The Angel of Portugal, also known as the Angel of Peace appeared to the three Fatima children in the summer of 1916, one year before the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The children were visited three times by the angel.
The first apparition of the angel took place in spring or summer of 1916, near Aljustrel, on the rock outcrop where the children frequently played known as the Cabeco.
Sister Lucia recalls: “We played for a while, when suddenly a strong wind shook the trees, which led us to wonder what was happening, because the day was sunny. Then we saw in the distance, above the trees east of us, a light whiter than snow, in the shape of a transparent young man, clearer than crystal in the sunshine. As he drew near, we were able to discern his character: a young man aged about 14 or 15 years, of amazing beauty.”
‘O my God, I believe, I adore you, I hope, and I love you. I beg pardon of Thee for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope, and do not love Thee.’
We were surprised and excited. We could not utter a word. He soon approached us, saying, ‘Do not be afraid. I am the Angel of Peace. Pray with me.’ And his knees bent until his forehead touched the ground. Inspired, we imitated the angel, and we began to repeat his words: ‘O my God, I believe, I adore you, I hope, and I love you. I beg pardon of Thee for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope, and do not love Thee.’
After repeating these words three times, the angel got up and said: ‘Pray thus. The Hearts of Jesus and Mary are attentive to your requests.’ Then he disappeared.
The atmosphere of the supernatural which enveloped us was so strong that for a long time we almost did not notice our own existence, but remained in the same position in which the angel left us, repeating over and over the same prayer.
God’s presence was so strong and so profound that it we could not even speak about it to each other. The next day, we still felt embraced by the presence, which began to disappear very slowly. We decided not to talk about it but keep it secret. This presence was so profound that it was not easy to say even a word about it. This appearance made more of an impression, probably because it was the first.
For the second time the angel appeared in the summer of 1916, near to Lucia’s home, by the well where the children were playing.
Pray! Pray a lot! The Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary want to show mercy through you. Offer prayers and mortification constantly to the Most High.
Lucia recalls the first startling words of the angel:
Angel: What are you doing? Pray! Pray a lot! The Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary want to show mercy through you. Offer prayers and mortification constantly to the Most High.
Lucia: How are we to mortify? I asked.
Angel: With everything you can, make a sacrifice to God as an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended, and as supplication for the conversion of sinners. In this way, bring peace to your homeland. I’m the Guardian Angel of Portugal. Above all, humbly accept all the suffering, which God will send you.
Lucia concludes saying, “And with this, he disappeared. These words of the angel impressed upon our souls like a light, which allowed us to understand who God is, how He loves us, and wishes to be loved by us. It allowed us also to understand the value of mortification, how it is pleasing to God and how He converts sinners by it.”
The third apparition of the angel took place in the early autumn of 1916, at the Cabeco. Sister Lucia describes the event: As soon as we came there [the Cabeco], we began to say the angel’s prayer on our knees with foreheads touching the ground: ‘Oh my God I believe, I adore, I hope, and I love you etc..’
I do not remember how many times we had repeated this prayer when we saw a bright light on shining on us.
We straightened up to see what was happening and saw the angel holding a chalice in his left hand. He held a Host in his right hand, from which flowed drops of blood into the chalice. Leaving the chalice and Host suspended in the air, the angel knelt beside us and said the following prayer three times:
‘Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, we worship Thee profoundly and offer Thee the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and negligence with which He is offended. And by the infinite merits of His Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of Thee the conversion of poor sinners.’
Then rising, he took the Chalice and Host in his hands. He gave the Host to me, and he gave the contents of the chalice to Jacinta and Francisco to drink, while saying: ‘Receive the Body and drink the Blood of Jesus Christ who is terribly insulted by ungrateful men. Make reparation for the crimes of your people, and comfort your God.’
Once again he bowed low to the ground, repeating with us three times the same prayer: ‘Most Holy Trinity, etc’.
Then he disappeared. Inspired by the supernatural force which enveloped us, we imitated the angel, that is, prostrating ourselves as he did, and repeating the prayers he said.
“Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, we worship Thee profoundly and offer Thee the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and negligence with which He is offended. And by the infinite merits of His Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of Thee the conversion of poor sinners.”
The strength of God’s presence was so intense that it almost engulfed us. It seemed to deprive us the use of our bodily senses for a long time. During these days, we performed our physical actions as though sustained by that same supernatural force. We felt great peace and happiness in our inner souls, completely focused on God. Great physical weakness also overcame us.
I don’t know why, but the apparitions of Our Lady aroused in us very different effects. There was the same inner joy, the same calm, and same sense of happiness. But instead of physical weariness we felt a certain expansive liveliness. A sense of gladness instead of annihilation in God’s presence.
Instead of difficulty speaking, a kind of enthusiasm. But despite these feelings I felt inspired to remain silent, particularly about some things. During the investigations, I felt an inner inspiration that suggested to me the answers which, although true, would not disclose what I should keep secret.