On May 13, 1917 three Portuguese children –Lucia dos Santos, Francisco and Jacinta Marto – playing at the Cova da Iria in the village of Fatima, saw a beautiful Lady which they described as being dressed in the ‘shining white of the Sun … indescribably beautiful face’. Her folded hands a rosary. The Lady told the children to return to that place every 13 months, promising to take them to heaven. She also asked them to pray the rosary for the intention of reparation of offenses against God and for the conversion of sinners. The children followed the advice.
In the third appearance, on July 13, the Lady asked the children to pray the Rosary for an end to the war and gave them a secret that consisted of three parts: the first was the vision of hell, the second referred to the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the third woman’s vision was flooded with Sun that counter-acts the forces of evil and the persecution of the Church by Governments atheists. “The good will be martyred,” said the Lady, “the Holy Father will have much to suffer and various Nations will be annihilated. Finally, my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, which will be converted, and the world will be granted a period of peace.”