(This article was originally given as a talk by Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité at the Vatican Symposium on Fatima sponsored by the “International Fatima Rosary Crusade” on November 24, 1985. We republish this with full permission from The Fatima Crusader.)
Since the Third Secret of Fatima has still not been officially revealed, it seems obvious at first sight, that we can know nothing of its content. This however, is only so in appearance. For if it is true that this vital secret remained absolutely impenetrable in 1917 when it was revealed by the Blessed Virgin to the three shepherd children of Aljustrel, or in 1944 when it was written down by Sister Lucy, or yet again in 1960 at the time when it was to have been publicly revealed to the world by Pope John XXIII, that is no longer the case today. Indeed, for more than 40 years, a number of certain facts concerning it have become known. They form today an impressive mass of sure information from which the historian can precisely retrace its entire history and expose its essential content with a considerable degree of certitude. Such has been my double concern in writing my third volume of “The Whole Truth About Fatima”, which is completely devoted to the mystery of the Third Secret.
It is this minutely detailed demonstration that I shall attempt to present to you this evening while simplifying it and summarizing much of it, for I must be brief. But I will tell you sufficiently about it, I hope, to show you how important this final secret of Our Lady is. How it is at the very heart of the Message of Fatima, and finally why it is urgent for the good of the Church that it be revealed to the world according to the command of the Blessed Virgin.
I. The Drama of the Third Secret
It was in July/August, 1941, in her third memoir, that Sister Lucy mentioned for the first time the division of the Secret of Fatima into three distinct parts. “The Secret is composed of three distinct matters,” she writes, “And I shall disclose two of them.” The first is the vision of hell and the designation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary as the Supreme Remedy offered by God to humanity for the salvation of souls. “In order to save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to My Immaculate Heart.” The second, is the great prophecy concerning a miraculous peace which God wishes to grant to the world through the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and the practice of Communions of Reparation on the first Saturdays of the month. “If people heed My commands, Russia will be converted and the world will have peace.” And there is also the announcement of terrible punishments if people persist in not obeying Her requests. As for the third part of the Secret, in 1941, Sister Lucy declares that for the moment she is not permitted to reveal it.
The Writing Down and the Transmission of the Secret
The dramatic account of the writing down and the transmission of this vital Message begins in 1943. The hour of providence had then struck. Sister Lucy was living at that time in the convent of the Dorothean Sisters of Tuy, in Spain. In June, 1943, she suddenly fell gravely ill. Her condition was so alarming that Bishop da Silva, the Bishop of Leiria, became worried. He feared that she would die before having revealed the Third Secret of Our Lady and he sensed that it would be the loss of an exceptional grace for the Church. Canon Galamba, the friend and advisor of the Bishop, then suggested to him an extremely judicious idea, that he at least ask Sister Lucy to write down forthwith, the text of the Third Secret and then that she place it in an envelope sealed with wax, to be opened later.
On September 15, 1943, Bishop da Silva went, therefore, to Tuy and he asked Sister Lucy to write down the Secret “if she really wanted to.” But the seer, undoubtedly under the impulse of the Holy Spirit was not content with this vague order. She requested of her Bishop a written order, formal and perfectly clear – that is very important. The final Message of the Virgin of Fatima is, as previously were Her other requests, linked to marvelous promises. It is an exceptional grace offered by God to our 20th Century in order to meet its most urgent needs. But again it is necessary that the pastors of the Church have sufficient faith and docility to the designs of Heaven in order to be instruments of this outpouring of grace that God wants to bestow upon the world through the sweet mediation of His Immaculate Mother. In 1943, God desired that it be the Bishop of Leiria, who demanded of this messenger the writing down of the Third Secret.
In mid-October, 1943, Bishop da Silva made up his mind. He wrote to Sister Lucy, giving her the express order that she had besought of him. However, new difficulties would arise. Sister Lucy experienced at that time, for almost three months, a mysterious and terrible anguish. She has related that each time she sat down at her work table and took her pen in order to write down the Secret, she found herself obstructed from doing it. One must, no doubt, see there the last outburst of satan against the messenger of the Immaculate One. Guessing what a terrible weapon this great prophecy could set up against his dominion over souls and his plan to penetrate the very heart of the Church, such a trial endured by the seer thus indicated the magnitude of the grandiose event which was about to be carried out, should the Secret be put down on paper. On Christmas Eve, Sister Lucy confided to her director that she had still been unable to obey the order that she had been given.
Finally, on the 2nd of January, 1944, (this is very little known) the Blessed Virgin Mary Herself appeared again to Lucy. She confirmed to her that such was truly the Will of God and gave her the light and the strength to accomplish the writing that had been commanded.
The extreme care that Sister Lucy then took to transmit it with complete safety to its recipient, Bishop da Silva, is a new proof of the exceptional importance which she attributes to this document. She did not wish to entrust it to anyone but a Bishop. It was Bishop Ferreira, Archbishop of Gurza, who received from the hands of Sister Lucy, the envelope sealed with wax containing the precious document. He delivered it the same evening to Bishop da Silva.
Concerning the transmission of the Secret to the Hierarchy, it is necessary to underline four facts of the highest importance:
1. The immediate recipient of the Secret was Bishop da Silva and he could have read it at once. Sister Lucy told him so from the Blessed Virgin. But frightened by the responsibility that he would have to assume, he did not dare, he did not wish to have knowledge of it. He then tried to commit it to the Holy Office, but Rome refused to receive it. It was then agreed that if Bishop da Silva happened to die, the envelope would be entrusted to Cardinal Cerejeira, the Patriarch of Lisbon. It is therefore false to say, as has been so often repeated after 1960, that the Third Secret is destined explicitly and exclusively to the Holy Father!
2. It is true, however, – I will provide several proofs of it in my book – that Sister Lucy wanted Pope Plus XII to know the Secret without further delay. Unfortunately, that did not happen.
3. Ascertaining that Bishop da Silva persisted in not wishing to open the envelope, Sister Lucy “made him promise, in the words of Canon Galamba, that the Third Secret would be opened and read to the world upon her death or in 1960, whichever would happen first.” A series of testimonies which give us an account of the repeated statements of Sister Lucy enabled this fact to be established with absolute certitude.
4. Finally, this promise to disclose the Secret immediately after the death of Sister Lucy or in any case, “in 1960 at the latest,” surely corresponds to a request by the Virgin Mary Herself. In fact, when in 1946, Canon Barthas asked the seer why it would be necessary to wait until 1960, Sister Lucy replied to him in the presence of Bishop da Silva “Because the Blessed Virgin wishes it so.”
Briefly stated, I have established it solidly in my book and we have all the proofs that God desired, willed that the final Secret of Our Lady be filially believed by the Pastors of the Church and made public to the faithful. This was to be done at the earliest in 1944 or at the latest by 1960 because as Sister Lucy further explained, “It would become clearer at that time.”
The Third Secret is Transferred to Rome
I cannot linger here on a still mysterious episode in the history of the Third Secret: In 1957, the Holy Office demanded the text of it, kept until then at the palace of the Bishop of Lieria. Who took this initiative? With what intention? A detailed analysis of the facts have enabled me to formulate a plausible hypothesis but I have not arrived at any certitude.
In mid March, 1957, Bishop da Silva entrusted his Auxiliary Bishop Venancio with the responsibility of delivering the precious document to Bishop Cento, the Apostolic Nuncio to Lisbon at that time. Bishop Venancio implored his Bishop to finally read the Secret and to make a copy of it before sending the manuscript to Rome, but the old Bishop persisted in his refusal. Bishop Venancio, who related this to me in Fatima on February 13, 1983, had to content himself with looking at the envelope while holding it up to the light. He could see inside a little sheet of which he measured the exact size. We thus know that the Third Secret is not very long, probably 20 to 25 lines, that is to say about the same length as the Second Secret. This allows us to reject as certainly inauthentic, several texts much too long, which some forgers have tried to foist upon the public as being the true Secret of Fatima.
On the 16th of April, 1957, the sealed envelope arrived in Rome. What became of it? It was placed in the office of Pope Pius XII, in a little chest bearing the note, “Secret of the Holy Office”. It is Mother Pascalina who confided this to the journalist, Robert Serrou, who in turn recently confirmed this fact.
Did Pope Pius XII read the Secret? As surprising as it may seem the answer is almost certainly No. Like Father Alonso, I give several solid arguments for this conclusion; notably the testimonies of Cardinal Ottaviani and Msgr. Capovilla, Secretary of Pope John XXIII, who stated to us that the envelope was still sealed when the Holy Father opened it in 1959, one year after the death of Pope Pius XII.
One understands, therefore, the solemn words which Sister Lucy addressed on the 26th of December, 1957, to Father Fuentes, then Postulator of the beatification causes of Jacinta and Francisco, “The Blessed Virgin is very sad, for no one attaches any importance to Her Message … Neither the good nor the bad … The good continue on their way but without paying attention to the Message… I cannot give any other details, since it is still a secret … Only the Holy Father and His Excellency the Bishop of Fatima would be able to know it in accordance to the Will of the Blessed Virgin … But they haven’t willed to know it as they did not want to be influenced.”
Pope Pius XII, therefore, without a doubt, preferred to wait for 1960, but he died before then. What a loss for the Church!
The Unanimous and Fervent Anticipation
At the approach of 1960, older ones remember it, the whole Christian people confidently awaited the promised public unveiling of the Secret. And you Italians (here present) you no doubt know that in 1959 there was in the whole country a great movement of devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. For several months, the Virgin of Fatima crisscrossed the peninsula drawing along in its trail enthusiastic crowds and spreading everywhere its marvels of grace, extraordinary fervor, miracles of conversion, miracles of doves … On the 13th of September, 1959, all the Bishops of the country solemnly consecrated Italy to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Unfortunately, the movement was so little encouraged by Pope John XXIII that his silence and reserve could not pass unnoticed.
Pope John XXIII Reads the Secret of Fatima and Refuses to Disclose It
We know that the Pope had the envelope of the Third Secret brought to him at Castel Gandolfo on August 17, 1959, by Msgr. Philippe, who was then an official of the Holy Office. Let us notice that this transmission of the Secret to the Sovereign Pontiff thus took on an official character and gathered around it a certain solemnity, which shows the prestige in which Fatima was held in that era. Pope John XXIII did not immediately open the envelope. He was content to declare “I am waiting to read it with my confessor.” “The reading of the Secret,” Msgr. Capovilla stated precisely, “was done a few days later.
But because of the difficulty raised by expressions peculiar to the language, assistance was requested of the Portuguese translator of the Secretariat of the State, Msgr. Paulo Jose Tavarez,” who became afterwards, the Bishop of Macao. Later, Pope John XXIII had it read to Cardinal Ottaviani, Prefect of the Holy Office.
Let us open here a brief parenthesis. Certainly we know well that it belongs to the Hierarchy to judge “private revelations.” In 1960, it was evident that the Church had already officially recognized the Divine authenticity of the Fatima apparitions, proved, moreover, more solidly than any other by incontestable prophecies and dazzling miracles as Father Gruner has just reminded us. In accordance with the command of the Most Blessed Virgin transmitted through Sister Lucy, the two prelates in charge, the Bishop of Leiria and the Patriarch of Lisbon had publicly undertaken to reveal the complete content of it by 1960 at the latest. For more than 15 years, no authoritative declaration had come out to refute these repeated promises echoed throughout the entire world by Cardinals, Bishops and Fatima experts as renowned as Canon Galamba, Canon Barthas or Father Messias Dias Coelho. The disclosure of the first two Secrets in 1942 with the consent of Pope Pius XII constituted moreover a precedent. So that the faithful perfectly had the right to expect from the supreme authority this promised revelation. They had at least a right to an exact and straightforward explanation on the part of the Holy Father.
Alas, on February 8, 1960, it was all of a sudden learned through a simple press agency communiqué that the Third Secret of Fatima would not be revealed. It was an anonymous decision, which is by its very nature, totally irresponsible. What were the reasons that had motivated it? The Vatican communiqué had offered only inconsistent, and even contradictory excuses. This anonymous press release even ended in treachery: “Although the Church recognizes the Fatima apparitions She does not desire to take the responsibility of guaranteeing the veracity of the words that the three shepherd children said that the Virgin Mary had addressed to them.” Thus, apparently, the Vatican not only assumed as its own the untenable position of Father Dhanis (the detailed exposé and analysis of this incoherent thesis is in the first volume), but this communiqué went even further. It publicly and without any valid reason cast the most ignominious suspicion upon the credibility of Sister Lucy and upon the whole of the Fatima Message!
According to Msgr. Capovilla, several Roman Prelates had been consulted. But what is certain is that the Portuguese authorities in charge were odiously disregarded. Neither Bishop Venancio nor Cardinal Cerejeira had been consulted or notified by Rome.
Upon re-reading and analyzing this lamentable press release of February 8, 1960, or even more by studying the miserable article published in June by Father Caprile in Civilta Cattolica, one is disheartened by the massive examples of incoherence, inaccuracies and falsehoods which have been uttered by responsible authorities in Rome itself on the subject of Fatima. This tells you how much the decision to take no notice of the expressed will of the Immaculate Virgin, Queen of the Apostles, demanding that Her Secret be revealed by 1960, was unjustified and unjustifiable. It is certain also, that it did immense harm to the Fatima cause. One can say that it was from this date after this public disregard for the “Secret of Mary” that devotion to the Most Blessed Virgin began to decrease in a perceptible and then alarming manner in the very bosom of the Catholic Church. More than ever, the words of Sister Lucy applied: “The Blessed Virgin is very sad, for no one pays attention to Her Message.” And this fault, one must dare to say it, was going to have incalculable consequences. For in disregarding the prophecies and requests of Fatima, it was the Virgin Mary, it was God Himself who had been disregarded, who had been ridiculed in front of the world. The conditional punishment announced through the maternal warning of the Immaculate One was then going to be carried out tragically, inevitably.
II – THE THIRD SECRET UNVEILED?
Cardinal Ottaviani related that Pope John XXIII placed the Secret “in one of those archives which are like a very deep, dark well, to the bottom of which papers fall and no one is able to see them any more.” We know very well what became of the manuscript of Sister Lucy. One can even discover the essential content of it. What does Our Lady tell us in this warning which She has given for our age on July 13,1917? First of all, we can establish four certain and objective facts concerning this Secret which are going to enable us to advance with long strides in the uncovering of the Mystery.
1. A first capital fact: We know the context of the Third Secret. Properly speaking, there is in effect only one Secret, revealed completely on July 13, 1917. Now of this composite entity, at this moment, we know three parts of four. We know the beginning, the first two parts of the Secret and the end, which is surely formed by the conclusion: “In the end,” Our Lady promises us, “My Immaculate Heart will triumph, the Holy Father will consecrate Russia to Me and she will be converted and a period of peace will be granted to the world.” It is in this already known context, following the “etc.” in the text that Sister Lucy herself wrote concerning the second part of the Secret, that the Third Secret happens to be inserted. Such is the first fact which is for us an important guide post in order to allow us to proceed in the discovery of the content of the last Secret. The latter must correspond with its immediate context and agree harmoniously with the whole of the Message of Fatima, whose coherence is moreover completely remarkable.
2. A second important fact: If the circumstances in which it was revealed prove to us its fundamental unity, the dramatic circumstances of its writing down unveil to us, on their own, its tragic seriousness.
3. A third very illuminating fact: It is on account of its content and on these grounds alone that since 1960, successive Ropes have refused to disclose it.
First of all, Pope John XXIII refused to reveal it, as we have seen, despite the enthusiastic and anxious expectation of the whole Catholic world.
Paul VI adopted the same attitude. Elected on June 21, 1963, he, some time afterward, asked for the text of the Secret. This proves his lively concern for this subject. Since no one knew what Pope John XXIII had done with it, they questioned his secretary, Msgr. Capovilla, who indicated the place where the manuscript had been put. Pope Paul VI surely read it at that point but he did not speak about it. You know, however, on February 11, 1967, as the jubilee of the Fatima Apparitions approached, Cardinal Ottaviani, in the name of the Pope, made a long declaration on the subject of the Third Secret of Fatima, in order to explain that it would still not be revealed. In my book, I cite and analyze this text. Following the Portuguese experts, I am forced to testify that in order to justify at any price the non-disclosure of the Secret, the Prefect of the Holy Office, supreme guarantor of truth in the Church, is compelled to accumulate a mass of in-coherencies and patent untruths. And, alas, we shall see the reasons advanced in 1984 by his successor, Cardinal Ratzinger, are not any more consistent.
Pope John Paul I was very devoted to Our Lady of Fatima; he went on pilgrimage to Cova da Iria in 1977, and what is a very curious fact, Sister Lucy herself asked to meet with him. Cardinal Luciani went therefore to the Carmel of Coimbra and he conversed at length with the seer. I am in a position to verify that Sister Lucy spoke with him about the Third Secret and revealed to him the essential content of it. He was very impressed by it. He informed his entourage, at the time of his return to Italy, how moved he had been and how serious was the Message. He then spoke and wrote about Fatima in vigorous terms and he expressed his admiration and his total confidence in Sister Lucy, whom he obviously considered to be a saint. (I shall give in my fourth volume all the proofs of these unpublished facts.) Having become Pope, he wished no doubt to prepare public opinion before doing something. Unfortunately, he was tragically taken away from us before having been able to say anything.
Pope John Paul II, before going on pilgrimage to Fatima on May 13, 1982, asked for the help of a Portuguese translator from the Curia, in order to translate for him certain expressions of the Secret which are peculiar to the Portuguese language. He also, therefore, has read the Third Secret and has chosen not to make it public.
Finally, we know that Cardinal Ratzinger has read it as well, since he told the Italian journalist, Vittorio Messori, that he had read it. Cardinal Ratzinger has even spoken about it on two occasions: in November, 1984, and in June, 1985, alluding to its content in very different terms, which for us is significant. In my book, I published and commented on the synopses of these two successive published versions.
4. The fourth principal fact: The prophecy of the Third Secret has been unfolding at the present time, before our eyes since 1960. There is, in fact, a timetable, a chronicle in the realization of the prophecies of Fatima.
On the one hand, it is indeed certain that we have not yet come to the time announced by the conclusion of the Secret. Why? Because Russia has not yet been consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, as it must be, and as it will be one day. Sister Lucy made this known clearly even after the Act of March 25, 1984. Russia is not yet converted and the world is not in peace, far from it! Therefore, we are not at the end of the prophecy.
On the other hand, the events announced in the Third Secret do not only concern our future, for we have another guide mark: 1960. The Virgin had asked that the Secret be made public in 1960 because Lucy told Cardinal Ottaviani, “In 1960, the Message will appear more clear.” Now, the only reason that might render a prophecy clearer from a specific date onward, without any doubt, is the beginning of its fulfillment. And we have other statements from Lucy saying that “the punishments predicted by Our Lady in the Third Secret have already begun.”
The terminus a quo (beginning point) and the terminus ad quem (the end point) of the prophecy having been thus determined, we can be sure that we are presently in the period of which She speaks. So we are living the Third Secret. We are witnessing the events that it announces.
False Secrets and False Hypotheses
Basing oneself on this reliable data, one can discard a whole series of false secrets that have been successively published for 25 years. I cite them all in my work and I demonstrate, for example, that the most famous of them, the “Secret” circulated in 1963 by the German magazine Neues Europa, and which has been ceaselessly reprinted in innumerable magazines, is a fake.2 There are in this text, several monstrous errors which prove this sufficiently. Moreover, although it is a matter, we are told, of simple “extracts” of the real Secret, these “extracts” are already at least four times too long to fit on the sheet of paper on which Lucy wrote down the whole of the Third Secret.
One can dismiss also, a good number of false hypotheses. Certainly, one is not dealing with a simple “invitation to prayer and penance”, as Father Caprile dares to claim! The Virgin Mary would not have asked Lucy to wait for 1944 or 1960 in order to divulge a message that would repeat word for word Her public Message of October 13, 1917! That doesn’t hold water!
Neither is it a matter of happiness: The Third Secret of Fatima certainly does not accord with the views of optimism of Pope John XXIII, proclaiming that the Council would be “a new Pentecost”, “a new springtime for the Church!” If that were the case, he himself or his successors would have revealed it to us. “If it were pleasant,” Cardinal Cerejeira said very justifiably, “we would have been told so. Since we haven’t been told anything, the fact is that it is sad.” Yes, it is obviously grave and tragic.
Neither is it the announcement of the end of the world since the prophecy of Fatima ends with a marvelous and unconditional promise, which ought to be preached in season and out of season, because it is a source of unshakeable hope: “In the end, My Immaculate Heart will triumph, the Holy Father will consecrate Russia to Me, it will be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world.”
Would it be the announcement of a Third World War? Of a Nuclear War? It would be sensible to think so, for here the prophecy would do nothing but confirm the most lucid political analyses. Would not the Virgin Mary have predicted this most horrible future war, which so tragically threatens us? Together with Father Alonso, I think that this is undoubtedly not the essential of the Third Secret. And I say this for a solid reason: Namely, this foretelling of material chastisements, of new wars and of persecutions against the Church, constitutes the specific content of the Second Secret. Have we yet reflected on the terrible importance of these simple words: “The good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer, various nations will be annihilated”? “The Blessed Virgin has told us,” Sister Lucy confided to Father Fuentes, “that many nations will disappear from the face of the earth, that Russia will be the instrument of heavenly punishment for the world if we do not obtain beforehand the conversion of that poor nation.” That is why it is to be feared that the word “annihilated” is to be taken literally in its obvious sense: annihilated, totally destroyed. Improbable in 1917, this tragic threat is not any longer farfetched for us today in the Nuclear Age.
It is therefore clear: all the material punishments which still threaten us, even the most dreadful, like nuclear war, or the expansion of Communism over the whole planet, are already foretold by Our Lady in Her Second Secret, and we also know the supernatural means to avert them before it is too late. We can be certain that nothing of all that comes back in the third part of the Secret, according to Father Alonso. Or at least, I would add, if allusion to it is again made (as is quite possible), this will not be the essential message of the Third Secret. In effect, since the Secret is composed of three interrelated but distinct parts and whose date, for disclosure, fixed by Heaven were not the same, one can be sure that the third part of the Secret is not going to repeat the same thing as the second in a few lines of space.
A Spiritual Chastisement
Doubtlessly, the Third Secret mainly refers to a spiritual chastisement. Far worse, even more fearsome than famine, wars, persecutions, for it concerns souls, their salvation or their eternal perdition. The late Father Alonso, named in 1966 as official archivist of Fatima by Bishop Venancio, has proved that this is what the Third Secret contains. He wrote about it in one of the volumes of his great critical work, consisting of 24 volumes, which unfortunately, he was forbidden to publish. But he was able, all the same, before his death on December 12, 1981, to make known to us his conclusions in various pamphlets and numerous articles in theological journals.
My personal research has only permitted me to clarify, to complete, to be more specific about his thesis, which new documents have come to confirm.
Here is the most important: On September 10, 1984, Bishop Cosme do Amaral, the present Bishop of Leiria, Fatima, in the Aula Magna (large auditorium) of the Technical University of Vienna, declared in the course of a period of questions and answers: “The Secret of Fatima speaks neither of atomic bombs nor of nuclear warheads, nor of SS20 missiles. Its content, he has insisted, concerns only our faith. To identify the Secret with catastrophic announcements or with a nuclear holocaust is to distort the meaning of the Message. The loss of faith of a continent is worse than the annihilation of a nation; and it is true that faith is continually diminishing in Europe.”
For ten years, the Bishop of Fatima kept an absolute silence about the content of the Third Secret. When he opens his mouth in order to make so resolute a public statement, one can be morally certain that he has not said this without having beforehand consulted Sister Lucy. We can be all the more certain of this since, in 1981, he had already refuted some false secrets while saying that he had questioned the seer on the subject. This is to say that the thesis of Fr. Alonso is now publicly confirmed by the Bishop of Fatima: It is the terrible crisis within the Church. It is the loss of faith that the Immaculate Virgin has foretold, precisely for our era, if Her requests were not sufficiently carried out, and it is this drama which we have been witnessing since 1960.
The essential having been said, I shall now content myself to mention the principle stages of my proof regarding the true content of the Third Secret.
The Loss of Faith
In the first chapter, I set forth the reasons which prove that the Third Secret deals specifically with the loss of faith. It is the principal element of the Secret that we already know. In effect, we know more than only the context of it. Sister Lucy was desirous to indicate to us the first sentence of it, “In Portugal, the dogma of faith will always be preserved, etc.” This little sentence, which the seer surely and intentionally added when she wrote down the Secret for the second time in her memoirs, is definitely significant. It provides us very discreetly, with the key to the Third Secret.
Here is the judicious commentary of Father Alonso: “‘In Portugal, the dogma of the faith will always be preserved.’ This sentence in all clarity implies the critical state of the faith which will befall other nations. That is to say a crisis of faith, while Portugal will save its faith.” “Therefore,” Father Alonso writes further, “in the period which precedes the great Triumph of the Heart of Mary, the terrible things, which are the object of the third part of the Secret, will occur. Which ones? If, ‘In Portugal, the dogmas of faith will always be preserved,’ one can deduce from it with perfect clarity that in other parts of the Church these dogmas either are going to become obscure or else even be lost.”
Most of the experts have adopted this interpretation: Father Martin dos Reis, Canon Galamba, Bishop Venancio, Father Luis Kondor, Father Messias Dias Coelho. Last November 18th, in the course of a conference that he gave in Paris, Father Laurentin declared himself also in favor of this solution. Let us add that Cardinal Ratzinger has himself spoken in this sense to Vittorio Messori, while saying that the Third Secret concerned “the dangers threatening the faith and life of Christians.” Finally, as we have said, the present Bishop of Fatima is still more explicit. He lets it be understood that it is a crisis of faith, on the scale of several nations and entire continents … such a defection has a name in Holy Scripture: It is apostasy. It is possible that this word is found in the text of the Secret.
The Faltering and Punishment of Pastors
In a second chapter, I show that there is more: The Third Secret insists surely on the heavy responsibility of consecrated souls, of priests, and even bishops themselves in this unprecedented crisis of faith which has hit the Church for 25 years. I provide several proofs of it, several very clear indications. I must be content here to cite to you Father Alonso: “It is therefore completely probable that the text of the Third Secret makes concrete allusions to the crisis of faith within the Church and to the negligence of the pastors themselves.” He speaks further of “internal struggles in the very bosom of the Church and of grave pastoral negligence by the high hierarchy”, of “deficiencies of the upper hierarchy of the Church.”
These very serious words Father Alonso has surely not written in black and white without having carefully considered the whole impact. As official archivist of Fatima, would he have adopted after 10 years of labors and various interviews, various conversations with Sister Lucy, a position so bold on a subject so red hot without being assured at least of the tacit agreement of the seer? The answer does not permit any doubt at all.
This declaration of the deficiencies of the Hierarchy explains the haunting concern of the three seers forcing themselves to pray. To pray much and to sacrifice without ceasing for the Holy Father; the three months of insurmountable anguish that Sister Lucy had to face before daring to write down this text. It explains finally why the Popes since the optimist John XXIII have hesitated, delayed and ceaselessly put off until later its publication, seeking at all costs to keep it hidden.
A Wave of Diabolical Disorientation
In the third chapter, I show that Sister Lucy, without doubt, echoed a theme of the Third Secret in certain of her words and letters where she lays stress on the unleashing of the devil in our era. Already in 1957, she was confiding to Father Fuentes, “The Most Holy Virgin has told me that the devil is about to engage in a decisive battle against the Virgin … and that he knows what most offends God, and what will make him gain the most souls in the shortest possible time. He does everything to gain souls consecrated to God, for in this manner, he will succeed in leaving the souls of the faithful abandoned by their leaders, thereby the more easily will he seize them.”
But it is especially in a series of very little known but very important letters in the years 1969-1970, that in them she uses some striking expressions to describe the present crisis of the Church. And, let us note it well, through the pen of a soul who is so humble, and so respectful of authority, that such strong expressions are without doubt the echo of the words heard from the very lips of the Immaculate Virgin in Her Final Message concerning the protection of the faith and the welfare of the Church.
“I see by your letter,” she writes to a priest, “that you are preoccupied by the disorientation of our time. It is sad, in fact, that so many persons let themselves be dominated by the diabolical wave that is sweeping the world and that they are blinded to the point of being incapable of seeing error! The principal fault is that they have abandoned prayer, they have in this way become estranged from God, and without God, everything is lacking. The devil is very cunning and looks for our weak points in order to attack us. If we are not diligent and careful to obtain from God strength, we shall fall, for our age is very wicked and we are weak. Only the strength of God can keep us on our feet.”
In a letter to a friend who is zealously involved in the defense of Marian devotion, Sister Lucy writes: “Let people say the Rosary every day, Our Lady has repeated that in all of Her apparitions, as if to fortify us in these times of diabolical disorientation, in order that we not let ourselves be deceived by false doctrines … Unfortunately, in religious matters the people for the most part are ignorant and allow themselves to be led wherever they are taken. Hence, the great responsibility of the one who has the duty of leading them … It is a diabolical disorientation that is invading the world, deceiving souls! It is necessary to stand up to ‘the devil’.'”
On September 16, 1970, she writes to a religious friend: “Our poor Lord, He has saved us with so much love and He is so little understood! so little loved! so badly served! – It is painful to see such great confusion, and in so many persons who occupy places of responsibility! … for us, we must try, as much as it is possible for us, to make reparation through a still more intimate union with the Lord … It pains me to see what you are saying, but now, that is happening around here also! … The fact is that the devil has succeeded in bringing in evil under the appearance of good, and the blind are beginning to lead others … This is like the Lord told us in His Gospel, and souls allow themselves to be taken in. Gladly I sacrifice myself and offer God my life for peace in His Church, for priests and for all consecrated souls, especially for those who are so deceived and misguided!”
For the confidante of the Virgin Mary, evil is not only in our world “in decadence”, “plunged into the darkness of error of immorality and pride.” Evil is also in the Church itself, where the devil has his “followers” and his “partisans” who are always “forging ahead with intrepid audacity.” Facing them, there are so many “timid persons” who do not have the courage to take a stand. And Sister Lucy is not afraid to state that many bishops are among their number. Moreover, it is not only a question of lukewarmness or of pastoral neglect, Sister Lucy lets it be clearly understood that it is the faith itself that is being attacked. She speaks of “false doctrines” and of “diabolical confusion”, of “blindness” and this, among the very ones “who have great responsibility” in the Church. She deplores the fact that, so many pastors “let themselves be dominated by the diabolical wave that is invading the world.” Could one better describe the crisis of the Church that has opened itself to a world … of which satan is the prince?
But Sister Lucy insists, “The Virgin knew that these times of diabolical disorientation had to come.” All these words of the seer and so many others that we can cite, are explained perfectly, and take on great prominence, if on July 13, 1917, in Her Third Secret, the Virgin specifically foretold this “diabolical disorientation” which would suddenly invade the Church, if Her requests were not obeyed.
The Great Apostasy
To someone who was questioning her on the content of the Third Secret, Sister Lucy one day replied: “It’s in the Gospel, and in the Apocalypse, read them.” She has also confided to Father Fuentes that the Virgin Mary has made her see clearly that “We are in the last times of the world.” This does not mean, one must emphasize, the time of the end of the world and of the last judgment, since the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary must come first. Cardinal Ratzinger himself discreetly alluding to the content of the Secret of Fatima, has mentioned three important elements: “The dangers threatening the faith,” “the importance of the last times” and the fact that the prophecies “contained in this Third Secret correspond to what has been announced in Scripture.” We even know that one day Lucy indicated Chapters 8, 13 of the Apocalypse.
That is why, in the last two chapters of my book, I take up the great teachings of Our Lord, of St. Paul and St. John – so ignored today! – announcing the troubles, the heresy and finally the great apostasy which will arise in the Church during the “last times”. And the objective comparison of the prophecies of Scripture – very particularly those of the Apocalypse – and the great prophecy of the Virgin of Fatima, at the dawn of our Century shows indeed very numerous and quite striking parallels.
III-WE MUST LISTEN TO OUR LADY!
We have said enough about it in order to understand that nothing is so important, so necessary, so urgent, than to make known without delay, to all the faithful of the Church, the complete and integral text of Mary’s Secret, in its limpid truthfulness and in its prophetic richness and its Divine transcendence. It would be proper here to cite the numerous and solid reasons which underline the urgency of this disclosure. I shall be content at the end of this talk to mention the principal points.
Why Reveal the Third Secret?
1. “Because the Blessed Virgin wants it.” We know indeed that Her will has not changed in the least since the moment of Grace of July 13, 1917 when She revealed it to the three shepherds nor has it changed since that January 2, 1944, when appearing to Sister Lucy in her convent at Tuy, She asked her to write down the text of it. Our Lady wills that this prophetic oracle be unveiled, that it be known. And Sister Lucy, Her messenger, has continued to want this public disclosure and as much as she has been permitted, she has urgently requested it from those in authority, this we know.
2. For the good of souls. For contrary to the falsehood so often repeated, the Secret is not intended exclusively for the Holy Father. Like the two preceding ones, it is destined for all the faithful. As sons of the Church, we are all children of Mary. We all have the right to know the salutary warning that Our Heavenly Mother addresses to us in this very perilous hour, in order to help us – we ourselves, our children, all those dear to us – to keep intact and alive in our hearts, the true Catholic faith received from our forefathers.
3. As long as this Secret is not revealed, the peace of the world will remain tragically threatened. I will explain myself. We believe strongly, that as long as Russia is not consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, as God requires it to be, Russia will not be converted. And as long as she will not be converted, liberated from its atheistic and persecuting Bolshevism and from the grip of satanic forces which enslave it, the risk of a nuclear apocalypse will remain a terrible threat for the world. God has willed that the peace of the world depends, in our Century, on the ardent filial obedience of the Pope and of the bishops to the commands of His Most Holy Mother who appeared at Fatima. Now, this act of faith, of confident docility towards the Immaculate Mediatrix, through which our pastors shall carry out the consecration of Russia, presupposes also, and I shall even say first of all, the acceptance and the public disclosure of the Secret. It is a lesson of history: Since 1960, the deliberate, contemptuous concealment of the Secret of Our Lady has gone hand in hand with the stubborn refusal to precisely carry out with exactitude, Her other requests. On the other hand, the publication of the Third Secret will be the clear sign that the Church has officially recognized the Divine authenticity and importance of the Fatima Message in its entirety. One of the major obstacles to the consecration of Russia shall in that case be set aside!
4. Finally and especially, for the welfare of the Church. While the Church, without a doubt, is going through the most serious crisis in her history, while heresies of all sorts are taught and propagated, poisoning everywhere the people of God, while her “self-destruction” continues without letup since 1960, and when the “smoke of satan” has penetrated into the holy place, to use some expressions of Paul VI, it would be a very great pity and certainly even criminal to continue to neglect, to disregard, to despise the salutary words of the Virgin Mary – concerning precisely this ‘crisis of faith’ that we are undergoing. Since the Queen of Heaven as early as 1917 had foretold the danger and since She had certainly indicated the real causes of it, and moreover, since She had proposed the effective remedies, is it not a terrible shame that these remedies intended to be publicly made known in 1960 have yet to be revealed to us? Is it not scandalous that for 25 years, millions of souls have been suffering in this “diabolical disorientation” and have been running the risk of being lost eternally without the pastors of the Church deigning to accept the extraordinary aid that Heaven is offering them?
Repeatedly Beg the Pope and Pray for the Pope
There now are so many reasons which make it a duty for us to continue to address to the Holy Father our repeated supplications for the disclosure of the Secret of Fatima: It is for the honor of Our Mother, for the salvation of our brothers, for the peace of the world, for the renewal of the Church. Let us not be told, as a recent false report tries to make us believe, that the Fatima Secret cannot be unveiled because “It would risk being misinterpreted!” The Queen of Prophets who foresaw and announced in 1917 so many then unforeseeable events that we have since witnessed, would have failed to foresee this risk, to the point of making Her Secret completely useless for the Church? This is unthinkable! No, Her Secret is clear, with neither the least ambiguity nor difficulty in interpretation, we can be certain of it. Let us dare even to say it! Would it not be rather because of its too great clarity which is making our pastors uneasy? Let us therefore pray untiringly so that the Holy Father can receive from God the light and the strength which will permit him to finally conquer all obstacles. It is already late, but Sister Lucy tells us, “It will never be too late to have recourse to Jesus and to Mary.”
Finally, and with this I shall conclude, if the Holy Father cannot yet decide to make public the final Secret of Our Lady by exercising his personal authority, could he not, should he not at least allow complete freedom to the Prefect of the Holy Office or to the Bishop of Leiria, or to the seer herself, to obey the expressed command of Our Lady that the Secret be made known to the faithful?
For it is an astounding fact that for more than 25 years, the Secret of Fatima and it alone is in some manner on the index. Sister Lucy, and she alone is compelled to silence. On November 15, 1966, Pope Paul VI abrogated articles 1399 and 2318 of the code of Canon Law, which prohibited the publication of books and pamphlets which propagate without authorization new apparitions, revelations, or prophecies still not approved by the Church. And this abrogation is now in the new code so that since 1966, anyone can publish and spread among the Christian people the most fantastic revelations. Any deception, any devilry, nothing is prohibited anymore. Everything is authorized to be published and the ‘prince of lies’ skillfully takes advantage of this license by multiplying throughout the world, false apparitions and fraudulent messages, which spread freely everywhere and lead astray countless members of the faithful. Only that Message, the Secret of Fatima, which is most certainly and most unquestionably from God, is the only Message which is scandalously prohibited from being published.
The conclusion imposes itself: It is high time to also let the seer of Fatima speak. And through her the Immaculate Virgin, Mother of God and our Mother, our all loveable and all loving Mediatrix and Coredemptrix. It is urgent to listen to Her since, “She alone will be able to help us” as She Herself informed us on July 13, 1917.
Our Last Hope – Our Lady of Fatima
Her three Secrets reveal to us in fact Her threefold power and Her threefold mission which God has entrusted to Her. God wishes to manifest in a most striking way in our Century, this mission of Our Lady. It is through Her, through the vision of hell and the revelation of Her Immaculate Heart, the first terrible and marvelous Secret that He wishes to convert souls, all souls, and to save them, because She is the ‘Mother of Mercy’ and the ‘Gate of Heaven’. It is through Her – the commands, the promises, the threats in Her Second Secret, that He has been seeking to save Christianity, to spare us from horrible wars and Communist slavery! For He has established Her as ‘Queen of Peace’. Moreover, it is through Her, through the prophecy of Her Third Secret -that He wishes to conquer today that “diabolical wave” surging upon the Church, the impiety that has taken hold, even in the Sanctuary and all the dark forces that have propagated and encouraged the modern apostasy, for She is the ‘Defender of the True Faith’ and She alone has received from Her Son the power to conquer all of the heresies in the whole world: Cuntas haereses tu sola interemisti in universo mundo!
And this threefold mission of the Immaculate Mediatrix, which Her great Secret reveals to us, is also the unshakeable basis for our inconfoundable hope. Yes, we can be sure of it when Her Secret will finally be completely unveiled and recognized as authentic, when Russia will finally be solemnly consecrated to Her, and the reparational devotion of the First Saturdays of the month is officially approved, the faithful and powerful Virgin, ‘Virgo Fidelis,’ ‘Virgo Potens’ will accomplish Her wonderful promises. Filled with joy, we shall then witness the triumph of Her Immaculate Heart, preparing the universal reign of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Russia, delivered from her demons through a remarkable miracle of conversion, will return to the sheepfold of Roman unity. A period of peace will be granted to the world. The Catholic faith will be preached to all nations. And countless numbers of souls shall go in joy to the Fountains of Salvation in the One Holy Catholic, Apostolic and Roman Church of Christ under the guidance of a single Shepherd!
Yes, this hour will come, but we ourselves must hasten it by carrying out with love all the requests of Our Lady from this moment onward. For She has need of us. “Modern times”, St. Maximilian Kolbe used to say, “are dominated by satan and they shall be so even more in the future… The Immaculate One alone has received from God the promise of victory over satan, but being in the glory of Heaven, She needs us today, to work together with Her. She seeks souls consecrated entirely to Her and become in Her hands a force to conquer satan, and to become under Her direction effective means for establishing the Kingdom of God.”
Our Lady of Fatima, Pray for us!