One hundred and one years and counting . . .
“You are going to suffer a great deal, but the grace of God will be your comfort.”
Our Lady’s words to Lúcia, Francisco and Jacinta echo down the long years of this tragic century. Although Francisco and Jacinta saw a quick end to their trials, Lúcia’s suffering was protracted and seems especially poignant to us today. For Lúcia was to experience disobedience to the message of Our Lady and the tragic betrayal of the Church by Popes and Bishops, the sly derision of theologians, the crass opportunism of some of the laity and the bovine indifference of most of the rest. Thus, she accompanied Our Lord and His Blessed Mother in their suffering.
Lúcia, Francisco and Jacinta were declared saints by the Immaculate Mother of God from the very start of the Fatima message. They have no need of a “Holy Father” of this sort who offers no more relevance for them than Caiphas and Herod had for our dear Savior. Lúcia still has much to teach us as we prepare to face the consequences of the Church’s betrayal of Our Lady of the Rosary.
May 13, 1917, the day the world changed and no one noticed … An offer made, an offer ignored … such a small thing … as they say, “the devil’s in the details” …
May 13, 1917 was a bright sunshiny Sunday and the rocky hillsides were sprinkled with wildflowers when Lúcia , Francisco and Jacinta saw the Mother of God, “more brilliant than the sun”, in Lúcia’s words. From Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité:
“There before us on a small holm oak, we beheld a Lady all dressed in white. She was more brilliant than the sun, and radiated a light more clear and intense than a crystal glass filled with sparkling water, when the rays of the burning sun shine through it. We stopped, astounded, before the apparition. We were so close, just a few feet from Her, that we were bathed in the light that surrounded Her, or rather, which radiated from Her. Then Our Lady spoke to us: – ‘Do not be afraid. I will do you no harm.’
To Lúcia’s questions, the Lady answered, “I am of Heaven”.
To Lúcia’s question, “What does your Grace want of me?”, the Lady replied,
“I have come to ask you to come here for six months in succession, on the 13th day at this same hour. Later on, I will tell you who I am and what I want. Afterwards, I will return here yet a seventh time.”
Lúcia then, “Shall I go to heaven too?” “Yes, you will.”
“And Jacinta?” “She will go also.”
“And Francisco?” “He will go there too, but he must say many rosaries.”