Our Lady of Fátima's
"Peace Plan From Heaven"
THE STORY OF FÁTIMA
On a cool spring day in 1916, Lúcia Abóbora (or dos Santos), age 9, and her cousins, Francisco and Jacinta Marto, ages 8 and 6 respectively, took their parents' sheep to pasture in a place not far from their homes in the mountain hamlet of Aljustrel on the outskirts of Fátima, Portugal, about 90 miles north of Lisbon. It started to drizzle, and the children sought shelter in a nearby cave. Suddenly, across the field, a white globe of light appeared, moving over the open space toward the cave. The three children stared in awe as they saw in the center of the light a beautiful young man in flowing white garments.
The stranger began to speak: "Fear not, I am the Angel of Peace. Pray with me." Kneeling on the ground, he bowed low and cited this prayer three times, with the children repeating it after him: "O my God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love You. I ask pardon for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope and do not love You."
In mid-summer, as the children were together, the angel came again, and said, "Pray! Pray a great deal. The hearts of Jesus and Mary have merciful designs concerning you. Offer prayers and sacrifices continually to the Most High. Make everything you do a sacrifice, and offer it as an act of reparation for the sins by which God is offended, and as a petition for the conversion of sinners. Bring peace to our country in this way...I am the Guardian Angel of Portugal. Accept and bear with submission all the sufferings the Lord will send you."
The angel came again in the fall of that same year, this time bearing a golden chalice in one hand and a Host above it in the other. The amazed children noticed that drops of blood were falling from the Host into the chalice. Presently, the angel left both suspended in mid-air and prostrated himself on the ground, saying this beautiful prayer: "Most Holy Trinity - Father, Son and Holy Spirit - I adore you profoundly. I offer you the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifferences whereby He is offended. And through the infinite merits of His Most Sacred Heart and with the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of you the conversion of poor sinners."
The angel placed the host on the tongue of Lúcia. To Francisco and Jacinta, who had not yet received First Communion, he presented the Chalice, and they drank of it. At the end he once more prostrated himself on the ground and said the same prayer three times. The children repeated it with him, Francisco following the others, for he had not heard the words. Then the Angel of Peace faded away into the shimmering sunlight.
Such was the prelude to one of the most remarkable messages ever to be given from Heaven to earth - the "peace plan" of Our Lady of Fátima.
THE LADY MORE BRILLIANT THAN THE SUN
On Sunday, May 13, 1917, slightly more than a year after the angel's first visit, the children were pasturing their flocks as usual. This time they were in a rather barren hollow known as the Cova de Iria (Hollow of Irene), which was about a mile from their home. It was noon on a clear, sunny day, when suddenly a flash of lightening cut the air - then another. Fearing a storm, the children quickly gathered the sheep to get them home. Then their glances fell upon a small holm oak tree, just over three feet high, directly in their path. A dazzling light hovered over the topmost branches, when - wonder of wonders - what should they behold, only a yard and one half from where they were standing, but the form of a lovely lady standing atop the tree in the light, her feet hidden in a shimmering cloud. She was like the angel, only far more beautiful. She wore a long white dress and the mantle over her head and shoulders reaching to her feet was edged in golden light. Her hands were joined before her breast, and from the right hung an exquisite rosary of white pearls. As Lúcia later described her, "She was a lady more brilliant than the sun."
After telling the children not to be frightened, the vision said: "I come from heaven. I want you to come here at the same hour on the 13th day of each month until October. Then I will tell you who I am and what I want."She also told them to say the Rosary every day, and to bear all the sufferings God would send them.
In June the Lady appeared again. There were about 70 people present, though only the children could see the apparitions. She told the youngsters that many souls go to hell because they have no one to pray and make sacrifices for them. She said that Francisco and Jacinta would soon leave the world for Heaven. Holding out her heart surrounded by thorns which pierced it from all sides, Our Lady told Lúcia:"God wishes you to remain in the world for some time because He wants to use you to establish in the world the devotion to my Immaculate Heart. I promise salvation to those who embrace it, and their souls will be loved by God as flowers placed by myself to adorn His throne."
THE CHILDREN SEE HELL
During her appearance in July, Our Lady, in answer to Lúcia's plea, promised that in October she would work a great public miracle so that all might believe and know who she was. Again the Mother of God told the children to sacrifice themselves for sinners, and to say many times, especially when making a sacrifice, this prayer: "O Jesus, it is for your love, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary."
As she spoke these words, Our Lady stretched out her hands, and bright rays came forth which seemed to penetrate into the earth. All at once the ground vanished, and the children found themselves standing on the brink of a sea of fire. In Lúcia's translated words, which she wrote years later in her memoirs of 1941: "Plunged in this fire were demons and souls in human form, like transparent burning embers, all blackened or burnished bronze, floating about in the conflagration, now raised into the air by the flames that issued from within themselves together with great clouds of smoke, now falling back on every side like sparks in a huge fire, without weight or equilibrium, and amid shrieks and groans of pain and despair, which horrified us and made us tremble with fear. The demons could be distinguished by their terrifying and repulsive likeness to frightful and unknown animals, all black and transparent. This vision lasted but an instant. How can we ever be grateful enough to our kind heavenly Mother, who had already prepared us by promising, in the first Apparition, to take us to heaven. Otherwise, I think we would have died of fear and terror."
Looking with compassion at the pale and trembling little ones, the vision spoke to them: "You have seen hell, where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace."
VISION FORETELLS WORLD WAR II AND COMMUNISM
"The war (First World War, then raging)is going to end. But if people do not stop offending God, a worse one will break out during the reign of Pius the Eleventh. When you see a night illuminated by an unknown light, (January 25, 1938)know that this is the great sign that God gives you that He is going to punish the world for its many crimes by means of war, hunger, and persecutions of the Church and of the Holy Father."
"To prevent this, I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart and the Communion of Reparation on the first Saturdays. If my requests are granted, Russia will be converted and there will be peace; if not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecution of the Church. The good will be martyred; the Holy Father will have much to suffer; various nations will be annihilated. In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me and she shall be converted, and a period of peace shall be granted to the world." The Lady asked that this message be kept secret until she gave permission to reveal it.
THE CHILDREN ARE JAILED
The apparitions were rapidly creating so much excitement that the atheistic civil authorities became alarmed. At the next scheduled appearance of the Lady, August 13, though more than 15,000 people were waiting in the Cova, the atheistic Administrator of Ourém, under whose jurisdiction Fátima belonged, pretended to drive the children to the Cova but instead kidnapped them and placed them in jail. Determined to rid Portugal of such mysticism he threatened to have them burnt alive in boiling oil, if they did not reveal the secret given to them. He sent poor little Jacinta out to be boiled. The guard came back and said "She is fried." Next, out went Francisco. Then out went Lúcia, through a long corridor. They were resolved to die with Jacinta. The children were overjoyed to find each other alive in the next room. The farce was exposed. A further inquisition the next day also proved futile and the Administrator released Lúcia and her cousins and ordered them to be sent back to Fátima. Near the village of Valinhos on August 19, the Lady appeared to the children again. She urged them to continue praying the Rosary and to continue coming to the Cova on the 13th of each month.
More than 30,000 people were present in September, and saw a shower of mysterious white petals fall to within ten feet of the ground before dissolving into the air. Many also saw the globe of light bearing the Lady, come to rest atop the tree, and the branches bend as though someone were standing on them. Later, they saw the cloud depart into the east, from whence it had come. Our Lady told the children, "Continue to pray the Rosary, to bring about the end of the war."
70,000 GATHER FOR PROMISED MIRACLE
By now, all Portugal was stirred by the events taking place at Fátima, suddenly the most important spot in the land. The newspapers were particularly interested, especially in the statement that a great miracle was to take place. Many reporters and photographers were on hand to record the events, or to prove that the statements were nothing more than lies.
On the days preceding October 13, all roads led to Fátima, with people coming from all parts of the land in any form of transportation they could find. Many walked for miles over the rough fields. It rained all the night of the 12th and the morning of the 13th. By noon, more than 70,000 had crowded into the Cova. Standing in mud up to their ankles, they huddled together under umbrellas, seeking protection from the relentless rain as they prayed their Rosaries.
Shortly after noon, the Lady arrived for her final appearance. She told the children: "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 Lúcia. "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."
THE SUN WHIRLS IN THE SKY
As the Lady was about to leave, she opened her white hands as always, and it seemed to Lúcia that the light emerging from them ascended to where the sun ought to be, directly overhead. The crowds saw the clouds separate like two vast curtains and the sun appeared between them in the clear blue, like a disc of white fire. Lúcia exclaimed "Look at the sun!" and the people looked into the sky. The sun appeared like a silver disc, though bright as any sun they had ever seen, they could look straight at it without blinking, and with a unique and delightful satisfaction. Suddenly, impelled by some mysterious force, the disc began to whirl in the sky, casting off great shafts of multi-colored light. Red, green, blue, yellow, violet, the enormous rays shot across the sky at all angles, lighting up the entire countryside for many miles around, but particularly the up-turned faces of those 70,000 spellbound people. After three minutes, the wonder stopped, but was resumed again a second and third time - three times in all, in about 12 minutes. It seemed that the whole world was on fire, with the sun spinning at a great speed each time.
Then a gasp of terror rose from the crowd, for the sun seemed to tear itself from the heavens and come crashing down upon the horrified multitude. "It's the end of the world," shrieked one woman. "Dear God, don't let me die in my sins," implored another. "Holy virgin, protect us," cried a third. All were on their knees in terror, asking pardon for their sins. Just when it seemed that the ball of fire would fall upon and destroy them, the miracles ceased and the sun resumed its normal position in the sky, shining forth as peacefully as ever.
When the people arose from the ground, cries of astonishment were heard on all sides. Their clothes, which had been soaking wet and muddy, now were clean and dry. Many of the sick and crippled had been cured of their afflictions. The miracle of the sun was seen by witnesses up to 25 miles away.
THE CHILDREN ENJOY SPECIAL VISIONS
While the miracle of the sun was taking place, the children alone were privileged to witness several remarkable visions in the heavens. As our Lady had promised, St. Joseph came with the Holy Family and he blessed the world. Then, Our Lady appeared as the Mother of Sorrows, accompanied by her Divine Son, who also blessed the world. Finally, Lúcia saw the Blessed Virgin Mary, dressed in the brown robes of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, crowned as queen of heaven and earth, holding a Brown Scapular in her hand, with her infant Son upon her knee. However, in none of these visions did any of the figures speak to the children.
Truly, it had been a great day for Portugal. The reporters, many of whom had come to scoff, gave long and detailed accounts of what had taken place, while the newspapers published many photographs of the great crowds and of the children. Although these were released to the entire world, (copies on file in U.S. Congressional Library), few people outside Portugal paid any attention to these events, and newspapers in most other countries ignored the story completely.
SUBSEQUENT IMPORTANT EVENTS
As the Blessed Mother had promised, Francisco and Jacinta soon joined her in Heaven. The little boy died from the flu in April 1919, and his sister from pleurisy in February 1920.
Little Jacinta knew that she would be taken to heaven and persevered in worship, prayer and penance. During her long illness, she had more conversations with Our Lady. Before she died, she revealed some remarkable statements made by Our Lady of Fátima. Here are some of them:
"More souls go to hell because of sins of the flesh than for any other reason."
"Certain fashions will be introduced that will offend Our Lord very much."
"Many marriages are not good; they do not please our Lord and are not of God."
"Priests must be pure, very pure. They should not busy themselves with anything except what concerns the Church and souls. The disobedience of priests to their superiors and to the Holy Father is very displeasing to Our Lord."
"The Blessed Mother can no longer restrain the hand of her Divine Son from striking the world with just punishment for its many crimes."
"If the government of a country leaves the Church in peace and gives liberty to our holy religion, it will be blessed by God."
"Tell everybody that God gives graces through the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Tell them to ask graces from her, and that the heart of Jesus wishes to be venerated together with the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Ask them to plead for peace from the Immaculate Heart of Mary, for the Lord has confided the peace of the world to her."
OUR LADY APPEARS WITH CHRIST CHILD TO SISTER LUCIA
In 1921, upon the advice of the Bishop of Leira-Fátima, Lúcia entered a convent boarding school to learn to read and write. Later she became a nun in the order, a Sister of St. Dorothy, whose Motherhouse was at Tuy, Spain.
One day, while Lúcia (now Sister Lúcia) was kneeling in prayer in the convent chapel (December 10, 1925), the Blessed Mother and the Christ Child appeared to her with a new and wonderful message for souls. The first to speak was the Christ Child, who said: "Have pity on the heart of your Most Holy Mother. It is covered with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment, and there is no one to remove them with an act of reparation."
Holding in her hand a heart encircled with sharp thorns, Our Lady then said to Sister Lúcia:"My child, behold my heart surrounded with the thorns which ungrateful men place therein at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You at least try to console me. Announce in my name that I promise to assist at the hour of death with all the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months, go to Confession and receive Holy Communion, recite the Rosary, and keep me company for a quarter of an hour while mediating on the mysteries of the Rosary with the intention of making reparation to me."
SISTER LUCIA'S SECRET
Our Lady appeared to Sister Lúcia in 1927, this time giving her permission to reveal the first two parts of the message of Fátima; the visions of the angel; the promise to take the children to Heaven; the vision of hell; the predictions of another war, martyrdom for Christians, the destruction of nations, the persecution of the Church and of the Holy Father, and the spread of Communism. All this had previously been kept secret.
In 1929, Our Lady came once again. She completed the promise made on July 13 to come and ask for the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Communion of Reparation on the First Saturdays. If men fulfilled her requests, Russia would be converted and there would be peace. In an interview with William Thomas Walsh on July 15, 1946, Sister Lúcia said, "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."
On the night of January 25, 1938, Sister Lúcia stood at her convent window and saw an ominous red glow that lit the entire sky. This light was seen throughout all Europe and Africa and part of America and Asia from 8:45 pm to 1:15 am with brief interruptions. Scientists tried to explain it as a most unusual Aurora Borealis. But Sister Lúcia knew that it was the great sign foretold by Our Lady July 13, 1917, that the punishment of the world was at hand. Several weeks later, Hitler invaded Austria, striking the match that was to set the world aflame in World War II. Thus began another and worse war in the Pontificate of Pius the Eleventh, as predicted by the Mother of God at Fátima. Forty million people died in World War II.
ECCLESIASTICAL APPROVAL FOR THE MESSAGE AT FÁTIMA
The Bishop of Leira-Fátima, after 13 years of thorough and careful investigation, released in 1930 his pastoral letter stating that the revelations at Fátima were worthy of belief by the faithful. Today, in the place where the Blessed Mother appeared to the children as they pastured their sheep, there is now a magnificent Shrine, where millions of people come on pilgrimage.
Pope Pius the Twelfth, on October 31, 1942, personally consecrated the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Not long after, he instituted throughout the universal Church, the feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, which is celebrated everywhere in the world on August 22 each year.
On May 1, 1948, Pope Pius the Twelfth issued a special encyclical letter to all the bishops, priests and laity throughout the world. The following is part of the text from that letter: "...And even as our predecessor of immortal memory, Leo the XIII, at the dawn of the twentieth century saw fit to consecrate the whole human race to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, so We have likewise in the guise or representative of the whole human family which He redeemed, the desire to dedicate it in turn to the Immaculate Heart of the Virgin Mary.
"It is our wish, consequently, that whenever the opportunity suggests itself, this consecration be made in the various dioceses as well as in each of the parishes and families. And we are confident that abundant blessings and favors from Heaven will surge forth from this private and public consecration..." (Signed Pope Pius XII)
On July 7, 1952, Pope Pius the Twelfth issued the Encyclical Sacro Vergente Anno, addressed to the Russians. He dedicated and consecrated “all the peoples of Russia to that same Immaculate Heart,” as he had done a decade earlier for the whole world. This was a direct response to the request of Our Lady, made at Fátima in 1917. Yet, it was not complete, according to Sr. Lucia, for it had to be done in union with the bishops of the world to make it "collegial", as Our Lady requested. It was completed by Pope John Paul II on March 25, 1984. In 1989, the government system of atheistic communism miraculously crumbled without violence and conversion continues to this day. The reader is encouraged to learn more about consecration here:
PUTTING THE PEACE PLAN INTO ACTION
History has recorded many of the terrible disasters predicted by the Mother of God in 1917. Most people today, believers and non-believers alike are seriously concerned about the direction of current events and fear that there is worse to come. Our only hope is God's Plan For Peace based on these requests from Mary, Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ - 1) penance and reparation, 2) the daily recitation of the Rosary, 3) the Five First Saturdays, and 4) consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
PENANCE AND REPARATION
By penance, Our Lady explained that men must amend their lives, give up their lives of sin, ask pardon for their sins, and make reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Mary who are grievously offended by the sins of men.
By reparation, Our Lady means: 1) accepting life's difficulties without rebellion or anger as a sacrifice to atone for our sins; 2) fulfilling our daily duties to the best of our abilities; 3) accepting the responsibilities of our state in life; 4) obeying the Commandments of God.
The sacrifice that Our Lord requires of each of us is that sacrifice necessary to avoid sin, the occasion of sin and to accept with submission all of the suffering sent to us or perceived by us. In offering our sufferings to God, we should say the prayer that Mary taught: "O Jesus, I offer this suffering for your love, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary."
THE DAILY ROSARY
Our Lady pleaded and insisted that people must say the daily Rosary. This means engaging the mind to concentrate on each of the events in the life of Jesus and Mary that form the structure of the prayer. With time, not only is the individual transformed into greater obedience to God and to a greater understanding of His ways, but the praying church can save the world, as has happened many times in the past, from the tremendous evils that it faces today. After each decade of the Rosary recite the prayer: "O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fire of hell and draw all souls to heaven, especially those in most need."
THE FIVE FIRST SATURDAYS
This devotion consists in 1) going to Confession; 2) receiving Holy Communion; 3) reciting five decades of the Rosary; and 4) spending 15 minutes with Our Lady meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary - all with the intention of making reparation. Mary has promised all graces necessary for salvation to those who faithfully perform this devotion for the First Saturday of any five consecutive months. (NOTE: The Confession may be made under the usual condition of 8 days before or after the Holy Communion, provided that the person is not in the state of mortal sin when he receives Holy Communion.)
CONSECRATION TO THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY
Our Lady is looking for people willing to become cells of prayer and sacrifice through consecration to her. Consecration to Mary means trusting in the power of intercessory prayer to overcome the ocean of evil in the world. It means accepting her help to offer ourselves and the whole of mankind to Him who is holy, infinitely holy. In practice, this means praying to Mary in all the myriad forms of Marian invocation approved by the Church. More important than anything else is to fulfill Our Lady's requests at Fátima.
"Let the entire body of the faithful pour forth insistent supplications to the mother of God and mother of men that she, who aided the beginnings of the Church by her prayers, may now, exalted as she is above all the angels and saints, intercede before her Son in the fellowship of all the saints, until all families of people, whether they are honored with the title of Christian or whether they still do not know the Savior, may be happily gathered together in peace and harmony into one People of God, for the glory of the most holy and undivided Trinity." - The Constitution of the Church (Lumen Gentium) of Vatican Council II, p. 69, November 21, 1964.
"Our Lady of Fátima" by Dr. William Thomas Walsh (1891-1949) Doubleday, A division of Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, Inc., New York, 1947, 223 pp. Dr. Walsh, an eminent journalist enjoyed the cooperation of numerous ecclesiastical authorities during the exhaustive preparation of this book. He spent a great deal of time in Portugal, studied Lúcia's memoirs and numerous other newspaper articles and documents, and interviewed dozens of eye-witnesses, including Lúcia (1907-2005) and various members of her family, neighbors and friends. Truth is established by witnesses. The truths of Fátima are undeniable.
First posted on this site: September, 2010