Secrets of Fatima

- Archbishop Tarcisio BertoneSecretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

There are three secrets of Fatima entrusted on July 13, 1917 to Lucia dos Santos and her cousins Jacinta and Francisco Marto. All of them, including the third one, have been revealed in their entirety. Below please find a summary of the official presentation of Cardinal Bertone's book, L'Ultima Veggente di Fatima, (The Last Fatima Visionary) which the Pope's secretary of state wrote with the collaboration of journalist Guiseppe De Carli. Benedict XVI wrote the volume's introduction which follows. Next, we post the testimony by Sr. Lucia: "No More Mysteries in Fátima Secret." Finally, we post a report from Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone about a meeting he had with Sr. Maria Lucia.

NO MORE FATIMA SECRETS, SAYS CARDINAL
Book Quotes Sister Lucia

VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 24, 2007 (Zenit.org)--There is no fourth secret of Fatima, and the third secret in its entirety has already been revealed, says Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone.

This was confirmed Friday at the official presentation of Cardinal Bertone's book, L'Ultima Veggente di Fatima, (The Last Fatima Visionary). The Pope's secretary of state wrote the book, released in Italian last May, with the collaboration of journalist Guiseppe De Carli.

Benedict XVI wrote the volume's introduction, saying, "Through the experience of this humble nun one can see the role of the Virgin Mary, who accompanies the Christian with a maternal hand."

During the presentation, Archbishop Loris Capovilla, Pope John XXIII's private secretary, said that there is no fourth secret. He is the only living witness who was present when John XXIII opened and read the third secret in 1959 at Castel Gandolfo.
The ninety-one-year-old prelate said: "It never even entered my mind that there could be a fourth secret. No one ever said such a thing to me nor did I ever claim any such thing."

History

The third secret is the part of the Virgin Mary's message given on July 13, 1917, to Lucia dos Santos and her cousins Jacinta and Francisco Marto.

The first and second parts of the messages given to Lucia by the Blessed Virgin were written down in 1941. In 1944, the third part was written down. In 1957, it was given to the Holy See for the Pope to read at his discretion.

In 2000, Pope John Paul II, who read the third secret for the first time after his assassination attempt in 1981, decided to publish its contents to end growing speculation.

Cardinal Bertone, now secretary of state, was John Paul II's envoy to Sister Lucia, and at that Pope's request, he collected the definitive testimony of the Carmelite nun.

Published

Cardinal Bertone and Sister Lucia met three times from 2000 to 2003. The nun died two years later, Feb. 13, 2005, at age ninety-seven.

Their conversations--the subject of the book--deal with the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin, the prophecies of war and the future of Russia, the enigma of the third secret, and theories about an alleged fourth secret about the end of the world and supposed guilt in the Vatican.

In the book, the chronological reconstruction of the events is accompanied by a rigorous examination of the documents, including the handwritten pages of Sister Lucia, the integral text of the three parts of the message, and the theological interpretation of then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Monsignor Ambrogio Spreafico, who accompanied Cardinal Bertone to Fatima for one of his meetings with Sister Lucia, spoke at the presentation of the book.

"On April 27, 2000," he said, "I personally accompanied him to the Carmelite convent in Coimbra and he gave Sister Lucia the four handwritten pages regarding the third secret. She attentively verified them, recognizing the pages written in her own hand fifty-six years earlier, and she recognized the paper as well."

Mariology

During the presentation of his book, Cardinal Bertone reflected on the role of Mariology and the caution used by the Church in analyzing reportedly supernatural occurrences.
"The criterion for discernment of the truth of private revelation is its orientation to Christ and the Gospel,” he explained. He added that once this has been established, one can then look to other important elements such as popular piety and religious practice.

Cardinal Bertone noted that sometimes there is a notable "spreading of supposedly supernatural messages," often with apocalyptic undertones.
"We need to avoid the danger of a 'Church of apparitions', distrustful of the Church's hierarchy," he said.

Speaking about the message of Fatima, the Pope's secretary of state said: "The profitable meeting of charisma and institution, of the Trinitarian mystery and the Christological mystery, is realized in the message. Mary, sign of God’s mercy, does not leave Christians alone.

"She gives us indications like a road sign to fight the battle between good and evil. Mary is the icon of God’s tenderness for us.

"It is something that taps into and impregnates contemporary history like no other Marian apparition, and the density of its message touches the hearts of mankind, inviting to conversion and the shared responsibility for the salvation of the world."

The Last Fatima Visionary is being translated into six languages and will soon be released in Spanish, Portuguese and English.

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POPE'S INTRO TO CARDINAL BERTONE'S BOOK
The Last Fatima Visionary: My Meetings With Sister Lucia

VATICAN CITY, MAY 20, 2007 (Zenit.org)--Here is a translation of the Pope's introduction to Cardinal Bertone's book, The Last Fatima Visionary: My Meetings With Sister Lucia (Rai Eri/Rizzoli). The book was written in collaboration with Giuseppe De Carli.

To Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone
Vatican Secretary of State

Venerable Brother, Sister Lucia entrusts so many memories to the book The Last Fatima Visionary that treat of events that have marked the history of the last part of the twentieth century. She has entrusted them to this book so that they do not remain merely precious baggage of personal emotions, but be handed over to the collective memory as they are not without significance for secular history.
In reality, during that memorable time that was the Jubilee Year of 2000, we experienced together the chapter that treats of the publication of the third Fatima secret: I, as the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and you, as the secretary of the same dicastery. The great Pontiff who preceded me, John Paul II, fecund with prophetic inspirations and personally convinced that the "maternal hand" of the Virgin had deflected the bullet that could have been fatal for him, saw that the time had come to remove the veil of mystery that covered the last part of the secret that the Virgin had consigned to the three little shepherds of Fatima. The congregation, which conserved the precious document written by Sister Lucia, was put in charge.

It was a time of light, not only because the message could thus be known by all, but also because the truth could be unveiled in the midst of the confusion of apocalyptic interpretations and speculations that circulated in the Church and created anxiety among the faithful instead of inviting them to prayer and penance. Nevertheless, on the other hand, one could see the comforting development of Marian piety, authentic font of Christian life, around the imposing shrine of Fatima and in every part of the world where devotion to the Virgin, under the influence of the apparitions of Fatima, took deep root in the faith of the people, inviting men and women to consecrate themselves to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
The conversations between the visionary, the last remaining of the three shepherd children, and you, a bishop sent by the Pope, have been important not only for the verification of the veridicality of the facts, but also as an occasion to know the limpid freshness of the soul of Sister Lucia, the intelligence of the heart typical of her femininity, transferred into a robust Christian faith. Through this humble nun, there shines the role of the Virgin Mary who with her maternal hand accompanies the Christian through life's bitterness.

I myself oversaw the drafting of the theological commentary on the event, after having intensely prayed and deeply meditated on the contents of the pages written by Sister Lucia. I was deeply affected by the consoling promise of the Most Holy Virgin, which was like a synthesis and precious seal: "My Immaculate Heart will triumph." As it had been written, "Mary's fiat, the word of her heart, changed the history of the world, because it introduced the Savior into this world--because thanks to this 'yes' God could become man among us and he will remain such forever."

And again, "From the time that God himself has a human heart and directed human freedom toward the good, toward God, freedom for evil does not have the last word." The message of Fatima is a further confirmation of this.
I invoke the protection of the Most Holy Virgin for all those who will read the testimony offered with this book and to you, dear cardinal, and to Doctor Giuseppe De Carli, who shared the work of producing this memoir, I impart the apostolic blessing.
From the Vatican, Feb. 22, 2007.

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SISTER LUCIA: "NO MORE MYSTERIES IN FATIMA SECRET"

secrets_of_fatima_01

VATICAN CITY, DEC. 20, 2001 - Sister Maria Lucia said that the secret of Fátima does not refer to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, that its contents have been completely revealed by the Holy See, and that Russia has been consecrated to the Virgin Mary, as Our Lady requested.

The sole survivor of the visionaries of the Marian apparitions made this statement Nov. 17 to Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone, secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

The content of the meeting between the Vatican aide and the elderly visionary, held at her convent in Coimbra, Portugal, was published today by the Vatican Press Office.

The text of the document states: "In recent months, especially following the sad events of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, articles appeared in newspapers alleging new revelations by Sister Lucia, announcements of letters of warning to the Pope, and apocalyptic reinterpretations of the Fátima message.

"Moreover, emphasis was placed on the suspicion that the Holy See had not published the entire text of the third part of the secret, and some 'Fatimist' movements have repeated the accusation that the Holy Father has yet to consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary," the document continues.

As a result, the Vatican note clarifies, it was considered necessary that Archbishop Bertone go personally "to clarify and obtain direct information from the visionary."

The meeting was held in the presence of Father Luis Kondor, vice postulator of the cause of Blessed Francisco and Jacinta, and of the prioress of St. Teresa's Carmelite Convent.

The conversation took place on the afternoon of Nov. 17 and lasted more than two hours. "Sister Lucia, who will be ninety-five on March 22, was in great form--lucid and vivacious," the Vatican envoy said.

The meeting addressed the question of the third part of the secret of Fátima. The Portuguese religious said that she had read "carefully and meditated on the fascicle published by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and confirms everything that is written," the Vatican statement noted.

When the archbishop explained that there are doubts that part of the secret remains unknown, Sister Lucia replied: "Everything has been published; there are no more secrets."

"If I had received new revelations, I would not have communicated them to anyone, but I would have told them directly to the Holy Father," the religious added.

The group then spoke about the statements of Nicholas Gruner, a Canadian priest suspended a divinis, who is collecting signatures insisting that the Pope finally consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and alleging that this has never been done.

Sister Lucia told the archbishop: "The Carmel Community has rejected the forms for the collection of signatures. I have already said that the consecration requested by Our Lady was done in 1984, and it has been accepted in heaven."
Lastly, the conversation turned to Sister Lucia's personal life. Some articles in the press suggested that her concern robbed her of sleep and that she was praying night and day.
The religious answered: "It's not true. How would I be able to pray during the day if I did not sleep at night? How many things they attribute to me! How many things they make me do! They should read my book [The Appeals of the Fátima Message]; the advice and appeals that correspond to Our Lady's wishes are there. Prayer and penance, with great faith in God's power, will save the world."

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MEETING WITH SISTER MARIA LUCIA
Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone,
Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith

In the Convent of Coimbra, Portugal, November 17, 2001


In recent months, especially after the sad event of the terrorist attack last September 11, articles on alleged new revelations by Sr. Lucia, announcements of letters of warning to the Pope and apocalyptic reinterpretations of the Fatima message have appeared in the Italian and foreign press.

The suspicion that the Holy See did not publish the whole text of the third part of the "secret" is being reaffirmed and certain "Fatimist" movements have repeated their accusation that the Holy Father has not yet consecrated Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

It was therefore considered necessary, with the agreement of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and the Bishops of both Leiria-Fatima and Coimbra, that I meet Sr Lucia in the presence of Rev. Luis Kondor, SVD, Vice-Postulator of the cause of Bl. Francisco and Bl. Jacinta, and of the Prioress of the Carmelite Convent of St Teresa, to obtain explanations and information directly from the only surviving visionary.

The conversation that lasted for more than two hours took place on Saturday afternoon, November 17. Sister. Lucia, who will be ninety-five on March 22 this year, seemed in excellent form, lucid and vivacious. During the conversation, she professed her love for and devotion to the Holy Father, for whom, along with the whole Church, she very much prays. She was delighted with the distribution of her book, Os apelos da Mensagem de Fatima (The Appeals of the Fatima Message), now translated into six languages (Italian, Spanish, German, Hungarian, Polish and English), and for which she is receiving many letters of thanks.

Going on to discuss the problem of the third part of the secret of Fatima, she says that she has read attentively and meditated upon the booklet published by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and confirms everything it says.

She answers those who have voiced a doubt that some part of the 'third secret' might not have been revealed: "Everything has been published. There are no more secrets." To those who are talking and writing about new revelations, she says: "There is not a grain of truth in them. If I had had new revelations, I would not have spoken of them to anyone, but would have told them directly to the Holy Father!"

She then gladly recalled her youth and the difficulties she had encountered, first in becoming a sister; but even in gestures of kindliness, as when she remembers the "holidays" in Braga in the years 1921-24, with Mrs. Filomena Miranda, her Confirmation sponsor.

When asked: "What effect did the vision of July 13 have on your life before it was written down and presented to the Church?," she replied:

"I felt safe under the protection of Our Lady, who would watch carefully over the Church and the Pope," and she adds a new detail to her account of the famous prophetic vision:

"During the vision, Our Lady, shining bright, held a heart in her left hand, and in her right, a Rosary." What does the heart in Our Lady's hand mean?

"It is a symbol of love that protects and saves. It is the Mother who sees her children suffering and suffers with them, even with those who do not love her. For she wants to save them all and not to lose any of those the Lord has entrusted to her. Her Heart is a safe refuge. The devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is the means of salvation for these difficult times in the Church and in the world. Cardinal Ratzinger's reflection at the end of his comment on the third part of the 'secret' is very relevant: "My Immaculate Heart will triumph." What does this mean? The heart open to God, purified by contemplation of God, is stronger than guns and weapons of every kind. The fiat of Mary, the word of her heart, has changed the history of the world, because it brought the Savior into the world--because, thanks to her 'Yes', God could become man in our world and remains so for all time. The Evil One has power in this world, as we see and experience continually; he has power because our freedom continually lets itself be led away from God. But since God himself took a human heart and has thus steered man's freedom towards what is good, the freedom to choose evil no longer has the last word. From that time, this is the final word: In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have overcome the world" (Jn 16,33) is well founded. The message of Fatima invites us to trust in this promise."

I asked her three more questions:

"Is it true that speaking to Rev. Luigi Bianchi and Rev. José dos Santos Valinho, you cast doubt on the interpretation of the third part of the "secret"?

Sister. Lucia answered: "That is not true. I fully confirm the interpretation made in the Jubilee Year."

"What have you to say about the stubborn assertions of Father Gruner, who has been collecting signatures, asking the Pope to consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary at last, as if this has never been done?"

Sister. Lucia replies: "The Carmelite community has rejected the forms for the collection of signatures. I have already said that the consecration desired by Our Lady was made in 1984, and has been accepted in Heaven."

"Is it true that Sister. Lucia is deeply upset by recent events, that she can no longer sleep and is praying night and day?"

Sisterr. Lucia answers: "It is not true. How could I pray during the day if I did not rest at night? How many things they are putting in my mouth! How many things they make me seem to do! Let them read my book: in it are all the recommendations and appeals that correspond with Our Lady's wishes. Prayer and penance, together with great faith in God's power, will save the world."

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