Description On Sunday, 13 May 1917, ten year old Lcia Santos and her younger cousins, siblings Jacinta and Francisco Marto, were tending sheep at a location known as the Cova da Iria near their home village of Ftima in Portugal. Lcia described seeing a woman 'brighter than the sun, shedding rays of light clearer and stronger than a crystal ball filled with the most sparkling water and pierced by the burning rays of the sun.' Further appearances are reported to have taken place on the thirteenth day of the month in June and July. In these, the woman exhorted the children to do penance and to make sacrifices to save sinners. The children subsequently wore tight cords around their waists to cause pain, abstained from drinking water on hot days, and performed other works of penance. Most importantly, Lcia said that the lady had asked them to pray the rosary every day, repeating many times that the rosary was the key to personal and world peace. This had particular resonance since many Portuguese men, including relatives of the visionaries, were then fighting in World War I. According to Lcia's account, in the course of her appearances, the woman confided to the children three secrets, now known as the Three Secrets of Ftima.
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