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Fātima was originally an Arabic name, meaning "She who weans", being the name of the only proved surviving child of the prophet Muhammad; after the advent of Islam it became a common Muslim name for women. It is sometimes used by Catholics in connection with a significant twentieth-century apparition of the Virgin Mary in the town of Fátima in Portugal.
As the second millennium gives way to the third, Pope John Paul II has decided to publish the text of the third part of the secret of Fatima.
The third part of the secret was written by order of His Excellency the Bishop of Leiria and the Most Holy Mother ... on 3 January 1944.
There is only one manuscript, which is here reproduced photostatically. The sealed envelope was initially in the custody of the Bishop of Leiria. To ensure better protection for the secret the envelope was placed in the Secret Archives of the Holy Office on 4 April 1957. The Bishop of Leiria informed Sister Lucia of this…
John Paul II, for his part, asked for the envelope containing the third part of the secret following the assassination attempt on 13 May 1981…
Sister Lucia had already given an indication for interpreting the third part of the ?secret? in a letter to the Holy Father, dated 12 May 1982:
”The third part of the secret refers to Our Lady's words: If not [Russia] 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' (13-VII-1917).
The third part of the secret is a symbolic revelation, referring to this part of the Message, conditioned by whether we accept or not what the Message itself asks of us: If my requests are heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace; if not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, etc.'.
Since we did not heed this appeal of the Message, we see that it has been fulfilled, Russia has invaded the world with her errors. And if we have not yet seen the complete fulfilment of the final part of this prophecy, we are going towards it little by little with great strides. If we do not reject the path of sin, hatred, revenge, injustice, violations of the rights of the human person, immorality and violence, etc.
And let us not say that it is God who is punishing us in this way; on the contrary it is people themselves who are preparing their own punishment. In his kindness God warns us and calls us to the right path, while respecting the freedom he has given us; hence people are responsible.”
(I write in obedience to you, my God, who command me to do so through his Excellency the Bishop of Leiria and through your Most Holy Mother and mine.
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!'. 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 original text, in Portuguese, was read and interpreted with the help of the Bishop of Leiria-Fatima. Sister Lucia agreed with the interpretation that the third part of the ?secret? was a prophetic vision, similar to those in sacred history. She repeated her conviction that the vision of Fatima concerns above all the struggle of atheistic Communism against the Church and against Christians, and describes the terrible sufferings of the victims of the faith in the twentieth century.
When asked: Is the principal figure in the vision the Pope??, Sister Lucia replied at once that it was… Lucia continued: We did not know the name of the Pope; Our Lady did not tell us the name of the Pope; we did not know whether it was Benedict XV or Pius XII or Paul VI or John Paul II; but it was the Pope who was suffering and that made us suffer too.
According to the interpretation of the little shepherds?, which was also confirmed recently by Sister Lucia, the Bishop clothed in white who prays for all the faithful is the Pope…After the assassination attempt of 13 May 1981, it appeared evident that it was a mother's hand that guided the bullet's path, enabling the Pope in his throes to halt at the threshold of death…
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 start of the twentieth century, remains timely and urgent today.
Because God is one, history, which he shares with humanity, is also one. It is valid for all time, and it has reached its fulfilment in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. In Christ, God has said everything, that is, he has revealed himself completely, and therefore Revelation came to an end with the fulfilment of the mystery of Christ as enunciated in the New Testament. To explain the finality and completeness of Revelation, the Catechism of the Catholic Church quotes a text of Saint John of the Cross:…
The Fatima Prophecies
In May, 2000, the long-awaited "third prophecy" of Fatima was finally revealed by the Vatican. For some, it was a relief and for others an anticlimactic disappointment.
"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. 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 Saturdays [of each month]. 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 1960, Paul John XXIII opened the sealed prophecy and read it, and the faithful anxiously awaited its promised revelation. But it was not to be. In apparent defiance of the Blessed Mother's instructions, the Pope refused to reveal the contents of the prophecy saying, "This prophecy does not relate to my time." According to Kathleen A. Keating, however, author of The Final Warning: Your Survival Guide to the New Millennium, "John XXIII fainted when he read the third secret because it specifically states, according to eyewitnesses, that the Pope would betray the flock and turn his sheep over to the slaughter devised by Lucifer himself. John XXIII fainted because he thought he would be the Pope who would open the door to Satan and that he would be the long awaited antipope."
On May 13, 2000 (the anniversary of the assassination attempt on him), the Pope visited the shrine at Fatima and made a surprise announcement that the secret would finally be revealed. The Vatican then told the world that the secret was a foretelling of the 1981 assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II. The referred-to passage states: "...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..."
This scenario hardly describes the attack on John Paul by a lone gunman, Mehmet Ali Agca, right in St. Peter's Square in May, 1981. The setting is not the same, there was no group of soldiers and the Pope, though seriously wounded, was not killed. Ironically, however, Ali Agca - even before the revelation of the secret was made - had said that he was compelled to try to kill the Pope as part of some divine plan, and that the act was related to the third secret of Fatima. And the Pope, shortly after he was shot, said he believed it was the hand of the Virgin Mary that deflected the attacker's bullet, allowing him to survive.
Kathleen A. Keating wrote of the recent revelation: "The Third Secret of Fatima is still a secret. In the press release issued by the Vatican today, the public was made privy to, at best, a watered down version of one sentence of the true secret. This ridiculous revelation bears no resemblance to the remarks made by Pope John Paul II in Fatima, May 13, 2000, when he said that we are in fact in the midst of Revelation-Chapter 12, verse 3: And another sign in heaven; and behold a great Red Dragon, having seven heads, and ten horns; and on his heads seven diadems… I have a source, deep inside the Vatican, who let me know some time ago that what would be revealed today would only distantly resemble the actual Third Secret, that it would be pared down, containing very little fact."