by Mark Fellows
"In the end,"
of Fatima told the children, "My Immaculate Heart will triumph. The
Father will consecrate Russia to Me, and she will be converted, and a
of peace will be granted to the world." 1
question is, are we at the end?
members of the Vatican Hierarchy, the answer is yes. In Fatima on May
2000, after the beatification ceremony for Francisco and Jacinta Marto,
Secretary of State Angelo Cardinal Sodano told hundreds of thousands of
pilgrims that the Fatima Secret concerned only past events: Russian
and the 1981 assassination attempt on His Holiness, John Paul II.
prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith [CDF],
In a June 2000 document issued by Cardinal Ratzinger and Msgr. Bertone,
entitled The Message of Fatima, Ratzinger stated: "We must
with Cardinal Sodano . . . the events to which the third part of the
of Fatima refers now seem part of the past." 2
More recently [December, 2001] the Vatican made public an interview
Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone [the then CDF secretary] and
Sister Lucy, the sole surviving visionary of the Fatima Apparitions.
to Msgr. Bertone, in their interview Sister Lucy stated, in
to her prior statements, that Pope John Paul II had successfully
Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in 1984. 3Moreover,
Msgr. Bertone maintained that, again contrary to her previous remarks4,
Sister Lucy now believed the Vatican had published the entire Third
of Fatima. 5
to the Vatican, then, we have reached "the end" referred to by Our Lady
of Fatima on July 13, 1917. The Holy Father has consecrated Russia, and
the entire Fatima Message has been published. Our Lady said that "in
end" Her Immaculate Heart would triumph, Russia would convert, and the
world would enjoy a period of peace. If the Vatican is correct in its
of the Fatima Message, we must now be experiencing the triumph of
excused for not realizing this. Russia's conversion to Catholicism
according to Our Lady of Fatima, would coincide with the consecration
Russia, has been, well, subtle. The approximately six hundred thousand
Russian Catholics6 are a tiny,
minority in a nation where two-thirds of the one hundred and forty-five
million people belong to the schismatic Orthodox Church, 7
whose Patriarch refuses to allow the Pope to visit Russia.
it is difficult to find evidence of even a veiled or embryonic
to Catholicism in pronouncements from the Orthodox Church-----like
a recent blast in which a spokesman for Patriarch Alexy II expressed
that the Church might attempt "missionary activities among the people
our country, which has never been Catholic." 8
conversion to Catholicism that Alexy called the Vatican's simple
of the Russian Catholic Church into dioceses "an unfriendly act."
of unfriendly acts, in April Russian police detained Msgr. Jerzy Mazur,
the Catholic bishop of Russia's largest diocese, and Without
expelled him from Russian soil, forbidding him to return. 9
Now that's subtle.
likely the small remnant of faithful Russian Catholics are unaware of
nation's conversion to Catholicism. They are, one imagines, accustomed
to making the best of a bad situation. And the situation in Russia is
and getting abysmal. The societal indicators point not towards a
conversion to Catholicism, but towards a decline into barbarism. The
have been chronicled elsewhere, 10 but can be briefly summarized as woefully
high rates of
and organized crime.
fact of the matter is that Russia's decline seemed to accelerate after
Pope John Paul II's 1984 consecration of the world to the Immaculate
Heart. 11 The razing of the
attempts at democratic government, and the influx of consumerism and
culture into Russia have been taken as signs that Russia is
after decades of Communist oppression. Although that is debatable, it
evident that none of these signs-----including
recent inclusion into NATO 12-----is
proof of a religious conversion to Catholicism of the magnitude of the
this point it is worth recalling portions of a letter Sister Lucy wrote
in 1936. Responding to a priest's inquiry about the consecration of
"I have spoken to Our Lord about the subject and not too long ago I
Him why He would not convert Russia without the Holy Father making the
consecration. [He replied] 'Because I want My whole Church to
that consecration as a triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary so that
it may extend its cult later on and put the devotion to the Immaculate
Heart beside the devotion to My Sacred Heart.
very much for the Holy Father. He will do it but it will be late . .
the Immaculate Heart of Mary will save Russia. It has been entrusted to
Her.' " 13
So we have
it on Divine authority that, although 'it will be late', in the end,
Immaculate Heart of Mary will save Russia. In order to properly honor
it is necessary for the Pope and the bishops to solemnly consecrate
to Her Immaculate Heart. Only then will Russia convert.
not mere semantics to insist that a consecration of the world is not
Heaven is seeking.
insistence that the Immaculate Heart be properly honored-----Jesus
"wishes to establish in the world devotion to My Immaculate Heart" the
Blessed Virgin told Lucy 14-----we
may safely assume that the conversion of Russia will be a prodigious
that commands attention, similar in magnitude to the Miracle of the Sun
that occurred at the final Fatima apparition on October 13, 1917-----just
before Lenin and the Bolsheviks came to power.
an event has not occurred is further evidence-----were
it needed-----that Russia has yet to convert to
The reason is that Russia has not been consecrated to the Immaculate
of Mary according to the requirements of the Fatima Message.
Third Secret Visible
also said that "in the end" there would be a period of peace which
coincide with the consecration and conversion of Russia. As the events
of September 11, 2001, put in bold relief, however, there is no peace.
Civil wars and persecution of the Catholic Church-----particularly
by Islam -----occur daily throughout the world.
are a jarring counterpoint to well-publicized interfaith ecumenical
at the end of the Fatima Message? Are we living in the period of peace
Our Lady of Fatima promised would occur with the triumph of Her
Heart? There is, unfortunately, nothing factual to support this. Well
where are we?
are living in a period of remarkable upheaval in the Catholic Church is
not merely a plausible argument supported by statistics and a myriad of
post-conciliar horror stories. It is a fact attested to by the present
Pope, his predecessor, Pope Paul VI, and other notable members of the
like Cardinal Ratzinger. The phrase they have used, "crisis of faith",
is an all embracing term for the utter decadence in religious orders,
insipid, ever devolving liturgy, a corresponding steep decline in Mass
attendance and belief in the Real Presence, the indifference or
of the world episcopate to papal authority, and numerous other
of a universal loss of faith-----in a word,
recent catastrophe has been the discovery of hundreds of homosexual
clergy who for decades have been preying-----not
adolescent boys. Anyone wondering why vocations to the priesthood are
at least among heterosexual men? The numbing magnitude of this latest
is unrelieved by the reaction of the American hierarchy: no anguish, no
remorse, no contrition; just well managed press conferences staged by a
corporation doing public relations damage control.]
than document a depressing litany of scandal, heresy, and aberration
readers are probably already aware of, suffice it to say that in the
like the world, there is no peace. It seems evident that the Immaculate
Heart of Mary has not triumphed in the Church 15,
and it is perhaps for this reason that the Immaculate Heart has not
us to the Third Secret of Fatima, and an answer to the question: where
are we? To be precise, we don't need to know the exact contents of the
Third Secret of Fatima to acknowledge that the Church is undergoing a
apostasy affecting not just the laity but priests, bishops, and
However, it is interesting that all Fatima experts, and of course,
Lucy, have pointedly implied or expressly stated that the Third Secret
concerns widespread apostasy in the highest levels of the Church.
apostasy-ridden periods in Church history, but few of them have been
and given a prescription ahead of time by the Mother of God in a public
apparition. If, as most experts think, the Third Secret of Fatima
apostasy in high levels of the Church, it is surely significant that
Blessed Virgin wanted the Third Secret revealed by the Church in 1960. 16 It was not. Thus began the time
Third Secret, which coincided with a great falling away from the truth.
It would seem that until the Fatima prescriptions are followed, the
away will continue, and in all likelihood accelerate. Evil, like good,
has a momentum of its own, and a myriad of unforeseen consequences.
are we? We are not "at the end" of the Fatima Message. We are living in
a time of great apostasy, which coincides almost exactly with the Third
Fatima Secret which was supposed to be revealed in 1960. In my humble
this is not mere "coincidence."
Cardinal Ratzinger and Msgr. Bertone issued a booklet entitled The
of Fatima that purported to reveal the entire Third Secret. The
thing about this document, however, is that it did not address the
commonly believed by Fatima experts to be the beginning of the Third
"In Portugal the dogma of the Faith will always be preserved . . ." 17
Church-appointed historian of Fatima, Father Joaquin Alonso, explained:
"All authors have taken into consideration how Lucia, in the fourth
introduced the famous paragraph with the words 'In Portugal the dogma
the Faith will always be preserved etc. . . .' They have deduced as
that the third 'thing' began there. These words introduce the
of the third part of the Secret." 18
Alonso spoke often to Sister Lucy while researching his multi-volume
on Fatima. Frère Michel sums up Alonso's opinion on the Third
is therefore completely probable that the text makes concrete
to the crisis of faith within the Church and to the negligence of the
themselves. He [Alonso] speaks further of 'internal struggles in the
bosom of the Church and of grave pastoral negligence by the upper
of 'deficiencies of the upper hierarchy of the Church.' " 19
Alonso and Frère Michel are right, many things are explained,
the issuance by Cardinal Ratzinger and Msgr. Bertone of a booklet that
allegedly reveals the Third Secret of Fatima, but in fact omits the
known words of the Secret. 20
Lucy spoke of a "diabolical disorientation" that had gripped the
Indeed, when one looks objectively at the level of evil in the Church
the world, and then hears prominent Churchmen describing this wretched
period of misery as the "new advent of humanity", or worse, the work of
the Holy Spirit, it is easy to feel disoriented. It is interesting to
that pre-conciliar Popes did not share the current optimism.
XII, who died less than five years before the Second Vatican Council
that the present hour is a dread phase of the events foretold by
It seems that darkness is about to fall on the world. Humanity is in
grip of a supreme crisis." 21
Pope St. Pius X, related the following vision: "I saw one of my
taking to flight over the bodies of his brethren. He will take refuge
disguise somewhere; and after a short retirement he will die a cruel
The present wickedness of the world is only the beginning of the
which must take place before the end of the world." 22
vision is similar to the vision of Sister Lucy which Cardinal Ratzinger
and Msgr. Bertone represented as the entire Third Secret. Sister Lucy
a Pope leading a small remnant through "a big city half in ruins," past
corpses, and up a steep mountain to a cross where he and his followers
are murdered en masse. 23 The
Pius X and Sister Lucy recall Blessed Jacinta Marto's visions of a
Pope "kneeling by a table with his head buried in his hands,"
by enemies, and of "highways and roads and fields full of people who
crying with hunger and have nothing to eat." 24
visions are often assumed to refer to World War II and Pope Pius XII.
Jacinta may have been shown a future conflict. As Father McGlynn noted
in 1950, "there is no indication in Her [Mary's] message that this
will be achieved before another war." 25
point, however, is that the events seen by Lucy and Jacinta-----and
perhaps by Pius X-----may come to pass before
end," that is, before the triumph of Mary's Immaculate Heart, the
and conversion of Russia, and the period of peace. Father Alonso said:
triumph of Mary's Heart is certain and it will be definitive. But it
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
Alonso's implications are sobering. He would seem to be in agreement
St. Pius X, that we are in the "beginning of sorrows." One wonders how
many more catastrophes will occur before the Fatima prescriptions are
A Vision of Triumph
Sister Lucy's vision in Cardinal Ratzinger and Msgr. Bertone's The
of Fatima is assumed to refer to the Third Secret, and well it may,
although from its content it could also refer to what is commonly
the Second Secret: Mary's warning about Russia's errors resulting in
being annihilated, the good being martyred, and the Holy Father having
"much to suffer." Another Fatima vision concerned what is commonly
the First Secret: the sight of multitudes of souls falling into Hell-----like
snowflakes, Lucy said-----because there was no
to pray and sacrifice for them.
is another Fatima vision that must not be neglected. It happened during
the apparition of June 13, 1917. After promising Lucy: "My Immaculate
will be your refuge," Mary opened Her hands in a gesture Lucy later
to the Dominus Vobiscum at Mass.
From Her palms issued rays of an "immense light" which appeared to
bear Francisco and Jacinta to Heaven and immerse Lucy on earth.
"In front of
of Our Lady's right hand was a heart encircled by thorns which pierced
it," Lucy said. "We understood that this was the Immaculate Heart of
outraged by the sins of humanity, and seeking reparation." 28
The light from Our Lady's palms "penetrated to our inmost hearts," said
Lucy, adding: "I think that on that day the main purpose of this light
was to infuse within us a special knowledge and love for the Immaculate
Heart of Mary, just as on the other two occasions it was intended to
as it seems to me, with regard to God and the mystery of the most Holy
"From that day
Lucy writes in her Third Memoir, "our hearts were filled with a more
love for the Immaculate Heart of Mary." 30
What did this triumph of the Immaculate Heart in the lives of the seers
it was, like the life of the Blessed Virgin, hidden. The children kept
the Secret Mary gave them. They pondered it in their hearts, the same
Sacred Scripture describes Mary "pondering all these things in Her
They prayed much, and developed a thirst for penance and suffering. It
was later discovered that Jacinta, Francisco, and Lucy all wore heavy
ropes and engaged in other physical mortifications very unusual for
suffering was the outward manifestation of a love of the Blessed
Lucy said that in previous apparitions Mary had provided them with
knowledge of God and the Holy Trinity. Who can better teach us how to
God than the Blessed Virgin? What creature knows better how to please
or wills what God wills more ardently? And if God wills that children
penance and mortification in reparation for offenses committed against
the hearts of Jesus and Mary, what does this mean for the rest of us?
mantle spreads to cover all Her children, but it does not protect them
from crosses. Instead crosses, properly used, accelerate love of God
develop a more intimate knowledge between creature and Creator.
Marto developed a love for the "hidden Jesus" so strong he spent all
free time in front of the Blessed Sacrament, until his last days, when
illness kept him bedridden. He confessed to Lucy that he suffered much,
and added: "But it doesn't matter. I suffer to console Our Lord, and in
a little while I shall be with Him." 31
he died, Jacinta was too sick to go to his funeral. She was put in the
bed Francisco died in, but it was her fate to die far away from her
and family. She was devoted to the Immaculate Heart, and when the
Virgin showed Jacinta that she would die alone in a Lisbon hospital
much suffering, the little girl embraced the repugnant fate with tears
but without complaint. "If only I could put in the heart of everybody,"
Jacinta told Lucy, "that light that I have here in my breast to burn me
and make me love the heart of Jesus and the heart of Mary so much." 32
Mother of Heaven," as Jacinta called Her, had told the children they
"have much to suffer," but She promised that "the grace of God will be
your comfort." To Lucy She made an additional promise: "I will never
you. My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead
you to God." 33 The assurance
forsaken was surely intended to comfort Sister Lucy over a long life as
hidden and penitential as her cousins'.
are these lives to the life of the Blessed Virgin, whose Heart was
time and again by swords of sorrow and thorns of grief. Just as Mary
not avoid the Cross, so no one who follows Her can avoid the Cross, be
it three Portuguese shepherd children or the remnant of Russian
However long it takes, in the end She will triumph universally because
God has so ordained it. Meanwhile, the triumph of Her Immaculate Heart
in the lives of souls is as humble and hidden as Her own life, or any
that is completely absorbed in God.
eyes of the world, such triumphs are as incomprehensible as the triumph
of the Cross was to the Sanhedrin. May those who wish to be Her
be given eyes to see, ears to hear, and the grace to follow to the end
this sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of our Mother of Fair Love.
Fr. Louis Kondor, SVD, Editor, Fatima in Lucia's Own Words, The
Ravengate Press, p. 162.
The Message of Fatima, the booklet published by Cardinal
and Msgr. Bertone on June 26, 2000.
Sister Lucy has in fact consistently maintained that a valid
must explicitly mention Russia by name and significantly involve the
episcopate. Pope John Paul II's 1984 consecration of the world to the
Heart of Mary did neither.
The web page of the Italian daily la Repubblica carried an
with Father Luigi Bianchi, an old friend of Sister Lucy's. In the
Bianchi said Lucy agreed with his assessment that the Vatican issued
a "watered down" version of the Third Secret. The November 2001 issue
Family News (CFN) published a photocopy of the article in Italian,
with an accompanying English translation.
From a press release issued by the Vatican on December 20,2001, and
published in the January 9, 2002 English Edition issue of
Everything is disputed, however. The Orthodox claim there are not this
many Catholics in Russia; the Vatican puts Russia's Catholic population
at 1.3 million.
From an AP news report from Moscow, April 1, 2002, entitled "Head of
Orthodox Church says talks with Vatican remain on hold."
"Russian Orthodox Church Angered by Vatican Diocese Plan," reported in Agence
France Presse, February 11, 2002, from Moscow.
As reported in Catholic, from a Fides News Report of
By the author of this article in the "This Present Darkness" series,
in Catholic Family News (CFN) in the summer of 2000, and more
by John Vennari in CFN, February 2002.
It has been maintained by some that this satisfied Our Lady of Fatima's
request that Russia be consecrated to Her Immaculate Heart. Such
are generally made without offering supporting evidence.
Russian head of state Vladimir Putin scored a coup at a May summit
near Rome when Russia signed onto NATO, pledging to fight alongside the
United States against world terrorism. Doing his best Pope John XXIII
Putin told reporters: "We're convinced that what unites us outweighs
divides us." See news.colm.au-"NATO-Russia pact signed, May 29,2002."
Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinite, The Whole Truth About
Volume II, Immaculate Heart Publications, p. 631 (hereinafter referred
to as TWTAF.) The italicized words are Our Lord's response to
(14) Fatima in Lucia's Own Words,
In the current liturgical calendar the feast of the Immaculate Heart is
optional- the lowest rank possible.
(16) TWTAF, Volume Ill, p.
472. When asked in 1946
the Secret was to be revealed in 1960, Lucy replied: "Because the
Virgin wishes it so." This was also the reply of Lucy's bishop, Bishop
(17) Fatima in Lucia's Own Words,
op. cit., p. 162
Father Joaquin Maria Alonso, C.M.F., The Secret of Fatima, Fact and
Legend, Revised Edition, The Ravengate Press, Cambridge, 1979, pp.
See Frère Michel, The Whole Truth About Fatima, Volume
p. 704, published by Immaculate Heart Publications. Frère Michel
is quoting from the Spanish translation of Alonso's Fatima Fact and
Except in a cryptic, unexplained footnote.
As quoted in Yves Dupont, Catholic Prophecy, The Coming
Rockford, Illinois, Tan Books, 1970, p. 22. (22)
As quoted in ibid., p. 22.
Cardinal Ratzinger and Msgr. Bertone The Message of Fatima,
From Lucy's Third Memoir, as quoted in Kondor, or. cit., pp. 108-9.
Thomas McGlynn, O.P., Vision of Fatima, Little, Brown And
Boston, 1950, p. 213.
As quoted in Catholic Counter Reformation Journal, English
translation, August 2000, p. 30. Emphasis supplied.
McGlynn, or. cit., p. 95. Lucy also described the Blessed Virgin as
bathed in "waves of light" (p. 103).
(28) Fatima in Lucia's Own Words,
Fourth Memoir, p.
(29) Fatima in Lucia's Own Words,
Third Memoir, p.
William Thomas Walsh, Our Lady of Fatima, The Macmillan
New York, 1947, p. 168.
(32) Ibid., p. 178.
(33) Fatima in Lucia's Own Words, p. 161.
Spring 2003 Issue.