Fatima, in Lucia's own words
Part 3

Oh will Of God, You Are My Paradise.

70. The Story of the Apparitions. 71. Apparition of the Angel. 72. Lucia's Silence. 73. The 13th May, 1917. 74. The 13th of June 1917. 75. The 13th of July, 1917. 76. The 13th of August 1917. 77. The 13th Of September, 1917. 78. The 13th of October, 1917. 79. Epilogue. 80. A Wonderful Cure. 81. The Prodigal Son. 82. Notes On FR. Fonseca's Book. 83. Annotations. 84. Interrogation By The Author Antero De Figueiredo. 85. Final Annotations. 86. Jacinta's Reputation for Sanctity. 87. Jacinta, reflection of God. 88. Jacinta Model Of Virtue. 89. Francisco was Different. 90. Epilogue. 91. Tuy, 8th December, 1941. 92. My Father, Before the Apparitions. 93. During The Apparitions. 94. After The Apparitions. 95. Letter to Rev. Fr Luciano Guerra. 96. Coimbra, 23-2-1989. 97. Coimbra, 15-3-1989. 98. Coimbra, 16-4-1989. 99. Maria Lucia of the Immaculate Heart, I.C.D, Introduction. 100. Text of the great promise of the Heart of Mary, in the apparition at Pontevedra, Spain. 101. Appendix. 102. Text of the request for the consecration of Russia.

The Story of the Apparitions
Now, Your Excellency, we come to the most difficult part of all that you have commanded me to put in writing. First of all, Your Excellency has expressly required of me to write about the apparitions of the Angel, putting down every circumstance and detail, and even as far as possible, their interior effects upon us. Then, along comes Dr. Galamba to ask you to command me to also write about the Apparitions of Our Lady.

"Command her," he said a little while ago in Valencia. "Yes, Your Excellency, command her to write everything absolutely everything. She'll have to do the rounds of Purgatory many a time for having kept silent about so many things!" As for Purgatory, I am not in the least afraid of it, from this point of view. I have always obeyed, and obedience deserves neither penalty nor punishment. Firstly, I obeyed the interior inspirations of the Holy Spirit, and secondly, I obeyed the commands of those who spoke to me in His name. This very thing was the first order and counsel which God deigned to give me through Your Excellency. Happy and content I record the words I have heard long a go from the lips of that Holy priest, the Vicar of Torres Novas: "The secret of the King's daughter should remain hidden in the depths of her heart." Then beginning to penetrate their meaning, I said: "My secret is for myself." But now I can longer say so. Immolated on the altar of obedience, I say rather: "My secret belongs to God. I have placed it in His hands; may He do with it as best pleases Him."

Dr Galamba said then: "Your Excellency, command her to say everything, everything, and to hide nothing." And Your Excellency assisted most certainly by the Holy Spirit, pronounced this judgment: "No I will not command that! I will have nothing to do with this matter of secrets." Thanks be to God! Any other order would have been for me a source of endless perplexities and scruples. Had I received a contrary command, I would have asked myself, times without number: "Whom should I obey? God or His representative?" And perhaps, being unable to come to a decision, I would have been left in a state of real inner torment!

Then Your Excellency continued speaking in God's name: "Sister, write down the Apparitions of the Angel and of Our Lady, because my dear sister, this is for the glory of God and of Our Lady." How good God is! He is the God of peace, and it is along paths of peace that He leads those who trust in Him. I shall begin then my new task, and thus fulfill the commands received from Your Excellency as well as the desires of Rev. Dr Galamba. With the exception of that part of the secret which I am not permitted to reveal at present, I shall say everything. I shall not knowingly omit anything, though I suppose I may forget just a few small details of minor importance.

Apparition of the Angel
Although I cannot give the exact date, it seems to me that it was 1915 that the first Apparition took place. As far as I can judge, it was the Angel, although at the time he did not venture to make himself fully known. From what I can recall of the weather, I think that this must have happened between the months of April and October in the year 1915.

My three companions from Casa Velha, by name of Teresa Matias and her Sister Maria Rosa, and Maria Justino, were with me on the southern slope of the Cabeco. We were just about to pray the Rosary when I saw, poised in the air above the trees that stretched down to the valley which lay at our feet, what appeared to be a cloud in human form, whiter than snow and almost transparent. My companions asked me what it was. I replied that I did not know. This happened in two further occasions, but on different days. This Apparition made a certain impression upon me, which I do not know how to explain. Little by little, this impression faded away, and were it not for the events that followed, I think I would have forgotten it completely.

The dates I cannot set down with certainty, because at that time, I did not know how to reckon the years, the months or even days of the week. But I think it must have been in the spring of 1916 that the Angel appeared to us for the first time in our Loca do Cabeco. As I have already written in my account of Jacinta, we climbed the hillside in search of shelter. After having taken our lunch and said our prayers, we began to see, some distance off, above the trees that stretched away towards the east, a light, whiter than snow, in the form of a young man transparent, and brighter than any crystal, pierced by the rays of the sun. As he drew nearer, we could distinguish his features more and more clearly. We were surprised, absorbed, and struck dumb with amazement. On reaching us, he said: "Do not be afraid. I am the Angel of Peace. Pray with me."

Kneeling down on the ground, he bowed down until his forehead touched the earth. Led by a supernatural atmosphere which enveloped us was so intense, that we were scarcely aware of our own existence, remaining in the same posture in which he had left us, and continually repeating the same prayer. The presence of God made itself felt so intimately and so intensely that we did not even venture to speak to one another. Next day we were still immersed in this spiritual atmosphere, which only gradually began to disappear. It did not occur to us to speak about this apparition, nor did we think of recommending that it be kept a secret. The very Apparition itself imposed secrecy. It was so intimate, that it was not easy to speak of it at all. The impression upon us was all the greater, perhaps, in that it was the first such manifestation that we had experienced.

The second Apparition must have been at the height of summer, when the heat of the day was so intense that we had to take the sheep home before noon and only let them out again in the early evening. We went to spend the siesta hours in the shade of the trees which surrounded the well that I have already mentioned several times. Suddenly, we saw the same Angel right beside us. "What are you doing?" he asked. "Pray! Pray very much! The Hearts of Jesus and Mary have designs of mercy on you. Offer prayers and sacrifices constantly to the most High." How are we to make sacrifices?" I asked. "Make everything you do a sacrifice, and offer it to God as an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended, and in supplication for the conversion of sinners. You will thus draw down peace upon your country. I am its Angel Guardian, the Angel of Portugal. Above all accept and bare with submission, the suffering which the Lord will send you."

These words were indelibly impressed upon our minds. They were like a light which made us understand who God is, how He loves us and desires to be loved, the value of sacrifice, how pleasing it is to Him and how, on account of it, he grants the grace of conversion to sinners. It was for this reason that we began, from then on, to offer the Lord all that mortified us, without however seeking out other forms of mortification and penance, except that we remained for hours on end with our foreheads touching the frond, repeating the prayer the Angel had taught us.

It seems to me that the third Apparition must have been in October, or towards the end of September, as we were no longer returning home for siesta. As I have already written in my account of Jacinta, we went one day from Pregueira ( a small olive grove belonging to my parents) to the Lapa, making our way along the slope of the hill on the side facing Aljustrel and Casa Velha. We said our Rosary there and the prayer the Angel had taught us at the first Apparition. While we were there, the Angel appeared to us for the third time, holding a chalice in his hand, with a Host above it from which drops of Blood were falling into the sacred vessel. Leaving the chalice and the Host suspended in the air, the Angel prostrated on the ground and repeated this prayer three times: "Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I adore You profoundly, and I offer You the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the out- rages, sacrileges and indifference with which He Himself is offended. And, through the infinite merits of His most Sacred Heart, and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of You the conversion of poor sinners."

Then rising, he once more took the chalice and the Host in his hands. He gave the Host to me, and to Jacinta and Francisco he gave the contents of the chalice to drink, saying as he did so: "Take and drink the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, horribly outraged by ungrateful men. Repair their crimes and console your God." Once again, he prostrated on the ground and repeated with us three times more, the same prayer..."Most Holy Trinity...." and then he disappeared. Impelled by the power of the supernatural that enveloped us, we imitated all that the Angel had done, prostrating ourselves on the ground as he did and repeating the prayers that he said. The force of the presence of God was so intense that it absorbed us and almost completely annihilated us. It seemed to deprive us of all our exterior actions as though guided by the same super - natural being who was impelling us thereto. The peace and happiness which we felt were great, but wholly interior, for our souls were completely immersed in God. The physical exhaustion that came over us was also great.

Lucia's Silence
I do not know why, but the Apparitions of Our Lady produced in us very different effects. We felt the same peace and happiness, but instead of physical prostration, an expansive ease of movement; instead of this annihilation in the Divine Presence, a joyful exultation; instead of the difficulty of speaking, we felt a certain communicative enthusiasm. Despite these feelings, however, we felt inspired to be silent, especially concerning certain things. Whenever I was interrogated, I experienced an interior inspiration which directed me how to answer, without either failing in truth or revealing what should remain hidden for the time being. In this respect, I still have just this one doubt: "Should I have not said everything in this canonical enquiry?"

But I have no scruples about having kept silence, because at that time I had as yet no realization of the importance of this particular interrogation to which I was accustomed. The only thing I thought strange was the order to take the oath. But as it was my confessor who told me to do so, and as I was swearing to the truth, I took the oath without any difficulty. Little did I suspect, at that moment, that the devil would make the most of this, in order to torment me with scruples later on. But thank God that is all over now.

There was yet another reason which confirmed me in my conviction that I did well to remain silent. In the course of the canonical enquiry, one of the interrogators, Rev. Dr. Marques dos Santos, thought he could extend somewhat his questionnaire, and began therefore to ask me more searching questions. Before answering, I looked enquiringly at my confessor. His Reverence saved me from my predicament, and answered on my behalf. He reminded the interrogator that he was exceeding his rights in this matter.

Almost the same thing happened when I was questioned by Rev. Dr. Fischer. He had the authorization of Your Excellency and of Rev. Mother Provincial, and seemed to have the right to question me on everything. But, thank God, he came accompanied by my confessor. At a given moment, he put to me a carefully studied question about the secret. I felt perplexed and did not know how to answer. I glanced towards my confessor, he understood me and answered for me. The interrogator understood also, and confined himself to picking up some magazines lying near by and holding them in front of my face. In this way, God was showing me that the moment appointed by Him had not yet arrived.

I shall now go on to write about the Apparitions of Our Lady. I shall not delay over the circumstances that preceded or followed them, since Rev. Dr. Galamba has kindly dispensed me from doing so.

The 13th May, 1917
High up on the slope in the Cova da Iria, I was playing with Jacinta and Francisco at building a little stone wall around a clump of furze. Suddenly we saw what seemed to be a flash of lightning. "We'd better go home," I said to my cousins, "that's lightning; we may have a thunderstorm." "Yes, indeed!" they answered. We began to go down the slope, hurrying the sheep along towards the road. We were more or less halfway down the slope, and almost level with a large holmoak tree that stood there, when we saw another flash of lightning.

We had only gone a few steps further when, there before us on a small holmoak, we beheld a Lady all dressed in white. She was more brilliant than the sun, and radiated a light more clear and intense than a crystal glass filled with sparkling water, when the rays of the burning sun shine through it. We stopped, astounded, before the Apparition. We were so close, just a few feet from her, that we were bathed in the light which surrounded her, or rather, which radiated from her. Then Our Lady spoke to us: "Do not be afraid. I will do you no harm." "Where are you from?" "I am from heaven." "What do you want from me?" "I have come to ask you to come here for six months in succession, on the 13th day, at this same hour. Later on, I will tell you who I am and what I want. Afterwards, I will return here yet a seventh time." "Shall I go to heaven too?" "Yes, you will." "And Jacinta?" "She will go also." "And Francisco?" "He will go there too, but he must say many Rosaries."

Then I remembered to ask about two girls who had died recently. They were friends of mine and used to come to my home to learn weaving with my eldest sister. "Is Maria das Neves in heaven?" "Yes, she is." (I think she was about 16 years old). "And Amelia?" "She will be in purgatory until the end of the world." (It seems to me that she was between 18 and 20 years of age). "Are you willing to offer yourselves to God and bear all the sufferings He wills to send you, as an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended, and of supplication for the conversion of sinners?" "Yes, we are willing." "Then you are going to have much to suffer, but the grace of God will be your comfort."

As She pronounced these last words "...the grace of God will be your comfort", Our Lady opened her hands for the first time, communicating to us a light so intense that, as it streamed from her hands, its rays penetrated our hearts and the innermost depths of our souls, making us see ourselves in God. Who was that light, more clearly than we see ourselves in the best of mirrors. Then, moved by an interior impulse that was also communicated to us, we fell on our knees, repeating in our hearts: "O most Holy Trinity, I adore You! My God, my God, I love You in the most Blessed Sacrament!"

After a few moments, Our Lady spoke again: "Pray the Rosary every day, in order to obtain peace for the world, and the end of the war." Then She began to rise serenely, going upwards towards the east, until She disappeared in the immensity of space. The light that surrounded Her seemed to open up a path Her in the firmament, and for this reason we sometimes said that we saw Heaven opening.

I think that I have already explained in my account of Jacinta, or else in a letter, that the fear that we felt was not really fear of Our Lady, but rather fear of the thunder storm which we thought was coming, and it was from this that we sought to escape. The Apparitions of Our Lady inspired neither fear nor fright, but rather surprise. When I was asked if I had experienced fear, and I said we had, I was referring to the fear we felt when we saw the flashes of lightning and thought that a thunder storm was at hand. It was from this that we wished to escape, as we were used to seeing lightening only when it thundered. Besides, the flashes of lightening were not really lightning, but the reflected rays of a light which was approaching. It was because we saw the light, that we sometimes said we saw Our Lady coming; but properly speaking, we only perceived Our Lady in that light when She was already on the holmoak tree.

The fact that we did not know how to explain this, and that we wished to avoid questions, caused us to say sometimes that we saw Her coming, we were referring to the approach of the light, which after all was Herself; and when we said that we did not see Her coming, we were really referring to the fact that we really saw Our Lady only when She was on the holmoak.

The 13th of June 1917
As soon as Jacinta, Francisco and I had finished praying the Rosary, with a number of other people who were present, we saw once more the flash reflecting the light which was approaching (which we called lightening). The next moment, Our Lady was there on the holmoak, exactly the same as in May. "What do You want of me?" I asked. "I wish you to come here on the 13th of next month, to pray the Rosary every day, and to learn to read. Later I will tell you what I want."

I asked for the cure of a sick person. "If he is converted, he will be cured during the year." "I would like to ask You to take us to Heaven." "Yes. I will take Jacinta and Francisco soon. But you are to stay here some time longer. Jesus wishes to make use of you to make me known and loved. He wants to establish in the world, devotion to my Immaculate Heart." "Am I to stay here alone?" I asked sadly. "No, my daughter. Are you suffering a great deal? Don't lose heart. I will never forsake you. My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God."

As Our Lady spoke these last words, She opened Her hands and for the second time, She communicated to us the rays of that same immense light. We saw ourselves in this light, as it were, immersed in God. Jacinta and Francisco seemed to be in that part of the light which rose towards Heaven, and I in that which was poured out on the earth. In front of the palm of Our Lady's right hand was a Heart encircled by thorns which pierced it. We understood that this was the Immaculate Heart of Mary outraged by the sins of humanity, and seeking reparation. You know now, Your Excellency, what we referred to when we said that Our Lady had revealed a secret to us in June. At the time, Our Lady did not tell us to keep it a secret, but we felt moved to do so by God.

The 13th of July, 1917
A few moments after arriving at the Cova da Iria, near the holmoak, where a large number of people were praying the Rosary, we saw the flash of light once more and a moment later, Our Lady appeared on the holmoak. "What do You want of me?" I asked. "I want you to come here on the 13th of next month, to continue to pray the Rosary every day in honour of Our Lady of the Rosary, in order to obtain peace for the world and the end of the war, because only She can help you."

"I would like to ask You to tell us who You are, and to work a miracle so that everybody will believe that You are appearing to us." "Continue to come here every month. In October, I will tell you who I am and what I want, and I will perform a miracle for all to see and believe." I then made some requests, but I cannot recall now just what they were. What I do remember is that Our Lady said it was necessary for such people to pray the Rosary in order to obtain these graces during the year. And She continued: "Sacrifice yourself for sinners, and say many times especially whenever you make some sacrifice 'O Jesus, it is for love of You, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the sins against the Immaculate Heart of Mary."

As Our Lady spoke these last words, She opened Her hands once more, as She had done during the two previous months. The rays of light seemed to penetrate the earth and we saw as it were a sea of fire. 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 that issued from within themselves together with great clouds of smoke, now falling back on every side like sparks in huge fires, without weight or equilibrium, amid shrieks and groans of pain and despair, which horrified us and made us tremble with fear. (It must have been the sight that caused me to cry out, as people say they heard me). The demons could be distinguished by their terrifying and repellent likeness to frightful and unknown animals, black and transparent like burning coals.

Terrified and as if to plead for succor, we looked up at Our Lady, who said to us kindly but so sadly: "You have seen hell, where 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 Puis X1. When you see a night illumined by an unknown light, know that this is the great sign given 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, the 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.

In Portugal the dogma of the Faith will always be preserved ect...Do not tell this to anybody. Francisco, yes, you may tell him. When you pray the Rosary, say after each mystery: 'O my Jesus, forgive us, save us from the fire of hell. Lead all souls to Heaven, especially those who are most in need'" After this, there was a moment of silence, and then I asked: "Is there anything more you want of me?" "No. I do not want anything more of you today." Then as before Our Lady began to ascend towards the east, until She finally disappeared in the immense distance of the firmament.

The 13th of August 1917
As I have already said what happened on this day, I will not delay over it here, but pass on to the Apparition which in my opinion took place on the 15th, in the afternoon. As at that time I did not yet know how to reckon the days of the month, it could be that I am mistaken. But I still have a recollection that it took place on the very day that we arrived back from Vila Nova de Ourem.

I was accompanied by Francisco and his brother John. We were with the sheep in a place called Valinhos, when we felt something supernatural approaching and enveloping us. Suspecting that Our Lady was about to appear to us, and feeling sorry lest Jacinta might miss seeing Her, we asked her brother to go and call her. As he was unwilling to go, I offered him two small coins and off he ran. Meanwhile, Francisco and I saw the flash of light, which we called lightning. Jacinta arrived, and a moment later we saw Our Lady on a holmoak tree. "what do you want of me?" "I want you to continue going to the Cova da Iria on the 13th, and to continue praying the Rosary every day. In the last month, I will perform a miracle so that all may believe."

"What do You want done with the money that the people leave in the Cova da Iria?" "Have two litters made. One is to be carried by you and Jacinta and two other girls dressed in white, the other one is to be carried by Francisco and three other boys. The money from the litters is for the festa of Our Lady of the Rosary, and what is left over will help towards the construction of a chapel that is to be built here." "I would like to ask You to cure some sick persons." "Yes, I will cure some of them during the year." Then looking very sad, Our Lady said: "Pray, pray very much and make sacrifices for sinners; for many souls go to hell, because there are none to sacrifice themselves and to pray for them." And She began to ascend as usual towards the east.

The 13th Of September, 1917
As the hour approached, I set out with Jacinta and Francisco, but owing to the crowds around us we could only advance with difficulty. The roads were packed with people, and everyone wanted to see us and speak to us. There was no human respect whatsoever. Simple folk, and even ladies and gentleman, struggled to break through the crowd that pressed around us. No sooner had they reached us than they threw themselves on their knees before us, begging us to place their petitions before Our Lady. Others who could not get close to us shouted from a distance.

"For the love of God, ask Our Lady to cure my son who is a cripple!" Yet another cried out: And to cure mine who is blind...To cure mine who is deaf! To bring back my husband, my son, who has gone to the war!...To convert a sinner!...To give me back my health as I have tuberculosis!" And so on. All the afflictions of poor humanity were assembled there. Some climbed up to the tops of trees and walls to see us go by, and shouted down to us. Saying yes to some, giving a hand to others and helping them up from the dusty ground, we managed to move forward, thanks to some gentleman who went ahead and opened a passage for us through the multitude.

Now when I read the New Testament about those enchanting scenes of Our Lord's passing through Palestine, I think of those which Our Lord allowed me to witness, while yet a child, on the poor roads and lanes from Aljustrel to Fatima and on to the Cova da Iria! I give thanks to God, offering Him the faith of our good Portuguese people, and I think: "If these people so humbled themselves before three poor children, just because they were mercifully granted the grace to speak to the Mother of God, what would they not do if they saw Our Lord Himself in person before them?" Well, none of this was called for here! It was a distraction of my pen, leading me away where I did not want to go. But, never mind! It's just another useless digression. I am not tearing it out, so to spoil the notebook.

At last, we arrived at the Cova da Iria, and on reaching the holmoak we began to say the Rosary with the people. Shortly afterwards, we saw the flash of light, and then Our Lady appeared on the holmoak. "Continue to pray the Rosary in order to obtain the end of the war. In October Our Lord will come, as well as Our Lady of Doloures and Our Lady of Carmel. Saint Joseph will appear with the Child Jesus to bless the world. God is pleased with your sacrifices. He does not want you to sleep with the rope on, but only to wear it during the daytime." "I was told to ask you many things, the cure of some sick people, of a deaf-mute..." "Yes, I will cure some, but not others. In October I will perform a miracle so that all may believe." Then Our Lady began to rise as usual, and disappeared.

The 13th of October, 1917
We left home quite early, expecting that we would be delayed along the way. Masses of people thronged the roads. The rain fell in torrents. My mother, her heart torn with uncertainty as to what was going to happen, and fearing it would be the last day of my life, wanted to accompany me. On the way, the scenes of the previous month, still more numerous and moving, were repeated. Not even the muddy roads could prevent these people from kneeling in the most humble and suppliant of attitudes. We reached the holmoak in the Cova da Iria. Once there, moved by an interior impulse, I asked the people to shut their umbrellas and say the Rosary.

A little later, we saw the flash of light, and the Our Lady appeared on the holmoak. "What do you want of me?" "I want to tell you that a chapel is to be built here in my honour. I am the Lady of the Rosary. Continue always to pray the Rosary every day. The war is going to end, and the soldiers will soon return to their homes." "I have many things to ask you: the cure of some sick persons, the conversion of sinners, and other things..." "Some yes, but not others. They must amend their lives and ask forgiveness for their sins." Looking very sad, Our Lady said: "Do not offend the Lord our God any more, because He is already so much offended." Then opening Her hands, She made them reflect on the sun, and as She ascended, the reflection of Her own light began to be projected on the sun itself.

Here, Your Excellency, is the reason why I cried out to the people to look at the sun. My aim was not to call their attention to the sun, because, because I was not even aware of their presence. I was moved to do so under the guidance of an interior impulse. After Our Lady had disappeared into the immense distance of the firmament, we beheld St. Joseph with the Child Jesus and Our Lady robed in white with a blue mantle, beside the sun. St. Joseph and the Child Jesus appeared to bless world, for they traced the Sign of the Cross with their hands. When, a little later, the apparition disappeared, I saw Our Lord and Our Lady; it seemed to me that it was Our Lady of Dolour's. Our Lord appeared to bless the world in the same manner as St. Joseph had done. This apparition also vanished, and I saw Our Lady once more, this time resembling Our Lady of Carmel.

Here then, Your Excellency, you have the story of the Apparitions of Our Lady in the Cova da Iria in 1917. Whenever and for whatever motive I speak of them, I sought to do so in a few words as possible, with the desire of keeping to myself alone those more intimate aspects which were so difficult for me to reveal. But as they belong to God and not to me, and as He now through Your Excellency, requires them of me, here they are. I return what does not belong to me. To the best of my knowledge, I keep nothing back!

I think I have only omitted some minor details referring to the petitions which I made. As these were merely material things, I did not attach such great importance to them, and it is perhaps because of this that they did not make such a vivid impression on my mind; and then there were so many of them, so very many! It was possibly because I was so anxious to remember the innumerable graces that I had to ask of Our Lady, that I was mistaken when I understood that the war would end on that very 13th.

Not a few people have expressed considerable surprise at the memory that God has deigned to give me. In this matter indeed I have, through His infinite goodness, been quite favoured in every respect. Where supernatural things are concerned, this is not to be wondered at, for these are imprinted on the mind in such a way that it is almost impossible to forget them. At least, the meaning of what is made known is never forgotten, unless it be that God also wills that this too be forgotten.

A Wonderful Cure
Furthermore, Rev. Galamba has asked me to write down any other favour that may have been obtained by means of Jacinta. I have given the matter some thought and can recall only two instances. I spoke of Senhora Emilia in the second account of Jacinta. The first time that this kind of lady came to take me to the priest's house in Olival, Jacinta went there with me. When we reached the village where that good widow lived, it was already night. In spite of this, news of our arrival quickly spread abroad, and Senhora Emilia's house was soon surrounded by a crowd of people. They all wanted to see us, question us, ask for graces, and so on.

It happened that a certain devout woman from a little village nearby was accustomed to recite the Rosary in her own home, in company with any of the neighbours who wished to join her. She, therefore, invited us to go and pray the Rosary in her house. We sought to excuse ourselves, explaining that we were going to say it with Senora Emilia, but she spoke so insistently that there was nothing to do but to yield to her request. When the news went round that we were going there, crowds of people hurried to the good woman's house in the hope of securing a good place. This was all the better for us, since we found the road comparatively free.

On our way to the house, a girl about twenty years old came out to meet us. Weeping, she knelt down, and begged us to enter her house and say at least one Hail Mary for the recovery of her father, who for three years had been unable to take any rest, on her account of continual hiccoughs. In such circumstances, it was impossible to resist. I helped the poor girl to her feet. As it was already late into the night, and we were finding our way along by the light of lanterns, I therefore told Jacinta to remain there, while I went on ahead to pray the Rosary with the people, promising to call for her on my return. She agreed. When I came back I, too, went into the house. I found Jacinta sitting on a chair, facing a man who was also seated.

He was not so very old but he looked emaciated, and he was weeping with emotion. Some persons were gathering around him, members of his family, I should think. On seeing me Jacinta got up, said goodbye and promised that she would not forget him in her prayers. Then we returned to Senora Emilia's house. Early next morning, we set out for Olival, and only came back three days later. When we reached Senora Emilia's house, there we found the happy girl accompanied by her father. He now looked much better, and had lost all trace of nervous strain and extreme weakness. They came to thank us for the grace they had received for, they said, he was no longer troubled by the annoying hiccoughs.

The Prodigal Son
The other favour was received by an aunt of mine called Vitoria, who was married and lived in Fatima. She had a son who was a real prodigal. I do not know the reason, but he left his father's house, and no one knew what had become of him. In her distress, my aunt came to Aljustrel one day to ask me to pray to Our Lady for this son of hers. Not finding me, she asked Jacinta instead, who promised to pray for him. A few days later, he suddenly returned home, asked his parents' forgiveness, and then went to Aljustrel to relate his sorry story.

He told us that, after having spent all that he had stolen from his parents, he wandered about for quite a while like a tramp until, for some reason I have now forgotten, he was put in jail at Torres Novas. After he had been there for some time, he succeeded in escaping one night and fled to the remote hills and unfamiliar pine groves. Realizing he had completely lost his way, and torn between the fear of being captured and the darkness of a stormy night, he found that his only recourse was prayer. Falling on his knees, he began to pray. Some minutes had passed, he affirmed, when Jacinta appeared to him, took him by the hand and led him to the main road which runs from Alqueldao to Reguengo, making a sign for him to continue in that direction. When morning dawned, he found himself on the road to Boleiros. Recognizing the place where he was, he was overcome with emotion and directed his steps straight home to his parents.

Now what he declared was that Jacinta had appeared to him, and that he had recognized her perfectly. I asked Jacinta if it was true that she had gone there to guide him. She answered that she had not, that she had no idea at all of the location of the pine woods and the hills where he had been lost. "I only prayed and pleaded very much with Our Lady for him because I felt so sorry for Aunt Vitoria". That was how she answered me. How then, did it happen? I don't know. Only God knows.

Notes On FR. Fonseca's Book
prologue Now, Your Excellency, it is time to comment on the book Our Lady of Fatima by Rev. Fr. Luis Gonzaga Aires de Fonseca S J. Rev D Galamba told me to make a note of anything which I found in the book that was not quite exact. I have only found a few small details, which are hardly worth mentioning. But as there is question of writing book, and as Your Excellency so desires it, I shall note these things down to prevent them being repeated.

In Chapter 11, page 18 it says, A small piece of uncultivated ground. Wholly uncultivated , no. In the Cova we grew maize, potatoes, beans, wheat, ect - whatever was being sown at the time. On the slope which goes up to the spot where we happened to be playing, was the criss- crossed by numerous tracks and furrows, leaving only one path way. On the extreme left on the way up, these tracks were formed by rows of holmoaks, both large and small all growing at random, and which together with the furze bushes formed dense thickets, making it difficult to get through. Taking the pathway on the right side going down, we went towards the large holmoak tree, and thus the small one was well to the left of us.

A little further back, in the same paragraph, it stated 'the second flash rooted us to the spot where we were'. This also is inexact. We saw it when we were half way down the slope which runs from the place of the Apparitions to the top of the hill, just before we reached the big holmoak. We kept on going until we came face to face with Our Lady on the small holmoak.

On the same page 19, it also says 'Amazed, they wished to flee'. This is also incorrect. I think I have already explained this in another account. As soon as we saw Our Lady, we never gave another thought to running away. Our Lady does not cause fear, but only surprise, peace and joy. When we said we had been afraid, we were referring to the fear we felt at the thought of a coming thunder storm, and that was why we wanted to run. I think that when Our Lady told us not to be afraid, She wanted to calm our fears of the thunder storm that we supposed was coming, for we were used to seeing lightening only when there was a storm. In our ignorance, we were as yet unable to distinguish between the flash of light and the lightening.

Chapter 11, page 20, says 'Almost the same length as the dress' I think this 'almost' should be eliminated because it was the same length. In the same Chapter 11, page 21, it says 'what have You come to do here'? I do not remember asking that question. Chapter 111, page 29 states: 'She then confided a secret to them and strictly forbade them to reveal it.' As I have already said above in my account of the Apparitions, in this particular month it was we ourselves who wished to keep the light and its effect secret. It was in the following month that the secret was imposed on us by Our Lady.

In the account of the Apparitions which the writer gives here, there are some small details that it seems to me quite useless to point out, since I have already written everything exactly as it happened. Furthermore, some of these details spring from the manner of expression used by the writer. Chapter V page 45 says 'Crying from fear'. Jacinta wept in prison because she missed her mother and her family, but she did not cry during the interrogation.

Chapter V page 46 says, 'The boy followed him crying'. He did not cry. Chapter V page 47 states 'They went running to the Cova da Iria.' We only went to the Cova Da Iria after the Apparition in Valinhos, some days later. Chapter V11, page 60 says 'The dress has gold lines'. It had no lines at all. When Francisco said that he was perhaps referring to the undulating effect of the light surrounding the dress. Chapter V11 Page 64 says 'Small earrings'. I didn't see any earrings. I remember a golden cord which like a brilliant sunbeam, seemed to border her mantle. It was reflected in the space left by the mantle as it fell from the head to the shoulders, shimmering in the light which enveloped Our Lady's whole person in undulating variations, which momentarily gave the impression of small earrings. I must have been referring to this when I gave that reply.

Chapter V11 page 66, give these words, 'Could you not at least tell it to your Confessor? She seemed somewhat puzzled and remained silent.' I was perplexed and did not know how to reply, because I kept several things secret which I was not forbidden to reveal. But I thank God who inspired my questioner to go on with the interrogation. I remember how I breathed again.

Chapter V11 page 73 says, 'Is this how you fulfill the order that Our Lady gave you?' I kept silence, not wishing to put the blame on my mother, who at that time had not yet allowed me to go to school. At home, they said it was out of vanity that I wanted to learn to read. Until then, hardly any girls learned to read. The school was just for boys. It was only later that a school was opened in Fatima for girls.

Interrogation By The Author Antero De Figueiredo
Chapter X111, page 58, states in the note. 'Rev. Mother Monfalim was present at all the authors interviews with Sister Dores'. This is not true. Only Dr. Antero de Figueiredo's daughter, who accompanied him, was present. Mother Monfalim, who was then my Provincial Superior, was in Tuy. From there, she wrote me a letter which she sent, unsealed by Dr. Antero de Figueiredo to Pontevedra, where I then was. There the interrogation took place, and it was one of those difficult interrogations that God has made me undergo.

In this letter, Rev. Mother Provincial ordered me to answer with sincerity, truthfulness and simplicity, everything that Dr. Antero de Figueiredo wished to ask me. She requested that I offer to God this act of obedience. Before handing me the letter, he read it. The order given me, that under obedience I was to answer everything with sincerity, pleased him; he judged that he could therefore, put to me any question whatsoever that his mind might advise. As if that were not enough, he had his daughter's head beside him, ready to conjure up more questions.

For my part, I was not slow in realizing how far he intended to go with his interrogation. I asked myself if I would now have to reveal my most intimate secrets, those which I had so far kept with such great care, and reveal them moreover to a lay man, who seemed to me not only to know nothing about the spiritual life, but not even to understand the bare essentials of the practice of the Christian life. To avoid making rash judgments and in order to be sure on how things stood, I tried to phrase my answers precisely in such away as to draw from him an admission of the truth. In fact he was deeply moved, and confessed more than once with tears streaming down his cheeks, the black spot of his sorry life. Afterwards, I regretted having given occasion for such sad avowals, but it was then too late. In spite of begging him not to make known to me such things, of which I knew little or nothing, his emotional state was such that he could not refrain from doing so, and I had to resign myself to listen to it all.

Meanwhile I was thinking 'Have I to manifest my intimate secrets to this man? Impossible!' And what about obedience? I don't know!' The local Mother Superior had received orders to be present at the interrogation. But, not wanting such a responsibility, she had excused herself owing to lack of time, and had withdrawn. I then asked to leave the room for a moment, and I went to place my doubts before her and ask her advice. Mother Superior replied that in view of Mother Provincial's order she didn't know how to advise me.

I then asked to speak to the confessor but he was absent, and nobody knew when he was due to return. I went to the chapel. I offered a brief prayer to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and to Our Lady and then returned to the parlor once more. The interrogation began again, and it was of such a kind as to draw out of me all that I kept locked within my heart. But the repugnance I felt at the thought of revealing it only increased, and the struggle between this and the doubt as to whether or not obedience obliged me to reveal grew stronger and stronger. I soon discovered that the good man sought to study me in depth.

The first and second day over, we reached the third day of the interrogation, and I became more and more perplexed. On the afternoon of the third day, it seemed that God willed to grant me a ray of His light. From the parlor I heard a voice in the hallway, that of a Jesuit Priest whom I had known in Tuy. Rev. Dr. Herrera. Without loss of time, I asked to leave the room for a moment, and made my way to Mother Superior to ask permission to speak to him. Right then, I wanted nothing further from His Reverence than he would tell me how far obedience obliged me to manifest myself.

But God wanted sacrifice! Did He not also find Himself alone in the Garden of Olives? And is He not still alone in so many abandoned Tabernacles? We must keep Him company and remain at His side, not only in the breaking of the bread, but also in the drinking of the chalice. It was certainly through this dispensation of the Almighty that Rev. Mother Superior refused me permission to speak to the venerable Jesuit priest. With a heart even heavier than when I left, I went back to the parlor. The interrogation continued becoming more and more detailed every moment. The fourth day came, still darker than the three preceding ones. There was already considerable discontent in the community. A lot of work needed to be done in the house and there was I doing nothing! As far as they could see, I was having a fine time in the parlor, and therefore making no effort to bring the visit to a speedy conclusion.

Mother Superior was already showing how displeased she was, also had they been able to read my heart. O my God, they would have seen how greatly I would have preferred, had I been given the choice, a brush with which to scrub the house rather than the padded chair on which they saw me so comfortably seated! But we must not let the breath of creatures dull the mirror that shines brightly in the sight of God. And then I must confess were it not for the word, Obedience, that Mother Provincial put in her letter, the interrogator would have had to return home on the very first day with his list of questions just the same as he had brought it, as indeed had happened to him the previous year.

'What am I to do?' I asked myself, without being able to arrive at any decision. The interrogation seemed to be still very far from coming to an end. God be thanked, I found that a trust worthy messenger was going straight to Tuy that very afternoon. I hastily wrote down on a piece of paper the main difficulties facing me and sent it to Rev. Mother Provincial, begging the favor of an urgent reply by telephone. The following morning at nine o'clock, Mother Lemos, the Mistress of Novices, gave the answer over the phone on behalf of Mother Provincial. "You can keep silent" she said: about everything you do not wish to make known. Do not send the interrogator away, but rather give a satisfactory answer to all his questions, however long the interrogation might last."

Good! On the strength of this reply, I began the fifth day, with my spirit no longer clouded over. Why worry about the external conflicts instigated by the devil, as long as I had in my soul the inner certainty that I was fulfilling God's will, as known to me through obedience? The interrogation continued for several days more. At it's close, I followed the advice of our confessor, who had just returned that very day, and firmly told the interrogator that he was absolutely forbidden to publish or make known anything whatsoever of all that I had told him, without the express approbation of your Excellency and the Rev. Mother Provincial.

The good gentleman was by no means pleased with such a proposition, and did everything he could to persuade me to revoke it. I saw that I would be obliged to take a firm stand. Strengthened, however, by the Devine Holy Spirit, I stood firm right to the end. You know now, Your Excellency, what happened during Dr. Antero de Figueiredo's interrogation. As you can see, this was the time I felt most keenly that God alone was with me.

During the interrogation, there was yet another doubt that tormented me, and that was the absence of any authorization on the part of Your Excellency. I asked myself: "did Rev. Mother provincial ask the Bishop's permission before she gave me this order? Would his Excellency be happy to have me subjected to such an interrogation without his authorization? and what about the order His Excellency gave me that I am not to speak about these things?" It was because of all these doubts that I wrote a full account of the whole affair to Your Excellency. The good Lord was pleased to permit that I received no answer to my letter, and I therefore left the whole matter in God's hands.

Final Annotations
Chapter V11, page 77, reads as follows: 'The little shepherd arrived, rather better dressed than usual. The little girls wore sky blue dresses, with white veils and wreaths of flowers on their heads ect.' I think that this is incorrect. I seem to recall that a lady did indeed appear and she wished to dress us up like that, but we refused. What I do remember well about that particular day is that I arrived home without my plaits, which I wore down to my waist, and that my mother was most upset when she saw that I had even less hair than Francisco. Who stole my plaits? I donít know.

Amid the crush of such a multitude, there was no lack of scissors or thieving hands. It was easy enough to loose my kerchief, even if in fact it wasn't stolen. Already, in the two previous months, quite a lot of my plaits had been snipped off! Nothing is my own, so what of it! Everything belongs to God. May he dispose all as best pleases Him.

Chapter 1X, page 87, says,' Will our Lady appear again? I don't expect she will,' I was referring to the apparitions on the 13th,in the form they had taken in the preceding months. It was in the sense that I understood the question.

There is another question also that has often been put to me, and to which I gave no answer other than silence or a smile. Dr. Antero de Figueredo asked this question several times, I answered in as few words as possible. He was completely at a loss to understand my manner of acting, and that was what I wanted.

Almost all who questioned me were most impressed by the fact that even while I was being interrogated, I lowered my eyes and concentrated my thoughts in such a way that I seemed to pay no attention to the question that was being put to me. At times, people even repeated their question, thinking that I had not heard it. I told Dr. Antero de Figueiredo that I was recalling what had happened with regard to the subject on which he had questioned me. And indeed that was true. But the real motive behind my action was that I was seeking, in the depths of my conscience and with the help of the Holy Spirit, an answer which, without revealing the reality, would still be in accordance with the truth.

Jacinta's Reputation for Sanctity
There remains one more question of Dr. Galamba's, which I have yet to answer: 'How did people feel when they were in Jacinta's presence?' It is not easy to reply, for, ordinarily, I do not know what goes on within other people, and therefore I do not know how they feel. This means that I can only say what I feel myself, and describe ant exterior manifestation of other people's feelings.

Jacinta, reflection of God
What I myself usually felt was much the same as anyone feels in the presence of a Holy person who seems to be in continual communication with God. Jacintaís demeanor was always serious and reserved, but friendly. All her actions seemed to reflect the presence of God in the way proper to people of mature age and great virtue. I never noticed in her that excessive frivolity or childish enthusiasm for games and pretty things, so typical of small children. This, of course, was after the apparitions; before then, she was the personification of enthusiasm and caprice!

I cannot say that the other children gathered around her as they did around me. This was most probably due to the fact that she did not know as many songs or stories with which to teach and amuse them, or perhaps that there was in her a seriousness far beyond her years. If in her presence a child, or even a grown up, were to say or do anything unseemly, she would reprimand them, saying 'Don't do that, for you are offending the Lord our God, and He is already so much offended!'

If, as sometimes happened, the child or adult answered back, and called her a 'pious Mary' or a plaster Saint, or some other such thing, she would look at them very seriously and walk away without saying a single word. Perhaps this was one of the reasons she did not enjoy more popularity. If I was with her, dozens of children would gather round us in no time; but if I went away, she would soon find herself all alone. Yet when I was with her, they seemed to delight in her company. They would hug and kiss her in the affectionate way of innocent children. They loved to sing and play with her, and sometimes begged me to go and look for her when she had not come out to play. If she told them that she did not want to come because they were naughty, they promised to be good if only she would come out: 'Go and get her, and tell her we promise to be good if she'll come.'

When I went to visit her during her illness, I often found a large group waiting at the door, hoping to be able to come in with me and see her. They seemed to be held back by a certain sense of respect. Sometimes, before I left, I asked her, Jacinta, do you want me to tell some of them to stay here with you and keep you company? 'Oh, yes! But just the ones smaller than myself.' Then they all vied with each other, saying,' I'll stay! I'll stay! After that, she entertained them by teaching them the Our Father, Hail Mary, how to bless themselves, and to sing. Sitting on her bed or, if she was up, on the floor of the living room, they played 'pebbles', using crab apples, chestnuts, sweet acorns, dried figs and so on, all which my aunt was only too happy to supply, so that her little girl might enjoy the children's company.

She prayed the Rosary with them, and counseled them not to commit sin, and so avoiding offending the Lord our God and going to hell, and seemed very happy in her company. but once they had left her presence, they did not dare to go back in the trusting way so natural to children. Sometimes they came in search of me, begging me to go in with them, or they waited for me outside the house, or they waited at the door until my aunt or Jacinta herself invited them in to see her. They seemed to like her and enjoy her company, but they felt themselves held back by a certain shyness or respect that kept them somewhat at a distance.

Jacinta Model Of Virtue
Grown-ups also went to visit her. They showed clearly how much they admired her demeanor, which was always the same, always patient, without being in the least demanding or complaining. Whatever the position in which she was lying when her mother left her, this was how she remained. If they asked her whether she felt better, she answered: "I'm just the same," or "I think I'm worse, thank you very much." There was an air of sadness about her, as she lay silent in the presence of visitors. People stayed sitting by her bedside for long periods at a stretch, and looked as though they felt happy to be there. It was there also that Jacinta had to undergo detailed and exhausting interrogations. She never showed the slightest impatience or repugnance, but merely told me later: "My head aches so much after listening to all those people! Now that I cannot run away and hide, I offer more of these sacrifices to Our Lord."

The neighbours sometimes brought along clothes they were making, so that they could sit and sew by her bedside. "I'll work a little beside Jacinta," they would say; "I don't know what it is about her, but it is good to be with her." They brought their little ones along too. The children amused themselves by playing with Jacinta, and their mothers were thus left free to do their sewing. When people asked her questions, she answered in a friendly manner, but briefly.

If they said anything which she thought was improper, she promptly replied: "Don't say that; It offends the Lord our God." If they related something unbecoming about their families, she answered: "Don't let your children commit sin, or they could go to hell." If there were grown-ups involved, she said: "Tell them not to do that, for it is a sin. They offend the Lord our God, and later they could be damned." People who came to visit us from a distance, either out of curiosity or from devotion, seemed to sense something supernatural about Jacinta. At times, when they came to my house to speak to me, they remarked: "We've just been talking to Jacinta and Francisco; when with them we feel that there is something supernatural about them." Sometimes, they went so far as to want me to explain why they felt like that. As I did not know, I simply shrugged my shoulders and said nothing. I have often heard people commenting on this.

One day, two priests and a gentleman came to my home. While my mother was opening the door and inviting them to come in and sit down, I climbed into the attic to hide. My mother, after showing them in, left them alone, while she went into the yard to call me. In the meantime, the good gentleman were discussing the matter: "We'll see what this one will tell us." "What impressed me," remarked the gentleman, "was the innocence and sincerity of Jacinta and her brother. If this one does not contradict herself, I'll believe. I don't know what it is I felt in the presence of those two children!" "It's as though one feels something supernatural in their presence," added one of the priests. "It did my soul good to talk to them."

My mother did not find me, and the good gentleman had to resign themselves to taking their departure without having been able to speak to me. "Sometimes," my mother told them, "she goes off to play with other children, and nobody can find her." "We're very sorry! We greatly enjoyed talking to the two little ones, and we wanted to talk to your little girl as well; but we shall come back another time."

One Sunday, my friends from Moita, Maria, Rosa and Ana Caetano, and Maria and Ana Brogueira, came after Mass to ask my mother to let me go and spend the day with them. Once I received permission, they asked me to bring Jacinta and Francisco along too. I asked my aunt and she agreed, and so all three of us went to Moita.

After dinner, Jacinta was so sleepy that her little head began to nod. Mr. Jose Alves sent one of his nieces to go and put her to bed. In just a short while, she fell fast asleep. The people of the little hamlet began to gather in order to spend the afternoon with us. They were so anxious to see Jacinta that they peeped in to see if she were awake.

They were filled with wonder when they saw that, although in a deep sleep, she had a smile on her lips, the look of an angel, and her little hands joined and raised to towards heaven. The room was soon filled with curious people. Everyone wanted to see her, but those inside were in no hurry to come out and make room for the others.

Mr. Jose Alves, his wife and his nieces all said: "This must be an angel." Overcome, as it were, with awe, they remained kneeling beside the bed until, about half-past four, I went to call her, so that we could all go and pray the Rosary in the Cova da Iria and then returned home. Mr. Jose Alves' nieces are the Caetano girls mentioned above.

Francisco was Different
In contrast to Jacinta, Francisco was quite different. He had an easy manner, and was always friendly and smiling, playing with all the children without distinction. He did not rebuke anybody. All he did was to go aside, whenever he saw anything that was not as it should be. If he was asked why he went away, he answered: "Because you're not good," or "Because I don't want to play any more."

During his illness, the children ran in and out of his room with the greatest, freedom talked to him through the window and asked him if he was feeling better, and so forth. If he was asked whether he wanted some of the children to stay with him and keep him company, he used to say that he preferred not, as he liked to be alone. He would say to me sometimes: "I just like having you here, and Jacinta too." When grown-ups came to see him, he remained silent, only answering when directly questioned, and then in as few words as possible. People who came to visit him, whether they were neighbours or strangers, often spent long periods sitting by his bedside, and remarked: "I don't know what it is about Francisco, but it feels so good to be here!"

Some women from the village commented on this one day to my aunt and my mother, after having spent quite a long time in Francisco's room: "It's a mystery one cannot fathom! They are children just like any others, they don't say anything to us, and yet in their presence one feels something one can't explain, and that makes them different from all the rest." "It seems to me that when we go into Francisco's room, we feel just as we do when we go into a church," said one of my aunt's neighbours, a woman named Romana, who apparently did not believe in the Apparitions. There were three others in this group also: the wives of Manuel Faustino, Jose Marto and Jose Silva.

I am not surprised that people felt like that, being accustomed to find in everyone else only the preoccupation with material things which goes with an empty, superficial life. Indeed, the very sight of these children was enough to lift their minds to our heavenly Mother, with whom the children were believed to be in communication; to eternity, for they saw how eager, joyful and happy they were at the thought of going there; to God, for they said that they loved Him more than their own parents; and even to hell, for the children warned them that people would go there if they continued to commit sin. Externally, they were, so to speak, children like all others.

But if these good people, so accustomed to the material side of life, had only known how to elevate their minds a little, they would have seen without difficulty that, in these children, there was something that marked them out as being different from all others. I have just remembered something else connected with Francisco, and I am going to relate it here. A woman called Mariana, from Casa Velha, came one day into Francisco's room. She was most upset because her husband had driven their son out of the house, and she was asking for the grace that her son will be reconciled with his father. Francisco said to her in reply: "Don't worry. I'm going to heaven very soon, and when I get there I will ask Our Lady for that grace." I do not recall just how many days remained before he took his flight to heaven, but what I do remember is that, on the very afternoon of Francisco's death, the son went for the last time to ask pardon of his father, who had previously refused it because his son would not submit to the conditions imposed.

The boy accepted everything that the father demanded, and peace reigned once again in that home. The boy's sister, Leocadia by name, later married a brother of Jacinta and Francisco and became the mother of their niece, whom Your Excellency met in Cova da Iria when she was about to enter the Dorotheans.

I think, Your Excellency, that I have written everything that you have asked of me for now. Up to this, I did all I could to conceal the more intimate aspects of Our Lady's Apparitions in the Cova da Iria. Whenever I found myself obliged to speak about them I was careful to touch on the subject very lightly, to avoid revealing what I wanted so much to keep hidden. But now that obedience has required this of me, here it is!

I am left like a skeleton, stripped of everything, even of life itself, placed in the National Museum to remind visitors of the misery and nothingness of passing things. Thus despoiled, I shall remain in the Museum of the world, reminding all who pass, not of misery and nothingness, but of the Divine Mercies.

May the Good God and the Immaculate Heart of Mary deign to accept the humble sacrifices that they have seen fit to ask of me, in order to vivify in souls the spirit of faith, confidence and love.

Tuy, 8th December, 1941
To the Rector of the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima I received your letter, Reverend Father, dated 23 November 1988, in which you ask me to better describe the image of my father, since what I wrote in this regard in the Memoirs is so incomplete and you wish to make our home a place of reflection about the family. For this reason, I am willing, because I remember my parents as admirable examples of a Christian family, united in faith, hope and love. It is true, that the picture I give, in the Memoirs, is very inadequate because I wrote amidst several difficulties- lack of time and of the necessary conditions to render it better by rereading and correcting it. And, then, they were published without my previous knowledge. But what can be done? I offer my sacrifice to God, hoping that from everything, He may draw forth His own Glory.

In the same letter, Your Reverence asks insistently for a response to your questionnaire sent by means of our Provincial Fr Jeremias Carlos Vechina, and which was given to me by His Reverence on 31st October 1986 with the recommendation to respond as soon as it was possible. Because, at the time it was not possible for me to undertake this work, I placed it in the bottom of a drawer, where it has remained until now.

Seeing that, Your Reverence had to come here on April 14 1988, to deal with matters concerning the home of my parents, you repeated, with insistence, your request for a response to your questionnaire. On October 20, 1988, our present Provincial Fr Pedro Lourenco Ferreira, at your request I think, advised me not to defer doing this work, believing it to be for the glory of God. In view of all these insistent requests and recommendations, above all, those of my Superiors in which I always see a sign of the will of God- I spoke about the matter with our Mother Prioress who considered it very carefully and decided to dispense me from assisting at some of the Community exercises, so that I would be able to dedicate the time to this work.

Therefore, believing this to be the will of God, and because it is what Your Reverence needs more speedily, I am going to begin by describing the portrait of my father, trusting in the maternal protection of Our Lady. The responses to your questionnaire will be made afterwards, but, for now, I must say that to some- those referring to the Apparitions - I cannot reply without authorization from the Holy See, unless you would like to ask for this permission and obtain it. Otherwise, I will go ahead, leaving these questions blank. I am going to begin the story about my father, responding to question number 16 on your questionnaire. And may God assist me, and may my father, who sees me from Heaven, take my hand again, as he did when I was a child guiding it and teaching me to trace my on my forehead the sign of the Redeeming Cross of Christ Our Savior.

My Father, Before the Apparitions
"Was there anyone thought of as rich in the village of Aljustrel? And why?" Yes, there was the family Santos. It was a large Christian and practicing Catholic family. They lived near the Family Ferreira Rosa, to whom the houses belonged: and from whom the Sanctuary recently purchased, for a museum, the one which was my parents- comprising the house, patio and kitchen garden beyond the well. From there onwards, this family owned a great extension of properties in the direction of Montelo, Our Lady of Ortiga, Fatima, Valinhos, Cabeco, Charneca and Cova da Iria. My father's aunt (1). She lived, I'm not sure for how long, with her two unmarried brothers, who when they died made her the heir of all their goods, thus she had two times more than all the other brothers and sisters.

It was my father, who while he lived, cultivated our lands together with hers, ploughing, sowing and reaping. She employed three labourers and a maid called Inacia. The men worked in the field under my father's direction. One of the servants was a young boy of 12 or 13 years of age. He pastured a small flock of sheep which belonged to aunt Teresa: some 15 or 20 sheep, like ours all white and large of the Marina breed, very productive of offspring, wool and milk. When my father required that this boy go to help in the field work, he ordered the two flocks combined and taken altogether to pasture. He ordered the same when he had to plough some fields with grass, so that the two flocks at the same time as they were grazing, would manure the land. One of those days the boy went to help in the field work, by walking ahead of the oxen as they ploughed, cutting the grass and gathering the food for the animals. Upon returning home that night, the two flocks of sheep gave no trouble in being separated, because of their instinct for the water which they had in their troughs and for their own food, each one ran to their own pen, chewing the cud through the night, so that on the following day they gave better and more abundant milk.

Aunt Teresa afterwards married one of the workmen, Anastacio Vieria. He was a very good friend of my father's and thus they continued, sharing between the two of them the farming tasks that had to be done. They had no children. when I was born, my father invited Uncle Anastacio to be my godfather at Baptism, something he and my aunt Teresa accepted with great pleasure. They asked my parents to give me to them, so they could bring me up as their own child and adopt me, but this my parents did not want. However they did allow them to take me to their home whenever they wished, which happened frequently, always with the hope of fulfilling their desire. My godmother Teresa said that it was also to relieve my mother, for in her charity, she was at this time, she was raising a little orphan, who had been left without a mother at birth.

Despite of the Santos family being of a peaceable nature and the Ferreura Rosa family being of a more expansive type, playing the harmonium and the guitar, arranging festas and dances- this still persisted during my childhood, and I referred to it slightly in the Memoirs - various members of the Santos family married those of the Ferreira Rosa family; among them my father and his sister Olymphia who became the mother of the servants of God, Francisco and Jacinta Marto. Aunt Olympia in her first marriage, became the wife of my mother's brother, Jose Ferreira Rosa, who after having been in Mozambique, returned from there bringing savings sufficient to allow him to restore the home of his parents, giving it the form that it has today, and to build for himself, when he married aunt Olympia, the home where the Servants of God, Francisco and Jacinta Marto were born. He died eight years after the marriage, leaving as heirs to his home and other possessions, his young wife who received two half and his two orphaned children, Antonio and Manuel dos Santos Ferreria Rosa, who received the other half.

The Ferreira Rosa family distinguished itself by the practice of charity. My mother's aunt, Maria Isabel Ferreira (Rosa) taught children to read in the house which the Sanctuary eventually purchased as a museum. It must have been with her that my mother learned: my sister Teresa and my brother Manuel. She was unable to teach the other nieces and nephews, who were younger perhaps because of illness. I did not know her but I heard her spoken of with deepest affection, esteem and veneration, especially by my mother.

When I was small we still had an old wooden chest in our casarona, where, it was said, my great-grandmother hid her when during the French invasion, General Junot wished to kidnap her. This aunt of my mother gathered abandoned children to care for them and afterwards place them in the homes of good families who would love them and help them through life. She died unmarried, in the home of my grandparents, which afterwards my mother inherited. From my parents, I became the heir of this home and had the pleasure of donating it to Our Lady for Her Sanctuary of Fatima, in the hope that it may be for the glory of God, of Our Lady and the spiritual happiness of our pilgrim brothers and sisters who go there and enjoy seeing things as they were in former times. I believe that it was due to this aunt of mine, that it became the custom for the children of the region to come to play on our patio, together with me, and that the mothers came to leave their smallest children while they went about their different tasks. I have already referred to this in the memoirs.

My father loved to see the children in our house, and when it happened that he was at home, he amused them by telling them stories and playing with them. My father was very diligent about taking his children to the Baptismal font. One day I heard my mother speaking to Dr. Formigao in an interview. He was asking her about the date of my birth. My mother answered: "We say that it is on the 22nd of March, because she was registered as having been born on that day, but, in fact this is not the case. she was born on the 28th of March 1907. It was Holy Thursday; in the morning, I went to Holy Mass to receive Holy Communion, thinking I would return in the afternoon to visit the Blessed Sacrament, but it was not to be, since on that afternoon she was born. (Only then did I know the actual date of my birth. This is not surprising, because in Fatima, at that time, no one attached any importance to ones birthday, it was not a feast; therefore it was not something of which we spoke.)

Meanwhile, as she is registered as being born on the 22nd, we continue to say that this is her birthday. Right away her father made arrangements for her Baptism. It was not convenient for him the following week, because of his work, but, as it was required that the parents bring the child for baptism on the eighth day after birth - otherwise they would have to pay a fine - her father decided to give the date of her birth as the 22nd, so that the Parish Priest would baptize her on Holy Sunday, which was the 30th of the same month." He invited as godmother for my baptism, a young neighbour, a goddaughter of my mother. She was happy to accept and went to ask permission of her father. It was the custom in those times, that young girls could not take any responsibility without their parentsí permission. Her father asked her what name they were going to give the child. She told him that it was Maria Rosa, because the mother already had four daughters and none of them had this name, which was hers; she was also called Maria Rosa and an infant who had already preceded me, whom God had already taken to Heaven, had been named Maria Rosa. Her father responded: "No! You must call her Lucia! If that is not so, I will not permit you to be the godmother".

She went to tell my parents, who surprised asked: "But where did your father get such a name?" However out of courtesy, they agreed that I should be named Lucia. Thus by the grace of God, I was baptized on Holy Saturday, 30th of March 1907, when the bells of the Parish Church announced the Resurrection of the Lord. (At that time there was no civil register, it was only in the Parish Church). My father was of a calm nature, kindly and joyful; he liked music and festas and dances. So that even though the Santos family was of a different nature, he adapted very well to the ways of the Ferreira Rosa family. Her had no disputes with anyone, neither with the family nor with strangers.

He loved to please everyone and see everyone happy. For example, that little patch of land with fig trees, within our grounds, going towards the well, and which the Sanctuary purchased, it was my father who gave it to a certain family, because they lamented not having a fig tree near their home from which to gather figs to eat. Neither my father nor my mother wished that any poor person should go away from our door without something. If my father was at home, it was he who gave; if not it was my mother, if it was neither one or the other it was the older son or daughter, who would give the alms. To me - as the youngest - it happened often, because my sisters, in order not to interrupt their work, would send me, and this made me very happy. And, what was it we gave? Sometimes, a handful of potatoes; other times a bowl of kidney beans or of chick peas; other times a little olive oil was poured into small jars that they carried; or even piece of bread with sheep's cheese or a bowl of sweet olives for them to eat.

At times my mother, when she went to a salting board to fetch the meat for the family meal, would bring something extra, and put it in a drawer of the kitchen table, folded in a cabbage leaf and say: "Leave this here; it is for the poor beggar who appears asking for alms." Whenever there was meat left from the family meal, my mother placed it between two slices of bread, and put it on a small earthenware plate in the drawer, saying: "Leave this here: it is for the first person who comes along asking for alms."

I recall here what happened one day; my father was at home, sitting on the steps of a stairway which led to the attic, shelling beans. My mother was seated opposite, leaning against the corner of firewood, peeling potatoes. I was still very small, so I was playing outside on the patio, which was closed by a large gate made of wooden slats. I saw near the gateway a poor beggar asking for alms. I ran into the house and said to my father: "There's a poor man outside begging for alms." My father got up, went to the fireplace, and with his pen knife cut the string of black pudding they were hanging up to dry, and holding it up in his hand, he asked my mother: "Look here, may I give this to that poor man? Do we need it?" My mother replied: "Yes, you can. What we give to the poor has never left us in need."

My father very pleased went out to the gate to give the pudding to the poor man. Seeing it he raised his hands in prayer and prayed an Our Father and a Hail Mary. While the poor man prayed, my father remained in front of him, standing with his head uncovered. When the beggar had finished, he said "May the Lord grant good fortune to you and to your little girl." My father answered: "Goodbye my brother, until the next time!" And he went into the house again. I ran after my father and said to my mother: "The poor man prayed for father and me, so that God may give us good fortune." My mother replied: "And for me nothing?" I did not know what to say. Then my father said: "For you also, because you and I are one, everything that is mine is yours and our children's." My mother responded: "Then itís alright!" And the two of them remained in their humble work and friendly conversation, while I returned to the patio to play and watch for anymore beggars who might come asking for alms.

Certainly at that time I did not understand the full meaning of this event, but it made an impression on me and I did not forget it. Today, however, I understand its great moral and spiritual value. Often, at nightfall, the poor came asking for a place to rest. We always gave them somewhere to lie down. We shared our supper with them; they prayed the grace after meals with us which my father intoned and then the Rosary, if it was a day on which it was prayed. Afterwards, during winter, while my mother tidied the kitchen, my sister worked on the loom and at the sewing, while my brother foddered the animals, giving them the final ration of the day. My father used to cut the chestnuts and sweet acorns, putting them on the embers to roast, so that they could eat them at nightfall while they worked to the sound of guitars, of fados, and popular songs and ballads of lengthy verses, which the poor folk would sing if they happened to be blind.

Or, if it was summer time, we went to the threshing floor, where there was always something to do - if it was not the day for husking - peeling, by moon- light and by the light of the lanterns hanging on the poles near by, the broad beans, kidney beans, peas, chick peas or lupin, which were kept for seed and sifting the seed from the cabbages, lettuces, turnips, ect all the while taking in the cool air which was so refreshing. Our house was like a house for everyone, it had a door where all knocked and at which were all attended. Sometimes they came to ask for bread, if we had any, so that we could lend them one or two loaves, because they had finished theirs and it was not yet the day of baking a new batch. My mother always had some. "Go and take it, it's there!"

In the summer, they came to ask for pitchers of water, because their wells and cisterns were dry, and to go and fetch it from a new spring was so far away. My mother and my father, if he had happened to be home, would always say yes, giving them the key to the cover of the well. My parents always kept the well closed with an iron padlock, so that no insects or animals, or children who were playing there would fall in- and saying: "Go there, and fill your pitchers."

And God blessed it, because the water of our well never failed. Other times they came to ask, if we had any onions left which we could spare, because theirs had run out and those of the new harvest were still very small and it was a pity to gather them so early. "Go ahead" - answered my mother, or my father, if he was home - "to the baking room and take what you need." My parents had them hanging on string from beams of wood on the roof of the baking room. And so it went on.... Thus all were our friends who were at the service of all.

One day my sister Maria dos Anjos said to my mother: "Why do you bake such large batches of bread? Afterwards we wonít eat it all and it just gets hard!" My mother replied: "So that we have some over to give to those who come and ask; and later on what ever is left can be cut into slices, toasted in the oven and used in the weary horse soup or fried so that everyone can eat it quite well."

Frequently, they came to ask my mother if she would go to their homes, because someone was ill. My mother left everything and went, leaving whatever had to be done to any of my older sisters, who were at home. I recall one day, on which my godmother Teresa was in our house, talking with my mother. A small boy came, the son of my aunt Prazeres - theirs was the first house on the left side of our home, going towards Casa Velha - to ask my mother if she would go to his house, because his mother was ill. My mother quickly got up to go. My godmother Teresa told her: "well my dear, you'll wear yourself out wanting to attend to everyone!" My mother replied: "never mind, I help others and God helps me." If it happened to be at night that they came to call my mother, it was my father who got up to go and help.

Afterwards, he brought the message to my mother and, while she was dressing, he lit the lantern, so that she would not stumble or fall along the way. When the influenza epidemic came in 1918, only my parents, my brother Manuel, my sister Gloria and I were at home. It seems to me that my sister Carolina was in Leiria. The epidemic struck almost all the people. My mother and my sister Gloria went, from house to house, caring for the sick. One day, my uncle Ti Marto warned my father that he should not permit my mother or his daughters to go to the homes of the sick to treat them, because it was an epidemic which was contagious and we might also get sick.

That evening, upon arriving, my father forbid my mother and his daughters to go to the homes of the sick to treat them. My mother listened, in silence to all that my father said and then responded: "Look you have a good point. Its just as you say. But, look here, how can we leave those people to die, without anyone there to give them a glass of water? It would be better if you came with me to see how these people are, and, then, if it's all right to leave them alone" And pointing to a large pot which she had hanging on a chain from the chimney, over the fire in the fireplace, she said: "Do you see that pot? It's full of chickens. Some are not ours; I brought them from the homes of the sick because ours were not enough for everyone. They're cooking in order to make a broth and I have over there, the small pots which I brought from their homes already, in which to carry them. If you would like to come with me, you could help carry the baskets with the pots of broth and, at the same time, you will be able to see for yourself and then we can decide what has to be done."

My father agreed. They filled the pots with broth and they went out together, each one with two baskets, one in each hand. A little later, my father returned with a baby in a little baby basket and said to my sister Gloria and to me: "Take care of this child. The parents are both in bed with fever and are not able to look after him." He went out again, and a little later returned with two more children, who were already able to walk but still could not take care of themselves, and he said: "Take care of these two also, they do nothing but cry at their parents bedside, and they both have fever and are not able to care for them."

And so he brought more. I don't remember how many. The next day they came to say that in my Aunt Olympia's house also, they were all in bed with the fever. My parents went their also to care for them. Then, in time, everybody got better, but four of them always remained with some traces of the fever which weakened them one after the other, in a few years these four died Francisco, Jacinta, Florinda and Teresa. In those days my parents did nothing except go from house to house, to treat the sick. My father and my brother Manuel also cared for the animals that were in their pens bleating with hunger and they brought the milk to give to the sick and the children. To these they also gave soups made of softened bread in chicken broth, to the older ones mince meat in the chicken broth, with rice and the same was given to the sick who were getting better.

The need was so great, that my parents did not hesitate to allow me to spend some nights in the home of a widow who lived alone with her son, who was in the last stages of Tuberculosis. In this way she would be able to rest, knowing that she had an eleven year old girl there, who could take a glass of water or bowl of broth to her son, or who would call her should he need something else. I don't remember the name of this woman or of her son, but I do recall the house. It was between the home of my Aunt Olympia and the blacksmith's. In order to enter one had to climb a stone stairway which led from the street. The young patient spent the night sitting in bed, propped up on pillows struggling to breathe. At times I went to the kitchen to fetch the fan and waved it before his face, to try to give him a little air. When he saw me there, he was so pleased, that he would say that those were the best nights he spent.

Some people also warned my father that it was foolish to allow me to go to that house because I might catch the disease. My father replied: "God will not repay me with evil for the good that I do Him!" And so it happened! My father's trust was not confounded, because today I am almost 82 years old and yet I have not felt even the slightest trace of that disease!

One day, I heard a conversation which my mother was having with the Father Vicar of Olival who asked her about my father. My mother said: "He was always a good Christian, practicing Catholic and a good worker, even as a youth. Therefore I liked him very much and we were married. He was always very faithful to his religious duties and to his state, and a very good friend to me and the children. When I told him that God was going to grant us a seventh child, he responded ' Don't be troubled! It is one more blessing from God. Therefore there will be no lack of bread in the drawer nor oil in the pot"

On Sundays and Holy days of obligation, my father went with the whole family to assist at Holy Mass - almost always at the midday Mass. We rested a little longer in the morning, took care of the animals, put the house in order, left the dinner prepared, and went altogether, well rested and without preoccupation's.

When I was still very small, my father carried me in his arms or seated me on his shoulder. When we arrived at Church, he handed me to my mother, because at that time, the men were separated from the women in the choir and in the sanctuary. On returning, after Mass, he likewise came home with the family. My older sister went in front, each one speaking with their fiancť who waited for them in the church yard; my parents were the last couple who followed behind, talking also with my godfather Anastacio, my godmother Teresa, my uncles and the other people who joined them, and along the way they bid us farewell at their own homes, saying 'Good bye, until we meet again".

The others continued on their way and, upon arriving at our house, they said goodbye with the same Adeus and proceeded further on. It was the same for my sister's friends: they bid us farewell, to return later on at mid-afternoon, to continue their conversations. We entered the house, ate our dinner, and while my mother, and some of my sisters, tidied the kitchen, the others and my brother took care of the animals. If it was good weather, my father sat on a stone bench, which was on the patio, at the kitchen doorway, playing cards and talking with my uncles and the others; my sisters dispersed in pairs, to the shade of the fig trees, talking with their fiancťs; my mother, with my godmother Teresa, aunts and other neighbours, sat on the small steps which we climbed from the side of the road, to enter our house. While some rocked their babies to sleep they were at the same time, conversing and watching their older children who were playing on the road, running up and down amusing themselves with their children's games and, at times, imitating the processions which they had seen, singing Litany's of the saints ect.

At sunset when the bells of the Church rang for the Angelus, my father got up and with him, all the others. Removing his cap, my father led the three Hail Mary's to which they responded. Then, quite content, they said goodbye, each one going to his own home to have their evening meal and rest. For they had spent the Lord's day well and in His grace, having fulfilled His law and were thus ready to carry on with their labours the following day.

And the friends of my sisters and the other young girls who came there, left also, some passing over the serra in the direction of the hamlets; others walking along the paths, in the direction of Santa Catarina, passing near the Cova da Iria, which at that time was no more than a deserted field, where maize and potatoes grew in the hollow, with olive trees on the slope, which produced a fine olive oil, the holm oak trees which bore the sweet acorns for both animals and men; the strawberry-tree which produced berries used for making aguardente ( a home made potent liquor); hay and grass, food for the animals; and the brushwood, for the farm yard pens. And they went along paths yet further away, playing their harmoniums and guitars, singing and hoping to return on the following Sunday.

After supper, my father intoned the thanksgiving, prayed the Rosary- for it was not a day on which we did evening work - and went to rest, since at dawn of the following day he would have to rise early, in order to resume his week day work. My father and my brother, were the ones who slaughtered the pigs of my godfather Anastacio and ours also; singing them; washing them and hanging them, to drain off, until the next day. Afterwards they broke them off into sections, cutting the meat into pieces, leaving separated, in earthen ware pans, those which were to be placed on the salting board, those which were to made in to sausages, those to be consumed fresh and that which was to be shared with people who had none. These persons, those to whom it was given, were the Parish Priest; also a little old man who lived alone in a tiny house close to the house of my Aunt Olympia, the mother of Jacinta, another lame and crippled man, who also lived alone three houses away, on the left hand side going toward Fatima; and old woman, who also lived alone in a small house next to the blacksmith's shop on the left side, coming towards our house and the widow of Uncle Agostinho who also lived alone, since the death of her husband. I was then sent to take our little gift to these people.

There was a small white wicker basket in our house, in which my father told me I had come from heaven with flowers. It was only used when they dressed me as a little angel, to walk in the processions carrying it with flowers, to strew before Our Lord, and also to carry our gifts to the poor and to our friends. On Christmas Eve, after supper, while we waited until it was time to go to Midnight Mass, we stayed near the fire - place, making the filhoses. While my mother and sisters stretched out the dough and laid it flat in the boiling oil, my father with a large iron fork, would turn them over and remove them to an earthenware pan, placing them inside a sieve to drain.

At the exact hour, we went to midnight Mass, bringing the wicker basket with the gift of the fihoses that I carried up to the infant Jesus, when I went to venerate His image after Mass, and again, on Christmas morning, to the persons mentioned above. Our flock was, usually of some 20 or 30 sheep. In the spring they doubled, or even tripled, because many of the sheep had double offspring. My father killed the male lambs for food for the family, and used the milk for breakfast and making cheese. The ewes were allowed to be nourished and to grow, but as soon as they begun to eat, they were separated, in order to use the milk for the same purpose. And, when they had grown large, my father chose the best to provide continuity to the flock; and those left over, with the older and tired sheep he sold.

It was my father who killed the foxes, hares, genets and rabbits which he hunted with skill, placing the traps on the large flat stones, he skinned them and prepared them for my mother to cook; he hung the skins on the branches of the fig tree, so they could be sold to the mule drivers who would be passing by. When the bells of the Parish Church rang out the evening Angelus, my father stopped his work. Removing his cap, he prayed the three Hail Mary's and came home. While he waited for supper - if it was good weather (if it was not he waited by the hearth) he sat on a stone bench which was on the patio, leaning against the wall of the kitchen with me on his knees, he amused himself by telling me stories, and teaching me to sing local songs, fados and popular songs of ten stanzas or four line verses, ect.

My mother was there at her work. From time to time she came over to us and said: "What are you teaching this little one! If only you would teach her doctrine!" Then my father would say: "Letís do as your mother wishes!" And he took hold of my little hand, teaching me to trace the sign of the Cross on my forehead, mouth and heart. Afterwards he would teach me to pray the Our Father, Hail Mary, the Creed, how to prepare for Confession, the Act of Contrition, the Commandments of God, ect. Later on when we were altogether at supper, he made me repeat what I had learned and, quite content; he turned to my mother and said: "Do you see! It was I who taught her." My mother, smiling, replied: "You are indeed a good man. May you always be so!" My father answered: "God has given me the best woman in the world!" This is what made me believe that my mother was the best in the world and, when the other children came to our patio to play with me, I used to ask them: "Is your mother good? My mother is the best in the world!"

Sometimes in the evening, he took me to the threshing floor and we sat down on the stone seats, to enjoy the cool breeze, which was so pleasant there. And then, pointing to Heaven, he would say to me: "Look, up above, its Our Lady's and Angels: the moon is the lamp of Our Lady, the stars are the lamps of the Angels, which they and Our Lady light and place in the windows of Heaven, in order to light up our way at night. The sun which you see come up every day, over there, at the back of the serra, is Our Lord's lamp which He lights up every day to keep us warm and so that we can see in order to do our work." Because of this, I used to tell the other children that the moon was Our Lady's lamp, the stars the lamp of the Angels and the sun the lamp of Our Lord.

There on the threshing- floor, he continued to teach me the truths of the faith, to sing and to dance. From time to time, my mother and my older sisters - those who were at home - came to peep through the branches of the fig trees and, laughing they would say: "She looks like a little spinning top, with her tiny arms in the air, trying to imitate all the movements she sees father making." And my mother would come, with a cup of refreshment made of honey prepared with cool water taken from the well at the last moment so that my father could drink it with his little spinning top. And she also sat down at my father's side, talking joyfully and laughing feeling so content.

My father also used to tell me that, when there was a thunder storm it was our Heavenly Father scolding men because of their sins. One day, my father was working near the well. I was there playing near him. Suddenly the weather began to grow dark, to thunder and rain. My father threw down the hoe, grasped hold of me and ran to the house. Once at home I asked him: "Its our Heavenly Father scolding someone. Who has sinned, was it you father, or other people?" My father responded: "It was I and others also. Lets pray to St Barbara, to deliver us from thunder and lightening!" And he knelt down with my mother and my older sisters who were at home, in front of a crucifix which was on the wall of the outside room, to pray Our Fathers and Hail Mary's.

On rainy days, when he was unable to go to the fields to work, my father was at home, where he would cut the fire wood to the exact size for use in the oven and the fire place and then put in stacks on the patio to dry. Afterwards he put it away in the shed, and in the oven room, in order to keep it dry so that it would burn without smoking. If he happened to be home, on the days on which my mother was baking bread, he helped her to put the wood in the oven. When it was already hot, he took the ashes outside, cleaned the oven and, while my mother molded the bread, he placed it with a baking- shovel into the oven to bake.

If my sister Maria dos Anjos had a lot of work, he sat at the weaver's shuttle filling the spools for the loom. If he saw my mother carrying the pitchers, he took them from her hand and went to the well to fetch the water. He did the same with the pails of food for the animals, taking it to them and looking after them. My mother said that, when the new babies were born and they cried during the night, it was my father who got up to attend to them and carried them to her bed so she could give them a little milk without having to get up herself.

One day, I went to the rabbit burrow, I caught a tiny rabbit and took him outside to play with him on the patio, but I did not hold on to it very well and the little rabbit ran away from me. I went to tell my mother and she scolded me, saying I was naughty and disobedient, because she had told me many times already that I was not to go the rabbit burrow. Then I asked: "You say that I am bad, father says I came from Heaven in a wicker basket with flowers. So then are there bad things in Heaven also?" My mother replied: "Well, yes, the demons were angels who were in Heaven, but because they were bad, God put them out and now they go about, tempting everyone. As for you, He sent you here below, to see if you'll be good, so as to be able to return there."

And I replied: "But I don't remember!" "But of course not" responded my mother, "because you were a sleep and you are very forgetful." That night, when my father came home, I told him what my mother had said to me and he replied: "Very well, but don't be worried! That's for when you are older; as for now, you are very small. Therefore you still have a lot of time to become good." It seems that he guessed rightly, because I am nearly 82 years old and still going along here, in the hope of being good in order to go to Heaven.

But, as Jesus Christ has said that only God is good. He will have to take me there, in His mercy, without waiting for me to be good. I just finished revealing - with deep emotion - what I was able to recall of the life of my father, in the bosom of his family, approximately up to the time of the Apparitions.

By that time, more or less, my two older sisters had married and left home to go and set up their own homes. With this our house was like a desert. The young girls who came to learn weaving and sewing, stopped coming, because my sisters who used to teach them, were no longer there. The children who came to our patio, to play with me, also did not come anymore because I spent the day in the field with my sheep. Only a small group of neighbours came to wait for me, as evening fell, in order to spend the last hours of day light together with me, and on our threshing floor, to watch out for Our Lady and the Angels to come to light their lamps and place them in the windows of Heaven, to light up the way for us.

This marvellous threshing floor - which they tell me has been destroyed - how I wish that Father Rector would order it restored, not only as a remembrance of my parents, where they enjoyed the fresh air of the serene summer nights, teaching me to raise my eyes to Heaven, where Our Lord is Our Lady and the Angels who watch over us and help us on our paths through life, but also for the children of that time, especially the servants of God Francisco and Jacinta Marto, who used to run there to join me, waiting and watching for when Our Heavenly Mother would come with the Angels to light their lamps and place them in the windows of Heaven to light the way for us.

It is true, this is a little child's perception, but it teaches us to lift our gaze to Heaven, where we know that God Our Father is, the Blessed Mother whom He gave us and watches over us, and the Angels that He created and destined to guide us and lead us on the paths of life.

During The Apparitions
The Apparitions came to pass. While my mother was so distressed, my father maintained an attitude of faith and trust. When my mother became even more upset, judging everything to be a hoax my father said: "Don't be upset! We do not know if it is true, but we also do not know if it is a lie. Letís wait and see."

When he saw the harvest lost in the Cova da Iria, he said: "For this year all is lost, but, in October, if the Lady stops coming, the people will stop going there also, and we can return to cultivate it as before." When after the Apparitions, he saw that the people continued to go there, and the property was lost, he said: "If it was Our Lady who appeared there, she will help us get along without the Cova da Iria." Also during the Apparitions - it must have been towards the end of July - one day, as evening fell, my father arrived home, called me and said to me: "Look, now you're going to tell me the truth, whether you saw that Lady in the Cova da Iria or not.

Don't be afraid to say that you didn't see Her, or if you said that for a joke and right away all the people believed - or simply that you lied. There are many persons in the world who tell lies; don't be afraid to say so if you did. Then the people will stop going the Cova da Iria and everything will be finished." I answered: "I know. But if I saw, how can I say that I did not see? And the lady says to continue to come every month, until October". My father got up and we went home.

The next day, after supper my father said to me: "While your mother and your sisters straighten the kitchen, you come a long with me to the threshing floor." We went. My father sat on one side of the stone seats that was there, made me sit at his side and said to me: "Tomorrow morning very early, you go with the sheep to the Cova da Iria. I'm going with you". I replied: "I'm just sorry for Jacinta, because I'm sure her mother will not let her go so early." My father answered: "That's not so important. Go and tell Aunt Olympia that, very early tomorrow morning, you are going with our sheep to the Cova da Iria. Jacinta and Francisco, if they wish, can go there later.

Tell her that you are going there early because it is so far away and that you want to come home earlier because of the heat; and that if people come wanting to speak to you, your mother will tell them to go there to find you, since your sisters are very busy and cannot go, and take your place." I went to give the message to my Aunt who answered: "Very well; but for now say nothing to Jacinta, so she'll not be crying. I'll tell her in the morning."

On the following day, my father called me very early in the morning. I got up and we had our breakfast, while my mother took the milk from the sheep, then we went out by way of the wasteland so as to avoid meeting people along the way. We could hardly see. When we arrived at the Cova da Iria, the first sign of day break began to appear behind the serra, in the direction of Aljustrel.

We crossed over the road and descended the slope, between the olive trees, guiding the sheep along the narrow way in a zig zag fashion - since one could not descend straight down - to the Cova. There my father saw that in fact, everything had been trampled on and eaten by the animals. From the crop sown that year, which was corn, no profit at all would be gained. And he said: "We've lost twenty measures of grain, along with the kidney beans and the pumpkins which were planted in between. Patience!"

We left the sheep in the Cova, to take advantage of the grass which still remained on the edges, and we climbed the hillside in front, along side the great holm-oak tree. On top, behind the spot where one now finds the Basilica, there was a piece of flat land, with some holm-oak and olive trees between which my father used to sow, in alternating years wheat, chick-peas or rye ect. There things were not so spoiled but the tops of the trees were already eaten away by animals, just like those on the hill side. My father saw this and said: "Indeed we can expect no harvest from here. Perhaps there may be only some olives, acorns, or berries that could be saved from the tree tops."

He saw the little stone wall that we were making when we saw the reflection of the light from Our Lady - which we thought was lightening - and we descended the slope by the side of the large holm - oak tree, at the front of which, a little below, was the small holm - oak where Our Lady appeared.

My father approached it, looked at it and asked: "It is here that the Lady appears?" "Yes it is" I replied. "How many more times is the Lady to come?" "Until October" I answered. "If the Lady does not return afterwards, the people will also stop coming and next year we will return to cultivate the Cova da Iria as before." And he asked: What do people come here to do?" I replied "They come to pray the Rosary and they all want me to pray with them." "well now," said my father "You pray the Rosary with me also" "Yes I will pray." My father knelt with me, before the little holm - oak tree, and we prayed the Rosary.

When we had finished, my father got up and said: "Now you stay here with the sheep. I'm going to see your brother who is working on the moor land. When the day begins to get too hot, you are to go home with the sheep." And I remained alone - I don't know if I cried - in that lonely field, where I heard only the tinkling of the sheep bells, the chirping of the little birds, hopping on the treetops and the crowing of the cocks in the Moita hen-houses.

By midmorning, two groups of people arrived there. The first one came from the direction of Moita and Santa Catarina. Hardly had I finished praying the Rosary with this group, when another appeared, coming from Montelo and from the direction of Minde. I prayed another Rosary with them also. And then, with my sheep I went home, since the heat was already so intense. My father also came home to eat supper. Afterwards, he told my mother all that he had seen. For that year, he told her, we could count on nothing from the Cova da Iria; everything was destroyed. But he continued: "If it is Our Lady who appears there, She will help us!"

My mother continued: "Our Lady? If only it was Our Lady! Who can tell us that it's Our Lady? Not at all! It's evil, it's the devil who has come into our home. We were so happy and now we cannot get rid of all these people, constantly knocking on the door, wanting to see and speak with our little girl; and unless we go and fetch her, they won't go away. If at least you would come home, you could help send them away."

"But", my father answered, "I don't know what to say to them and I cannot be rude to them, by sending them away from here. So that's why I don't come." It happened that, many people took advantage of the evening, at the end of the day's work, to come to our house, in order to find out what was going on. I don't know, but perhaps my mother may not have been completely mistaken, that, partly, it could also have been the devil who was furious, and wished to hinder the good which the Message came to bring to the world.

What cost my father more and made him avoid being there, instead of coming home at night as soon as he had finished his work, as was his custom, was to find the house continually invaded by strangers, asking impertinent, curious and even - very often - misleading questions, from which he did not know how to get away.

A few days before the 13th of August, Ti Marto and my father were notified to appear at the Administration Office of Villa Nova de Ourem, with their children. My uncle, Ti Marto said: "I'm not taking my children. I'm not going to bring such small children before a tribunal." My father said: "I'm taking my daughter, because I understand nothing about these things."

The following morning, in the company of Ti Marto, he took me to Villa Nova de Ourem. My father and Ti Marto went on foot. I went riding on the back of a donkey, from which I fell about three times, not because I was not used to riding but because I was falling asleep, due to the sound of my father and Ti Marto conversing and of the slow, easygoing pace of the donkey. But the falls did not hurt me because I only tumbled down towards the front. And my father came running, to set me once again on top of the donkey and to exhort me to be careful not to fall.

At the office of the Administration, the Administrator questioned my father and my uncle Ti Marto, to whom was given a strong rebuke for not having brought his children, as he had been told to do. He questioned me also, wanting me to tell him the secret. Seeing that he couldn't get anything from me, he dismissed us and in the afternoon we returned home.

At home, my father, always serene and tranquil, recounted what had happened to my mother and the family. He only said: "I lost a day's work because of this. Patience! If it is Our Lady who appears, she will help us." It was a sign of his unfailing confidence in the protection of Our Lady. He showed the same trust, when some days later, they took us prisoners to Villa Nova de Ourem, Francisco, Jacinta and myself. My father said: "I am not worried about them; they cannot do any harm to children that age. And if it is Our Lady who appears to them, She will protect them."

On the 13th of October, because the rumour was spreading that, at the moment of the apparitions in the Cova da Iria, they were going to throw a bomb and that we would all die there, my parents, for the first and last time, wished to accompany me, saying: "If she is going to die, we want to die also at her side." And they left the house with me, but, on the way, I lost sight of them, amidst the multitude of people who crowded around me. (*)

(*) "That is, my mother, for my father managed to break through me from the crowd and take me by the hand up to the little holm-oak tree."(Author's note in letter of 16 April 1989)

After The Apparitions
When after the Apparitions, my father began to see that the people, instead of ceasing to go there - as he hoped - went more and more in greater numbers, transforming that site into a sacred place, of faith, prayer and confidence in the maternal protection of the Mother of God, He said: "We've lost the Cova da Iria forever.

We can no longer count on the produce of that land but if it is the work of God He will help us to get along without it." When they came to say that the people were leaving money near the little holmoak tree where Our Lady had appeared which was collected and left for him in compensation for the loss of the land, he said: "God forbid that I should keep this money! It doesn't belong to me. It belongs to Our Lady! Neither do I want anyone in my family to keep as much as five cents of that mother! As for the loss of the land it is Our Lady who will repay me and She will help us."

It was thus that Senora Maria Carreira - who got the name of Ti Maria da Capelinha" - began to keep the money so that it would not be stolen. Later on they went to ask my father's permission to build a little Chapel of Apparitions (Capelinha). He not only gave the authorization, he wanted to contribute, giving for that purpose twenty square meters of land with a strip of land for access from the road to the site of Capelinha. He thought in the beginning, of putting up an iron fencing as a barrier, which the people could not cross over, thus allowing him to continue to cultivate the land which remained. But, then he realized that the multitudes could not be held back, and therefore it was useless.

The number of persons flowing continually to our home, wishing to see me and to speak with me, was greater than ever. My mother did not know what to do! She discussed the situation with my father, to see what solution they could find. She was not able to go constantly to the field to get me, nor did she have anyone to send to take my place, and then people would not go away without my coming to attend to them and to go to Cova da Iria to pray the Rosary with them. And people from every part came from far and near, rich and poor, priests, learned and simple people from the villages, many with their sick who were so pitiful!

My father suggested selling the sheep. My mother replied: "I already thought of that. But how can we get along with out the products of the sheep? The wool that we use there at home and that which we sell, the pigs that are killed each year for the sustenance of the family, the hogs and sheep which are sold to help with expenses of the house, the milk and the cheese! And now we no longer have the produce of the Cova da Iria!

How can we manage without all that?" My father responded: "Perhaps with what cultivate in those other fields, we might be able to make up what we have lost here and there. We can try it, if afterwards we find that we cannot make ends meet without the sheep, we can buy them again. And the little one could start going to school.

The first school for girls has just been opened in Fatima - and you can tell those who come wishing to see her and speak with her, that she is in school and that they can find her there; then the teacher may do as she thinks best, and you will feel relieved. God will help us! As many sacrifices as we make, we will never be able to repay God for the grace of sparing us from the influenza epidemic which did not enter our home, nor did He allow any of the children who were here during those days to become ill."

Because of the fuss that there was in the village against the Parish Priest, in which my father did not wish to be involved, but which left him with a bad impression, he stopped making his Easter duty, as was his custom, and kept away from the Parish Priest, no longer confessing to him. But he did not stay away from the Church; he continued to go to Holy Mass every Sunday and on Holy days. He went instead to Vila Nova de Ourem for confession, and each year he went to confession and Holy Communion.

(Authors note: when in the Memoirs, I say "Because we had already lost some of the lands, the means of subsistence began to grow scareís in our house" I wished to refer to the loss of the Cova da Iria and the lack of sheep products. My explanation was very incomplete,, due to lack of time and the conditions conductive to re reading it and correcting it.) for the feast of Our Lady of Ortiga, in order to gain the jubilee indulgence. He went there in the last year of his life, and took me with him, a few days before his death.

Afterwards, we went to supper at the home of my sister Teresa, who lived near there, in a place called Lomba. And she hardly expected that it would be the last time she would speaking to our father or see him alive! And so it is, this mortal life, in which we find ourselves it disappears like smoke, which vanishes in the air.

Happily, my father accomplished well his mission on earth. He fell sick on 30th July 1919. My mother called for a doctor who diagnosed it as a case of double pneumonia. He prescribed treatment but the medicines were of no avail. On the following morning, feeling somewhat worse, my father asked my mother if she would send for the priest, to make confession and receive the last Sacraments. My mother warned him that, very likely, she would only be able to find the parish priest.

"Don't worry about that!" answered my father: it doesn't matter, as long as it is a priest!" My mother sent for the priest, but the parish priest delayed, thinking it was not an urgent case, and my father died in the arms of my mother and of his sister Olympia, repeating, repeating the ejaculations which they were suggesting to him and which were used at the time in such cases; "Jesus, Mary, Joseph save my soul which belongs to you!" "Lord Jesus, have mercy on me, by the merits of Your Life, Passion, Death on the Cross!" Father into Your Hands I commend my spirit!"

Thus I feel entirely at peace, with respect to the eternal salvation of my father, certain that the Lord received His beautiful soul, into the arms of His infinite Mercy and presented him into the full possession of the immense Being of God, Our Father.

As I write this, I am recalling the story of King David, who in spite having been such a great sinner - was chosen by God, to have among his descendants, St Joseph, Our Lady and Jesus Christ, Son of David - Hosanna, to the Son of David! The One Who said He had come to save sinners, because it is not the healthy who need the doctor but, indeed, it is the sick.

letter to Rev. Fr Luciano Guerra
J + M
To Rev. Fr Luciano Guerra In response to the letter of Your Reverence of 23 November 1988, I am sending the description of that - with the deepest sentiments - I recall about my father. I hope that something will be of use in fulfilling the wishes of Your Reverence. With regard to the clock, which was in my parents home, I received a letter from my niece Maria Rosa, who is living in Brazil, saying that she already gave it to her sister Preciosa, who also lives in Brazil.

She is thinking of coming here next Summer in order to bring. They say that the casement is not the same any more because their mother - my sister Gloria - seeing that the original one was so old, substituted it for another which she ordered to be made. It is a pity but now there is nothing to be done.

I also have three objects - very small - which were from our home. I don't know if they interest you, if so I have already asked permission to give them to you. One in the Imitation of Christ which my mother sent to me at Porto when I was in school there, along with another book which she used to read to us. But this one the superior did not give to me.

She told me that in school I could not read it, but she would give it to me when I left, but until today. I suppose it could have been the Missao Abreviada, by the appearance and being a book with which I was already familiar, but as I only saw in the hands of the superior and did not see the title, I cannot be sure. The Imitation of Christ I have always carried with me. It is now very old, but it's the same one.

The other two objects are: two crochet needles, those with which my mother taught me when I was still a child. One is made of metal and I used it to make lace for underclothing. The other is of bone, which I used for making woolen garments for warmth in winter. Jacinta began to work with these, because she wanted to learn and so I taught her.

And very soon, she was making the narrow lace quite well. The needle made of bone has no large hook now but I worked with the small one up until a short time ago. I have always kept these with me, as a remembrance of my mother and of Jacinta, but as there are many of these here in the house, if I should need one, I won't miss them. That is all for today. In union of prayers.

Coimbra, 23-2-1989
Sr. Maria Lucia
J. +M.
To the Rector of the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima
Pax Christi
The two crochet needles included here are the ones with which my mother and my two older sisters, Maria and Teresa, taught me to crochet, when I was still a child. With the metal one, the Servant of God, Jacinta also learned. Seated near me, she saw me crocheting and asked me to teach her, and while I was working with the needle made of bone, making woolen garments, I loaned her the metal one and taught her to decorate underclothing, which she was able to do quite well.

I have always carried them and kept them with me, as a remembrance of my mother and of my childhood, along with the Imitation of Christ, which my mother sent to Porto for me when I was in school there. It is with love and devotion that I now, - with the permission of our Mother Prioress - detach myself from these humble objects and offer them to Our Lady for Her Sanctuary of Fatima, to place in the house belonging to my parents, and which today is Hers, for the glory of God and joy of our pilgrim brothers and sisters. May they always give praise and glory to God and to Our Lady.

Coimbra, 15-3-1989
Sr. Lucia
J. + M.
To the rector of the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima
Pax Christi
I beg your pardon since I am only now responding to your letter of 16 March 1989. Time did not allow me to do otherwise. As to your note in reference to what I have written about my father, in the last period of his life, Your Reverence says: "Since you made reference to the crisis which your father passed through, people may consider that it would be well to refer to that crisis in this Memoir."

I always try - as much as possible - not to repeat what I have already said elsewhere in order to save time and to avoid what seems unnecessary to me. Thus, the content of the last manuscript seemed to me sufficient to explain and complete the statement in the Memoirs, since the result had seemed to be so inadequate.

Despite the great mystery of human weakness, my father never went to excess, to the point of losing his balance, nor failed in the awareness of his duties as a Christian and practicing Catholic, always maintaining the dignity of his personality as head and father of the family, faithful to his matrimonial promises, friend of his wife and children, preserving peace and serenity in his home.

Finally, I recall the holy King David who, in spite of having been so great a sinner, because he repented, did penance and changed his life, was chosen by God so that from among his descendents would be born St. Joseph, Our Lady and Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

Thus, I believe that what counts more in the sight of God is not so much the sin as the humble repentance with which we ask pardon along with the sincere intention of never again offending the Lord.

In their regard, I am remembering what St. Irenaeus tells us: "It is in the weakness of Man that God manifests His power." Yes, only God is great and powerful, above all in His merciful love! To Him be our gratitude, praise and love.

Because of your letter, I re-read the manuscript about my father and verified that, on page 20, paragraph 6, it would be well to add, at the end of the sentence, a note to clarify the meaning of what I say there: "That is, my mother, for my father managed to break through the crowd and take me by the hand up to the little holmoak tree." And may God help us with the maternal protection of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Coimbra, 16-4-1989
Sr. Lucia
J + M
Carmelo of St. Teresa, Coimbra, 10-12-1951
To His Excellency The Bishop (D. Jose Alves Correia da Silva) I am grateful for the two letters of Your Excellency, the first of which crossed with one of my own. I received also pictures of Jacinta and the cloth for the relics. As soon as they are ready, I shall send them as you wish, and if Your Excellency desires more, you have only to send us the pictures, on which we put the relic and then we will send them back. We usually put the seal of our Order on the back with it's emblem. I do not know if Your Excellency has one of the Diocese or of the Sanctuary. If you have and prefer that we use that one, in your kindness could you please send it to us.

Now, Your Excellency, I ask your permission to clarify something that seems to me necessary for the glory of God. Some have spoken to me of a film, which was being spread, I believe in Portugal, Spain and America, and according to what they have told me, the picture they give of my father is false and, besides being false, it is not edifying to souls, nor for the glory of God. According to what was told to me, they picture my father miserably intoxicated, selling the Cova da Iria bit by bit, greedily running away with a bag of money ect. ect. Now, nothing of this it true.

Your Excellency and the priests appointed by you at the Sanctuary know very well that my father not only sold absolutely nothing of the Cova da Iria, but, neither he nor his wife nor any of his daughters nor his son, kept anything at all of the money which the people left in their faith near the Holm-oak tree, and this, in spite of being on his land, which, from the time of the Apparitions was rendered useless for producing anything, making what, until then was cultivated there, a grave loss to the family sustenance. To a rich family, this would not have been a great loss, but to the poor even a little is a big loss.

As for the drinking, again thanks be to God, it was not as they say, nor as Fr. De Marchi wrote in the first edition of his book, A Lady More Brilliant than the Sun. If my father did sometimes drink a little more than those who drank nothing, he never carried it to the point of creating disorder at home, nor of ill treating his wife and children. He was a sincere and honest man and, although he died within 24 hours of double pneumonia, he left his family neither weighed down in debt nor with the burden of any troublesome business.

If it is true that some years passed without his having made his Easter duty in the Parish, because of a disagreement that he had with the Parish Priest and he did not stop going every year, to Our Lady of Ortiga, on her feast day and there he confessed and received Holy Communion in order to gain the Jubilee Indulgence.

And he said that he did this because there he could choose another confessor instead of the Parish Priest and he did not have to go to the sacristy to recite his doctrine. Even in the last year of his life, he went there and took me with him, and after receiving Holy Communion went to eat at the home of my sister Teresa, who was already married and lived in a near by place called Lomba. He went also to Mass on Sundays. Usually, he carried me with him and when we arrived at the Church he climbed the steps to the choir, where the men assisted at Mass, and sent me to join my mother who was in the body of the Church, with the other women.

It was after Mass, in the company of his friends, that he delayed longer coming home, and at night, when he came from work and went to give an account to my godfather Anastacio of how things were going on in their fields (as he took care of both ours and theirs), he remained longer talking and in the tavern, and came home late; with that my mother, so used to seeing him at home at suppertime and spending the evening working joyfully in the bosom of the family, was distressed.

For my mother in her uprightness of spirit, this was indeed a great fault. I have referred to this in one of the writings which you requested of me, but perhaps I did not know how to express myself very well. The hard times our family went through just then, or at least the lack of former abundance was due to various things and circumstances, among them - and one of the principal causes - was the Apparitions.

The Cova da Iria, as I said, left quite a need in our family's livelihood; moreover, it was my mother, and not my father as Dr. Walsh states erroneously in his book, who decided to sell the flock because of the many people who sought me and, who were so insistent in wanting to speak with me, that they were offended if they were not satisfied.

It was for this reason, and not for any other that my mother sold the flock - because otherwise, one of my sisters would have to lose a day's work at home in order to replace me in the field - and the produce of the flock was also that my two older sisters married. One was a weaver and the other seamstress and therefore, they had also helped very much with the income from their work.

Added to this, there was the great perplexity of my mother with regard to the Apparitions, which more than anything else was the cause of her trouble and lamentation.

Please excuse this explanation but I thought it was called for in the interests of Justice and charity, and because of the veneration and respect in which I hold the memory of my father. With gratitude to Your Excellency, I humbly and respectfully kiss your holy ring and ask your blessing. With the greatest respect and filial devotion.

Maria Lucia of the Immaculate Heart, I.C.D, Introduction
The text which follows is a document written by Sister Lucia, in the third person, towards the end of 1927, at the request of her spiritual director, Rev. Fr. P. Aparicio, S.J. Shortly after this apparition, which took place in her cell on the 10th of December, 1925, Sister Lucia wrote out a first account of it, which she herself later destroyed. This present document, therefore, is a second account.

It is exactly the same as the first, except for the fact that she added the introductory paragraph, dated 17th of December, 1927, in which she explained how she received authorization from heaven to make known part of the secret.

We have entitled this document: "Text of the great promise of the Heart of Mary". Truly, it is the expression of the merciful and gratuitous Will of God, offering us a sure and easy way of salvation, given that it is supported by the most Sound catholic tradition concerning the saving efficacy of Mary's intercession.

This text tells us the conditions required in order to respond to Our Lady's appeal for the Five First Saturdays of the month, in reparation for the injuries committed against the Heart of Mary. Nor should this deeper intention of reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary ever be forgotten.

Text of the great promise of the Heart of Mary, in the apparition at Pontevedra, Spain
J. M. J.
On December 17th, 1927, she went before the tabernacle to ask Jesus how she should comply with what had been asked of her, that is, to say if the origin of the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary was included in the Secret that the most holy Virgin had confided to her.

Jesus made her hear very distinctly these words: "My daughter, write what they ask of you. Write also all that the most holy Virgin revealed to you in the Apparition, in which She spoke of this devotion. As for the remainder of the Secret, continue to keep silence."

What was confided on this subject in 1917, is as follows: She asked for them to be taken to heaven, and the most holy Virgin answered: "Yes. I will take Jacinta and Francisco soon. But you are to stay here some time longer. Jesus wishes to make use of you to make me known and loved. He wants to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. I promise salvation to those who embrace it, and these souls will be loved by God, like flowers placed by me to adorn His throne."

On December 10th, 1925, the most holy Virgin appeared to her, and by her side, elevated on a luminous cloud, was a child. The most holy Virgin rested her hand on her shoulder, and as she did so, she showed her a heart encircled by thorns, which she was holding in her other hand. At the same time, the Child said: "Have compassion on the Heart of your most holy Mother, covered with thorns, with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment, and there is no one to make an act of reparation to remove them."

Then the most holy Virgin said: "Look, my daughter, at my Heart, surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce me at very moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You at least try to console me and say that I promise to assist at the hour of death, with the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months, shall confess, receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary, and keep me company for fifteen minutes while meditating on the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary, with the intention of making reparation to me."

On February 15th,1926, the Infant Jesus appeared to her again. He asked her if she had already spread the devotion to His most holy Mother. She told Him of the confessor's difficulties, and said that Mother Superior was prepared tp propagate it, but that the confessor had said that she, alone, could do nothing. Jesus replied: "It is true that your Superior alone can do nothing, but with my grace, she can do all."

She placed before Jesus the difficulty that some people had about confessing on Saturday, and asked that it might be valid to go to confession within eight days. Jesus answered: "Yes, and it could be longer still, provided that, when they receive Me, they are in state of grace and have intention of making reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary." She then asked: "My Jesus, what about those who forget to make this intention?" Jesus replied: "They can do so at their next confession, taking advantage of the first opportunity to go to confession."

Some days later, Sister Lucia wrote down a full account of this apparition, which was sent to Msgr. Manuel Pereira Lopes, afterwards Vicar General of the Diocese of Porto, who had been Lucia's confessor during her stay at Vilar do Oporto. This unpublished document was Inserted by Rev. Dr. Sebastiao Martins dos Reis in his entitled: "A life in the service of Fatima" cf.pp 336-357.

On the 15th 9of February 1926, I was very busy at my work, and was not thinking of this at all. I went to throw out a pan full of rubbish beyond vegetable garden, in the same place where, some months earlier, I had met a child. I had asked him if he knew the Hail Mary, and he said he did, whereupon I requested him to say it so that I could hear him. But, as he made no attempt to say it by himself, I said it with him three times over, at the end of which I asked him to say it alone. But as he remained silent and was unable to say the Hail Mary alone, I asked him if he knew where the Church of Santa Maria was, to which he replied that he did. I told him to go there everyday and to say this: O my heavenly Mother, give me your Child Jesus! I taught him this, and then left him.

On the 15th of February, 1926, going there as usual. I found a child who seemed to me to be the same one whom, I had previously met, so I questioned him: "Did you ask our Heavenly Mother for the Child Jesus?" The child turned to me and said: "And have you spread through the world what our heavenly Mother requested of you?"

With that, he was transformed into a resplendent Child. Knowing then that it was Jesus, I said: "My Jesus, you know very well what my confessor said to me in a letter that I read to You. He told me that it was necessary for this vision to be repeated, for further happenings to prove its credibility, and he added that Mother Superior, on her own could do nothing to propagate this devotion."

"It is true your Superior alone can do nothing, but with my grace she can do all. It is enough that your confessor gives you permission and that your Superior speak of it, for it to be believed, even without people knowing to whom it has been revealed." "But my confessor said in the letter that this devotion is not lacking in the world, because there are many souls who receive You on the First Saturdays, in honour of Our Lady and of the Fifteen Mysteries of the Rosary."

"It is true, my daughter, that many souls begin the First Saturdays, but few finish them, and those who do complete them do so in order to receive the graces that are promised thereby. It would please me more if they did Five with favor and with the intention of making reparation to the Heart of you heavenly Mother, then if they did Fifteen, in a tepid and indifferent manner...."

The text of this Appendix is not a document in Sister Lucia's own handwriting, but it has all the guarantees of authenticity, seeing that it was her spiritual director, at this time Rev. Fr. Jose Bernardo Goncalves, S. J., who transcribed it directly and literally from Seer's notes. The vision to which this text refers was granted to Sister Lucia on the 13th of June, 1929, in the chapel of her convent at Tuy, Spain.

The text begins with an account of the vision of the Most Holy Trinity, together with Our Lady showing her Heart, as in the Apparitions of June and July of 1917. The promise she had made then was now realized, and sister Lucia heard the Blessed Virgin ask for the consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart under certain well defined conditions. Has this Consecration already been carried out? The text itself, in the final paragraph, tells us that it has not, and speaks of the terrible consequences which result there from.

Text of the request for the consecration of Russia
Rev. Fr. Goncalves sometimes came to our chapel to hear confessions. I went to confession to him and, as I felt at ease with him, I continued to do so for the three years that he remained here as Assistant to the Fr. Provincial.

It was at this time that Our Lady informed me that the moment had come in which she wished me to make known to Holy Church her desire for the Consecration of Russia, and, and her promise to convert it. The communication was as follows: 13-6-1929. I had sought and obtained permission from my superiors and confessor to make a Holy Hour from eleven o' clock until midnight, everything Thursday to Friday. Being alone one night, I knelt near the altar rails in the middle of the chapel and, prostrate, I prayed the prayers of the Angel. Feeling tired, I then stood up and continued to say the prayers with my arms in the form of a Cross.

The only light was that of the Sanctuary lamp. Suddenly the whole chapel was illuminated by a supernatural light, and above the altar appeared a Cross of light, reaching to the ceiling. In a brighter light on the upper part of the Cross, could be seen the face of a man and his body as far as the waist; upon his breast was a dove of light, nailed to the Cross I could see another man. A little below the waist I could see a large host suspended in the air, onto which drops of blood were falling from the face of Jesus Crucified and from the wound in His side.

These drops ran down on to the host and fell into the chalice. Beneath the right arm of the Cross was Our Lady and in Her hand was Her Immaculate Heart (It was Our Lady of Fatima, with Her Immaculate Heart in Her left hand, without a sword or roses, but with a crown of thorns and flames). Under the left arm of the Cross, large letters as if of crystal clear water which ran down upon the altar, formed these words :"Grace And Mercy".

I understood that it was the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity which was shown to me, and I received lights about this mystery which I am not permitted to reveal. Our Lady then said to me: "The moment has come in which God asks the Holy Father, in union with all the Bishops of the world, to make the consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart, promising to save it by this means. There are so many souls whom the justice of God condemns for sins committed against Me, that I have come to ask reparation: sacrifice yourself for this intention and pray:"

I gave an account of this to the confessor who asked me to write down what Our Lady wanted done. Later in an intimate communication, Our Lord complains to me, saying: "They did not wish to heed My request. Like the King of France they will repent and do it, but it will be late. Russia will have already spread her errors throughout the world, provoking wars and persecutions of the Church: the Holy Father will have much to suffer."

Note: Here Our Lady says in union with all Bishops of the world, to make the consecration of Russia.... The consecration in this way has not been fulfilled as some Bishops refused to do this. In the Memoir Lucia describes Our Lady as saying the Holy Father to Consecrate....here more is requested (1929) Although previous note still applies....where Lucia says the consecration was sufficient.

Please do note that this prediction has come true and Russia had already spread her errors before any for m of consecration was made. King of France....... In 1689, one year before the death of St Margaret Mary...the Saint tried by various means to have King Louis 1V to engrave the Sacred Heart of Jesus on the royal flags, to build a temple in His honour: the King to consecrate Himself to the Sacred Heart of Jesus; and to pledge his authority before the Holy See to have a Mass in honor of the sacred of Heart of Jesus.

This was Jesus own request through the Saint to the King. It seems the knowledge never reached the King....Only a century later did the latter King of France respond.


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.