The First Apparition of Our Lady occurred on May 13, 1917. While playing with Jacinta and Francisco on the hilltop in the Cova da Iria, suddenly we saw a flash as of lightning.
“There is a flash of lightning,” I said to my cousins… we should go home.
When we reached a large holm-oak about half way down the slope the light flashed again. Then a few paces further on, we beheld a beautiful lady dressed in white, poised over a holm-oak sapling very near us. She was more brilliant than the sun, radiating a sparkling light.
Struck with amazement, we halted before this vision. We were so near that we were bathed in the light that radiated from Her person to a distance of about three feet.
Then the Lady said:
“Do not be afraid, I will do you no harm.”
“Where are you from?” I asked.
“I am from Heaven.”
“What do you want of me?”
“I came to ask you to come here for six successive months, on the 13th day at the same hour. Later I will tell what I want. And I will return here yet a seventh time.”
“And I, shall go to Heaven?”
“Yes, you will.”
“She will go also.”
“He will go there too, but he must pray many Rosaries first.”
Then I remembered to ask about two girls who had died recently. They were friends of mine and used to come to my home to learn weaving with my eldest sister.
“Is Maria das Neves in Heaven?”
“Yes, she is.” (I think she was about sixteen years old.)
“She will be in Purgatory until the end of the world.” (It seems to me that she was between 18 and 20 years of age.)
“Do you wish to offer up to God all the sufferings He desires to send you in reparation for the sins by which He is offended, and in supplication for the conversion of sinners?”
“Yes, we do.”
“Go then, for you will have much to suffer, but the grace of God will comfort you.”
While pronouncing these last words (the grace of God…) Our Lady opened Her hands for the first time, shedding on us a light so intense that it seemed as a reflex glancing from Her hands and penetrating to the inmost recesses of our hearts, making us see ourselves in
God, Who was that Light, more clearly than we could see ourselves in a mirror. Then by an interior impulse, also communicated to us, we fell upon our knees, repeating in our hearts: “Oh most Holy Trinity, I adore Thee! My God, my God, I love Thee in the most Blessed Sacrament.”
After a few moments, Our Lady spoke again:
“Pray the Rosary every day in order to obtain peace for the world and the end of the war.”
Then She began to ascend serenely, going up towards the east. The light that surrounded Her seemed to open up a path before Her, until She finally disappeared in the immensity of space. That is why we sometimes said we saw Heaven opening.