WHERE SHE APPEARS AND WHAT SHE WEARS
It was in 1915 when Mary first combated Marxism with public revelations. She appeared when an atheistic, Marxist government ruled the country of Portugal. She appeared out in the countryside to three small children who were tending sheep. They lived in the nearby village of Fatima, Portugal. In 1915, Portugal was verging on totalitarianism after the revolution of 1910. The revolution had decreed a sharp separation of Church and state, Church property was being confiscated, and religious congregations had been ordered to dissolve. The intelligentsia and ruling classes were anti-religious and anti-clerical. They were contemptuous of traditional religious beliefs that they considered to be mere superstition. They controlled the media and pervaded it with their errant wisdom that no good could ever come from feeling religious. Everyone was affected by church closings and became careful not to be effusive with their religious sentiments. Any display of ardent faith was becoming punishable by law. Despite this, strong religious faith still could be found among the peasants of the rural areas.
PROPHECIES OF MARY AT AKITA, JAPAN FROM 1973 TO 1975
It was in this socially and politically repressed environment that Mary chose to manifest, and perhaps it was her success at Fatima that encouraged her to take on Nasser in Egypt fifty-three years later. At Fatima she appeared to three young children, Lucia dos Santos, age nine, and her two younger cousins, Francisco and Jacinta Marto, who were tending sheep in the fields. One of the children, Lucia, thought she saw a translucent cloud that seemed to be shaped in the form of a human body. It moved across a clear sky and finally hovered above a pine grove.
A year later, in the summer of 1916, the children were guiding sheep to a meadow when they were caught in a sudden rainstorm. Taking shelter at a nearby cave, they ate lunch and waited until the rain stopped before collecting their herd. They said the Rosary, and then the rain stopped suddenly. Within moments of leaving the cave, they felt a strong wind blowing across the pines. 58 years earlier, Bernadette had a similar experience when she saw a strong wind blow a rose bush outside the opening of a grotto. When Bernadette turned in the direction of the rose bush she saw a golden cloud, but when the three children turned in the direction of the wind, they saw a translucent cloud like the one Lucia had seen the year before. This time the cloud moved toward them and finally became a transparent young man about 14 years old who spoke to them in living voice and told him he was the Angel of Peace. He gave them several prophecies.
On May 13, 1917 the Virgin appeared once more to the three small children, her appearance heralded by a huge burst of lightning in the sky. The children were instructed by the Virgin in living voice to return to the site on the 13th day of each month, and she gave them a prophecy in three parts. Word spread about the appearances at Fatima, but the atheistic Marxist government began a campaign to ridicule and discredit the children. Nonetheless, the children returned every month on the 13th day, as instructed by Mary. Once again she asked that a church be built on the site of her appearance. The Virgin Mary's request for a church on the site was finally fulfilled when the Basilica at Fatima was built.
The three children, who had suffered ridicule and threats, asked the Virgin for a miracle, for some sign that would prove that they had actually been visited. The Virgin agreed and specified the date for the sign as October 13. By now, the Marxist government could not stop the people from believing in the appearances of Mary, and on October 13, 1917, 70,000 people gathered in hopes of seeing this sign given by Mary. According to the accounts of the journalists and reporters in attendance, the sun behaved very oddly that day. First, the rain stopped suddenly, as it had the first day the children witnessed the Virgin at Fatima. As the clouds parted and the sun appeared, many people noticed that their wet clothes suddenly became miraculously dry. Then, the sun turned a strange silver color. It altered shape from a sphere to a disc and began to spin on its axis, shooting luminous colors from spokes into the sky. Then, the sun stopped spinning, and everyone thought it was over. Suddenly, the sun began plummeting to the earth, and all thought the end of the world had arrived. Most of the 70,000 fell to their knees and prayed.
Are we to believe this really happened? What if the Phaistos Disk is an historical record in clay of this same kind of event in the Mediterranean Bronze Age? The disk has spirals on both sides and its terra-cotta color might be the artist(s) attempt at duplicating the sun's color. The spiral could indicate "spin." An image is concealed on the Phaistos Disk that might be meant to show a spinning sun. This image is a star inside a heptagram inside a heptagon. If the star represents the Sun then, given the spiral that underlies it and the action implied by the heptagram-heptagon, the idea could be spinning sun. As extraordinary as it seems, this fits with my belief that the disk contains an ancient prophecy of the birth of Jesus.
Sixty-seven years later in 1984 at Betania, Venezuela, witness would again observe the spinning sun. In 1986 at Medjugorje, Bosnia the sun is said to have danced, moved and whirled and become so pale that one could look directly at it with the naked eye. Other accounts of an oddly behaving sun can be found in Gnostic literature of the 1st to the 4th century C.E., when the sun is said to have reversed itself and gone backwards on the day Jesus was crucified. At Fatima, witnesses saw the sun turn to all the colors of the rainbow. Then, just as suddenly as it had begun, the sun stopped spinning and returned to its proper place in the sky. All accounts of the Fatima event were exactly the same, but interpretations varied by a few whom had not been there but who read about it. They suggested that the manifestation all had witnessed was really the display of a UFO. However, none of the 70,000 witnesses reported anything like a UFO, and many reported being healed of their medical problems. Although the behavior of the sun was the most extraordinary thing 70,000 people had ever seen, ultimately it was eclipsed by the significance placed on the Third Secret of Fatima, the most famous of the Marian prophecies and the last one to be revealed. The child Lucia, to whom the prophecy had been given and who first saw the transparent cloud, became Sister Lucia and the sole caretaker of the Third Secret of Fatima until 1944, when she wrote the secret down and gave it to a local bishop. He in turn gave it to the Pope for safekeeping. The Secret has remained inside the Vatican until it was revealed on May 13, 2000.
Physical phenomena of nature seem to mark the appearances of the Virgin Mary, and perhaps none more startling than the occurrences at Menufiya, Egypt on August 13, 1997, 80 years to the day after the fantastic events at Fatima. At Menufiya, the Virgin's appearances before the people of Egypt were preceded by fire in the sky. There were incredible bolts of lightning, glowing falling stars, incredible fireballs and rings of fire around the cross at the Coptic Church named for the Virgin. In Menufiya the startling visions of the Virgin were followed by the appearance of two large white doves, almost magically suspended in air as they flapped their wings. Finally, a beautiful light appeared in the bell tower, and within seconds she appeared. The Virgin Mary was described as beautiful, wearing a crown and a blue gown. She moved about, praying and making motions as if blessing the crowd. She is said to have transformed into a huge silver dove and flown away. Sixteen years earlier in 1981 at Medjugorje, Bosnia, she appeared not as a silver dove but wearing a silver gown. Later, at Medjugorje, someone noticed up in the sky two small clouds shaped in the form of a cross. The sky was completely clear except for this cross of clouds. Later, the cross turned into a perfect shape of a dove. Miracles followed her appearances in Menufiya, Egypt and Medjugorje, Bosnia.
Sixteen years after her appearances on the dome of the Coptic Church in Cairo, the Virgin began to make her appearances in 1983 in Shoubra, Egypt, a suburb of Cairo. It was observed that a woman clothed in light was seen above the roof of the Coptic Orthodox Church of St. Damian. Once again, word spread and thousands assembled at the church every evening to witness the startling appearance, which sometimes lasted five hours. The appearances became even more frequent during the ensuing years into the 1980's. The Virgin, who was bathed in light and who hovered above the church, was very similar in appearances to the Virgin at El-Zoutin, also in the suburbs of Cairo. A commission established by the head of the Coptic Church investigated the appearance. Results of the investigation were released in 1987, referring to the appearance as a phenomenon for which thanks was given to the Lord. In addition, the commission thanked the thousands of people who had come to pray each evening for their calm and civil behavior as they "receive the blessing of the Virgin." Once again, the shining light of the vision above a Coptic Church in Egypt had brought together thousands of people of all faiths in prayer and thankfulness.
On the evening of August 21, 1982, one year before her appearances in Shoubra, Egypt, the Virgin Mary appeared in a Coptic Orthodox Church named after her in Edfu, Egypt. The church, which is located in El-Gomhourya Street in Edfu, was the scene of continuing appearances that lasted three months until the end of November. As news of the appearances spread throughout Egypt and the crowds grew with every passing day, and clergy began responding and investigating the situation. Finally, HG Bishop Hedra of Aswan confirmed the appearances.
Not only does nature behave unnaturally when in the presence of the Virgin Mary, but also crosses and statues take on unusual characteristics. In public revelation in Schio, Italy, the wooden cross in the church gives off the scent of roses. In Medjugorje, Bosnia, a 14-ton cross disappears into a clear night and then reappears with lights emanating from it and no connection to any electrical devices. In Akita, Japan between 1973 and 1975, a wooden statue of the Virgin Mary bled, wept and sweated. In Akita, the Virgin Mary appeared to the visionary Sister Agnes Sasagawa, beginning on June 12, 1973 and continuing until 1975. Like many mystics before her, a brilliant light, often called "the light too bright to behold" or "the light of the mystic," visited Sister Agnes. The Virgin appeared wrapped in light in Betania, Venezuela, Menufiya, Egypt and Shoubra, Egypt. In the doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church, this vision of light is not described as the light of the mystic but as the visionary moment. In Akita, brilliant rays of light emanated suddenly from the tabernacle on that momentous day in June, and then the event occurred twice again on the two days that followed. When Sister Agnes saw the light she received a prophecy from the Virgin. On August 3, she received another prophecy and then on October 13, she received the final prophecy.
Exactly sixteen days after these the emanations of brilliant light in Akita, a wound in the shape of the cross appeared in the palm of Sr. Agnes's left hand. It bled freely and was painful to her. Then, on July 6, Sister Agnes heard the living voice of the Virgin Mary coming from the three-foot-tall, wooden statue of the Virgin Mary in the chapel. Several of the other sisters of the Order saw drops of blood coming from the statue's right hand, mirroring the blood that flowed from the left hand of Sister Agnes. On four occasions to follow this blood was seen coming from the wound of the Virgin's hand on the statue. The wound was visible until September 29, when it vanished. Just as the wound vanished, the statue began to sweat, most notably on the forehand and the neck. Two years later on January 4, 1975, the statue of the Blessed Virgin began to weep and continued weeping at intervals for the next six years and eight months. The statue wept on 101 occasions.
Between the years of 1981 and 1989, during the time Mary began appearing in Medugorje, Bosnia and Betania, Venezuela, she also was appearing to seven visionaries in Kibeho, Rwanda, to whom she gave apocalyptic visions and prophecies. She has also appeared in Tung Lu, China. Since 1966, the Virgin has been appearing in the United States. In Hartford, Connecticut in July of 1999, she appeared as an image in a tree, imprinting an image of herself into the tree like onto the Cape of Juan Diego. A shrine was built to her on that site but the city moved it. Seventy-nine years earlier in 1917, at Fatima, Portugal, a small white cloud formed around the trunk of the tree where her appearances had occurred. On May 5, 1999, in Stretor, Illinois, a woman snapped three photographs of a statue of the Virgin Mary, and upon having it developed discovered the image of Jesus appearing in three stages along side the Virgin. Thousands of people have traveled to the site to see the statue that is the subject of the photographs. In Streator, miracles of healings and cures are associated with her appearances. In December of 1996 at Clearwater, Florida, she appeared as a reflection in the glass of an office building several stories tall. Millions of people have traveled to see it. In July 17, 1999 in Joliet, Illinois, she appeared in the glass of the attic window of an abandoned house. Thousands have traveled to see it and a group of Marian devotees is trying to buy the house and make it a shrine to Mary. Television crews are often on hand in case she appears so they can film it. And on July 30, 2001 she appeared to me in a bedroom mirror.
August 13 is the date the Virgin appeared on the roof of the church in Menufiya, Egypt and it also is the date of the publication of this account of the Virgin's appearances, as she requested. In her private revelation to me, she asked that a record of her appearances be compiled. Although I knew little about her appearances, I was chosen by Mary for the assignment and instructed that the date of August 13, 2001 be set for the publication of the CD containing this literature about her. She showed herself in a mirror, manifesting as a long oval of pure, white light that was somehow in the mirror but not reflecting anything in the room. Then, she gave me the spiritual name Maria Saint Claire, which she said was given in love and was to be used when writing about her. I accepted the spiritual name and began work on Mary's behalf, being much surprised to discover in her subsequent researches that a visionary in Kibeho, Rwanda named Marie-Claire was visited by the Virgin many times between the years 1981 and 1989.
The Virgin Mary, who exists exclusively, except for private and public revelations, in the timeless realm of spirit does not obey the conventions of linear time as we do. It is my observation that Mary's appearances seem to be calculated to occur, not in a linear way, but in a phenomenal way. For example, like a true Goddess she seems less concerned with time and more concerned with things feminine, such as what color gown to wear, whether to wear a ribbon and whether to appear in a cloud of light. She decides whether to wear her crown or to appear in the midst of stars. She chooses her colors of appearance and decides where her roses shall be placed. She chooses whether to come with angels or with doves of the holy spirit and she has power over the weather, deciding whether to be preceded by wind, lightning, thunder, rain, a spinning sun, mists or clouds. She chooses whether to send her Angel of Peace ahead of her or whether to come guarded by the Archangel Michael, as she did in the Marxist country of Portugal. She comes when she desires to come and not before or after.
She chooses whether to appear out in a field, or near a grotto, or inside or on top of a church. She appears on television if she chooses and does not appear when requested but only on dates that she sets. She appears both publicly and privately to those lucky enough to receive her, and she prefers the number 13 and likes to appear on the 13th day of the month. She observes our political conventions but combats them with churches built at her request, and she marks her appearances with impressions and designs that she leaves behind as momentos. She acknowledges the presence of witnesses and even touches their belongings. She seems to do all this easily and without strain, and we are grateful to her for her presence on our planet and in our lives. The Virgin Mary is a beautiful Lady of Light to whom we give the utmost devotion and love.
"The Cause of Her Sadness"
July 6, 1973
"My daughter, my novice, you have obeyed me well in abandoning all to follow
me. Is the infirmity of your ears painful? Your deafness will be healed, be
sure. Does the wound of your hand cause you to suffer? Pray in reparation for
the sins of men. Each person in this community is my irreplaceable daughter. Do
you say well the prayer of the Handmaids of the Eucharist? Then, let us pray it
"Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, truly present in Holy Eucharist, I consecrate
my body and soul to be entirely one with Your Heart, being sacrificed at every
instant on all the altars of the world and giving praise to the Father pleading
for the coming of His Kingdom."
"Please receive this humble offering of myself. Use me as You will for the
glory of the Father and the salvation of souls."
"Most holy Mother of God, never let me be separated from Your Divine Son.
Please defend and protect me as Your Special Child. Amen."
When the prayer was finished, the Heavenly Voice said:
"Pray very much for the Pope, Bishops, and Priests. Since your Baptism you
have always prayed faithfully for them. Continue to pray very much...very much.
Tell your superior all that passed today and obey him in everything that he will
tell you. He has asked that you pray with fervor."
August 3, 1973
"My daughter, my novice, do you love the Lord? If you love the Lord, listen
to what I have to say to you."
"It is very important...You will convey it to your superior."
"Many men in this world afflict the Lord. I desire souls to console Him to
soften the anger of the Heavenly Father. I wish, with my Son, for souls who will repair by their suffering and their poverty for the sinners and ingrates."
"In order that the world might know His anger, the Heavenly Father is
preparing to inflict a great chastisement on all mankind. With my Son I have
intervened so many times to appease the wrath of the Father. I have prevented
the coming of calamities by offering Him the sufferings of the Son on the Cross,
His Precious Blood, and beloved souls who console Him forming a cohort of victim
souls. Prayer, penance and courageous sacrifices can soften the Father's anger.
I desire this also from your community...that it love poverty, that it sanctify
itself and pray in reparation for the ingratitude and outrages of so many men.
Recite the prayer of the Handmaids of the Eucharist with awareness of its
meaning; put it into practice; offer in reparation (whatever God may send) for
sins. Let each one endeavor, according to capacity and position, to offer
herself entirely to the Lord."
"Even in a secular institute prayer is necessary. Already souls who wish to
pray are on the way to being gathered together. Without attaching to much
attention to the form, be faithful and fervent in prayer to console the Master."
After a silence:
"Is what you think in your heart true? Are you truly decided to become the
rejected stone? My novice, you who wish to belong without reserve to the Lord,
to become the spouse worthy of the Spouse, make your vows knowing that you must
be fastened to the Cross with three nails. These three nails are poverty,
chastity, and obedience. Of the three, obedience is the foundation. In total
abandon, let yourself be led by your superior. He will know how to understand
you and to direct you.
October 13, 1973
"My dear daughter, listen well to what I have to say to you. You will inform
After a short silence:
"As I told you, if men do not repent and better themselves, the Father will
inflict a terrible punishment on all humanity. It will be a punishment greater
than the deluge, such as one will never seen before. Fire will fall from the sky
and will wipe out a great part of humanity, the good as well as the bad, sparing
neither priests nor faithful. The survivors will find themselves so desolate
that they will envy the dead. The only arms which will remain for you will be
the Rosary and the Sign left by My Son. Each day recite the prayers of the
Rosary. With the Rosary, pray for the Pope, the bishops and priests."
"The work of the devil will infiltrate even into the Church in such a way
that one will see cardinals opposing cardinals, bishops against bishops. The
priests who venerate me will be scorned and opposed by their
confreres...churches and altars sacked; the Church will be full of those who
accept compromises and the demon will press many priests and consecrated souls
to leave the service of the Lord."
"The demon will be especially implacable against souls consecrated to God.
The thought of the loss of so many souls is the cause of my sadness. If sins
increase in number and gravity, there will be no longer pardon for them."
"With courage, speak to your superior. He will know how to encourage each
one of you to pray and to accomplish works of reparation."
"It is Bishop Ito, who directs your community."
And She smiled and then
"You have still something to ask? Today is the last time that I will speak
to you in living voice. From now on you will obey the one sent to you and your
"Pray very much the prayers of the Rosary. I alone am able still to save you
from the calamites which approach. Those who place their confidence in me will
Akita - The Tears and Message of Mary and The Meaning of Akita
By Fr. Teiji Yasuda, O.S.V.
UPDATE FROM THE POPE - MAY 2000
"ASSASSINATION OF POPE PROPHESIED"
VATICAN DISCLOSES 'THIRD SECRET' OF FATIMA
May 14, 2000 - NY Times - Portugal
Pope John Paul II spoke yesterday with Lucia de Santos, 93, a Carmelite nun,
who believers say was the main recipient of prophecies from the Virgin Mary that
included the spread, and then the collapse, of Communism.
The Vatican today disclosed the so-called third secret of Fátima, which for
decades has kept this shrine of the Virgin Mary at the center of conspiracy
theories and doomsday cults. The Vatican described the secret as a vision of the
1981 assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II.
Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the Vatican secretary of state, explained that the
one concealed part of the prophecies said to have been revealed to three
Portuguese shepherd children by an apparition of the Virgin in 1917 was a vision
of an attempt to kill a pope.
The "bishop clothed in white," who is the pope, "makes his way with great
effort toward the cross amid the corpses of those who were martyred," Cardinal
Sodano said as he described what he called an interpretation of the vision to
600,000 pilgrims gathered at the sanctuary where John Paul II had just beatified
two of the shepherd children, Francisco and Jacinta Marto, and thanked the
Virgin for saving his life on May 13, 1981.
"He too falls to the ground, apparently dead, under a burst of gunfire," the
Mehmet Ali Agca, a Turkish gunman, shot the pope as John Paul drove through a
crowd in St. Peter's Square in 1981 on the anniversary of the 1917 apparition.
Among the explanations the gunman gave prosecutors at a trial in 1985 was that
his attempt was "connected to the third secret of the Madonna of Fatima."
The cardinal's announcement was an effort by the Vatican to put an end to the
kind of fevered speculation that has at times overshadowed the shrine's
spiritual importance to hundreds of millions of Catholics.
Versions of the secret, broadcast on hundreds of websites (usually under
headlines like, "Third Secret Revealed!") range from worldwide nuclear
annihilation to deep rifts in the Roman Catholic Church that lead to rival
The following are excerpts of the statement by Secretary of State Cardinal
Angelo Sodano revealing the so-called third secret of Fatima:
"On the solemn occasion of his visit to Fatima, His Holiness has directed me
to make an announcement to you. As you know, the purpose of his visit to Fatima
has been to beatify the two "little shepherds." Nevertheless, he also wishes his
pilgrimage to be a renewed gesture of gratitude to Our Lady for her protection
during these years of his papacy. This protection seems also to be linked to the
so-called "third part" of the secret of Fatima.
"That text contains a prophetic vision similar to those found in the sacred
scripture, which do not describe with photographic clarity the details of future
events, but rather synthesize and condense against a unified background events
spread out over time in a succession and a duration which are not specified. As
a result, the text must be interpreted in a symbolic key.
"The vision of Fatima concerns above all the war waged by atheist systems
against the Church and Christians, and it describes the immense suffering
endured by the witnesses to the faith in the last century of the second
millennium. It is an interminable Way of the Cross led by the Popes of the 20th
"According to the interpretation of the "little shepherds," which was also
recently confirmed by Sister Lucia, the "Bishop clothed in white" who prays for
all the faithful is the Pope. As he makes his way with great effort towards the
cross amid the corpses of those who were martyred (bishops, priests, religious
men and women and many lay persons), he too falls to the ground, apparently
dead, under a burst of gunfire.
"After the assassination attempt of 13 May, 1981, it appeared evident to His
Holiness that it was a "motherly hand which guided the bullet's path," enabling
the "dying Pope" to halt "at the threshold of death." On the occasion of a visit
to Rome by the then Bishop of Leiria-Fatima, the Pope decided to give him the
bullet which had remained in the jeep after the assassination attempt, so that
it might be kept in the shrine. At the behest of the bishop, the bullet was
later set in the crown of the statue of Our Lady of Fatima.
"The successive events of 1989 led, both in the Soviet Union and in a number
of countries of Eastern Europe, to the fall of the Communist regime which
promoted atheism. For this too His Holiness offers heartfelt thanks to the Most
Holy Virgin. In other parts of the world, however, attacks against the Church
and against Christians, together with the burden of suffering which they
involve, tragically continue. Even if the events to which the third part of the
Secret of Fatima refers now seem part of the past, Our Lady's call to conversion
and penance, issued at the beginning of the 20th century, remains timely and
"In order that the faithful may better receive the message of Our Lady of
Fatima, the Pope has charged the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith with the
making public the third part of the secret, after the preparation of an
Fatima fanatics have held hunger strikes - one even hijacked a plane - to try
to force the Vatican to disclose the secret. During John Paul's first visit to
the shrine in 1982, on the first anniversary of the assassination attempt, a
knife-wielding Spanish priest tried to kill the pope, but was wrestled to the
ground by security officers.
John Paul has always credited the Virgin of Fatima with saving his life.
After he visited the shrine in 1982 to give thanks for his survival, a bullet
extracted from his body was placed alongside diamonds in a gold crown worn by a
statue of the Virgin.
In 1991, on the 10th anniversary of the attack, he returned again to give
thanks for his life as well as for the collapse of Communism, which believers
say the Virgin of Fatima also predicted in 1917.
The cardinal said the secret in its entirety would soon be published by the
Vatican "after the preparation of an appropriate commentary."
The pope did refer to the prophecies today, speaking of "Fátima, where these
times of tribulation were foretold," but he made no mention of the "third
secret." Instead, he once again gave thanks "for the goodness of God toward me,
when severely struck on that May 13, 1981, I was rescued from death."
The pope first learned of the secret a few days after he was elected in 1978,
the Vatican said. He did not announce it himself today, said his spokesman, Dr.
Joaquín Navarro-Valls, because he was "personally involved." Vatican officials
did not say why the secret was not revealed sooner after the assassination
attempt in 1981.
In a new tribute at a prayer service at the shrine on Friday night, the pope
donated to the shrine the ring given to him by Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski, the
late primate of Poland. Cardinal Wyszynski, whose long fight against Communism
in Poland inspired the present pope and millions of their countrymen, told John
Paul after his election in 1978 that he would lead the church into the new
Dr. Navarro-Valls dismissed speculation that the gift was a signal that the
pope was set to resign as "150 percent wrong." He described the ring as "one of
the pope's most precious possessions," given as an offer of thanks.
The fact that the pope put the two dead witnesses to the Virgin's apparitions
on the path of sainthood today was another sign of his devotion to Fátima. The
two, Francisco and Jacinta Marto, are the first children ever beatified by the
Roman Catholic Church who were not martyrs. Beatification, which is bestowed
only on the dead, is the penultimate step before sainthood.
Before the ceremony, the pope, who turns 80 on Thursday, met privately inside
the basilica near the children's tombs with the third surviving witness to the
apparition, Lucia de Jesus dos Santos, 93, a Carmelite nun, who believers say
was the main recipient of prophecies from the Virgin about 20th century
debacles. The Vatican said that it had consulted with Sister Lucia before making
its announcement today.
The Virgin of Fátima was said to have appeared before three shepherd children
on May 13, 1917, and on five later occasions. Lucia was 10. Her cousins,
Francisco and Jacinta, who were 8 and 7, died in the influenza pandemic a few
years later. Believers say two of the Fátima secrets were revealed in writing by
Lucia in the 1940's. The third secret was put in a sealed envelope and sent to
Rome more than 40 years ago.
Interpretations of the secrets vary, but generally believers think that the
first foretold the end of World War I and the start of World War II, and that
the other predicted the spread, then the collapse of Communism and the
conversion of Russia.
The latter prophecy, which came with a request that the church consecrate
Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, made Fatima an ideological shrine for
anti-Communists during the cold war. John Paul II finally consecrated the whole
world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in 1984.
Fatima, like the rest of Portugal, also had fascist links during World War
II, when Portugal was neutral under the right-wing dictatorship of António
Salazar but traded with the Nazi regime. This month, the rector of the
sancutary, Luciano Guerra, confirmed news reports that in 1976 Fátima received
Nazi gold bars bearing the Third Reich insignia looted from Jews during the war,
and sold them in 1982 and 1986 to finance construction at the sanctuary.
Today, many pilgrims, some wearing baseball hats emblazoned with the names of
Jacinta and Francisco, cheered after Cardinal Sodano delivered his message.
"It's wonderful that the pope knew the prophecy and survived it," said Lucia
Dias, 31, a lawyer from Sintra, who added that she had once believed that the
third secret was a prophecy of World War III. She made her own prediction about
the pope: "I think now he will die soon."
Until today, besides John Paul and Sister Lucia, the only other living person
believed to be privy to the secret was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the head of
the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
In 1996, he told Portugal's main Catholic radio station that there was
nothing worrisome in the message, and that it remained secret because the
Vatican wanted to avoid "confusing religious prophecy with sensationalism."
Whether today's announcement will appease some of the more fanatical devotees
of the "third secret" mystery is unclear. Some of those believers, who choose to
view the reforms of the Second Vatican Council as heresies predicted by the
Virgin of Fatima, may dismiss the Vatican's announcement as a cover-up.
Even some who attended Mass today seemed let down. "What they said all
happened in the past," Julio Estela, 33, a car salesman from northern Portugal,
said after the cardinal spoke. "This isn't a prediction. It's disappointing. I
think there's more."
Page 1 - White Light in the Mirror | Immaculate Conception
Cape of Juan Diego
Page 2 - Where She Appears, What She Wears
Prophecies at Akita, Japan | Update from the Pope
Page 3 - Words of the Virgin at Fatima
Prophecies at Kibeho, Rwanda
Medugorje, Bosnia Prophecies
First and Second Part of the "Secret"
Third Part of the "Secret"
Page 4 - Announcement by the Cardinal
Why Pope Benedict Resigned
DISK OF THE WORLD
A Spiritual Revelation about the Enlightenment and its Social Oppression
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