"In the last days -- the Lord declares -- I shall pour out my Spirit on all humanity. Your sons and daughters shall prophesy, your young people shall see visions, your old people dream dreams. Even on the slaves, men and women, shall I pour out my Spirit. I will show portents in the sky above and signs on the earth below."
May 13, 1917 marks a Biblical event when the Virgin Mary first appeared to three children, Lucia dos Santos (10), Francisco (9), and Jacinta Marto (7) at a small peasant village of Fatima.
The Angel of Portugal appeared to the Children three times in 1916 as a preparation for what is to take place when a beautiful Lady first appeared (13 May) to them.
The Virgin Mary appeared to Children on property belonging to the parents of Lucia dos Santos called the Cova da Iria not far from Fatima.
Watching sheep, the children were playing at the Cova on 13 May, 1917 when two flashes of "lightning" caused them to be concerned about rain. Yet, there were no clouds to know rain was coming. Instead, a beautiful Lady appeared above a holm oak.
Lucia described the Lady later writing, "a Lady dressed in white, more brilliant than the sun... Neither sad nor happy, but serious". The Children were about a yard and a half from the Lady hovering over the holm oak. Mary's face the children described was beautiful, she moved her hands joined together in a praying pose resting at her chest. A rosary hung from her right hand.
Looking at the vision the children witnessed, the Bible speaks of similar scenes where angels appeared to Ezekiel and Daniel as powerful examples. In the New Testament I am reminded when Jesus transfigured before His Apostles Peter, James, and John. It is important to note that the Catholic Church was given the Holy Spirit which helps us differentiate between true and false visions.
The following is an extraordinary discussion between this beautiful Lady and these simple children:
Our Lady: Do not be afraid; I will not harm you.
Lucia: Where is Your Grace from?
Our Lady: I am from heaven–pointing to the sky.
Lucia: And what does Your Grace wish of me?
Our Lady: I have come to ask you to come here for six months in succession on the thirteenth day of each month at this same hour. Later I will tell you who I am and what I want. Afterward, I will return here a seventh time.
Lucia: And will I go to heaven, too?
Our Lady: Yes, you will.
Lucia: And Jacinta?
Our Lady: Also.
Lucia: And Francisco?
Our Lady: Also, but he must say many rosaries.
Lucia: Is Maria das Neves already in heaven?
Our Lady: Yes, she is.
Lucia: And Amélia?
Our Lady: She will be in purgatory until the end of the world. Do you wish to offer yourselves to God to endure all the sufferings that He may be pleased to send you, as both an act of reparation for the sins with which He is offended and an act of supplication for the conversion of sinners?
Lucia: Yes, we do.
Our Lady: Well then, you will have much to suffer. But the grace of God will be your comfort.
Lucia would describe what happens next:
"It was upon saying these last words, 'the grace of God...' that for the first time she opened her hands, which emitted a most intense light that penetrated our breasts, reaching the innermost part of our souls and making us see ourselves in God, Who was that light, more clearly than we can see ourselves in the best of mirrors.
Then, driven by a deep inspiration, we knelt down and repeated inwardly: 'O Most Holy Trinity, I adore Thee! My God, my God, I love Thee in the Most Blessed Sacrament.'”
"A moment later, Our Lady added, 'Pray the rosary every day to obtain peace for the world and the end of the war.'
This invitation from Heaven is very important not just to the Children of Fatima, but to the whole world. By virtue of our Baptism and Confirmation, we too are invited to become "Christ bearers" bringing Christ to a resurgent Pagan world.
May 13, 1917 began a most important mission taken on as the children accepted Our Lady's peace plan from Heaven. At the end of the vision, the beautiful Lady began to rise reverently, lovingly toward the east and finally disappeared into the distance. The children would speak of that heavenly light that surrounded Our Lady as though a "starry firmament."
Do you love Jesus? Do you love Mother Mary? How important this is that we respond to the love of God much as the Children of Fatima! How would you have responded to the call of Our Lady?