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I have chosen my next subject of pilgrimage to be about Fatima in Portugal.

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Fatima I have chosen my next subject of pilgrimage to be about Fatima in Portugal. The History of Fatima During World War I, pope Benedict XV many but desperate pleas for peace' and finally in May 1917 made a direct appeal to Mary to intercede for peace in the world. The response was Mary's first appearance at Fatima just over a week later. At this time Fatima was just a small village roughly seventy miles north of Lisborn; the three children she appeared to were Lucia dos Santos, aged ten, and her cousins Francisco and Jacinta Marto, brother and sister, aged eight and seven. The Angel However, it was in spring of the year before, 1916, that the children had their first joint supernatural encounter, preparing them for their meetings with Mary. As they were looking after sheep one day they saw a dazzling beautiful young man, who told them he was the angel of Peace; he invited them to pray with him. Later on, the summer, the Angel again appeared to the children and encouraged them to pray and make sacrifices, as a way of drawing down peace on the country. In the autumn the children again saw the Angel as they were out looking after their sheep. He appeared before them holding a chalice in his hands, above which was suspended a host from which drops of blood were falling into the chalice. The Angel left the chalice also suspended in the air in the air and laid face down before it in prayer. He then gave the host to Lucia to eat, and let Francisco and Jacinta drink from the chalice while saying, " Take and drink the Body and Blood of Christ, horribly outraged by ungrateful men. Repair their crimes and console your God." Then he lay face down again in prayer before disappearing. The children did not tell anyone about these visits from the Angel. ...read more.


Mary specifically told Lucia not to tell anyone about the secret at this stage, apart from Francisco, continuing: "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 assuring Lucia that there was nothing more, Mary disappeared off into the distance. August1917 As August 13th approached rapidly, the story of the apparitions had reached the anti-religious secular press, and while this ensured that the whole country knew about Fatima, it also meant that many biased and negative reports were beginning. The Mayor of Villa Nova de Ourem, Arturo Santos, kidnapped the children on the morning of the 13th. They were interrogated about the secret; but despite his threats and promises of money, they refused to reveal it. In the afternoon they were moved to the local prison and threatened with death, but were sure that death was much better than revealing the secret. On August 19th, Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta were assembled at a place called Valinhos, near Fatima, late in the afternoon, when they again saw Mary who spoke to Lucia: "Go again to Cova da Iria on the 13th and continue to say the Rosary every day." Mary also said she would perform a miracle, so all would finally believe, and that if they had not been kidnapped it would have been much better. Looking very sad, Mary said to them: "Pray, pray very much, and make sacrifices for sinners; for many souls go to hell, because there are none to sacrifice themselves and pray for them." With that she rose into the air and moved, as always, towards the east before disappearing. By now the children had thoroughly taken in Mary's plea for prayer and penance, and did everything they could to answer to it. They prayed for hours while laying face down on the ground and went as long as they could without drinking, in the burning heat of Portuguese summer. ...read more.


Lucia realised it was the "unknown light," also announced by Mary in the July apparition. It meant punishment for the world was close, principally through the Second World War, because it had not turned back to God. Pope Pius XII consecrated the whole world to Mary's Immaculate Heart in 1942, and carried out a similar consecration of Russia in 1952, but neither of these fulfilled Mary's request at Fatima. This collegial consecration, in union with a "moral totality" of the world's bishops, was finally carried out by Pope John Paul II in 1984. Fatima received further Papal support when, on 13 May 1979, the Pope declared Jacinta and Francisco "venerable," the first stage in the process of their possible canonisation. Pope John Paul has further emphasised the importance of Fatima by beatifying Jacinta and Francisco on 13 may 2000 during the Jubilee Year. At the same time he has announced that details of the third part of the Fatima secret will be revealed, while also entrusting the third millennium to Our Lady of Fatima. The Bishop approves of Fatima The Church, meanwhile, had maintained silence about the apparitions during the years from 1917, and it wasn't until May 1922 that Bishop Correia issued a pastoral letter on the subject, indicating that he would set up a commission of enquiry. In 1930 he issued another pastoral letter on the apparitions, which, after recounting the events at Fatima, contained the following brief but important statement. "In virtue of considerations made known, and others which for reasons of brevity we omit; humbly invoking the Divine Spirit and placing ourselves under the protection of the most Holy Virgin, and after hearing the opinions of our Rev. Advisors in this diocese, we hereby: 1. Declare worthy of belief, the visions of the shepherd children in the Cova da Iria, parish of Fatima, in this diocese, from the 13th May to 13th October, 1917. 2. Permit officially the cult of Our Lady of Fatima." ...read more.

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