The apparitions of the Angel of the Peace in 1916 are a prelude and a divine preparation to Our Lady’s Apparitions of 1917 in Fatima.
The story of Fatima really begins in the year 1916 when 3 children—Lucy, a girl of 9, Francisco, a boy of 8, and Jacinta, a little girl of 6 years old received the visit of an Angel went out into the valley of the Cova da Iria near the village of Fatima in Portugal. This was a day like so many others in which the children had taken their parents’ sheep out to graze. On this particular day early in the spring of 1916, rain began to fall, and the children hurried up the side of the hill to the south of the valley to a little natural cave, called the Cabeco. There they finished playing their games, ate their lunches, and, as was the custom all over Portugal, knelt down to say the rosary together.
The Angel of Peace
Before they had finished the rosary they felt a strong wind and, looking about, noticed a strange light far out over the valley. As they watched, that light came closer and closer to the place where they were kneeling, until finally, it came to the very entrance of the little cave. There the light took the form of a young man about 15 years of age. “Do not be afraid! I am the Angel of Peace. Pray with me.”
Then, prostrating himself with his forehead touching the ground, he gave the children the following prayer:
” My God, I believe; I adore; I trust, and I love Thee. I beg pardon for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not trust, and do not love Thee.”
Three times the Angel repeated that prayer. “Pray thus,” said the departing Angel. “The Hearts of Jesus and Mary are attentive to the voice of your supplication.”
Twice more in that summer of 1916 the Angel visited the children. The second time he came as they were playing near the old well behind Lucy’s home. All of a sudden, without any warning, he appeared, asking, “What are you doing? Pray, pray incessantly. Offer prayers and sacrifices to the Almighty.” Lucy, puzzled by these words, made bold to ask, “But how? How shall we sacrifice ourselves?” To which the Angel answered:
“In everything you do, offer a sacrifice to God to make up for the sins by which God is offended… Above all, accept and endure with submission the suffering which God will send you.”
Later on that day out in the valley, the girls explained this to Francisco, who had seen the Angel but could not hear his voice. “But how can we suffer?” said Francisco. “We’re not sick. We have enough to eat, and a place to live.”
But he soon knew its meaning when his oldest brother went to join the armies fighting World War I. Even little Jacinta, depressed by the worry at home and the stories of death on the battlefield, as well as the trouble that had come to Lucy’s family when her father began to spend all his money in the wine shops, would stretch out her little arms and cry out, “Lord, we offer Thee all these sufferings for the conversion of poor sinners.”
Toward the end of the summer, the Angel came to them while they were praying in that spot at the Cabeco. In his hand he held a chalice, and over it, a bleeding Host. Kneeling, he offered the heart-stirring 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 our Lord Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges, and indifferences by which He is offended. 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 giving the Host to Lucy, and the contents of the chalice to Francisco and Jacinta, he said:
“Take and drink the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, horribly outraged by ungrateful men. Make reparation for their crimes and console your God.”
It was the last time the children saw the Angel of Peace.
Nothing more happened in the “routine” days that followed. Summer passed, winter came, spring with its new life, and all the time the children harbored the hope that the Creature of Light might return to them.