By John C. Preiss
Sister Lucia notes the time of the third apparition of the angel: “The third apparition must have taken place in October, or toward the end of September, as we were no longer returning for siesta.” On this day, the three shepherds had pastured their flocks at the Pregueira, a small olive grove which belonged to the dos Santos family, on the south side of the Cabeço. She continues:
After our lunch, we decided to go and pray in the hollow among the rocks on the opposite side of the hill. To get there, we went around the slope, and had to climb over some rocks above the Pregueira. The sheep could only scramble over these rocks with great difficulty. As soon as we arrived there, we knelt down with our foreheads touching the ground, and began to repeat the prayer of the Angel: “My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love Thee … ”
I don’t know how many times we repeated this prayer, when an extraordinary light shone upon us. We sprang up to see what was happening, and beheld the Angel. He was holding a chalice in his left hand, with the Host suspended above it, from which some drops of Blood fell into the chalice. Leaving the chalice suspended in the air, the Angel knelt down beside us and made us repeat three times:
"Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, I offer Thee the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the sacrileges, outrages and indifferences by which He Himself is offended. And through the infinite merits of His Most Sacred Heart, and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of Thee the conversion of poor sinners.”
Then, rising, he took the chalice and the Host in his hands. He gave the Sacred Host to me, and shared the Blood from the chalice between Jacinta and Francisco, saying as he did so: “Take and drink the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, horribly outraged by ungrateful men! Make reparation for their crimes and console your God.”
Once again, he prostrated on the ground and repeated with us, three times more, the same prayer “Most Holy Trinity … ” and then disappeared.
Moved by a supernatural force which enveloped us, we had imitated the Angel in everything; that is, we prostrated as he did and repeated the prayers that he said.… We remained a long time in this position, repeating the same words over and over again. It was Francisco who realized that it was getting dark, and drew our attention to the fact, and thought we should take our flocks back home. I felt that God was in me.
Sister Lucia later said love for the Eucharist was the most important part of the message of Fatima for the children. This drew them closer to God and instilled in their hearts the importance of the real presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist. For us today, the entire message of the angel contains an urgent call to prayer, sacrifice, and reparation for sin to the Most Holy Trinity and our Eucharistic Lord.