July 13, 1917 (Third Apparition)

We remember the third apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary to the three shepherd children – Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta at Cova da Iria in Fatima, Portugal. On this month, Our Lady revealed to the children the secret of Fatima, there is only one secret but divided into three parts: first, the vision of hell; second, the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and third, the call to penance.Here we may reflect on the first part, the vision of hell, where the three children were taught by Our Lady to pray the sacrifice prayer, especially when making sacrifices:

“O Jesus, it is for love of You, for the conversion of sinners and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.”

While saying the last words of this prayer, Our Lady opened her hands and beheld the Vision of Hell which, according to Lucia, they could have died in fright if not for the splendor, radiance and beauty of Our Lady. This vision assures us that hell does truly exist and that the souls of poor sinners go there. Our Lady then told the children:

“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. If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace.”

Again, the message points to the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary as the way of salvation in order for us to have peace – peace with one‟s own conscience, peace with God, peace in our homes, peace within families and peace in all and between nations. Let us then listen to Our Mother, especially to Her words “If what I say to you is done” which reminds us of her words to the servers during the wedding at Cana, “Do whatever He tells you.” (John 2:5)