Relevant at One Hundred: The Message of Our Lady of Fatima

Although the one hundredth anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun occurred thirteen days ago on Friday, October 13, 2017, the Feast of Saint Edward the Confessor, we are still in the month of October, which is the month devoted to the Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Holy Angels.

This reflection has been prepared as a means to enrich our appreciation of the simple fact that every aspect of Our Lady’s apparitions a century ago to Jacinta and Francisco Marto and Lucia dos Santos is a sign of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ’s desire to help us to save our souls in spite of our best efforts to go to hell. Moreover, it is my firm conviction that every detail of Our Lady’s Fatima apparitions have a prophetic meaning for the times in which we live today, which is why the lords of the counterfeit church of conciliarism have worked overtime to deconstruct their meaning and to use every opportunity to profane the sacred grounds on which Our Lady appeared to the three shepherd children. (For the most recent profanation, please see the report at False Lights at Fatima.)

The Preparation for Our Lady's Fatima Apparitions

God does nothing by accident. His Wisdom hath ordereth all things mightily according to His inscrutable ways:

She reacheth therefore from end to end mightily, and ordereth all things sweetly. (Wisdom 8:1)

All wisdom is from the Lord God, and hath been always with him, and is before all time. [2] Who hath numbered the sand of the sea, and the drops of rain, and the days of the world? Who hath measured the height of heaven, and the breadth of the earth, and the depth of the abyss? [3] Who hath searched out the wisdom of God that goeth before all things? [4] Wisdom hath been created before all things, and the understanding of prudence from everlasting. [5] The word of God on high is the fountain of wisdom, and her ways are everlasting commandments.

[6] To whom hath the root of wisdom been revealed, and who hath known her wise counsels? [7] To whom hath the discipline of wisdom been revealed and made manifest? and who hath understood the multiplicity of her steps? [8] There is one most high Creator Almighty, and a powerful king, and greatly to be feared, who sitteth upon his throne, and is the God of dominion. [9] He created her in the Holy Ghost, and saw her, and numbered her, and measured her. [10] And he poured her out upon all his works, and upon all flesh according to his gift, and hath given her to them that love him. (Ecclesiasticus 1: 1-10.)

[31] So these also now have not believed, for your mercy, that they also may obtain mercy. [32] For God hath concluded all in unbelief, that he may have mercy on all. [33] O the depth of the riches of the wisdom and of the knowledge of God! How incomprehensible are his judgments, and how unsearchable his ways! [34] For who hath known the mind of the Lord? Or who hath been his counsellor? [35] Or who hath first given to him, and recompense shall be made him? (Romans 11: 31-35.)

Saint Thomas Aquinas explained that it is beyond any doubt that God does indeed order everything according to His Divine Providence:

Objection 5: Further, the Apostle says (1 Cor. 9:9): "God doth not care for oxen [*Vulg. 'Doth God take care for oxen?']": and we may say the same of other irrational creatures. Thus everything cannot be under the care of divine providence.

On the contrary, It is said of Divine Wisdom: "She reacheth from end to end mightily, and ordereth all things sweetly" (Wis. 8:1).

I answer that, Certain persons totally denied the existence of providence, as Democritus and the Epicureans, maintaining that the world was made by chance. Others taught that incorruptible things only were subject to providence and corruptible things not in their individual selves, but only according to their species; for in this respect they are incorruptible. They are represented as saying (Job 22:14): "The clouds are His covert; and He doth not consider our things; and He walketh about the poles of heaven." Rabbi Moses, however, excluded men from the generality of things corruptible, on account of the excellence of the intellect which they possess, but in reference to all else that suffers corruption he adhered to the opinion of the others.

We must say, however, that all things are subject to divine providence, not only in general, but even in their own individual selves. This is made evident thus. For since every agent acts for an end, the ordering of effects towards that end extends as far as the causality of the first agent extends. Whence it happens that in the effects of an agent something takes place which has no reference towards the end, because the effect comes from a cause other than, and outside the intention of the agent. But the causality of God, Who is the first agent, extends to all being, not only as to constituent principles of species, but also as to the individualizing principles; not only of things incorruptible, but also of things corruptible. Hence all things that exist in whatsoever manner are necessarily directed by God towards some end; as the Apostle says: "Those things that are of God are well ordered (Rom. 13:1). Since, therefore, as the providence of God is nothing less than the type of the order of things towards an end, as we have said; it necessarily follows that all things, inasmuch as they participate in existence, must likewise be subject to divine providence. It has also been shown (Q[14], AA[6],11) that God knows all things, both universal and particular. And since His knowledge may be compared to the things themselves, as the knowledge of art to the objects of art, all things must of necessity come under His ordering; as all things wrought by art are subject to the ordering of that art. (Saint Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Question 22, “Whether Everything Is Subject to the Providence of God.)

It is very important to keep this in mind as Our Lady’s Fatima apparitions just did not happen arbitrarily. God, Who exists outside of time and space, had ordained His own Most Blessed Mother to appear to three simple shepherd children so that we would be reminded of the necessity of praying her Most Holy Rosary and to pray for the conversion of poor sinners, starting with the poorest of all sinners, namely, ourselves.

Everything about Our Lady’s Fatima apparitions were planned with the infinite perfection of God, including the specific dates on which Our Lady would appear in the Cova da Iria near Fatima, Portugal. Perhaps even most significantly of all, God, showing forth His ineffable mercy to us erring sinners, had the Queen of Heaven and earth, the Blessed Virgin Mary appear in the year 1917 as the “Great War” (World War I) was raging across the territory of formerly Catholic lands (and would end the Hapsburg Empire of Austro-Hungary, the last outpost of the Social Reign of Christ the King in Europe) and the mighty Russian Empire, which had long been the seat of ecclesiastical schism and doctrinal heresy, would be scourged by the Talmudically-financed triumph of Marxism-Leninism.

Our First Cause, Almighty God, puts first things first, and He first prepared the way for His Most Blessed Mother’s Fatima apparitions in the souls of the seers themselves. Consider William Thomas Walsh’s descriptions of the purity and simplicity of the soulof Lucia does Santos:

It was customary for children at that time to prepare to receive their first Holy Communion at the age of about nine or ten. It was in 1910, when Lucia was three years old, that Pope Pius X reminded the world of Christ's command, “Suffer the little ones to come to me, and forbid them not.” Possibly Maria Rosa had heard of this decree. It seems clear that she resolved, when her youngest daughter was only six, that the time had come for her to receive the hidden Jesus of the Blessed Sacrament; and aided by Caroline, who was then eleven and had received, she driller her in the questions and answers of the penny catechism. When at last she felt that her pupil was ready for an examination she took her to the church.

The Prior received them with kindness, and then, sitting in a chair on a platform in the sacristy, began to ask the child questions. “Who made the world?” “How many gods are there?” “What must we do to be saved?” And so on through the list that all Catholic children study.

It seemed to Lucia and her mother that she had not done badly. Yet after a little reflection the good priest decided that she was too young, and had better wait for another year.

It was the very day before the First Communion. They had never expected such a crushing blow. Almost stunned by disappointment, they went from the sacristy to one of the benches in the church, and sat with heads bowed, thinking. Lucia began to sob.

It happened that a Jesuit missionary from Lisboa, Father Cruz, had been preaching a triduum at Saint Anthony's to prepare for this First Communion, and was helping Father Pena to hear the many confessions. As he passed through the church, he saw the little girl in distress and stopped to ask what was the trouble. On hearing the story he tested her with questions from the catechism, and then took her back to the Prior in the sacristy.

“This child knows her doctrine better than many of the others who are going to receive,” he said.

“But she is only six years old!” objected Father Pena.

The Jesuits persisted. He was a gentle and humble man, but determined; and to the intense joy of Lucia, the Prior finally yielded. Now she must go to the sacrament of penance, so that she could offer a spotless heart and conscience to the divine Guest who was coming the next day.

It was at the movable confessional, which had been placed near the sacristy door, that Father Cruz heard her first confession. What a blessing! The famous Jesuit preacher was believed by many in Portugal to be a saint; and he could hardly have talked even with a small child without communicating some of his fervent love of God. He was a tall man of fifty, bent from study and austerities. When Lucia had finished teller her peccadilloes, she heard him say in a low voice:

“My daughter, our soul is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Keep it always pure, so that He can carry on His divine action in it.”

She promised, and said her act of contrition. She asked Our Lady to help her receive the Body and Blood of her Son worthily on the next day. Then she arose, and returned to her mother.

Maria Rosa looked embarrassed and out of sorts, and the women about her, for some reason or other, were laughing and whispering. But Lucia paid little attention to this; she was thinking only of what the priest had said. She knelt at the rail before the statue of our Lady of the Rosary, looked up at the sad face with the searching eyes, and said to her:

“Please keep my poor heart for God.”

And “it seemed to me,” she wrote years later, “that she smiled with a kindly look and gesture told me she would,”

Maria Rosa was waiting for her. “Don't you know,” she demanded as they started down the road to Aljustrel, “that your confession is a secret, and must be made in a low voice?”

Lucia hung her head.

“Everybody heard you.”


“They heard everything except the last thing you said to the priest.”

Lucia scuffed resolutely along.

“What was the last thing you said to him?” asked her mother.

No reply! Maria Rosa persisted all the way home, but she never learned the secret. Lucia was always a reticent child. As soon as she saw that anyone was trying to make her talk, she would take refuge in a sullen silence that could be very exasperating.

That night her sister worked late to get her ready for the great event of her life. There was a new white dress to be fitted, a garland of flowers to be woven to crown her dark hair. And when at last they let her go to bed, she was unable to sleep, thinking of all that was going to happen. What if nobody woke her for Mass next morning? Every hour she got up to see what time it was. It seemed as if the dawn would never come.

At last it did, however, and Maria came to call her. No doubt she gave the usual caution not to take a drink, or eat anything, for one must fast before Holy Communion. She made the final adjustments of the white dress and the garland. Then she presented Lucia to her parents, feeling her that she must beg their pardon for her sins, kiss their hands and ask their blessing. The little girl obeyed, and they blessed her.

“And mind you don't forget to ask Our Lady to made you a saint!” added Maria Rosa.

The family set out for the church. When Lucia could not keep up with the others her mother scooped her up in her strong arms, for it was late, and carried her the rest of the way.

There was no need of such haste. Some of the visiting priests from distant places had not yet arrived, and the Missa Cantata did not start for quite a while. This gave Lucia an opportunity to kneel once more before the statue of Our Lady of the Rosary and carry out her mother's instructions.

“Make me a saint!” she whispered. “Please ask Our Lord to make me a saint!”

Again she thought she saw the sad face relax into a smile of encouragement. She was not the first to report such an experience before a statue or a picture; there was little Saint Therese of Lisieux, for example, among others. Nor does Lucia attach too much significance to what theologians consider the least reliable sort of locution. “I don't know whether the facts I have written about my First Communion were a reality, or a little girl's illusion,” she wrote modestly when her bishop commanded her to commit all her spiritual adventures to paper. “All I know is that they had a great influence in uniting me to God all my life.” She remained so long gazing at the smiling Madonna that her sisters had to come and take her away. The procession was already forming.

Lucia was the youngest and smallest oi the four long files of children, two of girls and two of boys; and she was the first to receive. When the priest placed the white Host on her tongue, she felt, in her own words, “an unalterable serenity and peace." During all the remainder of the Mass she kept saying in her heart, over and over, “Lord, make me a saint! Keep my heart always pure, for You alone!” And she distinctly heard Him say within her, “The grace that I grant thee today will remain living in thy soul, producing fruits of eternal life.” 

It was afternoon when the Missa Cantata ended, for the sermon was long, and it took some time for the children to renew their baptismal vows. When they were finally released, they trooped out of the church and separated into little groups, shouting, talking, running, some munching on pieces of bread their mothers had brought.

Lucia remained kneeling in the blue and rosy light that carne through the stained-glass windows. Her mother was alarmed, thinking she must be weak from hunger, and dragged her away. But when they got home the child could hardly eat. She was surfeited with the Bread of Angels, and she felt as if no other food would ever attract or satisfy her. For a long time after that people noticed that she seemed absorbed, abstracted, almost dazed. (William Thomas Walsh, Our Lady of Fatima, published originally by the Macmillan Company, New York, New York, 1947, and republished in  1990 by An Image Book, Doubleday, A Division of Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, pp. 6-10.)

Lucia dos Santos was given special lights as she had been chosen by Our Blessed and Saviour Jesus Christ to be a messenger of His Blessed Mother’s Fatima Message, especially by exhorting all people to pray the Holy Rosary and to be devoted to the Immaculate Heart of Mary 

The following description of Saint Michael the Archangel’s two different apparitions to Lucia dos Santos and her cousins, Jacinta and Francisco Marto, though, lengthy, is important to consider in order to explain that the care that God took to prepare these three chosen souls for the apparitions of His own Most Blessed Mother:

In the spring of 1916, three young Portuguese shepherds, Lucy dos Santos and her cousins Francisco and Jacinta Marto, led their sheep to graze on a hill called the Cabeço. Rain began to fall, so the children found a place on the hillside to serve as a shelter. Even after the rain had passed and the sun had returned, the little shepherds spent the day at this spot, eating lunch, saying the Rosary and playing games. Lucy was then only nine years old, Francisco was eight, and Jacinta was six.

As they were playing, a strong wind suddenly blew, shaking the trees, and the children saw a figure approaching above the olive trees. Lucy described the figure as having "the appearance of a young man of fourteen or fifteen, whiter than snow, which the sun rendered transparent as if it were of crystal, and of great beauty. We were surprised and half absorbed. We did not say a word.

"While coming closer to us, the Angel said: ‘Do not fear! I am the Angel of Peace. Pray with me.’ And kneeling on the earth, he bent his forehead to the ground. Prompted by a supernatural movement, we imitated him and repeated the words which we heard him pronounce: ‘My God, I believe in Thee, I adore Thee, I hope in Thee and I love Thee. I ask pardon for all those who do not believe in Thee, do not adore Thee, do not hope in Thee and do not love Thee.’

"Having repeated that prayer three times, he got up again and said to us: ‘Pray in this way. The Hearts of Jesus and Mary are attentive to the voice of your supplications.’ And he disappeared."

Lucy recalled, "The supernatural atmosphere which enveloped us was so intense that, during a long moment, we barely realized the fact of our own existence. We remained in the position in which the Angel had left us, always repeating the same prayer. The presence of God made itself felt in such an intense and intimate manner, that we did not dare even to speak any longer among ourselves. The next day, we still felt our spirit enveloped in this atmosphere which only disappeared very slowly."

The Angel of Peace had come to speak to the children, to infuse them with this extraordinary grace through which they were penetrated with the Divine Presence, and to demonstrate to them the attitude, posture and fervor with which to pray to God. Interestingly, during the apparition Francisco could not hear the words of the Angel, and had to be told what was said afterward; this would be the case for all of the other apparitions as well. After some time the three little shepherds recovered their physical strength and playfulness.

The second apparition of the Angel took place during the summer of 1916. While the children were playing around their favorite well, the Angel suddenly appeared. "What are you doing?" he asked. "Pray, pray a great deal! The Holy Hearts of Jesus and Mary have designs of mercy on you. Offer unceasingly prayers and sacrifice yourselves to the Most High."

Lucy asked the Angel how they were to make sacrifices.

The Angel replied, "Make of 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. In this way, you will draw peace upon your country. I am its Guardian Angel, the Angel of Portugal. Above all, accept and bear with submission the sufferings which the Lord will send you."

Lucy comments, "Those words of the Angel engraved themselves in our spirit, as a light which made us understand Who God is, how much He loves us and wants to be loved by us, the value of sacrifice and how pleasing it is to Him, and that out of respect for it, God converts sinners." The dominant theme in this second apparition of the Angel was the importance of making offerings to God through every possible action and sacrifice, even the smallest, and of making the offerings with special intentions, especially for the conversion of sinners.

In the autumn of the same year, the children took their sheep to the same place where the first apparition took place. There in the blessed place of the Cabeço, they were reciting the prayer the Angel had taught them when above them an unknown light appeared. Lucy relates, "We got up again to see what was happening, and we saw the Angel again, who had in his left hand a Chalice over which was suspended a Host, from which some drops of Blood fell into the Chalice."

Leaving the Chalice and the Host suspended in the air, he prostrated himself down to the earth near the children and repeated three times this prayer:

Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, I adore You profoundly, and I offer You the Most Precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifferences by which He, Himself is offended. And I draw upon the infinite merits of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, that You might convert poor sinners.

Then, getting up, the Angel took the Chalice and Host. He gave Lucy the Sacred Host on the tongue. Then while giving the Precious Blood from the Chalice to Francisco and Jacinta, he said:

"Eat and drink the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, horribly outraged by ungrateful men. Make reparation for their crimes and console your God." Then, prostrating himself on the ground he repeated with the children three times the same prayer: Most Holy Trinity, etc., and disappeared.

This final apparition of the Angel was clearly the summit of the three, as the children were graced to see the Precious Blood of Our Lord fall from the Sacred Host into the Chalice, and then receive Holy Communion from the hands of the Angel.

Again, the need for converting poor sinners was a theme in this final apparition of the Angel. The prayer repeated by the Angel demonstrates that through our prayers, united with the infinite merits of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, sinners can be converted. Our prayers and sacrifices alone amount to very little; but when they are united to the merits of the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts, they become infinitely valuable. Also emphasized was the need for reparation for the sins committed against God, by which He is constantly hurt and seeking consolation. In addition, the way the children received Holy Communion is particularly instructive for our time: they received Communion in the kneeling position, and the Sacred Host was given on the tongue.

The appearance of the Angel of Peace to three little Portuguese shepherds was a preparation for the signal grace that was about to be bestowed upon them: the appearance of the Queen of Heaven, the Blessed Virgin Mary. The apparitions of the Angel prepared them for seeing the Mother of God, through the transforming Divine graces the Angel showered on them, and his instructions about prayer, sacrifice and offerings. Through his apparitions to Lucy, Francisco and Jacinta, the Angel of Peace came to ready them for the decisive roles they were each to play in the most important event of the Twentieth Century, the appearance of Our Lady at Fatima.

Yet the Angel of Peace’s instructions were not meant for the children alone. They apply to each of us, and just as they prepared the children for the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin, they can also serve as a preparation for our reception of Our Lady’s Fatima Message. (The Angel of Portugal.) This is not an endorsement of the Fatima Center and its “resist while recognize” position.)

There is much food for Catholic reflection doctrine contained in the facts as described above.

First, we must adore the one and only true God, the Most Blessed Trinity.

Jews do not adore the true God.

Mohammedans do not adore the true God.

Buddhists and Hindus and other pagans do not adore the true God.

Ah, but this means also that the conciliar revolutionaries do not adore the true God as they claim constantly that Jews, Mohammedans, Buddhists, Hindus, Yazidis, animists and other non-Catholics adore the true God of Divine Revelation and are thus “believers.”

Second, Saint Michael the Archangel taught the children the correct posture and attitude to have in prayer. We are knee erect and to be attentive to our prayers as we are addressing them to God directly or speaking to the Blessed Mother, Saint Joseph, our Guardian Angel, our patron saint and other saints to intercede for us with Him. This contrasts sharply with the Protestantization of posture while at prayer that has occurred within the structures of the counterfeit church of conciliarism as a result of the entire ethos of the Protestant and Judeo-Masonic Novus Ordo liturgical service.

Catholics who attend the Novus Ordo service stand to receive what they think is Holy Communion, which treats the reception of Our Lord as matter of egalitarianism, not the honor and respect due to the King of Kings through Whom all things were made and Who redeemed us on the wood of the Holy Cross. The thought of kneeling is foreign to most Catholics today. Indeed, most Catholics in the conciliar structures believe that it would be “beneath” their dignity to kneel, which is confined in the Novus Ordo to the “Eucharistic Prayer,” although there are places in the United States and elsewhere in the world where people stand, and after the Agnus Dei until they go up to stick out their paws to receive what purports to be Holy Communion, after which they may sit or kneel as they choose until the closing prayer.

The Angel of Portugal, Saint Michael the Archangel, gave Holy Communion to Jacinta, Francisco and Lucia as they were kneeling, and it was by a special privilege granted to Jacinta and Francisco that they, who were to die within several years after being visited by the Mother of God, that Saint Michael permitted them to drink the Precious Blood from the Chalice, which is given out freely in the Novus Ordo service to those who desire to consume what they think is the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord.

Third, the Angel of Portugal taught the children to sacrifice and pray for the conversion of sinners. Jorge Mario Bergoglio believes that unrepentant sinners are to be “accompanied” in their “journey,” not exhorted to quit their sins.

Fourth, the Angel of Portugal taught the shepherd children that Our Lord, Whom they were about to receive in Holy Communion, “was horribly outraged by ungrateful men” and exhorted them to make “reparation for their crimes and console your God.” Reparation is part of the Catholic Faith, but it is not part of the conciliar revolution no matter the few times that the conciliar authorities might make gratuitous references to the term in reference to the “crimes” against the “climate” and “economic justice.”

On the Fifth Sunday after Easter, May 13, 1917

William Thomas Walsh described the aftermath of the Angel of Portugal’s apparitions to Jacinta, Francisco and Lucia prior to Our Lady's first apparition to the seers on Sunday, May 13, 1917, the Fifth Sunday after Easter. Yes, Our Lady's first apparition in the Cova da Iria took place on a Sunday during Paschaltide:

“Ai tra-lari, lai-lai

Trai-lari lai lai

Lai lai lai!”

But something had gone out of the joy of such singing. In the words of the old spring song, the ah la la was all over. How could anyone see what they had seen, and be the same?

There was something different in the air that spring. It was like the odor of death hovering upon the fragrance of the new flowers. Nearly everybody was depressed. Maria Rosa was desolate when Manuel went away. One of Jacinta's brothers also had gone to war, and was said to have been killed. Fortunately the rumor proved to be false; but Ti Marto and his family had many days of torment and suspense. One day, when Jacinta and Francisco were weeping at the thought of their brother's death, Lucia proposed a dance to divert their minds; and the little ones began to dance, still wiping the tears from their faces. Yet they were often silent, all three, as they roamed over the scattered stones at Valinhos or gazed across the valley from the cave at Cabeco. They had become aware at last of a world of anguish, a humanity shackled for some obscure reason to the mystery of suffering.

Even May, the month of Mary, the month of new life and joy, weight heavily on the world that year. On May 5, as if to voice the universal sadness and to point out the only source of hope, Pope Benedict XV lamented in a memorable letter, “the cruel war, the suicide of Europe.” After begging God to turn the hearts of rulers towards peace, and urging all to purge themselves of sin and pray for peace, and especially asked that since all graces were dispensed “by the hands of the most holy Virgin, We wish the petitions of her most afflicted children to be directed with lively confidence, more than ever in this awful hour, to the great Mother of God.” He directed that the invocation “Queen of peace, pray for us,” be added to the Litany of Loreto, and continued:

“To Mary, then, who is the Mother of Mercy and omnipotent grace, let loving and devout appeal go up from chapels, from royal palaces and mansions of the rich as from the poorest hut- from every place wherein a faithful soul finds shelter-- from blood drenched plains and seas. Let it bear to her the anguished cry of mothers and wives, the wailing on innocent little ones, the sighs of every generous heart: that her most tender and benign solicitude may be moved and the peace we ask for be obtained for our agitated world.”

It is quite improbable that Lucia and her cousins had even heard of the Pope's letter (for it was still unpublished) when they went out to the Serra five days later, the thirteenth of May, 1917. (William Thomas Walsh, Our Lady of Fatima, published originally by the Macmillan Company, New York, New York, 1947, and republished in  1990 by An Image Book, Doubleday, A Division of Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, pp. 48-49.)

Even Pope Benedict XV’s insertion of the invocation of Our Lady of Peace into the Litany of Loreto on the Feast of Pope Saint Pius V served Heaven’s plan for the Queen of Peace herself to make her first apparition in the Cova da Iria eight days later.

As God knows all things, of course, He knew that it would be thirteen years after His Most Blessed Mother’s first apparition that Pope Pius XI would assign the date May 13 as the feast day of Saint Robert Bellarmine, S.J., whose De Controversiis (DisputationsOn Controversies) was a stunning rebuke to Protestantism, which, of course, would be held in such high esteem by the “popes” of the counterfeit church of conciliarism. Saint Robert Bellarmine hated heresy. He did not seek to find any “good” in heresy, and he certainly never desired to make accommodations with it as he knew that God had revealed each of the doctrines of the Catholic Church and that to defect from one of them expelled one from the bosom of Holy Mother Church.

The Divine Office speaks of Saint Robert Bellarmine’s virtues and gifts, which Holy Mother Church treasured long before his canonization in 1930:

Robert, a native of Montepulciano and of the noble family of Bellarmine, had for his mother the most pious Cynthia Cervini, sister of Pope Marcellus II. From the first he was conspicuous for exemplary piety and most chaste manners, earnestly desiring this one thing, to please God alone and to win souls to Christ. He attended the college of the Society of Jesus in his native town where he was highly commended for his intelligence and modesty. At the age of eighteen he entered the same Society at Rome, and was a model of all religious virtues. Having passed through the course of philosophy at the Roman College, he was sent first to Florence, then to Monreale, later to Padua to teach sacred theology, and afterwards to Louvain where, not yet a priest, he ably discharged the office of preacher. After ordination at Louvain, he taught theology with such success that he brought back many heretics to the unity of the Church, and was regarded throughout Europe as a most brilliant theologian ; and St. Charles, Bishop of Milan, and others keenly sought after him.

Recalled to Rome at the wish of Pope Gregory XIII, he taught the science of controversial theology at the Roman College, and there, as spiritual director he guided the angelic youth Aloysius in the paths of holiness. He governed the Roman College and then the Neapolitan province of the Society of Jesus in accordance with the spirit of St. Ignatius. Again summoned to Rome, he was employed by Clement VIII in the most important affairs of the Church, with the greatest advantage to the Christian state; then against his will and in spite of opposition, he was admitted among the number of the cardinals, because, as the Pontiff publicly declared, he did not have his equal among theologians in the Church of God at the time. He was consecrated bishop by the same Pope, and administered the archdiocese of Capua in a most saintly manner for three years: having resigned this office, he lived in Rome until his death, as a most impartial and trusty counsellor to the Supreme Pontiff. He wrote much, and in an admirable manner. His principal merit lieth in his complete victory in the struggle against the new errors, during which he distinguished himself as a strenuous and outstanding vindicator of Catholic tradition and the rights of the Roman See. He gained this victory by following St. Thomas as his guide and teacher, by a prudent consideration of the needs of his times, by his irrefragable teaching, and by a most abundant wealth of testimony well-chosen from the sacred writings and from the very rich fountain of the Fathers of the Church. He is eminently noted for very numerous short works for fostering piety, and especially for that golden Catechism, which he never failed to explain to the young and ignorant both at Capua and at Rome, although preoccupied with other very important affairs. A contemporary cardinal declared that Robert was sent by God the instruction of Catholics, for the guidance of the good, and for the confusion of heretics ; St. Francis de Sales regarded him as a fountain of learning; the Supreme Pontiff Benedict XIV called him the hammer of heretics; and Benedict XV proclaimed him the model of promoters and defenders of the Catholic religion.

He was most zealous in the religious life and he maintained that manner of life after having been chosen as one of the empurpled cardinals. He did not want to any wealth beyond what was necessary; he was satisfied with a moderate household, and scanty fare and clothing. He did not strive to enrich his relatives, and he could scarcely be induced to relieve their poverty even occasionally. He had the lowest opinion of himself, and was of wonderful simplicity of soul. He had an extraordinary love for the Mother of God ; he spent many hours daily in prayer. He ate very sparingly, and fasted three times a week. Uniformly austere with himself, he burned with charity towards his neighbour, and was often called the father of the poor. He earnestly strove that he might not stain his baptismal innocence to even the slightest fault. Almost eighty years old, he fell into his last illness at St. Andrew's on the Quirinal hill, and in it he shewed his usual radiant virtue. Pope Gregory XV and many cardinals visited him on his deathbed, lamenting the loss of such a great pillar of the Church. He fell asleep in the Lord in the year 1621, on the day of the sacred Stigmata of St. Francis, the memory of which he had been instrumental in having celebrated everywhere. The whole city mourned his death, unanimously proclaiming him a Saint. The Supreme Pontiff Pius XI inscribed his name, first, in the number of the Blessed, and then in that of the Saints, and shortly afterwards, by a decree of the Sacred Congregation of Rites, he declared him a Doctor of the universal Church. His body is honoured with pious veneration at Rome in the church of St. Ignatius, near the tomb of St. Aloysius, as he himself had desired. (Matins, The Divine Office, Feast of Saint Robert Bellarmine, May 13.)

The connection between Saint Robert Bellarmine and Saint Aloysius is very important to consider in connection with Our Lady’s Fatima apparitions as the former defended the doctrine of Transubstantiation and the latter had such a burning fervor for Our Lord in His Real Presence that it is said he had to cool off his burning ardor after Mass. Each had a special devotion to the Mother of God, especially by means of her Most Holy Rosary.

What is generally not known, at least not in “resist while recognize” circles, is that Saint Robert Bellarmine wrote a stirring defense of popes said to have erred in faith). In other words, Saint Robert Bellarmine knew and taught that there have never been any heretical popes and that a heretic could never be a true and legitimate Successor of Saint Peter.

As we know, of course, false claimants to the Throne of Saint Peter have made war on Our Lady’s Fatima Message as they know it is a rebuke to their own revolution against the Catholic Faith that Saint Robert Bellarmine defended so ably, and it is no accident at all that the Feast of Saint Robert Bellarmine would become forever linked to Our Lady’s first Fatima apparition as it might just be the case that Our Lady, who hates heresies, desired to be linked to a saint of the Catholic counter-reformation who had defended popes said to have defected from the Holy Faith.

Portugal and Saint Anthony

Our Lady’s second Fatima apparition, which took place on Saint Joseph's day of the week, Wednesday, June 13, 1917, should not surprise us at all as it is the date on which the feast of a beloved son and very patron saint of Portugal, Saint Anthony of Padua, who had the title “Hammer of Heretics” three centuries before Saint Robert Bellarmine, is celebrated. Indeed, children had to make excuses to absent themselves from the great celebrations taking place in honor of Saint Anthony to keep their word to Our Lady to return to the Cova da Iria on that date.

Remembering once again that nothing happens by accident with God, Our Lady desired to be linked with the great Saint Anthony, who had a burning desire to convert the Saracens after he had left the Augustinians to join the Franciscans and who always sought to defend in the integrity of the Holy Faith without any equivocation or accommodation to error. A profound adorer of Our Lord in His Real Presence in the Most Blessed Sacrament, Saint Anthony sought the honor and glory of God as he helped souls to leave states of sin and error:

Ferdinand de Bullones, afterwards called Anthony, was born of decent parents at Lisbon in Portugal, on the Feast of the Assumption, in the year of grace 1195. They gave him a godly training, and while he was still a young man, he joined an Institute of Canons Regular. However, when the bodies of the five holy martyred Friars Minor, who had just suffered in Morocco for Christ's sake, were brought to Coimbra, the desire to be himself a martyr took a strong hold upon him, and in 1220 he left the Canons Regular and became a Franciscan. The same yearning led him to attempt to go among the Saracens, but he fell sick on the way, and, being obliged to turn back, the ship in which he had embarked for Spain was driven by stress of weather to Sicily.

From Sicily he came to Assisi to attend the General Chapter of his Order, and thence withdrew himself to the Hermitage of Monte Paolo near Bologna, where he gave himself up for a long while to consideration of the things of God, to fastings, and to watchings. Being afterwards ordained Priest and sent to preach the Gospel, his wisdom and fluency were very marked, and drew on him such admiration of men, that the Pope, once hearing him preach, called him The Ark of the Covenant. One of his chief points was to expend all his strength in attacking heresies, whence he gained the name of the Heretics' everlasting Hammer.

He was the first of his Order who, on account of his excellent gift of teaching, publicly lectured at Bologna on the interpretation of Holy Scripture, and directed the studies of his brethren. He traveled through many provinces. The year before his death he came to Padua, where he left some remarkable records of his holy life. After having undergone much toil for the glory of God, full of good works and miracles, he fell asleep in the Lord upon the 13th day of June, in the year of salvation 1231. Pope Gregory IX. enrolled his name among those of the Holy Confessors. (Matins, The Divine Office, Feast of Saint Anthony of Padua, June 13.)

As important as the feast day of Saint Anthony of Padua was, however, Lucia dos Santos and her cousins, Jacinta and Francisco Marto, wanted to honor the request that the Queen of Heaven had given them to return on the thirteenth of June. William Thomas Walsh explained the sequence of events that day, which included Our Lady’s first reference to her Immaculate Heart:

They all said five decades of the Rosary. This done, the pious girl from Boleiros started the Litany of Our Lady. Lucia interrupted her, remarking that there would not be time. Then, arising from the ground she cried,

Jacinta, there comes Our Lady! There is the light!”

The three children then ran to the azinheira, and the crowd closed in behind them. Maria Carreira still remembers the details of the scene with some vividness: “We knelt on the bushes and the gorse. Lucia raised her hands as if in prayer and I heard her say, 'Your Excellency told me to come here, please say what you want of me.'  Then we began to hear something like this, something like a very faint voice, but we could not understand what it was saying. It was like the buzzing of a bee.

Some of the bystanders noticed that the light of the sun seemed dimmer during the following minutes, though the sky was cloudless. Other said that the top of the azinheira, covered with new growth, appeared to bend and curve just before Lucia spoke, as if under weight.

In Lucia's own artless but telling account, she asked, “What does Your Excellency want of me?” substantially as in the story of Maria Carreira. The Lady replied:

I want you to come here on the thirteenth day of the coming month, to recite five decades of the Rosary every day, and to learn to read. I well tell you later what I want.

Lucia then asked for the cure of a certain sick person. “If he is converted, he will be cured during the year,” was the reply.

“I should like to ask you to take us to heaven,” continued the child.

“Yes, Jacinta and Francisco I will take soon. But you remain here for some time more. Jesus wished to make use of you to have me acknowledged and loved. He wishes to establish in the world the devotion to my Immaculate Heart.”

“I stay here?” Lucia was in dismay. “Alone?”

“No, daughter. And do you suffer a great deal? Don't be discouraged, I will never forsake you. My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the road that will conduct you to God.”

With these last words she opened her hands, as she had on the previous occasion, and again communicated to them the light that streamed in two rays from her palms, enveloping the children in its heavenly radiance.

“In it we saw ourselves as if submerged in God,” wrote Lucia. “Jacinta and Francisco seemed to be in the part of this light that went up toward heaven, and I in that which spread itself over the ground. Before the palm of the right hand of Our Lady was a Heart encircled by thorns which seemed to have pieced it like nails. We understood that it was the Immaculate Heart of Mary outraged by the sins of humanity, for which there must be reparation.” (Memoir IV, pp 37-38. The revelation of the Immaculate Heart devotion has been called “the June secret” in some accounts. Lucia has explained that Our Lady did not ask to have it kept secret. Something within them made the children keep it secret for the time being.)

The Immaculate Heart of Mary! The Angel had said something about that. “Through the infinite merits of His Most Sacred Heart and of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of You the conversion of sinners.” Now the children saw both Jesus and Mary in that vision of the Most Blessed Trinity that enfolded them. Our Lady seemed neither sad nor joyful, but always “serious”; but the impression left by the Word of God, on the mind of Francisco, at any rate, was one of infinite sadness(William Thomas Walsh, Our Lady of Fatima, published originally by the Macmillan Company, New York, New York, 1947, and republished in  1990 by An Image Book, Doubleday, A Division of Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, pp. 67-71.)

This first reference by Our Lady to her Immaculate Heart prepared the seers for the mission that would be entrusted unto them thirty days later. We can be sure that Saint Anthony, who was so very tenderly devoted to the Mother of God, was interceding for the Portuguese children as they spent his feast day conversing with the Queen of the Most Rosary during a year when great convulsions would occur in the world to chastise men for their sins and to effect an increase of devotion to the Rosary and by inaugurating worldwide devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

As most believing Catholics know very well, the apparitions that took place on the day of the week commemorating Our Lord's Passion and Death, Friday, July 13, 1917, the Feast of Pope Saint Anacletus, the second successor of Saint Peter, by whom he was converted and ordained to the Holy Priesthood and a martyr for the Holy Faith, contained Our Lady’s teling the seers that she would come to request the consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart by a pope, to prevent the spreading of its errors, which include those of Russian Orthodoxy, a precursor of Protestantism in many ways, and Marxism-Leninism, which was just about three months away from being instituted by means of a bloody revolution.

The story is familiar, but the great historian William Thomas Walsh provided us with its definitive account:

“I want you to come here on the thirteenth day of the coming month, and to continue to say five decades of the Rosary every day in honor of Our Lady of the Rosary to obtain the peace of the world and the end of the war. For She alone will be able to help.”

Lucia said, “I wish to ask you to tell us who you are, and to perform a miracle so that everyone will believe that your have appeared to us!”

“Continue to come here every month,” answered the Lady. “In October I will tell you who I am and what I wish, and will perform a miracle that everyone will have to believe.”

Here Lucia thought of some requests that various people had asked her to present. “I don't remember just what they were,” she wrote in 1941. But it is believed that one of them was the cure of Maria Carreira's crippled son; and the Lady is said to have answered that she would not cure him, but would give him a means of livelihood if he would say his Rosary every day. What Lucia now recalls is her insistence on the daily use of the beads to gain graces during the year.

“Sacrifice yourselves for sinner,” she repeated, “and say many times, especially when you make some sacrifice:

O Jesus, it is for your love, for the conversion of sinners and in reparations for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.'”

As the Lady spoke the last words, she opened her lovely hands as before, and poured down from them the revealing and penetrating radiance that had warmed the hearts of the children on the previous occasions. But this time it seemed to pass into the earth, disclosing beneath – and these are Lucia's words, written in 1941 – a sea of fire; and plunged in this fire the demons and the souls, as if they were red-hot coals, transparent and black or bronze-colored, with human forms, which floated about in the conflagration, borne by the flames which issued from it with clouds of smoke, falling on all side as sparks fall in great conflagration – without weight or equilibrium, among shrieks and groans of sorrow and despair which horrify and cause to shudder with fear.

The devils were distinguished by horrible and loathsome form of animals frightful and unknown, but transparent like black coals that have turned red-hot. (Memoir IV, also III, in almost the same words.)

The children were so frightened that they would have died, they felt, if they had not been told they were all going to heaven. After gazing in fascinated horror at the gruesome spectacle which not even Saint Teresa has described more fearfully, they raised their eyes as if in desperate appeal to the Lady who stood gazing down on them with somber tenderness.

“You see hell, where the souls of poor sinners go,” she said at length. (William Thomas Walsh, Our Lady of Fatima, published originally by the Macmillan Company, New York, New York, 1947, and republished in 1990 by Image Book, Doubleday, A Division of Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, pp. 80-81.)

The vision of hell that Our Lady showed Lucia, Jacinta and Francisco should terrify us all, and, again, it is not a coincidence that they were given on July 13 as it is on this date that, in addition to Pope Saint Anacletus, whose feast is celebrated universally in the General Roman Calendar of the Catholic Church, the Roman Martyrology includes two Prophets, Joel and Esdras.

The Prophet Joel warned about the fate of unrepentant sinners that Lucia, Jacinta and Francisco had seen suffering in hell:         

[11] Break forth, and come, all ye nations, from round about, and gather yourselves together: there will the Lord cause all thy strong ones to fall down. [12] Let them arise, and let the nations come up into the valley of Josaphat: for there I will sit to judge all nations round about. [13] Put ye in the sickles, for the harvest is ripe: come and go down, for the press is full, the fats run over: for their wickedness is multiplied. [14] Nations, nations in the valley of destruction: for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of destruction. [15] The sun and the moon are darkened, and the stars have withdrawn their shining.

[16] And the Lord shall roar out of Sion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem: and the heavens and the earth shall be moved, and the Lord shall be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel. [17] And you shall know that I am the Lord your God, dwelling in Sion my holy mountain: and Jerusalem shall be holy and strangers shall pass through it no more. [18] And it shall come to pass in that day, that the mountains shall drop down sweetness, and the hills shall flow with milk: and waters shall flow through all the rivers of Juda: and a fountain shall come forth of the house of the Lord, and shall water the torrent of thorns. [19] Egypt shall be a desolation, and Edom a wilderness destroyed: because they have done unjustly against the children of Juda, and have shed innocent blood in their land. [20] And Judea shall be inhabited for ever, and Jerusalem to generation and generation. (Joel 3:11-20.)

Bishop Richard Challoner explained that that the fountain that “shall come forth of the house of the Lord” is the fountain of grace in the Church Militant, and of glory in the Church Triumphant, meaning that we have the means, Sanctifying Grace, in the Church Militant to save our souls and thus become members of the Church Triumphant after bearing our crosses with courage and patience. Bishop Challoner also reminded us that the spiritual Jerusalem is the Catholic Church, not, as many Protestants and Zionist Catholics believe, the earthly Jerusalem of the Zionist State of Israel:

[18] "A fountain shall come forth of the house of the Lord": Viz., the fountain of grace in the church militant, and of glory in the church triumphant: which shall water the torrent or valley of thorns, that is, the souls that before, like barren ground brought forth nothing but thorns; or that were afflicted with the thorns of crosses and tribulations.

[20] "And Jerusalem": That is, the spiritual Jerusalem, viz., the church of Christ. (Challoner Commentary, Duoay-Rheims Bible.)

Saint Alphonsus de Ligouri referred to the Valley of Josaphat, mentioned by the Prophet Joel, in a sermon about the General Judgment.

7. “The judgment sat, and the books were opened.” (Dan. vii. 10.) The books of conscience are opened, and the judgment commences. The Apostle says, that the Lord “will bring to light the hidden things of darkness.” (1 Cor. iv. 5.) And, by the mouth of his prophet, Jesus Christ has said: “I will search Jerusalem with lamps.” (Soph. i. 12.) The light of the lamp reveals all that is hidden.

8. “A judgment,” says St. Chrysostom, “terrible to sinners, but desirable and sweet to the just.” (Hom. iii. de Dav.) The last judgment shall fill sinners with terror, but will be a source of joy and sweetness to the elect; for God will then give praise to each one according to his works. (1 Cor. iv. 5.) The Apostle tells us that on that day the just will be raised above the clouds to be united to the angels, and to increase the number of those who pay homage to the Lord. “We shall be taken up together with them in the clouds to meet Christ, into the air.” (I Thess. iv. 16.)

9. Worldlings now regard as fools the saints who led mortified and humble lives; but then they shall confess their own folly, and say: "We fools esteemed their life madness, and their end without honour. Behold how they are numbered among the children of God, and their lot is among the saints." (Wis. v. 4, 5.) In this world, the rich and the noble are called happy; but true happiness consists in a life of sanctity. Rejoice, ye souls who live in tribulation;”our sorrow shall be turned into joy." (John xvi. 20.) In the valley of Josaphat you shall be seated on thrones of glory.

10. But the reprobate, like goats destined for the slaughter, shall be placed on the left, to await their last condemnation. ”Judicii tempus," says St. Chrysostom, ”misericordiam non recipit." On the day of judgment there is no hope of mercy for poor sinners. “Magna," says St. Augustine, "jam est poena peccati, metum et memoriam divini perdidisse judicii." (Serm. xx. de Temp.) The greatest punishment of sin in those who live in enmity with God, is to lose the fear and remembrance of the divine judgment. Continue, continue, says the Apostle, to live obstinately in sin; but in proportion to your obstinacy, you shall have accumulated for the day of judgment a treasure of the wrath of God “But according to thy hardness and impenitent heart , thou treasurest up to thyself wrath against the day of wrath” (Rom ii. 5)

11. Then sinners will not be able to hide themselves but, with insufferable pain, they shall be compelled to appear in judgment. "To lie hid” says St. Anselm, “will be impossible to appear will be intolerable." The devils will perform their office of accusers, and as St. Augustine says, will say to the Judge: “Most just God, declare him to be mine, who was unwilling to be yours. ” The witnesses against the wicked shall be first, their own conscience. "Their conscience bearing witness to them, ”(Rom. ii. 15); secondly, the very walls of the house in which they sinned shall cry out against them”The stone shall cry out of the wall," (Hab. ii 11); thirdly, the Judge himself will say "I am the judge and the witness, saith the Lord." (Jer. xxix 23 ) Hence, according to St. Augustine, "He who is now the witness of .your life, shall be the judge of your cause. ” (Lib. x. de Chord., c. ii.) To Christians particularly he will say: "Woe to thee, Corozain, woe to thee, Bethsaida; for if in Tyre and Sidon had been wrought the miracles that have been wrought in you, they had long ago done penance in sackcloth and ashes”(Matt. xi. 21.) Christians, he will say, if the graces which I have bestowed on you had been given to the Turks or to the Pagans, they would have done penance for their sins; but you have ceased to sin only with your death. He shall then manifest to all men their most hidden crimes. "I will discover thy shame to thy face. ” (Nahum iii. 5.) He will expose to view all their secret impurities, injustices, and cruelties. ”I will set all thy abominations against thee”(Ezech. vii. 3.) Each of the damned shall carry his sins written on his forehead.

12. What excuses can save the wicked on that day? Ah! they can offer no excuses. ”All iniquity shall stop her mouth." (Ps. cvi. 42.) Their very sins shall close the mouth of the reprobate, so that they will not have courage to excuse themselves. They shall pronounce their own condemnation.

Third Point. Sentence of the elect, and of the reprobate

13. St. Bernard says, that the sentence of the elect, and their destiny to eternal glory, shall be first declared, that the pains of the reprobate may be increased by the sight of what they lost. ”Prius pronunciabitur sententia electis ut acrius (reprobi) doleant videntes quid amiserunt." (Ser. viii., in Ps. xc.) Jesus Christ, then, shall first turn to the elect, and with a serene countenance shall say: "Come, ye blessed of my Father, possess the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. ”(Matt. xxv. 34.) He will then bless all the tears shed through sorrow for their sins, and all their good works, their prayers, mortifications, and communions; above all, he will bless for them the pains of his passion and the blood shed for their salvation. And, after these benedictions, the elect, singing alleluias, shall enter Paradise to praise and love God eternity.

14. The Judge shall then turn to the reprobate, and shall pronounce the sentence of their condemnation in these words . ”Depart from me, you cursed, into everlasting fire." (Matt. xxv. 41 ) They shall then be forever accursed, separated from God, and sent to burn for ever in the fire of hell. “And these shall go into everlasting punishment: but the just into life everlasting. ” (Matt. xxv. 46.)

15. After this sentence, the wicked shall, according to St. Ephrem, be compelled to take leave for ever of their relatives, of Paradise, of the saints, and of Mary the divine Mother. "Farewell, ye just! Farewell, O cross I Farewell, Paradise! Farewell, fathers and brothers: we shall never see you again! Farewell, O Mary, mother of God!” (St. Eph. de variis serm. inf.) Then a great pit shall open in the middle of the valley: the unhappy damned shall be cast into it, and shall see those doors shut which shall never again be opened. O accursed sin! to what a miserable end will you one day conduct so many souls redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ. O unhappy souls! for whom is prepared such a melancholy end. But, brethren, have confidence. Jesus Christ is now a Father, and not judge. He is ready to pardon all who repent. Let us then instantly ask pardon from him. (On the General Judgment: Sermon for the First Sunday of Advent, Saint Alphonsus de Liguori.)

Catholics must always keep in mind the reality of the Particular Judgment and that of the General Judgment. The Fatima seers saw the endless suffering of the sous in hell, resolving then and there to intensify their sufferings and sacrifices so that sinners in this life would be converted before death and avoid the fate of the souls they saw enduring torments that will never end.

William Thomas Walsh alluded made an allusion to Saint Teresa of Avila’s vision of hell, which, though not as frightful as what Our Lady had shown hell to be, is sobering in its own right:

Finally, her visions were tested and approved as genuine by many learned and spiritual persons. “Some will say,” adds Father Ribera rather quaintly, “that she is a woman. Yes, but before God there are no men or women, but only creatures.”

Teresa had good reason now to believe that she was safe. Having passed every test she was ready for whatever God wished her to do. What was it to be?

The answer seems to have come to her by a process of reasoning that began with a vision of hell, the description of which is one of the most vivid passages of her Autobiography:

“After a long time, in which the Lord had given me many of the favors I have described, and others very great, I was one day in prayer when I found myself, without knowing how, in a state where I seemed to be in the middle of hell. I understood that the Lord wished me to see where the place which the demons had prepared for me, and which I merited by my sins. This I could never forget. The entrance seemed to me like an alley very long and straight, sort of an oven very low and dark and narrow. The ground seemed to me of a water like mud, very filthy and of pestilential odor and many vile reptiles in it. On the side there was a concavity placed in a wall, like a cupboard, where I saw myself shut up very tightly. All this was delightful to behold in comparison to what I felt there. This that I have said would be hard to exaggerate.

“I wouldn't know how even to begin to exaggerate this, not could it be understood; but I felt a fire in my soul, which I don't understand how to say what it is like. The most unbearable bodily pains, and I have suffered very grievous ones in this life, and as the doctors say, the worst that can happen here-- all is nothing in comparison with the agonizing of the soul, a sense of constraint, a stifling, an anguish so keen, and with a sorrow so abandoned and afflicted, that I don't know how to describe it. For to say it is as if the soul were being always pulled up by the roots, is little, for that is as if someone else were putting end to our life; but here it is the soul herself that seems to cutting herself to pieces. The fact is that I don't know how to express that interior fire, and that despair over such very heavy torments and pains. I did not see who have them to me, but I felt myself burn and crumble into pieces, as it seemed to me; and I say that that interior fire and desperation is the worst.

“Being in such a pestilential place, so helpless even to hope for consolation, there was no sitting down, or lying down, or any room at all, although they had put me in this as in a hole made in the wall; for those walls, which are frightful to look upon, tightened themselves, and everything was suffocating, there was no light, but everywhere the blackest darkness. I not understand how it can be that without any light everything can be seen that is painful to look upon . . .  I don't know how it was, but I understood it to be a great favor, and that the Lord wished me to see with my own eyes the place from which His mercy had save me? All the torments she had ever read or imagined about hell were nothing to what she then felt; they were like mere pictures compared to reality itself. “And being burned here is very little in comparison to that fire there.

“It left me so frightened that even now, as I write about it almost six years later, the natural warmth leaves my body, here where I am. And so I don't remember any times since that I have had trouble or pain, without thinking that everything that can be suffered here is nothing, and so it rather seems to me that we complain without cause. And so I say again that it was one of the greatest favors the Lord has done for me, for it has been of much help to me, not only in losing my fear of tribulations and contradictions in this life, but in giving me strength to endure them and to give thanks to the Lord who delivered me, as it now seems to me, from evils so everlasting and terrible.”

As Teresa reflected upon the experience afterwards, she began to think of all the miserable souls who had gone there, and were going there and would go there. This thought filled her with grief, and with a burning desire to save them from such a fate, as she herself had been saved. “From then on I had the greatest sorrow for the many souls that condemn themselves to hell, especially those Lutherans, for they were already members of the Church by baptism, and . . . I thought that to save even one of them form such very grievous torments I would endure many deaths very joyfully.” (William Thomas Walsh, Saint Teresa of Avila, published originally by The Bruce Publishing Company, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 144, and republished by TAN Books and Publishers in 1987, pp. 169-171. By the way, every Catholic should have—and read—every single book written by William Thomas Walsh.)

Saint Teresa of Avila’s mystical experience of hell was very similar to the vision of hell shown to Jacinta, Francisco and Lucia on July 13, 1917. Saint Teresa was more resolved to suffer all things to save souls from hell after she had experienced its pains, and she was particularly concerned about the fate of Lutherans, and Saint Teresa used the term “Lutherans” to refer to all Protestants as it was, after all, Martin Luther who started the Protestant Revolution within her own lifetime.

In these latter times, though, Our Lady explained to the Fatima children that it was to save poor sinners from hell that she wanted devotion to her Immaculate Heart to be instituted, thus providing each of us with an additional help to convert poor sinners and that we ourselves could avoid the pains of eternal hellfire. It is no accident that Our Lady appeared on October 13, 1917, clothed in the garment of Carmel just two days before the feast day of a daughter of Carmel, Saint Teresa of Avila, who had herself suffered to keep sinners from going to hell.

In the Aftermath of the Vision of Hell

Great tumult had arisen as a result of Our Lady’s first three apparitions in the Cova da Iria near Fatima, Portugal. Atheistic Masons published derogatory stories about the apparitions in newspapers, especially O Seculo, the chief newspaper of Lisbon, Portugal, as anti-clericalists wrote that Our Lady’s apparitions were manufactured to produce commercial gain for Holy Mother Church.

William Thomas Walsh explained how the Fatima children dealt with all of the commotion in the aftermath of the vision of hell, which was kept a secret from the public, of course, and fact that they had become objects of curiosity and derision:

After a while they began to develop a certain skill in avoiding bores of the sleek and curious variety, who were so hard to shake off. They could tell them at a glance from a distance. One day they saw a group of fine ladies and gentlemen getting out of a motor car on the road from Aljustrel to Fatima. There was no doubt what they were, but it was too late to escape: the ladies had already seen them and were approaching with smiles only too familiar.

“Where do the little shepherds live? The ones that saw Our Lady?”

The children gave the most precise directions to their homes. The visitors thanked them, and went on down the hill, while the three, giggling with triumph, tumbled over the wall and ran to hide among the olive trees behind the Abobora cottage.

“We must always do this!” said Jacinta with great satisfaction.

There were many priests among the pilgrims at this period. And most of the priests, despite the accusations of the anti-clerical press, were skeptical and even hostile. Priests trained in theology were well aware of the harm that fraud or delusion might do the Church, and could ask a thousand clever questions that would never occur to one of the unbelieving skeptics. The mere sight of a black soutane far down the road became a warning signal to be acted upon instantly. “When we saw a priest coming, we always escaped if we could.” wrote Lucia. “When we saw ourselves in the presence of a priest, we prepared ourselves to offer to God one of our greatest sacrifices.”

Fortunately there were exceptions. One of those they liked to remember afterwards was the visit of the Jesuit Father Cruz, who came all the way from Lisboa to investigate what he had heard. Four years had passed since he had said to Lucia, at her first confession, “My daughter, your soul is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Keep it always pure . . . “ And thought he was prematurely old and bent almost double, he still went about, never carrying money with him, preaching and directing souls, which he seemed to read instantly with his small, shrewd benevolent eyes. (He is still doing this at the age of eighty-six. I met him by happy chance on a train between Lisboa and Santarem last summer. He told me he had given Lucia her first communion.) After questioning the children for some time, he persuaded them, as a good detective might, to take him to the exact spot where they had seen Our Lady, and to reenact for him all they had done and said.

“On the way,” Lucia recalls, “we walked on each side of His Reverence, who was mounted on an ass so small that his feet almost dragged on the ground.” It was a long and painful journey for him, and a tedious one, perhaps, for them, but it was worthwhile, for he came away convinced that they had told the truth. He taught them many ejaculatory prayers that proved useful and consoling. After from that day on he was their champion. (William Thomas Walsh, Our Lady of Fatima, published originally by the Macmillan Company, New York, New York, 1947, and republished in  1990 by An Image Book, Doubleday, A Division of Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, pp. 85-86.)

When left to themselves, though, the chosen souls conversed amongst themselves about what they had experienced during Our Lady’s first three apparitions:

It was only at Cabeco or Valinhos or on the hills near Cova de Iria that Lucia could find any peace or solace at all. And even there the discussions of the three had taken on a sombre and more thoughtful tone since the breath-taking revelations of July 13. The fires of hell, the damnation of many souls, a second world war with millions of people starving, homeless, tormented, butchered, trembling unprepared into eternity – how could the world ever look the same to childish eyes after Divine Wisdom had disclosed to them such horrors! The two girls could think of nothing else. Francisco, for some reason, was much less shaken by the experience. Instead of brooding on the countless souls he had seen rising and falling like sparks in the flames under the taunts of fallen angels, he would fix his thoughts upon God, upon His goodness and His glory

“How wonderful God is!” he would cry ecstatically. “There is no way to say it. All you can say is, that nobody can say it! But isn't it too bad that He is so sad! If I could only console Him!”

Jacinta did not find it so easy to put out of mind the horror of eternal death. If a world war could be both incredible and painfully real, so much the more so was hell. But what does a child of seven know of the enormity of sin? She was shocked, profoundly puzzled. A few days after the apparition of July she sat for a long time on a stone, reflecting deeply while the sheep munched the withered grass and furze. Finally she said:

“That Lady said that many souls go to hell. What is hell?”

“It is a pit full of worms and a very big bonfire,” replied Lucia, perhaps quoting her mother, “and people go there who commit sins and don't confess them, and they stay for ever and burn.”

“And never get out any more?”


“Not after many, many years?”

“No. Hell never ends. And heaven doesn't either. Whoever goes to heaven never gets out of it, and whoever goes to hell doesn't either. Don't you see that they are eternal, because they never end?”

Jacinta found this concept of endlessness at once baffling and tantalizing. She could never put it wholly out of mind. Often in the midst of some fame she would stop suddenly and say:

“But look her, doesn't hell end even after many, many, many years?”


“And those people who have to burn there never die? Never? And they never turn into ashes? And if people pray a great deal for sinners, Our Lord will save them from that? And with sacrifices too? Poor sinners we have to pray and made many sacrifices for them!?

Then, when the thought of the burden of sin became almost unbearable, she would remember the consolation that had been granted with it.

“How good that Lady is! Yes, she has promised to take us to heaven!”

Jacinta was too unselfish to be able to dwell long or complacently on her own good fortune when there were so many others who would never share it. To her the sight of gehennah was like a gate opening upon a steep road of asceticism. “I think the many I saw being lost,” wrote Saint Teresa of Jesus after a similar experience; and the little serrana of Aljustrel was so stricken with the same noble pity that she acquired a thirst for penance to which Lucia could apply only the word “insatiable.” Other Christians accepted hell on faith, because Christ had said repeatedly and with solemn emphasis that there is a hell, but Jacinta had seen it; and once she grasped the idea the God's justice is the counterpart of His mercy, and that there must be a hell if there is to be a heaven, nothing seemed important to her except to save as many souls as possible from the horrors she had glimpsed under the radiant hands of the Queen of Heaven. Nothing could be too heard, nothing too small or too great to give up.

“Eat, Jacinta.”

“No, I will offer this sacrifice for poor sinners who eat too much.”

“Drink, Jacinta.”

“No, this is for those who drink too much.”

She would say suddenly to Lucia, “I am sorry for you. Francisco and I are going to heaven, but you stay her alone. I will ask Our Lady to take you to heaven! But she wants you to stay her for a while! When you see the war, don't be afraid – in heaven I will be praying for you.”

More and more, however, she brooded on the lost souls.

“Jacinta, what are you thinking of?” asked Lucia one day.

“Of that war that is going to come, and of so many people who are going to die and go to hell. What a pity there must be a war and they must go to hell because they won't stop sinning!”

Time and again this thought recurred with sickening impact. She would say, with a look of terror, “Hell! Hell! How sorry I am for souls that are going to hell!” Then she would fall on her knees, clasp her hands and repeat over and over the prayer Our Lady had taught them to add to each decade of the Rosary:

“O my Jesus, pardon us, save us from the fire of hell, draw all souls to heaven, especially those in most need!”

One day after she had been thus long upon her knees, she called:

“Francisco! Francisco, are you going to pray with me? It is necessary to pray a great deal to save souls from hell. So many are going there! So many!” And they said the prayer again together, for those who said no prayers.

“Why doesn't Our Lady show hell to sinners?” demanded Jacinta one day. “If they saw it, they would never sin again, so they wouldn't go there. You must tell that Lady to show hell to all those people. You will see how they will be converted!” Poor Jacinta! It seemed so simple. Perhaps she had not yet heard the parable of Dives and Lazarus. “If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither would they believe were one to rise from the dead.” (St. Luke XVI, 31.) She was silent for a moment. The she said:

“Why didn't you tell that Lady that she ought to show hell to those people?”

“I forgot.”

“So did I,” said the younger child sadly.

“What sins are they that those people do.” she asked one day, “to have to go to hell?”

“I don't know.” Lucia, after all, was not much older than her cousin. “Perhaps the sin of not going to Mass on Sunday, of stealing, of saying wicked words, cursing people, swearing.” (Lucia's impression is that most souls are lost through “sins of the flesh.” She believes that Our Lady revealed this to Jacinta in 1920. --III, p.5.)

“And only for one word they can go to hell?”

“Well, it's a sin! Let them keep quiet and go to Mass.”

“Oh, if I could only show them hell!” She reflected a few moments, then said, “If Our lady lets you, tell all the people what hell is, so that they will commit no more sins and not go there.”

Another time she said, in horror, as if she still saw the vision before her, “So many people falling into hell! So many people in hell!”

“Don't be afraid!” Lucia tried to reassure her. “You are going to heaven.”

“Yes, yes, I'm going. But I was all those people to go there too!”

Jacinta's round cheeks were beginning to look drawn and hollow, her black eyes to glow like those that peer into other worlds than ours. And like many other friends of God, she had already begun, in August, to have prophetic visions. Some of the most gruesome scenes of the Second World War passed through the mind of this child of seven almost a quarter of a century before they were enacted upon the roads of France or Holland, or in the ruins of London or of Frankfort.

One hot day when they had been sitting on the rocks at Cabeco, lazily watching the listless sheep below, she suddenly prostrated herself and uttered the prayer the angel had taught them:

“My God, I believe, I adore, I hope, and I love you! I beg pardon of You for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope, and do not love You!”

A profound silence followed. Then the little girl said to Lucia:

“Don't you see such a long street, so many roads and fields full of people weeping with hunger, and they have nothing to eat? And the Holy Father in a church before the Immaculate Heart of Mary, praying? And so many people praying with him?”

Possibly this referred to the consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart by Pope Pius XII in 1942. But there was much more about the Pope, or a Pope, in the visions of Jacinta, and she was so disturbed that she wanted to tell everybody, so that all good Christians would pray unceasingly for him.

“Can I say that I saw the Holy Father and all those people?” she asked.

“No,” answered Lucia. “Don't you see that that makes part of the secret? And that then it will be discovered?”

Nevertheless, Jacinta continued to worry constantly about this future Pope. One very hot afternoon, when even the sheep were nodding in their shelter, the three children were sitting under the olive trees on the stone slabs that covered the well behind the house of Antonio Abobora. Francisco became restless and began to look for some wild honey among the flowers that grew in a little bramble thicket near by. Lucia was soon doing likewise. Jacinta remained sitting on the edge of the well, staring into space. Presently they heard her say:

“Don't you see the Holy Father?”


“I don't know how it is, I see the Holy Father in a very large house, on his knees before a table, with his hands over his face, crying. In from of the house there are many people and some are throwing stones at him, others are cursing him and saying very foul words to him. Poor little Holy Father! We must pray a lot for him!”

Who was this Vicar of Christ that Jacinta saw stoned by a mob? There is a story in Portugal that Lucia has reason to believe that it may be Pope Pius XII. She assured me that Jacinta did not indicate any particular Pope – “just a Pope.” But he was a very real one to her. (William Thomas Walsh, Our Lady of Fatima, published originally by the Macmillan Company, New York, New York, 1947, and republished in  1990 by An Image Book, Doubleday, A Division of Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, pp. 87-92.)

Although the conciliarists have deconstructed Sister Lucia dos Santos’s vision of a Holy Father by applying to the late Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II when he was shot and gravely wounded by Mohammedan, Mehmet Ali Agca, who had escaped from a Turkish prison after being convicted for the murder of a journalist, on May 13, 1981, we do not know who the pope in Sister Lucia’s vision is, but it may refer to a pope who reigns after when a true Successor of Saint Peter is placed by the hand of God on the Throne of Saint Peter.

The Fatima children lost all worldly desires after seeing Our Lady. They thought of and conversed about only the things of Heaven. The world in which they lived, however, was talking a great deal about them, and one of those who resolved to take action against them with the anticlerical Mayor of Ourem.

As is well known, Jacinta and Francisco Marto and their cousin Lucia dos Santos were spirited away by the atheistic Mayor of Ourem, Portugal Artur de Oliveira Santos, the founding president of the local Masonic lodge, on Monday (which is the day of the Most Holy Trinity), August 13, 1917, in order to intimidate them into denouncing the apparitions of the "beautiful Lady"in the Cova da Iria in Fatima. The three children were thrown into jail, where they prayed Our Lady's Most Holy Rosary at around noontime on August 13, the time that Our Lady was scheduled to appear to them in the Cova da Iria. The Mayor of Ourem then took the children to his own home, where he threatened to boil them alive in oil. His threats were to no avail. He had to give up when the children preferred to face death rather than to renounce their beautiful Lady, who had shown them a vision of Hell a month before and had asked them to promote devotion to Her Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart.

Artur de Oliveira Santos had the sense to give up when he knew that he could not get anywhere with Jacinta, Francisco and Lucia, whose own parents had their doubts about the Heavenly visions they claimed to have seen in the Cova da Iria. Although Artur Santos released the three children on the Feast of the Assumption, August 15, 1918, he refused to believe in Our Lady of Fatima even after the Miracle of the Sun, working to thwart a procession to the Cova da Iria on May 13, 1920, and involved in the plot that resulted in the roof of the chapel in the Cova being blown off on March 6, 1921 (the date of my own late mother's birth in Kansas City, Missouri), as two bombs near the holm oak tree atop which stood Our Lady during her visits failed to explode.(See The 1921 Bombing of the Shrine of Fatima by the Freemasons.) The Mayor of Ourem, a bitter atheist, hated the Mother of God and wanted to do everything in his power to stop belief in the Fatima Message.

The conciliarist revolutionaries know that the Fatima Message is very much opposed to conciliarism's agenda of ecumenism and religious liberty and the separation of Church and State, which is why they launched and have sustained a bitter opposition to that Message ever since the advent of the false pontificate of Angelo Roncalli in 1958, starting with Roncalli’s refusal to release the Third Secret in 160 as Our Lady had instructed.

An essential component of the conciliarist opposition to the Fatima Message has involved the deliberate deconstruction and subsequent misrepresentation of the Third Secret of Fatima, which the late Mario Luigi Cardinal Ciappi, O.P., with whom I had an audience in the Apostolic Palace in October of 1984, indicated publicly dealt with apostasy in the highest quarters of the Church: “In the Third Secret, it is foretold, among other things, that the great apostasy in the Church will begin at the top.” He was as candid with me when I met with him thirty-three years ago this month.

Our Lady did appear in the Cova da Iria on August 13, 1917, but, as mentioned above, the children were being held captive by the Mayor of Ourem, who threatened to boil each in hot oil. She came on Sunday, August 19, 1917, the Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost, as the children were visiting an uncle’s house in Valinhos, Portugal, as she stood over a holm oak that was a little bigger than the one in the Cova da Iria:

Lucia: What does Your Grace wish of me?

Our Lady: I want you to continue to go to Cova da Iria on the thirteenth of each month and to continue to pray the Rosary every day. On the last month, I will perform the miracle for all to believe.

Then Our Lady’s face became more serious, and even upset.

Our Lady: If they had not taken you to Ourem, the miracle would have been even greater.

Lucia: What does Your Grace want done with the money that the people leave at Cova da Iria?

Our Lady: Have two portable stands made. You and Jacinta with two other girls dressed in white carry one of them, and let Francisco carry the other one with three other boys. The portable stands are for the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. The money that is left over should be contributed to the chapel that they shall build.

Lucia: I would like to ask you for the healing of some sick persons.

Our Lady: Yes, I will cure some during the year. Pray, pray much, and sacrifice for sinners, for many souls go to hell because there is no one to sacrifice and pray for them.

It is quite significant that Jacinta, Francisco and Lucia were being held captive by the anticlerical Mayor of Ourem on August 13, 2017. They stood willing to be martyred for the Holy Faith, which is what the saints, Hippolytus and Cassian, suffered:

Not far from the sepulchre of St. Laurence, on the opposite of the Tiburtian Way, lies the tomb of St. Hippolytus, one of the sanctuaries most dear to the Christians in the days of triumph. Prudentius has described the magnificence of the crypt, and the immense concourse attracted to it each year on the Ides of August. Who was this saint? If what rank and manner of life? What facts of his history are there to be told, beyond that of his having given his blood for Christ? All these questions have in modern times become the subject of numerous and learned works. He was a martyr, and that is nobility enough to make him glorious in our eyes. Let us honour him, then, and together with him another soldier of Christ, Cassian of Imola, whom the Church offers to our homage at the same time. Hippolytus was dragged by wild horses over rocks and briars till his body was all torn: Cassian, who was a schoolmaster, was delivered by the judge to the children he had taught, and died of the thousands of wounds inflicted by their styles. The prince of Christian poets has sung of him as of Hippolytus, describing his combat and his tomb. (Dom Prosper Gueranger, O.S.B., The Liturgical Year: Time After Pentecost, Book IV, p. 346.)

Jacinta, Francisco and Lucia suffered terrible frights at the hands of the Mayor of Ourem. We can be sure that Saints Hippolytus and Cassian were interceding for these brave chosen souls whose greatest suffering of all at that time was not being able to be present in the Cova da Iria when Our Lady appeared.

August 13 was also (at least at that time) the feast day of Saint Radegonde in France.

Dom Prosper Gueranger’s extensive reflection on Saint Radegonde is contained in the appendix below. For the moment, however, it is sufficient to note that she was devoted to peace, which is what Our Lady herself came to Fatima to promote by means of the Holy Rosary and devotion to her Immaculate Heart (and ultimately, of course, the collegial consecration of Russia by a pope with all of the world’s bishops that she had requested Sister Lucia dos Santos in 1925 to make known):

The only victory, then, that Radegonde, desired was peace among the princes of the earth; when she had gained this by her struggle with the King of heaven, her joy in the service of the Lord was redoubled, and the tenderness she felt for her devoted helpers, the nuns of Sainte-Croix, could scarcely find utterance: 'You, the daughters of my choice, she would say, 'my eyes, my life, my sweet repose, so live with me in this world, that we may meet again in the happiness of the next.' And they responded to her love. 'By the God of heaven, it is true that everything in her reflected the splendor of her soul.'  Such was the spontaneous and graceful cry of her daughter Baudonivia; and it was echoed by the graver voice of the historian-bishop, Gregory of Tours, who declared that the supernatural beauty of the saint remained even in death, it was a brightness from heaven, which purified while it attracted hearts, which caused the Italian Venantius Fortunatus to cease his wanderings, made him a saint and a Pontiff, and inspired him with his most beautiful poems. (Dom Prosper Gueranger, O.S.B., The Liturgical Year: Time after Pentecost, Book IV, p. 338.)

Our Lady desires men to abide in peace, which is but the fruit of souls that are at peace with the Most Holy Trinity by means of Sanctifying (Habitual) Grace. There can be no peace in the world at all if men are war with God by means of their sins, less yet when men exult in their sins shamelessly and when public law and what passes for “popular culture” celebrates such sins in such a manner as to serving as means of inculcating them into the lives of all.

It is no accident, therefore, that Our Lady chose to appear to the three shepherd children on August 19, 1917, after they had been freed as each of the date she appeared had a connection with the liturgy of the day or with a saint listed in the Roman Martyrology. Specifically, August 19 was the feast of Blessed John Eudes, who would be canonized by Pope Pius XI on May 31, 1925, a date that Pope Pius XII would designate in 1954 for the Feast of the Coronation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Our Lady's delayed apparition to Jacinta, Francisco and Lucia on the feast of Blessed John Eudes, therefore, has highly significant as he helped to propagate devotion to Our Lady's Most Pure Heart, which he taught was inseparable from the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. 

Saint John Eudes helped to establish formal devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus some thirty years before the revelations that Our Lord gave to Sister Margaret Mary Alacoque. He also promoted devotion to the Holy Heart of Mary. His own priestly heart was such that he stressed the importance of priests to have the very Hearts of Jesus and Mary in the confessional, exhorting sinners to amend their lives, to be sure, but doing so with an understanding of the frailties of fallen human nature and the manner in which Our Lord wants His Mercy to be extended to the souls for whom He shed every single drop of His Most Precious Blood on the wood of the Holy Cross. Saint John Eudes will help us to trust in the tender Mercies of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary during these times of apostasy and betrayal, especially as we pray the Holy Rosary to which he was so personally devoted.

The readings for Matins for the Feast of Saint John Eudes teach about the remarkable life of this great apostle of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Most Pure Heart of Mary:

John was born in the year 1601, of pious and respectable parents, at a village commonly known as Ri, in the diocese of Seez. While still a boy, when he was fed with the bread of Angels, he cheerfully made a vow of perpetual chastity. Having been received at the College of Caen, directed by the Fathers of the Society of Jesus, he was conspicuous for a remarkable piety; and, committing himself to the protection of the Virgin Mary, when still a youth he signed with his own blood, the special covenant he had entered into with her. Having completed his courses of letters and of philosophy with great distinction, and having spurned opportunities of marriage which had been arranged for him, he enrolled himself with the Congregation of the Oratory de Bérulle, and was ordained priest at Paris. He was on fire with a marvellous love towards his neighbour: for he took the most constant pains in caring for both the souls and bodies of those smitten with the Asiatic plague, in many different places. He was made Rector of the Oratorian house at Caen, but since he had been thinking for a long time of educating suitable young men for the ministry of the Church, earnestly asking for the divine assistance, with a brave spirit he most regretfully departed from the associates with whom he had lived for twenty years.

Accordingly, associating five priests with himself, in the year 1643, on the feastday of the Annunciation of the blessed Virgin Mary, he founded a Congregation of Priests, to whom he gave the most holy names of Jesus and Mary, and opened the first seminary at Caen; and a great many others followed immediately in Normandy and Brittany, also founded by him. For the recalling of sinful women to a Christian life, he founded the Order of Our Lady of Charity; of which most noble tree, the Congregation of the Good Shepherd of Angers is a branch. Furthermore, he founded the Society of the Admirable Heart of the Mother of God, and other charitable institutions. He was the author of many excellent treatises, and laboured as an Apostolic Missionary to the very end of his life, preaching the Gospel in very many villages, towns, and cities, and even in the royal court.

His matchless zeal was very conspicuous in promoting the salutary devotion towards the most sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, whose liturgical worship he was the first of all to devise, although not without some divine inspiration. He is therefore held to be the father, the teacher, and the apostle of that worship. Courageously withstanding the doctrines of the Jansenists, he preserved unalterable obedience towards the Chair of Peter, and he constantly prayed to God, both for his enemies as well as for his brethren. Broken by so many labours, rather than by years, desiring to be freed and to be with Christ, on the 19th day of August, 1680, frequently repeating the sweet names of Jesus and Mary, he died in peace. As he became illustrious by many miracles, Pope Pius X added him to the list of the Blessed, and as he still shone forth with new signs and wonders, Pope Pius XI, in the holy year and on the day of Pentecost, placed him among the Saints, and extended his Office and Mass to the universal Church. (Matins, The Divine Office, Feast of Saint John Eudes.)

The names of Jesus and Mary were ever on the lips of Lucia dos Santos and Jacinta and Francisco Marto, who contemplated Our Lady’s marvelous apparitions as they tried to console the good God while praying for the conversion of sinners. They offered up their lives as a sacrifice to save sinners from hell so that they could converted and know the peace that comes from trying to be please God, especially by being fervently devoted to His Most Blessed Mother’s Most Holy Rosary.

On Thursday, September 13, 1917

Obedient as they had been in the four preceding months, the Fatima children went to Cova da Iria on Thursday (which is the day of Christ the High and the Holy Eucharist), September 13, 1917, which was the sixth day within the Octave of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Yes, Our Lady chose to appear within the octave of her own birth as the daughter of Saints Joachim and Anne. Here is the scene as described by William Thomas Walsh in Our Lady of Fatima, which starts with a recollection offered him by Sister Lucia dos Santos:

“When now I read in the New Testament such enchanting scenes of the passage of Our Lord through Palestine, I re- member these that Our Lady made me a witness of when I was so young, on those poor roads and streets from Aljustrel to Fatima and to Cova da Iria, and I give thanks to God, offering Him the faith of our good Portuguese multitude; and I think, ‘If these people so humbled themselves before three poor children only because they had been granted mercifully the grace to speak with the Mother of God, what would they not do if they saw before them Jesus Christ Himself?

. . . Finally we arrived at Cova da Iria, near the carrasquena, and I began to say the Rosary with the crowd.”

Ay, what a crowd! It was larger than ever, and composed of pilgrims from all parts of Portugal. And besides the usual barefoot peasants, the rich and the poor, the workers, the ladies and gentlemen from many villages and towns, there were some thirty young seminarians and five or six priests. One of the latter was the Reverend Monsignor Joao Quaresma. Another was the Reverend Father Manuel Pereira da Silva, then a curate at Leiria, who went to the scene (so he told me) chiefly out of curiosity, with no preconceptions either way. These priests, with the Prior of Santa Catalina and Monsignor Manuel do Carmo Gois, had left Leiria early that fine September morning in a squeaky carriage drawn by a decrepit oid horse. When they finally arrived after a rough journey, they secured a place of vantage on a piece of high ground overlooking the vast natural amphitheatre, already dark and seething with human forms.

“At midday a complete silence, save for the whisper of prayers, fell over the crowd,” wrote Monsignor Joao Quaresma fifteen years later. “Suddenly there were shouts of rejoicing . . . voices praising Our Lady. Arms went up to point at something above.

‘Look, don’t you see?’. . . Yes, now I see!’. . . There was not a cloud in the azure sky. I too raised my eyes and tried to scrutinize the amplitude of the sky, to see what more fortunate eyes had first looked upon. ... To my great astonishment I saw clearly and distinctly a luminous globe that moved from the east toward the west, slowly and majestically gliding down across the distance. My friend also looked and had the good fortune to enjoy the same unexpected and enchanting apparition. . . . Suddenly the globe with its extraordinary light vanished before our eyes. . . .

What do you think of that globe?’ I asked of my friend, who seemed to be enthusiastic over what we had seen.

‘That it was Our Lady,’ he replied without hesitation. It was my conviction also. The little shepherds looked on the Mother of God herself; to us was granted the grace to see the carriage which had transported her from heaven to the barren inhospitable heath of the Serra da Aire.

“We must say that all those who were near us observed what we did. For on all sides were heard manifestations of joy and greetings to Our Lady. Many, however, saw nothing.

‘We felt that we were very fortunate. How enthusiastically my colleague went about from group to group in the Cova da Iria and afterwards on the highway outside, finding out what they had seen. The persons interrogated were of various social classes; all unanimously affirmed the reality of the phenomena which we ourselves had witnessed."

Meanwhile the Lady had revealed herself to the three children, and Lucia and Jacinta had heard her lovely voice in the briefest of all their conversations.

“Continue to say the Rosary," she said, “to bring about the end of the war. In October Our Lord will come also, and Our Lady of the Sorrows of Carmel, and Saint Joseph with the Child Jesus, to bless the world. God is content with your sacrifices, but does not wish you to sleep with the rope — wear it only during the day.”

Lucia said, “They have begged me to ask you many things: the cure of some sick persons. . . of a deaf mute.

“Yes,” answered the Lady, “some I will cure, others not. In October I will perform the miracle so that all will believe.

And she disappeared in the same manner as before.

So ended the fifth apparition, as Lucia records it. Short though it was, it left the children confirmed in their faith and greatly consoled. How relieved they were to give up wearing the rough rope next to their tender bodies at night! What pleased Francisco more than this, though, was her promise that in the following month he would see Our Lord.         

"Ai que bom ;” he cried. "Only one more month, and I love Him so!” (William Thomas Walsh, Our Lady of Fatima, published originally by the Macmillan Company, New York, New York, 1947, and republished in  1990 by An Image Book, Doubleday, A Division of Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, pp. 126-128.)

This took place within an octave in honor of Our Lady’s Nativity that was abolished in 1955 and erased from the memory of Catholics. That erasure, however, took place thirty-eight years after Our Lady had made her fifth apparition in the Cova da Iria near Fatima, Portugal.

Dom Gueranger explained the spiritual beauty of the sixth day of the octave in honor of Maria Bambina:

How beautiful are thy first steps, O prince's daughter! Our eyes are never weary of contemplating in these the marvel of harmonious sweetness united to the strength of an army. (Cant. Vii. 1,2.) Blessed child, continue to grown in grace; may thy course be prosperous; may thy royalty be strengthened and established. But the Church will not wait till thou be grown up, to sing to thee her beautiful antiphon: 'Rejoice O Virgin Mary; thou alone hast destroyed all heresies throughout the world.' (First Antiphon of the third nocturn of the feast)

Heresy, satan's denial of what God affirms by His Christ, this is the great struggle, or rather the only one, which sums up history. God having created the world for the sole purpose of uniting it to Himself by His Word made Flesh; the enemy of God and of the world, in order to break the bond of this mysterious love, attacks by turns the Divinity and the Humanity of Christ the Mediator. But all his lies are in vain: Jesus is Man, for He is born of a Mother, like every one of us; He is God, for He alone is born of a Virgin. The Man-God, who according to Simeon's prophecy, is a sign of contradiction to the sons of perdition, has Himself a sign, for unprejudiced eyes, viz: a Virgin-Mother: 'The Lord Himself,' said the prophet, 'shall give you a sign. Behold a Virgin shall conceive and bear a Son and His name shall be called Emmanuel: (Isaias. Vii. 14) god with us.' (Dom Proper Gueranger, O.S.B., The Liturgical Year.)

Heresy abounds today, but it was festering then, of course.

Pope Saint Pius X suppressed Modernist. However, the Modernists themselves went underground and coalesced under the banner of the Liturgical Movement, that had been begun by Dom Prosper Gueranger himself and continued through the time of Pope Saint Pius X. The hijacked Liturgical Movement consisted of unreconstructed Modernists who wanted to turn the Sacred Liturgy into a vessel of their false ecclesiology and of ecumenism. (An excellent series on this hijacking was written by Dr. Carol A. Byrne, who is very much opposed to sedevacantism, from 2014 to 2017. I highly recommend this series as its documentation is vast, including testimony from those close to Pope Saint Pius X that the intentions of Dom Lambert Beaudoin and, subsequently, Annibale Bugnini, C.M., had nothing to do with those of the great foe of Modernism, Giuseppe Melchiorre Sarto, who died on August 20, 2014. For one of these articles, please see The Start of The New Liturgical Movement. One can follow the “Continued” links at the end of this article—and each subsequent one, numbering forty-five in total, to read the entire series. I will be referring to several other of these articles in part three of my series on Jorge Mario Bergoglio’s address to conciliar “liturgists” on August 24, 2017, the Feast of Saint Bartholomew.) The conciliar attack on Our Lady’s Fatima Message has everything to with the fact that it is a rebuke to their Modernism and their use of the Sacred Liturgy as a vessel to spread heresies galore. There is no way to reconcile the message of Our Lady of Fatima with conciliarism and is anthropcentic liturgical rites.

On Saturday, October 13, 1917

Much has been written on this site in the past about the Miracle of the Sun, whose one hundredth anniversary took place thirteen days ago.

Indeed, a revised article, On A Day That An Earthly King Yields to Our Heavenly Queen, posted thriteen days ago discussed the fact that the Miracle of the Sun took place on the Feast of Saint Edward the Confessor, who was an exemplar of the Social Reign of Christ the King, at a time when the last vestiges of Christendom in the Austro-Hungarian Empire were about to be overthrown by the combined forces of Western liberalism and, in due course, Marxism-Leninism.

The Social Reign of Christ the King had been overthrown in Portugal had been overthrown definitively in the Judeo-Masonic revolution of 1910. To be sure, there were problems well before then. However, the ancient enemies of the Church, which were all too well represented in the lodges of Freemasonry, knew that the Catholic Faith was deeply imbedded in the soul of Portgual. This is why one of the first things that the revolutionaries did when they abolished the Kingdom of Portugal and replaced it with the “Republic of Portugal” was to institutionalize the separation of “Church and State” that had been championed first by Martin Luther and then adopted by all political ideologies that arose in the late-Seventeenth Century and thereafter.

None other than Pope Saint Pius X condemned separation of Church and State in Portugal no less vigorously than he had done when the French Third Republic had made the phrase is own:

2. Whilst the new rulers of Portugal were affording such numerous and awful examples of the abuse of power, you know with what patience and moderation this Apostolic See has acted towards them. We thought that We ought most carefully to avoid any action that could even have the appearance of hostility to the Republic. For We clung to the hope that its rulers would one day take saner counsels and would at length repair, by some new agreement, the injuries inflicted on the Church. In this, however, We have been altogether disappointed, for they have now crowned their evil work by the promulgation of a vicious and pernicious Decree for the Separation of Church and State. But now the duty imposed upon Us by our Apostolic charge will not allow Us to remain passive and silent when so serious a wound has been inflicted upon the rights and dignity of the Catholic religion. Therefore do We now address you, Venerable Brethren, in this letter and denounce to all Christendom the heinousness of this deed.

3. At the outset, the absurd and monstrous character of the decree of which We speak is plain from the fact that it proclaims and enacts that the Republic shall have no religion, as if men individually and any association or nation did not depend upon Him who is the Maker and Preserver of all things; and then from the fact that it liberates Portugal from the observance of the Catholic religion, that religion, We say, which has ever been that nation's greatest safeguard and glory, and has been professed almost unanimously by its people. So let us take it that it has been their pleasure to sever that close alliance between Church and State, confirmed though it was by the solemn faith of treaties. Once this divorce was effected, it would at least have been logical to pay no further attention to the Church, and to leave her the enjoyment of the common liberty and rights which belong to every citizen and every respectable community of peoples. Quite otherwise, however, have things fallen out. This decree bears indeed the name of Separation, but it enacts in reality the reduction of the Church to utter want by the spoliation of her property, and to servitude to the State by oppression in all that touches her sacred power and spirit. (Pope Saint Pius X, Iamdudum, May 24, 1911.)

That the Holy See made an accommodation to the reality caused by the Portuguese decree of separation of Church and State and had its property and many of its privileges restored in the Concordat  of 1940 in no way justifies the revolution against the Social Reign of Christ the King in Portugal wrought by the Judeo-Masonic and socialistic forces there thirty years previously.

Holy Mother Church has long sought to accommodate herself to the concrete realities of any given situation in which her children find themselves so that she can continue her work of teaching and preaching and sanctification without the hindrance of the civil state. To reach a concordat that recognizes the reality of a forced separation of Church and State is not the same thing as endorsing that false thesis or to praise the free flow of false ideas and organizations that have occurred in its wake.

Pope Saint Pius X, far from praising a revolution that suppressed much of the Church's liberties for thirty years prior to the Concordat of 1940, understood that the life of the Church and thus the good of souls in Portugal would be irreparably harmed by the decree of separation of Church and State:

The way in which the Portuguese law binds and fetters the liberty of the Church is scarcely credible, so repugnant is it to the methods of these modern days and to the public proclamation of all liberty. It is decreed under the heaviest penalties that the acts of the Bishops shall on no account be printed and that not even within the walls of the churches shall there be any announcement made to the people except by leave of the Republic. It is, moreover, forbidden to perform any ceremony outside the precincts of the sacred buildings without permission from the Republic, to go round in procession, to wear sacred vestments or even the cassock. Furthermore, it is forbidden to place any sign which savors of the Catholic religion not only on public monuments, but even on private buildings; but there is no prohibition at all against so exposing what is offensive to Catholics. Similarly, it is unlawful to form associations for the fostering of religion and piety; indeed societies of this sort are placed on a level with the criminal associations which are formed for evil purposes. And whilst on the one hand all citizens are allowed to employ their means according to their pleasure, on the other, Catholics are, against all justice and equity, placed under restrictions like these if they wish to bequeath something for prayers for the dead, or the upkeep of divine worship; and such bequests already made are impiously diverted to other purposes in utter violation of the wills and wishes of the testators. In fine, the Republic -- and this is harshest and gravest stroke of all -- goes so far as to invade the domain of the authority of the Church, and to make provisions on points which, as they concern the constitution of the priesthood, necessarily claim the special care of the Church. We speak of the formation and training of young ecclesiastics. For not only does the Decree compel ecclesiastical students to pursue their scientific and literary studies which precede theology in the public lycees where, by reason of a spirit of hostility to God and the Church, the integrity of their faith plainly is exposed to the greatest peril; but the Republic even interferes in the domestic life and discipline of the Seminaries, and arrogates the right of appointing the professors, of approving of the textbooks and of regulating the sacred studies of the Clerics. Thus are the old decrees of the Regalists revived and enforced; but what was grievous arrogance whilst there was concord between Church and State, is it not now, when the State will have nothing to do with Church, repugnant and full of absurdity? And what is to be said of the fact that this law is positively framed to deprave the morals of the clergy and to provoke them to abandon their superiors? For fixed pensions are assigned to those who have been suspended from their functions by the authority of the Bishops, and benefices are given to those priests who in miserable forgetfulness of their duty shall have dared to contract marriage; and what is still more shameful to record, it extends the same benefits to be shared and enjoyed by any children there may be of such a sacrilegious union. (Pope Saint Pius X, Iamdudum, May 24, 1911.)

This is one of the many reasons that the conciliar revolutionaries hate Our Lady’s Fatima Message and have worked very hard to deconstruct it in order to present their own false narrative and to desecrate the Shrine of the Apparitions with offerings made to the devil by Hindu “priests.” And let us remember that one of the chief architects of the conciliar warfare on Our Lady’s Fatima Message is none other than Joseph Alois Ratzinger/Benedict XVI (see We Must Accept What the Rationalists Reject), who praised the very thing that had been condemned by Pope Saint Pius X, namely, separation of Church and State in Portugal:

From a wise vision of life and of the world, the just ordering of society follows. Situated within history, the Church is open to cooperating with anyone who does not marginalize or reduce to the private sphere the essential consideration of the human meaning of life. The point at issue is not an ethical confrontation between a secular and a religious system, so much as a question about the meaning that we give to our freedom. What matters is the value attributed to the problem of meaning and its implication in public life. By separating Church and State, the Republican revolution which took place 100 years ago in Portugal, opened up a new area of freedom for the Church, to which the two concordats of 1940 and 2004 would give shape, in cultural settings and ecclesial perspectives profoundly marked by rapid change. For the most part, the sufferings caused by these transformations have been faced with courage. Living amid a plurality of value systems and ethical outlooks requires a journey to the core of one’s being and to the nucleus of Christianity so as to reinforce the quality of one’s witness to the point of sanctity, and to find mission paths that lead even to the radical choice of martyrdom. (Official Reception at Lisbon Portela International Airport, Tuesday, May 11, 2010.)


"By separating Church and State, the Republican revolution which took place in Portugal in 1910 opened up a new area of freedom for the Church"?

Pluralism strengthens sanctity within the soul?

Guess again.

Surgical baby-killing up to the tenth week of a baby’s development in his mother’s womb had been “legalized” in Portugal in 2007, fully three years before Ratzinger/Benedict made his “pastoral pilgrimage” to celebrate the “civilization of love.” Although some restrictions were put on abortion by the “center-right” Portuguese government in 2015, baby-killing still remains legal. So, for that matter, is “marriage” between two people of the same gender.

Yet it is that Ratzinger/Benedict praised the “progress” Portugal had made as an example of the “civilization of love.”

Pope Saint Pius X gave no quarter at all to any precept of the Portuguese revolution, understanding it full well to be an attack upon Holy Mother Church and thus the good of souls:

The way in which the Portuguese law binds and fetters the liberty of the Church is scarcely credible, so repugnant is it to the methods of these modern days and to the public proclamation of all liberty. It is decreed under the heaviest penalties that the acts of the Bishops shall on no account be printed and that not even within the walls of the churches shall there be any announcement made to the people except by leave of the Republic. It is, moreover, forbidden to perform any ceremony outside the precincts of the sacred buildings without permission from the Republic, to go round in procession, to wear sacred vestments or even the cassock. Furthermore, it is forbidden to place any sign which savors of the Catholic religion not only on public monuments, but even on private buildings; but there is no prohibition at all against so exposing what is offensive to Catholics. Similarly, it is unlawful to form associations for the fostering of religion and piety; indeed societies of this sort are placed on a level with the criminal associations which are formed for evil purposes. And whilst on the one hand all citizens are allowed to employ their means according to their pleasure, on the other, Catholics are, against all justice and equity, placed under restrictions like these if they wish to bequeath something for prayers for the dead, or the upkeep of divine worship; and such bequests already made are impiously diverted to other purposes in utter violation of the wills and wishes of the testators. In fine, the Republic -- and this is harshest and gravest stroke of all -- goes so far as to invade the domain of the authority of the Church, and to make provisions on points which, as they concern the constitution of the priesthood, necessarily claim the special care of the Church. We speak of the formation and training of young ecclesiastics. For not only does the Decree compel ecclesiastical students to pursue their scientific and literary studies which precede theology in the public lycees where, by reason of a spirit of hostility to God and the Church, the integrity of their faith plainly is exposed to the greatest peril; but the Republic even interferes in the domestic life and discipline of the Seminaries, and arrogates the right of appointing the professors, of approving of the textbooks and of regulating the sacred studies of the Clerics. Thus are the old decrees of the Regalists revived and enforced; but what was grievous arrogance whilst there was concord between Church and State, is it not now, when the State will have nothing to do with Church, repugnant and full of absurdity? And what is to be said of the fact that this law is positively framed to deprave the morals of the clergy and to provoke them to abandon their superiors? For fixed pensions are assigned to those who have been suspended from their functions by the authority of the Bishops, and benefices are given to those priests who in miserable forgetfulness of their duty shall have dared to contract marriage; and what is still more shameful to record, it extends the same benefits to be shared and enjoyed by any children there may be of such a sacrilegious union. (Pope Saint Pius X, Iamdudum, May 24, 1911.)

Pope Saint Pius X declared as null and void that which was praised by an antipope ninety-nine years later:

Accordingly, under the admonition of the duty of Our Apostolic office that, in the face of such audacity on the part of the enemies of God, We should most vigilantly protect the dignity and honor of religion and preserve the sacred rights of the Catholic Church, We by our Apostolic authority denounce, condemn, and reject the Law for the Separation of Church and State in the Portuguese Republic. This law despises God and repudiates the Catholic faith; it annuls the treaties solemnly made between Portugal and the Apostolic See, and violates the law of nature and of her property; it oppresses the liberty of the Church, and assails her divine Constitution; it injures and insults the majesty of the Roman Pontificate, the order of Bishops, the Portuguese clergy and people, and so the Catholics of the world. And whilst We strenuously complain that such a law should have been made, sanctioned, and published, We utter a solemn protest against those who have had a part in it as authors or helpers, and, at the same time, We proclaim and denounce as null and void, and to be so regarded, all that the law has enacted against the inviolable rights of the Church. (Pope Saint Pius X, Iamdudum, May 24, 1911.)

Thus, good readers, understand that Our Lady’s appearing on the Feast of Saint Edward the Confessor a century ago had a meaning that even the seers themselves may not have understood. Our Lady was making her own Pope Saint Pius X’s condemnation of the Portuguese law of separation of Church and State.

The Events of the Day

Although the events of October 13, 1917, are well-known and have, of course, been described on this site annually, it is interesting for purposes of the present reflection to rely upon the vivid description provided by the late William Thomas Walsh, who explained the spirit of anticipation that was present even on the night in advance of Our Lady’s sixth and final apparition in the Cova da Iria near Fatima, Portugal:

What a night! It was as if the devil, somewhere in the ice and snow that could never slake the burning of his pain, had resolved to destroy with one blow all that remained of the Europe which had so long been his battleground against the Thing he hated most. Somewhere in the dark misery of Siberia,h e was permitted, heaven knows why, to disturb the equilibrium of the air, setting in motion a cold and cutting blast that shrieked across the continent to the western sea. It may have passed howling over a cabin in Finland where a little lynx-eyed man who called himself Lenin was waiting to enter St. Petersburg (he had lately sown the seeds of revolution there), and to being, in a very few weeks, the transformation and destruction of all that world which owed what was best and noblest in it to the teachings of Christ. It screamed in mockery over vast armaments moving stealthily through Germany to prepare for the “peace through victory” drive of 1918. It scourged poor wretches of both armies into the cover of slimy dugouts all along the western front, and plastered with mud the Italian fugitives from Caporetto. It seemed to echo and enlarge the despair that was settling over the vineyards of war-wearied France, where Haig stood, as he said, with his back to the wall. Finally it dashed itself against the Pyrenees, and then, as if it had gathered up all the hatreds and discontents of disobedience men and all the rebellious powers of a corrupted nature in its mad career from the Baltic to Cape Saint Vincent, it let them all loose on the little country that has never been permanently conquered, the land where she who treads upon the serpent's head has long been honored, the terra da Santa Maria.

Darkness fell swiftly, with blacker clouds scudding from the northeast, and huge shapeless masses of fog drifting along the mountain sides and down the river valleys to the ocean. As the drizzle thickened to a fine, cold, slanting rain, the  wind, whipped to a gale, bent under it the waving and moaning plumes of the pine forest near Leiria; it ripped the square sails of ancient windmills on the gray heights of the Serra da Aire; it scattered pale glistening leaves of poplars and aspens across the swollen Tagus; it flattened the plucked and reddened vineyards of Braga and the withered gardens of Moita and Fatima; it went roaring across hundreds of miles of narrow beaches until the frothy Atlantic bellowed back in anger and cast up vengeful floods into village streets. The rain fell steadily, pitilessly.

Yet there were thousands of human beings and many beasts on the roads of the little Republic that night. For faith is stronger than doubt, and love is hardier than hate. Devout Catholics in every village had heard by this time that Our Lady had promised to return to the Cova da Ira to perform a miracle on October 13. Rain or shine that was all they needed to know. Peasant families slung their wicker baskets and earthen water jugs over their shoulders, or packed them in panniers on the backs of burrow, and started out under the lowering skies. Father and mothers carried sick or lame children in their arms for incredible distances. Fishermen left their nets and boats on the beaches of the Vieira and took to the oozy roads. Farmhands from Monte Real, sailors from ships in the harbors of Porto or Algarve, factory workers from Lisboa, serranas from Minde or Soublio, ladies and gentlemen, scrubwomen, waiter, young and old, rich and poor, all sorts of people (but most of them humble, most of them barefoot, most of them workers and their families) were plodding through the mud under the pelting rain that night like a great scattered army converging upon Fatima, hoping to find some favor of hearth or conversion, forgiveness of sin, consolation for sorrow, the beginning of a better life, the blessing of the Mother of God.

It made no difference to these devotees if saturated trousers or skirts sloshed around their tired legs as their bare feet plowed the mud or spattered the puddles of bad roads. Laughter was heard among groups of several families as they walked along together. Fragments of old hymns would echo back from the wet cliffs, or come floating down out of the darkness of a lonely road. “Ave, Ave, Ave Maria!” Not for nothing had the ancestors of these people sung the Salve Regina on the decks of the galleons in the Indian Ocean or whalers in the Chinal Sea. It might have been a useful lesson for some of the politicians at Lisboa, if they could have heard those songs.

They were not left wholly uniformed, however. Avelino de Almeida, managing editor of O Seculo, the largest newspaper in Liboa, who was on his way to cover the story at Cova da Iria, describes some of the pilgrims he met near Chao de Macas, before the rain began to fall:

“Nearly all, men and women, have bare feet, the women carrying their footgear in bags on their heads, the men leaning on great staves and carefully grasping umbrellas also. One would say they were all oblivious to what was going on about them, with a great lack of interest in the journey and in other travelers, as if list in a dream, reciting their Rosary in a sad rhythmic chant. A woman says the first part of the Hail Mary; her companions in chorus say the second part of the prayer. With sure and rhythmical steps they tread the dusty road which runs between the pine woods and the olive groves, so that they may arrive before night at the place of the apparition, where, under the serene and cold light of the stars, they hope they can sleep, keeping the first places near the blessed azinheira so that today they can see better.”

It was not devotion that took the editor of O Seculo to Fatima. Almeida was a Freemason who made no secret of his dislike for priests, sacraments, creeds and dogmas. He was covering the story because it had been too much talked about to be ignored, and he was one of the best newspaper men in Portugal. His dispatch, published in O Seculo on the morning of October 13, reveals him a kindly, cynical gentleman in the Newmanian sense, one who did not believe but had no wish to hurt or ridicule those who did:

“Thousands of persons are hastening to a wild expanse of country near Ourem to see and hear the Virgin Mary. Let pious souls be not offended and pure believing hearts be not afraid; we have no intention of being scandal for those who sincerely hold to their faith and whom the miraculous still attracts, seduces, bewitches, consoles, and fortifies, as has been the case for thousands of years, and most certainly will be for other thousands of years! . . . This is only a short newspaper article on an event which is not new in the history of Catholicism . . . Some regard it as a message from heaven and a grace; others see in it a sign and proof that the spirit of superstition and fanaticism has planted deep roots that it is difficult or even impossible to destroy.

“Time of great calamities have always revived and renewed religious ideas and have favored then. And war, which strikes everywhere, offers them the most favorable and fertile soil for growth. We see that confirmed in the life of the trenches and even in the spiritual atmosphere of the belligerent countries.” (William Thomas Walsh, Our Lady of Fatima, published originally by the Macmillan Company, New York, New York, 1947, and republished in  1990 by An Image Book, Doubleday, A Division of Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, pp. 137-140.)

Mr. Walsh then described how the seers themselves prepared for the miracle that Our Lady had promised would occur that day, October 13, 1917:

“Put down your umbrellas!” cried Lucia — why she never knew — and one after another they obeyed, although the rain was still falling. “Put down your umbrellas!” said one after another. They all stood patiently in the rain.

A few minutes more passed. The priest looked at his watch again.

“Midday is past,” he said with gloomy finality. “Away with all this! It is all an illusion.”

He began to push the three children with his hands, if we may trust the memory of Maria Carrena But Lucia, almost in tears, refused to budge, saying.

“Whoever wants to go, can go, but I'm not going. Our Lady told us to come. We saw her other times and we’re going to see her now.”

Disappointed murmurs and grumblings began to be heard among the bystanders. Then of a sudden Lucia looked toward the east and cried:

“Jacinta, kneel down, for now I see Our Lady there. I can see the flash!”

“Watch out, daughter!” It was the shrill voice of Maria Rosa. “Don't let yourself be deceived!”

Lucia did not hear the warning. Those near her noticed that her face had become flushed and transparently beautiful. She was gazing rapturously now at the Lady herself, who stood in a flood of white light on the flowers that Maria Carrena had draped on the stump of the azinheira. Jacinta and Francisco, on either side of her, stared likewise, both radiant, both quite oblivious of the multitude around them.

“What do you want of me?” Lucia was kneeling with the others. The fine rain fell on her upturned face.

“I want to tell you to have them build a chapel here in my honor. I am the Lady of the Rosary. Let them continue to say the Rosary every day. The war is going to end, and the soldiers will soon return to their homes.”

“I have many things to ask of you,” said Lucia. “The cure of some sick persons, the conversion of some sinners. . . .”

“Some yes, others no. It is necessary that they amend their lives, and ask pardon for their sins.”

Her face became graver as she continued, “Let them offend Our Lord God no more, for He is already much offended.” With this the Lady of the Rosary opened her white hands as always, and it seemed to Lucia that the light emerging from them ascended to where the sun ought to be, directly overhead, and it was brighter than any sunlight. Perhaps it was at this moment that the crowd saw the clouds separate like

two vast curtains rolled apart, and the sun appear between them in the dear blue, like a disk of white fire. Certainly many heard Lucia cry, “Look at the sun!” but she said this in ecstasy and has no recollection of it. For she was wholly absorbed in something she saw where the sun must have been.

As Our Lady disappeared in the very radiance that came from her outstretched hands, there stood out in the zenith above three tableaus which symbolized, one after another, the Joyous, the Sorrowful and the Glorious mysteries of the Rosary. The first was a distinct representation of the Holy Family: Our Lady herself in her traditional dress of white with a blue mantle, and Saint Joseph beside her holding the Child Jesus on his arm — Saint Joseph in white, the Infant in bright red.

Lucia was heard to say, “Saint Joseph is going to bless us!” All three of the children saw this first vision, and saw the Saint make the sign of the cross three times over the crowd. The holy Child did likewise.

The next vision, seen by Lucia alone, was one of Our Lady of Sorrows in the somber garb assigned to her by tradition, the Mater Dolorosa of Good Friday, but without the sword in her breast; and beside her stood her divine Son grieving as when he met her on the way to Calvary. Lucia saw only the upper part of His figure. He looked pityingly on the crowd for whom He had died, and raised His hand to make the sign of the cross over them.

Our Lady then appeared in a third vision of glory, as Our Lady of Mount Carmel, crowned as queen of heaven and of the world, her infant Son upon her knee.

The crowd saw nothing of all this: at least there seems to be no solid verification of the claim that a few saw the Lady. What they all did see, however, was something stupendous, unheard of, almost apocalyptic. The sun stood forth in the clear zenith like a great silver disk which, though bright as any sun they had ever seen, they could look straight at without blinking, and with a unique and delightful satisfaction. This lasted but a moment. While they gazed, the huge ball began to “dance” — that was the word all the beholders applied to it Now it was whirling rapidly like a gigantic fire-wheel. After doing this for some time, it stopped. Then it rotated again, with dizzy, sickening speed. Finally there appeared on the rim a border of crimson, which flung across die sky, as from a hellish vortex, blood-red streamers of flame, reflecting to the earth, to the trees and shrubs, to the upturned faces and the clothes all sorts of brilliant colors in succession: green, red, orange, blue, violet, the whole spectrum in fact Madly gyrat- ing in this manner three times, the fiery orb seemed to tremble, to shudder, and then to plunge precipitately, in a mighty zigzag, toward the crowd.

A fearful cry broke from the lips of thousands of terrified persons as they fell upon their knees, thinking the end of the world had come. Some said that the air became warmer at that instant; they would not have been surprised if everything about them had burst into flames, enveloping and consuming them.

Ai Jesus, we are all going to die here!”

“Save us, Jesus! Our Lady, save us!”

“Oh, my God, I am sorry — ” And one began the Act of Contrition.

Some who had come to jeer fell on their faces and broke into sobs and abject prayers.

The Marques do Cruz said, “Oh my God, how great is Thy power!”

This had lasted about ten minutes, perhaps. Then all saw the sun begin to climb, in the same zigzag manner, to where it had appeared before. It became tranquil, then dazzling. No one could look at it any longer. It was the sun of every day.

The people stared at one another in joy and amazement. “Miracle! Miracle! The children were right! Our Lady made the miracle! Blessed be God! Blessed be Our Lady!” The shouts were taken up all over the Cova da Iria. Some were laughing, others weeping with joy. Many were making the discovery that their drenched clothes had in some unexplained manner become perfectly dry.

Avelino de Almeida reported the event in O Secuto of October 17 as “a spectacle unique and incredible if one had not been a witness of it. . . . One can see the immense crowd turn toward the sun, which reveals itself free of the clouds in full noon. The great star of day makes one think of a silver plaque, and it is possible to look straight at it without the least discomfort. It does not burn, it does not blind. It

might be like an eclipse. But now bursts forth a colossal clamor, and we hear the nearest spectators crying, ‘Miracle, miracle! Marvel, marvel!’

“Before the astonished eyes of the people, whose attitude carries us back to biblical times and who, full of terror, heads uncovered, gaze into the blue of the sky, the sun has trembled, and the sun has made some brusque movements, unprecedented and outside of all cosmic laws — the sun has ‘danced,’ according to the typical expression of the peasants. . . . An old man whose stature and face, at once gentle and energetic, recall those of Paul Deroulede, turns toward the sun and recites the Credo with loud cries from beginning to end. I ask his name. It is Senhor Joao Maria Amado de Melo Ramalho da Cunha Vasconcelos. I see him afterwards addressing those about him who have kept their hats on, begging them vehemently to uncover before so extraordinary a demonstration of the existence of God. Similar scenes are repeated in all places. . . .

“The people ask one another if they have seen anything and what they have seen. The greatest number avow that they have seen the trembling and dancing of the sun. Others, however, declare that they have seen the smiling face of the Virgin herself; swear that the sun turned around on itself like a wheel of fireworks; that it fell, almost to the point of burning the earth with its rays. . . . Another tells that he has seen it change color successively. . . .

“Almost three o’clock. The sky is limpid and the sun follows its course with its habitual brilliancy so that no one dares to look at it directly. And the shepherds? . . . Lucia, the one who speaks to the Virgin, announces with theatrical motions, on the neck of a man who carries her from group to group, that the war is going to end and that the soldiers are coming home. Such news, however, does not increase the joy of those who hear her. The celestial Sign, that is everything. Much curiosity, nevertheless, to see the two little girls with their garlands of roses; some try to kiss the hand of the little saints’; and one of the two, Jacinta, is much nearer to fainting than to dancing. But what all aspired for — the Sign in the Sky — has sufficed to satisfy them, to enroot them in their Breton-like faith. . . .

“Their dispersion follows rapidly and without incidents, without the shadow of disorder, without the need of any intervention of police patrols. The pilgrims who leave first, in haste to be on their way, are those who arrived first with their shoes on their heads or hung on their staves. They are going, their souls full of joy, to spread the good news in the villages that were not wholly depopulated to come here. And the priests? Some have shown themselves on the scene, standing rather with the curious spectators than in the company of pilgrims avid for celestial favors. Perhaps now and then one does not manage to conceal the satisfaction which appears so often on the faces of those who triumph. ... It remains for those competent to pronounce on the dance macabre of the sun, which today, at Fatima, has made hosannas burst from the breasts of the faithful and naturally has impressed — so witnesses worthy of belief assure me — even freethinkers and other persons not at all interested in religious matters who have come to this once famous countryside.”

All over Portugal, in fact, the anti-clerical press was compelled to bear witness of the same sort. There was general agreement on the essentials. As Dr. Domingos Pinto Coelho wrote in O Ordem, “The sun, sometimes surrounded with crimson flames, at other times aureoled with yellow and red, at still other times seemed to revolve with a very rapid movement of rotation, still again seeming to detach itself from the sky, to approach the earth and to radiate strong heat.”

Theories of mass hypnotism or suggestion were discarded when it became known that reliable witnesses not in the crowd had seen the miracle many miles away. The poet Alfonso Lopes Vieira saw it from his house at S. Pedro de Moel, forty kilometers from Fatima. Father Inado Lourenco told later how he had seen it from Alburita, eighteen or nineteen kilometers away, when he was a boy of nine. He and some fellow students heard people shouting in the Street near by. Running out of the school with his teacher, Dona Delna Pereira Lopes, he saw with amazement the spinning and falling of the sun. “It was like a globe of snow revolving on itself,” he wrote. “Then suddenly it seemed to come down in a zigzag, threatening to fall on the earth. Terrified, I ran to shelter myself in the midst of the people. All were weeping, expecting from one moment to the next the end of the world.

“Near us was an unbeliever without religion, who had spent the morning mocking the blockheads who had made all that journey to Fatima to go and stare at a girl. I looked at him. He stood as if paralyzed, thunderstruck, his eyes fixed on the sun. Then I saw him tremble from head to foot, and raising his hands to heaven, he fell on his knees in the mire, shouting, ‘Nossa Senhora! Nossa Senhoral’

“Meanwhile the people continued to scream and cry out, begging God to pardon their sins. . . . Afterwards we ran to the chapels of the town, which were filled in a few moments.

“During those long minutes of the solar phenomenon objects all about us reflected all the colors of the rainbow. As we looked at one another, one seemed blue, another yellow, another vermilion. ... All these strange phenomena increased the terror of the crowd. After about ten minutes the sun re- turned to its place in the same way it had descended, still pale and without splendor. . .”

Plenty of witnesses are still living in the neighborhood. I spoke with many of them last summer, induding Ti Marto and his Olimpia, Maria Carreira, two of the sisters of Lucia (Mary of the Angels and Gloria) and several others of the country folk, all of whom told the same story with evident sincerity; and as they mentioned the falling of the sun there was always a trace of terror in their voices. The Reverend Father Manuel Pereira da Silva gave me substantially the same details. “When I saw the sun fall zigzag,” he said, “I fell on my knees. I thought the end of the world had come.”

The fact has been established beyond any doubt. How is it to be explained? As early as May, 1917, Jacinta and Lucia had told people that the Lady they saw had promised a miracle on October 13, at the hour of noon, as a sign of their sincerity. They had repeated this at various times, and had never altered their story even under threats and persecution which must have been terrifying to such children at the ages of ten, nine, and seven. On the very day and hour they had foretold, some 70,000 persons testified that they had the unique experience of seeing the sun spin round and seem to fall. Such widespread testimony serves to confirm that the children actually had seen the Mother of Christ, and that He had given to the simple souls at Cova da Iria the sign in the sky for which the Pharisees had begged Him in mock reverence, and which He had refused to grant their unbelieving and adulterous hearts.

The Administrator of Ourem still denies that anything miraculous happened. I suspect he would have denied it even if he had been there. Or like the Pharisees who denied the Resurrection after they had seen Christ dying on the cross, he would have made up some rationalistic explanation to save himself the humiliation of believing.

He was removed from office following the coup d’etat of Sidonio Pafs some two months after the miracle. The last heard of him was that he was injured in Tomar by the premature explosion of a bomb he was making to throw at certain members of the new government.

Lucia has drawn the mantle of a charitable silence over the reactions of her family to the events of October 13. There must have been apologies and acts of reparation, furtive, perhaps, on the part of Antonio, honest and flatfooted on that of Maria Rosa. But on that day the wan and spiritless girl had no time to enjoy her triumph. Mobs of pilgrims followed her about all afternoon. They were still milling about the Street and passing in and out of the houses of the Aboboras and the Martos when Dr. Formigao arrived in Aljustrel at seven o’dock in the evening. He wanted to talk with the three children before anyone else did, and before they could compare notes. Thanks to his authority as a priest he dispersed the strangers in short order, and then summoned the three principals to the house of Ti Marto, where he questioned them separately.

All three had seen Our Lady stand on the stump of the tree. Lucia and Jacinta were agreed as to what she said. Francisco had seen her but had not heard her speak. All three had seen the sun turn. All had seen, near the sun, the vision of the Holy Family.

Only Lucia had seen the two succeeding tableaus of Our Lady of Sorrows and Our Lady of Mount Carmel. All agreed as to the colors of the garments and other details. There were some discrepancies. Was the Infant Jesus large? No, very little, replied each one separately. But Lucia believed he was on the arm of Saint Joseph, while both Jacinta and Francisco saw him standing beside him — on the right side, said Jacinta, and he did not come up to the waist of Saint Joseph. To Lucia he seemed about one year oid. To Jacinta and Francisco he was about the age of a baby of the neighborhood, Deolinda de Jose das Neves, who was two years old.

The divergence regarding the position of the Child is the only important one, and I confess I do not know how to explain it. In all such visions there is a subjective element, and it may be that they present different details to different persons.

Dr. Formigao made one more attempt to learn the secret from Francisco.

“Which was brighter, the figure of the Virgin or the sun?” he asked.

"The figure of the Virgin was brighter.”

“Did you hear what she said?”

“I heard nothing.”

"Who told you the secret? The Lady?”

"No, it was Lucia ”

"Can you tell it to me?”

"I cannot.”

"You don't want to speak, because you are afraid of Lucia, you are afraid she will strike you, isn’t it true?”

"Oh, no!”

"Then, why can’t you tell it to me?. , . Would it be a sin, perhaps?”

"I believe that it would be a sin to reveal the secret.”

"Is the secret for the good of your soul, and Lucia's and Jacinta’s?”


"Is it also for the good of the soul of the Senhor Prior?” "I don’t know.”

“Would the people be sad if they happened to learn it?”

"Yes.” (William Thomas Walsh, Our Lady of Fatima, published originally by the Macmillan Company, New York, New York, 1947, and republished in  1990 by An Image Book, Doubleday, A Division of Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, pp. 143-152.)

Before proceeding, perhaps it would be good to point out that the Miracle of the Sun took place on Saturday, October 13, 1917. Saturday is Our Lady's day, of course. No, nothing is an accident with God.

The time for the revelation of the Third Secret of Fatima was not 1917. It was 1960. As we know it was not revealed because a rationalist and Sillonist by the name of Angelo Roncalli had usurped the Throne of Saint Peter. According to what the late Silvio Cardinal Oddi, who was present when “Pope John XXIII” opened up the secret, explained on more than one occasion, the first in the current line of antipopes read the Secret and said, “This nonsense! This is not for our time.”

Obviously, any discussion of heresy and of cardinals fighting cardinals did not fit in with Roncalli’s vision of the “merciful church” as opposed to the “correcting church.” This was the start of the Fatima Message’s deconstruction by the conciliar authorities.

The conciliar revolutionaries, though, were only making their own the forty-three year warfare that Masons and other social revolutionaries had made against Our Lady of Fatima, including the desecration of the Cova da Iria and attacks on the Shrine itself:

The children were so pale from fatigue and dazed from excitement that Dr. Fonnigao shortened his examination, fearing they would be ill if they were not given some rest. When he returned October 19, they were still so exhausted that they answered mechanically, like sleepwalkers. Lucia’s memory was vague on recent events, though accurate about those in the past. The questioner was convinced that all three had answered honestly. He had seen the miracle of the sun. He went away believing also in the apparitions; and from then on he was a defender of the children even in the face of a persistent persecution, all the more difficult to understand when the prime movers in it happened to be not Carbonari or Masons, but fellow Catholics, fellow priests(William Thomas Walsh, Our Lady of Fatima, published originally by the Macmillan Company, New York, New York, 1947, and republished in  1990 by An Image Book, Doubleday, A Division of Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, pp. 152.)

There are true priests in the catacombs and false ones in the conciliar structures who continue to belittle Our Lady’s Fatima Message with mockery and rationalist revulsion. Some go to the point of caricaturing any effort to defend Our Lady’s Fatima apparitions and their importance to our times by saying that “Fatima is not our religion.” Of course, Fatima is not our religion. It is nevertheless the case those who truly love Our Lady must see in her Fatima apparitions the loving hand of her Divine Son, Who wants us to make more efficacious use of His Blessed Mother’s Most Holy Rosary and to spread devotion to her Immaculate Heart as the antidotes to sin and error in our souls and in the world.

There is no opposition between Our Lady’s Fatima Message and the Catholic Faith, and no one I know who is devoted to the requests that Our Lady made a century ago are suggesting any diminution of the primacy of the Sacred Deposit of Faith and the Sacraments. Those who suggest that such a distortion of right principles exist are making up straw men in the pattern of Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who is constantly making up a false dichotomy between “mercy” and justice and doctrine and “love.”

Let us return to the narrative provided by William Thomas Walsh of the first attack on the Cova da Iria:

As for the liberal opposition, the first stupefied silence of the Carbonari lasted but a few days. “What are we about?” said the children of this world on another occasion. “For this Man is working many miracles. If we let Him go on like this everybody will believe in Him!” Within a week the Grand Orient lodge of Santarem had recovered sufficiently to plan not merely a defense but a counter-attack. On the night of October 23 several of the brethren, including one known as Cemetery Frank, went to Ourem, where they were reinforced by certain henchmen of the Administrator Santos. All then re- paired by automobile to Cova da Iria with the intention of destroying what remained of the azinheira tree, and thus killing the cult by robbing it of a rallying point and chief relic. Some carried lanterns, others axes and hatchets.

A few strokes close to the roots, and a small tree was lying flat on the ground. Near by were other paraphernalia of devotion: the table of Maria Carreira with flowers and coins on it, and a picture of Our Lady; the rustic arch that pilgrims had built of two upright poles, with one hanging between to support a couple of lanterns and some crosses. All these the raiding party confiscated and carried off to Santarem. They placed them on exhibition as medieval monstrosities in a house near the seminary, charging a modest fee to inspect them, and offering the proceeds to the manager of the Misericordia, who, however, declined. The next evening they bore the entire exhibit in procession through the streets, singing blasphemous litanies to the accompaniment of drums.

The Liberal and Masonic O Secuto of Lisboa published these and other details, with a hearty condemnation of the whole desecration, remarking that it was especially shameful at a time when Catholic processions were forbidden. Other anti-clericals were less tolerant. When a group of educated Catholics of Santarem published an indignant protest, the Portuguese Federation of Free Thinkers retorted with one of the most curious documents in Portuguese history, a Manifesto addressed to all liberals against "the shameful spectacle staged as a ridiculous comedy at Fatima,” which they ascribed to an ecclesiastical plot to unite Church and State and restore diplomatic relations with the Vatican. In his fervor the writer went so far as to declare that miracles ought to be punished like transgressions against city ordinances, since they were violations of the laws of nature. He was particularly incensed because the miracle of the sun was invented and perpetrated on the anniversary of the Freethinker Francisco Ferrer. Demanding prompt public action against all those guilty of dragging such medievalism into the light of the twentieth century, he concluded with:

"Long with the Republic!  Down with Reactions! Long live liberty!”

On the morning of October 24 the news of the ravishing of the shrine passed rapidly from mouth to mouth through the grapevine of the Serra. There were cries of anger in Moita, in Fatima, in Aljustrel. Maria Carreira was one of the faithful who hurried to Cova da Iria to see what had happened. All the worst had happened. The table, the arch, the lanterns, all had disappeared. Yet not the worst! For the marauders had chopped down the wrong tree. And there, a few feet from the uprooted one, stood the brave little azinheira on which Our Lady had appeared, its upper leaves sadly shorn, but the trunk and lower branches still standing in the sun for all to see. Maria Carreira gave thanks to God.

The net result of the outrage was to increase rather than discourage the devotion to Our Lady of Fatima. The number of pilgrims gradually increased. There were sure to be many of them on Sundays and on the thirteenth of each month from May to October, sometimes in a veritable procession from Leiria, Ourem, or Chao de Magas. Even during the week it was a rare day that did not bring at least a few. The barefoot poor still predominated; many were sick, lame, broken- hearted, all hopeful that if they could but touch the bark of the azinheira, the Queen of Heaven would have pity on them. One cold winter morning Maria Carreira found a man who had slept all night on the ground near the tree, after walking eleven leagues. “I am glad I came,”  he said. “I feel very happy in this place.”

Along with the devout poor came a few more prosperous persons, sometimes from as far as Lishoa or Porto. Almost every day one would appear at the Martos’ or Aboboras’ and ask for a few words with the children. At first Olimpia used to send out to the meadows for Jacinta and Francisco, but this got to be such a nuisance that she finally lost patience, and decided to turn the flock over to her son Joao. The two were greatly disappointed, for it meant giving up, in great measure, die company of Lucia. But before long she too ceased to be a shepherdess.

Maria Rosa and her husband were too human to have been transformed into angels by the stupefying experience they had shared on October 13. Miracle or no miracle, Antonio bitterly resented the fact that the vast crowd had increased, if possible, the destruction of his farm property in the Cova. Nothing would ever grow there now, especially with pilgrims coming to camp out or walk about daily. It was no small sacrifice for a farmer of Aljustrel to lose fifty sacks or more of potatoes a year, not to mention his beans, spinach and other vegetables. Maria Rosa remained irascible to the end, for it was her temperament. But she was too honest to deny that Lucia had been right, and too devout, having made the admission, to refuse to do all in her power to carry out the wishes of the Mother of God. If Our Lady wanted the cachapa to learn to read, there was nothing more to be said. Since the time of the monarchy there had been a small day school for boys at Fatima, near the church. Recently, by a happy coincidence, one had been started there for girls. Maria Rosa entered Lucia, and prevailed upon her sister-in-law to send Jacinta also. (William Thomas Walsh, Our Lady of Fatima, published originally by the Macmillan Company, New York, New York, 1947, and republished in  1990 by An Image Book, Doubleday, A Division of Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, pp. 153-155.)

Little Francisco Marto was so moved by having seen Our Lady that he did not want to go to school. He simply wanted to pray Rosaries to console the good God, and he wanted nothing to do temporal frivolities such as the Mardi Gras carnivals. He was preparing to spend all eternity in Heaven as Our Lady had promised. This little boy was already a citizen of Heaven before his death on April 3, 1918, fifty-one years to the day before Giovanni Battista Enrico Antonio Maria/Paul VI promulgated the Protestant and Judeo-Masonic Novus Ordo liturgical service:

It is plain from Lucia’s memoirs that she recognized a certain spiritual leadership in this boy who was her junior. Just before Lent in 1918 some of her friends asked her to organize one of the festas of Carnival Week, leading up to the frivolities of Mardi Gras. It was the custom for a group of boys and girls to meet at a certain place, bringing oil, bread or meat from home, and then to feast and dance till late at night. Jose Carreira and his wife offered the use of their house for what promised to be the best party of the year. Girls were coming from Moita, Fatima, Silva dos Currais, Lomba, Pedemeia, Cura da Pedra, Cosa Velha, all over the Serra. “1 refused at first, but, carried away by a cowardly condescension, I gave in to their insistent demands." Yet Lucia’s conscience troubled her, and she told her cousins.

Francisco’s dark eyes looked her sternly through and through. “And you are going back to these kitchen parties and games? Have you forgotten that you promised never to go back to them?”

“I don’t want to go, but you can see that they keep asking me, and I don’t know what to do."

“Do you know what you are going to do? All the people know that Our Lady appeared to you. Just say that for that you have promised not to dance any more, and so you are not going. Then we can escape these days to the cave of Cabero, and nobody will meet us.”

On the day of the party they were all at Cova da Iria, saying the Rosary. Lucia’s godfather, Anastacio, one of the few in Aljustrel who did not have to work for a living, had a rather worldly wife named Teresa. One Sunday afternoon she saw the children passing, and cried, “Come here, my little impostors, come here! I haven’t seen you in a long time!” She gave them some sweets, and then asked them to sing a certain popular song, a rather lusty pagan one, commencing: “Greetings to the girl With the new sun’s fragrance! . .”

When they had finished, all the company laughed and wanted it repeated. But Francisco said, “Let’s not sing this any more. Our Lord certainly doesn’t like us to sing such things.” So they declined and took their leave. Lucia believed that in disappointing her godfather's wife she probably lost a good inheritance; “but the good God had destined me for another heritage much more precious.”

It was October, 1918, and the war was about to end, as Our Lady had promised. But the great epidemic of influenza, one of the concomitant scourges of the almost universal punishment of man’s apostasy, was laying low millions of persons throughout the world; and toward the end of October it made its first appearance in Aljustrel. All of the Abobora family except Lucia were stricken. In Ti Marto’s house, he alone was left to nurse the rest. Francisco, the first to be put to bed, had a severe case, ending with bronchial pneumonia.

It was heartbreaking for his father and mother to see him welcome the illness as the beginning of the journey that the Lady had promised him. He became so weak that he could hardly move, yet he never complained. “If we gave him a little milk,” Olimpia remembers, “he took the milk. If we gave him an egg, he ate the egg. Poor little lad! He took the bitter medicines without making a face. This gave us hope that he would get well. But what do you think? He was always telling us that it was no use, that Our Lady was coming to take him to heaven.” His only sorrow was that he was no longer able to make his daily visit to the hidden Jesus in the church at Fatima.

Jacinta became ill a few days after Francisco. One day Lucia found her strangely elated. “Look, Lucia!” she said. “Our Lady came to see us here, and she said that she is Corning very soon to take Francisco to heaven. And she asked me if I still wanted to convert more sinners and I said yes.

“Our Lady wants me to go to two hospitals. But not to be cured. It is to suffer more for the love of God, for the conversion of sinners and in reparation for the offenses committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

“She said that you were not going,” she continued, as Lucia, perhaps, began to look hopeful. “She said my mother is going to take me, and then I will stay there alone.”

Ti Marto and his wife heard this sort of talk with a chill of fear. For this was no ordinary sickness, this bronchial influenza. Every day one heard of some neighbor who had died; every day the church bell at Fatima announced another sad rendezvous in the cemetery across the way. In many Portuguese towns that winter the tolling of funeral bells had to be forbidden, to prevent a state of panic. But Ti Marto had lived through too many troubles to allow himself to get hysterical whenever a hearse went by. He had never doubted that Jacinta had seen Our Lady at Cova da Iria, but he was not the man to call in the undertaker just because a little girl had a dream or a vision.

Sure enough, the fever of Francisco began to go down day by day, his pulse to grow stronger. Toward Christmas he was able to get up, though pale and weak, and go about a little. At the beginning of the new year he seemed almost himself again. In January he went to the cave at Cabero to say the Angel’s prayer. One day he would pray at Cova da Iria, another at Valinhos. Once, although his head ached, he walked to Fatima to kneel for quite a while before the altar, consoling the hidden Jesus for the world’s neglect.

When pilgrims came he tried to answer their questions patiently. This was not always easy. One afternoon he returned rather tired from Valinhos to find the house full of people who had spread rosaries, crucifixes, medals and other objects on a table, and were waiting for him to bless them. “I can’t bless them, and neither can you,” he said with some severity. “The priests bless them.” The visitors departed in haste, shouting insults at him over their shoulders.

Before the end of January he was ill again, with a low fever. Ti Marto as usual tried to put a good face on the matter. “Never mind, Francisco, you are going to get well, just as you did before. You are going to be a strong man, you will see.” “No,” replied the boy. “Our Lady is coming very soon now.” His godmother Teresa was one of those who attempted to make him take what she considered a more hopeful view. She promised him a speedy recovery, for she was going to offer his weight in wheat to give the poor, and Our Lady would never refuse to grant such a request.

"It’s not worth your trouble,” said the boy calmly. "Our Lady will not grant you this grace.”

A few days after this he became much worse, and had to return to his bed. It was that single iron bed still to be seen there, with its patchwork quilt, its ornate colored metal back, and its two brass knobs. It filled up the space between three plain walls. Overhead, toward the right, there was a small window, showing nothing but a bit of sky. As Francisco laid his hot and aching head on the pillow, he was convinced that he would never get up again. And from that time on he became steadily worse.

Jacinta was ill most of this time in another room. She would listen until she felt sure that both her parents were out of the house. Then she would slip out of bed and steal into Francisco’s room to perch beside him and talk, until this was discovered and forbidden. Toward evening Lucia would stop in on her way home from school. Ti Olimpia would smile broadly. She knew what this meant to the invalids.

Lucia would say, “Well, Jacinta, have you made many sacrifices today?”

‘Yes, a lot,” answered the little girl. She lowered her voice. “My mother was out and I wanted to go many times to visit Francisco, and I didn't do it.”

Lucia went to the boy’s room. He was flushed, his eyes much too large and bright.

“Do you suffer much, Francisco?”

“Bastante. But it doesn’t matter. I suffer to console Our Lord, and in a little while I shall be with Him.”

“When you do go, don't forget to ask Our Lady to take me there soon, also.

 “I won’t ask that. You know very well that she doesn’t want you there yet.”

One afternoon Lucia brought some other girls, schoolmates. When they had gone, Francisco looked seriously at her and said:

"Don’t walk with them, because you can learn to commit sins.”

"But they leave school when I do.”

"When you leave, spend a little while at the feet of the hidden Jesus, and then come home alone." 

His fever was somewhat higher, and it was plain that he was growing weaker. One day when Lucia was alone with him, he took a piece of rope from under the bedclothes and handed it to her.

“Take it before my mother finds it I’m not strong enough to hide it anymore.” It was the one they had found on the road and had made into a sort of hair-shirt.

By the first of April Francisco was so weak that he could hardly move his lips in prayer. It grieved him not to be able to say his Rosary. Tm not strong enough, Mother,” he said. "When I say the Hail Marys my head gets all mixed up.”

"Just say it in your heart then.” Olimpia laid an anxious hand on his brow. "Our Lady hears it just the same and is just as pleased.”

He smiled at her contentedly.

It was spring again, and sometimes the distant sad song of a nightingale would come floating in through the tiny window on the sweet air of the Serra. Francisco said he wanted to see Lucia. She came running over.

"Look, Lucia, I am very sick, and I am going to heaven very soon.”

Lucia tried to seem casual. “Then look here, don’t forget to pray much for sinners, for the Holy Father, for me and for Jacinta.”

"Yes, I will. But look — ask Jacinta these things afterwards. I’m afraid I’ll forget them when I go to Our Lord. And first I want to console Him. . . . Look, Lucia I want to go to confession.”

On the night of April a he was so much worse that his parents promised to send to the rectory the first thing in the morning to ask the Prior to come and hear his confession and give him Viaticum.

In the early dawn Francisco whispered to his sister Teresa that he wanted to see Lucia at once. The girl ran down to the Abobora house, woke her cousin, and said: “Lucia, come quickly! Francisco is very sick and says he wants to tell you something!”

Lucia dressed hastily and hurried to his bedside. She asked his mother, his brother John and two of his sisters to leave the room, since it was some secret that Francisco wanted to tell her. They did so, and the boy said:

“It is that I am going to confess so that I can receive Communion and then die. I want you to tell me if you have seen me commit any sin and ask Jacinta if she has seen me commit any.” 

Lucia thought hard. "Sometimes you disobeyed your mother — when she told you to stop staying in the house, and you hid.”

"It is true. I did that. Now go ask Jacinta if she remembers anything else,”

Jacinta thought very hard. "Look, tell him that before Our Lady appeared to us, he stole a tostao from his father to buy the hand-organ from Jose Marto of Casa Velha, and that when the boys of Aljustrel threw stones at those of Boleiros he also threw some.

Lucia hurried back with this message to Francisco. “I’ve already confessed those,” he murmured. "But IT1 tell them again. Perhaps it is for these sins that I did that Our Lord is so sad. But even if I don’t die I will never do them again. I am sorry now.” And putting his hands together he said, "O my Jesus, pardon us, save us from the fire of hell, draw all souls to heaven, especially those in most need!” Then turning to Lucia he added, "Look, you too ask Our Lord to pardon me my sins."

“I will, don’t worry. If Our Lord hadn’t forgiven you, Our Lady wouldn't have told Jacinta the other day that she was coming soon to take you to heaven. Now I am going to Mass, and there I will pray to the hidden Jesus for you.”

“Look — ask Him also that the Senhor Prior may give me Holy Communion.”

“Why, yes!”

When Lucia returned from Mass, Jacinta had got up and was sitting on the edge of her brother’s bed. Francisco said at once:

“Did you ask the hidden Jesus to have the Senhor Prior give me Holy Communion?” “I did.”

“Afterwards in heaven I will pray for you.

“Do! Yet the other day you said you would not!”

“That was to take you to heaven soon. But if you wish I will pray, and then Our Lady will do as you wish.”

“I do wish. You pray.”

This is what Lucia remembers of the conversation. “I left him then and went about my daily duties of work and school. When I returned at nightfall, he was radiant with joy. He had confessed and the Senhor Prior had promised him to bring Holy Communion the following day.”

The next morning, April 3, was a lovely one. Francisco lay very tranquil, waiting for the priest. After a while his eyes opened. He had heard the tinlding of the little bell that the acolyte was ringing to let people know that the Senhor Prior had the Sacred Host with him. He tried to sit up, but he was too weak, and his godmother Teresa told him he could receive his First Communion just as well lying down. Meanwhile Olimpia had lighted the holy candles and had set them on a small table by the bed.

Now the priest was in the room holding the hidden Jesus before him, and saying three times, “Domine, non sum dignus. . . Francisco was almost in heaven.

When Jacinta went afterwards to see him — she was allowed to that day — he told her all about it. “Today I am happier than you, for I have within my breast the hidden Jesus. I am going to heaven, but there I will pray a great deal to Our Lord and Our Lady that they bring you there too, soon.”

Jacinta stayed with him nearly all day, sometimes saying the Rosary for him when he was unable to say it himself, sometimes just sitting on the edge of the bed and looking at him. Lucia came after school as usual. Francisco said to her: “Certainly in heaven I am going to pray hard for your wishes — who knows but Our Lady may take you also very soon?”

Lucia had changed her mind. “Don’t do that, no. Just imagine yourself at the feet of Our Lord and Our Lady who are so good.”

"All right." Then a terrible thought came to him. “But perhaps she won’t remember me!’

“Perhaps she won’t remember you!! Patience!”

Francisco smiled.

He looked so ethereal that Lucia doubted whether she would see him again. "Goodby, Francisco," she said softly. “If you go to heaven tonight, don’t forget me there, do you hear?” “I won’t forget you, no. Don’t worry.”

He seized her right hand with unexpected strength and pressed it hard for a long moment, looking deeply into her eyes; and both were blinded by tears. “Do you want anything else?” It sounded stupid, but it was all she could think of. “No,” he replied in a low voice.

Ti Olimpia came in to send Lucia home. “Then goodby, Francisco, till heaven. Goodby till heaven.” Lucia was still weeping as she went out. She could stand no more.

All night the boy lay quietly thinking of the hidden Jesus he had received and would soon see face to face. He was thirsty, but was unable to drink the milk his mother offered; he could take only a few drops of water. Tm all right,” he would say, “don’t give me anything.”

Once he called her and said, “Look, mother, what a pretty light there, near the door!

"Now I don’t see it any more.”

In the morning he asked her blessing and pardon for any trouble he had caused her in his life. At ten o’clock his life passed almost imperceptibly. There was still a faint smile on his lips when Jacinta and Lucia came to look at him.

The next day, April 5, 1919, some men in green capes, members of the Misericordia, went slowly up the cobbled road to Fatima with an acolyte carrying a crucifix. Four boys in white walked after them with a small coffin. Ti Marto and Olimpia followed, and a few others. They laid the remains of Francisco in a small grave near the cemetery gate. All said the Rosary.

Jacinta was too ill to be there. Lucia went up afterwards alone and placed a little cross on the grave. (William Thomas Walsh, Our Lady of Fatima, published originally by the Macmillan Company, New York, New York, 1947, and republished in  1990 by An Image Book, Doubleday, A Division of Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, pp. 160-168.)

How can anyone read (or re-read) this account of the holy death of Francisco Marto and still care about the frivolities of this passing world, and I would include the farce that is politics in our land of Protestantism and Judeo-Masonry and, yes, all professional sports, including baseball, which I gave up attending on July 16, 2002, and no longer watch. We are not Manicheans or Jansenists. God wants us to enjoy legitimate pleasures of this life in a spirit of moderation and balance. One has to recognize, however, that are living at a time when almost everything around us contains overt enticements to commit sin and/or to celebrate it as virtuous, which is what the "socially conscious" guardians of "diversity" in major league sissyball (it used to be called basebal) have done with encouraging "pride nights" to "celebrate" perversity. We have to love God more than the things of this earth, and it took me long enough to wak out of the carnival at Shea Stadium, and that was fourteen years before the first "pride night" at Citi Field.

Rather than be concerned about maximizing our comfort and pleasure in this passing, mortal vale of tears, therefore, we should be seeking to make voluntary sacrifices and to undergo the same kind of voluntary penances as did Francisco and Jacinta Marto before their holy deaths. We are here to please God as He has revealed Himself to us though His true Church. His Most Blessed Mother simply gave us an additional means to do so when she did His Holy Will by appearing in the Cova da Iria one hundred years ago this year.

The Sufferings and Death of Jacinta Marto

Jacinto Marto, like her brother Francisco before her, accepted the death that Our Lady had said she would endure with a complete acceptance of God's Holy Will. She suffered immense pains, and the greatest of these was being hospitalized in Lisbon away from her family. She offered up each of her numerous sufferings, including those she underwent as a result of a needless surgery, with love in her soul for Jesus and Mary as she made herself a victim for poor sinners:

Even in bed Jacinta continued to do penance for some of those hale and hearty sinners whom she had never seen. When thirsty she would go without a drink. She would refuse some grapes for which her mouth watered. Or she would like awake wanting to get up and pray, and offering up the desire as a penance rather than disobey her mother; and this conflict would keep her awake all night. It was only to Lucia that she revealed what a terrible pain she had in her chest. But was to honor the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

“Tell all the people that God gives them graces through her,” she said. “If I could only put in the heart of everybody that light that I have here in my breast to burn me and make me love the heart of Jesus and the heart of Mary so much! . . . I know how it is, I feel Our Lord inside of me, I understand what He says, and I don't see or hear Him! But it is so good to be with Him . . . Look, do you know what? Our Lord is sad because Our Lady told us not to offend Him any more because He is  much offended, and nobody pays any attention. They keep right on doing the same sins.”

When Lucia came after Mass, Jacinta would say, “Did you receive?”


“Come over here near me, because you have in your heart the hidden Jesus. Oh, I wish I could go to Communion!”

Yet three times during the year Jacinta saw her “little Mother of Heaven” standing by her bed, encouraging her. The last of these visions was late in December 1919.

Our Lady came to see me last night,” she reported joyfully. “She told me that I am going to Lisboa, to another hospital. She said that after I suffer a great deal, I will die. I will die all alone. But she told me not to be afraid, for she will come and find me and take me to heaven.”

A little later, as certain implications became clear, Jacinta began to cry, her bony hand clinging to her friend's arm. “I'll never see you again, Lucia!”

“I'll come to see you in the hospital.”

“No, you won't come to see me. Look, pray for me, a lot, for I die alone.”

One day when Lucia brought her a stamp with an image of the Mother of Sorrows on it, she looked at it thoughtfully a moment and then cried, in anguish:

“Oh, my little Mother in Heaven, do I really have to die alone?”

There was something heartbreaking in this, suggesting the awful cry in the Garden. “Father, if it be possible . . .” Lucia too was weeping as she clasped her in her arms and groped for words of consolation.

“What do you care if you die alone, Jacinta, if Our Lady is coming to take you?”

“It's true, I don't care. But I don't know how it is, sometimes I forget that she is coming to take me.”

Olimpia had to get most of her information about her child's inner life from Lucia. “What did Jacinta say to you today?” she would whisper at the door. “Ask Jacinta what she is thinking of when she has her hands over her face so long without moving. I asked her, but she smiled and did not answer.”

When Lucia put the question, Jacinta replied, “I am thinking of Our Lord and Our Lady and of (here she whispered part of the secret). I like to think of them.

This was little satisfaction to Olimpia, since the secret remained untold. “The life of these girls is an enigma,” she complained to Maria Rosa.

“It certainly is,” agreed Lucia's mother tartly. “When they are alone they talk in a corner and nobody can catch a word of what they say, no matter how much they listen, and then when anyone comes, they lower their heads and don't say a word. I can't understand this mystery.”Jacinta was happy. She liked living in a convent. It seemed heavenly to think that the hidden Lord was there all the time, and that she could visit Him every day and receive Him at Mass every morning. She could never understand how visitors could laugh and gossip in the chapel, and she asked Mother Godinho to remind them to have more respect for the One Who was there. When the reproof had little effect, she said positively, “Then the Cardinal will have to be told about it. Our Lady doesn’t want people to talk in the church.”

Mother Godinho believed that she had a saint under her roof. “She speaks with such authority!” she said. She noticed that Jacinta had little to do with the other girls, except now and then to give one of them some motherly advice on truthfulness or obedience. Often the nun would sit with her by the window and draw her into conversation. Afterwards she would write down some of the more striking things she said.

“Wars," remarked Jacinta, “are nothing but punishments for the sins of the world.

“Our Lady can no longer hold up the arm of her beloved Son over the world. It is necessary to do penance. If people reform, Our Lord will save the world. But if they do not reform, He is going to punish it.

“Our Lord is profoundly indignant with the sins and crimes that are committed in Portugal. For this, a terrible cataclysm of the sodal order threatens our country and principally the city of Lisboa. There will break loose there, as it appears, a civil war of anarchist or communist character, accompanied by sacks, assassinations, fires and devastations of all kinds. The capital will be converted into a veritable image of hell.

On the occasion when the outraged divine justice inflicts so frightful a punishment, all who can should flee from this city. This punishment now predicted should be announced little by little and with due discretion.

“Dear little Our Lady! Ail I am so sorry for Our Lady! She is so sad.

“Pray much, my little mother, for sinners. Pray much for priests. Pray much for religious. Priests should occupy themselves with the affairs of the Church. Priests should be pure, very pure. The disobedience of priests and religious to their superiors and to the Holy Father offends Our Lord very greatly.

"My little mother, pray for those who govern. Alas for those who persecute the religion of Our Lord! If the Government leaves the Church in peace and gives liberty to the holy Faith, it will be blessed by God.

“My little mother, do not walk in the midst of luxury. Flee from riches. Be very friendly to holy poverty and to silence. Have great charity even for the wicked. Speak ill of no one and flee from those who do. Be very patient, for patience carries us to heaven. Mortification and sacrifices please Our Lord a great deal.

“Confession is a sacrament of mercy. For this reason it is necessary to approach the confessional with confidence and joy. Without confession there is no salvation.

(Footnote27: This obviously is the diction of Mother Godinho, though the substance no doubt was Jacinta's.)

“The Mother of God wants more virgin souls, which bind themselves to her by the vow of chastity.

“I should like to go into the convent. But I should like much more to go to heaven.

“To be a religious it is necessary to be very pure in soul and body.”

Here Mother Godinho asked, “And do you know what it means to be pure?”

“I do. I do. To be pure in body is to keep chastity. To be pure in soul is not to commit sins, not to look at what one should not see, not to steal, never to lie, always to tell the truth whatever it costs us.

“Those who do not keep the promises they make to Our Lady will never be happy in their affairs.

“Doctore don’t have light to cure the sick because they don’t have love of God.

“Who taught you all these things?” asked Mother Godinho. “It was Our Lady. But some I think of myself. I like very much to think.”

Jadnta's mother visited her more than once at the Asilo before returning to Aljustrel. Mother Godinho made her feel at home, and drew her out, with a woman’s curiosity, about each member of her family. She was particularly interested in Teresa, who was then fifteen, and in Florinda, who was sixteen. “Wouldn’t you be pleased if they had religious vocations?” she asked.

“God deliver me!” exclaimed Olimpia.

Jacinta did not hear this conversation. But afterwards she said to Mother Godinho, “Our Lady wants my sisters to be nuns. My mother doesn’t want them to be, but for this Our Lady will take them to heaven before long.”

It was on Mother Godinho’s feast day, February 2 (feast of the Purification of Our Lady, 1920) that she tookjacinta to the Hospital of Dona Stefania. It was a rather dark and depressing place, and one of the child’s first disappointments, after she had been placed in Bed 38 of the children’s ward on the ground floor, was that there was no chapel, no home for the hidden Jesus. Then there was a long and careful examination by Dr. Castro Freire, the chief surgeon, a noted pediatrician. And his conclusion, after confirming the diagnosis of purulent pleurisy, was that an operation must be performed as soon as she got a little stronger.

“It won’t do any good,” said Jacinta. “Our Lady came to tell me that I am going to die soon.”

One day she looked up and saw her father standing in the doorway. He had come all the way from Aljustrel to see her; but he had to hurry back in a few hours, because some of his other children were sick, and Olimpia needed his help. Perhaps it was by him that Jacinta sent word to Lucia that Our Lady had visited her again, and had told her the day and hour of her death.

She had many conversations in the hospital with Mother Godinho, who came every day. Once the madrirdna mentioned a certain priest who had delivered a wonderful sermon, and was much praised by fashionable ladies for his theatrical voice and manner. “When you least expect it,” said Jacinta, “you will see that that padre is wicked.” Within a few months the great preacher left the priesthood under

scandalous circumstances. This was only one of Jacinta’s prophecies that came true. A doctor who asked her to pray for him when she went to heaven was surprised to hear her say that he and his daughter were going to die shortly after she did; and they did. To Mother Godinho, who wanted to visit Cova da Iria, she said, “You will go — but after my death; and so will I.”

When Jacinta was taken to the operating room on February 10 she was so weak that local anaesthesia had to be given instead of chloroform or ether. She wept when she saw her body unclothed and in the hands of men. Dr. Castro Freire then proceeded to remove two of her ribs on the left side, leaving an opening large enough to contain his fist. The pain was terrible. "Ai, Nossa Senhoral” moaned the child. "Ai, Nossa Senhora." Then she would murmur, “Patience! We ought to suffer everything to go to heaven. ... It is for your love, my Jesus! . . . Now you can convert many sinners, for I suffer much.” At last it was over, and they took her back to the ward, this time to Bed 60. Doctor Freire and his assistant felt that the operation had been successful.

Jacinta knew better. For six days she continued to have excruciating pains. Then on the night of February 16 she told Mother Godinho that she had seen Our Lady. “She told me she was coming for me very soon, and would take away my pains.”

From then on she had no more pain. But she felt certain that the hour of her going was almost at hand. She sent urgently for Doctor Lisboa to tell him some secret, probably about himself. He was busy, and supposed there would be time to see her later. But at six o'clock on the evening of Friday, February 20, she called her nurse, Aurora Gomez ("my little Aurora") and told her she was about to die and wanted

the last sacraments. Two hours later she made her confession to Father Pereira dos Reis of the Church of the Holy Angels, who promised to bring her Communion next morning.

Jacinta was not there the next morning. At ten-thirty that evening the nurse left her for a few moments, and returned just in time to see her breathe her last sigh, a rosy flush on her cheeks, a half smile on her lips. Perhaps the nurse's name was symbolic. It was night in the dingy hospital, but it was forever dawn in the soul of Jacinta as the Mother of God bent over Bed 60 and gathered her into the arms that had enfolded the Christ in infancy and in death.

The news quickly got about, and some Catholics who believed in the Fatima apparitions raised money to pay the funeral expenses, the burial to be on Sunday, February 22, in one of the cemeteries of Lisboa. The Marquesa or Rio Maior had the body arrayed in a white Communion dress, while the Marquesa of Lavradio added a blue cape; and thus, wearing the colors of Our Lady, it was laid in a white coffin and taken to the Church of the Holy Angels, where it was placed across two small benches in the sacristy.

In giving permission for this, Father Pereira dos Reis, the pastor of the church, had had no idea how many people in Lisboa had heard of Jacinta, and believed in the Fatima revelations. Nevertheless he received the first visitors with patience and kindness. It was only when more and more kept coming that he became uneasy. He asked them not to touch rosaries, crucifixes or images near to the body. When some of them refused to obey, he drove them out of the sacristy. They had not expected this, for he had the reputation of being a charitable and courteous priest; and there was a great deal of talk and resentment. Yet the Fatima devotion had not been approved or authorized, and the Church does not permit public honors to the dead until their sanctity has been recognized in some official way after careful investigation. Naturally, too, the Paroco did not wish to offend the Cardinal Patriarch. And the sanitation authorities might perhaps raise some objection, as in fact they did. To free himself from further responsibility, Father Pereira had the body removed to the Casa do Despacho of the brotherhood of the Most Blessed Sacrament, outside the sacristy, locked the door, and turned the key over to Senhor Antonio Rebelo de Almeida, an undertaker of the Rua da Escola Politecnica, in one of the old and tawdry quarters of the city.

Meanwhile plans for the burial in Lisboa had been given up when word came from the Baron de Alvaiazere, offering a grave in his plot in the cemetery of Ourem. On February 23 the undertaker allowed a few persons to see the remains before he enclosed them in a lead casket. All remarked an agreeable odor like that of flowers, and some insisted that the cheeks still had a faint roseate flush, giving an impression of life and health. Next morning the casket was sealed, taken to the Rossio and placed on a train for Chao de Magas, thence to be driven to Ourem.

On that day there was a large annual assembly of the Saint Vincent de Paul Society in Lisboa. Many charitable rich men attended, for one must do something for the poor; and the Cardinal Patriarch, Dom Antonio Mendes Belo — a man with a strong purposeful face, that bore a striking resemblance to that of the actor George Arliss, though perhaps there was a little more rigor in it — presided. The chairman read a message from Dr. Lisboa, regretting his inability to be present, for he was busy with another work of charity concerning one of the children of the Fatima apparitions. The whole assembly, including His Eminence, burst into a loud and raucous laugh. This quickly got about the city, and gave no slight offense to devotees of Our Lady of Fatima. In anticlerical circles, on the other hand, it was whispered that both the Marto children had been murdered by Catholics to avoid unpleasant contradictions in their stories, and to leave only the affirmations of Lucia as the official version.

Jacinta was far beyond the reach of cold hearts and lying tongues in the cemetery at Ourem. A few persons went from Aljustrel to attend the simple funeral. Ti Marto was one of them, saying over and over:

“And you died there alone! You died there alone!" (William Thomas Walsh, Our Lady of Fatima, published originally by the Macmillan Company, New York, New York, 1947, and republished in  1990 by An Image Book, Doubleday, A Division of Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, pp. 174-184.)

Only the foolish continue to laugh at Our Lady's Fatima Message and the virtues of her messengers, Jacinta and Francisco Marto and Lucia dos Santos.

A Century Later

The world is in a more wretched condition now than it was when Jacinta Marto died a brave death after enduring much sufferings that she offered up entirely to Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary so that the wicked could be converted and find in the Sacred Tribunal of Penance the mercy that is waiting for them if they were sorry for their sins and ready to amend their lives. There is more time for the spirit of Our Lady's Fatima Message to be lived to its fullest now than a century ago.

There is a simple remedy for the problems of this wicked word. It is so simple that even many believing Catholics, all too many of whom are engrossed in the various farcical events in our world of Judeo-Masonic naturalism that are as much a distraction to the interior life of the soul as they are a chastisement for our sins, want something more “complex” than the remedy that Our Lady herself provided mankind at the behest of her Divine Son: namely, the collegial consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart by a true pope with all of the world’s bishops

Sister Lucia, however, explained to William Thomas Walsh on September 15, 1946, the Feast of the Seven Dolors of the Blessed Virgin Mary, that Pope Pius XII's 1944 consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary did not fulfill Our Lady’s request:

Finally we came to the important subject of the second July secret, of which so many different and conflicting versions have been published. Lucia made it plain that Our Lady did not ask for the consecration of the world to her Immaculate Heart. What she demanded specifically was the consecration of Russia. She did not comment, of course, on the fact that Pope Pius XII had consecrated the world, not Russia, to the Immaculate Heart in 1942. But she said more than once, and with deliberate emphasis:

“What Our Lady wants is that the Pope and all the bishops in the world shall consecrate Russia to her Immaculate Heart on one special day. If this is done, she will convert Russia and there will be peace. If it is not done, the errors of Russia will spread through every country in the world.”

“Does this mean, in your opinion, that every country, without exception, will be overcome by Communism?”


It was plain that she felt that Our Lady’s wishes had not yet been carried out. People must say the Rosary, perform sacrifices, make the five first Saturday Communions, pray for the Holy Father. 

“Did Our Lady ever say anything to you about the United States of America?”

She gave me a rather studied glance, and then smiled in faint amusement, as if to suggest that perhaps the United States was not so important in the general scheme of things as I imagined.  (William Thomas Walsh, Our Lady of Fatima, published by Doubleday, New York, New York, 1954, pp. 228-229.)

No, the United States of America is not as important as most Americans, including most American Catholics, have imagined, but it has been, of course, overcome by Communism, albeit of a “soft” nature that envelops both the false opposites of the naturalist “left” and “right.” There goes the Judeo-Masonic myth of "American exceptionalism" down the sink hole. 

Sister Lucia wrote to Pope Pius XII in 1940 to make a request of him directly, specifying once again the necessity of a collegial consecration of Russia to Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart:

Most Holy Father,

Humbly prostrated at your feet, I come as the last sheep of the fold entrusted to you to open my heart, by order of my spiritual director.

I am the only survivor of the children to whom our Lady appeared in Fátima (Portugal) from the 13th of May to the 13th of October 1917. The Blessed Virgin has granted me many graces, the greatest of all being my admission to the Institute of Saint Dorothy. (To here this is copy of the sketch the Bishop sent me.)

I come, Most Holy Father, to renew a request that has already been brought to you several times. The request, Most Holy Father, is from our Lord and our good Mother in Heaven.

In 1917, in the portion of the apparitions that we have designated "the secret," the Blessed Virgin revealed the end of the war that was then afflicting Europe, and predicted another forthcoming, saying that to prevent it She would come and ask the consecration of Russia to Her Immaculate Heart as well as the Communion of reparation on the first Saturday. She promised peace and the conversion of that nation if Her request was attended to. She announced that otherwise this nation would spread her errors throughout the world, and there would be wars, persecutions of the Holy Church, martyrdom of many Christians, several persecutions and sufferings reserved for Your Holiness, and the annihilation of several nations.

Most Holy Father, this remained a secret until 1926 according to the express will of our Lady. Then, in a revelation She asked that the Communion of reparation on the first Saturdays of five consecutive months be propagated throughout the world, with its conditions of doing the following with the same purpose; going to confession, meditating for a quarter of an hour on the mysteries of the Rosary and saying the Rosary with the aim of making reparation for the insults, sacrileges and indifferences committed against Her Immaculate Heart. Our good Heavenly Mother promises to assist the persons who practise this devotion, in the hour of their death, with all the necessary graces for their salvation. I exposed the request of our Lady to my confessor, who tried to have it fulfilled, but only on the 13th of September 1939 did His Excellency the Bishop of Leiria make public in Fatima this request of our Lady.

I take this opportunity, Most Holy Father, to ask you to bless and extend this devotion to the whole world. In 1929, through another apparition, our Lady asked for the consecration of Russia to Her Immaculate Heart, promising its conversion through this means and the hindering of the propagation of its errors.

Sometime afterwards I told my confessor of the request of our Lady. He tried to fulfill it by making it known to Pius XI.

In several intimate communications our Lord has not stopped insisting on this request, promising lately, to shorten the days of tribulation which He has determined to punish the nations for their crimes, through war, famine and several persecutions of the Holy Church and Your Holiness, if you will consecrate the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, with a special mention for Russia, and order that all the Bishops of the world do the same in union with Your Holiness. I truly feel your sufferings, Most Holy Father! And, at much as I can through my humble prayers and sacrifices, I try to lessen them, close to our Lord and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Most Holy Father, if in the union of my soul with God I have not been deceived, our Lord promises a special protection to our country in this war, due to the consecration of the nation by the Portuguese Prelates, to the Immaculate Heart of Mary; as proof of the graces that would have been granted to other nations, had they also consecrated themselves to Her.

Now, Most Holy Father, allow me to make one more request, which is but an ardent wish of my humble heart; that the feast in honour of the Immaculate Heart of Mary be extended throughout the whole world as one of the main feasts of the Holy Church.

With the deepest respect and reverence I ask for the Apostolic Blessing. May God protect Your Holiness.

Tuy, Spain, 2nd of December of 1940.
Maria Lucia de Jesus

From Novos Documentos de Fátima, Fr. Anthony Mario Martins, SJ (Oporto: 1984). English edition: Documents on Fatima & Memoirs of Sr. Lucia. (Alexandria, SD: Fatima Family Apostolate, 1992).  (Fatima Consecration Timeline. This timeline includes the false consecrtions of the world to Our Lady of Fatima and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary that were performed by Karol Josef Wojtyla/John Paul II. However, the documentation of Sister Lucia dos Santos's letter to Pope Pius XII is to be found here. )

Describing Our Lady’s Fatima Message as “Fatima is the summation of my thinking. The time for doubting Fatima is passed. It is now time for action,” Pope Pius XII consecrated the world, but not Russia specifically, to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in 1942, and then instituted the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary two years later, that is, in 1944, and inserted it in the calendar to be celebrated on August 22, the Octave Day of Our Lady’s Assumption, which he would define dogmatically in 1950. 

Sister Lucia had thus written to Pope Pius XII six years before her interview with William Thomas Walsh. She remained adamant in her conviction that His Holiness had not followed Our Lady's request. 

Remember, it had been on June 13, 1929, that Sister Lucia saw the now famous image of the Most Holy Trinity during a Holy Hour. Our Lady spoke to her the following words: 

The moment has come in which God asks the Holy Father, in union with all the Bishops in the world, to make the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart, promising to save it by this means. There are so many souls whom the Justice of God condemns for sins committed against me, that I have come to ask reparation: sacrifice yourself for this intention and pray.

Our Lord Himself amplified the words of His Most Holy Mother, speaking the following to Sister Lucia in 1931:

They did not wish to heed My request. Like the king of France, they will repent and do it, but it will be late. Russia will have already spread her errors throughout the world, provoking wars and persecutions of the Church; the Holy Father will have much to suffer

What should matter to us is that we plant seeds for the restoration that Pope Saint Pius X himself told us was to come, a restoration some of us believe will take place after a true pope is restored miraculously to the Throne of Saint Peter after a time of worldwide chastisement of epic proportions and then fulfills Our Lady’s Fatima Message. Yes, that would be late in the course of time, but, as noted just above, Our Lord Himself told Sister Lucia dos Santos that it would be done.

What is our excuse for failing to take heed of Our Lady’s Fatima Message as we beg Our Lady for the graces to do so, especially by praying as many Rosaries as our state-in-life permits.

“It is never too late to have recourse to Jesus and Mary.”

I am not going to argue with that?

Are you?

Isn't it time to pray a Rosary now?

Viva Cristo ReyVivat Christus Rex!

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!

Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our deaths.

All to thee, Blessed Mother. All to thy Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, we love you. Save souls!

Saint Joseph, pray for us.

Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.

Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.

Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.

Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us.

Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.

Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us.

Saints Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, pray for us.

Pope Saint Evaristus, pray for us.

Jacinta, Francisco, and Lucia, pray for us.


Dom Prosper Gueranger's Reflection on the Life of Saint Radegonde

Never was such a booty won as that obtained by the sons of Clovis in their expedition against Thuringia towards the year 530. Receive this blessing from the spoils of the enemy might they well say on presenting to the Franks the orphan brought from the court of the fratricide prince whom they had just chastised. God seemed in haste to ripen the soul of Radegonde. After the tragic death of her relatives followed the ruin of her country. So vivid was the impression made in the child's heart that long afterwards the recollections awakened in the queen and the saints a sorrow and a homesickness which nought but the love of Christ could overcome. I have seen the plain strewn with dead and palaces burnt to the ground; I have seen women, with eyes dry from very horror, mourning over fallen Thuringia; I alone have survived to weep over them all.

The licentiousness of the Frankish kings was as unbridled as that of her own ancestors; yet in their land the little captive found Christianity, which she had not hitherto known. The faith was a healing balm to this wounded soul. Baptism, in giving her to God, sanctified, without crushing, her high-spirited nature. Thirsting for Christ, she wished to be martyred for Him; she sought Him on the cross of self-renunciation; she found Him in His poor suffering members; looking on the face of a leper, she would see in it the disfigured countenance of her Saviour, and thence rise to the ardent contemplation of the triumphant Spouse, whose glorious face illumines the abode of the saints.

What a loathing, therefore, did she feel when, offering her royal honours, the destroyer of her own country sought to share with God the possession of a heart that heaven alone could comfort or gladden! First flight then the refusal to comply with the manners of a court where everything was repulsive to her desires and recollections, her eagerness to break, on the very first opportunity, a bond which violence alone had contracted, prove that the trial had no other effect, as her Life says, but to bend her soul more and more to the sole object of her love.

Meanwhile, near the tomb of St. Martin, another queen, Clotilde, the mother of the most Christian kingdom, was about to die. Unfortunate are those times when the men after God's own heart, at their departure from the earth, leave no one to take their place; as the Psalmist cried out in a just consternation: Save me, O Lord, for there is now no saint! For though elect pray for us in heaven, they can no longer fill up those things that are wanting of the sufferings of Christ in their flesh, for His body, which is the Church. The work begun at the Baptistery of Rheims was not yet completed; the Gospel, thought reigning by faith over the Frankish nation, had not yet subdued its manners. Christ, who loved the Franks, heard the last prayer of the mother he had given them, and refused her not the consolation of knowing that she should have a successor. Radegonde was set free, just in time to prevent an interruption in the laborious work of forming the Church's eldest daughter; and she took up in solitude the struggle with God, by prayer and expiation, begun by the widow of Clovis.

In the joy of having cast off an odious yoke, forgiveness was an easy thing to her great soul, in her monastery at Poitiers she showed an unfailing devotedness for the kings whose company she had fled. The fortune of France was bound up with theirs; France the cradleland of her supernatural life, where the Man-God had revealed Himself to her heart, and which she therefore loved with part of the love reserved for her heavenly country. The peace and prosperity of her spiritual fatherland occupied her thoughts day and night. If any quarrel arose among the princes, say the contemporary accounts, she trembles from head to foot at the very thought of the country's danger. She wrote according to their different dispositions, to each of the kings, imploring them to consider the welfare of the nation; she interested the chief vassals in her endeavors to prevent war. She imposed on her community assiduous watchings, and exhorting them with tears to pray without ceasing; as to herself, the tortures she inflicted on herself for this end are inexpressible.

The only victory, then, that Radegonde, desired was peace among the princes of the earth; when she had gained this by her struggle with the King of heaven, her joy in the service of the Lord was reboubled, and the tenderness she felt for her devoted helpers, the nuns of Sainte-Croix, could scarcely find utterance: 'You, the daughters of my choice, she would say, 'my eyes, my life, my sweet repose, so live with me in this world, that we may meet again in the happiness of the next.' And they responded to her love. 'By the God of heaven, it is true that everything in her reflected the splendor of her soul.' Such was the spontaneous and graceful cry of her daughter Baudonivia; and it was echoed by the graver voice of the historian-bishop, Gregory of Tours, who declared that the supernatural beauty of the saint remained even in death, it was a brightness from heaven, which purified while it attracted hearts, which caused the Italian Venantius Fortunatus to cease his wanderings, made him a saint and a Pontiff, and inspired him with his most beautiful poems.

The light of God could not but be reflected in her, who turning towards Him by uninterrupted contemplation, redoubled her desires as the end of her exile approached. Neither the relics of the saints which she had so sought after as speaking to her of her true home, nor her dearest treasure, the Cross of her Lord, was enough for her; she would fain have drawn the Lord Himself from His throne, to dwell visibly on earth. She only interrupted her sighs to excite in others the same longings. She exhorted her daughters not to neglect the knowledge of divine things; and explained to them with profound science and motherly love the difficulties of the Scriptures. As she increased the holy readings of the community for the same end, she would say: 'If you do not understand, ask; why do you fear to seek the light of your souls?' And she would insist: 'Reap, reap the wheat of the Lord; for, I tell you truly you will not have long to do it: reap, for the time draws near when you will wish to recall the days that are now given you, and your regrets will not be able to bring them back.' And the loving chronicler to whom we owe these sweet intimate details continues: 'In our idleness we listen coolly to the announcement but that time has come all too soon. Now is realized in us the prophecy which says: I will send forth a famine into thy land: not a famine of bread, not a thirst of water, but of hearing the Word of the Lord. (Amos viii. 11.)  For though we still read her conferences, that voice which never ceased is now silent; whose lips ever ready with wise advice and sweet words, are closed. O most good God, what an expression, what features, what manners Thou hadst given her! No, no one could describe it. The remembrance is anguish! That teaching, that gracefulness, that face, that mien, that science, that piety, that goodness, that sweetness, where are we to seek them now?'

Such touching sorrow does honour to both mother and daughters; but it could not keep back the former from her reward. On the morning of the Ides of August 587, while Sainte-Croix was filled with lamentations, an angel was heard saying to others on high: 'Leave her yet longer, for the tears of her daughters have ascended to God.' But those who were bearing Radegonde away replied: 'It is too late, she is already in Paradise.' (Bandonivia)

Let us read the liturgical account, which will complete what we have said:

Radegonde was the daughter of Berthaire, King of Thuringie. When ten years old she was led away captive by the Franks: and on account of her striking and queenly beauty their kings disputed among themselves for the possession of her. They drew lots and she fell to the share of Clothaire, King of Soisoons. He entrusted her education to excellent master. Child as she was, she eagerly imbibed the doctrines of the Christian faith, and renouncing the worship of false gods which she had learnt from her fathers, she determined to observe not only the precepts, but also the counsels of the Gospel. When she was grown up, Clothaire who had long before chosen her, took her to wife, and in spite of her refusal, in spite of her attempts at flight, she was proclaimed queen, to the great joy of all. When thus raised to the throne, she joined charity to the poor, continual prayer, frequent watchings, fasting and other bodily austerities to her regal dignity so that the courtiers said in scorn that the king had married not a queen, but a nun.

Her patience shone out brightly in supporting many grievous trial caused her by the king. But when she heard that her own brother had been unjustly slain by command of Clothaire, she instantly left the court with the king's consent, and going to the blessed bishop Medard, she earnestly begged him to consecrate her to the Lord. The nobles strongly opposed his giving the veil to her whom the king had solemnly married. But she at once went into the sacristy and clothed herself in the monastic habit. Then, advancing to the altar, she thus addressed the bishop: 'If you hesitate to consecrate me, because you fear man more than God, there is one who will demand an account of my soul from you' These words deeply touched Medard, he placed the sacred veil upon the queen's head and imposing his hands upon her, consecrated her a deaconess. She proceeded to Poitiers and there founded a monastery of virgins which was afterwards called of the Holy Cross. The splendour of her virtues shone forth and attracted innumerable virgins to embrace a religious life. On account of her extraordinary gifts of divine grace, all wished her to be their mistress; but she desired to serve rather than to command.

The number of miracles she worked spread her name far and wide; but she herself, forgetful of her dignity, sought out the lowest and humblest offices. She loved especially to take care of the sick, the needy, and above all the lepers, whom she often cured in a miraculous manner. She honoured the divine Sacrifice of the altar with deep piety, making with her own hands the bread which was to be consecrated, and supplying it to several churches. Even in the midst of the pleasures of a court, she had applied herself to mortifying her flesh, and from her childhood she had burned with desire of martyrdom: now that she was leading a monastic life she subdued her body with the utmost rigour. She girt herself with iron chains, she tortured her body with burning coals, courageously fixed redot plates of metal upon her flesh that thus is also might, in a way, be inflamed with love of Christ. King Clothaire, bent on taking her back and carrying her off from her monastery, set out for Holy Cross; but she deterred him by means of letters which she wrote to St. Germanus, Bishop of Paris; so that prostrate at the holy prelate's feet, the king begged him to beseech his pious queen to pardon him who was both her sovereign and her husbands.

Radegonde enriched her monastery with relics of the saints brought from different countries. She also sent some clerics to the Emperor Justin and obtained from him a large piece of the wood of our Lord's Cross. It was received with great solemnity by the people of Poitiers, and all, both clergy and laity, sand exultingly the hymns composed by Venantius Fortunatus in honour of the blessed Cross. This poet was afterward Bishop of Poitiers; he enjoyed the holy freincship of Readegonde and director her monastery. As length the holy queen, being ripe for heaven, was honoured a few days before her death by an apparition of Christ under the form of a most beautiful youth: and she heard these words from His mouth: Why art thou consumed by so great a longing to enjoy my presence? Why dost thou dour out so man tears and sighs? Why comest thou as a suppliant so often to My altars? Why dost thou break down thy body with so many labours, when I am always united to thee? My beautiful pearl! Know that thou art one of the most precious stones in My kingly crown. In the year 587 she breathed forth her pure soul into the bosom of the heavenly Spouse who had been her only love. Gregory of Tours buried her, as she had wished in the church of St. Mary.

Thine exile is over, eternal possession has taken the place of desire; all heaven is illumined with the brightness of the precious stone that had come to enrich the diadem of the Spouse. O Radegonde, the Wishdom who is now rewarding thy toils led thee by admirable ways. Thy inheritance, become to thee as a lion in the wood spreading death around thee, thy captivity far from thy native land; what was all this but love's ways of drawing thee from the dens of the lions, from the mountains of the leopards, where idolotry had led thee in childhood? Thou hadst to suffer in a foreign lang, but the light from above shone into thy soul, and gave it strength. A powerful king tried in vain to made thee share his throne; thou wert a queen but for Christ, who in His goodness mad thee a mother to that kingdom of France which belongs to Him more than to any prince. For His sake thou didst love that land become thine by the  right of the Bride, who shares the sceptre of her Spouse; for His sake, that namtion, whose glorious destiny thou dids t predict, received unstintedly all thy labours, thy unspeakable mortifications, thy prayers and thy tears.

O thou who art ever queen of France, as Christ is ever its King, bring back to Him the hearts of tis people, for in their blind error they have laid aside their glory, and their sword is no longer wielded for God. Protect, above all, the city of Poitiers, which hounours thee with a special cultus together with its great St. Hilary. Bless thy daughters of Sainte-Croix, who, ever faithful to thy great traditions, prove the power of that fruitful stem, which through so many centuries and such devastations has never ceased to produce both flowers and fruit. Teach us to seek our Lord and to find Him in His holy Sacrament, in the relics of His saints, in His suffering members on earth; and may all Christians learn from thee how to love. 

(Dom Prosper Gueranger, O.S.B., The Liturgical Year: Time after Pentecost, Book IV, p. 337-346.)