Vatican Tells Third
Cardinal Angelo Sodano , a top Vatican cardinal
, disclosed the third secret of Fatima on Saturday. The same day the
Holy Father visited Fatima. The Pope was there to beatify the two of
the three little shepherd children who received apparitions from the
Virgin Mary in 1917. She appeared above an olive tree and told them
three secrets - many have theorized about the third.
The cardinal said the ``interpretations'' of the
children spoke of a ``bishop clothed in white'' who, while making his
way amid the corpses of martyrs, ``falls to the ground, apparently
dead, under a burst of gunfire.'' The Vatican has said the secret the
Virgin Mary is said to have told two children more than 80 years ago
was a foretelling of the shooting of Pope John Paul II. In 1981 the
Pope was injured when a Turkish gunmen tried to assassinate in St.
Peter's Square. The shooting came on May 13 - the same
day as the first of the Fatima visions in 1917.
The earlier mysteries are said to have foreseen
the end of World War I and the start of World War II, and the rise and
fall of Soviet communism. Nine years ago, the Pope said in Fatima,
"I entrust to the Lady and Mother of all generations the good
resolutions and the road of our generation in the 20th and 21st
centuries." Of course the international climate has changed
profoundly since 1991, when the Soviet Union had just disappeared.
Many believed the third, hidden secret foretold
the end of the world. 24-hour
visit to Fatima.
Pope John Paul has credited Our Lady of Fatima with intervening and
saving his life. He quoted the Holy Father as saying a ``motherly
hand'' guided the bullet's path, enabling the ``dying pope'' to halt
``at the threshold of death.''
During Saturday events in Fatima, the Pope beatified two of the
shepherd children today during a
About 600,000 people participated as the Pontiff
celebrated Mass to beatify Jacinta Marto and her brother
Francisco, who Virgin Mary appeared to them and their cousin Lucia dos
Santos six times here.
The shepherd children died of pneumonia two
years after the apparitions, at the ages of 9 and 11.
Lucia, now 93 and a cloistered nun since 1929 in
a Portuguese Carmelite convent, received communion from the Holy
Father. Later she and Pope John Paul II said a silent prayer over the
two children’s tombs.