In 1916 the famous apparitions at Fatima, Portugal, began. That year an angel appeared to three shepherd children: the Servant of God Lucia dos Santos, St. Jacinta Marto, and St. Francisco Marto.The next year, 1917, Our Lady appeared to them. During her apparitions, she asked for people to pray and do penance.
We should pay attention to Mary’s request for prayer. She especially asked for the daily praying of the Holy Rosary.
In the Rosary, we relive events in the lives of Jesus and Mary. Blessed Alan de la Roche once said, “The Holy Rosary is the storehouse of countless blessing.” We can help bring many blessings and graces to our world by heeding Mary’s request to pray the Rosary daily.
Mary also asked for penance. She 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 that 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.” (In keeping with the Lord’s giving authority to His Church [cf. Matthew 18:18], the Church prescribes other very reasonable penances, such as on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, and in confession, after we have confessed our sins.)
The prayers below were taught to the three Fatima children by either the Angel or Our Lady.
My God, I believe, I adore, I hope, and I love Thee! I ask pardon for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope, and do not love Thee.
The Angel’s Prayer
Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, I adore Thee profoundly. I 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 indifferences whereby He is offended. And through the infinite merits of His Most Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of Thee the conversion of poor sinners.
During Our Lady’s first apparition (May 13, 1917), Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta were “moved by an interior impulse,” (as Lucia explained), to say this prayer together.
Most Holy Trinity, I adore Thee! My God, my God, I love Thee in the Most Blessed Sacrament.
Mary taught the children this prayer to say when they made a sacrifice.
O my Jesus, I offer this for love of Thee, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Prayer after Each Rosary Decade (Decade Prayer)
O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of Hell, and lead all souls to Heaven, especially those in most need of Thy mercy.
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