Fourth Apparition

On the following Sunday, the 19th of August, the children went as usual to the Cova da Iria after Mass. There they said the Rosary, then returned to Aljustrel. After lunch, Lúcia left with Francisco and his elder brother John. The three of them went to a place called Valinhos, not far away, where they intended to spend the afternoon.

The afternoon passed quickly, but towards four o’clock, Lúcia became aware of the signs that always came immediately before the apparitions of Our Lady: the sudden cooling of the air, the paling of the sun, and the typical flash. The children had already been having a wonderful feeling that they were going to experience the supernatural again. Now Our Lady was about to come and Jacinta was not there! Lúcia called out to John, "Go quickly and get Jacinta, Our Lady is coming!"

The boy did not want to go. He too wanted to see Our Lady. "Go fast," Lúcia insisted, "and I will give you four pennies, if you bring Jacinta back with you. Here’s two now and I’ll keep the other two for you when you return."

John took the pennies and started running home. When he reached his house, he called in, "Mother, mother, Lúcia wants Jacinta!"

"Aren’t the three of you enough for your games? Can’t you leave her alone for a minute?" the mother answered back.

"Let her come, little mother, they want her there now. See, Lúcia gave me two pennies to make sure I would bring her."

Two pennies! Back then, that was a lot of money for little children to give away so easily. "What does she want Jacinta for now?"

John, wriggling like an eel, burst out "Because Lúcia has already seen the signs in the skies and she wants Jacinta there in a hurry."

"God be with you; Jacinta is at her god-mother’s house." His mother replied.

John bolted off to get her. There, he whispered the news to Jacinta, and together, hand in hand, they raced over to Valinhos so as not to miss Our Lady. Just as John and Jacinta reached the field, a second flash rent the air. A few moments later, the shining Lady appeared over a holmoak, a slightly taller tree than that at the Cova da Iria. The Lady was rewarding the children for having been so faithful to Her.

"What do You want of me?" Lúcia asked.

"I want you to continue to come to the Cova da Iria on the thirteenth and to continue to say the Rosary every day."

Lúcia then told Our Lady how grieved she was that so many people did not believe in the reality of Her presence. She asked Our Lady if She would be willing to perform a miracle that all might see and believe.

"Yes," Our Lady answered, "In the last month, in October, I shall perform a miracle so that all may believe in my apparitions. If they had not taken you to the village, the miracle would have been greater. Saint Joseph will come with the Baby Jesus to give peace to the world. Our Lord also will come to bless the people. Besides, Our Lady of the Rosary and Our Lady of Sorrows will come."

Lúcia remembered Senhora da Capalinha’s request and said: "What do You wish us to do with the money and the offerings that the people leave at the Cova da Iria?"

"Two stretchers should be made; you and Jacinta are to carry one, with two other girls dressed in white; Francisco is to carry the other, with three boys also dressed in white robes. The money placed on the stretchers is for the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary."

Lúcia then spoke to Our Lady about the sick whom the people had asked her to pray for.

"Yes, I shall cure some of them within the year." But She went on teaching them to pray for the health of souls rather than of bodies, "Pray! Pray a great deal and make sacrifices for sinners, for many souls go to hell for not having someone to pray and make sacrifices for them."

The Lady took leave of Her little friends and began to rise towards the East, as before. John was disappointed. He tried hard to see Our Lady but had seen nothing. However, he heard something like the hissing of a rocket, when Lúcia said, "Jacinta, see Our Lady is going away." It gave John small consolation.

The three children broke off the small branch which the robe of Our Lady had touched. John and Lúcia stayed at Valinhos with the sheep, while Francisco and Jacinta rushed home with the precious branch to tell their parents of the unexpected visit of Our Lady.

As they passed Lúcia’s house, her mother and sister were at the door with some neighbors.

"Aunt Maria Rosa," Jacinta cried out with joy, "We saw Our Lady again! It was at Valinhos!"

"My, what little liars you turned out to be! As if Our Lady would appear to you wherever you go!"

"But we did see Her," Jacinta insisted, "See here, Our Lady had one foot on this twig and the other on that one."

"Give it to me. Let me see."

Jacinta gave the branch to Lúcia’s mother. The mother’s face showed great surprise as she put the branch to her nose. "What does this smell of?" she exclaimed, continuing to smell it. "It is not perfume, it’s not incense nor perfumed soap; it’s not the smell of roses nor anything I know, but it is a good smell." The whole family gathered and each wanted to hold the branch and smell the beautiful fragrance. "Leave it here, Jacinta. Someone will come along who will be able to tell what kind of a smell it is."

From that moment, Lúcia’s mother and her whole family began to modify their opposition towards the apparitions. Jacinta then took the branch and hurried home to show it to her own mother and father. Ti Marto tells of the occasion in his own words.

"I had taken a round of my properties on that day. After sunset, as I was drawing near my house, a friend of mine met me and said, ‘Ti Marto, the miracle is becoming clearer.’

" ‘What do you mean?’ I said, not knowing anything about the apparition at Valinhos or the branch.

" ‘You know, Our Lady appeared again, just a little while ago, to your children and Lúcia at Valinhos. You can believe it is true. I want to tell you that your Jacinta has something special. She had not gone with the others and a boy came to call her. Our Lady did not appear until she arrived!’

"I shrugged my shoulders. I didn’t know what to answer, but I was thinking about what my friend said as I reached the yard of my house. My wife was not at home. I went into the kitchen and sat down. Jacinta came right in with a big smile on her face and a little branch in her hand.

‘Look, father, Our Lady appeared to us again at Valinhos!’

"As she came in I sensed a magnificent fragrance which I could not explain. I stretched out my hands towards the branch, saying, ‘What are you bringing in, Jacinta?’

" ‘It is the little branch on which Our Lady placed Her feet.’

"I smelled it but the aroma had gone."

Our Lady did not have to perform a miracle to prove Her case to him.

Lucia’s sister, Teresa, and her husband were coming into the village of Fatima on the day Our Lady appeared at Valinhos. The two of them noticed the cooling of the air, the paling of the sun, and the pattern of different colors over everything, the same as happened at the Cova da Iria six days previous, when the children were prevented from going to the Cova because of their arrest and imprisonment. They witnessed these marvels at the very hour when Our Lady appeared at Valinhos.