Third Secret Timeline

1917, July 13: Our Lady of Fatima gives a secret in three parts to the three shepherd children.

1941: Sister Lucy reveals the first two parts of the Secret in her Memoirs, first on August 31st in her Third Memoir and then again on December 8 in her Fourth Memoir.

1943, October: The Bishop of Fatima gives Sister Lucy a formal, written order to write down the Third Secret. Sister Lucy tries to obey immediately, but for over two months is mysteriously unable to commit the Third Secret to paper.

1944, January 2: Our Lady appears to Sister Lucy and bids her to write down the Third Secret. Our Lady asks it to be revealed to the world not later than 1960. When later asked why the people had to wait for the Third Secret to be revealed in 1960, Sister Lucy states: “Because the Blessed Virgin wishes it so,” and “It [the Third Secret] will be clearer then.” The Third Secret is later delivered in person by Sister Lucy to her confessor bishop who in turn delivers it to the Bishop of Fatima, José da Silva, on June 17.

1949, January 3: A photograph of Bishop da Silva posing in front of the 25-line text of the Third Secret, which is enclosed in the bishop’s own outer envelope, appears in Life magazine.

1952, September: Austrian Jesuit Father Joseph Schweigl, sent by Pope Pius XII to interrogate Sister Lucy about the Third Secret, states that the Secret is in two parts. He later confides to one of his colleagues: “I cannot reveal anything of what I learned at Fatima concerning the Third Secret, but I can say that it has two parts: one concerns the Pope. The other, logically — although I must say nothing — would have to be the continuation of the words: In Portugal the dogma of the Faith will always be preserved.

1957, March: Bishop John Venancio holds up to a strong light the outer envelope of Bishop da Silva (photographed for Life magazine in 1949) containing an inner envelope of Sister Lucy, inside of which he sees the paper upon which is written the Third Secret. He carefully notes that the Secret is about 25 lines long and is written on a single sheet of paper with 3/4 centimeter margins on both sides. On April 16, the Third Secret is received in the Vatican and placed in a safe in the papal apartments.

1957, December 26: In an allusion to the contents of the Third Secret, Sister Lucy tells Fr. Fuentes, Postulator of the Cause for Beatification of Jacinta and Francisco Marto, of many nations disappearing from the face of the earth, about the crisis in the priesthood, and of many souls going to hell as a result of ignoring Our Lady of Fatima’s Message.

1958, October: The well-known magazine Paris-Match publishes a photo of the wooden safe in Pope Pius XII’s apartment in which was kept the Third Secret of Fatima.

1959, August 17: Pope John XXIII reads the 25-line text of the Third Secret which was taken from the papal apartment and then has his personal secretary, Msgr. Loris Capovilla, write on the envelope, “I leave it to others to comment or decide.”

1960, February 8: As the world anxiously awaits the full revelation of the Third Secret, the Vatican issues an anonymous press release, stating that the Third Secret would not be disclosed and “would probably remain, forever, under absolute seal.” Pope John XXIII reads the 62-line text of the Third Secret that same year.

1963, June 27: Pope Paul VI reads the text of the Third Secret kept in the papal apartment after the Substitute Secretary of State telephones Msgr. Capovilla, personal secretary to Pope John XXIII, to inquire as to where to find it. Capovilla testifies to this fact in his certified note of May 17, 1967. It is this text that is later identified by Cardinal Ottaviani as being 25-lines long.

1965, March 27: Pope Paul VI reads the other text of the Third Secret — the one that is 62-lines long. Cardinal Bertone claims that Paul VI read the Third Secret for the first time on this date.

1967, May 13: Sister Lucy meets Pope Paul VI in Fatima and asks him to release the Third Secret, but he refuses.

1978, October 16: Pope John Paul II is elected Pope and reads a text of the Third Secret within days of his election, according to a statement to Associated Press in May of 2000 by his spokesman, Joaquin Navarro-Valls. The statement by Navarro-Valls is contradicted by Msgr. Bertone when he claimed in June 2000 that the Pope first read the Third Secret on July 18, 1981.

1981, July 18: Pope John Paul II reads the other text of the Third Secret shortly after the assassination attempt on his life in May. According to Cardinal Bertone, the Pope read for the first time the 62-line text of the Third Secret that is kept in the Holy Office archives.

1984, September 10: Bishop Alberto Cosme do Amaral, the Bishop of Fatima, declares during a question and answer session in the aula magna of the Technical University of Vienna, Austria: “Its [the Third Secret’s] content concerns only our faith. To identify the Secret with catastrophic announcements or with a nuclear holocaust is to deform the meaning of the message. 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.”

1984, November 11: Jesus magazine publishes an interview with Cardinal Ratzinger. The interview is entitled “Here is Why the Faith is in Crisis,” and is published with the Cardinal’s explicit permission. Cardinal Ratzinger reveals that he has read the Third Secret and that the Secret refers to “dangers threatening the faith and the life of the Christian and therefore (the life) of the world.” Cardinal Ratzinger says in the same interview that the Secret also refers to “the importance of the Novissimi [the Last Times]”, “the absolute importance of history”, and that “the things contained in this ‘Third Secret’ correspond to what has been announced in Scripture and has been said again and again in many other Marian apparitions, first of all that of Fatima….”

1995: In a personal communication to Professor Baumgartner in Salzburg, Austria, Cardinal Mario Luigi Ciappi — the personal theologian of John Paul II (and of the four popes before him) — reveals that: “In the Third Secret it is foretold, among other things, that the great apostasy in the Church will begin at the top.”

1998: Howard Dee, former Philippine ambassador to the Vatican, said in an interview with Inside the Vatican magazine that “Bishop Ito [the local bishop of Akita, now deceased] was certain Akita was an extension of Fatima, and Cardinal Ratzinger personally confirmed to me that these two messages, of Fatima and Akita, are essentially the same.”

At Akita on October 13, 1973, Our Lady said there would be a worldwide chastisement for sins in which a great part of humanity would be killed and that those who survive would envy the dead.

2000, June 26: At a press conference, Archbishop Bertone publishes the 62-line text which he claims is the entire Third Secret and claims it refers to the 1981 assassination attempt of John Paul II. The 62-line text describes a vision in which the Pope (a “Bishop dressed in White”) is killed by a band of soldiers. This text, containing none of the elements described by Cardinal Ratzinger in his 1984 interview in Jesus magazine, is obviously incomplete.

2001, May 16: Reflecting the growing skepticism of millions of Catholics, Mother Angelica states on her live television show that she does not believe the Vatican has revealed the entirety of the Third Secret. “Mother Angelica Live” as a live program is taken off the air by December.

2001, October 25: Cardinal Ratzinger admits to a “destabilizing [of] the internal equilibrium of the Roman Curia” due to reports (following the September 11th terrorist attack on New York and the invasion of Afghanistan) of a recent letter from Sister Lucy to the Pope concerning the Third Secret and dangers to the world and the person of the Pope.

2001, November 17: Archbishop Bertone (later to become Cardinal Bertone, Vatican Secretary of State) travels from Rome to Coimbra to interview Sister Lucy about the Third Secret and claims the interview went on for two hours, but the communiqué published by Bertone contains only 44 words alleged to be from the mouth of Sister Lucy concerning the matters of the Third Secret and the Consecration of Russia controversies.

2005, February 13: Sister Lucy dies at the age of 97 in her convent in Coimbra, Portugal.

2006, November 22: Renowned Italian Catholic commentator and journalist Antonio Socci publishes his book, The Fourth Secret of Fatima, which accuses Cardinal Bertone of covering up the complete Third Secret. The book cites the testimony of Archbishop Loris F. Capovilla in July 2006, to Catholic researcher Solideo Paolini, that there are two different texts and two different envelopes pertaining to the Third Secret, that one of the envelopes and its contents — the “Capovilla envelope” — was kept in the papal apartment, not in the archives of the former Holy Office where the text of the vision was lodged, and that Paul VI read its contents on June 27, 1963, two years before the Bertone “official account”, which claims that Pope Paul VI first read the text of the Third Secret on March 27, 1965. The “Capovilla envelope” and text have never been produced.

2007, May 10: Attempting to discredit Socci, Cardinal Bertone publishes his own book, The Last Visionary of Fatima, written in the form of an interview by a Vatican affairs reporter, Giuseppe De Carli, who poses no challenging questions but rather de facto avoids all of the issues, including Msgr. Capovilla’s explosive testimony. In response, on May 12 Socci proclaims and explains publicly (in his weekly column in the Italian journal Libero) that his own book has been vindicated by the Cardinal’s complete failure to answer it, which Socci calls a disturbing development as it means that there is indeed an ongoing cover-up on the part of the Vatican regarding the Third Secret.

2007, May 31: Cardinal Bertone appears by remote live feed on the very popular Italian TV talk show Porta a Porta to again respond to Socci’s book. During this telecast Bertone displays not only the text of the vision but also two separate sealed envelopes prepared by Sister Lucy, each bearing the explicit statement in Sister Lucy’s own handwriting that “By express order of Our Lady, this envelope can be opened in 1960 only by the Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon or the Bishop of Leiria.”

The two sealed envelopes, and other revelations by Cardinal Bertone during the telecast, further confirm the existence of two texts comprising the Third Secret in its entirety. Further, the “express order of Our Lady” noted on the envelopes flatly contradicts Cardinal Bertone’s earlier repeated representations (only said after Sr. Lucy’s death in 2005) that Sister Lucy “confessed” to him in private, unrecorded conversations that the Virgin has never given any such order.

2007, June 2: Following the telecast, from which Socci has been excluded, Socci publishes his response in Libero. He declares that Bertone has not only failed to “give even one answer” to Socci’s book, but “On the contrary, he did more: He offered the proof that I am right” and “that as a matter of fact the explosive part of the ‘Third Secret of Fatima’ exists yet is well hidden….”

2007, September 21: Bertone stages a second television appearance for himself, this time on the Telepace network, to officially launch his own book which had been published in May and also to try yet again to discredit Socci’s book for a third time. The press are invited to attend. Socci, as a journalist, appears at the telecast location to question Cardinal Bertone. He acts in a proper way but is forcibly removed from the premises by security guards. During the telecast Bertone once again avoids any discussion of the issues. Instead, he presents a heavily-edited videotape of an interview of Archbishop Capovilla conducted by Giuseppe De Carli, a partisan of Cardinal Bertone, in which the Archbishop not only fails to deny the testimony he gave to Paolini (whose name is never mentioned) about the “Capovilla envelope,” but rather fully confirms its existence and location in the papal apartment, and the reading of its contents by Paul VI in 1963, not 1965 as the Bertone “official account” had claimed.

2007, September 22: The Italian newspaper Il Giornale reports that before the guards removed Socci from the location of the telecast of September 21, he was able to play for the assembled journalists an audiotape of Capovilla’s statements to Paolini during a meeting on June 21, 2007. On the tape Capovilla is heard to state: “Besides the four pages [of the vision of the bishop dressed in white] there was also something else, an attachment, yes.” As the reporter from Il Giornale concludes, Capovilla’s statement “would confirm the thesis of the existence of a second sheet with the interpretation of the Secret” — namely, the words of the Virgin following the “etc.”.

2007, September 23: Socci again responds to Cardinal Bertone in his column in Libero. Socci again calmly demonstrates that Cardinal Bertone is hiding a major part of the Third Secret.

2008, January 25: Christopher A. Ferrara’s book, The Secret Still Hidden, goes to press; 100,000 copies are printed. In this book, the author gives the history of the Third Secret up to that time. He proves beyond any reasonable doubt that there is a second text, still hidden by the Vatican bureaucrats, which contains the words of Our Lady which follow “In Portugal the dogma of the Faith will always be preserved etc.” He demonstrates his proof using the facts and details provided by both Socci and Bertone. The Italian version of his book is sent to 12,000 Italian priests in June 2008. Cardinal Bertone is sent a copy of Ferrara’s book by August 2008 and Bertone acknowledges receipt of the book but refuses to answer the substance of any of Ferrara’s arguments.

2010, May 4: Vatican journalist Giuseppe De Carli, co-author with Cardinal Bertone of The Last Visionary of Fatima (re-issued in 2010 under the new title, The Last Secret of Fatima), and an apologist for Cardinal Bertone’s now discredited explanations of the Third Secret, admits to the Fatima Challenge Conference before the TV cameras that “…they could have tricked me.”

2010, May 11: Pope Benedict XVI, on his pilgrimage to Portugal in May, stunned the press and the Catholic world by saying that the Third Secret of Fatima tells us that “not only from the outside come the attacks against the Pope and the Church, but the sufferings of the Church come from right inside the Church, from the sin that resides inside the Church… we see this today really in a terrifying way: the greatest persecution against the Church doesn’t come from its enemies outside, but starts from the sins within the Church.”

2010, May 13: Before 500,000 pilgrims, the Pope proclaimed (in reference to the Third Secret): “Whoever thinks that the prophetic mission of Fatima is concluded deceives himself.”

2010, July 13: Giuseppe De Carli dies on the 93rd anniversary of the imparting of the Third Secret by Our Lady of Fatima to the three shepherd children.

2011, May 11: Christopher Ferrara publishes the updated 2nd edition of the Italian version of The Secret Still Hidden. Using De Carli’s statement from the year before and referring to the 2nd edition of Bertone’s book, he further proves that Bertone is still hiding a major part of the Third Secret.

2011, July – August: Christopher Ferrara’s book, The Secret Still Hidden, receives an endorsement in the August-September issue of the prestigious Inside the Vatican magazine. There the editor Robert Moynihan relates a recent conversation with the late Archbishop Pietro Sambi, who died in July. Archbishop Sambi was Papal Nuncio to the United States and thus a key attaché of the Vatican Secretariat of State under Cardinal Bertone. The report of Moynihan, in part, goes as follows:

“We [Sambi and Moynihan] were discussing the Third Secret of Fatima, the allegations that the Vatican has not published the entire text of the Third Secret as revealed to Sister Lucia, and the response of Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican Secretary of State, in a book where Bertone states that there is nothing more to be revealed.

“Archbishop Sambi said, ‘Excuse me.’ He got up, went out of the room, and came back with a book. ‘Here,’ he said. ‘Do you know this book? You should read it.’ It was Christopher Ferrara’s The Secret Still Hidden. ‘Wait,’ I said. ‘You are the Pope’s representative in the US, and you are urging me to read a book that questions what the Secretary of State wrote?’

“Sambi replied: ‘All I am saying as that there are interesting things worth reading in this book. And in the end, we are all after the truth, aren’t we? The truth is the important thing…’.”