CHAPTER 11 - TO THE RESCUE OF SINNERS



Jacinta carried back the branch on which the Lady had placed her feet. Passing by Lucy's house, she called to her mother:
~ "See, Auntie, the Lady has been! She was on this branch."
~ "Little fibbers! Why do you pretend that you see the Holy Virgin?"
~ "But yes! We saw her! See, Aunt, she had one foot here, and the other there."

Maria Rosa snatched the branch from her. The moment it was in her hands, an odor as of the most exquisite perfume came from the leaves and filled the nostrils, not only of Lucy's mother, but of other persons standing about. The perplexed woman had already been shaken in her skepticism by the accounts of numerous witnesses of the events at the Cova six days before, when the children were detained at Orem. She became exceedingly thoughtful, and from then on, she and the rest of the family softened in their attitude towards Lucy.

The children multiplied their voluntary sufferings and acts of denial, spurred on by the latest appeal of the Lady.

Jacinta found a whip, and made her little body smart with it. The other followed suit. Another day, they found a long piece of rope. The idea struck them for each to tie a length about their waists and the roughness was soon chaffing their flesh unmercifully. Jacinta sept ~ but stayed with it ~ somewhere sinners would be turning from their vices.

Their throats were parked with thirst on a day of torrid heat when they were out with the sheepP they refrained from drinking until they reached home. They consoled themselves with the thought of the sinners who would be refreshed.

Once on their way to pasture, they met three poor children begging and in rags. They gave them their lunch. After that the beggar children were always waiting for them in the road. So they spent the day without food. When the pangs of hunger grew keen they nourished themselves with the thought of the consolation they were giving to their Heavenly Mother and of the guilty men abandoning their crimes to come to the Bread of Life.

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