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.1 “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/Fatima, 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.
Finally, 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:
Fact #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!
Fact #2. It is true, however — I provide several proofs of it in my book — that Sister Lucy wanted Pope Pius XII to know the Secret without further delay. Unfortunately, that did not happen.
Fact #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.
Fact #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 and willed that the final Secret of Our Lady be finally 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.”2
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 Leiria/Fatima. 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”.3 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 Monsignor 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. She said:
“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!4
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 Her trail enthusiastic crowds and spreading everywhere Her marvels of grace, extraordinary fervor, miracles of conversion, miracles of doves5 … 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.
The Vision of Tuy June 13, 1929
We know from Brother Michael’s research and writings that we are now living in the midst of the period predicted in the Third Secret of Fatima (see "Part II: "The Third Secret Unveiled!”). We know that this period of apostasy will be over when the Holy Father succeeds in commanding all the Catholic Bishops to consecrate Russia according to the command of the most Holy Trinity given to Sister lucy at Tuy. (See description in “Appendix — Our Lady of Fatima Returns”). This picture is depicted, according to Sister Lucy’s description, of this most solemn vision of June 13, 1929. For copies of this picture, and other free literature further describing this most important message, contact The Fatima Center.
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 Monsignor 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 esteem 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,” Monsignor 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 State, Mgr. 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 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 release 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.”6 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),7 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 Mgr. 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 la Civiltà 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, not only was it the Virgin Mary, but 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.
1. See “Appendix — Our Lady of Fatima Returns”.
2. See Brother Michael’s book The Third Secret, pages 33-56 & 467-478.
3. This is at least what Mother Pascalina Lehnert affirmed to the journalist Robert Serrou on the occasion of a photographic reporting session at the Vatican on May 14, 1957 (The Third Secret, pages 484-486) [Mother Pascalina was in charge of a few sisters who looked after Pope Pius XII].
4. The Third Secret, pages 486-502.
5. During processions of the Pilgrim Statue, doves would be released. Sometimes they would huddle at the foot of the statue rather than fly away (The Third Secret, pages 99-103, 251, 533, 534).
6. The Third Secret, pages 578-586.
7. This incoherent thesis is outlined in Vol. I Science and the Facts, pages 381-434 and 482-528 [Father Dhanis was a theology professor at Louvain when he first published his thesis in 1944. Basically, he claimed that Sister Lucy’s Memoirs (written 1935-1941) were not reliable]. This is totally refuted by Brother Michael in Volume I as noted above.