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Are There Two
Original Manuscripts
on the Third Secret?

by Andrew M. Cesanek

The question we must ask is whether the Third Secret of Fatima is completely contained within a single document or has it been written down as two documents. It appears that there are two documents containing the Third Secret. But what evidence is there to support the existence of a second document?

The existence of two documents (one being a letter written on a single sheet of paper, the other being in a notebook) is clearly testified to by various credible witnesses, including Sister Lucy, and these are mostly quoted in Frère Michel’s book The Whole Truth About Fatima - Volume III: The Third Secret. The 20,000 copies of the French edition of Volume III of Frère Michel’s book were published in 1985 and 1986 (after more than 4 years of research) and 50,000 copies of the English edition were published in 1990. It is not known that this book has ever been questioned for either authenticity or thoroughness of research — Volume III alone has over 1150 footnotes, citing numerous documents, witnesses, and testimonies. Frère Michel’s sources and his own testimonies have never been questioned; thus, Frère Michel is also to be considered a valid and credible witness. Frère François’ book Fatima: Tragedy and Triumph, an abridged version of Frère Michel’s The Third Secret, has also been consulted for this article. Frère François as also an acknowledged Fatima scholar, and during the last 7 years in which 100,000 copies of his book have appeared there has been no criticism of his facts and research.1

The purpose of this article will be to establish that there does exist two original manuscripts written by Sister Lucy on the Third Secret and that both documents were made available to the Church hierarchy. Frère Michel and Father Alonso report that Sister Lucy, in her own words, tells us that two documents do exist. Sister Lucy wrote to Bishop da Silva on January 9, 1944:

“I have written what you asked me; God willed to try me a little, but finally this was indeed His will: [the text] is sealed in an envelope and it is in the notebooks ...”2

Frère Michel further states that Sister Lucy delivered both documents to Bishop da Silva, bishop of the diocese of Leiria-Fatima, in June 1944:

“The seer discretely handed the Bishop of Gurza the notebook in which she had slipped the envelope containing the Secret. That same evening, the bishop placed the envelope into the hands of Bishop da Silva ...”3

The following table summarizes the different facts about each document which gives us further proof that in fact two manuscripts do exist for the Third Secret of Fatima (or at least they did exist up until the 1980’s lest it be proven later that the first has been lost or destroyed). We will examine these facts in the subsequent sections.


Number of Facts Alluded to by Various Witnesses
Third Secret Text #1
(June 26, 2000)
Released by Vatican
Third Secret Text #2
1Text contains words of Our Lady.Text does not contain any words of our Lady.
2Text transferred to Holy Office - April 16, 1957.Text transferred to Holy Office - April 4, 1957.
3Written on a single sheet of paper.Written on 4 sheets of paper.
4About 25 lines of text.62 lines of text.
5Text was ready on January 9, 1944.Text was ready on January 3, 1944.
6Pope John Paul II read the text in 1978.Pope John Paul II read the text on July 18, 1981.
7Pope John Paul II consecrated the world on June 7, 1981 after reading the text of 1978 but before reading the 4-page text which he only read on July 18, 1981.This text was not read by the Pope prior to his act of consecrating the world on June 7, 1981.
8Written as a letter (addressed and signed).Not written as a letter (not addressed or signed), but as an entry in Sister Lucy's notebook.
9Stored by the Pope's bedside.Stored in the Holy Office building.
10Explains the vision.Describes the vision.

FACT #1:

Supporting Documentation for Fact #1 — Text #1
Contains the Words of Our Lady

The Vatican announcement appearing in the February 8, 1960 communique of the Portuguese news agency A.N.I. (at Rome) tells us that the text of the Third Secret (ie. Text #1 referred to in the table) contains the actual words of Our Lady:

“It has just been stated, in very reliable Vatican circles, to the representatives of United Press International, that it is most likely that the letter will never be opened, in which Sister Lucy wrote down the words which Our Lady confided as a secret to the three little shepherds in the Cova da Iria.”4 [emphasis added]

We also have Sister Lucy’s own words to testify that the Third Secret is in Our Lady’s words. Frère Michel reports:

“... in her third Memoir, written in July-August, 1941, Sister Lucy had been content to mention the existence of a third part of the Secret, but as yet she had said nothing about it. A few months later, in her fourth Memoir, written between October-December, 1941, she decided to say more. She recopied almost word for word the text of the third Memoir, but adding after the final words – ‘... and a certain period of peace will be granted to the world’ – the new sentence: ‘Em Portugal se conservara sempre o dogma da fe, etc.’”5

This new sentence translates into: “In Portugal, the dogma of the Faith will always be preserved, etc.” — words of Our Lady. Frère Michel also reports:

“Indeed in 1943, when Bishop da Silva had asked her to write down the text [of the Third Secret], and she was encountering insurmountable obstacles in obeying this order, she declared that it was not absolutely necessary to do so, ‘since in a certain manner she had said it’.6 Undoubtedly she was alluding to the ten words discretely added in December, 1941 to the text of the great Secret – but added so discreetly that almost nobody noticed them.”7 [emphasis added]

This sentence introduces a new – and incomplete – thought into the Secret of Fatima. It suggests that there is more to follow — it suggests that the “etc.” is a placeholder for the third part of the Secret.

The Vatican’s June 2000 manuscript of the Third Secret (ie. Text #2 referred to in the table), published in the Vatican’s booklet, The Message of Fatima, contains no words of Our Lady; it describes the vision of the Secret seen by the three children of Fatima. In addition, this text does not explain the new sentence nor the “etc.” that Sister Lucy added to the Fatima Secret in her fourth Memoir. Thus, there is more text that follows the new sentence – words of Our Lady that are missing.

What Can Be Concluded Regarding Fact #1

These facts demonstrate that there are two documents: one document contains the words of Our Lady; the other document describes the vision seen by the three children but with no words at all which are attributed to Our Lady.

FACT #2:

Dates of Transfer
Supporting Documentation for Fact #2 – Different

Frère François tells us when the text of the Third Secret was transferred to the Holy Office (now known as the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith):

“Arriving at the Vatican on April 16, 1957, the Secret undoubtedly was placed by Pope Pius XII in his personal desk, inside a small wooden box, bearing the inscription Secretum Sancti Officii (Secret of the Holy Office).”8

It is important to note that the Pope was the head of the Holy Office prior to Pope Paul VI reorganizing the Vatican in 1967. Therefore, it was quite appropriate for the Pope to retain the Third Secret in his possession and for the box containing it to be labeled as “Secret of the Holy Office” — with the Pope being the head of the Holy Office, this box becomes part of the Holy Office archives.

The Vatican’s booklet, The Message of Fatima, released on June 26, 2000, identifies Sister Lucy’s original text of the Third Secret as being transferred to the Holy Office on April 4, 1957. Furthermore, Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone, Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, tells us:

“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.”9

What Can Be Concluded Regarding Fact #2

This difference of dates demonstrates that there are two documents: the document containing the vision was transferred to the Secret Archives of the Holy Office on April 4, 1957; the document containing the words of Our Lady was transferred to the Pope’s apartment, which can be considered a part of the Holy Office, on April 16, 1957.


daSilva.gifBishop da Silva, from 1944 to 1957, was entrusted with keeping the third Secret. On the envelope containing the Secret — seen at the bottom of this photograph — he wrote with his own hand:

Este envelope com o seu conteudo sera entregue a Sua Eminencia O Sr. Cardeal D. Manuel, Patriarca de Lisboa, depois da minha morte.
Leiria, 8 Dezembro de 1945
†Jose, Bispo de Leiria.


This envelope with its contents shall be entrusted to His Eminence Cardinal Manuel (Cerejeira), Patriarch of Lisbon, after my death.
Leiria, December 8, 1945
†Jose, Bishop of Leiria.

FACT #3:

Supporting Documentation for Fact #3 – Text #1
is a Single Sheet of Paper

Cardinal Ottaviani, as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 1967, stated that he had read the Third Secret and that it was written on a single sheet of paper. He testified to this fact on February 11, 1967, during a press conference at the time of a meeting of the Pontifical Marian Academy in Rome. Cardinal Ottaviani states:

“And then, what did she [Lucy] do to obey the Most Holy Virgin? She wrote on a sheet of paper, in Portuguese, what the Holy Virgin had asked her to tell ...”10 [emphasis added]

Cardinal Ottaviani is a witness to this fact. In the same press conference, he states:

“I, who have had the grace and the gift to read the text of the Secret – although I too am held to secrecy because I am bound by the Secret ...”11

Father Alonso reports that both Sister Lucy and Cardinal Ottaviani state that the Secret was written on a single sheet of paper:

“Lucy tells us that she wrote it on a sheet of paper. Cardinal Ottaviani, who has read it, tells us the same thing: ‘She wrote it on a sheet of paper ...’.”12

We also have the testimony of Bishop Venancio, who was then the Auxiliary Bishop of Leiria-Fatima, that he was ordered by Bishop da Silva (the bishop of Leiria-Fatima) in mid-March 1957 to bring copies of all Sister Lucy’s writings — including the original of the Third Secret — to the Apostolic Nuncio at Lisbon for transferral to Rome. Before bringing Lucy’s writings to the Nuncio, Bishop Venancio looked at the envelope containing the Third Secret while holding it up to the light and saw that the Secret was “written on a small sheet of paper”.13 Frère Michel first identifies the nature of this testimony:

“However, thanks to the disclosures of Bishop Venancio, at the time Auxiliary Bishop of Leiria and intimately involved with these events, we now have many reliable facts which we will take care not to neglect. I myself received them from the mouth of Bishop Venancio on February 13, 1984, at Fatima. The former Bishop of Fatima repeated to me on this subject, almost word for word, what he had already said previously to Father Caillon, who gave a very detailed account of it in his conferences.”14

Here now is Bishop Venancio’s testimony, according to Frère Michel:

“Bishop Venancio related that once he was by himself, he took the great envelope of the Secret and tried to look through it and see the contents. In the bishop’s large envelope he discerned a smaller envelope, that of Lucy, and inside this envelope an ordinary sheet of paper with margins on each side of three quarters of a centimeter. He took the trouble to note the size of everything. Thus the final Secret of Fatima was written on a small sheet of paper.”15 [emphasis added]

The Vatican’s June 2000 manuscript of the Third Secret was written on four sheets of paper.

What Can Be Concluded Regarding Fact #3

Again, this is another piece of evidence demonstrating that there are two documents: one consisting of a single sheet of paper, the other consisting of four sheets of paper.

FACT #4:

Supporting Documentation for Fact #4 – Text #1
is 25 Lines of Handwritten Text

As a result of the evidence cited in Fact #3 regarding the Third Secret being written on just one single sheet of paper, as provided by the testimonies of Sister Lucy, Cardinal Ottaviani, Bishop Venancio, and Father Alonso, Frère Michel and Frère François both agree that the text of the Third Secret contains only 20 to 30 lines:

  • “... we are just as certain that the twenty or thirty lines of the third Secret ...”16

  • “The final Secret of Fatima, written on a small sheet of paper, is therefore not very long. Probably twenty to twenty-five lines ...”17

  • Bishop Venancio looked ”at the envelope [containing the Third Secret] while holding it up to the light. He could see inside a little sheet of which he measured the exact size. We thus know that the Third Secret is not very long, probably 20 to 25 lines ...”18

On the other hand, the Vatican’s June 2000 manuscript of the Third Secret contains 62 lines of handwritten text.

What Can Be Concluded Regarding Fact #4

This discrepancy demonstrates that there are two documents: one with 20 to 30 lines of text on one sheet of paper, the other with 62 lines of text on four sheets of paper.

FACT #5:

Supporting Documentation for Fact #5 – Text #1
Was Not Ready by January 3

Lucy first attempted to write down the text of the Third Secret in October 1943. From that mid-October until early January 1944, Sister Lucy was prevented from obeying a formal order to write down the Third Secret by an unspeakable anguish that she experienced during this time.

This episode started in June 1943 when Sister Lucy came down with pleurisy, which caused Canon Galamba and Bishop da Silva to fear that she would die without having revealed the final Secret. Canon Galamba later convinced Bishop da Silva to suggest Sister Lucy to write down the Third Secret. However, Sister Lucy refused to comply with this suggestion because she did not want to take responsibility for such an initiative on her own, but she stated that she would obey an express command from him to write it down. Agonizing over this expressed suggestion, Sister Lucy was concerned that, without that formal command from her bishop, she did not yet have Our Lord’s permission to reveal the Third Secret.

In mid-October 1943, Bishop da Silva finally gave Sister Lucy the formal order to write down the Third Secret. Sister Lucy then set out to obey the bishop’s command but was unable to do so for the next two and a half months. Then only by divine intervention, after the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to Sister Lucy on January 2, 1944, to strengthen Sister Lucy and confirm to her that it was indeed God’s will that she write the words of the final secret was Sister Lucy finally able to overcome these difficulties and write down the Secret.19 But it was not until January 9, 1944, that Sister Lucy wrote the following note to Bishop da Silva, informing him that the Secret was finally written down:

“I have written what you asked me; God willed to try me a little, but finally this was indeed His will: [the text] is sealed in an envelope and it is in the notebooks ...”20

The Vatican’s June 2000 manuscript of the Third Secret identifies that Sister Lucy’s original text of the Third Secret was ready on January 3, 1944, as indicated by this date appearing at the end of Sister Lucy’s 4-page handwritten document.21 Furthermore, Archbishop Bertone tells us:

“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.”22

What Can Be Concluded Regarding Fact #5

Considering the difficulties that Sister Lucy encountered for two and a half months, wouldn’t she have informed Bishop da Silva as soon as the document was ready. If she had completed the document by January 3, why would she wait until January 9 before informing her bishop? From this we may conclude that the text of the Third Secret was not ready until January 9, 1944 or very shortly before.

This difference of dates also demonstrates that there are two documents: the document containing the vision was completed on January 3, 1944; the document containing Our Lady’s words which explain the vision was completed on or very shortly before January 9, 1944.

Admittedly, this conclusion is dependent on circumstantial evidence – but Fatima scholars are reduced to this kind of evidence by the Fatima establishment still holding up since 1976 publication of the works of Father Joaquin Alonso, consisting of 5,000 documents in 14 volumes — the result of Father Alonso’s 11 years of research up to that time. Fr. Alonso was official archivist of Fatima for sixteen years. All other conclusions in this article, except possibly the conclusion to Fact #10, are not dependent on circumstantial evidence.

FACT #6:

Supporting Documentation for Fact #6 – Different
Dates for When Pope First Read Secret

On July 1, 2000, The Washington Post reported that Vatican officials recently provided contradictory dates for when Pope John Paul II read the Third Secret for the first time.

“On May 13, Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls said the pope first read the secret within days of assuming the papacy in 1978. On Monday, an aide to Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, said that the pope first saw it in the hospital after his attack.”23[emphasis added]

An article in the June 26, 2000 edition of The New York Times identified the aide to Cardinal Ratzinger:

“John Paul II read for the first time the text of the third secret of Fatima after the attack,” a top aide to Ratzinger, Monsignor Tarcisio Bertone, told journalists during a news conference to present the document.”24 [emphasis added]

According to the Vatican’s booklet, The Message of Fatima, released on June 26, 2000, the Vatican’s June 2000 manuscript of the Third Secret was not read by Pope John Paul II until July 18, 1981. Archbishop Bertone tells us:

“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. On 18 July 1981 Cardinal Franjo Seper, Prefect of the Congregation, gave two envelopes to Archbishop Eduardo Martinez Somalo, Substitute of the Secretariat of State: one white envelope, containing Sister Lucy’s original text in Portuguese; the other orange, with the Italian translation of the ‘secret’. On the following 11 August, Archbishop Martinez returned the two envelopes to the Archives of the Holy Office.”25

What Can Be Concluded Regarding Fact #6

All these statements are true and can be reconciled if there are two documents: the Pope read the 1-page document confided to the envelope and containing the words of Our Lady in 1978, and then he read the 4-page document describing the vision on July 18, 1981.

FACT #7:

Supporting Documentation for Fact #7 – Text #1
Inspired Pope to Consecrate World

Immediately following the quote of Archbishop Bertone cited in Fact #6, the Archbishop goes on to tell us:

“As is well known, Pope John Paul II immediately thought of consecrating the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and he himself composed a prayer for what he called an ‘Act of Entrustment’, which was to be celebrated in the Basilica of Saint Mary Major on 7 June 1981 ...”26

What Can Be Concluded Regarding Fact #7

How could Pope John Paul II be moved by the Third Secret to consecrate the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on June 7, 1981, when – according to Archbishop Bertone, as quoted in The Message of Fatima – the Pope did not actually read the Third Secret until July 18, 1981 – six weeks later?

Again, both statements are true and the discrepancy can be reconciled if there are two documents for the Third Secret: the Pope read the 1-page document containing the words of Our Lady in 1978 — and this is the text that moved him to consecrate the world on June 7, 1981 — and then he read the 4-page document describing the vision on July 18, 1981. Note that although it is well known that Our Lady of Fatima only asked for the specific Consecration of Russia, Pope John Paul II obviously considers these acts of consecration of the world as setting the stage for when he finally feels free to do the Consecration of Russia.

FACT #8:

Supporting Documentation for Fact #8 – Text #1
is a Letter

Sister Lucy, herself, tells us that the Third Secret was written as a letter. We have the written testimony of Father Jongen who, on February 3-4, 1946, interrogated Sister Lucy:

“‘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,’ she answered.”27 [emphasis added]

Next we have the decisive words of Canon Galamba:

“When the bishop refused to open the letter, Lucy 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.”28 [emphasis added]

In February 1960, the Patriarch of Lisbon declared:

“Bishop da Silva enclosed (the envelope sealed by Lucy) in another envelope on which he indicated that the letter had to be opened in 1960 by himself, Bishop Jose Correia da Silva, if he was still alive, or if not, by the Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon.”29 [emphasis added]

Father Alonso tells us:

“Other bishops also spoke – and with authority – about the year 1960 as the date indicated for opening the famous letter. Thus, when the then titular Bishop of Tiava, and Auxiliary Bishop of Lisbon asked Lucy when the Secret was to be opened, he always received the same answer: in 1960.”30 [emphasis added]

In 1959, Bishop Venancio, the then new Bishop of Leiria, declared:

“I think that the letter will not be opened before 1960. Sister Lucy had asked that it should not be opened before her death, or not before 1960. We are now in 1959 and Sister Lucy is in good health.”31 [emphasis added]

The Vatican announcement of February 8, 1960 (appearing in a communique of the Portuguese news agency A.N.I.) also tells us that the text of the Third Secret was written as a letter:

“... it is most likely that the letter will never be opened, in which Sister Lucy wrote down the words which Our Lady confided as a secret ...”32 [emphasis added]

The text of the vision of the Third Secret has also been identified as a letter by the Vatican’s booklet, The Message of Fatima, released on June 26, 2000. However, that manuscript of the vision of the Third Secret is not written as a letter – it is:

  1. 1. not addressed to anyone;

  2. 2. dated at the end — yet, according to custom in Portugal since the 18th Century, no letter is dated at the end but only at the beginning;

  3. 3. not signed by Sister Lucy or anyone else; and

  4. 4. clearly, it is not a letter.

Copies of letters written by Sister Lucy have been included in her published memoirs – these letters all have an addressee, a date, and her signature. Thus, we can expect that the 1-page document that was available on January 9, 1944 is a letter addressed to someone (Sister Lucy told Father Jongen in February 1946 that she sent it to the Bishop of Leiria) and it is signed by Sister Lucy.

Sister Lucy was offered the option to write the Third Secret in a letter or in her notebook; she decided to write it in both. According to Father Alonso, Sister Lucy wrote to Bishop da Silva on January 9, 1944:

“I have written what you asked me; God willed to try me a little, but finally this was indeed His will: [the text] is sealed in an envelope and it is in the notebooks ...”33

Frère Michel reports that, on June 17, 1944:

“The seer discretely handed the Bishop of Gurza the notebook in which she had slipped the envelope containing the Secret. That same evening, the bishop placed the envelope into the hands of Bishop da Silva ...”34

What Can Be Concluded Regarding Fact #8

This demonstrates that there are two documents: Sister Lucy wrote the text of the Third Secret containing Our Lady’s words in a 1-page letter; she also wrote 4 pages of text — in her notebook — in which she described the corresponding vision. The 4 pages of text is what was released by the Vatican on June 26, 2000 as the manuscript of the Third Secret and it is clearly not a letter.


Photo in Paris Match taken by Robert Serrou,
of the wooden safe in the Papal apartments
in which was placed the 3rd Secret.


FACT #9:

Supporting Documentation for Fact #9 – Text #1
Stored in Papal Apartment

Frère Michel reports the testimony of journalist Robert Serrou who, while doing a photo story at the Vatican on May 14, 195735 — about one month after the Third Secret had arrived at Rome on April 16, 1957 — discovered that the Third Secret was being stored in the Pope’s apartment by his bedside. Frère Michel tells us:

“... we now know that the precious envelope sent to Rome by Msgr. Cento was not placed in the archives of the Holy Office, but that Pius XII wanted to keep it in his own apartment.

“Father Caillon received this information from the mouth of journalist Robert Serrou, who himself got it from Mother Pasqualina, in this way. Robert Serrou was doing a photo story for Paris-Match in the apartments of Pius XII. Mother Pasqualina – this woman of great common sense who directed the handful of Sisters acting as the Pope’s housekeepers, and who sometimes received his confidences – was present.

“Before a little wooden safe placed on a table and bearing the inscription ‘Secretum Sancti Officii’ (Secret of the Holy Office), the journalist questioned the Mother: ‘Mother, what is in this little safe?’ She answered: ‘The third Secret of Fatima is in there...’
“The photograph of this safe – which we have reproduced here – was published in Paris-Match a year and a half later ...”36

The photograph of this safe was published in the Oct 18, 1958, issue of Paris-Match37 and is here reproduced (see photo preceding Fact #9). The details of Serrou’s testimony were later confirmed in a letter he wrote to Frère Michel on January 10, 1985. In this letter, Robert Serrou states:

“It is exact that Mother Pasqualina did tell me, while showing me a little safe bearing a label with the mention, ‘Secret of the Holy Office’: ‘In there is the third Secret of Fatima’.”38

The Vatican’s booklet, The Message of Fatima, released on June 26, 2000, tells us that the Third Secret had been stored in the building which houses the Holy Office. Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone, Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, tells us:

“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.”39

In addition, we have also demonstrated in Fact #6 that Pope John Paul II read the text of the Third Secret (i.e. the 1-page document containing the words of Our Lady) in 1978 and then he read the 4-page document describing the vision on July 18, 1981. As stated in Fact #6, it was noted in the Holy Office archives that Pope John Paul II asked for the Third Secret in 1981, but there is no record of the Pope asking for the Secret in 1978 because he didn’t need to.

What Can Be Concluded Regarding Fact #9

These facts demonstrate that there are two documents stored in two different locations and in two different archives. In 1978 Pope John Paul II read the text of the 1-page letter containing Our Lady’s words, which was stored in his apartment; therefore, the Pope did not need to request it from the Secret Archives of the Holy Office. In 1981 Pope John Paul II read the 4 pages of text containing the description of the vision from Sister Lucy’s notebook, which was stored in the Holy Office building — this text he had to request from the Secret Archives of the Holy Office.

(Translation of the Text of the Vision in the 3rd Secret released by the Vatican)

J.M.J. The third part of the secret revealed at the Cova da Iria-Fatima, on 13 July 1917.
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.
Tuy-3-1-1944”.

In the translation, the original text has been respected, even as regards the imprecise punctuation, which nevertheless does not impede an understanding of what the visionary wished to say.

FACT #10:

Supporting Documentation for Fact #10 – Text #1
Explains the Vision

In Sister Lucy’s “Fourth Memoir” we read that, during the apparition of Our Lady on June 13, 1917, after Sister Lucy had asked Our Lady to take the three seers to Heaven, Our Lady responded:

“Yes, I will take Jacinta and Francisco soon. But you are to stay here some time longer. Jesus wishes to make use of you to make Me known and loved. He wants to establish in the world devotion to My Immaculate Heart. To whoever embraces this devotion I promise salvation ...”40

Sister Lucy then proceeds to give us a description of the corresponding vision that the three seers were graced to see immediately after Our Lady spoke the above words — words which explain the meaning of the vision.

“As Our Lady spoke these last words, She opened Her hands and for the second time, She communicated to us the rays of that immense light. We saw ourselves in this light, as it were, immersed in God. Jacinta and Francisco seemed to be in that part of the light which rose towards Heaven, and I in that which was poured out on the earth.”41

Thus, we see that Our Lady provides a vision to the children and explains it as well.

In the Vatican’s booklet, The Message of Fatima, released on June 26, 2000, we read Sister Lucy’s description (taken from her “Third Memoir”) of the vision of Hell given to the three little shepherds during the apparition of Our Lady on July 13, 1917.

“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, 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, to take us to heaven. Otherwise, I think we would have died of fear and terror.”42

Following that account, Sister Lucy then proceeds to tell us Our Lady’s words explaining what this vision means.

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.”43 [emphasis added]

Even though the children knew what they saw, nevertheless Our Lady tells them “You have seen Hell.” Once again, we see that Our Lady provides a vision to the children and explains it as well.

In contrast to the above descriptions of visions and the corresponding words of Our Lady explaining them, we read only a description of a vision (a portion of which is given below) in the Vatican’s booklet, The Message of Fatima, released on June 26, 2000:

“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 ... 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.”44

This manuscript of the Third Secret provided by the Vatican on June 26, 2000, however, contains no words of Our Lady.

What Can Be Concluded Regarding Fact #10

Where are the words of Our Lady to explain this vision? If Our Lady did not say anything to explain this vision, it is not consistent with previous similar situations in the course of Her apparitions. Neither is it consistent with the evidence that we have previously cited in Fact #1.

If the teaching authority – meaning the Pope himself — is not imposing a specific interpretation on this vision — and it is not — (i.e. another interpretation may also be valid) and if we don’t have the grace to understand this vision on our own, then there is all the more reason to believe that Our Lady would explain to us the meaning of the vision of the Third Secret of Fatima. In fact, Cardinal Ratzinger tells us that the “Theological Commentary” within the Vatican’s booklet, The Message of Fatima, released on June 26, 2000, is an attempt at an interpretation of the vision of the Third Secret. In the “Theological Commentary”, Cardinal Ratzinger states:

“In what follows, therefore, we can only attempt to provide a deeper foundation for this interpretation, on the basis of the criteria already considered.”45 [emphasis added]

Cardinal Ratzinger also confirmed that a specific interpretation is not being imposed on this vision during a press interview. On July 1, 2000, The Washington Post reported:

“Ratzinger, asked to comment on the pope’s reading of the vision, said there is ‘no official interpretation’ and that the text is not dogma.”46 [emphasis added]

Conclusion of the Facts Provided
Regarding The Existence of Two Original Manuscripts
Written by Sister Lucy on the Third Secret

In conclusion, the evidence overwhelmingly supports the existence of two documents. One document is the 4 sheets of paper containing 62 lines of text copied from Sister Lucy’s notebook (not written as a letter), which describes a vision seen by the three children of Fatima — it does not contain any words of Our Lady. This text was written down by Sister Lucy on January 3, 1944, transferred to the Holy Office on April 4, 1957, read by Pope John Paul II on July 18, 1981 (but did not move him to consecrate the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on June 7, 1981), was stored in the Holy Office, and released by the Vatican on June 26, 2000.

The other document is the 1-page letter containing about 25 lines of Our Lady’s own words. This text was written down by Sister Lucy on or very shortly before January 9, 1944, transferred to the Holy Office on April 16, 1957, read by Pope John Paul II in 1978 (and moved him to consecrate the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on June 7, 1981), was stored in the Pope’s apartment by his bedside, and to this day remains unreleased by the Vatican.


Select Bibliographical List:

  • FTT: Frère François de Marie des Anges, Fatima: Tragedy and Triumph, Immaculate Heart Publications, Buffalo, New York, U.S.A., 1994, 370 pages.
  • SFR: Brother Michael of the Holy Trinity, The Secret of Fatima ... Revealed, Immaculate Heart Publications, Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada, 1986, 32 pages.
  • VSF: Father Joaquin Alonso, "La Verdad sobre el Secreto de Fatima", Centro Mariano, Madrid, Spain, 1976, 119 pages.
  • WTAF - Vol. I: Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité, The Whole Truth About Fatima - Volume I: Science and the Facts, Immaculate Heart Publications, Buffalo, New York, U.S.A., 1989, 556 pages.
  • WTAF - Vol. III: Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité, The Whole Truth About Fatima - Volume III: The Third Secret, Immaculate Heart Publications, Buffalo, New York, U.S.A., 1990, 874 pages.
  • Sister Lucy, Memorias e Cartas da Irma Lucia, Porto, Portugal, 1973, 472 pages, edited by Father Antonio Maria Martins.
  • Sister Lucy, Fatima in Lucia's Own Words, Postulation Centre, Fatima, Portugal, 1976, 208 pages.
  • Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone, SDB and Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, The Message of Fatima, June 26, 2000.

FOOTNOTES:

1. In some proofs, we are dealing with circumstantial evidence. There are two reasons for this: (1) over 5,000 original documents in 14 volumes written by Father Alonso — the result of 11 years of reasearch by Father Alonso, then the official archvist of Fatima — have been prevented from being published since 1976 by religious authorities (i.e. the Bishop of Fatima and the Provincial of the Claretians based at Madrid, Spain), and (2) the crushing, non-moveable deadline which allowed only 1 week to resarch and write this article for publication vs. the 40-year history of suppression of the Third Secret.
2. Quoted by Father Alonso, “Fatima 50”, October 13, 1967, p. 11. See also Frère Michel, WTAF - Vol. III, p. 47.
3. Frère Michel, WRAF - Vol. III, p. 49.
4. Quoted by Father Martins doe Reis, “O Milagre do sol e o Segredo de Fatima”, p. 127-128. Cf. Father Joaquin Alonso, VSF, p. 55-56. See also WRAF - Vol. III, p. 578.
5. Frère Michel, SRAF - Vol III, p. 684.
6. Father Alonso, VSF, p. 64. See also Frère Michel, SRAF - Vol. III, p. 684.
7. Frère Michel, SRAF - Vol. III, P. 684.
8. Frère François, FTT, p. 45.
9. Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone, SDB, “Introduction”, The Message of Fatima, June 26, 2000, p. 4.
10. Frère Michel, WTAF - Vol. III, p. 725.
11. Frère Michel, WTAF - Vol. III, p. 727.
12. Father Alonso, VSF, p. 60. See also Frère Michel, WTAF - vol. III, p. 651. Also, footnote no. 4 in Frère François, FTT, p. 289.
13. Frère François, FTT, p. 45. See also Frère Michel, SFR, 1986, p. 7.
14. Frère Michel, STAF - Vol. III, p. 480. See also Father G. Freire’s exposition, O Segredo de Fatima, a terceira parte e sobre Portugal?, p. 50-51.
15. Frère Michel, WTAF - Vol. III, p. 481.
16. Frère Michel, WTAF - Vol. III, p. 626.
17. Frère François, FTT, p. 45.
18. Frère Michel, SFR, p. 7.
19. Frère Michel, STAF - Vol. III, p. 38-46.
20. Quoted by Father Alonso, “Fatima 50”, p. 11. See also Frère Michel, WTAF - Vol. III, p. 47.
21. Original text of Sister Lucy, “Third Part of the ‘Secret’”, The Message of Fatime, p. 4.
22. Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone, SDB, “Introduction”, The Message of Fatima, p. 20.
23. Bill Broadway and Sarah Delancy, “3rd Secret Spurs More Questions; Fatima Interpretation Departs From Vision”, The Washington Post, July 1, 2000.
24. The Associated Press, “Vatican: Fatima Is No Doomsday Prophecy”, The New York Times, June 26, 2000.
25. Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone, SDB, “Introduction”, The Message of Fatima, p. 5.
26. Ibid.
27. Revue Mediatrice et Reine, October 1946, p. 110-112. See also Frère Michel, WTAF - Vol. III, p. 470.
28. Quoted by Father Alonso, VSF, p. 46-47. See also Frère Michel, WTAF - Vol. III, p. 470.
29. Novidades February 24, 1960, quoted by La Documentation Catholique, June 19, 1960, col. 751. See also Frère Michel, WTAF - Vol. III, p. 472.
30.Father Alonso, VSF, p. 46. See also Frère Michel, WTAF - Vol. III, p. 475.
31. Father Alonso, VSF, p. 46. See also Frère Michel, WTAF - Vol. III, P. 478.
32. Quoted by Father Martins dos Reis, “O Milagre do sol e o Segredo de Fatima”, p. 127-128. Cf. Father Alonso, VSF, p. 55-56. See also Frère Michel, WTAF - Vol. III, p. 578.
34. Frère, WTAF - Vol. III, p. 49.
35. Ibid, p. 485-486.
36. Ibid, p. 484-485.
37. See footnote no. 47 in Frère Michel, WTAF - Vol. III, p. 501.
38. Letter to Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité of January 10, 1985. See also Frère Michel, WTAF - Vol. III, p. 486.
39. Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone, SDB, “Introduction”, The Message of Fatima, p. 4.
40. Sister Lucy, in an account written for her confessor, Father Aparicio, at the end of 1927.
41. sister Lucy, “Fourth Memoir”, December 8, 1941, p. 65. See also WTAF - Vol. I, p. 159.
42. English translation of text in sister Lucy’s “Third Memoir” quoted in “First and Second Part of the ‘Secret’”, in The Message of Fatima, p. 15-16. See also Sister Lucy, “Fourth Memoir”, Fatima in Lucia’s Own Words, p. 162. See also Sister Lucy, Memorias e Cartas da irm Lucia, p. 338-341.
43. sister Lucy quoted in The Message of Fatima, p. 16. See also Sister Lcy, “Fourth Memoir”, p. 162. See also Sister Lucy, Memoria e Cartas da Irma Lucia,k p. 340-341.
44. English translation of Sister Lucy, “Third Part of the ‘Secret’”, The Message of Fatima, p. 21.
45. Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, “Theological Commentary”, The Message of Fatima, p. 39.
46. Bill Broadway and Sarah delancy, The Washington Post.

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