Talking about Fatima means talking about secrets. Secrets about history of mankind, future of the world, the Apocalypse. Since the vision of the three shepherd children, who at the time had claimed to have seen the Madonna, were first mocked at then were to become a point of reference, brought with them a profound message from the mother of God, her concern for the world, but also the timing of our global experience, the very existence of humanity as willed by our Creator and determined by our actions.
Everything takes place in the period of the great war, when May 13, 1917 our Lady appears, in the Portuguese village, to three shepherd children. The brother and sister Francisco and Jacinta Marto (9 and 7 years old) and their cousin Lucia dos Santos (10 years), May 13, 1917, whle they were grazing in the Cova da Iria, near the Portuguese town of Fatima reported seeing from a cloud which gradually vanished, the figure of a woman dressed in white holding a rosary , who was identified as the mother of Jesus. After this first appearance, she was to have given the children appointment on the same date, 13th the following month too and so for other 5 times, hence 13th May till 13th October.
During the last apparition, 70 thousand people went to the Cova de Iria to fearfully watch the whirl of the sun in the sky. A phenomenon that would be reported on all the papers, a slap in the face to unbelievers.
This was to make more credible the words of the seers, who explained how the Virgin had entrusted to them three messages, the great prophecy for the decades to come if mankind did not return to God. In fact, everything that was revealed to them happened: the Bolshevik revolution in Russia, the spread of communism in the world, the bloody persecutions against the Church and finally the tragic World War II. There was also a third part of the secret that was supposed to be revealed in 1960. But having now reached that date, John XXIII locked it under a secret declaring its contents to be awful.
For years, the third secret was “fantasized”. In 2000, John Paul II (attributed to the protection of the Virgin Mary, the fact that the bullet that had hit him in the assassination attempt in St. Peter’s had deflected and had struck no vital organs) made known the text, which contains the famous vision of the “Bishop dressed in white”, with the Pope in a destroyed city, with many corpses and then the martyrdom of the Holy Father , of bishops, priests and faithful. But the revelation has not exhausted the mystery, on the contrary it becomes more intense .
The reason for this being that the message was more complex, and that it contained another explanations, that were called “the fourth mystery”. The same John XXIII’s Secretary,Archbishop Capovilla, who had experienced first hand, in a conversation with Solideo Paolini hinted at the existence of that mysterious “attachment.”
On the other hand, Benedict XVI, on a pilgrimage to Fatima, stated: “You would be deceived in thinking that Fatima’s prophetic mission has ended. Shows the reality ofthe future of the Church as they grow and show themselves … and so are the sufferings that you announce “. Scary words, which belie the Vulgate for which the prophecies of Mary did not relate to the contemporary world. From the words of Pope Benedict he intuited that there really is more to the third secret, the announcement of a tragedy for the world and for the Church.
The two brothers, Francisco and Jacinta died a few years later, in 1919 and in 1920,due to the Spanish epidemic in those years which turned out many victims in Portugal. Lucia instead became a Discalced Carmelite nun, and put in writing in her memoirs the events Fatima, as she had seen them.
In the publication “A caminho sob o olhar de Maria” published by the Carmel of Coimbra, where she lived and died (in 2005) sister Lucia dos Santos, this is the story of how she overcame the terror that prevented to write the third secret. On16th January 3, 1944, in the chapel of the convent, before the Tabernacle, Lucia asked Jesus to tell her His will: “I then felt a helping hand, affectionate and motherly tap on my shoulder.” Then “I heard the spirit flooded with a light mystery that was of God, and in Him I have seen and I have heard: the tip of the spear as a flame that falls off, touches the axis of the earth, and it trembles: mountains, cities, towns and villages with their inhabitants are buried. The sea, rivers and clouds go out of bounds, overflow, overflood and drag her back into a whirlwind, countless houses and people taken up in a whirl,, it was the purification of the world from sin which immersed it. Hatred, ambition, destructive war. After I heard an accelerated heart throb and in my spirit a light voice saying, over time, one faith, one baptism, one church, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic. In eternity the Heavens! “.
Transaltion provided by Marina Stronati