The Third Secret of Fatima Explained

By Jim Dunning

(This article was originally published in "Irelands Own" magazine. The webmaster would like to gratefully thank the author, Jim Dunning, for his kind permission in reprinting it here.)

The Third Secret is the most controversial and has given rise to a great deal of speculation. Although the first two Secrets were made public in 1942, information about the Third Secret was withheld. Lucia declared in 1941 that for the moment she was not permitted to reveal it. In June, 1943, she fell gravely ill. The Bishop of Leiria was so worried that he asked her to write down the text of it and place it in a sealed envelope. She agreed, but found herself unable to write the Secret down.

For a whole month she struggled against a mysterious and terrible anguish. It seemed as if Satan himself was determined to prevent her. Then Our Lady appeared once again and gave her the light and strength to continue. She sat down at once and wrote out the Secret for the Bishop, as requested.

The Bishop had permission to open the sealed envelope, but his nerve failed him and he tried to convey it to the Vatican. Rome declined to accept it. Lucia then made him promise that the Third Secret would be opened for the world to read in 1960. She believed ‘its message would become clearer at that time.’

In 1957 the sealed envelope finally arrived in Rome. It seems likely that Pope Pius XII decided to wait until 1960 before opening it, but he died in 1958, and the envelope remained sealed until August, 1959, when it was finally opened by Pope John XXIII. But in spite of the enthusiastic expectation of the whole Catholic world, the contents of the Third Secret were consigned to the archives and a communiqué was issued to the effect that it would not be published.

Pope John Paul II , likewise, took no action until the attempted assassination on 13th May, 1981, after which he called for all the information available. But although he consecrated the whole world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on 13th May, 1982, he withheld publication of the Third Secret until June, 2000.

The faithful may well have expected a prophecy of doom, such as the announcement of a Third World War, or the proliferation of nuclear warfare, but these possibilities had already been referred to in the Second Secret. Instead, the Third Secret concerns the even greater dangers which threaten the faith and the life of Christians if repentance is not forthcoming. It reads as follows:-

‘At the left of Our Lady and a little above, we saw an Angel with a flaming sword; it gave out flames that looked as though they would set the world on fire; but they died out in contact with the splendour 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!” ‘
(In the second scene a terrible catastrophe befalls the world.)
‘And we saw in an immense light that is God… a Bishop dressed in white. We had the impression 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; 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 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 the other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious, and various lay people of different ranks.’(The third scene depicts the return of humanity to God.)
‘Beneath the two arms of the Cross there were two Angels, each with a crystal aspersorium in which they gathered up the blood of the Martyrs and with it sprinkled the souls that were making their way to God.’
The vision described above is far from clear. Lucia pointed out that she had received the vision, but not its interpretation, which belonged not to the visionary but to the Church. We are fortunate that Pope Benedict, when still Cardinal Ratzinger, made a careful study of the text and was able to provide a convincing explanation. In his opinion the message was symbolic and related less to the future than to the past, in particular to the 20th Century. It was not about apocalyptic revelations forecasting the end of the world, as many had feared. ‘The image seen by the three children is in no way a film review of a future in which nothing can be changed.’ Quite the opposite. ‘Rather, the vision speaks of dangers and how we might be saved from them.’

To consider each of the pictures described, the Angel with the flaming sword represents the threat of judgement looming over the world. Man himself with his inventions, such as nuclear armaments, has forged the flaming sword. The vision then shows the power which stands opposed to the forces of destruction – the splendour of the Mother of God whose radiance extinguishes the flames. This is followed by an urgent, thrice-repeated call for Penance, the key word of the Third Secret.

The background to the vision is also symbolic: a steep mountain, a great city in ruins and finally a large rough-hewn cross. The mountain and city symbolise human history as a difficult climb to the summit and a place of man-made destruction. On the mountain stands the Cross, transforming destruction into salvation. ‘It stands as a sign of history’s misery, but also as a promise for history.’
The ‘Bishop dressed in white’ clearly represents the Pope. John Paul II believed it symbolized the assassination attempt on his life exactly 64 years to the day after the first Apparition at Fatima. In that sense it represented a prophecy. As he declared at Fatima in May, 1984, “It was a Mother’s hand that guided the bullet’s path and in his throes the Pope halted at the threshold of death.”
Cardinal Ratzinger, who is now Pope Benedict XVI, however, interpreted the ‘Bishop dressed in white’ as a combination of different Popes, from Pius X to John Paul II, all sharing the sufferings of the century while striving to climb the path leading to the Cross.

In the concluding part, where angels gather up the blood of the martyrs from beneath the arms of the Cross and give life to the souls making their way to God, we are invited to consider their death becoming one with that of Christ. As from Christ’s death the Church was born, so the death of the witnesses is fruitful for its future life.

Thus the events depicted in the third part of the Secret can be seen as relating to the past. What remains is an exhortation to prayer and a summons to penance and conversion. Another key expression of the Secret as a whole: ‘My Immaculate Heart will triumph’. If Our Lady of the Rosary could foresee her eventual triumph, she would equally have known in 1917 that the Third Secret would not be published till the end of the Century. Could it be that she deliberately kept us waiting in order to make a bigger impact? That is one ‘secret’ we shall never uncover.

Sr Lucia dos Santos of Fatima
For more excellent information about Fatima, see also Fatima-The Miracle of the Sun and also The Three Secrets of Fatima.

For more information on the children of Fatima, see Sister Lucia dos Santos and also Blessed Jacinta Marto and also Blessed Francisco Marto
-Jim Dunning lives in the United Kingdom. His hobbies include watching rugby and writing short stories and religious articles.


Anonymous said...

Its time for Christ to come.What we can not explain he is going to explain with clear voice.

Steve said...

"If Our Lady of the Rosary could foresee her eventual triumph, she would equally have known in 1917 that the Third Secret would not be published till the end of the Century."

Yes, which is why Our Lady of the Rosary made sure we had the key sentence, "In Portugal, the dogma of the Faith will always be preserved."

The Third Secret of Fatima warns of widespread apostasy in the Church.

In 1952 Father Joseph Schweigl was entrusted by Pope Pius XII with a secret mission to interrogate Sister Lucy about the Third Secret. He subsequently stated:

I cannot reveal anything of what I learned at Fatima concerning the Third Secret, but I can say that it has two parts: one concerns the Pope; the other logically (although I must say nothing) would have to be the continuation of the words: "In Portugal, the dogma of the Faith will always be preserved."

Glenn Dallaire said...

Hi Steve,
Thanks for your interesting comments. Concerning the possibility of a widepread apostasy in the Church as allgedly part of the Secrets of Fatima, of course the book of Revelation also speaks of it. What we don't know is the timing, which perhaps is known only to the good God.

However, some could argue that the apostasy has already begun, and is occuring now, given the widespread disbelief and non-practice of Catholics in the teachings of the Church, such as the lack of belief the True Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, rampant worldwide use of artificial birth control amongst Catholics, frequent reception of Holy Communion without sacramental Confession, etc...

While I am not one to focus on the "negatives" in the Catholic church, nevertheless one can't help to lament the widespread indifference amongst Catholics of today to the teachings of the Church. I was once exactly like this, so I understand indifference and of holding onto ones own opinions instead of obeying the Church's teachings. Thanks be to God I came to see the truth, and I pray for those who remain ignorant and hold to their own opinions.

Anyway, thanks again for your comments and may God bless you and yours,
-Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
Glenn Dallaire

Joe said...

Angel for Jesus,
That warningsecondcoming cannot be from God. It seems like the "inhabitants of heaven" are so bored that they have to keep coming down to yak yak yak yak yak. Know your Catholic faith and doctrines so that you will not be deceived.
Go read one of Glenn's posts on the 40-year pact with the devil and you'll see how dangerous and easy it is to fall prey to the enemies of Faith.

Anonymous said...

I was an altar boy when the mass was in Latin.
Now all this meaningless mumbo jumbo with cadavers nailed to sticks and children whipping themselves at the direction of angels is just one giant creepshow.
Wake up! Face the unknown with courage.

Anonymous said...

It now seems there's a new twist to the Third Secret of Fatima controversy. I googled somewhere, a Marian visionary by the name of Dominic L. Sanchez who claims that the Third Secret was revealed to him decades ago. He claims it's a Marian Dogma elevating Mary as God, and the other half of the secret supposedly concerns the suffering of the future Pope. If am not mistaken, the visionary is from the Philippines.

Glenn Dallaire said...

Thanks for your comment Anonymous.

I googled "Dominic L. Sanchez" and spent a little while reading his purported private revelations. I was truly saddened to read how deluded the poor soul is. It is readily apparent that his alleged "revelations" are either the product of his own imagination/delusions or they are demonic. Either way they are not of God. For among a number of heretical ideas he repeatedly claims on numerous occasions that Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI is the "Antipope" saying in one message:

“… Sacrilege, blasphemy and outrage will ever increase under Francis and until the end of Benedict XVI who will return as Anti-pope. The true pope will be in exile during the first half of the coming war."

Along with Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI allegedly being a "Antipope" he believes that "The Third Secret of Fatima states that She, Our Blessed Mother Mary, is God Herself. She is not another God nor a fourth person of God. Rather, She is the same God that The Most Holy Trinity Is. She, Mary, is the Most Holy Trinity, The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit, One God."

Sadly, this poor soul is very deluded. Hopefully there are not too many people succumbing to his heretical deceptions.

-Glenn Dallaire

Anonymous said...

Modernism in the Holy Eucharist, I think, is one of the example here. Leaving the TRADITIONAL MASS behind and losing the solemnity during the consecration. I hope all of us will realize the importance of "traditional latin mass" or the "original mass". Anyway, the article is informative and realible. Thanks!

yejyan said...

Is the third secret is about the safety of the Church and the Philippines?
And Pope Francis is the Last Bishop of Rome Because the Bishoporic is moving in the Philippines?

just a wild guess

Anonymous said...

Is Mr. Sanchez saying that Mary is the Holy Trinity? How does he explain his claimed Dogma? Claiming that the Third Secret of Fatima is a Marian Dogma which makes the Blessed Mother as God is quite a long shot. I wonder how he can even convince an ordinary layman to believe him.

Anonymous said...

Rome's silence and injustice towards the message of Our Lady of Fatima is causing apocalyptic troubles for humanity. This self-claimed Marian visionary like Dominic L. Sanchez, unbelievable as he may be to many, at least came out with a very courageous stance for what they believe are the messages of the Blessed Mother. This is not to condone false miracles but rather to point out the need to obey the Mother of Christ.

Anonymous said...

Our Lady is The Mother of God, The Holy Ghost is The Father of God, all they want is you to remember their son is God: Christ is God not a talking burning bush.. Try Fatima Movement dot com.

Anonymous said...

The thing about Dominic Sanchez 's claim of Mary as God is that he does not have any approval from the Catholic Church, at least as of now.

Anonymous said...

Kind of shocking some Catholics are so incredibly ignorant of the fact that the Blessed Virgin Mary, who is the true Mother of God as the Person she gave birth to miraculously is God (Jesus), is a creature. How could anyone be conned into believing hellish apparitions that Mary is going to be elevated to God??! God is the holy Trinity–one divine nature in three distinct Persons, God the Father, God the Son, the only begotten of the Father, and God the Holy Ghost, who emanates from both the Father and the Son.

Anonymous said...

he even got to the point of blogging his belief. :) quite a man.

Anonymous said...

Dominic should approach his Bishop. This claim of his is a serious one.

Anonymous said...

The simple solution to solve Dominic Sanchez claim is for Rome to finally reveal the Third Secret of Fatima. Dominic's claim is a long shot indeed, but weird as it may be, you have to disprove it with facts too. There's no better proof against Sanchez's claimed dogma than the Third Secret itself - if it doesn't actually state what Dominic claims to be a Marian Dogma which elevates Mary as God.

Anonymous said...

wow! what a claim. What do you think will this Mary is God Dogma do to the CAtholic Church? Wouldn't this only widen the gap between Catholics and Protestants? If the Third Secret of Fatima really states the Dogma Mary is God then the Pope really has to make a big explanation.

Anonymous said...

If dominic is really serious about his claim that Mary is God and that the 3rd secret of Fatima is a Marian Dogma then let him go to his Bishop.

Anonymous said...

and now Dominic seems to be telling people that the 16th President of the Philippines will only be elected after the election of the successor of Pope Francis, that is the 267th Pope. it's only 2 days to the Philippine presidential election... so what exactly is he saying? ..that the Philippine election on May 9 2016 will be postponed until after the election of the 267th Pope? this man is making so much strange prophecies and claims.

Anonymous said...

here's a post attributed to him in fb:

"The 16th President of the Philippines will only be elected after the election of the 267th Pope."

With this he is telling us that current president Aquino of the Philippines will only be replaced after the Pontificate of Pope Francis. Philippines just had its election last week and there was a winner already but we may also take note that the President elect in that country will only officially be seated on June 30th this year. until then everything is still not final.

Anonymous said...

dude, he's telling us that filipino duterte president will not be the 16th president. so will there be another election?

Anonymous said...

who is dominic l.sanchez? a real visionary of catholism?

Anonymous said...

The third secret is that all those who identify and are true Christians will be killed by a govt. military force, even the Pope will not be spared. How obvious. We failed to make penance. The woman who rides the beast, mystery Babylon drinks the blood of those martyred, i.e. she's responsible. Though small she controls a great and evil military beast, i.e. US/NATO govt. And military. Pray and repent to prepare for this.

Anonymous said...

It would be miraculous if Dominic Sanchez 's purported Vision is approved. Do we have any other updates on the Fatima Secret?

Anonymous said...

World War 3 is fast approaching. Keep denying it!

Unknown said...

Some people will believe anything. This deluded nonsense has plagued humanity for long enough. Wake up people. There is no God.

Anonymous said...

Some people that including me. I didn't just believe anything. I was an agnostic, but I encountered with GOD (JESUS CHRIST) through dreams and vision. Wake up, people, there is GOD,The Almighty who created the Universe. Repent and walk away from your wicked life.

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