In 1916 the Angel of Fatima appeared to the children 3 times, as if in preparation for the apparition of the Blessed Virgin on May 13, 1917.
Tradition holds that Our Lady experienced a sort of pre-Annunciation before the actual Incarnation ...
According to the apocryphal Protoevangelion of James, the Blessed Virgin first heard the greeting of the Angel while she was fetching water from the well, frightened, she returned home. The scene is often depicted in iconography depicting scenes from the life of the Virgin.
In the Protoevangelion of James, there is first a “pre-annunciation” scene, in which Mary goes to the well to fetch water. There she hears a voice saying: “Greetings, favoured one. The Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women.” Mary looks around but does not see anyone. Frightened, she goes back inside and, “taking up the purple, she sat down in her house and began to spin.”It seems to me the pre-apparitions of the Angel at Fatima elevate the apparitions of Fatima to a unique status as it were. That in addition to the fact the Holy See has recognized and approved the apparitions and messages.
The angel then appears visually to her, telling her initially not to be afraid: “You have found favour in the sight of the Lord of all.”
The Annunciation story then continues along the same narrative outline found in the Gospels according to Saint Matthew and Saint Luke until the author returns to the story of Mary’s role in weaving the temple veil: “And she finished the purple and the scarlet and took them up to the high priest.” - continue reading here.
This First Saturday in May is a good time to begin preparation for the First Centenary of the Fatima Apparitions.
First Apparition of the Angel, Spring 1916
In the spring of 1916, Francisco and Jacinta were allowed to go out with their cousin Lucia as she looked after the sheep. They were in an area known as the Loca do Cabeço one morning when they were surprised by a strong wind shaking the trees. Then they saw “a light whiter than snow, in the form of a young man, transparent, and brighter than crystal pierced by the rays of the sun,” coming nearer, until they could see his features and he spoke to them:
“Do not be afraid, I am the Angel of Peace. Pray with me.”
He then knelt and touched the ground with his forehead, the children following his example, before continuing:
“My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love You! I ask pardon of You for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope and do not love You!”
He repeated this prayer three times before rising and saying: “Pray thus. The Hearts of Jesus and Mary are attentive to your supplications.” Then he gradually faded away in the sunlight, to leave the children repeating the prayer for hours, until towards evening they returned home, keeping silent about this encounter. - Source