A Living Commentary on Fatima: Jacinta and Her Mission "to Save Souls"

Source: FSSPX News

Jacinta had a tender and affectionate heart.

In preparation for the Society of St. Pius X’s pilgrimage to Fatima, here is an extract from the book Fatima, A Spiritual Light for Our Times, by Fr. Karl Stehlin. The lives of the three children who saw the apparitions remain an example for each of us.

Jacinta was very different from Francisco in character and temperament. Francisco, who had a contemplative soul, was struck above all by the sadness of God and Our Lady, and he wanted to console them by prayer and sacrifice. Jacinta had a tender and affectionate heart which was seized with fright at the sight of so many souls falling into the fires of hell: “The vision of hell filled her with horror to such a degree that every penance and mortification was nothing in her eyes, if only it could prevent souls from going there. ‘Francisco, are you praying with me? We must pray a lot to save souls from hell. So many go there! So many!’”

The dominant thought which haunted her and animated all her supernatural activity was the salvation of souls. She had an ardent thirst for their conversion, a genuine missionary zeal. She looked for sacrifices to offer for “my sinners.” She renounced her favorite pastime of folk dancing for the conversion of sinners. She always made her sacrifices with this thought, a thought which was habitual for her: to suffer for sinners, to make acts of reparation in their place, to substitute herself for them, to obtain pardon for them and the grace of conversion.

“Jacinta, what are you thinking about?” – “About the war which is coming, and all the people who are going to die and go to hell! How dreadful! If they would only stop offending God, then there wouldn’t be any war, and they wouldn’t go to hell”.

“How much I love to suffer for love of Our Lord and Our Lady, just to give Them pleasure! They greatly love those who suffer for the conversion of sinners”.

The greatest sufferings for her were loneliness and especially the Our Lady’s revelation that she would die alone, far from her family. But she offered even this supreme sacrifice for the conversion of sinners. Thinking of this terrible night of loneliness deprived her of all consolation. On those occasions, she often said: “O Jesus! Now you can convert many sinners, because this is really a big sacrifice.”

“What are you going to do in Heaven?” – “I’m going to love Jesus very much, and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, too. I’m going to pray a lot for you, for sinners, for the Holy Father, for my parents and my brothers and sisters, and for all the people who have asked me to pray for them….”

When her mother seemed sad at seeing her child so ill, Jacinta used to say: “Don’t worry, mother. I’m going to Heaven, and there I’ll be praying so much for you!”

Besides prayer for sinners, the one for whom Jacinta prayed and offered sacrifice the most was the Holy Father himself. Certainly, the Great Secret must have impressed Jacinta in a very special way: not only the vision of hell, but also the second and the third part of the secret, especially in what concerned the Pope.

“…Jacinta called out to me: ‘Didn’t you see the Holy Father?’ – ‘No.’ – ‘I don’t know how it was, but I saw the Holy Father in a very big house, kneeling by a table, with his head buried in his hands, and he was weeping. Outside the house, there were many people. Some of them were throwing stones, others were cursing him and using bad language. Poor Holy Father, we must pray much for him.’”

“Another time, Jacinta called to me: ‘Can’t you see all those highways and roads full of people, who are crying with hunger and have nothing to eat? And the Holy Father in a church praying before the Immaculate Heart of Mary? And so many people praying with him?’”

Every time she offered her sacrifices to Jesus, she added: “…and for the Holy Father.”

Jacinta died alone in a hospital in Lisbon on the twentieth of February, 1920. Many people viewed her lying in the casket before her burial and they said of her: “she seemed to be alive, with her lips and cheeks a beautiful rosy color. …The girl was dead for three and a half days, and the odour she exhaled was like a bouquet of various flowers.”

To order A Spiritual Light for Our Times >