This month we remember the third apparition of Our Lady of Fatima to three young children in Portugal. Lucia Santos was 10, her cousin Francisco Martin was 9, and his sister Jacinta Martin was 7. She first appeared to them on May 13, 1917 while they were tending their sheep. She appeared to them a total of six times, the last apparition taking place on October 13.
Our Lady told the children to continue to come there on the thirteenth of every month, and that in October she would tell them who she is, what she wished, and would perform a miracle so that all would believe. She told them to continue to pray the Rosary daily in order to obtain peace for the world and the end of the war. She also told them to make sacrifices and to say, “O Jesus, this is for love of Thee, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.”
During the third apparition on July 13, Our Lady showed the children a vision of Hell, and Lucia later wrote, “This vision lasted but an instant. How can we ever be grateful enough to our kind heavenly Mother, who had already prepared us by promising, in the first Apparition, to take us to Heaven. Otherwise, I think we would have died of fear and terror.”
After the vision was over, Our Lady sadly told the children that if a worldwide devotion to her Immaculate Heart was established, there would be peace and many souls would be saved. But if not, a worse war would break out. She asked for the consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart, and the Communion of reparation on the First Saturdays. She warned, “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 of the Church. The good will be martyred; the Holy Father will have much to suffer; various nations will be annihilated.”
When I was 9 years old I joined the Legion of Mary, a lay Catholic organization dedicated to serving the church through volunteer work. Every week, we traveled to homes with the statue of Our Lady of Fatima, recited the Fatima story, and prayed the rosary. I spent 9 years in the Legion of Mary, and can still recite almost the entire story by heart. We had other weekly assignments as well, including making rosaries, visiting nursing homes and hospitals, reading to the homebound, and helping new mothers with housecleaning or childcare. As a child, it was fun knowing that we
were the same age as the children to whom Our Lady appeared. As a young adult, I enjoyed devoting a few hours a week to serving God and Our Lady.
To learn more about the Legion of Mary, visit their website: http://www.legionofmary.ie/
To Jesus Through Mary, Adrianna Tucker