August Apparition of Our Lady of Fatima

(From the Memoirs of Sister Lucia)

The 13th day of August had dawned. Ever since the previous evening, crowds had been pouring in from all parts. They all wanted to see and question us, and recommend their petitions to us, so that we could transmit them to the most Holy Virgin… In the midst of all this commotion, an order came from the Administrator, telling me to go to my aunt's house, where he was awaiting me… When I arrived, he was in a room with my cousins. He interrogated us there, and made fresh attempts to force us to reveal the secret and to promise that we would not go back to the Cova da Iria…

While in prison, Jacinta wept bitterly, for she was so homesick for her mother and all the family. Francisco tried to cheer her saying, "Even if we never see our mother again, let's be patient! We can offer it for the conversion of sinners. The worst thing would be if Our Lady never came back again! That is what hurts me most. But I offer this as well for sinners…"

I returned home, as far as I can remember, on the 15th of August. To celebrate my arrival, they sent me (on August 19) to let out the sheep and take them off to pasture… I was accompanied by Francisco and his brother John. We were with the sheep in a place called Valinhos, when we felt something supernatural approaching and enveloping us. Suspecting that Our Lady was about to appear to us, and feeling sorry lest Jacinta might miss seeing her, we asked her brother to go and call her. As he was unwilling to go, I offered him two small coins, and off he ran.

Meanwhile, Francisco and I saw the flash of light, which we called lightning. Jacinta arrived, and a moment later, we saw Our Lady on a holmoak tree.

"What do you want of me?"

"I want you to continue going to the Cova da Iria on the 13th, and to continue praying the Rosary every day. In the last month, I will perform a miracle so that all may believe."

"What do you want done with the money that the people leave in the Cova da Iria?"

"Have two litters made. One is to be carried by you and Jacinta and two other girls dressed in white; the other one is to be carried by Francisco and three other boys. The money from the litters is for the 'festa' of Our Lady of the Rosary, and what is left over will help towards the construction of a chapel that is to be built here."

"I would like to ask you to cure some sick persons."

"Yes, I will cure some of them during the year."

Then, looking very sad, Our Lady said: "Pray, pray very much, and make sacrifices for sinners; for many souls go to Hell, because there are none to sacrifice themselves and to pray for them."

The Apparition at Valinhos was… a double joy for Francisco. He had been tormented by the fear that she would never return. He told me later: "Most likely, she didn't appear on the 13th, so as to avoid going to the Administrator's house, maybe because he is such a bad man."

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