Three Secrets of Fatima
Lucia dos Santos was a ten year old girl when she had her first apparition of the Lady of Fatima. This apparition led her to be the single most important person in the 20th century’s long struggle against communism. Sound strange? Lucia who went out one day in 1917 with her cousins Francisco and Jacinta Martos to tend the family’s sheep — ended up having a talk about godless Russia with the Blessed Virgin Mary near a little place in northern Portugal called Fatima.
In the course of her receiving many apparitions, an angel gave the three children three secrets. The visions of Fatima concerned “above all the struggle of atheistic communism against the Church and against Christians.” Those visions began in the spring of 1916, according to the children’s report, when Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta were visited three times by an angel, who told them he was the guardian angel of Portugal and urged them to pray and prepare themselves.
After telling the children not to be frightened, the vision said: “I come from Heaven. I want you to come here at this same hour on the 13th day of each month until October. Then I will tell you who I am and what I want.” She also told them to say the Rosary every day, and to bear all the sufferings God would send them.
On June 13, 1917, the Lady appeared again. The children had a great vision in which the beautiful lady predicted another great war, the spread of Russia’s errors, and, yes, something else — the third secret the children were ordered not to tell, the prediction sealed in the Vatican’s vaults, the great mystery that dominated discussions of Fatima for the next 70 years. This time there were about 70 people present, though only the children could see the apparition. She told the youngsters that many souls go to Hell because they have no one to pray and make sacrifices for them. She said Francisco and Jacinta would soon leave the world for Heaven. Holding out her heart surrounded by thorns which pierced it from all sides, Our Lady told Lucy: “God wishes you to remain in the world for some time because He wants to use you to establish in the world the devotion to my Immaculate Heart. I promise salvation to those who embrace it, and their soul will be loved by God as flowers placed by myself to adorn His throne.”
During her appearance on July 13, 1917, Our Lady, in answer to Lucy’s plea, promised that in October she would work a great public miracle so that all might believe and know who she was. She asked them to say this prayer: “O my Jesus, I offer this for love of Thee, for the conversion of poor sinners, and in reparation for all the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
THE FIRST SECRET
The children see hell. After the Lady gave the children a prayer, the ground vanished, and the children found themselves standing on the brink of a sea of fire. As they peered into this dreadful place, the terrified youngsters saw huge numbers of devils and damned souls. The devils resembled hideous black animals, each filling the air with despairing shrieks. The damned souls were in their human bodies and seemed to be brown in color, tumbling about constantly in the flames and screaming with terror. All were on fire within and without their bodies, and neither devils nor damned souls seemed able to control their movements. They were tossing about in the flames like fiery coals in a furnace. There was never an instant’s peace or freedom from pain.
The promise to take the children to Heaven
Predictions of another war (World War II) the destruction of nations including Germany, Japan, Britian, Polland, Italy, France, Hawaii, Soviet Union, North Africa (Ethiopia, Egypt), Western Pacific Islands, Spain, Austria, Hungary.
Persecution of the Church and the Holy Father
Spread of Communism in U.S.S.R., Cuba, Laos, North Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Albania, Angola, Benin, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Congo, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Ethiopia, Hungary, Mongolia, Mozambique, Poland, Romania, Somalia, South Yemen, and Yugoslavia. In 2013 only five have survived: Cuba, Vietnam, North Korea, Laos, China.
Martyrdom for Christians (Germany, Soviet Union, China, Middle East, India, Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Malasia, Cambodia, Burma/Myanmar, Egypt)
THE SECOND SECRET
The second secret was that Our Lady of Fatima wanted the children to start a new devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. (See devotion below) In 1929, Our Lady came to Lucia again. This time she asked for the consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart and the Communion of Reparation on the First Saturdays. “The moment has come in which God asks the Holy Father, in union with all the bishops of the world, to make the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart, promising to save it by this means. There are so many souls whom the Justice of God condemns for sins committed against me, that I have come to ask reparation: sacrifice yourself for this intention and pray.” If men would fulfill her requests, Russia would be converted and there would be peace. This request of Our Lady of Fatima has never been completely fulfilled.
Our Lady of Fatima’s Peace Plan From Heaven published by Tan Books
THE THIRD SECRET
What is generally called the “Third Secret” is, in actuality, the third and final part of the full prophetic Secret which the Blessed Virgin gave to three child seers on July 13, 1917. The other two sections of the Secret (the vision of hell and the rise of Communist Russia) were publicly revealed with the publication of Sister Lucy’s Memoirs in the 1940s, the final part of the revelation remains in the possession of the Vatican and has not yet been disclosed to the world.
It was under the direct order of her bishop and, with the assistance of Our Lady, that Sister Lucy dos Santos wrote the third part of the Secret down on January 2, 1944. Speaking to Sister Lucy, the Queen of Heaven told her that it was God’s Will that she commit the Secret to paper and entrust it to her bishop and, through him, to Pope Pius XII. At that time, the Blessed Virgin also indicated that this part of the Secret was to be revealed to the Faithful no later than 1960.
Upon learning that her bishop was unwilling to open the envelope containing the Secret, Sister Lucy “made him promise,” in the words of Canon Galamba, “that the Third Secret would be opened and read to the world upon her death or in 1960, whichever would happen first.” If her bishop died first, it was agreed that the Secret would be confided to the Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon. Despite this agreement, the Secret was, in fact, delivered to the Vatican where it has remained undisclosed to the public for over fifty years.
“Dangers threatening the faith and life of a Christian … and therefore the world.”
Since 1960 when, after reading the Secret, Pope John XXIII decided not to reveal the contents publicly, there has been growing speculation concerning what it contains. While in the past, speculation often identified the Secret with all sorts of cataclysms and disasters, more recent scholarship has indicated that it most likely concerns the widespread chaos, confusion and loss of faith that has gripped the Roman Catholic Church over the last three and a half decades.
In an interview conducted in November 1984, Cardinal Ratzinger (of the Holy Office) confirmed that, with the Pope’s permission, he had read the Secret and that it concerns, in his words, “a radical call to conversion, the absolute gravity of history, the dangers threatening the Faith and the life of a Christian, and therefore the world. And also the importance of the last times.” The Cardinal went on to explain that “if it is not published … it is to avoid confusing religious prophecy with sensationalism. But the things contained in the Third Secret correspond to what has been announced in Scripture and are confirmed by many other Marian apparitions.”
While the precise wording of the Secret remains unknown to the public, the labors of such famous Fatima scholars as Father Joachin Alonso (former official archivist of Fatima) and Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité have nevertheless provided invaluable insights into its meaning and contents. The latter’s monumental 850-page work, The Third Secret is particularly noteworthy in this regard.
“The devil has succeeded in bringing in evil (to the Church) under the guise of good and the blind are beginning to lead others.”
In his book, Frère Michel reports that, when questioned about the Secret, Sister Lucy said: “It’s in the Gospel and in the Apocalypse, read them!” He notes that she then particularly indicated Chapters VIII through XIII of the Apocalypse (Chapter XIII specifically concerns the rise of the Antichrist). In his study of the Third Secret, Frère Michel builds a powerful and compelling case that the Third Secret is a grave warning of apostasy within the Catholic Faith and a serious indictment of those in the Church hierarchy who have promoted dissent and outright heresy.
Although Sister Lucy is not permitted to reveal the final Secret of Our Lady until the Holy Father himself deems the moment opportune, nothing has prevented her from giving her opinion on the crisis in the Church as an individual person. In a series of letters written between 1969 and 1972, Sister Lucy reacted vigorously against modernists and others in the Church, in particular those who seek to minimize the importance of the Rosary. “This disorientation is diabolical,” she wrote, and “it is sad that so many people let themselves be dominated by the diabolical wave sweeping over the world! And they are blinded to the point where they are incapable of seeing error! Their principal fault is that they have abandoned prayer.” The saddest part of all, according to Sister Lucy, is that so many priests, religious and bishops are swept away in the confusion. “The devil has succeeded in bringing in evil (to the Church) under the guise of good and the blind are beginning to lead others, as the Lord tells us in His Gospel.”
In the conclusion to his study of the Third Secret, Frère Michel sums up his findings as follows:
”Having reached the end of our inquiry, we are able to discern, with near certainty, the essential elements of Our Lady’s final secret: While ‘in Portugal, the dogma of the Faith will always be preserved,’ in many nations, perhaps in almost the entire world, the Faith will be lost. The pastors of the Church will fail gravely in the duties of their office. Through their fault, consecrated souls and the Faithful in great number will let themselves be seduced by pernicious errors spread everywhere. This will be the time of the decisive battle between the Blessed Virgin and the devil. A wave of diabolical disorientation will be hurled over the world. Satan will introduce himself even to the highest summit of the Church. He will blind the minds and harden the hearts of pastors. And God will deliver them to themselves as a chastisement for their refusal to obey the requests of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. This will be the great apostasy predicted for the ‘last times’; ‘the False Lamb’ and ‘False Prophet’ will betray the Church to the profit of ‘the Beast,’ according to the prophecy of the Apocalypse.”
Resource for the third secret: http://www.fatima.org/essentials/facts/secret.asp
DEVOTION TO THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY
The visions and messages were approved by Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II.
Pope John Paul II visited Lucia many times and fully believed in all the messages. As a result, John Paul II had a special devotion to the Blessed Mother.
Read more: Three Secrets of Fatima, Fatima and the United States, Fatima and Consecration to Mary, Fatima and the First Five Saturdays