Fatima, In Lucia's own words
Part 2

Oh will Of God, You Are My Paradise.

27. Companions in Sympathy and in Sacrifice. 28. Government Opposition. 29. Lucia's Mother Falls Seriously ill. 30. Lucia's Father Dies. 31. Serious Illness of Lucia's Cousins. 32. Lucia In Poor Health. 33. Lucia's First Meeting With The Bishop. 34. Farewell to Fatima. 35. Epilogue. 36. Further Memories of Jacinta. 37. Lucia's Magnetic Personality. 38. Lucia's Excellent Memory. 39. Prologue. 40. What Is The Secret?. 41. The Vision Of Hell. 42. Lasting Impression On Jacinta. 43. Lucia Looks Back. 44. The Immaculate Heart Of Mary. 45. Jacinta's Visions Of The Holy Father. 46. Visions of War. 47. Lucia Explains Her Silence. 48. Jacinta And The Immaculate Heart Of Mary. 49. Epilogue. 50. Notes. 51. Confidence and Abandonment. 52. Inspiration in the Attic. 53. Unction of the Spirit. 54. Francisco's character, His Spirituality. 55. Natural Inclinations. 56. Francisco sees the Angel. 57. Impressions of the First Apparition. 58. Impressions Of The Second Apparition. 59. Francisco Strengthens Lucia's Courage. 60. Impressions of The Third Apparition. 61. Francisco in Prison. 62. Impressions Of The Last Apparitions. 63. Anecdotes And Popular Songs. 64. Francisco, The Little Moralist. 65. Francisco, Lover Of Solitude And Prayer. 66. Francisco sees the Devil. 67. Francisco And His Feathered Friends. 68. Francisco's Love And Zeal. 69. Francisco's Holy Death.

Companions in Sympathy and in Sacrifice
These heaven-sent-caresses were rarely meted out to Jacinta and Francisco, for their parents would not allow anyone to lay their hands on them. But they suffered when they saw me suffering, and many a time tears ran down their cheeks whenever they saw me distressed or humiliated. One day, Jacinta said to me: "If only my parents were like yours, so that those people would beat me too, then I'd have more sacrifices to offer Our Lord". However she knew how to make the most of opportunities for mortifying herself. Occasionally also, we were in the habit of offering God the sacrifice of spending nine days or a month without taking a drink. Once we made this sacrifice even in the month of August, when the weather was suffocating.

As we were returning, one day from the Cova da Iria where we had been praying our Rosary, we came to a pond beside the road, and Jacinta said to me: "Oh I'm so thirsty, and my head aches so! I'm going to drink a little drop of this water." "Not that water" I answered: "My mother doesn't want us to drink it, because it is not good for us. We'll go and ask Maria dos Anjos for some". (She was a neighbour of ours, who had been recently married and was living near there in a small house). "No! I don't want good water. I'd rather drink this, because instead of offering Our Lord our thirst, I could offer Him the sacrifice of drinking this dirty water." As a matter of fact, this water was filthy. People washed their clothes in it, and the animals came there to drink and waded right into it. That was why my mother warned her children not to drink this water.

At other times, Jacinta would say: "Our Lord must be pleased with our sacrifices, because I am so thirsty, so thirsty! Yet I do not want to take a drink. I want to suffer for love of Him." One day, we were sitting in the doorway of my uncle's house, when we noticed several people approaching. Not having time to do anything else, Francisco and I ran inside to hide under the beds, he in one room and I in another. Jacinta said: "I'm not going to hide. I am going to offer this sacrifice to Our Lord." These people came up and talked to her, waiting around quite a long time until I could be found. Finally they went away. I slipped out of my hiding place and asked Jacinta: "What did you answer when they asked if you knew where we were?" "I said nothing at all. I put my head down, kept my eyes fixed on the ground, and said nothing. I always do that, when I don't want to tell the truth; and I don't want to tell a lie either, because lying is a sin."

She was indeed accustomed to do just this, and it was useless to question her, if those who did so obtained no response whatsoever. If escape were at all possible, we normally felt little inclined to offer this kind of sacrifice. Another day, we were sitting in the shade of two fig trees overhanging the road that runs by my cousins house. Francisco began to play a little way off. He saw several ladies coming towards us and tan back to warn us. We promptly climbed up the fig trees. In those days it was the fashion to wear hats with brims as wide as a sieve, and we were sure with such head gear, those people would never catch sight of us up there. As soon as the ladies had gone by, we came down as fast as we could, took to our heels and hid in the cornfield.

This habit we had of making good our escape, whenever possible, was yet another cause for complaint on the part of the parish priest. He bitterly complained of the way we tried to avoid priests in particular. His Reverence was certainly right. It was priests especially who put us through the most rigorous cross-examinations, and then returned to question us all over again. Whenever we found ourselves in the presence of a priest, we prepared to offer to God one of our greatest sacrifices!

Government Opposition
Meanwhile, the Government showed disapproval of the way affairs were progressing. At the place of the Apparitions some people had erected poles to form an arch, hung with lanterns which they were careful to keep always burning. One night orders were given for some men to pull down these poles, and also cut down the holm oak on which the Apparitions had taken place, and drag it away with them behind a car. In the morning news of what had happened spread like wildfire. I ran to the place to see if it were true. But what was my delight to find that the poor men had made a mistake, and that instead of cutting down the holm oak, they had carried off one of the others growing nearby! I then asked Our Lady to forgive these poor men and I prayed for their conversion.

Sometime later, on the 13th of May, I don't remember whether it was 1918 or 1919, news went round at dawn that cavalry men were in Fatima to prevent the people from going to the Cova da Iria. Everybody was alarmed, and came to give me the news, assuring me without any doubt this was to be the last day of my life. Without taking this news too seriously, I set out for the church. When I reached Fatima, I passed between the horses which were all over the church grounds, and went into the church. I heard Mass celebrated by a priest I did not know, received Holy Communion, made my thanksgiving and went back home without anyone saying a single word to me, or that they did not think me worthy of notice. News kept coming in that the troops were trying in vain to keep the people away from the Cova da Iria In spite of this, I went there too to recite the Rosary. On the way I was joined by a group of women who had come from a distance. As we drew near the place, two cavalrymen gave their horses a smart crack of the whip and advanced at full speed towards the group. They pulled up beside us and asked where were going. The women boldly replied that it was none of their business. They whipped the horses again as though they meant to charge forward and trample us under- foot. The women ran in all directions and a moment later I found myself alone with the cavalry men. Then they asked me my name, and I gave it without hesitation. They next asked me if I was the seer, and I said I was. They ordered me to step out on to the middle of the road between the two horses, and proceed in the direction of Fatima.

As we reached the pond I spoke of earlier, a poor woman who lived there and whom I have also mentioned, seeing me coming in the distance between the two horses, ran out as I approached, into the middle of the road, like another Veronica. The soldiers lost no time in getting her out of the way, and the poor woman burst into a flood of tears, loudly bewailing my misfortune. A few paces further on, they stopped and asked me if the woman was my mother. I said she was not. They did not believe me and asked if that house was my home. I again said "No!" Still apparently not believing me, they ordered me to walk a little ahead until I arrived at my parents house.

When we reached a plot of ground that lies on the outskirts of Aljustrel, where there was a small spring, and some trenches dug for planting vines, they called a halt and said to one another, probably in order to frighten me: "Here are some open trenches. Let's cut off her head with one of our swords, and leave her here dead and buried. Then we'll be finished with this business once and for all." When I heard these words, I thought that my last moment had really come, but I was as much at peace as if it did not concern me at all. After a minute or two during which they seemed to be thinking it over, the other replied: "No. We have no authority to do such a thing." They ordered me to keep going. So I went straight through our little village, until I arrived at my parents house. All the neighbours were at the windows and doors of their houses to see what was going on. Some were laughing and making fun of me, others were lamenting my sorry plight . When we reached my home, they ordered me to call my parents, but they were not at home. One of them dismounted and went to see if my parents were hiding inside. He searched the house but found no one; whereupon he gave orders for me to stay in doors for the rest of the day. Then he mounted his horse and they both rode off.

Late in the afternoon, news went round that the troops had withdrawn, defeated by the people. At sunset I was praying my Rosary in the Cova da Iria, accompanied by hundreds of people. While I was under arrest, according to what we heard later, some persons went to tell my mother what was happening, and she replied: "If it is true that she saw Our Lady, Our Lady will defend her; and if she is lying, it will serve her right to be punished." And she remained in peace as before. Now someone will ask me: And where were your little companions, while all this was going on?" I don't know. I can recall nothing at all of their whereabouts at that time. Perhaps in view of the news that got abroad, their parents did not allow them at all to leave the house that day.

Lucia's Mother Falls Seriously ill
Such suffering on my part must have been pleasing to Our Lord, because He was about to prepare a most bitter chalice for me which He was soon to give me to drink. My mother fell so seriously ill that, at one stage, we thought she was dying. All her children gathered around her bed to receive her last blessing, and to kiss the hand of their dying mother. As I was the youngest my turn came at last. When my mother saw me she brightened up a little, flung her arms around my neck and with a deep sigh, exclaimed: "My poor daughter, what will become of you without your mother! I am dying with my heart pieced through because of you". Then bursting into tears and sobbing bitterly, she clasped me more and more tightly in her arms. My eldest sister forcibly pulled me away from my mother, took me to the kitchen and forbade me to back to the sick room, saying: "Mother is going to die of grief because of all the trouble you have given her! " I knelt down, put my head on a bench, and in a distress more bitter than any I had ever known before, I made the offering of my sacrifice to our dear Lord. A few minutes later, my two older sisters, thinking the case was hopeless, came to me and said: "Lucia! If it is true that you saw Our Lady, go right now to the Cova da Iria and ask Her to cure our mother. Promise Her whatever you wish, and we'll do it; and then we'll believe."

Without losing a moment, I set out. so as not to be seen, I made my way across the fields along some bypaths, reciting the Rosary all the way. Once there, I placed my request before Our Lady and unburdened myself of all my sorrow, shedding copious tears. I then went home, comforted by the hope that my beloved Mother in Heaven would hear my prayer and restore health to my mother on earth. When I reached home my mother was already feeling somewhat better. Three days later she was able to resume her work around the house. I had promised the Most Blessed Virgin that, if She granted me what I asked, I would go there for nine days in succession, together with my sisters, pray the Rosary and go on our knees from the roadway to the holmoak tree; and on the ninth day we would take nine poor children with us, and afterwards give them a meal. We went then to fulfill my promise and my mother came with us. "How strange!" she said: "Our Lady cured me and some how I still don't believe! I don't know how this can be!"

Lucia's Father Dies
Our good Lord gave me this consolation, but once again He came knocking on my door to ask yet another sacrifice, and not a small one either. My father was a healthy man, and robust; he said he had never known what it was to have a headache. But in less than twenty four hours, an attack of double pneumonia carried him off to eternity. My sorrow was so great that I thought I would die as well.

He was the only one who never failed to show himself to be my friend, and the only one who defended me when disputes arose at home on account of me. "My God! My God!" I exclaimed in the privacy of my own room: "I never thought You had so much suffering in store for me! But I suffer for love of You, in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary, for the Holy Father and for the conversion of sinners."

Serious Illness of Lucia's Cousins
Around that time, Jacinta and Francisco also began to grow worse. Jacinta used to tell me sometimes: "My chest hurts so much, but I am not saying anything to my mother! I want to suffer for Our Lord, in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary, for the Holy Father and for the conversion of sinners". One morning when I went to see her, she asked me: "How many sacrifices did you offer to Our Lord last night?" "Three. I got up three times to recite the Angels prayers." "Well, I offered Him many many sacrifices. I don't know how many there were, but I had a lot of pain, and I made no complaint."

Francisco spoke very little. He usually did everything he saw us doing, and rarely suggested anything himself. During his illness, he suffered with heroic patience, without ever letting the slightest moan or the least complaint escape his lips. One day shortly before his death, I asked him: "Are you suffering a lot, Francisco?" "Yes, but I suffer it all for love of Our Lord and Our Lady." One day he gave me the rope that I have already spoken about, saying: "Take it away before my mother sees it. I don't feel able to wear it anymore around my waist." He took everything his mother offered him, and she could never discover which things he disliked. He went on like this until the day came for him to go to Heaven. The day before his death, he said to Jacinta and myself: "I am going to Heaven, but when I am there, I will pray a great deal to Our Lord and Our Lady, asking them to bring you there too, very soon."

I think I have already described, in my account of Jacinta, what suffering this separation caused us. For this reason, I do not repeat it here. Jacinta was already sick, and was gradually growing worse. There is no need to describe it now, as I have already done so. I shall simply relate one or two acts of virtue, which I saw her practice, and which I do not think I have described before. Her mother knew how hard it was for her to take milk. So, one day, she brought her a fine bunch of grapes with her cup of milk, saying: "Jacinta, take this. If you can't take the milk, leave it there, and eat the grapes." "No mother. I don't want the grapes; take them away and give me the milk instead. I'll take that." Then without showing the least sign of repugnance, she took it. My aunt went happily away, thinking her little girl's appetite was returning. She had no sooner gone than Jacinta turned to me and said: "I had such a longing for those grapes and it was hard to drink the milk! But I wanted to offer this sacrifice to Our Lord".

One morning I found her looking dreadful, and I asked her if she felt worse. "Last night," she answered: "I had so much pain, and I wanted to offer Our Lord the sacrifice of not turning over in bed, therefore I didn't sleep at all". On another occasion, she told me: "When I'm alone, I get out of bed to recite the angel's prayer. But now I'm not able to touch the ground any more with my head, because I fall over, so I only pray on my knees."

One day, I had the opportunity of speaking to the Vicar. His Reverence asked me about Jacinta and how she was. I told him what I thought about her condition, and afterwards related what she had said to me about being unable to touch the ground when she prayed. His Reverence sent me to tell her that she was not to get out of bed to pray, but that she was to pray lying down, and then only as long as she could do so without getting tired. I delivered the message at the very first opportunity. "And will Our Lord be pleased?" she asked. "He is pleased” I replied. Our Lord wants us to do whatever the Reverend Vicar says." "That's alright, then I won't get up any more".

Whenever I could, I loved to go to the Cabeco to pray in our favourite cave. Jacinta was very fond of flowers, and coming down the hill-side on the way home, I used to pick a bunch of irises and peonies, when there were any to be found, and then take them to her saying: "Look! These are from the Cabeco!" She would take them eagerly and sometimes with tears running down her cheeks, she would say "To think I'll never go there again! Nor Valinhos, nor Cova da Iria! I miss them all so much!" "But what does it matter, if you're going to Heaven to see Our Lord and Our Lady?" "That’s true" she replied. Then she lay there contentedly, plucking off the petals and counting them one by one.

A few days after falling ill, she gave me the rope she had been wearing and said: "Keep it for me; I'm afraid my mother may see it. If I get better I want it back again!" This cord had three knots, and was somewhat stained with blood. I kept it hidden until finally I left my mother's home. Then not knowing what to do with it, I burned it, and Francisco's as well.

Lucia In Poor Health
Several people who came from a distance to see us, noticing that I looked very pale and anemic, asked my mother to let me go and spend a few days in their homes, saying the change of air would do me good. With this end in view, my mother gave her consent and they took me with them, now to one place, now to another. When away from home like this, I did not always meet with esteem or affection. While there were some who admired me and considered me a saint, there were also others who heaped abuse upon me and called me hypocrite, a visionary and a sorceress. This was the good Lord's way of throwing salt into the water to prevent it from going bad. Thanks to this Divine Providence, I went through the fire without being burned, or without becoming acquainted with the little worm, vanity which has the habit of gnawing its way into everything. On such occasions, I used to think to myself: 'They are all mistaken. I'm not a saint, as some say, and I'm not a liar either, as others say. Only God knows what I am'. When I got home I would run to see Jacinta, who said: "Listen! Don't go away again. I have been so lonely for you! Since you went away, I have not spoken to anyone. I don't know how to talk to other people."

The time finally came for Jacinta to leave for Lisbon. I have already described our leave taking, and therefore I won't repeat it here. How sad I was to find myself alone! In such a short space of time Our dear Lord had taken to Heaven my beloved father, and then Francisco; and now He is taking Jacinta, who I was never to see again in this world. As soon as I could, I slipped away to the Cabeco, and hid within our cave among the rocks. There, alone with God, I poured forth my grief and shed tears in abundance. Coming back down the slope, everything reminded me of my dear companions; the stones on which we had so often sat, the flowers I no longer picked, not having anyone to take them to; Valinhos, where the three of us had enjoyed the delights of paradise! As though I had lost all sense of reality, and still half abstracted, I went to my aunts house one day, and made for Jacinta's room, calling out to her. Her sister Teresa, seeing me like that, barred the way and reminded me that Jacinta was no longer there!

Shortly afterwards, news arrived that she had taken flight to Heaven. Her body was then brought back to Vila Nova de Ourem. My aunt took me there one day, to pray beside the mortal remains of her little daughter, in the hope of thus distracting me. But for a long time after, my sorrow only seemed to grow ever greater. Whenever I found the cemetery open, I went and sat by Francisco's grave, or beside my father's and there I spent long hours. My mother, thank God decided some time later after this to go to Lisbon, and to take me with her. Through the kindness of Dr. Formigao a good lady received us into her house, and offered to pay for my education in a boarding school, if I was willing to remain. My mother, after consulting doctors, found that she needed an operation for kidneys and spinal column; but the doctors would not be responsible for her life, since she also suffered from a cardiac lesion. She therefore went home, leaving me in the care of this lady. When everything was ready and the day arranged for my entering boarding school, I was informed that the Government was aware that I was in Lisbon and was seeking my whereabouts. They, therefore, took me to Santarem to Dr Formigao's house, and for some days I remained hidden, without even being allowed out to Mass.

Finally, His Reverence's sister arrived to take me home to my mother, promising to arrange for my admittance to a boarding school that the Dorothean Sisters had in Spain, and assuring us that as soon as everything was settled, she would come and fetch me. All these happenings distracted me somewhat, and so the oppressive sadness began to disappear.

Lucia's First Meeting With The Bishop
It was about this time that Your Excellency was installed as Bishop of Leiria, and your dear Lord confided to your care this poor flock that had been so many years without a shepherd. There was not wanting people who tried to frighten me about Your Excellency's arrival, just as they had done before about another holy priest. They told me that Your Excellency knew everything, that you could read hearts and penetrate the depths of consciences and that now you were going to discover all my deception. Far from frightening me, it made me earnestly desire to speak to you, and I thought to myself: 'If it is true that he knows everything, he will know that I am speaking the truth'. For this reason as soon as a kind lady from Leiria offered to take me to see Your Excellency, I accepted her suggestion with joy. There was I, full of hope, in expectation of this happy moment.

At last the day came, and the lady and I went to the Palace. We were invited to enter, and shown to a room, where we were asked to wait for a little while. A few moments later, Your Excellency's secretary came in and spoke kindly with Dona Gilda who accompanied me. From time to time, he asked me some questions. As I had already been twice to confession to His Reverence, I already knew him, and it was therefore a pleasure to talk to him. A little later, Rev Dr. Marques dos Santos came in wearing shoes with buckles, and wrapped in a great big cloak. As it was the first time that I had seen a priest dressed like this, it caught my attention. He then embarked on a whole repertoire of questions that seemed unending. Now and again, he laughed, as though making fun of my replies, and it seemed as if the moment when I could speak to Your Excellency would never come. At last, Your Secretary returned to speak to the lady who was with me. He told her that when Your Excellency arrived, she was to make her apologies and take her leave, saying that she had to go else where, since Your Excellency may want to speak to me in private. I was delighted when I heard this message, and I thought to myself: As His Excellency knows everything, he won't ask me many questions, and he will be alone with me! What a blessing!

When Your Excellency arrived, the good lady played her part very well, and so I had the happiness of speaking with you alone. I am not going to describe now what happened during this interview, because Your Excellency certainly remembers it better than I do. To tell the truth, when I saw Your Excellency receive me with such kindness, without the least attempting to ask me any useless or curious questions, being concerned solely for the good of this poor little lamb that the Lord had just entrusted to you, then I was more convinced than ever that Your Excellency did indeed know everything; and I did not hesitate for a moment to give myself completely in your hands. Thereupon, Your Excellency imposed certain conditions which, because of my nature, I found easy that is to keep completely secret all that Your Excellency had said to me, and to be good. I kept my secret to myself, until the day when Your Excellency asked my mother's consent.

Farewell to Fatima
Finally, the day of my departure was settled. The evening before I went to bid farewell to all the familiar places so dear to us. My heart was torn with loneliness and longing, for I was sure I would never set foot on the Cabeco, the Rock, Valinhos, or in the parish church where Our dear Lord had begun His work of mercy, and the cemetery, where rested the mortal remains of my beloved Father and of Francisco, whom I could still never forget. I said good bye to our well, already illumined by the pale rays of the moon, and to the old threshing floor where I had so often spent long hours contemplating the beauty of the starlit heavens, and the wonders of sunrise and sunset which so enraptured me. I loved to watch the rays of the sun reflected in the dew drops, so that the mountains seemed covered with pearls in the morning sunshine; and in the evening, after a snowfall, to see the snowflakes sparkling on the pine trees was like a foretaste of the beauties of paradise.

Without saying farewell to anyone, I left the next day at two o'clock in the morning, accompanied by my mother and a poor laborer called Manuel Correia who was going to Leiria. I carried my secret with me, inviolate. We went by the way of the Cova da Iria, so I could bid it my last farewell. There for the last time I prayed my Rosary. As long as this place was still in sight, I kept turning round to say my last good bye. We arrived at Leiria at nine o'clock in the morning. There I met Dona Filomena Miranda, whom Your Excellency had charged to accompany me. This lady was later to be my godmother at Confirmation. The train left at two o'clock in the afternoon, and there I was at the station, giving my poor mother a last embrace, leaving her overwhelmed with sorrow and shedding abundant tears. The train moved out, and with it went my poor heart plunged in an ocean of loneliness and filled with memories that I could never forget.

I think Your Excellency, that I have just picked the most beautiful flower and the most delicious fruit from my little garden, and I now place it in the merciful hands of the Good Lord, whom you represent, praying that He will make it yield a plentiful harvest of souls for eternal life. And since Our dear Lord takes pleasure in the humble obedience of the least of His creatures, I end with the words of her whom He, in His infinite mercy, has given me as Mother, Protectress and Model, the very same words with which I began: "Behold the handmaid of the Lord! May He continue to make use of her, as He thinks best."

Further Memories of Jacinta
P.S- I forgot to say that when Jacinta went to hospital in Vila Nova de Ourem and again in Lisbon, she knew she was not going to be cured, but only to suffer. Long before anybody spoke to her of the possibility of her entering the hospital of Vila Nova de Ourem, she said one day: "Our Lady wants me to go to two hospitals, not to be cured, but to suffer more for the love of Our Lord and for sinners." I do not know Our Lady's exact words in these apparitions to Jacinta alone, for I never asked her what they were. I confined myself to merely listening to what she occasionally confided to me, in this account, I have tried not to repeat what I have written in the previous one, so as not to make it too long.

Lucia's Magnetic Personality
It may seem from this account that, in my village, nobody showed me any love or tenderness. But this is not so. There was a dear chosen portion of the Lord's flock, who showed me singular affection. These were the little children. They ran up to me bubbling over with joy, and when they knew I was pasturing my sheep in the neighbourhood of our little village, whole groups of them used to come and spend the day with me. My mother used to say: "I don't know what attraction you have for children! They run after you as if they were going to a feast!" As for myself, I did not feel at ease in the midst of such merriment, and for that reason I tried to keep out of their way.

The same thing happened to me with my companions in Vilar, and I would almost venture to say that it is happening to me now with my Sisters in religion. A few years ago, I was told by my Mother Mistress, who is now Rev Mother Provincial: "You have such an influence over the Sisters that if you want to you can do them a great deal of good." And quite recently, Rev Mother Superior in Pontevedra said to me: "To a certain degree, you are responsible to Our Lord for the state of fervour or negligence in observance, on the part of the other Sisters, because their fevour is increased or diminished at recreation; whatever the others see you doing at that time, they do as well. Certain topics you brought up at recreation helped other Sisters to understand the Rule better, and made them resolve to observe it more faithfully." Why is this? I don't know. Perhaps it is a talent which the Lord has given me, and for which He will hold me to account. Would that I knew how to trade with it, that I might restore it to Him a thousand fold.

Lucia's Excellent Memory
Maybe someone will want to ask: How can you remember all this? How? I don't know. Our dear Lord, Who shares out His gifts as He thinks fit, has allotted to me this little portion-my memory. He alone knows why. And besides as far as I can see, there is this difference between natural and supernatural things: When we are talking to a mere creature, even while we are speaking, we tend to forget what is being said; whereas these supernatural things are ever more deeply engraved on the soul, even as we are seeing and hearing them, so that it is not easy to forget them.

Your Excellency In obedience to the order which Your Excellency gave me in your letter of July 26th, 1941, that I should think it over and note down anything else I could remember about Jacinta, I have given thought to the matter and decided that, as God was speaking to me through you, the moment has arrived to reply to two questions which have often been sent to me, but which I have put off answering until now.

In my opinion, it would be pleasing to God and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary; that in the book of Jacinta, one chapter would be devoted to the subject of hell, and another to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Your Excellency will indeed find this opinion rather strange and perhaps inopportune, but it is not my own idea. God Himself will make this clear to you that this is a matter that pertains to His glory and to the good of souls. This will entail my speaking about the secret, and thus answering the first question.

What Is The Secret?
It seems to me that I can reveal it since I already have permission from Heaven to do so. God's representatives on earth have authorized me to do this several times and various letters, one I believe is in your keeping, This letter is from Rev. Fr. Jose Bernardo Goncalves, and in it he advises me to write to the Holy Father, suggesting among other things, that I should reveal the secret. I did say something about it. But in order not to make my letter too long, since I was told to keep it short, I confined myself to the essentials, leaving it to God to provide another more favourite opportunity.

In my second account, I have already described in detail the doubt which tormented me from June 13th until July 13th, and how it disappeared completely during the Apparition on that day.

The Vision Of Hell
Well, the secret is made up of three distinct parts, two of which I am now going to reveal. The first part is the vision of hell.

Our Lady showed us a great sea of fire which seemed to be under the earth. Plunged in this fire were demons and souls in human form like, transparent burning embers, all blackened, or burnished bronze, floating about in the conflagration, now raised into the air by the flames which issued from within themselves together with great clouds of smoke, now falling back on every side like sparks in a huge fire, without weight or equilibrium, and amid shrieks and groans of pain and despair, which horrified us and made us tremble with fear. The demons could be distinguished by their terrifying and repellent likeness to frightful and unknown animals, all black and transparent. This vision lasted but an instant. How can we ever be grateful enough to Our dear Heavenly Mother, who had already prepared us by promising, us in the first Apparition, to take us to Heaven. Otherwise I think we would have died of fear and terror.

We then looked up at Our Lady, who said to us so kindly and so sadly:
"You have seen hell where the souls if poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to My Immaculate Heart. If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace. The war is going to end, but if people do not cease offending God, a worse one will break out during the pontificate of Pius X1. When you see a night illumined by an unknown light, know that this is the great sign given to you by God that He is about to punish the world for its crimes by means of war, famine and persecutions of the Church and of the Holy Father.

"To prevent this I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart, and the Communion of reparation on the First Saturdays. If My requests are heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace; if not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred; they Holy Father will have much to suffer, various nations will be annihilated, in the end My Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me and she will be converted and a period of peace will be granted to the world."

Lasting Impression On Jacinta
Your Excellency, as I already told you in the notes I sent to you after reading the book about Jacinta, some of the things revealed in the secret made a strong impression on her. This was indeed the case. The vision of hell filled her with horror to such a degree, that every penance and mortification was nothing in her eyes, if it could only prevent souls from going there. Well, I am now going to answer the second question, one which has come to me from various quarters.

How is that Jacinta, small as she was, let herself be possessed by such a spirit of mortification and penance, and understood it so well? I think the reason is this: firstly, God willed to bestow on her a special grace, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary; and secondly, it was because she had looked upon hell, and had seen the ruin of souls who fall therein. Some people, even the most devout, refuse to speak to children about hell, in case it would frighten them. Yet God did not hesitate to show hell to three children, one of whom was only six years old, knowing well that they would be horrified to the point of, I would almost dare to say, withering away with fear. Jacinta often sat thoughtfully on the ground or on a rock and exclaimed: "Oh Hell! Hell! How sorry I am for the souls who go to hell! And the people down there burning a live, like wood in the fire!"

Then shuddering, she knelt down with her hands joined and recited the prayer that Our Lady taught us:
"Oh my Jesus! Forgive us, save us from the fire of hell. Lead all souls to Heaven, especially those who are most in need."
Now Your Excellency will understand how my own impression was that the final words of this prayer refer to souls in greatest danger of damnation, or those who are nearest to it. Jacinta remained on her knees like this for a long periods of time, saying the same prayer over and over again. From time to time, like someone waking from sleep, she called out to her brother or myself: "Francisco, Francisco! Are you praying with me? We must pray very much, to save souls from hell! So many go there! So many!" At other times, she asked: Why doesn't Our Lady show hell to sinners? If they saw it, they would not sin, so as to avoid going there! You must tell Our Lady to show hell to all those people (referring to those who were in Cova da Iria at the time of the Apparition). "You'll see how they will be converted." Afterwards, unsatisfied, she asked me: "Why didn't you tell Our Lady to show hell to all those people?" "I forgot" I answered. "I didn't remember either!" she said, looking very sad.

Sometimes, she also asked: "What are the sins people commit, for which they go to hell?" "I don't know! Perhaps the sin of not going to Mass on Sunday, of stealing, of saying ugly words, of cursing and of swearing." "So for just one word, then, people can go to hell?" "Well its a sin!" "It wouldn't be hard for them to keep quiet and go to Mass! I'm so sorry for sinners! If only I could show then hell". Suddenly, she would seize hold of me and say: "I'm going to Heaven, but you are staying here. If Our Lady lets you, tell every- body what hell is like, so that they won't commit anymore sins and not go to hell." To quieten her, I said: Don't be afraid! You're going to Heaven." "Yes I am"; she said serenely, "but I want all those people to go there too!"

When in a spirit of mortification, she did not want to eat. I said to her: "Listen Jacinta! Come and eat now." "No! I'm offering this sacrifice for sinners who eat too much." When she was ill, and yet went to Mass on a week day, I urged her: "Jacinta, don't come! You can't, you're not able. Besides today is not Sunday!" "That doesn't matter! I'm going for sinners who don't go on a Sunday." If she happened to hear any of those expressions which some people make, a show of uttering, she covered her face with her hands and said: "Oh, my God, don't these people realize that they can go to hell for saying those things? My Jesus, forgive them and convert them. They certainly don't know that they are offending God by all this! What a pity, my Jesus! I'll pray for them." There and then she repeated the prayer that Our Lady taught us: "Oh my Jesus, forgive us...."

Lucia Looks Back
Now Your Excellency, another thought comes to my mind. I have sometimes been asked if, in any Apparitions, Our Lady pointed out to us which kind of sins offend God most. They say that Jacinta, when in Lisbon, mentioned sins of the flesh. She had often questioned me on this matter, and I think now, that when at Lisbon, perhaps it occurred to her to put the question to Our Lady herself, and that was the answer she received. Well Your Excellency, it seems to me that I have now made known the first part of the secret.

The Immaculate Heart Of Mary
The second part refers to the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. As I have already written in the second account, Our Lady told me on June 13th, 1917, that she would never forsake me, and that Her Immaculate Heart would be my refuge and the way that would lead me to God.

As She spoke these words, She opened Her hands, and from them streamed a light that penetrated to our inmost hearts. I think that on that day, I think the main purpose of this light was to infuse within us a special knowledge and love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, just as on the other two occasions it was intended to do, as it seems to me, with regard to God and the mystery to the most Holy Trinity. From that day onwards, our hearts were filled with a more ardent love for the Immaculate Heart of Mary. From time to time, Jacinta said to me: "The Lady said that Her Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God. Don't you love that? Her Heart is so good! How I love it!"

As I explained earlier, Our Lady told us, in the July secret, that God wished to establish in the world devotion to her Immaculate Heart, and that to prevent a future war, she would come to ask for the consecration of Russia to Her Immaculate Heart, and for the Communion of Reparation on the First Saturdays. From then on, whenever we spoke of this among ourselves, Jacinta said: "I am so grieved to be unable to receive Communion in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary!"

I have also mentioned already how Jacinta chose the litany of ejaculations which Father Cruz suggested to us, this one "Sweet Heart of Mary, be my salvation!" After saying it, she used to add sometimes, with the simplicity that was natural to her: "I so love the Immaculate Heart of Mary! It is the Heart of our dear Mother in Heaven! Don't you love saying many times: sweet Heart of Mary, Immaculate Heart of Mary?: I love it so much, so very much". At other times, as she gathered wild flowers, she sang a little tune that she made up herself as she went along: "Sweet Heart of Mary, be my salvation! Immaculate Heart of Mary, convert sinners, save souls from hell!

Jacinta's Visions Of The Holy Father
One day we spent our siesta down by my parents' well. Jacinta sat on the stone slabs on top of the well. Francisco and I climbed up a steep bank in search of wild honey among the brambles in a nearby thicket. After a little while, Jacinta called out to me: "Didn't you see the Holy Father?" "No". "I don't know how it was, but I saw the Holy Father in a very big house, kneeling by a table, with his head buried in his hands, and he was weeping. Outside the house, there were many people. Some of them were throwing stones, others were cursing him and using bad language. Poor Holy Father, we must pray very much for him." I have already told you, how one day two priests recommended us to pray for the Holy Father, and explained to us who the Pope was.

Afterwards Jacinta asked me: "Is he the one I saw weeping, the one Our Lady told us about in the secret?" "Yes, he is", I answered. "The Lady must have shown him also to those priests. You see, I was not mistaken. We need to pray a lot for him". At another time, we went to the cave called Lapa Cabeco. As soon as we got there, we prostrated on the ground, saying the prayers the Angel had taught us. After sometime, Jacinta stood up and called to me: "Can't you see all those highways and roads and fields full of people, who are crying with hunger and have nothing to eat? And the Holy Father in a church praying before the Immaculate Heart of Mary? And so many people praying with him?" Some days later, she asked me: "Can I say that I saw the Holy Father and all those people?" "No! Don't you see that that's part of the secret? If you do they'll find out straight away." "All right! Then I'll say nothing at all."

Visions of War
One day, I went to Jacinta's house to spend a little while with her. I found her sitting on her bed, deep in thought. "Jacinta, what are you thinking about?" "About the war that is coming. So many people are going to die, and almost all of them are going to hell! Many homes will be destroyed and many priests will be killed. Look I am going to Heaven, and as for you, when you see the light which the Lady told us would come one night before the war, you run up there too." "Don't you see that nobody can just run up to Heaven!" "That's true, you cannot! But don't be afraid! In Heaven I will be praying hard for you, for the Holy Father, for Portugal, so that the war will not come here, and for all the priests."

Your Excellency is not aware that a few years ago, God manifested that sign, which astronomers chose to call an aurora borealis. I don't know for certain, but I think if they investigated the matter, they would discover that, in the form in which it appeared, it could not possibly had been an aurora borealis. Be that as it may, God made use of this to make me understand that His justice was about to strike the guilty nations. For this reason, I began to plead insistently for the Communion of Reparation on the First Saturdays, and the consecration of Russia. My intention was to obtain mercy and pardon, not only for the whole world but for Europe in particular.

When God, in His infinite mercy, made me feel that the terrible moment was drawing near, Your Excellency may recall how, whenever occasion offered, I took the opportunity of pointing out, I still say that the prayer and penance which have been done in Portugal, have not yet appeased the Divine Justice, for they have not been accompanied by either contrition or amendment. I hope that Jacinta is interceding for us in Heaven.

As I said in the notes I sent about the book called Jacinta, she was most deeply impressed by some of the things revealed to us in the secret. Such was the case with the vision of hell and the ruin of so many souls who go there, or again, the future war with all its horrors which seemed to be always present to her mind. These made her tremble with fear. When I saw her deep in thought, and asked her: "Jacinta, what are you thinking about?" She frequently replied: "About the war which is coming, and all the people who are going to die and go to hell! How dreadful! If they would only stop offending God, then there wouldn't be any war and they wouldn't go to hell!"

Sometimes, she also said to me: "I feel so sorry for you! Francisco and I are going to Heaven, and you're going to stay here for a while longer. When the war comes, do not be afraid. In heaven, I'll be praying for you." Shortly before she went to Lisbon, at one of those times when she felt sad at the thought of our coming separation. I said to her: "Don't be upset because I can't go with you. You can then spend your time thinking of Our Lady and Our Lord, and saying many times over those words you love so much: 'My God, I love You! Immaculate Heart of Mary, Sweet Heart of Mary' and so on." "Yes, indeed" she eagerly replied, "I'll never get tired of saying those words until I die! And then, I can sing them many times over in Heaven!"

Lucia Explains Her Silence
It may be, Your Excellency, that some people think that I should have made known all this some time ago, because they consider that it would have been twice as valuable years before hand. This would have been the case, if God had willed to present me to the world as a prophetess. But I believe God had no such intention, when He made known these things to me. If that had been the case, I think that in 1917, when He ordered me to keep silent, and this order was confirmed by those who represented Him, He would on the contrary, have ordered me to speak.

I consider then, Your Excellency, 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 means of prayer and penance. Where could I have hidden myself in order to escape from innumerable questions they would have asked me about such matters? Even now I am afraid, just thinking of what lies a head of me! And I must confess that my repugnance in making this known is so great that, although I have before me the letter in which Your Excellency orders me to write everything else that I can remember, and I feel convinced that this is indeed the hour that God has chosen for my doing this, I still hesitate and experience a real inner conflict, not knowing whether to give you what I have written, or to burn it. As yet I do not know what will be the outcome of the struggle. It will be as God wills.

For me keeping silent has been a great grace. What would have happened had I described hell? Being unable to find words which exactly express the reality- for what I say is nothing and gives only a feeble idea of it all. I would therefore had said, now one thing, now another, wanting to explain but not succeeding in doing so. I might thus perhaps have caused such a confusion of ideas as even to spoil, who knows, the work of God. For this reason, I give thanks to the Lord, and I know that He does all things well. God usually accompanies His revelations with an intimate and detailed understanding of their significance. But I do not venture to speak of this matter, for fear of being led astray, as can all to easily happen, by my own imagination. Jacinta seemed to have this understanding to quite a remarkable degree.

Jacinta And The Immaculate Heart Of Mary
A little while before going to hospital, Jacinta said to me: "It will not be long now before I go to Heaven. You will remain here to make known that God wishes to establish in the world devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. When you are to say this, don't go and hide. Tell everybody that God grants us graces through the Immaculate Heart of Mary; that people are to ask Her for them; and that the Heart of Jesus wants the Immaculate Heart of Mary to be venerated at His side. Tell them also to pray to the Immaculate Heart of Mary for peace, since God has entrusted it to Her. If I could only put into the hearts of all, the fire that is burning within my own heart, and that makes me love the Hearts of Jesus and Mary so very much!"

One day, I was given a holy picture of the Heart of Jesus, quite a nice one, as man made pictures go. I took it to Jacinta: "Do you want this holy picture?" She took it, looked at it attentively and remarked: "It's so ugly! It doesn't look like Our Lord at all. He is so beautiful! But I want it; it is He just the same." She always carried it with her. At night and during her illness, she kept it under her pillow, until it fell apart. She kissed it frequently, saying: "I kiss the Heart because I love it most! How I would love to have a Heart of Mary! Don't you have one? I would love to have the two together."

On another occasion, I brought her a picture of a chalice with a host. She took it and kissed it and radiant with joy she exclaimed: "It is the Hidden Jesus! I love Him so much! If only I could receive Him in Church! Don't they receive Holy Communion in Heaven? If they do, then I will go to Holy Communion every day. If only the Angel would go to the hospital to bring me Holy Communion again, how happy I would be!" Sometimes, on returning from church, I went into see her, and she asked me: "Did you receive Holy Communion?" And if I answered in the affirmative, she said: "Come over here close to me, for you have the hidden Jesus in your heart."

At other times she told me: "I don't know how it is! But I feel Our Lord within me. I understand what He says to me, although I neither see Him nor hear Him, but it is so good to be with Him!" On another occasion, she remarked: "Look, do you know this? Our Lord is sad, because Our Lady told us not to offend Him anymore, for He is already very much offended; yet nobody takes any notice, and they continue to commit the same sins!"

There, Your Excellency, is everything else I can remember about Jacinta, and which I don't think I have already said before. The meaning of all I say is exact.

And regards the manner of expressing myself, I do not know if I have exchanged one word for another, as for example, when we spoke of Our Lady: sometimes we said Our Lady, sometimes we said the Lady. And now I do not remember which of the two phrases we used at a given time. It is the same with a few other small details, which I think are only of minor importance. I offer to Our Good God and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, this little work, which is the fruit of my poor and humble submission to those who represent Him in my regard. I beg them to make it fruitful for their glory and the good of souls.

There are two points of importance in relation to the third memoir of Sister Lucia. Sister Lucia affirms that the Consecration made by John Paul II, in union with the Bishops, on 25th March 1984, corresponded to the request of Our Lady and was accepted by Heaven. She confirmed that a numerical union of all the Bishops was not required, that a moral union was sufficient.

In a vision by the Blessed Virgin to Lucia at Pontevedra on the 10th of December 1925, Our Lady fulfilled Her promise to come back made during the apparitions of 1917. On the 13th of June, 1929, Lucia had a further vision at Tuy, where Our Lady asked for the consecration of Russia to Her Immaculate Heart. Unfortunately, the consecration was not done when Our Lady asked for it to be done, and therefore Russia had already spread her errors, before the Consecration was made. Also that Communion of Reparation has not been fulfilled. It could not be said that Lucia's prophecies were post eventum, simply because Lucia's superiors released her manuscripts for publication only after the events which had been announced in them. These manuscripts were in fact, already composed prior to the events taking place.

Confidence and Abandonment
Your Excellency, After a humble prayer at the feet of Our Lord in the tabernacle and before the Immaculate Heart of Mary, our loving heavenly Mother, asking the grace not to be permitted to write one word, or even a single letter, that is not for their glory. I come now to begin this work, happy and at peace as are those who conscience assures them that they are doing in all things the will of God. Abandoning myself completely into he arms of our heavenly Father and to the protection of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I therefore once again place in Your Excellency's hands the fruits of my tree, the tree of obedience.

Inspiration in the Attic
Before making a start, I thought of opening the New Testament, the only book I desire to have here in front of me, in this remote corner of the attic, lit by a single skylight, to which I withdraw whenever I can, in order to escape, as far as possible from all human eyes. My lap serves as a table, and an old trunk as a chair. But, someone will say, 'Why don't you write in your cell?' Our dear Lord has seen fit to deprive me even of a cell?

Our dear Lord has seen fit to deprive me even of a cell, although there are quite a few empty ones in the house. As a matter of fact, the community room that we use for work and recreation would seem more suitable for the fulfillment of His designs; but, just as it is inconvenient for writing during the day, so it is all too conductive to drowsiness at night time. But I am glad and I thank God for the grace of having been born poor, and for living more poorly still for love of him. Dear Lord! That is not at all that I wanted to say. I must return to what God presented to me when I opened the New Testament.

In St. Paul's letter to the Philippians 2, 5-8, I read as follows; "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God...,emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant..., He humbled Himself, becoming obedient unto death," After reflecting a while, I read also verse 12 and 13 of the same chapter: "with fear and trembling work out your salvation. It is God that works in you, both to will and to accomplish, according to His good will".

Very well then. I need no more than this: obedience and abandonment to God who works within me. I am truly no more than a poor and miserable instrument which He desires to use, and in a little while, like a painter who casts his now useless brush into the fire so that it may be reduced to ashes, the divine Artist will Himself reduce his now useless instrument to the ashes of the tomb, until the great day of the eternal Alleluias. And I ardently desire that day, for the tomb does not annihilate everything, and the happiness of eternal and infinite love begins-now!

Unction of the Spirit
Your Excellency, In Valenca, On October 7th, 1941, I was asked the following questions by Rev. Dr. Galamba: "Sister, when you said that penance had been done only in part, did you say this of yourself, or was it revealed to you?" I think, Your Excellency, that, in such cases, I never speak or write anything at all that comes from myself alone. I have to thank God for the assistance of the Divine Holy Spirit, whom I feel within me, suggesting to me what I am to write or say. If, at times, my own imagination or understanding suggests something to me, I at once feel the lack of the Divine Unction, and I stop what I am doing, until I know in my inmost heart what it is that God wants me to say instead. But why do I tell you all this? I do not know. God knows, who has inspired your Excellency to command me to tell everything, and not deliberately conceal anything.

Francisco's character, His Spirituality
I am going to begin then, your Excellency, by writing what God wills to bring to my mind about Francisco. I hope that our Lord will make him know in Heaven what I am writing about him on earth, so that he may intercede for me with Jesus and Mary, especially during these coming days. The affection that bound me to Francisco was just one of kinship, and one which had it's origin in the graces which Heaven designed to grant us. Apart from his features and his practice of virtue, Francisco did not seem at all to be Jacinta's brother. Unlike her, he was neither capricious nor vivacious. On the contrary, he was quiet and submissive by nature.

When we were at play and he won the game, if anyone made a point of denying him his rights as a winner, he yielded without more ado and merely said "you think you won? that's all right, I don't mind!" He showed no love for dancing, as Jacinta did; he much preferred playing the flute while the others danced. In our games he was quite lively; but few of us liked to play with him as he nearly always lost. I must confess that I myself did not always feel too kindly disposed towards him, as his naturally calm temperament exasperated my own excessive vivacity. Sometimes, I caught him by the arm, made him sit down on the ground or on a stone, and told him to keep still; he obeyed me as if I had real authority over him. Afterwards, I felt sorry, and went and took him by the hand, and he would come along with me good- humoured as if nothing had happened. If one of the other children insisted on taking something away from him, he said "Let them have it! What do I care?"

I recall how, one day, he came to my house and was delighted to show me a handkerchief with a picture of our Lady of Nazarene on it, which someone had bought him from the seaside. All the children gathered round him to admire it. The handkerchief was passed from hand to hand, and in a few minutes it disappeared. We looked for it, but it was nowhere to be found. A little later, I found it myself in another small boy's pocket. I wanted to take it away from him, but he insisted that it was his own, and that someone had bought him one from the beach as well. To put an end to the quarrel, Francisco then went up to him and said," Let him have it! What does a handkerchief matter to me? "my own opinion is that, if he had lived to manhood, his greatest defect would have been his attitude of "never mind!"

When I was seven and began to take our sheep out to pasture, he seemed to be quite indifferent. In the evenings he waited for me in my parents yard with his little sister, but this was not out of affection for me, but rather to please her. As soon as Jacinta saw the tinkling of the sheep bells, she ran out to meet me; whereas Francisco waited for me, sitting in the stone steps leading up to our front door. Afterwards he came with us to play on the old threshing floor, while we watched for Our Lady and the Angels to light their lamps. He eagerly counted the stars with us, but nothing enchanted him as much as the beauty of sunrise and sunset. As long as he could still glimpse one last ray of the setting sun, he made no attempt to watch for the first lamp to be lit in the sky. "No lamp is as beautiful as Our Lord's" he used to remark to Jacinta, who much preferred Our Lady's lamp, because as she explained: "It doesn't hurt our eyes".

Enraptured he watched the sun rays glinting on the window panes of the homes in the neighbouring villages, or glistening in the drops water which spangled the trees and furze bushes of the serra, making them shine like so many stars; in his eyes these were a thousand times more beautiful than the Angels lamps. When he persisted in pleading with his mother to let him take care of the flock and therefore come along with me, it was more to please Jacinta than anything else, for she much preferred Francisco's company to that of her brother John.

One day his mother, already quite annoyed, refused this permission and he answered with his usual tranquility: "Mother, it doesn't matter to me, it was more to please Jacinta who wants me to go". He confirmed this on yet another occasion. One of my companions came to my house to invite me to go with her, as she had a particularly good pasturage in view for that day. As the sky was overcast I went to my aunts house to enquire who was going out that day, Francisco and Jacinta, or their brother John; in case of the latter, I preferred the company of my former companion. My aunt had already decided that, as it looked like rain, John should go. But Francisco went to his mother again and insisted on going himself. He received a curt and decided "No!" Whereupon he exclaimed: "It's all the same with me. it is Jacinta who felt badly about it."

Natural Inclinations
What Francisco enjoyed most, when we were out on the mountains together, was to perch on the top of the highest rock and sing or play his flute. If his little sister came down to run races with me, he stayed up there entertaining himself with his music and song. The song he sang most often went like this:

"I love God in Heaven,
I love Him, too on earth,
I love the flowers of the fields,
I love the sheep on the mountains.
I am a poor shepherd girl,
I always pray to Mary;
In midst of my flock
I am like the dun at noon.
Together with my lambkins
I learn to skip and jump;
I am the joy of the serra
And the lily of the vale."

He always took part in our games when we invited him, but he seldom waxed enthusiastic remarking: "I'll go, but I know I'll be the loser." These were the games we knew and found most entertaining: pebbles, forfeits, pass the ring, buttons, hit the mark, quoits and card games such as the bisca game, turning up the kings, queens and knaves, and so on. We had two packs of cards: I had one and they had the other. Francisco liked best to play cards, and the bisca was his favourite game.

Francisco sees the Angel
During the Apparition of the Angel, he prostrated like his sister and myself, carried away by the same supernatural force that moved us to do so: but he learned the prayer by hearing us repeat it, since he told us, he heard nothing of what the Angel had said. Afterwards, when we prostrated to say that prayer, he was the first to feel the strain of such a posture; but he remained kneeling, or sitting and still praying, until we had finished. Later he said: "I am not able to stay like that for a long time, like you. My back aches so much that I can't do it."

At the second Apparition of the Angel, down by the well, Francisco waited a few moments after it was over, then asked: "You spoke to the Angel. What did he say to you?" "Didn't you hear?" "No! I could see that he was talking to you. I heard what you said to him; but what he said to you, I don't know." As the supernatural atmosphere in which the Angel left us, had not yet entirely disappeared, I told him to ask Jacinta or myself the next day. "Jacinta, you tell me what the Angel said". "I'll tell you tomorrow. Today I can't talk about it." Next day, as soon as he came up to me, he asked me: "Did you sleep last night? I kept thinking about the Angel and what he could have said." I then told him all that the Angel had said at the first and second Apparitions.

But it seemed that he had not received an understanding of all that the words meant, for he asked: "Who is the most High? What is the meaning of : 'The Hearts of Jesus and Mary are attentive to the voice of your supplications?.." Having received an answer, he remained deep in thought for a while, and then broke in with another question. But my mind was not yet free, so I told him to wait until the next day, because at that moment I was unable to speak. He waited quite contently, but he did not let slip the very next opportunity of putting more questions. This made Jacinta say to him: "Listen! We shouldn't talk much about these things". When we spoke about the Angel, I don't know what it was that we felt. I don't know how I feel". Jacinta said. "I can no longer talk or sing, or play. I haven't the strength enough for anything". "Neither have I" replied Francisco: "but what of it? The Angel is more beautiful than all this. Let's think about him."

In the third Apparition, the presence of the supernatural made itself felt more intensely still. For several days even Francisco did not venture to speak. Later he said: "I love to see the Angel, but the worst of it is that, afterwards, we are unable to do anything. I couldn't even walk. I don't know what was the matter with me." In spite of that, after the third Apparition of the Angel, it was he that noticed that it was getting dark, and who drew our attention to the fact, and thought we should take our flocks back home.

Once the first few days were over and we had returned to normal; Francisco asked: "The Angel gave you Holy Communion, but what was it that he gave to Jacinta and me?" "It was Holy Communion too", replied Jacinta, with inexpressible joy. "Didn't you see that it was the Blood that fell from the Host?" "I felt that God was within me, but I did not know how!" Then prostrating on the ground, he and his sister remained for a long time, saying over and over again the prayer of the Angel...Most Holy Trinity... Little by little the atmosphere of the supernatural faded away, and by the 13th of May, were playing with almost as much enjoyment and freedom of spirit as we had done before.

Impressions of the First Apparition
The Apparition of Our Lady plunged us once more into the atmosphere of the supernatural, but this time more gently. Instead of that annihilation, in the Divine Presence, which exhausted us even physically, it left us filled with peace and expansive joy, which did not prevent us from speaking afterwards of what had happened. However with regard to light communicated to us when Our Lady opened Her hands, and everything connected with this light, we experienced a kind of interior impulse that compelled us to keep silent.

Afterwards, we told Francisco all that Our Lady had said. He was overjoyed and expressed the happiness he felt when he heard of the promise that he would go to Heaven. Crossing his hands on his breast, he exclaimed: "Oh, my dear Our Lady! I'll say as many Rosaries as You want!" And from then on he made a habit of moving away from us, as though going for a walk. When we called him and asked him what he was doing, he raised his hand and showed me his Rosary. If we told him to come and play, and say the Rosary with us afterwards, he replied: "I'll pray then as well. Don't you remember that Our Lady said: 'I must pray many Rosaries'?" He said to me, on one occasion: " I loved seeing the Angel, but I loved still more seeing Our Lady. What I loved most of all was to see Our Lord in that light from Our Lady which penetrated our hearts. I love God so much! But He is very sad because of so many sins!. We must never commit any sins again."

I have already said in the second account about Jacinta, how he was the one who gave me the news that she had broken our agreement not to say anything. As he shared my opinion that the matter should be kept secret, he added sadly; "As for me, when my mother asked me if it were true, I had to say that it was, so as not to tell a lie." From time to time he said: "Our Lady told us that we would have to suffer, but I don't mind. I'll suffer all that She wishes! What I want is to go to Heaven!"

One day, when I showed how unhappy I was over the persecution now beginning both in my family and outside, Francisco tried to encourage me with these words. "Never mind! Didn't Our Lady say that we would have much to suffer, to make reparation to Our Lord and to her own Immaculate Heart for all the sins by which they are offended? They are so sad! If we can console them with these sufferings how happy we shall be!"

When we arrived at our pasturage a few days after Our Lady's first Apparition, he climbed up to the top of a steep rock and called to us: "Don't come up here. Let me stay up here alone." "All right" And off I went chasing butterflies with Jacinta. We no sooner caught them than we made another sacrifice of letting them fly away, and we never gave another thought to Francisco. When lunch time came we missed him and went to call him: "Francisco, don't you want to come for your lunch?" "No, you eat" "And to pray the Rosary?" "That, yes, later on. Call me again later." When I went to call him again, he said to me: "You come up here and pray with me." We climbed up to the peak, where the three of us could scarcely find room to kneel down, and I asked him: "But what have you been doing all this time?" "I am thinking about God, who is so sad because of so many sins! If only I could give Him joy!" One day, we began to sing in happy chorus about the serra:

Ah! tra la la la
Tra la la la
La la la!
In this life everything sings.
And who sings better than I?
The shepherdess out of serra,
Or the maid a washing in the stream.
There's the merry chirp of the goldfinch
That comes to awaken me,
As soon as the sun arises.
The brambles come alive with his song.
The screech owl cries at night
Seeking to frighten me,
The girl in the moonlight sings
As she gaily shucks the corn.
The nightingale in the meadow
Spends the whole day long in song,
The turtle dove sings in the wood,
Even the cart squeaks out a song!
The serra is a rock-strewn garden
Smiling happily all the day long,
Sparkling with gleaming dew drops
That glisten on the mountain side!

We sang it right through once, and were about to repeat it, when Francisco interrupted us: "Let's not sing anymore,. Since we saw the Angel and Our Lady, singing doesn't appeal to me any longer."

Impressions Of The Second Apparition
At the second Apparition on June 13th, 1917, Francisco was deeply impressed by the light which, as I related to you in the second account, Our Lady communicated to us at the moment when She said: "My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way which will lead you to God." At the time, he did not seem to grasp the significance of what was happening, perhaps it was because it was not given to him to hear the accompanying words. For this reason, he asked later: "Why did Our Lady have a Heart in Her hand, spreading out over the world that great light which is God? You were with Our Lady in the light which went down towards the earth, and Jacinta was with me in the light which rose towards heaven!" "That is because you and Jacinta will soon go to Heaven", I replied. "While I, with the Immaculate Heart of Mary will remain for sometime on the earth." "How many years longer will you stay here?" he asked. "I don't know. Quite a lot". "Was it Our Lady that said so?" "Yes, and I saw in the light that She shone into our hearts."

Jacinta confirmed the very same thing saying: "It is just like! That's exactly how I saw it too!" He remarked sometimes: "These people are so happy just because you told them that Our Lady wants the Rosary said, and that you are to learn read! How would they feel if they only knew what She showed us in God in Her Immaculate Heart, in that great light! But this is a secret, it must not be spoken about. It's better that no one should know it!"

After this Apparition, whenever they asked us if Our Lady had said anything else, we began to give this reply: "Yes, She did, but it's a secret." If they asked us why it was a secret, we shrugged our shoulders, lowered our heads and kept silent. But after July 13th, we said: "Our Lady told us we were not to tell it to anybody" thus referring to the secret imposed on us by Our Lady.

Francisco Strengthens Lucia's Courage
In the course of this month, the influx of people increased considerably, and so did the constant questionings and contradictions. Francisco suffered quite a lot from all this, and complained to his sister saying: "What a pity! If you had only kept quiet, no one would know! If only it were not lie we could tell all the people that we saw nothing, and that would be the end of it. But this can't be done!" When he saw me perplexed and in doubt, he wept, and said: "But how can you think that it is the devil? Didn't you see Our Lady and God in that great light? How can we go there without you, when it is you who do the talking?"

That night after supper he came back to my house, called me out to the old threshing floor, and said: Look! Aren't you going tomorrow?" "I am not going. I've already told you I'm not going back there anymore." "But what a shame! Why is it that you now think that way? Don't you see that it can't be the devil? God is already sad enough on account of so many sins and now if you don't go, He'll be sadder still! Come on say you'll go!" "I've already told you I'm not going. It is no use asking me." And I returned abruptly to the house. A few days later, he said to me: "You know I never slept at all that night. I the whole time crying and praying, begging Our Lady to make you go!"

Impressions of The Third Apparition
In the third Apparition, Francisco seemed to be the one on whom the vision of hell made the least impression, though it did indeed have quite a considerable effect on him. What made the most powerful impression on him and what wholly absorbed him. was God, the Most Holy Trinity, perceived in that light which penetrated our in most souls. Afterwards he said: "We were on fire in that light which is God and yet we were not burnt! What is God?...We could never put it into words. Yes, that is something indeed which we could never express! But what a pity it is that He is so sad! If only I could console Him!..."

One day, I was asked if Our Lady had told us to pray for sinners, and I said she had not. at the first opportunity, while the people were questioning Jacinta, he called me aside and said: "You lied just now! How could you say that Our Lady didn't ask us to pray for sinners then?" "For sinners, no! She told us to pray for peace, for the war to end. But for sinners she told us to make sacrifices." "Ah! That's true. I was beginning to think you had lied."

Francisco in Prison
I have already described how Francisco spent the day praying and weeping, perhaps even more upset than I was when my father received an order to present me before the Administrator at Vila Nova de Ourem. In prison, he was quite courageous and tried to cheer up Jacinta when she felt most homesick. While we were saying the Rosary in prison, he noticed that one of the prisoners was on his knees with his cap still on his head. Francisco went up to him and said: "If you wish to pray, you should take your cap off." Right away the poor man handed it to him and he went over and put it on the bench on top of his own.

During Jacinta's interrogation, he confided to me with boundless joy and peace: "If they kill us as they say, we'll soon be in heaven! How wonderful! Nothing else matters!" The after a moments silence he added: "God grant that Jacinta won't be afraid". I am going to say a Hail Mary for her!" He promptly removed his cap and prayed. The guard seeing him praying, asked him: "What are you saying?" "I am saying a Hail Mary so that Jacinta won't be afraid." The guard made a scornful gesture and let him go ahead.

One day after our return from Vila Nova Ourem, we began to be aware of the presence of the supernatural all around us and to feel that we were about to receive some heavenly communication. Francisco at once showed his concern over Jacinta's absence. "What a pity it would be" he exclaimed, if Jacinta did not get here in time!" He begged his brother to go quickly and get her, adding: "Tell her to run here." After his brother had left us, Francisco said: "Jacinta will be very sad if she doesn't arrive in time." After the Apparition, his sister wanted to stay there the whole afternoon, so he said: "No! You must go home, because mother didn't let you come out with the sheep." And to encourage her, he went back to the house with her.

In prison we noticed that it was already past midday, and that they would not let us go to the Cova da Iria, Francisco said: "Perhaps Our Lady will come and appear to us here." On the following day, he could not hide his distress and almost in tears, he said: "Our Lady must have been very sad because we didn't go to the Cova da Iria, and She won't appear to us again. I would so love to see Her!"

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 the most. But I offer this as well for sinners." Afterwards he asked me: "Tell me! Will Our Lady not come and appear to us anymore?" "I don't know. I think She will." "I miss Her so much!" The Apparition at Valinhos was, therefore a double joy for him. 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, may be because he is such a bad man."

Impressions Of The Last Apparitions
After the 13th of September, when I told Francisco that in October Our Lord would come as well, he was overwhelmed with joy: "Oh, how good He is! I've only seem Him twice, and I love Him so much!" From time to time, he asked: "Are there many days left till the 13th? I'm longing for that day to come, so that I can see Our Lord again." Then he thought for a moment, and added: "But listen! Will He still be so sad? I am so sorry to see Him sad like that! I offer Him all the sacrifices I can think of. sometimes, I don't even run away from all those people just in order to make sacrifices!"

After October 13th, he said to me: "I Loved seeing Our Lord, but I loved still more seeing Him in that light where we were with Him, and then I can look at Him forever." One day I asked Him: "When you are questioned, why do you put your head down and not want to answer?" "Because I want you to answer, and Jacinta too. I didn't hear anything. I can only say that I saw. Then supposing I said something you don't want me to say?" Every now and then he went off and left us without warning. When we missed him, we went in search of him, calling out his name. He answered from behind a little wall, or a shrub or a clump of brambles, and there he was on his knees praying: "why didn't you tell us so that we could come and pray with you?" "Because I prefer to pray alone".

In my notes on the book called Jacinta, I've already related what happened on a piece of land known as Varzea. I don't think I need to repeat it here. On my way home one day, we had to pass by my godmother's house. she had just been making a mead drink, and called us in to give us a glass. We went in, and Francisco was the first to whom she offered a glassful. He took it and without drinking it, he passed it on to Jacinta, so that she and I could have a drink first. Meanwhile he turned on his heel and disappeared.

"Where is Francisco?" My godmother asked. "I don't know, he was here just now." He did not return, so Jacinta and I thanked my godmother for the drink and went in search of Francisco. We knew without a shadow of a doubt that he would be sitting on the edge of the well which I have mentioned so often. "Francisco, you didn't drink your glass of mead! My godmother called you so many times, and you didn't appear!" "When I took the glass, I suddenly remembered I could offer that sacrifice to console Our Lord, so while you two were taking a drink, I ran over here."

Anecdotes And Popular Songs
Between my house and Francisco's lived my godfather Anastacio, who was married to an older woman whom God had not blessed with children. They were farmers and quite well off, so they didn't need to work. My father was overseer of their farm and had charge of the day laborers. In gratitude for this they a special liking for me, particularly my godfather's wife, whom I called my godmother Teresa. If I didn't call in during the day, I had to go and sleep there at night, because she couldn't get along without her little sweet meat, as she called me.

On festive occasions, she delighted in dressing me up with her gold necklace and heavy earrings which hung down below my shoulders, and a pretty little hat decorated with immense feathers of different colours and fastened with an array of gold beads. At the 'festas', there was no one better turned out than I, and how my sisters and my godmother gloried in the fact! The other children crowded round me to admire the brilliance of my finery. To tell the truth, I myself greatly enjoyed the 'festa', and vanity was my worst adornment.

Everybody showed liking and esteem for me, except a poor orphan girl whom my godmother Teresa had taken into her home on the death of her mother. She seemed to fear that I would get part of the inheritance she was hoping for, and indeed she would not have been mistaken, had not Our Lord destined for me a far more precious inheritance. As soon as the news of the Apparitions got round, my godfather showed unconcern, and my godmother was completely opposed by it all. She made no secret of her disapproval of such 'inventions', as she called them. I began, therefore, to keep away from her house as much as I could. My disappearance soon followed by that of the groups of children who so often gathered there, and whom my godmother loved to watch singing and dancing. She treated them to dried figs, nuts, almonds, chestnuts, fruit, and so on.

One Sunday afternoon, I was passing near her house with Francisco and Jacinta, when she called out to us: "Come in, my little swindlers, come! You've not been here for a long time!" Once inside, she lavished her usual attentions on us. The other children seemed to guess we were there, and began to come along as well. My kind godmother, happy at seeing us all gathered in her house once again after such a long space of time, heaped delicacies upon us, and wanted to see us sing and dance. "Come on," we said, "what will it be, this one or that?" My godmother made the choice herself. It was 'congratulations with illusions', a part song for boys and girls:

You are the sun of the sphere,
Do not deny it your rays!
These are the smiles of springtime,
Ah! Change them not into sighs!
Congratulations to the maiden,
Fragrant as the dewy dawn,
Smiling, you anticipate
The caressing of another morn.
The year is rich in flowers,
Rich in fruit and every good!
And may the year that dawns
Be rich in hopes for you!
There hopes are the best of gifts,
Our warmest wishes for you!
Place them upon your brow,
They're the finest crown of all!
If the past was lovely,
The future will be so too!
Greetings for the year now gone,
For the year to come as well!
In this merry banquet of life ,
Charming Atlantic flower,
The gardener and the garden fair
Are lauded in glad some song!
Your heart is yearning for the flowers
That bloom on your native soil,
For your home and its purest loves
That entwine around your heart!

Do you think it right, good sir,
When the topsail veers in sight,
That Berlenga and the Carvoeiro
- Ah! -
Extinguish their lighthouse beams?
But the sea is lashed to fury:
An everlasting swirling main!
Each night is a howling turmoil
That leads to a watery grave.
Gloomy sand banks of Papoa,
Estelas and Farilhoes!
What tragedy ever re-echoes
In the crash of the foaming waves!
Each rugged reef in these waters
Is a grim presage of death!
Every wave chants a doleful dirge
Each cross recalls a wreck!
Then, how can you be so cruel
And put out your light that is life
Way out on the darkened waters
Guiding boats securely ashore.

I no longer shed any tears
When I speak of our farewell,
My hesitating took only a moment
- Ah! -
My lost lasts all life through
Go and tell heaven to arrest
The flowing torrent of its grace,
Let the flowers wilt and wither
They no longer bespeak your care
Go, I am too disconsolate
My sanctuary all in mourning,
High up in the towering steeple
The bronze bells tolls out death.
But if leave me sad and lonely
In the churchyard grey and grim,
Carved out on the black of your tombstone
I leave my eternal laments.
This garden today is so bare,
But once all smiling and gay,
No care did it lack before,
T’was the gardener who left it to doe.
I trust in Providence bestowing
Tender caresses to come!
Hopefully prepared for everyone,
All who leave the homely nest.

Francisco, The Little Moralist
The women of the neighbourhood no sooner heard the lively singing than they came over to join us, and at the end they asked us to sing it through again. Francisco, however came up to me and said: "Let's not sing that song any more. Our Lord certainly does not want us to sing songs like that now." We there- fore slipped away among the other children, and ran of to our favourite well. To tell the truth, now that I have just finished writing out the song under obedience. I cover my face with shame. But Your Excellency, at the request of Rev. Dr. Galamba, has seen fit to order me to write down the popular songs that we knew. Here they are then! I do not know why they are wanted, but for me it is enough to know that I am thus fulfilling God's will.

Meanwhile, it was getting near Carnival time, in 1918. The boys and girls met once again that year to prepare the usual festive meals and fun of those days. Each one brought something from home- such as olive oil, flour, meat, and so on, to one of the houses, and the girls then did the cooking for a sumptuous banquet. All those three days feasting and dancing went on well into the night, above all on the last day of the carnival. The children under fourteen had their own celebration in another house. Several of the girls came to ask me to help them organise our festa. At first, I refused. But finally I gave in like a coward, especially after hearing the pleading of Jose Carreira's sons and daughter, for it was he who had placed his home in Casa Velha at our disposal. He and his wife insistently asked me to go there.

I yielded then, and went with a crowd of youngsters to see the place. There was a fine large room, almost as big as a hall, which was well suited for the amusements, and a spacious yard for the supper! Everything was arranged, and I came home, outwardly in most festive mood, but inwardly with my conscience protesting loudly. As soon as I met Jacinta and Francisco I told them what had happened. "Are you going back again to those parties and games?" Francisco asked me sternly. "Have you forgotten that we promised never to do that any more?" "I didn't want to go at all. But you can see how they never stopped begging me to go: and now I don't know what to do!"

There was indeed no end to the entreaties, nor to the number of girls who came insisting that I play them. Some even came from far distant villages- from Moita came Rosa, Ana Caetano and Ana Brogueira; from Fatima, the two daughters of Manuel Caracol; from Boleiros, the two daughters of Manuel da Ramira, and two of Joaquim Chapeleta as well from Amoreira, the two Silva girls; from Currais, Laura Gato, Josefa Valinho, and several others whose names I have forgotten; besides those who came from Boleiros and Lomba da Pederneira, and so on; and this quite apart from all those who came from Eira da Pedra, Casa Velha, and Aljustrel. How could I so suddenly let down all those girls, who seemed not to know how to enjoy themselves without my company, and make them understand that I had to stop going to these gatherings once and for all? God inspired Francisco with the answer. "Do you know how you could do it? Everybody knows that Our Lady has appeared to you. Therefore you can say that you have promised Her not to dance any more, and for this reason you are not going! Then, on such days, we can run away and hide in the cave on the Cabeco. Up there nobody will find us!"

I accepted his proposal, and once I had made my decision, nobody else thought of organizing any such gathering. God's blessing was with us. Those friends of mine who until then sought me out to have me join in their amusements, now followed my example, and came to my home on Sunday afternoons to ask me to go with them to pray the Rosary in the Cova da Iria.

Francisco, Lover Of Solitude And Prayer
Francisco was a boy of few words. Whenever he prayed or offered sacrifices, he preferred to go apart and hide, even from Jacinta and myself. Quite often we surprised him hidden behind a wall or a clump of blackberry bushes, whither he had ingeniously slipped away to kneel and pray, or think, as he said of Our Lord, Who is sad on account of so many sins.

If I asked him: "Francisco, why don't you tell me to pray with you and Jacinta too?" "I prefer to pray by myself," he answered, "so that I can think and console Our Lord, who is so sad!" I asked him one day: "Francisco, which do you like better - to console Our Lord, or to convert sinners, so that no more souls will go to hell?" "I would rather console Our Lord. Didn't you notice how sad Our Lady was last month, when She said that people must not offend Our Lord any more, for He is already much offended? I would rather console Our Lord, and after that convert sinners so that they won't offend Him any more."

Sometimes, on our way to school, as soon as we reached Fatima, He would say to me: "Listen! You go to school, and I'll stay here in the church, close to Hidden Jesus. It's not worth my while learning to read, as I'll be going to heaven very soon. On your way home, come here and call me." The Blessed Sacrament was kept at that time near the entrance of the church, on the left side, as the church was undergoing repairs. Francisco went over there, between the baptismal font and the altar, and that's where I found him on my return.

Later, when he fell ill, he often told me, when I called in to see him on my way to school: "Look! Go to the church and give my love to the Hidden Jesus. What hurts me most is that I cannot go there myself and stay awhile with Hidden Jesus." When I arrived at his house one day, I said goodbye to a group of school children who had come with me, and I went in to pay a visit to him and his sister. As he had heard all the noise, he asked me: "Did you come with all that crowd?" "Yes, I did." "Don't go with them, because you might learn to commit sins. When you come out of school, go and stay for a little while near the Hidden Jesus, and afterwards come home by yourself."

On one occasion I asked him: "Francisco, do you feel very sick?" "I do, but I'm suffering to console Our Lord." When Jacinta and I went into his room one day, he said to us: "Don't talk much today, as my head aches so badly." "Don't forget to make the offering for sinners," Jacinta reminded Him. "Yes. But first I make it to console Our Lord and Our Lady, and then, afterwards, for sinners and for the Holy Father."

On another occasion, I found him very happy when I arrived. "Are you better?" "No. I feel worse. It won't be long now till I go to heaven. When I'm there, I'm going to console Our Lord and Our Lady very much. Jacinta is going to pray a lot for sinners, for the Holy Father, and for you. You will stay here, because Our Lady wants it that way. Listen, you must do everything that She tells you." While Jacinta seemed to be solely concerned with the one thought of converting sinners and saving souls from going to hell, Francisco appeared to think only of consoling Our Lady, who had seemed to him to be so sad.

Francisco sees the Devil
How different is the incident that I now call to mind. One day we went to a place called Pedreira, and while the sheep were browsing, we jumped from rock to rock, making our voices echo down in the deep ravines. Francisco withdrew, as was his wont, to a hollow among the rocks.

A considerable time had elapsed, when we heard him shouting and crying out to us and to Our Lady. Distressed lest something might of happened to him, we ran in search of him, calling out his name. "Where are you?" "Here! Here!" But it still took us some time before we could locate him. At last, we came upon him, trembling with fright, still on his knees, and so upset that he was unable to rise to his feet. "What's wrong? What happened to you?" In a voice half smothered with fright, he replied: "It was one of those huge beasts that we saw in hell. He was right here breathing out flames!" I saw nothing, neither did Jacinta, so I laughed and said to him: "You never want to think about Hell, so as not to be afraid." Indeed when Jacinta appeared particularly moved by the remembrance of hell, he used to say: "Don't think so much about hell! Think about Our Lord and Our Lady instead. I don't think about hell, so as not to be afraid."

He was anything but fearful. He'd go anywhere in the dark alone at night, without the slightest hesitation. He played with lizards, and when he came across snakes he got them to entwine themselves round a stick, and even poured sheep's milk into the holes in the rocks for them to drink. He went hunting for foxes, holes and rabbit burrows, for genets, and other creatures of the wilds.

Francisco And His Feathered Friends
Francisco was very fond of birds and could not bear to see anyone robbing their nests. He always kept part of the bread he had for his lunch, breaking it into crumbs and spreading them out on top of the rocks, so that the birds could eat them. Moving away a little, he called them as though he expected them to understand him. He didn't want anyone else to approach lest they be frightened. "Poor we things! You are hungry," he said, as though conversing with them. "Come, come and eat!" And they keen- eyed as they are, did not wait for the invitation, but came flocking around him. It was his delight to see them flying back to the tree tops with their little craws full, singing and chirping in a deafening chorus, in which Francisco joined with rare skill.

One day we met a little boy carrying in his hand a small bird that he caught. Full of compassion, Francisco promised him two coins, if only he would let the birds fly away. The boy readily agreed. But first he wished to see the money in his hand. Francisco ran all the way home from the Carreira pond, which lies a little distance below the Cova da Iria, to fetch the coins, and so let the little prisoner free. Then he watched it fly away, he clapped his hands for joy, and said: "Be careful! Don't let yourself be caught again."

Thereabouts, lived an old woman called Ti Maria Carreira, who sons sent her out sometimes to take care of her flock of goats and sheep. The animals were rather wild, and often strayed in different directions. Whenever we met Ti Maria in these straits, Francisco was the first to run to her aid. He helped her to lead the flock to pasture, chased after the stray ones and gathered them together again. The poor old woman overwhelmed Francisco with her thanks and called him her dear guardian angel. When we came across any sick people, he was filled with compassion and said: "I can't bear to see them, as I feel so sorry for them! Tell them I'll pray for them."

One day, they wanted to take us to Montelo to the home of a man called Joaquim Chapeleta. Francisco did not want to go. "I'm not going, because I can't bear to see people who want to speak and cannot" (The man's mother was dumb). When Jacinta and I returned home at nightfall, I asked my aunt where Francisco was. "How do I know!" she replied: "I am worn out looking for him all afternoon. Some ladies came and wanted to see you. But you two were not here. He vanished, and never appeared again. Now you go and look for him!" We sat down for a bit on a bench in the kitchen, thinking that we would go later to the Loca do Cabeco, certain that we would find him there. But no sooner had my aunt left the house, than his voice came from the attic through a little hole in the ceiling. He had climbed up there when he thought that some people were coming. From this vantage point he had observed everything that happened, and told us afterwards: "There were so many people! Heaven help me if they had ever caught me by myself! Whatever would I have said to them." (There was a trapdoor in the kitchen, which was easily reached by placing a chair on a table, thus affording access to the attic.)

Francisco's Love And Zeal
As I have already said, my aunt sold her flock before my mother disposed of ours. From then onwards, before I went out in the morning, I let Jacinta and Francisco know the place where I was going to pasture the sheep that day; as soon as they could get away, they came to join me.

One day, they were waiting for me when I arrived. "Oh! How did you get here so early?" "I came" answered Francisco: because - I don't know why - being with you didn't matter so much to me before, and I just came because of Jacinta, but now I can't sleep in the morning as I'm so anxious to be with you." Once the Apparitions on each 13th of the month were over, he said to us on the eve of the following 13th: "Look! Early tomorrow morning, I'm making my escape out through the back garden to the cave on the Cabeco. As soon as you can, come and join me there."

Oh dear! There I was, writing things about his being sick and near to death, and now I see that I have gone back to the happy times we had on the serra, with the birds chirping away merrily all around us. I ask your forgiveness. In writing down what I can remember, I am like a crab that walks backwards and forwards without bothering about reaching the end of its journey. I leave my work to Dr. Galamba, in case he can make use of anything in it, though I suppose he will find little or nothing.

I return therefore to Francisco's illness. But first, I will tell you something about his brief schooling. He came out of the house one day and met me with my sister Teresa, who was already married and living in Lomba. Another woman from a nearby hamlet had asked her to come to me about her son who had been accused of some crime of which I no longer remember, and if he could not prove his innocence he was to be condemned, either to exile or to a term of some years imprisonment. Teresa asked me insistently, in the name of the poor woman for whom she wished to do such a favour, to plead for this grace with Our Lady. Having received the message, I set out for school, and on the way, I told my cousins all about it. When we reached Fatima, Francisco said to me: "Listen! While you go to school, I'll stay with the Hidden Jesus, and I'll ask Him for that grace." When I came out of school, I went to call him and asked: "Did you pray to Our Lord to grant that grace?" "Yes, I did. Tell your Teresa that he'll be home in a few days' time." And indeed, a few days later, the poor boy returned home. On the 13th, he and his entire family came to thank Our Lady for the grace they had received.

On another occasion I noticed, as we left the house, that Francisco was walking very slowly: "What's the matter?" I asked him. "You seem unable to walk!" "I've such a bad headache, and I feel as though I am going to fall." "Then don't come. Stay at home!" "I don't want to. I'd rather stay in the church with the Hidden Jesus, while you go to school." Francisco was already sick, but could still manage to walk a little, so one day I went with him to the cave on the Cabeco, and to Valinhos. On our return home, we found the house full of people. A poor women was standing near a table, pretending to bless innumerable pious objects: rosary beads, medals, crucifixes and so on. Jacinta and I were soon surrounded by a crowd of people who wanted to question us. Francisco was seized upon by the would-be "blessed", who invited him to help her. "I could not give a blessing," he replied very seriously, "and neither should you! Only priests do that." The little boy's words went round the crowd like lighting, as though spoken by some loud-speaker, and the poor women had to make a quick departure amid a hail of insults from the people, all demanding back the objects they had just handed over to her. I already related in my account of Jacinta, how he managed to go one day to the Cova da Iria; how he wore the rope and then handed it back to me; how he was first, on a day when the heat was suffocating, to offer the sacrifice of not taking a drink; and how he sometimes reminded his sister about suffering for sinners, and so on. I presume, therefore, that it is not necessary to repeat these things here.

One day, I was by the bedside, keeping him company, Jacinta, who had got up for a while, was there too. Suddenly, his sister Teresa came to warn us that a veritable multitude of people was coming down the road, and were obviously looking for us. As soon as she had gone out, I said to Francisco: "Alright! You two wait for them here. I'm going to hide." Jacinta managed to run out behind me, and we both succeeded in concealing ourselves inside a barrel which was overturned just outside the door leading to the back garden. It was not long before we heard the noise of people searching the house, going out through the garden and even standing right beside the barrel; but we were saved by the fact that its open was turned in the opposite direction. When we felt that they had all gone away, we came out of our hiding place, and went to join Francisco, who told us all that had happened: "There were so many people and they wanted me to tell them where you were, but I didn't know myself. They wished to see us and ask us lots of things. Besides that, there was a woman from Alqueidao, who wanted the cure of a sick person and the conversion of a sinner. I'll pray for that woman, and you pray for the others - there's such a lot of them." Shortly after Francisco's death, this woman came to see us, and asked me to show her his grave. She wished to go there and thank him for the two graces for which she had asked him to pray.

One day, we were just outside Aljustrel, on our way to the Cova da Iria, when a group of people came upon us by surprise around the bend in a road. In order the better to see and hear us, they sent Jacinta and myself on top of a wall. Francisco refused to let himself be put there, as though he was afraid of falling. Then, little by little, he edged his way out and leaned against a dilapidated wall on the opposite side. A poor woman and her son, seeing that they could not manage to speak to us personally, as they wished, went and knelt down in front of Francisco. They begged him to obtain from Our Lady the grace that the father of the family would be cured and that he would not have to go to the war. Francisco knelt down also, took off his cap and asked if they would like to pray the Rosary with him. They said they would, and began to pray. Very soon, all those people stopped asking curious questions, and also went down on their knees to pray. After that, they went with us to the Cova da Iria, reciting a Rosary along the way. Once there, we said another Rosary, and then they went away, quite happy.

The poor woman promised to come back and thank Our Lady for the graces she had asked for, if they were granted. She came back several times, accompanied not only by her son but also her husband, who had by now recovered. They came from the parish of St. Mamede, and we called them the Casaleiros. Francisco's illness While he was ill, Francisco always appeared joyful and content. I asked him sometimes: "Are you suffering a lot Francisco?" "Quite a lot, but never mind! I am suffering to console Our Lord, and then afterwards, within a short time, I am going to heaven!" "Once you get there, don't forget to ask Our Lady to take me there soon as well." "That, I won't ask! You know very well that She doesn't want you there yet."

The day before he died, he said to me: "Look! I am very ill; it won't be long now before I go to heaven." "Then listen to this. When you're there, don't forget to pray a great deal for sinners, for the Holy Father, for me and for Jacinta." "Yes, I'll pray. But look, you'd better ask Jacinta to pray for these things instead, because I'm afraid I'll forget when I see Our Lord. And then, more than anything else I want to console Him."

One day, early in the morning, his sister Teresa came looking for me. "Come quickly to our house! Francisco is very bad, and says he wants to tell you something." I dressed as fast as I could and went over there. He asked his mother and brothers and sisters to leave the room, saying that he wanted to ask me a secret. They went out, and he said to me: "I am going to confession so that I can receive Holy Communion, and then die. I want you to tell me if you have seen me commit any sin, and then go and ask Jacinta if she has seen me commit any." "You disobeyed your mother a few times," I answered, "when she told you to stay at home, and you ran off to be with me or to go and hide." "That's true. I remember that. Now go and ask Jacinta if she remembers anything else."

I went, and Jacinta thought for a while, then answered: "Well, tell him that, before Our Lady appeared to us, he stole a coin from our father to by a music box from Jose Marto of Casa Velha; and when the boys from Aljustrel threw stones at those from Boleiros, he threw some too!" When I gave him this message from his sister, he answered: "I've already confessed those, but I'll do it again. Maybe, it is because of these sins that I committed that Our Lord is so sad! But even if I don't die, I'll never commit them again. I'm heartily sorry for them now." Joining his hands, he recited the prayer: "O my Jesus, forgive us, save us from the fire of hell, lead all souls to heaven, especially those who are most in need."

Then he said: "Now listen, you must also ask Our Lord to forgive me my sins." "I'll ask that, don't worry. If Our Lord had not forgiven them already, Our Lady would not have told Jacinta the other day that She was coming to take you to heaven. Now, I'm going to Mass, and there I'll pray to the Hidden Jesus for you." "Then, please ask Him to let the parish priest give me Holy Communion." "I certainly will." When I returned from the church, Jacinta had already got up and was sitting on his bed. As soon as Francisco saw me, he asked: "Did you ask the Hidden Jesus that the parish priest would give me Holy Communion?" "I did." "Then, in heaven, I'll pray for you." "You will? The other day you said you wouldn't!" "That was about taking you there very soon. But if you want me to pray for that, I will, and then let Our Lady do as She wishes." "Yes, do. You pray." "Alright. Don't worry, I'll pray."

Then I left them, and went off to my usual daily lessons and work. When I came home at night, I found him radiant with joy. He had made his confession, and the parish priest had promised to bring him Holy Communion next day. On the following day, after receiving Holy Communion, he said to his sister: "I am happier than you are, because I have the Hidden Jesus in my heart. I'm going to heaven, but I'm going to pray very much to Our Lord and Our Lady for them to bring you both here soon." Jacinta and I spent almost the whole of that day at his bedside. As he was already unable to pray, he asked us to pray the Rosary for him. Then he said to me: "I am sure I shall miss you terribly in heaven. If only Our Lady would bring you there soon, also!" "You won't miss me! Just imagine! And you right there with Our Lord and Our Lady! They are so good!" "That's true! Perhaps, I won't remember!" Then I added: "Perhaps you'll forget! But never mind!"

Francisco's Holy Death
That night I said goodbye to him. "Goodbye, Francisco! If you go to heaven tonight, don't forget me when you get there, do you hear me?" "No, I won't forget. Be sure of that." Then seizing my right hand, he held it tightly for a long time, looking at me with tears in his eyes. "Do you want anything more?" I asked him, with tears running down my cheeks too. "No!" he answered in a low voice, quite overcome.

As the scene was becoming so moving, my aunt told me to leave the room. "Goodbye then, Francisco! Till we meet in heaven, goodbye!..." Heaven was drawing near. He took his flight to heaven the following day in the arms of his heavenly Mother. I could never describe how much I missed him. This grief was a thorn that pierced my heart for years to come. It is a memory of the past that echoes forever unto eternity.

'Twas night: I lay peacefully dreaming
That on this festive longed-for day
Of heavenly union, the Angels above
Vied with us here in holy emulation!
What golden crown beyond all telling,
What garland of flowers garnered here below
Could equal the crown heaven was offering
Angelic beauty, all earthly longing stilled.
The joy, the smile, of our loving Mother
In the heavenly realms, he lives in God
Ravished with love, with joys surpassing,
Those years on earth were so swift, so fleeting...

Continued, Part 3 >>>

The first memoir of Jacinta Fatima, in Lucia's own words
Fatima, in Lucia's own words, Part 2 Fatima, in Lucia's own words, Part 3
The book "Calls" "Calls" Part 2 "Calls" Part 3 "Calls" Part 4
The three secrets Fatima, The Images
True Devotion to Mary by St. Louis De Montfort
Walking with Jesus

"Typed by: Sue Burton,
@Copy right Sue Burton. and Marianne Eichhorn.