The Chaplet of Our Lady of Fatima
Commence of the medal saying:
In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen
On the first bead say three times the First Prayer given by the Angel of Peace:
My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love Thee.
I beg forgiveness for those who do not believe, do not adore,
do not hope and do not love Thee (x3)
(Given by the Angel of Portugal & of Peace at the 1st Angelic Apparition in 1916)
On the second bead say the Second Prayer given by the Angel of Peace:
Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
I adore Thee profoundly and offer Thee the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ,
sacrileges and indifference with which He is offended.
And through the infinite merits of His most Sacred Heart
and of the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
I beg Thee for the conversion of poor sinners. present in all the tabernacles of the earth, in reparation for the insults,
(Given by the Angel of Portugal & of Peace at the 3rd Angelic Apparition in 1916)
On each of the first group of white beads say:
O most Holy Trinity, I adore Thee!
My God, my God, I love Thee in the most Blessed Sacrament.
(Spoken inwardly by Lucia, Jacinta & Francisco following the First Apparition of Our Lady 13 May 1917)
On the first blue bead representing the First Apparition of 13 May 1917, say:
Ave Maria …
On each of the second group of white beads, say:
O Immaculate Heart of Mary; never forsake us.
Be our refuge and the road that leads to God.
(adapted from the words of Our Lady on 13 June 1917)
On the second blue bead representing the Second Apparition of 13 June, say:
Ave Maria …
On each of the third group of white beads make a sacrifice of yourself for the sake of sinners, saying:
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.
(The Words of Our Lady on 13 July 1917)
On the third blue bead representing the Third Apparition of 13 July say:
Ave Maria …
On each of the fourth group of white beads say:
Our Lady of Fatima pray for the sick
(if there is someone for whom you wish to pray, add: especially N …)
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for sinners,
especially your humble servant.
(adapted from the words of instruction given by Our Lady on 19 Aug 1917)
On the fourth blue bead representing the Fourth Apparition of 19 August say:
Ave Maria …
On each of the fifth group of white beads say:
May our sacrifices be pleasing to heaven and may sinners be converted by the miracles revealed for our encouragement.
(adapted from the words of instruction and promise given by Our Lady on 13 Sep 1917)
On the fifth blue bead representing the Fifth Apparition of 13 September say:
Ave Maria …
On each of the sixth group of white beads say:
Penance! Penance! Penance! May our sacrifices be pleasing to Almighty God and may sinners be converted through the miracles revealed by heaven.
(the first part being words of the angel revealed in the Third Part of the Secret: to avoid the chastisement of God 13 July 1917. The second part being adapted from the words of instruction and promise given by Our Lady on 13 Sep 1917)
On the sixth blue bead representing the Sixth Apparition of 13 October say:
Ave Maria …
On the bead of the pendant next down from the centrepiece say:
Our Lady of the Rosary, Pray for us!
Our Lady of Sorrows, Pray for us!
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Pray for us!
Saint Joseph, bless us!
O Holy Infant Jesus, bless us!
On the bead of the pendant next to the medal say:
O my Jesus, forgive us our sins. Save us from the fires of hell. Lead all souls to heaven; especially those most in need of Thy mercy.
(The prayer given by Our Lady to be offered after each decade of the Rosary, at the close of the Second Apparition on 13 June 1917)
Conclude on the medal saying the following Novena Prayer to the Immaculate Heart of Mary:
O most blessed Mother, heart of love, heart of mercy;
Ever listening, ever caring, consoling, hear our prayer.
As your children, we implore your intercession with Jesus, your son.
Receive with understanding and compassion the petitions we place before you today, especially … (make your petition here).
We are comforted in knowing your heart is ever open to those who ask for your prayer.
We trust to your gentle care and intercession, those whom we love and who are sick or lonely or hurting.
Help us all, Holy Mother, to bear our burdens in this life
Until we may share eternal life and peace with God forever.
The Three Apparitions to the Shepherd Children 1916
Preparatory visions occurred in 1915 between April and October in which Lucia and three other shepherd girls named Maria Rosa Matias, Teresa Matias and Maria Justino experienced a presence; something which they could not fully describe but which they could see hovering over the trees in the valley. Lucia was to describe it as: ‘a kind of cloud, whiter than snow, somewhat transparent, with a human form … a figure like a statue made of snow that the rays of the sun had turned somewhat transparent’.
The Three Apparitions of the Angel of Portugal (or Angel of Peace) 1916
First Angelic Apparition:
Spring or summer of 1916 at Loca do Cabeco, near Aljustrel.
As Lucia, Jacinta and Francisco were playing they noticed a strong wind beginning to shake the trees on an otherwise calm day. their eyes were drawn up above the trees and beheld a light. They were to describe this phenomenon as appearing:
‘whiter than snow in the shape of a transparent young man who was more brilliant than a crystal struck by the rays of the sun.’As they watched, the young man appeared to approach them so that the children were able to see the figure quite clearly. They described him as being about fourteen or fifteen years old and very beautiful. Faced with such a vision, none of the children could find words. But the young man spoke to them saying:
‘Fear not. I am the angel of Peace. Pray with me.’
Then, appearing to kneel with his forehead touching the ground, he led them in a prayer saying:
‘My God, I believe, I adore, I hope, and I love Thee. I beg forgiveness for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope, and do not love Thee.’
He repeated this twice and then urged them to pray in this way, telling them that:
‘the Hearts of Jesus and Mary are attentive to your supplications’.
The children remained for a while in the same bowed position still filled with wonder at the presence of a being from heaven. They recounted nothing of the incident at the time.
Second Angelic Apparition:
Summer 1916 over the well at the house of Lucia.
Again the children were playing. This time near a well when they saw the angel who had earlier appeared to them. Again they listened, filled with wonder as he spoke saying:
‘What are you doing? Pray! Pray a great deal! The Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary have merciful designs concerning you. Offer prayers and sacrifices constantly to the Most High!’
When they asked him how they should sacrifice the angel told them:
‘Offer God a sacrifice of anything you can as an act of reparation for the sins with which He is offended and as a supplication for the conversion of sinners. Draw peace upon your country by doing this. I am its Guardian Angel – the Angel of Portugal. Above all, accept and endure with submission whatever suffering the Lord sends you.’
A second time the angel departed and the children felt impressed by an inner understanding of God and His love for men; that God, though almighty and the creator of all that is, has a desire to be loved in return for His love. That He values sacrifices of the heart and accepts them on behalf of sinners.
Third Angelic Apparition:
end of Summer or early Autumn 1916 at Loca de Cabaco.
Visiting the place where they had first seen the young man, the children devoutly began to repeat the prayer given to them. Seeing light above their heads they looked up they saw the same angel bearing a chalice in his left hand. Over the chalice he held a host from which drops of blood fell into the cup. Leaving the chalice and Host suspended in the air the angel fell prostrate before It and said three times:
‘Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, I adore Thee profoundly and offer Thee the Most Precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the Tabernacles of the earth, in reparation for the insults, sacrileges and indifference with which He is offended.
And through the infinite merits of His Most Sacred Heart and of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg Thee for the conversion of poor sinners.’
The angel then arose and fed Lucia with the Host and Jacinta and Francisco with the Precious Blood, saying:
Take and drink the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, who is horribly insulted by ungracious men. Make reparation for their crimes and console your God.’
Again he prostrated himself upon the ground and repeated this prayer. Then he left them. The children were again overwhelmed by the presence of God and of His Angel and felt that a supernatural force had enveloped them. They continued to experience great peace and joy for the next days, concentrating entirely upon God as they went about their daily tasks.
The Six Apparitions of Our Lady 1917
Five of the appearances occurred at around midday at Cova da Iria, a small property belonging to Lucia’s parents about a mile and half from Fatima on the road to Leira. Our Lady appeared over a holm oak tree which was about a metre high. The children reported differing experiences of this vision: Francisco could see Our Lady but hear nothing that was said; Jacinta could both see and hear; while Lucia could not only see and hear Our Lady but was also able to talk with her.
The First Apparition of Our Lady at Cova da Iria:
13 May 1917
In the midst of their duties as little shepherds, the children were playing at Cova da Iria, when they saw what appeared to be two flashes of lightening followed by a figure hovering over a holm tree. Lucia was to describe her as:
‘A Lady dressed all in white, more brilliant than the sun, shedding a light that was clearer and more intense than that of a crystal goblet filled with crystalline water and struck by the rays of the most brilliant sun’.
Her face appeared to be ‘neither sad nor happy’ but having a look of mild reproach. Her hands were joined in the attitude of prayer with fingers together and pointing towards heaven. Upon her right hand hung a rosary. Her clothes seemed to be made of light itself. The tunic was white, while a white veil edged with gold, covered her hair and descended to her feet. Even though the children only stood a metre and a half from the Apparition they could never later describe the features of the face; it was impossible for them to gaze upon the dazzling countenance long enough to discern her face.
Our Lady spoke to Lucia saying she was come from heaven and that they were to return to the place for six months always on the same date; the 13th. Later they would be told the purpose of the visits and then the lady would appear a seventh time. They were told that they would go to heaven at the last but would suffer much. Then these faithful children faithfully offered themselves to accept any suffering they were sent as reparation for sinners and in order to convert them to God.
At the last the Lady opened her hands and the children experienced a beam of light flowing from between them and reaching into their own inmost hearts, showing themselves to be ‘in’ God. Inspired by this, they knelt and repeated inwardly:
‘O most Holy Trinity, I adore Thee! My God, my God, I love Thee in the Most Blessed Sacrament’.
The Lady went on to instruct the children to say the rosary daily for the war to end and for peace throughout the world. (in 1917 the First World war still raged in northern Europe.) Finally, appearing to rise serenely towards the east she disappeared far into the distance.
The Second Apparition of Our Lady at Cova da Iria:
13 June 1917
This Apparition was preceded by a brilliant light, which the children described as ‘lightening’. Some fifty witnesses either described the sun as appearing to dim, or the holm oak as seeming to dip under some weight. Others talked of a humming, like that of a bee, during the conversation between Lucia and the Lady. As before Our Lady instructed the children to return on the thirteenth day of the next month, to pray the rosary daily and to learn to read!
Following Lucia’s questions, Our Lady replied that Jacinta and Francisco would soon go to heaven leaving Lucia alone of the three, to make known the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Again Our Lady opened her hands and a light shown from them. Caught up in the beam Jacinta and Francisco appeared to be part of the light that went to heaven, whilst Lucia seemed to be part of the beam that went to the earth. Lucia also observed the image of a heart encircled with thorns before the right hand of the apparition and understood this to be a revelation of the Immaculate Heart. As the apparition again glided up and away to the east, several onlookers reported that the buds of the holm oak appeared to be drawn in that direction.
The Third Apparition of Our Lady at Cova da Iria:
13 July 1917
Mr Marto, the father of Jacinta and Francisco, described a small reddish cloud as hovering over the holm oak prior to the third apparition, accompanied by diminished sunlight and a cool breeze, though the summer day was hot. The sound he described was like ‘flies in an empty jug’. The three children observed the now familiar light, and the conversation with Lucia consisted of an instruction to return on the thirteenth of August and to daily offer the rosary to Our Lady for the end of the War. Lucia asked for a miracle so that the people might believe that the Virgin had appeared, to which Our Lady promised a revelation in October that would confirm their faith. Lucia’s further requests for healings and conversions were met with instruction to continue the rosary. She told the children to sacrifice themselves for sinners and to repeat many times:
‘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.’
Now began the revelation of the extraordinary Secret of Fatima, given in three parts.
A) Firstly the light coming from Our Lady’s opened hands seemed to penetrate the earth where a scene of horror revealed souls in torment and demons of horrible aspect: Our Lady explained that devotion to her Immaculate Heart would draw many to heaven and thereby save them from this dreadful fate.
B) Secondly Lucia is shown that a second great war will be the result of offences against God. A great light in the sky would herald the punishment of the world by means of war, hunger with persecutions of the Church as well as the Holy Father. To prevent this Russia (the seat of atheistic communism and godlessness) should be consecrated to the Immaculate Heart, and reparation made on the First Saturday. Here Mary promised that if all this was accomplished:
‘Finally, my Immaculate Heart will Triumph’
C) The third part of the secret was kept hidden from the public for decades. It consists of three ‘scenes’:
Scene 1: at the left of Our Lady and a little above is seen an angel bearing a flashing sword from which issues flames that would destroy the world. The right hand of Our Lady deflects the flames which die out at contact with her. The angel points to the earth and cries out: ‘Penance, Penance, Penance!
Scene 2: a terrible catastrophe befalls the world engulfing many both high and low, even the Holy Father himself. Lucia sees a ‘bishop dressed in white’ walking through a destroyed city filled with corpses over which he prays. He ascends a hill accompanied by other bishops, priests and religious and then kneels before a large cross. Here he is killed by soldiers who then proceed to murder all the others.
Scene 3: beneath the two arms of the cross Lucia sees two angels each bearing a crystal aspersorium in which they gather the blood of the martyrs and sprinkle it over the souls who are making their way to God.
At the close of this third appearance, Our Lady gave the instruction to recite a verse at the close of each decade of the rosary:
‘O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell,
lead all souls to heaven
especially those most in need of Thy mercy.’
The Fourth Apparition of Our Lady at Valinhos:
19 August 1917
The children were unable to keep their promise in August. The visionaries had become notorious and were to be caught up in the on-going tensions between the Church and an atheist state determined to silence the children and discredit the visions. The secularist mayor of Vila Nova de Ourem had the children abducted before they could keep their appointment with heaven. He aimed to discover the secret and discredit the Visions. Though the three children were not able to be at the Cova da Iria that day, the crowds were not deterred . Thunder and lightning followed by a small white cloud were observed by the crowds that had gathered there and the phenomenon of unusual colours playing upon the faces of the people and around them was noted.
It was on the 19th of August at about four o’clock in the afternoon that Lucia was with Francisco and another cousin at Valinhos when Our Lady appeared. A cooling of the temperature and the dimming of the sun alerted Lucia who quickly sent for Jacinta. The Virgin appeared and instructed them to continue the rosary. Then she promised them the longed for miracle which would occur on the last month. In response to Lucia’s question as to what should be done with the monies left at the Cova da Iria by the crowds which flocked there, the seers were directed to have two portable stands made; Lucia, Jacinta and another two girls were to carry one, while Francisco and three other boys were to carry the other. The children were directed that all monies were to be used for the building of a chapel at Cova da Iria and that the stands were to be used for the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.
At the conclusion, the Virgin urged mortification and added:
‘Pray, pray much, and make sacrifice for sinners.
For many souls go to hell because there is no one to sacrifice and pray for them’
As she ascended again towards the east, the children cut branches from the holm oak and took them home.
The Fifth Apparition of Our Lady at Cova da Iria:
13 September 1917
On this occasion the crowd was estimated at twenty thousand in number. The usual atmospheric changes of cooling temperature and dimming of the sun were also experienced and reported. Rain resembling snowflakes was also noted, though it was noted that none of it touched the ground. Before the Virgin appeared, a globe was observed travelling from the east. Again, after the vision it was seen returning there. The seers saw a light and then the appearance of the Virgin. She again told them that the rosary should be recited for the purpose of ending the war. She revealed that in October they would see Our Lord and also herself in the forms of Our Lady of Sorrows and Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Saint Joseph with the Child Jesus would also appear in order to bless the world. On a personal note the seers heard that God was pleased with their sacrifices but that they were not to be severe with themselves with regard to the ropes they had started to wear. They were to take them off when they went to bed!
The Sixth Apparition of Our Lady at Cova da Iria:
13 October 1917
Of all the appearances of Our Lady at Fatima, or indeed in any other place, the events concerning this sixth apparition have produced controversy and conversion and left a powerful impression that has not dimmed through the years.
It was on the 13th October, the last appearance of the Blessed Virgin, that the promised miracle was to occur. An enormous crowd had gathered despite the hostility of the secular, godless authorities and press. It has been numbered at twenty thousand people stood in the fields around the holm oak on a wet and rainy day. The seers received the visit from heaven and were told that a chapel should be built at that spot. The rosary was enjoined upon them as a daily exercise and they were told that the war would soon cease.
Towards the end of the interview Our Lady opened her hands from which a light shone out upon the sun itself. Lucia cried out : ‘Look at the sun’, and as the great crowd watched with growing fear, the sun appeared out of the clouds as an immense disk which shone with great intensity. It seemed to dance and spin, scattering flames across the sky. After this had occurred three times the sun seemed to plunge to earth in a zig-zag. This whole episode lasted about ten minutes and many witnesses later testified to their great fear at the sight.
While this display was occurring the seers witnessed three scenes in succession, symbolising the traditional mysteries of the rosary;
Scene One: The Joyful Mysteries: Saint Joseph appeared beside the sun with the Child Jesus and Our Lady of the Rosary. In this manifestation of the Holy Family, Mary and Joseph were clothed in white while the Virgin also had a blue mantle. Jesus appeared in red. Saint Joseph was seen to make a threefold blessing and the Holy Child did likewise.
Scene Two: The Sorrowful Mysteries: Our Lady was seen as the Sorrowful Mother but without the customary sword piercing the breast as is seen in the image of Our Lady of Sorrows. The Lord was seen bowed down with sorrow as He made His way to Calvary. He made the Sign of the Cross over the children.
Scene Three: The Glorious Mysteries: Our Lady of Mount Carmel appeared holding the Child Jesus to her breast and crowned as Queen of heaven and earth.
The events of 1917 were to influence the Church in her devotional life and in her attitude towards the atheistic Soviet Union and socialism around the world. The Rosary received the additional prayer to be said after each decade; ‘O my Jesus …’ and, in 1925, Sister Lucia was to reveal the Devotion of the Five First Saturdays. The Conversion of Russia also became a key theme of the Church throughout the twentieth century.
Fatima today remains a major centre of influence for Christians who understand that the justice and mercy of God are twin aspects of His dealings with mankind. The Church must proclaim these two aspects of God’s plan so that men and women may not be led astray believing that God ignores sin. Rather, they are called to repent, to amend their lives, to feed upon the sacramental provision of God through His Church, and to be prepared for the Final Judgment. Fatima and its message serves to make this clear.
Both the younger children were tragically to die very shortly after the great events they had witnessed. Francisco died on 19th April 1919 and Jacinta less than a year later on 20th February 1920. However, on the 13th May 2000, Pope John Paul the Great proclaimed these little children to be ‘Blessed’. Lucia, still alive at the time, was present to witness this momentous event; a rare occasion when she was permitted to leave the Carmel at Coimbra – her home for so many years. She was to die on 13th February 2005.
Christians are called to live in the fear and love of God, remembering the message of Fatima which proclaims the chastisement of God’s people if they will not return to Him with broken hearts. Holy Scripture is similarly rich in this teaching. The prophet Jeremiah was shown a potter at work, making and remaking a pot at the wheel. God revealed to His prophet that this was how the People of Israel would be remade and refashioned:
‘Cannot I do with you as this potter, O House of Israel, saith the Lord? Behold, as clay is in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, O House of Israel.’ (Jer 18:6)
This refashioning would result from the people turning from sin and returning to obedience to the commandments of God:
‘If that nation against which I have spoken shall repent of their evil, I also will repent of the evil that I have thought to do to them.’ (Jer 18:8)
The call from Fatima is to penance for sin and a return to obedience and service of God. The message is clear that there will be dire consequences for all who refuse to heed the warning. But there is the mercy of heaven itself for those who truly repent and return to God. Throughout Holy Scripture the mercy and love of God are weighed against his Justice. Whereas the Justice of God may never be compromised, it is tempered by His Love and Mercy. He will always accept those who repent because they know that they have offended against both his Justice and Mercy.
‘a sacrifice to God is an afflicted spirit: a contrite and humbled heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.’
(Ps 50:19 Douay or 51:17 King James)
St John the Baptist prepared the way for the Messiah with a call for repentance, saying:
‘Do penance (repent) for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ (Matt 3:2)
Our Lord Himself constantly urges this repentance:
‘The time is accomplished and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe the gospel.’ (Mk 1:15)
As Israel was urged to penance through the Prophets’ call for repentance and as Saint John called for a preparation of repentance, so Our Lord demands it in Love and Our Lady continues this bidding. The Church is called continually to remains pure and to offer the means of repentance for all. The sacrament of Confession and acts of contrition and penance allow each soul to join with Christ in building the kingdom of heaven. Those who reject the gospel are solemnly warned of the consequences of losing heaven at last and facing the rigours of hell should they die unrepentant. These are not easy words to hear and such gospel truths seem often to have been obscured in this present age.