The Fifth Apparition at Fatima - September 13th
#1
Taken from The True Story of Fatima


The Fifth Apparition

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The words that most deeply embedded themselves on the minds of the children were the last words spoken by Our Lady at Valinhos, “Pray, pray a great deal, and make sacrifices for sinners, for many souls go to Hell because they have no one to pray and make sacrifices for them.” These words awakened in the children an even stronger desire for mortification, prayer and suffering. Their one longing was to close that terrifying furnace of Hell so that no more souls could go there.

When alone in the fields with their sheep, the three youngsters spent hour after hour in the gully of the Cabeço where the Angel had appeared, prostrate upon the ground, repeating the prayers the Angel had taught them:

“My God, I believe, I adore, I hope, and I love Thee. I ask pardon for all those who do not believe in Thee, do not adore Thee, do not hope in Thee, and do not love Thee...

“Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, I adore Thee profoundly and I offer Thee the most Precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of the same Son Jesus Christ, present in the Tabernacles of the world, in reparation for all the sacrileges, outrages and indifferences by which He Himself is offended. And by the infinite merits of His Most Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of Thee the conversion of poor sinners.”

When this cramped position became unbearable, they changed positions and said the Rosary, adding the special prayer Our Lady taught them, “O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of Hell. Lead all souls to Heaven, especially those most in need.”

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The children prayed much, but they sacrificed themselves even more. They trained their minds to discover new ways of suffering for the conversion of sinners. Lest others misunderstand the motives of their mortifications and prevent them from saving souls from Hell, they kept this a secret between themselves and Our Lady. Only under orders from her superiors many years later, did Lucia relate the extent of their youthful prayers and sacrifices.

Watching the sheep on the hot barrenness of the hills, they offered up to God and Our Lady their burning thirst. The children went for days without drinking anything while they were alone in the fields. This was one of their biggest and most difficult sacrifices. Indeed, that summer they went the whole month of August without water.

Lucia tells how one day, as the three of them walked by the pond of Carreira on their way home from the Cova da Iria, Jacinta was so overcome with thirst, she was forced to speak out, “Look, I am so thirsty, my head aches so much. I’m going to drink a little of this water.”

“Not that water,” Lucia said. “My mother doesn’t want us to touch that water. People do their washing in it and the animals drink it. It will make us sick. We’ll go over and ask Aunt Maria dos Anjos to give us a little water.”

“No, Lucia,” Jacinta spoke up, “I don’t want good water. I’ll drink this since I can offer to Our Lord the sacrifice of drinking of this foul water instead of my thirst.”

Another day, the children were playing, as their mothers thought, by the well, when Jacinta’s mother brought them a few bunches of grapes to munch on. As soon as her mother went away, Jacinta said, “Let’s not eat them. We’ll offer this sacrifice.” Just then, she saw some poor children on the road, so she ran over to give them the luscious looking grapes. On another occasion, Senhora Olimpia gave Jacinta a basket of figs for the three of them. They sat on the ground and started to eat them when Jacinta remembered the sinners whom she wanted so much to save from the fire of Hell. She put hers back and ran off for a while so that she would not give in to her desire for the figs. While they were picking some little plants that grew between rocks and burst with a crack when squeezed, Jacinta hurt herself in some nettles. One would think she had found a big diamond.

“Look,” she exclaimed, “I found something else for our mortifications!”

Another day, while pasturing their sheep, they found a piece of rope. Playfully, Lucia tied it around her arm and soon discovered that it hurt. “Look, this hurts! We could tie this around our body for another sacrifice.”

The rope was thick and very rough. They cut it in three pieces and tied it around their waists. The sharp pain it caused was difficult to endure, especially for little Jacinta. Lucia suggested that she take it off, but Jacinta insisted on wearing it. She would willingly endure any sacrifice to save sinners from Hell. They even wore the rope to bed. This prevented them from getting the rest they needed and Our Lady spoke about it in Her next visit.

While the children sought every means of pleasing Our Lady, certain men were determined to discredit the children and make a fiasco of the apparitions. For them, it was another opportunity to destroy the Church in Portugal. When the local magistrate found his efforts foiled, another man arose to take up the cudgel. He was José do Vale, the editor of a leftist newspaper. His idea was to put an end to the Fatima affair by having a public meeting and distributing pamphlets in the towns and villages telling the “truth” about Fatima and the Church. José do Vale thought that the best time to get the people together would be after the last Mass at the church of Fatima.

Anticipating easy success, he went there on a Sunday morning with some guards and a few influential people of the district. The only man in the churchyard was the Regedor, the village Magistrate.

The place of Mass had been unexpectedly and quietly changed this Sunday by the Pastor, who occasionally alternated between the several churches in the parish.

Not to be outdone, the group proceeded to the Cova da Iria where they knew that they would find a sizable gathering of many people. An unusual reception awaited them.

A man had mustered some donkeys, which he had tied to the holm oaks. As soon as the men appeared, he tricked the donkeys into braying and kept them at it, to the very great annoyance of the unwelcome visitors.

José do Vale went towards the holm oak where another surprise awaited the group.

There was a pile of straw and feed placed around the tree. The good people of Moita invited them to eat it, likening them to the animals that live on such things. “It was an Shrine at Valinhos insult and they took it as such,” Maria da Capelinha said. “I got there about half past eleven with two of my neighbors. We hid ourselves so that we could be close to the men when they came. The Chapel of the Confessions is now on the spot where we hid.

Further up, three men sat on the branches of a large holm oak. One of the evil men started to talk against the Church and every time he said something especially wicked we answered, ‘Viva Jesus e Maria; Hail Jesus and Mary!’ A boy standing on another large holm oak opposite us echoed loud after us, ‘Hail Jesus, Hail Mary,’ taking off his hat each time in great reverence.

“The men became so disgusted that they sent two guards after us, but we cut across the fields and they lost sight of us. Meanwhile, Mass was over and our menfolk came along. When they realized what was going on, they began to heckle the speakers and make fun of the guards. ‘Mule-heads, mule-heads, mule-heads.’ José and his cohorts started calling the men ‘mountain clodhoppers’ and ‘hillbillies’ etc. They sent the guards after them but the men scampered to the right and left, laughing and poking fun at the men who were going to reveal the ‘whole truth’ about the Church and Our Lady. José do Vale and his crowd were never heard from again.”

Meanwhile the three children counted the hours to the next apparition. Many thousands believed and as many still refused to believe in the apparitions. This unbelief and misunderstanding, especially on the part of the priests, together with the constant, repetitious questions of the people caused the children keen suffering and a sense of utter loneliness. They felt that no one but Our Lady really understood them and that only they understood Her.

The thirteenth of September was at hand. As the day broke, crowds stormed the homes of the children and everyone wanted to speak to them to ask a special remembrance to Our Lady. “When it came time to leave for the Cova da Iria,” Lucia wrote, “I left with Jacinta and Francisco, but there were so many people that we could hardly move a step. The roads overflowed with people. Everyone wanted to see and speak to us. There was no human respect in that crowd. Ordinary people, even noble ladies and gentlemen, succeeding in breaking their way through the crowd surrounding us, fell on their knees before us, asking that we bring their needs before Our Lady. Many others, unable to get near us, shouted, ‘For the love of God, ask Our Lady to cure my lame child... Ask Her to make my child see... to make my child hear... Ask Her to bring my husband and son back from the war... to convert a sinner... to make me, sick with tuberculosis, whole again.’ There could be seen all the miseries and afflictions of mankind.

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Some shouted even from the trees and walls which they had climbed in order to see us. “To some we said, ‘Yes.’ To others we lent a hand to help them rise from the dust on the ground. Thanks to a few gentlemen who opened a way for us through the crowds, we were able to move along. When I read now in the New Testament of the enchanting scenes that accompanied the passage of Our Lord through Palestine, I remember these scenes that Our Lady made me, who was so young, witness on the roads and lanes from Aljustrel to Fatima and the Cova da Iria. I thank Our Lord as I offer Him the faith of our good Portuguese people; and I think that if these people humbled themselves so much before three poor children, only because there was given to them, in all mercy, the grace of speaking with the Mother of God, what would they not have done if they were to see Jesus Christ Himself?”

When they finally arrived at the holm oak, Lucia as usual started the Rosary, with the people responding. They were almost finished when the children arose to scan the horizon.

They had seen the flash. Our Lady would soon come. A few moments passed. A globe of light appeared before the crowd, and the all holy Queen of Angels was standing over the holm oak.

“What do You want of me?” Lucia spoke very humbly.

“Let the people continue to say the Rosary every day to obtain the end of the war,” Our Lady responded, at the same time renewing the promises She made during Her last apparition. “In the last month, in October, I shall perform a miracle so that all may believe in My apparitions. If they had not taken you to the village, the miracle would have been greater. Saint Joseph will come with the Baby Jesus to give peace to the world. Our Lord also will come to bless the people.

Our Lady of the Rosary and Our Lady of Sorrows will also come.

“God is pleased with your sacrifices but does not wish that you wear the rope when you go to sleep. Wear it only during the day.”

“They have requested that I ask You many things,” Lucia then said. “This girl is a deaf mute. Don’t You want to cure her?”

“In the course of the year she will be improved.”

“Will You help these other people?”

“Some I will cure; but the others, no. Our Lord does not have confidence in them.”

“The people would like very much to have a chapel built here,” Lucia suggested.

“Use half of the money received so far for the litters. On one of them, place the statue of Our Lady of the Rosary. The other half should be set aside to help with the building of the chapel.” “Many people say that I am a swindler who should be hanged or burned. Please perform a miracle for all to believe.”

“Yes, in October, I will perform a miracle so that all may believe.”

“Some people gave me these two letters for you and a bottle of cologne.” Lucia did not want to forget any requests.

“None of that is needed in Heaven.”

Our Lady then began to leave. Lucia, pointing towards the East, shouted to the people, “If you want to see Our Lady, look that way!” They looked eagerly towards the East and many saw the luminous globe now ascending towards Heaven. As soon as it disappeared, the whole crowd swarmed upon the children asking them a thousand questions... “What did Our Lady say?... Will She cure my boy?... Will my husband come home from the war safe?... Will She help my little girl?” It was with great difficulty that the parents reclaimed their children and brought them home. When they reached home, hundreds more waited to ask the children more questions.

“What did Our Lady look like?... Was it really Our Lady? ... Tell us everything that happened.”

Among the many witnesses of this apparition, there were a few priests, including the Vicar General of Leiria, Monsignor John Quaresma and Father Manuel do Carmo Gois. The Monsignor, a man of great learning, came to the Cova da Iria with many questions in his mind; he didn’t know whether to believe or not in the testimony of the children. He gives us his own personal account of the happenings of this day.

He had been wondering, “... [H]ave the little shepherds been the victims of a beautiful mirage?...” Was there any truth in the words of the children?... What should we say of the ever-growing multitudes that on every thirteenth asserted that they saw extraordinary signs in the skies of Fatima?

“I left, the morning of September the thirteenth, 1917, in a slow carriage drawn by an old horse, to go to the place of the apparitions. Father Gois chose a spot overlooking the vast amphitheater of the Cova da Iria. From it we could easily see, without coming too close, the place where the little shepherds prayed as they waited for the heavenly apparition. At noontime, silence fell on the crowd, and a low whispering of prayers could be heard. Suddenly, cries of joy rent the air, many voices praising the Blessed Virgin.

Arms were raised to point to something above, ‘Look! don’t you see?’... ‘Yes, I see it!’ “I, too, raised my eyes to probe the amplitude of the skies, hoping to see what the other more fortunate eyes were seeing before me. There was not a single cloud in the whole blue sky, yet to my great astonishment, I saw clearly and distinctly a luminous globe, coming from the east to the west, gliding slowly and majestically through space.
My friend also looked up, and had the happiness of enjoying the same unexpected but enchanting apparition. Suddenly, the globe with its extraordinary light, disappeared before our eyes.

“There was a little girl near us, dressed like Lucia and about the same age. She was excited with joy and kept saying, ‘I still see Her... now She is coming down.’ A few minutes later the child exclaimed again, pointing to the skies, ‘Now She is rising again,’ following the globe with her eyes until it disappeared towards the sun.

“I asked my friend, who was enthusiastic over what we had seen, ‘What do you think of that globe?’ Without any hesitation, he replied, ‘That was Our Lady.’ That was also my belief. The three little shepherds had seen the Mother of God Herself; to us had been given the grace to see the chariot that had borne Her from Heaven to the barren inhospitable hills of Aire. It must be said that everyone around us had seen the same as we. For on all sides were heard manifestations of joy, and greetings to Our Lady. Some, however, saw nothing; for one good and pious soul nearby wept bitterly for not having seen.

“My colleague went about from group to group in the Cova da Iria, and afterwards along the road, to inquire of each what they had seen. The persons interrogated were of the most various classes; yet with one voice they affirmed the reality of the phenomena which we ourselves had contemplated.

“Deeply satisfied, we returned home from our pilgrimage to Fatima, with the firm purpose of coming back on the thirteenth of October to accede to Lucia’s invitation and to fortify even more our faith in the apparitions of Our Lady.”

Other signs were reported on this day. There was a sudden cooling of the air; and the sun was dimmed, so much so that thousands of people could see the stars even though it was mid-day. Also there was a rain of iridescent petals that vanished upon reaching the ground.
"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre
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#2
Fr. Hewko's Sermon on the September Apparition of Our Lady at Fatima

"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre
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#3
The following is from an email newsletter sent out by the Our Lady of Fatima Chapel for today's commemoration of Our Lady's September apparition at Fatima. 

By the way, if anyone would like to receive similar newsletters and email updates from Our Lady of Fatima chapel in Massachusetts, please write to ourladyofatimachapel@gmail.com


The September Apparition

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Today we commemorate the Blessed Virgin's fifth visit to Fatima on September 13th, 1917. Nearly 30,000 souls had gathered at the Cova da Iria; as the children (and the crowd) awaited Our Lady’s visit, Lúcia led the Rosary. At noon, a certain phenomenon announced the arrival of Our Lady to many in the crowd.

Again drawing especially from Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité we read:

Quote:Among the numerous testimonies describing the marvels which Our Lady wished to accompany Her coming, the most detailed is undoubtedly from Father John Quaresma, who later on became Vicar General of Leiria. He had come there incognito, in secular clothing with two other priests, Fathers Manuel do Carmo Gois and Manuel Pereira da Silva, in the same dress. All three surveyed the events from an elevation at the side of the Cova.  In 1932, Msgr. Quaresma, in a letter to his colleague Msgr. Carmo Gois, recalls the prodigious event of September 13th in all its details:

“On a beautiful September morning we left Leiria in a rickety carriage drawn by an old horse, for the spot where the much discussed apparitions were to take place. Father Gois found the high point of the vast amphitheater from which we could observe events without approaching too nearly the place where the children were awaiting the apparition. At midday (solar time) there was complete silence. One only heard the murmur of prayers.

Suddenly there were sounds of jubilation and voices praising the Blessed Virgin. Arms were raised pointing to something in the sky. “Look, don’t you see?” “Yes, yes, I do…!” There was much satisfaction on the part of those who did. There had not been a cloud in the deep blue sky and I too raised my eyes and scrutinized it in case I should be able to distinguish what the others, more fortunate than I, had already claimed to have seen. With great astonishment I saw, clearly and distinctly, a luminous globe, which moved from the east to the west, gliding slowly and majestically through space. My friends also looked and had the good fortune to enjoy the same unexpected and delightful vision. Suddenly the globe, with its extraordinary light, disappeared. Near us was a little girl dressed like Lúcia and more or less the same age. She continued to cry out happily: “I still see it! I still see it! Now it’s coming down!

“It then began to approach the holm oak of the apparition. Then the sun’s brightness diminished, the atmosphere became golden yellow, like the other times. Some people even reported being able to distinguish the stars in the sky. Lúcia began to speak …"

"What does Your Grace want of me?"

"Continue to say the Rosary in order to obtain the end of the war. In October, Our Lord will come, as well as Our Lady of Sorrows and Our Lady of Carmel. Saint Joseph will appear with the Child Jesus in order to bless the world."

Then, regarding the penitential practice of wearing the coarse rope around their waists, Our Lady told Lúcia:

"God is satisfied with your sacrifices, but He does not want you to sleep with the rope. Wear it only during the day."

Sister Lucia's fourth Memoir adds: “In October I will perform a miracle so that all may believe.”

Then Our Lady began to rise as usual, and disappeared.


AN AMAZING “RAIN OF FLOWERS”

During the time of the apparition the majority of the pilgrims had enjoyed a marvelous spectacle: they saw falling from Heaven a shower of white petals, or round, shining snowflakes which slowly descended and disappeared as they approached the ground. Here are a few testimonies:

“Very high up we saw little white forms like snow in the air, coming across from the east to the west. One could say they were doves, but we could clearly see that they were not birds. On the slope, to the west, stood Father Joaquim Ferreira Gonzalves das Neves, parish priest of Santa Catarina da Serra… I turned towards him and asked him if he saw something. He said no. I indicated the direction to him, and suddenly he declared that he saw also.”

It was an unheard of phenomenon, which the witnesses were not able to describe very well:  “One might think they were stars”, declared Manuel Gonzalves, from the hamlet of Montelo. Others spoke of a rain of white roses, which vanished at the approach of the ground.


A MYSTERIOUS CLOUD

The Blessed Virgin wished to give the crowd gathered around the holm oak where She was appearing another sign of Her presence:

“A pleasant looking cloud formed around the rustic arch which dominated the little tree-stump. Rising up from the ground, it grew thicker and went up into the air until it was five or six metres high; then it disappeared like smoke that vanishes before the wind."

“A few moments later, similar curls of smoke were formed and disappeared in the same manner, and then a third time.”

“Everything happened as though some invisible thurifers were incensing the Vision liturgically. The three incensations together lasted the whole time of the apparition, that is from ten to fifteen minutes.”

In his letter approving devotion to Our Lady of Fatima, the Bishop of Leiria declared this phenomenon “humanly speaking inexplicable.”


THE LUMINOUS GLOBE GOES BACK UP TO HEAVEN

Not everything was over with yet. At the end of the Apparition, when the Blessed Virgin had finished transmitting Her message, Lúcia  exclaimed: “If you want to see Her, look over there! And she pointed with her finger towards the east. Then once again the luminous globe having an oval form could be seen, going up into the air and leaving the Cova da Iria in the direction of the east.

Here is the conclusion of Msgr. Quaresma’s account:

Quote:“After a few minutes, about the duration of the Apparitions, the child began to exclaim again, pointing to the sky: ‘Now it’s going up again!’ And she followed the globe with her eyes until it disappeared in the direction of the sun.

What do you think of that globe?” I asked my companion, who seemed enthusiastic at what he had seen. “That it was Our Lady”, he replied without hesitation. It was my undoubted conviction also. The children had contemplated the very Mother of God, while to us it had been given to see the means of transport which had brought Her from Heaven to the inhospitable waste of the Serra de Aire.

I must emphasize that all those around us appeared to have seen the same thing, for one heard manifestations of joy and praise of Our Lady. But some saw nothing. Near us was a simple devout creature weeping bitterly because she had seen nothing.

We felt remarkably happy. My companion went from group to group in the Cova and afterwards on the road, gathering information. Those he questioned were of all sorts and kinds and of different social standing, but one and all affirmed the reality of the phenomena which we ourselves had witnessed.”


THE MESSAGE OF THE SIGNS

Far from overwhelming the little seers with interminable discourses which they would not be able to remember, Our Lady showed an admirable pedagogy at Fatima. She contented Herself to humbly take up certain themes, all closely connected, and She repeated them from month to month, each time adding some new element. Thus on October 13th, She repeats almost entirely, although in a different way, Her words of September 13th. Thus it will be more fruitful to comment on Her last two messages at the same time…

Let us consider what constitutes the originality of this fifth apparition, that is the striking atmospheric signs which accompanied the coming of Our Lady and Her return to Heaven. To be sure, they were first and above all sensible proofs mercifully granted by Her, to convince still more the crowds of the faithful gathered in the Cova da Iria of the reality of Her presence. And in fact these signs would encourage innumerable pilgrims to return for the last rendezvous, to the point where there were almost twice as many, from 50,000 to 80,000!

But the miracles of Our Lord and the signs accomplished by Our Lady of Fatima are not only extraordinary facts which bear witness to their supernatural origin, they are also symbols rich in meaning, the sensible expressions of a mystery… Thus all the surprising marvels of September 13th, which filled with joy all those who had the privilege of contemplating them were like a language, the discreet and veiled manifestation of the Immaculate Virgin who during this time appeared in brilliant light to Her three usual confidants. And first of all, this luminous globe which preceded the apparition…


THE IMMACULATE ONE CAME DOWN FROM HEAVEN

Yes, such was indeed the clearest conclusion spontaneously drawn by all those who had seen the mysterious luminous globe slowly and majestically gliding into space, going from east to west, to descend finally on the holm oak of the apparition, before going back into space, in the direction of the east. The sign was simple, and its meaning was obvious to all: “It was Our Lady who came!” exclaimed Father Gois. And Father Quaresma explained: “The little shepherds had seen the Mother of God Herself. To us it had been given to see the means of transport, if one may so express it,  which had brought Her from Heaven to the inhospitable waste of the Serra de Aire.”

Frère Michel takes pains in his account to make clear that an essential function of the apparition was to emphasize the reality of the Blessed Virgin’s glorified body appearing there. Not some mystical appearance of a symbolic representation of Mary, but she herself. We need to bear this in mind in order to counteract the pernicious effects of modernism, which always undermines the physical reality of Jesus’s real presence and Mary’s as well. [NOTE: This tendency of Modernism to undermine the physical reality of the real, physical reality of Jesus and Mary is counteracted by devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.]

Despite the modernists, at Fatima as at Lourdes, much evidence allows us to affirm that Heaven visited the earth, the Virgin Mary descended in person in Her glorified, risen body to appear to the three shepherds, to transmit Her message to them, and comfort the innumerable crowds with Her invisible presence. Then She went back up to Heaven, resplendent with Light, always towards the east from whence She had come.

This last detail, very well attested by the seers, is still another symbolic trait rich in biblical reminiscences: Does it not remind us of the Spouse in the Canticle of Canticles? “Who is She that cometh forth as the dawn, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, terrible as an army in battle array?” (Canticles 6, 9)


THE IMMACULATE ONE, ARK OF THE NEW COVENANT

During all the apparitions since June 13th, many witnesses had noticed a thin white cloud, very pleasant to look at, forming above the holm oak. It remained there for the whole duration of the apparition, before gently going up in the sky towards the east, before finally disappearing. In August, almost everybody could see it. The same phenomenon took place on September 13th, but in an even more lavish manner, since the unusual cloud formed and then disappeared three times in a row, during the ten minutes Our Lady had spoken to the children.

This mysterious cloud which enveloped the apparition, as if to manifest its presence while concealing it at the same time, does it not remind us once again of the great biblical theophanies? Certainly, for from the giving of the law to Moses on Sinai to the Transfiguration of Jesus on Mount Tabor, the cloud always appears in sacred history as the symbol and sensible expression of the divine Presence. But how can we explain the fact that a creature, even the most sublime, the Blessed Virgin, could manifest Herself in the glorious aura of a specifically divine attribute?

The answer is rich in mystical significance and is taught in the Gospel of St. Luke, by way of allusion but still quite clearly: through a series of hints that the exegetes have perfectly grasped, the Evangelist identifies the Virgin Mary with the Ark of the Covenant. This Ark, hidden under the Tent, was like a movable sanctuary, the place where Yahweh had fixed His residence, accompanying Israel in its wanderings; and the Cloud manifested His presence. As soon as the Ark was introduced, we read in the Book of Exodus, “the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.” (Ex. 40:34-35) After the building of the Temple by Solomon, the Ark was solemnly carried in by the priests to the Holy of Holies. And finally, it is by the Cloud that Yahweh manifests that He is taking possession of His Temple, and establishes His abode there.

Now the symbolism is clear: by manifesting Herself in the cloud in each of Her apparitions, did not Our Lady wish to signify to us one of the most sublime aspects of Her mystery? In these three clouds observed on September 13th and October 13th, which also remind us of the triple incensation in the liturgy, the Immaculate Virgin shows us that She is the Abode and the Temple of God, the Sanctuary of the Holy Trinity, and the Ark of the New Covenant. In addition to Her message, it seems that at Fatima the Virgin Mary wished to teach us, in an incomparable synthesis, and in both a sensible and symbolic manner, all the highest perfections of Her personal vocation, already chanted for many centuries by the liturgy of the Church: “Ark of the Covenant, pray for us!”


THE  IMMACULATE  ONE,  DISPENSER  OF  A  SHOWER  OF  GRACES

As for the gracious shower of rose petals or snowflakes, the significance can be grasped immediately. The symbolism is so natural that the expression “a shower of graces” has become commonplace. For example, we need only recall the beautiful words of St. Therese of the Child Jesus who, planning to spend her Heaven doing good on earth, said to her sister: “You’ll see, it will be like a shower of roses.”

At Rue du Bac, Our Lady had declared to St. Catherine Laboure: “Come to the foot of this altar. Here, graces will be poured out on everybody who will ask for them with confidence.” Is it not the same pressing invitation that Our Lady wished to express at the Cova da Iria, by the eloquent symbol of a preternatural rain? Unquestionably yes. And as if to encourage the pilgrims to come en masse to this blessed place, where she showered Her graces profusely, she renewed the same prodigy of this mysterious rain on May 13th, 1918, and one more time, on May 13th, 1924: this time Bishop da Silva of Leiria was at the Cova da Iria and could bear witness to it himself.


BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO HAVE NOT SEEN AND HAVE BELIEVED!

And yet, Msgr. Quaresma writes, “some people saw nothing at all.” And again, Canon Barthas remarks: “It seems that the proportion of those who saw nothing was about a third of the total.” Did Our Lady wish to try their faith? It seems likely. Far from favoring only the believers, or those who intensely desired to finally see tangible proofs of the supernatural character of the events, many of them did not notice any extraordinary phenomenon that day. The privation of this consolation was a hard trial for them! It remained for them to have blind confidence in the words of Our Lady, and to continue firmly hoping to be more fortunate on October 13th; for She had promised since July, and repeated this promise to the seers in September: “In October, I will perform a miracle so that all may see and believe.”

Carefully note Our Lady’s choice of words, “So that all may believe.”  Here is the Immaculate Mother of God affirming that Fatima is a message for all. That is, Fatima is not simply a private revelation that we may choose to ignore!


- Edited from Return To Fatima and The Whole Truth About Fatima by Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité
"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre
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#4
A reminder....
"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre
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