One of my favorite quotes is from Shakespeare’s Hamlet: “There are more things in Heaven than dreamt of in your philosophy. I always keep it in my mind, and it is one reason I have never waivered in my faith. Another reason is the Mystery of Fatima, which celebrated its 102nd anniversary this month.
In 1915, in Fatima, Portugal, a shepherd-girl named Lucia Dos Santos and two children were praying the rosary and saw a figure who appeared to be like a statue made of snow or a person in a sheet three times. The being did nothing else, it was just there. In 1916, the being appeared again, this time to Lucia and her two cousins Francisco Marto and his sister Yacenta. At this time, Benedict XV was pope. This time the being actually interacted with them, calling himself the Angel of Peace and the Guardian of Portugal. On the last appearance, the angel gave them communion.
On May 13, 1917, they saw lightning, and then a woman appeared. She told them that they were to be given a mission–they were to pray the rosary and spread Her message of peace. This happened five more times, on the 13th of each month. In June, the woman promised Francisco and Yacenta that they would accompany into Heaven soon, but Lucia would remain to carry on her mission. She then gave them a vision of Hell, and told them to pray for the lost souls of Earth so that they would not end up there. By August, authorities had arrested the children, but while they were in jail, people claimed to see a blue and white cloud going up and down, and then the Lady. In October, the Woman finally revealed herself as the Lady of the Rosary, with a promised Miracle. She asked for a chapel to be built and announced that the Great War (that was what WWI was called at the time) would end. Then, she showed her hands and they reflected on the sun, causing it to change colors and move strangely in the sky. People as far as 25 miles away saw the spectacle as well as the children and all who were gathered with them.
After the Miracle, a pandemic of the Spanish flu broke out, killing half a billion people, including Lucia’s cousins (Francisco in 1918, and Yacenta a year later) In 1921, the chapel of Fatima had its first Mass and Lucia joined the Sisters of St. Dorothy in Pontevedra, Spain. It was there in 1925 that Mary and baby Jesus appeared to her and requested the First Saturday Devotion: On the First Saturday of each month for five months, go to confession, attend Mass, say a rosary, and keep company with Our Mother for 15 minutes. This was the First of Three Secrets.
In 1929, Mary revealed that she wanted Russia to be consecrated to Her Immaculate Heart by the Pope and Bishops to prevent Russia from “spreading her errors”. By this time, Pius XI had become Pope and Poland was now communist as a result of the October Revolution. If it did not happen, she warned that another war would start, worse than the first World War. This was the Second Secret. In 1952, Pope Pius XII consecrated Russia’s people to Russia’s Heart. In 1964, Pope Paul XVI renewed the consecration.
In the 1940’s, Sr. Lucia became a Carmelite nun in Coinbra, Portugal. She began writing memoirs which have been collected into four volumes, under orders of the local bishop. She did not reveal these memoirs until 1960, during the reign of Pope John XXIII. During this time Mary revealed the Third and final Secret:
An angel appeared to Lucia with flames, crying “Penance!” three times. This was followed by a Bishop clad in white with other bishops, clergy and laypeople. They were walking through a ruined city. Then soldiers riddled them with bullets and arrows and their corpses were blessed by the angels.
Then, in 1981 came the infamous assassination on Pope John Paul II by Memed Aja. The bullet narrowly missed the Pope, hitting the glass of his vehicle instead (This is why the “Pope-mobile” now has bulletproof glass). He was also stabbed by a former priest a year later. After he recovered, the Pope renewed the consecration of Russia, this time with several bishops. Sr. Lucia revealed that this was an authentic consecration. In 1989, Russia began to fall under Gorbachev’s reign and by 1991, the USSR no longer existed becoming its current state as the Commonwealth of Independent States. The third prophecy had now been fulfilled–Russia had converted and the Cold War had ended.
Of course, there have been some attempts to explain this away or object to the mystery. Some have said the usual–that it wasn’t divine. Some have even said that it was demonic. But I have to ask, would a demon inspire the First Saturday Devotion or the addition of the Fatima prayer? Demons HATE the rosary. Some have said that because Pope John Paul II wasn’t killed in either attempt and lived on to the 21st century, that did not fulfill the Third Secret (which was not revealed until the 21st century). Let me point you to the words of the Tenth Doctor: “Time can be re-written”. And also the words of the great prophet Yoda, “Always in motion, the future is.” There were indeed many martyrs during the Cold War, and we should all breathe a sigh of relief that the war did not escalate more than it did. Some have also said that the age of revelation ended with the death of the last of the 12 Apostles. But that’s not in the Bible, folks! Remember 1st Thessolonians 5:19-25: we are not to hold prophecies in contempt, but test them all and hold onto what is good.
Below, I am posting some resources on the Mystery of Fatima:
- Jimmy Akin’s Mysterious World Episode 40: Fatima
- Jimmy Akin’s Mysterious World Ep 64: “The Third Secret of Fatima”
- Jimmy Akin’s Mysterious World: “Third Secret of Fatima: Theories”
- Fatima in Lucia’s Own Words (4 volumes)
- Documents on Fatima by Martins and Fox
- Encountering Fatima by Sandra Zimers-Swart
- Encountering Mary by Sandra Zimers-Swart
- “9 Things to Know and Share About the Third Secret of Fatima by Jimmy Akin
- “Getting Fatima Right” by Jimmy Akin
- “Secret No More” by Jimmy Akin