July 13: The Third Apparition of Fatima
July 13 marks the 100th anniversary of the third apparition at Fatima in 1917. This apparition at Fatima is considered one of the most important apparitions because it was then that Our Lady disclosed the essential meaning of her Fatima message. It was at this time that she imparted many grave warnings, but also instilled hope that her Immaculate Heart would triumph. It was also at this point in time that Our Lady revealed three secrets to the shepherd children.
On July 13, 1917, a crowd of approximately 4,000 people came to the Cova da Iria with Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta. After praying the Rosary, there was a flash of lightning and Our Lady appeared above the holm oak tree.
Lucia asked her usual question, “What do you want of me?”
Our Lady replied: “I want you to come here on the thirteenth of next month and to continue to pray the Rosary every day in honor of Our Lady of the Rosary, in order to obtain peace for the world and the end of the war, for she alone can be of any avail.”
Lucia made the following request: “I would like to ask you to tell us who you are and to perform a miracle so everybody will believe that you are appearing to us.”
Our Lady promised that in October, she would reveal her identity and perform a miracle so that everyone would believe.
Lucia then made several requests for conversions and cures. Our Lady recommended the constant recitation of the Rosary for those requests.
Our Lady continued: “Sacrifice yourselves for sinners and say many times, especially when you make a sacrifice, ‘O Jesus, this is for love of Thee, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.'”
As she spoke these words, the Mother of God stretched out her hands, and brilliant rays of light poured forth from them, which penetrated the earth and turned it into a sea of fire. The children were standing on the edge of the earth, which had opened up into an inferno. In her memoirs, Lucia describes the vision:
“Plunged in this fire were demons and souls in human form, all blackened or burnished bronze, floating about in the conflagration, now raised into the air by the flames that issued from within themselves together with great clouds of smoke, now falling back on every side like sparks in huge fires, without weight or equilibrium, amid shrieks and groans of pain and despair, which horrified us and made us tremble with fear…The demons could be distinguished by their terrifying and repellent likeness to frightful and unknown animals, black and transparent like burning coals.”
Looking with kindness at the frightened children, Our Lady explained: “You have seen where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish in the world the devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If people do what I tell you, many souls will be saved and there will be peace.”
Our Lady told them that the war would come to an end soon, but unless people stopped offending God, a worse war would break out under the pontificate of Pope Pius XI. She predicted: “When you see a night illumined by an unknown light, know that this is the great sign given you by God that he is about to punish the world for its crimes, by means of war, famine, and persecutions of the Church and of the Holy Father.”
In order to prevent this, the Blessed Mother asked for the consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart and the Communion of reparation on the First Saturdays. She added, “If my requests are heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace. If not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred and the Holy Father will have much to suffer, various nations will be annihilated. In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph.”
The Blessed Mother also requested the children to say after each decade of the Rosary, the prayer: “O my Jesus, forgive us, save us from the fire of hell. Lead all souls to heaven, especially those who are in most need.”
Our Lady asked that the children keep everything she revealed to them a secret until she granted them permission to share it with others. With that, she disappeared.
Our Lady shared three secrets with the children. The first secret was the vision of hell. The second secret was Our Lady’s warnings about the Second World War and the rise of evil with communism in Russia. The third secret was the vision that the children had of events that took place during World War II and the Cold War. The children had a prophetic vision that was not revealed publicly until the beatification Mass of Francisco and Jacinta on May 13, 2000. It was a symbolic vision of a future event and referred to the persecutions that humanity would undergo in the twentieth century: “The good will be martyred; the Holy Father will have much to suffer; various nations will be annihilated’”. The suffering of the popes of the 20th century has been interpreted to include the assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II in 1981, which took place on May 13, 1917, the 64th anniversary of the first Fatima apparition.
~ copyright Jean M. Heimann 2017.
~ Excerpted, in part, from my book, Fatima: The Apparition That Changed The World (TAN 2017).
“In The End My Immaculate Heart will triumph.” — Our Lady of Fatima