The Angel of Peace
The appearance of Our Mother was announced to the children in the
spring of 1917 by an angel, who said,
"Fear not. I am the Angel of Peace. Pray with me."
Kneeling on the ground he bowed low and recited this
prayer three times, with the children repeating it after him:
"O my God, I believe, I adore, I trust, and I love Thee.
I beg pardon for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not trust
and do not loveThee."
The angel appeared again that
"Pray! Pray a great deal. The Hearts of Jesus and Mary
have merciful designs on you. Offer prayers and sacrifices continually
to the Most High. Make everything you do a sacrifice, and offer it as an
act of reparation for the sins by which God is offended, and as a
petition for the conversion of sinners. Bring peace to our country in
this way ... I am the Guardian Angel of Portugal. Accept and bear with
submission all the sufferings the Lord will sendyou."
Appearing again in the fall of that year, the angel held
a golden chalice in one hand and a Host above it in the other. Drops of
blood fell from the Host into the chalice. Leaving both suspended in
mid-air he prostrated himself on the ground, saying this prayer:
"Most Holy Trinity - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit - I
adore Thee profoundly. I offer Thee the most precious Body, Blood, Soul
and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the
world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifferences
whereby He is offended. And through the infinite merits of His Most
Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of Thee the
conversion of poor sinners."
On Sunday, May 13, 1917, The
Blessed Mother appeared to the children as they were pasturing their sheep
in a barren hollow known as the Cova da Iria (Hollow of Irene). At noon on
this clear, sunny day flashes of lighting cut the air ... the children's
glances fell upon an oak tree, where a dazzling light hovered over the
topmost branches. Amidst the light a beautiful lady appeared, her feet
hidden in a shimmering cloud. She wore a long white dress, and the mantle
over her head and shoulders, reaching to her feet, was edged in burnished
gold. Her hands were joined before her breast, and from her right hand
hung a rosary of white pearls. Telling them not to be frightened, she
"I come from Heaven. I want you to come here at this same
hour on the 13th day of each month until October. Then I will tell you
who I am and what I want."
In June she appeared again,
with about 70 people present, although only the children saw her. She told
them that many souls go to Hell because they have no one to pray and make
sacrifices for them. She said Francisco and Jacinta would soon leave the
world for Heaven. Holding out her heart surrounded by thorns which pierced
it from all sides, Our Lady told Lucy,
"God wishes you to remain in the world for some time
because He wants to use you to establish in the world the devotion to my
Immaculate Heart. I promise salvation to those who embrace it, and their
souls will be loved by God as flowers placed by myself to adorn His
During her appearance in July, Our Lady, in
answer to Lucy's plea, promised that in October she would work a great
public miracle so that all might believe and know who she was. Again the
Mother of God told the children to sacrifice themselves for sinners and to
say many times, especially when making a sacrifice,
"O my Jesus, I offer this for love of Thee, for the
conversion of sinners, and in reparation for sins committed against the
Immaculate Heart of Mary."
The heart of Our Lady's
Message to the world is contained in what has come to be called the
"Secret" which she confided to the three children during the apparition in
July 1917. The Secret actually consists of three parts, the first two of
which have been publicly revealed. The first part of the Secret was a
horrifying vision of hell:
Lucia:"She opened Her hands once more, as She had done
the two previous months. The rays [of light] appeared to penetrate the
earth, and we saw, as it were, a vast sea of fire. Plunged in this fire,
we saw the demons and the souls [of the damned]. The latter were like
transparent burning embers, all blackened or burnished bronze, having
human forms. They were floating about in that conflagration, now raised
into the air by the flames which issued from within themselves, together
with great clouds of smoke. Now they fell back on every side like sparks
in huge fires, without weight or equilibrium, amid shrieks and groans of
pain and despair, which horrified us and made us tremble with fright (it
must have been this sight which caused me to cry out, as people say they
heard me). The demons were distinguished [from the souls of the damned]
by their terrifying and repellent likeness to frightful and unknown
animals, black and transparent like burning coals. That vision only
lasted for a moment, thanks to our good Heavenly Mother, Who at the
first apparition had promised to take us to Heaven. Without that, I
think that we would have died of terror and fear."
Our Lady:"You have seen hell, where the souls of poor
sinners go. 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 second part of the Secret specifically prophesied the outbreak of
World War II and contained the Mother of God's solemn request for the
Consecration of Russia as a condition of world peace. It also predicted
the inevitable triumph of Her Immaculate Heart following Russia's
consecration and conversion to the Catholic Faith.
Our Lady:"The war is going to end, but if people do not
cease offending God, a worse one will break out during the reign of Pius
XI. When you see a night illumined by an unknown light, know that this
is the great sign given to 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. 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 heard, Russia will
be converted and there will be peace. If not, she will spread her errors
throughout the world, provoking wars and persecution of the Church. The
good will suffer martyrdom; the
Holy Father will suffer much; different nations will be annihilated.
But in the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will
consecrate Russia to me, it will be converted, and some time of peace
will be granted to humanity."
More than 30,000 people
were present at the Cova da Iria in September, witnessing a shower of
white petals falling to within 10 feet of the ground before dissolving
into the air. Many also saw a globe of light bearing Our Lady come to rest
atop the oak.
The Miracle of the Sun
On October 13, 1917, in the presence of 70,000 eyewitnesses, a miracle
was worked in the sky above Fatima at the exact moment and in the precise
spot that the children had announced earlier. Witnesses recounted that the
sun appeared to actually "dance" in the sky and seemed to fall to the
ground before resuming its normal place in the heavens.
An Eyewitness Account by Dr. José Maria de Almeida Garrett,
professor at the Faculty of Sciences of Coimbra, Portugal:
"It must have been 1:30 pm when there arose, at the exact spot
where the children were, a column of smoke, thin, fine and bluish, which
extended up to perhaps two meters above their heads, and evaporated at
that height. This phenomenon, perfectly visible to the naked eye, lasted
for a few seconds. Not having noted how long it had lasted, I cannot say
whether it was more or less than a minute. The smoke dissipated
abruptly, and after some time, it came back to occur a second time, then
a third time the sky, which had been overcast all day, suddenly cleared;
the rain stopped and it looked as if the sun were about to fill with
light the countryside that the wintery morning had made so gloomy. I was
looking at the spot of the apparitions in a serene, if cold, expectation
of something happening and with diminishing curiosity because a long
time had passed without anything to excite my attention. The sun, a few
moments before, had broken through the thick layer of clouds which hid
it and now shone clearly and intensely."
"Suddenly I heard the uproar of thousands of voices, and I saw the
whole multitude spread out in that vast space at my feet ... turn their
backs to that spot where, until then, all their expectations had been
focused, and look at the sun on the other side. I turned around, too,
toward the point commanding their gaze and I could see the sun, like a
very clear disc, with its sharp edge, which gleamed without hurting the
sight. It could not be confused with the sun seen through a fog (there
was no fog at that moment), for it was neither veiled nor dim. At
Fatima, it kept its light and heat, and stood out clearly in the sky,
with a sharp edge, like a large gaming table. The most astonishing thing
was to be able to stare at the solar disc for a long time, brilliant
with light and heat, without hurting the eyes or damaging the retina.
[During this time], the sun's disc did not remain immobile, it had a
giddy motion, [but] not like the twinkling of a star in all its
brilliance for it spun round upon itself in a mad whirl.
"During the solar phenomenon, which I have just described, there were
also changes of color in the atmosphere. Looking at the sun, I noticed
that everything was becoming darkened. I looked first at the nearest
objects and then extended my glance further afield as far as the
horizon. I saw everything had assumed an amethyst color. Objects around
me, the sky and the atmosphere, were of the same color. Everything both
near and far had changed, taking on the color of old yellow damask.
People looked as if they were suffering from jaundice and I recall a
sensation of amusement at seeing them look so ugly and unattractive. My
own hand was the same color.
"Then, suddenly, one heard a clamor, a cry of anguish breaking from
all the people. The sun, whirling wildly, seemed all at once to loosen
itself from the firmament and, blood red, advance threateningly upon the
earth as if to crush us with its huge and fiery weight. The sensation
during those moments was truly terrible.
"All the phenomena which I have described were observed by me in a
calm and serene state of mind without any emotional disturbance. It is
for others to interpret and explain them. Finally, I must declare that
never, before or after October 13 , have I observed similar
atmospheric or solar phenomena."
While the miracle of
the sun was taking place the children alone witnessed several remarkable
visions. As Our Lady had previously promised, St. Joseph came with the
Holy Family and he blessed the world. Our Lady appeared as the Mother of
Sorrows, accompanied by her Divine Son, who also blessed the world.
Finally, Lucy saw the Blessed Virgin dressed as Our Lady of Mount Carmel,
crowned as Queen of Heaven and Earth, holding a brown scapular in her
hand, with her infant Son upon her knee. In this sequence of visions Our
Lady once again exhorts us to pray the rosary, for they represent the
three Mysteries: Our Lady with the Holy Family, the Joyful Mysteries; Our
Lady of Sorrow, the Sorrowful Mysteries; Our Lady Queen of Heaven, the
The Five First Saturdays
On the evening of Thursday, December 10, 1925, after supper, Sister
Lucy dos Santos (at that time a postulant in the Dorothean house at
Pontevedra, Spain) received a visit by the Child Jesus and the Virgin Mary
in her convent cell, as promised in the July, 1917 apparition. Showing the
young nun a heart surrounded by thorns, Our Lady said to her:
"See, My daughter, My heart surrounded by thorns which
ungrateful men pierce at every moment by their blasphemies and
ingratitude... Announce in my name that I promise to assist at the hour
of death with all the graces necessary for the salvation, all those who,
on the first Saturday for five consecutive months, shall confess,
receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary, and keep Me
company for fifteen minutes while meditating on the fifteen mysteries of
the Rosary, with the intention of making reparation to Me."
Consecration of Russia
Our Lady reappeared to Sister Lucy on June 13, 1929 at Tuy, Spain, when
in a great and sublime vision representing the Blessed Trinity, She
"The moment has come for God to ask the Holy Father to
make, in union with all the bishops of the world, the consecration of
Russia to My Immaculate Heart. By this means, He promises to save
When God sent Our Lady to convey His command
that Russia be consecrated, it seems clear that He expected swift
obedience from the Pope and bishops. The pastors of the Church, however,
chose to delay and, on August 19, 1931, Our Lord Himself appeared to
Sister Lucy in Rianjo, Spain and expressed His displeasure, saying
"Make it know to My ministers that, given they follow the
example of the King of France in delaying My command, they will follow
him also into misfortune.
Our Lord's warning is a grave
one indeed, referring as it does to His command, through St. Margaret Mary
Alacoque, to the King of France that he consecrate his nation to the
Sacred Heart of Jesus. The King chose to ignore the command and thus
condemned his dynasty and throne to the horrors of revolution, chaos and
The Blessed Virgin's request for the consecration of Russia remains one
of the most controversial aspects of the entire Fatima Message. While
several popes have undertaken consecrations of the world since the
request was made public (including Pope John Paul II in 1982 and 1984),
sadly, none of these have fulfilled the specific requirements of Our Lord
and Our Lady's requests. In repeated visits to Sister Lucy, Heaven's King
and Queen have insisted that it is Russia (and Russia only) that is
to be the object of this public act of obedience and prayer. In addition,
Our Lord and Our Lady have indicated that the Holy Father is to be joined
in the act of consecration by all the Catholic bishops of the world on the
same day and at the same time in their respective dioceses. Interestingly,
only Pope Pius XII's consecration of the world in 1942 included
substantial involvement of the bishops. Sister Lucy has written that this
imperfect act of obedience, while not fulfilling Our Lady's Fatima
request, nevertheless hastened the end of the Second World War, thus
sparing the lives of tens of millions of souls.
In response to Sister Lucy's question why He would not convert Russia
without the Holy Father consecrating that nation to His Mother's
Immaculate Heart, Our Lord replied:
"Because I want My whole Church to acknowledge that
consecration as a triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary so that it may
extend its cult later and put the devotion of the Immaculate Heart
beside the devotion to My Sacred Heart."
"illumined by an unknown light"
On the night of January 25, 1938, Lucia (then a nun of the Carmelite
Sisters of Coimbra, Portugal) stood at her convent window in Tuy,
Portugal, and saw an ominous red glow that lit the entire sky. This light
was seen throughout Europe and parts of Africa and Asia. Scientists tried
to explain it as a most unusual Aurora Borealis. It covered an area of
500,000 square km with a vertical extent of 400 km. The rays reached an
altitude of 700 km and were accompanied by a strange noise "similar to the
sound of burning grass or brush". Millions of people in many countries saw
it and feared the world was on fire and about to end. Looking at the
'Northern Lights,' Sister Lucia knew that it was the great sign foretold
by Our Lady on July 13, 1917, that the punishment of the world - World War
II - was at hand.
War in the reign of Pius XI
Ambrogio DAmiano Achille Ratti was elected as Pope Pius XI on February
6, 1922. In March 1938, 45 days after the unknown light was witnessed, in
the reign of Pius XI, Hitler invaded Austria - beginning World War II.
The Third Secret
The last part of the Secret (often called the "Third Secret") has not
yet been made public, but has been in the possession of the Holy See since
1957. It was under the direct order of her bishop and, with the assistance
of Our Lady, that Sister Lucy dos Santos wrote the third part of the
Secret down on January 2, 1944. Speaking to Sister Lucy, the Queen of
Heaven told her that it was God's Will that she commit the Secret to paper
and entrust it to her bishop and, through him, to Pope Pius XII. At that
time, the Blessed Virgin also indicated that this part of the Secret was
to be revealed to the Faithful no later than 1960. Upon learning that her
bishop was unwilling to open the envelope containing the Secret, Sister
Lucy "made him promise," in the words of Canon Galamba, "that
the Third Secret would be opened and read to the world upon her death or
in 1960, whichever would happen first" (Sr. Lucy remains alive today,
1998). If her bishop died first, it was agreed that the Secret would be
confided to the Cardinal Patriach of Lisbon. Despite this agreement, the
Secret was, in fact, delivered to the Vatican where it has remained
undisclosed to the public.
Since 1960 when, after reading the Secret, Pope John XXIII decided not
to reveal the contents publicly, there has been growing speculation
concerning what it contains.
In a November 1984 interview Cardinal Ratzinger (Prefect, Congregation
for the Doctrine of the Faith) confirmed that, with the Pope's permission,
he had read the Secret and that it concerns, in his words, "a
radical call to conversion, the absolute gravity of history, the dangers
threatening the Faith and the life of a Christian, and therefore the
world." The Cardinal went on to explain that "if it is not
published ... it is to avoid confusing religious prophecy with
sensationalism. But the things contained in the Third Secret correspond to
what has been announced in Scripture and are confirmed by many other
Marian apparitions." In an interview by the author of the book The
Ratzinger Report, Cardinal Ratzinger said that the Third Secret deals
with de novissimis - Latin which translates into English as,
dealing with the end times, or pertaining to the
latter days, or about the final events.
All the popes since John XXIII, as well as a few Curia cardinals, have
read the contents of Lucy's envelope. John Paul II is reported to have
done so shortly after his inauguration in October 1978.
The Brown Scapular
In Her appearances at Fatima, and elsewhere to Lucia, the Blessed
Mother repeatedly emphasized the necessity of praying the Rosary daily, of
wearing the Brown Scapular of Mount Carmel and of performing acts of
reparation and sacrifice.
The Brown Scapular is a sacramental, one of the many items set apart or
blessed by the Church to inspire devotion and increase holiness (e.g.,
holy water, ashes, the sign of the cross). The Carmelite Order, to which
the Scapular belongs, originated on Mt. Carmel in the Holy Land and the
Scapular is itself a reflection in miniature of the habit which the monks
wear as a sign of their vocation and devotion.
The Scapular devotion was born on July 16, 1251 when Our Blessed Mother
appeared to St. Simon Stock, general of the Carmelite Order, in response
to his heartfelt prayers for assistance. Holding the Scapular before him,
Our Lady spoke, saying:
"Take this Scapular. Whosoever dies wearing it shall not
suffer eternal fire. It shall be a sign of salvation, a protection in
danger and pledge of peace."
This great promise was
further magnified some eighty years later when the Queen of Heaven
appeared to Jean Drèze (later Pope John XXII) and told him:
"Those who have been invested with this Holy Habit will
be delivered from Purgatory the first Saturday after their deaths."
This great secondary promise attached to the Scapular is
called the Sabbatine (Saturday) Privilege and is based on a decree issued
by John XXII in 1322 (and re-confirmed 400 years later by Pope Paul V). In
our own century, Pope Benedict XV, as a sign of his approval, granted a
500 day indulgence each time the Scapular is kissed.
At its essence, the Scapular is a prayer in which Our Lady draws us
nearer to the Sacred Heart of Her Divine Son. For over seven hundred
years, the promise of the Scapular has been proven theologically sound,
confirmed by miracles.
Sr. Lucy, commenting on the scapular, has said "The rosary and the
scapular are inseparable."
Other Messages from Our Lady of Fatima
As promised by the Blessed Mother, Francisco and Jacinta joined her in
heaven. Francesco died from the flu in April, 1919, and his sister in
February, 1920. Before she died, however, Jacinta revealed many of the
statements made by Our Lady:
"More souls go to Hell because of sins of the flesh than
for any other reason."
"Certain fashions will be introduced that will offend Our Lord very
"Many marriages are not good; they do not please Our Lord and are not
"Priests must be pure, very pure. They should not busy themselves
with anything except what concerns the Church and souls. The
disobedience of priests to their superiors and to the Holy Father is
very displeasing to Our Lord."
"Tell everybody that God gives graces through the Immaculate Heart of
Mary. Tell them to ask graces from her, and that the Heart of Jesus
wishes to be venerated together with the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Ask
them to plead for peace from the Immaculate Heart of Mary, for the Lord
has confided the peace of the world to her."
taken from: Our Lady of Fatima's Peace Plan from Heaven, Tan Books,
1983, 74th printing, March 1990. Nihil Obstat: Fintan G. Walker, Ph.D.,
Censor Librorum; Imprimatur: Archbishop Paul C. Shutte, January 1950.