Statue marks Our Lady’s appearance in Valinhos
August 19, 1917
Our Lady of Fatima’s Visitation at Valinhos
Compiled by Catholic Family News
In a feeble effort to put an end to the supernatural happenings of Fatima, the anti-clerical Mayor of Ourem virtually kidnapped the children and placed them in jail. Thus the children could not be at the Cova da Iria for Our Lady’s visitation of August 13. The Mayor’s plan failed. He could not destroy the resolve of the children, could not make them deny the truth of Our Lady’s appearances despite threats of death, nor he could break their spirit. The children were soon released.
The following Sunday, August 19, Lucia was tending her flock with Francisco and his brother John on the property of one of Lucia’s uncles. Jacinta was not with them. She was receiving a treatment of lice she had picked up in the public jail. The property known as Valinhos was in the immediate vicinity of Aljustrel. Lucia recalled:
“We felt something supernatural approaching and enveloping us. Suspecting that Our Lady was about to appear to us, and feeling sorry lest Jacinta might miss seeing Her, we asked her brother to go and call her. As he was unwilling to go, I offered him two small coins and off he ran.”
“Meanwhile, Francisco and I saw the flash of light, which we called lightening. Jacinta arrived, and a moment later we saw Our Lady on a holm oak tree.”
“What do you want of me?”
“I want you to to continue going to the Cova da Iria on the 13th, and to continue praying the Rosary every day. In the last month, I will perform a miracle so that all may believe. If you had not been taken away to the city [thrown in jail] the miracle would have been even greater. St. Joseph will come with the Child Jesus, to give peace to the world. Our Lord will come to bless the people. Our Lady of the Rosary and Our Lady of Sorrows will also come.”
“What do You want done with the money that the people leave in the Cov da Iria?”
“Have two litters made. One is to be carred by you and Jacinta and two other girls dressed in white; the other is to be carried by Francisco and three other boys. The money from the litters is for the festa of Our Lady of the Rosary, and what is left over will elp towards the construction of a hapel that is to be built here.
“I would like to ask You to cure some sick persons.”
“Yes I will cure some of the during the year.”
“Then, looking very sad, Our Lady said: ‘Pray, pray very much, and make sacrifices for sinners; for many souls go to hell, because there are none to sacrifice themselves and pray for them.’
“And She began to ascend as usual toward the East.”
On this day, Jacinta cut from the tree the branch on which the Lady’s white mantle had touched. While the children were returning from Valhinos, they encountered Lucia’s mother and Maria dos Anjos. Jacinta, all excited, ran up to Lucia’s mother exclaiming they had seen Our Lady at Valhinos. Lucia’s mother, who at this point still did not believe in the visions, exclaimed, “Will these lies never end?”
Jacinta responded, “But we saw here”, and then held forth the branch she was holding in her hands. “Look, Ant, please – this is where the other foot was.”
Upon examining the branch, Lucia’s mother asked in surprise,, “What smell is this? It is very lovely. What could it be?”
The encounter with mysterious aroma turned out to be the beginning of Lucia’s mother changing her mind about the truth of the apparitions.
Years later, Lucia’s mother, speaking in the third person, said the following at a 1923 canonical inquiry: “The mother took the branch and noticed that it smelled very nice. The smell could not be compared with any other smell. She was an unbeliever [in Fatima] but was slightly shaken and became slightly more convinced.”