The “mystery” of the third secret – part one (the official version published in 2000)
In the previous article we began the deepening on the third apparition of Our Lady in Fatima which certainly deserves a longer reflection as it is the one in which the Virgin revealed to the little shepherds the three secrets (which are in fact a single great prophetic message that can be divided into three parts). After dealing with the first two now we begin to deal with the third secret around which there is, still, despite being officially revealed in 2000, a alea of mystery.
For the moment we return to the historical story of that extraordinary day. It was July 13, 1917 and, as on previous occasions, Lucia, Francesco and Jacinta, as requested by Our Lady and despite the external pressures that were beginning to be heavy, had gone to the Cova d’Iria. The text of the third secret fits (or at least it should be inserted, this is precisely one of the points around which the accounts do not go perfectly well with respect to the version that has been officially published by the Vatican) within the text reported in the Sister Lucia’s memoirs immediately after the sentence: “In Portugal, the dogma of faith will always be preserved; etc … Don’t tell anyone that.“. Obviously these words had been omitted by the seer in the drafting of her Memoirs as she had been asked by Our Lady.
In 1944, on the occasion of a serious illness, and always in obedience to the Bishop of Leiria, Sr. Lucia (who was still in the House of dorothees in Tuy, Spain), he wrote the text of the third secret in a letter closed in a sealed envelope (then kept in the curia safe) ordering in writing that, on his death, the envelope should be delivered to Card. Manuel patriarch of Lisbon and that could have been opened only after 1960 by the Bishop of Leiria or the Patriarch of Lisbon. In 1957 the Holy Office (current Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith) asked the Bishop of Leiria to send the envelope to Rome which was then registered in his Secret Archive.
It does not appear, officially, that Pius XII, who died in 1958, never had the right, as Pope, to read its contents, although he turned the rumor that instead he had read the letter and that in doing so he would cry and faint. John XXIII would then refuse to publish it in 1960 and the same thing he would later do, after him, Paul VI. It was John Paul II, intimately linked to the story of Fatima decided to finally publish the contents of the third secret. The announcement gave him, through the Secretary of State, Card. Sodano, right in Fatima, on May 13, 2000 on the occasion of the beatification of Francis and Jacinta, and was announced on June 26, 2000 with the document “The Message of Fatima” during a meeting chaired by Card. Ratzinger.
And so here are the words of Sister Lucia according to what has been officially reported by the Vatican: “After the two parts of the secret that I have already exposed, we saw on the left side of Our Lady, a little higher, an angel with a sword of fire in his left hand; sparking it emitted flames that seemed to set the world on fire; but they died at the contact of the splendour that Our Lord emanated from His right hand towards him. The angel, pointing to the earth with his right hand, in a strong voice said, “Penance, Penance, Penance!” And we saw, in an immense light that is God (something similar to how you see people in a mirror when they pass in front of you) a Bishop dressed in white (we had the hunch that he was the Holy Father) and various other Bishops, priests, men and women religious climb a steep mountain, on top of which there was a large Cross of rough trunks, as if it were cork with bark; the Holy Father before arriving there, crossed a great city in ruins and half tremulous and with a wavering step, afflicted with pain and pain, prayed for the souls of the corpses he encountered on his journey; arriving at the top of the mountain, prostrated on his knees at the foot of the great Cross he was killed by a group of soldiers who shot and arrows at him, and in the same way the Bishops, priests, men and women and various secular people, men and women, of various classes and positions died after each other. Under the two arms of the Cross were two angels, each with a crystal watering can in his hand, in which they collected the blood of the martyrs and with it irrigated the souls who approached God“.
The Vatican’s official interpretation of this vision sees it linked to the 1981 assassination attempt on John Paul II. Of course, there is no doubt that it is legitimate to think of this connection, just think of the date of that event, 13 May, the subsequent words of the Polish Pope himself who said that on that occasion it was “a maternal hand that guided the trajectory of the bullet”so much so that it was really anomalous and such as to allow him to remain alive, but also to the amazement in verifying that, the crown of the original statue of Our Lady of Fatima, within which it was decided to frame that same bullet, presented an imperfection, a crack, in which the bullet itself was perfectly inserted.
However, as we will have the opportunity to deepen in the next article, it is permissible to think and believe that this is not everything. And if Pope Benedict XVI also came to affirm, during his visit to Fatima in 2010, that the prophetic message of Fatima cannot be considered concluded,then not only is it permissible to think so, but almost dutiful also from a point of view of reason. There are many clues: first of all, in the vision we talk about a pope killed, which did not happen; secondly, the text of the third published secret does not fit, lexically and logically, into the rest of the text of the two secrets as they were reported by Sister Lucia in her Memoirs (there is no conscierous terms compared to the phrase that had been left unresolved “in Portugal will always preserve the dogma of faith etc.“); there are still several authoritative testimonies of people who had certainly read the third secret when it was still hidden and who, before publication, had associated its contents with the danger of great apostasy within the Church; finally how can we fail to emphasize the fact that for the other two parts of the secret, in addition to the vision there was also an explanation that Our Lady herself had provided to the visionaries, while for this third part there is no trace of an explanation of the Virgin!
In short, as we will see in more detail in the next article, there are several elements that strongly give rise to the thesis that the third secret has not been fully revealed. And this, together with the failure to consecrate Russia in the precise terms in which the Virgin had requested it, and the failure to publish the same third secret in 1960 as always Our Lady had ordered the do through Sister Lucia, represent serious defaults that certainly cannot please Heaven and that cannot fail to have consequences, which are probably before our eyes precisely in these times that we are experiencing.
To know Fatima, her message and give her the right interpretation not only theological and spiritual, but also historical in the light of what happened in the world in the twentieth century (not to mention what is happening in the early years of this 21st century!) with her materialist ideologies and with the two world wars and, in the Church especially since 1960 , seems to us to be of paramount importance to our faith. Why did Popes John XXIII and Paul VI prefer not to reveal the third secret at the time, after 1960 (precisely in the run-up to the Second Vatican Council, which would be followed by a very serious crisis of faith and of every area of the Church), despite this having been asked directly by Our Lady? The message of Fatima is evidently shocking as a whole, not only for the world, but also for the Church herself: the invitation to penance, the persecutions of Christians, the apostasia rampant in that Europe that had been the cradle of Christianity and Christian civilization and within the Church itself because of the spread of modernism, etc. But also in terms of the inner life of each of us, there are many keys to reading and ideas for meditation and the invitation to an authentic review of life, which can be drawn from this message of Our Lady.