Saturday, May 12, 2012

May 13, Bl. Jacinta Marto

Blessed Jacinta Marto
By Samantha Emmett

Jacinta Marto was born on March 11, 1910. She is one of the three children that witnessed the appearance of Our Lady. As a child Jacinta worked on her family's farm, tending sheep. She was known as a bit spoiled, unlike her older brother Francisco, who along with there cousin Lucia also witnessed Our Lady. Jacinta died on February 11, 1920 because of influenza, which swept across Europe.

The first Apparition of Our Lady of Fatima happened on May 13, 1917. The three children saw a very bright light, which they thought was a storm, but when they glanced over to one of the many oak trees they saw a beautiful women dressed in all white. She told them not to be afraid because she came from heaven and she told them to come back to that spot on the thirteenth of the month, for the next six months. She then said she would come back on the seventh month, Lucia asked, “am I going to Heaven?” Our Lady replied, “yes”. Then Lucia asked “and Jacinta?” with that she replied “her too”. Lucia then asked, “what about Francisco?” Our Lady said, “he too but he must pray a lot of rosaries”.

During the first Apparition of Our Lady asked them if they were ready to suffer for the sinners, for the conversion of sinners and for the grace of God. She also told them to pray the rosary everyday and to pray for peace to end the war. When they replied "yes" she spread out her arms and showed them the light of God. They all proceeded to fall to their knees and pray the following prayers:

Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I adore You profoundly and
I offer You 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.

            My Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of Hell and lead all souls
            to Heaven, especially those who have the most need of Thy mercy.

The second Apparition of Our Lady occurred on June 13, 1917. Our Lady told Jacinta and Francisco that she was going to take them to Heaven soon, but Lucia would remain living to set up dedication to Her Immaculate Heart. She would then give them another sign from God, showing them Her Immaculate Heart, surrounded by thorns, outraged by the sins of humanity and seeking return from them. 

The third Apparition of Our Lady occurred on July 13, 1917. Our Lady told them secrets, which they kept with much defense. The first was the vision of hell. The second was the prediction of the future role of Russia and how to avoid it from happening. The third was later communicated to the bishop whom sent it to the Pope (Pope Pius XII) unread.

The first secret (the vision of Hell) that was shown to the children, were all of the lost souls, demons and flames of hell. She explained to them that if they do what she is going to tell them, then many souls shall be saved, there shall be peace and the war will end. Our Lady told them that if the people didn’t listen to them then the war shall worsen, there would be famine and possibly even the persecution of the Church. She also told them to prevent it Russia had to consecrate to the Immaculate Heart and the children would have to receive Holy Communion every first Saturday of the month as a reimbursement.

The fourth Apparition of Our Lady happened on August 13, 1917. The people saw her, heard a struck of lightening and saw a very strong flash of light in the perfectly clear sky. She was seen next to the same oak tree where all of the apparitions began.

On September 13, 1917 the fifth Apparition of Our Lady took place. The whole town had been discussing this day in which something was supposed to happen, but nothing did. As a child Lucia was hit a lot and her mother always thought that she was lying when she told her about the sign of God that was supposed to happen on that day, so when it didn’t occur her home conditions got much worse. Nonetheless she gave it up as an offering to Our Lady just as she had told her.

The sixth and last Apparition of Our Lady took place on October 13, 1917. There was more than 70,000 people that had gathered to witness Our Lady but only the children could see her. Our Lady told the three secrets to the children and then appereaed to them. It just so happened to be a rainy day, but after she appeared to them, the rain stopped and the sun came out.

My personal reflection on the Blessed Jacinta is that she is a hero. She had the strength to keep all the Our Lady's secrets and the courage to withstand a difficult home life because of what was asked of her. I don’t have much to say because nothing could really describe her in enough words, but I leave you with my feelings of appreciation for this amazing person. 

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