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The Fatima Secrets – Our Lady of Fatima’s mysterious words…

The Fatima secrets are a sequence of apocalyptic visions and predictions delivered to three young Portuguese shepherds by a Marian apparition beginning on 13 May 1917. The apparition is known as Our Lady of Fatima.

Writing about the three secrets of Fatima took me more effort than usual. The reason is that I have trouble believing them. That is to say, I am not questioning the content so much as the way in which it has been made public. The first two parts of the secret were published after the events had already taken place. The last vision just leaves us with a lot of questions. 

Having said that, let’s dive into the Mysterious Secrets of Fatima.

The vision of Our Lady of Fatima

In 1916, three shepherd children regularly had a vision of an angel. This angel called himself an angel of peace. Then – on May 13, 1917 – the children are startled by two flashes of light. They looked up and saw “a lady, clothed in white, brighter than the sun”.

The children stood there with open mouths as the Lady smiled and said: “Do not be afraid, I will not harm you.” Lucia, as the oldest, asked her where she came from. The Lady pointed to the sky and said: “I come from heaven.” Lucia then asked her what she wanted: “I have come to ask you to come here for six months on the 13th day of the month, at this same hour. Later I shall say who I am and what I desire. And I shall return here yet a seventh time.” She promised the War (World War I) would end soon.

Visitations took place on June 13th, July 13th, August 19th (delayed 6 days as the children were imprisoned), September 13th and October 13th. On the last occasion, The Miracle of the Sun took place. You can read everything about this mysterious event if you follow this link

During the next six months, Mary revealed to the children (amongst other things) what have become known as the three Fatima secrets, but actually is one vision in three parts.

shepherds of Fatima

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Why are the visions of Fatima called secrets?

This was the first question that came to my mind. Why call them secrets if you are going to tell them anyway? The children had been instructed by Our Lady to keep the contents of the visions secret. They were also called upon to do penance, pray rosaries, and received instructions from Our Lady of Fatima on how to live a pious life.

It was the Bishop of Leiria, Dom José Alves da Silva, who in 1935 asked Lucia to entrust her secrets to paper. It was not until 1941 that she revealed the first two secrets. She wrote the third part of the secret in 1944, asking the Bishop not to open it until 1960.

In the letters to the bishop, one can read how difficult it was for Lucia to reveal the secrets. She felt she had to obey the Bishop and by doing that she was fulfilling the will of God, but on the other hand, she wasn’t very sure of it. 

What were the first two Fatima Secrets?

In 1941 the first two secrets of Fatima were revealed. The first secret was a vision of hell. The children saw people burning eternally without digestion. What they saw must have been terrible. Mary warned the children to be pious to prevent it from ending like that.

The second secret was the warning of World War II and the need for Russia to be consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

(You will find the full text of the secrets and the end of this blog)

For me, the reason to doubt these visions is that by 1941, this prophecy had largely come true already.

The second war had started 2 years earlier due to a pact between Russia and Germany involving the Poles. This pact resulted in thousands of Polish young men being rounded up, taken away, and murdered by the Russians. By 1941 the war was raging across Europe.

Lenin and Stalin
Lenin and Stalin (Wikipedia - Open source)

In 1917, Lenin was in power in Russia. He – and his successor Stalin – would do everything possible to outlaw religion and persecute all believers. 

Why did Lucia decide to make the secrets public?

On September 12th, 1935, Jacinta’s (one of the three sheperd visionaries) remains were brought from the cemetery of Vila Nova de Ourém to Fatima. On that occasion, several photographs of the little body were taken as her body and face was found to be incorrupt. The Bishop of Leiria sent some photos to Sister Lucia, who was then in Pontevedra. On that occasion, he asked her to write her memoirs.

She answered him in a long letter, in which she wrote everything she could remember.
About the secrets she wrote:

“In spite of my good will to obey, I would like to ask Your Excellency to permit me to keep some subjects to myself and to preserve them until the threshold of eternity, because they concern me. You will not think it strange that I should wish to keep some things for eternity? Hasn't Our Lady given me an example of this? After all, the Holy Scriptures tell us that Mary kept these things in her heart"?

In 1941, when she was asked again to reveal the secret, she wrote down the first two parts of the secret.

The third part of the secret should have been revealed in 1960

On 3 January 1944, the third part of the secret was written down “by command of His Excellency the Bishop of Leiria and the Most Holy Mother.” The envelope carrying the third secret was conveyed to Bishop Silva in June 1944, where it remained until 1957, when it was eventually sent to Rome.

However, in 1960, the Vatican released a press release claiming that it was “very likely” that the Secret would stay forever sealed. This declaration sparked extensive speculation regarding the nature of the secret. The New York Times said that speculation varied from “global nuclear devastation to significant rifts in the Roman Catholic Church that lead to competing papacies.”

I think Pope John XXIII might have been critical about the content of the third secret. He was a liberal Pope and might not have believed the visions of hell and damnation. Some Catholics believed that the third secret contained a condemnation of the Second Vatican Council. This council was about modernizing the church.

Frustrated by the delay, Laurence James Downey even hijacked a plane on 2 May 1981 and demanded that Pope John Paul II reveal the third mystery of Fátima.

Fatima in Lucia's own Words

Lucia own words

Most of the information for this post I read in the memoirs of Lucia. These contain the letters she wrote to the Bishop. Furthermore, she describes everything she can remember about the visits of Our lady of Fatima.The memoirs are available at Scribd. 

If you go to Scribd through this link, you can use the service free for two months. (If you go directly to Scribd you only get one month free).

Once logged in, you can do a search for SISTER LUCIA’S MEMOIRS. You will not only find this book on Scribd, but many more other good reads about Fatima.

Pope John Paul II and the Fatima revelation

On 13 May 1981, as he entered St. Peter’s Square to address a crowd, John Paul II was shot and gravely injured by Mehmet Ali Aca, an expert Turkish gunman and member of the militant fascist organization Grey Wolves.

Later, the pope said that the Blessed Virgin Mary kept him alive during all of his troubles. There were more attempts to assassinate him, but this attack impressed him the most, especially because of the date.  

“Could I forget that the event in St. Peter's Square took place on the day and at the hour when the first appearance of the Mother of Christ to the poor little peasants has been remembered for over sixty years at Fátima, Portugal? For in everything that happened to me on that very day, I felt that extraordinary motherly protection and care, which turned out to be stronger than the deadly bullet.”

Under his pontificate, the blessing (consecration) of Russia took place on March 25, 1984, fulfilling Our Lady’s wish. Sister Lucia stated in 1989 that the solemn and universal consecration that took place on March 25, 1984, corresponded to what Our Lady wanted:

Yes, as Our Lady requested, it happened, on the day of March 25, 1984. Therefore, no discussion or later request has any foundation....

The Third Secret of Fatima

Cardinal Angelo Sodano announced on 13 May 2000 that the third secret would finally be revealed, 83 years after the first apparition of our Lady of Fatima and 19 years after the murder attempt on Pope John Paul II. 

Cardinal Sodano hinted in his presentation that the secret concerned the persecution of Christians in the 20th century, which culminated in the failed assassination attempt against Pope John Paul II on 13 May 1981, the 64th anniversary of the first apparition of Our Lady of Fátima.

Finally, the text of the third secret was disclosed on 26 June 2000

Are Fatima's Secrets really revealed?

Since 2000, skeptics have denied that the Holy See genuinely communicated the Third Secret to the world. Although some of them have simply discarded the text supplied to the public at the time as unauthentic, others have asserted that it is insufficient and that there must be an additional text providing an explanation.

One of the most important priests, who could not believe that the total secret of Fatima had been revealed, was Brother Grüner. He made it his life’s work to completely unravel the secret of Fatima.

The video below is absolutely fascinating, especially now with Russia invading Ukraine.

I am not a catholic, so to me, it is very hard to believe that there are true and false popes or apparitions of Mary to lead us the way. I can only observe that the Catholic Church is facing a huge crisis of faith and that something is finally being done about the cries for help from women and children who have been abused for years by a some priests.

Furthermore, I also see Pope Francis saying and doing things that, in my mind, make faith more accessible and loving. But I can imagine that some of his statements run counter to the faith of more traditional Catholics.

Fatima's secrets and the end of time

I cannot deny that I am deeply concerned about Russia’s invasion into Ukraine (2022).

And when people like Fr. Grüner and Fr. Kramer, in relation to the third secret of Fatima, in the video above, make allusions to a Russian invasion of Europe as early as 2012, I can’t just brush it off.

This is exactly why I find this a difficult subject to write about. At the beginning of this post, I indicate that I am critical of a vision announced in 1941 about something that has already partially taken place.

But with the strange events of recent years and Russia’s invasion in 2022, I can no longer dismiss the Fatima secrets as a fairy tale. Maybe we should show some more penitence and feel real sorrow for things that have done wrong. After all, we are exploiting this beautiful earth God created.

Believe what you want to believe, with respect for anyone who thinks differently, but I think this is truly a mystery worth exploring.

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Fatima's secrets (Full text)

The first part of the secret of Fatima:

“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.”

The second part of the secret of Fatima:

“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 illuminated 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."

The third part of the secret of Fatima:

“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, Religious men and women going up a steep mountain, at the top of which there was a big Cross of roughhewn 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, Religious men and women, 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.”

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