Our Lady’s First Apparition
The first apparition of Our Lady of Fatima was May 13, 1917. They were herding sheep in the Cova da Iria. A sudden flash of lightning drew their attention. Then on a small holm oak tree they beheld a Lady all dressed in white. She was more brilliant than a crystal glass filled with sparkling water, when the rays of the burning sun shine through it. The children were so close, just a few feet from her, so that they were bathed in the light which radiated from her. The Lady said, "I am from heaven." Lucia asked as she did every time Our Lady appeared, "What do you want of me?" "I have come to ask you to come here for six months in succession, on the 13th day, at this same hour. Later on, I will tell you who I am and what I want. ..." The beautiful Lady from heaven told the children that they would all go to heaven. She asked them, "Are you willing to offer yourselves to God and bear all the sufferings He wills to send you, as an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended, and of supplication for the conversion of sinners?" Lucia answered: "Yes, we are willing." "Then you are going to have much to suffer, but the grace of God will be your comfort." Then our Lady communicated to them a light so intense. As it streamed from her hands, its rays penetrated their hearts and the innermost depth of their souls, making them see themselves in God, Who was that light, more clearly then they could see themselves in the best of mirrors. They then fell to their knees, repeating in their hearts, "O most Holy Trinity, I adore Thee! My God, my God, I love Thee in the most Blessed Sacrament!" After a few moments, Our Lady spoke again: "Pray the Rosary every day, in order to obtain peace for the world, and the end of the war." 3 Every time Our Lady appeared she told the children, " pray the Rosary every day." Later she appeared to Jacinta in the Fatima church, showing pictures of the Mysteries of the Rosary, teaching her how to meditate on the Mysteries while praying the decades.
Our Lady’s Second Apparition
In the second apparition of Our Lady, June 13, 1917, Our Lady told the children that she would take Jacinta and Francisco to heaven soon, but Lucia must remain some time longer. "Jesus wishes to make use of you to make me known and loved. He wants to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. I promise salvation to those who embrace it, and those souls will be loved by God like flowers placed by me to adorn His throne." [Lucia remained on earth as a Carmelite nun until she was almost 98 years old]. Lucia was told, "Don't lose heart. I will never forsake you. My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God."
Our Lady’s Third Apparition
The third apparition of Our Lady was on July 13, 1917, when she said, "In October, I will tell you who I am and what I want, and I will perform a miracle for all to see and believe." Also, "Sacrifice yourselves for sinners, and say many times, especially whenever you make some sacrifice: `O Jesus, it is for love of Thee, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.'" Saying the above words Our Lady opened her hands and showed the children the most terrible vision of hell. "You have seen hell where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart . . . " Then our Lady foretold punishments to the world for its crimes, by means of war, famine, and persecutions of the Church and the Holy Father. Our Lady of Fatima, July 13, 1917, said, "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 wishes are fulfilled, Russia will be converted and there will be peace. ...”
Our Lady’s Fourth Apparition
The fourth apparition of Our Lady took place on August 19, 1917, some days later than the 13th, for the Masonic Administrator of Ourem had taken the children away, placed them in jail on the 13th. The July apparition took place in a place called Valinhos, near Aljustrel, home village of the three children. As always Lucia asked, "What do you want of me?" Our Lady told them to keep going to the Cova da Iria on the 13th, to pray the Rosary every day, and again she promised for October: "I will perform a miracle so that all may believe." She concluded: "Pray, pray very much, and make sacrifices for sinners; for many souls go to hell, because there are none to sacrifice themselves and to pray for them."
Our Lady’s Fifth Apparition
The fifth apparition, September 13, 1917, was a turning point for conviction of many that Our Lady really was appearing. Since June the number present had been growing each month so that by September many thousands were present. During the time of the noon apparition multiple signs were witnessed; falling flowers which dissipated as people tried to catch them; a star or globe that moved and settled over the little holm oak, clap of thunder... As before, only the children saw Our Lady. "Continue to pray the Rosary ... 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 to bless the world. God is pleased with your sacrifices... In October I will perform a miracle so that all may believe."As usual Our Lady began to rise, go toward the east from which she came and disappeared in the distance.
October 13, 1917 - Sixth Apparition
Dark heavy clouds were over Fatima. It had rained heavily from the evening before, all night and until exactly 12 Noon. At exactly 12 Noon, true sun time, the miracle foretold months in advance happened. In moments the rain ceased, the clouds rolled back, the sun appeared in the clear sky. Then for about 10 minutes there was the spinning and descent of the sun like a giant Catherine wheel giving off all kinds of colors; it came close to their heads; people screamed, thinking it the end of the world; some called out their sins, begging forgiveness. This swirling of the sun occurred for about 10 minutes. The sun descended and ascended three times before resuming its normal course. During the sun miracle the children did not notice it. They were engaged in the apparition. "What do you want of me?" "I want to tell you that a chapel is to be built here in my honor... I am the Lady of the Rosary. Continue always to pray the Rosary every day..."Do not offend the Lord our God any more, because He is already so much offended." Then, opening her hands, she made them reflect on the sun, and as she ascended, the reflection of her own light continued to be projected on the sun itself. . . . The children beheld St. Joseph with the Child Jesus and Our Lady robed in white with a blue mantle, beside the sun. St. Joseph and the Child Jesus appeared to bless the world, for they traced the Sign of the Cross with their hands. When, a little later, this apparition disappeared, they saw Our Lord and Our Lady of Sorrows; Our Lord then appeared to bless the world in the same manner as St. Joseph had done. This apparition vanished and Our Lady once more appeared as Our Lady of Carmel with the Scapular, held down to the world inviting all to wear it. Both Jacinta and Francisco were dead within two years. Later Lucia was sent by the Bishop to the north, in Spain, to be with the Dorothean nuns. She joined them as a postulant October 25, 1925. In March 1948, Holy Thursday, Sr. Lucia transferred to the Carmelites in Coimbra, Portugal where she remained until her death Feb. 13, 2005.