In the spring of 1916, three shepherd children, LUCIA DOS SANTOS, aged ten, JACINTA MARTO, aged seven, and her brother FRANCISCO MARTO, aged nine, saw an Angel while they were tending their family’s flock of sheep near their home, at a place called “Loca do Cabeço”. After having lunch and saying their prayers, the three little children saw a light above the trees that stretched away towards the east, whiter than snow, in the form of a young man, transparent, and brighter than crystal pierced by the rays of the sun. The Angel identified himself as the Angel of Peace and told the children to pray to Jesus and Mary, in saying the following words: “My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love you! I ask pardon of You for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope and do not love You!”
The second apparition of the Angel took place at the height of summer. The three little Shepherds spend the siesta hours in the shade of the trees when, suddenly, the same Angel appeared again with the message that prayer and sacrifice would bring peace to their country: “Pray! Pray very much! The Hearts of Jesus and Mary have designs of mercy on you. Offer prayers and sacrifices constantly to the Most High. Make of everything you can a sacrifice, and offer it to God as an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended, and in supplication for the conversion of sinners. You will thus draw down peace upon your country. I am its Angel Guardian, the Angel of Portugal. Above all, accept and bear with submission, the suffering which the Lord will send you”. These words impressed deeply the three children. They were like a light which made them understand who God is, his love, the value of sacrifice and the grace of conversion to sinners. From then on, Lucia, Jacinta and Francisco began to offer to the Lord all that mortified them.
The third apparition of the Angel must have been in October or in the end of September. The three little Shepherds were praying the Rosary when the Angel appeared, holding a chalice in his hands, with a Hast above it from which some drops of Blood were falling into the sacred vessel. Leaving the Chalice and the Host suspended in the air, the Angel prostrated himself on the ground and repeated three times the following prayer: “Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I adore You profoundly, and I offer You the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifference with which He Himself is offended. And, through the infinite merits of his most sacred Heart, and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of You the conversion of poor sinners”. Then, rising, he once more took the chalice and the Host in his hands. He gave the Host to Lucia, and to Jacinta and Francisco he gave the Contents of the chalice to drink, saying as he did so: “Take and drink the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, horribly outraged by ungrateful men. Repair their crimes and console your God”. Once again, he prostrated himself on the ground and repeated with the little Shepherds three times more the same prayer “Most Holy Trinity…”. Then he disappeared.