Post by Admin on Sept 29, 2020 14:44:11 GMT
«I AM OUR LADY OF THE ROSARY» (SATURDAY, OCTOBER 13)
On October 13 at noon, the hour of the apparition and the miracle, there were between fifty and seventy thousand people at the Cova da Iria. The whole population of Portugal was represented there. Many people among this multitude of witnesses gave their version of the prodigious events they contemplated that day. Their witness is an important historical fact from which we must draw all the consequences.
But the presence of these crowds, and the extraordinary reality of the solar miracle must not make us forget the apparition of Our Lady to the three little seers and the contents of Her last message. That is why, temporarily leaving aside the enormous mass of evidence that we have, in the present chapter we will content ourselves with explaining events from the viewpoint of our three seers and their usual entourage.
I. BEFORE THE APPARITION
“A... PERSISTENT RAIN FELL.” While long lines of pilgrims converged on Fatima from every direction, praying the Rosary and singing hymns, the rain fell with a gentle persistence. «The whole night and morning», a witness reports, «a thin, persistent rain fell, wetting the fields, muddying the ground, and penetrating with its cold humidity the women and children, men and animals, who were hurriedly advancing along the muddy pathways towards the place of the miracle.»519
One had to be among the first to arrive at the Cova da Iria to be sure of having a place near the holm oak of the apparition.
«Since the 12th (says Maria Carreira), there were so many people, so many people... God knows how many! All these people made so much noise they could be heard clear to our house.520 They spent the night in the open air, without the slightest shelter.
«Well before the break of dawn, they were praying, weeping and singing. I myself arrived at dawn, and I was able to get near the holm oak, of which only the trunk remained, which the night before I had decorated with flowers and silk ribbons... I was sad because it was the last time Our Lady was to appear, but at the same time it made me joyful to think of what the Most Holy Virgin was going to say, as we waited for the miracle She was going to work so that all the people might believe.»521
THE DEPARTURE OF THE SEERS
“MY PARENTS WERE AFRAID.” Meanwhile, at Aljustrel, for the first time it seems, Maria Rosa was disturbed at the thought of the tragedy that might follow... if the miracle predicted did not take place. «With tears running down her cheeks she looked tenderly at Lucy who tried to comfort her mother while drying her tears. “Don’t be afraid, mother, dear. Nothing will happen to us I’m sure. Our Lady will do what She promised!”»522
«My mother», Lucy writes in her Memoirs, «her heart torn with uncertainty as to what was going to happen, and fearing it would be the last day of my life, wanted to accompany me.»523 Elsewhere she writes: «My parents were very much afraid, and for the first time they wanted to accompany me, saying that if their daughter was going to die, they wanted to die by her side.»524
However, Maria Rosa was troubled at the thought of disobeying her parish priest, who once again had recommended that she not go to the Cova da Iria. It was only the grave danger her daughter was in that made her decide to go, she later confessed before the commission of inquiry. For greater safety, she came armed with holy water, as Bernadette did after the apparition of February 14, 1858.
TI MARTO: AN UNSHAKEABLE TRUST. First they went to Ti Marto’s house. The crowd filled the whole house, for everybody, both the curious and the devout, wanted to speak to the seers. While Olimpia, who like her sister-in-law was impressed by so many priests “who did not believe”, feared the worst, Manuel Pedro remained supremely calm: «I am going because I have faith in it», he declared. «I’m not at all afraid and am quite sure that everything will go off all right!» The children, too, were quite calm; neither Jacinta nor Francisco were in the least perturbed. But what a trial for them with all this hustle and bustle! They were undoubtedly about to go through the most exhausting day of their life!
Before they left, Ti Marto recalled, a lady from Pambalinho brought dresses for the girls and dressed them herself. Lucy’s was blue and Jacinta’s was white, and she put white wreaths on their heads so that they looked like the little angels in processions.525
A PATH THROUGH THE CROWD. «We left home quite early», Lucy continues, «expecting that we would be delayed along the way. Masses of people thronged the roads. The rain fell in torrents. On the way, the scenes of the previous month, still more numerous and moving, were repeated. Not even the muddy roads could prevent these people from kneeling in the most humble and suppliant of attitudes.»526 This caused Ti Marto to remark:
«“Come on, ladies, none of that!” For they seemed to think that they had the power of saints. After a lot of trouble and interruptions we at last arrived at the Cova da Iria.
«The crowd was so thick that you couldn’t pass through. It was then that a chauffeur picked up my Jacinta and pushed and shoved his way to the lantern arch, shouting out: “Make way for the children who saw Our Lady!” I went behind him, and Jacinta, who was frightened to see me among so many people, began to cry out: “Don’t push my father, don’t hurt him!” The chauffeur at last put her down by the tree but there, too, the crush was so great that she began to cry. Then Lucy and Francisco made their way into the middle of it.
«My Olimpia was somewhere else, I don’t know where, but Maria Rosa was quite close.»527
As for Antonio, who had led Lucy by the hand right up to the holm oak, he was separated from her by the movements of the crowd: «But from the moment of the apparition itself, I did not set eyes on him again until I was back home with the family that night.»528
AT THE COVA DA IRIA
“SHUT YOUR UMBRELLAS!” It was almost one o’clock in the afternoon and it was still raining. «Once we arrived at the Cova da Iria, near the holm oak», Lucy recalls, «moved by an inner impulse, I asked the people to shut their umbrellas and say the Rosary.»529
Up on the road, sheltered in their automobiles, all those who did not have the courage to venture into the claylike mire of the Cova witnessed a stupefying spectacle: «At a given moment», one of them writes, «this confused and compact mass shuts the umbrellas, uncovering itself in a gesture either of humility or respect, but leaving me surprised and full of admiration, for the rain went on insistently, moistening everybody’s heads, soaking and flooding everything.»530 Avelino de Almeida, editor of O Seculo, writes for his part: «Lucy asks them, orders them to shut their umbrellas. The order is transmitted and executed right away, without resistance... groups of the faithful kneel in the mud.»531
II. THE SIXTH APPARITION OF OUR LADY
THE HOUR OF THE FINAL RENDEZVOUS. According to the watches, it is already almost one thirty in the afternoon, that is around noon by solar time.532 Suddenly, Maria Carreira relates, «Lucy looked in the direction of the east, and said to Jacinta: “Oh, Jacinta! Get on your knees, Our Lady’s coming! I already saw the lightning!”»533
Maria Rosa, who had succeeded in remaining there, near her daughter, did not forget to give Lucy a motherly counsel: «Look carefully, Lucy, make no mistake!» But Our Lady was already appearing over the holm oak, placing Her feet over the silk ribbons and flowers piously laid there the night before by the faithful Maria Carreira.
This time Lucy seemed to fall into an ecstasy: «The child’s face, a witness recalls, became more and more beautiful and took on a rosy tint, and her lips became thinner.»534 Jacinta gave Lucy a poke and said: “Speak, Lucy, Our Lady is already here!” Then Lucy came back to herself, breathed deeply two times, like someone out of breath, and began her conversation with Our Lady.535
THE LAST MESSAGE OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN536
– What does Your Grace want of me?
– I want a chapel to be built here in My honour.
I am Our Lady of the Rosary.
Continue to say the Rosary every day.
The war will end soon and the soldiers will return to their homes.
– I have many things to ask of You: to heal some sick people and to convert some sinners, etc.
– Some, yes; others no. People must amend their lives and ask pardon for their sins.
Then, growing sadder: – They must not offend Our Lord any more for He is already too much offended.537
– Do you want anything more of me?
– No, I want nothing more of you.
– Then neither will I ask anything more of You.538
DURING THE APPARITION. While Our Lady was speaking with Lucy, just as on September 13 the crowd could see the same cloud forming around the holm oak, going up in the air before it disappeared.
Another prodigy, which took place for the second time: when Our Lady went up into the sky, Lucy shouted: «She’s going! She’s going!»539 At this moment, reports Maria dos Anjos, «my mother smelled the same perfume as on August 19.»540 Then Lucy shouted: «Look at the sun!»
«THE DANCE OF THE SUN»
«Then, opening Her hands (Lucy relates), Our Lady made them reflect on the sun, and as She ascended, the reflection of Her own light continued to be projected on the sun itself.
«That is the reason why I cried out to the people to look at the sun. My aim was not to call their attention to the sun, because I was not even aware of their presence. I was moved to do so under the guidance of an inner impulse.»541
It was at this precise moment that the crowd could contemplate the extraordinary spectacle of the “dance of the sun”. The rain had suddenly stopped, the clouds were quickly dispersed and the sky was clear. Let us be content here to report the facts briefly, since later on, using the statements of numerous witnesses, we shall present each of the phases of this wonderful prodigy.
Here is Ti Marto’s account of the event to Father de Marchi:
«We looked easily at the sun, which did not blind us. It seemed to flicker on and off, first one way and then another. It shot rays in different directions and painted everything in different colours – the trees, the people, the air and the ground. What was most extraordinary was that the sun did not hurt our eyes at all.
«Everything was still and quiet; everyone was looking upwards. At a certain moment the sun seemed to stop and then began to move and to dance until it seemed that it was being detached from the sky and was falling on us. It was a terrible moment!...»542
Maria Carreira described the stupefying “dance of the sun” in the same terms:
«It turned everything different colours, yellow, blue, white, and it shook and trembled; it seemed like a wheel of fire which was going to fall on the people. They cried out: “We shall all be killed, we shall all be killed!” Others called to Our Lady to save them and recited acts of contrition. One woman began to confess her sins aloud, saying that she had done this and that...
«At last the sun stopped moving and we all breathed a sigh of relief. We were still alive and the miracle which the children had foretold had taken place.»543
The promise of Our Lady had been fulfilled to the letter: all had seen it. Maria Rosa herself, who being docile to her parish priest, had still feared that it was a diabolical intervention, could throw out the holy water she was armed with! «Now», she declared, «it is impossible not to believe, because nobody can touch the sun!» Here is a testimony that is as precious as the opposition of Maria Rosa had been tenacious and systematic from the beginning.544
THREE VISIONS IN THE SKY
During the ten minutes that the crowd witnessed the spectacular cosmic miracle, the three seers enjoyed a still more beautiful spectacle. The Blessed Virgin fulfilled before their eyes Her promises of August 19 and September 13. It was given them to admire, right in the sky, three successive pictures whose symbolic significance we shall make clear.
THE VISION OF THE HOLY FAMILY. «After Our Lady had disappeared into the immense distance of the firmament, we beheld St. Joseph with the Child Jesus and Our Lady robed in white with a blue mantle, beside the sun. St. Joseph and the Child Jesus appeared to bless the world, for they traced the Sign of the Cross with their hands.»
THE VISION OF OUR LADY OF SORROWS. «When, a little later, this apparition disappeared, I saw Our Lord and Our Lady; it seemed to me that it was Our Lady of Sorrows. Our Lord appeared to bless the world in the same manner as St. Joseph had done.»
THE VISION OF OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL. «This apparition also vanished, and I saw Our Lady once more, this time resembling Our Lady of Carmel.»545
Before going on with the account of the events, and the end of this wonderful day, which was so trying for the three seers, let us pause a moment to comment on this final message of Our Lady at the Cova da Iria.
III. THE MESSAGE: A PRESSING APPEAL FOR CONVERSION
During each of Her last three apparitions, Our Lady had solemnly announced Her message of October: «In October, I will say who I am and what I want.»546
What does Our Lady want? If we can believe the first accounts given, those of the parish priest, Father Ferreira, on October 16, as well as that of Father Lacerda on the 19th, or the written account of 1922, the Mother of God without any introduction declared right away as Her most pressing request:
«MEN MUST NOT OFFEND OUR LORD ANY MORE, FOR HE IS ALREADY TOO MUCH OFFENDED!»
Such is in effect the most express desire of the Blessed Virgin, the one which made the most impression on the three seers.547 Let us heed Sister Lucy:
«Of all the words spoken at this apparition the words most deeply engraved upon my heart are those of the request made by our Heavenly Mother: “Do not offend Our Lord and God any more, for He is already so much offended.”
«How loving a complaint, how tender a request! Who will grant me to make it echo through the whole world, so that all the children of Our Mother in Heaven may hear the sound of Her voice!»548
Lucy wrote these lines in 1937. Did she still remember the enthusiasm with which she proclaimed them right after the apparition? The fact was so remarkable, so obviously supernatural that several of the witnesses were visibly impressed:
«When the sun was back to normal, relates Mr. Carlos Mendes (this young lawyer we have already spoken of), I took Lucy in my arms to lead her to the road. Thus my shoulders were the first platform from which she would preach the message Our Lady had confided to her.
«With great enthusiasm and great faith she shouted: “Do penance! Do penance! Our Lady wants you to do penance! If you do penance, the war will end...” (In Portuguese, to do penance is equivalent to “being converted, returning to God, fleeing sin”, and not “performing mortifications”.) She appeared inspired. It was really impressive to hear her. Her voice had intonations like the voice of a great prophet (and Mr. Mendes is very insistent on this impression of the supernatural in the words and attitude of Lucy at this moment).
«Once we emerged from the great crowd, I sent the child back to her family.»549
In the great light of grace, the little seer had well understood. The message of Fatima is first of all «the complaint full of love», the «tender supplication» that «our Heavenly Mother» addresses to us, with sorrow: «Do not offend the Lord our God any more, for He is already too much offended!» It is the call to conversion, the call of John the Baptist, repeated by Jesus Himself: «If you do not do penance, you will all perish»550 – the insistent echo of which is also found in the Apocalypse: «Those whom I love, I reprove and chasten; so be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with Me.» (Apoc. 3:19)
Sister Lucy has often repeated that the principal mission that God confided to her was to proclaim unceasingly this vibrant appeal of Our Lady to conversion: «I consider then», she wrote in 1941, «that God willed only to make use of me to remind the world that it is necessary to avoid sin, and to make reparation to an offended God, by prayer and penance.»551
The second request of the Blessed Virgin is also very important and practical; moreover, it is inseparable from the first, as the means is inseparable from the end that it alone can procure.
«RECITE THE ROSARY EVERY DAY!»
Sister Lucy takes pleasure in stressing this point: in each of Her six apparitions, “our Heavenly Mother” made sure to repeat Her request, always in the same terms, with the same insistence: «Recite the Rosary every day!» This shows how much this beautiful prayer, so traditional in the Church, is supremely pleasing to Her motherly heart.
Far from being a completely secondary and optional devotion, the Virgin of Fatima came to reveal to us that the Rosary is the most ordinary condition to infallibly obtain all the graces that we ask of Her. Yes, She is the Mediatrix of all graces, by the good pleasure of Her Son. But this outpouring of favours which She holds in Her Heart, She can only release on each of our souls, our families, our countries and the world, in response to the humble and suppliant imploring of innumerable Rosaries. If, just as at Lourdes, She willed to appear at the Cova da Iria holding in Her hand this blessed instrument, guide of our prayers, it was to show us that it is the surest means, because it is the easiest and the humblest, of winning Her Heart and obtaining Her graces. Such is indeed the message of Fatima, which on this point is only repeating and developing that of Lourdes, but with even more vigour.
We recall that on May 13, Lucy asked the apparition: «And will Francisco go to Heaven?» And Our Lady answered by laying down Her condition: «Yes, he will go, but he will have to say many Rosaries!» On July 13, on the subject of John, the crippled son of Maria Carreira, the Blessed Virgin expressed the same requirement, as a condition for Her favour: «... But he must recite the Rosary every day with his family, and he will be able to make a living.» In this conversation alone, Our Lady spoke at least three times of the Rosary. «I made some requests that I don’t remember», recalls Sister Lucy. «What I do remember is that Our Lady said that they must recite the Rosary to obtain these graces during the year.»
In 1970, Sister Lucy wrote several admirable letters to exhort the faithful to the practice of the daily Rosary. They are rich in doctrine and precise recommendations for meditating fruitfully on the mysteries of the Rosary. Let us recall here only one phrase: «The Rosary is, for the great part of souls who are living in the world, as it were their daily spiritual bread.» To deprive them of it, inciting them to neglect or ignore this prayer, is to snatch from their mouth the bread of grace.552
THE LOVE OF A FIRM AND PRUDENT MOTHER
“ALL THE MISERIES OF POOR HUMANITY.” Since June 13, when sixty of the faithful came to attend the apparition, until this day of October 13, when there were perhaps sixty thousand – a little more or less, we are not sure – Lucy arrived at the feet of the Most Holy Virgin entrusted with an impressive list of requests: On this last day, she relates, «there were so many of them, so many! I was anxious to remember the innumerable graces that I had to ask of Our Lady...»553
AN EXTRAORDINARY FIRMNESS. What strikes us at the outset, if we consider the replies of Our Lady to all these requests, is their tone of extraordinary firmness. In all these responses, there is not an ounce of sentimentalism.
Our Lady here speaks the language of a mother who knows her children and what their true good is, while they themselves, poor and blind as they are, very often delude themselves, mostly desiring what would contribute to their ruin: material favours, the suppression of all crosses, and in short, the immediate satisfaction of all their desires.
On June 13: «I asked for the healing of a sick person», Lucy recalls. «If he is converted, he will be healed during the year.» On July 13: Maria Carreira, this exemplary Christian, animated by such a great love for the Most Holy Virgin, asked for the healing of John, her crippled son. «He will not be healed and he will remain poor. But he must recite the Rosary every day with his family and he will be able to make a living.» And so John Carreira kept his infirmities, but he nevertheless became sacristan of the “Capelinha”, and thus spent the whole of his long life in the shadow of Our Lady’s sanctuary. Rather than healing him, Our Lady had chosen for him a life full of suffering, prayer and service.
On August 19: «I would like to ask You for the healing of some sick people.» «Yes, I will heal some of them during the year.» And on September 13: «I will heal some, but others, no, because Our Lord does not trust Himself to them.» These words may seem harsh, but their tonality is so much in line with the Gospel: «Many believed in His name, seeing His signs which He did; but Jesus did not trust Himself unto them, for that He knew all men, and because He needed not that any should give testimony of man; for He knew what was in man.» (Jn. 2:23-25) No, Our Lady of Fatima does not have “confidence in men” any more than Her Divine Son! And if She said, «Our Lord does not trust Himself to them», of those who prayed to Her with their lips, but whose heart was far from Her, what would She say, a fortiori, of Her declared enemies who glory in their impiety?
“THEY MUST AMEND THEIR LIVES...” Finally, on October 13, Our Lady made the same response, full of sadness. Certainly, sickness is an evil, but She insists so that we finally understand: sin is a much greater evil of a completely different order, since it leads souls to eternal ruin! And just as Jesus said to the sick people that He healed, «Go, and sin no more», His Mother wishes us to be much more concerned with eternal salvation than the mere healing of the body: «I have many things to ask You: to heal some sick people and to convert some sinners, etc.» «Some, yes; others, no. They must amend their lives and ask pardon of their sins.» And taking on a sadder expression: «They must no longer offend God, Our Lord, for He is already too much offended!»
“TO OBTAIN THESE GRACES DURING THE YEAR.” Our Lady also wishes to recall to our minds another lesson of the Gospel, which is as important as it is little known. To obtain a grace, it is not enough to ask for it once in passing... We must desire it ardently and ask for it insistently, with confidence, without ever giving up. This is undoubtedly why the Blessed Virgin, responding to the requests Lucy had made to Her, promised to hear them, but not immediately. On June 13 She said, regarding a sick person: «If he is converted, he will be healed during the year.» She said the same thing on July 13: it is necessary to recite the Rosary every day «to obtain these graces during the year.» Finally, on September 13, regarding a little deaf mute Lucy was interceding for: «In a year from now, she will be better.» And on October 13, Our Lady responded to all the requests of Lucy by saying that «She would grant certain graces during the year.»554 What an eloquent lesson to encourage us to pray with greater perseverance!
“I WILL SAY WHAT I WANT.” To cease offending God, to amend our lives, to be converted, to faithfully recite the Rosary every day and ask Her with perseverance for the graces we need, and first of all the grace of our conversion – this is what Our Lady asks of us, as She reminded us for the last time on this October 13. But She had made another promise: «I will say who I am.»
«I AM OUR LADY OF THE ROSARY»
Just as at Lourdes, although Her confidants had of course recognized Her right away, She did not wish to reveal Her name at once. Why this delay, why this mystery, if not to draw our attention still more to a name which, as is always the case in the Bible, is the concrete expression and effective evocation of the very mystery of the person? At Massabielle, Our Lady had not revealed Her name until March 25, at the sixteenth apparition: «I am the Immaculate Conception.» And, observed Bernadette, «these are the last words She spoke to me.»555 At Fatima as well, She did not reveal Her name until the last of Her appearances: «I am Our Lady of the Rosary.» This name calls to mind a whole mystery which we shall explore little by little.
“A CHAPEL IN MY HONOUR.” For the first time, in one simple phrase, but in the most explicit and formal manner, She asked for the creation of a pilgrimage in the place where She had visited the earth:556 «I want a chapel to be built here in My honour. I am Our Lady of the Rosary.»
Let us admire the immense modesty of these words, which established the pilgrimage. Canon Formigao himself is astonished at them... On the evening of October 13, he asks Lucy: «Did Our Lady say She wanted many people to come, from everywhere?» «No, She didn’t order anyone to come here»,557 is the answer. «Go tell the priests to have a chapel built here», the Immaculate had asked Bernadette on March 2, 1858. At Fatima it is the same request, marked by the same charming discretion, without there even being any mention of the clergy: «I want a chapel to be built here in My honour.» And that is all! What modesty... but also what power! To draw the crowds to the place She had chosen, She has other means, much more divine and efficacious than grandiose, wordy appeals: Her irresistible attractions, which in a few years would lead the whole good Portuguese people to Her feet, in spite of the opposition of the government and indifference of the priests, are the prodigies and graces that flow profusively from Her motherly hands, on all the pilgrims at the Cova da Iria.
Barely one year later, Her request will be fulfilled; but ever so modestly, and without the help of the parish priest! It was due purely to the initiative of a humble peasant, Maria Carreira. On August 6, 1918, construction was begun on a small commemorative chapel, the “Capelinha”, built on the very spot of the apparitions. Since that time, at Aljustrel, Maria Carreira was known by the charming and well merited nickname of “Maria de Capelinha”. And on May 13, 1928, the cornerstone of the great basilica of the Rosary was laid by the Archbishop of Evora.
THREE LIVING IMAGES OF THE MYSTERIES OF THE ROSARY. Undoubtedly, the title «Our Lady of the Rosary», chosen by the Virgin of Fatima, most clearly explains the astonishing multiform vision that the seers enjoyed while the crowd witnessed the great miracle of the sun. Do not the three successive visions that passed before their dazzled eyes remind us of the joyful, sorrowful, and glorious mysteries of our Rosary?
To illustrate the joyful mysteries, first appears the Holy Family: St. Joseph and the Child Jesus blessing the world, and on the left, Our Lady, such as She appeared on the holm oak.
Then «the light changed and suddenly the Virgin appeared as Our Lady of Sorrows. St. Joseph was replaced by Our Lord, who blessed the multitude.»558 On the evening of October 13, Lucy declared to Canon Formigao: «Our Lady appeared dressed like Our Lady of Sorrows, but without the sword in Her heart.»559 Our Lord appeared in His adulthood, dressed in red, no doubt to remind us of the purple mantle in which He was dressed in the praetorium, during the scene of the outrages and the crowning with thorns.560
Finally, corresponding to the glorious mysteries, Lucy could see Our Lady of Mount Carmel. «Why did you say that the Lady at one moment seemed to be dressed like Our Lady of Mount Carmel?» Canon Formigao asked Lucy on the evening of October 13. «Because She had something hanging from Her hand», she answered. Thus She was holding the scapular in Her hand, just as She had held the Rosary in all Her previous apparitions. We will return later to this important detail.
OUR LADY OF THE ROSARY, QUEEN OF PEACE. If the title chosen by Our Lady of Fatima is reminiscent of the three sets of mysteries in Her life, the joyful, sorrowful and glorious mysteries, it also reminds us of Her powerful intervention in the life of the Church and defence of Christendom. Surely this is even the most specific character of this Marian title. Since the time of St. Dominic, since the time of St. Pius and the victory of Lepanto, on October 7, 1571, which was miraculously repeated in 1716 at the walls of Vienna, Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary is invoked as the rampart of Christendom under assault, the final recourse in the greatest perils. At Fatima, Our Lady came to reveal that She is the only dispensatrix of the gift of peace. We will see that this is even one of the essential points of Her great secret.
Our Lady wills that we obtain this peace, which She alone can grant, through the Rosary. On May 13, She said to the shepherds: «Recite the Rosary every day to obtain peace for the world, and the end of the war.» On July 13: «Continue to recite the Rosary every day in honour of Our Lady of the Rosary, to obtain peace for the world and the end of the war, because She alone can help you.» Again on September 13: «Continue to recite the Rosary to obtain the end of the war.» Finally on October 13, Our Lady once again associates the obtaining of peace with the recitation of the Rosary, as one of its essential conditions. «Continue to recite the Rosary every day. The war will end and the soldiers will return home soon.»
Here is an important lesson that we must remember: Heaven cannot grant true peace to the impious nations in revolt against it, to a proud world which refuses to implore Mary, the universal Mediatrix of God’s graces. More concretely, the conversion of hearts and the daily recitation of the Rosary are essential conditions for peace, imposed by God in His just Mercy. This is the essence of the message of October 13 which Lucy recalled again in 1940, at the moment when the world was suffering the horrible chastisement of the Second World War:
«It would be good if we could inculcate in people at the same time as a great confidence in the Mercy of Our Good God and in the protection of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the necessity of prayer accompanied by sacrifices, especially those which are necessary to avoid sin.
«This is the request of Our Good Mother in Heaven since 1917. This request came from Her Immaculate Heart with an inexpressible sadness and tenderness: “Do not offend the Lord our God any more, for He is already too much offended!” What a pity that nobody has meditated on these words, and grasped their whole significance!»561
October 1917: The three seers, in the company of pilgrims from Vila Nova de Ourem, under the porch built by the
Carreira family to mark the location of the apparition.
«Almost every day, people went to the Cova da Iria to implore the protection of our heavenly Mother. Everyone wanted to see the seers, to put questions to them, and to recite the Rosary with them.
«At times, I was so tired of saying the same thing over and over again, and also of praying, that I looked for any pretext for excusing myself and making my escape. But those poor people were so insistent, that I had to make an effort, and indeed no small effort, in order to satisfy them. I then repeated my usual prayer deep down in my heart: “O my God, it is for love of You, in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary, for the conversion of sinners, and for the Holy Father”.» (II, p. 82-83).