On May 13, 1917, in a field called Cova da Iria near the
Portuguese village of Fatima, "a beautiful lady from Heaven",
shining like the sun and standing on a cloud over a beech tree,
appeared to three children: Lucia Dos Santos (age 10) and her two
cousins, Francisco (9) and Jacinta Marti (7). Lucia saw and heard
the Madonna and spoke with her. Jacinta also saw and heard her, but
did not speak, and Francisco only saw the Virgin.
On May 13, 1917 a luminous Apparition of the
appeared to three peasant children, Lucia, Jacinta and Francisco,
and delivered a prophecy that would change the world.
The radiant being spoke with the children for several minutes,
and asked them to meet her again at the same place on the 13th of
each month until October. Then, she promised, she would identify
The Madonna reappeared six times in all, and the reports of the events drew
increasing crowds of spectators. About 50 persons attended on June 13, and
nearly 70,000 were present on October 13. Many witnesses saw a bright cloud over
the beech tree, but only the three children could see and hear the woman.
They were given prophecies concerning World Wars I and II as well
as the world wide spread of communism. But their third prophecy was
not officially released until recently...and there are those who
maintain that the real revelations were not disclosed by the church.
At the behest of a group of political activists and doubters who wished to
"put an end to the nonsense," the civil prefect of Outrem seized, interrogated
and threatened the children for two days in the hope of forcing a confession of
fraud from them. Though the children had been prevented from meeting the Madonna
on August 13, she appeared to them on August 19 at Valinhos, near the site of
her first appearance. The Madonna then told them that she would appear a final
time on October 13, and then produce a miracle.
On that day the Madonna transmitted the prophecy known as the Secret of Our
Lady of the Rosary. It was a rainy day, but newspaper journalists who were
eyewitnesses reported that the rain stopped suddenly and the sun reappeared. In
the words of A. Garret, a professor at Coimbra University, the sun looked like
"a burnished wheel cut out of mother of pearl. This disc spun dizzily around...
It whirled upon itself with mad rapidity, then advanced, blood red, towards the
Earth, threatening to crush us with its weight." Terrified spectators fell to
their knees in prayer. The sun returned to normal, then twice again repeated the
prodigy. In addition, the rain-soaked clothes of the audience dried out during
the brief time of the solar phenomenon.
On May 13, 1917 a luminous Apparition of the Virgin Mary appeared
to three peasant children and delivered a prophecy that would change
Investigations into the Fatima event have proved that the miracle
of October 13, 1917 was seen over an area of 32 miles by 20. An area
of over 600 square miles.
The three children - Lucia, Jacinta and Francisco took their
flock of sheep to a natural hollow in the ground known as the Cova
da Iria to graze, just outside the town of Fatima in Portugal. While
the sheep were grazing the children began to play. Suddenly there
was a flash of lightening. The children looked up, bewildered into
the sky. The day was quiet pleasant and there was no sign of a
storm. They started to gather the sheep thinking a storm was brewing
in the distance when there was a second flash that caused total
A few meters away stood a Lady of dazzling light. Their eyes were
unable to comprehend the lady's brilliance and beauty . The children
"Where are you from?" Lucy managed to ask.
"I am from Heaven".
"What do you want of us?" asked Lucia.
"I came to ask you to come here on the thirteenth day for six months
at the same time, and then I will return here a seventh time."
After several other messages the lady asked finally for them to
recite the Rosary daily before she rose in a cloud of light and
glided away into the eastern sky. Lucia warned her cousins to say
nothing of what they had seen out of fear of disbelief, but Jacinta
was too excited. Predictably Jacinta told her parents about the
Apparition and there was a general reaction of disbelief. Lucia`s
mother was convinced that her child was lying and punished her
continually when she refused to deny her story. Other children
laughed at them and even spat at them.
But the visions of Mary -- and her series of prophecies remained
apparent to the three children.
At first, Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta had great difficulty
trying to share what they had seen, because the government of
Portugal was heavily opposed to religion at that time.
Francisco and Jacinta died in an influenza pandemic within three
years of the 1917 "dance of the sun."
Lucia went on to become a nun. She told the church the details of
Fatima prophecies, the first parts of which have common public
knowledge for many years.
A short time later another vision appeared.
Witnesses reported -
"I looked at the sun and saw it spinning like a disc, rolling on
itself. I saw people changing colour. They were stained with the
colours of the rainbow. The sun seemed to fall down from the sky . .
. The people said that the world was going to end . . . They were
afraid and screaming."
- Antonio de Oliveiro, Farmer.
"Suddenly the rain stopped and a great splendour appeared and the
children cried: 'Look at the sun!' I saw the sun coming down,
feeling that it was falling to the ground. At that moment, I
- Maria Candida da Silva.
"I looked and saw that the people were in various colours -
yellow, white, blue. At the same time, I beheld the sun spinning at
great speed and very near me. I at once thought: I am going to die."
- Rev. Joao Menitra.
"Before the astonished eyes of the crowd, whose aspect was
biblical as they stood bareheaded, pale with fright, eagerly
searching the sky, the sun trembled, made sudden incredible
movements outside all cosmic laws - the sun 'danced' according to
the typical expression of the people. Standing at the step of the
Torres Novas bus was an old man, whose appearance in face and figure
reminded one of Paul Deroulede. With his face turned towards the sun
he recited the Creed in a loud voice . . . Afterwards, I saw him
going up to those around him who still had their hats on, and
vehemently imploring them to uncover their heads before such an
extraordinary demonstration of the existence of God. Identical
scenes were repeated elsewhere, and in one place, a woman cried out
in a gasp of surprise: 'How dreadful that there are some men who do
not even bare their heads before such a stupendous miracle!' People
then began to ask each other what they had seen. The great majority
admitted to having seen the trembling and the dancing of the sun.
Others affirmed that they saw the face of the Blessed Virgin, while
others swore that the sun whirled on itself to the earth as if to
burn it with its rays. Some said they saw it change colours
"It was almost three o'clock in the afternoon. The sky was swept
clear of clouds and the sun followed its course in its usual
splendour, so that no one ventured to gaze at it directly. What
about the little shepherds? Lucia, who had spoken to Our Lady, was
announcing with expressive gestures, as she was carried along
shoulder-high by a man and passed from group to group, that the war
would end and that the soldiers would return . . . But news like
that, however, did nothing to increase the jubilation of those who
heard it. The heavenly sign was sufficient for them: it was
"Intense curiosity prevailed to see the two little girls in their
wreaths of roses, and to kiss the hands of these 'little saints',
one of whom, Jacinta, seemed nearer to fainting than dancing. They
had so longed to see the sign from Heaven: they had seen and were
satisfied and radiated burning faith . . . The crowd dispersed
rapidly, without any difficulty, without any sign of disorder,
without any need for policemen to regulate them. Those who were the
first to arrive were also the first to depart, running out on the
roadway, traveling on foot with their footwear in a bundle on their
heads or strung from their staffs. They went, with hearts
overflowing with joy, to bring the good news to their hamlets that
had not been wholly depopulated for the time being.
"And what of the priests? Some turned up at the place, mingling
more among the curious spectators rather than among the pilgrims
avid for heavenly signs and favours. Perhaps neither one nor the
other succeeded in concealing their happiness, which so often
transpired in triumphant guise . . . It only remains for those
competent to do justice to the bewildering dance of the sun which,
on this day in Fatima, caused Hosannas to resound from the hearts of
all the faithful present, and naturally made a great impression, as
people worthy of belief assured me, on the freethinkers and others
without any religious conviction who had come to this now famous
spot located on the poor pastureland high up on the serra.
"The sun started to roll from one place to another and changed to
blue, yellow - all colours. Then we see the sun coming towards the
children. Everyone was crying out. Some started to confess their
sins because there was no priest around there . . . My mother
grabbed me to her and started to cry, saying 'It is the end of the
world!' And then we see the sun come right into the trees . . ."
-Dominic Reis, in an American TV interview, 1960.
This sounds much like a UFO / ET experience - holographic
projections for many to see. It included spiritual messages to be
read at the appropriate times. Two of the messages have come to
pass. The third is known by certain members of the clergy.
Lucia said the first secret shown to them by Mary
began with a terrifying vision of hell. Mary then indicated that
the war would soon end, as World War I did in the following year.
But Mary foresaw that a "night illuminated by an unknown light"
would precede a "worse war" in which "The good will be martyred" and
"The Holy Father will have much to suffer." On January 25, 1938, a
remarkable display of aurora borealis was visible across Europe, the
year before World War II began.
The second secret involved the future of Russia. Lucia says Mary
revealed that Russia would "spread her errors throughout the world,
promoting wars," and that "Various nations will be annihilated."
Many believe this is a direct prophecy of the spread of communism.
"I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia to My Immaculate
Heart," continues the account of Mary's revelation. "If people
attend to My requests, Russia will be converted and the world will
have peace." Some interpret Pope John Paul II's 1984 consecration of
Russia as fulfilling the prophecy, and paving the way for the
subsequent collapse of the Soviet Union as the "conversion" of
This map is Copyright © 1998 by Matthew White
Lucia wrote down the third secret, sealed it, and entrusted it to
Portugal's Bishop of Leiria, with instructions that it was not to be
read until 1960. The Bishop turned the envelope over to the Vatican.
Pope John XXIII reportedly opened the envelope when 1960 arrived,
but refused to divulge its contents, saying, "This prophecy does not
relate to my time." Pope John Paul II is said to have also read it,
and refuses to reveal it on the grounds that its true spiritual
message has been obscured by sensationalism. - - -
The Secret of Our Lady of the Rosary is a three-part prophecy that she
ordered to be kept secret for 25 years or until the death of Lucia, whichever
came first. Francisco and Jacinta died in the influenza pandemic that ravaged
Europe in 1918 and 1919. Lucia became a Dorothe Sister, and in 1948 she became a
Barefoot Carmelite in a closed convent at Coimbra. Lucia learned to write, and
recorded the text of the secret prophecy. This was kept in the Bishopric of
Leiria until 1943, when Pope Pius XII revealed the first two parts through the
agency of Cardinal Schuster. The final, secret part of the prophecy was opened
by Pope John XXIII and several cardinals in 1960, according to the Madonna's
directions, but it was not revealed to the public. The first section is a vision
of Hell. The second part predicts World War II.
The following segment was published with Papal approval:
"If you do what I tell you, many souls will be saved and we shall have peace.
The war is coming to an end; but it does not cease to offend the Lord, and
another, more terrible one will break out. When you see a night lit up by an
unknown light, you will know that it the great sign that God gives you of the
next punishment of the sins of the world with war, famine, and persecution
against the Church and against the Holy Father.
"In order to prevent this, I have some to intercede for the consecration of
Russia to my Immaculate Heart and the communion of the first Sabbaths.
"If you carry out my demands, Russia will be converted and there will be
peace. Otherwise the errors will be spread around the world, provoking war and
persecution against the Church; many good people will become martyrs, the Holy
Father will suffer much; many nations will be suppressed...
"But in the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph, the Holy Father will
consecrate Russia for me, which will be converted and the world will be granted
a period of peace..."
The "great sign", "a night lit up by an unknown light," occurred on January
25, 1938. It has been explained as an unusual aurora borealis. World War II
began soon afterward.
The secret section of the prophecy of Our Lady of the Rosary was leaked by
Pope John XXIII to certain Roman Catholic officials and world leaders of the
USA, USSR, and Britain. On October 15, 1963, the German journal News Europe
published the alleged text of the secret portion of the Fatima Prophecy. The
text cannot be verified, but it is widely accepted as being genuine:
"Have no fear, little one. I am the Mother of God who speaks to you and asks
you to publish the message I am going to give you to the whole world. You will
find strong resistance while you do so. Listen well and pay attention to what I
"Men must be set on the right road once more. With suppliant humility, men
must seek forgiveness for sins committed already and for sins which will be
committed. You wish me to give you a sign, so that everyone will accept My
Words, which I am saying through you, to the human race. I have seen the Prodigy
of the Sun and all believers, unbelievers, peasants, countrymen, wise men,
journalists, laics and priests, all have seen it. And now I proclaim in my name:
A great punishment shall fall on the entire human race, not today and not
tomorrow, but in the second half of the 20th century! I have already revealed to
the children Melanie and Maximime at La Salette, and today I repeat it to you
for the human race has sinned and has trampled down the Gift which I have made.
In no part of the world is life in order, Satan rules in the highest position,
laying down how things should be done. He will effectually succeed in bringing
his influence right up to the top of the Church; succeed in seducing the spirits
of the great scientists who invent the arms. And if humanity opposes me I shall
be obliged to free the arm of My Son. Now I see that God will punish man with a
severity that has not been used since the Flood.
"The time of times will come and everything will come to an end if humanity
is not converted, and if things remain as they are now or get worse, the great
and powerful men will perish just as will the small and weak.
"For the Church, too, the time of its greatest trial will come. Cardinals
will oppose cardinals and bishops against bishops. Satan will march in their
midst and there will be great changes at Rome. What is rotten will fall, never
to rise again. The Church will be darkened and the world will shake with terror.
The time will come when no king, emperor, cardinal or bishop will await Him who
will, however, come, but in order to punish according to the designs of my
"A great war will break out in the second half of the 20th century [not…].
Fire and smoke will fall from heaven, and waters of the oceans will become
vapors, the scum will arise in a confused manner, and everything will sink down.
Millions and millions of men will perish while this is going on and those who
survive will envy the dead. The unexpected will follow in every part of the
world, anxiety, pain and misery in every country. Have I seen it? The time is
getting ever nearer and the abyss is getting wider without hope. The good will
perish with the bad, the great with the small, the Heads of the Church with
their faithful, and the rulers with their people. There will be death everywhere
as a result of the mistakes of the unfeeling and the partisans of Satan, but
when those who survive all these happenings are still alive, they will proclaim
God once again and His Glory, and will serve Him as in the time when the world
was not so perverted.
"Go, my little one and proclaim it. For that purpose I shall always be at
your side to help you."
The following version of the third prophecy of Fatima has been in circulation
since about 1985, and published in various newspapers and magazines:
"A great plague will befall mankind in the year 2000. Nowhere in the world
will there be order, and Satan will rule the highest places, determining the way
of things. Satan will even succeed in asserting himself at the top of the
"He will succeed in seducing the spirits of the great scientists who invent
arms, with which it will be possible to destroy a large part of mankind in a few
minutes. Satan will have in his power the leaders who command the people and who
will incite them to produce enormous quantities of arms.
"God will punish man more thoroughly than with the Flood. There will come the
time of all times and the end of all ends. The great and the powerful will
perish together with the small and weak.
"Even for the Church, it will be the time of its greatest trial. Cardinals
will oppose cardinals, bishops will oppose bishops. Satan will walk in their
midst and in Rome there will be great changes. The Church will be darkened and
the world will be shaking with terror.
"A huge war will erupt: fire and smoke will fall from the sky. The waters of
the ocean will become mist, and the foam will rise to tremendous heights and
everyone will drown.
"Millions and millions of men will die from hour to hour. Whoever remains
alive will envy the dead. Everywhere one turns one's glance there will be
anguish and misery, ruins in every country.
"The time draws nearer, the abyss widens without hope. The good will perish
with the bad, the great with the small, the princes of the church with the
faithful, the rulers with their people.
"There will be death everywhere because of the errors committed by the crazed
and the followers of Satan, who will then and only then rule the world.
"At the last, those who survive will at every chance newly proclaim God and
His glory and they will serve Him as when the world was not so perverted."
On her death-bed (February 1920), Jacinta told Mother Godinho:
"There is a secret of Heaven and one of earth, and the latter is terrifying.
It will seem as though it were already the end of the world. And in this
cataclysm everything will be separated from the sky, which will turn white as
In 1981 while visiting in Fulda, Germany, Pope John Paul II was asked about
the secret message of Fatima. He answered:
"Due to the seriousness of the contents of the Fatima secret, my predecessors
in the Throne of Peter have preferred to postpone the publication. Furthermore,
it may be enough to the christian people to know that, if there is a message
saying that the oceans will flood whole parts of the globe, and millions of
people will die, from a minute to another, it is not really the case to will the
publication of this secret message."
In an interview with Sr. Lucia with Cardinal Ricardo Vidal in 1993, Sr. Lucia
commented on the secret prophecy:
"The triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary also refers to (her victory
over) the errors that were being spread by Russia… Our Lady's Immaculate Heart
triumphed over the errors that were being spread by Communist Russia…The
Consecration of 1984 prevented an atomic war that would have occurred in 1985…
The `era of peace' does not refer to a civil peace but rather to a peace that we
are now living with the end of the spread of the errors of Communist Russia…”
Fr. Joseph de Ste. Marie, who served as Fatima expert to Pope John Paul II,
“Let there be no hysteria concerning dates or concerning expectation of
chastisements. The dates are unknown, the chastisement certain.”
Pope John Paul II was nearly assassinated on May 13, 1981 (the anniversary of
Mary’s first apparitional appearance at Fatima). The gun was aimed at the Pope’s
head, but Agca had to aim for his abdomen instead when the pontiff turned to a
young girl who was wearing a picture of Our Lady of Fatima. While he was in the
hospital, Pope John Paul reviewed the Church’s documentation of Fatima, and he
read the secret Third Secret of Fatima. In 1984 the Pope consecrated Russia to
the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Communism collapsed soon afterward.
The Vatican released its official document, “The Message of Fatima”, in June
2000. It includes the first and second parts of the “secret” of Fatima as
written by Sr. Lucia on August 31, 1941, and a photostatic copy of the original
manuscript of the third part of the secret, and comments by Sr. Lucia from
conversation with Archbishops Bertone and Ferreira in April 2000 in the Carmel
Monastery of St. Teresa of Coimbra in Portugal. Bertone noted:
"As is well known, Pope John Paul II immediately thought of consecrating the
world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and he himself composed a prayer for what
he called an 'Act of Entrustment' which was to be celebrated in the Basilica of
St. Mary Major on June 7, 1981."
Sodano said that the secret contained a prophetic vision similar to those
found in the Bible, but the events to which the third part of the Secret of
Fatima refers now seem part of the past:
"That text contains a prophetic vision similar to those found in Sacred
Scripture, which do not describe with photographic clarity the details of future
events, but rather synthesize and condense against a unified background events
spread out over time in a succession and a duration which are not specified. As
a result, the text must be interpreted in a symbolic key.
"The vision of Fatima concerns above all the war waged by atheist systems
against the Church and Christians, and it describes the immense suffering
endured by the witnesses to the faith in the last century of the second
millennium. It is an interminable Way of the Cross led by the Popes of the
"According to the interpretation of the 'little shepherds,' which was also
recently confirmed by Sister Lucia, the 'bishop clothed in white' who prays for
all the faithful is the Pope. As he makes his way with great effort towards the
Cross amid the corpses of those who were martyred (bishops, priests, men and
women religious and many lay persons), he too falls to the ground, apparently
dead, under a burst of gunfire.
"After the assassination attempt of May 13 1981, it appeared evident to His
Holiness that it was 'a motherly hand which guided the bullet's path,' enabling
the 'dying Pope' to halt 'at the threshold of death.' On the occasion of a visit
to Rome by the then bishop of Leiria-Fatima, the Pope decided to give him the
bullet which had remained in the jeep after the assassination attempt, so that
it might be kept in the Shrine. At the behest of the bishop, the bullet was
later set in the crown of the statue of Our Lady of Fatima.
"The successive events of 1989 led, both in the Soviet Union and in a number
of countries of Eastern Europe, to the fall of the Communist regime which
promoted atheism. For this too His Holiness offers heartfelt thanks to the Most
Holy Virgin. In other parts of the world, however, attacks against the Church
and against Christians, together with the burden of suffering which they
involve, tragically continue. Even if the events to which the third part of the
Secret of Fatima refers now seem part of the past, Our Lady's call to conversion
and penance, issued at the beginning of the twentieth century, remains timely
and urgent today. 'The Lady of the message seems to read the signs of the times
- the signs of our time - with special insight... The insistent invitation of
Mary Most Holy to penance is nothing but the manifestation of her maternal
concern for the fate of the human family, in need of conversion and
"In order that the faithful may better receive the message of Our Lady of
Fatima, the Pope has charged the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith with
making public the third part of the secret, after the preparation of an
The following official Vatican version is alleged to be the complete
translation of the original Portuguese text of the third part of the secret of
Fatima that was revealed to the three pastorinhos children on July 13, 1917 at
Cova da Iria-Fatima, as written by Sr. Lucia on January 3, 1944:
"I write in obedience to you, my God, who command me to do so through his
Excellency the Bishop of Leiria and through your Most Holy Mother and mine.
"After the two parts which I have already explained, at the left of Our Lady
and a little above, we saw an Angel with a flaming sword in his left hand;
flashing, it gave out flames that looked as though they would set the world on
fire; but they died out in contact with the splendor that Our Lady radiated
towards him from her right hand: pointing to the earth with his right hand, the
Angel cried out in a loud voice: 'Penance, Penance, Penance!' And we saw in an
immense light that is God: 'something similar to how people appear in a mirror
when they pass in front of it' a Bishop dressed in White 'we had the impression
that it was the Holy Father'. Other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious
going up a steep mountain, at the top of which there was a big Cross of
rough-hewn trunks as of a cork-tree with the bark; before reaching there the
Holy Father passed through a big city half in ruins and half trembling with
halting step, afflicted with pain and sorrow, he prayed for the souls of the
corpses he met on his way; having reached the top of the mountain, on his knees
at the foot of the big Cross he was killed by a group of soldiers who fired
bullets and arrows at him, and in the same way there died one after another the
other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious, and various lay people of
different ranks and positions. Beneath the two arms of the Cross there were two
Angels each with a crystal aspersorium in his hand, in which they gathered up
the blood of the Martyrs and with it sprinkled the souls that were making their
way to God."
Source of this segment:
of Fatima - The original text and translation!
Vatican Discloses 'Third Secret' of Fatima
Vatican ends mystery of the third prophecy of Fatima. Secret revealed as Pope John Paul II beatifies children who saw vision of
May 14, 2000 - NY Times - Portugal
Pope John Paul II spoke yesterday with Lucia de Santos, 93, a
Carmelite nun, who believers say was the main recipient of
prophecies from the Virgin Mary that included the spread, and then
the collapse, of Communism.
Sr. Lucia & Pope John Paul II
The Vatican today disclosed the so-called third secret of Fátima,
which for decades has kept this shrine of the Virgin Mary at the
center of conspiracy theories and doomsday cults. The Vatican
described the secret as a vision of the 1981 assassination attempt
on Pope John Paul II.
Assassination Attempt Of Pope John Paul
While Pope John Paul II was circling
St. Peter's Square before his Wednesday general audience at
the Vatican in May 1981, a Turkish gunman named Mehmet Ali
Agca opened fire on the pontiff.
The pope spent more than two months recovering in a Rome
The gunman had also stalked John Paul during a visit to Turkey
In December 1983, the pope offered forgiveness to Agca during
an arranged meeting in prison. During the trial, Agca had
claimed that East European communist agents had helped him set
up the attack on the pope, but he later recanted.
Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the Vatican secretary of state, explained
that the one concealed part of the prophecies said to have been
revealed to three Portuguese shepherd children by an apparition of
the Virgin in 1917 was a vision of an attempt to kill a pope.
The "bishop clothed in white," who is the pope, "makes his way
with great effort toward the cross amid the corpses of those who
were martyred," Cardinal Sodano said as he described what he called
an interpretation of the vision to 600,000 pilgrims gathered at the
sanctuary where John Paul II had just beatified two of the shepherd
children, Francisco and Jacinta Marto, and thanked the Virgin for
saving his life on May 13, 1981.
"He too falls to the ground, apparently dead, under a burst of
gunfire," the cardinal said.
Mehmet Ali Agca, a Turkish gunman, shot the pope as John Paul
drove through a crowd in St. Peter's Square in 1981 on the
anniversary of the 1917 apparition. Among the explanations the
gunman gave prosecutors at a trial in 1985 was that his attempt was
"connected to the third secret of the Madonna of Fatima."
The cardinal's announcement was an effort by the Vatican to put
an end to the kind of fevered speculation that has at times
overshadowed the shrine's spiritual importance to hundreds of
millions of Catholics.
Versions of the secret, broadcast on hundreds of Web sites
(usually under headlines like, "Third Secret Revealed!") range from
worldwide nuclear annihilation to deep rifts in the Roman Catholic
Church that lead to rival papacies.
The following are excerpts of the statement by Secretary of State
Cardinal Angelo Sodano revealing the so-called third secret of
"On the solemn occasion of his visit to Fatima, His Holiness has
directed me to make an announcement to you. As you know, the purpose
of his visit to Fatima has been to beatify the two "little
shepherds." Nevertheless, he also wishes his pilgrimage to be a
renewed gesture of gratitude to Our Lady for her protection during
these years of his papacy. This protection seems also to be linked
to the so-called "third part" of the secret of Fatima.
"That text contains a prophetic vision similar to those found in
the sacred scripture, which do not describe with photographic
clarity the details of future events, but rather synthesize and
condense against a unified background events spread out over time in
a succession and a duration which are not specified. As a result,
the text must be interpreted in a symbolic key.
"The vision of Fatima concerns above all the war waged by atheist
systems against the Church and Christians, and it describes the
immense suffering endured by the witnesses to the faith in the last
century of the second millennium. It is an interminable Way of the
Cross led by the Popes of the 20th century.
"According to the interpretation of the "little shepherds," which
was also recently confirmed by Sister Lucia, the "Bishop clothed in
white" who prays for all the faithful is the Pope. As he makes his
way with great effort towards the cross amid the corpses of those
who were martyred (bishops, priests, religious men and women and
many lay persons), he too falls to the ground, apparently dead,
under a burst of gunfire.
"After the assassination attempt of 13 May, 1981, it appeared
evident to His Holiness that it was a "motherly hand which guided
the bullet's path," enabling the "dying Pope" to halt "at the
threshold of death." On the occasion of a visit to Rome by the then
Bishop of Leiria-Fatima, the Pope decided to give him the bullet
which had remained in the jeep after the assassination attempt, so
that it might be kept in the shrine. At the behest of the bishop,
the bullet was later set in the crown of the statue of Our Lady of
"The successive events of 1989 led, both in the Soviet Union and
in a number of countries of Eastern Europe, to the fall of the
Communist regime which promoted atheism. For this too His Holiness
offers heartfelt thanks to the Most Holy Virgin. In other parts of
the world, however, attacks against the Church and against
Christians, together with the burden of suffering which they
involve, tragically continue. Even if the events to which the third
part of the Secret of Fatima refers now seem part of the past, Our
Lady's call to conversion and penance, issued at the beginning of
the 20th century, remains timely and urgent today.
"In order that the faithful may better receive the message of Our
Lady of Fatima, the Pope has charged the Congregation for the
Doctrine of Faith with the making public the third part of the
secret, after the preparation of an appropriate commentary."
Fatima fanatics have held hunger strikes - one even hijacked a
plane - to try to force the Vatican to disclose the secret. During
John Paul's first visit to the shrine in 1982, on the first
anniversary of the assassination attempt, a knife-wielding Spanish
priest tried to kill the pope, but was wrestled to the ground by
John Paul has always credited the Virgin of Fatima with saving
his life. After he visited the shrine in 1982 to give thanks for his
survival, a bullet extracted from his body was placed alongside
diamonds in a gold crown worn by a statue of the Virgin.
In 1991, on the 10th anniversary of the attack, he returned again
to give thanks for his life as well as for the collapse of
Communism, which believers say the Virgin of Fatima also predicted
The cardinal said the secret in its entirety would soon be
published by the Vatican "after the preparation of an appropriate
The pope did refer to the prophecies today, speaking of "Fátima,
where these times of tribulation were foretold," but he made no
mention of the "third secret." Instead, he once again gave thanks
"for the goodness of God toward me, when severely struck on that May
13, 1981, I was rescued from death."
The pope first learned of the secret a few days after he was
elected in 1978, the Vatican said. He did not announce it himself
today, said his spokesman, Dr. Joaquín Navarro-Valls, because he was
"personally involved." Vatican officials did not say why the secret
was not revealed sooner after the assassination attempt in 1981.
In a new tribute at a prayer service at the shrine on Friday
night, the pope donated to the shrine the ring given to him by
Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski, the late primate of Poland. Cardinal
Wyszynski, whose long fight against Communism in Poland inspired the
present pope and millions of their countrymen, told John Paul after
his election in 1978 that he would lead the church into the new
Dr. Navarro-Valls dismissed speculation that the gift was a
signal that the pope was set to resign as "150 percent wrong." He
described the ring as "one of the pope's most precious possessions,"
given as an offer of thanks.
The fact that the pope put the two dead witnesses to the Virgin's
apparitions on the path of sainthood today was another sign of his
devotion to Fátima. The two, Francisco and Jacinta Marto, are the
first children ever beatified by the Roman Catholic Church who were
not martyrs. Beatification, which is bestowed only on the dead, is
the penultimate step before sainthood.
Before the ceremony, the pope, who turns 80 on Thursday, met
privately inside the basilica near the children's tombs with the
third surviving witness to the apparition, Lucia de Jesus dos
Santos, 93, a Carmelite nun, who believers say was the main
recipient of prophecies from the Virgin about 20th century debacles.
The Vatican said that it had consulted with Sister Lucia before
making its announcement today.
The Virgin of Fátima was said to have appeared before three
shepherd children on May 13, 1917, and on five later occasions.
Lucia was 10. Her cousins, Francisco and Jacinta, who were 8 and 7,
died in the influenza pandemic a few years later. Believers say two
of the Fátima secrets were revealed in writing by Lucia in the
1940's. The third secret was put in a sealed envelope and sent to
Rome more than 40 years ago.
Interpretations of the secrets vary, but generally believers
think that the first foretold the end of World War I and the start
of World War II, and that the other predicted the spread, then the
collapse of Communism and the conversion of Russia.
The latter prophecy, which came with a request that the church
consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, made Fatima an
ideological shrine for anti-Communists during the cold war. John
Paul II finally consecrated the whole world to the Immaculate Heart
of Mary in 1984.
Fatima, like the rest of Portugal, also had fascist links during
World War II, when Portugal was neutral under the right-wing
dictatorship of António Salazar but traded with the Nazi regime.
This month, the rector of the sancutary, Luciano Guerra, confirmed
news reports that in 1976 Fátima received Nazi gold bars bearing the
Third Reich insignia looted from Jews during the war, and sold them
in 1982 and 1986 to finance construction at the sanctuary.
Today, many pilgrims, some wearing baseball hats emblazoned with
the names of Jacinta and Francisco, cheered after Cardinal Sodano
delivered his message.
"It's wonderful that the pope knew the prophecy and survived it,"
said Lucia Dias, 31, a lawyer from Sintra, who added that she had
once believed that the third secret was a prophecy of World War III.
She made her own prediction about the pope: "I think now he will die
Until today, besides John Paul and Sister Lucia, the only other
living person believed to be privy to the secret was Cardinal Joseph
Ratzinger, the head of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine
of the Faith.
In 1996, he told Portugal's main Catholic radio station that
there was nothing worrisome in the message, and that it remained
secret because the Vatican wanted to avoid "confusing religious
prophecy with sensationalism."
Whether today's announcement will appease some of the more
fanatical devotees of the "third secret" mystery is unclear. Some of
those believers, who choose to view the reforms of the Second
Vatican Council as heresies predicted by the Virgin of Fatima, may
dismiss the Vatican's announcement as a cover-up.
Even some who attended Mass today seemed let down. "What they
said all happened in the past," Julio Estela, 33, a car salesman
from northern Portugal, said after the cardinal spoke. "This isn't a
prediction. It's disappointing. I think there's more."
New Light on Fatima
by W.K. Kulczyk
So many books and articles had been written about Fatima that
one might think that nothing new can be learned about this event.
However the recently published book
We are not alone in the Universe*
provides completely new information about the events in
Fatima. The author, being a physicist specializing in
laser applications analyzed descriptions of the apparitions and the
display in the sky came to the starkly conclusions… Read
Book by the Author:
We are not alone in the Universe
Secret Prophecy of Fatima Revealed: New Age Visions of the
by Arthur Crockett, Timothy Green Beckley
The prophecies of Fatima are almost as well
known -- and respected -- as those of the famous French seer
Nostradamus.In l9l7 three children had repeated visions of
the Virgin Mary in Portugal. They were given prophecies
concerning World Wars I and II as well as the world wide
spread of communnism. But their third prophecy was not
officially released until recently...and there are those who
maintain that the real revelations were not disclosed by the
church.This book not only reveals what the Third Secret
Prophecy of Fatima may consist of; but also gives
photographic proof that the Virgin Mary has appeared in over
two hundred incidents in the last several decades.Arab
terrorists? UFOs? End of the World?The book is very readable
and presented in an easy to understand format. It has a good
number of pictures and follows a logical order as oppossed
to some other books I have TRIED to read on the subject.
This is NOT an overly religious approach -- the authors do
not seem to have any axe to grind. I recommend this book
Pilgrimages of Europe Fatima, Portugal (2003) VHS
The history of Fatima can be traced to the
beginning of the 20th Century. Three children witnessed the
sudden appearance of the Holy Virgin beneath an oak tree. They
described her as a "lady of white light." Mary instructed the
children to recite the rosary every day. She appeared to them
five times again that summer, her last appearance marked by a
miracle, the miraculous "solar phenomenon" of Fatima. Several
years after the appearances, two of the three children died.
Lucia, ten years old at the time of the appearance, joined the
Carmelite order of nuns. Her mission was to proclaim the
message she had received from the Holy Virgin to the world.
Fatima has become the most important destination for pilgrims
in Portugal, attracting over a million and a half travelers
yearly. The trek to Fatima is usually done in exchange for a
favor received. Pilgrims often make a promesa, a personal vow
to do penance as a sign of their gratitude to the Virgin. For
many, this means covering the last 500 yards on the marble
floor to the Chapel of the Apparitions on their knees.
by Fronia E. Wissman
Fronia Wissman's Bouguereau offers astute and
illuminating insights into his art, career, and family life
of the French artist Adolphe-William Bouguereau (1825-1905)
whose evocative visions of a better, purer time and place
earned him a passionate following during his lifetime down
through the present. 60 full color reproductions and 15
black & white illustrations perfectly exemplify Bouguereau's
prodigious talent in creating works of sensual, emotional,
and intellectual appeal. By the time of his death in 1905,
Bouguereau was scorned by progressive painters and critics
who saw in his works all that was wrong with the official
French world of art, but he was also a favorite of
collectors, who found in his paintings of bathers, nymphs,
and shepherdesses a realm of eternal beauty far from
contemporary life. Bouguereau displayed his talent for
drawing at a very early age, became educated at the Ecole
des Beaux-Arts in Paris, was a highly successful
portraitist, was exhibited at the Salon to an enthusiastic
public, and had his work recognized and awarded at various
European expositions during his life. Bouguereau is a
beautiful tribute to an artist and would grace any art
school, community, or personal art library! Midwest Book Review
The Fatima Basilica
Santuário de Fátima (multi-lingual)