June 13, 1917: The Second Apparition - Devotion to the Immaculate Heart

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By this time, the news of the apparition had spread all throughout the countryside. Everyone had his own idea on the matter… some believed while most did not. Sadly, the neighbors of the dos Santos and Marto families ridiculed not only the children, but the parents as well.

Lucia’s family tried to avoid the problem of the apparition. When Lucia did bring it up, they changed the subject to divert her mind to other things. And at the Marto home, Jacinta and Francisco’s mother, Senhora Marto, refused to believe that her children had seen Our Lady.

Thankfully for some, the great feast of St. Anthony fell on June 13th, the same day that the Lady was to appear at the Cova. The celebrations would hopefully distract the town from the brewing controversy, avoiding the problem of the apparition for the time being. But the three children were determined to keep their promise to the beautiful Lady.

On June 13, the children returned to the Cova da Iria as they had promised. Surprisingly, even with the joyful celebrations in town in honor of St. Anthony, about 50 people were waiting when the children arrived.

After the group prayed the Rosary, the same lightning-like flash appeared as it did on May 13th. Again, the Lady appeared standing on a cloud resting on the holm-oak.

Lucia asked the Lady, “What does Your Grace want of me?”

“I wish you to come here on the 13th of next month, to pray the Rosary each day, and to learn how to read. Later, I will tell you what I want.”

Lucia asked the Lady to take them to Heaven, and She replied:

“Yes, I will take Jacinta and Francisco soon. But you are to stay here 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.To whoever embraces this devotion I promise salvation; these souls shall be dear to God, as flowers placed by Me to adorn His throne.”

“Am I to stay here alone?” Lucia asked painfully.

“No, My daughter. Do you suffer a great deal? 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.”

Lucia tells us in her memoir: “As Our Lady spoke these last words, She opened Her hands and for the second time, She communicated to us the rays of that immense light. We saw ourselves in this light, as it were, immersed in God. Jacinta and Francisco seemed to be in that part of the light which rose towards Heaven, and I in that which was poured out on the earth. In front of the palm of Our Lady’s right hand was a heart encircled by thorns which pierced it. We understood that this was the Immaculate Heart of Mary, outraged by the sins of humanity and seeking reparation.”

A witness at the apparition said that “The branches of the tree were bent down all around it, as though the weight of Our Lady were really resting on it.”

Another one of the witnesses on that June day, Maria da Capelinha, reported that when Our Lady left the tree, it was like the hissing of a distant rocket. “As for us, we saw nothing but a slight cloud, just a few inches away from the foliage, rising slowly towards the East.”

While still another witness noted that “We were in the month of June and the tree had all its boughs covered with little sprouts. Now at the end of the apparition, when Lucy announced that Our Lady was leaving in the direction of the east, all the branches of the tree picked up and leaned in the same direction, as if Our Lady, as She left, had let Her dress rest upon the boughs.”

The onlookers then began to break off the branches and leaves from the holm-oak, surely convinced that Our Lady had blessed them with Her presence.

Even though the procession in honor of Saint Anthony was in progress when the group from the Cova reached the village of Fatima, those who were celebrating the feast day noticed them immediately.

The group told everyone how happy they were for having gone to the Cova instead of remaining in the village for the feast, and many people felt sorry for themselves, not having done the same.

No one could deny any more that in fact, something was happening at the Cova da Iria.

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