"You saw hell where the souls of poor sinners go. In order to save them, God wishes to establish devotion to my Immaculate Heart in the world. If people do what I ask, many souls will be saved and there will be peace."
At the time that She confided the Fatima Secret to the three seers, the Blessed Virgin also promised that God would work a great miracle the following October "so that all may believe." On October 13 1917, in the presence of 70,000 eyewitnesses, a miracle was worked in the sky above Fatima at the exact moment and in the precise spot that the children had announced earlier. Witnesses recounted that the sun appeared to actually "dance" in the sky and seemed to fall to the ground before resuming its normal place in the heavens.
"On the last month, I will perform a miracle so that all may believe."
This event has now become known as "The Miracle of the Sun" and has been justly characterized as the greatest supernatural occurrence of the 20th Century. As one leading Fatima authority has noted, this great miracle "does not belong (only) to the domain of faith, or even that of science. Before all else it is an historical event."
The Catholic Church has officially endorsed the Fatima Message "as worthy of belief" since 1930. Five successive popes have publicly indicated their approval and belief in the validity and critical importance of the Fatima apparitions. Several popes have visited Fatima on solemn pilgrimage and Pope John Paul II has gone at least once in every decade of his pontificate. His Holiness has publicly credited Our Lady of Fatima for saving his life during an assassination attempt in 1981 (which, parenthetically, took place on the 64th anniversary of the first Fatima apparition). The following year, while in Fatima to give thanks for Her intervention, the Pope stated that "the message of Fatima is more relevant and more urgent" today than even when Our Lady first appeared.
"In the end, 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."
In the years since the Queen of Heaven's appearances at Fatima, innumerable books, pamphlets, recordings, films and video programs have been produced as part of a growing worldwide movement of faith and devotion (Our Lady's Book Service). Belief in the Fatima apparations and Our Lady's full Message are now widely synonymous with an orthodox adherence to the doctrines, rites and traditional practices and teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. Many theologians believe that Our Lady's Message is uniquely designed for the difficult and trying times in which we live today and suggest that it is Heaven's intervention to save the world from war, hunger and need; the Catholic Church from apostasy and chaos; and the souls of countless millions from eternal damnation. While stern in its warning of the terrible punishments for sin and disobedience, Fatima remains fundamentally a life-affirming and faith-building message of hope and peace for all Catholics and others of good will everywhere.
"Only I can help you. My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God."