The children thoroughly enjoyed their days together playing and praying. Sometimes the girls would skip and dance in the sunshine to Francisco’s flute, and other times, Jacinta would gather wildflowers and throw the petals into the air, as she had seen the girls do in Corpus Christi processions.
Being outside so often in God’s beautiful creation gave Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta much time to ponder His goodness in their lives and to pray — especially to offer reparation, as the angel had instructed them, for those who had offended God. The children worshiped God in St. Anthony’s, their parish church, along with their families, but they also worshiped God in His “outdoor cathedral” in nature as they prayed each day. Their commitment to prayer can indeed inspire us all to praise and glorify God everywhere — not just in church.
On May 13, 1917, the young shepherds took their sheep to the grazing spot in the Cova da Iria (or Cove of Irene, which means “peace”). While the sheep happily nibbled at the grass, the cousins sat in a shady spot to eat their lunches. After rushing through a Rosary, they were just about to begin a game when the sky lit up with intensity as if by a huge bolt of lightning. Though there was no sound of…
I hope that you enjoy this excerpt from my new book Our Lady’s Message to Three Shepherd Children and the World here at Catholic Exchange!