by Paula Zwenger
One hundred years ago today a miracle occurred
amid the hills of Portugal – I wonder, have you heard
of three young children tending sheep on hillsides near their town
who witnessed our dear Lady when from heaven she came down?
An angel came before her to prepare the children’s hearts.
She then appeared five times to them – a message to impart.
She came to see the children, sweetest Mother of Our Lord.
She came to see the children for she knew that they adored
and loved their Savior very much; but sinners as we are,
we needed her to help us see we’d wandered very far
away from Him, who loves us so with love to last all days.
She came with love and remedy to help us mend our ways.
She brought Jacinta, Francesco and Lucia a sign.
A daily rosary she asked, and sacrifices fine
to mend the sorrows of her heart, Immaculate and thorned;
without a heed to what she said, dire consequence was warned.
Our Savior’s hand of justice would be tempered if we gave
attention to her message – sent for all the world to save.
The youngest two, when all began, were too young to receive
Our Eucharistic Lord, yet still they followed and believed.
They loved the Hidden Jesus while His Mother they’d attend,
enduring even glimpse of hell where sadly, some souls end.
They sacrificed their whole day long to make amends for sins;
so none would turn from loving God and all invite Him in.
The final time she came to them upon the hilltop fair
a crowd of thousands also came to witness Mary there.
The mud was thick upon the ground for rain had fallen too.
Then sun came out and dried their clothes, and danced in thousands’ view.
A miracle she said they’d see so all could know in truth
the message of Our Lady she had given to the youth.
These children loved Our Lady, they were persecuted long
but never lost their courage though their trials were dark and strong.
The youngest two would perish young. Lucia took the veil,
away to cloistered life she chose, submissive without fail.
She told the stories, as was asked by popes, about her friends,
but fame was never once her goal or means to reach an end.
“Oh my Jesus” so she taught and, “forgive us our sins”
“Save us from the fires of hell and lead all souls” again
“to heaven, especially those,” sweet Jesus, “most in need
of thy mercy” was the prayer she gave to intercede.
Now we say these special words at every decade done,
praying for salvation by the mercy of God’s Son.
Our rosary beads we deftly finger each and every day
to honor our dear Mother as she leads us on our way.
The sun will dance with certainty in our hearts, who believe;
for light of God is meant for truth and never to deceive.
Sweet Fatima, your message clear, we celebrate this day;
may faithfulness and sacrifice abide with us to stay.
Paula Zwenger is a wife, mother, and grandmother who, upon finding herself an empty nester, tried on the hat of rhyme loving writer. It fit very well. Her joy manifests completely while taking the ups and downs of life and wrangling them into poetry. She also has a passion for creating rhymed treasure hunts with a Catholic flare to celebrate the faith and learn a thing or two along the way. You can find her musings at RhymeLovingWriter.com.