“Pray, pray much and make sacrifices for sinners, for many souls go to hell because they have no one to pray and make sacrifices for them!”
Although Francisco, who was a contemplative soul, recognised that his essential task was to console Our Lord in the most Blessed Sacrament, Jacinta knew that she must above all else, sacrifice to save souls from the eternal damnation she had seen so graphically depicted. In her memoirs, Lúcia tells us,
“Some of the things revealed in the Secret made a very strong impression on Jacinta. … How is it that Jacinta, small as she was, let herself be possessed by such a spirit of penance and mortification, and understood it so well? I think the reason is this: firstly, God willed to bestow on her a special grace, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary; and secondly, it was because she had looked upon hell, and had seen the ruin of souls who fall therein. … Jacinta took this matter of making sacrifices for the conversion of sinners so much to heart, that she never let a single opportunity escape her.”
“We were playing one day at the well I have already mentioned. Close to it, there was a grape vine belonging to Jacinta’s mother. She cut a few clusters and brought them to us to eat. But Jacinta never forgot her sinners. ‘We won’t eat them,’ she said, ‘we’ll offer this sacrifice for sinners.’ Then she ran out with the grapes and gave them to the other children playing on the road. She returned radiant with joy, for she had found our poor children, and given them grapes. … Another time, my aunt called us to come and eat some figs which she had brought home, and indeed they would have given anybody an appetite. Jacinta sat down happily next to the basket, with the rest of us, and picked up the first fig. She was just about to eat it, when she suddenly remembered, and said: ‘It’s true! Today we haven’t yet made a single sacrifice for sinners! We’ll have to make this one.’ She put the fig back in the basket, and made the offering; and we, too, left our figs in the basket for the conversion of sinners.
“I’m not going to dance any more!”
“Jacinta dearly loved dancing, and had a special aptitude for it. I remember how she was crying one day about one of her brothers who had gone to the war and was reported killed in action. To distract her, I arranged a little dance with two of her brothers. There was the poor child dancing away as she dried the tears that ran down her cheeks. Her fondness for dancing was such that the sound of some shepherd playing his instrument was enough to set her dancing all by herself. In spite of this, when St. John’s Day festivities or carnival time came around (in 1918), she announced: ‘I’m not going to dance any more.’ ‘And why not?’ ‘Because I want to offer this sacrifice to Our Lord.’ Since we were the ones who organized the games for the children, the dances which used to take place on these occasions stopped.”
“Occasionally, also, we were in the habit of offering to God the sacrifice of spending nine days or a month without taking a drink. Once, we made this sacrifice even in the month of August, when the heat was suffocating. On these occasions, Jacinta would say: ‘Our Lord must be pleased with our sacrifices, because I am so thirsty, so thirsty! Yet, I do not want to take a drink. I want to suffer for love of Him.” Jacinta’s thirst for making sacrifices seemed insatiable.
Even at this early age, Jacinta very quickly assumed an habitual disposition of sacrifice for sinners and with each sacrifice, she repeated the prayer taught by Our Lady, thus conferring on the sacrifice offered its whole meritorious value as an act of love, both reparatory and missionary: Lúcia says of this, “Ever since the day Our Lady taught us to offer our sacrifices to Jesus, any time we had something to suffer or agreed to make a sacrifice, Jacinta asked: ‘Did you already tell Jesus it’s for love of Him?’ If I said I hadn’t, she answered: ‘Then I’ll tell Him’, and joining her hands, she raised her eyes to Heaven and said: ‘Oh Jesus, it is for love of You, and for the conversion of sinners.’
Lúcia says of Jacinta that she, ” … was the one who received from Our Lady a greater abundance of grace, and a better knowledge of God and of virtue.” Although she was indeed the youngest of the three seers, it was she who appeared to enjoy the greatest intimacy with the Most Holy Virgin. When the cycle of the six great public apparitions was completed, Jacinta continued in this deep intimacy with Our Lady until she died.
The parish priest, Father Ferreira, reported on the immediate events of Fatima in a memoir which he completed on August 6, 1918. In it he recounted that Our Lady had appeared to Jacinta three times after October 13. A most notable one occurred on Ascension Thursday, 1918 during Mass, when, as Jacinta told Father Ferreira, Our Lady taught her to say the Rosary. Since Jacinta was accustomed by that time, to frequently recite the Rosary with Lucia and Francisco, we may suppose that Our Lady gave Jacinta special lights to understand the mysteries. Today, many of us continue to be blessed by Saint Jacinta when we seek her help to pray our Rosary!
In addition to these visits from Our Lady, Jacinta was given several prophetic visions. which constituted portions of the great secret. In her Memoirs, Lúcia remembers,
“One day we spent our siesta down by my parents’ well. Jacinta sat on the stone slab on top of the well. Francisco and I climbed up a steep bank in search of wild honey among the brambles in a nearby thicket. After a little while, Jacinta called out to me: ‘Didn’t you see the Holy Father’ ‘No.’
“Jacinta responded, ‘I don’t know how it was, but I saw the Holy Father in a very big house, kneeling by a table, with his head buried in his hands, and he was weeping. Outside the house, there were many people. Some of them were throwing stones, others were cursing him and using bad language. Poor Holy Father, we must pray much for him.’
Frère Michel places this vision of Jacinta’s after July 13, 1917, since it presupposes that the Secret was already revealed, and before October 1918, when the Marto children became ill with the influenza. Lúcia explains further, “… one day, two priests recommended that we pray for the Holy Father, and explained to us who the Pope was. Afterwards, Jacinta asked me: ‘Is he the one I saw weeping, the one Our Lady told us about in the Secret?’ ‘Yes, he is,’ I answered. (And Jacinta, with childlike candour, went on:) ‘The Lady must surely have shown him also to those priests. You see, I wasn’t mistaken. We need to pray a lot for him.’
Frère Michel adds, “This vision must be kept in mind, for it helps us to better understand the corresponding words of the Secret, announcing “persecutions against the Church and the Holy Father”, who “will have much to suffer”.
In another vision given to Saint Jacinta, the shepherds had gone to pray at the cave they called Lapa do Cabeco, where Lúcia reported they prostrated themselves, reciting the prayers taught by the Angel. before long, Jacinta arose and said,
“Can’t you see all those highways and roads full of people, who are crying with hunger and have nothing to eat? And the Holy Father in a church praying before the Immaculate Heart of Mary? And so many people praying with him?”
This vision is a sign of the Second and Third portions of the Secret, and that War is not over yet, nor will it be, until we see the Holy Father kneel before Our Lady, repent and be converted, becoming her obedient servant once again. Today, the flock have nothing to eat and this will worsen as the famine increases under the soul-withering Church of False Mercy. For how can they believe, if the truth is not preached to them? And what Father gives his child a stone when he asks for bread?
Frère Michel believes that the Pope of this vision, kneeling in prayer before the Immaculate Heart of Mary, will be the one who at last consecrates Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, freeing that country of the diabolical hindrance to her future destiny of greatness. And he explains that “Sister Lúcia clarifies the point, for this second vision corresponds to an event prophesied in the Secret:
“Some days later, Jacinta asked me: ‘Can I say that I saw the Holy Father and all those people?’ ‘No. Don’t you see that that’s part of the Secret? If you do, they’ll find out right away!’ ‘All right! Then I’ll say nothing at all.’ “
The Second portion, about the continuing world war is the material chastisement while the Third portion is the spiritual chastisement. Both of these will continue until such time as sufficient reparation has been made.
Now, to return to the favors the Blessed Virgin deigned to show little Jacinta. From Sister Lúcia’s Memoirs and from Frère Michel we learn that the Immaculata blessed Jacinta with such a fullness of grace, such an intimate sharing in her message that Jacinta was soon led to the total oblation of her life with the utmost courage and generosity of soul. Indeed, Lúcia relates that Jacinta was so impressed with the severity of the punishment of hell and the eternal ruin of the souls which go there, and the utter devastation of the war, that these thoughts made her tremble with fear and dread. When Lúcia would find her staring pensively, and prodded her for her thoughts, Jacinta remarked that she was thinking of, “… the war which is coming, and all the people who are going to die and go to hell! How dreadful! If they would only stop offending God, then there wouldn’t be any war and they wouldn’t go to hell.”
“Poor Holy Father! We must pray very much for him!”
It was to Jacinta most of all in 1918, that Our Lady revealed the Holy Father persecuted, mocked, abandoned by all, and in tears, This helped Jacinta to understand how much the Pope needed prayers. Lúcia tells us, “This gave Jacinta such love for the Holy Father that, every time she offered her sacrifices to Jesus, she added: “And for the Holy Father … At the end of the Rosary, she always said three Hail Marys for the Holy Father.”
Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité seems impressed by this emphasis,
“It is indeed surprising to observe how much, after the apparition of July 13, the thought of the Holy Father kept constantly coming back to the minds of the three seers. This was one of their major preoccupations, along with solicitude for sinners, and the sight of the terrifying war to come. Why? Undoubtedly because the Pope plays a role of decisive importance in the great prophecy of the Secret: he is already named five times in the published part of the Secret; we may believe that he is mentioned again in the part which has not yet been published. Let us add that several supernatural communications Sister Lúcia was later favored with, concerning the role of the Holy Father in the great prophecy of the Secret, surely supply us with the context which sheds much light on the visions of Jacinta. “
As we read these accounts of our Blessed Mother’s work in the souls of the little shepherd children, we see the path on which she leads them sorrowfully; the way of reparation and compassion, per crucem ad lucem; per mortem ad vitam. It is for this that the Angel came, to begin their preparation for this great work, solidly based in Eucharistic adoration and reparation.
“Above all, accept and bear with submission the sufferings which the Lord will send you.” (The Angel of Fatima, St. Michael)
“Are you willing to offer yourselves to God, and bear all the sufferings He will send you, in reparation for the sins by which He is offended, and in supplication for the conversion of sinners?”
“Yes, we are,” Lúcia had answered in the name of all three.
“Then you will have much to suffer, but the grace of God will be your comfort.” (Our Lady of the Rosary at Fatima, May 13, 1917)
And so, in January, 1919, Our Lady came once more to the children:
“Our Lady came to see us”, Jacinta said. “She told us She would come to take Francisco to Heaven very soon, and She asked me if I still wanted to convert more sinners. I said I did. She told me I would be going to a hospital where I would suffer a great deal; and that I am to suffer for the conversion of sinners, in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and for love of Jesus. I asked if you (Lúcia) would go with me. She said you wouldn’t, and that is what I find hardest. She said my mother would take me, and then I would have to stay there all alone!”
To be continued.
Among the sources for the above article are Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité’s “The Whole Truth About Fatima, Volumes I (here) and II (here)” and from Father Cirrincione’s “Blessed Jacinta Marto of Fatima“.
† Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of our hearts, Mother of the Church, do thou offer to the Eternal Father the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the conversion of poor sinners, especially our Pontiff.
† Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy Kingdom come, Viva Cristo Rey!
† St. Joseph, guardian of the Holy Family, protect our families, protect our priests!
† St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.
~ by evensong for love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, King.
Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O Sacred Virgin! Give me strength against thine enemies!
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