Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Scene 18

Setting: The Cova

Our Lady
Maria Rosa
Mrs. Gomes
Maria Carreira
Mr. Carreira
Joano Carreira
3 Carreira children
small crowd

Sr. L: (off camera) It was the Feast of St. Anthony of Padua, the patron Saint of Portugal at the time, and of our parish. My mother and sisters said I wouldn’t go to the Cova, because they knew how much I loved a festival. Jacinta’s parents were away buying oxen, but my mother resolved to wait for us at the Cova.

Maria Rosa: (looking around nervously) I’ll hide here and wait to see what happens. (A few villagers show up, including Mrs. Gomes. MR hides behind bushes so as to not be seen.)

Mrs. G: Honest to goodness, that’s what she said.

Manuel: Really?

Mrs. G: Oh, yes. Cross my heart, Manuel. I wonder if Mrs. dos Santos is the one putting such a thing into their heads.

Manuel: Well, even if she isn’t from heaven, it would be worthwhile if it gets Catholics together to pray.

(more villagers walk by.)

Maria Rosa: Oh, my! There must be at least thirty people here waiting to see the Lady! If nothing happens, I’ll be the laughingstock of the village! Perhaps if I can just sneak past the… (looks both ways and zips off.)

(Mr. Carreira gathers the children to himself, Mrs. Carreira gets her purse ready. Joano is crippled.)

Mr. Carreira: Maria, don’t be a fool! Do you really think you’re going to see her?

Mrs. Carreira: If there was a rumor that the King of Portugal was passing by here, you would come here, wouldn’t you? So why should we ignore the Queen of Heaven?

Mr. Carreira: (turning away, emphatic) You’re a fool, Maria, a fool! Come on kids.

Mrs. Carreira: Children, don’t you want to see the Virgin Mary?

Oldest child: No, Mom, we’d rather go to the St. Anthony Day Festival.

Mrs. C: (to the crippled child) Joano, would you rather go to the Festival or with me?

Joano C: With you, Mother.

Mrs. C: Let’s go. (Mrs. C and Joano C walk/limp one way, the rest of the family goes the other way)

(The three seers walk alone)

Francisco: (to Jacinta) Nice going, Jacinta. You had to open your mouth.

Lucia: You promised not to say anything. Now my mother thinks that I’m lying to her, and has made my life difficult ever since.

Jacinta: (crying) I couldn’t help it. It was almost like something made me tell her.

Lucia: But you promised!

Francisco: Yes!

Jacinta: (upset) All right! I won’t tell anybody, ever again.

(the children come to the Cova, kneel down and start the Rosary. Little by little, the townsfolk come, including Mrs. G, Manuel, and Mrs & Joano C., but none of the parents. A flash of light.)

Lucia: The lightning! She’s coming!

Townsfolk: What lightning! I didn’t see!

(The Blessed Mother lands on the tree. General hubbub, though Mrs. Gomes is heard above all.)

Mrs. G: Look at the branches! The tree moved!

(The Blessed Mother is on the tree. General hubbub turns to awe. Eventually all kneel. The sun dims, light of various colors shines. The Blessed Mother stands on the tree, looking at first to the faithful, then to the chikdren.)

Mrs. C: See that cloud, child? The Blessed Mother is behind it. Did you see the tree bend?

Joano C: Yes, Mama.

Lucia: Your Grace asked me to come here. What do you want of me?

Our Lady: A want you to come here on the 13th of next month, to pray the Rosary each day, and to learn how to read. Later, I will tell you what I want.

Lucia: There is a sick person I would like you to cure.

Our Lady: If he is converted, he will be healed during the year.

Lucia: I would like to ask you to take us to heaven.

Our Lady: Yes, I will take Jacinta and Francisco soon. But you are to stay here some time longer. Jesus wishes to make use of you to make me known and loved. He wants to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. To whoever embraces this devotion I promise salvation; those souls shall be dear to God as flowers placed by me to adorn His throne.

Lucia: (sadly) Am I to stay here alone?

Our Lady: No, my daughter. Do you suffer a great deal? Don’t lose heart. I will never forsake you. My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God.

(Our Lady opens her hands and reveals the Immaculate Heart in her right hand, on fire and covered with thorns)

Sr. L: (not seen) We understood that this was the Immaculate Heart of Mary, outraged by the sins of humanity and seeking reparation.

(Our Lady then looks kindly, but sadly on the children and drifts away.)

Lucia: She’s leaving! She’s leaving!

Townsfolk: (light hubbub)

Mrs. G: Well, I’ll be!

Manuel: (To Lucy) What did she say?

Lucia: I can’t tell, it’s a secret.

Mrs. G: Why is it a secret?

Lucia: (shrugs and walks away)

Manuel: (Examining the tree) It looks as though someone were standing on it.

Mrs. G: And the leaves moved as if something were pulling them to the east as she was leaving.

Manuel: I heard the voice, but I couldn’t make out what she was saying. Could you make out what she said?

Mrs. G: You heard a voice?

(Three children leave as the townsfolk are in general rancor.)

Jacinta: God loves us so much to want to share that Heart with us.

Lucia: Now, don’t tell anyone. I don’t know why, but I think God wants to keep it a secret, at least for now.

Jacinta: Are you all right, Francisco?

Francisco: (sad and lost on thought) Why did she have that Heart in her hand? She looked so sad.

Jacinta: She said that Heart was our refuge in God.

Sr. L: (as they walk off) I know our Lady didn’t tell us to keep it a secret, but it seemed to me to be what God wanted.

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