May, the month dedicated to Our Lady
more about . . .
During the month of May, on the 13th, we celebrate the feast of Our
Lady of Fatima. On this day in 1917, Our Lady made her first
appearance to the three shepherd children, Jacinta, Francisco and
Lucia at Fatima in Portugal. She appeared to them every month from
May through October. The lives of the three children of Fatima were
entirely transformed by the heavenly apparitions. While fulfilling
the duties of their state with the greatest fidelity, those children
seemed now to live only on Rosaries and sacrifices, which they
offered in a spirit of reparation to obtain peace and the conversion
of sinners. They deprived themselves of water during the periods of
great heat; they gave their lunch to poor children; they bore about
their loins a thick cord that even drew blood; they abstained from
little innocent pleasures and urged one another to the practice of
prayer and penance with an ardour comparable to that of the great
Francis was struck down by the well-known Spanish influenza in
December, 1918. The little patient suffered for several months always
devout, and very faithful to his Rosary which he recited eight or nine
times a day. When he no longer had the strength to pronounce the words
he said them mentally. On Thursday, April 3rd, 1919, he made his First
Communion on his death-bed, all radiant with happiness. On the
following day, Friday, April 4th, at 10 o'clock in the evening, he
died the death of the elect, with a smile on his lips. He was ten
years and nine months old.
Jacinta was attacked also by the Spanish influenza almost at the
same time as here brother Francis . She too spoke of nothing else
than of reciting the Rosary and offering sacrifices for sinners. One
day she confided to Lucy: "The Blessed Virgin has told me that I
shall go to a hospital in Lisbon, that I shall not see my parents
again, that after suffering much I shall die all alone, but that I
must not be afraid, for she will come and take me to heaven."
Indeed, towards the end of January, 1920, she was taken to Lisbon to
be operated upon for a purulent pleurisy. There she immediately
impressed all by her candour, her modesty, her great patience, her
perfect submission, her continued prayer and ardent love for Holy
Communion which she received every day except when prevented by
illness. The Blessed Virgin continued to encourage this heroic virtue
by her apparitions. One day, when the Superioress came to see her,
Jacinta asked her quite naturally: "Could you come back a little
later? I am expecting the Blessed Virgin any minute!" And, all
transfigured the child looked fixedly at a definite spot. On another
occasion she was heard to say "That place must be left free, for that
is where the Blessed Virgin stood."
The effects of these visits from heaven manifested themselves not
only in the supernatural wisdom of the childs words, but also in her
predictions. One of the doctors who attended her in Lisbon asked her
to recommend him to the Blessed Virgin when she went to heaven.
Jacinta promised to do so; and then looking at the doctor she said to
him: "You will follow me soon!" To another doctor, who recommended
himself and his daughter to her prayers, she promised to pray for
them and added: "You will follow me soon; first your daughter and
then yourself!" These predictions, as well as several others, were
fulfilled to the letter.
What ardour did not this child of ten preach amendment of life, not
only to sinners, but also to faithful souls! How she insisted on
flight from sin, the practice of the Christian virtues and penance!
"Oh!" she said to the Superioress of the Orphanage in Lisbon, "if
men only knew what eternity is, how they would make all possible
efforts to amend their lives! Dear Godmother (this she addressed the
Superioress), mortification and sacrifice give great pleasure to Our
Divine Lord! Oh! Fly luxury! Fly riches! Love holy poverty! Be very
charitable even towards the wicked! Never speak evil of anyone and
avoid those who do. Be very patient because patience leads to heaven.
"Pray much for sinners! Pray much for priests, for Religious, for
Governments! Priests should occupy themselves only with the affairs
of the Church! They must be pure, very pure. The disobedience of
priests and of religious to their Superiors and to the Holy Father
offends Our Lord very much! If Governments left the Church in peace
and gave liberty to our holy religion, they would be blessed by God.
"The sins of the world are too great! The sins which lead most souls
to hell are sins of the flesh! . . . Oh! Men must do penance! If they
amend their lives Our Lord will still pardon the world; but if they
do not, the chastisement will come! . . ."
On Friday, February 20th, 1920, Jacinta asked for the last
Sacraments saying that she was going to die. The Pastor came and
heard her confession at 8 o'clock in the evening. She insisted on
receiving the holy Viaticum, assuring them that she was going to die.
They answered that she would receive it on the following morning
because there was no hurry. The child submitted, but at about 10
oclock in the morning expired peacefully, attended only by her
nurse. She was hardly ten years old.
At the news of her death people came from everywhere to see "the
little angel." Their enthusiasm naturally increased when it was
perceived that the body of the little angel exhaled a delicious
perfume of flowers. The body had to be left exposed for three days to
satisfy the devotion of the people!
In all of Our Lady's apparitions at Fatima, she insisted on praying
the Rosary. "Pray the Rosary every day to obtain peace for the
world." Lucy is heard to repeat as if to retain well what Our Lady
had first recommended to her: Yes, she wishes people to recite the
Rosary, people must recite the Rosary, She asked them to add after
each decade the short prayer: "Oh 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." In the final apparition on October 13,
1917, Our Lady silently held out the scapular (the brown scapular of
Our Lady of Mt. Carmel). Lucia had said the Blessed Mother wants
everyone to wear it. "The Scapular and the Rosary are inseparable."
From the book "more about Fatima" by Rev. J. DaCruz C.S.Sp.
OLRL offers a brochure on Our Lady of Fatima
(http://www.olrl.org/prophecy/fatima.shtml) -- order several to
promote the message of Fatima.
Rosaries and Brown Scapulars are also available.
Visit our Store at http://olrl.org/mm5/merchant.mvc to place an
Sincerely in Christ,
Our Lady of the Rosary Library
"Pray and work for souls."