Chronology of Four Cover-up
Silencing of Sister
Visions and Secrets
Though she was only 10 years old at the time, Lucia dos Santos was the
eldest of the three shepherd children who saw the visions at Fatima in 1917.
She was the only one of the three who actually spoke to the Virgin, asking her
own questions and answering others from Our Lady. After the vision of May 13,
Lucia and her younger cousins, Francisco and Jacinta Marto, agreed not to
reveal it to anyone.
Seven-year-old Jacinta, however, was unable to contain her excitement
about this first vision, and mentioned it to her mother. Word soon spread
through their small rural community. Some immediately accepted the vision as an
authentic apparition of the Virgin Mary, but others including Church
officials were skeptical. Crowds of both believers and curiosity-seekers
gathered to watch Lucia and her cousins at the later apparitions (about 50
people came in June; 5,000 in July; 15,000 in August; and 30,000 in September),
and at the final one, some 70,000 people witnessed the famous Miracle of the
By July, the local mayor found the popular reaction to these events
disturbing, and subjected all three children to intensive questioning in
August. At one point, after being held in prison for 2 days, they were actually
threatened with death by that exasperated interrogator. Despite all attempts at
intimidation, Lucia and her cousins revealed nothing of the July 13 Secret,
abiding by Our Ladys instruction to keep Her Message secret. Vatican
officials were initially dubious about the authenticity of the visions, as they
must be in cases of this kind. However, the evident sincerity of the children,
as well as their deep piety and devotion, eventually persuaded the authorities
to take the issue seriously and investigate further. The authenticating Miracle
of the Sun, which Lucia requested from Our Lady as proof that the apparitions
were authentic, sealed the matter. A little more than a decade later, in 1930,
their exhaustive investigation was complete, and Church officials declared the
Fatima apparitions "worthy of belief."
Two of the Three Seers Die
Barely two years after he saw the first Fatima apparition, Francisco
Marto died of influenza in the spring of 1919. The following year, his younger
sister Jacinta also succumbed to this disease in February 1920. Lucia dos
Santos thus became the only surviving Fatima seer, and the message of Our Lady
rested only with her. When she entered a convent at the age of 18 in 1925, she
had still not publicly revealed anything further about Our Ladys message.
(Both the Marto children were beatified by Pope John Paul II on May 13, 2000,
and are now only one step away from canonization.)
In the summer of 1929, while residing in a convent in Tuy, Spain, Sr.
Lucia had another vision. This time, Our Lady returned as She had promised at
Fatima to ask for the consecration of Russia to Her Immaculate Heart. This
apparition was followed by a visit two years later, in which Our Lord spoke to
and warned Sr. Lucia about the deadly consequences to the Church hierarchy for
failing to perform the requested consecration. Sr. Lucia reported these mesages
to her confessor, Fr. Bernardo Goncalves, urging him to find some way to
persuade the Holy Father to perform the ceremony. Despite the fact that her
earlier visions had now been declared "worthy of belief" by the Vatican, no
action was taken to comply with Our Ladys request. By 1935, Sr. Lucia had
begun putting her urgings in writing, telling Fr. Goncalves, in reference to
his questions, in a handwritten letter that "it would please Our Lord very
much" if he insisted to his bishop that the consecration be done.
The Words of Our Lady
By 1941, at the insistence of her bishop, Sister Lucia wrote her third
and fourth memoirs revealing the first two parts of the contents of the Secret
delivered on July 13, 1917 by Our Lady of Fatima in Her own words. Only the
last part of the Secret, the so-called "Third Secret," remained undisclosed. A
few years later, again at the instigation of her bishop, Sr. Lucia reluctantly
wrote the content of the Third Secret on a sheet of paper, sealed it in an
envelope, and had it conveyed to Bishop José da Silva of Fatima. By
agreement between Sr. Lucia and the bishop, the letter was to be made public at
the latest in 1960. Before that date, in 1957, the still-sealed envelope was
transferred to the Vatican, where it was deposited in a safe in the papal
Meanwhile, Sr. Lucia kept urging that the requested consecration be done
exactly as specified. In 1946, she explained in an interview that the general
consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart performed by Pope Pius XII in
1942 was not satisfactory, because it was not the specific consecration of
Russia and all the Catholic bishops did not join the Pope. In 1952, the Pope
did mention Russia in another consecration, but failed to perform the ceremony
in union with all the bishops of the world. Evidently, Pius XII had not been
informed of this requirement, which is explicitly stated in Sr. Lucias
Sr. Lucia Speaks Again
By 1957, Sr. Lucia was clearly dismayed by the Churchs continuing
failure to accede to Our Ladys request. In a meeting with Fr. Agustin
Fuentes, Postulator of the Cause for Beatification of Francisco and Jacinta
Marto, she emphasized that whole nations risked disappearing from the world and
many souls were going to hell as a result of ignoring Our Ladys request.
This interview was published widely in English and Spanish in 1958, with the
approbation of the Bishop of Fatima.
An Anonymous Accusation
After the death of Pope Pius XII, in the summer of 1959, an anonymous
report was issued from the bishops chancery office in Coimbra, where Sr.
Lucias convent is located. The report denounced Fr. Fuentes 1957
interview with Sr. Lucia as fraudulent. To this day, no one has taken
responsibility for making this claim. Although Fr. Fuentes would later be
completely vindicated, in 1961 this anonymous fraudulent "report" was used as
the basis for dismissing Fr. Fuentes as the Postulator of the Cause for
Beatification of Francisco and Jacinta Marto.
A Major Disappointment
In 1960, the appointed time arrived for the Third Secret to be revealed.
To the disappointment of tens of millions, the Vatican withheld it, saying that
it would probably "remain forever under absolute seal." Like the mysterious
report issued in Coimbra, this announcement was also anonymous, with no Vatican
official taking responsibility.
Sr. Lucia Silenced
Editors and reporters from Catholic media immediately sought reaction
from Sr. Lucia, but this proved futile. They found that Sr. Lucia was strictly
forbidden to speak about the Third Secret to anyone, and was allowed no
visitors other than close friends and relatives. After 1960, even her longtime
confessor (since the 1930s), Fr. José da Silva Aparicio was not
allowed to see her when he returned to Portugal from Brazil even though
in the early 1950s he was free to do so.
Shortly after the conclusion of the Second Vatican Council, Pope Paul VI
abrogated Canons 1399 and 2318 of the 1917 Code of Canon Law on November 15,
1966, thereby permitting anyone in the Church to publish on the subject of
Marian apparitions without obtaining an official imprimatur. However, Sr.
Lucia, alone out of 700 million Catholics worldwide, was denied the benefit of
this dispensation. Bound by her vow of obedience as a nun, the one person who
actually received the Message of Our Lady of Fatima remained forbidden to speak
freely on the subject, without special permission from the Vatican.
The Pope Ignores a Plea
A year later, Sr. Lucias memoirs were published, bringing
widespread attention to Our Ladys request for the consecration of Russia.
Thousands of Catholics responded by signing petitions asking the Pope to
perform the ceremony. When Pope Paul VI visited Fatima in May of 1967, Sr.
Lucia pleaded to speak with him, but was rebuffed and told to "speak to your
bishop." Her bishop, meanwhile, was not able to make any effective effort to
achieve either the consecration of Russia or the revelation of the Third
A Negligent Nuncios Report
For the next fifteen years, Sr. Lucia remained in cloistered silence
while nothing was done to respond to Our Ladys Message. Finally, in March
of 1982, a meeting took place between Sr. Lucia and the Papal Nuncio to
Portugal. Sr. Lucia took this opportunity to fully inform the Nuncio of the
requirements for a valid consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of
Mary. However, in his report to the Pope, the Nuncio knowingly failed to
mention that the worlds bishops must join the Pope in performing the
A few months later, on the eve of a visit to Fatima by Pope John Paul II
(May 12, 1982), the Vatican newspaper LOsservatore Romano
published an article by Father Umberto Pasquale, a priest who had corresponded
with Sr. Lucia for over 40 years. Fr. Pasquale restated that Sr. Lucia clearly
told him that Our Lady of Fatima never asked for the consecration of the world,
but only of Russia. He also published a photographic reproduction of a
handwritten note to him from Sr. Lucia confirming that the request referred
only to Russia, and not the world.
Another Inadequate Consecration
The next day, on May 13, 1982, Pope John Paul II performed a
consecration at Fatima. The ceremony mentioned the world, not Russia, and the
worlds Catholic bishops did not participate as required.
LOsservatore Romano later reported that the Pope explained his
failure to mention Russia by saying that he had "tried to do everything
possible in the concrete circumstances."
Sr. Lucia Writes a Letter
On May 12, Sr. Lucia wrote a letter which was made public 18 years later
by the Vatican in connection with the alleged revelation of the Third Secret in
June of 2000. The Vatican said the letter, dated May 12, 1982, was addressed to
the Holy Father, but this cannot be the case, because it refers to the Third
Secret as something "you are so anxious to know." This would make no sense if
the recipient were the Pope, since he already knew the contents of the Third
Secret at that time. Significantly, the Vaticans own translations of the
original Portuguese into other languages omitted this phrase, indicating that
the officials who published these documents knew the letter was not addressed
to the Pope, and were trying to hide that fact. The telltale phrase could not
be omitted from the handwritten original, because it was published as a
An Alleged Interview
In midsummer of 1982, the American Blue Armys Soul Magazine
published what it claimed was an interview with Sr. Lucia, in which she
allegedly stated that the May 12 consecration had satisfied Our Ladys
request. The article did not explain how the request could have been satisfied
by a ceremony that neither mentioned Russia nor included the participation of
the worlds bishops. In private conversations with friends and relatives,
Sr. Lucia repeatedly denied this claim, but explained she could not say this
publicly, because she did not have permission to do so from the Vatican.
A Real Interview
Precisely because the attempted consecration in 1982 made no mention of
Russia (and the bishops did not participate), Sister Lucy told the Papal Nuncio
to Portugal on March 19, 1983 that the 1982 Act of Consecration was
insufficient, because Russia was not the object of the consecration and the
bishops did not participate in a solemn public ceremony consecrating Russia.
She concluded: "The Consecration of Russia has not been done as Our Lady
requested. I was not able to make this statement before because I did not
have the permission of the Holy See."
Then, in September of 1985, an account of an interview with her appeared
in Sol de Fatima magazine, published by friends of the Spanish Blue
Army. It quoted Sr. Lucia affirming once again that yet another consecration of
the world, performed in 1984 in Rome, still did not satisfy Our Ladys
request. The text of the consecration made no mention of Russia, and none of
the thousands of other bishops of the world were commanded to participate.
A Cousin Speaks
A year later, one of the few family members permitted to visit Sr. Lucia
spoke out. Maria do Fetal, a cousin, publicly stated after a visit that Sr.
Lucia had said the consecration still had not been done. Her statement gave a
momentary voice to her cloistered cousin, who was still not permitted to speak
In June of 1987, Sr. Lucia made a rare excursion outside her convent to
vote in a general election. In a brief exchange with a journalist, Enrico
Romero, Sr. Lucia confirmed once again that the consecration of Russia had not
Instructions to Contradict
Two years later, in the summer of 1989, Sr. Lucia received a surprising
instruction from an anonymous official at the Vatican. The instruction directed
that Sr. Lucia and her fellow religious at the convent must now say that the
consecration performed in March of 1984 satisfied the request of Our Lady of
Fatima. This extraordinary order to flatly contradict herself was revealed by
Father Messias Coelho, a longtime friend and occasional visitor of Sr. Lucia.
In evident obedience to the same instruction, Sr. Lucias cousin Maria do
Fetal suddenly reversed herself, and quoted Sr. Lucia as saying the
consecration had been done.
Letters from Whom?
Shortly thereafter, various typewritten notes and letters supposedly
signed by Sr. Lucia began to appear and circulate privately in pious journals
outside of Portugal. All contained statements flatly contradicting everything
Sr. Lucia had said about the consecration over the previous 60 years. The fact
that the documents were not handwritten and contained some obvious factual
errors and strange phrases made their authentic origin with Sr. Lucia highly
The Plot Unravels
The Vaticans attempt to revise history quickly unravelled. In
1990, Sr. Lucias sister Carolina told Father Nicholas Gruner that little
or no trust could be put in any typewritten letter from Sr. Lucia, as she does
not know how to type. Any such letter would have to have been drafted by
someone else, even if it were signed by Sr. Lucia.
A Forged Signature
Sr. Lucias signature on one of these documents was soon called
into question. A forensic expert examined her purported signature on a letter
dated November 1989 and declared it to be a forgery. Nevertheless, excerpts
from some of these fake letters were widely cited and circulated in other
publications as "proof" that the consecration has been done.
A Papal Audience and Eloquent Silence
When the Pope scheduled a visit to Fatima in May of 1991, Sr. Lucia
initially declined to attend, but was ordered to do so. Pope John Paul II
granted her a private audience lasting half an hour. Afterwards, neither Sr.
Lucia nor the Pope made any comment in support of published claims that the
consecration had been done. Their silence on this subject strongly reinforced
the conclusion that the Consecration of Russia had not yet been done.
A Bogus Interview
In the autumn of 1992, Sr. Lucia was allegedly interviewed by Father
Francesco Pacheco, Cardinal Antony Padiyara and Bishop Francis
Michaelappa. The clerics chauffeur, Carlos Evaristo, later published an
account of the interview, which included the usual claims that the consecration
had been done. One of the clerics, Fr. Pacheco, later published a repudiation
of this report, calling the credibility of Mr. Evaristo, the chauffeur and
self-confessed "conceptual translator", and his report of this interview into
The Author in Absentia
For the rest of the decade, the Vatican turned a deaf ear to continuing
calls for the consecration, for the revelation of the Third Secret, and for an
end to Sr. Lucias enforced silence. Finally, in June of 2000, the Vatican
at a press conference where hundreds of journalists from around the
world were present revealed what it claimed was the Third Secret, along
with other documents, including a lengthy commentary. Notably absent from the
press conference was the author of the Third Secret, Sr. Lucia. She was not
only excluded from the event, she also remained under an order of silence on
the subject. Even if the document released were not questionable in itself
and it is, see "Suppression of the Third
Secret" the absence and silence of Sr.
Lucia would still make this "revelation" dubious in the extreme. (See The
Devils Final Battle for more information.)
Basic Facts Emerge
Sr. Lucias religious vocation as a cloistered nun makes her
vulnerable to manipulation in ways not possible with lay persons. She can be
made inaccessible, she can be denied the right of response to false claims and
allegations, and above all, she is kept absolutely silent. However, certain
facts emerge undeniably from her illegally and immorally enforced silence:
First, she has been urging, ever since the early 1930s, that
Russia be consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary by the Pope in union with
all the bishops of the world, as Our Lady of Fatima requested.
Second, she has repeatedly explained that various consecrations
over the past half-century have all failed to meet the specific requirements of
Our Ladys request. She has never openly and unambiguously said
Third, she fully expected the single-page text of the Third
Secret to be revealed in 1960, and still wants it revealed. This is not the
four-page document made public by the Vatican in 2000, at an event from which
Sr. Lucia was notably excluded. Despite claims of Archbishop Bertone in
November of 2001, Sr. Lucia herself has given no direct indication of any kind
that she agrees with the claims made by the Vatican in its "Third Secret"
Fourth, and finally, she is in her late 90s, and will not
be with us for much longer. Hence, if she is not allowed to speak freely soon,
she will take the rest of what she knows about the Message of Fatima to her
grave. The worlds last direct link with a message from Heaven will be
gone, perhaps leaving some questions forever unanswerable. This would appear to
be what Fatima revisionists in the Vatican intend.
The focal point for the aspects to the Fatima story is, of course, Sr.
Lucia. She saw the visions, she received the Message, and she wrote down the
words spoken by the Blessed Virgin. She knows the whole truth about the Message
of Fatima. And yet, Church officials have treated her in a manner that seems
more appropriate to someone spreading heresy than someone bearing a message
from the Mother of God.
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