May, the month dedicated to Our Lady
(First apparition of Our Lady of Fatima: May 13, 1917)
From the book “Fatima in Lucia’s own words”
Sister Lucia’s Memoirs
Lucia, in a letter to the Bishop:
In obedience to the order which Your Excellency gave me in your letter
of July 26th, 1941, that I should think over and note down anything else I
could remember about Jacinta, I have given thought to the matter and
decided that, as God was speaking to me through you, the moment has arrived
to reply to two questions which have often been sent to me, but which I
have put off answering until now.
What is the Secret?
It seems to me that I can reveal it, since I already have permission
from heaven to do so. God’s representatives on earth have authorized me to
do this several times and in various letters, one of which, I believe, is
in your keeping. This advises me to write to the Holy Father, suggesting,
among other things, that I should reveal the secret. . .
The Vision of Hell
Well, the secret is made up of three distinct parts, two of which I am
now going to reveal.
The first part is the vision of Hell.
Our Lady showed us a great sea of fire which seemed to be under the
earth. Plunged in this fire were demons and souls in human form, like
transparent burning embers, all blackened or burnished bronze, floating
about in the conflagration, now raised into the air by the flames that
issued from within themselves together with great clouds of smoke, now
falling back on every side like sparks in a huge fire, without weight or
equilibrium, and amid shrieks and groans of pain and despair, which
horrified us and made us tremble with fear. The demons could be
distinguished by their terrifying and repellent likeness to frightful and
unknown animals, all black and transparent. This vision lasted but an
instant. How can we ever be grateful enough to our kind heavenly Mother,
who had already prepared us by promising, in the first Apparition, to take
us to heaven. Otherwise, I think we would have died of fear and terror.
We then looked up at Our Lady, who said to us so kindly and so sadly:
“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.
what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be
peace. The war is going to end: but if people do not cease offending God, a
worse one will break out during the pontificate of Pius XI. When you see a
night illumined by an unknown light, know that this is the great sign given
you by God that He is about to punish the world for its crimes, by means of
war, famine, and persecutions of the Church and of the Holy Father.
“To prevent this, 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 requests are heeded, Russia will be converted, and there
will be peace; if not, she will spread her errors throughout the world,
causing wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred; the
Holy Father will have much to suffer; various nations will be annihilated.
In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will
consecrate Russia to me, and she will be converted, and a period of peace
will be granted to the world.
Lasting Impression of Jacinta
Your Excellency, as I already told you in the notes I sent to you after
reading the book about Jacinta, some of the things revealed in the secret
made a very strong impression on her. This was indeed the case. The vision
of hell filled her with horror to such a degree, that every penance and
mortification was as nothing in her eyes, if it could only prevent souls
from going there.
Well, I am now going to answer the second question, one which has come
to me from various quarters.
How is it that Jacinta, small as she was, let herself be possessed by
such a spirit of mortification and penance, and understood it so well?
I think the reason is this: firstly, God willed to bestow on her a
special grace, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary; and secondly, it was
because she had looked upon hell, and had seen the ruin of souls who fall
Some people, even the most devout, refuse to speak to children about
hell, in case it would frighten them. Yet God did not hesitate to show hell
to three children, one of whom was only six years old, knowing well that
they would be horrified to the point of, I would almost dare to say,
withering away with fear.
Jacinta often sat thoughtfully on the ground or on a rock, and
“Oh, Hell! Hell! How sorry I am for the souls who go to hell! And the
people down there, burning alive, like wood in the fire! Then, shuddering,
she knelt down with her hands joined, and recited the prayer that Our Lady
had taught us:
“O my Jesus! Forgive us, save us from the fire of hell. Lead all souls
to heaven, especially those who are most in need.”
Lucia Looks Back
Now, Your Excellency, another thought comes to my mind. I have
sometimes been asked if, in any of the Apparitions, Our Lady pointed out to
us which kind of sins offend God most. They say that Jacinta, when in
Lisbon, mentioned sins of the flesh. She had often questioned me on this
matter, and I think now, that when in Lisbon, perhaps it occurred to her to
put the question to Our Lady herself, and that this was the answer she
Well, Your Excellency, it seems to me that I have now made known the
first part of the secret.
The Immaculate Heart of Mary
The second part refers to the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
As I have already written in the second account, Our Lady told me on
June 13th, 1917, that she would never forsake me, and that her Immaculate
Heart would be my refuge and the way that would lead me to God. As she
spoke these words, she opened her hands, and from them streamed a light
that penetrated to our inmost hearts. I think that, on that day, the main
purpose of this light was to infuse within us a special knowledge and love
for the Immaculate Heart of Mary, just as on the other two occasions it was
intended to do, as it seems to me, with regard to God and the mystery of
the most Holy Trinity.
From that day onwards, our hearts were filled with a more ardent love
for the Immaculate Heart of Mary. From time to time, Jacinta said to me:
“The Lady said that her Immaculate heart will be your refuge and the way
that will lead you to God. Don’t you love that? Her Heart is so good! How I
As I explained earlier, Our Lady told us, in the July secret, that God
wished to establish in the world devotion to her Immaculate Heart; and that
to prevent a future war, she would come to ask for the consecration of
Russia to her Immaculate Heart, and for the Communion of Reparation of the
First Saturdays. From then on, whenever we spoke of this among ourselves,
Jacinta said: “I am so grieved to be unable to receive Communion in
reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary!”
I have also mentioned already how Jacinta chose from the litany of
ejaculations which Father Cruz suggested to us, this one: “Sweet Heart of
Mary, be my salvation!” After saying it, she used to add sometimes, with
the simplicity that was natural to her: “I so love the Immaculate Heart of
It is the heart of our dear Mother in heaven! Don’t you love saying many
times over: ‘Sweet heart of Mary, Immaculate Heart of Mary’? I love it so
much, so very much.”
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The Management Team of the Fatima Center sadly announces the death of
Father Nicholas Gruner, who passed away suddenly this evening [April 29].
Father died at his office, working to his last breath on the goals to which
he dedicated his 38 years in the priesthood — the promotion of the Message
of Fatima, especially the release of the full Third Secret and the
Consecration of Russia to Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart.
www.fatima.org for more information.)
Sincerely in Christ,
Our Lady of the Rosary Library
“Pray and work for souls.”