THE BRITTANY PROJECT
The rule of a monarch, such as that of the prophesied French Monarch, is preferable to the election of a leader, since with a monarchy we have an earthly imitation of the Kingship of Christ.
“Despite the fact,” says the Holy Ghost’s Flame, “that no apparent possibility whatsoever will remain to acquire a King for this kingdom, [France], it is amidst the dust of homes and ashes of the dead that he will come along on his triumphal march. His eyes will shed tears over the ruin of the kingdom; but, before his entering the land of his cradle, the few faithful soldiers preserved by the Supreme King, will have escorted him.”
The Flame goes on:
“Dispositions, for those forthcoming times, require, on your part, many a day for immolation, together with communications on God’s part.
--We are quite willing. But if you want me to pray, grant me the means for it. I am prevented from praying by fresh palpitations of my heart, accompanied with a piercing pain.
“This is a sign that God is calling you; this is the way everything is made understood.
“Enough, children … Under My watchful guard, a shelter is secured for you. I promised I would guard over whole families who will remain praying to Me together, under the sky, which, in a short time, will be lightless” (January 24, 1882).
[Source: p. 178, Prophecies of La Fraudais ]
Reflection on this prophecy:
Marie-Julie Jahenny’s prophecies about the French Monarch have made it very clear that the masons who have ruled in France with their poisonous influences since the French Revolution, have not wanted a monarchy. Frenchmen who have been influenced by these masonic thoughts will rant and rage against this monarch, who is a true descendant from the line of martyred King Louis XVI, taking his rightful place as the head of France.
It has also been prophesied that Paris will be destroyed by fire; that is, the prophesied fire from the sky.
This week's prophecy shows that it is only after Paris (the centre, as the French call their capital city) is burned out and almost totally destroyed by the Three Days of Darkness, that the French Monarch arrives “amidst the dust of homes and ashes of the dead”, in a “triumphal march.”
This king loves France and “[H]is eyes will shed tears over the ruin of the kingdom”.
The French Monarch arrives with “the few faithful soldiers preserved by the Supreme King”; that is, a few faithful who have been protected by Christ the King, who support this descendant's claim to the throne of France.
For the graces to be available to the French Monarch and his supporters, Marie-Julie is asked to offer sufferings, or “immolation[s].”
Interestingly, she is willing, but is already suffering such physical pains in her heart, that it makes her unable to even pray. She asks that these pains be lessened so that she may be able to pray for the French Monarch, but she is reminded of the Mystery of God’s graces to true Catholic mystics and how the pain in her heart “is a sign that God is calling [her]; [and that] this is the way everything is made understood.”
Dear Soul, if you have not yet read of the sufferings which God asks of mystics, then we recommend that you click to download a free copy of The Breton Stigmatist at this link: http://www.todayscatholicworld.com/marie-julie-jahenny-prophecy.pdf
Then, the Holy Ghost bolsters the hearts of all by promising His Divine protection for His dear children, saying, “Under My watchful guard, a shelter is secured for you.”
The Holy Ghost promises to even protect whole families, as long as all members stay faithful, praying to Him.
Where are the faithful ones? Seemingly outside, “under the sky” and therefore seemingly unprotected from the wrath of the Three Days of Darkness, and yet Divinely protected.
Certainly, the time period we are considering in this prophecy is the Three Days of Darkness, since the sky under which the faithful are dwelling is “lightless.”
The French Monarch's task of taking his rightful place on the throne of France is a difficult undertaking which requires the prayers of all of us.
Let us never miss a day to pray for the success of the French Monarch, whose job it is to restore the Papal Seat to the Pope in Exile. Deo gratias, and may God protect and bless him!
“During the darkness a large number of conversions will take place; many stray individuals will come back to Me in repentance.”
When they were about to depart, each one to return in his own kingdom, Satan begs for the power of assuming all shapes or appearances, in order to be able to pass through any place.
“I grant you permission to seduce My people,” the Lord replies, “but I will never allow you to assume divine semblance nor any likeness of true figures.”
Satan ventures to give the Lord the thee-and-thou.
“Be respectful to Me, in the Name of My Eternal Power.”
“Yes,” replies Satan, “one day, far distant from the day on which we are, when you seemingly will tell me that I am a mighty conqueror. You will set no limits to the devastations, the desire for which is already devouring me…”
Marie-Julie questions the Flame of the Holy Spirit about whether the period has already been fixed when Satan is to reign as such a great master. The Flame replies that it is already fixed in the Lord’s designs, and that the Demon has a presentiment of this moment without knowing it with precision. “This is the one in which you are at present time, children of God,” says the Flame.
Satan goes on:
“At the beginning of that period,” he says, “I will make use of every blasphemous word, and of everything unjust in view of the destruction of Your Kingdom… I will transform everything into a work tool, against You. First of all, I will dig out that place where the larger number inhabit…
(You are not ignorant about which it is (Paris) says the Flame.)
“I will dig out that place upon which you shall make thunder lightning fall down… you will destroy first, after I myself will get through with it; I will accomplish such a devastation as never existed the like.”
“I will cover My own,” says the Lord, “with a protection of tenderness.”
“I will establish a rebellion between Your own and mine,” replies Satan: “I will uprise all kings; I will establish such a division leading to a civil war throughout the whole Universe.”
“On My part, the Lord goes on, “I will send My Justice out: punishments, miracles, deaths, scourges, pest, unknown diseases…”
“I will overthrow the temple of Your prayers,” Satan cries out: “in which I will establish idols which they will adore. Everything which, in time of peace, is in residence in Your temples, will be broken down, dragged out of them and reduced to dust by my own.”
“I will show forth, the Lord asserts, “that I am the Eternal King. I will crush down, under the lightning of Heaven, all those who will have given themselves over to Hell. I will restore My people: I will protect them against scourges; rebuild ruined buildings. I will cast you headlong into the abyss, but only after you will have made use of the powers I leave with you for the time being.”
The flame says that sorrow is about to enter the hearts and Hell is ready to intone the great canticle of victory.
(August 30, 1880)
[Source: pp. 249-250, Prophecies of La Fraudais.]
Reflection on this prophecy:
Satan is the beguiler, and so he is always restless in thinking up new machinations against men: “Satan begs for the power of assuming all shapes or appearances, in order to be able to pass through any place.”
But God’s Love is Paternal, and He will only permit the devil to seduce, which implies that souls must agree from their free will to be tempted by evil. There must be consent first on the part of individual souls.
The devil delights in the role which God has given him to chastise mankind, thinking of himself as “the mighty conqueror.” The devastations which he will be allowed to create on this earth cause within him a “desire …which is already devouring [him]…” and in this admission we see, but cannot comprehend, the depth and the breadth of the hatred which the devil has for mankind.
Then, a shocking revelation: the devil has held sway since Marie-Julie’s lifetime! “This is the [time] in which you are at present time, children of God.”
But should we be so shocked? Did not Our Lady of La Salette appear in 1856 crying over the grievous sins of false priests, those whom we would knowingly call infiltrators and instruments of the ravages today?
Being within Marie-Julie’s lifetime, 1850-1947, this era of demonic dominance, which still continues today, is now more than 100 years old. We thus understand that this timeline is separate from (if also for a period of time simultaneous to) the 100-year timeline heard by Pope Leo XIII.
The first focus of the devil’s destructions is, of course, “the destruction of [God’s] Kingdom.”
His only true opponent on earth is Holy Mother Church, whose Head is the Pope. He must destroy the Papacy – except that Christ has promised St. Peter that “the gates of hell shall not prevail,” meaning that God will NOT permit the Papacy and the Church to be destroyed.
And while the devil gushes over the destruction of sinners in Paris, God the Father shows that His Angels will separate the wheat from the chaff, when He says: “I will cover My own with a protection of tenderness.”
And these words from God the Father make us recall that the French Monarch will be crowned by the Holy Father over the ruins of a church in Paris, so we know that certain souls in Paris will be saved by God Himself, despite the destruction of that city.
And the devil, knowing that the French Monarch will be the one to put the Holy Father once again upon the Seat of Peter, to once again be a Light to the world, becomes infuriated: “I will establish a rebellion between Your own and mine. I will uprise all kings; I will establish such a division leading to a civil war throughout the whole Universe.”
But God the Father will not let this enemy entice evil men to vanquish neither His Pope, nor His Monarch, promising that His Justice will put limits on the evil which men can do: “On My part, I will send My Justice out: punishments, miracles, deaths, scourges, pest, unknown diseases…”
The devil boasts to God the Father that His Justice will be wasted on mankind, since there will no longer be men who are right of heart to defend: “I will overthrow the temple of Your prayers in which I will establish idols which they will adore. Everything which, in time of peace, is in residence in Your temples, will be broken down, dragged out of them and reduced to dust by my own.”
But God the Father knows His own, and He declares: “I will restore My people: I will protect them against scourges; rebuild ruined buildings. I will cast you headlong into the abyss, but only after you will have made use of the powers I leave with you for the time being.”
Let us always remember that God the Father made us because He Loves. In His Love for us, we have our balm. Let us thank Him for these two blessed men who will be the instruments of God’s Justice: the Holy Father and the French Monarch. Let us pray for them daily. JMJ
In the sun I see that, at the moment when Our Lord, already ascended to Heaven, took possession of His Eternal Kingdom, at that very moment, Hell became the kingdom of the Enemy. The Lord took hold of His earthly kingdom and said:
“I am established Eternal King.”
Furious, Satan searches for some ways around [with which] to expand his power maliciously …
The Lord Tells him:
“You will be subdued under Me, doing only what My eternal law will allow you to.”
Satan begs to be called by the name of PRINCE, and for God’s finger to engrave it, for all of us to see.
“Yes, you will be called by all names… the name of Prince, Prince of Darkness, Prince of the Abyss…
“Place no limits to Your power, replies Satan, leave me with the freedom to expand to the same extent as You are Yourself to spread out, until the end of centuries.”
“As King, I will remain above anything you might accomplish, anything you might possess. I will stand above and command.”
Satan rebels. Although he already had his own portion, but the Lord was also taking fruition in His belongings.
The Lord tells him:
“Prostrate at My feet, and adore My will.”
--“I will bend my knee, says Satan with authority, but on one condition… Leave me free to make use, after Your example and according to my fancy, of the power over death, to be master thereof.”
“I leave you with the power of inducing temptations upon men, to cause suffering up to a certain limit… but I will be present.”
Satan begs also for the power of performing wonders. The Lord does not grant it to him entirely, but gives something of it, so that, by that means, we may acquire greater merits.
“In the beginning, says the Lord, you will not perform that many wonders, just a few. They will serve you for evildoing.”
Satan protests that the sharing is unjust.
“A time will come, very far distant, replies the Lord, when you will be in possession of such a large crowd in the world, [that] your portion will exceed Mine. You will become Great Conqueror for a length which will last for too long, yet will never be quite short. While you will be realizing the conquest of multitudes, I will perform striking wonders and cause an earthquake to happen, at the moment when the world will be nearing its destruction, at the time when you will be reporting triumph with a victory out of [all] measure… when almost all parts of the world, and the whole of Europe will arise, the ones against the others… During the darkness, a large number of conversions will take place; many stray individuals will come back to Me in repentance.” [Continued next week].
[Source: pp. 247-249, Prophecies of La Fraudais].
Reflection on this prophecy:
First of all, it needs to be pointed out to those new to Marie-Julie Jahenny's prophecies that she saw her visions inside a golden sun which appeared to her. At times, she refers to this sun as "the flame" (although she does not do so in this excerpt).
Here, Marie-Julie is overhearing a conversation between God the Father and the devil. The devil's insolence, arrogance, and prideful demands are obvious and pathetic.
All is self-explanatory, except at the end of this week's excerpt, when God the Father tells the devil: "During the darkness, a large number of conversions will take place;"
The darkness which is being referred to by God the Father should not be taken to mean the 3 Days of Darkness, but rather the spiritual darkness which is prevalent among most souls worldwide. The Papal Chair is to be the light to the world, and with the Papacy in Exile, the world is left in spiritual darkness.
Remember that these are the years when the Church Militant is fighting the devil unchained, as St. Teresa of Avila once said.
It is therefore heartening to hear that "a large number of conversions will take place; [that] many stray individuals will come back to [God] in repentance."
Deo gratias! May Thy Kingdom come, Lord, on earth as it is in Heaven.
Despite heavy rain, heat emitted by the spinning sun
dries ground and clothes immediately.
6th and Final Apparition of Our Lady of Fatima: October 13, 1907
The rain continues and by the official government time it is well past one o’clock. But by suntime it is precisely noon when Lucia looks to the east. “Jacinta” she says softly, “kneel down.” Then more strongly she calls, “Our Lady is coming; I have seen the lightning.”
The children kneel, as do countless numbers of faithful; but the people as yet have been stirred by no great happening. The faces of the children are mirrors of ecstasy, yet what they see is not for other eyes to know, except through the testimony of the children themselves.
Their Lady stands in unearthly beauty above the bright flowers and rain-wilted ribbons of silk that affectionate hands have fixed there in her honor. But flowers fade and sunlight pales, and every natural glory of earth withdraws its poor pretensions in her company, if we can believe her witnesses.
Now we find that by God’s gift, it is almost impossible not to believe.
“What do you want of me?” asks Lucia.
The dialogue, read this way, does not seem inspired. From May to October it has been much the same. But there is this significant difference. It is heaven and earth concerned with goodness, rather than with skills. There is no call for Dante, or for Shakespeare, or for any modern literary hand.
“I want a chapel built here in my honor. I want you to continue saying the Rosary every day. The war will end soon, and the soldiers will return to their homes.”
“Yes,” says Lucia. “Yes.” But since the Lady has promised this day to tell exactly who she is, Lucia asks further, “Will you tell me your name?”
“I am the Lady of the Rosary.”
There is a reverent silence. Lucia then explains, “I have many petitions from many people. Will you grant them?”
“Some I shall grant, and others I must deny.” This Lady of the Rosary, who is God’s Mother, is gentle, but she is serious. She has never smiled. She is asking for penance. She is talking in terms of heaven and hell – a blunt and terrifying equation that so many have comfortably forgotten. She speaks as though after 1900 years, a cross still weighs upon the shoulders of her Son: “People must amend their lives and ask pardon for their sins. They must not offend our Lord any more, for He is already too much offended!
“And is that all you have to ask?” Lucia inquires.
“There is nothing more.”
Now the Lady of the Rosary takes her last leave of her three small friends. She rises slowly toward the east. The children behold how she turns the palms of her gentle hands to the dark sky over them, and now, as if this is a signal, the rain has stopped; the great dark clouds that have obscured the sun and depressed the solemn day, are suddenly burst apart; they scatter; they are rent like a bombed rainbow before the eye, and the bold sun hangs unchallenged in its place, a strangely spinning disc of silver.
Lucia, Jacinta and Francisco are beholding their Lady. From her upturned hands strange rays of light are rising, as though to assault and make dim the light of the sun itself.
Lucia cries out a single time, “Look at the sun!”
But she has no recollection later of having called this out to the crowd. The Lady of the Rosary is no longer ascending. She stands in glory to the right of the sun, and her light is such that the great fixed star is by comparison pallid and weak. For a moment she is gowned in white, precisely as the children have known her each time she has appeared above the stubby oak. Yet as quickly, and as strangely then, she is wearing a mantle of blue, and with her, in fidelity to the promise she has made, is St. Joseph, with the Christ Child in his arms. St. Joseph is robed in red, and he appears to lean from the clouds, holding the Child who is also dressed in red.
These visions are brief and they succeed one another rapidly. Three times St. Joseph has traced the sign of the cross above the people. St. Joseph fades away, and Christ appears at the base of the sun. He is cloaked in red. With Him stands His Mother. She is gowned now in neither white nor blue, but as Our Lady of Sorrows, gazing on the earth. She has not the traditional sword in her heart. This the children clearly note, and are later able to recall. Christ gives his blessing to the people, and then, as this vision passes, there is one that Lucia alone is privileged to see: Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
Remember, this is Lucia speaking; this is the privileged sight of three, quite different from the shocking and indisputable phenomenon that is witnessed by the crowd.
It seems strange, recounting here in simple words, such prodigies as this. There can be no attempt to describe the impact of this experience on the children. They have themselves no more succeeded in this than they have managed fully to convey a picture of the Lady whose beauty was more than the senses, unaided, could properly comprehend.
But what of the crowd who did not see the Christ Child, or His Mother, or St. Joseph in the sky? Here the record pursues the skeptic, and inexorably, if he does not flee from the evidence, it will defeat him. The miraculous hand falls heavily. Like stones, the signs of God will be laid before you now to build a house of faith.
When Lucia cried, “Look at the sun!” the people responded. The rain at that moment had stopped; the sun was clearly seen. There was no cloud to obscure it, yet it did not strain the eyes of any man to look on its unveiled light. The people could see that the sun was strangely spinning. It began to revolve more rapidly, more frighteningly. It began to cast off beams of many-colored lights in all directions. Shafts of brilliant red came from the rim of the revolving star and fell across the earth, the people and the trees; and green lights came and violet and blue in mixed array. It is a story of wonder and of terror, too, as the great star challenges the discipline of all the ages it has known, and begins careening, trembling in the sky for seventy thousand witnesses to see. Now, horribly, it appears to plunge from its place in the heavens and fall upon the earth. People are crying:
“I believe! I believe!”
They are shrieking, “Jesus, save us!”
They are crying, “Miracle!”
They are begging, “God forgive us our sins!”
They are praying, “Mary, save us!”
This is, of course, not our story to tell. It is the story of the seventy thousand people who were there. It appears more prudent to call them in witness, than to belabor the subject ourselves. We will start with our friend, Ti Marto, who is not an excitable man:
We looked easily at the sun, which for some reason did not blind us. It seemed to flicker on and off, first one way, then another. It cast its rays in many different directions and painted everything in different colors – the trees, the people, the air and the ground. But what was most extraordinary, I thought, was that the sun did not hurt our eyes. Everything was still and quiet, and everyone was looking up. Then at a certain moment, the sun appeared to stop spinning. It then began to move and to dance in the sky until it seemed to detach itself from its place and fall upon us. It was a terrible moment.
Among our friends, Maria da Capelinha has told us pretty much the same thing:
The sun turned everything to different colors – yellow, blue and white. Then it shook and trembled. It looked like a wheel of fire that was going to fall on the people. They began to cry out, “We shall all be killed!” Others called to our Lady to save them. They recited acts of contrition. One woman began to confess her sins aloud, advertising that she had done this and that . . . When at last the sun stopped leaping and moving, we all breathed our relief. We were still alive, and the miracle which the children had foretold, had been seen by everyone.
It must be admitted that this was not an afternoon of celestial fireworks enjoyed by simple and unlettered people predisposed to accept any flash of lightning as the Lord’s own signal. The 70,000 witnesses included believers and non-believers, pious old ladies and scoffing young men. Hundreds, from these mixed categories, have given formal testimony. Reports do vary; impressions are in minor details confused, but none to our knowledge has directly denied the visible prodigy of the sun’s unscheduled behavior in the sky. The special report for the Lisbon daily, O Dia, had this to report in the edition of October 17, 1917:
At one o’clock in the afternoon, midday by the sun, the rain stopped. The sky, pearly gray in color, illuminated the vast arid landscape with a strange light. The sun had a transparent gauzy veil so that the eyes could easily be fixed upon it. The gray mother-of-pearl tone turned into a sheet of silver which broke up as the clouds were torn apart and the silver sun, enveloped in the same gauzy gray light, was seen to whirl and turn in the circle of broken clouds. A cry went up from every mouth and people fell on their knees on the muddy ground. . . .
The light turned a beautiful blue, as if it had come through the stained-glass windows of a cathedral, and spread itself over the people who knelt with outstretched hands. The blue faded slowly, and then the light seemed to pass through yellow glass. Yellow stains fell against white handkerchiefs, against the dark skirts of the women. They were repeated on the trees, on the stones and on the serra. People wept and prayed with uncovered heads, in the presence of a miracle they had awaited. The seconds seemed like hours, so vivid were they.
. . .
An interesting document has been left by the late Father Inacio Lourenço, a priest from Alburitel, a village about eleven miles from Fatima. We have ourselves taken the trouble to verify his recollections with many of his surviving parishioners, and especially with the school teacher, Dona Delfina Lopes, to whom he refers. Here is Father Lorenço’s report:
I was only nine years old at this time, and I went to the local village school. At about midday we were surprised by the shouts and cries of some men and women who were passing in the street in front of the school. The teacher, a good, pious woman, though nervous and impressionable, was the first to run into the road, with the children after her.
Outside, the people were shouting and weeping and pointing to the sun, ignoring the agitated questions of the school-mistress. It was the great Miracle of the sun, accompanied by its extraordinary phenomena.
I feel incapable of describing what I saw and felt. I looked fixedly at the sun, which seemed pale and did not hurt the eyes. Looking like a ball of snow revolving on itself, it suddenly seemed to come down in a zigzag, menacing the earth. Terrified, I ran and hid myself among the people, who were weeping and expecting the end of the world at any moment.
Near us was an unbeliever who had spent the morning mocking at the simpletons who had gone off to Fatima just to see an ordinary girl. He now seemed to be paralyzed, his eyes fixed on the sun. Afterwards he trembled from head to foot, and lifting up his arms fell to his knees in the mud, crying out to our Lady.
Meanwhile the people continued to cry out and to weep, asking God to pardon their sins. We all ran to the two chapels in the village, which were soon filled to overflowing. During those long moments of the solar prodigy, objects around us turned all the colors of the rainbow. We saw ourselves blue, yellow, red, etc. All these strange phenomena increased the fears of the people. After about ten minutes the sun, now dull and pallid, returned to its place. When the people realized that the danger was over, there was an explosion of joy, and everyone joined in thanksgiving and praise of our Lady.
The evidence mounts that for the devout, the pagan, and the coolly in-between, it must have been an exciting afternoon. Decide as you will whether the power of God or the faulty eyesight of 70,000 is responsible for this chapter of contemporary history. Believe only that we, who are reporting it here, lived for more than seven years within sight of the Cova da Iria, and have yet found no one to confound or deny with just reason, the events of this memorable day.
Perhaps less dramatic than the visible acrobatics of a heavenly body ninety million miles removed from the earth, was another phenomenon we have not yet emphasized. In that hectic noontime, while the great star hung in cloudless clarity, the people, who had been drenched and soggy with the pelting, unremitting rain, were suddenly and completely dry – their shoes and stockings, their skin and their clothes, as though the Lady of the Rosary had involved the power of some new machine. You’ll pardon our conviction that it was the power of her Son, from whom all grace and lesser powers proceed.
We’ll close this chapter by quoting from a pastoral letter on the apparitions written in 1922 by D. José Alves Correia da Silva, the bishop of Leiria:
The solar phenomenon of October 13, described in newspapers of the time, was of a most marvelous nature and caused the deepest impression on those who had the good fortune to witness it.
The children had foretold the day and the hour at which it would occur. The news spread rapidly throughout Portugal, and in spite of bad weather, thousands and thousands of people congregated at the spot. At the hour of the last apparition they witnessed all the manifestations of the sun which paid homage to the Queen of heaven and earth, more brilliant than the heavenly body itself at its zenith of light.
This phenomenon, which was not registered in any astronomical observatory, and could not, therefore, have been of natural origin, was witnessed by people of every category and class, by believers as well as unbelievers, journalists of the principal daily papers and even by people miles away, a fact which destroys any theory of collective hallucination.
[Source: pp. 179 – 194, The True Story of Fatima, by John de Marchi, I.M.C., imprimatur 1952].
Jacinta, Lucia, and Francisco
Please note: The final apparition of Our Lady of Fatima will be posted on October 12, 2017.
What follows here are the events leading up to this final apparition of the Mother of God.
The following is an extract from Fr. John deMarchi’s book, The True Story of Fatima, Imprimatur 1952, pages 170 - 178:
It rained through the night and through all the following morning. The hills were drenched. The trees leaned with the weight of wind and rain. Where wagons turned and people marched, the roads were bad, the mud churned ankle-deep.
Lucia prepared for her scheduled journey to the Cova da Iria, intending first to join Francisco and Jacinta at their house. Her mother was in no mood this morning to belabor her, either with words, or the handle of a broom. Evidently convinced that this was to be her youngest daughter’s final day on earth, Maria Rosa had an erratic turn of disposition; she was tenderly compassionate. The pressure of events appears to have given her a new charge of courage, and she resolved, rather suddenly, that she would go with Lucia to the place of the apparitions.
“If my daughter is going to die,” she announced dramatically, “I want to die with her.”
Her obedient and puzzled husband joined the dismal company. They set off in the rain for the Marto household up the street, and it was here, at the Marto’s, that the local commotion had reached its hysterical zenith. The calm and observing Ti Marto himself, has reviewed for us the opening scene of this highly memorable day.
The people filled our little house (Ti Marto recalls) so that you could not move an inch. Outside it was raining so heavily you could not see through the thickness of the falling water. Everywhere mud covered the ground.
Inside the house, the people were inconsiderate and wild with their fervor and their curiosity. With their muddy shoes they climbed on the furniture, and stood without apology on the beds. My poor wife! I remember her distress at this, but there was nothing we could do. I said to her, “Never mind, wife; at least it cannot get worse, for it is so crowded now that nobody else could possibly get in!”
A lady from the town of Pambalinho had come to our house with special dresses for Lucia and my Jacinta to wear that day. The dress for Lucia was blue and Jacinta’s was white. The lady dressed the girls herself, with great care.
But such excitement in the house! A neighbor came to me with great anxiousness. “Ti Marto, you must not go today,” he said. “People will not hurt the children, because they are so little, but with you it is another matter.”
“Yes, but I am going,” I told this man. “I’m going because I have faith in all the children have said, and I do not believe it will go badly.”
This I truly believed, but with my poor wife it was not so easy. She had great devotion to our Lady, I know, but she was impressed by all the priests and people who said it could not be as our children had claimed. She was afraid, poor woman, but not Jacinta and Francisco. They were not in the least perturbed.
“Father,” Jacinta said to me, “why should we worry? If we are killed, we will go to heaven, and those poor people who seeked to harm us, they will go to hell for their sins.”
So when the children were dressed and ready, we left the house, going out into such a rain as you never did see. Out on the road we began to meet people who were not cynical; indeed we began to meet those who were foolish in another way. Women, and even fine ladies, were kneeling down in the thick mud before the children as they passed.
“My good people,” I said, “you must leave the children alone.”
But they kept crowding closer and getting more emotional, as though these little children had the power of saints. After a long and difficult time we at last arrived at the Cova da Iria. The crowd was so thick that we could not pass through. A man who was a chauffeur picked up my Jacinta at this time and carried her into the field, shouting, “Make way for the children who saw our Lady!” I followed them, and Jacinta, who could see me struggling among so many people, was frightened, lest something happen to me, and she cried out to the people: “Do not push my father! Do not hurt him!”
At last the chauffeur who carried her was able to reach the little oak tree and place her down, although the crush of people here was so great and frightening that Jacinta began to cry. Francisco and Lucia managed then to make their way. My wife, Olimpia, had not been able to get through, but I remember seeing Maria Rosa there.
It was at this time that I saw a man bearing down on me with a stick upraised, but before he could accomplish anything, the people nearby had closed their ranks against him, and when the great moment of that day arrived, it was quiet and orderly by the little tree.
This simple and restrained account by Ti Marto does not convey the full proportions of the first great pilgrimage to Fatima on October 13, 1917. The drama and the haunting mystery of the previous apparitions – at least as word-of-mouth and press accounts, had filtered through – had thrilled the spirits and heightened the hope of nearly all religious people in the land. Even the clergy – tight-lipped, skeptical, and justifiably in fear of a shameful fiasco – waited tremulously, as citizens of a nation already torn by bitter religious dissent.
We have at hand a variety of newspaper accounts, taken from journals of differing political policy and tone, and while tempted to print them all, we are aware their bulk would tax the limits of this book. The following is from an article in the newspaper, O Dia, which we now know to have been written by Dona Madalena Patricio:
The hamlets, villages and towns in the proximity appeared to be depopulated. For days beforehand, groups of excursions were to be seen on the way to Fatima. The fishermen from Vieira left nets and wooden houses by the sea and came swinging through the pinewoods. Artisans from Marinha, farmers from Monte Real . . . serra folk from much further afield, from every place where news of the miracle had penetrated, the people left their houses and their fields, and came to Fatima by horse, carriage, on foot, by every means of transport. The roads through the pines and the mountains echoed during these two days, with the noise of traffic and the voices of the pilgrims.
Autumn was reddening the vines, stripped after the vintage. The cold northwest wind announced the coming of winter . . .and all night and into the morning, a sad, drizzling rain fell. Damp and cold, it penetrated into the bones of those who, with their families and animals, were flocking along the roads which led to the miraculous mountain.
The rain fell and fell. The cotton skirts of the women dripped and hung like lead around their ankles. Water poured from the new caps and hats which had been donned in honor of the day. Boots and bare feet splashed through the muddy puddles . . . and up on the mountain there was what appeared to be a large dark stain – thousands upon thousands of God’s creatures waiting for the miracle, a blessing, and an alleviation in the bitterness of life . . .
These observations cover the mass movement of pilgrims approaching Fatima from the direction of Leiria and the ancient cathedral city of Batalha. Signs of equal fervor and spiritual excitement were witnessed on the road leading into Fatima from Vila Nova de Ourem, and the following account was presented by Avelino de Almeida, serving as special reporter for the Seculo, the most widely read Portuguese newspaper of the day. It was Senhor Almeida whose competent hand had satirized earlier the amusing rash of “miracles” alleged to have broken out in the hills. He writes objectively and well:
On the road we can see the first groups of people making their way to the holy place, which is about twelve miles from here.
Men and women are for the most part bare-footed, the latter carrying their shoes in bags on their heads, while the men lean on thick sticks and are also prudently armed with umbrellas. Apparently indifferent to what is going on around them, they do not seem to notice the countryside, nor their fellow-travellers, but murmur the Rosary as they go along immersed in thought.
A woman recites the first part of the Ave Maria, and immediately her companions continue the second part in chorus. They move rhythmically and rapidly in order to reach the place of the apparitions before nightfall. Here, under the stars they will sleep, keeping the first and best places near the little tree.
At the entrance to the town, women of the people, apparently influenced by the atheistic tone of the place, mockingly interchange impressions of the topic of the day, while the believers pursue their way indifferent to everything alien to the object of their journey. During the night the most varied types of vehicles have arrived in the square, bringing their loads of the devout and the curious.
At daybreak fresh groups hurry through the town, and the habitual quiet is broken by singing of the most varied kind.
At sunrise the weather looks threatening. Black clouds gather exactly over Fatima but this does not deter the people who by now are flocking in from all sides, employing every means of transport. There are luxurious motor cars traveling at speed, ox carts pulled in to the side of the road, victorias, closed carriages, carts in which seats are improvised and in which not another soul could be squeezed. Everyone is provided with food, both for themselves and for the beasts . . . valiantly playing their parts.
Here and there one sees a cart decorated with greenery, and although there is an air of discreet festivity, people are sober and well-mannered. Donkeys bray at the side of the road and the innumerable cyclists make prodigious efforts not to collide with the carts.
By ten o’clock the sky was completely hidden behind the clouds, and the rain began to fall in earnest. Swept by the strong wind and beating upon the faces of the people, it soaked the macadam and the pilgrims, often without protection against the weather, to the marrow of their bones. But no one complained or turned back, and if some took shelter under trees or walls, the great majority continued on their journey with remarkable indifference to the rain.
The place where the Virgin is alleged to have appeared is fronted to a large extent by the road which leads to Leiria, along which the vehicles bringing the pilgrims are parked. But the great mass of the people congregate round the oak tree which, according to the children, is the Vision’s pedestal. It can be imagined as the center of a large circle round which the spectators gather to watch events.
Seen from the road, the general effect is picturesque. The peasants, sheltering under their huge umbrellas, accompany the unloading of fodder with the singing of hymns and the recitation of the decades of the Rosary in a matter-of-fact way. People plod through the sticky clay in order to see the famous oak tree with its wooden arch and hanging lanterns, at closer quarters.
At one moment a terrified hare runs through the crowd and is hardly noticed except by half a dozen or so of small boys, who catch and kill it.
Many attempts have been made to compute the number of pilgrims who made the difficult journey to Fatima in October, 1917. Only one thing is altogether certain. It was a traffic problem such as had never beset this obscure and lonely section of the hills. Professor Garrett, of Coimbra University has estimated the crowd of one hundred thousand, though admittedly he had no means of gauging the actual number to any fine degree. A more generally accepted figure is 70,000, a staggering total at the time. In any event, it was such a vast and unaccustomed crush of humans, that amateur statisticians attempted to count the vehicles that passed at certain points. A reporter from the paper, Diario de Noticias, dutifully counted 240 carts, 135 bicycles and 100 cars that returned from Fatima to Vila Nova de Ourem, and while it is true that in America today we can count 100 cars outside of any thriving supermarket, we are speaking of Fatima, Portugal, in 1917, when an automobile was almost as rare as a five-legged calf. Obviously this reporter did not count oxen, donkeys, horses, mules, or that primary means of transport in those days of grace, a peasant’s feet.
Even on the twelfth of the month, which was the day before (Maria da Capelinha recalls), there were so many people that it was hard to believe. They made such a noise that I could hear them even as far away as my own village. They had to sleep out in the open, completely uncovered, because there was no shelter at the Cova.
Before sunrise on the thirteenth, the people were praying and singing. I came very early myself, and managed to get close to the oak tree, which was now little more than a stripped trunk of a tree, although I had decorated it with ribbons and flowers the evening before. For myself, I felt very sad that this was to be the last day of our Lady’s visits, but like everyone else, I was longing to see the promised miracle.
I remember how it was that day, how difficult for the children for a while. There was a priest whom I did not know, and this priest had spent the whole night here. Just before noon, when I began to notice him, he was saying his Breviary. When the children arrived then, dressed as though for their first Communion, this priest asked them directly what time our Lady would appear.
“At midday, Father,” Lucia asked.
And then the priest looked at his watch and said to Lucia, “Listen, it is midday now. Are you trying to tell us that our Lady is a liar? Well, child? Well?”
He was aggressive, this priest, and impatient with the children, and very suspicious. In a few minutes he looked at his watch again.
“It is past noon now,” he said derisively. “Cannot all you people see that this is just a delusion? That it is nonsense? Go home, everyone, go home!”
He began to push the three little children with his hands, but Lucia would not go. She was very close to tears, yet full of faith.
“Our Lady said she would come, Father,” Lucia said firmly, “and I know that she will keep her promise.”
As to the miracle of Fatima about to occur, we have no obligation to guess. The documentation is thorough and complete. Through several pages to follow the author will attempt less to describe events than he will offer in testimony the responsible records of responsible witnesses. [Please see upcoming October 12 blog –Ed.]