I do not believe The Third Secret of Fatima came to pass with the attempted assassination of John Paul II in 1981

I may sound alarmist but heart and soul I believe the Third Secret of Fatima has not yet fully come to pass: that the bloodbath foretold by Our Lady when she appeared to Lucia, Jacinta and Francisco has not reached its bitter conclusion which will be marked by a massacre of the Holy Father, bishops, men and women religious and lay faithful. Indeed, I believe that this rude shock is ahead of us, not behind us.

A full 100 years ago this year Our Lady cautioned that if humankind did not turn from sin, repent and offer prayers and penance in reparation all the while honouring her specific requests then the contents of the Third Secret would be our fate.

That faithful  day on the hillside Our Lady revealed a vision to the 3 children which was later relayed (fully or edited; many of us are not quite sure) by the last surviving seer, Sr Lucia. Relying on Lucia's words, our mental cinema can create a surreal sequence of events where the Holy Father in a trembling and down-trodden way threads his path through a city destroyed and littered with dead bodies. Offering prayers for the souls of the dead the Holy Father trudges his way up a steep mountain whereupon reaching the top he falls to his knees before a big rudely hewn Cross and is set upon by soldiers who puncture his body with arrows and bullets. Surrounding the Holy Father are the cadavers of bishops, priests, men and women religious who have been slain in the same way.

This precise chain of events has not yet happened - but I take it literally - for two reasons. Firstly, Our Lady intended her words at Fatima to be taken as portending potentially to a real reality if her requests were not honoured which is my second reason for believing the Third Secret is unfolding and will reach a bloody climax depicted by Lucia's words. The Third Secret may well happen to the letter; otherwise it is the anomaly among the Secrets and inconsistent with the justice of God who visited the Second World War on humanity which was prophesised by Our Lady in the Second Secret.

I was at school in Ireland in the year 2000 when I was first  heard the thought campaign that there were a lot of metaphors and symbols sprinkled throughout the Third Secret, which risks reducing it to a poetic theory. They say the Third Secret came to pass with the attempted assassination of John Paul II in 1981. Truly a bullet did pierce the body of the Polish Pope, but to collapse all the arrows and bullets that ring through the air in the vision given the little children is an exercise in coddling the masses to the point where they relax and refrain from amending their lives in accordance with Our Lady's wishes. For one thing the Third Secret is carried out in microcosm each day in the Middle East where Christians know a red martyrdom while in our part of the globe thus far we are more likely to know a white martyrdom.

I've often felt tempted to allow myself to be lulled into thinking the Third Secret began and ended with the attempt on John Paul II's life. But it is self-deception when we self-deceive ourselves into thinking humanity has appeased the Heavenly court by having satisfactorily honoured Our Lady's requests.

Transposing the attempted murder of John Paul II onto the whole of the Third Secret is actually destructive and undermines Our Lady's warnings and has the deleterious effect of calling into question the First Secret - the vision of Hell - as being more made of metaphor than realism. If Our Lady relied on imagery that would not correspond to real life, what's to say she didn't use such imagery when the ground opened up and she gave the children a vision or a look into Hell? Put bluntly, if you pass off so easily the Third Secret as a careless mishmash of scary symbols what's not to the say the vision of Hell given the children where flames licked the souls of 'poor sinners' and the stench of putrefied flesh filled the air is not in the realm of the fantastic?

The Holy Mother of God has never appeared under the title, “Our Lady the Fantasist.” But after all my years attending youth groups and meeting every variety of devout Catholic as a journalist, I've known too many people for too long who are in the grips of an actual fantasy that Hell isn't all that bad, that they can carry on with lives of great sin because if they are sent down it will not be worse than sitting too close to a popping log fire at Christmas. They take Our Lady of Fatima seriously to a point, but do not take her at her word in so far as it will impact them to change their lives. The burning irony is that Hell may be all the more certain for those who in this life think it is made merely of macabre metaphor.

I wrote this column for the Autumn 2017 edition of The Mass of Ages, the quarterly magazine of The Latin Mass Society. You may read the whole magazine here

If you would like another piece on the apparitions of Our Lady at Fatima; you might like this one where I consider Our Lady's dire pronouncement, "many marriages are not of God" and reflect on how a marriage may be, "of God".

As a personal note to my readers; I have not done as much blogging and journalism this year as in previous years, I have been rather consumed with long-form projects including researching and writing a work on Padre Pio. I would like to take this opportunity to ask your prayers for my book on Padre Pio; the research is finally turning into actual chapters and while it may be a while yet, I am hoping this project will come together in one cohesive whole. Yours in Christ, Mary O'Regan


  1. Why is your name not shown?

    1. It is now, I've changed the title of my blog!
      God bless

      Our Lady's Peace Plan, Over Atheistic Communism...Family Rosary
      The Triumph of Mary Begins With President Trump the Great!

  2. I agree with you. I have given presentations across my diocese this year on Fatima, and have met many hundreds of people. We must stay hopeful though, and remember what Our Lady of Fatima said about the triumph of her Immaculate Heart.

    1. True, we must stay hopeful and cultivate hope because, as you say, Our Lady has given us her word that her Immaculate Heart will triumph.

  3. Excellent article, my thoughts exactly and God gave you the talent to express them eloquently. My "gut" feeling has always been there was a deception in 2000 about the secret. I have read many places that those "gut"feelings are pokes from God telling people the truth.

    1. Thank you for your kindness. Yes, gut feelings can be uncannily correct.

  4. Hi Mary. The third secret has been released. The proof of this is that sister Lucia in an interview with Cardinal Vidal of the Philippines in 1993, And this interview was filmed and recorded. Sister Lucia said that the secret had been released in full. There is a video on You Tube entitled " The prophecy, consecration, triumph and secret of Fatima" by Carlos Evaristo. He was the interpreter for Sister Lucia when the interview took place. This is a video all Catholics need to see.

    God bless

  5. Why would two saints (John XXIII and John Paul II) participate in the suppression and falsification of the third secret? Pope John refused to disclose its contents in 1960 and Pope John Paul went along with the obviously ludicrous interpretation. Could it be that what is described in the Third Secret is a punishment for the sins of both the clergy and laity and that the Church has suppressed this connection for its own self-interest? Has not the Queen of Heaven made this connection to seers? Why does this never find its way into the text of "approved" apparitions?

  6. I can't believe what I'm reading. Thank you for expressing exactly what I have always believed. I agree with you wholeheartedly. Thank you!

  7. Ms O'Regan,

    ". . . where sin abounded grace abounded all the more." Perhaps you worry too much?


    Ray Dupuis

  8. I think that the true suffering of Hell is the eternal absence of the Blessed Trinity. A moment without God is far too long..an eternity without him is utterly unbearable. The fire and pain that describes Hell pales in comparison to understanding that you will never be in the presence of God.

    Thankfully, God is a God of mercy and He desires all of us to be with Him for eternity. However, we cannot choose a path that is distance from God's will or we will have to live without Him.

    He gave all of us a free will. We ALL need to work everyday to use it to please Him.

    The reward is great and the loss is not.

    Let us all dedicate our lives and what we do to God.

  9. I don't believe the Vatican released the true Third Secret. If the document they released really was the authentic Third Secret was authentic - why would they have withheld it against the expressed command of the Mother of God for so long?

    The reasons given were that: 1) it was too sensational. (Too Sensational?? There was NOTHING sensational about it.) and 2) It would upset the Russians or the Russian Orthodox. (It has nothing remotely to do with any particular interests of the Russians.)

    Additionally, Pope John Paul II in answer to why they third secret wasn't released basically described a scene of a worldwide flooding of continents where millions die by the minute, saying basically, why would anyone want to hear something like that. (Did the document they released sounds anything like that???)

    Someone who had read the third secret said that it was essentially the same as Akita. (Did the released document read anything LIKE Akita???)

    They did NOT release the actual third secret.

  10. I too have wondered about the third secret. Given the horrors that have already taken place, I often think about how things could deteriorate in world affairs to the point that we live in an anarchic world in which Rome could be attacked in a war and the Holy Father killed. I wondered in particular why an invading army would be using arrows to kill anyone when they have bullets? It seemed incongruous in the context. Mary has said that Her Heart would triumph in the end, but given the divisions among Christians, it seemed truly hopeless. I can see how people would get going in one mindset that could allow them to dismiss a hell exists. But they also ought to be able to fathom it given the diseases alone which can destroy a human being in a short time. Cancers, viruses you name it, we are helpless against them. But it puzzles me that people who see themselves subject to such things would not reach out to God if even in a desperate effort to save their miserable lives. If they can believe in the plague, I cannot understand how they can dismiss a hell. I know people as well, who find themselves incapable of believing in God. It is beyond my ability to comprehend except that the enemy is more clever than us and more subtle and manages to pry us apart from God all too easily by convincing us there is an easier way.
    Then again, when Bernadette saw Our Lady in Lourdes, and Mary asked Bernadette to eat the herbs and dig in the ground to free the spring and wash her face, at first it did not seem to have been fulfilled, but eventually, the spring came forth and people began to be healed. Perhaps humanity is too short sighted to grasp the vision of Mary who sees what God sees and who is sent to us for our sake. Thanks for you article.

    1. Dear Michael,

      Thank you for your long comment. I'd like to answer your question: "I wondered in particular why an invading army would be using arrows to kill anyone when they have bullets? It seemed incongruous in the context." The Third Secret contains reference to both, "bullets and arrows", but as you ask, why arrows? I got an answer from Christopher Ferrara in this video, if you stop at 20:16 you will find the part of interest: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7OIyqzjuiU8&t=1823s Ferrara quotes an ISIS magazine and a fanatical iman, "we will conquer your Rome..." Then Ferrara quotes a newspaper article in an Italian newspaper about an e-book being distributed to Islamic miliants where they are instructed to make and stockpile homemade bow and arrows for "the conquest of Rome". Seems in this day and age they are taking a leaf from William Tell's panopoly of weapons. It also occurs to me that homemade arrows can be made effective killing tools by making the wood as sharp as metal so as to pierce a body; but wood is not identified by metal dectectors.

      God bless, Mary

  11. The warnings of Fatima may very well not have yet been fully experienced to date. Surely Rawanda's sufferings are one fairly recent example of how we can rely upon Our Lady's words.
    Our Lady of Kebeho came to prepare that country for what was to take place and to relay what was required to lessen the gravity of the future there. I remember seeing a dvd of the school children receiving the messages of the Mother of Jesus at that time, but this apparition was not approved of by the Church until after the massacre of so many people took place.

    The purpose of such visits are a call to the reality of the sufferings that we invite upon ourselves and upon nature, when we choose to "go it alone" without her Son and our Creator. This present era; however, is not to be compared with past calamities, as something far greater or so we are told, awaits us. I refer to the approved-of apparitions in Quito, Peru in the 1600's where Our Lady appeared calling herself "Our Lady of Good Success". In these heavenly appearances and locutions Mary came to forewarn of the 20th Century when the Church would be in the state of crisis during this ungodly era. Therefore, I don't doubt that something bigger than "The Flood" lies ahead. As a remedy we are told that prayer and fasting can mitigate wars and other catastrophies, so we are not defenseless. Is the world listening?

    When the Mother of God visits her children, we need to listen up. According to Our Lady of Good Success in the 1600's...time is not on our side.

    C.A. Wharton

  12. Of course the 3rd secret wasn't revealed or happened. The secret is a text not a vision, words of Our lady that should be inserted before the end of the second secret "at the end My Immaculate Heart will triumph".

    Cardinal Ottaviani prefect of CDF endorsed the printing of Neues Europa version although it was never said to be the full version.

    Malachi Martin who allegedly had read the original text, said the core element is missing in Neues Europa, no matter how frightening it appeares to be. In other words, the core element is NOT oceans turning into steam or satan sitting among cardinals and bishops, although these might well happen as well.

    Furthermore, Malachi Maritn said in interview on Coast to Coast AM, that the salvation will come from Russia and Kiev, and that is because of God's choice similar to that of Israel.

    Apparently, Neues Europa version was tailored to not disclose the exact the dating (writing second part of 20th century instead end of one century later). Malachi Martin said in 1997, there won't be 20 years more.

    I am thinking of only one possibility that is still not disclosed, and that is the Extraterrestrials (be they good -angels, bad -demons, or imperfect prone to sin and repentance as we are). Medvedev said in 2012 that Extraterrestrials already reside in Russia, the president has a special list of them kept in the nuclear suitcase and they are protected by the special service. Although said in a joking mode at the end, it sounds serious enough for anyone who understands its significance. You can find that interview on youtube translated by simply google Medvedev aliens. I tend to believe there are good ET in Russia (angelic) those who will start the era of peace soon. With or without WW3 beforehand.

  13. I tend to think of the Third Secret of Fatima as being fulfilled but that was because the 20th century saw many persecutions of Christians and much bloodshed as well as genocide. I also believe the nature of the prophecies were they were designed to be prevented. They weren't supposed to be inescapable prophecies but things designed to prevent WW2 and the Rise of the Soviet Union but which, obviously, didn't happen. Famously, JPII said he believed the Virgin Mary saved him.


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