Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Characters and settings

Characters (in order of appearance):
Mother Superior
Sister 1
Sister 2
Sister Lucia
Sister Henrietta
Lucia dos Santos
Lucia’s 3 companions
Francisco Marto
Jacinta Marto
Angel of Portugal
Pope Benedict XV
Our Lady of Fatima
Mr. Marto (Ti)
Mrs. Marto (Olimpia)
Joano Marto
Mr. dos Santos (Antonio)
Mrs. dos Santos (Maria Rosa)
Maria dos Santos
Mrs. Gomes
Mr. do Varmo
Mrs. do Varmo
Mr. Carriera
Mrs. Carreira
Joano Carreira
Carreira children
Manuel Gonçalves
Priest’s secretary
Father Ferreira
The Tinsmith (Artur de Oliveira Santos)
Adelina Santos
Victor Santos
Liberty Santos
Msgr. Riveiro
Avelino de Almeida
Holy Family
Our Lady of Sorrows
Sacred Heart
O.L. of Mt. Carmel

• Coimbra: refectory
• Coimbra: Recreation room. .
• Adjustrel: the dos Santos home
• Adjustrel: the Marto home
• Adjustrel: the well
• Cabeço: the cave at the Cabeço hill
• Adjustrel: on the street
• Fatima: on the street
• Fatima: the Cova da Iria
• Fatima: Fr. Ferreira’s office
• Rome: the Papal office
• Ourem: the Tinsmith’s office
• Ourem: jail
• Open fields – no sheep
• Open fiels – with sheep

Scene 1

Setting: refectory

Mother Superior
Sister 1
Sister 2
Sister waitress
Lots of female voices

(Head table, with 3 sisters and Mother Superior in the middle, has been cleared, except for a water glass for one of the Sisters, still partially full. There is a Cross facing away from the Sisters at table in the middle. There is also a small bell at table. Sister 1 looks at her watch and leans toward M.S. Reader 1 continues to read. M.S. reaches for the bell and rings it. The reader stops immediately.)

The three get up. The sound of chairs rubbing across the floor is heard. There should be many female voices responding with M.S., including Sisters 1&2.

M.S.: (Making the Sign of the Cross, as are the 2 Sisters). In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. We give You thanks, Almighty God, for all Your benefits, Who lives and reigns, forever and ever.

All: Amen.

MS: Let us bless the Lord.

All: Thanks be to God.

MS: May the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

All: Amen.

(There is some slight rustling of chairs but no talking. MS rings the bell, followed by silence.)

MS: Dear Sisters, in honor of the Feast day of Our Holy Mother, St. Teresa of Jesus, immediately following the after-meal clean-up, we will have recreation for two hours, until Vespers. You will be allowed to speak freely during that time.

Sisters: (not together) Thank you, Mother Superior.

Scene 2

Setting: Recreation room

Sister Lucia
Sister Henrietta

(There are two chairs in a corner. Between the chairs is a small table, with a lamp, flowers, and statue on it. A ball of yarn is in the empty chair. A nun in a postulant habit (Sister Henrietta), is doing some knitting. The shuffling and wheezing of an aged Sister Lucia is heard. Sr. H, upon hearing, looks out the corner of her eye. She perks up when she realizes it’s Sister Lucia, and looks over and puts the yarn beside her and resumes the knitting. Sister Lucia walks with some difficulty past her to the other chair. Sr. Henrietta stops knitting and looks up at Sr. Lucia and breaks into a big smile until she sits down, in obvious admiration.)

Sr. L: (after taking a moment to collect her breath) Praised be Jesus Christ!

Sr. H: Praise Him forever. Happy Feast Day, Sister Lucia!

Sr. L: Happy Feast Day, Sister Hermia!

Sr. H: Henrietta.

Sr. L: What?

Sr. H: My name’s Henrietta, Sister.

Sr. L: Oh, yes, of course. Excuse me, Sister. Tell me, how are things going with you, good Sister?

Sr. H: Very well, thank you, Sister.

Sr. L: Do you think you will persevere in your vocation, Sister Hedwig?

Sr. H: Henrietta, Sister.

Sr. L: Yes, of course.

Sr. H: Only with the grace of God, Sister. But I am enjoying the religious life very much.

Sr. L: Yes, it is a great grace to be a Bride of Christ. Pray much for vocations, especially your own.

Sr. H: Sister Lucia?

Sr. L: Yes?

Sr. H: Tell me about the time Our Lady came to see you.

Sr. L: (sadly) Well, you need to get permission, first.

Sr. H: (seriously) Not about the Secret, Sister. What happened at the Cova?

Sr. L: I guess I can… Well, it wasn’t just the Cova.

Sr. H: No?

Sr. L: No. Two years before, I was at the Cabeço. My cousins did not yet go with me.

Scene 3

Setting: the Cabeço

Angel of Portugal
3 companions

Lucia and companions shepherd their flocks. Lucia turns to her companions, as if to say something. They nod, pull Rosaries out of their pockets, and kneel down. The Angel stands on the top of the hill, with his hands tucked inside his robe. Lucia shakes herself as they get up. One companion comes up to her and talks to her. Lucy just shrugs her shoulders.)

Sr.L: (off screen) I had other companions with me at that time. It was around midday. After we ate lunch, I invited my friends to pray the Rosary with me. They were quite happy to do it. We had hardly begun to pray, when we saw a figure. It looked like snow statue, rendered almost transparent by the sun. We went on praying, with our eyes fixed on the figure before us. And as we finished our prayer, the figure vanished. My companions were quite frightened and asked me what it was. I didn’t know.

Scene 4


Sr. L: I didn’t tell anyone, but my companions did. One day my mother asked me what I saw, and I told her.

Sr. H: Did she believe you, Sister?

Sr. L: (laughs) Would you, Sister Helena?

Sr. H: Henrietta, Sister.

Sr. L: Henrietta. Sorry. No, she just called it childish nonsense, and told me never to speak about it again, as I was quite happy not to do.

Sr. H: Was that to prepare you for the Blessed Mother, Sister?

Sr. L: No, it was to prepare me to meet that figure the next year.

Sr. H: (interest piqued) Really?

Sr. L: Oh, yes, Sister. It was the next spring. My cousins Jacinta and Francisco were with me.

Scene 5

Setting: the Cabeco

Angel of Portugal

(Three shepherd children are tending sheep. Francisco is singing over and over again “Ave, Ave, Ave Maria” like from Immaculate Mary. Jacinta and Lucia are half-heartedly playing, while keeping the sheep in line while all three walk.)

Sr. L: (off camera) I was watching sheep with my cousins. I was nine years old at the time, Francisco was seven, and Jacinta was only six. We moved the sheep to a small hill called the Cabeço.

(After about twenty seconds, Lucia and Jacinta stop playing and watch the sheep in earnest as they walk. At the cue:)

Lucia: Francisco, will you stop! You’re driving me crazy!

Francisco: (a little dejected) Oh, all right.

Jacinta: (correcting her) Lucia! What would your mother say if she heard you stop someone from singing to Our Lady?

Lucia: (After a while) I’m sorry, Francisco, keep on singing.

Francisco: That’s all right, Lucia, I don’t feel like singing any more.

Lucia: (After a while, singing) Ave, Ave, Ave Maria.

Francisco: It’s almost time for lunch.

Lucia: We can eat our lunches when we get to the other side of the hill.

(Francisco nods and Jacinta says nothing. Then a thunderclap.)

Lucia: Uh-oh, it looks like it’s going to rain.

Francisco: I told you we should have brought our umbrellas.


Lucia: Where are we going to hide around here?

(It’s still raining. There is a small tree in the foreground, and the children are in the background. Francisco points to the tree.)

Francisco: What about under this tree?

(The children go underneath the tree, but still get wet. Jacinta starts to cry loudly.)

Jacinta: I’m wet.

Lucia: This is no good. Look around.

(From another angle, you can see a cave in a short distance.

Francisco: (Pointing to a cave) Look! A cave!

(The children run to the cave. Lucia holding Jacinta’s hand, Jacinta still crying. There isn’t much room. They are sopping wet, and still clutching their lunches. Francisco is looking around.)

Francisco: This should do for now.

Lucia: We should probably eat our lunches now. (All make the Sign of the Cross) Bless us

All: O Lord, and these your gifts we are about to receive from your bounty, through Christ, Our Lord. Amen.

(They start to eat their sandwiches.)

Lucia: (after a few seconds) All better now, Jacinta?

(Jacinta nods her head without looking up or stopping eating)

Francisco: Listen, the rain stopped!

Lucia: (poking her head out) The sun’s back out. We should pray our Rosary now. (Children come out. They kneel and pull out Rosaries from their pockets.) We’ll do the short version.

Lucia: (Hurrying to get it over with) I believe.
Francisco & Jacinta: I believe.
Lucia: Our Father.
F & L: Our Father.
Lucia: Hail Mary.
F & L: Hail Mary.
Lucia: Hail Mary.
F & L: Hail Mary.
Lucia: Hail Mary.
F & L: Hail Mary.
Lucia: Glory be.
F&L: Glory be.
Lucia: (right away tags Francisco) You’re it!

(the children play tag and giggle. The Angel comes in the distance. The children make Jacinta “it” and approach the Angel. Lucia and Francisco stop in their tracks when they see the Angel.)

Sr. Lucia (offscreen): We spent much of the day there. Then a strong wind blew and we saw a figure approaching us.

(Francisco and Lucia stand with their mouths gaping open. Jacinta, giggling, tags one of them. And runs off.)

Jacinta: You’re it.

(Jacinta turns, takes a couple of steps, and realizes no one’s playing anymore. Finally she sees the Angel and stands with her mouth wide open.)

Angel: Don’t fear! I am the Angel of Peace. Pray with me.

(The Angel turns away from the camera reverently on his knees, hands, and forehead, facing away from the children; the children imitate him immediately)

Angel : (alone) My God, I believe in you, I adore you, I hope in you, and I love you. I ask pardon for all those who do not believe in you, do not adore you, do not hope in you, and do not love you.

(The shot is of the children prostate. The girls pray with him starting the second time, Jacinta flubbing the words at first. Francisco only comes in the third time.)

Angel and children: My God, I believe in you, I adore you, I hope in you, and I love you. I ask pardon for all those who do not believe in you, do not adore you, do not hope in you, and do not love you.

(The Angel gets up, and the children remain kneeling, but upright)

Angel: Pray in this way. The Hearts of Jesus and Mary are attentive to the voice of your supplications.

(The children again prostrate and recite the prayer two more times, as the Angel walks off. The children go through the prayer a couple of times, gradually get up, look at each other and walk off slowly.)

Sr. L: (off screen.) The supernatural atmosphere was so intense, that for a long moment, we barely realized our own existence. We remained for several hours in that position, always reciting that same prayer. The presence of God made itself felt so intensely and intimately that we didn’t even dare to speak among ourselves.

Scene 6


Sr. L: It didn’t dissipate until the next day, and it was very slowly at that.

Sr. H: What a great grace, Sister!

Sr. L: Ah, if only we could persevere! By that summer, we had so dissipated that the Angel had to come a second time.