On May 13, 1917, Our Lady said to Lucia, “You will have much to suffer, but the grace of God will comfort you.” Within a few years of the apparitions, Lucia experienced the sadness of loneliness.
Death of loved ones
Francisco died on April 4, 1919. Lucia wrote, “I cannot describe how I miss him. This grief is a sad thorn pricking my heart for endless years.”
After the death of Francisco, Lucia’s father also died. He was a strong man, but within 20 hours double pneumonia suddenly ended his life.
Lucia shouted alone in her room, “My God, my God, I never imagined you had in store for me so much suffering! But I will suffer this for your love, in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary, for the Holy Father, and for the conversion of sinners.”
The health of Jacinta was worsening, and it was decided she would go to Lisbon for treatment. After the departure of Jacinta, Lucia went away and hid in a rocky cave to relieve her grief alone with God by shedding copious tears.
Jacinta died on Feb. 20, 1920. The Fatima church bells began to toll. Lucia knew that the tolling must be for the death of Jacinta. She ran away to a lonely place and flung herself upon the ground and wept as if her heart would break. It was only towards nightfall that she returned home, her eyes red from crying.
For a long time the sadness of Lucia seemed to grow greater and greater. When the cemetery was open, she would spend long hours sitting close to Francisco’s or her father’s tombstone.
The bishop decided to send Lucia to a school at Oporto run by the Sisters of St. Dorothy. With a heavy and sorrowful heart, Lucia left Fatima on June 16, 1921.
In 1925, Lucia joined the order of St. Dorothy.
On Dec. 10, 1925, Our Lady appeared to Lucia with the Infant Jesus. Our Lady said, “Look, my daughter, at my heart, surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce me at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude.
“You at least try to console me, and say that I promise to assist at the hour of death, with the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturdays of five consecutive months, shall confess, receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the rosary, and keep me company for 15 minutes while meditating on the 15 mysteries of the rosary, with the intention of making reparation to me.”
The infant Jesus told Lucia on Feb. 15, 1926, that people can go to confession on another day other than the first Saturday, provided they are in the state of grace when receiving Communion and have the intention of making reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
On the night between May 29 and 30, 1930, Our Lord revealed that the purpose of the five first Saturdays devotion is to make reparation for the five ways in which people offend and blaspheme against the Immaculate Heart of Mary:
— People blaspheme against the Immaculate Conception.
— People blaspheme against her Virginity.
— People blaspheme against her Divine Maternity, refusing to accept her as the Mother of all mankind.
— People try publicly to implant in children’s hearts indifference, contempt, and even hatred for this Immaculate Mother.
— People insult her sacred status directly.
Our Lord also told Lucia that the practice of this devotion would be equally accepted on the Sunday after the first Saturday, when, for just motive, priests allow it.