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She later wrote down the "three secrets", the first two of which were revealed by the church after they appeared to have come true. The first secret was interpreted as forecasting the end of the first World War and the second World War. The second appeared to predict the clash between Bolshevism in Russia and Catholicism and the eventual conversion of Russia.

Lucia quoted the Virgin Mary as saying: "Russia will spread its errors around the world, promoting wars and persecution of the church," though she said later that, being a child, she had assumed at the time that "Russia" was "a woman, a bad woman". The third prophecy had the Virgin Mary speaking of "a bishop dressed in white", who would "fall to the ground as though dead under gunfire". It was kept secret for decades by the Vatican, officials fearful that it might encourage an attack on church leaders, including the Pope.

The date of the attempt, May 13th - the same as the first apparition back in - added credibility to the theory, and the Pope subsequently visited the shrine at Fatima to give thanks for his survival.

Vatican Discloses 'Third Secret' of Fatima

He took with him one of the gunman's 9mm bullets, which he placed in the crown of the Virgin's statue. The Pope often made it clear that he believed Lucia's visions had saved his life. It seems likely that she, too, will be beatified. Sister Lucia, who had been deaf, blind and ailing for several years, died in her room in the Carmelite convent of Santa Teresa in the city of Coimbra, where she had lived since The Pope visited her there in The initial hostility to her accounts from Portuguese clergy drove Lucia to a convent school in Oporto in , and then to a novitiate in Spain, where she took the name Lucia de Jesus on ordination in Two decades later she moved to Coimbra.

After initial burial in the convent grounds, her remains are expected to be transferred to the shrine of Fatima, close to where she saw her visions, the last of which reportedly attracted 50, onlookers, with millions visiting since. Portugal declared a day of mourning for Sister Lucia. Last of the Fatima visionaries, recipients of the three secrets Sat, Feb 19, , Editor's Choice Most Viewed. Watch More Videos. Most Read in News.

Latest News. Hail to you, who are wholly united to the redeeming consecration of your Son! Mother of the Church! Enlighten the People of God along the paths of faith, hope, and love! Enlighten especially the peoples whose consecration and entrustment by us you are awaiting. Help us to live in the truth of the consecration of Christ for the entire human family of the modern world.

In entrusting to you, O Mother, the world, all individuals and peoples, we also entrust to you this very consecration of the world , placing it in your motherly Heart. Immaculate Heart! Help us to conquer the menace of evil, which so easily takes root in the hearts of the people of today, and whose immeasurable effects already weigh down upon our modern world and seem to block the paths towards the future!

From nuclear war, from incalculable self-destruction, from every kind of war, deliver us. From sins against the life of man from its very beginning, deliver us. From hatred and from the demeaning of the dignity of the children of God, deliver us.

From every kind of injustice in the life of society, both national and international, deliver us. From attempts to stifle in human hearts the very truth of God, deliver us. Accept, O Mother of Christ, this cry laden with the sufferings of all individual human beings, laden with the sufferings of whole societies. Let there be revealed, once more, in the history of the world the infinite saving power of the Redemption: the power of merciful Love! May it put a stop to evil!

May it transform consciences! May your Immaculate Heart reveal for all the light of Hope! Hence any further discussion or request is without basis. In the documentation presented here four other texts have been added to the manuscripts of Sister Lucia: 1 the Holy Father's letter of 19 April to Sister Lucia; 2 an account of the conversation of 27 April with Sister Lucia; 3 the statement which the Holy Father appointed Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Secretary of State, to read on 13 May ; 4 the theological commentary by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

The good will be martyred; the Holy Father will have much to suffer; various nations will be annihilated' VII Since we did not heed this appeal of the Message, we see that it has been fulfilled, Russia has invaded the world with her errors. And if we have not yet seen the complete fulfilment of the final part of this prophecy, we are going towards it little by little with great strides.

If we do not reject the path of sin, hatred, revenge, injustice, violations of the rights of the human person, immorality and violence, etc. And let us not say that it is God who is punishing us in this way; on the contrary it is people themselves who are preparing their own punishment. The action of God, the Lord of history, and the co-responsibility of man in the drama of his creative freedom, are the two pillars upon which human history is built. Our Lady, who appeared at Fatima, recalls these forgotten values.

She reminds us that man's future is in God, and that we are active and responsible partners in creating that future. This will entail my speaking about the secret, and thus answering the first question. What is the secret?

It seems to me that I can reveal it, since I already have permission from Heaven to do so. God's representatives on earth have authorized me to do this several times and in various letters, one of which, I believe, is in your keeping. I did say something about it. But in order not to make my letter too long, since I was told to keep it short, I confined myself to the essentials, leaving it to God to provide another more favourable opportunity. In my second account I have already described in detail the doubt which tormented me from 13 June until 13 July, and how it disappeared completely during the Apparition on that day.

Well, the secret is made up of three distinct parts, two of which I am now going to reveal. Our Lady showed us a great sea of fire which seemed to be under the earth. The demons could be distinguished by their terrifying and repulsive likeness to frightful and unknown animals, all black and transparent. This vision lasted but an instant. How can we ever be grateful enough to our kind heavenly Mother, who had already prepared us by promising, in the first Apparition, to take us to heaven. Otherwise, I think we would have died of fear and terror.

To save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace. The war is going to end: but if people do not cease offending God, a worse one will break out during the Pontificate of Pius XI. When you see a night illumined by an unknown light, know that this is the great sign given you by God that he is about to punish the world for its crimes, by means of war, famine, and persecutions of the Church and of the Holy Father.

Why Fatima? The True Secret.

To prevent this, I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart, and the Communion of reparation on the First Saturdays. If my requests are heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace; if not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred; the Holy Father will have much to suffer; various nations will be annihilated. In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The third part of the secret revealed at the Cova da Iria-Fatima, on 13 July I write in obedience to you, my God, who command me to do so through his Excellency the Bishop of Leiria and through your Most Holy Mother and mine.

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 step, 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 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. I will be happy to be able to meet you on the long-awaited day of the Beatification of Francisco and Jacinta, which, please God, I will celebrate on 13 May of this year.

Since on that day there will be time only for a brief greeting and not a conversation, I am sending His Excellency Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone, Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, to speak with you. Sister Maria Lucia, you may speak openly and candidly to Archbishop Bertone, who will report your answers directly to me. May Mary, Mother of pilgrim humanity, keep us always united to Jesus, her beloved Son and our brother, the Lord of life and glory. Sister Lucia was lucid and at ease; she was very happy that the Holy Father was going to Fatima for the Beatification of Francisco and Jacinta, something she had looked forward to for a long time.

The Bishop of Leiria-Fatima read the autograph letter of the Holy Father, which explained the reasons for the visit. Sister Lucia felt honoured by this and reread the letter herself, contemplating it in own her hands. She said that she was prepared to answer all questions frankly. The original text, in Portuguese, was read and interpreted with the help of the Bishop of Leiria-Fatima. She repeated her conviction that the vision of Fatima concerns above all the struggle of atheistic Communism against the Church and against Christians, and describes the terrible sufferings of the victims of the faith in the twentieth century.

Was it Our Lady who fixed that date? Now it can be better understood. I wrote down what I saw; however it was not for me to interpret it, but for the Pope. Finally, mention was made of the unpublished manuscript which Sister Lucia has prepared as a reply to the many letters that come from Marian devotees and from pilgrims. The work is called Os apelos da Mensagem de Fatima, and it gathers together in the style of catechesis and exhortation thoughts and reflections which express Sister Lucia's feelings and her clear and unaffected spirituality.

Sister Lucia wants to present the text for ecclesiastical approval, and she hopes that what she has written will help to guide men and women of good will along the path that leads to God, the final goal of every human longing. The conversation ends with an exchange of rosaries. Sister Lucia is given a rosary sent by the Holy Father, and she in turn offers a number of rosaries made by herself. The meeting concludes with the blessing imparted in the name of the Holy Father.

At the conclusion of this solemn celebration, I feel bound to offer our beloved Holy Father Pope John Paul II, on behalf of all present, heartfelt good wishes for his approaching 80th Birthday and to thank him for his vital pastoral ministry for the good of all God's Holy Church; we present the heartfelt wishes of the whole Church.

On this solemn occasion of his visit to Fatima, His Holiness has directed me to make an announcement to you. Nevertheless he also wishes his pilgrimage to be a renewed gesture of gratitude to Our Lady for her protection during these years of his papacy. That text contains a prophetic vision similar to those found in Sacred Scripture, which do not describe photographically the details of future events, but synthesize and compress against a single background facts which extend through time in an unspecified succession and duration.

As a result, the text must be interpreted in a symbolic key. The vision of Fatima concerns above all the war waged by atheistic systems against the Church and Christians, and it describes the immense suffering endured by the witnesses of the faith in the last century of the second millennium.

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It is an interminable Way of the Cross led by the Popes of the twentieth century. As he makes his way with great difficulty towards the Cross amid the corpses of those who were martyred Bishops, priests, men and women Religious and many lay people , he too falls to the ground, apparently dead, under a hail of gunfire. On the occasion of a visit to Rome by the then Bishop of Leiria-Fatima, the Pope decided to give him the bullet which had remained in the jeep after the assassination attempt, so that it might be kept in the shrine.

By the Bishop's decision, the bullet was later set in the crown of the statue of Our Lady of Fatima. The successive events of led, both in the Soviet Union and in a number of countries of Eastern Europe, to the fall of the Communist regimes which promoted atheism. In other parts of the world, however, attacks against the Church and against Christians, with the burden of suffering they bring, tragically continue. Brothers and sisters, let us thank Our Lady of Fatima for her protection.

To her maternal intercession let us entrust the Church of the Third Millennium. Sub tuum praesidium confugimus, Sancta Dei Genetrix! Intercede pro Ecclesia. No great mystery is revealed; nor is the future unveiled. We see the Church of the martyrs of the century which has just passed represented in a scene described in a language which is symbolic and not easy to decipher. Is this what the Mother of the Lord wished to communicate to Christianity and to humanity at a time of great difficulty and distress?

Is it of any help to us at the beginning of the new millennium? Or are these only projections of the inner world of children, brought up in a climate of profound piety but shaken at the same time by the tempests which threatened their own time? How should we understand the vision?

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What are we to make of it? Public Revelation and private revelations — their theological status. Before attempting an interpretation, the main lines of which can be found in the statement read by Cardinal Sodano on 13 May of this year at the end of the Mass celebrated by the Holy Father in Fatima, there is a need for some basic clarification of the way in which, according to Church teaching, phenomena such as Fatima are to be understood within the life of faith.

The two realities differ not only in degree but also in essence. It is not a matter therefore of intellectual communication, but of a life-giving process in which God comes to meet man. At the same time this process naturally produces data pertaining to the mind and to the understanding of the mystery of God.

Vatican Discloses 'Third Secret' of Fatima

It is a process which involves man in his entirety and therefore reason as well, but not reason alone. Because God is one, history, which he shares with humanity, is also one. It is valid for all time, and it has reached its fulfilment in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. In Christ, God has said everything, that is, he has revealed himself completely, and therefore Revelation came to an end with the fulfilment of the mystery of Christ as enunciated in the New Testament.

Because the single Revelation of God addressed to all peoples comes to completion with Christ and the witness borne to him in the books of the New Testament, the Church is tied to this unique event of sacred history and to the word of the Bible, which guarantees and interprets it. But this does not mean that the Church can now look only to the past and that she is condemned to sterile repetition. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own authority On the one hand, the Spirit acts as a guide who discloses a knowledge previously unreachable because the premise was missing—this is the boundless breadth and depth of Christian faith.

This is the category to which we must assign the message of Fatima. This clarifies two things:. The authority of private revelations is essentially different from that of the definitive public Revelation. The latter demands faith; in it in fact God himself speaks to us through human words and the mediation of the living community of the Church. Faith in God and in his word is different from any other human faith, trust or opinion.

The certainty that it is God who is speaking gives me the assurance that I am in touch with truth itself. It gives me a certitude which is beyond verification by any human way of knowing. It is the certitude upon which I build my life and to which I entrust myself in dying. Private revelation is a help to this faith, and shows its credibility precisely by leading me back to the definitive public Revelation. The Flemish theologian E. Dhanis, an eminent scholar in this field, states succinctly that ecclesiastical approval of a private revelation has three elements: the message contains nothing contrary to faith or morals; it is lawful to make it public; and the faithful are authorized to accept it with prudence E.

Such a message can be a genuine help in understanding the Gospel and living it better at a particular moment in time; therefore it should not be disregarded. It is a help which is offered, but which one is not obliged to use. The criterion for the truth and value of a private revelation is therefore its orientation to Christ himself. When it leads us away from him, when it becomes independent of him or even presents itself as another and better plan of salvation, more important than the Gospel, then it certainly does not come from the Holy Spirit, who guides us more deeply into the Gospel and not away from it.

This does not mean that a private revelation will not offer new emphases or give rise to new devotional forms, or deepen and spread older forms. But in all of this there must be a nurturing of faith, hope and love, which are the unchanging path to salvation for everyone. We might add that private revelations often spring from popular piety and leave their stamp on it, giving it a new impulse and opening the way for new forms of it. Nor does this exclude that they will have an effect even on the liturgy, as we see for instance in the feasts of Corpus Christi and of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

From one point of view, the relationship between Revelation and private revelations appears in the relationship between the liturgy and popular piety: the liturgy is the criterion, it is the living form of the Church as a whole, fed directly by the Gospel. Popular piety is a sign that the faith is spreading its roots into the heart of a people in such a way that it reaches into daily life.

While it must always take its lead and direction from the liturgy, it in turn enriches the faith by involving the heart. We have thus moved from the somewhat negative clarifications, initially needed, to a positive definition of private revelations. How can they be classified correctly in relation to Scripture?