In the month of July 1917, Maria Rosa persisted in her attitude of hostility and became harder and harder with regard to Lucy.
One day a man accosted her in the street with questions.
So, Maria Rosa, what do you say about the visions of your daughter?
I do not know. It seems to me that she is only a liar who deceives half the world.
Don't say that too loud! Otherwise someone might kill her. I think there are some people here who really want to do that, Maria Rosa.
Ah!, she replied, with incredible harshness. That doesn't matter much to me, as long as they oblige her to tell the truth. As for me, I must always tell the truth, even though it be against my children, against anyone, or against myself.
Years later in writing her memoirs, Sister Lucy recalled, And really, it was so. My mother always spoke the truth. Even at her own expense. We, her children, owe her the good example that she gave us.
Many a moment was spent in the house that summer, sitting on a stool under the withering gaze of Maria Rosa.
You, now, when you wish to eat, go and ask the Lady for food.
Poor mother, wrote Sister Lucy. It is only now that I understand truly the situation in which she found herself, and for that I pity her! In truth, she was right in believing me unworthy of such a favor, and for that reason she believed me to be a liar.
Through a special grace of Our Lord, I have never had the least thought, nor the slightest inclination against her ways of acting towards me. As the Angel announced to me that God would send suffering, I saw that, in all, things were as God willed them.
In reading the letters that Lucy wrote to her mother from 1921 to 1925, while boarding at the college of Vilar, near Porto, we discover in the seer, with amazement, a heart filled with a very tender and overflowing affection toward her mother. It is as if Lucy had always been treated with tenderness, not harshness, by Maria Rosa. Such virtue is surely the mark of a soul profoundly surrendered to the action of grace.
The love, esteem, and respect which I owed my mother always grew as if I had been treated with tenderness. And now I am more grateful to her for having treated me thus, rather than if she had continued to raise me with treats and caresses.
The second time the Angel appeared to Lucy, Francisco, and Jacinta, he informed them they would suffer. Our Lady's first visit revealed more of the same, you are going to have much to suffer.
Lucy's suffering continues today as she is forced to watch, in silence, as her heavenly Mother's requests are treacherously distorted and falsely promoted.