The Disclosure of the Third Secret (part III)
2. The Third and Fourth Memoirs of Sr. Lucia
In her third Memoir, Sr. Lucia published the first and second parts of the Secret, but said nothing about the existence or contents of the third Secret. A few months later, in her fourth memoir, she decided to say more. She recopied almost word for word the text of the Secret from the third Memoir, and then added a new sentence to the final phrase “and a certain period of peace will be granted to the world”. The new sentence was: “In Portugal will be conserved always the dogma of Faith, etc.”.
This is the first sentence of the final Secret, and is a significant addition. For it is certain that Sister Lucia did not insert it here out of levity, but with the specific intention of showing us, in a veiled manner, the essential contents of the third Secret.
Taking this sentence and coupling it with the quotations of the above mentioned Church authorities, we can state with Fr. Alonso: “The phrase most clearly implies a critical state of Faith, which other nations will suffer, that is to say, a crisis of Faith”. … “If in Portugal the dogma of the Faith will always be preserved, it can be clearly deduced from this that in other parts of the Church these dogmas are going to become obscure or even lost altogether”. This is the general opinion of all renowned specialists of Fatima like Fr. Martins dos Reis, Fr. Roger Rebut, Fr. Messias Dias Coelho, Fr. Luis Kondor, Canon Galamba, Bishop Venancio, and Fr. Schweigl. Therefore, Our Lady speaks about the Faith in the Third Secret, and more precisely about a most terrible crisis of the Faith.
3. Sr. Lucia
a) An important instance of ‘paralyzed obedience’
Generally, Sr. Lucia was always prompt to reply when she received an order from Heaven to communicate something to the world, such as devotion of the Immaculate Heart of Mary as the means of salvation in our times, the contents of the Second Secret, and the request for the consecration of Russia. There was, however, one exception: when she was asked to communicate a message concerning the internal life of the Church and the evil within it!
Our Lord’s first communication to Sr. Lucia about evils in the Church occurred on the 12th of June 1941, and it concerned the Church in Spain: “… He continues by lamenting other things which, in the poor world, cause Him such pain. On June 12, 1941, He complained especially about the coldness and laxity of the clergy of Spain, both secular and regular, and the indifference and sinful life of the Christian people. ‘Make it known to the Archbishop that I ardently desire the bishops to meet in a retreat to arrange among themselves and determine with a common accord the means to be employed for the reform of the Christian people and to remedy the laxity of the clergy and a great part of the religious. The number of those who serve Me in the practice of sacrifice is very limited. I have need of souls and of priests who serve Me by sacrificing themselves for Me and for souls …’ Our Lord likewise complains bitterly about ‘the very limited number of souls in the state of grace, disposed to give up whatever is demanded of them by the observance of His law…’”
For the first time, Sr. Lucia received a communication on the theme of the evil inside the Church, a communication that was made with clarity and insistence. At the same time, Heaven proposes a precise remedy for the evil denounced: Our Lord requests that the bishops do their duty to establish a necessary reform of the faithful, clergy and religious orders and threatens them with terrible chastisements should they not undertake a true reform. “The penance that I request and require now is the sacrifice demanded of everybody by the accomplishment of their own duty and the observance of My law”, continues Our Lord.
Throughout her life, Sister Lucia never stopped receiving new revelations and divine communications. However, one fact is worth noting: these revelations are always closely related to the messages received in 1916 and 1917. This is the reason for the perfect harmony of the themes discussed despite great lapses of time in their dates of composition: the subsequent communications always make reference to some phrase in the initial message. However, the message concerning the evil within the Church is not found in the revealed part of the messages of Fatima, so it must be in the unrevealed part.
This is confirmed by another fact.
The revelation of the 12th of June 1941 with the order of Our Lord to ‘make it known to the Archbishop’ was only communicated to him after almost two years. Sr. Lucia later avowed that she had hesitated a very long time before making this warning from Heaven known to her directors. Even when the Archbishop (whom she was to inform) visited her in November 1942, she didn’t speak: “In spite of the great opportuneness of this occasion to explain it to him, timidity closed my mouth; although His Excellency had asked me three times if I had anything to explain to him …. Until the present I have not spoken of this desire of Our Lord out of fear that someone might order me to reveal it”, she wrote in a letter to the Bishop of Gurza some days later. In another letter, written to her former confessor, she writes about her difficulties in this point. She thanks the bishop of Gurza, because “he always shows me what I must make known, as this the most difficult thing for me to do”.
The fact must be stressed: Sr. Lucia, who was always perfectly, instantly obedient in the communication of messages received from Heaven, experienced an extreme reluctance in revealing messages concerning the disorders in the Church, especially when they are accusatory of the clergy and the hierarchy. This is the only topic which causes her immense stress, makes her hesitate for a long time, and demands special assistance from outside for their revelation (in this instance, the encouragement of her former confessor). The words “he always shows me what I must make known, as this the most difficult thing for me to do”, clearly refer to the message which is not yet known and which Our Lady had not yet permitted her to reveal.
b) The writing down of the Third Secret
Later in the same year Sr. Lucia became seriously ill. Alarmed by this and by the insistence of many priests, Bishop da Silva gave her the formal order to write down the Third Secret, in a letter written in the middle of October, 1943. As always, Sister Lucia was convinced that, by obeying her superiors, she was obeying God. She was prepared to obey in a filial spirit and submissively. However, from October to the end of December, she continued to experience unspeakable anguish. Indeed, as she took up her pen, she found herself incapable of writing. When she asked her confessor for advice, she told him that she had wanted to obey several times, that she had sat down to write, without being able to. And she added “that this phenomenon was not due to natural causes”. It needed a special apparition of Our Lady on January 2nd, 1944, to dispel the seer’s darkness and put an end to her painful trial.
Fr. Alonso makes the following remarks on Sr. Lucia’s trial:
“How are we to understand Sr. Lucia’s great difficulty in writing the final part of the Secret when she had already written other things that were extremely difficult to put down? Had it been merely a matter of prophesying new and severe punishments, Sister Lucia would not have experienced difficulties so great that a special intervention from Heaven was needed to overcome them.” The parallel with Sr. Lucia’s difficulties in writing about the Spanish clergy is striking. Fr. Alonso continues: “But if it were a matter of internal strife within the Church and of serious pastoral negligence on the part of high-ranking members of the hierarchy, we could understand how Lucia experienced a repugnance that was almost impossible to overcome by natural means”.
c) The transmission of the Secret
The extreme care that Sister Lucia took to pass the Third Secret on safely to its proper recipient is a new indication of the exceptional importance she attached to this document. First, she put it in an envelope sealed with wax. Then, she refused to entrust the envelope to the Post Office or to any messenger other than a bishop. She waited several months for the right occasion to see that it reached Bishop da Silva securely. Finally, on the 17th of June 1944, Mgr. Ferreira da Silva, bishop of Gurza, met Sr. Lucia who gave him her notebooks in which she put the envelope with the Third Secret. That same evening, the bishop placed the envelope into the hands of Bishop da Silva.
d) Conversation with Fr. Fuentes
Other events took place which must have alarmed Sr. Lucia: in February 1946, Sr. Lucia was informed about the campaign against the message of Fatima provoked by the criticism of Fr. Dhanis. The interrogations to which she was submitted made it clear to her that more and more priests and bishops doubted the veracity of her testimony, and this because of their modernist convictions. During these years she also tried to make known to the Holy Father that the consecration of Russia had not yet been accomplished according to the wishes of Our Lady. On the 2nd of September 1952 Pope Pius XII sent Fr. Joseph Schweigl to interrogate Sr. Lucia about the Third Secret, and on the 17th of May 1955 Cardinal Ottaviani met her. After this meeting she received an interdiction on publishing her writings and was forbidden to receive visitors without the permission of the Holy See. The last published interview before this interdiction was the one with Fr. Lombardi on the 7th of February 1954, where Sister Lucia strongly stated: “There are many who damn themselves! Many, many”.
The Mexican Fr. Augustin Fuentes was freshly appointed postulator for the causes of beatification of Francisco and Jacinta and for that purpose he was able to meet Sr. Lucia on the 26th of December 1957. A report of this meeting was published some weeks later in 1958, in Mexico with the imprimatur of his ordinary bishop, Mgr. Sanchez, archbishop of Veracruz. In this report, Sr. Lucia states:
“Father, the Most Holy Virgin is very sad because no one has paid any attention to her message, neither the good nor the bad. The good continue on their way but without giving any importance to her message. The bad, not seeing the punishment of God actually falling on them, continue their life of sin without even caring about the message. But believe me, Father, God will chastise the world and this will be in a terrible manner. The punishment from Heaven is imminent. …
Tell them Father, that many times the Most Holy Virgin told my cousins Francisco and Jacinta, as well as me, that many nations will disappear from the face of the earth. She said that Russia will be the instrument of chastisement chosen by Heaven to punish the whole world if we do not obtain the conversion of that poor nation beforehand…
Father, the devil is in the mood for engaging in a decisive battle against the Blessed Virgin. And the devil knows what it is that most offends God and what, in a short space, will gain him the greatest number of souls. Thus, the devil does everything to overcome souls consecrated to God because in this way, the devil will succeed in ensnaring the souls of the faithful abandoned by their leaders, thereby the more easily will he seize them.
That which afflicts the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Heart of Jesus is the fall of religious and priestly souls. The devil knows that religious and priests who fall away from their beautiful vocation drag numerous souls to hell …. The devil wishes to take possession of consecrated souls. He tries to corrupt them in order to lull to sleep the souls of laypeople and thereby lead them to final impenitence. Resulting from this is the sterility of the interior life, and among the laypeople, coldness regarding the subject of renouncing pleasures and the total dedication of themselves to God.
Tell them also Father, that my cousins Francisco and Jacinta sacrificed themselves because in all the apparitions of the Most Holy Virgin, they always saw her very sad. This sadness, this anguish which we noted in her penetrated our souls. This sadness is caused by the offences against God and the punishments which menace sinners. …
Father, that is why my mission is not to indicate to the world the material punishments which are certain to come if the world does not pray and do penance beforehand. No! My mission is to indicate to everyone the imminent danger we are in of losing our souls for all eternity if we remain obstinately in sin.
Father, we should not wait for the call of the Holy Father to do penance. Nor should we wait for the call to penance to come from our bishops in our diocese, nor from the religious congregations. No! Our Lord has already very often used these means and the world has not paid attention. That is why now, it is necessary for each one of us to begin to reform himself spiritually. Each person must not only save his own soul but also all the souls that God has placed on our path.
Father, the Most Holy Virgin did not tell me that we are in the last times of the world but she made me understand this for three reasons:
The first reason is because she told me that the devil is in the mood for engaging in a decisive battle against the Virgin. And a decisive battle is the final battle where one side will be victorious and the other side will suffer defeat.
The second reason is because she said to my cousins as well as to me, that God is giving two last remedies to the world. These are the Holy Rosary and Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. These are the last two remedies which signify that there will be no others.
The third reason is because in the plans of Divine Providence, God always, before He is about to chastise the world, exhausts all other remedies. Now, when He sees that the world pays no attention whatsoever then, as we say in our imperfect manner of speaking, He offers us, with a certain trepidation, the last means of salvation: His Most Holy Mother. It is with a certain trepidation because if we despise and repulse this ultimate means we will not have any more forgiveness from Heaven because we will have committed a sin which the Gospel calls the sin against the Holy Spirit. This sin consists in openly rejecting, with full knowledge and consent, the salvation which He offers. Let us remember that Jesus Christ is a very good Son and that He does not permit that we offend and despise His Most Holy Mother. We have recorded through many centuries of Church history the obvious testimony which demonstrates, by the terrible chastisements which have befallen those who have attacked the honour of His Most Holy Mother, how Our Lord Jesus Christ has always defended the honour of His Mother.
Look, Father, the Most Holy Virgin in these last times in which we live has given a new efficacy to the recitation of the Rosary to such an extent that there is no problem, no matter how difficult it is, whether temporal or above all, spiritual, in the personal life of each one of us, of our families, of the families of the world, or of the religious communities, or even of the life of peoples and nations, that cannot be solved by the Rosary. With the Holy Rosary, we save ourselves. We will sanctify ourselves. We will console our Lord and obtain the salvation of many souls.”
This interview was published in 1958 with an imprimatur. Almost 1½ years later, on the 2nd of July 1959 the curia of Coimbra attacked Fr. Fuentes by claiming that he invented most of this interview. At the same time, he was dismissed from being the postulator of the cause of beatification of Jacinta and Francisco. It is, however, important to notice, that 1) this document was not signed by the bishop; 2) there is no testimony, neither oral nor written from Sr. Lucia herself which confirms the declaration of the curia; 3) Fr. Alonso proves that the texts of this interview correspond with many other texts written or said in other occasions, books, letters and interviews.
Why then such a strong reaction to this text? First, this text placed Sister Lucia among the prophets of doom whom John XXIII condemned in his speech at the opening of the council. The Pope, therefore, must not have liked what she was saying. Regardless, and this is most important for our discussion, Sr. Lucia revealed certain details of the third Secret in this interview.
e) The latest possible publication of the secret in 1960
Sister Lucia indicated a date for the revelation of the Third Secret when she learned that Bishop da Silva, to whom she had entrusted it, did not plan to open it: “When the bishop refused to open the letter, Lucia made him promise that it would definitely be opened and read to the world either at her death or in 1960, whichever would come first”. (Canon Galamba)
Many other testimonies confirm this statement:
“You have already made known two parts of the Secret. When will the time arrive for the third part?” “I communicated the third part in a letter to the Bishop of Leiria, but it cannot be made known before 1960” (Interview with Fr. Jongen, 4 February 1946).
“From the two parts of the Secret already revealed, the third part has not been made known, but it has been written and placed in a sealed envelope and will be opened in 1960. We know enough to enable us to conclude that the salvation of the world, in this extraordinary moment of history, has been placed by God in the Immaculate Heart of Mary” (Card. Cerejeira, 7 September 1946).
“When will the third element of the Secret be revealed to us?” “In 1960”. “Why it is necessary to wait until then?” “Because the Blessed Virgin wishes it so”. (Canon Barthas, 17 October 1946).
“The message was not to be opened before 1960. I asked Sr. Lucia, “Why this date?” She answered “Because then it will seem clearer”. (Card. Ottaviani, 17 May 1955)
“Father, how much time is there before 1960 arrives? It will be very sad for everyone, not one person will rejoice at all if the world does not pray and do penance beforehand. I am not able to give any other details because it is still a secret. According to the will of the Most Holy Virgin, only the Holy Father and the Bishop of Fatima are permitted to know the secret, but they have chosen not to know it so that they will not be influenced. This is the third part of the Message of Our Lady which will remain secret until 1960” (Fr. Fuentes, 26 December 26, 1957).
Similar statements were made by Cardinal Tisserant (1956), Cardinal Piazza, Bishop Venancio, Fr. Schweigl, and many other prelates. All these most authoritative testimonies previous to 1960 are perfectly clear and in agreement: they all predict the disclosure of the third Secret in 1960.
All of the testimonies reporting to us Sr. Lucia’s repeated declarations lead us to a most important conclusion: Heaven desired and willed that Our Lady’s final Secret be believed and divulged in 1960 at the latest, for then it “it will seem clearer”.
It is hence clear that this date of 1960 was mentioned by Our Lady. This is because the Blessed Virgin would surely not communicate a secret and want it to remain always a secret. And as she also asked for this secret to be kept, she necessarily decided on a date to reveal the secret. Yet the date which Sister Lucia kept on giving was the date of 1960. As it is inconceivable that she invented it, this date could only be determined by the Blessed Virgin.
It is striking to note the perfect coincidence between the date given by Sister Lucia from 1944 and the official convocation of the Second Vatican Council:
25 January 1959: Announcement of the date for the start of the Council,
1960: Date indicated by Our Lady for the revelation of the Third Secret,
25 December 1961: convocation of the Council Fathers to the Council,
11 October 1962: opening of the Council.
Our Lady asked that the Secret be read publicly, at the latest, just before the Pope was about to engage the Church on a path which would lead her to a crisis unprecedented in her history. After the announcement convoking this Council, during 2½ years the preparatory commissions had to elaborate the documents (schemas) which were to be discussed during the Council. The revelation of the Third Secret would have been an important guidance for the preparatory commissions.
But at the same time the Pope himself and many hierarchs were full of optimism about this upcoming event which they considered like a new Pentecost. The Pope lifted the previous condemnations of Pius XII of the most influential modernist theologians like Karl Rahner, Yves Congar, Henri de Lubac etc. Furthermore, he allowed them to become experts of the Council Fathers.
The publication of the Third Secret would have been like a supreme gesture of Our Lady to prevent the upcoming disaster, as she would seem to say: “Be careful, you are about to make a mistake.” If she wanted to stop future disasters while at the same time respecting human free will, she could not have chosen a better date than 1960. It was not too late, at that time, to back out of a fatal course. It was not too late to call off the Council.
Now we have seen above, that Pope John XXIII declared: “this is not for the years of my pontificate”. To make such a judgment, the Pope must have understood that the Secret includes a message in strict opposition to his action or his thoughts. Yet, it is well known that John XXIII was convinced about a rebirth for the Church and a new Pentecost for Christianity. Refusing all thoughts to the contrary, he lashed out the following verdict against the ‘prophets of doom’ in his opening speech at the Council: “It seems necessary to us to express our complete disagreement with the prophets of doom who are always announcing catastrophes as if the world was about to end.” Since he had such high hopes for the future, any predictions of a sharp decrease in religious practice or a crisis of faith and vocations unprecedented in Church history must have been intolerable for him.
If the Secret was simply mentioning 1960 as the start of a widespread apostasy, there would also be no shadow of doubt in John XXIII’s mind that it wasn’t for his pontificate, precisely because he had just summoned a Council whose result would be a new springtime for the Church. Of this he was absolutely certain.
The impressive chronological precision for the revelation of the Secret was probably the reason behind the tenacity of Cardinal Bertone to prove that this date had been invented by Sister Lucia (see above). But his efforts were pointless because the probability that she chose, on her own power and fifteen years in advance, a date falling precisely between the first official announcement of the council and its real start — undoubtedly one of the most dramatic moments of the Church’s history – is absolutely null. Such prophetical precision can only come from Heaven.
It is interesting, that the biography of Sr. Lucia published recently by the Carmel in Coimbra and written tendentiously to be a complementary proof of the official Vatican document contains the chapter: “Our Lady gives her enlightenment”. Quoting Sr. Lucia, it is clearly our Lady who said that “in 1960 the letter can be opened”. This fact alone, published by those who are won over by the cause of the modernist Fatima interpretation, is striking proof of the blunt lies of Cardinal Bertone, discrediting everything that he claimed or wrote about the statements of Sr. Lucia, including the official document.
Finally, it is hard to imagine that the Blessed Virgin did not mention one way or another the change which Vatican II was about to initiate in the Church, as this Council made important decisions in complete opposition to her message.
f) The correspondence of Sr. Lucia
Just before being silenced, Sr. Lucia wrote: “We must pray a great deal and beg God not to chastise us, and to save us in time and for eternity” (28 June 1958). “We are in the process of praying, asking God for peace, not only the peace of the nation, but also the peace for disoriented minds and peace for consciences. May God give light to the blind and humility to the proud, so that they see the good road and depart from the evil one.” (29 September 1958).
After a long period of imposed silence in 1973, some letters of Sr. Lucia written from 1969 to 1971 were published under the title “A little treatise on the nature and the recitation of the Rosary.” In fact, all these letters are more like a treatise on the crisis in the Church, a description of the “diabolical disorientation” which leads so many souls astray.
“What some disoriented souls have spread against the recitation of the Rosary is false. … The repetition of the Ave Maria, Pater Noster and Gloria Patri is the chain that lifts us right up to God and unites us to Him, just as eating bite after bite of bread, from which we nourish ourselves, sustains the natural life in us; nobody calls that outdated! This disorientation is diabolical! Do not let yourself be deceived” (29 December 1969).
“It is necessary not to be led by the doctrines of disoriented disputants. …The campaign [against the Rosary] is diabolical. We must tell souls that, now more than ever, we must pray for ourselves and for those who are against us! We must recite the Rosary every day. This is the prayer which Our Lady recommended the most, as if to arm us in advance, foreseeing these days of diabolical campaigning! The devil knows that we shall save ourselves through prayer. Hence he leads his campaign against it to destroy us.
People must recite the Rosary every day. Our Lady repeated this in all her apparitions, as if to arm us in advance against these times of diabolical disorientation, so that we would not let ourselves be fooled by false doctrines, and that through prayer, the elevation of our souls to God would not be diminished.
Unfortunately, in religious matters, the people for the most part are ignorant, and follow wherever they are led. Hence the great responsibility of those who have the duty of leading them … This is a diabolical disorientation invading the world and misleading souls! It is necessary to stand up to it” (13 April 1971).
“Poor Lord, He has saved us with so much love and He is so little understood! So little loved! So badly served! It is painful to see such a great disorientation and in so many persons who occupy places of responsibility! … It is because the devil has succeeded in infiltrating evil under the cover of good, and the blind are beginning to guide others, as the Lord tells us in His Gospel, and souls are letting themselves be deceived. Gladly I sacrifice myself and offer my life to God for peace in His Church, for priests and for all consecrated souls, especially for those who are so deceived and misled! … And the worst is that he has succeeded in leading into error and deceiving souls having a heavy responsibility through the place which they occupy … ! They are blind men guiding other blind men….” (16 September 1970).
In December, 1971, Sr. Lucia wrote about “the insistence with which SHE recommended the prayer of the Rosary to us, so many times. It is because she already knew that these times would come, during which the devil and his supporters would fight so much against this prayer, to lead souls away from God.”
“The decadence which exists in the world is without any doubt the consequence of the lack of the spirit of prayer. Foreseeing this disorientation, the Blessed Virgin recommended recitation of the Rosary with such insistence. And since the Rosary is, after the holy Eucharistic Liturgy, the prayer most apt for preserving faith in souls, the devil has unleashed his struggle against it. Unfortunately, we see the disasters he has caused.
We must defend souls against the errors which can make them stray from the good road… We cannot and we must not stop ourselves, nor allow, as Our Lord says, the children of Darkness to be wiser than the children of Light.” (November 26, 1970).
To summarise, one can say that ever since she had written down the Third Secret, Sr. Lucia continually returns to the same theme with the term “diabolic disorientation” repeated many times in most of the letters she wrote to her family members until her absolute and total silencing in 1974. Equally she speaks of the “supporters of the devil”, the “cowardice and fear of the good” etc.
What does she mean by “diabolical disorientation”? It is the loss of countless souls because of this crisis of Faith and the failure of pastors. Father Alonso had at hand all the writings from Sr. Lucia and the minutes of all conversations she had with public personalities. Here is his conclusion: “It is therefore completely probable that the text (of the third Secret) makes concrete references to the crisis of faith within the Church and to the negligence of the pastors themselves”. He speaks further of “internal struggles in the very bosom of the Church and of grave pastoral negligence by the upper hierarchy”, of “deficiencies of the upper hierarchy of the Church”.
 Carmel of Coimbra, A Pathway under the gaze of Mary, Biography of Sister Lucia of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart, Second English edition, June 2015.
Lucia as Dorotian Sister
Lucia as Dorotian Sister
Bishop José Alves Correia da Silva with Sister Lucia
Writing of Sr. Lucia
Writing of Sr. Lucia