Our Lady of Fatima's
PLEA FOR SACRIFICE
---- "Unless the grain of wheat falling into the ground die, itself remaineth alone. But if it die it bringeth forth much fruit." ---- John 12:24
---- "Pray, pray a great deal, and make sacrifices for sinners, for many souls go to hell, because they have no one to pray and make sacrifices for them." ---- The Blessed Virgin Mary at Fatima: August 19, 1917
On July 13, 1917 the Blessed Virgin unveiled a terrifying reality before the three Fatima children's eyes. Lucia recounts: "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 this conflagration in clouds of smoke, lifted by flames coming out of their bodies. They rose and fell on all sides, like sparks in roaring fires, without weight or direction, amid shrieks and groans of pain and despair that terrified us and made us tremble with fear. The demons could be distinguished by their terrifying and repellent likeness to frightful and unknown animals, black and transparent like burning coals. This vision lasted but a moment, thanks to our good Mother from Heaven who had warned us beforehand, and promised to take us to Heaven. Otherwise, I think we would have died of horror and fear. Then we raised our eyes to Our Lady, who said with kindness and sadness: '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 people do what I am going to tell you, many souls will be saved and there will be peace.'"
Our Lady further said, "Pray, pray a great deal and make many sacrifices, for many souls go to Hell because they have no one to make sacrifices and to pray for them." (Fatima in Lucia's Own Words)
Jacinta, one of the three shepherd children at Fatima, retained an impression of the vision which left a profound mark on her. From this day on, she was very preoccupied with the fate of poor souls who went to Hell. She often sat on the ground or on a rock, and, deep in thought, she would say, "Oh! Hell! How sorrowful I am for the souls who are going to Hell!" Yet she did not confine herself to futile pain but she prayed and sacrificed heroically for those who were in danger of being lost.
A Painful Reality
The vision of Hell which the three children were favored with is not an exaggeration of the reality it represented. It is a presentation of it within the grasp of the human mind.
Our Lady appeared to Jacinta several times between December 1919 and February 1920. Our Lady told her many things including:
"The sins of the world are very great... If men only knew what eternity is, they would do everything in their power to change their lives."
"Fly from riches and luxury; love poverty and silence; have charity, even for bad people."
"More souls go to Hell because of sins of the flesh than for any other reason." 
"Certain fashions will be introduced that will offend Our Lord very much." "Woe to women lacking in modesty." 
"The Mother of God wants more virgin souls bound by the vow of chastity."
"Confession is a sacrament of mercy and we must confess with joy and trust."
"Many marriages are not of God and do not please Our Lord."
"Our Lady can no longer uphold the arm of Her Divine Son which will strike the world. If people amend their lives, Our Lord will even now save the world, but if they do not, punishment will come." "People must renounce sin and not persist in it, as has been done until now. It is essential to repent greatly."
"Tell everybody that God gives graces through the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Tell them to ask graces from Her and that the Heart of Jesus wishes to be venerated together with the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Ask them to plead for peace from the Immaculate Heart of Mary, for the Lord has confided the peace of the world to Her."
The vision of hell was shown at the beginning of this century to impress upon men and to confirm the doctrine of Hell; thereby influencing man to stop offending God by sin. Of the three children who saw hell, Jacinta was the most affected by this vision. The following are some of her words on hell.
"Oh, Hell! Oh, Hell!" "Mother of God have pity on those who do not amend their lives." "If men only know what awaits them in eternity, they would do everything in their power to change their lives."
Often she would say to her brother, "Francisco, are you praying with me? We must pray very much to save souls from hell, so many go there. So many!" At times she would ask of Lucia, "Why doesn't Our Lady show Hell to sinners? If only they saw it, they would never commit sins again."
Finally she said, "Look, I am going to heaven soon but you are to stay here. If Our Lady lets you, tell everyone what hell is like so that they won't sin anymore and not go there."
Later Interview with Sr. Lucia on Hell
The following is a rare interview with Sister Lucia, one of the three shepherd children of Fatima, by Father Lombardi. It was recorded in the Vatican weekly "Osservatore della Domenica" February 7, 1954.
Fr. Lombardi: "Tell me, is the 'Better World Movement' a response of the Church to the words spoken to Our Lady?"
Lucia: "Father, there is certainly a great need for this renewal. If it is not done, and taking into account the present development of humanity, only a limited number of the human race will be saved."
Fr. Lombardi: "Do you really believe that many will go to Hell? I hope that God will save the greater part of humanity."
Lucia: "Father, many will be lost."
Fr. Lombardi: "It is true that the world is full of evil, but there is always a hope of salvation."
Lucia: "No Father, many will be lost."
Father Lombardi remembered that Lucia had seen Hell and added: "Her words disturbed me. I returned to Italy with that grave warning impressed on my heart."
Our Lady at Fatima, during all six of her apparitions told the children they must pray, especially the rosary. The three children responded generously to Our Lady's requests. What is keeping you from doing the same thing? Do not say, "I do not have the time!"
Because if you are too busy to spend time with God in prayer, then you are busier than God intends you to be! Meditate upon the following words of Our Lord. "What does it profit a man if he gain the whole world and suffer the loss of his own soul?" (Matt. 16:26)
How the Battle Will Be Won
The most blessed Mary was the woman predicted in Scripture (Gen. 3:15), who was to crush the serpent's head, who is a murderer and liar from the beginning. She was the woman addressed by Jesus from the cross, left to us as His last will and testament as our mother (John 19:27). And she was the same woman clothed with the sun in the 12th chapter of the Apocalypse, who was also seen at Fatima clothed with the sun.
At Fatima she said that men must cease offending God and do penance. Up to now, the majority has not paid attention to her request, and they persist in their mortal sins and lukewarm way of living. She also solicited prayers and sacrifices for souls, because many go to perdition and eternal condemnation, because they have no one to pray and make sacrifices for them. With these words she was reminding us of the dogma of the communion of saints, that some members of the church can help others by their prayers, sacrifices, and reparation. "We, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another." (Rom. 12:5) She entreated the three seers of Fatima to offer themselves to suffer, and they responded, offering themselves in expiation. One of them, merely a child, attained heroism in suffering.  Through these simple souls she is speaking to all of us, to submit to the will of Her Son, and to offer ourselves in reparation.
If we do not pay attention to her request for prayer and sacrifices to save souls from hell (including ourselves), there is no hope of victory.
A Plea For Reparation
On June 13, 1917 the light from blessed Mary's hands fell on the children, and when She opened Her hands, the children could see the Immaculate Heart of Mary circled with thorns. They recognized that these thorns represented the sins of men, that they offended Our Lady very much, and Our Lady was looking for reparation to console Her.
In Portugal, in France, in Mexico and in other countries, Christ and His Mother have appeared to souls and requested them to offer themselves in reparation for sin. Through these souls He and His Mother are speaking to us. The only hope for the salvation of many lost souls is to submit to Mary's and her Son's requests, as manifested at Fatima, Portugal, and elsewhere.
Do you think that God might be asking you to do something extra for him, in order to acknowledge this heavenly request? Please take this possibility into consideration, before making a decision. We are all part of one body, the church, and the salvation of a soul might depend partly upon your own actions. "The eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of you; nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you." (1 Cor. 12:21). Mary requested the seers of Fatima to offer themselves in reparation. Do you think she might be making the same request to you?
"Are you willing to offer yourselves to God and bear all the sufferings He wills to send you, as an act of reparation and in supplication for the conversion of sinners? You are going to have much to suffer, but the grace of God will be your comfort." ---- WORDS OF OUR LADY, MAY 13, 1917
How can we honor Mary and Her Son, unless we pay attention to what they said, and submit to their desires and petitions?
God wants us to trust in Him completely by accepting all sufferings from Him as an act of filial love. When daily sufferings are accepted in this way, they bring a deep sense of peace to our souls, since faith teaches us that everything God sends to us is good for our salvation.
Furthermore, Our Lord promises us that if we accept sufferings, humiliations, unjust accusations as he did while living in our world, the grace of God will comfort us.
When seen in its true light, suffering becomes a source of blessing for us. We also make reparation for the sins committed against God, and we save sinners from eternal damnation.
Sometimes it is difficult to submit to God's will. In order to obey and submit to the Father's will, Christ sweat blood in the garden of Gethsemani. He will give us sufficient grace to do what he requests. "My grace is sufficient for you." (2 Cor. 12:9) He does not want us to be discouraged, even when we have to carry a cross. The result of submitting to God's will and suffering with Christ, will be a magnificent triumph, a victory that Mary herself promised us at Fatima in 1917.
---- "Why do you fear to take up the cross, when through it you can win a kingdom? In the cross is salvation, in the cross is life, in the cross is protection from enemies."
--- Imitation of Christ, Bk. 2, Ch. 12
---- "If you meet Me, you meet the Cross, and when you find the Cross, it is I whom you have found. . . . My Cross is the door of true life, that is why it is illuminated. And the soul that knows how to accept and love it, just as I have chosen it for her, will enter by it into the glory of life eternal.
Do you now understand how precious the Cross is? Do not shun it. Love it, for it comes from Me, and I shall never leave you without the strength to bear it. I bore it for love of you, will you not bear it for love of Me?"
--- Words of Christ to Josefa Menendez: May 20, 1923. Poitiers, France. Way of Divine Love, p. 328
----- Hereby we perceive the love of God, because he laid down his life for us:
and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. ----- 1 John 3:16
----- Except a grain of wheat fall into the ground and die, it remains alone:
but if it die, it brings forth much fruit. ---- John 12:24
----- "Let God arise, and let his enemies be scattered: and let them that hate him flee from before his face.
And let the just feast, and rejoice before God: and be delighted with gladness.
Behold he will give to his voice the voice of power: his magnificence, and his power is in the clouds.
God is wonderful in his saints: the God of Israel is he who will give power and strength to his people." --- Psalm 67
The Message of Fatima
The following is a brief consideration of Our Lady's four requests: penance, prayer, devotion to her Immaculate Heart and the brown scapular.
In the Gospels the word penance means a conversion of one's life, a turning away from sin, and a turning back to God. As Our Lady insisted at Fatima: "Men must amend their lives, and ask pardon for their sins. . . . They must no longer offend Our Lord, Who is already so much offended." The Fatima message is a call for men to give up sinful practices which grieve God and draw down His chastisements on the world, and to make reparation for them. Commenting on Our Lady's request for penance, Sr. Lucia wrote: "The part of the last apparition which has remained most deeply imprinted on my heart is the prayer of our heavenly Mother begging us not to offend any more Almighty God, Who is already so much offended."
Jacinta, too, shortly before her death remarked: "If men only knew what eternity is, how they would make all possible efforts to amend their lives . . . mortification and sacrifice give great pleasure to Our Divine Lord."
In August of 1917 Our Lady told the children, "pray much and make sacrifices for sinners, for many souls go to hell because there is no one to make sacrifices for them." As to the kinds of sacrifices Our Lady was asking, she revealed to Sr. Lucia on one occasion: "The good Lord is allowing Himself to be appeased . . . but He Himself complains most bitterly and sorrowfully about the small number of souls in His grace who are willing to renounce whatever the observance of His laws requires of them."
"Many persons," Sr. Lucia explained, "feeling that the word penance implies great austerities, and not feeling that they have the strength for great sacrifices, become discouraged and continue a life of lukewarmness and sin." Then she said Our Lord explained to her: "The sacrifice required of every person is the fulfillment of his duties in life and the observance of My law. This is the penance that I now seek and require."
Yet, over and above those sacrifices "required of every person," the children of Fatima practiced many little acts of mortification and renunciation on their own initiative. It is hoped that many devotees of Our Lady will not be content with the minimum required and will not pass up opportunities of voluntary mortification, placing in the hands of Our Lady the fruits of the little trials, frustrations and irritations of each day accepted with patience and resignation.
It was in this same spirit that the Angel spoke to the children in 1916: "Offer up everything in your power as a sacrifice to the Lord in reparation for the sins by which He is offended, and in supplication for the conversion of sinners . . . More than all else, accept and bear with resignation the sufferings that God may send you."
Besides a call to penance Fatima is in a special way a call for the Rosary. So central is the Rosary to the Fatima message that Our Lady chose to identify herself as "The Lady of the Rosary." In each of the six apparitions she asked for the daily Rosary, and especially as an instrument of world peace. As she revealed in the third apparition: "You must recite the Rosary every day in honor of Our Lady of the Rosary to obtain peace for the world and the end of the war for only she can obtain this." In this Our Lady renewed her request for the prayer she gave to the Church centuries before, a prayer that has proven a powerful weapon against the enemies of Christianity as history testifies.
When asked about the importance of the Rosary, Sr. Lucia responded: "My impression is that the Rosary is of greatest value not only according to the words of Our Lady at Fatima, but according to the effects of the Rosary one sees throughout history. My impression is that Our Lady wanted to give ordinary people, who might not know how to pray, this simple method of getting closer to God."
The Rosary is basically a gospel prayer, and for those who pray it properly, it is, as Sr. Lucia said, "a simple method of getting closer to God." But to pray it properly requires that each decade be a reflection on some aspect of the joyful, sorrowful or glorious mysteries of our redemption. Without that meditation, the Rosary would become monotonous repetition. In praying the Rosary we can well take Our Lady as a model, for as the Scriptures tell us, "Mary kept all these words, pondering them in her Heart."
The Rosary is a simple form of prayer that can be prayed by the young or old, the learned or the uneducated, the saint or the sinner. Each can adapt it to his or her own capacity. It is so pleasing to Our Lady, because it brings us to review again and again the life of Christ, the mysteries of our redemption. It not only recalls to mind these mysteries, but stimulates the will to draw from them the norms of living. That is, it not only points out the way, but helps us to obtain the graces needed to follow in that way.
After repeatedly asking for the daily Rosary, and identifying herself as "The Lady of the Rosary," the Blessed Mother terminated the final apparition by showing the children three separate tableaux symbolizing the entire message of the Rosary. The first was a vision of the Holy family – representing the joyful mysteries; the second a vision of Our Lady of Sorrows – representing the sorrowful mysteries; and the third a vision of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel – representing the glorious mysteries.
The Rosary may seem like an insignificant thing in the light of the magnitude of the evils of today's world, but it is the weapon given to us by Our Lady. She merely asks our cooperation, and she will do the rest. It is like the slingshot of David that killed the mighty enemy because the power of God was behind it. Thus, as the saying goes, he who prays the Rosary has the power of God in his hand.
We highly recommend that all 15 decades of the Rosary be prayed daily. Our Lady repeatedly emphasized the importance of praying the Rosary each day in her messages at Fatima. She even said that Francisco, one of the three shepherd children at Fatima, would have to pray "many rosaries" before he could go to Heaven. Praying all 15 decades of the Rosary each day can be accomplished in a variety of ways. However, for many it is best accomplished by praying a part of the Rosary at different times of the day, for example, the joyful mysteries in the morning, sorrowful mysteries at midday, and glorious mysteries in the evening. The Hail, Holy Queen only needs to be prayed at the end of the entire day's rosary.
Regarding the Holy Rosary, Sister Lucia told Father Fuentes in a famous 1957 interview:
"Look, Father, the Most Holy Virgin in these last times in which we live has given a new efficacy to the recitation of the Holy Rosary. She has given this efficacy to such an extent that there is no problem, no matter how difficult it is, whether temporal or above all, spiritual, in the personal life of each one of us, of our families, of the families of the world, or of the religious communities, or even of the life of peoples and nations that cannot be solved by the Rosary. There is no problem I tell you, no matter how difficult it is, that we cannot resolve by the prayer of the Holy Rosary. With the Holy Rosary, we will save ourselves. We will sanctify ourselves. We will console Our Lord and obtain the salvation of many souls."
See: How to Pray the Rosary.
In 1916, a year before the apparitions of Our Lady, the Angel of Peace appeared to the children to prepare them for things to come. "The Hearts of Jesus and Mary have designs of mercy for you," he said. "Offer unceasingly to the Most High prayer and sacrifices."
In the second apparition the following year (June 13) Our Lady let the children know that "Jesus wishes to establish throughout the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart." Several times in the June and July apparitions Our Lady spoke of this devotion, as we shall see; and soon there began to burn in their hearts (especially Jacinta's) a deep love for the Hearts of Jesus and Mary.
Shortly before Jacinta went to the hospital where she was to die, she said to Lucia: "In a short time now I am going to heaven. You are to stay here and say that God wishes to establish in the world the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. . . . Tell everybody that God grants graces through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and that they must ask them from her. Tell them that the Heart of Jesus wishes that by His side should be venerated the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Tell them to ask peace through the Immaculate Heart of Mary; God has placed it in her hands. Oh that I could put into the heart of everybody the flame that I feel burning within my breast and which makes me love so much the Heart of Jesus and the Heart of Mary."
June 13, 1917
Lucia asked Our Lady if she would take them to heaven. Our Lady answered: "Yes, I will take Jacinta and Francisco soon. You, however, are to stay here a longer time. Jesus wants to use you to make me known and loved. He wants to establish the devotion to my Immaculate Heart in the world. I promise salvation to those who embrace it, and their souls will be loved by God as flowers placed by me before His throne."
When Lucia asked if she were going to be left alone, Our Lady responded: "No, my daughter. Does this cause you to suffer a great deal? I will never leave you, my Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God."
As the Blessed Mother uttered these words she extended her hands and in the rays of light that shone from them, the children saw themselves as if submerged in the Divine presence. Jacinta and Francisco were on the side of the light that was ascending to Heaven, while Lucia was in the light that seemed diffused over all the earth. In the palm of her right hand was a Heart pierced with thorns; and the children understood that it was the Immaculate Heart of Mary, so offended by the sins of mankind and pleading for reparation.
July 13, 1917
"Sacrifice yourselves for sinners; and say often when you make some sacrifice, 'My Jesus, it is for love of You, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.'"
After showing the children a vision of hell, Our Lady said to them: "You have seen hell where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish throughout the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If people do as I shall ask many souls will be saved, and there will be peace.... But if people do not cease offending God... another and more terrible war will begin. When you see a night illumined by an unknown light, know that this is the great sign that God gives that the chastisement of the world for its many transgressions is at hand through war, famine, persecution of the Church and of the Holy Father."
"To prevent this, I shall come to ask the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart, and Communions of reparation on the first Saturdays. If my requests are heard, Russia will be converted and there will be peace. If not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, fomenting wars and persecution of the Church. The good will suffer martyrdom; the Holy Father will suffer much; different nations will be annihilated. But in the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, which will be converted, and some time of peace will be granted to humanity."
December 10, 1925
The visits of Our Lady to Lucia did not end with those in 1917. In fact it was only through later apparitions that Lucia received permission to make known some of the messages revealed in 1917.
While Lucia was in her room at the convent of the Sisters of St. Dorothy, Our Lady and the Child Jesus appeared to her. Resting her right hand on Lucia's shoulder, the Blessed Mother held in her other hand a Heart surrounded by sharp thorns. The Divine Child was the first to speak to Lucia: "Have pity on the Heart of your most Holy Mother. It is covered with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment, and there is no one to remove them with an act of reparation."
Then Our Lady made known her request for Communions of reparation: "My daughter, look at my Heart encircled with the thorns with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. Do you at least try to console me and announce in my name that I promise to assist at the hour of death with the graces necessary for salvation all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months, go to Confession and receive Holy Communion, recite the Rosary and keep me company for 15 minutes while meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary with the intention of making reparation to me."
WEAR THE BROWN SCAPULAR
During the magnificent miracle of the sun, Our Lady appeared for the last time, holding the Child Jesus in her arms as Our Lady of Mount Carmel. In her right hand she held out the Brown Scapular to the world, asking her children to wear it as a sign of consecration to her Immaculate Heart.
As we can see, the whole message of Fatima is filled with devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary; so it was quite natural for Our Lady to give us a sign of her Immaculate Heart.
The Brown Scapular, then, is our personal contract with Our Lady signifying that we belong to her Immaculate Heart. This makes the Scapular our shield against the temptations of the devil and of all worldly things. It is the holy garment of Our Lady, who watches and protects all who wear it devoutly.
However, the Scapular must not be an empty external habit. We must wear the Scapular with the intention of reforming our lives by an interior conversion of the heart, giving special attention to the virtue of chastity in our state of life.
Every sin, great and small, is an offense against God for which reparation must be made. Yet, so dear is the Heart of Mary to her Divine Son, and so much is He pained at the offenses and blasphemies against her Immaculate Heart that, as Fr. Thomas McGlynn, O.P. expresses in his book VISION OF FATIMA:
"God has told us now, through Fatima, that we can make reparation to Him if we repair the sufferings we have caused her. The Heart that received the fullness of participation in the divine life, that knew the affections of a mother for Jesus Christ during the years at Nazareth, that went through the agony of seeing Him die, that honors Him in heaven more than all the rest of creation, is now gloriously proclaimed by Him through Fatima."
. "More souls go to Hell because of sins of the flesh than for any other reason." Sr. Lucia of Fatima said this refers primarily to sins against chastity, also called sins of impurity. The reason for this statement is not because sins against chastity are the most grievous sins, but the most common and because of conscience and shame. Why? Because of conscience and shame, sins of impurity are less likely to be repented of and confessed than other sins. Why? (1) because there is a greater sense of shame when committing certain impure acts and hence greater difficulty confessing them in the sacrament of confession, or even repenting of them in one's heart; (2) venereal pleasure blunts the conscience and increases a person's blindness of mind concerning spiritual and moral matters.
"He who has offended God by mortal sin has no other remedy to prevent his damnation but the confession of his sin. "But, if I am sorry for sin from my heart? If I do penance for it during my whole life? If I go into the desert and live on wild herbs, and sleep on the ground?" You may do as much as you please; but if you do not confess every mortal sin that you remember, you cannot obtain pardon. … Accursed shame: how many poor souls does it send to hell! St. Teresa used to say over and over again to preachers: "Preach, O my priests, preach against bad confessions; for it is on account of bad confessions that the greater part of Christians are damned." (The complete ascetical works of St. Alphonsus, vol. 15, p. 546)
The sixth commandment, relating to chastity and purity, has always been referred to as "the difficult commandment" by many people in the world. Today, with pornography everywhere and women and girls dressing more immodestly than ever before, for many it may indeed seem as "the impossible commandment." However, Jesus assures us: "What is impossible with men is possible with God." (Luke 18:27) We may add that all who invoke the Blessed Virgin Mary for help in overcoming sins of impurity will receive the grace to do so, as she herself has revealed to St. Bridget of Sweden and various other saints. But those who strive to live chaste lives know from experience, when sins of impurity are humbly repented of and confessed, that a great burden is removed from our consciences, and we experience that peace of soul that the world and carnal indulgence cannot give.
. Jacinta, before she died, said Our Lady had told her that certain fashions would be introduced that would greatly offend Our Lord, who had said in the gospel, "every one who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart." (Matthew 5:28)
Saint John Chrysostom instructed women of all times about dress when in the fourth century he declared: "You carry your snare everywhere and spread your nets in all places. You allege that you never invited others to sin. You did not, indeed, by your words, but you have done so by your dress and your deportment. ... When you have made another sin in his heart, how can you be innocent? Tell me, whom does this world condemn? Whom do judges punish? Those who drink poison or those who prepare it and administer the fatal potion? You have prepared the abominable cup, you have given the death dealing drink, and you are more criminal than are those who poison the body; you murder not the body but the soul. And it is not to enemies you do this, nor are you urged on by any imaginary necessity, nor provoked by injury, but out of foolish vanity and pride."
. During the last operation she endured to have two ribs removed, her doctor later said he could hear her speaking with God while the operation was in progress. She offered up her sufferings for sinners, and for "the Holy Father" (without ever mentioning the name of a particular pope), "for he will have much to suffer."
No one has ever been able to say if this suffering would be on earth, in Purgatory or in hell. Maybe they were any of the three, depending on which pope it is.
Her surgeon (Dr. Castro Freire) said he heard Jacinta say, "Now you can save many sinners, dear Jesus, because I suffer much."
She had known in advance that she would suffer because Our Lady gave her the choice of dying earlier and going to heaven, or living longer and suffering more in the Lisbon hospital, when she would die alone. Jacinta chose the latter. She endured a lot of grief being separated from her mother, and this also she offered as a voluntary act of expiation for the conversion of sinners.
Dr. Freire's diagnosis was: "Osteitis of the 7th and 8th ribs, purulent pleurisy with fistula." Pleurisy is an infection of the membrane inside the rib cage that surrounds the lungs. This makes breathing very painful. Every breath she took she was offering to God for the Holy Father and for the conversion of sinners.
The surgery had to be done with only a local anaesthesia, but in those days it was not well developed and it did not work as intended, so she was conscious and alert the whole time, while these two infected ribs (osteitis) were removed. This would be as painful as any operation could be, even for an adult, but she was only 9 years old, suffering heroically, without question. Because she did not have to do this, and yet she chose to take it on, just as Our Lord did on the Cross.
And as if this was not enough, there was more. Before the operation she was very much afraid, and this great fear she also made into a perfect sacrifice to God. But it was not just the pain that she feared, rather it was something very different. And while she feared not having her mother there, it is true, that was also a willing offering to God. But she had three fears, for there was something much greater. She was willing to set aside her fear of the pain and her fear of not having her mother there, because there was a much greater fear she had, almost to the exclusion of other causes. Her greatest fear was that her body would be an occasion of sin to the hospital staff who would see her exposed in the preparation for surgery and during the operation.
The graces she called down from heaven for this offering of purity are so great that anyone today who has a problem with habitual sins of purity can find that by praying for the intercession of blessed Jacinta of Fatima, their impure thoughts will vanish immediately, but we must lose our attachment to sin before we can receive this grace. It requires an act of will.
Jacinta did not suffer defending her faith, so she is not a martyr, but she is a blessed virgin and a very powerful patroness of sinners who would endeavor to overcome sins of the flesh.
Francisco and Jacinta Marto were two of the three children of Fatima that Our Lady appeared to several times in 1917. Jacinta Marto was the youngest of the two siblings and she died at age nine, shortly before her tenth birthday. Before her death, Jacinta spoke words of such a prophetic tone, full of wisdom and supernatural illumination that the person who wrote down these words, Mother Maria da Purificaçao Godinho, was awestruck. Jacinta's last words in these conversations with Mother Godinho were full of spiritual instruction and prophecies which are still being fulfilled. Below are the last words of Jacinta Marto which are separated, according to topics.
Jacinta Marto – Last Words on Priests and Rulers
The following words of Jacinta Marto are specifically directed toward priests: "My godmother, pray much for sinners! Pray much for priests! Pray much for religious! Priests should only occupy themselves with the affairs of the Church. Priests should be pure, very pure. The disobedience of priests and religious to their superiors and to the Holy Father greatly offends Our Lord." She said this about rulers: "My godmother, pray much for those who govern! Woe to those who persecute the religion of Our Lord! If the government left the Church in peace and gave freedom to the holy Faith, it would be blessed by God."
Jacinta Marto – Last Words on Sin
Jacinta Marto had been deeply affected by the vision of Hell that Our Lady had permitted her to see. She said the following regarding sin: "The sins of the world are very great." "Many marriages are not good; they do not please Our Lord, and they are not of God." "If men knew what eternity is, they would do everything to change their lives." "The sins that lead more souls to Hell are the sins of the flesh." "Fashions that will greatly offend Our Lord will appear. People who serve God should not follow fashions. The Church has no fashions. Our Lord is always the same." "Men are lost because they do not think of the death of Our Lord and do not do penance."
Jacinta Marto – Last Words on Christian Virtue
She had this to say about Christian virtue: Talking in Church: Noticing that many visitors chatted and laughed in the chapel of the orphanage, Jacinta asked Mother Godinho to warn them of the lack of respect for the Real Presence this represented. When this measure did not bring about satisfactory results, she asked that the cardinal be advised that "Our Lady does not want people to talk in church." "My godmother, do not walk in the midst of luxury. Flee from riches. Be very fond of holy poverty and silence." "Have much charity even for those who are bad. Speak ill of no one and flee from those who do so. Be very patient, for patience leads us to Heaven. Mortification and sacrifices greatly please Our Lord." "Confession is a sacrament of mercy. Therefore, one must approach the confessional with confidence and joy. Without confession there is no salvation." "The Mother of God wants more virgin souls who bind themselves to her by the vow of chastity." "To be a woman religious, it is necessary to be very pure in soul and body." "Do you know what it means to be pure?" asked Mother Godinho. "I do. I do. To be pure in body is to keep chastity. To be pure in soul is not to commit sins, not to look at what one should not see, not to steal, never to lie, always to tell the truth however hard it may be." "Those who do not keep the promises they make to Our Lady will never succeed in their affairs." "Doctors do not have light to cure the sick properly because they do not have love of God." "Who taught you all these things?" asked Mother Godinho. "It was Our Lady, but some I think of myself. I very much like to think."
Jacinta Marto – Last Words on War
Here are the words of Jacinta Marto concerning war: "Our Lady said that there is much war and dissension in the world." "Wars are nothing but punishments for the sins of the world." "Our Lady can no longer hold back the arm of her beloved Son from the world. It is necessary to do penance. If people change their ways, Our Lord will still spare the world; but if they do not, the chastisement will come." "Our Lord is profoundly indignant at the sins and crimes committed in Portugal. For this reason, a terrible social cataclysm threatens our country, particularly the city of Lisbon. It seems that a civil war of anarchic or communist character will break out, accompanied by sackings, assassinations, fires, and devastation of all kinds. The capital will be changed into a veritable image of hell. When Divine Justice, outraged, inflicts so frightful a punishment, all who can should flee from this city. This punishment now predicted should be announced gradually and with due discretion." "If men do not change their ways, Our Lady will send the world a punishment the like of which has never been seen. It will fall first, …upon Spain." Jacinta also spoke of "great world events that would take place around 1940."