Newsletter n°56 (31 July 2017)
The last newsletter gave a brief overview of the history of the secret up until 1941, when, at the request of Mgr. da Silva, Lucia wrote it down twice, as it figures in her third and fourth memoirs, dated August and December 1941. Despite this, the seer did not reveal all and kept to herself the third part of the secret. After some hesitation, Sister Lucia obeyed at the beginning of January 1944, having received confirmation from Our Lady that it really was the good Lord’s will. She passed it on to her bishop in a sealed envelope in June.
This revelation of the secret is, in itself, a precious teaching. It underlines the authority conferred by God on His representatives on earth. « And whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in Heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in Heaven » Jesus said to his apostles (Mat. 16:19 and 18:18). Across the centuries it can be seen that God has always kept this promise.
Obedience to legitimate superiors, when they are within the realm of their responsibility, is one of the qualities dearest to our Father in Heaven. One of the most beautiful examples (and which is far from being unique) is that of Saint Margaret Mary. Our Lord gave her the mission of spreading the devotion to the Sacred Heart; but her superiors prevented her from doing this. She asked what she should do about this to Our Lady who replied: « I am happy for you to choose your superiors’ will over mine when they forbid you to do that which I have decreed you do. »
Therefore, every time a legitimate superior asked Lucia to reveal a part of the secret, she asked Heaven what she should do. And every time, Heaven gave its authorisation. It was the case for the requests of her confessor, Father Aparicio. And it was the case for those of her bishop.
When he received the sealed envelope containing the secret, Mgr. da Silva unfortunately did not want to know about it. Moreover, he tried to rid himself of it by attempting to give the envelope first to the Apostolic Nuncio, then to the Holy See, but without success. So, he locked the envelope in his safe.
Upon learning this, Sister Lucia asked him to reveal this part of the secret by 1960 at the latest, or at her death if she died before then. She also stipulated that the bishop could read it immediately and communicate it to the world if he saw fit. Sister Lucia subsequently specified that the date of 1960 had been fixed by Our Lady Herself, who explained that it would seem clearer at that time.
Then, for eleven years, the secret stayed in the Bishop of Leiria’s safe. In 1956, the Vatican asked for a copy of all the documents concerning Fatima. The documents in the possession of the Curia of Leiria were therefore photocopied and sent to the Holy See. But the secret posed a problem because it was in an envelope and Mgr. da Silva refused to open it. Despite the insistent request of his Auxiliary to make a copy of it before sending it to Rome, Mgr. da Silva did not open the envelope and it was sent, still sealed, to the Vatican.
Pius XII received the envelope but did not open it and put it in a little chest on his desk. He died two years later, without having read the secret.
His successor was in no more of a hurry to be acquainted with it. One year after his election, while he was staying at Castel Gandolfo, Jean XXIII had the envelope brought to him and read the secret on the 19th of August 1959. After having spoken to a few of his staff, he decided not to publish it, saying simply that it did not concern his Pontificate. The following year he made it known through a press agency that the secret had not been revealed, contrary to that which had been requested by Our Lady.
Paul VI found it in the office left vacant by the death of his predecessor and read it on the 27th of June 1963, five days after his election. He decided to adopt the same attitude as his predecessor. There was no talk of the secret throughout the rest of his Pontificate. Curiously, in the file joined to the text of the secret released by the Vatican on the 26th of June 2000, it says that Paul VI read the secret on the 27th of March 1965. The experts are still at a loss to explain this incredible difference in date.
Jean-Paul II read the secret a few days after his election; but, like his predecessors, he did not want to reveal it. For example, on the 15th of January 1995, he confided to André Frossard, who questioned him on the subject: « I absolutely cannot publish it ! I can only simply tell you that it is a single sheet bearing twenty-two lines. »
It was necessary to wait until June 2000 before a text purporting to be the whole of the third part of the secret was issued by the Holy See. This text immediately raised many questions, most of which are still, today, unanswered. Three hypotheses emerged and which still divide Fatima experts: 1) the Vatican’s text is well and truly the whole of the secret such as Sister Lucia wrote it in January 1944; 2) it is only a part of the secret, because Our Lady’s words explaining the vision are missing; 3) this text is not the third part of the secret.
The questions raised by the different experts are, for the most part, very serious and the Vatican still has not offered even the beginning of a response. For example, why is it that the Vatican’s text consists of 62 lines whereas Jean-Paul II and Cardinal Ottaviani said that the secret comprised around twenty lines? Why is the handwriting in the Vatican’s text so different from that of Sister Lucia? How could Jean XXIII have said « This is not for my Pontificate » on reading the text? What stopped him from diffusing it in 1960? Why did Our Lady choose 1960 as the latest date to diffuse it? Etc. Every hypothesis raises several questions and it is not easy to form an opinion. It is most regrettable that the Vatican has not tried to stop the controversy. Cardinal Bertone tried to do it in 2007, but his interventions, far from answering the questions which had been asked, simply created new ones.
The consecration of Russia
The letter of support to Cardinal Burke who wishes to ask the Holy Father to consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, has already gathered almost 450 signatures. We thank you for the many words of encouragement you have showered upon us, as well as for your reflections on the timeliness of this initiative.
We plan to hand over the letter, with all your signatures, to Cardinal Burke during the course of the week of the 21st to the 27th of August. So there are still three more weeks to gather new signatures. (To sign, click HERE.)
In union of prayer in the Immaculae Heart of Mary.
Yves de Lassus.