Have These Children Predicted The Apocalypse?

On May 13th 1917, three poor children shepherded their flock to the Cove of Iria in Fatima, Portugal Before them a woman appeared, she was brighter than the sun, dressed in white and gold, and holding a rosary

Lucia Santos, aged 11, was the eldest and bravely spoke for her younger cousins to ask what the apparition wanted The Virgin Mary bestowed three terrible secrets to the children These secrets were visions of the future The children promised to never reveal them The youngest cousin couldn’t help exclaiming how beautiful the woman was and soon the whole village knew of the apparition

On 13th October 1917, 30,000 people attended and experienced a mass vision known as the Miracle of the Sun which brought the Fatima children worldwide acclaim Their fortunes didn’t last: the two younger cousins succumbed to influenza, and Lucia was spirited away to a convent where she became a nun Sister Lucia was pressed by her bishop to reveal the three secrets given to her by the Virgin Mary In a memoir released in 1941, she revealed what had been prophesied in 1917 The first secret given to the children was a vision of Hell

There was “a great sea of fire under the Earth” filled with tormented human souls and demonic animals In her second secret, the vision said that World War 1 would end, and that if the Catholic Church did not consecrate Russia, the world would descend into war once more, after a shining light in the sky, during the reign of Pope Pius XI A Pope named Pius XI did indeed take the papacy Then the brightest aurora borealis since 1709 was seen as far south as Vienna in 1938 Six weeks later Germany annexed Austria, marking the beginning of the Second World War, as predicted

However, Sister Lucia did not include the third secret in her memoirs She said she had been instructed by Heaven that it should not be revealed “until 1960 when it shall be clearer” That is until Lucia fell very ill, and her bishop implored her to write the secret down It was sealed in an envelope under the instruction to be opened upon her death, or in 1960, whichever came sooner Sister Lucia recovered and the Third Secret made its way to the Vatican archives

But in 1960, the Vatican refused to reveal the contents of the envelope They said in all likelihood “the Secret would remain, forever, under absolute seal"" Speculation was wild – why should the Vatican conceal a secret that has an explicit direction from Heaven to be opened? People feared a too terrible secret: that the apocalypse was imminent, that the church was corrupt or that nuclear annihilation was in store An Irish monk even hijacked a plane to demand that the Vatican make the contents of the envelope known Sister Lucia, herself being bound by an oath of obedience to the Church, could not reveal the secret, and so it remained hidden

That is until the year 2000, when, surprisingly, the secret was revealed out of the blue by a Vatican Cardinal It described a vision of the faithful climbing a hill only to be put to their death by gunfire Included among them was a “bishop dressed in white”, likely the Pope himself People have drawn comparisons between this and the 1981 attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II, which occurred on 13th May, the same date as the original vision All in all, the world was underwhelmed

Doomsday had been expected, but the revealed secret was obscure and seemed irrelevant However this isn’t quite the whole story After all, why would the Vatican conceal the document for 40 years if it was this harmless? Italian journalist Antonio Socci investigated After extensive reading and using personal contacts inside the Vatican, Socci concluded that there was a second page of the secret being concealed One Archbishop said, “Even if I would know more about it, we must stick to what is said in the official documents”, hinting that the full story isn’t publicly known

While Sister Lucia was bound to an oath of obedience to the Church, Frere Michel interview her He claims that she said “It’s all in there,” referring specifically to Chapters Eight through Thirteen in the Book of Revelations A tract which foretells the rise of the Antichrist Most ominously, she is supposed to have said: “We are in the last times of the world"" Intriguingly, Sister Lucia was not present at the official announcement of the Third Secret at the Vatican in 2000

The Church may have wished to conceal the apocalypse, however other explanations are available In the 1980s, Cardinal Ratzinger said that it had not been published to “avoid confusing religious prophecy with sensationalism” The Catholic Church is the voice of Heaven on Earth, and having rival religious sects springing up around an apparition may obstruct their interests Then there is the Second Secret’s requirement for the Vatican to to consecrate Russia During the Cold War, Soviet Russia persecuted Christians

It doesn’t seem in the Vatican’s diplomatic interests to engage with Russia while it was behaving this way Sister Lucia died in 2005, taking the truth to her grave Will we ever know if the apocalypse was foretold? Possibly not before it’s too late

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