Saints Francisco and Jacinta Marto
Feastday of Sts. Jacinta and Francisco: February 20
The six apparitions of Our Lady in Fatima, to Lucia aged, 10, Jacinta aged 7 and Francesco aged 9 years, commenced with three apparitions of an Angel.
First apparition in Fatima of the Angel
The shepherd children saw in spring 1916 in Fatima the vision of an angel of peace whose mission was to prepare them for the Coming of the Lady Mary three times. The Angel demonstrated to the children the fervent, attentive, and composed manner in which we should all pray, and the reverence we should show toward God in prayer.
Second apparition in Fatima of the Angel
During the summer of 1916, the angel appeared a second time to the children, who were playing and urged them to pray: "Constantly offer prayers and sacrifices to the Most High". He presented himself as the guardian angel of Portugal.
Third apparition in Fatima of the Angel
In his third and final apparition to the children in autumn 1916 in Fatima, the Angel gave them Holy Communion, and demonstrated the proper way to receive Our Lord in the Eucharist: all three children knelt to receive Communion; and Lucy was given the Sacred Host on the tongue and the Angel shared the Blood of the Chalice between Francisco and Jacinta.
First apparition of Our Lady in Fatima
It was on the 13th of May 1917 that Our Blessed Lady appeared for the first time in Fatima. They were playing and building a wall when they suddenly saw a flash of lightening. They thought that a storm was brewing and herded the sheep together to take them home. They once again saw a flash of lightening and shortly afterwards they saw above a small holm oak tree a Lady dressed entirely in white and shining more brilliantly than the sun. They were standing so close to it that they were standing in this Light. The Beautiful Lady said; “be not afraid, I shall do you no harm”. Lucia asked;” where have you come from?” It is Lucia who asks all the questions. “ And what to you want from me?” The Blessed Virgin said: ”I come from Heaven, I come to ask to you to come back here on the thirteenth of the month at the same time for six months. Then I shall tell you who I am and what I want. Then I shall come a seventh time.” Then Lucia asked, “ Shall I also go to Heaven?” -----“ Yes.”—And Jacinta?”-----“as well”-------“And Francesco?”----“He too, but he must first say a lot of rosaries.” Then Lucia asked about two girls’ aged 16 and 20, who had died recently, if they were in Heaven. “The first is and the second not”. Was the reply.
This was the first apparition when they got to know Our Lady. Then Our Lady started to tell them why She had come. “ Will you all offer yourselves to God to carry the suffering. that He shall give you in reparation for sin and for the conversion of sinners?” In childlike and heroic simplicity they answered. “ We want to”. “Then you suffer a lot, but the Grace of God shall be your strength!” Whilst She said the words: - “ The grace of God She opened Her hands out of which came beams of such a strong light, that it dug into the deepest depths of our souls. In this way She showed us ourselves in God, Who is this Light.
We saw ourselves better than in the very best mirror, Lucia tells us. Due to an enormous inner urge to do so, we fell to our knees and repeated: “Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I adore You profoundly and I offer You the most Precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifference by which He Himself is offended. And by the infinite merits of His Most Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of You the conversion of poor sinners.” After a short time, Our Lady said; “ Pray the rosary every day for peace in the world and for the end of the war! At the end of the rosary say the following prayer: My Jesus, forgive us our sins. Save us from the fire of Hell and lead all souls to Heaven, especially those who have the most need of Thy Mercy.” Then She slowly moved away to the east.
Second apparition of our Lady in Fatima
The second encounter took place on the Feast of St. Anthony of Padua. Our Lady asked the children to pray the Rosary daily. She promised to take Jacinta and Francesco to heaven soon. To Lucia, She gave the mission of remaining in the world to establish devotion to Her Immaculate Heart. She promised Lucia: "My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God." On that occasion Our Lady gave the children another vision of God and revealed to the Her Immaculate Heart, surrounded by thorns, outraged by the sins of humanity, and seeking reparation for them.
Third apparition of Our Lady in Fatima
The apparition of July 13th would prove to be in many ways the most controversial aspect of the message of Fatima, providing a secret in three parts which the children guarded zealously. The first two parts, the vision of hell and the prophecy of the future role of Russia and how to prevent it, would not be revealed until Sr. Lucia wrote them down in her third memoir, at the request of the bishop, in 1941. The third part, usually called the Third Secret, was only later communicated to the bishop, who sent it unread to Pope Pius XII.
The vision of hell in Fatima
Lucia later revealed that as she spoke these words, Lady Mary opened her hands and rays of light from them seemed to penetrate the earth so that they saw a terrifying vision of hell, full of demons and lost souls amidst indescribable horrors. This vision of hell was the first part of the "secret" of Fatima, and was not revealed until much later. The children looked up to the sad face of the Blessed Virgin, who spoke to them kindly: "You have seen hell where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wants the devotion of My Immaculate Heart to be spread over the world and to increase. If people do what I shall tell you, many will be saved and there will be peace, the war shall end if people truly stop blaspheming God. If they don’t, during the pontificate of Pius X1 a worse war shall start. If you suddenly see a bright unknown light one night, know that that is a sign from God, which He is giving you to let you know that He is going to punish the world for her sins. This with war, famine, persecution of the Church and of the Holy Father. To prevent this, I ask that Russia be consecrated to my Immaculate Heart. And that you receive Holy Communion every first Saturday of the month as reparation. If the people do as I ask and really take heed of my words, Russia will be converted and there will be peace. If this does not occur, Russia will spread her false teaching throughout the world, war and persecution of the church are inevitable. The good shall suffer martyrdom; The Holy Father shall suffer much; different nations will be annihilated. But in the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to Me and it will be converted and some time of peace will be granted to humanity. In Portugal the people will keep their faith. Tell this to no one other than Francesco. When you pray the rosary, say after each decade: “O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, take all souls to heaven, especially those most in need of Your mercy.” Lucie then asked, “ Do you want me to do anything else?” “ No I desire nothing more from you today.” Then She glided slowly towards the East, ‘ She disappeared into the immense distance of the firmament.
Fourth apparition of Our Lady in Fatima
August 13th 1917 the children were in prison in Ourem, a few kilometres from Fatima. Jacinta, in tears offered everything for the conversion of sinners. The time that Our Blessed Lady would appear came and went. The twenty thousand people in Fatima saw and hear the rumble of thunder and a vividly brilliant flash of lightening in the clear blue sky. The sun grew pale and the whole atmosphere changed to a dull, sickly sort of yellow, while a light cloud, of beautiful shape, appeared and hovered a while over the oak tree and the place of the apparitions.
On the 19th of August Lady Mary appeared in Fatima to the children in the area which is called Valinos, a small village near Fatima. Once again She appeared above a holm oak tree. Lucie said: “What do you wish of me?” Our Lady answered,” I want you to come to Cova da Iria on the thirteenth and continue to pray the rosary, at the last apparition, I shall do a miracle, so that all people may believe.” “What are we to do with the money which the people leave at Cova da Iria?” “This money is for the the feast day of Our Lady of The Rosary, that which is left over is to build a Chapel.” When Lucie asked Our Lady to heal some sick people. Our Lady answered, “ During the next year I shall heal some. Pray! Pray! A lot and bring offers for the sinners, as a lot of souls go to hell because nobody offers themselves for these souls or prays for them. Pray!” Our Lady was elevated and moved off towards the East.
Fifth apparition of Our Ladyin Fatima
13th of September. Rumours were spreading that God was going to do something special on this day. Lucies mother, who often hit her child as she thought that Lucie was telling lies had fixed all her hopes on this. But nothing happened which made the apparitions clearer. This meant that her position at home got worse. But Lucie offered her suffering up as Our Lady had taught her.” My Jesus, I offer all to You, it is for Your Love and reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and for the conversion of sinners.” Our Lady said: “God is pleased with your offers, but He wants you to wear those penance belts only at night.” The children had made these belts themselves.
Sixth and last apparition of Our Lady in Fatima
On a rainy day at October 13th of 1917 in Fatima the mystic Lady appeared for the sixth and last time to the children. More than 70.000 people in Fatima were present that evening. The children were still the only one who can seen her and she declared that she was the Holy Maria. She declared the children her three secrets and appeared then. Suddenly, the rain stops and the clouds drove away to reveal the sun. The sun begans to turn around and seems to fall down ! witnesses declared later. The people thought that the world ends but the sun got his normal position back to the sky. By tradition it is told that this phenomenon happens twice.
The Miracle of the Sun in Fatima
The sun miracle which all these people had witnessed can best be described in the following words. After the long extensive rains, the sky became blue, people could easily look into the sun, which started to spin round like a wheel of fire which radiated wonderful shafts of light in all sorts of colours. The people, the hills, the trees and everything in Fatima seemed to radiate these marvellous colours.Then the sun stood still for a moment then the wonderful thing that had happened reoccurred. It was repeated for a third time. But now the sun broke loose from the heavens and came down to earth with a zigzagging movement. It became bigger and bigger and looked as though it would fall on the people and flatten them. All were frightened and fell to the ground while they prayed for mercy and forgiveness. The people prayed…
Then everything returned to normal and the people who had been kneeling in the mud realised that they were clean and dry all over. They turned to the children and fired a barrage of questions at them. This continued well into the night before they permitted the children to get some rest, only to be continued the next day. They offered all this up for the sinners and (never told before) for the Holy Father The Pope.
The deaths of Francisco and Jacinta
After this the interrogations commenced and as always people tried to get the children to tell the secrets that Our Blessed Lady had told them. But without success, as even the little Jacinta said, " rather die than tell". Jacinta died soon afterwards 20th of February 1920. She died alone in hospital in Lisbon, just as Our Lady had said.
Francesco had died the previous year on the 4th of April 1919. Lucie is still alive. Our Blessed Lady had said that she would live longer as Our Blessed Lord had chosen her to be His worker to make Our Lady known and to increase the devotion to Her Immaculate Heart.
The Apparition at Pontevedra December 10, 1925
Eight years after the Fatima events, when Sister Lucy was living in a convent in Pontevedra, Spain, she experienced another apparition of Our Lady. On the 10th of December 1925 Our Blessed Lady appeared to her in Pontevedra, with Her Child in a cloud of light. The Child said: "have mercy on the heart of your Blessed Mother, it is surrounded with thorns with which the ungrateful people still continue to pierce it. Continually piercing Her heart with nobody removing the thorns by acts of restitution". Then Our Blessed Lady said: "My daughter, see My heart surrounded by thorns with which the ungrateful people pierce it with their blasphemous language and ungratefulness.Will you try to comfort me and to make it known, that all who have attended Mass on the first Saturday for five consecutive months, been to confession and received Holy Communion, prayed the rosary and kept Me company for fifteen and ungratefulness. to make it known that all minutes whilst contemplating the mysteries of the rosary and do this has restitution I shall grant them the mercy which they will need in their hour of death".
The Vision of the Most Holy Trinity and Our Lady of Fatima at Tuy, Spain, June 13, 1929
Lucy was moved from Pontevedra to Tuy, Spain, just over the national border, on July 16, 1926, nine months after she first entered the nunnery at Pontevedra. We have no evidence that her superiors made this move because they were concerned about her personal welfare. Her “apparitions” continued. As Our Lady said at the apparition of 13 July 1917: "I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia". She did this on 13 June 1929, when She appeared to Lucy in the Chapel of Dorotheas, in the town of Tuy, Spain. My mother superior and Father confessor had given me permission to hold a holy hour from Thursday 23.00 hours until Friday Midnight. One night, I was alone praying on my knees in the Chapel, the prayer of the Angels.( Notice how faithful she has remained). I was feeling very tired and stretched, continuing to pray with my arms stretched out. The perpetual sanctuary lamp was the only light. Suddenly the entire chapel was filled with a super natural light, a Cross of Light appeared which spread to the edges of the altar. In a very clear light, in the upper part of the Cross, was the Face and upper torso of the Body of a person. In front of the chest was a Dove of light and the Body of another Person was nailed to the Cross. Just below the waist a chalice was suspended, above which there was a large Host onto which fell some drops of blood. from the Face of the crucified and some drops of Blood from the wound in His chest. These drops rolled from the host into the chalice. Under the right arm of the cross stood Our Lady of Fatima with Her Immaculate Heart in Her left hand. It was devoid of the sword or the roses, but with the crown of thorns and flames. Under the left arm of the cross, appeared some large letters looking like crystal clear water that flowed towards the altar forming the words:
"MERCY AND CHARITY"
I then received more detail about the mystery of the Blessed Trinity, which is a secret that I may not tell.Then Our Blessed Lady said: " Now is the time for The Pope to invite all the Bishops of the world to join him to dedicate Russia to my Immaculate Heart. He 'God' has promised to save it if this done. So many souls are condemned by God's Righteous Justice because of the sins against Me. That is why I ask for reparation. Offer yourself to pray for this intention!!!"
The three Secrets of Fatima
The vision of Hell:
Our Lady showed us a great sea of fire which seemed to be under the earth. Plunged in this fire were demons and souls in human form, like transparent burning embers, all blackened or burnished bronze, floating about in the conflagration, now raised into the air by the flames that issued from within themselves together with great clouds of smoke, now falling back on every side like sparks in a huge fire, without weight or equilibrium, and amid shrieks and groans of pain and despair, which horrified us and made us tremble with fear. The demons could be distinguished by their terrifying and repulsive likeness to frightful and unknown animals, all black and transparent. This vision lasted but an instant. How can we ever be grateful enough to our kind heavenly Mother, who had already prepared us by promising, in the first Apparition, to take us to heaven. Otherwise, I think we would have died of fear and terror.
Included Mary's instructions of how to save souls from Hell and reconvert the world to Christianity:
We then looked up at Our Lady, who said to us so kindly and so sadly: “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 Pontificate 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. To prevent this, I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart, and the Communion of reparation on the First Saturdays. If my requests are heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace; if not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred; the Holy Father will have much to suffer; various nations will be annihilated. In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, and she shall be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world”.
Sister Lucia chose not to disclose the third secret in her memoir of August 1941. In 1943,
Lúcia fell seriously ill with influenza and pleurisy. Bishop Silva, visiting her on 15 September 1943, suggested that she write the third secret down to ensure that it would be recorded in the event of her death. Lúcia was hesitant to do so, however. At the time she received the secret, she had heard Mary say not to reveal it, but because Carmelite obedience requires that orders from superiors be regarded as coming directly from God, she was in a quandary as to whose orders took precedence. Finally, in mid-October, Bishop Silva sent her a letter containing a direct order to record the secret, and Lúcia obeyed.
The third part of the secret was written down "by order of His Excellency the Bishop of Leiria and the Most Holy Mother" on January 3, 1944. In June 1944, the sealed envelope containing the third secret was delivered to Silva, where it stayed until 1957, when it was finally delivered to Rome.
It was announced by Cardinal Angelo Sodano on May 13, 2000, 83 years after the first apparition of the Lady to the children in the Cova da Iria, that the Third Secret would finally be released. In his announcement, Cardinal Sodano implied that the secret was about the 20th century persecution of Christians that culminated in the failed Pope John Paul II assassination attempt on May 13, 1981, the 64th anniversary of the first apparition of the Lady at Fátima.
The text of the Third Secret, according to the Vatican, was published on June 26, 2000:
The third part of the secret revealed at the Cova da Iria-Fátima, 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 splendour 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.
Along with the text of the secret, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, (the future Pope Benedict XVI), published a theological commentary in which he states: "A careful reading of the text of the so-called third 'secret' of Fatima ... will probably prove disappointing or surprising after all the speculation it has stirred. No great mystery is revealed; nor is the future unveiled." After explaining the differences between public and private revelations, he cautions people not to see in the message a determined future event:
The purpose of the vision is not to show a film of an irrevocably fixed future. Its meaning is exactly the opposite: it is meant to mobilize the forces of change in the right direction. Therefore we must totally discount fatalistic explanations of the “secret”, such as, for example, the claim that the would-be assassin of 13 May 1981 was merely an instrument of the divine plan guided by Providence and could not therefore have acted freely, or other similar ideas in circulation. Rather, the vision speaks of dangers and how we might be saved from them.
He then moves on to talk about the symbolic nature of the images, noting: "The concluding part of the 'secret' uses images which Lucia may have seen in devotional books and which draw their inspiration from long-standing intuitions of faith." As for the meaning of the message: "What remains was already evident when we began our reflections on the text of the 'secret': the exhortation to prayer as the path of 'salvation for souls' and, likewise, the summons to penance and conversion."
Third Secret controversy
Prior to the 1930s the main focus of devotion to Our Lady of Fatima, (which was at that time not widely known outside Portugal and Spain) was on the need to pray the rosary for an end toWorld War I and for world peace. After the publication of Sister Lucia's memoirs, starting in 1935, Fatima came to be seen as presenting the victory of the Blessed Virgin over Communism.Nicholas Gruner and others have interpreted the message of Fatima in a more extreme fashion. Gruner has been censured by the Church. These groups are generally opposed to the innovations of the Second Vatican Council. "The reported messages of Marian apparitions in the modern era (that is, since 1830) represent Mary as anti-modernist, anti-communist, and opposed to Catholic Church innovations such as Vatican II and the new liturgy. The strongest image of the militantly anti-communist Mary belongs to Our Lady of Fatima." After the fall of Communism, this emerging network of groups and movements found new enemies, including apostasy, social degeneracy, abortion, homosexuality, euthanasia and the corruption of the church and its priests. According to Chris Maunder, senior lecturer in Theology & Religious Studies at York St John University;"Thus began another fringe Catholic campaign directed against the Vatican. ... This is the stuff of sensationalism and conspiracy theories and it has spawned many publications, some by genuinely concerned Fatima devotees, others by people seeking gain by mass publication."
In 1960 the Vatican issued a press release stating that it was "most probable the Secret would remain, forever, under absolute seal." This announcement produced considerable speculation over the content of the secret. According to the New York Times, speculation ranged from "worldwide nuclear annihilation to deep rifts in the Roman Catholic Church that lead to rival papacies." On 2 May 1981, Laurence James Downey hijacked an airplane and demanded that Pope John Paul II make public the Third Secret of Fatima.
The release of the text sparked criticism from the Catholic Church in Portugal. Clergy as well as laypeople were offended that the text had been read in Rome and not at the Fátima shrine in Portugal where the reported events took place. The Times for June 29, 2000 reported that "The revelation on Monday that there were no doomsday predictions has provoked angry reactions from the Portuguese church over the decision to keep the prophecy secret for half a century."
Critics such as Italian journalist and media personality Antonio Socci claim that the four-page, handwritten text of the Third Secret released by the Vatican in 2000 is not the real secret, or at least not the full secret. The argument is based on the following:
Written on one sheet of paper: the text of the Third Secret released by the Vatican is handwritten on four sheets of paper. Father Joaquin Alonso, official Fátima archivist for sixteen years, reports in his book that, "Lucy tells us that she wrote it on a sheet of paper. In a taped interview, Charles Fiore quoted Malachi Martin as saying the following regarding the text of the Third Secret: "I cooled my heels in the corridor outside the Holy Father's apartments, while my boss, Cardinal Bea, was inside debating with the Holy Father, and with a group of other bishops and priests, and two young Portuguese seminarians, who translated the letter, a single page, written in Portuguese, for all those in the room."
Written in the form of a letter: another reason why critics argue the full Third Secret has not been released is because of indications that the Third Secret was written in the form of a signed letter to the Bishop of Leiria and the text of the Third Secret released by the Vatican is not written in the form of a letter. Lúcia was interviewed by Father Jongen on February 3, 1946. When Fr. Jongen asked Lúcia when the time would arrive for the Third Secret, Lúcia responded, "I communicated the third part in a letter to the Bishop of Leiria." Also, Canon Galamba, an advisor to the Bishop of Leiria, is quoted as saying, "When the bishop refused to open the letter, Lucy made him promise that it would definitely be opened and read to the world either at her death or in 1960, whichever came first."
Contains words attributed to the Blessed Virgin Mary: the text of the Third Secret released by the Vatican contains no words attributed to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Socci asserts that the Third Secret likely begins with the words, "In Portugal the dogma of the Faith will always be preserved etc", words which Lúcia included in her Fourth Memoir, but which are included only as a footnote to the text released by the Vatican.
Contains information about the Apocalypse, apostasy, Satanic infiltration of the Church: in an interview published in the November 11, 1984 edition of Jesus Magazine, Cardinal Ratzinger was asked whether he had read the text of the Third Secret and why it had not been revealed. Ratzinger acknowledged that he had read the Third Secret, and stated in part that the Third Secret involves the "importance of the novissimi", and "dangers threatening the faith and the life of the Christian and therefore (the life) of the world." Ratzinger also commented that, "If it is not made public – at least for the time being – it is in order to prevent religious prophecy from being mistaken for a quest for the sensational." Also, a news article quoted former Philippine ambassador to the Vatican, Howard Dee, as saying that Cardinal Ratzinger had personally confirmed to him that the messages of Akita and Fátima are "essentially the same." The Akita prophecy, in part, contains the following: "The work of the devil will infiltrate even into the Church in such a way that one will see cardinals opposing cardinals, bishops against bishops. … churches and altars sacked ...." On May 13, 2000, Cardinal Sodano announced that the Third Secret would be released, during which he implied the secret was about the persecution of Christians in the 20th century that culminated in the failed assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II on 13 May 1981. In a syndicated radio broadcast, Malachi Martin stated that the Third Secret "doesn't make any sense unless we accept that there will be, or that there is in progress, a wholesale apostasy amongst clerics, and laity in the Catholic Church ...".
In a 1980 interview for the German magazine Stimme des Glaubens published in October 1981, John Paul II was asked explicitly to speak about the third secret. He said:
Because of the seriousness of its contents, in order not to encourage the world wide power of Communism to carry out certain coups, my predecessors in the chair of Peter have diplomatically preferred to withhold its publication. On the other hand, it should be sufficient for all Christians to know this much: if there is a message in which it is said that the oceans will flood entire sections of the earth; that, from one moment to the other, millions of people will perish... there is no longer any point in really wanting to publish this secret message. Many want to know merely out of curiosity, or because of their taste for sensationalism, but they forget that 'to know' implies for them a responsibility. It is dangerous to want to satisfy one's curiosity only, if one is convinced that we can do nothing against a catastrophe that has been predicted." He held up his rosary and stated "Here is the remedy against this evil. Pray, pray and ask for nothing else. Put everything in the hands of the Mother of God." Asked what would happen in the Church, he said: "We must be prepared to undergo great trials in the not-too-distant future; trials that will require us to be ready to give up even our lives, and a total gift of self to Christ and for Christ. Through your prayers and mine, it is possible to alleviate this tribulation, but it is no longer possible to avert it, because it is only in this way that the Church can be effectively renewed. How many times, indeed, has the renewal of the Church been effected in blood? This time, again, it will not be otherwise. We must be strong, ... we must entrust ourselves to Christ and to His holy Mother, and we must be attentive, very attentive, to the prayer of the Rosary."
According to one source, when Lúcia was asked about the Third Secret, she said it was "in the Gospels and in the Apocalypse", and at one point she had even specified Apocalypse chapters 8 to 13, a range that includes the Book of Revelation 12:4, the chapter and verse cited by Pope John Paul II in his homily in Fátima on May 13, 2000.
Cardinal Bertone's response
The Vatican has maintained its position that the full text of the Third Secret was published in June 2000. A report from the Zenit Daily Dispatch dated December 20, 2001 based on a Vatican press release, reported that Lúcia told then-Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone, in an interview conducted the previous month, that the secret has been completely revealed and published, and that no secrets remain. Bertone, along with Cardinal Ratzinger, co-authored The Message of Fatima, the document published in June 2000 by the Vatican that contains a scanned copy of the original text of the Third Secret.
Bertone, who was elevated to the rank of cardinal in 2003 and held the position of Vatican Secretary of State until September 2013, wrote a book in 2007 titled, The Last Secret of Fatima. The book contains a transcribed interview between journalist Giuseppe De Carli and Bertone in which Bertone responds to various criticisms and accusations regarding the content and disclosure of the Third Secret. At one point in the interview, De Carli comments on an unsourced accusation that the Vatican is concealing a one-page text of the Third Secret which predicts a great apostasy where Rome will "lose the faith and become the throne of the Antichrist." Bertone responds as follows:
That's absolutely crazy. Look, are you claiming that the prophecy of Fatima is about the apostasy of the Church of Rome? That Fatima is a prediction of Rome's transformation into the throne of the Antichrist? Despite the love Our Lady has for the Pope and the Popes for Our Lady? Anyone can write books based on conspiracy theories, on biased interpretations. Anybody can take sentences out of context and present them as clues to some supposed plot to avoid divulging the truth and to transmit it in a code that only the initiates can understand. No, the whole theory you allude to is a fabrication. And this supposedly factual account is actually the sort of device the Masons used to invent to discredit the Church. I'm surprised that journalists and writers who claim to be Catholic let themselves be taken in.
At another point in the interview, De Carli mentions that Cardinal Ottaviani had once stated that the Third Secret was written on a single sheet of paper. He also mentions that one of Lúcia's memoirs contains the words, "In Portugal, the dogma of the faith will always be preserved etc", words which some believe introduce the real Third Secret. Describing these observations as "feeble bits of evidence that neither prove nor disprove anything", De Carli asks Cardinal Bertone about the possibility of there being two texts, where the "first document" contains the words of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the other contains the description of the vision published by the Vatican. Bertone answers in part, "There is no first document. There never was any such text in the archives of the Holy Office." Bertone also says, "So I'm not sure what Cardinal Ottaviani was talking about." Bertone also states that, "We have the word, better, the official confirmation of Sister Lúcia: 'Is this the Third Secret, and is this the only text of it?' 'Yes, this is the Third Secret, and I never wrote any other'."
Later on in the interview, Bertone again addresses the question as to whether a text exists with words attributed to the Blessed Virgin that was censored: "The part of the text where the Virgin speaks in the first person wasn't censored, for the simple reason that it never existed. ...I'm basing my statement on Sister Lucia's own direct confirmation that the Third Secret is none other than the text that was published in the year 2000."
In early September 2007, archbishop Loris Francesco Capovilla, private secretary to Pope John XXIII, who witnessed Pope John open the envelope of the third secret, said there was no truth in the rumor that the Vatican was suppressing a vision of the end of the world. "There are not two truths from Fatima and nor is there any fourth secret. The text which I read in 1959 is the same that was distributed by the Vatican." Capovilla is also quoted as saying, "I have had enough of these conspiracy theories. It just isn't true. I read it, I presented it to the Pope and we resealed the envelope."
On September 21, 2007 writers Antonio Socci and Solideo Paolini, who have competing books on Fatima, attempted to crash a reception at the Pontifical Urbanianum University where Bertone was to introduce his book The Last Fatima Visionary: My Meetings with Sister Lucia. They stated that they wished to participate in the question and answer part of the reception. When told that the cardinal would not be taking questions, they then tried to confront Bertone, who is the Vatican Secretary of State. Security guards hustled them. In talking to reporters afterwards, Socci and Paolini produced a tape recording in which they claimed Archbishop Loris Francesco Capovilla, revealed that there were two texts of the Third Secret, although Capovilla had stated otherwise less than two weeks before.
Pope John Paul I
The Catholic Counter-Reformation group, founded by theologian Abbé George de Nantes, takes the position that the released text is the complete Third Secret, but refers to Pope John Paul I rather than John Paul II, pointing out that the latter, after all, did not die when he was attacked, while the bishop in the Third Secret did. John Paul I had met Lúcia Santos while he was Patriarch of Venice, and was deeply moved by the experience. In a letter to a colleague after his election, he vowed to perform the Consecration of Russia which Lúcia said Mary had asked for.
Michael Cuneo notes, "Secret messages, apocalyptic countdowns, cloak-and-dagger intrigue within the highest echelons of the Vatican: not even Hollywood could ask for better material than this".
"To understand and appreciate Fatima is to understand and appreciate Portuguese Catholicism". Jeffrey S. Bennett takes note of how, starting in the 1930s, the image of Our Lady of Fatima developed into a rallying point for anti-communism, an idea that spread far beyond the Iberian peninsula. Martindale mentions a concept where the fruits of a phenomenon are more important than its historical origins. Therefore, it is possible to conceive of a vibrant cultus where the strength of the devotion, shrine, or pilgrimage, can outweigh uncertainties regarding its origin. According to Maunder, Fatima demonstrates not only how seriously Catholics took "the revelations of an enclosed nun remembering visions she had experienced at the age of ten, but also show how difficult it is for the hierarchy to manage a movement of popular piety, despite critics claims of manipulation. Following Fatima, there would be proliferation of apocalyptic manifestations, such as at Necedah.
Francisco and Jacinta were both stricken by the Spanish flu. Francisco died on 4/04/1919 at Fatima, age ten, and Jacinta died on 2/20/1920, 22:30 GMT at Lisbon, age nine. Sister Lucy Dos Santos, the last of three children who claimed to have seen the Virgin Mary in 1917 in Fatima, Portugal, has died on February 13, 2005. She was 97. On May 13, 1989, the 72nd anniversary of Our Lady's first appearance at Fátima, the Vatican announced that His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, officially recognized the heroic virtues of Francisco and Jacinta Marto. He therefore paved the way for the Church to officially beatify these two children who saw Our Lady at Fátima. The Beatification of Jacinta and Francisco, the child Seers of Fátima, was held on May 13, 2000 when Pope John Paul II visited the Shrine for the Special Celebration here in Fátima.
Another miracle was found to have been attributed to their intercession and the process that investigated the presumed miracle was validated on 8 February 2013. On 23 March 2017, it was announced that Pope Francis would canonize them while visiting Portugal on 12 and 13 May. The pope solemnly canonized the children on 13 May 2017 during the centennial of the first apparition. They are the Catholic Church's youngest saints who did not die as martyrs, with Jacinta the youngest.
Source Third Secret Fatima: Wikipedia:
"These apparitions in Fatima are fully approved bij the Holy See: October 1930"
Sister Lucia dos Santos
Prayer to Our Lady of Fatima
O Most Holy Virgin Mary, Queen of the most holy Rosary, you were pleased to appear to the children of Fatima and reveal a glorious message. We implore you, inspire in our hearts a fervent love for the recitation of the Rosary. By meditating on the mysteries of the redemption that are recalled therein may we obtain the graces and virtues that we ask, through the merits of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Redeemer.