Living in the End Times
The apparitions and messages of our Blessed Mother at Fatima is one of the most well-known and talked-about Marian apparitions in documented Church history. And we have touched upon different aspects of it in Part 4, Part 7 (in which we compared the Secrets from Fatima with the messages given to Sister Agnes Sasagawa by our Lady of Akita, Japan), and also Parts 10 through 12.
Today, however, I would like to devote Part 13 to the most controversial of the Fatima secrets, the Third Secret.
The Third Secret of Fatima
In Sister Lucia’s third memoir about the messages of Fatima, which she completed in August 1941, she stated that the Secret of Fatima is divided into three distinct parts, after which she recorded, for the first time, the first two parts of the Secret. She wrote, “The Secret is made up of three distinct parts, two of which I am now going to reveal.”
She felt that “the moment had come to reveal the first two parts of the Secret.” However, she kept silent on the third part of the Secret, since she had not received Heaven’s permission to reveal it.
In her fourth memoir, which was written from October-December 1941, Sister Lucia copied the first two parts of the Secret from the text of her third memoir. In her fourth memoir, the phrase “In Portugal, the dogma of the Faith will always be preserved…” was added.
This phrase is a promise that the true Faith will be preserved in that country, although there is a certain vagueness about its meaning. If in Portugal the true Faith will be preserved, what does that imply about the rest of the world? It does suggest, as seen by clerical scholars, that the rest of the world will sadly be much different.
Father Joachim Alonso, the official Fatima archivist had this to say on the Third Secret: “About ‘In Portugal, the dogma of the Faith will always be preserved’, the phrase most clearly implies a critical state of Faith, which other nations will suffer, that is to say, a crisis of Faith; whereas Portugal will preserve its Faith.”
Father Alonso further alludes that in the period preceding the great Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, terrible things are to happen, and that these “things” form the content of the third part of the Secret.
What are they? “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.”
And do we not see this already happening within the Church in certain parts of the world, as we have been covering in this weekly series of Living in the End Times”, a crisis of faith and a growing perversion of God’s Truth, a Truth which the Church has taught for almost 2,000 years?
Knowledgeable Church authorities have confirmed Father Alonso’s conclusions about the Third Secret, that it concerns an unprecedented loss of faith, an apostasy, from which Portugal will be preserved.
In 1984 the Bishop of Fatima said, “The loss of Faith of a continent is worse than the annihilation of a nation; and it is true that Faith is continuously diminishing in Europe.” And in his 1984 interview with Vittorio Messori, Cardinal Ratzinger (before becoming Pope Benedict XVI) confirmed this conclusion when he said that the final part of the Secret speaks of “…dangers threatening the faith and life of Christians, and therefore the world.”
Finally, we know that the fulfillment of the prophecy of the Third Secret began to be realized in 1960, because when Sister Lucia was asked why the Third Secret was to be revealed no later than 1960, she responded, “…because it will be clearer then.”
Since 1960, we have seen the prophecy of the Third Secret unfold before our eyes, and it is clear that since that time the world has been progressively suffering from a terrible loss of faith.
In his 1976 book, The Secret of Fatima: Fact and Legend, Father Alonso added to his belief that the Third Secret concerns the crisis of Faith within the Church, with the belief that it also speaks of the negligence of the pastors, especially within the upper hierarchy:
“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 also speaks of “internal struggles in the very bosom of the Church and of grave pastoral negligence by the upper hierarchy”, and “deficiencies of the upper hierarchy of the Church.”
Father Alonso was the foremost authority on Fatima, since he had met with Sister Lucia on numerous occasions and had questioned her while working on his critical study of Fatima.
On January 2, 1944, and since Sister Lucia was very sick and weak from pleurisy (an inflammation of the chest between the tissues of her lungs), Our Lady once again appeared to her to give her strength and confirm that it was the will of God that she write down the Third Secret. It was only then that Sister Lucia was able to reveal the final part of the Secret our Lady of Fatima had given her many years before.
In her 1957 interview with Father Fuentes, Sister Lucia spoke of a decisive battle between the Blessed Virgin and the devil. Though not as evident as the above-mentioned crisis of Faith and pastoral negligence, this third theme frequently appears in the communications of Sister Lucia. Yet, what does she mean by “decisive battle”?
The Decisive Battle between our Blessed Mother and Satan
In her interview with Father Fuentes, Sister Lucia, the eldest of the three Fatima children to whom Our Lady of Fatima appeared in 1917, discusses this theme of the “decisive battle” by saying:
“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 which in a short space of time will gain for 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 leaving the souls of the faithful abandoned by their leaders, thereby the more easily will he seize them.
“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. Hence from now on we must choose sides. Either we are for God or we are for the devil; there is no other possibility!
“The second reason is because she said to my cousins as well as to myself, that God is giving two last remedies to the world. They 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 you despise and reject this ultimate means, we will not have any more forgiveness from Heaven (in other words, the time for Divine Mercy will end and the time of Divine Justice will begin), because we will have committed a sin which the Gospel calls the sin against the Holy Ghost. This sin consists of 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 honor of His Most Holy Mother, how Our Lord Jesus Christ has always defended the honor of His Mother.
“The two means for saving the world are prayer and sacrifice.”
Regarding the Holy Rosary, Sister Lucia said, “Look, Father, the Most Holy Virgin, in these last times in which we live, has given a new efficacy [value] 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. There is no problem, I tell you, no matter how difficult it is, that we cannot resolve by the prayer of the Holy Rosary. With the Holy Rosary we will sanctify ourselves. We will console Our Lord and obtain the salvation of many souls.
“Finally, devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, our Most Holy Mother, consists in considering her as the seat of mercy, of goodness and of pardon, and as the sure door of entering Heaven.”
In a letter to Don Umberto Pasquale, who was very devoted to the cause of Fatima, Sister Lucia wrote:
“…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 unchained his struggles 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…The Rosary is the most powerful weapon for defending ourselves on the field of battle.”
The theme which is repeated again and again in the different letters which Sister Lucia wrote is that we are in the last times and that the devil has therefore begun his last and most virulent battle for souls. And, as Sister Lucia explained to Father Fuentes, God has given us “…the last means of salvation, His Holy Mother.”
Therefore, our Most Blessed Mother is engaged in this final battle for each and every one of us. The Blessed Virgin came to Fatima to give us not only a warning but also the remedy beforehand.
Text of the Third Secret of Fatima
[Editorial note to reading the description and text below: our Blessed Mother at Medjugorje has said that certain chastisements can be mitigated or lessened through heartfelt prayer and fasting. It appears that some of what is written in the text portion below has been mitigated to some extent.]
One version which had been added to and edited by various media services to the point where we do not know where fact ends or fiction begins is a description from Sister Lucia’s memoires:
“…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 steps. 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 [a bowl-shaped vessel holding holy water] 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.”
In this next segment appears a straight-forward text which can best be described as the words of our Blessed Mother to Sister Lucia:
“A great chastisement will fall on the entire human race; not today as yet, not tomorrow, but in the second half of the Twentieth Century. No longer does order reign anywhere and Satan will reign over the highest places directing the course of events. He (Satan) really will succeed in infiltrating to the top of the Church.
“Also for the Church, a time of Her greatest trials will come. Cardinals will oppose Cardinals; Bishops will oppose Bishops and Satan will march amid their ranks, and in Rome there will be changes.
“What is rotten will fall, and what will fall will never rise again. The Church will be darkened and the world deranged by terror.
“A great war will break out within the second half of the Twentieth Century. Fire and smoke will fall from Heaven, the water of the oceans will become vapors and the foam will rise up flooding and sinking everything. Millions and millions of people will die by the hour and the survivors will envy the dead.
“Death will reign everywhere for the errors committed by the foolish and by the partisans of Satan, who, then and only then, will reign over the world.
“At last, those who will survive all of these events will once more proclaim God and His Glory and serve Him like before, when the world was not so corrupted.”
In 2010, Pope Benedict XVI, in a discussion regarding the Third Secret of Fatima, had stated that there are always going to be attacks against the Church, but he emphasized that and we can look to the third part of the secret for inspiration and hope in the triumph of God over such things.
And that is the hope and belief we carry in our hearts, as we look forward to the glorious Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, our true Mother who loves us with a true and endearing love.
Next Friday in the final part of the series of “Living in the End Times”, we will discuss in more detail our living in these End Times and how current events in the world events are affecting our lives and this life of faith which we each embrace.
Again, I ask that you please pray that I may be able to continue to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit in all that He wishes for you to learn, in all that He wishes for you know through this Evangelization Apostolate of God’s Divine Love and Mercy –
– so that I may be able to continue to evangelize the fullness of His Truth, remaining ever faithful to the True Bride of Christ and the Magisterial teachings of His Holy Church, and guiding each of you into a more loving, holier and a more intimate relationship with our Creator, our Savior and our Enlightener – our God who calls each of us to be in oneness with Himself.
And as we begin to live in these final days of the End Times, may we take to heart always the words which our Lord spoke, “And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20b)
May God bless you, God love you, and may God always keep you. †
- Part 1: https://ev-apostolate.org/2021/01/22/living-in-the-end-times-part-1/
- Part 2: https://ev-apostolate.org/2021/01/29/living-in-the-end-times-part-2/
- Part 3: https://ev-apostolate.org/2021/02/05/living-in-the-end-times-part-3/
- Part 4: https://ev-apostolate.org/2021/02/12/living-in-the-end-times-part-4/
- Part 5: https://ev-apostolate.org/2021/02/19/living-in-the-end-times-part-5/
- Part 6: https://ev-apostolate.org/2021/02/26/living-in-the-end-times-part-6/
- Part 7: https://ev-apostolate.org/2021/03/05/living-in-the-end-times-part-7/
- Part 8: https://ev-apostolate.org/2021/03/12/living-in-the-end-times-part-8/
- Part 9: https://ev-apostolate.org/2021/03/19/living-in-the-end-times-part-9/
- Part 10: https://ev-apostolate.org/2021/03/26/living-in-the-end-times-part-10/
- Part 11: https://ev-apostolate.org/2021/04/02/living-in-the-end-times-part-11/
- Part 12: https://ev-apostolate.org/2021/04/16/living-in-the-end-times-part-12/