FOLLOWING THE AUGUST, 19 VISIT, the children continued with their prayers and sacrifices. Then on September 13, accompanied by a crowd of approximately 30,000 they entered the Cova and approached the Holm Oak tree upon which Our Lady had been appearing to them; in unison with the throng of 30,000 they began to pray the rosary. Shortly afterward, they saw the flash of light indicating the imminent approach of Our Lady who then appeared on the Holm Oak.
Dialogue Among the Virgin Mary and the Three Children
Repeating some of what She had told them in August, She added the future visit in October of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel and conveyed to them God’s satisfaction with their reparation sacrifice for sinners adding a motherly correction that reminds the reader of the “Little Way” of St. Terese. The children were to make sacrifices, but sacrifices within reason. One is reminded here also of St. Dominic Savio who had the renowned Saint John Bosco for his spiritual adviser and guide. Don Bosco taught Dominic that obedience is greater than sacrifice. He taught him that small penance performed under spiritual direction is much greater than prolific penance imposed on oneself without the guide of a spiritual director or in disobedience to a spiritual director. Don Bosco taught Dominic that among sacrifices, the most pleasing for a “schoolboy” is the sanctification of daily duty performed with humility and love as if one were serving God in all things, with every thought, word, and deed. Dominic imbibed these words turning them into a personal motto:
“I can’t do big things but I want everything to be for the glory of God.”
Saint John Bosco recalled the incident that prompted him to teach this lesson to the young Dominic, who was himself to become a saint.”
“During the autumn and winter he (Dominic) managed to escape having extra blankets for his bed, so that during the cold of January he had only the summer coverings on his bed. This was discovered, because, one morning he was unwell, and had to remain in bed; and when the Director (John Bosco speaking in third person) came to see him, he saw at once that he had insufficient covering for that severe weather. “Why did you do this?” the Director asked, “did you want to die of cold?”
“Oh, I shall not die of cold,” he answered. “When in the stable at Bethlehem, or hanging on the Cross, Our Lord had less to cover Him than I have now.” He was then forbidden to undertake any penance at all without express permission; and this command, though difficult, was obeyed.”
“Later on I saw that he was in some difficulty. He said he could not reconcile the command of the Gospel to do penance, with the prohibition he had received. “The penance God wishes from you,” I said, “is simply obedience. If you obey, that will suffice for everything.”
“Can you not allow me to do some other penance?”
“The only penance you are to do, is to bear patiently all that God sends you in this life.”
“But those things must be put up with by necessity.”
“Very well,” I replied, “whatever you have to suffer by necessity, offer it to God, and it will become a virtue, and meritorious in the sight of God.”
“This counsel comforted his misgivings and he was never disturbed in that way again” (The Life of Dominic Savio).
Since John Bosco was a prodigious devotee of the Virgin Mary, it is not surprising that he taught the same Marian spirituality that Our Lady, Herself, was communicating to the children at Fatima:
“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 Sorrows and Our Lady of Mt. 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 wear it during the daytime.”
“I have the petitions of many for your help. Will you assist a little girl who is deaf and dumb?”
“She will improve within the year.”
“And the conversions that some have asked to have brought about? The cures of the sick ones?”
“Some I will cure, and some I will not.”
She repeats, in motherly expectation what She said confided to them the previous month:
“In October, I will perform a miracle so that all may believe.”
A stated in the previous article referring to the September visit, the Virgin Mary is referring to the Miracle of the Sun. As in all Her visits, the Blessed Mother is aware of the future. As “Daughter of the Father”, “Mother of the Son”, and “Spouse of the Spirit”, She is “full of grace” (Luke 1:28), the grace that comes from the Holy Spirit who overshadowed Her giving birth to the Son of God:
“The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the most High shall overshadow thee. And therefore also the Holy which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:35).
St. Maximilian Kolbe’s meditated upon these scriptures for a life-time and concluded that the Virgin Mary is the fulcrum upon which all of salvation hinges, she is the Sanctuary of God, the new Temple in which His glory dwells. She is finite created pure immaculate love of all creation, the image of the Holy Spirit who is infinite Uncreated Immaculate Love of the Holy Trinity. There is only one Uncreated Immaculate Love and only one created immaculate love, I am not speaking here about the love of man for God – of that there are many examples – I am speaking about “immaculate love”. The Virgin Mary who is the Mother of God is the only created immaculate love in the entire universe – the only created exemplar of that species of love!
“In the union of the Holy Spirit with her, not only does love bind these two beings, but the first of them [the Holy Spirit] is all the love of the Most Holy Trinity, while the second [the Blessed Virgin Mary] is all the love of creation, and thus in that union heaven is joined to earth, the whole heaven with the whole earth, the whole of Uncreated Love with the whole of created love: this is the vertex of love” (St. Maximilian Kolbe, Scritti di Massimiliano Kolbe, Rome, 1997.)
She who is full of the Spirit, She who is perfect image of the Spirit, like the Spirit, prepares the children for things that are to come: As Our Lord told the apostles:
“I have yet many things to say to you: but you cannot bear them now. But when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will teach you all truth. For he shall not speak of himself; but what things soever he shall hear, he shall speak; and the things that are to come, he shall shew you” (John 16:12-13).
This is the work of love integrally united to faith and hope, the love of a mother full of good news and wanting to share it but in a most discreet and prudent manner.
Like a good Mother and teacher, Our Lady is preparing Her children for the October visit and pronounces a public miracle to be performed so “all may believe”.
Our Lady then rose and disappeared into the empyrean.