It was in the torrid month of July, the month of the Precious Blood of Jesus, one hundred years ago today, that Our Lady of Fatima visited the little shepherds for the third time. The immense importance of this visit cannot be overestimated, for at this time, the Blessed Virgin revealed her Message for the World. We take the following account from “The Whole Truth About Fatima, Volume I”, by Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité. This volume is available to download free from www.archive.org.
At the Cova da Iria on July 13, 1917, a crowd estimated at between one and two thousand were gathered. Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta knelt before the scrubby little holm oak where Our Lady appeared. In her account, Lúcia relates that in answer to her question, “What does Your Grace want of me?”, Our Lady replied,
“I want you to come here on the 13th of next month, and to continue praying the Rosary every day in honour of Our Lady of the Rosary, in order to obtain peace for the world and the end of the war, because only She can help you.”
When Lúcia asked her to perform a miracle so that all would believe, Our Lady responded,
“Continue to come here every month. In October, I will tell you who I am and what I want, and I will perform a miracle for all to see and believe.”
Our Lady continued,
“Sacrifice yourselves for sinners, and say many times, especially when you make some sacrifice: ‘O Jesus, it is for love of You, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary’ “.
From Lúcia’s account,
“As Our Lady spoke these last words, She opened Her hands once more, as She had done during the two previous months. The rays of light seemed to penetrate the earth, and we saw as it were a sea of fire. 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 huge fires, without weight or equilibrium, amid shrieks and groans of pain and despair, which horrified us and made us tremble with fear. (It must have been this sight which caused me to cry out, as people say they heard me.) The demons could be distinguished by their terrifying and repellent likeness to frightful and unknown animals, black and transparent like burning coals.”
Here, in her Third Memoir, Sister Lúcia added: “This vision only lasted a moment, thanks to our good Mother in Heaven who, in the first apparition, had promised to take us to Heaven. Were it not for that, I believe we would have died out of fright and fear.”
Terrified and as if to plead for succour, we looked up at Our Lady, who said to us, so kindly and so sadly:
“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. The war is going to end, but if people do not cease offending God, a worse one will break out during the reign of Pius XI.
“When you see a night illumined by an unknown light, know that this is the great sign given you by God that He is about to punish the world for its crimes, by means of war, famine and persecutions against the Church and 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 heeded, Russia will be converted and there will be peace; if not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions against 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 will be converted, and a certain period of peace will be granted to the world.
“In Portugal, the dogma of the Faith will always be preserved, etc. [This marks the third part of the secret, not yet not revealed] Do not tell this to anybody. Francisco, yes, you may tell him.
“When you say the Rosary, say after each mystery: ‘O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fire of hell. Lead all souls to Heaven, especially those who are most in need.’ “
While this was going on, Ti Marto relates, the crowd was so silent that you could have heard a pin drop. And, like Maria Carreira and some other witnesses, Mr. Marto, who was very near the seers, perceived an unintelligible murmur: “then I began to hear a sound, a little buzzing rather like a mosquito in an empty bottle. But I couldn’t hear any words!” This mysterious murmur was heard by only a few witnesses.
However, two other unusual phenomena were noticed by a much greater number: The luminosity of the sky noticeably decreased, as during an eclipse, the whole time the ecstasy of the children lasted. At the same time, the temperature, which was very hot, went down noticeably, and the tint of the light was modified. The atmosphere became yellow as gold.
In addition, a whitish cloud, rather pleasant to look at, formed around the seers. Here is the testimony of Mr. Marto: