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Lucy and the Pirates

by Mark Fellows

Few revelations have been as unconvincing as the Vatican’s version of the Third Secret of Fatima. Those who thought, or hoped, that the June 2000 unveiling of the CDF’s booklet, The Message of Fatima1 ended matters are probably surprised by the recent tumult over Fatima in the press. There should be no surprise. For over forty years nearly every tactic — silence, intimidation, bad theology, disinformation, and hired liars — have been used to bury the real Message of Fatima. Yet the cork continues to bob to the surface. The terrorist attacks on September 11 triggered a chain reaction of Fatima stories. The buzz in the press and on the Internet was that the attacks were part of the Third Secret of Fatima.

How exasperating for the drafters of the CDF’s The Message of Fatima, who insist the entire Secret of Fatima is contained inside its covers. They simply are not believed, in part because they are not believable, but also because of a certain collective awareness, a shared sense of our impending doom. Deep down we know that a "Civilization of Love" is utopian nonsense. It has never existed and it never will. The real Message of Fatima implicitly confirms this: hell is real and many souls are going there because there is no one to pray and make sacrifices for them. Heaven’s remedy is not well-publicized inter-religious prayer rallies. Rather, it is devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and the Rosary. The real Message of Fatima is not a request for more papal apologies. It is a plea to Jesus to "forgive us our sins," to "save us from the fires of hell". We are not experiencing the new advent of humanity. We are on the Titanic as it slides into the blackness, and the world senses the impending doom even as it continues to heap judgment on itself.

This awareness can be the fruit of the perspective a Christian conscience brings. For most, however, it is merely an instinctive knowledge. Being primitive, it is easily fooled. Hence the credence given to the bogus Third Secret circulating on the Internet. The language in the false version —"We are close to the last minute of the last day and the catastrophe is near" — was assumed to refer to the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center. Another portion of the false text —"the Pope and the bishops are now awaiting another message, which speaks about repentance and prayer" — also struck many as credible. It is interesting that American Archbishop John C. Favalora publicly denounced this version of the Third Secret.2 He was right to do so, but usually the official Church response on things Fatima is reserved to Cardinal Ratzinger or the Vatican Press Office (a pseudonym for Secretary of State Sodano).

Archbishop Favalora’s rebuttal to the false Third Secret — "the secret of Fatima is already known, and the world has not ended" — would have been more convincing without the distinct echo of a company man toeing the Company line.3 His Excellency’s problem is that the Vatican has painted itself into a corner on Fatima, and their case is far from compelling. Not even venerable Vatican booster Mother Angelica believes the Vatican’s claim that they have revealed the entire Fatima Secret. What few proponents there are of the CDF’s The Message of Fatima seem to comprehend in it nothing more than a stick with which to belabor their more traditional co-religionists.4 So it goes.

Less than a month after the September 11 terrorist attacks, and the bogus Internet Third Secret, came news that the Blessed Virgin had appeared again to Sister Lucy. According to one report, this apparition occurred on October 7, the feast of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary. It was said that the Virgin asked Lucy and her fellow Carmelites to pray the Rosary in order to avoid "the imminent bloodbath". This appeal was publicized primarily in traditionalist circles, where it was eventually determined to be false.5

Gaining wider circulation was a conversation Sister Lucy had with Italian priest Luigi Bianchi. According to the Italian daily la Repubblica, Father Bianchi revealed that: "Sister Lucy is very worried for the Pope. She says his life is endangered and she urges us to pray for him."6 Father Bianchi’s report of his conversation with Sister Lucy fueled existing speculation that Osama bin Laden or other unnamed Moslem "extremists" were plotting to assassinate His Holiness Pope John Paul II. It subsequently came to light that in recent years there have been at least three plots to kill the Pope.7

Several other Italian newspapers picked up the story of Father Bianchi’s conversation with Sister Lucy. Some reports stated that Sister Lucy had sent a letter to John Paul II, warning him that his life was in danger. Other accounts included the claim that the Holy See had not revealed the entire contents of the Third Secret of Fatima. This was based on Father Bianchi’s assertion that "When Cardinals Ratzinger and Sodano revealed the Third Secret of Fatima, they did it in a very watered down fashion" in order to "avoid creating a panic". According to Father Bianchi, "Sister Lucy agrees with this explanation."8

The Bianchi interview drew a response not only from Sister Lucy’s bishop (Bishop Serafim de Sousa Ferreira de Silva of the Diocese of Leiria-Fatima), but from Cardinal Ratzinger as well. Bishop Ferreira denied that Sister Lucy sent a letter to John Paul telling him his life was in danger. Bishop Ferreira did not deny Father Bianchi’s statements about the Vatican’s "watered down" version of the Third Secret, however, and neither did Cardinal Ratzinger, who contented himself with describing "rumors about this alleged letter" of Sister Lucy as "the continuation of an old polemic fed by certain people of dubious credibility," for the purpose of "destabilizing the internal equilibrium of the Roman Curia and of troubling the people of God".9

If he was quoted correctly, Ratzinger seems to be implying a split in the Roman Curia on the subject of Fatima. For a relatively minor story such as Sister Lucy writing the Pope to "destabilize the internal equilibrium of the Roman Curia," one of two things is probably true. Either it is normal for the Curia to be dangerously unstable or, more likely, there is internal disagreement over the Vatican’s external packaging of The Message of Fatima. Given the Holy See’s public insistence (since June 2000, anyway) that Fatima is a dead letter "belonging to the past," Cardinal Ratzinger’s comments are a startling admission. Far from "troubling the people of God," however, the implication that some souls in the Roman Curia may be resisting the neo-modernist straitjacket strapped on Fatima during this pontificate is a real ray of hope in these dreary days of "Son of Assisi".

The Plot Thickens

By the end of 2001, everyone from grocery store tabloids to the Vatican press office was weighing in with their own versions of reality concerning Fatima. On December 4, 2001, the Sun featured the Blessed Virgin Mary on its cover with the headline "Fatima Miracle". The story was about an American pilgrim at Fatima on October 23, who claimed to see in the sky over Fatima a pillar of fire a mile high. "In the midst of this inferno in the sky," the pilgrim reported, "I saw the face of Mary." The image of Mary assumed full form, and She told the awestruck pilgrim, "Unto you I will reveal the future."

The future, according to this apparition that only the Sun seemed aware of, consisted of Osama bin Laden smuggling himself into the United States in order to wage war "for the souls of mankind". The ensuing struggle between bin Laden and the United States would result in Christ’s second coming. According to the American pilgrim, Mary declared that "God has chosen America to be His champion." No reasons were given for this unusual choice. After a rather lengthy message from Her pillar of fire, Mary allegedly concluded that mankind’s future is not only in God’s hands, but "in the stars" as well.

To elaborate on this last point, the Sun introduced "the world’s leading Jesuit authority on Fatima," one Father Adrian Forsyte, S.J. An obvious multi-tasker, Father Adrian was not only a Fatima expert but an astrology whiz as well. After speculating that the Blessed Virgin had designated Osama bin Laden as the Antichrist, Father Adrian presented a "Personal Virgin Mary Astrology Chart" for all twelve signs of the Zodiac, based on the alleged apparition at Fatima on October 23. "Your car may be your salvation," was Father Adrian’s message to Scorpios. Libras were advised to report any suspicious strangers to the police. For those born under the sign of Aries, Father Adrian had this bombshell: "Safety lies in prudent planning." At the end of the article was a last bit of advice: "Use your birth sign to lose those extra pounds, see page 31."10

Not to be outdone, on December 20, 2001, the Vatican issued the following document:

"Made public today was a communiqué regarding a meeting which took place at the convent of Coimbra, Portugal, on November 17, 2001, between Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone, S.D.B., secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and Sister Mary Lucy of Jesus and of the Immaculate Heart.

"Over the last few months," says the communiqué, "and especially following the sad event of the terrorist attack of September 11, articles have appeared in various newspapers regarding presumed new revelations by Sister Lucy, announcements of warning letters to the Pope and apocalyptic re-interpretations of the Message of Fatima.

"Moreover, emphasis has been given to the suspicion that the Holy See has not published the integral text of the third part of the ‘secret,’ and some ‘Fatimid’ (sic) movements have repeated the accusation that the Holy Father has not yet consecrated Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

"For this reason, in order to obtain clarification and information directly from the surviving visionary, it was considered necessary to organize a meeting with Sister Lucy. This took place in the presence of the prioress of the Carmelite convent of St. Teresa and of Fr. Luis Kondor S.V.D., vice-postulator of the causes of Blesseds Francisco and Jacinta; and with the permission of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and of the bishops of Leiria-Fatima and Coimbra.

"The meeting, which lasted more than two hours, took place on the afternoon of Saturday, November 17. Sister Lucy, who will be 95 on March 22 next year, was in good health, lucid and vivacious. She first of all professed her love for and devotion to the Holy Father. She prays much for him and for the Church as a whole.

"With reference to the third part of the secret of Fatima, she affirmed that she had attentively read and meditated upon the booklet published by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and confirmed everything that was written there. To whoever imagines that some part of the secret has been hidden, she replied: ‘Everything has been published; no secret remains.’ To those who speak and write of new revelations she said: ‘There is no truth in this. If I had received new revelations I would have told no one, but I would have communicated them directly to the Holy Father.’ "

Sister Lucy was asked: "What do you say to the persistent affirmations of Fr. Gruner who is gathering signatures in order that the Pope may finally consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, which has never been done?" She replied: "The Carmelite Community has rejected the forms for gathering the signatures. I have already said that the consecration that Our Lady desired was accomplished in 1984 and was accepted in Heaven."

"Is it true," the communiqué concludes, "that Sister Lucy is extremely worried by recent events and does not sleep but prays night and day?" Sister Lucy replied: "It is not true. How could I pray during the day if I did not rest at night? How many things are attributed to me! How many things I am supposed to have done! Let them read my book, there are the advice and appeals that correspond to Our Lady’s wishes. Prayer and penitence, accompanied by an immense faith in God, will save the world."

Although the format of the press release is confusing — it seems to be a communiqué about a communiqué — there was no mistaking the point: the Vatican was debunking all speculation, informed and otherwise, about Fatima, the consecration of Russia, and the Third Secret, and insisting that the CDF’s The Message of Fatima was the final word on Fatima. Their authority was Sister Lucy.

Lucy’s Confirmation?

And that must really settle things. What more could be said? Who could gainsay the only surviving visionary of Fatima about Fatima? The answer is: the only person who can gainsay Sister Lucy is Sister Lucy. She has lived over ninety-five years and has said many things about Fatima that are a matter of record. Virtually all Lucy’s statements contradict the Vatican’s version of Fatima, particularly as it relates to the consecration of Russia, the Third Secret, and devotion to the Immaculate Heart. This means that Lucy’s published statements on Fatima contradict the CDF’s The Message of Fatima. Consequently, it is difficult to accept as credible the contention that Lucy attentively read and meditated on The Message of Fatima, and "confirmed everything that was written there".

For this to be true, Lucy would have to agree with Cardinal Ratzinger, who in The Message of Fatima suggested that the apparitions of the Angel and the Blessed Virgin Mary were not objective appearances by Heaven’s messengers. Instead, they were perhaps "the projections of the inner world of children".11 Lucy’s visions were not real, their true origin is from "images Lucy may have seen in devotional books".12 Cardinal Ratzinger has a reputation as a traditionalist, but his interpretation of Fatima is classic neo-modernism. That is, there is no external, objective truth, be it dogma or actual heavenly bodies: all religion is subjective, emanating from the natural human soul, and developing and changing over time to meet the changing religious needs of evolving mankind.

In fact, Ratzinger’s commentary on Fatima is pinched from the first neo-modernist arch-enemy of Fatima, Jesuit Father Edouard Dhanis. During the pontificate of Pius XII, his lone voice of velveted malice insinuated doubt against a series of heavenly apparitions approved by the Church hierarchy and embraced by the faithful. How satisfied Father Dhanis would be to see his subtle character assassinations smoothly parroted by the second most powerful man in the Roman Catholic Church.

Sister Lucy was aware of Dhanis’ criticisms of Fatima. She invited the Jesuit to come interview her and examine the documents on Fatima. Dhanis declined; his mind was made up, even though it was obvious from his commentaries that he hadn’t taken the time to study Fatima in any depth. Unfortunately, it appears Cardinal Ratzinger hasn’t either. For how could he maintain that the visions of the Blessed Virgin were merely "interior visions" when hundreds of eyewitnesses saw the leaves and branches of the holm-oak tree She rested upon move and bend under Her? How could he explain the other objective phenomena accompanying Her visits and also viewed by eyewitnesses: the flashes of light, flower petals falling from the sky, or the little cloud that accompanied Our Lady of Fatima as She came and left the Cova da Iria? Above all, how does Cardinal Ratzinger explain the cataclysmic Miracle of the Sun? Was it merely a subjective, interior vision that predicted and produced a prodigy viewed with awe and terror by seventy thousand people, and reported in secular newspapers around the world? Cardinal Ratzinger cannot explain this, because his understanding of Fatima, borrowed from Dhanis, is too superficial to sustain the supernatural.

Are we really to believe Msgr. Bertone then, when he asserts that Sister Lucy has attentively read and meditated on the CDF’s The Message of Fatima, including the faithless commentary cited above, and "confirmed everything that was written there"?

Lucy Versus Fatima

Suffice it to say that Lucy’s statements on Fatima over the course of eight decades thoroughly contradict this assertion. It is also a matter of record that several times during the present pontificate considerable publicity has been given to false interviews with Sister Lucy. In 1982, Soul Magazine published an interview with Sister Lucy in which she supposedly stated that the consecration of Russia had been accomplished by John Paul II’s 1982 consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart. It was later established that this interview was bogus. In 1989, apocryphal letters attributed to Sister Lucy were circulated throughout the world. The letters were of very dubious quality. There were statements attributed to Sister Lucy that ranged from the curious to the ridiculous. One letter maintained that Sister Lucy believed the consecration of Russia had been accomplished, not by John Paul’s 1982 consecration, but by his 1984 consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart. This letter was the sole support for the claim in the CDF’s The Message of Fatima that Lucy believed Russia had been consecrated to the Immaculate Heart.13

In 1992, another bogus interview was publicized as proof that Sister Lucy believed the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart had been accomplished. This was a particularly stubborn interview that lingered, in various versions, for years. It contains more remarkable statements supposedly made by Sister Lucy, such as "the Virgin did not request the conversion of Russia to Catholicism". There was also an account (by Lucy?) of Mikhail Gorbachev kneeling on his knees before John Paul II to beg forgiveness for his sins. Speaking of John Paul, Lucy also allegedly declared that "He who is not with the Pope is not with God". Interestingly, another comment attributed to Sister Lucy in this interview was "the Third Secret is not meant to be revealed".14

Of course, in reality Lucy said none of these things. In fact, at various times she has said the exact opposite: that Russia’s conversion would be to Catholicism, that the consecration has not been done as Heaven demands, and that the Third Secret should have been published in 1960. Although numerous attempts have been made during the present pontificate to pit Sister Lucy against the Fatima Message, none of the bogus interviews mentioned above were conducted by a Vatican prelate, much less published by the Vatican. The interview of Sister Lucy in the document of December 20, 2001, carries the unmistakable weight of authority of the Holy See itself. Yet it seems to contradict everything that may reasonably be believed about Fatima. What are we to believe?

The Communiqué

I won’t tell anyone what to believe, but I will examine the December 20 communiqué, and compare some of Lucy’s statements there with other things she has said on the subject of Fatima. Given human nature, it is not unusual for people to change their opinions, particularly over the passage of years. One of the notable traits of Sister Lucy, however, is how exact and unwavering she has been in relating the Fatima Message. Given this prominent trait, one would expect her present statements on Fatima to mirror her previous statements. With this in mind, let us examine the communiqué of December 20.

First, it is reasonable to believe that the communiqué is correct in describing Sister Lucy as being "in good health, lucid, and vivacious". Aside from some occasional bronchial difficulties, Lucy’s only significant health problems occurred in 1943, when at the age of thirty-six she contracted pleurisy.15 It is apparent from her letters at this time that Lucy thought she was dying. So did her bishop, who panicked because Lucy had not yet written down the Third Secret. It was this, her only serious illness, that led Bishop da Silva to order Sister Lucy to commit the Third Secret to writing.

Although ninety-five, Sister Lucy has maintained good physical health. Her personality and character also appear as stable and consistent as our fallen human nature allows. Dutch Montfort Father Jongen observed:

"Lucy does a great deal of good for the children and for all who approach her. There is nothing which attracts attention to her in the convent. She has wit, she loves gaiety. If she distinguishes herself despite everything, it is perhaps for her attitude during prayer, the punctual observance of her rule and her love for the Holy Virgin … Here is what characterizes her: an ardent devotion for the truth. Her veracity goes together with her disdain for human respect."16

Lucy’s love for the truth has been dearly bought. Her refusal to lie about the Blessed Virgin’s appearances caused her mother to beat her, and some good citizens of Fatima to kick and taunt her. The Tinsmith threatened to boil little Lucy in oil, and Portuguese Republican Guards threatened to cut her head off, but Lucy never changed a word of her account of the apparitions. It has been decades since she has been allowed to speak publicly about Fatima, but occasional reports of private conversations with family members indicate that, concerning Fatima, Lucy remains steadfast. This is worth remembering as we return to the December 20 communiqué.

The assertion in the interview that Lucy’s first remarks were a profession of "love and devotion to the Holy Father" smacks of the personality cult enveloping the present pontiff. As a rule, rather than professing love and devotion, Lucy’s marked tendency throughout her decades of religious life is to be deferential and discreet with superiors. These tendencies would be even more pronounced regarding the Pope.

There is, however, a very good reason for presenting Sister Lucy as brimming with love and devotion for the person of John Paul II, and this has to do with the prominent position the latter has given himself in the vision of the Third Secret. If John Paul is really the Pope in the vision, then he has a significant role in the fulfillment of the Fatima Message. Consequently, it would be very odd if Lucy did not exhibit love and devotion to such a personage.17

In fact, over the years Lucy has kept her distance from John Paul, and their relations have been cool at best. She did not wish to come to Fatima during Pope John Paul’s 1991 visit, and only consented when ordered to appear by the Pope himself. They met privately and talked for some ten minutes. After speaking with Lucy at Fatima in 1991, however, John Paul II remained unable to publicly affirm that Sister Lucy believed Russia had been consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary.18 This noticeable reserve of Sister Lucy towards John Paul II appeared to vanish during the 2000 beatification ceremony of Lucy’s cousins, the Blesseds Jacinta and Francisco.

But to return to the December 20 communiqué: the assertion therein that Lucy "prays much" for John Paul II "and for the Church as a whole" is most likely true. Such a posture is consistent not just with Lucy’s past statements, but with those of Blessed Francisco and Blessed Jacinta as well. Their encounters with the beautiful Lady at the Cova da Iria seemed to infuse them with a preoccupation to pray continually - it is not much of an overstatement - for the Holy Father. Later, Lucy would often plead, in letters and conversations, with others to pray for the Holy Father.19 Her concern for "the Church as a whole" is equally well documented.

Lucy Versusthe Third Secret

The communiqué continues:

"To whoever imagines that some part of the secret has been hidden, she replied: ‘Everything has been published; no secret remains.’ To those who speak and write of new revelations she said: ‘There is no truth in this. If I had received new revelations I would have told no one, but I would have communicated them directly to the Holy Father’."

To dispose of the last sentence first, "those who speak and write of new revelations" is likely a reference to the false rumor of the Blessed Virgin appearing at Carmel and telling the Carmelites of the "imminent bloodbath". Lucy has said "There is no truth in this." Her next sentence, however, seems out of character. When Lucy received the revelations at Tuy and Pontevedra, she shared them with her confessors, and followed their instruction. She has never communicated any revelation directly to any Pope without first going through proper channels. To have done so would have been presumptuous, and this is a fault no one has ever accused Lucy of.

Consequently, it is difficult to accept that this last statement was really said by Lucy. Its presence in the communiqué, however, serves two purposes. First, it emphasizes again the significant role of the present pontiff in the Vatican’s version of Fatima. Second, it once again presents Lucy and the Pope as allies, or at least as enjoying a special relationship with each other. That such a depiction challenges reality is not as important as its purpose, which is (I think) to again implicitly oppose Lucy and the Pope against the ne’er do wells (that is, traditional Catholics, and anyone else who understands the Message of Fatima as it has been traditionally interpreted by priests, theologians, and scholars).

If this is the strategy of the December communiqué, it represents a development on the CDF’s Message of Fatima. The purpose of the latter, according to the Pope’s spokesman, was to "provide no papal support for the anti-ecumenical traditionalism which has improperly seized hold of certain aspects of the Message of Fatima" and to "not allow Fatima to become hostage to a partisan position".20 It seems plain enough. The Vatican wanted control of the Fatima Message, to massage it into compatibility with the "New Evangelization". In this they have succeeded to a certain degree. But if the 2000 release of the Third Secret sought to seize the Fatima Message and subordinate it to the persona of Pope John Paul II, the December communiqué seeks to seize Sister Lucy and subordinate her in similar fashion. It is a chilling strategy, and will probably also succeed to a certain degree.

Even more audaciously, the communiqué seeks to pit Sister Lucy against the Third Secret, at least as it has traditionally been understood by Fatima scholars. The statement "Everything has been published; no secret remains" simply cannot be believed as coming from Sister Lucy. It is as characteristic of Sister Lucy’s real thinking as her supposed comment in the 1992 interview, "God condemns no one to hell" — which is to say that it is utterly uncharacteristic. Neither assertion can seriously be attributed to Sister Lucy.

What Sister Lucy has said about the Third Secret is worth repeating. There are consistent references to Churchmen "being fooled by false doctrine"; to a "diabolical disorientation" afflicting "so many persons who occupy places of responsibility" in the Church; to "priests and consecrated souls" who "are so deceived and misled" because "the devil has succeeded in infiltrating evil under cover of good … leading into error and deceiving souls having a heavy responsibility through the place which they occupy … They are blind men guiding other blind men," and so on.21

When we combine Lucy’s real statements with the conclusions careful scholars like Father Alonso came to about the Third Secret involving apostasy in the Church,22 with inadvertent admissions by Churchmen like Bishop do Amaral, the former Bishop of Fatima,23 and with what we can see with our own eyes and hear with our own ears about the appalling state of the Church and the world — having considered all this, if we are to maintain any grasp of reality, the only conclusion is Res ipsa loquitur: the thing speaks for itself.

The "thing" is apostasy, the apostasy of the upper hierarchy many believe is mentioned in the text of the Third Secret the Vatican has yet to reveal. Only this "thing", this apostasy, can explain the December communiqué which, like The Message of Fatima, is an intentional interweaving of truth and falsehood. Both documents are carefully calculated to deceive.

Good God in Heaven! What manner of wretched men are these who, not content with despoiling the Church, seek to rob even the few remaining faithful of whatever integral faith they still possess?

Lucy and the Pirates

They are pirates, the pirates of our faith. Their crimes have aroused the Angel who stands poised in the heavens, "a flaming sword in his left hand; flashing, it gave out flames that looked as though they would set the world on fire". He seeks to avenge Our Lady, but the burning justice of his sword "died out in contact with the splendor that Our Lady radiated towards him from Her right hand".

This is the vision of the Third Secret, the outstretched arm of the Blessed Virgin averting judgment on sinful mankind. Despite our infidelities, She withholds the penalties of our sins. Then, "pointing to the Earth with his right hand, the Angel cried out in a loud voice: ‘Penance, penance, penance’." Immediately following this cry the children were shown a Pope, "afflicted with pain and sorrow". He and his followers were murdered in cold blood. The Pope in this vision cannot be John Paul II (in my view), but he may well be the Pope who by his bloody martyrdom does "Penance, penance, penance" — purging the papacy of the sins and infidelities of his predecessors, including John Paul — particularly in regards to Fatima and the systematic dishonoring of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

That, after all, is the real Fatima Message: devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, which includes the Five First Saturday Communions of Reparation, will save the souls going to hell. Consecration to Her Immaculate Heart will convert Russia and grant the world a period of peace. Despite all appearances to the contrary, the Vatican appears to believe the triumph of the Immaculate Heart has already occurred, that Fatima belongs to the past.24 But what the sad, beautiful Lady told Lucy and her cousins so many summers ago was that the triumph of the Immaculate Heart would happen "In the end."25

Long before the September 11 attacks, Father Alonso said, "The final triumph of Mary’s Heart is certain and it will be definitive. But it will take place in the end, that is to say after a terrible purification of sinful humanity, in a baptism of fire, blood and tears."26 The purification was ratcheted up a turn or two last fall. In response, the present pontiff again called for the world’s religious liberals to come to Assisi to pray — to something — for peace.

In Coimbra, Sister Lucy gives no outward indication that the present orientation of the Vatican towards Fatima is deviant. In fact, her exuberance at Fatima in 2000 was almost disquieting. Surely the cause of her radiance, and her new graciousness towards John Paul, was her happiness over the beatification of her two cousins. Yet she remained exuberant even in the face of Cardinal Sodano’s version of the Third Secret, going so far as to make large, awkward gestures to the crowd.

It is difficult to interpret, and things will only get more confusing when Lucy goes to her reward, for surely after her death the number of false statements and bogus interviews will multiply like demonic loaves and fishes. And make no mistake, her tomb at the Fatima Basilica has been ready and waiting for some time now. "But I am not dead yet!" Lucy was said to have protested when informed of the efforts of her gravediggers.

No, Lucy is not dead yet, and sometimes even pirates can be patient, if the prize is worthy enough. When the beautiful Lady told little Lucy dos Santos that, "You are to stay here some time longer," she was sad. The Lady explained that Jesus wished to make use of Lucy "to make Me known and loved". Rather than be reserved with the child for her failure to recognize the remarkable dignity of her mission, the Blessed Virgin — one can almost see Her leaning towards the teary girl to comfort her — the Blessed Virgin said: "Do you suffer a great deal? Do not be discouraged. I will never forsake you. My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God."

Then She opened Her hands, and Lucy was flooded with the light and grace that compose that dearest of all human things — the Holy and Sacred Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Mother of God. The "final remedy" offered by God is the Immaculata, the Queen of Heaven and Refuge of Sinners, whose heart has sustained and sanctified St. John, St. Luke, St. John Eudes, St. Catherine Labouré, the Ratisbonne Brothers, Blessed Pius IX, St. Maximilian Kolbe — how many thousands of others has She led to Her Son? How many more does She yearn to present to He Whose Sacred Heart was pierced by a lance?

Her own heart was pierced with a sword of sorrow as She regarded Her crucified Son. At Calvary Mary’s heart was afflicted as She stood before the tree of the cross, but at Fatima Mary stood atop the holm-oak tree — a modest, discreet promise of Her eventual triumph.

May God in His mercy quicken this Triumph. Let us pray that just as Mary will never forsake Lucy or any of Her other children, may not one of Her children ever forsake Her.

Footnotes:

(1) Published by the Congreation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the (CDF) booklet, The Message of Fatima, June 2000.
(2) In a news release dated September 18, 2001, out of Florida, published by Zenit electronic News Services.
(3) To give the Archbishop his due, he also stated that “catastrophic predictions are not necessary to understand that ‘penance and prayer for the conversion of the world are even more necessary,’ because there are ‘even more insidious enemies, such as materialism, secularism and hedonism’.” This is certainly true, particularly in America.
(4) It is a peculiar type of zeal that causes anti-traditional Catholics to compromise not only their credibility, but their consciences as well, all for the sake of — of what? Taking a bullet for the Holy Father? Or firing a bullet at their enemies? In either case, the truth about Fatima seems secondary to other considerations.
(5) The October 2001 issue of CRC contained a sidebar (entitled “A Sinister Hoax”) reporting as rumor that “the Blessed Virgin had appeared to Sister Lucy to ask for the Carmelites to say the Rosary in order to avoid ‘the imminent bloodbath’.” The Remnant published an apparitionless version of the same story, with qualifications. Eventually the Superior General of the SSPX, Bishop Bernard Fellay, pubicly declared the story was without foundation. Both he and the CRC noted that the Carmel of Coimbra also formally denied the story.
(6) The November 2001 issue of Catholic Family News (CFN) on page 3, contains a photocopy of the article in Italian, with an accompanying English translation. The original article was published on la Repubblica’s web page on October 10, 2001.
(7) According to a Zenit story form Rome, dated October 11, 2001, sources in the CIA and NATO, an Italian press agency, and ex-President Clinton described three separate assassination plots against John Paul II. All were hatched by Moslem groups.
(8) November CFN, p. 3. Father Bianchi’s statement was contradicted in the January 9, 2002 issue of L’Osservatore Romano, where it was reported that Sister Lucy did not agree that the Vatican had not revealed the entire Third Secret.
(9) All quotations in this paragraph are from a Zenit News Services report from Vatican City dated October 28, 2001, entitled “Bishop Denies Roports That Sister Lucia Warned Pope”.
(10) No, I’m not kidding. See Sun, December 4, 2001, pp. 10-11.
(11) The CDF booklet of June 26, 2000, entitled The Message of Fatima, p. 25.
(12) Ibid, p. 35.
(13) The CDF booklet The Message of Fatima, p. 7. Yet so embarrassed were the drafters that they could not bring themselves to cite the bogus letter as their source for their claim.
(14) There are numberous sources for the various false interviews/letters of Sister Lucy. A handy synopsis is found in Chronology of a Cover-Up, written by Father Paul Kramer and published by the Fatima Center (extra copies available from The Fatima Crusader). The infamous 1992 interview was done by Carlos Evaristo, who admitted doing some creative editing with Lucy’s remarks. This “interview” was exposed at length in more than one CRC volume.
(15) The disease that killed Blessed Jacinta.
(16) Frère François de Marie des Angles, FATIMA: Intimate Joy, World Event, (FIJWE) Volume IV, Immaculate Heart Publicatons, pp. 10.11.
(17) One might almost say that she must.
(18) The date 1991 is interesting because it is claimed that in 1989 Lucy wrote one Walter Noelker a letter in which she declared that John Paul’s 1984 consecration of the world satisfied the Blessed Virgin’s request for the consecration of Russia. If Lucy really believed this in 1989, why in Heaven’s name did she not inform the Pope, either in 1989 or when she met with him privately in Fatima in 1991? The only reasonalbe answer is that she did not so believe, and that her letter to Mr. Noelker was apocryphal (a forgery). Also of note is that at Fatima in 1991 John Paul did not reveal the contents of the Third Secret, even though according to the CDF’s The Message of Fatima the Third Secret concerns the 1981 assassination attempt on John Paul — an event that happened ten years prior to John Paul’s 1991 trip to Fatima.
(19) Contrary to what some may assume, Lucy’s concern for “the Holy Father” is generic, not particular. It includes not only John Paul II, but all of his presecessors from Pius XI onwards. In a 1945 letter to Father Aparicio, a former confessor who was residing in Brazil, Lucy wrote: “Down there do they pray for the Holy Father? We must not cease praying for His Holiness. Great days of affliction and torment await him still. (FIJWE, Vol. IV, p. 9.)” This was a reference to Pius XII. In terms of the Fatima Message, Lucy often appears to view all popes in the same light.
(20) As if the neo-modernist gobbledygook in the CDF’s The Message of Fatima is not a partisan position. For the quote, see August 2000 CRC, on line edition.
(21) These quotations are condensed from numerous letters Sister Lucy wrote in the early 1970’s to two of her nephews who were priests, and to other religious she knew. See The Whole Truth About Fatima, Vol. III, pp, 754-758.
(22) Father Alonso was appointed the official Church historian on Fatima. He had access to all Fatima documents, from which he crated a multi-volume work which remains in large part unpublished, due to his conclusions about the Third Secret. Much of his early work involved consultation with Sister Lucy. We may reasonably conclude that she would have corrected his conclusions about the Third Secret involving the apostasy of the upper hierarchy if this was a false conclusion.
(23) In a question and answer session at the University of Vienna in 1984, Bishop do Amaral gave this answer concerning the Third Secret: “Its content concerns only our faith … The loss of the faith on a continent is worse that the annihilation of a nation; and it is true that the faith is continually diminishing in Europe.” See FIJWE, Volume IV, pp. 243-244.
(24) The CDF’s The Message of Fatima, p. 36.
(25) Father Louis Kondor, Editor, Fatima In Lucia’s Own Words, Sister Lucia’s Memoirs, 9th Edition, The Ravengate Press, 1995, p. 162.
(26) CRC, August 2000, p. 30.

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