|The Solar Miracle at Fatima|
The Secret of Our Lady of the Rosary is a three-part prophecy that she ordered to be kept secret for 25 years or until the death of Lucia, whichever came first. Francisco and Jacinta died in the influenza pandemic that ravaged Europe in 1918 and 1919. Lucia became a Dorothe Sister, and in 1948 she became a Barefoot Carmelite in a closed convent at Coimbra. Lucia learned to write, and recorded the text of the secret prophecy. This was kept in the Bishopric of Leiria until 1943, when Pope Pius XII revealed the first two parts through the agency of Cardinal Schuster. The final, secret part of the prophecy was opened by Pope John XXIII and several cardinals in 1960, according to the Madonna's directions, but it was not revealed to the public. The first section is a vision of Hell. The second part predicts World War II. The following segment was published with Papal approval:
"If you do what I tell you, many souls will be saved and we shall have peace. The war is coming to an end; but it does not cease to offend the Lord, and another, more terrible one will break out. When you see a night lit up by an unknown light, you will know that it the great sign that God gives you of the next punishment of the sins of the world with war, famine, and persecution against the Church and against the Holy Father.
"In order to prevent this, I have some to intercede for the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart and the communion of the first Sabbaths.
"If you carry out my demands, Russia will be converted and there will be peace. Otherwise the errors will be spread around the world, provoking war and persecution against the Church; many good people will become martyrs, the Holy Father will suffer much; many nations will be suppressed...
"But in the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph, the Holy Father will consecrate Russia for me, which will be converted and the world will be granted a period of peace..."
The "great sign", "a night lit up by an unknown light," occurred on January 25, 1938. It has been explained as an unusual aurora borealis. World War II began soon afterward.
The secret section of the prophecy of Our Lady of the Rosary was leaked by Pope John XXIII to certain Roman Catholic officials and world leaders of the USA, USSR, and Britain. On October 15, 1963, the German journal News Europe published the alleged text of the secret portion of the Fatima Prophecy. The text cannot be verified, but it is widely accepted as being genuine:
"Have no fear, little one. I am the Mother of God who speaks to you and asks you to publish the message I am going to give you to the whole world. You will find strong resistance while you do so. Listen well and pay attention to what I tell you.
"Men must be set on the right road once more. With suppliant humility, men must seek forgiveness for sins committed already and for sins which will be committed. You wish me to give you a sign, so that everyone will accept My Words, which I am saying through you, to the human race. I have seen the Prodigy of the Sun and all believers, unbelievers, peasants, countrymen, wise men, journalists, laics and priests, all have seen it. And now I proclaim in my name: A great punishment shall fall on the entire human race, not today and not tomorrow, but in the second half of the 20th century! I have already revealed to the children Melanie and Maximime at La Salette, and today I repeat it to you for the human race has sinned and has trampled down the Gift which I have made. In no part of the world is life in order, Satan rules in the highest position, laying down how things should be done. He will effectually succeed in bringing his influence right up to the top of the Church; succeed in seducing the spirits of the great scientists who invent the arms. And if humanity opposes me I shall be obliged to free the arm of My Son. Now I see that God will punish man with a severity that has not been used since the Flood.
"The time of times will come and everything will come to an end if humanity is not converted, and if things remain as they are now or get worse, the great and powerful men will perish just as will the small and weak.
"For the Church, too, the time of its greatest trial will come. Cardinals will oppose cardinals and bishops against bishops. Satan will march in their midst and there will be great changes at Rome. What is rotten will fall, never to rise again. The Church will be darkened and the world will shake with terror. The time will come when no king, emperor, cardinal or bishop will await Him who will, however, come, but in order to punish according to the designs of my Father.
"A great war will break out in the second half of the 20th century [not...]. Fire and smoke will fall from heaven, and waters of the oceans will become vapors, the scum will arise in a confused manner, and everything will sink down. Millions and millions of men will perish while this is going on and those who survive will envy the dead. The unexpected will follow in every part of the world, anxiety, pain and misery in every country. Have I seen it? The time is getting ever nearer and the abyss is getting wider without hope. The good will perish with the bad, the great with the small, the Heads of the Church with their faithful, and the rulers with their people. There will be death everywhere as a result of the mistakes of the unfeeling and the partisans of Satan, but when those who survive all these happenings are still alive, they will proclaim God once again and His Glory, and will serve Him as in the time when the world was not so perverted.
"Go, my little one and proclaim it. For that purpose I shall always be at your side to help you."
"A great plague will befall mankind in the year 2000. Nowhere in the world will there be order, and Satan will rule the highest places, determining the way of things. Satan will even succeed in asserting himself at the top of the Church.
"He will succeed in seducing the spirits of the great scientists who invent arms, with which it will be possible to destroy a large part of mankind in a few minutes. Satan will have in his power the leaders who command the people and who will incite them to produce enormous quantities of arms.
"God will punish man more thoroughly than with the Flood. There will come the time of all times and the end of all ends. The great and the powerful will perish together with the small and weak.
"Even for the Church, it will be the time of its greatest trial. Cardinals will oppose cardinals, bishops will oppose bishops. Satan will walk in their midst and in Rome there will be great changes. The Church will be darkened and the world will be shaking with terror.
"A huge war will erupt: fire and smoke will fall from the sky. The waters of the ocean will become mist, and the foam will rise to tremendous heights and everyone will drown.
"Millions and millions of men will die from hour to hour. Whoever remains alive will envy the dead. Everywhere one turns one's glance there will be anguish and misery, ruins in every country.
"The time draws nearer, the abyss widens without hope. The good will perish with the bad, the great with the small, the princes of the church with the faithful, the rulers with their people.
"There will be death everywhere because of the errors committed by the crazed and the followers of Satan, who will then and only then rule the world.
"At the last, those who survive will at every chance newly proclaim God and His glory and they will serve Him as when the world was not so perverted."
On her death-bed (February 1920), Jacinta told Mother Godinho:
"There is a secret of Heaven and one of earth, and the latter is terrifying. It will seem as though it were already the end of the world. And in this cataclysm everything will be separated from the sky, which will turn white as snow."
"Due to the seriousness of the contents of the Fatima secret, my predecessors in the Throne of Peter have preferred to postpone the publication. Furthermore, it may be enough to the christian people to know that, if there is a message saying that the oceans will flood whole parts of the globe, and millions of people will die, from a minute to another, it is not really the case to will the publication of this secret message."
In an interview with Sr. Lucia with Cardinal Ricardo Vidal in 1993, Sr. Lucia commented on the secret prophecy:
"The triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary also refers to (her victory over) the errors that were being spread by Russia... Our Lady's Immaculate Heart triumphed over the errors that were being spread by Communist Russia... The Consecration of 1984 prevented an atomic war that would have occurred in 1985... The `era of peace' does not refer to a civil peace but rather to a peace that we are now living with the end of the spread of the errors of Communist Russia"...
Fr. Joseph de Ste. Marie, who served as Fatima expert to Pope John Paul II, said:
"Let there be no hysteria concerning dates or concerning expectation of chastisements. The dates are unknown, the chastisement certain".
Pope John Paul II was nearly assassinated on May 13, 1981 (the anniversary of Mary’s first apparitional appearance at Fatima). The gun was aimed at the Pope’s head, but Agca had to aim for his abdomen instead when the pontiff turned to a young girl who was wearing a picture of Our Lady of Fatima. While he was in the hospital, Pope John Paul reviewed the Church’s documentation of Fatima, and he read the secret Third Secret of Fatima. In 1984 the Pope consecrated Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Communism collapsed soon afterward.
The Vatican released its official document, "The Message of Fatima", in June 2000. It includes the first and second parts of the "secret" of Fatima as written by Sr. Lucia on August 31, 1941, and a photostatic copy of the original manuscript of the third part of the secret, and comments by Sr. Lucia from conversation with Archbishops Bertone and Ferreira in April 2000 in the Carmel Monastery of St. Teresa of Coimbra in Portugal. Bertone noted:
"As is well known, Pope John Paul II immediately thought of consecrating the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and he himself composed a prayer for what he called an 'Act of Entrustment' which was to be celebrated in the Basilica of St. Mary Major on June 7, 1981."
Sodano said that the secret contained a prophetic vision similar to those found in the Bible, but the events to which the third part of the Secret of Fatima refers now seem part of the past:
"That text contains a prophetic vision similar to those found in Sacred Scripture, which do not describe with photographic clarity the details of future events, but rather synthesize and condense against a unified background events spread out over time in a succession and a duration which are not specified. As a result, the text must be interpreted in a symbolic key.
"The vision of Fatima concerns above all the war waged by atheist systems against the Church and Christians, and it describes the immense suffering endured by the witnesses to the faith in the last century of the second millennium. It is an interminable Way of the Cross led by the Popes of the twentieth century.
"According to the interpretation of the 'little shepherds,' which was also recently confirmed by Sister Lucia, the 'bishop clothed in white' who prays for all the faithful is the Pope. As he makes his way with great effort towards the Cross amid the corpses of those who were martyred (bishops, priests, men and women religious and many lay persons), he too falls to the ground, apparently dead, under a burst of gunfire.
"After the assassination attempt of May 13 1981, it appeared evident to His Holiness that it was 'a motherly hand which guided the bullet's path,' enabling the 'dying Pope' to halt 'at the threshold of death.' On the occasion of a visit to Rome by the then bishop of Leiria-Fatima, the Pope decided to give him the bullet which had remained in the jeep after the assassination attempt, so that it might be kept in the Shrine. At the behest of the bishop, the bullet was later set in the crown of the statue of Our Lady of Fatima.
"The successive events of 1989 led, both in the Soviet Union and in a number of countries of Eastern Europe, to the fall of the Communist regime which promoted atheism. For this too His Holiness offers heartfelt thanks to the Most Holy Virgin. In other parts of the world, however, attacks against the Church and against Christians, together with the burden of suffering which they involve, tragically continue. Even if the events to which the third part of the Secret of Fatima refers now seem part of the past, Our Lady's call to conversion and penance, issued at the beginning of the twentieth century, remains timely and urgent today. 'The Lady of the message seems to read the signs of the times - the signs of our time - with special insight... The insistent invitation of Mary Most Holy to penance is nothing but the manifestation of her maternal concern for the fate of the human family, in need of conversion and forgiveness.'
"In order that the faithful may better receive the message of Our Lady of Fatima, the Pope has charged the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith with making public the third part of the secret, after the preparation of an appropriate commentary".
The following official Vatican version is alleged to be the complete translation of the original Portuguese text of the third part of the secret of Fatima that was revealed to the three pastorinhos children on July 13, 1917 at Cova da Iria-Fatima, as written by Sr. Lucia on January 3, 1944:
"I write in obedience to you, my God, who command me to do so through his Excellency the Bishop of Leiria and through your Most Holy Mother and mine.
"After the two parts which I have already explained, at the left of Our Lady and a little above, we saw an Angel with a flaming sword in his left hand; flashing, it gave out flames that looked as though they would set the world on fire; but they died out in contact with the splendor that Our Lady radiated towards him from her right hand: pointing to the earth with his right hand, the Angel cried out in a loud voice: 'Penance, Penance, Penance!' And we saw in an immense light that is God: 'something similar to how people appear in a mirror when they pass in front of it' a Bishop dressed in White 'we had the impression that it was the Holy Father'. Other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious going up a steep mountain, at the top of which there was a big Cross of rough-hewn trunks as of a cork-tree with the bark; before reaching there the Holy Father passed through a big city half in ruins and half trembling with halting step, afflicted with pain and sorrow, he prayed for the souls of the corpses he met on his way; having reached the top of the mountain, on his knees at the foot of the big Cross he was killed by a group of soldiers who fired bullets and arrows at him, and in the same way there died one after another the other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious, and various lay people of different ranks and positions. Beneath the two arms of the Cross there were two Angels each with a crystal aspersorium in his hand, in which they gathered up the blood of the Martyrs and with it sprinkled the souls that were making their way to God."