The 13th of June, feast of St. Anthony, was always a day of great festivities in our parish. My mother and my sisters, who knew how much I loved a festa, kept saying to me, "We've yet to see if you'll leave the festa just to go to the Cova da Iria, and talk to that Lady!" On the day itself nobody said a single word to me. Insofar as I was concerned, they acted as if they were saying, "Leave her alone; and we'll soon see what she'll do!"
I let out my flock at daybreak, intending to put them back in the pen at nine, go to Mass at ten, and after that, go to the Cova da Iria. But the sun was no sooner up than my brother came to call me. He told me to go back home, as there were several people there wanting to speak to me. I found some women, and men too, who had come from such places as Minde, from around Tomar, Carascos, Boleiros, etc. They wished to accompany me to the Cova. I told them that it was early as yet, and invited them to go with me to the 8 o'clock Mass. After that, I returned home. These good people waited for me out in the yard, in the shade of our fig tree.
Around 11 o'clock, I left home and called at my uncle's house, where Jacinta and Francisco were waiting for me. Then we set off for the Cova.
As soon as Jacinta, Francisco and I had finished praying the Rosary, with a number of other people who were present, we saw once more the flash reflecting the light which was approaching (which we called lightning). The next moment, Our Lady was there on the holmoak, exactly the same as in May.
"What do you want of me?" I asked.
"I wish you to come here on the 13th of next month, to pray the Rosary every day, and to learn to read. Later, I will tell you what I want."
I asked for the cure of a sick person.
"If he is converted, he will be cured during the year."
"I would like to ask you to take us to Heaven."
"Yes. I will take Jacinta and Francisco soon. But you are to stay here some time longer. Jesus wishes to make use of you to make me known and loved. He wants to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart."
"Am I to stay here alone?" I asked, sadly.
"No, my daughter. Are you suffering a great deal? Don't lose heart. I will never forsake you. My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God."
As Our Lady spoke these last words, she opened her hands and for the second time, she communicated to us the rays of that same immense light. We saw ourselves in this light, as it were, immersed in God. Jacinta and Francisco seemed to be in that part of the light which rose towards Heaven, and I in that which was poured out on the earth. In the front of the palm of Our Lady's right hand was a heart encircled by thorns which pierced it. We understood that this was the Immaculate Heart of Mary, outraged by the sins of humanity, and seeking reparation.
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