Introduction to Fatima: The Three Angelic Apparitions of 1916
IN THE WORDS OF Prof. Americo Lopez Ortiz, International President of the World Apostolate of Fatima
“The Message of Fatima has it all: The doctrinal richness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ; its freshness, images, gestures of the primitive Christian catechesis; the calls to penance from Saint John the Baptist, preparing the way for the Redeemer; the strong eschatological accents of Christ before the ruins of Jerusalem (Luke 19:41-44); the didactic force of Jesus’ parables; the simple life of the villagers, their emotional gestures and learned prayers; the prophetic contents of the Book of Revelation with the confrontation between “the Woman clothed with the sun… and the red dragon”; as well as God’s seal with the Miracle of the Sun October 13, 1917 (video 5:32) and the profound spiritual peace found in that holy place where heaven and earth meet for the welfare of humanity.
Fatima might be called a “Concise Summa of the Catholic Faith“, as Prof Americo states, “Fatima has it all.” Nonetheless, the immense compilation of theological truths began in a very simple yet profound way with the appearance of an angel who came three times as a messenger to prepare the children for subsequent visitations by the Mother of God (video 3:02). Our Lady appeared six times on the 13th of six consecutive months beginning in May and culminating in October, 1917. These visits were followed by a seventh, which was a special visit to Lucia on her departure from Fatima. These seven visitations were followed by two lesser known additional visitations each of great significance: Pontevedra and Tuy, Spain.
The visitations can be studied individually but bear more fruit when studied systematically as one body forming “a unique and perfect message coming from heaven, having the objective of explaining the Gospel of the beloved Son of God for our times so that nobody could excuse himself or herself from being unable to read ‘the signs for our time’”.
FIRST ANGELIC APPARITION
BETWEEN APRIL AND OCTOBER 1916, the “Guardian Angel of Portugal” also referred to as the “Angel of Peace” appeared to Jacinta and Francisco Marto and Lucia dos Santos.
The children were tending sheep and wandered into an olive grove on their godfather’s parent’s property. After eating lunch the began to pray the rosary followed by some games when a strong wind began to bellow through the trees. Looking to the east from which direction the wind was blowing they beheld a “light whiter than snow and in the form of a young man, transparent and brighter than crystal pierced by the sun.” The young man proceeded closer and closer until the children could clearly see his facial features.
His first words were:
“Do not be afraid. I am the angel of peace. Pray with me.”
The angel then knelt down bending his forehead to the ground. Motivated by a supernatural impulse the children did the same, repeating the words they heard the angel saying, words that constitute the first prayer taught to the children at Fatima – a Trinitarian prayer of faith, adoration, hope, love and intercession:
“My God, I believe, I adore, I hope, and I love You. I ask pardon for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope, and do not love You.”
After repeating this prayer three times the angel rose and said to us:
“Pray in this way. The hearts of Jesus and Mary are ready to listen to you.”
The Angel then disappeared leaving the children enveloped in a supernatural aura that was so intense that they remained unaware of their own existence for a long time afterward even extending into the following day. Although secrecy was not required of them, they felt an interior impulse that they should not talk about the event to anyone.
Because the prayer was repeated three times, it can be interpreted as an intercessory prayer of reparation to the Holy Trinity for atheists (those who do not believe in God) and for tepid souls who believe in Him but do not adore Him, love Him or hope in Him. The children were being taught to repair for the sins of unbelief, for souls too immersed in themselves and the world to love God by their own acts of belief, adoration, hope and love, which the children were taught to make for them. The first Fatima petition is a petition to pardon atheists (those who do not believe) presaging the forth-coming growth of Atheistic Communism that the Mother of God will address later in July of 1917.
SECOND ANGELIC APPARITION
In this visit the Angel, in addition to prayers for pardon requested at his first visit, urges the children to pray constantly and to offer sacrifices in order to make to make reparation for sins.
“Suddenly we saw an angel beside us”:
“What are you doing?” he said. “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?”
“Make of everything you can a sacrifice, and offer it to God as an act of reparation for sins by which he is offended, and in supplication for the conversion of poor sinners. You will thus draw down peace upon your country, I am its Angel Guardian, the Angel of Portugal. Above all accept and bear with submission the suffering which the Lord will send you.”
This apparition enveloped the children in the same supernatural aura that the first had. Francisco was able to see, but he did not hear what the angel had to say nor would the girls reveal it to him until an entire day had passed. The angel’s words were so efficacious and trenchant that, according to Lucia they
“Sank into our souls like a gleaming torch showing us Who God is, what is His love for us, and how he wants us to love Him too; the value of sacrifice and how it pleases Him; how He receives it for the conversion of sinners. That is why from that moment we began to offer Him whatever mortified us.”
The children were being taken deeper into the meaning of reparation prayer and the ineffable mystery of Divine Love that unites Father to Son and man to God in the Son. They were being led along the road of spiritual perfection in imitation of Christ; they were being taught to offer their lives as a sacrifice of love for the sins of others in order to win grace from the Holy Trinity for their conversion and to draw down peace upon their country
In addition to the rosary taught them by their parents and other prayers a child raised in a Catholic country might know, they had been taught only one prayer from the Angel of Peace:
“My God, I believe, I adore, I hope, and I love You. I ask pardon for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope, and do not love You.”
Armed with so few prayers, they were nonetheless equipped to move heaven. Here, in this second apparition, the Angel of Peace adds a request for sacrifice to enhance the power of their prayer. Prayer enhanced by sacrifice with the intention of making reparation merits grace for the pardon of sinners and draws down peace upon a country.
THIRD ANGELIC APPARITION
In “October or towards the “end of September” (1916) on the slope of a small hill facing Aljustrel the children stopped to say their rosary and the prayer taught them by the Angel during the first apparition.
During this visit the Angel of Peace reveals that the Lord is greatly offended by sins against the Blessed Sacrament. Their simple prayers and sincere sacrifices are now elevated and given Eucharistic meaning. They are taught to offer the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, the greatest and only acceptable sacrifice (the Eucharist), to the Holy Trinity for offenses with which He is offended. Therefore, the Angel of Portugal appeared in front of the children holding a chalice with a host suspended above it from which dripped some drops of blood that fell into the sacred vessel.
The Angel left the chalice and host suspended in the air, he again prostrated himself on the ground and repeated a new prayer (a pre-communion prayer) again, 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 outrages, 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.”
He then took the chalice and host in his hands and gave the host to Lucia and the chalice to Jacinta and Francisco saying as he did so:
“Take and drink the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, HORRIBLY OUTRAGED by ungrateful men. (1) Repair their crimes and (2) console your God.”
Then he showed the children how to console and make reparation to the Holy Trinity for sins committed against the Body and Blood of Christ:
The angel prostrated himself on the ground and three times repeated the pre-communion prayer, which is also the post-communion prayer, a prayer of adoration and reparation to the “Most Holy Trinity” for the outrages, sacrileges, and indifference that are so offensive to Jesus Christ present in all the tabernacles of the world and for the conversion of poor sinners.
“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 (1) REPARATION for the outrages, 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, (2) I beg of you the CONVERSION of poor sinners.”
The angel then disappeared.
During this visit the Angel revealed that the gravest sins must be atoned for by the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. These sins the angel refers to as “horrible outrages”. They are committed by men and women who do not appreciate the agony and suffering born of love that the Son of God bore for them on the Cross and the agony He still endures by outrages committed against Him in the the Eucharist, outrages committed by ungrateful men, which apparently had already reached a large number by 1916, a number that was going to grow.
The angel also taught the children to pray for “poor sinners”. He did not say that Jesus is “horribly outraged” by poor sinners. He refers to them only as poor sinners, sinners in need of consolation; sinners led astray, sinners who are perhaps ignorant and weak, sinners who have been neglected and mal-formed by those who call themselves leaders, those who claim to know the truths about God but are blind:
“And Jesus said: For judgment I am come into this world; that they who see not, may see; and they who see, may become blind. And some of the Pharisees, who were with him, heard: and they said unto him: Are we also blind? Jesus said to them: If you were blind, you should not have sin: but now you say: We see. Your sin remaineth” (John 9: 39-41).
Leaders such as these, although they claim to have wisdom (esoteric wisdom) and to know the paths that lead to God, leaders such as these (men who horribly outrage God while thinking they are doing a service to man) make those who follow them more fit for hell then they ever were before they met these “blind guides”:
“Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites; because you go round about the sea and the land to make one proselyte; and when he is made, you make him the child of hell twofold more than yourselves” (Matt 23:15).
The Angel of Peace defined two groups of sinners here; he was indicating the growth of atheists and theosophists who were manning the secret societies of communism and masonry. He made a distinction between those who “horribly outrage” God and those referred to as “poor sinners.” This idea is echoed in the Gospels where the Lord refers to evil men who do not believe Him and who conspire against Him as “Sons of the Devil”:
“You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and he stood not in the truth; because truth is not in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father thereof. But if I say the truth, you believe me not. Which of you shall convince me of sin? If I say the truth to you, why do you not believe me? He that is of God, heareth the words of God. Therefore you hear them not, because you are not of God” (John 8:44-47).
The other group, the poor sinners are also represented in the Gospel; they are the “sheep without a shepherd”, poor sinners on whom He had compassion (Matt 9:36). The first group are to be punished more severely, the second, hardly at all. (Luke 12: 47-48).
But it is not the Lord’s intent to punish anyone; He came not to punish but to save:
“For God so loved the world, as to give his only begotten Son; that whosoever believeth in him, may not perish, but may have life everlasting. For God sent not his Son into the world, to judge the world, but that the world may be saved by him” (John 3: 16-17).
Therefore, He wants all degrees of sin repaired and all sinners to be pardoned and converted; He wants His little children to participate in the salvation of many by imitating Him, by their prayer and sacrifice united to His prayer and sacrifice.
Finally, the angel revealed the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts of Jesus and Mary, which will have a prominent place in the visitations of the Blessed Mother when she appears in 1917. The Messages and lessons taught by the Angel of Peace can be seen as propaedeutic or preparatory to the lessons that will be taught by the Blessed Mother. The children were being prepared to receive her. Clearly, the best way to prepare the heart to receive graces from the Queen of Heaven is prayer and sacrifice united to and in imitation of Her Divine Son, especially the rosary offered in conjunction with the Eucharist in reparation for “poor sinners” and for outrageous sinners whom Jesus desires to win back from the clutches of darkness.
For the third time, the prayer taught to the children at the culmination of the visits by the Angel of Peace is a Eucharistic prayer and an invocation to the Sacred Hearts for both evil men deeply steeped in sin, esp. sins against the Eucharist and for poor sinners, men an women who sin through weakness and ignorance or willfully commit sins but not outrageous sacrileges.
“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
(1) REPARATION for the outrages, sacrileges and indifference with which He Himself is offended” (as the Angel said Jesus is HORRIBLY OUTRAGED by ungrateful men). “And through the infinite merits of His most Sacred Heart, and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, (2) I beg of you the CONVERSION of poor sinners.”
This prayer was to be both the children’s pre-communion prayer at the elevation of the host and also their post-communion prayer of consolation and reparation to the Holy Trinity for the conversion of sinners as taught to them by the Angel of Peace.
This is a prayer worthy of committing to memory. It is a prayer repeated by angels and taught directly by the Angel of Peace to the children at Fatima for the consolation of Jesus, for the conversion of sinners, and as the final preparation for the visit of the Virgin Mary seven months later.
It is important to note that although the Holy Trinity is eternally happy, nonetheless God does have emotions and can be outraged, feel pain etc. This is possible in the sacred humanity of Jesus Christ who is both true God and true man. As a man, Jesus Christ can suffer pain and anguish caused by ungrateful men who commit outrages and sacrileges against the Eucharist and to a lesser extent by anyone who shows indifference to Him in the sacrament of love, that is in the Holy Eucharist.
This final prayer also introduces the Virgin Mary into the Fatima dialogue and associates Her Immaculate Heart with the redemptive work of her Divine Son.
What are Outrages – Sacrileges – Indifferences?
The Lord’s greatest gift to the world is the Eucharist -The sacrifice that makes us whole and by which He is wedding humanity to His Divinity thereby making us divine as the Body of Christ.
Sacrilege and indifference are verbs for sins committed against the Holy Trinity especially in the Eucharist. These are sins against Jesus Christ Himself.
- Outrages: are acts that arouse fierce anger, shock, or indignation
- Sacrileges: are violations or injurious treatments of sacred objects dedicated to the worship of God.
There are three kinds of sacrilege: sacrilege of person, of place, and of things (real sacrilege).
A person commits a sacilege by the administration or reception of the sacraments while in the state of mortal sin. Deliberate and notable irreverence towards the Holy Eucharist is reputed the worst of all sacrileges.
Sacrilege also includes conscious maltreatment of sacred pictures or relics or the perversion of Holy Scripture or sacred vessels by using them for profane purposes. Sometimes the guilt of sacrilege may be incurred by omitting what is required for the proper administration of the sacraments or celebration of the sacrifice, as for example, if one were to say Mass without the sacred vestments.
Indifference entails the neglect of religious duties either by those who do or do not believe in the necessity and utility of religion.
Indifference extends especially to failures related to the precepts of the Church:
- Observance of Fast Days
- Attendance at Mass on Sundays and Holy Days
- Reception of the Eucharist at least once a year
- Confession once a year at Easter,
- Observance of the Church’s marriage laws
- Help provided for needs of church
Article Two Fatima Series
Article One Introduction