Off went the trio with joyful hearts, this time accompanied by Olympia and her husband. The noise of the apparitions had gone all through the countryside and had drawn from four to five thousand persons to the Cove. They made their way with difficulty to the young oak tree.
As usual, the Lady was preceded by the lightning flash, and appeared in a bright glow of light. This time, the crowd noticed the sun lose its brilliance, and a beautiful white cloud enveloped the oak and the children. Tremendously moved, the people sank to their knees and began to pray.
Poor Lucy did not speak ~ she was ashamed of having doubted. But the Lady none the less looked upon her with tenderness.
~ "Go on, speak to her" prompted Jacinta. "See! She is waiting for you."
So Lucy, haltingly, humbly spoke . . . and the Lady smilingly replied.
Again she reminded them to say the rosary devoutly every day, asking that they do so to obtain the end of the war (1914-1918). Again also she asked them to multiply their sacrifices for the conversion of sinners.
~ Say this prayer often when offering a sacrifice: O Jesus, it is for love of Thee, for the conversion of sinners and to make reparation for the offense done to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Once more she promised to reveal her name in October. And she added:
~ "I WILL WORK A GREAT MIRACLE THEN SO THAT ALL THE WORLD MAY BELIEVE YOU."
Then, a third time she parted her hands and this time they saw a terrible vision. The earth resembled a great sea of fire. They saw immersed in it demons and men, the former black, loathsome shapes, the latter red and transparent like hot embers. They shot into the air and fell back into the fiery sea, howling. It was unbearable. The children understood that it was to incite them to greater efforts for the saving of sinners but had they not been strengthened by the assurance that they were going to Heaven, they felt as if they would have died of terror. They looked at the Lady appealingly. The vision which had only lasted an instant faded. Their heavenly visitor spoke with her usual accents of tenderness, but her visage was sad:
~"You have seen hell, where the souls of sinners go. To bring them instead to Heaven, God wishes that the world turn itself devoutly to my Immaculate Heart. If they do what I tell you, many souls will be saved, and there will be peace. The war is going to end, but if they do not cease to offend God, during the reign of the next Pope, there will be another worse . . .
"To prevent this, I shall come to ask for the consecration of the world to my Immaculate Heart, and communion of reparation on the first Saturday of every month.
"If my demands are listened to, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace. If not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, provoking wars and persecutions against the Church; many of the good will be martyred, and the Holy Father will have much to suffer; several nations shall be destroyed . . .
"But at last my Immaculate Heart shall triumph . . . the consecration shall take place . . . Ruussia shall be converted, and a time of peace shall be given to the world."
The Lady told Lucy other things too, but bound her to secrecy in regard to them. Only Francis was to be told of these grave matters immediately. It was only many years later that Lucy was permitted to reveal some things, namely the vision of hell, foretelling of the world war, of famine and pestilence. The rest is still secret. But it is believed that the Vision prophesied the fulfillment of the promise of the angel that Portugal would be spared the horrors of war if the children prayed and did penance.
These solemn revelations were terminated by a request:
~ "When you recite the rosary, say at the end of each decade: O my Jesus, pardon us our sins, preserve us from the fires of Hell, and bring to Heaven all souls, especially those who have the greatest need of your mercy."