FOREWORD It gives us great pleasure to publish an e-Book version of The True Story of Fatima by Fr Giovanni De Marchi. The events at Fatima in 1917 were momentous. The apparitions of Our Lady at Fatima and the subsequent public Miracle of the Sun were events which were unprecedented in the [...]
“The Lady in the Light”
by the Rev Father John De Marchi, IMC 1952.
LUCIA SANTOS Blessed Jacinta and Lucia. Within the parish of Fatima, which is itself a small and modest place, there is a little hamlet called Aljustrel, and to find a less pretentious part of the world, you would probably need an angel for a guide. It is in the precise geographical center of [...]
MANUEL AND OLIMPIA MARTO Parents of Blessed Francisco and Blessed Jacinta Francisco Marto and his little sister, Jacinta, were Lucia's first cousins. They lived up the road a bit on that rocky and dusty lane that leads through Aljustrel.
BLESSED FRANCISCO It seems agreed by all who remember Francisco Marto that he was a handsome boy, and photographs confirm this. The one or two that have been most published present him at his slick and Sunday best in an outfit almost dudish.
BLESSED JACINTA Jacinta Marto was a lamb of the Lord, who remains the delight and living lesson of the Fatima story as it is known to date. Because Lucia loved her so, and has made her own earliest memoirs almost a sheer biography of her cousin (with the apparitions mentioned hardly at all), [...]
SPRING 1916: FIRST VISIT OF THE ANGEL OF PEACE A year or more passed. Lucia, now a veteran shepherdess, was an almost daily companion to Jacinta and Francisco. Only then did the angel appear with radiant clarity at the Cabeco. This was not a gauzy, uncertain citizen of paradise. Its identity [...]
MAY 13, 1917: FIRST APPEARANCE OF OUR LADY Any wise missionary, for good or for evil (and God is the wisest missionary of all), treasures for his cause the conversion and allegiance of children. If it is impossible for a child to encounter a whale reading The New York Times on 42nd Street, New [...]
JUNE 13, 1917: SECOND APPEARANCE OF OUR LADY The morning of June 13 was as summery and bright as Saint Anthony himself might have ordered it. In the Marto house, Jacinta and Francisco were awake early. They had already made plans with Lucia to pasture the flocks as soon and as swiftly as [...]
JULY 13, 1917: THIRD APPEARANCE OF OUR LADY But for Lucia and her cousins there was no dimness. Now, above the little tree, the Lady stood. Her beauty taxed their senses. To Jacinta and Francisco, who had never doubted, it was joy renewed. But to Lucia it was more than that. It was a [...]
August 13, 1917: THE CHILDREN JAILED On the following day the children awakened in the mayor's house at Ourem21, and Jacinta, more than the others, found these strange surroundings difficult to bear. Above all she missed her mother. She began to pray for strength and guidance from the Virgin Mary.
AUGUST 19, 1917: FOURTH APPEARANCE OF OUR LADY They chose this day the little property called Valinhos. It belonged to one of Lucia's uncles and is not much farther from Aljustrel than a man can hit a golf ball. It is just a flat and green field, rimmed with rocks, lovely and wild with flowers [...]
SEPTEMBER 13, 1917: FIFTH APPEARANCE OF OUR LADY Now, in September, exhausted by trial, the children thirsted for the consolation of their Lady. There was no comparable nourishment. All hope and faith and love were one with the Lady who came dressed in the light of her Son. A scathing [...]
The crowd waiting in the rain: Many attempts have been made to compute the number of pilgrims who made the difficult journey to Fatima in October, 1917. Only one thing is altogether certain. It was a tragic problem such as had never beset this obscure and lonely section of the hills. [...]
THE MIRACLE OF THE SUN When Lucia cried, "Look at the sun!" the people responded. The rain at that moment had stopped; the sun was clearly seen. There was no cloud to obscure it, yet it did not strain the eyes of any man to look on its unveiled light. The people could see that the sun was [...]
Front page feature in the 'O Seculo' - the rationalist newspaper. Another, and entirely responsible witness of the great event in the Cova da Iria, was Dr Almeida Garrett, of Coimbra University, who in response to a request by Dr Formigao, recorded the following:
THE COST OF HEAVEN: OCTOBER 23-24, 1917 Vandalism, Mockery and Persecution: It may well have been that the faithful, having observed at first hand the undeniable prodigies of October 13, felt some reason to believe that the enemies of religion in Portugal would, for at least a respectable [...]
DEVOTION GROWS: The Chapel The author, although having lived at Fatima for a considerable number of years, must rely on the records and on the gospel sincerity of his older friends and companions for a faithful picture of those early years with which we are here concerned.
THE COST OF HEAVEN: Francisco's Offering But what had happened to the children after the wonders of October, 1917? The story of Fatima moves along, and for Francisco and Jacinta, it is nearly done. If it is not evident now, it will be made abundantly clear that Jacinta, at the age of seven, [...]
THE COST OF HEAVEN: Jacinta's Offering It is not easy to write about the final days of Jacinta. She simply does not sound like a child of eight or nine. A non-Catholic, not perceiving the force of love that drove her, nor familiar with the divine mysteries made clear to this child by angelic [...]
THE COST OF HEAVEN: Lucia's Offering We return now to Lucia, whose age, at the time of Jacinta's death, was one month less than thirteen years. Any opportunity for normal, unspectacular adolescence had already been denied her. She was, at least in Portugal, a nation-wide celebrity.
THE IMPORTANCE OF THE ANGEL'S PRAYERS Here in these paragraphs, if we pause for just a moment to reflect, is the essential meaning and purpose of Fatima. It should be kept in mind that this is a simple, and, we sincerely hope, an unpretentious book that should be of equal value to people of [...]
MAY 13, 1920: THE FIRST STATUE OF OUR LADY OF FATIMA The statue in the little chapel at the Cova da Iria was acquiring an interesting history of its own. As earlier disclosed in this narrative, it arrived in Fatima on May 13, 1920, but rather sheepishly, like some contraband, hidden under farm [...]
APRIL-MAY 1920: OFFICIAL PERSECUTION OF THE GREAT PILGRIMAGE That the fears of our Lady's good friends were not unjustified, will be made clear by a description of the events that followed. In Lisbon, during that April of 1920, some of the more unbridled opponents of Fatima, learned that a [...]
GROWING SUPPORT FROM THE CATHOLIC HIERARCHY During the five years which followed the apparitions, the ecclesiastical authorities maintained their prudent reserve. On May 3, 1922, two years after the restoration of the diocese of Leiria, Dom Jose Alves Correia published a pastoral letter from [...]
APPENDIX I - A Letter From Dr Mendes To His Fiance, written in September, 1917 When I arrived at Aljustrel, at the house of Francisco's parents, I asked to speak to the children. Jacinta appeared and came up to me at once. She is very tiny, very babyish. When I arrived at Aljustrel, at the [...]