Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta experienced three visits from the Angel of Peace. He also called himself the Guardian Angel of Portugal. The angel urged the children to pray and to offer sacrifices to God for the conversion of sinners. In his first apparition to the children, he taught them a prayer of faith and adoration.
This prayer was in reparation for those who did not believe and adore God. At this time many were losing faith in God. Atheism was growing. Soon atheistic communism would capture the hearts of many. The angel knelt down and prostrated himself. He urges the children to do the same and to pray with him: “My God, I believe, I adore, I hope in thee and I love thee. I ask pardon for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope, and do not love thee.”
In his second appearance to them he said, “Make everything you do a sacrifice, and offer it as an act of reparation for the sins by which God is offended, and as a petition for the conversion of sinners…..” the angel appeared for a third time to the children. He appeared with a golden chalice and a consecrated host. Drops of blood fell from the host into the chalice. The angel prostrated himself before the real presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. He taught the children a prayer to the Most Holy Trinity and offered the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus present in the tabernacles throughout the world in reparation for the sacrileges committed against the greatest gift God has given to the human race, the body and blood of his son, Jesus. Under socialistic governments, priests and religious were martyred, churches were desecrated, and the Blessed Sacrament trampled underfoot. The angels’ prayer was a call to faith in the real presence of Jesus. It was a call to adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, a call to silent prayer before Jesus, resting in the warmth of his presence, and, as a priestly people, offering his body and blood, soul, and divinity to the Most Holy Trinity in reparation for sin and for the salvation of the world.
On May 13, 1917, in the Cova da Iria around noon, the children saw a brilliant light. It seemed brighter than the sun, yet they could look upon it. The light came to rest on a holm oak. In the light they saw a beautiful woman. She asked them to come to the Cova on the 13th of each month until October. She asked them to pray the rosary daily and accept the sufferings that would come to them. In the following apparitions the beautiful Lady revealed that God wanted devotion in the Immaculate Heart established throughout the world. The beautiful lady promised that this devotion would bring many to salvation and that those who dedicate themselves to the Immaculate Heart “will be loved by God as flowers placed by myself to adorn his throne.” In the July apparition, the beautiful Lady gave the children a vision of hell where unrepentant sinners go. They were lost because they refused to accept God’s love and mercy. The beautiful Lady said that those who are lost had no one to pray for them. She then taught them a prayer that she wanted them to say at the end of each decade of the rosary: “O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell and lead all souls to heaven, especially those most in need of your mercy.” Through this revelation, we learn that prayer and sacrifice obtain grace of conversion for sinners and non-believers.
During the July apparition the beautiful Lady predicted the end of World War I; but predicted a second World War if people did not repent. She predicted that Russia would spread her errors throughout the world. Many scoffed at the prophecy about Russia, because in 1917, Russia was a religious nation, steeped in poverty, and hardly a world power. The beautiful Lady predicted great famines, persecutions of the Church and the Holy Father; many good people would die and nations would be annihilated. In the end her Immaculate Heart would triumph. In our time we have witnessed the fulfillment of many of these prophecies. Now we await the triumph of her Immaculate Heart.
Before the apparition of August 13, the three children were arrested and threatened with torture and death. Yet, the children refused to renounce the apparitions and reveal the secret. They were willing to die for the beautiful Lady. After the children were released from jail, our Lady appeared to them for the fourth time. She urged the children to continue to pray the rosary daily. She renewed her promise to perform a great miracle. During the September apparition, people pleaded with the children to ask our Lady for healing and favors. Mary promised to heal some but not others. She asked the children to pray for an end to World War I. On the 13th of October, most of Europe was being drenched with rain. 70,000 pilgrims journeyed from great distances on muddy trails to witness the promised miracle of the Cova da Iria.
Shortly after noon the beautiful Lady came. She revealed that she is the Lady of the Rosary and the Queen of Peace. She also revealed the purpose of her appearances: “to warn the faithful to amend their lives and ask pardon for their sins. People must pray the rosary daily.” Afterward, the rain stopped and the clouds broke open, revealing the sun. The sun began to whirl in the sky. The beauty of this phenomenon reflected on the faces of those witnessing the miracle. After the third whirling or dancing of the sun, it seemed as if it was being hurled down to earth. People thought it was the end of the world. They screamed for mercy as they fell to their knees. Others ran for their lives. The sun stopped and returned to its normal place. After the miracle of the sun, the ground, which was soaked from rain, was dry along with the rain-drenched clothing of the people. The Queen of Peace, the Lady of the Rosary had come to show the world the way to peace: Faith in her son, confession of sin, to do penance, to make reparation for the offenses against the Most Holy Trinity and the Real Presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, to pray the rosary daily while meditating on the mysteries of our faith, and consecration of her Immaculate Heart. The world and the Church are in great need of this peace plan of our Lady. Reflecting on the message of Fatima offers us the opportunity to pray the rosary daily. The rosary is the prayer that leads us to meditate on the lives of Jesus and Mary in a way that helps us to pattern our lives on the gospel.