The apparitions of Our Lady in Fatima were preceded by three apparitions of the Angel, presented as the Angel of Peace and Portugal (some of the main connoisseurs of Fatima assume that it could probably even be the Archangel St. Michael). They prepared the three little visionaries to welcome what the Virgin would come to tell them, shortly there. Their spiritual and theological content is extremely important, therefore they deserve to be deepened naturally always starting from the sure source of the same words of Sister Lucia (reported in her Memoirs).
The angel’s first appearance took place in the spring or summer of 1916 in a la duck of the Cabeço hill near Aljustrel, the hamlet where the little shepherds lived. This is how St. Lucia tells it: We’ve been playing for some time, and here a strong wind shakes the plants and makes us look up to see what was going on because the day was calm. So we began to see at some distance, on plants, a light whitener than snow, with the appearance of a transparent young man from 14 to 15 years old, of great beauty (…) When he came to us, he said, “Don’t be afraid. I’m the Angel of Peace. Pray with me.” And, kneeling on the ground, he curved his forehead to the ground. We imitated him and repeated the words we heard him say: “My God! I believe, I love, I hope and I love you. I ask you for forgiveness for those who do not believe, do not worship, do not hope and do not love You”. Repeated this three times, he stood up and said, “Pray like this. The Hearts of Jesus and Mary are attentive to the voice of your entreaties.” And he disappeared.
The second appearance took place in the summer of 1916 on the well of Lucia’s parents’ house where the children played. The Angel said, “What are you doing? Pray! Pray a lot! The Most Holy Hearts of Jesus and Mary have designs of Mercy on you. You constantly offer the Most High prayers and sacrifices.” Lucia asked, “How should we sacrifice ourselves?” He replied: “In all possible ways, offer God a sacrifice in the act of reparation for the sins with which he is offended and of supplication for the conversion of sinners. This brings peace to your homeland. I am his Guardian Angel, the Angel of Portugal. Above all, accept and endure with submission the suffering that the Lord will send you”. And he disappeared.
The third appearance took place at the end of summer or early autumn 1916 again at Cabeço. While the children, kneeling with their faces on the ground, repeated the Angel’s prayer, they saw an unknown light and the Angel appeared with a Chalice in his left hand and, suspended on it, a Host from which fell, ending up in the Chalice, a few drops of blood. Here are again the words of St. Lucia: Leaving the Chalice and the Host suspended in the air, he prosted himself to the ground near us and repeated the prayer three times: “Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I deeply love you and offer you the precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the Tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrilege and indifference with which he is offended. And for the infinite merits of His Most Holy Heart and immaculate Heart of Mary, I ask you to convert poor sinners“. Then rising he took again the Chalice and the Host, and gave the Host to me (Lucia, nda) and what contained the Chalice gave him a drink to Jacinta and Francis, saying, “Take and drink the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ horribly outraged by ungrateful men. Repair their crimes and console your God“. Again he prostore on the ground, repeated with us three more times the same prayer “Most Holy Trinity, etc.”, and disappeared.
There are many ideas for our inner life that come to us from these three apparitions of the Angel. On everything we emphasize the centrality that the Most Holy Eucharist has in the message of Fatima. It, brought by the Angel, is a prelude and anticipates the apparitions of Our Lady.
The life of all saints reveals to us how Holy Mass is always the culmination of spiritual life, the point of greater intimacy of the relationship with God and the summit of the life of union between the soul and God; the approach of a soul in The Grace of God to Holy Communion, in which the vision of God is concealed only by a humble Host, is truly the highest mystical experience that can be realized in this life, far superior even to any revelation, ecstasy or miracle from which the Lord can benefit, at His discretion, a soul. St. Francis of Assisi said that man must tremble, the world must tremble, the whole Sky must be moved when the Son of God appears on the Altar, in the hands of the Priest. St. Pius of Pietralcina remembered how “the world can be without the sun, but not without Holy Mass“. And St. Curé of Ars stated: ” All goodworks gathered, do not equate to the sacrifice of Mass, becausethey are the work of men, while Holy Mass is the work of God ” and added: ” The cause ofthe Priest’s relaxation is that no attention is paid to Mass!”
The Angel’s words recall to our minds and meditation, many other themes that we will deepen in the next articles as they are closely connected to the message of the apparitions of Our Lady. Among these we remember: the three theological virtues of Faith, Hope and Charity(I believe, hope and love you …), the gravity of sin and the need for reparation, the importance of prayer and Adoration, the value of sacrifice and acceptance and offering of suffering in order to obtain the conversion of sinners and the protection of the homeland, submission to God, the real Presence of Jesus in the Most Holy Eucharist, divine justice, etc.