Fourth Visitation August 19, 1917



THE FOURTH APPARITION did not occur on the 13th of the month, nor did it take place at the Cova da Iria. Our Lady met the children at Valinhos near their homes in the village of Aljustrel. This meeting took place on the 19th of August because on the 13th the children were kidnapped, interrogated, threatened with death (in an attempt to frighten them into admitting that the apparitions were fabrications), and thrown into jail. The incarceration was protested by villagers and turned out unsuccessful; the children were released on the 15th of August. The Virgin Mary appeared four days later.

Lucia wrote about the apparition:

“I felt that something supernatural was approaching and enveloping us. Suspecting that the Lady was going to appear to us, and feeling sorry that Jacinta would not be there to see Her, we asked her brother John to go and get her. An instant after Jacinta arrived, the Lady appeared.” Once again, She appeared over a holm-oak tree.

Lucia asked her,

“What does your Grace want from 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 work a miracle so that all may believe.”

 

“If you had not been taken away to the city, the miracle would have been even greater. Saint Joseph will come with the Child Jesus, to give peace to the world. Our Lord will come to bless the people. Our Lady of the Rosary and Our Lady of Sorrows will also come.”

The Virgin Mary is referring to the Miracle of the Sun that She told them would be performed in October, so “that all may believe.”  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 KolbeScritti 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.

Then, looking extremely sad, the Blessed Mother said:

“Pray, pray very much and make sacrifices for sinners, for many souls go to hell because they have no one to make sacrifices and pray for them.”

The children ask what She wants to be done with money people are leaving in the Cova?

She asks them to use the money for the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary and towards construction of a chapel to be built in the Cova.

“What are we to do with the offerings of money that people leave at the Cova da Iria?”

“I want you to have two ardors [litters to carry statues] made, for the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. I want you and Jacinta to carry one of them with two other girls. You will both dress in white. And then I want Francisco, with three boys helping him, to carry the other one. The boys too, will be dressed in white. What is left over will help towards the construction of a chapel that is to be built here.”

The Lady then ascended to the east.
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fatimashrine
Panoramic view of the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fátima with the Chapel of the Apparitions and the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary

 

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NOTES

[1] The Holm Oak is native to Spain.  Another name for this tree in English is “Holly Oak” in reference to the fact that its leaves resemble those of the Holly with jagged teeth to deter grazing animals from stripping its lower leaves bare. The leaves at the top of the tree do not have the serrated edges. Mature trees grow to 20m and develop a huge, rounded crown This tree does not drop its leaves like most other oaks. It is always green with the old leaves falling off shortly after the new ones emerge.

Holm oak is monoecious, meaning both male and female flowers are found on the same tree. Flowers are catkins, and yellow male catkins can be seen to hang off the tree in abundance in early spring. After pollination by wind, female flowers develop into acorns.

THE HOLLY OAK, IS AN EVERGREEN WHICH, BECAUSE OF ITS THORNY LEAVES, IS REGARDED AS A SYMBOL OF CHRIST’S CROWN OF THORNS. IT IS ALSO SAID TO HAVE BEEN THE TREE OF THE CROSS AND, THEREFORE, IS SYMBOLIC OF THE PASSION OF CHRIST.