The Mystery of the Angel’s
In one particular September day, three young shepherds
pastured their sheep at a small olive grove called the Pregueira (cave) that was owned by Lucy’s family. It was situated just south of the rocky shelter where the Angel of Portugal had first appeared to them in the spring of that year. He was about to return for a third and final visit.
In her Memoirs Sister Lucy recounted:
“After our lunch, we decided to go and pray in the
hollow among the rocks on the opposite side of the hill.
“To get there, we went around the slope, and had to climb over some rocks. The sheep could only scramble over these rocks with some difficulty.”
As soon as they arrived, they knelt down with their foreheads touching the ground and began to repeat the prayer the Angel had taught them in the spring.
“My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love Thee ...”
“I don’t know, ” wrote Sister Lucy, “how many times we repeated this prayer, when an extraordinary light shone upon us.”
From overhead the Angel, holding a chalice, looked down upon the three upturned faces.
He was holding a chalice in his left hand with the Host suspended above it, from which some drops of Blood fell into the chalice.
Leaving the chalice suspended in the air, the Angel knelt down beside them and made them repeat three times this most beautiful prayer:
“Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, I adore Thee profoundly, and,
I offer Thee the Most Precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of the same Son, Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifference by which He Himself is offended. And by the infinite merits of His Most Sacred Heart, and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of Thee the conversion of poor sinners.”
Then rising, the Angel took the chalice and the Host in his hands.
He gave the sacred Host to Lucy and shared the Blood from the chalice between Jacinta and Francisco, saying as he did so, “Eat and drink the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, horribly outraged by ungrateful men! Make reparation for their crimes and console your God.”
Then once again the Angel prostrated himself on the ground and repeated with them three more times the same prayer to the Most Holy Trinity.
Francisco gazed, transfixed, through his fingers at the Angel.
The three prayed together, “Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, I adore Thee profoundly, and I offer Thee the Most Precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of the same Son, Jesus Christ ...”
Enveloped by what Sister Lucy in her Memoirs called a supernatural force, they imitated the Angel in everything he did and said.
“We remained a long time in this position repeating the same words over and over again”, Sister Lucy wrote.
It was Francisco who realized it was getting dark and drew the others’ attention to the fact that they should take their flock back home. They had been lost in prayer all afternoon. So intense was the presence of the Angel that Sister Lucy would write: “I felt that God was in me.”
The three children were enraptured. From that moment on they began to offer to God everything that mortified them, but without looking to impose particular penances on themselves, except to pass entire hours prostrate on the ground repeating the prayer the Angel taught them.
“These words were indelibly impressed upon our minds.
They were like a light which made us understand who God is, how He loves us and desires to be loved, the value of sacrifice, how pleasing it is to Him and how, on account of it, He gives the grace of conversion to sinners.”
It is possible to see in this communion given by the Angel, a
confirmation by Heaven itself of Pope Saint Pius X’s decree Quam Singulari Christus, published August 8,
1910, which encouraged priests to give Communion to children at the age of reason, as early as age six, or most commonly set at seven. Lucy dos Santos had already received First Holy Communion in her parish church at six, thanks
to this decree.
Still moved by a special grace,
they kept the visits of the Angel to themselves. It would take a very special grace for children of such a tender age not to reveal to their parents how they received Holy Communion.