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The Known Facts

Events

During Her July 13, 1917 apparition at Fatima, Our Lady confided to the three children a Secret in three parts. Sister Lucy revealed the first two parts of the Secret to the world through her third memoir. "The Secret," she wrote, "is composed of three distinct parts, and I shall reveal two of them. The first was the vision of hell ... The second concerns devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary."

In October 1943 Sister Lucy received a formal command from Bishop José da Silva to write down the text of the Third Secret. From mid-October until early January 1944, she was prevented from obeying that formal command by an unspeakable anguish that she experienced during this time. Here are the circumstances surrounding Sister Lucy’s ordeal in writing down the Third Secret:

In June 1943 Sister Lucy came down with pleurisy, which caused Bishop José da Silva of Leiria to fear that she would die without having revealed the final Secret. Canon José Galamba de Oliveira later convinced Bishop da Silva to suggest to Sister Lucy that she write down the Third Secret. However, Sister Lucy refused to comply with this suggestion because she did not want to take responsibility for such an initiative on her own, but she stated that she would obey an express command from the bishop to write it down. Agonizing over this expressed suggestion, Sister Lucy was concerned that, without that formal command from her bishop, she did not yet have Our Lord’s permission to reveal the Third Secret.

In mid-October 1943, Bishop da Silva finally gave Sister Lucy the formal order to write down the Third Secret. Sister Lucy then set out to obey the bishop’s command, but was unable to do so for the next two and a half months. It was only after the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to Sister Lucy on January 2, 1944 to confirm to her that it was indeed God’s will that she write the words of the Third Secret, that Sister Lucy finally was able to overcome these difficulties and write down the Secret. Sister Lucy committed the Third Secret to paper between the second and ninth of January 1944. On January 9, 1944 Sister Lucy wrote to Bishop da Silva, informing him that the Secret was finally written down.

On September 2, 1952 Father Joseph Schweigl interrogated Sister Lucy about the Third Secret at her convent in Coimbra, Portugal. He was sent there by Pope Pius XII on a special mission.

In 1955 Pope Pius XII sent yet another representative to the Convent in Coimbra to interrogate Sister Lucy concerning the contents of the Third Secret. Cardinal Ottaviani, the head of the Vatican’s Holy Office, spoke to Sister Lucy on May 17, 1955. His interrogation was followed by the order that the text of the Third Secret be transferred to the Vatican.

Around the end of 1956, the Papal Nuncio to Lisbon, Archbishop Fernando Cento, relayed the order from the Vatican’s Holy Office to Bishop da Silva that all the documents Sister Lucy had written were to be sent to the Vatican, including the Secret.

In March 1957, Bishop Venancio, Fatima’s auxiliary bishop, implored one final time that Bishop da Silva read the Secret before handing it over to the Vatican. Bishop da Silva, now 85, declined to read it, saying, "That doesn’t interest me." Bishop Venancio, not authorized to open the seal, held the envelope containing the Third Secret up to the light to better see the contents, and then carefully noted what he could of the contents. He made these observations: the Secret is written on one sheet of paper, with margins of 3/4 of a centimeter on both sides of the page, with approximately 25 lines of text.

Contents

Sister Lucy had no problem writing down the first and second parts of the Secret, which included the terrifying vision of hell and the annihilation of nations. Yet in the case of the third part, intervention from Heaven was necessary for her to be able to write it down. This testifies to the seriousness of its contents.

Cardinal Ottaviani, who had interrogated Sister Lucy in 1955 and who read the Secret, is on public record as saying that the Third Secret is a prophecy – a prediction of the future – made by Our Lady. Also, both Cardinal Ottaviani and the Vatican announcement in the February 8, 1960 communiqué, which announced that the Secret would not be revealed, stated that the Secret consists of Our Lady’s words.

On June 26, 2000 Cardinal Ratzinger released what he claimed to be the entire Third Secret of Fatima. Yet what was released that day does not quite equate with what we know about the Secret. For example, we know from the testimony of the auxiliary bishop of Fatima, Bishop Venancio, that the text of the Secret is about 25 lines long and written on one sheet of paper. The Third Secret "vision," released by Cardinal Ratzinger and Archbishop Bertone on June 26, 2000 was written on four sheets of paper. Furthermore, it contained no words of Our Lady. (See "Does the Third Secret Consist of Two Distinct Texts?", Chapter 12 of The Devil’s Final Battle, for an analysis of eleven facts concerning the discrepancies between the text published by the Vatican and the text alluded to by various witnesses.)

In addition, according to the Vatican’s official "interpretation" of the Third Secret vision, the Secret refers only to past events. The Vatican claims that the vision of the bishop dressed in white being killed by a band of soldiers refers to the 1981 attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II, even though the Holy Father was not killed.

In 1946 Canon Barthas asked Sr. Lucy why the world must wait until 1960 for the revelation of the Secret. Sister Lucy gave two reasons for this particular date: first, "because the Blessed Virgin wishes it so," and also because "it will be clearer then." Let us focus for a moment on Sister Lucy’s second reason. A prophecy becomes clearer when it begins to be realized. Most Fatima scholars are therefore united in asserting that the Third Secret began to be visibly realized by 1960.

Also, as the entire Fatima Secret forms a cohesive whole, and as we know the conclusion of the Secret, we are able to understand the context of the third part of the Secret. The conclusion of the Secret is, "In the end My Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to Me, Russia will be converted and a period of peace will be given to mankind." The Third Secret must therefore predict something that will occur after 1960 and before "the end" and the subsequent Triumph of the Immaculate Heart, which will usher in true world peace.

Thus we can see that we are living in the period between 1960 and the Consecration of Russia and subsequent Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. In short, we are living in the period of the Third Secret actually being realized! Though we have been assured that "in the end" we will have the Consecration of Russia and a period of world peace, until then we will sink deeper and deeper into the horrible chastisement that the Third Secret of Fatima predicts.

How do we know that the Third Secret predicts a horrible chastisement? How can we know what is contained in the Third Secret at all? Firstly, we can study the published testimony of those who are knowledgeable about its contents. The following related articles contain published testimony concerning the Third Secret of Fatima.

Related Articles

Does the Third Secret Consist of Two Distinct Texts?

In the "Published Testimony" series: