(This passage from "Our Lady Came to Fatima" made me cry with recognition. I'm so similar to Tia Olimpia, the mother of two of the Fatima children. Immediately after the great "Miracle of the Sun" she is consumed with the mundane cares of housekeeping. How tenderly does Our Lady sympathize with us poor mothers and how quickly does she come to our aid!)
"But to the weary Tia Olimpia it seemed that at least three-quarters of the whole seventy thousand were jamming the road that led back to Aljustrel and trying to catch a glimpse of her children. She found it almost impossible to think straight about what had just happened. When she looked back over the events of the past five months, her mind simply bogged beneath the weight of the mystery-- the visions, the messages, the secrets, and now the miracle! And her own little ones at the center of it all! Now, as she trudged along through the crowd, trying to keep her footing in the slippery mud, trying vainly to catch a glimpse of her husband and children, Tia Olimpia's mind took refuge in a most unmysterious thought
"Now I have to go home and clean up the place!"
She groaned out loud. It would take a week at the very least, she thought. At the moment it was impossible to tell the inside of the house from the outside! Even the beds were filthy! [My note: Everything was dirty from the vast muddy crowd that visited the children before the Miracle of the Sun] Tia Olimpia tried to keep her mind fixed on the fact that the Mother of God had just performed a miracle for the sake of her children. But she could not entirely banish the thought of her mud-caked kitchen floor.
At the door of her house she finally caught up with Ti Marto and Jacinta, who he carried in his arms. The little girl seemed faint with weariness and her mother whisked her into the house and started the teakettle before she noticed anything peculiar about the place.
She looked around curiously, then turned to Tia Marto. "Who's been here while we were gone?"
"What do you mean," Ti Marto asked distractedly. ..
"Well look around a little" Tia Olimpia exclaimed. . .
From one end to the other, the house was clean, spotlessly clean, sparkling and fresh as though the fall housecleaning had been finished five minutes before. Not a trace of the mornings mud was left. Not a single print of a single boot was on any of the floors or beds. The bedspreads looked as if they had been freshly washed, starched and ironed.
"Who cleaned this place up?" Ti Marto asked. "Teresa? Was it you?" He turned to the children's godmother.
"Of course not! I was in the Cova all morning!"
"Victoria? Maria? Gloria?"
The ladies simply looked at him. They had seen the place-before and after. They knew perfectly well that no one of them could have put it into its present shape in the length of time the family had been away. Not with all that dirt!
Ti Marto ran his finger over the kitchen floor. . . .He looked at his wife and shrugged. "Well," he said, "Our Lady can do big miracles for the children and little miracles for the parents."
Tia Olimpia did not say anything. . . She had good reason to be pleased with the Queen of Heaven for remembering that she had once been the Queen of Housekeepers."
pg 129-131, Our Lady Came to Fatima. (If you haven't yet checked out the 1950s Catholic Series called "Vision Books" for your kids, hurry to order one online at Barnes and Noble. Each one book is such a treasure. I learn even more than my kids.)