Our Lady of the Rosary appeared at Fatima from May through October, 1917; however, these important apparitions were preceded by the apparitions of The Angel of Peace, St. Michael the Archangel in 1916. In this and a subsequent post, we will examine these visits in the light of our present situation 99 years afterwards.
The following is compiled from a variety of Fatima resources, especially from Frere Michel de la Sainte Trinite’s ‘The Whole Truth About Fatima, Volume I’.
The Angelic apparitions took place in spring, summer and fall, 1916, when Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta were nine, eight and six, respectively. On a spring day, they shepherded their flocks on the east side of the Cabeço. After lunch and the Rosary, they began to play when,
” … a strong wind began to shake the trees. We looked up, startled, to see what was happening, for the day was unusually calm. Then we saw coming towards us, above the olive trees, the figure I have already spoken about. Jacinta and Francisco had never seen it before, nor had I ever mentioned it to them. As it drew closer, we were able to distinguish its features. It was a young man, about fourteen or fifteen years old, whiter than snow, transparent as crystal when the sun shines through it, and of great beauty.”
“We were surprised, absorbed, and struck dumb with amazement. On reaching us, he said:
“Do not be afraid! I am the Angel of Peace. Pray with me.”
Kneeling on the ground, he bowed down until his forehead reached the ground. Led by a supernatural impulse, we did the same, and repeated the words which we heard him say:
“My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love You! I ask pardon of You for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope and do not love You!”
Having repeated these words three times, he rose and said:
“Pray thus. The Hearts of Jesus and Mary are attentive to the voice of your supplications.”
Then he disappeared.
Frere Michel remarks on the apparition, as at Horeb, when it was given to Elijah to enter into the presence of God, as at the Cenacle at the moment when the divine Spirit descended on the Apostles, or finally at Massabielle, when the Immaculate Conception came to visit Bernadette, it is by a sudden and mysterious wind that the Angel of Fatima announced his approach. ‘Who makest the clouds thy chariot: who walkest upon the wings of the winds.’ (Ps. 103:3)
And the words of the Angel echo the words of the Angels in other Biblical apparitions, ‘Fear not! I am the angel of peace.’ The presence of the Angel always fills the witnesses with astonishment, and he must first reassure them. ‘Fear not!’ he says to Zachary and to the Blessed Virgin, to the shepherds on the night of the Nativity, and to the holy women on the morning of the Resurrection.
Regarding his appearance, Lucia affirmed that he resembled a young man, of great beauty, around fourteen or fifteen years old, whiter than snow and resplendent with a crystal-clear light, so much so that when Canon Barthas asked, ‘What was he like?’ she summed up her response in this laconic expression: ‘Era de luz.’ That is, ‘He was of light.’ Here also is a completely biblical expression. The Angel who announced the resurrection of Christ, relates St. Matthew, had an appearance as of lightning, and his raiment was white as snow. (Mt. 28:3) And the same Evangelist, describing Our Lord transfigured on Tabor says: ‘His face shone like the sun, and His garments became white as snow.’ (Mt. 17:2)
‘God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all’ (1 Jn. 1:5), and whenever He deigns to manifest Himself to men, by the ministry of Angels or the mediation of His Holy Mother, He appears to us clothed in splendour, according to the beautiful verses of the Psalm: ‘O Lord my God, Thou art exceedingly great. Thou hast put on praise and beauty: And art clothed with light as with a garment.’ (103:1-2) At Fatima, after each of the apparitions, this word “Light” always comes back to the lips of the seers.
Sister Lucia recounted the overwhelming presence of the Divine in the Fatima apparitions,
The supernatural atmosphere which enveloped us was so intense that for a long time we were scarcely aware of our own existence, remaining in the same posture in which he had left us, and continually repeating the same prayer. The presence of God made itself felt so intimately and so intensely that we did not even venture to speak to one another. Next day, we were still immersed in this spiritual atmosphere, which only gradually began to disappear. It did not occur to us to speak about this apparition, nor did we think of recommending that it be kept secret. The very apparition itself imposed secrecy. It was so intimate, that it was not possible to speak of it at all.
From Frere Michel,
The Presence of God is something stupendous, even crushing, for our feeble human faculties. But this ‘annihilation before the Divine Presence’, to use the expression of Sister Lucia, was for the three future messengers of Our Lady the surest school of true and profound humility, which is first of all the intimate knowledge of the infinite sanctity of God and the nothingness of the creature. In addition to the message which the seers began to put in practice right away – ‘from then on, we used to spend long periods of time, prostrate like the Angel, repeating his words, until sometimes we fell, exhausted’ – the visit of the Angel also obtained for them intimate graces of peace and joy in God: ‘the peace and happiness which we felt were great, but wholly interior, for our souls were completely immersed in God. The physical weakness that came over us was also great.’
In time, however, their childhood natures took over and they began to play. Then, at the height of summer heat, they brought the sheep back to the shelter of home and spent the heat of day in the shade of the trees about the family well. Lucia remembers,
We were playing on the well. Suddenly, we saw the same Angel right beside us.
‘What are you doing? Pray, pray very much! The Holy Hearts of Jesus and Mary have designs of mercy on you. Offer prayers and sacrifices constantly to the Most High.’
‘How are we to make sacrifices?’ I asked.
‘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. You will thus draw down peace upon your country. I am its Angel Guardian, the Angel of Portugal. Above all, accept and bear with submission the suffering which the Lord will send you.’
We chose this spot … for our more intimate talks, our fervent prayers, and … our tears as well – and sometimes very bitter tears they were. We mingled our tears with the water of the same well from which we drank. Does this not make the well itself an image of Mary, in whose Heart we dried our tears and drank of the purest consolation?’
Frere Michel notes, “In the book of Kings, when the Voice of God spoke to Elijah, at Mount Horeb: ‘What are you doing, Elijah?’ (1 Kg. 19, 13) It was the same with the seers of Fatima: ‘What are you doing? Pray! Pray much!’ The Angel’s admonition was not in vain, for in the fall, when the Angel returned for the third time, he found them prostrate and praying as he had taught them. It was in late September or early October and the children had returned to the Cabeço.
As soon as we arrived there, we knelt down, with our foreheads touching the ground, and began to repeat the prayer of the Angel: “My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love You… I don’t know how many times we repeated this prayer, when an extraordinary light shone upon us. We sprang up to see what was happening, and beheld the Angel. He was holding a chalice in his left hand, with the Host suspended above it, from which some drops of Blood fell into the chalice.
Leaving the Chalice and the Host suspended in the air, the Angel knelt down beside us and made us repeat three times:
‘Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, I adore Thee profoundly and I offer Thee the Most Precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of the same Son Jesus Christ, present in the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for all the sacrileges, outrages and indifferences by which He Himself is offended. And by the infinite merits of His Most Sacred Heart, and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of Thee the conversion of poor sinners.’
Then, rising, he took the Chalice and the Host in his hands. He gave the Sacred Host to me, and shared the Blood from the Chalice between Jacinta and Francisco, saying as he did so:
‘Take and drink the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, horribly outraged by ungrateful men! Make reparation for their crimes and console your God.’
Once again, he prostrated on the ground and repeated with us, three times more, the same prayer, “Most Holy Trinity…”, and then disappeared.
Moved by a supernatural force which enveloped us, we had imitated the Angel in everything, that is, we prostrated as he did and repeated the prayers that he said … We remained a long time in this position, repeating the same words over and over again.
Frere Michel, “There is a very clear gradation in the apparitions of the Angel, and the third, which was spent entirely in the miraculous Communion given to the seers, truly marks the high point. On that day they had a sort of ‘Eucharistic theophany’, during which it was given to them to contemplate the drops of Precious Blood falling from the Sacred Host into the chalice.”
Sister Lucia affirmed that by his apparitions, St. Michael had impressed them deeply,
“These words were indelibly impressed upon our minds. They were like a light which made us understand who God is, how He loves us and desires to be loved, the value of sacrifice, how pleasing it is to Him and how, on account of it, He gives the grace of conversion to sinners. It was for this reason that we began, from then on, to offer to the Lord all that mortified us …”
Thus, with the Angel as their teacher and catechist, the shepherds learned to pray and offer their sacrifices. Sanctified by the Bread of Angels, they were prepared to welcome the Queen of Heaven, and bear witness to Her apparitions and message even to the point of heroism. We too can learn from these three appearances of St. Michael.
The first lesson: “Do not be afraid! I am the Angel of Peace. Pray with me.” That is, do not waste your energy in fear, but pray!
The second lesson: “My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love You! I ask pardon of You for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope and do not love You!” This prayer teaches us by both its words and the manner in which the Angel demonstrates it, deepest worship of the Divinity of God. It is a profound yet simple act of faith, hope and love combined with the most profound adoration. What an eloquent “antitoxin” for the sacrilege and indifference exhibited today by our pontiff and prelates!
The third lesson: “Pray thus. The Hearts of Jesus and Mary are attentive to the voice of your supplications.” In this lesson, the Angel affirms that the Hearts of Jesus and Mary are inseparably linked and he affirms the efficacy of prayers addressed to Them as such.
The fourth lesson: “What are you doing? Pray, pray very much! The Holy Hearts of Jesus and Mary have designs of mercy on you. Offer prayers and sacrifices constantly to the Most High.” In this, the Angel affirms the importance of praying without ceasing; indeed, God’s infinite mercy is offered to us and for this poor world, with the requirement that we must pray for it. In fact, as he states, we are to pray, “constantly”! And, moreover, our prayers must be accompanied by our sacrifices. Unlike the false mercy of imposters, God’s mercy must be prayed for!
The fifth lesson: “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 passage, the Angel teaches us the way God wishes reparation to be made. Not histrionically, with much fanfare, but quietly, unobtrusively, by offering up our daily duties, the sacrifices we are called to make each day in order to live our lives as devout children of Mary, consecrated to her Immaculate Heart.
The sixth lesson: “You will thus draw down peace upon your country.” This profound lesson, so succinct, teaches us that war, which results from sin, can only be healed and peace restored, by sacrifices of reparation. Once again, only by reparation can war be ended. Only by reparation. And what has the Church, beginning with John XXIII done? Where is reparation in the post-conciliar Church?
The seventh lesson: “I am its Angel Guardian, the Angel of Portugal.” Here, the Angel confirms that he is, in fact, St. Michael the Archangel, to whom Portugal has historically been entrusted. Now, you may remember that after Pope Leo XIII’s apocalyptic vision, he ordered the Church to pray to St. Michael the Archangel after every Low Mass that we be saved from Satan. After the Second Vatican Council, Pope Paul VI suppressed these prayers. Another sign of the darkness and diabolic disorientation of the Popes after John XXIII’s disobedience.
The eighth lesson: “Above all, accept and bear with submission the suffering which the Lord will send you.” This final lesson caps off the preparation for the following year’s apparitions of the Queen of Heaven. It still echoes across the years to us, today more urgently than ever. Accept and bear with submission the suffering which the Lord will send you! Yes, these times are rapidly approaching, when we may be denied the Mass and sacraments, and what is left will be to offer all to the Sacred Hearts with generous, sacrificial hearts united to theirs.
As we approach the final Synod in October, take heart, and offer always the Angel’s prayers as above. If, like most of us, you are unable to assist at a true Mass each morning, offer Mass spiritually, renewing your consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, receiving Our Lord spiritually and frequently renew your intention to offer all to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary throughout the day in reparation, for the conversion of sinners, especially the Pope and hierarchy.
We have, after all, her promise, In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph.