The children accepted the sufferings that came their way, even to the point of inflicting some sufferings on themselves. To mortify themselves the children would fast, not eating their lunches, refuse to hydrate in the hot sun, or wear a knotted rope around their waists. People were either skeptical of them, did not believe them, or constantly questioned them as to what the Lady had said. The children were persecuted in these ways. Clergy and bishops quizzed them, even their own family and people of their hometown were not so sure of the truth. Yet, interest grew in the validity of these apparitions and many started to turn out with the children when Our Lady was to appear. Some skeptical needing to see proof, some believing, and some hoping.
by Thea Parsons
We are celebrating the life of Saint Jacinta Marto, a young Saint with more humility and heroic virtue than many of us reading this email! Without question, she accepted the call of God through Our Blessed Mother to suffer...to suffer for the conversion of sinners! To pray for those who have no one to pray for them, the lowly. How blessed are we by this young Saint?! By her courage?! May she intercede on our behalf, that we may exercise the same obedience she did with her brother and cousin, that we may be as courageous and steadfast in our, 'yes,' when we are called, and in our prayer, and suffering!
In celebration of this young Saint, Women of Grace wants to give you a gift! Below you will see several links leading you to free resources from our archives, hand selected just for you!
Enjoy a presentation by Johnnette Benkovic Williams at the United Nations during the 100th anniversary year of Our Lady of Fatima on Authentic Femininity!
Enjoy presentations by Johnnette and Father Philip Scott, FJ during a Pilgrimage to Fatima, Lourdes, and Avila they made in 2017!
Enjoy Women of Grace television series: Our Lady of Fatima and You: How the Battle Will Be Won, Parts 1-5 with guest, Colin Donovan
Enjoy a webinar: Our Blessed Mother's Apparitions at Fatima: A Call to Great Faith with presenter Father Wade Menezes, CPM
These resources and more are in our Women of Grace archives, available to you through a Women of Grace Exclusive Membership. TV episodes, radio programs, webinars, and more!
First, though, enjoy the story below of Jacinta's life and the apparitions of Our Blessed Mother, Our Lady of the Rosary, Our Lady of Fatima, to Jacinta, Francisco, and Lucia!
Jacinta was a charming and beautiful young girl who had an affinity for singing, flowers, dance, and a special love for Our Lord. As early as five years old, Jacinta vowed to never sin or offend the Lord again after hearing an account of His Passion. She, her brother, Francisco, and their cousin, Lucia, spent much of their time together playing, praying, and tending sheep. They had a devotion to Our Lady and prayed the rosary every day at lunch, albeit sometimes shortening the prayer in their own childish way by simply naming the prayers in order, as opposed to actually praying the prayers in their entirety! They were young children after all! All the more fitting that the Lord chose to send to THEM His Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Beginning in the Spring of 1916, an Angel appeared to Jacinta, Francisco, and Lucia and asked them to pray with him. He said, "Fear not! I am the Angel of Peace. Pray with me." After kneeling and bowing very low he prayed, “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, do not love Thee." After repeating the prayer three times, he got up and told the children, "Pray this way. The Hearts of Jesus and Mary are attentive to the voice of your supplications."
The Angel returned during the summer and appeared to the children who were resting in the shade. He said, "What are you doing? Pray! Pray a great deal! The hearts of Jesus and Mary have designs of mercy for you! Offer unceasingly to the Most High prayers and sacrifices. Offer up everything within your power as a sacrifice to the Lord in an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended; and of supplication for the conversion of sinners. Thus invoke peace upon your country. I am her Guardian Angel; the Angel of Portugal. Above all, accept and bear with submission the sufferings that the Lord may send you."
Finally, the Angel appeared a third time, holding a bleeding Host over a chalice, with blood dripping into the chalice. With the chalice and host suspended in mid-air, the Angel lay prostrate and prayed three times, "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 through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of Thee the conversion of poor sinners." He then gave the host to Lucia and the contents of the chalice to Francisco and Jacinta saying, "Take and drink the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, horribly outraged by ungrateful men. Make reparation for their crimes and console your God."
These visits from the Angel preceded Mary’s six apparitions to the children which began on May 13, 1917 and continued on the 13th of every month until they concluded on October 13, 1917.
May 13, 1917:
Our Lady first appeared to the children standing over a small holm oak tree, she said, “Fear not! I will not harm you.” Lucia asked her where she was from and she replied, “I am from Heaven.” Lucia inquired further, “What do you want from me?” Our Lady responded, “Come for six consecutive months, on the 13th day, at this same hour. I will tell you who I am and what I want you to do.” Our Lady asked the children to accept all suffering God wished to send them and they agreed, “Then you will suffer much, but God’s grace will strengthen you.” She then told them, “Say the Rosary every day to bring peace to the world and the end of war.” She began to elevate towards the east and surrounded by a brilliant light, disappeared.
June 13, 1917:
Our Lady appeared again to the children, this time at the Cova da Iria. She told them to add a prayer to the end of each decade of the Rosary, “Oh my Jesus, forgive us our sins. Save us from the fires of Hell and lead all souls to Heaven, especially those in most need of Thy mercy.” After the children asked Our Lady to take them into heaven, she replied, “Soon I will take Jacinta and Francisco, but Lucia is to stay a while longer.” After which Our Lady asked Lucia to learn to read and write.
July 13, 1917:
Our Lady’s message to the children during the third apparition which took place above the holm oak at the Cova, was, “Continue to pray the Rosary every day to obtain the end of the war and peace for the world, for only she alone can save it.” She promised to work a miracle so that those who did not believe in the apparitions would come to believe in them and she taught the children another prayer, “Oh my Jesus, it is for love of You, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for all the wrongs done to the Immaculate Heart of Mary that I sacrifice myself.”
Our Lady then spread her hands open, the earth disappeared, and the children found themselves staring into the fires of Hell. They saw the devils "fierce and black, like animals" and human souls tumbling in an ocean of fire "screaming with terror." Our Lady explained, "You have seen Hell, where the souls of sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish in the world the devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If people do as I shall ask, many souls will be converted and there will be peace. This war is going to end, but if people do not cease offending God, not much time will elapse and during the Pontificate of Pius XI another and more terrible war will begin. When you shall see a night illumined by an unknown light, know that this is the great sign that God gives that the chastisement of the world for its many transgressions is at hand through war, famine, persecution of the Church and of the Holy Father. To prevent this, I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart and the Communion of Reparation on the First Saturdays. If my requests are heard, Russia will be converted and there will be peace. If not, she will spread her errors throughout the entire world, fomenting wars and persecution of the Church. The good will suffer martyrdom; the Holy Father will suffer much; different nations will be annihilated. But in the end my Immaculate Heart shall triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, which will be converted and some time of peace will be granted to humanity."
August 19, 1917
On the 13th of August, the children were imprisoned in the house of the local Administrator. They were not released for three more days, missing the apparition date. However, 18,000 other people did show up on the 13th to the apparition site. The sun grew pale and everything looked yellow in color. A cloud appeared and hovered over the holm oak tree.
After the children were freed from the house of the Administrator, Our Lady appeared to them on August 19th in a pasture, saying to them, “Pray, pray very much and make sacrifices for sinners. For many souls go to Hell because there is no one to pray for them.”
September 13, 1917:
A crowd gathered at the Cova and while the children were hidden in a cloud, a luminous globe appeared before them. White rose petals fell from the sky and disappeared before touching the ground. Lucia asked Our Lady to cure the sick. Our Lady replied, “Some will be cured, but not all because Our Lord has no confidence in them.” Then she told them that St. Joseph and the Child Jesus would be with her on October 13th.
October 13, 1917:
Our Lady announced, “I am the Lady of the Rosary. People must amend their lives, ask forgiveness for their sins and not offend Our Lord any more for He is already too much offended.” A crowd of more than 70,000 had gathered on this last date and as Our Lady left they ALL began to witness “The Miracle of the Sun.” The sun grew pale and became like a silver disk emitting every color of the spectrum, make everything blue, then red, then green, and yellow. Suddenly the sun began to move and came closer and closer to the earth. This miracle was even witnessed by villagers miles away! The children though, witnessed a vision of the Holy Family, as Mary promised, and of Our Lord as a grown man.
Jacinta received many requests from people to pray for them or their loved ones. Ultimately, she and her brother contracted the influenza that swept through Europe in 1918, which forced them to bed. Although, they would still walk to receive the Eucharist and lay prostrate for hours in prayer.
“One day, the Virgin Mary came to visit them at home, as the little one recounts, ‘Our Lady came to see us and said that soon she would come and take Francisco to heaven. And she asked me if I still wanted to convert more sinners. I told her, yes.’ And when the time came for Francisco to leave, the little girl tells him, ‘Give my greetings to Our Lord and to Our Lady and tell them that I am enduring everything they want for the conversion of sinners.’ Jacinta had been so moved by the vision of hell during the apparition of 13 July that no mortification or penance seemed too great to save sinners. She could well exclaim with St. Paul: ‘I rejoice in my suffering for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the Church.’ (Col 1:24)”
-Homily of His Holiness Pope John Paul II
Beatification of Francisco and Jacinta Marto Shepherds of Fatima
Saturday, 13 May 2000
Eventually, Jacinta was taken to a hospital a few miles away from her family. She was there two months before returning home, undergoing painful treatments in an effort to restore her health. Jacinta later developed tuberculosis and was sent first to a Catholic orphanage in Lisbon and later to another hospital where she underwent more painful treatments until, as she predicted would happen, she died alone. The Blessed Mother had told Jacinta that she would visit two hospitals, not to be cured, but to suffer for the love of God and reparation for sinners.
Jacinta and Francisco Marto were beatified by Saint John Paul II on May 13, 2000 and canonized on May 13, 2017 by Pope Francis. They are the youngest saints who did not die as martyrs ever to be canonized, Jacinta being the youngest at nine-years-old.
Saint Jacinta Marto, pray for us.
www.vatican.com; www.ewtn.com; www.fatimacentennial.com; www.wikipedia.com