Three Secrets of Fátima

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A religious statue depicting the Immaculate Heart of Mary as described by Sister Lúcia of Fátima.

The Three Secrets of Fátima consist of a series of apocalyptic visions and prophecies which by some are believed to have been given to three young Portuguese shepherds, Lúcia Santos and her cousins Jacinta and Francisco Marto, by a Marian apparition, starting on May 13, 1917. The three children claimed they were visited by a Marian apparition six times between May and October 1917. The apparition is now popularly known as Our Lady of Fátima.

According to Lucia, on July 13, 1917, around noon, the Virgin Mary is said to have entrusted the children with three secrets. Two of the secrets were revealed in 1941 in a document written by Lúcia, at the request of José Alves Correia da Silva, Bishop of Leiria, to assist with the publication of a new edition of a book on Jacinta.[1] When asked by the Bishop in 1943 to reveal the third secret, Lúcia struggled for a short period, being "not yet convinced that God had clearly authorized her to act."[2] However, in October 1943 the Bishop ordered her to put it in writing.[3] Lúcia then wrote the secret down and sealed it in an envelope not to be opened until 1960, when "it will appear clearer."[4] The text of the third secret was officially released by Pope John Paul II in 2000, although some claim that it was not the entire secret revealed by Lúcia, despite repeated assertions from the Vatican to the contrary.

According to the official Catholic interpretation, the three secrets involve Hell, World War I and World War II, and the Pope John Paul II assassination attempt.

To this date, the formal consecration of Russia is widely disputed as incomplete among some Fátima devotees. Some claim the varying consecrations made by recent Popes are insufficient in fulfilling the specific request that the Virgin Mary allegedly made. Others consider the issue irrelevant due to the finished actualisation of the Second Vatican Council and World War II.


Of the hundreds of alleged apparitions the Catholic Church has investigated, only twelve have received ecclesiastical approval; and nine of them occurred between 1830 and 1933. Cultural anthropologists Victor and Edith Turner view the increase in Marian apparition cults as a "post-industrial" reaction of a disenfranchised lower middle class to a rapidly changing culture.[5]

At the age of fourteen 14, Lúcia was sent to the school of the Sisters of St. Dorothy in Vilar. In 1928 she became a postulant at the Dorothean convent in Tui, just across the border in Spain. Lúcia continued to report private visions periodically throughout her life. In the mid-1930s the Bishop of Leiria encouraged Lucia (now Sister Maria Lucia das Dores) to write her memoirs, in the event that she might disclose further details of the 1917 apparitions.

As early as July 1917 mention was made that the lady had entrusted to the children a secret, "that was good for some and bad for others".[5][6] It was not until her third memoir, written in 1941, that Lucia indicated that the secret had three parts. In this she follows Mélanie Calvat of La Salette, whose secrets were written down almost twenty years after the event.[7]

First secret[edit]

In her third memoir, written in 1941, Lúcia said that the first secret, a vision of Hell, was disclosed to the children on July 13, 1917.

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.[8]

Second secret[edit]

The second secret was a statement that World War I would end, along with a prediction of another war during the reign of Pope Pius XI, should men continue offending God and should Russia not convert. The second half requests that Russia be consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary:

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 Pope 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.[9]

In 1925 Sister Lucia reported an apparition of the Virgin Mary at the Convent of Saint Dorothea at Pontevedra, Galicia. She said she was asked to convey the message of the First Saturday Devotions. By her account a subsequent vision of the Child Jesus reiterated this request. In 1930, she wrote her confessor that in 1929 she had a vision of both Mary and the Holy Trinity in which God had asked for the Consecration of Russia to the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary by the Pope in communion with all the bishops of the world. The message regarding the establishment of the Devotion of the Five First Saturdays is reminiscent of that reported by Margaret Mary Alacoque in the seventeenth century, which led to the First Friday Devotion.[7]

It is unlikely that this message was conveyed to the Pope, but the Bishop of Leiria suggested that she write her memoirs in the event that she might reveal further details of the 1917 apparitions.[7] In her third memoir, written in 1941, Sister Lucia recalled that at the apparition of July 13, 1917, the Virgin Mary had first mentioned the consecration of Russia, and said that she would return to give particulars.

Skeptics have noted that the second prophecy was not disclosed until August 1941, after World War II had already begun.[10] They have also questioned whether Mary, in 1917, referred explicitly to Pope Pius XI, as Ambrogio Ratti did not choose that regnal name until after his election in 1922. Further, the European portion of World War II is generally held to have begun on September 1, 1939, and by then, Pope Pius XII had succeeded Pius XI.

On January 25, 1938, The New York Times reported "Aurora Borealis Startles Europe; People Flee in Fear, Call Firemen."[11] The celestial display was seen from Canada to Bermuda to Austria to Scotland, and short-wave radio transmissions were shut down for almost 12 hours in Canada.[12] Some proponents of the Fatima prophecies argue that the secret did not say that the war must begin in Europe, and during the pontificate of Pius XI Japan had already invaded China in 1937, which is generally seen by historians of China and other parts of Asia as when the Second World War actually began,[13] a view which also has qualified support from some Western historians.

Third secret[edit]

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.[14] 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.[15]

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.[16]

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.[14][18]

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[edit]

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 to World 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."[19] 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.[20] 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."[7]

In 1960 the Vatican issued a press release stating that it was "most probable the Secret would remain, forever, under absolute seal."[21] 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."[22] On 2 May 1981, Laurence James Downey hijacked an airplane and demanded that Pope John Paul II make public the Third Secret of Fatima.[23]

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."[citation needed]

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.[24] 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.[14] 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.[25] 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."[26]
  • 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.[14] 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."[27]
  • 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.[14] 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.[28]
  • 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.[29] 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."[30] 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."[31] 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 ...."[32][33] 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.[16] 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 ...".[34]
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."[35]

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.[36]

Cardinal Bertone's response[edit]

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.[37] Bertone, along with Cardinal Ratzinger, co-authored The Message of Fatima,[14] the document published in June 2000 by the Vatican that contains a scanned copy of the original text of the Third Secret.

Cardinal Bertone.

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.[38] 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.[39]

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'."[40]

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."[41]

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."[42]

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,[43] although Capovilla had stated otherwise less than two weeks before.[42]

Pope John Paul I[edit]

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.[44] 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.[45]


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".[46]

"To understand and appreciate Fatima is to understand and appreciate Portuguese Catholicism".[7] 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.[5] 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.[7] Following Fatima, there would be proliferation of apocalyptic manifestations, such as at Necedah.


  1. ^ Zimdars-Swartz, Sandra L., Encountering Mary (1991), pg. 199
  2. ^ Zimdars-Swartz, Sandra L., Encountering Mary (1991), pg. 203
  3. ^ Zimdars-Swartz, Sandra L., Encountering Mary (1991), pg. 204
  4. ^ Zimdars-Swartz, Sandra L., Encountering Mary (1991), pgs. 208–209.
  5. ^ a b c Bennett, Jeffrey S. (2012). When the Sun Danced: Myth, Miracles, and Modernity in Early Twentieth-Century Portugal. University of Virginia Press. ISBN 978-0-8139-3250-7. 
  6. ^ Walsh, 83.
  7. ^ a b c d e f Maunder, Chris (2016). Our Lady of the Nations: Apparitions of Mary in 20th-Century Catholic Europe. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-871838-3. 
  8. ^ Santos, Fatima in Lucia's Own Words I (2003), pg. 123.
  9. ^ Santos, Fatima in Lucia's Own Words I (2003), pgs. 123–124.
  10. ^ Nickell, Joe. Looking for a Miracle (1998), pg. 179.
  11. ^ "Aurora Borealis Startles Europe; People Flee in Fear, Call Firemen.". The New York Times. January 25, 1938. p. 25. 
  12. ^ Witherow, Greg. "Our Lady of Fatima" (PDF). Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Gainesville, Virginia. p. 6. Archived from the original (PDF) on 31 January 2013. Retrieved 14 January 2014. Mary predicted “a worse [war] will break out during the Pontificate of Pius XI”. There is no doubt the prediction of a greater war was accurate. But skeptics will point out Pope Pius XI died on February 1939 and World War II is considered to have begun on September 1, 1939 (during the Pontificate of Pius XII). Was Mary wrong? In fact, a case can be made that the War was set in motion long before September 1, 1939. Japan invaded China in 1937,then the USSR and Mongolia in 1938. Hitler invaded the Saarland in 1935, Austria in 1938, Sudetenland in 1938 and the rest of Czechoslovakia in March 1939. War raged in the Spanish Civil War and Italy’s invasion of Ethiopia in 1935. Poland was carved up in the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact of 1939. In fact, the Axis powers had started their wars of conquest long before the Chamberlains of the world acknowledged them. Mary was right, Chamberlain’s peace was Fiction. 
  13. ^ Rana Mitter (2013). Forgotten Ally: China’s World War II, 1937-1945. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 1. ISBN 054784056X. Retrieved 14 January 2014. Prologue : City On Fire - In the spring of 1939, Europe was still, albeit uneasily, at peace. But some seven thousand kilometres to the east, the Second World War was already well under way. 
  14. ^ a b c d e f g "The Message of Fatima" from the Vatican
  15. ^ Zimdars-Swartz, Sandra L., Encountering Mary (1991), pgs. 203–206.
  16. ^ a b "Address of Cardinal Sodano Regarding the "Third Part" of the Secret of Fatima at the Conclusion of the Solemn Mass". 13 May 2000. 
  17. ^ Santos, Fatima in Lucia's Own Words I (2003), pg. 215.
  18. ^ Fatima in Lucia's Own Words I (2003), pgs. 221–233.
  19. ^ Ryan, Maurice (1993), "Fatima, Lourdes, and Medjugorje: A Challenge for Religious Educators", Religious Education, 88 (4): 564–575 
  20. ^ Margry, Peter Jan (2004), "Global Network of Divergent Marian Devotion", in Partridge, Christopher, Encyclopedia of New Religions: New Religious Movements, Sects and Alternative Spiritualities, Oxford: Lion Publishing, ISBN 0-7459-5073-6 
  21. ^ Frere Michel de la Sainte Trinite (1990). The Whole Truth About Fatima, Volume III. Buffalo, New York. pp. 578–579. 
  22. ^ Stanley, Alexandra. "Vatican Discloses the 'Third Secret' of Fatima", New York Times, May 14, 2000.
  23. ^ "Former monk hijacks Irish airliner". Spokane Daily Chronicle. 2 May 1981. p. 2. 
  24. ^ Socci, Antonio (2009). The Fourth Secret of Fatima. Italy. 
  25. ^ Alonso, Father Joaquin (1976). La Verdad sobre el Secreto de Fatima. Spain. p. 60. 
  26. ^ Doran, Brian (11 August 2000). "Malachi Martin: God's Messenger – In the Words of Those Who Knew Him Best". ISBN 1-885692-08-0. Audio Cassette. 
  27. ^ Alonso, Father Joaquin (1976). La Verdad sobre el Secreto de Fatima. Spain. pp. 46–47. 
  28. ^ Socci, Antonio. The Secret Still Hidden(Good Counsel, 2000)
  29. ^ "Here is Why the Faith is in Crisis". Jesus Magazine. 11 November 1984. (Original Article in Italian) p. 79. 
  30. ^ Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité (1990). The Whole Truth About Fatima – Volume III. Buffalo, New York CityA. pp. 822–823. 
  31. ^ "Full Text of the Third Secret Revealed". Catholic World News. 11 October 2001. 
  32. ^ "The Apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Akita, Japan". Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN). 
  33. ^ Haffert, John M. (1 July 1989). The Meaning of Akita. One Hundred One Foundation, Incorporated. p. 8. ISBN 1-890137-05-7. 
  34. ^ Father Malachi Martin on Coast to Coast AM, with interviewer Art Bell. 4 May 1998.
  35. ^ English translation from Daniel J. Lynch, The Call to Total Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary (St. Albans, Vermont: Missions of the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, Pub., 1991), pp. 50–51.
  36. ^ Frere Michel de la Sainte Trinite (1990). The Whole Truth About Fatima, Volume III. Buffalo, New York CityA. p. 533. 
  37. ^ No More Fatima Secrets
  38. ^ Bertone, Tarcisio (2008). The Last Secret of Fatima: The Revelation of One of the Most Controversial Events in Catholic History. Crown Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-385-52695-1. 
  39. ^ Bertone, pp. 65–66.
  40. ^ Bertone, pp. 63–64.
  41. ^ Bertone, p. 66.
  42. ^ a b "Last Surviving Witness Says Third Fatima Secret is Fully Revealed". Catholic News Agency. 12 September 2007. 
  43. ^ "Italian Journalists Protest Exclusion from Fatima Discussion". Catholic World News. 27 September 2007. 
  44. ^ Whole Truth About Fatima, Chapter 4 from the CCR website, chapters 7, 8 and 9, page found 30 April 2010.
  45. ^ The letter is quoted in Camillo Bassotto's biography of John Paul I, My Heart Is Still in Venice (Krinon, 1990), p. 113.
  46. ^ Cuneo, Michael W. (1999). The Smoke of Satan: Conservative and Traditionalist Dissent in Contemporary American Catholicism. JHU Press. ISBN 978-0-8018-6265-6. 

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