Apparitions The apparitions of Our Lady to the three shepherds were preceded by three other apparitions during the spring and summer of 1916 of the Angel of Portugal. This is how he identified himself during his second apparition to the visionaries.
The vision of the Angel was understood by the three shepherds as a preparation for the meetings that they would have with Our Lady the following year. In these apparitions, the Angel of Portugal asked Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta to pray and make sacrifices. This request would be constant in all the apparitions.
On May 13, 1917, in addition to asking the three shepherds to come to that place (Cova da Iria) every thirteenth day of the month, for six consecutive months, at the same time, Our Lady requested that the three children pray the Rosary every day so that the world could have peace, in reference to the First World War, which would come to an end the following year, in 1918.
In the second apparition in June, this time accompanied by around 50 curious neighbors, the three shepherds received a new request: Our Lady asked that they continue to pray the Rosary and also to learn how to read and write. It is also during the second apparition of the Virgin that the seers learn that that Francisco and Jacinta are to have a short life. In addition, Our Lady makes it known to Lucia what her mission is to be: to make Our Lady known to the world and to establish the devotion to Her Immaculate Heart.
About 5,000 people joined the three shepherds in Cova da Iria on July 13. In the third apparition, the vision of hell deeply impresses the three children. Our Lady tells them that the war will end, but warns that a new conflict will begin during the pontificate of Pius XI (1857-1939), if humanity continues to offend God. As a way to avoid this war, Our Lady advances that She will come to Fatima to request both the consecration of Russia to Her Immaculate Heart as well as restorative communion on the first Saturdays, with the promise of converting Russia. Our Lady again speaks about the Rosary, asking them to pray it in honor of Our Lady of the Rosary. She promises a miracle in October, at which time She shall reveal who She is.
The number of believers and curious onlookers increases and on August 13, when the fourth apparition was to take place, thousands of people (about 18,000 according to some documents on the events of 1917) gather in the Cova da Iria. On that day however, the little shepherds were not there because they had been taken to Ourem to be questioned and that is where they were kept until the 15th.
It is on August 19 that the fourth apparition of Our Lady takes place, but this time in Valinhos, where the little shepherds were alone. The requests of the Virgin to the little seers were that a chapel be built in the Cova da Iria and that they pray for the sinners.
On September 13 a new announcement: in October they would see Our Lord, Our Lady of Sorrows, Our Lady of Mount Carmel and St. Joseph with the Baby Jesus. They would bestow a blessing on the World.
The promise of a miracle attracts about 70,000 people to the Cova da Iria on October 13, the day that the three children are to be told who this Lady is: "What do you want of me? "I want to tell you to build a chapel here in My honor, that I am the Lady of the Rosary and that you must continue to pray the Rosary every day. The war will end [today still ] and the military shall soon return to their homes. "
After revealing who She is and reinforcing the request for a chapel to be built there in her honor, Our Lady fulfills the promise that She made during the apparition of June: the miracle of the sun.After having rained torrentially, the sun burst through the sky, twirling in zigzag movements, with multicolored lights. The accounts of the time also refer to several miracle cures among those present.