The Secrets of Fatima
From Sr Lucia and Interpreted by the Church
The one terrible memory we have when scripting the film for “The Call to Fatima – The Story”, was the childrens vision of hell in Fatima on the 13th July 1917. All three saw where the souls of poor sinners perish. Our Lady told the children why they have been exposed to this moment: “in order to save souls”—to show the way to salvation. The words of the First Letter of Peter come to mind: “As the outcome of your faith you obtain the salvation of your souls” (1:9). In 1917 no one could have imagined what the three children of Fatima saw. Lucia, the surviving witness, commits it all to paper when ordered to do so by the Bishop of Leiria and with Our Lady’s permission.
| Sister Lucia recalls the First and Second Part of the Secrets.
The first part of her account is the vision of hell and the second part reveals that the first world war will soon end, but a worse one will break out during the Pontificate of Pius XI if the Consecration of Russia and the Communion of reparation of the First Saturday devotions are ignored . Here is Sr Lucia’s full account of the first two secrets of Fatima.
1st Secret – The children are shown hell
“Well, the secret is made up of three distinct parts, two of which I am now going to reveal. “Our Lady showed us a great sea of fire which seemed to be under the earth. Plunged in this fire were demons and souls in human form, like transparent burning embers, all blackened or burnished bronze, floating about in the conflagration (inferno), now raised into the air by the flames that issued from within themselves together with great clouds of smoke, now falling back on every side like sparks in a huge fire, without weight or equilibrium, and amid shrieks and groans of pain and despair, which horrified us and made us tremble with fear. The demons could be distinguished by their terrifying and repulsive likeness to frightful and unknown animals, all black and transparent. This vision lasted but an instant. How can we ever be grateful enough to our kind heavenly Mother, who had already prepared us by promising, in the first Apparition (13th May 1917) , to take us to heaven. Otherwise, I think we would have died of fear and terror”. “We then looked up at Our Lady, who said to us so kindly and so sadly”: You have seen hell where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace”.
2nd Secret: World War I and World War II
“The war is going to end: but if people do not cease offending God, a worse one will break out during the Pontificate of Pius XI. When you see a night illumined by an unknown light, know that this is the great sign given you by God that he is about to punish the world for its crimes, by means of war, famine, and persecutions of the Church and of the Holy Father. To prevent this, I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart, and the Communion of reparation on the First Saturday. If my requests are heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace; if not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred; the Holy Father will have much to suffer; various nations will be annihilated. In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, and she shall be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world”.
Third Secret of Fatima described by Sister Lucia
The meeting between Sister Lucia, Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone, Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, sent by Pope John Paul II, and Bishop Serafim de Sousa Ferreira e Silva, Bishop of Leiria-Fatima, took place on Thursday, 27 April 2000, in the Carmel of Saint Teresa in Coimbra.
Sister Lucia was lucid and at ease; she was very happy that Pope John Paul II was going to Fatima on the 13th May 2000 for the Beatification of Francisco and Jacinta, something she had looked forward to for a long time. The Bishop of Leiria-Fatima read the autograph letter of the Holy Father, which explained the reasons for the visit. Sister Lucia felt honoured by this and reread the letter herself, contemplating it in her hands. She said that she was prepared to answer all questions frankly.
At this point, Archbishop Bertone presented two envelopes to her: the first containing the second, which held the third part of the “secret” of Fatima. Immediately, touching it with her fingers, she said: “This is my letter”, and then while reading it: “This is my writing”. Here is what she wrote by order of His Excellency the Bishop of Leiria and the Most Holy Mother …” on 3 January 1944.
Angel with the flaming sword
“After the two parts which I have already explained, at the left of Our Lady and a little above, we saw an Angel with a flaming sword in his left hand; flashing, it gave out flames that looked as though they would set the world on fire; but they died out in contact with the splendour that Our Lady radiated towards him from her right hand: pointing to the earth with his right hand, the Angel cried out in a loud voice: ‘Penance, Penance, Penance!’.
Two Angels gathering up the blood of the Martyrs
And we saw in an immense light that is God: ‘something similar to how people appear in a mirror when they pass in front of it’ a Bishop dressed in White ‘we had the impression that it was the Holy Father’. Other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious going up a steep mountain, at the top of which there was a big Cross of rough-hewn trunks as of a cork-tree with the bark; before reaching there the Holy Father passed through a big city half in ruins and half trembling with halting step, afflicted with pain and sorrow, he prayed for the souls of the corpses he met on his way; having reached the top of the mountain, on his knees at the foot of the big Cross he was killed by a group of soldiers who fired bullets and arrows at him, and in the same way there died one after another the other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious, and various lay people of different ranks and positions. Beneath the two arms of the Cross there were two Angels each with a crystal aspersorium in his hand, in which they gathered up the blood of the Martyrs and with it sprinkled the souls that were making their way to God”.
The Church must interpret the “secrets” of Fatima
Sister Lucia pointed out that she had received the vision but not its interpretation. The interpretation, she said, belonged not to the visionary but to the Church. After reading the text, however, she said that this interpretation corresponded to what she had seen and that on her part she thought the interpretation correct. In what follows, therefore, we can only attempt to provide a deeper foundation for this interpretation from the Church authorities. The decision of His Holiness Pope John Paul II to make public the third part of the “secret” of Fatima brought to an end a period of history marked by tragic human lust for power and evil, yet pervaded by the merciful love of God and the watchful care of the Mother of Jesus and of the Church. Our Lady, who appeared at Fatima, recalls these forgotten values. Our Lady reminds us that man’s future is in God, and that we are all active and responsible in creating that future. Sr Lucia’s book “Calls from the Message of Fatima” focuses on the key central messages of Fatima and is a good place to start to restore back those values we lost.
The Church focus on key words
“To save souls” has emerged as the key word of the first and second parts of the “secret”, and the key word of the third part of the secret is the threefold cry: “Penance, Penance, Penance!” The beginning of the Gospel comes to mind: “Repent and believe the Good News” (Mk 1:15). To understand the signs of the times means to accept the urgency of penance – of conversion – of faith. Sister Lucia said that ever more clearly to her, that the purpose of all the Fatima apparitions was to help people to grow more and more in Faith, Hope and Love—everything else was intended to lead to this.
The angel with the flaming sword on the left of the Mother of God recalls similar images in the Book of Revelation. This represents the threat of judgement which looms over the world. Today the prospect that the world might be reduced to ashes by a sea of fire no longer seems pure fantasy i.e. New York, Madrid, Paris, and the Middle East crises, Africa, Belgium: man himself, with his inventions, has forged the flaming sword. The vision then shows the power which stands opposed to the force of destruction—the splendour of the Mother of God and stemming from this in a certain way, the summons to do penance. When Joseph Card. Ratzinger was the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, he shared another important aspect on the secrets.
“I would like finally to mention another key expression of the “secret” which has become justly famous: “My Immaculate Heart will Triumph”. What does this mean? The Heart open to God, purified by contemplation of God, is stronger than guns and weapons of every kind. The fiat of Mary, the word of her heart, has changed the history of the world, because it brought the Saviour into the world—because, thanks to her Yes, God could become man in our world and remains so for all time. The Evil One has power in this world, as we see and experience continually; he has power because our freedom continually lets itself be led away from God. But since God himself took a human heart and has thus steered human freedom towards what is good, the freedom to choose evil no longer has the last word. From that time forth, the word that prevails is this: “In the world you will have tribulation, but take heart; I have overcome the world” (Jn 16:33). The message of Fatima invites us to trust in this promise”.
The Jubilee Year of Mercy during the 100th Fatima Anniversary
If ever a time was needed for mankind to repent and repair their lives, it is during this Jubilee Year of Mercy in 2016. We invite those in faith to help those who are spiritually lost and guide them back to the church in faith, hope and love.
During the Irish Famine, people stayed loyal to the Mass, clutching their rosary beads to sustain them during their suffering. In comparison today, many Catholics ignore Sunday Mass as they clutch mobiles, laptops and remote controls. In times of great trials to come, those who go to Mass every Sunday say the daily Rosary, practice the Five First Saturday and Divine Mercy devotions will receive many graces. For those who do not, we are reminded of the story in the gospel of those looking for oil for their lamp from those who wait outside for the gates of Heaven to open. The ‘oil’ in that story is a metaphor for ‘love’. All love must come from ones heart in Faith, Hope and Love and the greatest of these is love, according to St Paul. Jesus confirms, “If you love me you will keep my commandments”. Sr Lucia confirms that from her book “Calls”, that the central Fatima message are the last words by Our Lady in Fatima on the 13th October 1917, “Do not offend the Lord God anymore, because He is already so much offended”.
In answer to the call by Pope Francis, The Call to Fatima team is available to give parish presentation on Fatima in 2016. Sr Lucia’s books / DVD’s are also available firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone + 353-87-2229135 Blog www.thecalltofatima.wordpress.com