Hear and Heed!

By Lisa Janusa

The definition of the word “heed” is to pay attention or be attentive.

Many people may be aware of the story of the three shepherd children in a small town called “Fatima” that were visited by the Blessed Mother in 1917, but have not heard about the angel that prepared the children for Mary’s visit. 

The oldest child, “Lucia Santos,” related the story that an angel appeared three times to her and her cousins Francisco and Jacinta Marto between April and October 1916. 

While watching the sheep in their family’s field, the children had just eaten lunch and were praying the rosary together – as was the custom throughout Portugal – when they noticed a bright light far out in the valley come towards them. Out of this light appeared a young man about 15 years of age. He said “Do not be afraid! I am the Angel of Peace. Pray with me.” 

Then, prostrating himself with his forehead to the ground, he gave the children the following prayer: “My God, I believe, I adore, I trust, and I love Thee. I beg pardon for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not trust, and do not love Thee.” 

Three times the angel repeated the prayer, “Pray thus: The Hearts of Jesus and Mary are attentive to the voice of your supplication.”

The children started to pray this prayer every day, but one day the angel suddenly appeared to them asking, “What are you doing? Pray, pray incessantly. Offer prayers and sacrifices to the Almighty.” 

Lucia asked the angel, “But how? How shall we sacrifice ourselves?” The angel answered: “In everything you do, offer a sacrifice to God to make up for the sins by which God is offended. Above all, accept and endure with submission the suffering which God will send you.” 

Soon, the children endured many hardships such as Lucia’s brother being sent off to war and her father spending all his money in the wine shops. 

These children learned at a very early age that God was very attentive to each and every offering they made. This prepared them for their encounter with Mary, the Queen of Heaven, who would entrust serious messages through them to the whole world. Messages which called for moral reform of society and mankind’s true path to peace. 

Hearing or listening to God can only make a difference if we heed or actively put these things into practice!


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