Francisco and Jacinta Marto, brother and sister, were born in the tiny town of Aljustrel, Portugal, two years apart in a family of 10 siblings. Francisco was a handsome boy with light hair and dark eyes and a retiring disposition. Jacinta was a beautiful girl, also light haired and dark eyed but of a spritely temperament. She was pretty and energetic, and had a natural grace of movement. She loved to dance, and was sorry when their priest condemned dancing in public.  She had a marked love for Our Lord, and at the age of five she melted in tears on hearing the account of His Passion, vowing that she would never sin or offend Him anymore. With their cousin, Lucia dos Santos, brother and sister pastured their families’ sheep.

In 1916, their calm, rural life was changed forever by the apparition of an angel in a field near Aljustrel. The angel, calling himself “The Angel of Portugal” prepared them spiritually for a series of apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

On May 13, 1917, the Mother of God appeared to the three children atop of a holm oak near the village of Fatima. The Virgin asked the children to return another five times and promised to work a miracle at the last apparition so that all would believe, which she did by making the sun “dance” before 70,000 in October of 1917. Lucia and Jacinta had seen and heard Blessed Virgin speak, but Francisco has only seen but never heard Blessed Virgin speak. But still he never complained or was never sad. At that time she also called herself, “Lady of the Rosary.”

Throughout the apparitions, the Mother of God made prophecies about the advent of Communism and its spread throughout the world, about the coming of World War II, spoke of the sinfulness of the humanity, and asked for prayer (specially the daily recitation of the Rosary), penance and conversion of sinners as a means of obtaining peace for the world.

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                                                                                 By Linu Deepak, Singapore