd children Lucia, Jacinta and Francisco in Fatima, Portugal. A new monthly series by a group of local Marian devotees debuts today and will present informational nuggets about Our Lady and the Fatima miracles during a year-long celebration.
By Marilu D. Martinez
For the Umatuna Si Yu’os
The Fatima apparitions were unique in that as far back as 1915, an angel appeared to the children three separate times, never uttering a word but mesmerizing the youngsters silently, with its dazzling white illumination forming the shape of a human figure.
The spring of 1916, the illuminating figure appeared a fourth time saying: “I am the Angel of Peace, pray with me.” Bowing down with his head touching the ground, he taught the children this prayer, repeated three times: “My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love thee! I ask pardon for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope and do not love Thee.”
“Pray this way; the Hearts of Jesus and Mary are attentive to the voice of your supplications,” the angel said. So intense was this spiritual experience for the children that even after the angel disappeared they remained on their knees repeating the prayer; that feeling remained in them throughout the next day.
The fifth appearance of Our Lady to Lucia, Jacinta and Francisco was the summer of 1916. “Pray, pray very much! The most holy Hearts of Jesus and Mary have designs of mercy for you. Make everything you can a sacrifice and offer it to God as an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended, and in supplication for the conversion of sinners. You will draw peace upon your country. I am its Angel Guardian, the Angel of Portugal. Above all, accept and bear with submission the suffering which the Lord will send you.”
At the sixth and final angel apparition, the Angel of Portugal and Angel of Peace held a chalice with a host suspended above it. Drops of Blood dripped from the host into the Chalice as the angel knelt teaching the children another prayer to be recited three times: “Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I adore You profoundly. I offer you 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 Himself is offended. By the infinite merits of His Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of you the conversion of poor sinners.” These prayers are still prayed today in Eucharistic celebrations or after receiving Holy Communion.
Saint Michael, the Guardian Angel of Portugal is said to have appeared at the Battle of Ourique in 1139 and is credited for the victory of Portuguese forces over the Muslims. Devotion to the Guardian Angel of Portugal almost disappeared after the 17th century but restored in 1952, being inserted into the Portuguese Liturgical Calendar by Pius XII. Is St. Michael the angel who appeared to the children at Fatima, preparing the way for Our Lady’s apparitions? People of Portugal believe so!
Throughout this 100th year of the apparition of Our Lady at Fatima, we will inform the faithful of scheduled monthly Rosary rallies to be held at certain sites.