The children were tending a flock of sheep outside the tiny village of Fatima, Portugal, when they first saw the angel. He was transparent, they said, and shining like a crystal.
Lucia Abobora, 9, and her cousins, Jacinta and Francisco Marto, 6 and 7, were stunned.
“He said, “Do not be afraid. I am the angel of peace. Pray with me.’
In the spring of 1917, something more extraordinary began unfolding — visions that would put three children on the path to sainthood and transform Fatima from an ordinary village to the site of a Catholic shrine venerated and visited by millions.
The Virgin Mary appeared to the children on May 13, 1917 as “a lady dressed in white, shining brighter than the sun, giving out rays of clear and intense light,” dos Santos wrote. She promised to come to the children on the 13th of each month.
“Perhaps the most well-known utterance of the apparition of Our Lady at Fatima was her confident declaration that “My Immaculate Heart will triumph”. Cardinal Ratzinger has interpreted this utterance as follows: “The Heart open to God, purified by contemplation of God, is stronger than guns and weapons of every kind. The fiat of Mary, the word of her heart, has changed the history of the world, because it brought the Saviour into the world—because, thanks to her Yes, God could become man in our world and remains so for all time. The Evil One has power in this world, as we see and experience continually; he has power because our freedom continually lets itself be led away from God. But since God himself took a human heart and has thus steered human freedom towards what is good, the freedom to choose evil no longer has the last word. From that time forth, the word that prevails is this: “In the world, you will have tribulation, but take heart; I have overcome the world” (Jn16:33). The message of Fatima invites us to trust in this promise.
Written by Rose Mary