THE THIRD SECRET OF FATIMA
The third part of the secret was written down "by order of His Excellency the Bishop of Leiria and the Most Holy Mother on 3 January 1944.
Bishop Silva, visiting Lúcia on 15 September 1943 while she was bed-ridden, first suggested that she write the third secret down to ensure that it would be recorded in the event of her death.
Lucia was hesitant to do so, however. Finally, in mid-October, Bishop Silva sent her a letter containing a direct order to record the secret, and Lúcia obeyed. In June 1944, the sealed envelope containing the third secret was delivered to Silva, where it stayed until 1957, when it was finally delivered to Rome.
It was announced on 13 May 2000, 83 years after the first apparition of the Lady to the children in the Cova da Iria, that the third secret would finally be released. The text was published on 26 June 2000:
The third part of the secret revealed at the Cova da Iria-Fátima, on 13 July 1917. 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.
After the two parts which I have already explained, 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 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.
Along with the text of the secret, then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger published a theological commentary,in which he states that:
A careful reading of the text of the so-called third 'secret' of Fatima will probably prove disappointing or surprising after all the speculation it has stirred.
No great mystery is revealed; nor is the future unveiled." After explaining the differences between public and private revelations, he cautions people not to see in the message a determined future event:
The purpose of the vision is not to show a film of an irrevocably fixed future. Its meaning is exactly the opposite: it is meant to mobilize the forces of change in the right direction.
Therefore we must totally discount fatalistic explanations of the secret, such as, for example, the claim that the would-be assassin of 13 May 1981 was merely an instrument of the divine plan guided by Providence and could not therefore have acted freely, or other similar ideas in circulation. Rather, the vision speaks of dangers and how we might be saved from them.
He then moves on to talk about the symbolic nature of the images, noting that: The concluding part of the 'secret' uses images which Lucia may have seen in devotional books and which draw their inspiration from long-standing intuitions of faith.
As for the meaning of the message:
What remains was already evident when we began our reflections on the text of the 'secret': the exhortation to prayer as the path of 'salvation for souls' and, likewise, the summons to penance and conversion.Also Read : The First Secret of Fatima
.Also Read : The Second Secret of Fatima
.Also Read : The Three Secrets of Fatima