Francisco and Jacinta, Designs of Mercy, II

Part II

There is so much we can learn from considering Saint Francisco’s short life, consumed as it was with love for our Eucharistic Lord and the desire to console His Sacred Heart. Francisco’s devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus has proven to be a secure way to counter tepidity in our devotions to Our Lord. From the time of the last apparition in October, 1917 until he was taken to heaven was just 18 months, but in that time, what a whirlwind of spiritual energy and grace. Today we will review a few instances that show his beautiful soul’s love for Our Lord.

In an interesting passage in Volume I, Frère Michel describes Francisco’s excitement as he looked forward to the October apparition.

Francisco was filled with joy because Our Lady had said that on October 13 Our Lord would also come:

“Oh, how good He is! I’ve only seen Him twice,  and I love Him so much!” From time to time, he asked: “Are there many days left till the 13th? I’m longing for that day to come, so that I can see Our Lord again.” Then he thought for a moment, and added: “But listen! Will He still be so sad? I am so sorry to see Him sad like that! I offer Him all the sacrifices I can think of. Sometimes, I don’t even run away from all those people, just in order to make sacrifices!”

In footnote 499 of Volume I, Frère Michel explains,

“Here Francisco is undoubtedly alluding to the apparitions of June 13 and July 13: when Our Lady directed towards them the reflections of the Divine Light which shone from Her hands, the three seers felt as though they were absorbed in God; and then, in a mysterious vision, it was also given to them to contemplate Our Lord and His immense sadness because of the sins of the world.”

It is this sadness of Our Lord at our sins that was to set our little shepherd saint on the road to such heroic sanctity that within 18 months his soul would fly to the waiting arms of the “Hidden Jesus” he loved so much.

For today, let’s take a look at the accounts of Francisco given in The Whole Truth About Fatima, Volumes I and II .

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Pope Pius XII and the Miracle of the Sun

Did you know that Our Lady of Fatima favored Pope Pius XII with his own personal “Miracle of the Sun”? Why do you think that she did this?

Despite betrayal, despite indifference, in the end, her Immaculate Heart will triumph
Despite betrayal, despite indifference, “in the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph!”

The following is from Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité’s “The Whole Truth About Fatima, Volume III, The Third Secret”.

On October 29, (1950) the statue of the Pilgrim Virgin of Fatima, which had just visited several nations of Asia, arrived at Rome. On the following morning, October 30, 35 Cardinals and over 450 bishops had met in consistory around the Sovereign Pontiff, who for the first time officially informed them of his intention of defining the dogma of the Assumption very soon. At the end of his allocution, Pope Pius XII consulted the successors of the apostles one last time, “is it therefore pleasing to you, Venerable brethren, that we proclaim and solemnly define as a dogma revealed by God, the bodily Assumption of the Blessed virgin Mary into heaven?” After receiving their unanimous assent, the Pope gave thanks.

On the very same day, Monday, October 30, after this solemn decision, while the Madonna of Fatima had stopped for three days in the church of Casaletto, right behind the Vatican gardens on land belonging to the Holy See, on the anniversary of the consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary eight years earlier, it was given to the Holy Father to contemplate the same extraordinary spectacle that 70,000 pilgrims had seen at the Cova da Iria on October 13, 1917. Here is the account written shortly afterwards by Pius XII himself.

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St. Michael, the Angel of Peace

For St. Michael, on his feast day:

Our Lady of the Rosary appeared six times 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. And so, this is the 100th anniversary of those Angelic visits, which served then to prepare the children for the work of the Blessed Virgin and may help prepare us for our work as her children in the time to come.

The following is compiled from a variety of Fatima resources, especially from Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité’s ‘The Whole Truth About Fatima, Volume I’ (Link).

"Take and drink the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, horribly outraged by ungrateful men. Make reparation for their crimes and console Our Lord."
“Take and drink the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, horribly outraged by ungrateful men.
Make reparation for their crimes and console Our Lord.”

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.

Frère 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.

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