of 19 August 1917
Under the pretext of
providing his personal automobile, so that the children could travel
safely through the crowds pressing around their homes, the civil
Administrator or Mayor of the district in which Fátima was located,
arrived in Aljustrel on the morning of August 13th. A previous attempt
on August 11th to obtain the "truth" from the children
having been unsuccessful, Artur Santos, an apostate Catholic and
high Mason, had devised a scheme by which he would take them into
custody and force them to reveal all. With a show of good will he now
offered to take the three and their parents to see the parish priest,
whom he claimed wished to see them, and then to the Cova. At the
parish house he abandoned this ruse, and the parents, taking the children
alone from there to the district headquarters in Vila Nova de Ourem,
some 9 miles away. Here he tried bribes, threats of death and locking
them in a cell with other "criminals" in order to get them
to recant their story. It was to no avail. Despite their ages, their
belief in the Lady and their courage was unshakeable.
Meanwhile, in the Cova at noon
on the 13th the characteristic external signs of the Apparition
appeared for the benefit of the crowd, the greatest crowd to that
time. After they ended the crowd dispersed, as yet unaware of the
trickery of the government.
The "trial" of
the children, however, continued for two days, to the consternation of
their families. Finally, on the Feast of the Assumption, August 15,
the Administrator had them driven back to Fátima and deposited on the
steps of the rectory. Here they were seen as the people, who had just
come from Mass, were trying to determined from Ti Marto where the
children were. Their anger was poured out on the driver, and on the
Mayor when he arrived a little later, both of whom were no doubt glad
to be rid of their little charges and to escape unscathed. It would
effectively be the only serious effort of the civil authorities to
interfere with the Lady of Fátima.
As it was the Lady's plans
were delayed slightly. On Sunday the 19th Lucia, her brother John, and
Francisco, were grazing the sheep at a place known as Valinhos. It was
located on the side of the same hillock opposite Aljustrel where the
angel appeared twice, though a little farther north. At apout 4
o'clock, sensing that Our Lady was about to appear, Lucia tried
unsuccessfully to get John to fetch Jacinta, until she offered him a
couple pennies for the errand. As she and Francisco waited they saw
the characteristic light. The moment Jacinta arrived the Lady
"What do you want of me?"
Come again to the Cova da Iria on the
thirteenth of next month, my child, and continue to say the Rosary
every day. In the last month I will perform a miracle so that all
"What are we to do with the
offerings of money that people leave at the Cova da Iria?"
I want you to have two ardors
[litters to carry statues] made, for the feast of Our Lady of the
Rosary. I want you and Jacinta to carry one of them with two other
girls. You will both dress in white. And then I want Francisco, with
three boys helping him, to carry the other one. The boys, too, will
be dressed in white. What is left over will help towards the
construction of a chapel that is to be built here.
Lucia then asked for the cure of some
Some I will cure during the
(looking sadly at them) Pray, pray
very much. Make sacrifices for sinners. Many souls go to hell,
because no one is willing to help them with sacrifice.
Having said that she departed as she
had on the other occasions.