The Third Apparition of Our Lady of Fatima

“Continue to pray the Rosary every day in honor of Our Lady of the Rosary, to obtain peace for the world and the end of the war; for only She can help you.” (Our Lady of Fatima, July 13, 1917)

From time to time it is good to remind readers of the Secret of Fatima. Thus, we take the opportunity to provide the known text on this 106th anniversary of the third apparition of Our Lady of Fatima and the revelation of the Great Secret to the three shepherd children,

The Great Secret of Fatima[1]

The Great Secret given by Our Lady to the three shepherd children consists of three parts.

1. The First Secret

The first part was fully revealed in Sister Lucia’s Third and Fourth Memoirs, written at the command of her bishop, in 1941. This first part of the Secret of Fatima describes what Lucia, Jacinta and Francisco saw on that day. From Sister Lucia’s memoirs:

“She opened Her hands once more, as She had done during the two previous months. The rays of light seemed to penetrate the earth, and we saw as it were a sea of fire. Plunged in this fire were demons and souls [of the damned] 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 huge fires, without weight or equilibrium, amid shrieks and groans of pain and despair, which horrified us and made us tremble with fear. (It must have been this sight which caused me to cry out, as people say they heard me.) The demons could be distinguished [from the souls of the damned] by their terrifying and repellent likeness to frightful and unknown animals, black and transparent like burning coals.[2] This vision lasted but an instant. How can we ever be grateful enough to our kind heavenly Mother, Who had already prepared us by promising, in the first apparition, to take us to Heaven. Otherwise, I think we would have died of fear and terror.”[3]

2. The Second Secret

Having just shown the fate of the damned to the three shepherd children, Our Lady then confided to them the second part of the Secret. This second part primarily concerns Heaven’s requests for the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and for the Communions of Reparation on the First Saturdays, as well as the consequences of failing to heed these requests. Once again, from Sister Lucia’s memoirs:

“You have seen hell where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to My Immaculate Heart. If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace. The war is going to end; but if people do not cease offending God, a worse one will break out during the reign of Pius XI. When you see a night illumined by an unknown light, know that this is the great sign given you by God that He is about to punish the world for its sins, by means of war, famine, and persecutions against the Church and of the Holy Father.

“To prevent this, I shall come to ask for the Consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart, and the Communion of Reparation on the First Saturdays. If My requests are heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace; if not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer, various nations will be annihilated.

“In the end, My Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to Me, and she will be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world.”[4]

3. The Third Secret (Partial Text)

“In Portugal the dogma of the Faith will always be preserved etc.[5] Do not tell this to anybody. Francisco, yes, you may tell him.”

Fatima scholars have been unanimous in their belief that the phrase “In Portugal the dogma of the Faith will always be preserved etc.” begins the Third Secret, and the word “etc.” that Sister Lucia wrote indicates the rest of the words spoken by Our Lady regarding the Third Secret.

However, on June 26, 2000, the Vatican released what was claimed to be the entire Third Secret, but this text contains no words of Our Lady indicated by the “etc.”. Here is the text that the Vatican published:

“After the two parts which I have already explained, at the left of Our Lady and a little above, we saw an Angel with a flaming sword in his left hand; flashing, it gave out flames that looked as though they would set the world on fire; but they died out in contact with the splendour that Our Lady radiated towards him from her right hand: pointing to the earth with his right hand, the Angel cried out in a loud voice: ‘Penance, Penance, Penance!’.

“And we saw in an immense light that is God: ‘something similar to how people appear in a mirror when they pass in front of it’ a Bishop dressed in White ‘we had the impression that it was the Holy Father’.

“Other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious going up a steep mountain, at the top of which there was a big Cross of rough-hewn trunks as of a cork-tree with the bark; before reaching there the Holy Father passed through a big city half in ruins and half trembling with halting step, afflicted with pain and sorrow, he prayed for the souls of the corpses he met on his way; having reached the top of the mountain, on his knees at the foot of the big Cross he was killed by a group of soldiers who fired bullets and arrows at him, and in the same way there died one after another the other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious, and various lay people of different ranks and positions. Beneath the two arms of the Cross there were two Angels, each with a crystal aspersorium in his hand, in which they gathered up the blood of the Martyrs and with it sprinkled the souls that were making their way to God.”[6]

There are many reasons for us having moral certitude that the above text cannot be the whole Third Secret of Fatima.

There are numerous testimonies of what the text of the Third Secret actually contains – from those who have read it or studied it thoroughly, including Popes, Cardinals, bishops, and priests (some being Fatima experts), especially Father Alonso, who for 16 years (1965-1981) was the official archivist of Fatima and who had many interviews with Sister Lucia.

For these testimonies, see The Devil’s Final Battle Chapter 4 (“The Third Secret”, pp. 23-26) and Chapter 12 (“The Third Secret Predicts: The Great Apostasy in the Church after Vatican II”, pp. 139-144).[7] For context, here are just a few of those testimonies. In 1984, then Cardinal Ratzinger explained the Third Secret dealt with “the dangers threatening the faith and the life of the Christian, and therefore of the world.” Bishop Amaral added, “The loss of faith of a continent is worse than the annihilation of a nation.” In 1990, Cardinal Oddi explained, “The Blessed Virgin was alerting us against the apostasy in the Church.” Five years later, Cardinal Ciappi stated, “In the Third Secret it is foretold, among other things, that the great apostasy in the Church will begin at the top.”

For a comparison between the Third Secret Vision published on June 26, 2000 and the Third Secret text that has been alluded to by the various witnesses, see Chapter 13 (“The Third Secret Consists of Two Distinct Texts”, pp. 158-172).[8] A table summarizing some of these differences is shown below. For an additional up-to-date analysis, see “Two Distinct Texts” in The Fatima Crusader, Issue 130, pp. 12-15, 18-19.[9]

If you are interested in learning more about the suppression of the full Third Secret, we invite you to read or view the following publications of The Fatima Center: The Secret Still Hidden (book), The Secret Still Hidden Epilogue: Vindication (booklet), and The Secret Still Silenced (video).

The Secret Still Hidden is the first full-length examination of the grounds for rejecting the claim that what was published on June 26, 2000 was the entire Third Secret and for rejecting the version of the facts promoted by then Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone regarding the Third Secret controversy. The Cardinal’s own statements, including his book and radio and television broadcasts in 2007, are shown to demonstrate beyond any doubt that a text of the Third Secret has been suppressed.

This suppression was confirmed by Archbishop Carlo Viganó in April 2020, when he revealed that because of a cover-up operation “[t]he third part of the message that Our Lady entrusted to the shepherds of Fatima, so that they could deliver it to the Holy Father, remains a secret today.”[10]


Even though the final, most powerful part of the Third Secret of Fatima – Our Lady’s words beginning “In Portugal the dogma of the Faith will always be preserved,” which explain the significance of the vision of a “Bishop dressed in White” – remains unpublished to this day, it is known in essence and we see it materializing day by day.

In the terrible Vision of Hell – the First Secret – our exceedingly sinful age has been given a great merciful warning.

How quickly our delusions and tepidity would melt away with a moment’s consideration given to the horror of what the children witnessed in that Vision – the final and unending ruin of souls! Jacinta could never afterward put the thought out of her mind. “How sorry I am for sinners!” she often moaned. “Oh, if only I could show them hell! And the people who are there, being burned alive, like wood in a fire!”

Lucia, too, saw her mission in this world centering around the Revelation of July 13, 1917 – that in order to save sinners from going to hell, God wills to establish in the world devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary – in other words, that “Hell is real, and we could go there!” As she assured Father Fuentes:

“Father, 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.”

Who cannot see the proliferation of tremendous evils in our day? Who cannot see that there is no peace in the world – especially with the threat of nuclear war quickly escalating?  In the end, only Our Lady of Fatima can help us. We must obey of Lady’s Message delivered at Fatima in 1917!

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!

[1] This section based on The True Story of Fatima, Chapter V, “Third Apparition”, pp. 28-31; Mark Fellows, Sister Lucia: Apostle of Mary’s Immaculate Heart, Chapter 14, “Secret of Mary’s Immaculate Heart (July 13),” pp. 64-68; and Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité, The Whole Truth About Fatima, Vol. I: Science and the Facts, (Buffalo, Immaculate Heart Publications, 1989), pp. 180-183.

[2] English translation of text in Sister Lucia, “Fourth Memoir”, Fatima in Lucia’s Own Words, (Postulation Centre, Fatima, Portugal, 1976), p. 162. See also Frère Michel, op. cit., pp. 181-182; cited in The Devil’s Final Battle, Chapter 1, “The Message and the Miracle”, pp. 1-2.

[3] English translation of text in Sister Lucia, “Third Memoir”, Fatima in Lucia’s Own Words, p. 104. See also Frère Michel, op. cit., p. 182; cited in The Devil’s Final Battle, pp. 1-2.

[4] English translation of text in Sister Lucia, “Fourth Memoir”, op. cit., p. 162. See also Sister Lucia, Memorias e Cartas da Irma Lucia, (Porto, Portugal, 1973, edited by Father Antonio Maria Martins), pp. 340-341. Cf. Frère Michel, op. cit., p. 182; cited in The Devil’s Final Battle, p. 2.

[5] In Sister Lucia’s own handwriting there is no ellipsis after the “etc.”.

[6] English translation of Sister Lucia, “Third Part of the ‘Secret’ ”, in Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone, S.D.B., and Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, The Message of Fatima, June 26, 2000, p. 21.

[7] The page numbers referenced here are for the double-book (Book I, Book II) version vs. the single-book version, which has different page numbering due to a different page size. For the single-book version, the corresponding page numbers are: Chapter 4 (pp. 32-37) and Chapter 12 (pp. 195-201).

[8] For the single-book version, see pp. 223-243.

[9] Available at our online shop; click here to purchase.

[10]Archbishop Viganò: Third Secret of Fatima has not yet been fully published”, April 22, 2020.