Prayers taught by the Angel of Fatima in 1916
“My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love You! I beg pardon for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope and do not love You.”
“Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, I adore You profoundly. 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 indifferences by which He 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.”
An Extraordinary Preparation…
Next year we will be celebrating the Centennial of the Apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Fatima in 1917 to three little children in Portugal: Lucy, Francisco and Jacinta. This event is certainly one of the most extraordinary religious events of the last millennium, so extraordinary that Heaven regarded it as necessary to prepare the children for it more than a year in advance, by sending them Its heavenly Messenger. We believe that our readers will be happy to also profit from this angelic preparation. So here, related by Lucy herself on orders from her bishop is the narrative of the
Apparitions of the Angel in 1916 to the Three Seers of Fatima
On four different occasions, Msgr. José da Silva, the Bishop of Fatima, commanded Lucy, who was a nun, to write down for him her recollections, that is, all that concerned her life and the lives of her two cousins, Jacinta and Francisco Marto, at the time of the Apparitions. These four Memoirs are dated respectively 1935 and 1937, and the two last ones 1941. They were published in 1973 under the title Memórias e Cartas da Irmã Lúcia. In 1976 they were published under the title Fatima in Lucia’s own Words. Afterwards, the number of editions increased. Here we will relate the narration of the Apparitions of the Angel, which occurred three times during the year 1916, preparing the three young seers for the impressive Apparitions of the Virgin Mary, from May to October 1917.
This is the narrative from the pen of Lucy, the oldest of the three seers, who at the moment of the Apparitions of the Angel was nine years old, Francisco eight and Jacinta six years old.
First Apparition – The Angel of Peace
Lucy writes, “One fine day we set out with our sheep for some land that my parents owned. I cannot set down the dates with certainty, because, at that time, I did not know how to reckon the years, the months, or even the 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 Cabeço.
“About mid-morning, a fine drizzle began to fall, so fine that it seemed like mist. We went up the hillside, followed by our flocks, looking for an overhanging boulder where we could take shelter. Thus it was for the first time that we entered this blessed hollow among the rocks. It stood in the middle of an olive grove belonging to my godfather Anastacio. From there, you can see the little village where I was born, my parents’ home, and the hamlets of Casa Velha and Eira da Pedra. The rest of the grove was owned by several people, and extended to within the confines of the hamlets themselves.
“We spent the day there among the rocks, in spite of the fact that the rain was over and the sun was shining bright and clear. We ate our lunch and said our Rosary. I’m not sure whether we said it that day as we sometimes did in our eagerness to get to our games, saying just the words Hail Mary and Our Father on each bead.
“When we had finished our Rosary, we started to play ‘pebbles’. We had been enjoying the game for some time, when a strong wind began to shake the trees. We looked up to see what was happening, for the day was calm. Then we saw coming toward us, above the olive trees to the east, the figure I have already spoken about. Jacinta and Francisco had never seen it before, nor had I ever mentioned it to them. As the Apparition drew closer, we were able to distinguish its features. It was a young man, about fourteen or fifteen years old, whiter than snow, transparent as crystal when the sun shone through it, and of great beauty. We were surprised, absorbed, and struck dumb.
“On reaching us, he said:
Do not be afraid, I am the Angel of Peace. Pray with me.
“Kneeling on the ground, he bowed down until his forehead touched the earth. Led by a supernatural impulse, we did the same, and repeated the words which we heard him say. He made us repeat these words three times:
My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love You! I beg pardon for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope and do not love You.
“Then, rising, he said:
Pray thus! The Hearts of Jesus and Mary are attentive to the voice of your supplications.
“Then he disappeared.
“His words engraved themselves so deeply on our minds that we never forgot them. The supernatural atmosphere which enveloped us was so intense, that for a long time we were scarcely aware of our own existence. We remained in the same posture in which the Angel had left us, constantly repeating the same prayer. The presence of God made itself felt so intensely and so intimately that we no longer even ventured to speak to one another. The next day, our minds were still immersed in this atmosphere, which disappeared only gradually.
“It did not occur to us to speak about this Apparition, nor did we think of recommending that it be kept secret. The very Apparition itself imposed secrecy. It was so intimate, that it was not easy to speak about it at all. The impression it made upon us was all the greater perhaps, in that it was the first Apparition that was so manifest.
“From then on, we used to spend long periods of time prostrated to the ground, repeating the Angel’s words, sometimes even falling from exhaustion.”
Second Apparition – The Angel of Portugal
“Some time passed, and summer came, when we had to go home for siesta. One day, we were playing on the stone slabs of the well down at the bottom of the garden belonging to my parents, which we called the Arneiro. Suddenly, we saw beside us the same figure, the same Angel. He asked us:
What are you doing? Pray, pray very much! The most holy Hearts of Jesus and Mary have designs of mercy on you. Offer prayers and sacrifices constantly to the Most High.
“‘How are we to sacrifice ourselves?’ I asked.
Make of everything you can 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 Guardian Angel, the Angel of Portugal. Above all, accept and bear with submission, the sufferings that the Lord will send you.
“These words of the Angel were indelibly impressed upon our minds. They were like a light which made us understand who God is, how much He loves us and desires to be loved, the value of sacrifice, how pleasing it is to Him and how, on account of it, God converts sinners. And so, from then on we began to offer to the Lord all that mortified us, without, however, seeking to impose particular penances on ourselves, except that we remained for hours on end with our foreheads touching the ground, repeating the prayer the Angel had taught us.”
Third Apparition – The Angel of the Eucharist
“It seems to me the third Apparition must have been in October, or toward the end of September (1916), as we were no longer returning home for siesta.
“We went to pasture our sheep on a property belonging to my parents, which lay on the slope of the hill I have mentioned, a little higher than Valinhos. It is an olive grove called Preguieira. After our lunch, we decided to go and pray in the hollow among the rocks on the opposite side of the hill. To get there, we went around the slope, and had to climb over some rocks above the Preguieira. The sheep could scramble over these rocks only with great difficulty. As soon as we arrived there, we began to repeat the prayer of the Angel: ‘My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love You, etc…’
“I don’t know how many times we had repeated this prayer, when an extraordinary light shone above us. We sprang up to see what was happening, and beheld the Angel. He was holding a chalice in his left hand, with a Host suspended above it, from which some drops of Blood fell into the chalice. Leaving the chalice suspended in the air, the Angel knelt down beside us and made us repeat three times:
Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, I adore You profoundly. 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 indifferences by which He 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 took the chalice and the Host in his hands. He gave the Host to me, and to Jacinta and Francisco he gave the Blood in the chalice to drink, saying as he did so:
Take and drink the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, horribly outraged by ungrateful men. Offer reparation for their crimes and console your God!
“Once again, he prostrated to the ground and repeated the same prayer with us three more times: ‘Most Holy Trinity…, etc.’ and then he disappeared.
“We remained in this position, repeating the same words over and over again. Led by the supernatural force 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 the use of our bodily senses for a considerable length of time.
“When we stood up, we noticed that it was already dark, and therefore time to return home.
“During those days, we performed our exterior actions as though impelled by that same supernatural force that led us. The peace and happiness which we felt were great, but wholly interior, and our souls were completely immersed in God. The physical exhaustion that came over us was also great.”
Francisco and the Apparitions of the Angel
“During the Apparition of the Angel (the first one), Francisco prostrated like his sister and myself, carried away by the same supernatural force that moved us to do so; but he learned the prayer by hearing us repeat it, since, he told us, he heard nothing of what the Angel said.
“Afterward, when we prostrated to say that prayer, he was the first to feel the strain of such a posture. But he would remain kneeling, or sitting, and still praying with us, until we had finished. He would say, ‘I’m not able to stay like that for a long time, like you. My back aches so much that I can’t do it.’
“At the second Apparition of the Angel, down by the well, Francisco waited a few moments after it was over, then asked me:
“‘You spoke with the Angel. What did he say to you?’
“‘Didn’t you hear him?’
“‘No. I could see that he was talking to you. I heard what you said to him; but I don’t know what he said to you.’
“As the supernatural atmosphere in which the Angel left us had not yet entirely faded, I told him it would be better to ask me the next day, or to ask Jacinta.
“So then he asked, ‘Jacinta, you tell me what the Angel said.’
“‘I’ll tell you tomorrow. Today I can’t talk,’ she replied.
“The next day, as soon as he came up to me, he asked me:
“‘Did you sleep last night? I kept thinking about the Angel, and what he could have said.’
“I then told him all that the Angel had said at the first and second Apparitions. But it seemed that he had not received an understanding of what the words meant, and he asked:
“‘Who is the Most High (Altissimo)? What is the meaning of: “The Hearts of Jesus and Mary are attentive to the voice of your supplications?…, etc.”’
“Having received an answer, he remained deep in thought for a while, and then broke in with another question. But my mind was not yet entirely free, so I told him to wait until the next day, because that day I was still unable to speak. He waited quite contentedly, but he did not let the very next opportunity of asking more questions slip away. This made Jacinta say to him, ‘Listen! Don’t talk too much about these things!’
“When we spoke about the Angel, I don’t know what it was that we felt. Jacinta said, ‘I don’t know how I feel. I can’t talk, or sing, or play, I don’t have enough strength for anything.’
“‘Neither do I’, replied Francisco. ‘But what of it? The Angel is more beautiful than all that. Let’s think about him.’
“At the third Apparition of the Angel, the presence of the supernatural made itself felt even more intensely. For several days, even Francisco did not venture to speak. Later he said:
“‘I love to see the Angel, but the worst of it is that, afterward, we are unable to do anything. I couldn’t even walk. I don’t know what was the matter with me.’
“In spite of that, after the third Apparition of the Angel, it was he who noticed that it was getting dark, and who drew our attention to the fact, and thought that we should take our flocks back home. Once the first few days were over and we had returned to normal, Francisco asked:
“‘The Angel gave you Holy Communion, but what was it that he gave to Jacinta and me?’
“‘It was Holy Communion, too!’ replied Jacinta, with inexpressible joy. ‘Didn’t you see that it was the Blood that fell from the Host?’
“‘I felt that God was in me,’ he said, ‘but I didn’t know how!’
“Then, prostrating to the ground, he and his sister remained for a long time, saying over and over again the prayer of the Angel, ‘Most Holy Trinity…, etc.’
“Little by little, the atmosphere of the supernatural faded away, and by the 13th of May (1917), we were playing with almost as much enjoyment and freedom of mind as we had before.
“The Apparition of Our Lady plunged us once again into the atmosphere of the supernatural, but more gently. Instead of that annihilation in the Divine Presence, which exhausted us even physically, the Apparition of Our Lady left us filled with peace and expansive joy, which did not prevent us from speaking afterward of all that had happened.
“On one occasion Francisco said to me:
“‘I loved seeing the Angel, but I love seeing Our Lady even more. What I loved most of all was to see Our Lord in that light from Our Lady which penetrated our hearts. I love God so much! But He is very sad because of so many sins! We must not commit any sins!’”
Jacinta, Francisco and the remembrance of the Angel
At the time of the Apparitions of Our Lady, Lucy had much to suffer from her family, especially from her dear mother who did not believe that her daughter could see the Virgin; rather, she was convinced that the girl was lying. Lucy writes:
“When Jacinta saw me in tears, she tried to console me, saying, ‘Don’t cry! Surely, these are the sacrifices which the Angel said that God would send us. That’s why you are suffering, so that you can make reparation to Him and convert sinners.’”
At the end of 1918, Francisco and Jacinta came down with the Spanish flu. Francisco died on April 4, 1919, and Jacinta on February 20, 1920. Lucy related several thoughts of the children concerning what they had learned from the Angel and concerning their burning generosity. We must necessarily limit ourselves here.
Lucy relates, “Jacinta and Francisco began to grow worse. Jacinta used to tell me sometimes, ‘My chest hurts so much, but I’m not saying anything to my mother! I want to suffer for Our Lord, in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary, for the Holy Father and for the conversion of sinners!’
“On another occasion, I brought her a picture of a chalice with a host. She took it, kissed it, and radiant with joy she exclaimed, ‘It is the Hidden Jesus! I love Him so much! If only I could receive Him in church! Do they receive Holy Communion in heaven? If they do, then I will receive Holy Communion every day. If only the Angel would go to the hospital to bring me Holy Communion again, how happy I would be!’
“Sometimes, on returning from church, I went in to see her, and she asked me, ‘Did you receive Holy Communion?’ And if I answered in the affirmative, she would tell me, ‘Come over here close to me, for you have the Hidden Jesus in your heart.’
Francisco was also ardent in making sacrifices, but a little differently. He was ravished by the presence of God in him. He told Lucy, “I love God so much! But He is very sad because of so many sins! We must not commit any sins.”
Lucy relates, “When I arrived at his house one day, I said goodbye to a group of schoolchildren who had come with me, and I went in to pay a visit to him and Jacinta. As he had heard all the noise of the children, he asked me, ‘Did you come with all that crowd?’
“‘Yes, I did.’
“‘Don’t go with them. You might learn to commit sins. When you come out of school, go and stay for a little while near the Hidden Jesus and afterward come home by yourself.’”
Lucy relates a host of other words and voluntary and heroic sacrifices of the children, all very edifying. Our readers will have the occasion to read Lucy’s testimony at greater length in another issue. Obviously, because of Lucy’s humility, we know a great deal more concerning the acts of virtue of her two little holy cousins, Jacinta and Francisco, than her own. In December 1935, she wrote to Bishop da Silva, who had asked her to relate her recollections, “May Your Excellency permit me — despite my good will to obey him — to reserve certain things which concern me; indeed, for that very reason, I would rather that they be read only on the threshold of eternity.”
Dear brothers and sisters, following the example of these three humble seers of Fatima, perhaps we too could prepare for the Centennial of the great Apparitions of Mary by saying, as often as possible, the prayers taught by the Angel at Fatima.
Source: Mémoires de Sœur Lucie, Gráfica de Coimbra, Lda, 2nd Ed., May 1991: 1st Memoir, p. 70; 2nd Memoir, pp. 62-66, 96; 3rd Memoir, p. 118; 4th Memoir, pp. 27-129, 157-162.
Article published in the Magnificat Magazine, June 2016, Editions Magnificat, Mont-Tremblant QC Canada.