Our Lady of Fatima
"As the second millennium gives way to the third, Pope John Paul II has decided to publish
the text of the third part of the “secret of Fatima”.
century was one of the most crucial in human history, with its tragic and cruel events culminating in the assassination attempt
on the “sweet Christ on earth”. Now a veil is drawn back on a series of events which make history and interpret
it in depth, in a spiritual perspective alien to present-day attitudes, often tainted with rationalism.
Throughout history there have been supernatural apparitions and signs which go to
the heart of human events and which, to the surprise of believers and non-believers alike, play their part in the unfolding
of history. These manifestations can never contradict the content of faith, and must therefore have their focus in the core
of Christ's proclamation: the Father's love which leads men and women to conversion and bestows the grace required to abandon
oneself to him with filial devotion. This too is the message of Fatima which, with its urgent call to conversion and penance,
draws us to the heart of the Gospel.
Fatima is undoubtedly the most prophetic
of modern apparitions. The first and second parts of the “secret”—which are here published in sequence so
as to complete the documentation—refer especially to the frightening vision of hell, devotion to the Immaculate Heart
of Mary, the Second World War, and finally the prediction of the immense damage that Russia would do to humanity by abandoning
the Christian faith and embracing Communist totalitarianism.
In 1917 no one
could have imagined all this: the three pastorinhos of Fatima see, listen and remember, and Lucia, the surviving
witness, commits it all to paper when ordered to do so by the Bishop of Leiria and with Our Lady's permission.
For the account of the first two parts of the “secret”, which have already been published
and are therefore known, we have chosen the text written by Sister Lucia in the Third Memoir of 31 August 1941; some annotations
were added in the Fourth Memoir of 8 December 1941.
The third part of the “secret”
was written “by order of His Excellency the Bishop of Leiria and the Most Holy Mother ...” on 3 January 1944.
There is only one manuscript, which is here reproduced photostatically. The sealed envelope was
initially in the custody of the Bishop of Leiria. To ensure better protection for the “secret” the envelope was
placed in the Secret Archives of the Holy Office on 4 April 1957. The Bishop of Leiria informed Sister Lucia of this.
According to the records of the Archives, the Commissary of the Holy Office, Father Pierre Paul
Philippe, OP, with the agreement of Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani, brought the envelope containing the third part of the “secret
of Fatima” to Pope John XXIII on 17 August 1959. “After some hesitation”, His Holiness said: “We shall
wait. I shall pray. I shall let you know what I decide”.
In fact Pope John
XXIII decided to return the sealed envelope to the Holy Office and not to reveal the third part of the “secret”.
Paul VI read the contents with the Substitute, Archbishop Angelo Dell'Acqua, on 27 March 1965,
and returned the envelope to the Archives of the Holy Office, deciding not to publish the text." Read More