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Cardinal Ottaviani related that Pope John XXIII placed the Secret “in one of those archives which are like a very deep, dark well, to the bottom of which papers fall and no one is able to see them anymore.” We know very well what became of the manuscript of Sister Lucy. One can even discover the essential content of it. What does Our Lady tell us in this warning in which She has given for our age on July 13, 1917? First of all we can establish four certain and objective facts concerning this Secret and which are going to enable us to advance with long strides in the uncovering of the Mystery.

1. A first capital fact: We know the context of the Third Secret. Properly speaking, there is in effect only one Secret, revealed completely on July 13, 1917. Now of this composite entity at this moment, we know three parts of four. We know the beginning, the first two parts of the Secret and the end, which is surely formed by the conclusion: “In the end,” Our Lady promises us, “My Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to Me and she will be converted and a period of peace will be granted to the world.” It is in this already known context, following the “etc.” in the text that Sister Lucy herself wrote concerning the second part of the Secret, that the Third Secret happens to be inserted. Such is the first fact which is for us an important guidepost in order to allow us to proceed in the discovery of the content of the last Secret. The latter must correspond with its immediate context and agree harmoniously with the whole of the Message of Fatima, whose coherence is moreover completely remarkable.

2. A second important fact: If the circumstances in which it was revealed, prove to us its fundamental unity, the dramatic circumstances of its writing down unveil to us on their own, its tragic seriousness.

3. A third very illuminating fact: It is on account of its content and on these grounds alone that since 1960, successive Popes have refused to disclose it.

First of all, Pope John XXIII did this, as we have seen, despite the enthusiastic and anxious expectation of the whole Catholic world.

Paul VI adopted straight away the same attitude. Elected on June 21, 1963, some time afterwards he asked for the text of the Secret. This proves his lively concern for this subject. Since no one knew what Pope John XXIII had done with it, they questioned his secretary, Mgr. Capovilla, who indicated the place where the manuscript had been put. Pope Paul VI surely read it at that point but he did not speak about it. You know, however, on February 11, 1967, as the 50th anniversary of the Fatima Apparitions approached, Cardinal Ottaviani in the name of the Pope, made a long declaration on the subject of the Third Secret of Fatima, in order to explain that it would still not be revealed. In my book, I cite and analyze this text, following the Portuguese experts, I am forced to testify that in order to justify at any price the nondisclosure of the Secret, the Prefect of the Holy Office, supreme guarantor of truth in the Church, is compelled to accumulate a mass of incoherencies and patent untruths.8 And alas, we shall see the reasons advanced in 1984 by his successor, Cardinal Ratzinger, are not any more consistent.

Pope John Paul I was very devoted to Our Lady of Fatima; he went on pilgrimage to Cova da Iria in 1977, and what is a very curious fact, Sister Lucy herself asked to meet with him. Cardinal Luciani went therefore to the Carmel of Coimbra and he conversed at length with the seer. I am in a position to verify that Sister Lucy spoke with him about the Third Secret and revealed to him the essential content of it. He was very impressed by it. He informed his entourage at the time of his return to Italy, how moved he had been and how serious was the Message. He then spoke and wrote about Fatima in vigorous terms and he expressed his admiration and his total confidence in Sister Lucy whom he obviously considered to be a saint. (I shall give in my fourth volume all the proofs of these unpublished facts.) Having become Pope, he wished no doubt to prepare public opinion before doing something. Unfortunately, he was tragically taken away from us before having been able to say anything.

Pope John Paul II, before going on pilgrimage to Fatima on May 13, 1982 asked for the help of a Portuguese translator from the Curia, in order to translate to him certain expressions of the Secret which are peculiar to the Portuguese language. He also, therefore, has read the Third Secret but has not chosen to make it public either.

Finally, we know that Cardinal Ratzinger has read it as well since he told the Italian journalist Vittorio Messori that he had read it. Cardinal Ratzinger has even written about it on two occasions, in November, 1984, and in June, 1985, alluding to its content in very different terms, which for us is significant. In my book, I published and commented on the synopsis of these two successive published versions.9

4. The fourth principal fact: the prophecy of the Third Secret has been unfolding at the present time, before our eyes, since 1960. There is, in fact, a timetable, a chronicle in the realization of the prophecies of Fatima.

On the one hand, it is indeed certain that we have not yet come to the time announced by the conclusion of the secret. Why? Because Russia has not yet been consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, as it must be, and as it will be one day. Sister Lucy made this known clearly even after the Act of March 25, 1984.10 Russia is not yet converted and the world is not in peace, far from it! Therefore, we are not at the end of the prophecy.

On the other hand, the events announced in the Third Secret do not only concern our future, for we have another guide mark: 1960. The Virgin had asked that the Secret be made public in 1960 because Lucy told Cardinal Ottaviani, “In 1960, the Message will appear more clear.” Now, the only reason that might render a prophecy clearer from a specific date onward, without any doubt, is the beginning of its fulfillment. And we have other statements from Lucy saying that “the punishments predicted by Our Lady in the Third Secret have already begun.”

The terminus a quo (beginning point) and the terminus ad quem (the end point) of the prophecy having been thus determined, we can be sure that we are presently in the period of which She speaks. So we are living the Third Secret. We are witnessing the events that it announces.

False Secrets, False Hypothesis

Basing oneself on this reliable data, one can discard a whole series of false secrets that have been successively published for 25 years. I cite them all in my work and I demonstrate, for example, that the most famous of them, the “Secret” circulated in 1963 by the German magazine Neues Europa, and which has been ceaselessly reprinted in innumerable magazines, is a fake. There are in this text, several monstrous errors which prove this sufficiently. Moreover, although it is a matter we are told, of simple “extracts” of the real Secret, these “extracts” are already at least four times too long to fit on the sheet of paper on which Lucy wrote down the whole of the Third Secret.11

One can dismiss also, a good number of false hypotheses. Certainly, one is not dealing with a simple “invitation to prayer and penance”, as Father Caprile dares to claim!12 The Virgin Mary would not have asked Lucy to wait for 1944 or 1960 in order to divulge a message that would repeat word for word Her public Message of October 13, 1917!* Neither is it a matter of happiness: The Third Secret of Fatima certainly does not accord with the views of optimism of Pope John XXIII, proclaiming that the Council would be “a new pentecost”, “a new springtime for the Church!” If that were the case, he himself or his successors would have revealed it to us. “If it were pleasant,” Cardinal Cerejeira said very justifiably, “We would have been told so. Since we haven’t been told anything, the fact is that it is sad.” Yes, it is obviously grave and tragic.

*Translator’s Note: Nor would it explain the extreme difficulty Sister Lucy had from Oct/43 to Jan/44, in writing down the 25 lines of the Secret. If it were only a call to prayer and penance there would be no such difficulty.

The Secret of Fatima predicts that the Pope
will have much to suffer. Jesus tells Sister
Lucy of Fatima “Pray a great deal for the
Holy Father ….” The revealing of the Third
Secret will certainly be a great grace for the
whole Church and will begin to relieve the
terrible problems now burdening the Holy
Father. But to do even this much, the Holy
Father needs your prayers.

Neither is it the announcement of the end of the world since the prophecy of Fatima ends with a marvelous and unconditional promise, which ought to be preached in season and out of season, because it is a source of unshakeable hope: “In the end, My Immaculate Heart will triumph, the Holy Father will consecrate Russia to Me, it will be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world.”

Would it be the announcement of a Third World War? Of a Nuclear War? It would be sensible to think so, for here the prophecy would do nothing but confirm the most lucid political analyses. Would not the Virgin Mary have predicted this most horrible future war, which so tragically threatens us?

Together with Father Alonso, I think that this is undoubtedly not the essential of the Third Secret. And I say this for a solid reason: Namely, this foretelling of material chastisements, of new wars and of persecutions against the Church, constitutes the specific content of the Second Secret. Have we yet reflected on the terrible importance of these simple words: “The good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer, various nations will be annihilated”? “The Blessed Virgin has told us,” Sister Lucy confided to Father Fuentes, “that many nations will disappear from the face of the earth, that Russia will be the instrument of chastisement chosen by heaven to punish the whole world (for its crimes) if we do not beforehand obtain the conversion of that poor nation.“13 That is why it is to be feared that the word “annihilated” is to be taken literally in its obvious sense: annihilated, totally destroyed. Improbable in 1917, this tragic threat is not any longer farfetched for us today in the Nuclear Age.

It is therefore clear: all the material punishments which still threaten us, even the most dreadful, like nuclear war, or the expansion of Communism over the whole planet, are already foretold by Our Lady in Her Second Secret, and we also know the supernatural means to avert them before it is too late.14 We can be certain, according to Father Alonso, that nothing about these material chastisements is repeated in the third part of the Secret. Or at least, I would add, if allusion to it is again made (as is quite possible), this will not be the essential Message of the Third Secret. In effect, since the Secret is composed of three interrelated but distinct parts and whose date, for disclosure, fixed by heaven were not the same, one can be sure that the third part of the Secret is not going to repeat the same thing as the second in a few lines of space.

A Spiritual Chastisement

Doubtlessly, the Third Secret mainly refers to a spiritual chastisement. Far worse, even more fearsome than famine, wars, persecutions, for it concerns souls, their salvation or their eternal perdition. The late Father Alonso, named in 1966 as official archivist of Fatima by Bishop Venancio, has proved that this is what the Third Secret contains. He wrote about it in one of the volumes of his great critical work, consisting of 24 volumes, which unfortunately, he was forbidden to publish. But he was able, all the same, before his death on December 12, 1981, to make known to us his conclusions in various pamphlets and numerous articles in theological journals.

My personal research has only permitted me to clarify, to complete, to be more specific about his thesis which new documents have come to confirm.

Here is the most important: On September 10, 1984, Bishop Cosme do Amaral, the then Bishop of Leiria-Fatima, in the Aula Magna (large auditorium) of the Technical University of Vienna, declared in the course of a period of questions and answers: “The (Third) Secret of Fatima speaks neither of atomic bombs nor of nuclear warheads, nor of SS20 missiles. Its content”, he has insisted, “concerns only our faith. To identify the Secret with catastrophic announcements or with a nuclear holocaust is to distort the meaning of the Message. The loss of faith of a continent is worse than the annihilation of a nation; and it is true that faith is continually diminishing in Europe.”15

For ten years, the Bishop of Fatima had kept an absolute silence about the content of the Third Secret. When he opens his mouth in order to make so resolute a public statement, one can be morally certain that he has not said this without having beforehand consulted Sister Lucy. We can be all the more certain of this since in 1981, he had already refuted some false secrets while saying that he had questioned the seer on the subject.

This is to say that the thesis of Fr. Alonso is now publicly confirmed by the Bishop of Fatima: It is the terrible crisis within the Church. It is the loss of faith that the Immaculate Virgin has foretold, precisely for our era, if Her requests were not sufficiently carried out, and it is this drama which we have been witnessing since 1960. The essential having been said, I shall now content myself to mention the principal stages of my proof regarding the true content of the Third Secret.

The International Fatima Rosary Crusade Pilgrim Virgin statue, which was solemnly blessed by Pope Paul VI at Fatima, waits outside the Pope’s window in St. Peter’s Square.

Pope John Paul II himself has said at Fatima, “Can the Mother, Who with all the force of the love that She fosters in the Holy Spirit and desires everyone’s salvation, keep silence on what undermines the very basis of their salvation?” the Pope answers his own question, “No, She cannot remain silent.”

Each of us is a spiritual child of Mary. The Catholic Faith is the basis of our salvation. Because the Faith is being undermined from within the Church, since 1960 Our Lady, in the Secret of Fatima, cries out to us about the grave danger we are all in. She waits for the Holy Father to “shout from the rooftops” and tell the world the Third Secret. Cardinal Ratzinger has already clearly stated that the Third Secret refers to the dangers to the Fatith and the life of the Christian.

The Loss of Faith

In the first chapter16, I set forth the reasons which prove that the Third Secret deals specifically with the loss of faith. It is the principal element of the Secret that we already know. In effect, we know more than only the context of it. Sister Lucy was desirous to indicate to us the first sentence of it, “In Portugal, the dogma of faith will always be preserved, etc.” This little sentence which the seer surely and intentionally added when she wrote down the first two parts and the conclusion of the Secret for the second time in her Memoirs, is definitely significant. It provides us very discreetly, with the key to the Third Secret.

Here is the judicious commentary of Father Alonso: “‘In Portugal, the dogma of the faith will always be preserved.’ This sentence in all clarity implies the critical state of the faith which will befall other nations. That is to say that there will be a crisis of faith, while Portugal will save its faith. Therefore”, Father Alonso writes further, “in the period which precedes the great Triumph of the Heart of Mary, the terrible things which are the object of the third part of the Secret, will occur. Which ones? If, ‘In Portugal, the dogmas of faith will always be preserved’, one can deduce from it with perfect clarity that in other parts of the Church these dogmas either are going to become obscure or else even be lost.”

Most of the experts have adopted this interpretation: Father Martin dos Reis, Canon Galamba, Bishop Venancio, Father Luis Kondor, Father Messias Dias Coelho. Last November 18th, in the course of a conference that he gave in Paris, Father Laurentin declared himself also in favor of this solution.17

Let us add that Cardinal Ratzinger has himself spoken in this sense to Vittorio Messori, while saying that the Third Secret concerned “the dangers threatening the faith and life of Christians.” Finally, as we have said, the present Bishop of Fatima is still more explicit. He lets it be understood that it is a crisis of faith, on the scale of several nations and entire continents … such a defection has a name in Holy Scripture: It is apostasy. It is possible that this word is found in the text of the Secret.

The Faltering and Punishment of Pastors

In another chapter18, I show that there is more: The Third Secret insists surely on the heavy responsibility of consecrated souls, of priests, and even bishops themselves in this unprecedented crisis of faith which has hit the Church for 25 years. I provide several proofs of it, several very clear indications. I must be content here to cite to you Father Alonso: “It is therefore completely probable that the text of the Third Secret makes concrete allusions to the crisis of faith within the Church and to the negligence of the pastors themselves.”

He speaks further of “internal struggles in the very bosom of the Church and of grave pastoral negligence by the high hierarchy”, of “deficiencies of the upper hierarchy of the Church.”

These very serious words, Father Alonso has surely not written and published them so clearly and openly without having carefully considered the whole impact. As official archivist of Fatima, would he have adopted after 10 years of labors and various interviews, various conversations with Sister Lucy, a position so bold on a subject so hot without being assured at least of the tacit agreement of the seer? The answer does not permit any doubt at all.

This declaration of the deficiencies of the hierarchy explains the haunting concern of the three seers forcing themselves to pray, to pray much and to sacrifice without ceasing for the Holy Father; the three months of insurmountable anguish that Sister Lucy had to face before daring to write down this text. It explains finally why the Popes since the optimist John XXIII, have hesitated, delayed and ceaselessly put off until later its publication, seeking at all costs to keep it hidden.

A Wave of Diabolical Disorientation

In the third chapter19, I show that Sister Lucy, without doubt, echoed a theme of the Third Secret in certain words and letters where she lays stress on the unleashing of the devil in our era. Already in 1957, she was confiding to Father Fuentes, “The Most Holy Virgin has told me that the devil is about to engage in a decisive battle against the Virgin … and that he knows what most offends God, and what will make him gain the most souls in the shortest possible time. He does everything to gain souls consecrated to God, for in this manner, he will succeed in leaving the souls of the faithful abandoned by their leaders, thereby the more easily will he seize them.”

But it is especially in a series of very little known but very important letters in the years 1969-1970, that she uses some striking expressions to describe the present crisis of the Church. And, let us note it well, through the pen of a soul who is so humble, and so respectful of authority, that such strong expressions are without doubt the echo of the words heard from the very lips of the Immaculate Virgin in Her Final Message concerning the protection of the faith and the welfare of the Church.

“I see by your letter,” she writes to a priest, “that you are preoccupied by the disorientation of our time. It is sad, in fact, that so many persons let themselves be dominated by the diabolical wave that is sweeping the world and that they are blinded to the point of being incapable of seeing error! The principal fault is that they have abandoned prayer, they have in this way become estranged from God, and without God, everything is lacking.

“The devil is very cunning and looks for our weak points in order to attack us.

“If we are not diligent and careful to obtain from God strength, we shall fall, for our age is very wicked and we are weak. Only the strength of God can keep us on our feet.”

In a letter to a friend who is zealously involved in the defense of Marian Devotion, Sister Lucy writes:

“Let people say the Rosary every day, Our Lady has repeated that in all of Her apparitions, as if to fortify us in these times of diabolical disorientation, in order that we not let ourselves be deceived by false doctrines …

“Unfortunately, in religious matters the people for the most part are ignorant and allow themselves to be led wherever they are taken. Hence, the great responsibility of the one who has the duty of leading them …

“It is a diabolical disorientation that is invading the world, deceiving souls! It is necessary to stand up to ‘the devil’.”

On September 16, 1970, she writes to a religious friend: “Our poor Lord, He has saved us with so much love and He is so little understood! So little loved! So badly served! It is painful to see such great confusion, and in so many persons who occupy places of responsibility! … For us, we must try, as much as it is possible for us, to make reparation through a still more intimate union with the Lord … It pains me to see what you are saying, but now, that is happening around here also! … The fact is that the devil has succeeded in bringing in evil under the appearance of good, and the blind are beginning to lead others … This is like the Lord told us in His Gospel, and souls allow themselves to be taken in.

“Gladly I sacrifice myself and offer God my life for peace in His Church, for priests and for all consecrated souls, especially for those who are so deceived and misguided!”

We must take a stand against the devil’s partisans in the Church

For the confidante of the Virgin Mary, evil is not only in our world “in decadence”, “plunged into the darkness of error of immorality and pride.” Evil is also in the Church itself, where the devil has his “followers” and his “partisans” who are always “forging ahead with intrepid audacity.” Facing them, there are so many “timid persons” who do not have the courage to take a stand. And Sister Lucy is not afraid to state that many bishops are among their number. Moreover, it is not only a question of luke-warmness or of pastoral neglect, Sister Lucy lets it be clearly understood that it is the faith itself that is being attacked. She speaks of “false doctrines” and of “diabolical confusion”, of “blindness” and this, among the very ones “who have great responsibility” in the Church. She deplores the fact that so many pastors “let themselves be dominated by the diabolical wave that is invading the world.” Could one better describe the crisis of the Church that has opened itself to a world … of which satan is the prince?

But Sister Lucy insists, “The Virgin knew that these times of diabolical disorientation had to come.” All these words of the seer and so many others that we can cite, are explained perfectly, and take on great prominence, if on July 13, 1917, in Her Third Secret, the Virgin specifically foretold this “diabolical disorientation” which would suddenly invade the Church, if Her requests were not obeyed.

The Great Apostasy of the “Last Times” Announced by Holy Scripture

To someone who was questioning her on the content of the Third Secret, Sister Lucy one day replied: “It’s in the Gospel, and in the Apocalypse, read them.” She has also confided to Father Fuentes that the Virgin Mary has made her see clearly that “We are in the last times of the world.”

This does not mean, one must emphasize, the time of the end of the world and of the last judgement, since the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary must come first. Cardinal Ratzinger himself discreetly alluding to the content of the Secret of Fatima, has mentioned three important elements: “The dangers threatening the faith”, “the importance of the last times” and the fact that the prophecies “contained in this Third Secret correspond to what has been announced in Scripture.” We even know that one day Lucy indicated Chapters 8 and 13 of the Apocalypse.

That is why, in the last two chapters of my book, I take up the great teachings of Our Lord, of St. Paul and St. John so ignored today! — Announcing the troubles, the heresy and finally the great apostasy which will arise in the Church during the “last times.” And the objective comparison of the prophecies of Scripture — very particularly those of the Apocalypse — and the great prophecy of the Virgin of Fatima, at the dawn of our Century shows indeed very numerous and quite striking parallels.


8. The Third Secret, pages 721-734.

9. For the conclusions that one could draw from the Cardinal’s “variations”, read The Third Secret, pages 818-840.

10. On this date Pope John Paul II consecrated the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, with an indirect mention of Russia (not by name), after having asked all the world’s bishops to join in this act from their respectivee dioceses. In fact all bishops did not join the Pope and the act of consecration used was not what Our Lady of Fatima requested.

11. The Third Secret, pages 642-663 English edition.

12. In the June, 1960 edition of la Civiltà Cattolica.

13. This declaration to Father Fuentes, as Father Alonso and I also show, is certainly authentic. I demonstrate this in my book The Third Secret pages 503-510, 549-554. Sister Lucy’s declaration to Father Fuentes in December of 1957, is a striking synthesis of the message of Fatima. The text of this interview was published in 1962 in the Letters to My Friends, and again in 1974 in The Catholic Counter-Reformation in the Twentieth Century (no. 87, page 12, French edition). This text, always very timely, deserves to continue to spread. (See The Third Secret, pages 504-508, for text.)

14. The main supernatural means by which world peace will be brought about are the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary by the Pope and all the bishops of the world, and the Communions of Reparation on the First Saturdays (see Appendix), as requested by Our Lady on December 10, 1925 and June 13, 1929.

15. The bishop could make such a strong statement because it is a dogma of the Catholic Church that: in order to be saved from the eternal fires of Hell each Catholic must not lose his Faith. Obviously, physical annihilation is not as bad an evil as the loss of souls in Hell for all eternity. That is why this chastisement proclaimed in the Third Secret is worse than war and death.

16. The Third Secret, pages 683-693.

17. To our knowledge, only Rev. Father Antonio Maria Martins and Father Geraldes Freire continue to maintain another hypothesis, according to which the Third Secret would concern the expansion of Communism to Portugal, her overseas colonies and the entire world (The Third Secret, pages 735-744).

18. The Third Secret, pages 694-720.

19. The Third Secret, pages 745-762.

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