My name is Isabel.
I’m really happy to have this chance to talk with you on my CK101 page! I am 9 years old and I just finished the third grade at my school which is named Most Holy Redeemer Catholic School. This year I received the Sacrament of Confirmation and then received Jesus in the Holy Eucharist for the first time. It was such a great year! I made my First Confession in second grade and that was really great too. For my CK101 page I want to tell you an amazing story I learned while preparing for my First Holy Communion.
Before I tell you the amazing story, I want to tell you something really special about my school. There is a beautiful chapel in the middle of my school where Jesus is always there in the tabernacle. Everyday I walk up and down the hallway and I see the chapel. I wave to Jesus and tell Him I love Him. It's so great to have Him nearby!
Once a week my entire class goes to the chapel for a visit with Jesus. Every class gets their own day for a visit. Kindergarten and 1st graders visit Him for 15 minutes. 2nd and 3rd graders visit Jesus for 30 minutes. The 4th and 5th graders visit Him for 45 minutes. The 6th, 7th and 8th graders get to make a whole Holy Hour visit with Jesus.
The picture I picked for my CK101 Page is one my mom took of me one Thursday morning before school. The reason I'm smiling is because Thursday is the day my class makes our visit with Jesus!
So now I'm going to tell you the amazing story I learned. It was part of my school's preparation for our First Holy Communion and also for making our visits with Jesus. My teacher, Mrs. Powers, read the story to my class. Once I tell it to you, you’ll understand why I really wanted you to know!
This story is an actual true story. It really happened. It starts out with three children. The first child was a boy and his name was Francisco. He was 8 years old. He lived in Europe in the country of Portugal. He lived in a village where there were lovely olive trees and grassy fields surrounding the village. These were called the Cova da Ira fields outside his village called Aljustrel near Fatima in Portugal.
Francisco had a little sister. Her name was Jacinta. Jacinta was 6 years old. Not too far away from Francisco and Jacinta’s house was another house where their cousin lived. Her name was Lucia. She was the oldest. Lucia was 9 years old.
Here are some pictures of the three children so you can see what they looked like. The arrows on the sides of the picture gallery will make it scroll.
Francisco, Jacinta and Lucia were often together. It was because they had the chore of watching the sheep that belonged to their families. This story happened around 100 years ago, in the year 1916 and in the year 1917, when it was more common for people to own animals like sheep.
These three children, Francisco, Jacinta and Lucia, took their sheep everyday to pasture. That means the sheep roamed around and ate the green grass. The children had to keep the sheep together. They had to make sure a lamb didn’t stray far away from the fold. Then they had to bring the flock back home when the sheep were done grazing.
The children would bring food with them each day and eat lunch together. Sometimes they would play games. They would also pray their Rosary together as they watched their sheep.
Lambs near the house of Lucia in Fatima, Portugal
Now one day as the children were playing, while still keeping an eye on their sheep, a strong wind suddenly shook the trees. They were surprised when they saw this because it was a very calm day. They wondered why the trees were shaking. Then the children noticed something strange as they looked up in the sky over the valley towards the East. A very bright light was coming towards them. The light was a white light. Soon it became brighter and whiter than the purest white snow. The children realized that this light was surrounding the form of a young man! He looked more brilliant and dazzling than the sun going through sparkling crystal glass! As he came closer they could see that he looked like he was about fifteen years old. He was strikingly handsome. Actually, he was absolutely astonishing!
The children didn’t know what to make of this. They didn’t say a single word. The didn't move. They were just so surprised!
Coming very close to the children, he spoke to them and said, “Fear not. I am the Angel of Peace. Pray with me.”
He knelt down and bowed low to the ground until his forehead touched the ground.
The children watched him. Then they did the same. They knelt down and bowed low to the ground until their foreheads touched the ground too.
Then the Angel prayed this prayer and the children repeated the words they heard him say:
"My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love You! I beg pardon for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope and do not love You!"
After he had prayed this prayer two times, he rose up and told the children to pray this prayer often because Jesus and Mary were listening to them from Heaven.
Then the Angel disappeared.
After the Angel left, the children stayed on their knees for a long time with their foreheads touching the ground. They repeated the beautiful prayer many times. They said that they felt so full of God that they didn’t even speak to each other! The next day they still had a feeling like God had touched them. They didn’t tell anyone about the Angel’s visit.
Another day, when the children were at Lucia’s house playing, the Angel appeared to them again.
“What are you doing?” he asked. “Pray, pray a great deal! The Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary have merciful plans for you. Offer prayers and sacrifices all the time to the Most High God.”
Lucia asked the Angel what he meant by that. He explained that the children should offer God some sacrifice, something a bit difficult for them to do. (My teacher said to think about what we learned when we studied Saint Therese and her little way of love. She said this would help us understand what the Angel was asking of the children. You will learn about Saint Therese’s little way of love coming up soon on another CK101 Page.)
Then the Angel said the children should offer prayers and sacrifices to console God for the many sins that people commit. Another word for this is “reparation.”
The Angel also wanted the children to understand that Jesus would take the prayers and sacrifices they offered to Him with love and unite them to His big Sacrifice on the Cross. They could help save sinners from going to Hell! (Remember when Stephen explained about this at the end of his CK101 Page when he told us the story of the starfish?)
Then the Angel told the children that he was their country’s Angel – the Angel of Portugal! After that he disappeared.
Later in the summer of 1916, the Angel visited the children one last amazing time. When the Angel came, the children were kneeling with their foreheads touching the ground. They were praying the prayer that he had taught them:
"My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love You! I beg pardon for those who do not believe, do not adore, do hope and do not love You!"
While the children were praying, they suddenly sensed a great light over them. When they looked up to see what it was, they saw the Angel! And what an amazing sight they saw! He was holding a beautiful golden chalice in his left hand. Above the chalice was a little white Host. Drops of Precious Blood fell from the Host into the chalice.
The beautiful stained glass window showing the visit from the Angel of Peace entitled "Ecce Panis Angelorum"
meaning "Behold the Bread of Angels" found in the Sanctuary of Fatima in Portugal
Then the Angel left the beautiful golden chalice (that contained the Precious Blood of Jesus) and the little white Host (which was Jesus looking like Bread) suspended in the air!
The Angel bent down low beside the children and they all adored Jesus!
Our teacher told us that the Angel and the three children adored Jesus in the little white Host exactly the same as when we make a visit with Jesus in our school chapel! She told us our Guardian Angels are always with us even if we don’t see them. When we are kneeling and adoring Jesus, our Guardian Angel is right beside us adoring Him too! Our Angels always want to help us love Jesus just like the Angel helped Francisco, Jacinta and Lucia that day.
Then the Angel taught the three children one more prayer. It goes like this:
"O Most Holy Trinity, Father Son and Holy Spirit, I adore You profoundly. I offer You the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifference by which He is offended. By the infinite merits of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg the conversion of poor sinners."
Getting up, the Angel again took in his hand the golden chalice and Jesus in the Host. He gave the Host to Lucia. Then the Angel leaned towards Francisco and Jacinta and had them drink the Precious Blood of Jesus from the golden chalice. Francisco and Jacinta received their First Holy Communion that day!
Then the Angel knelt again beside them and prayed the prayer that he had just taught them three times. “O Most Holy Trinity…" After that he disappeared.
This was the last message and the last visit from the Angel. The children never saw him again.
That is the first part of this amazing true story. In the following year, 1917, an even more amazing thing happened! Before I tell you about that, I want to explain something about the Angel of Peace. God wanted the Angel of Peace to come to Francisco, Jacinta and Lucia in the year 1916 to prepare them for what was about to happen in 1917. They were going to be given a special mission. This is important for us to understand because each one of us has a mission that God wants us to accomplish for Him too.
What was it that God was preparing Francisco, Jacinta and Lucia for? The Queen of Heaven, our beautiful Blessed Mother, was going to come from Heaven to visit the children six times! She has some very important things to tell them.
Pray, pray very much and make sacrifices for sinners; for many souls go to Hell because there are none to sacrifice themselves and to pray for them.
Continue always to pray the Rosary every day.
Do not offend the Lord our God any more, because He is already so much offended.
Some of the very important words our Blessed Mother Mary spoke to Francisco, Jacinta and Lucia to tell all of us!
Remember how the Angel taught the children certain prayers, how to unite their sacrifices with Jesus' big Sacrifice on the Cross to help save poor sinners from going to Hell and also to adore Jesus and receive Him in Holy Communion? They were being prepared. They were going to meet Our Blessed Mother! She was going to give them a mission! Part of their mission was to tell the world that many souls are falling into Hell because so many people are not loving and obeying God. Our Lady came to tell us that we need to turn away from sin and come back to God, our Heavenly Father, through Jesus, our Savior. Mary, our Mother, wants to help us do this!
And guess what? You and me and all the kids in the world can help! We can be like little keys that help unlock all the graces that Jesus and Mary want to pour down upon our world through our prayers and little sacrifices of love!
It would take me a long time to tell you everything! about our beautiful Blessed Mother's visits with the three children in Fatima, Portugal. Last summer our parish had a Catholic Vacation Bible School about Our Lady's visits. It took us five days of Catholic Vacation Bible School to learn about everything.
I'm really excited to share my Catholic Vacation Bible School book with you here! You can use it as a "5 day retreat" with your family right away! Of course, you can share it with your Pastor and Director of Religious Education at Church and use it for your next C.V.B.S. this summer. Just click on the picture to download and print your very own copy!
Click on the picture to get your very own book!
This is a picture showing some of the 300 kids making a visit with Jesus at our "Our Lady of the Rosary" Catholic Vacation Bible School. In this picture we are telling Jesus that we love Him!
During our week together we wore matching shirts that represented the Miracle of the Sun. You will learn all about that in your book.
Just click the picture to get your very own copy!
For now, I want to tell you one of the most important things that Our Lady said. She really wants us to pray the Rosary every single day. She said "every day." It's super important! The Rosary is a very powerful spiritual weapon. It keeps the devil away. It's the chain that binds us close to Jesus and Mary. The Rosary is so important that Our Blessed Mother actually identified herself to the three children as: "Our Lady of the Rosary."
There are some really helpful Rosary videos that Catholic Kids 101 have made to help kids everywhere pray their daily Rosary decades. As a matter of fact, there is a whole section in Catholic Kids 101 called: ROSARY 4 KIDS. There you meet a great boy named Mario and he's going to tell you all kinds of amazing things about the Rosary. Be sure to check it out!
I'm Mario. Visit me at Rosary 4 Kids!
There is one more thing I want to tell you about the children. Francisco and Jacinta are now official Saints! Isn't that awesome? Are you wondering how they did it? They offered everything - their prayers, their works, their joys, their sufferings, their entire lives - to Jesus. They did everything for the love of God. They did just what Our Lady and the Angel of Peace asked them to do. We can say: "Saint Francisco and Saint Jacinta, pray for us!
This picture of Saint Jacinta was taken October 13, 1917. She is being carried from the Cova da Ira after the Miracle of the Sun. The man carrying her is a chauffeur who was hired to drive the children. However, because of the mud from the rain and the large crowd, the man ended up carrying Jacinta to and from the Cova.
Are you wondering what happened to Lucia? When Lucia grew up she had a vocation to be a Carmelite nun! She wanted everyone to know and love our beautiful Blessed Mother very much! She wanted everyone to love Jesus very much in the Most Holy Eucharist!
Before I go, I want to tell you one more thing. Some wonderful friends of Catholic Kids 101 made a great video to explain to kids everywhere about the "5 First Saturdays Devotion." This is something connected to Our Blessed Mother's visit to Fatima!