A Cousin in Portugal

Catherine Patricia O’Brien was an Irish American history professor at St Louis University. Her nickname from childhood was Cap. While visiting a cousin in Dublin, the cousin received notice that a great aunt had died in Lisbon Portugal. Cap and the cousin attended the funeral. After the wake, the family discussed what to do with the aunt’s papers and letters. In the chest were photos of family. Many of the oldest were of people they did not recognize. There were letters to and from friends and relatives. And a large bundle of letters from Sister Mary Lucy of Jesus of the Immaculate Heart. Her aunt had been a nun but illness had forced her to live outside the convent. One of the cousins knew that the aunt had had a connection with the apparition of Mary at a place called Fatima. Cap had never heard of Fatima.

It was decided that since the American cousin was actually the nearest relative most likely to read the letters, the papers should go to her. No one else was interested in them. Out of respect for the dead, someone had to wade through the papers. As the scholar of the group, the lot fell to Cap. She didn’t mind. Old papers held an allure for her. They belonged to a different realm. Old letters were doors to the past. Old letters were the pathway of historical understandings. Important issues sometimes hinged on a single letter. Old letters embodied the spirit of patience. In a world where so much had to be done by deadline, old papers didn’t mind waiting another year or another decade.

The rest of the family were urban professionals who like just about everybody else in Europe had left the faith behind. It was still practiced in the countryside but the old churches in the cities were mostly empty. They were relics of a departed era.

Back in Dublin, Cap took a walking tour of the city. She came across a picturesque little bookstore. Being a scholar, she loved the smell of old books. They had a perfume which spoke of the dignity and romance of learning. The nobility of the mind. While browsing its aisles, she turned a corner and at the edge of her vision a book called to her. For a moment, it seemed like the title glowed and then withdrew. On a second trip down the aisle, she saw it again. The title stood out clearly. The letters spelled Fatima. She remembered the name. She purchased the book at a price which indicated that it was not much sought after. But it had a sturdy leather binding and yellow pages. On the inside flap, were written kind words of endearment from a giver to a recipient. It had been a gift of love. Both parties were probably long departed. It was a good beginning.

On the flight back, Cap had a chance to reflect on her family history. As the sun set, she looked out her window at the crimson edge of the receding western coast of Ireland. It was easy to think of it as a tapestry with all of the history of centuries written upon it. So many pages that could be turned back in time.

In the early 1800‘s, one John O’Brien had met a dark-haired Portuguese beauty named Maria Iago and married her. She and her father had left Portugal to escape the turmoil of one of Portugal’s revolutionary episodes. A number of Jews were prominent in the anti-monarchist movement. In the aftermath, Portugal had become unpleasant place for her father. He lost property and was happy not to have lost his life. He wanted to get as far away from the trouble as reasonably possible. He sailed for Ireland and for the nearest port, which was Cork.

Cork had a history of providing safe harbor for windswept sailors. Situated in the south east corner of Ireland, it was the nearest port to southern Europe and the Mediterranean. Here and there in the many sheltered inlets among the rocky coast could be found welcome patches of sand. In a violent storm, his boat steered for one of the many protected inlets south of cork. His boat was thrown by the surf upon the shore near a small village called Ross Carberry. The locals had a long history of helping sailors. He liked the little village. He fit in and he soon learned the language. Cork held the second highest concentration of Jews in Ireland. Dublin held the most. But he didn’t want to go upriver to Dublin. He was born near the coast and he wanted to stay near the coast. Also, he wanted to be able to leave easily if needed. The people of Cork had been treated among the worst by the British. There was an underlying sympathy for others who had been treated badly. Rebel Cork, as it had been called, could welcome a rebel as one of their own.

John’s son Patrick attended the local school as his fathers had before him for more than a thousand years. Rich in antiquity, the area had a history which stretched back to the sixth century. Ross Carberry had been a university town when Ross priory was founded by St Fachnan. In the middle ages, it had been one of the great European centers of learning. There, Patrick learned the classics and reveled in the local folklore. He took Sunday trips to Clíodhna's rock. Here, he heard many a wonderful tale of Cliodhna's enchantments, of wrecks and perils, and drownings and treasure. The wind was filled with stories. Cliodhna was queen of the fairy women of the hills. It is said that the wails of the banshee can be heard echoing the valleys and glens at night, amid the wind in the rocks of the coast. Many a soul had shivered at the sound of a wail carried in the wind. She had been a Danaan maiden once living in the Land of Youth beyond the sea. She landed on the coast with her mortal lover, Keevan of the Curling Locks. When Keevan went off to hunt in the woods, she stayed on the beach. She was lulled to sleep by fairy music. A great wave swept her up and carried her back to Fairyland, leaving her lover desolate. Hence the place is called the Strand of Clíodhna's Wave. In this harbor, the sea will sometimes use the wind and the waves to utter a deep, sad, otherworldly wail among the caverns of the cliffs. The locals call it Cliodhna’s wail. It is the sound of her sheoques who have come back to look for Keevan. Sheoques are fairy women for whom the howling winds on the coastal rocks will sometimes play a sad lament which will open the door to the fairy world. Men will shudder deep in their bones when they hear those notes because sometimes the sheoques want to take back with them one of the children of men.

A couple generations later, Michael Collins, whose mother was one of the O’Briens, would attend the same school and soak up the same stories. Michael had often been called the man who won the war for Irish independence.

When Patrick was a young man during the troubles, he had helped a couple friends break out of jail. In the scuffle, a black and tan officer had been killed. Patrick soon had a price on his head. As he skipped from one place to another, the locals affectionately nicknamed him Pat the leaper. It was fun for a while, but living on the run ages a person two years for every actual year. Under an assumed name, he took flight across the ocean highway, one of a million Irish to do so in the middle of the 19th century. In New England, he became an itinerant school teacher and later with the great mass of Irish moved west to help build the canals and factories of western New York and then Ohio.

Eventually, as the Irish and Germans moved west, they passed through Indiana. In the middle 1800’s, the Know Nothing party was popular in Indiana. The party was anti-immigration and anti-catholic. Immigrants were told to keep moving west. For this reason, in St Louis, the word Hoosier is a derogatory term meaning low class person. One of those Irish was Patrick, Cap’s great grandfather.


The Fatima Story

The muffled roar of the engines reminded Cap of banshee wails.

She opened her case and pulled out the leather-bound book on Fatima. Her fingers touched the leather binding. She held it for a while. It was her habit to let her fingers make friends with a book. That it might open itself to her. She thought that it was not all about the mind. She had read as a girl that the ancient romans believed that objects had a will of their own. It was best to treat them with a measure of personal respect in order that they might correspond with her. Once the friendship was made, there was no longer a clear line between book and reader.

She began reading in the middle. Ever since she was a child, she would start reading by opening a book at random. Then after a couple minutes, she would usually begin the discipline of going to the beginning. At the end of her reading time, she would again open randomly the unread portion. When in later readings, she would come across the pages she had previously read, it was like meeting an old friend. The places, she had been there before. The people, she had met them before.

In 1915, a little shepherd girl and her companions in Portugal saw a figure wreathed in white among the treetops. The next spring, the girl and her two cousins were visited by an angel. The angel looked like a boy of fourteen, translucent and filled with light as a crystal water pitcher might look in the sunlight, but so much brighter. The oldest of the three was Lucy who was nine. Her cousin Francisco was eight and his sister Jacinta was six. The angel commanded the children to pray with him. He prostrated himself on the ground. He said to pray a great deal, that Jesus and Mary would hear the voice of their supplications. They felt compelled to prostrate themselves on the ground. The angel disappeared. They remained on the ground repeating the prayers that the angel had taught them. Hours later, the boy noticed that dusk was settling in around them. Their sheep were patiently waiting to be taken home.

The angel appeared to them again in the summer and once more in the fall. Asking for sacrifices and reparations for sins.

The following year was 1917. At noon on May 13, the children were pasturing their sheep in a remote hollow among the hills outside of Fatima. They saw a flash of lightning and scurried to return home before a storm. There was a second flash and they were stunned to encounter a beautiful Lady. She stood upon a cloud a few feet from the ground.

She said that She was from heaven and that She wanted the children to come back to see her for the next five months at noon at the same place. She asked them to say the rosary daily. Before leaving, she enveloped them in a cloud in which they had a sense that they had seen God. They had seen themselves filled with light.

The Second Apparition.

On June 13, a few dozen people walked with the children to the Cova to see what would happen. Again at noon, they saw a flash of lightning and a small white cloud which came from the east and settled over the same holm oak tree. While the children were in ecstasy, some heard the sound of a distant voice, like the sound of a buzzing bee.

Lucy said to the Lady, "Your Grace, what do you want of us?" The Madonna said, "I want you to come here on the thirteenth of next month and pray the rosary every day and I want you to learn to read. Later, I will tell you what I want." Lucy asked for the cure of a sick person. The Madonna said, "If she is converted, she will be cured within a year."

To establish devotion to My Immaculate Heart.

The Madonna told Lucy that Jesus wished to establish "devotion to My Immaculate Heart. To whoever embraces this devotion I promise salvation; These souls shall be dear to God, as flowers placed by me to adorn His throne."

Lucy said that "In front of the palm of Our Lady's right hand was a heart encircled by thorns which pierced it." "We understood that this was the Immaculate Heart of Mary, outraged by the sins of humanity, and seeking reparation." The light from Our Lady's palms "penetrated to our inmost hearts," said Lucy.

Afterwards, the bystanders saw a white cloud drift off to the east and heard what sounded like a rocket in the distance.

She was all light.

Lucy said that the Lady seemed to be a real person of ineffable beauty. Her eyes were black. Her hands were "joined on top of the breast. From the right hand there hung a beautiful Rosary with white beads, brilliant as pearls, ending in a little cross of silver, which also sparkles. The feet... gently come down onto a little ermine cloud which comes over the green branches of the shrub."

"The dress, which is snow white, falls right down to the feet... A white veil with edges adorned with fine braided gold, covers the head, the shoulders, and falling almost as low as the dress, envelops the whole body." Two gold cords fell from the neck and were joined at the waist by a tassel.

The Third Apparition.

The next month, a crowd of 5,000 gathered at the place of the apparitions. When the children arrived, they knelt and began saying the rosary. Soon after, Lucy called out, "Shut your umbrellas. The Lady is coming." The air cooled and the sun dimmed as if in an eclipse. A white cloud traveled from the east to the west and rested on the holm oak. A whitish cloud formed around the children.

Lucy passed into ecstasy and asked "What does your Grace want of me?" The Lady said "I want you to come here on the thirteenth of next month and continue to say the rosary every day in honor of Our Lady of the Rosary, in order to obtain peace for the world and an end to the war, for She alone can help." Lucy asked, " I would like to ask who you are and to perform a miracle so that people can believe that you are appearing to us." The Lady answered, "Continue to come here every month and in October I will tell you who I am and what I want. And I will perform a miracle so that everyone may see and believe."

Lucy was heard to say "She wants people to recite the rosary. People must recite the rosary." Then the Lady said "Sacrifice yourself for sinners and say often especially when you make some sacrifice: ‘O, my Jesus, this is for love of You, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for offenses against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.’

The Vision of Hell.

The Lady opened Her arms. Light from her hands penetrated and opened the earth. The children beheld "a vast sea of fire. Plunged in this fire were demons and souls in human form, like transparent burning embers, all blackened or burnished bronze, floating about in the conflagration, now raised into the air by the flames that issued from within themselves together with great clouds of smoke, now falling back on every side like sparks in a huge fire, without weight or equilibrium, and amid shrieks and groans of pain and despair, which horrified us and made us tremble with fear. The demons could be distinguished by their terrifying and repulsive likeness to frightful and unknown animals, all black and transparent". They saw a multitude of souls falling into hell. They were terrified. The Lady said to them, "You saw Hell where the souls of poor sinners go.

"In order to save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to My Immaculate Heart. If people will do what I ask, many souls will be saved and there will be peace. The war is going to end. But if people do not stop offending God, another even worse, will begin in the reign of Pius XI.

Request for Consecration of Russia and the First Saturdays

"When you see a night illuminated by an unknown light, know that this is the great sign that God gives that he is about to punish the world by means of war, hunger, and persecution of the Church and of the Holy Father. To prevent this, I will come to ask for the Consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart and the Communion of Reparation on the First Saturdays.

"If people will attend to my requests, Russia will be converted and there will be peace. If not, Russia will spread it errors throughout the world, fomenting wars and persecution of the Church. The good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer, and various nations will be Annihilated.

"In the end, My Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russian to Me. It will be converted and a certain period of peace will be granted to the world." She then asked the children to add to the end of each decade of the rosary "O, My Jesus, forgive us our sins. Save us from the fires of Hell and lead all souls to Heaven, especially those most in need." Then there was a thunderclap. Lucy said "There she goes. There she goes." And the little cloud disappeared in the east.

The Fourth Apparition. Colors of the Rainbow

On the morning of the thirteenth of August, the children were taken away by the local administrator. Nearly 15,000 people gathered at the site of the apparitions. At noon there was a great thunderclap, then a bright flash of light. A little white cloud came from the east and settled on the holm oak. It stayed a few minutes and then rose and disappeared. For a few minutes, the people noticed a strange light. "While looking around us, we observed a strange thing, which we had already seen the previous time, and which we were going to see again in the future. The faces of the people had all the colors of the rainbow: pink, red, blue ... The trees did not appear to have branches and leaves but only flowers; everything seemed laden with flowers, and every leaf appeared to be a flower. The ground was covered with squares of different colors. Clothes were also of every color of the rainbow."

The Fifth Apparition. Rain of Rose Petals

On September 13th 1917, the crowd saw the same globe of light advancing from the east and settling on the holm oak. Then there was a rain of colored flower petals which disappeared as they reached the ground. Lucy called out "You must pray." Thousands dropped to their knees and began to pray. Lucy asked the Lady "What do you want of me?" "I want you to continue to pray the rosary every day in order to obtain the end of the war. In October, Our Lord will come also and Our Lady of Sorrows and Our Lady of Mount Carmel and St Joseph with the Child Jesus to bless the world." It was the shortest of the apparitions.

Sixth Apparition

October 13 saw the last of the six apparitions. It was the day that the Lady promised to perform a miracle so that all could see and believe. A crowd of 70,000 had gathered in the field of the apparitions. Rain had fallen for three days. An icy wind whipped the air. Lucy’s mother asked her to go to confession, because if there was no miracle, "We will all be killed." Lucy said not to worry, that the Lady would keep her promise. Around noon solar time, Lucy called out" kneel down. Our Lady is coming. I have seen the flash." A column of mist enveloped the children to a height of about fifteen feet. "What do you want of me." "I am the Lady of the Rosary. I would like a chapel built here in honor of Our Lady of the Rosary. Continue to pray the rosary every day. Men must amend their lives and ask for pardon. Do not offend God anymore, for He is already too greatly offended."

Ominous Dance of the Sun

As the Lady rose to leave, she threw light at the sun. The clouds parted abruptly and the sun appeared and was easy to look at. The sun began to spin. It radiated a multitude of sparks and colors. It began to move and rotate wildly. Three times it violently zig-zagged almost to treetop level. The people were overwhelmed with fear. They cried and prayed aloud. Many thought it was the end of the world. The crowd had been standing in ankle deep mud from three days of rain. Their clothing was soaked. Afterwards, they found that the ground was dry and their clothing was dry and clean, as if it had just been laundered.

Cap closed the book and thought to herself "why haven’t I heard of this." She considered herself to be well informed. She was surprised that something of this magnitude had slipped by her. After taking a nap, Cap resumed reading.

At Fatima, The Madonna told the children that She would come back later to ask for the First Saturdays Devotion and the Consecration of Russia. She would do this to prevent war and suffering. In 1925, She returned to fulfill the first part of that promise. Lucy was an eighteen-year-old postulant of the Dorothean Sisters at their convent in Pontevedra, Spain. After supper on Thursday December 10, Lucy was visited by Our Lady. Beside her was the Child Jesus standing on a luminous cloud. Lucy’s cell was so small that the Madonna rested her hand on Lucy’s shoulder.

A Heart Encircled by Thorns.

Lucy later wrote in the third person, "And as She did so, She showed her a heart encircled by thorns, which She was holding in Her other hand. At the same time, the Child said "Have compassion on the heart of your Most Holy Mother, covered with Thorns, with which ungrateful men pierce It at every moment. And there is no one make an act of reparation to remove them."

Then the Most Holy Virgin said, "Look, my daughter, at My Heart, surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce me at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You at least try to console me and announce in My name that I promise to assist at the moment of death, with all the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the First Saturday of 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." Lucy communicated the request to her superiors. Little was done in response.

The Request for the Consecration of Russia.

A few years passed, and the Madonna returned to fulfill the second part of her promise. On June 13 1929, Lucy was making a holy hour in the convent chapel between 11 pm and midnight. She would sometimes prostrate herself. Other times, she would knell with her arms in the form of a cross. While she was praying, a supernatural light illuminated the chapel. In the midst of a vision about the Holy Trinity, Our Lady of Fatima appeared. She held Her Immaculate Heart in her left hand, with a crown of thorns and flames. She said, "The moment has come when God asks the Holy Father, to make, with all the bishops of the world, the consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart, promising to save it by this means."

Souls Condemned.

With sadness in Her eyes, the Madonna went on to say "So numerous are the souls which the justice of God condemns for sins committed against Me, that I come to ask for reparation. Sacrifice yourself for this intention and pray." Cap was surprised. She thought to herself, "Condemned for sins agains Mary"? Wars would stop.

The Madonna promised that if Her requests were honored, the next war would be avoided and that Russia would be converted and that all wars would cease. If not, She predicted that the next war would begin in the reign of Pius XI.

As Cap’s plane bounced along in the turbulence of the North Atlantic, she read about Lucy after the requests. In August 1931, Lucy was not in good health. The requests of heaven laid heavily upon her conscience. She had been unsuccessful. She had been sent by her superiors to Rianjo, a small seaside town near Pontevedra, where she was to rest in a friendly house. It was there that Lucy had an apparition of Jesus. He said, "Make it known to My ministers that given that they follow the example of the King of France in delaying the execution of My request, that they will follow him into misfortune." Soon after, the pope learned of the dual requests but did not act upon them.

Like the King of France, it will be late.

A year later, Our Lord complained to Sister Lucy. "They did not want to heed my request. Like the King of France they will repent and do it, but it will be late. Russia will have already spread its errors throughout the world provoking wars and persecutions against the Church; the Holy Father will have much to suffer."


Home Again

After sixteen hours of flight and airport time, Cap was happy to step from the airport limousine onto the sidewalk outside her apartment. As soon as she walked into the lobby, she felt safe. The guard greeted her by name and she made her way to the tenth floor.

As she left the elevator and walked the softly lit hall, she relaxed into the feel of the place. She soaked in the shadows of the hall and the familiar pattern of the carpet. She liked the security of seeing these same things again. She turned the key and heard the familiar sound of the bolt striking it‘s resting position. She opened the door and dropped her bags in the hall. She beheld the familiar sight of her foyer. She breathed a sigh of relief as she took in the fragrance of still air and faint incense.

She slowly walked down the hall. She paused briefly at the door of her study to admire the built-in mahogany library shelves which she had selected and built. They were a work of art. Her many books lined the shelves. They were the treasure of her home.

A few more steps down the hall and she stood on the edge of her great room. She had an apartment in the northeast corner of the building. The two exterior corner walls consisted mostly of windows. She could see for miles. On the left, the living room looked out on the north. On the right, the dining room looked out on the east. She stood for a minute and soaked in the view.

She took a few steps into the dining room and set her cache of papers on the table. Then she looked out at a familiar site. This was the view she loved most. She looked out at the dome of the Cathedral. Being on the tenth floor, she was level with a point near the top of the dome.

She loved the lines of the Romanesque dome. Within it was Byzantine dome. There was a dome within the dome. The two domes together, one inside the other were an unusual feature. There was enough room between them that a man could move nearly upright. Beneath the inner dome were some of the largest mosaics in the world.

The exterior of the Cathedral was a work of art in stone. It changed with the sun. She was a morning person and she loved to see the moment each day when the sun rose above the lines of the dome and flooded into her apartment. She could tell the time of year by the point on the edge of the dome where the sun rose. She quietly marveled at it everyday.

When Cap had quests, they were often stunned at the sight. Some were nearly speechless while they became accustomed to the sight.

Although not a member of the church, she was often moved by its quiet majesty. She would walk up its granite steps. The massive wooden doors seemed to have been built with the idea of keeping out an army of pillaging vandals. Inside, with the ceiling so far above, the air seemed to absorb sound. She would sit in the quiet and soak up the stillness. Visitors talked quietly. There were 41 million glass tesserae on the walls and arches. And 7000 different colors. It never seemed the same. The pendentives had such beauty. She would often see something entirely new. She considered that if it had been changed overnight, she would not notice.

Back in her apartment she felt so secure in her world. She loved her apartment. The building was just the right size. Large enough to have 24 hours staff and small enough to be manageable. They knew her name and those of the tenants of the other seventy-two units. It was good to be greeted when she arrived home. The staff knew a good part of her personal history. And they probably knew more about her than she thought they knew but they were discreet and respectful. Somewhere in the code of property management is a grey area where building personnel are unavoidably thrust into people’s personal space. Cap liked having a restaurant on the first floor. When she was tired, she would come home and order her favorite dish. Over the years, she had learned what they would do for her. The cook liked her. He made a couple dishes for her. She could just call up and half an hour later there would be a knock at her door. Her favorite dish would arrive two minutes after it had left the kitchen by a member of the staff whom she almost always knew by name. She could enjoy eating in her pajamas and robe. On stressful days, she would light a few candles, pour a glass of wine, play something special and slip into a distant space.


Begins Reading Letters

About two months after returning, life had settled down so that Cap could begin reading the letters. One night she pulled the box from its shelf in her library and began to look through the contents. First, she arranged the letters in sequence of time. Most of them were one or two handwritten pages. She spoke Spanish and had studied Portuguese for a year and a half. So she was able to follow the letters with the help of her Portuguese dictionary.

She had learned that the letters from Sister Mary Lucy of Jesus of the Immaculate Heart were from Sister Lucy of Fatima, the sole survivor of the three children at Fatima. Lucy’s young cousins had died in the influenza epidemic within two years of the apparitions.

The letters began in the mid 50‘s. Most of them began "My Dear Sister" The first letter expressed Lucy’s sorrow that the aunt had been constrained to separate from the convent and the hope that she would be able to return. Cap’s cousins had told her that their Aunt had left the convent in order to receive medical treatment. After a period of time, it became apparent that she would be a burden to the community. Illness kept her from returning. She kept her vows and maintained her prayer life and the rule of the order. She considered herself an absent member of the community. She led as cloistered a life as possible. She attended mass, spent many hours in prayer and helped the family with whom she stayed. After dinner she would sometimes help with the children and then spend the evening in prayer. She often fasted. She had the keys to the church. She would pray alone at night with just the light of the sanctuary candle on the altar next to the tabernacle.

The first few letters were expressions of hope for the aunt’s recovery and ordinary stories about the life of the community. Cap’s Portuguese was improving with practice. She had secured the tutoring of one of the teachers in the language department at the university. The language was beginning to be transparent.

In one letter, Lucy recalled that the Madonna had appeared to her in May 1952. "Make it known to the Holy Father that I continue to await the consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart. Without this consecration Russia cannot be converted nor can the world have peace."

In another letter, Lucy said that she had learned of Our Lady of Syracuse. An image of the Madonna had begun to weep in the home of a working-class family in the poorest district of Syracuse Sicily in 1953. The image showed the Madonna with her right hand over her flaming heart, pierced with thorns.

Months earlier, an artist had received an inspiration to sculpt such an image. He produced the original in the unusually short time of three days. Molds were mass produced and left in the sun to dry for three days. Then they were varnished and painted. One had been given to the Lannuso family as a wedding gift. After a brief bout with blindness, the first thing that Antonina saw was the weeping image of Our Lady on her wall. The family did not at first believe Antonina that the picture was weeping. But then they saw it too. And soon the neighbors, and large crowds. Then the international media.

Returning from the fields, the young husband, Angelo, asked "Madonnina, why are you weeping?" The family hung the picture on the outside wall of the house for all to see. Many prayed and said the Rosary. Many were healed. On the fourth day, the tears stopped.

Many wondered about the meaning of the tears. Lucy believed that the Madonna was sad because the requests of Her Immaculate Heart had not been attended to. Lucy too was saddened that there was a growing number in the Vatican who were unsympathetic to the message of Fatima. There was a growing anti-Fatima and anti-Marian movement.

The fifth letter had a change in tone. Lucy had received word that the Vatican had instructed the Bishop to send the Secret to Rome. Lucy was not consulted. Lucy feared that it would not be opened in 1960 as the Madonna had requested. And that it would not be released to the public.


Interest Grows

As time went on, Cap’s interest in Fatima and Sister Lucy slowly began to grow. She had come home one day with the intention of reading the sixth letter. In her mail box was a letter from one of the Dublin cousins with more information about the origin of the friendship between their aunt and Sister Lucy. It had happened that in August 1931; Sister Lucy had not been in good health. Her superiors had sent her to a small seaside town city in northern Portugal, near the Spanish border. She was to take some rest in a friendly house. As weeks passed and she grew stronger, she helped with the catechism of local children. Their aunt, Maria, was one of those local children. Lucy was fond of Maria because she reminded Lucy of her own cousin, Jacinta, who had passed away. Later their paths would cross again and their friendship would renew.

The sixth letter was written in 1958 several months after the Secret had been transferred to the Vatican. Lucy feared that the secret would be buried. She knew that a considerable element in the Vatican was not sympathetic to the message of the Lady of Fatima. In 1925, the Madonna had asked for the First Saturday Devotion. But the request had fallen on rocky ground. In 1929, Our Lady requested the Consecration of Russia but it too had been ignored. 1931 would have been the ideal time to announce the First Saturday Devotion and an opportune moment for the Pope to call upon all the Bishops of the world to join with him in a public act of reparation and consecration of Russia to Her Immaculate Heart. The Madonna had promised that if the Pope had Consecrated Russia, that Russia would have been converted. A religious revival would have swept the communists from power. There would have been a worldwide conversion experience. And wars would have stopped. There would have been no world war II. No communist wars of liberation. No Cold War, no Korea, no Viet Nam.

Lucy explained how she had been interviewed by the Postulator for the cause of the beautification of Jacinta and Francisco. She had been under instruction to be patient and quiet on the subject of Fatima. However, in the case of the beautification investigation, she was asked to give the postulator her complete cooperation. In the wide ranging discussion, she had touched on a number of subjects which would later prove to be explosive.

The postulator, Fr Augustine Fuentes, returned to Mexico. Soon after, he gave a conference to group of nuns. One of the sisters took notes which were later published. They stirred up a hornet’s nest. The Vatican believed that Lucy had trespassed into speaking about issues which were within the realm of the third secret.

In the interview, Lucy expressed that the Virgin was sad that no one had paid much attention to her message. Lucy had warned that God would chastise the world in a terrible manner. Lucy said "Father, how much time is there before 1960 arrives? It will be very sad for everyone, not one person will rejoice at all if beforehand the world does not pray and do penance."

There were elements in the Vatican who were biding their time during the last days of the pontificate of Pius XII. They hoped that the new Pope would initiate a rapprochement with the Soviet Union. They were angered that Lucy said that Russia would be the instrument of chastisement chosen by heaven to punish the whole world, and that many nations will disappear from the face of the earth.

It did not sit well with the reformers that Lucy had said that the Most Holy Virgin had led her to deduce that these were the last times of the world. Nor did they like it that Lucy had suggested that it was a sin against the Holy Spirit to reject the requests of Our Lady for the Consecration of Russia and for the First Saturday Devotions.


A Second Lucy

In the next few letters, Sister Lucy related how the Vatican had ordered that she was to be put under wraps. Her visitors were severely limited. Only the Vatican could write a permission slip to see her. Mostly for just her family. Even they didn’t get to actually see her. A screen separated the visitors from the cloister side of the parlor. They could hear but not see the person they visited, except for a vague outline. In Lucys case, another sister was always present in those visits as a chaperone. She said that she had become something like the man in the iron mask. No one could look upon her.

Early in his pontificate, Pope Paul had removed the Index, the age-old list of prohibited books. Now, only one person was effectively on the Index. When it came to Fatima, Lucy was the one person in Christendom who was forbidden to write or publish.

A few months later Lucy wrote that her cloister had produced a Lucy substitute. It had happened by accident. One of the sisters on a public outing was mistaken for Lucy. The media wrote about it and the mother superior was prepared to negate the reports. Because it had to do with Sister Lucy, she had to submit the public statement to the nunciature for approval. He had been away for a few days. When he returned, she expected him to instruct her to release the report. To her surprise, he told her to wait. He wanted to consider it, which meant that he wanted to take it to his superiors. A couple weeks passed and she thought there must be some mistake. She wrote him for instructions thinking that in some lapse of attention, he had forgotten the issue. She was bewildered to read that he told her to do nothing.

A couple weeks later, orders came from the nunciature that the same Sister was to be given an assignment that would again bring her briefly into the spotlight. She was to be kept at a distance from the reporter who recognized her from her last visit. The reporter wrote a short article again thinking that she was Lucy. A couple poor quality photos were produced.

Everyone on the outside accepted that she was Lucy. Even her family. It had been years since they had seen her. Her habit had changed. Her teeth had had a little work. She had put on some weight. She became the new Lucy.

Even in a cloister, the walls have ears. Lucy knew that the Mother Superior was aghast. The risk was enormous. If found out, everyone would suffer in ways that could not be imagined. What could they be thinking. The cloister would be caught in a lie. And she was the one who would be blamed. It was inconceivable. But she was trained in obedience and she would say nothing. It would be her penance and her sacrifice. Soon after she was transferred. The real Lucy would never again be seen publicly. Lucy knew why this had been done. It made sense. Marian Devotion stood in the way of the quiet revolution which was transforming the Church from top to bottom. In order to bury Mary’s message, they had to bury her messenger.


Meeting Skinner

Cap had tried without success to discretely inquire about Fatima from some of the Jesuit staff at the University. They all said about the same thing. The Church had moved on to dialogue with the modern world. To deal realistically with the problems which men and women faced in the everyday world. It was time to adapt. Fatima belonged to the past. She had the sense that there was something going on here but she could not put her finger on it.

Months passed and winter turned into spring. A friend told her about a retired Jesuit who had begun counseling in private practice in Dogtown only a couple miles away. She made an appointment. Father John Skinner was a thin almost frail man. He looked the part of a kind and knowledgeable teacher. When they met, he invited her to "call me Skinner. Everyone does." He described himself as a conservative neanderthal Jesuit who held to a world view that belonged to the past. If she could accept that, he would be happy to speak with her about her concerns.

She laid out her story, asking him to explain what was going on. He listened attentively. He had the air about him that he enjoyed listening to her. And that he enjoyed listening to her tell him about the history of their times. Soon it was time for his next appointment. He told her that he would think about what she had said and consider what to say and where to begin. He would see her in two weeks.


Second Meeting Malachi Martin

At their second meeting, Skinner asked what was new. Cap told him about some of Lucys letters from the sixties. She was appalled that the secret had not been revealed. She felt the world was on a downward path. He listened intently. He liked hearing about it. She asked him why. He said it had a ring of truth to it.

Skinner told her that for the last two weeks he had been thinking over what she had told him and he had concluded that it was best to begin with the Third Secret of Fatima. She was right to think that there was a pattern which she could not quite perceive. The key to what was going on in her letters was the battle over the Third Secret. In fact, one could make the case that the whole of the last century was a backdrop for the Third Secret. All the important people were just straight men in a drama in which the Third Secret was the main event. If a thousand years from now, a student of history were to look at the past century, they would find that the Third Secret was the central event of the era. Everything else related to it.

Skinner told her the secret was supposed to have been revealed in 1960. He quoted Cardinal Ottaviani. "The Madonna wanted it to be published already in 1960." Sister Lucy also said the Our Lady wanted it revealed in 1960. Everybody knew that it was supposed to be revealed in 1960. There was worldwide expectation about the secret. It was a big disappointment when it was not revealed. Marian devotion suffered a blow.

"Let me tell you what we know about the secret. At the third apparition at Fatima in 1917, Mary showed the children a vision of hell. Then she spoke to them for a few minutes. Then she showed them another vision and spoke for another few minutes. They were called secrets because the children were not supposed to talk about them at the time. The Church has revealed the two visions and the first discourse but not the second.

"The vision of hell is the first secret. The first discourse is called the second secret. In it, Mary tells Lucy that she will return later to request the First Saturday Devotion and the Consecration of Russia. She promised that there would be peace if Her requests were granted. And that there would be trouble if not.

"The second vision was revealed by the Church in 2001. It involves a bishop in white climbing a hill toward a cross amidst many bodies in a city half destroyed. Soldiers and a mob come out and kill him, and then begin killing the clergy and laity.

"The discourse that followed that vision has not been revealed. The hierarchy is even reluctant to admit that there is such a discourse. That discourse is what is commonly called the Third Secret. As Skinner opened his desk, he told Cap that he would like to read her the highlights of short article which would help to frame the discussion. It was about Father Malachi Martin, a brilliant Jesuit, who had read the Third Secret when he was a young assistant to Cardinal Bea. He was Bea’s assistant during the time period in which John XXIII opened the sealed envelope, read the secret, and asked advice from a few of those who were closest to him. Martin later became disillusioned with the Jesuits and was released at his request. But he remained a priest in good standing. He said the Latin Mass every day for the rest of his life. He wrote a few novels. One of them about exorcisms, another about the Vatican. Skinner began reading the article out loud. "In 1998 Martin gave a sensational interview on the Art Bell Show in which he provided a behind-the-scenes account of the Vatican and of the "war to the death" between progressivists and traditionalists. At a certain point the interviewer asked him about the Third Secret of Fatima, and the ecclesiastic, who claims that he read it precisely because of his closeness with Cardinal Bea, explained that its publication would be devastating: ‘It could be a shock...It could strike people in different ways. Some, if they came to know that this was really the Third Secret of Fatima, would be extremely angry.’ These words leave one to think of the preannouncement of a catastrophe, but when the interviewer recalled the horrible planetary cataclysms contained in the document from Neues Europa and asked if the Secret is that traumatic, the response by Martin is: ‘Worse.’ To the disconcerted journalist the ecclesiastic repeated: ‘Much worse...The central element of the Third Secret is terrifying…’ "The interviewer then asked: ‘Are you telling me that what is contained in the Third Secret is more terrible that what I have just read?’ ‘Oh yes. It is. Because what you have just read is, essentially the extermination by natural powers... It is as if nature is revolting against the human race. It is substantially what happens by means of these terrible catastrophes and chastisements. And this is not the essence of the Third Secret, not that which is more terrifying.’"

It would fill confessionals on Saturday night. "Confronted by the astonished exclamation of the interviewer, Martin explained: ‘Yes. It goes beyond the imagination.’ Reveal it? ‘It should be revealed. They were going to uncover it, but there is the problem of shock, of scandal, of terrifying people and mankind in general… I would like to be able to do it because a thing of this kind, so far as can humanly be foreseen, would give a shock, would terrify people, would fill confessionals on a Saturday night, would fill the cathedrals, the basilicas, and the churches with believers on their knees, beating the breasts.’"

"It is obvious that such a description of the Third Secret does not concern the vision revealed in 2000, but another text. Also, because Father Martin adds: "The Secret was intended (by Heaven) for the people, not for the Pope or bishops, It was intended to be revealed in 1960, by the explicit order of Heaven… The Pope decided that it would be better if the world did not know it, contrary to the order of the Queen of Heaven, the order She gave to the Pope by means of the children: to publish it. Therefore, the will of God has not been done." Father Martin was at pains to stress that it is not the Church which hides the prophecy, but "only the men of the Church, who are not faithful to their vocation." (The distinction between the Church and the men who are a part of it is theologically correct.) He then added: "Pope John XXIII did not think that the Secret should be published in 1960. It would have ruined the negotiations that were taking place at that moment with Nikita Khrushchev, head of the Soviet state at that time. And besides he had a rather different vision of life, a vision that would be revealed clearly two years later, with the opening of the Council, during his discourse of October 11, 1962 in St. Peter’s before the assembled bishops... He mocked, disdainfully, those whom he called ‘prophets of doom.’ And there was no doubt among any of us that he was speaking of the three prophets of Fatima, toward whom he was hostile."

"This notwithstanding, the Secret, Father Martin continued, "will one day be revealed and fulfilled. Only this time it will be painful... We cannot avoid it, it is too late. We can mitigate its effects somewhat if we know what it concerns... Pray, receive Holy Communion, recite the Rosary. But they will not be easy days, unfortunately." Skinner folded the paper and looked at Cap. She was stunned. "If that is true, how could such a thing have been kept quiet." He said that when people want to trust, they are easily misled. Skinner sighed. "Are you sure you want me to go on? This is difficult. It tends to upset one’s worldview." "Yes, please go on."

"There is a French monk named Frere Michel. He has written three volumes about Fatima. If you have the time and the interest, you should tackle them. The volumes have about eight hundred pages each. They are extensively footnoted. They are a wealth of information. There is just one reference which is not footnoted. Michel claims it came from a reliable source. Sister Lucy said about the contents of the third secret, ‘It’s in the Gospel and in the Apocalypse, read them.’ On another occasion, she specifically referred to Chapter 8 through 13. Well, Chapter 8 is about opening the Seventh Seal and the Trumpets. Fire will fall from the sky.

Skinner looked up from his reading and said "There is a case to be made that we will see these things soon fulfilled. Would you like to hear my take on them?" She honored his invitation with a pause, as she reflected on what he had been saying. Then she carefully said "Please go on." As a lecturer, she was as good at listening as she was at speaking. Here, her usual role was reversed. He was the teacher and she was the student.

Skinner said "The first thing that happens is that the angel who stands before the altar of God, fills golden censor with fire from the altar and casts it on the earth. Then the First Trumpet precipitates a Hail of Fire which scorches a third of the earth, a third of the trees, and all green things.

"The Second Trumpet is about a meteor striking the sea. When the second angel sounded his trumpet, something like a huge mountain, all ablaze, was thrown into the sea. A third of the sea turned red, A third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.

"At the sound of the Third Trumpet, a great star fell from heaven, burning like a torch, and it poisoned a third of the rivers and the springs of waters. The name of the star was Wormwood. The Ukrainian word for wormwood is Chernobyl. So, the name of the star is Chernobyl. It suggests that a radioactive meteor or a piece of the sun penetrates our atmosphere and poisons a third of the fresh water of the planet with radioactivity.

"Well," he exhaled. "That is about enough for today. Yes?" Cap agreed. She sunk back in her chair and asked him if he thought Martin was credible. Skinner answered that he thought that Martin was honest. "Everything of his which I have read holds together. He still has kept his vow to keep the secret a secret. In my business, I listen to the points and the whole picture. Sometimes, it is in the picture that you see whether the person is seeking to tell the truth. "

Skinner knew that he had injured her world view. It was now less secure and more frightening. They made an appointment for two weeks later and said goodbye. Cap felt as if she wasn’t walking home on the same sidewalk on which she had come. Her world had changed.

At home, Cap read Chapter Eight of the Apocalypse: "And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven, as it were for half an hour. 2 And I saw seven angels standing in the presence of God: and there were given to them seven trumpets. 3 And another angel came and stood before the altar, having a golden censer: and there was given to him much incense, that he should offer of the prayers of all saints, upon the golden altar which is before the throne of God. 4 And the smoke of the incense of the prayers of the saints ascended up before God from the hand of the angel. 5 And the angel took the censer and filled it with the fire of the altar and cast it on the earth: and there were thunders and voices and lightnings and a great earthquake."

Cap sat back in her big chair and thought to herself. "So, we have entered the Apocalypse."


Destruction of New York

A couple days later, Cap had a full day of appointments. As she poured her first cup of morning coffee, she watched the mist rise from a gentle rain. It would help the flowers.

At the same time, several hundred miles away, a nondescript freighter was approaching the three-mile territorial limit near New York Harbor. It was a beautiful spring day. The ship sailed beneath a Malaysian flag. As the ship reached the limit, the crew opened the hatch and brought a large container to the deck. Four of the ship’s crew worked to remove the top of the container. Then they removed the sides.

On the platform stood a large covered object which had barely fit within the width of the container. The four carefully removed the tarpaulin. Sunlight reflected off the fuselage of a long white object which looked like a mix between a missile and an unmanned airplane. It had short wings half of which were folded in an vertical position. It had a propeller and a tail assembly. There was no pilot compartment. Two other workers proceeded to fold the wings down and lock them into place. Once in position, the wings were about four feet long. Shorter and wider than a normal wing. It was mounted on a rail and had rocket boosters on the back sides.

The leader executed a series of instructions on an instrument panel mounted on the side of the platform. He leaned over to listen to a low murmur from inside the body of the aircraft. He plugged in his computer and typed additional instructions. He tested the ailerons, flaps and rudder. A motor was activated. Gears began to engage. Then there was the high-pitched whine of activated hydraulics as the railing lifted the nose of the missile upward. At 60 degrees it locked into position, about two thirds of the way toward upright. The leader clicked the start motor command. It coughed a few times and then rapidly jumped in rpm. The crew stepped back. The unmufflered exhaust was nearly deafening. The leader nodded toward one of his men who stepped forward and pulled a charging cable out of the wing. The leader then stepped away and quickly climbed the stairs to the wheelhouse.

In the distance, a boat that was approaching at high speed. The leader looked in the direction of the boat, and made a call on his cell phone. When the boat pulled up alongside, he makes a few more keystrokes and looked down again at the body of the missile. Its tip was nearly at eye level. He typed a final command and ducked momentarily beneath the instrument panel for protection. A couple seconds later a fire erupted beneath the missile. He listened to the roar of the aircraft as it lifted off. He looked up to see it climbing into the sky and beginning to level off. The crew was stunned. His own men rejoiced and raised their arms in victory celebration. They were nearly in disbelief at what they just done. The leader watched the missile trail away. He took just a moment to bask in the glow of their accomplishment. As the cheers faded, he then methodically hurried down the steps toward the speed boat. His men are already climbing into the boat. They left the crew unmolested. They had been instructed to leave them as witnesses.

As he crossed the railing, deep within the interior of the freighter a second ignition system completed its program. A little green light blinked on the circuit board. A massive explosion ripped the freighter apart like a giant hand grenade. The sudden violent outburst blew torn metal in all directions. The shock wave created an enormous crater in the water. The speed boat was crushed like a matchbox. Then the spray of water and metal began falling back and the sea rushed in to fill the crater. Soon, there was nothing left but foam and splashing waves.

The missile flew at low altitude toward the city. From its vantage point, New York presented a beautiful sight. Its buildings rose higher and higher into to sky as the aircraft approached. Soon off its side was the shore where the sea met the America Urban skyline at its apogee. This was its last minute. It would not look this way again in the lifetime of any living creature. Perhaps it would never look this way again, ever. At the Statue of Liberty, visitors looked up at the loud noise as the missile passed overhead. Further on, a few passengers on the ferry watched the aircraft fly overhead. They thought it odd that an aircraft was flying so low. It passed briefly over the New Jersey before curving north to approach Manhattan from the west.

In its final seconds, it turned east and crossed the Hudson. It exploded over the center of Manhattan. A storm of debris exploded for miles. The buildings collapsed as they fell toward the sea. Manhattan was tumbled and flattened. The intense flash of the blast ricocheted down the avenues of windowed office buildings. The light was many times brighter than sunlight. Along the sidewalks of the shadowed corridors, pedestrians suddenly found themselves bathed in light. Then everything was quiet. No one moved for having been stunned. Cars stopped. Engines stopped. Fans stopped. Walking stopped. For a moment, time was effectively frozen. Then out of the silence, someone yelled "Nuclear bomb. Run for the basements."

Two miles from the center, the blast arrived in eight seconds and lasted for three seconds. Three miles away it hit in 12 seconds. The words were repeated, Nuclear bomb. Men and women ran for their lives in parking garages and into lobbies and down the stair wells. Even after the explosion hit, there was a brief time before the whole weight of the building fell down on them.

Brooklyn and New Jersey were soon in flames. Bridges were down or damaged. Tunnels were cracked and leaking from the shockwave. Marble sized drops of black rain began falling. Emergency services were overwhelmed. There was no way to approach the city. The roads were all blocked with heaps of debris and fallen buildings. Even as far as New Jersey, cars and trains were tossed about like toys. With the tunnels closed and bridges down, there was no way to reach the city. A cloud of radioactive dust drifted across eastern New Jersey, then northeast across Connecticut. Residents of Connecticut heard the explosion. Then there were sirens. They could see the mushroom cloud in the distance. Cell phones were out but word spread quickly and people could feel that a light breeze was blowing from the south. The roads were soon clogged with people traveling as far as they could on what gas they had in their tank. Gas stations were soon out of gas.

Ultimately, a large part of Connecticut and Massachusetts would be uninhabitable. The fallout zone would be two hundred miles long and sixty miles wide. A larger area would be unsafe for children or crops. The worst areas would be radioactive for a thousand years.

Ghost Walkers. In the tumble of buildings, there were few survivors. In the subways, the trains stopped. The trains were noisy as they moved along. Then suddenly they came to a stop, the tunnels were quiet. Emergency lighting systems came on. In the dim light, passengers disembarked and began walking toward the nearest platform. They could see in the distance that the platforms were shrouded in a thick mist. They could hear coughing and crying. Coming closer they heard the word explosion. The cloud was getting thicker and pouring into the tunnel. They met people who were walking away from the platform.

The two groups met and spoke briefly. The group from the platform told their story. Some had been on the steps when a great explosion knocked them down the steps. Those on the platform had been knocked off their feet. Several had seen a flash a light ricochet off the walls. They had all heard the sound of an unimaginably loud explosion. A cloud of dust poured down the exit stairs of the station. It was too thick to breath. They cautiously felt their way back toward the platform. They were led by voices of the people ahead of them in the darkening cloud of dust. Then it became impossible to breathe on the platform. Helping each other, they climbed down and retreated into the still air of the tunnel. They were walking toward a midway point in the tunnel where the air would be the least effected. If the trains started again, there would be plenty of room to move to the side. They remembered pictures of the enormous cloud of concrete dust when the towers fell. They figured that it would be about four hours until the dust had settled.

After a few hours, a small group began walking toward the exit. On the platform they passed through a fine mist. The floor was white with dust. Those that walked toward the exit groped their way along the handrails, guided by the sound of those climbing stairs ahead of them. The stairs were covered by debris. The higher they went, the deeper was the debris. Toward the top, it was like trying to climb up a steep pile of irregular gravel. They would slide back and pull themselves up by the handrails. Surprisingly, there was little light toward the top. When they turned the last bend in the stairs they saw that the exit was filled with debris. Like someone had dropped large beams and hunks of broken concrete into the stairway. Like a building had been demolished nearby and the edge of the debris pile had spilled into the stairway A little daylight was visible. They had to climb their way through a tangle of debris.

When they climbed their way past the last obstacle, they were stunned. For as far as they could see, there was a moonscape of broken buildings. Endless piles of concrete and twisted beams. There were no streets. Everything was covered with the tumble of broken office buildings. Where their once stood their favorite Starbucks, there was now a mountain of debris. They stood there stunned. It was in comprehensible. Some would stand in disbelieve. They passed the word back down the hole. It had been a nuclear bomb.

Some went into shock. Where is my office? Where is my job. Where are my fellow workers? Some would sit on a piece of what was once an office building. One would find a thick piece of tiled concrete that had once been the lobby of an office on the twentieth floor. Another on a square hunk of concrete that had been a support beam high in the sky.

After coming to grips with the new reality. One after another they started hiking west. They knew that the Hudson was several blocks away. Coming over one ridge of debris, they could see that New Jersey was on fire. Approaching the Lincoln Tunnel, they joined others who were making their way out. Someone asked, where are the others.

Inside the tunnel, they walked past lines of stalled cars. On the other side, they and all the others who walked with them emerged into the daylight. They were covered with white dust. Their hair was white. Their clothes were white. Their faces were powdered. They looked like ghosts. There were not many of them.

Long Island Isolated. Long Island was cut off. The roads were closed. The trains were not running. Power and water were off. A few left on boats or private planes. Over the next few days a flotilla of sailboats from all across the east coast was organized. Fuel was in short supply. Rescue boats were given top priority. They were delivering supplies and taking away passengers by lottery. The military delivered supplies. It was a couple weeks before the military could clear an exit road to the mainland. Then nearly everyone left.

The emp brought down the power system and there was a cascade of power failures across the northeast, much like the great Detroit failure in the 80’s.


Washington Flees

In a bunker beneath the Appalachian Mountains outside Winchester West Virginia, an operator was performing a series of activities to keep his brain active. His function was to wait and watch for an alarm that a nuclear device had gone off somewhere in the US. It happened every few days as part of a drill. The purpose was to keep him ready and to keep him composed in the event that the alarm went off. When an alert flashed, a klaxon sounded. He went through his drill and pressed a button which made a quick connect phone call. This time a real voice answered the phone. He read the script. A nuclear device has exploded in New York City. You are to take the president to a nearby underground bunker immediately. This is the real thing. Move Now. Go.

The security agent who answered the phone in Washington had answered one of three orange phones. From years of practice, he knew that the other orange phones would ring the next second. The voice on those phones would be computer generated and they would give the same message he just heard. According to plan, he pressed an alarm and jumped from his chair during the word immediately. The rest of the message he was never supposed to hear. They let him hear the whole message just once, during the first practice. They had timed him and everyone else who had ever sat in his chair. It was something of a tradition. He had exited his chair and was three feet away in 0.75 seconds, which put him in the top half. Once someone took two seconds. That person was not invited back.

Into the earphone of every agent on duty, the computer said "Initiate Plan President to Bunker. The president is in the west conference room. This is not a drill." Then the message repeated. Halfway through the second message, two agents burst into the conference room. One said "Bunker Plan, Mr. President." They grabbed him by the arms and thighs and did what they called a carry run toward the door. They were not supposed to engage the president in conversation. They had practiced this many times. In the earlier days, they had sometimes injured the presidential stand-in. One had a dislocated shoulder. Another had a injured kneecap. They had developed something of an art in ejecting the president from a standing, sitting, or laying condition into high speed.

Lifters The men who practiced this were called the lifters. The president had practiced too. Two administrations earlier, they had discovered that the president needed to learn how to allow himself to be lifted in order to avoid chiropractic adjustment. They called it the Clinton maneuver. Over time they had gotten very good at it. In the event that a warhead was inbound, every second counted.

It took half a second for the explosion to register on the screen. Almost another half second to register on the brain of the watcher. At one second, the call was initiated. At 6.5 seconds, the orange phone man was out of his chair. At 7.25 seconds, the agents began hearing their message. At 12 seconds, they reached the president. At 16 seconds, they exited the room. It took ten seconds to get to the nearest down elevator. An agent had already removed the paneling, and was holding the door. This elevator only held room for two people, one behind the other in a narrow space. It was the narrowest elevator in the world outside of a submarine. The president was pushed in face full against the wall to allow his attendant to make a full body press into the elevator to allow the outside agent to close the door. The elevator was so small that to do this he had to reach for the handle bars on the president’s side of the elevator, lower his hips below the presidents, and pull forward. The president actually had to hold his breath. For this reason, it was an inside joke that they called themselves intimates of the president.

In the society of lifters, there were the bigs and the littles. The big group got their hips clipped upon door closing. The little group got a full closure without contact. There was a third group. The jumbos. who were sent to the gym until they could slim down to qualify for reentry into the big group.

When the lifter pushed the down button, the elevator shot down four stories in seconds. More than one lifter had gotten sick in the practice. For this reason, a separate wardrobe was kept in waiting. As soon as the down elevator hit the lowest floor, another agent yanked the door open and the race began again. The lifters rapidly scooted the president into a vehicle waiting a few away. This was a car different than anything on the highway. It looked like a big bullet with multiple axles. And they called it the bullet. An eight-foot section of the side slide forward. The president was thrown sideways into a padded cocoon. A protective carriage rose to pull him into place. One of the lifters yelled ready and the eight-foot-wide panel slammed back in place. At the same time, the driver accelerated into full forward with the energy of two high powered engines. One forward, one aft.

There was no screeching of tires. The floor and the tires were built for maximum friction. All the energy went into rocketing the vehicle forward. Designed with an unlimited budget, there were two axles in the front and two in the back. There were two tires on each wheel. There was a total of sixteen modified wide pad wheels for maximum stability. A series of lasers guided the bullet. It was built to keep within one inch of center.

At 48 seconds, the car was speeding away at an alarming rate of acceleration. Most of the residents of DC did not know that their city was honeycombed by underground tunnels. In four seconds, the bullet reached 100 mph. In ten seconds, it reached maximum speed of 220 mph. They shot through what they called the long tunnel. Side lights mounted on the wall sped by at a dizzying rate of speed. It happened that most presidents had never traveled at more than 120 and that was in open ground. The tunnel was only wide enough for a car and a walkway. At close quarters, 220 seemed more 600 mph. It was off the charts. The president was advised to lay still in order not to distort the steering system. Lying still also kept the president from looking out and avoided the certainty of the president having motion sickness. The visual effect was too much information for a human being to digest. It was instant vertigo. Even the practicers had to build up to it. More than one presidential stand-in had gotten sick during the drill. It was no wonder that presidents lost touch with the average person. They were privy to so many secrets of which the average citizen had no idea. At 4.5 minutes, they passed below the beltway into Virginia. No small amount of construction had been facilitated to mask the construction of such a special tunnel. No one noticed that the truckloads of excavation far exceeded the amount of earth moved by the digging of a basement and subbasement.

In five more minutes, they were beneath the Manassas National Battlefield. Adjacent to it was the Northern Virginia Community College which had served as a fine disguise for the construction. At one point, they pulled off the tunnel into a garage. The tunnel went twenty miles further. There were some war games in which the area was faced with a cluster of incoming devices. In that scenario, the president was moved further outside the target area.

The president was met by military personnel and quickly escorted down a stairway into a hallway past a series of offices into a plush conference room.

At 9.6 minutes, the president was saluted and asked to sit down. He dropped into a large chair and was offered a glass of water. The officer in charge told the president what had happened in the last ten minutes. The officer had practiced this script many times before. He had twenty main scenarios and one hundred secondary scenarios. He just needed the information to fill in the blanks. A program had already read the location and the kiloton information, windspeed and affected areas. He explained that a nuclear device had leveled New York City. A large main wall screen lit up with live pictures of what remained of Manhattan. Several smaller screens showed different views. He was shown the mushroom cloud. At eleven minutes, the crest had risen to an altitude of 36,000 ft. At fifteen minutes, it would breach the stratosphere at 60,000 ft. Then it would level off and begin to disperse.

He reported that a majority of the working team believed the bombing was the work of a lone radical group which had acquired a stolen Russian weapon from Chechen rebels who had received some assistance from North Korea. But a minority took the position that it was a false flag operation conducted by Iran with significant help from Russia and that it had been in the making for several years. The initial loss of life was estimated to be 500,000. Within a week it would rise to 1.5 million and within two years to 3 million. The information officer had the statistics for every major city dependent on the blast size. They just had to crunch the numbers.

The world stock markets had dropped their limit and closed. The Wall Street had been blown away. The Comex had been shut down. When the next wall street was resurrected from the ashes, it was expected that there would initially be a ninety percent drop. It was expected to recover slowly to fifty percent. Two million people were stranded on Long Island without power, fuel or water.

They planned and practiced this presentation many times. They had run drills with a presidential appointee. All aircraft in the vicinity of DC had been instructed to land immediately at Richmond or Baltimore or points more distant. All flights were grounded. A squadron of fighters combed the airspace. If anything moved, they were to shoot it down. If there were a concern that more warheads were coming, the president would be transferred to headquarters deep beneath the West Virginian mountains. The president needed to make a statement soon to restore confidence.

They had prepared a couple short statements earlier in consultation with his appointee. "My Fellow Americans, today we have been assaulted by a lone terrorist group .... Justice will be done." They had prepared a little White House for him. His people would be arriving soon. Even his cook. The Officer took out a briefing folder and handed it to the president. It read "In the event of a Nuclear Explosion in NY."

Centuries earlier, after the great earthquake in Lisbon Portugal, the Marquis of Pombol had instructed his officers, "Bury the dead and feed the living." The sheaf that was handed the president had the same core idea. After Katrina, the Office of Emergency Preparedness had realized that in the event of a nuke, the pentagon would need to swing into action on the ground. A permanent office had been established in the Pentagon. Already military personnel all over the world had been sent the plan and were told to expect that it would be approved in the next few minutes. The president was asked to approve the rescue plan. It would tap the full resources of the military. Hospital ships, Tankers, Air Transports, police support and thousands of soldiers on the ground.

On the economic side, the military had insisted that the appointee sign on to a plan in the event that a single city or a number of cities were attached by nuclear explosions. They had staff who would help him. Fifty years earlier, Eisenhower had anticipated that new administrations would not have the expertise or inclination to war game the economic aspects of a nuclear strike. They assembled a team that sharpened their skills with every administration. They had counterparts in every member of the G7. They were widely recognized as having the best team by far.

The president began reading. Expecting that the president would be overwhelmed, there were actions he needed to take immediately. Actions within the first hour, within the first six hours, within the first day, within the first week, and as soon as possible thereafter. He began calling his advisors. Some would never answer.

In the meantime, at the opposite end of the spectrum of power, were the ordinary workers and inhabitants of the metropolitan area.

Annie Dillion was a billing clerk in the general accountant’s office of the pentagon. She had long supposed that such a day would come. She and a few of her office workers had joked that when the day came that Washington was attached, they wanted to be FOFO. It was a play on the accounting terms FIFO and LIFO. To her and her friends, it meant First out the door and First out of town. On that day she got a call from her husband who was on duty at a military base nearby. By prior arrangement, she would pick up the kids and head out of town. There were no small number of Washingtonians who kept ten gallons of gas and two months of supplies in their trunk. They called themselves full tankers. Once she had been stopped by the police on a routine check. The officer said "Lady, what are you expecting?" She answered "the worst."

She quickly said "I love you" and calmly cradled the phone. She walked past her closest friend and said "I am leaving. New York nuked." Her friend had agreed if that day came, she would say nothing for fear of encountering a lock down. Annie scampered toward her car and raced out of the parking lot. She telephoned ahead to the school and asked her two kids to meet her at the door. She sped away and headed up the highway.

Once out of DC she sighed in relief. She was headed to a small collection of vacation A frames south of Berkeley Springs, West Virginia. They had food and water stocked there. There was plenty of woods around them for fuel. Two hours later, she pulled into the development. An old guy stepped out of the dilapidated gate house and greeted her by name. He had heard. He said he expected that they would have a full house by night fall if everybody made it. When she pulled in the driveway, she was reassured by the familiar sound of the gravel beneath her wheels. She opened the door and smelled the cottage smell that was associated with so many good weekend memories. She took a drink of water. An occasional drip had left a small blue stain on the white porcelain sink. The little town had been called Bath a couple centuries earlier when George Washington had stopped there to partake of the mineral properties of the water. People still came for the Baths. After a glass of water, she took the kids on a walk through the woods and around the lake to restore a sense of normality.

She recalled that she and her husband had figured that it would take about five minutes for the news to get thru the media. That it might even get locked down. Then most would suffer a form of negative panic. They would stay in place. But some would run.

During a sudden snow storm a couple years earlier, a lot of people had poured onto the streets at the same time. Traffic had suffered gridlock. Some intersections were blocked for two hours without moving an inch. Many people did not get home till five am. They figured that DC would suffer the same kind of gridlock in a voluntary evacuation. It was important to get out in the first ten minutes. After that, the highways would act like a funnel. Many would hit the roads, only a few would pass. Going northwest, the main exit highway was 270. Near Fredrick, it narrowed to two lanes which accommodated 100 cars per minute at maximum, if all went well. At that rate, it would take a couple months to evacuate their quadrant of the metro area. So success depended on being one of the first one per cent to leave town. That night Annie and the kids sat on the porch and watched the headlights as cars pulled off the main road. Finally, one of them had just one headlight. Her heart leaped because her husband was driving a motor cycle. A moment later she recognized the sound of his engine. It sounded so good as it headed toward them in the woods. She ran to greet him and sobbed on his shoulder. He carried her to the front porch. He smiled at the kids and said "Will someone please give me a drink of that delicious water." His daughter hurried back from the sink. Then they all sat down on the front porch and watched the western ridge where the last light of day slowly disappeared from the sky. They named the familiar stars as they appeared in the clear air. And they wondered what would happen next.


Mushroom Cloud

Immediately after the explosion, word spread quickly. A couple planes which were nearby suffered a complete loss of electrical systems. But others which were behind them saw the flash, felt the jolt, and saw the mushroom cloud rise over the city. As the airports were not functioning they flew to points south like Philadelphia and Baltimore. The ham operators’ network was alive with reports about the explosion.

The pillar of purple fire lasted about thirty seconds. The rising ash grey cloud kept rising for fifteen minutes. It would continue rising to a height of 60,000. Commercial airliners traveling at 35,000 could look up at the top of the cloud which persisted for thirty minutes till it began to disperse. Many aircraft outside of thirty miles kept to their flight pattern. Pilots had the sad duty of informing their passengers of what had happened. Those near the windows stared out in disbelief. Some gave up their seats to others who had loved ones in the city. On every flight there were tears. And every passenger knew that they would never land in the same country. They might land in the same place but it would be a different country and a different life.

A few began to think through the consequences. Some realized that the stock market would drop by maybe half or more. Some of the wealthy realized they had become middle class. A few of the middle class wondered if they would have jobs when they landed.

Residents of Greenwich Connecticut were close enough that they could see the tip of the rising cloud when it passed above 2200 ft in altitude. Cell phone systems were soon overwhelmed but word spread quickly. As word spread, people came down to the shore or drove to a high spot to get an unobstructed view of the horizon. The sight was shocking. Many began to weep. Some fell down or needed help to continue standing. Nearly everyone knew someone who worked in the city.

They could see the mushroom cloud in the distance and people could feel that a light breeze blowing from the south. The roads were soon clogged with people traveling as far as they could on what gas they had in their tank. Gas stations were ordered to limit purchases to five gallons. This would allow the drivers to travel sixty miles west and then pick up more fuel. Even then the gas stations were soon empty. This was a problem for many. Because of the high cost of gas, they tended to let their tanks run low. All along the way on the roads heading west out of town, there were abandoned cars on the side of the road with their occupants walking and hitchhiking. The cloud was coming.

The police figured they had ten hours to organize an evacuation. They broadcast a request on citizen band radio every ten minutes for drivers and businesses to take people west in their trucks and vans and leave town. They named the main evacuation roads. They requested that volunteers ferry people to those roads. Off duty drivers went to their places of business and borrowed box trucks. Truck rental shops released all their box trucks and vans. People lined up all along the main westward roads in impromptu bus stops. All the available semis trailers were mobilized to fill up with people and drive past the fall line of the radioactivity, which was expected to be about sixty miles west.

Some empty tractor trailers filled up with fifty people. When a truck would stop, people would pile in. There was an egalitarian spirit of cooperation. The police quickly set up road blocks and filled every truck and car with the maximum number of people possible.

One wealthy Wall Street executive looked back at his house and quipped "there goes the lawn." He knew that if he ever came back, the lawn and all the shrubbery would have to be scrapped off and hauled away. The police began broadcasting messages. "The radioactivity of fallout decreases rapidly. The danger drops 90% in seven hours and 99% in two days. If you cannot leave, go to a basement. Radiation can penetrate walls. Set up a shelter with the maximum amount of material around you. Pick a corner of the basement. Create walls out of boxes and file cabinets. Create ceilings out of doors taken off their hinges. Pile as much mass as possible around you to create the equivalent of 16" of earth, 24" of water, or 38" of wood. Take water and food. You can come out briefly to stretch you legs and then get back inside as soon as possible. Wait as long as possible. You can come out in two to three days to join the evacuation. We will come back for you."

"Air does not become radioactive. Keep the dust out. If your basement is reasonably snug, there won't be any wind blowing through it to carry the radioactive fallout dust inside. "Food or water stored in sealed containers, that can later have any fallout dust brushed or rinsed off the outside of the container, will then be safe to use. As long as the fallout dust does not get inside the container, the contents will not be harmed.

In the communities in western New York, school gyms were prepared to accept evacuees. Ultimately, a large part of eastern Connecticut would be uninhabitable. The fallout zone would be two hundred miles long and sixty miles wide. A larger area would be unsafe for children or crops. Some areas would be radioactive for a thousand years. The worst areas of Chernobyl would be unsafe for 20,000 years.


Wall Street

The world stock markets dropped their limit and closed. Everyone wanted out of stocks, bonds and dollars. It would take ninety days for the remnants of wall street to resurrect a successor in Philadelphia.

The employees of the NY Stock Exchange were gone. The people at Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch and all the others were gone. The familiar faces on CNBC were gone. Nearly the whole of the networks were gone. The big banks were gone. The real estate portfolios were gone.

Dollar drops. On the world exchanges, the dollar sunk like a rock. For years some investors had foreseen that the dollar would drop sooner or later. Every other reserve currency in the world had come and gone. A few people had moved into physical gold and silver. A trickle, were moving their money out of the dollar into other assets. Many more had their bags packed and were sitting close to the door. As soon as news reached London, traders dumped the dollar. The few who acted the fastest got out with most of their money.

Many of the movers and shakers of American finance died that day. And their assets died with them. A few survived because they were out of town. They watched with wild frustration as their net worth went up in smoke. The dollar dropped ninety percent. It soon became apparent that they US would not pay off its debts. Everyone moved to dump their treasuries. It was the greatest loss of money in the history of the world.

Cascade of problems. Gold went through the roof. In the last generation, the dollar had been the refuge of those who wanted to put their pesos or reals in a stable currency. Now the table reversed. Everyone knew that all the major economies were bankrupt. There was nowhere to run except to gold. No one wanted to own stocks or bonds or property. The paper market for gold was 100 times larger than the physical market. Fundholders were stunned to discover that they could not just pick up the phone and get their gold. It wasn’t there. It never had been. There had only been logarithms.


Coffee After the Cloud

As Cap sipped the last of her second cup of coffee, she noticed a trickle of people entering the Cathedral. Forty minutes later, after she had dressed, she saw that the number was growing. She assumed that there was going to be a funeral for someone fairly well known.

She looked at her phone. A text message said "Turn on TV." She switched on and was aghast by the images. She fell back in her chair. She thought about the many people she knew who lived in New York. How she but for a twist of fate could easily have been one of them. She was crushed by the sense of loss. But a part of her looked at the images and like many other people, held back in disbelief. It would be a month before she lost an eerie sense in the back of her mind that it had not really happened.

After half an hour, she gathered herself and stood up. Sickened, she steadied herself and walked to the phone. The lines were of course overwhelmed. She bicycled to Skinners office in Dogtown to ask for his next appointment. She passed people in the lobby who were crying.

There was an opening the next afternoon. When she saw Skinner, she came right to the point. "Is there a connection between Fatima and New York?" He said "Yes, but only in a general manner of speaking." He pulled a book from his library and opened to a book mark. "I thought you might ask me that question. The answer lies in a story that began four hundred years ago in a town in the middle of eastern France. In a little village set among the fields and rolling vineyards of Burgundy. A young woman named Marguerite Marie Alacoque had entered the Visitation Convent in a hamlet called Paray-le-Monial. She had had mystical experiences since childhood. After her novitiate, Jesus spoke to her about what came to be known as the Devotion to the Sacred Heart. In 1689, He told her that He wanted the image of His Sacred Heart inscribed on the flag of France and France consecrated to His Sacred Heart. If the King would do so, Jesus promised him success in his endeavors and victory over his enemies. The King did not do so. His reign and the reign of his successors saw one military failure after another. The country fell deeper into debt. The people suffered onerous taxes. One hundred years later, to the day, the French Revolution began.

He read from a notebook. "On June 17 1689, The Feast of the Sacred Heart, Saint Margaret Mary spoke to Mother de Saumaise to have the message passed on to King Louis XIV. "He thus desires, it seems to me, to enter with pomp and magnificence into the houses of princes and kings, to be honored there as much as he was outraged, despised, and humiliated in His Passion. And He desires to receive as much pleasure at seeing the great ones of the earth bowing down and humiliated before Him as He felt bitterness at seeing Himself annihilated at their feet.

"Make it known to the eldest son My Sacred Heart - speaking of our King - that just as his temporal birth was obtained by devotion to the merits of My Holy Infancy, in the same way he will obtain his birth into grace and eternal glory by the consecration which he will himself make to My Adorable Heart, which wishes to triumph over his own, and through his efforts, triumph over the great ones of the earth as well. It wishes to reign in his palace, to be painted on his standards and engraved on his arms to make them victorious over his enemies, bringing these haughty one and proud people to their knees before him to make him triumphant over all the enemies of Holy Church."

Skinner looked up from the notebook and said "One Hundred Years Later, on 17 June 1789 representatives of the Third Estate declared themselves the National Assembly. It was the beginning of the French Revolution. Three days later came the Tennis Court Oath. The deputies vowed ‘not to separate, and to reassemble wherever circumstances require, until the constitution of the kingdom is established’."

"The deputies pledged to continue to meet until a constitution had been written, despite the royal prohibition. The oath was both a revolutionary act, and an assertion that political authority derived from the people and their representatives rather than from the monarch himself. Their solidarity forced Louis XVI to order the clergy and the nobility to join with the Third Estate in the National Assembly. "The Oath communicated in unambiguous fashion the idea that the deputies of the National Assembly were declaring themselves the supreme state power. From this point forward, it was a downward path for the monarchical traditions of divine right. It was the beginning of the end of the French Monarchy. New York Connection.

Skinner leaned back and looked far off. "So, you ask, what does that have to do with New York. You noticed that the King of France was given 100 years to fulfill the promise. Then trouble happened. In the case of Fatima, the Madonna requested the Consecration of Russia. Sister Lucy said that Jesus twice spoke to her about His unhappiness that the Consecration had not been performed. Like the King of France

"In August of 1931, Our Lord said to Sister Lucy, "Make it known to My ministers that given that they follow the example of the King of France in delaying the execution of My request, that they will follow him into misfortune. It will never be too late to have recourse to Jesus and Mary."

Months later, Our Lord complained to Sister Lucy. "They did not want to heed my request. ... Like the King of France, they will repent and do it, but it will be late. Russia will have already spread its errors throughout the world provoking wars and persecutions against the Church; the Holy Father will have much to suffer."

Skinner continued, "The Sovereign in this case will be the Pope. His Ministers will be the hierarchy and the loyalists will be the laity. The words "Like the King of France" suggest that He is going to do it the same way. Normally, God takes His own good time. But in this case, He seems to have a time table. One hundred years from the request for the Consecration of Russia, maybe to the day, on June 13, 2029, the Pope will suffer some kind of reverse. Maybe he will be hauled up on charges before the European Court of Human Rights. The process has already started.

"But about New York. At Fatima, Our Lady appeared six times. And each time, She asked for the daily rosary. She promised the the rosary would be especially efficacious in this period of time. Here is what Sister Lucy said in the 1957 Fuentes interview: ‘Look, Father, the Most Holy Virgin, in these last times in which we live, has given a new efficacy to the recitation of the Rosary to such an extent that there is no problem, no matter how difficult it is, whether temporal or above all, spiritual, in the personal life of each one of us, of our families, of the families of the world, ... that cannot be resolved by the Rosary. There is no problem I tell you, no matter how difficult it is, that we cannot resolve by the prayer of the Holy Rosary. With the Holy Rosary, we will save ourselves. We will sanctify ourselves. We will console Our Lord and obtain the salvation of many souls."

"Unfortunately, since Vatican II saying of the rosary has fallen off a cliff. I believe that we have been running out of grace. From here on out, it could be a bumpy ride. New York is an example. My guess is that we are entering the minor tribulations.

"I would like to make a proposal to you. For some reason, the path of your life has intersected that of the Third Secret. Maybe you should consider reconstructing the Third Secret." Cap looked up in surprise. "Is such a thing possible?" "Yes. I think so. Throughout the years since 1960, the popes and their nearest collaborators have read the secret. Here and there a part of the mosaic has been revealed. You would just need to put the pieces of the mosaic together so that they gave a good picture.

"The next time we meet I will share with you what is known about the Third Secret. It will be interesting. The Third Secret as you might have guessed is a shocker."

They talked for a while about people they knew in New York. Cap needed to speak with someone. She wanted to mourn and there was something about this man that no one else had. Part of his professional calling was dealing with the departed. He even suggested she pray for the departed souls. He told her that Padre Pio said that souls in purgatory were aware of who was praying for them.

He gave her some reading material on Fatima and they said good bye. As she walked away, she considered that Skinner had just given her a homework assignment.


What Is Known

Two weeks later, Cap rose to face a busy day of meetings and classes. But the most important item on her schedule was the meeting with Skinner. This was the day that Skinner would tell her what is known about the third secret. She couldn’t help being excited. It reminded her of how long ago as a student, she reveled in turning the page and finding out what happened next. Here, she was involved in a mystery in which a great secret was being slowly revealed. It had become the big project in her life.

After a couple minutes of greeting and small talk, Skinner settled into the big chair in his office. As usual, he began with a prayer, "Jesus this is for love of you, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for offenses committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary." He reminded Cap that this was the prayer that Mary, in the third apparition, asked the children to say often.

"We have a lot of material to cover today. Here is a copy of the paper I prepared. Let me first give you a brief rundown of what is known about the Third Secret, topic by topic. Then we will talk about each one, one item at a time. We should be able to squeeze it in. I have a little extra time today. The little piece of paper, sealed in an envelope in the Vatican, on which the Third Secret is written will one day shake the world.

"Here are the bullets." Then he began to name the highlights.

  • These are the Last Times. Lucy herself has said so.
  • This is the Great Apostasy of the Apocalypse. This is implicit from a number of sources.
  • In Portugal, the dogma of the faith will always be preserved.
  • There will be a New Mass.
  • A Council is Warned against
  • The Third Secret supports Traditionalists vs Vatican II.
  • There will be grave Spiritual and Material Chastisements.
  • The Third Secret concerns a heavenly punishment
  • There will be a Wave of Diabolical Disorientation and demonic possession
  • Russia is dominant in the Third Secret
  • Russia will be God’s chosen instrument of Chastisement
  • The Secret has twenty-five lines.
  • It is a Prophecy. It concerns Future Realities says Pope Benedict
  • It will be very sad, says Sister Lucy.
  • The prophecy would begin to be fulfilled in 1960
  • It should have been revealed in 1960 says Cardinal Ottaviani.
  • It concerns Chapter 8 in Apocalypse, the Trumpets of the Seventh Seal
  • Fire will fall from the Sky
  • Signum Magnum
  • It’s terrible said John Paul I when he was Cardinal Luciani.
  • Catastrophic Change
  • Collapse of Society, Economic Depression
  • The Left will slaughter the Right
  • It is bad news says Cardinal Oddi
  • It might cause anxiety and panic
  • Suffering as mankind has never seen, says Pope Pius XII
  • If Russia knew the contents, it would be encouraged to go to war
  • The Dragon will sweep a third of the stars from heaven
  • It would fill the confessionals on Saturday night.
  • It contains "abstruse locutions".
  • The Third Secret will be revealed during a great war.
  • Russia will be consecrated when a sufficient number are complying with the Message of Fatima

"Now, let’s go back to the top and cover each topic with more information." Cap took a sip of tea and readied her pen and tablet. She settled into attentive note taking mode. "First, These are the Last Times.

There is the Explosive Fuentes Interview. Fr Augustine Fuentes was postulator for the cause of the beatification of Francisco and Jacinta. In that capacity, he interviewed Sr Lucy in 1957. Upon his return to Mexico, he gave a conference to group of nuns. Unbeknownst to him, one of the nuns took comprehensive notes. Thanks to that nun we have a wealth of information. Her notes were later published. It stirred up a hornet’s nest. There were elements in the conversation which were in neither the first or the second second secret. It could be deduced that she was speaking about the third secret. Three Reasons. Sister Lucy said this about the Last Times. "Father, the Most Holy Virgin did not tell me that we are in the last times of the world but She made me understand this for three reasons. First Reason, the Final Battle. "The first reason is because She told me that the devil is in the mood for engaging in a decisive battle against the Virgin. And a decisive battle is the final battle where one side will be victorious and the other side will suffer defeat. Hence, from now on, we must choose sides. Either we are for God or we are for the devil. There is no other possibility. Second Reason, the Last Remedies. "The second reason is that She said to my cousins as well as to myself that God is giving two last remedies to the world. These are the Holy Rosary and Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. These are the last two remedies which signify that there will be no others. Third Reason, the Sin Against the Holy Spirit. "The third reason is because in the plans of Divine Providence, God always, before He is about to chastise the world, exhausts all other remedies. Now, when He sees that the world pays no attention whatsoever then, as we say in our imperfect manner of speaking, He offers us with a certain trepidation the last means of salvation, His Most Holy Mother. It is with a certain trepidation because if you despise and reject this ultimate means, we will not have any more forgiveness from Heaven, because we will have committed a sin which the Gospel calls the sin against the Holy Ghost. This sin consists of openly rejecting, with full knowledge and consent, the salvation which He offers. Let us remember that Jesus Christ is a very good Son and that He does not permit that we offend and despise His Most Holy Mother.

John Paul II on the Last Times. "We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has gone through. I do not think that wide circles of the American Society or wide circles of the Christian Community realize this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-Church, of the Gospel versus the anti-Gospel. It is a trial which the Church must take up."

This is the Great Apostasy of the Apocalypse "In the Third Secret, it is foretold, among other things, that the great apostasy in the Church will begin at the top." Cardinal Ciappi served as personal theologian to popes Pius XII, John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I and John Paul II. Note the end of the sentence, "at the top".

Cardinal Silvio Oddi said "It has nothing to do with Gorbachev. The Blessed Virgin was alerting us against the apostasy in the Church."

It is difficult to imagine that we may be living through the Great Apostasy. It is helpful to remember the Arian crisis of the 4th Century. Except for a few good bishops, such as St. Athanasius, virtually the entire Catholic hierarchy had been seduced or confused by the heresy that Christ was not truly and fully divine. During that time, it was the simple members of the laity who kept the faith. The Pope was in exile during much of this crisis and could do nothing to stop the spread of the heresy.

"In Portugal, the dogma of the faith will always be preserved, etc..." "In her third memoir, which she completed in August of 1941, Sister Lucy stated that the Secret of Fatima is divided into three distinct parts, after which she recorded, for the first time, the first two parts of the Secret.

"In her fourth memoir, which was written from October-December 1941, Sister Lucy added a new sentence. "In Portugal, the dogma of the Faith will always be preserved etc." Lucy purposely inserted it to indicate to us what the final part of the Secret is about.

"Father Alonso, the official Fatima archivist had this to say on the Third Secret: ‘In the period preceding the great triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, terrible things are to happen. These form the content of the third part of the Secret. What are they? ‘If ‘in Portugal the dogma of the Faith will always be preserved,’ ... it can be clearly deduced from this that in other parts of the Church these dogmas are going to become obscure or even lost altogether.

‘Thus, it is quite possible that in this intermediate period which is in question (after 1960 and before the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary), the text makes concrete references to the crisis of the Faith of the Church and to the negligence of the pastors themselves.

Knowledgeable Church authorities have confirmed Father Alonso’s conclusions about the Third Secret, that it concerns an unprecedented loss of faith, an apostasy, from which Portugal will be preserved. Worse than War,

In 1984 the Bishop of Fatima said, "the loss of Faith of a continent is worse than the annihilation of a nation; and it is true that Faith is continuously diminishing in Europe." Causal Connection.

In his 1984, Cardinal Ratzinger was interviewed by Vittorio Messori. It has become something of a classic. Cardinal Ratzinger, who is one of the great masters of understatement, confirmed this conclusion when he said that the final part of the Secret speaks of "dangers threatening the faith and life of Christians, and therefore the world."

In his 1976 book, The Secret of Fatima: Fact and Legend, Father Alonso added to his hypothesis that the Third Secret concerns the crisis of Faith within the Church, the belief that it also speaks of the negligence of the pastors, especially within the upper hierarchy. "It is therefore completely probable," he said, "that the text (of the Third Secret) makes concrete references to the crisis of faith within the Church and to the negligence of the pastors themselves." He also speaks of "internal struggles in the very bosom of the Church and of grave pastoral negligence by the upper hierarchy," and "deficiencies of the upper hierarchy of the Church."

Father Alonso also said: ‘... Does the unpublished text speak of concrete circumstances? It is very possible that it speaks not only of a real crisis of the faith in the Church during this in-between period, but like the secret of La Salette for example, there are more concrete references to the internal struggles of Catholics or to the fall of priests and religious. Perhaps it even refers to the failures of the upper hierarchy of the Church. For that matter, none of this is foreign to other communications Sister Lucy has had on this subject. At La Salette, Our Lady said "Rome will lose the faith and become the seat of the Antichrist."

There will be a New Mass Msgr Eugene Pacelli, the future Pius XII, said "I am worried by the Blessed Virgin's messages to little Lucy of Fatima. This persistence of Mary about the dangers which menace the Church is a divine warning against the suicide of altering the Faith, in Her liturgy, Her theology and Her soul. …" In his capacity as Secretary of State, he had either seen the message or been told of its contents. He was greatly upset at the prospect of the suicide of altering the traditions of the church. He kept the Third Secret at his bedside. In an article in the Fatima Crusader, Fr Kramer says that Cardinal Ratzinger told a good friend that in the Third Secret Our Lady warned against changing the Mass.

Father Kramer said "So we have Cardinal Ratzinger himself stating to a close personal friend that these warnings were given by Our Lady in the Third Secret of Fatima not to change the Mass in precisely the manner that Pope Paul VI changed the Mass."

A Council is Warned against In an article in the Fatima Crusader, Fr Kramer says that Cardinal Ratzinger told a good friend that in the Third Secret Our Lady warned against changing the Mass and against a Council. Father Kramer said "Our Lady also warned that there would be an evil Council in the Church that would cause great scandal. And of course, it was the documents from Vatican II — the Constitution on the Liturgy — which gave the impetus for Pope Paul VI to reform the liturgy in such a disastrous manner that has caused such a loss of faith and confusion in the Church."

Cardinal Oddi spoke with Sister Lucy in 1985. Afterward, he said that "In my opinion, what is written is that in 1960, the Pope would have convoked a council from which, contrary to his intentions, there would arise many difficulties in the Church." He deduced from Lucy’s words that the Secret "preannounced some grave error."

The Third Secret supports Traditionalists vs Vatican II "The church is divided into two hostile camps: Traditional Conservatism, which upholds the doctrine of the Faith; and Liberal Progressivism, which promotes modernist, Mason-inspired post-conciliar reform. Fr. Alonso, who was the official archivist and perius of Fatima for sixteen years, disclosed that the Secret of Fatima is an indictment against the post-conciliar reform, and it is for the reason that is has not been revealed to the world. It is the period of the so called "post-conciliar reforms" which has ushered in what Father Louis Bouyer refers to in his aptly titled book The Decomposition of Catholicism. "The late Fr. Joaquín María Alonso, C.M.F, who held doctoral degrees in Philosophy and Theology from the Gregorian University, and who did not belong to any "traditional movement", wrote "An untimely revelation of the text would have aggravated further the two tendencies that continue to split the Church: a traditionalism that would have been helped by these apparitions that, in such a scandalous way, would have stopped the progress of the conciliar Church… Pope Paul VI thought it fitting and prudent to delay the revelation of the text for better times. Pope John XXIII declared that the text did not refer to his pontificate… and the following popes did not consider that the moment was right to remove the veil of the mystery, in circumstances where the Church has not yet surmounted the frightful impact of the twenty years of the post-council, during which the crisis of the Faith has settled at all levels." The Whole Truth About Fatima, Vol. III, Chapter 5 p 712

A Wave of Diabolical Disorientation Sister Lucy made several references to Diabolical Disorientation during the 70’s. It is apparent from her letters that she believed that a diabolical wave was sweeping the planet. That one so humble as Sr Lucy has spoken so strongly suggests that she is not speaking on her own authority but about the part of the Our Lady’s message which has not yet been revealed.

The argument could be made that after 1960, the world came to be possessed by the devil. Possessed, as in needing an exorcism. This has been a punishment visited upon the world and the Church for having disobeyed His Will.

Diabolical Disorientation. In 1970 Sister Lucy wrote to a friend "People must recite the rosary every day. Our Lady repeated this in all her apparitions, as if to arm us in advance these times of diabolical disorientation, so that we would not let ourselves be fooled by false doctrines." Diabolical Disorientation Invading the World. Speaking of those who reject the mediation of Mary, Sister Lucy says "This is a diabolical disorientation which is invading the world and misleading souls." Devil has Infiltrated Evil. Lucy said "It is painful to see such a great disorientation in so many persons who occupy places of responsibility....It is because the devil has infiltrated evil under cover of good, and the blind are beginning to guide others, as the Lord tell us in His Gospel, and souls are letting themselves be deceived." She is softening the blow by say "under cover of good" but it is quite clear that Lucy is saying that the devil has infiltrated the church.

Decadence Disorientation. "The decadence which exists in the world is without any doubt the consequence of the lack of the spirit of prayer. Foreseeing this disorientation, the Blessed Virgin recommends recitation of the Rosary with such insistence... The devil has unchained his struggle against it.

Diabolical Wave. In a letter to her nephew a Salesian priest in 1971, Sr Lucy wrote "I see by your letter that you are preoccupied by the disorientation of our time. It is indeed sad that so many persons let themselves be dominated by the diabolical wave sweeping over the world... Their principal fault is that they have abandoned prayer.

Spiritual and Material Chastisements. There will be spiritual chastisements. In the Fuentes interview, Sister Lucy speaks about material chastisements. She says "My mission is not to indicate to the world the material punishments which are certain to come if the world does not pray and do penance beforehand. No, my mission is to indicate to everyone the imminent danger we are in of losing our souls for all eternity if we remain obstinate in sin."

Russia is dominant in the Third Secret. Here is where things get political. Cardinal Ottaviani said in 1957, "If there was one dominant element to the Third Secret, it is Russia." One of the lessons of Mary’s apparitions at Fatima is that war is a punishment for sin.

Russia will be God’s chosen instrument of Chastisement. In the Fuentes interview of 1957, Sister Lucy said that "Russia will be the instrument of chastisement chosen by Heaven to punish the whole world if we do not beforehand obtain the conversion of that poor nation."

It has twenty-five lines. Bishop da Silva held the envelope up to the light. He said that the Secret was written in twenty-five lines.

It is a Prophecy. It concerns Future Realities. The Third Secret involves prophecy. Cardinal Ratzinger said in the Messori interview that the Third Secret was not published to "prevent religious prophecy from being mistaken for a quest for the sensational". In so doing, he says that the Third Secret is a prophecy.

Future Realities. On the flight home from his May 2010 trip to Fatima, Pope Benedict used the expression "Future Realities" to describe the contents of the Third Secret. "During the Pope's flight to Portugal to make his just completed papal visit to the Fatima Shrine, papal spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi read to His Holiness three questions that represented a "synthesis" of the questions to which the press pool sought answers. It is critical to note that questions for the plane trip are submitted several days in advance, so that the Pope has ample time to consider his remarks, and in fact chooses the questions he will answer. Thus, the Pope went out of his way to bring up the Third Secret of Fatima." Pope Benedict said that the Third Secret had to do with "future realities of the Church which are little by little developing and revealing themselves."

It will be very sad. Sister Lucy told Father Fuentes: "Father, how much time is there before 1960 arrives? It will be very sad for everyone, not one person will rejoice at all if beforehand the world does not pray and do penance." This implies that the secret announces something which has become unavoidable. If the unhappy event were still avoidable, the language would be more of a warning.

Suppose that the secret announces that the devil has infiltrated the church and was dragging nearly everyone to hell. That would be sad. Not one person would rejoice. It would also fill the cathedrals and fill the confessionals on Saturday night, as Malachi Martin said.

"If beforehand the world does not pray and do penance." If this is true, then the opportunity to avoiding the calamity has past. The door of opportunity has closed. The world had till 1960 to pray and do penance. The prayer and penance that the Madonna specifically requested was the Rosary, the First Saturdays of Reparation and the Consecration of Russia. The world did not say the rosary in sufficient numbers. The world and the Church did not adopt the First Saturday devotions in sufficient numbers. The Church did not Consecrate Russia because a sufficient number were not complying with the requests of Fatima.

The Prophecy would begin to be fulfilled in 1960 Socci says "Frere Michel points out, a prophecy that starts to be realized obviously becomes "much clearer" (mias claro). The prophecy, therefore, started to be realized at least by 1960. It is therefore a prophecy that tells us about our time.

It should have been revealed in 1960. Cardinal Ottaviani said "The Madonna wanted it to be published already in 1960". Sister Lucy also said the Our Lady wanted it revealed in 1960.

It concerns Chapter 8 in Apocalypse Sister Lucy said about the contents of the third secret, "It’s in the Gospel and in the Apocalypse, read them." At another time, she referred to Chapter 8 through 13. Chapter 8 is about the Seven Trumpets. The Golden Censor. An angel who stood before the altar of God with a golden censor "took the censer, and filled it with the fire of the altar, and cast it on the earth, and there were thunders and voices and lightnings, and a great earthquake."

Jesus himself spoke of fire from the sky. "I am come to cast fire on the earth; and what will I, but that it be kindled?" It is possible that this is the fire that Jesus wants to see fall upon the earth? That this cleansing will lead to Restoration of the Social Kingship of Christ.

In Akita Japan, Sister Agnes Sasagawa was told by the weeping Madonna that "If men do not repent . . . The Father will inflict a terrible punishment on all humanity. It will be a punishment greater than the deluge, such as one will never have seen before. Fire will fall from the sky and will wipe out a great part of humanity." The Philippine ambassador to the Vatican, in 1998, spoke to Cardinal Ratzinger about Akita and the Cardinal "personally confirmed to me that these two messages of Fatima and Akita are essentially the same". This lends support to the idea that the Third Secret speaks of fire falling from the sky.

The First Trumpet. A hail of Fire scorches "all green things." "And the first angel sounded the trumpet, and there followed hail and fire, mingled with blood, and it was cast on the earth." It scorched a third of the earth, a third of the trees, and all green things. The loss of all green things would mean a year without crops. It would mean famine. Famine is also mentioned in the second part of the secret. Jacinta had a vision of highways full of hungry people.

The Second Trumpet, a meteor. When the second angel sounded his trumpet, something like a huge mountain, all ablaze, was thrown into the sea. A third of the sea turned into blood, A third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.

Tidal Waves and Flooding. If a Huge Mountain were to Strike an Ocean, it would cause enormous tidal waves. At Fulda Germany in 1981 John Paul II was asked about the third secret. He said "If there is a message in which it is said that the oceans will flood entire sections of the earth; that, from one moment to the other, millions of people will perish . . . there is no longer any point in really wanting to publish this secret message."

The Third Trumpet. When the third angel sounded his trumpet, and a great star fell from heaven, burning like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of waters. The name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters turned bitter, and many people died from the waters that had become bitter. Wormwood is the translation of the Ukrainian word Chernobyl. Chernobyl is the site of the broken nuclear reactor which poisoned millions of acres with radiation. The star may be radioactive. As mentioned above, in the Fuentes interview of 1957, Sister Lucy said that Russia will be heaven’s chosen instrument of chastisement. The sentence before that was "Tell them Father that many times the Most Holy Virgin told my cousins Francisco and Jacinta, as well as myself, that many nations will disappear from the face of the earth. She said that Russia will be the instrument of chastisement chosen by Heaven to punish the whole world if we do not beforehand obtain the conversion of that poor nation." Who will be punished? The whole world. That these two sentences lie side by side suggests that Russia will in some way be responsible for the disappearance of many nations.

The War and Hunger to come. In 1945 Sister Lucy let it be known that Jacinta’s vision of a suffering pope, war and hunger belonged to the future. Sister Lucy recalled Jacinta’s vision. "Another time, (Lucy writes) we went to the cave called Lapa do Cabeco. As soon as we got there, we prostrated on the ground, saying the prayers the Angel had taught us.

"After some time, Jacinta stood up and called to me: "Can’t you see all those highways and roads and fields full of people, who are crying with hunger and have nothing to eat? And the Holy Father in a church praying before the Immaculate Heart of Mary? And so many people praying with him?" "Some days later, she asked me: "Can I say that I saw the Holy Father and all those people?" "No. Don’t you see that that’s the part of the Secret? If you do, they’ll find out right away.: "All right! Then I’ll say nothing at all."

Another time, Lucy said that "One day I went to Jacinta’s house to stay a little while with her. I found her on the bed, very pensive. "Jacinta, what are you thinking of?" Jacinta replied, "About the war which will come. So many people will die. And almost all of them will go to hell." "We must pray a lot to save souls from Hell. So many go there. So many. ... So many people fall into hell. So many are in Hell." Lucy is alleged to have said that "The Third Secret will be revealed during a great war." There will be a war and during that war, the Secret will be revealed.

Great Strides In the Second Secret, Our Lady said that " about to punish the world for its crimes by means of war, hunger, and persecution of the Church and of the Holy Father... Russia will spread its errors throughout the world, fomenting wars and persecution of the Church. The good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer, various nations will be annihilated." These events still await us. The war, hunger, and the suffering pope are in our future. Sister Lucy said "we are going towards it with great strides."

The Sun is struck. Fourth Trumpet. The fourth angel sounded his trumpet and one third of the sun, moon, and stars were struck. The sky is darkened as if a thick cloud were to pass through space and obscure a third of the sky.

Signum Magnum A Great Sign will appear in the sky. A Woman clothed with the Sun, with the moon beneath her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. Malachi Martin read the third secret while he was an assistant of Cardinal Bea in 1960. He said that John Paul II knew that the one world order "would not be built, at least not as men have configured it. He is waiting, rather, for an event that will fission human history, splitting the immediate past from the oncoming future. It will be an event on public view in the skies, in the oceans, and on the continental landmasses of this planet. It will particularly involve our human sun, which every day lights up and shines upon the valleys, the mountains and the plains of this earth for our eyes. But on the day of this event, it will not appear merely as the master star of our so-called solar system. Rather, it will be seen as the circumambient glory of the Woman whom the apostle describes as "clothed with the sun" and giving birth to "a child who will rule the nations with a scepter of iron." My take on this is that Martin believed that the third secret implied or described a gigantic solar flare up.

It’s Terrible, say Cardinal Albion Luciani, the future Pope John Paul I On the sixtieth anniversary of the Apparitions at Fatima, Cardinal Luciani spoke with Sister Lucy at her request for two hours. Afterwards, he looked pale. People began noticing an unusual pensiveness in his manner. While visiting with his family, on two successive nights he left the dinner table without explanation and retreated to his room with his breviary. His sister law asked the next day if the food has caused him any discomfort. He responded that "I was just thinking of what Sister Lucy told me at Coimbra." Then he added, "The Secret. It’s terrible."

Terrible, Father Alonso. ‘In the period preceding the great triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, terrible things are to happen. These form the content of the third part of the Secret."

Terrible, Sister Sasagawa In Akita Japan, Sister Agnes Sasagawa was told by the weeping Madonna that "If men do not repent . . . The Father will inflict a terrible punishment on all humanity. It will be a punishment greater than the deluge, such as one will never have seen before.

Terrible, Sister Lucy "Believe me Father, God is going to chastise the world and it will be in a terrible manner. The celestial Chastisement is imminent." Skinner looked up from his reading as he heard Cap speak softly to herself. As she took notes, she said "terrible, terrible, terrible."

Catastrophic Change Skinner continued, "Malachi Martin wrote that the Third Secret ‘predicts that a catastrophic change will shortly shatter any plans or designs that men may have established. This is the era of the Fatima ‘or.’ Men have abandoned religion. God does not intend to let human affairs go on for a long time in that fashion, because this is His world - he created it for his glory, he made it possible for all men to attain the Heaven of his glory, by sending his only son, Jesus Christ, to expiate the punishment due men for their sins.’

Collapse of Society, Economic Depression. On May 13, 1982, one year after the assassination attempt, John Paul II made a pilgrimage to Fatima to thank Our Lady for her protection. He said that the Madonna was "preoccupied by the threats of Apostasy and of moral degradation which bring with them the collapse of society." The Holy Father had thoroughly studied the Third Secret and it’s surrounding documents during his recovery. When he spoke of the Madonna being preoccupied with apostasy, moral degradation and societal collapse, he speaks of the Third Secret. He is also saying that the decline of religion will bring societal collapse in it wake. Cardinal Ratzinger with whom he consulted also believed the same.

The Left will slaughter the Right. The Third Secret is a letter in which Sister Lucy has written the words with which Our Lady explains the Vision of the Third Secret. In the Vision, the bishop in white is killed by a group of soldiers firing bullets and arrows. The soldiers are Russian. The arrows are from their allies. "Bishops, Priests, Religious, and various lay people of different ranks and positions" are killed one after another.

Prophecies are not proof, but may give clarity. "In the 20th century there will be wars and fury that will last a long time.... There shall be great slaughters of the upper class. The right hand of the world shall fear the left." Bishop Christianos Agreda - Twelfth Century

"A great deal of blood of just and innocent people as well as saintly priests will be poured out. The Church shall suffer very much and hatred will be at its very peak". Mother Elena Aiello

Renewed in blood. At Fulda, John Paul II said "We must prepare ourselves to suffer great trials before long, such as will demand of us a disposition to give up even life, and a total dedication to Christ and for Christ … With your and my prayer it is possible to mitigate this tribulation, but it is no longer possible to avert it, because only thus can the Church be effectively renewed. How many times has the renewal of the Church sprung from blood! This time, too, it will not be otherwise. We must be strong and prepared, and trust in Christ and His Mother, and be very, very assiduous in praying the Rosary."

It is bad news. Cardinal Silvio Oddi said that he believed that the Third Secret contained an unpleasant message. He knew John XXIII well. He had worked at his side when Cardinal Roncalli was at the nunciature in Paris. He said he would not be surprised if the Secret had something to do with Vatican II, dark times in the Church, and troubling apostasies. He believed that signs that such a prophecy had been fulfilled were not lacking.

Cardinal Oddi said that Cardinal Roncalli was inclined by temperament to communicate joyful news. If it had been good news, John XXIII would have released it. Oddi said "when I asked ... why ... he had not made public the last part of the message of Fatima, he responded with a weary sigh. He then said: "Don't bring that subject up with me, please... ."

It might cause anxiety and panic Inside the Vatican reported that Father Luigi Bianchi met Sister Lucy at her convent. After speaking with her, he "speculated on the possibility that the Vatican did not reveal the full secret to avoid creating panic and anxiety in the population, not to scare them."

Suffering such as mankind has never seen In 1945, only a short time after the end of World War II, Pope Pius XII stated in his Christmas message to the Cardinals: "The world is on the verge of a frightful abyss . . . Men must prepare themselves for suffering such as mankind has never seen." Pius XII knew the contents of the Third Secret through his contacts with Sister Lucy.

On another occasion, he said that our generation is worse than the time of Noah. In 1951, he said: "The world today is worse than before the flood."

If Russia knew the contents, it would be encouraged to go to war John Paul II at Fulda. The October 1981 issue of the German magazine Stimme des Glaubens reported on a discussion that Pope John Paul II had with a select group of German Catholics, in November of 1980. John Paul was asked why the third Secret had not been revealed. Pope John Paul II replied: "Given the seriousness of the contents, my predecessors in the Petrine office diplomatically preferred to postpone publication so as not to encourage the world power of Communism to make certain moves."

The Pope is saying in guarded language that the Secret reveals that Russia would be successful in its aggressive endeavors. As mentioned above, Russia is dominant in the Third Secret. The Dragon will sweep a third of the stars from heaven.

In 2000 at Fatima, John Paul II gave a sermon at the beatification of Blessed Jacinta and Blessed Francisco in which he referred to the Apocalypse. He said "The message of Fatima is a call to conversion alerting humanity to have nothing to do with the ‘dragon’ whose ‘tail swept down a third of the stars from Heaven and dragged them to the earth.’ Apoc 12:4 ." Fr Kramer reasons that since this is found nowhere else in the Fatima message, it must be in the Third Secret. He believes that John Paul II was saying that one third of the clergy will have been swept into working for the devil. The Haycock commentary on the Apocalypse also has the same idea.

It is by the stars at night that sailors find their way. To take away the stars is to allow souls to lose sight of their destination.

Sister Lucy used the same language. "The devil knows that religious and priests who fall away from their beautiful vocation drag numerous souls to hell."

It would fill the confessionals on Saturday night. Socci wrote a passage about a sensational interview which Malachi Martin gave on the Art Bell radio show in 1998. Martin said that the Third Secret "would terrify people, would fill confessionals on a Saturday night, would fill the cathedrals, the basilicas, and the churches with believers on their knees, beating the breasts.

Martin said that "It could be a shock...It could strike people in different ways. Some, if they came to know that this was really the Third Secret of Fatima, would be extremely angry." These words leave one to think of the preannouncement of a catastrophe, but when the interviewer recalled the horrible planetary cataclysms contained in the document from Neues Europa and asked if the Secret is that traumatic, the response by Martin is: "Worse." To the disconcerted journalist the ecclesiastic repeated: "Much worse. Look I am proceeding very cautiously. The central element of the Third Secret is terrifying and is not contained in that (in the passage you have read me.)"

The interviewer then asked: "Are you telling me that what is contained in the Third Secret is more terrible that what i have just read?" "Oh yes. It is. Because what you have just read is, essentially the extermination by natural powers... It is as if nature is revolting against the human race. It is substantially what happens by means of these terrible catastrophes and chastisements. And this is not the essence of the Third Secret, not that which is more terrifying."

Confronted by the astonished exclamation of the interviewer Martin explained: "Yes. It goes beyond the imagination." Reveal it? "It should be revealed," "they were going to uncover it," but "there is the problem of shock, of scandal."

What is worse than the destruction of our world and of most of humanity? Only one thing, spiritual catastrophe. The widespread loss of the eternal life of souls. As mentioned before in this document in the section titled The War to Come, Jacinta said "About the war which will come. So many people will die. And almost all of them will go to hell."

On September 10, 1984 the Bishop of Fatima, Alberto Cosme do Amaral, spoke of the Third Secret during a question and answer session at the Technical University of Vienna, Austria. "The loss of faith of a continent is worse than the annihilation of a nation. And it is true that faith is continually diminishing in Europe."

It contains "abstruse locutions." John XXIII called upon Monsignor Tavares to interpret one or two phrases which were not easily understood. Socci says that the phrases were not abstruse, but explosive. They warned John XXIII not to take the church in the direction he wished to take it. He did not want to believe that these words had been spoken by the Virgin. So, he buried them. So, did Paul VI. John Paul I said he was going to do the Consecration of Russia which would likely have involved reading the Third Secret and for this he may have been killed. John Paul II said it was too late to make the Secret public. "The Third Secret will be revealed during a great war. "

Sufficient number. According to Sister Lucy, Russia will be consecrated, "when a sufficient number are complying with the Message of Fatima." If it is revealed during a great war, it may be that hardship and loss have awakened many to the need for penance and reparation.

Then Skinner let out a sigh of relief and let his shoulders relax. He settled back in his chair. He seemed to shrink. He slipped from his class room persona back into being a relaxed listener. "These are the pieces of the mosaic. Now all you have to do it to put them together. I have some ideas about how they fit together. We will talk about it at our next meeting. I must say, if this were a class, it would be a challenge." Cap agreed. It was indeed.

As Cap walked away that day, she glanced across the highway toward the zoo and behind it Forest Park. Things looked different. As they do when one has been away for a long time.