|Near the town of Fátima, Portugal, a small,
rural town about 90 miles north of Lisbon, a miracle appeared to
three peasant children, Lucia dos Santos and her two cousins,
Jacinta and Francisco Marto.
On a spring day in 1916, while "the war to end
all wars" raged across northern Europe, Lucia, nine, Francisco,
eight and his sister Jacinta, six, were tending sheep at Chousa
Velha, a grazing field when they were startled by a brilliant light
enclosing a young man of great beauty, who said to them that he was
the angel of Peace. All three children saw the visions but Francisco
could not hear them. Lucia was the only one to converse with the
apparitions. The angel appeared again that summer, and in the fall
he gave the children the host to eat and the chalice to drink, a
sacrament of the Catholic Church. The children were awed and pious
and spent long periods praying as the angel had instructed them.
The Lady said; "If My requests are not granted, Russia will spread its errors throughout the world, raising up wars and persecutions against the Church. The good will be martyred, the Holy Father will suffer much and various nations will be annihilated." She also said that both Jacinta and Francisco would go to heaven soon, but that Lucy would have to remain for some time. As predicted, both Jacinta and Francisco died soon after, in the influenza pandemic in 1919 and 1920.
On February 13th, 2005 Lucy (Sister Lucy, a Carmelite nun) died at 97 years of age in Portugal, just four weeks short of her 98th birthday. She died on the same day of the month (13th) when the apparitions occurred.
The message/secrets of Fatima was in three parts.
The first message received at Fatima was this horrifying vision of Hell:
The first part of the Secret was a horrifying vision of hell "where the souls of poor sinners go" and contained an urgent plea from Our Lady for acts of prayer and sacrifice to save souls.
In her Memoirs, Sister Lucy (Lucy Dos Santos) describes the vision of hell that Our Lady showed the children at Fátima:
"She opened Her hands once more, as She had done the two previous months. The rays [of light] appeared to penetrate the earth, and we saw, as it were, a vast sea of fire. Plunged in this fire, we saw the demons and the souls [of the damned]. The latter were like transparent burning embers, all blackened or burnished bronze, having human forms. They were floating about in that conflagration, now raised into the air by the flames which issued from within themselves, together with great clouds of smoke. Now they fell back on every side like sparks in huge fires, without weight or equilibrium, amid shrieks and groans of pain and despair, which horrified us and made us tremble with fright (it must have been this sight which caused me to cry out, as people say they heard me). The demons were distinguished [from the souls of the damned] by their terrifying and repellent likeness to frightful and unknown animals, black and transparent like burning coals. That vision only lasted for a moment, thanks to our good Heavenly Mother, Who at the first apparition had promised to take us to Heaven. Without that, I think that we would have died of terror and fear."
The second message received at Fátima was this prediction of World War II:
Also, in this apparition it's very interesting that Pius XI is actually named in the prophecy. When the apparition of Our Lady made the prophecy in 1917, Benedict XV was then Pope. Pius XI became Pope 5 years later in 1922.
The July 13, 1917 apparitions remain of unique importance because it was on that day that the Lady told these simple Portuguese children, who had not the remotest idea of events in the outside world: "The war will end. But if people do not stop offending the Lord, another worse than this will start during the next pontificate…
She specifically prophesized the outbreak of World War II. It also contained her solemn request for the Consecration of Russia.
‘You have seen hell where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to My Immaculate Heart. If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace. The war is going to end; but if people do not cease offending God, a worse one will break out during the reign of Pius XI. When you see a night illumined by an unknown light, know that this is the great sign given you by God that He is about to punish the world for its crimes by means of war, famine, and persecutions of the Church and of the Holy Father.
Of interest in this regard, "on January 25, 1938, a remarkable display of aurora borealis was visible across Europe, the year before World War II began." The book, The Secrets of Fatima elaborates: "This aurora appeared as far south as Galicia, Spain, where Sister Lucy was then cloistered, and she, the only survivor of the three Fatima shepherds, recognized it immediately as the sign. Visible even to Pius XI in Rome, the unprecedented aurora was accompanied by a ‘crackling' sound, possibly attributable to discharges of atmospheric energy. Indeed, in many areas of Europe, panic broke out, as the populace concluded that the world was on fire and that the End had come."
In 1984, Pope John Paul II consecrated the Soviet Union. Subsequently, in 1991, the Soviet Union disintegrated into 15 separate countries, but it can hardly be said that Russia has undergone a religious conversion. Has there been peace as predicted? While there haven't been any worldwide wars, there have been many minor ones (if any war can be considered minor) and the world still is not a peaceful place.
On August 13, 1917 between 10,000 and 20,000 people gathered at the Cova da Iria to await the arrival of Our Lady. The three little seers, however, were not present. The administrator of the district, Artur de Oliveira Santos, a prominent communist Freemason, had imprisoned the children on August 13, and for two days he used many means, including the threat of boiling them in oil, to pry from them either the Secret itself, or a confession that they were lying. Courageously the children refused to betray their confidence and remained steadfast under every tactic used. In fact, believing that they were soon to be killed, they were full of joy at the thought of soon being in Heaven. This willingness to suffer martyrdom is another proof of the truthfulness of the Message. Realizing that he was getting nowhere, after two days the administrator released the children.
A PART of third message received at Fátima was released on June 26, 2000 by Vatican’s Cardinal Ratzinger (Pope Benedict).
This released a part of the Third Secret contained a vision of a "Bishop clothed in White" who is killed by gunfire from a group of soldiers. In the same vision, many bishops, priests and lay people are also killed by these soldiers.
The official Vatican statement tried to make it appear that the third secret dealt with Pope John Paul II's escape from assassination in 1981. Both Catholic and non-Catholic sources questioned the authenticity of this interpretation. Even the July 1, 2000 Washington Post, challenged the Vatican’s interpretation of the Secret as it did not correspond to the reported vision. On May 13, 1981, the Pope was not killed, no one else was killed, and there were no soldiers shooting at anyone.
The rest of the Third Message? It is a wonder why the Vatican will not even comply with the wish of heaven. Sister Lucy made it quite clear that Mary wanted the entire prophecy released by 1960. Yet all Popes from John XXIII to the present Benedict refuse to comply.
In 1960, Paul John XXIII opened the sealed prophecy and read it, and the faithful anxiously awaited its promised revelation. But it was not to be. In apparent defiance of the Blessed Mother's instructions, the Pope refused to reveal the contents of the prophecy saying, "This prophecy does not relate to my time." According to Kathleen A. Keating, however, author of The Final Warning: Your Survival Guide to the New Millennium, "John XXIII fainted when he read the third secret because it specifically states, according to eyewitnesses, that the Pope would betray the flock and turn his sheep over to the slaughter devised by Lucifer himself. John XXIII fainted because he thought he would be the Pope who would open the door to Satan and that he would be the long awaited antipope."
On May 13 1967 we all saw her on television – and with what anguish – weeping after her meeting with Paul VI… "It was a moving moment… Pressed on all sides, Lucy asked the Holy Father whether she might speak to him for a moment in secret. He refused her this grace in icy terms. Under the television lens and a hundred snapping cameras, before the eyes of all, she wept. She did not weep for herself, but for us, and – let us be quite certain about this – Heaven wept alongside the rejected confidant of the Virgin Mary as she was ushered away." (Letters to my friends, no. 246, 13 May 1967, p.3)
Cardinal Mario Ciappi, the Papal Theologian, said in 1995, "In the Third Secret it is foretold, among other things, that the great apostasy in the Church will begin at the top." Father Alonso, a Fátima historian said that the Third Secret refers to the guilt of a number of Priests, Bishops and Cardinals for the state of apostasy within the Church today. Prior to Father Alonso’s published statements, Sister Lucy had been called upon to refute false theories about the Third Secret and she did. But, Sister Lucy to this day has never denied, or attacked, or tried to correct in any way, Father Alonso’s analysis of the Third Secret.
In his book (which drew on many of Father Alonso's works), 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.
Following is a part of the Third Secret released by the Vatican. The third part of the secret revealed at the Cova da Iria-Fatima, on 13 July 1917.
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.
Could this have to do with the Last Pope of Malachai's Prophecy: And another time Jacinta said: “I saw the Holy Father in a very big house kneeling by a table, with his head buried in his hands, and he was weeping. Outside the house, there were many people. Some of them were throwing stones, others were cursing him and using bad language. Poor Holy Father, we must pray very much for him.” (See Frère Michel’s Vol. III page 715).
The Catholic Church has endorsed the Fatima message. It has officially endorsed the apparition and message as “worthy of belief” since 1930, through five successive popes.
As a great sign of this whole message truly coming from God, a marvelous miracle was worked in the sky above Fatima before 70,000 witnesses on October 3, 1917.
THE MIRACLE OF THE SUN The sun "danced", spun off multi-colored light, and moved toward the earth.
The miracle of October 13, 1917 was of such splendor that nothing equivalent to it has been recorded since ancient times. No other apparition has been observed with such care by thousands of people in every walk of life, believer and unbeliever equally. On this day, seventy thousand people came; they heard the thunder, saw the lightning and noticed the parting of the cloud. The Lady identified herself to the children, saying that she was the Lady of the Rosary.
After the rosary had been recited by the multitude, the dark sky opened, and the sun, appearing in a clear blue sky, suddenly began to tremble and shake, and then turn about swiftly like a great wheel of fire casting off long shafts of light, which colored the sky and earth. This spectacle continued for ten minutes and was observed at a distance of twenty-five miles. Then the sun broke loose from the sky and plunged downwards through the space directly over the people, who fell to their knees crying for forgiveness for their sins.
An Eyewitness Account by Dr. José Maria de Almeida Garrett, professor at the Faculty of Sciences of Coimbra, Portugal:
"It must have been 1:30 pm when there arose, at the exact spot where the children were, a column of smoke, thin, fine and bluish, which extended up to perhaps two meters above their heads, and evaporated at that height. This phenomenon, perfectly visible to the naked eye, lasted for a few seconds. Not having noted how long it had lasted, I cannot say whether it was more or less than a minute. The smoke dissipated abruptly, and after some time, it came back to occur a second time, then a third time "The sky, which had been overcast all day, suddenly cleared; the rain stopped and it looked as if the sun were about to fill with light the countryside that the wintery morning had made so gloomy. I was looking at the spot of the apparitions in a serene, if cold, expectation of something happening and with diminishing curiosity because a long time had passed without anything to excite my attention. The sun, a few moments before, had broken through the thick layer of clouds which hid it and now shone clearly and intensely.
"Suddenly I heard the uproar of thousands of voices, and I saw the whole multitude spread out in that vast space at my feet...turn their backs to that spot where, until then, all their expectations had been focused, and look at the sun on the other side. I turned around, too, toward the point commanding their gaze and I could see the sun, like a very clear disc, with its sharp edge, which gleamed without hurting the sight. It could not be confused with the sun seen through a fog (there was no fog at that moment), for it was neither veiled nor dim. At Fatima, it kept its light and heat, and stood out clearly in the sky, with a sharp edge, like a large gaming table. The most astonishing thing was to be able to stare at the solar disc for a long time, brilliant with light and heat, without hurting the eyes or damaging the retina. [During this time], the sun's disc did not remain immobile, it had a giddy motion, [but] not like the twinkling of a star in all its brilliance for it spun round upon itself in a mad whirl.
"During the solar phenomenon, which I have just described, there were also changes of color in the atmosphere. Looking at the sun, I noticed that everything was becoming darkened. I looked first at the nearest objects and then extended my glance further afield as far as the horizon. I saw everything had assumed an amethyst color. Objects around me, the sky and the atmosphere, were of the same color. Everything both near and far had changed, taking on the color of old yellow damask. People looked as if they were suffering from jaundice and I recall a sensation of amusement at seeing them look so ugly and unattractive. My own hand was the same color.
"Then, suddenly, one heard a clamor, a cry of anguish breaking from all the people. The sun, whirling wildly, seemed all at once to loosen itself from the firmament and, blood red, advance threateningly upon the earth as if to crush us with its huge and fiery weight. The sensation during those moments was truly terrible.
"All the phenomena which I have described were observed by me in a calm and serene state of mind without any emotional disturbance. It is for others to interpret and explain them. Finally, I must declare that never, before or after October 13 , have I observed similar atmospheric or solar phenomena." You can see the dialogue in the 1917 Apparition here: