THE WHOLE TRUTH ABOUT FATIMA VOLUME II
THE SECRET AND THE CHURCH
3.1 “Now Is the Hour
of God’s Justice over the World!” (1939 - 1942).
AGAINST the war which had already been programmed by the machiavellian plotting of Hitler and Stalin – the crazy, racist and expansionist Germanism of the one, and the revolutionary Bolshevism of the other – the new Pope could do nothing, in spite of his well-advised attempts at diplomatic interventions. For its part, anti-national Judeo-Masonry wanted this conflict, and pushed the blind and irresponsible democracies of London and Paris into it. This horrible war, which had already « begun in the reign of Pius XI», was the divine chastisement so justly merited by the crimes of vicious men, and still more by the lukewarmness and indocility of the “bad Catholics” Saint Bernadette had spoken of in 1870. Sister Lucy, placing herself humbly “at the table of sinners”, saw in these rigorous judgments of God the punishment « for our great laxity and our negligence in responding to His requests». Chastisement it was, but it was also a pressing invitation to respond finally to His great designs in favour of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. In fact, during two years of the war, ten times more was done to fulfil Our Lady of Fatima’s requests than during the seventeen years of Pius XI’s pontificate!
I. THE APPROVAL OF THE DEVOTION OF REPARATION
(SEPTEMBER 13, 1939)
Bishop da Silva had several reasons for passing from promises to action. First, there was the painful trial of bad health which had dangerously threatened him in July of 1939. Then there was the declaration of war on September 3, which may have led to fears that perhaps Portugal also might, in spite of itself, get sucked into the war. Finally, there was the promising dawn of the new pontificate, which gave some reason to believe that the Holy Father might be more favourable to Fatima.
During the pilgrimage of September 13, Bishop da Silva decided to inform the thousands of pilgrims at the Cova da Iria of the devotion of reparation on the five first Saturdays of the month. Shortly afterwards, he published it in Voz da Fatima. Bishop da Silva wrote to Sister Lucy shortly after to inform her. He was clearly pleased at having finally accomplished this act, which had been requested by the seer for over ten years:
«On September 13, on the occasion of the homily of the Mass for the sick, I made public the devotion of the five first Saturdays, in the sanctuary. And in the October issue (of Voz da Fatima) an article on the same subject has been published recommending it. Since the review has a large circulation (about 380,000 copies), I can say that this devotion is now known not only in Portugal, but in many foreign regions as well.
«May God deign to accept our reparation, however small and poor it be, for the offences which give sorrow to the Heart of His Mother, the Most Holy Virgin Mary.» 1
The news brought great joy to Sister Lucy; however, there was some regret as well. After reading the article in the Voz da Fatima, she was pained to see that Our Lady’s requests were not explained with complete exactness. In a letter dated December 3, 1939, she opened up to Father Aparicio:
«His Grace says that the meditation can be done during the recitation of the Rosary. I have already received a letter from Father Gomes to ask me my opinion, since Our Lady’s words seem to indicate that the meditation may be done separately.
«I did not want to answer without asking His Grace, the bishop. His Excellency answered me that he did this to make it easier for people to practice this devotion, for ordinary people are not used to meditating and don’t know how to do it. Since Holy Church allows several obligatory prayers to be said during Mass (such as the penance given in confession, etc), and since the precept is satisfied in this way, he says the same thing is true in this case.
« However (Sister Lucy continues), for whoever is able, the more perfect thing is to do each thing separately.» 2
Of course! And how can we not deplore the watering down of Our Lady’s requests, which were already so simple and condescending, considering the wonderful promises attached to them? If the faithful do not know how to meditate, does not their Heavenly Mother desire to teach it to them, and give them a taste for it through these fifteen minutes spent in Her company, so as to console Her outraged Heart, overwhelmed with bitterness by so much ingratitude on the part of Her children?
Another cause for regret: Bishop da Silva’s act was still not the official episcopal approval, promised since 1928. The bishop had contented himself with recommending the devotion of reparation during the course of his sermon on September 13. Writing in the October issue of Voz da Fatima, the Vicomte of Montelo (Canon Formigao) had mentioned this fact. But the article published in this same issue to recommend and explain this devotion, although written by Bishop da Silva himself – besides being awkward and inexact on several points – was anonymous! 3
Still, it was already a first step which caused Sister Lucy to rejoice: «Now, there is lacking only the consecration of Russia by the Holy Father and all the bishops of the Catholic world. Oh! If it were only granted to me to see His Holiness decide on this.» 4
II. THE REQUEST FOR THE CONSECRATION OF RUSSIA (JANUARY - APRIL 1940)
Sister Lucy’s letters to Father Gonçalves reveal to us an event of capital importance in the history of the passing on of the Fatima requests to Pope Pius XII. Curiously, the historians – and even Father Alonso in those of his writings which have already been published – do not seem to have noticed this fact: an initial request for the consecration of Russia was addressed to the Holy Father in the spring of 1940, most probably in April. There follow the documents which clearly establish it.
JANUARY 21, 1940: « THE REQUEST MUST BE RENEWED»
Just as in 1930, Father Gonçalves was effective. By January 21, 1940, he apparently had already decided to intervene once more. Sister Lucy wrote to him:
«You say that you would like to talk to me personally, and I wish that could be done, but ordinarily Our Lord likes sacrifices a little better. It’s because of sacrifice that many souls are saved, and so many of them are lost. Just to think about it makes me tremble with fear! Therefore, let Him ask of me anything He wants. Anything.
«Concerning what has been done and what is yet to be done (I am speaking here about Russia and the Immaculate Heart of Mary), I have been more or less told everything by Our Lord, His Excellency the Bishop and by Reverend Galamba, with whom I spoke some days ago.» 5
THE LOST OPPORTUNITIES OF 1930 AND 1937. «I regret that despite the motion of the Holy Spirit, nobody took advantage of the opportunity. Our Lord also regrets it. By this act He would have appeased His justice and forgiven the world the scourge of war that Russia is promoting among the nations since the war in Spain. In a letter to His Excellency that I wrote from Rianjo, I said so in sufficiently clear terms.» 6
THE REQUEST MUST BE RENEWED. «May God grant that this moment (the consecration of Russia) be hastened. God is so good that He is always ready to exercise His mercy with us. Therefore, it is the will of God that the request be renewed with the Holy See. Unless this act intervenes, through which intervention we would obtain peace, the war will only end when the blood spilled by the martyrs is enough to appease the Divine Justice.» 7
Clearly, Sister Lucy is judging events in the light of the great Secret of July 13. The war she mentions is the war that Russia foists upon the world, the first phase of which took place in Spain. This is why the only remedy willed by God in His designs of love for our century is the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary – the consecration of Russia, not the world. 8
Had this consecration been done on time, the war would not have taken place. And, at the beginning of 1940, the seer also affirms that if the Holy Father deigned to accomplish Heaven’s requests, God is so good that He still would have taken pity on humanity, and ended this atrocious war.
« IF YOU ONLY KNEW THE THINGS WHICH ARE FOR YOUR PEACE!»
In her conversation with Father Jongen, the seer confided this to him:
«In 1940, in another letter to His Grace the Bishop of Leiria, alluding to the non-fulfilment of Our Lady’s requests, I wrote: “Oh! If the world only knew what a moment of grace was granted to it, and did penance!”» 9
So striking is the parallel, that how can we not be reminded of the words Our Lord pronounced on the evening of Palm Sunday, weeping over the Holy City?
«If thou hadst known, in this thy day, even thou, the things that are for thy peace! But now they are hidden from thy eyes. For days will come upon thee when thy enemies will throw up a rampart about thee, and surround thee and shut thee in on every side, and will dash thee to the ground and thy children within thee, and will not leave in thee one stone upon another, because thou hast not known the time of thy visitation.» (Lk. 19:41-44).
At Fatima also, Heaven visited the earth, and the Mother of Mercy, the Queen of Peace, revealed to Her children the infallible means of obtaining a true and holy and lasting peace. Was the new Pope, so devoted to Our Lady, going to consent to enter into Her ways?
FEBRUARY - APRIL 1940: AN INITIAL REQUEST AND AN INITIAL REFUSAL
On April 24, 1940, Sister Lucy wrote to Father Gonçalves:
«Thank you for the letter you sent me, and thank you even more for the means that you used to obtain the realisation of Our Good Lord’s wishes.» 10
Father Gonçalves had the request for the consecration of Russia passed on by April at the latest, because he hoped that the Holy Father would be able to fulfil it in May 1940. We know this through a letter Sister Lucy wrote him on July 15:
«I thank you very much for your last letter. It must have gone through the mail at about the same time as one of mine, which I hope you have received. As for the consecration of Russia (to the Immaculate Heart of Mary), it was not done in the month of May as you expected. It will be done, but not right away...» 11
“NOW IS THE HOUR OF GOD’S JUSTICE OVER THE WORLD.” During these first few months of 1940, Sister Lucy states that it is necessary to insist with the Holy Father to obtain this consecration, that Our Lord’s promises are still good, but that it will not be done right away, because the time for the chastisement has come. On April 24, she explains to Father Gonçalves:
«If (Our Good Lord) wants to, He can hasten that cause. But to punish the world He will let it go slowly. His justice, provoked by our sins, wants it that way. Sometimes He becomes annoyed not only at grave sins, but also at our laxity and negligence in attending to His requests.»
Sister Lucy goes on, humbly placing herself in the ranks of sinners who have drawn down God’s chastisement:
«In this respect I am greatly to blame because of my shyness and reserve. Talk to Him for a while and you will see what He says. How many just complaints He has, to which we cannot answer anything except to ask for forgiveness and this in intimate conversation (with Him)!
«He’s right, there are many crimes, but above all there is much more negligence now on the part of the souls, whom He expected to do His work with fervour. The number of souls with whom He communicates is very limited. The worst part is that I’m in that group of lukewarm people, after the efforts that He has made to incorporate me in the group of those more fervent. It is very easy for me to make a promise, but it is even easier for me to break it... Dust sticks to actions like it does to (clothes), without one seeing how it got there...» 12
On July 15, 1940, she wrote to Father Gonçalves again:
«As for the consecration of Russia (to the Immaculate Heart of Mary), it was not done in the month of May as you expected. It will be done, but not right away. God wants it this way for now to punish the world for its crimes. We deserve it. Afterwards He will listen to our humble prayers.
«I am really sorry that it was not done. In the meantime so many souls are being lost! However, God is the One who governs everything. But at the same time He shows so much sorrow because He was not attended to!
«If I am not mistaken, He is still willing to grant the promised grace. How I wish that people would heed His wishes! I never cease to pray and to sacrifice myself for this intention, and I thank you very much for your prayers and sacrifices for this same purpose. With that, you please the Heart of our beloved Heavenly Mother who will not forget to recompense you for it...
«Your trip then is to Africa instead of Tuy? How Our Good Lord likes sacrifice! How He likes the souls who always say “Yes” to Him! I will pray that He grant you a good trip and a prolific apostolate. I hope that you will not forget me in your prayers. The grace that I need most is that one of corresponding with fidelity and humility to so many graces. I hope that you will not forget to pray for me, close to the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary.» 13
Appointed for the missions in Zambia, Father Gonçalves did not leave Portugal until a year later, during the summer of 1941. 14 Meanwhile, Sister Lucy continued to profit from his counsels and confide in him. Let us quote as well her letter of August 18, 1940, where she insists on him continuing to ask the Pope for the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
AUGUST 18, 1940: THE SENTIMENTS OF A HOLY SOUL DURING THE TORMENTS OF WAR
GOD NEEDS SOULS WHO WILL GIVE THEMSELVES TO HIM WITHOUT RESERVE. «I am on the third day of the retreat, and God did not wish to grant us the joy of making it under your direction. Patience! I was never encouraged by this hope because that was not the road that God wanted me to follow; ordinarily He prefers sacrifice, and in the state that the world is in now, what He wants are souls who, united with Him, will pray and sacrifice themselves. How I wish I could satisfy this burning desire of His Divine Heart. But, unfortunately, I often correspond to inspirations of His grace with many infidelities. Now, more than ever, He needs souls that will give themselves to Him without reserve; and how small this number is! In this respect pray for me, I really need it...»
THE CONSECRATION OF RUSSIA: IT IS NOT FOR NOW. «I suppose that it pleases Our Lord to know that someone tries to get from His Vicar on earth the realisation of His wishes. But the Holy Father will not do it yet. He doubts its reality and he is right. 15 Our Good Lord could through some prodigy show clearly that it is He who asks it, but He takes this opportunity to punish the world with His justice for so many crimes, and to prepare it for a more complete turn toward Him.»
PORTUGAL, THE EXEMPLARY MIRACLE. «The proof that He gives us is the special protection of the Immaculate Heart of Mary over Portugal, due to its consecration to Her. Those people whom you write to me about have a good reason to be scared. All this would have happened to us, had our bishops not paid attention to the requests of Our Good Lord, and prayed with all their heart for His mercy and the protection of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Our Blessed Heavenly Mother.
«But in our country there are still many crimes and sins, and since now is the hour of God’s justice over the world, we need to keep on praying.»
AN URGENT APPEAL TO CONVERSION. «For this reason I feel that it would be good to impress on people, as well as a great amount of confidence in the mercy of Our Good Lord and in the protection of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the need for prayer accompanied by sacrifice, especially the sacrifices needed to avoid sin.
«This is the request of Our Good Heavenly Mother since 1917, that came with an inexplicable sadness and tenderness from Her Immaculate Heart: “Let them offend Our Lord God no more for He is already too much offended!” It’s a pity that we have not meditated enough on these words and measured their full implications!»
THE REQUEST FOR THE CONSECRATION OF RUSSIA MUST BE RENEWED. «In the meantime, don’t forget, whenever you can, to take advantage of any occasions that you may have to renew our request to the Holy Father to see if we can shorten this moment (of waiting and of punishment). I feel sorry for the Holy Father and I pray a lot for His Holiness through my humble prayers and sacrifices.
«Please do not forget me in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. In my prayers you will also not be forgotten...» 16
III. THE REQUEST FOR THE CONSECRATION
OF THE WORLD WITH MENTION OF RUSSIA
Until this time, to obey the very clear and firm requests of July 13, 1917 and June 13, 1929, Sister Lucy never asked for anything except the consecration of Russia alone to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. In the collection of letters already published, she mentions the consecration of the world for the first time on September 1, 1940, writing to Father Aparicio. Nor is it mentioned as something Our Lady Herself had requested to her. She writes:
«Recently, several important people have spoken about the consecration of the world and Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. His Holiness showed that he was very favourable, but it seems that it will not be done right away. Oh, who will give me to see this moment (of waiting) shortened, and to see His Holiness raise the feast in honour of the Immaculate Heart of Mary to the rank of double of the first class, for the Universal Church! Pray for all that, for the glory of Our Good Lord and Our Good Heavenly Mother.» 17
Are we to see in this letter, which unfortunately is not given in full, a reference to the initiatives Sister Lucy was soon to mention while writing to Pope Pius XII? It is quite possible. After having recalled the Tuy request, the seer wrote:
«... Some time afterwards I told this to my confessor who took measures to bring it to the attention of H.H. Pius XI and, latterly, to that of Your Holiness, through His Excellency the Bishop of Macau, in June of this year, 1940. A little later, I believe, the Reverend Father Gonzaga da Fonseca was kind enough to renew this request before Your Holiness, who deigned to receive it in all his kindness.» 18
What were the exact terms of the requests of Bishop Costa Nunes and Father da Fonseca? We are not in a position to say. However, the reference by Sister Lucy allows us to think that, after the fruitless attempt in April 1940, they had given up on the idea of asking for the consecration of Russia alone by the Pope and all the bishops of the world, as specified in the exact requests of Our Lady. 19
SISTER LUCY’S LETTER TO POPE PIUS XII
What is certain is that in September-October 1940, Lucy’s spiritual directors decided to attempt approaching the Holy Father once more, while adding to the precise Tuy request another request, which in their judgment could more easily be obtained: the consecration of the world, with special mention of Russia.
It is important, however, to stress from the beginning: this initiative did not come from the seer, but from Don Manuel Ferreira, Bishop of Gurza. He had known Sister Lucy since her days at Asilo del Vilar, had stayed in touch with her and continued to advise her. 20 After discussing the matter with Father Gonçalves, Bishop Ferreira, who knew Pius XII personally, judged that it would be good if Sister Lucy wrote to the Pope herself.
SISTER LUCY RECEIVES THE ORDER TO WRITE. As she makes clear in the introduction to the letter, without this formal order she never would have dared to appeal directly to him. She never fails to insist on this point: if she did so, and in the terms that she used, it is because she had received the order to do so. On October 27, she wrote to Father Gonçalves:
«I received your letter as well as those of His Excellency the Bishop of Gurza. I got a bit scared with that order. Who am I, I asked myself, to write to the Holy Father? But I left all the reasons to Our Good Lord Who was asking it of me through His ministers. And, in the knowledge of my true incapacity, I tried to obey in the way that was indicated to me, without any preoccupations. Nobody expects anything better from me, for everybody knows my insufficiency.» 21
What precise directives did she receive then? First of all, the revelation of the Secret. While recalling this letter, where Father Gonçalves «ordered» her «to write to the Holy Father», Sister Lucy made this clear: «One of the points he indicated to me was revealing the Secret.» 22 She was surely ordered as well to describe the apparitions of Pontevedra and Tuy, but briefly! Above all, he indicated the terms of the essential request: a consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, with special mention of Russia. Sister Lucy would have never expressed this request on her own initiative, since she had not been ordered to do so by Heaven. It surely threw her into great perplexity. But as always, to find her light, she had recourse to a more earnest prayer.
THE DIVINE COMMUNICATION OF OCTOBER 22, 1940. Here is the brief account which Sister Lucy retraced for Father Gonçalves, and recopied herself six months later.
«22-10-1940 – I received a letter from Father J. B. G. and the Bishop of Gurza telling me to write to His Holiness... With this purpose in view, I spent two hours on my knees before Our Lord exposed in the Blessed Sacrament: “Pray for the Holy Father, sacrifice yourself so that his courage does not succumb under the bitterness that oppresses him. The tribulation will continue and augment. I will punish the nations for their crimes by war, famine and persecution of My Church and this will weigh especially upon My Vicar on earth. His Holiness will obtain an abbreviation of these days of tribulation if he takes heed of My wishes by promulgating the Act of Consecration of the whole world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, with a special mention of Russia.”» 23
What then were Heaven’s designs? The consecration of the world or the consecration of Russia? This question has been endlessly muddled. It is important that it be clear:
1. At Fatima in 1917, as well as at Tuy in 1929, the Most Holy Virgin, speaking in the name of God, asked for only one consecration: the consecration of Russia by the Holy Father and all the bishops of the Catholic world. And as we have seen, until Lucy’s letter of July 15, 1940, that was the only consecration ever in question.
2. The revelation of October 22, 1940, therefore indicates a request which was both completely new and secondary in the context of the principal message of Fatima, which remained definitively centred around the consecration and conversion of Russia. As Father Alonso comments: «In October of 1940, Heaven acceded to the desires of Sister Lucy’s superiors, to see the consecration of the world with a special mention of Russia brought about. It is the Lord Himself who suggests such an act.» 24
But the promise connected with this act is completely different and much more limited: while the consecration of Russia would have brought about its conversion and preserved the world from war, the consecration of the world now suggested would obtain nothing more than «an abbreviation of these days of tribulation» of the world war.
For the future, while writing down this new request in obedience to her superiors, Sister Lucy could have the certitude that she was not displeasing her Lord. In His infinite kindness, He even benevolently accepted this first solemn act of trust and devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The act was limited, partial, and incomplete, but it was already to obtain graces of peace for the world.
THE WRITING OF THE LETTER TO THE POPE. Having been enlightened from on high in this way, Sister Lucy was able to take up her pen and begin writing the letter. She did so two days later, on October 24, 1940. The terms and conditions of this letter will be explained later on. Three days later Sister Lucy explained to Father Gonçalves:
«I wanted to send it directly to the Bishop of Gurza, but I didn’t dare to do it without first making it fully known to the Reverend Mother Provincial and the Bishop of Leiria.» 25
Along with the text she had just written, she added the letters of Father Gonçalves ordering her to write it. She sent the whole thing to her Provincial Superior, asking her to send it to Bishop da Silva, who in turn was asked to send it to the Bishop of Gurza.
In her letter of October 27 to Father Gonçalves, she explained to him that she greatly regretted the delay occasioned by this long “detour”. «But», she added, « Our Lord will prefer that this act be approved by my immediate superiors.» What supernatural wisdom in these statements and what scrupulous obedience! Sister Lucy never falls back on her role as seer to act in the slightest way outside of religious obedience. Besides, this is one of the essential elements of the mystery of Fatima. God is disposed to release a shower of graces over the Church and the world through the mediation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, but He wishes to do nothing unless His hierarchical representatives desire it and insistently request it of Him. Sister Lucy is well aware of it: she is only the humble messenger of Heaven; it is her superiors, the Pope and the bishops, and them alone, who can act decisively for the salvation and peace of the world.
Let us continue reading the letter to Father Gonçalves, pointing out the humility and simplicity of the seer, at the very time that she was called to pass on God’s will to the Pope:
«I doubt that the letter is in good enough condition to send to Rome, because of my way of expression, my spelling mistakes, and the quality of paper on which I wrote it. Because the bishop told me to write it on a single sheet, I did all I could to find one good enough both in quality and size; but since among the things that are lacking here, the one that is becoming the most scarce is paper, I could not find anything better. I did not incorporate more detail and accuracy because I did not have enough space on the single sheet of paper that I had obtained. I hope that Our Good Lord will accept my humble sacrifice for the glory of the Immaculate Heart of Our Blessed Mother in Heaven.
« The Holy Father will make the act of consecration as we so anxiously desire, but I don’t think that it will be on the 8th. 26 We will have to wait a little longer, but it will overflow in glory for Our Good Lord and Our Beloved Mother in Heaven.
«Are you still getting ready for your trip to Zambezia? I wanted to ask Our Lord to prevent it, but I will not ask for it. His Will be done, no matter what it costs.»
Since she had sent with her letter a copy of her request to the Pope, Sister Lucy concluded:
«If you have anything to tell me about the letter to the Holy Father, feel free to say it.» 27
Weeks passed. Had the letter been sent to Rome? Written in a very direct and spontaneous style, with a perfect clarity, the initial text of the seer was the best one, and even the most apt to touch the Holy Father’s heart. Unfortunately, things took a very different turn. Sister Lucy was forced to make a series of corrections, which, alas, were almost all deplorable! In 1971, Father Alonso still preferred to leave the author of these unfortunate retouches in anonymity, writing: «Many, perhaps, will want to know how Sister Lucy’s thinking could be deformed so badly. We cannot speak on this subject for the moment.» 28
Since Father Martins in 1973 took the happy initiative of publishing important excerpts from Sister Lucy’s letters in Memorias e Cartas da Irma Lucia, this point can be fully cleared up.
THE INTERVENTION OF BISHOP DA SILVA. Around the end of November, or even perhaps on December 1, Sister Lucy finally received an answer from the Bishop of Leiria. He asked her « to write another letter to the Holy Father with some modifications in the introduction and the end.» 29 He even added a model which indicated the corrections to be done.
A letter of Sister Lucy to Father Aparicio on December 16, 1940, sums everything up in a few phrases:
« I have been ordered to write a letter to His Holiness Pius XII, explaining Our Lady’s request on the consecration of the world and Russia to Her Immaculate Heart. I obeyed on October 24, 1940. I have been ordered to write a second letter with some small modifications. I wrote it on December 2, 1940. In the same letter His Grace the bishop (of Leiria) ordered me... etc.» 30
In another place Sister Lucy presents her second copy as «the final copy of Bishop (da Silva’s) draft.» 31
For this reason it is important to distinguish the two successive versions, each of which has its own value: the first one, because it exactly expresses Sister Lucy’s thinking. The second one, because it was read by Pope Pius XII. 32 As she had done for her first writing, Sister Lucy took the trouble to make a copy of her final text, so that Father Gonçalves might see it. These are the two manuscript copies published in Documentos, for which we now give literal translations in parallel columns. 33
SISTER LUCY’S LETTER TO POPE PIUS XII
|THE VERSION OF OCTOBER 24, 1940
|THE VERSION OF DECEMBER 2, 1940
1. ADDRESS TO THE HOLY FATHER
|Most Holy Father,
I never thought of writing to Your Holiness because I recognise my incapacity and insufficiency. But, since the persons that speak to me in the name of Our Lord (one of whom is His Excellency, the Bishop of Gurza, whom you know personally), tell me that it is the Divine Will... Therefore in an act of humble submission I do it in the way that has been shown to me, with the confidence and simplicity with which I would speak to my good father, or better still, to Our Good Lord. And because Your Holiness represents Him so directly to me, I hope you will forgive me the faults I have, due to my incapacity.
|Most Holy Father,
Humbly prostrate at your feet, I come as the last sheep of the fold entrusted to you to open my heart, by order of my spiritual director.
I am the only survivor of the children to whom Our Lady appeared in Fatima (Portugal) from the 13th of May to the 13th of October, 1917. The Blessed Virgin has granted me many graces, the greatest of all being my admission to the Institute of Saint Dorothy. (Up to now, this is a copy of the outline the bishop sent me.)
2. A REQUEST FROM HEAVEN
|Most Holy Father, I come to renew a request that has been brought to Your Holiness several times already, and previously to His Holiness Pius XI, and which has been received with the benevolence of both.
The request, Most Holy Father, is not mine, it comes from Our Lord and Our Good Heavenly Mother.
|I come, Most Holy Father, to renew a request that has already been brought to you several times.
The request, Most Holy Father, is from Our Lord and Our Good Mother in Heaven.
3. THE SECRET OF JULY 13, 1917
|In 1917, in Fatima, in the portion of revelations designated by us with the name of “secret”, the Blessed Virgin announced the end of the war that was then afflicting Europe, and predicted a future one that would begin in the reign of Pius XI. To prevent this war She said: «I will come to ask for the consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart and the Communion of reparation on the first Saturdays. If they listen to My requests, Russia will be converted and there will be peace. If not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, promoting 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 it will be converted, and a certain period of peace will be granted to the world.»
Most Holy Father, this remained a secret until 1926, according to the express will of Our Good Heavenly Mother.
|In 1917, in the portion of the apparitions that we have designated “the secret”, the Blessed Virgin revealed the end of the war that was then afflicting Europe, and predicted another forthcoming, saying that to prevent it She would come and ask for the consecration of Russia to Her Immaculate Heart as well as the Communion of reparation on the first Saturdays. She promised peace and the conversion of that nation if Her request was attended to. She announced that otherwise this nation would spread her errors throughout the world, and there would be wars, persecutions of the Holy Church, martyrdom of many Christians, several persecutions and sufferings reserved for Your Holiness, and the annihilation of several nations.
Most Holy Father, this, remained a secret until 1926, according to the express order of Our Lady.
4. THE MESSAGE OF PONTEVEDRA
|Then, in a revelation, She asked that the Communion of reparation on the first Saturdays of five consecutive months be propagated throughout the world, with its conditions of doing the following with the same purpose: going to confession, meditating for a quarter of an hour on the mysteries of the Rosary and saying the Rosary with the aim of making reparation for the insults, sacrileges and indifferences committed against Her Immaculate Heart. Our Good Heavenly Mother promises to assist the persons who will practise this devotion, in the hour of their death, with all the necessary graces for their salvation.
I told this to my confessor who tried to have the wishes of the Immaculate Heart of Mary fulfilled. But only on the 13th of September 1939 did His Excellency, the Bishop of Leiria, make public in Fatima this request of Our Lady.
I take this opportunity, Most Holy Father, to ask you to bless and extend this devotion to the whole world.
|Then, in a revelation, She asked that the Communion of reparation on the first Saturdays of five consecutive months be propagated throughout the world, with its conditions of doing the following with the same purpose: going to confession, meditating for a quarter of an hour on the mysteries of the Rosary and saying the Rosary with the aim of making reparation for the insults, sacrileges and indifferences committed against Her Immaculate Heart. Our Good Heavenly Mother promises to assist the persons who will practice this devotion, in the hour of their death, with all the necessary graces for their salvation.
I made known the request of Our Lady to my confessor, who tried to have it fulfilled, but only on the 13th of September 1939 did His Excellency, the Bishop of Leiria, make public in Fatima this request of Our Lady.
I take this opportunity, Most Holy Father, to ask you to bless and extend this devotion to the whole world.
5. THE MESSAGE OF TUY
|In 1929 through another apparition Our Lady told me, « The moment has come when God asks the Holy Father, in union with all the bishops of the world, to make the consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart. He promises to save it by this means.»
Some time afterwards I told this to my confessor who took measures to bring it to the attention of His Holiness Pius XI and, latterly, to that of Your Holiness, through His Excellency the Bishop of Macau, in June of this year, 1940. A little later, I believe, the Reverend Father Gonzaga da Fonseca was kind enough to renew this request before Your Holiness, who deigned to receive it in all his kindness.
|In 1929, through another apparition, Our Lady asked for the consecration of Russia to Her Immaculate Heart, promising its conversion through this means and the hindering of the propagation of its errors.
Sometime afterwards I told my confessor of the request of Our Lady. He employed certain means to fulfil it by making it known to His Holiness Pius XI.
6. THE CONSECRATION OF THE WORLD WITH A MENTION OF RUSSIA
|Most Holy Father, Our Good Lord in several intimate communications has not stopped insisting on this request, and He finally promised that, if Your Holiness will consecrate the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, with a special mention of Russia,
He will shorten the days of tribulation with which He has decided to punish the world for its crimes, through war, famine and the persecution of the Church and Your Holiness
|In several intimate communications Our Lord has not stopped insisting on this request, and He finally promised that, if Your Holiness will make the consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, with a special mention of Russia, and order that in union with Your Holiness all the bishops of the world also do this at the same time, He will shorten the days of tribulation with which He has decided to punish the nations for their crimes, through war, famine, and various persecutions of the Holy Church and Your Holiness
|7. THE BITTERNESS OF THE HEART OF JESUS
|Sometimes in His communications our good Lord seems to be so grieved at the loss of such a great number of souls, and at the persecutions you suffer most, and have yet to suffer! Because I feel in part the grief of His Sacred Heart, I couldn’t keep silent and I have revealed this feeling in several private letters to His Excellency, the Bishop of Leiria.
|I truly feel your sufferings, Most Holy Father! And, as much as I can through my humble prayers and sacrifices, I try to lessen them, close to Our Lord and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
8. A SPECIAL PROTECTION PROMISED TO PORTUGAL
|Most Holy Father, if in the union of my soul with God I have not been deceived by some illusion, Our Lord promises a special protection to our little nation due to the consecration made by the Portuguese Prelates to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, as proof of the graces that would have been granted to other nations, had they also consecrated themselves to Her.
|Most Holy Father, if in the union of my soul with God I have not been deceived, Our Lord promises a special protection to our country during this war, due to the consecration of the nation, by the Portuguese Prelates, to the Immaculate Heart of Mary; as proof of the graces that would have been granted to other nations, had they also consecrated themselves to Her.
9. THESE ARE HEAVEN’S DESIRES
|It seems to me, Most Holy Father, that I am not mistaken, for God makes Himself felt so really in my soul that it is impossible to doubt.
I believe, Most Holy Father, that I have said everything that is enough to make known to you the requests of Our Good Lord and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
10. THE FEAST OF THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY
|Now, Most Holy Father, allow me to make one more request. This one is only an ardent desire of my heart: that the feast in honour of the Immaculate Heart of Mary be extended to the whole world as one of the main feasts of the Holy Church.
|Now, Most Holy Father, allow me to make one more request. This one is only an ardent desire of my heart: that the feast in honour of the Immaculate Heart of Mary be extended to the whole world as one of the main feasts of the Holy Church.
11. THE HOPE OF A FAVOURABLE AND PROMPT RECEPTION
|These requests, Most Holy Father, are worth nothing insofar as they come from me, but for what they are as an expression of the Divine Will, I hope that they will find in Your Holiness a favourable and prompt reception.
12. REQUEST FOR THE APOSTOLIC BLESSING
|In my humble prayers, I never cease to pray for Your Holiness.
Humbly prostrate at the feet of Your Holiness, I ask for the Apostolic Blessing.
With the deepest respect I humbly and reverently kiss the feet of Your Holiness.
The least daughter of Holy Church,
Maria Lucia de Jesus
|With the deepest respect and reverence I ask for the Apostolic Blessing.
May God protect Your Holiness!
Tuy (Spain), December 2, 1940
Sister Lucy humbly protested her lack of ability and insufficiency, but in vain. Her letter is constructed with a perfect logic, a great clarity in the exposition of the facts and a remarkable precision in formulating various requests. 34
Bishop da Silva’s corrections are almost all unfortunate. By way of contrast, they also underline the qualities of Sister Lucy’s original version. The tone is more personal, and here and there the most intimate and powerful sentiments animating the seer discreetly stand out: her supreme resolve to obey God’s representatives in all things (No. 1), her firm certitude that she is speaking in the name of God and the Immaculate Heart of Mary (Nos. 2, 9 and 11), the recalling of her unceasing efforts to make Heaven’s decrees known and fulfilled, efforts which up to then had been unfruitful. And when she brings up the loss of souls or the sufferings of the Holy Father – we will see in fact that, a few weeks after this letter was written, the Pope himself in one of his discourses mentioned the immense sadness overwhelming him at that moment – it is in reference to the bitterness which all these evils inflict on the Sacred Heart of Jesus (No. 7). Finally, repeating the admirable phrase of Saint Teresa of Avila, she signs herself: «The least daughter of Holy Church.» (No. 12).
How can we not regret that all these personal traits were erased or banalised in the final version? That being said, let us go on to the essential part, which forms the very object of this letter.
THE REVELATION OF THE SECRET
This date, October 24, 1940, when Sister Lucy put on paper the exact text of the second part of the Secret, marks an important date in the history of Fatima. Perhaps she had written it before for one or another of her confessors, but these texts have not been preserved for us. Indeed the letter to Pope Pius XII, in its original version, gives us the first literal transcripts of the great Secret.
It is literal, but still incomplete, for two reasons. Sister Lucy soon explained in her Third Memoir: «In order not to make my letter too long, since I was told to keep it short, I confined myself to the essentials, leaving it to God to provide a more favourable opportunity.» 35 For this reason the vision of Hell – which alone would have taken up a good part of the sheet of paper she was allotted! – was not cited.
Thus the Secret was amputated in its very first part by the excessively strict directives for brevity imposed by the Bishop of Gurza. It was even more gravely mutilated by Bishop da Silva’s corrections. First of all, the indirect style is substituted for the exact words of Our Lady. What an unfortunate choice of style! For this indirect voice gives the impression that something is being summarised and even censored, perhaps because one cannot dare to say the whole thing. The force of the Fatima prophecy, so remarkable for its laconic structure, is considerably diminished.
Again, what a shame that the Bishop of Leiria suppressed the conclusion, the unconditional announcement of the final triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, which is the precious pearl of the Secret of Fatima, the wonderful source of unshakeable hope. The Holy Father did not learn of these words until two years later. Why were they censored? No doubt because they give prominence to the consecration of Russia as the preliminary condition for obtaining world peace. Now Bishop da Silva thought precisely that it was not fitting to insist on anything to do with Russia.
HEAVEN’S THREE REQUESTS
THE MESSAGE OF PONTEVEDRA (1925-1926). With conciseness and clarity, Sister Lucy presents first of all the devotion of reparation on the five first Saturdays of the month. Fortunately, this whole passage did not suffer a single correction. Not even the regretful conclusion: «But only on the 13th of September 1939 did His Excellency, the Bishop of Leiria, make public in Fatima this request of Our Lady.» Alas, the bishop could be sure that Rome would never reproach him for his long inertia! On the contrary: what he had to fear for fifteen years was taking initiatives which risked causing dissatisfaction in high places.
Sister Lucy concludes by asking the Holy Father to approve and bless the devotion of reparation. Is this «a simple desire on her part», as Father Alonso suggests? 36 It would not seem so. Instead, it is the passing on of a request Heaven had expressed since 1930. 37 The request still had not been heard, but it stood.
THE CONSECRATION OF RUSSIA AND THE CONSECRATION OF THE WORLD. For lack of space, Sister Lucy was unable to describe the apparition of June 13, 1929. Nevertheless, she reports Our Lady’s exact words, which forcefully express the solemn and irrevocable character of the request for the consecration of Russia. She also clearly distinguishes the successive requests: the principal one, the request of 1917 and 1929, concerning Russia alone, and the second request, which was more recent and secondary, concerning the consecration of the world.
In addition to the unfortunate substitution – once more – of the indirect style for the very words of Our Lady, with astonishing audacity Bishop da Silva dared to arrange everything his own way, introducing the most regrettable confusion into the conditions proper to each one of Heaven’s requests. For the essential act, which is the consecration of Russia, Our Lady willed that the Holy Father order all the bishops to do it in union with himself. On the contrary, the request of October 22, 1940, concerning the consecration of the world, was addressed to the Pope, and to him alone. Bishop da Silva actually permitted himself to reverse the conditions. He omitted the necessary union of the bishops with the Pope in the request for Russia’s consecration, and he added it to the request for the consecration of the world.
In spite of everything, let us point out that Bishop da Silva had an excuse: As Father Alonso explains, he was surely moved «by the praiseworthy desire of facilitating the realisation of a consecration presented as being difficult to obtain on the part of the Holy See. The fruitless attempts in the past proved it. 38 Indeed, it must not be forgotten that Pope Pius XI in 1930 and 1937, and Pius XII himself in April of 1940, learned originally of the exact, precise requests of Our Lady of Fatima. It was only later, subsequent to their refusal or their silence, that lower authorities permitted themselves to water down the conditions imposed by Heaven.
Still, we may regret that the Portuguese bishops did not have the courage to continue to present to the Holy Father, with perseverance, the same requests of the Queen of Heaven, without changing anything. But they undoubtedly thought that such a pressing insistence was inappropriate.
Finally, let us point out Sister Lucy’s tranquil assurance in this letter to Pope Pius XII: she explains to the Holy Father as a certainty the promise of a special protection for Portugal during the war, due to the consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary by all the bishops of the country. At the moment she was writing, nothing appeared less certain. On the contrary, the war looked as though it was about to draw all nations into a whirlpool of hateful and homicidal passions.
IV. PORTUGAL IN THE FACE OF THE WAR:
CONVERSION AND EXPIATION, CONDITIONS FOR PEACE
While writing to the Pope, Sister Lucy explains the wonderful promise in favour of the “Land of Holy Mary”, and nothing more. But at the same time, we will see her intervene on several occasions in the country’s life to fulfil her mission as Heaven’s messenger, and in Heaven’s name invite the country to prayer and penance.
For the miraculous peace Our Lady wanted to grant to Her little privileged nation had to be merited by the only means capable of obtaining it: conversion and expiation. Peace cannot be granted to a careless people, growing worse in its sins, and lulled to sleep by divine favours and the passing act of consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
There is nothing magical or automatic about the efficacy of this consecration. It is supernatural. It acts upon the hearts of men. First, it gives the bishops the grace of hearing the warnings of Heaven with docility, and then the grace of leading their peoples to conform to them. It is a miracle so much more beautiful, more complete, a profusion of graces which procures at once all good things, eternal ones and temporal ones as well. Thus the world war was a time of earnest supplications, of fervour, and of conversions for a threatened Portugal. This was thanks to the voice of its Pastors, always faithful in hearing Heaven’s voice.
THE VOW TO CHRIST THE KING. On April 20, 1940, the Portuguese bishops meeting at Fatima made a solemn vow to erect at Lisbon a great statue to Christ the King, if their country was spared from the war. 39 Since their request was heard, they kept their promise and put up the colossal statue of the Almada, which still towers over the capital today.
THE RENEWAL OF THE CONSECRATION TO THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY. In December of 1940, at the moment when the German menace became more immediate, Sister Lucy intervened, with the permission of Father Gonçalves and Bishop da Silva. Here is the letter she wrote on December 1, 1940, to Cardinal Cerejeira:
«By order of His Excellency, the Most Reverend Msgr. da Silva, I come to ask Your Eminence to renew the consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on the 8th of December next, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, in union with all the Portuguese Prelates, a consecration that was made in Fatima some years ago.
«This is not an express request of Our Blessed Mother in Heaven, but it is an act that I am sure will please Her, and that will attract over our country special favours from Her Immaculate Heart. It would please Her very much if all the parish priests would unite themselves with you in this act. I ask Your Eminence to bless, etc.» 40
One week later, all the Portuguese bishops, grouped around the Cardinal Patriarch in the Cathedral of Lisbon, solemnly renewed their act of consecration of the nation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, which had already been pronounced in 1931 and 1938.
WHAT HEAVEN ASKS FOR: THE CONVERSION OF SOULS,
AND ESPECIALLY OF RELIGIOUS SOULS
Although Portugal did not itself experience the terrible rigours of the chastisement, Our Lord willed that it too learn the lesson of the chastisement of war: all were to recognise it as a call to conversion. As Lucy wrote on August 18, 1940: «... But in our country there are still many crimes and sins, and since now is the hour of God’s justice over the world, we need to keep on praying.» 41
THE BITTERNESS AND COMPLAINTS OF JESUS AND MARY. On December 1, 1940, Sister Lucy sets forth once more the secret disclosures of her divine Spouse, to her confessor:
«But in spite of this, the Hearts of Our Good Lord and Our Good Heavenly Mother are sad and grieved. 42 Portugal in its majority does not correspond either to Their graces or love. They (the Holy Hearts of Jesus and Mary) frequently complain about the sinful life of the majority of the people, even of those who call themselves practising Catholics.
«But above all, He complains very much about the lukewarm, indifferent and extremely comfortable life of the majority of the priests and members of religious congregations. The number of souls He meets through sacrifice and the inner life of love is extremely small and limited.
«These confidences lacerate my heart mainly because I am one of those unfaithful souls. Our Lord never ceases to show me the mountain of my imperfections, which I recognise with immense confusion...
«Nevertheless, Our Lord goes on communicating with my soul. He seems concerned about the destiny of some countries and wishes to save Portugal, but she is guilty too.» 43
THE REVELATION OF NOVEMBER 28, 1940: OUR LORD ASKS FOR PUBLIC DAYS OF PRAYER AND PENANCE. Every Thursday night, Sister Lucy had permission to remain in the chapel until midnight, in conformity with the Sacred Heart’s requests to Saint Margaret Mary. Sister Lucy was scrupulously faithful to this practice. Usually it was during these hours of solitude and the most intense recollection that God communicated Himself to her. «Ordinarily, after having confounded me in my own nothingness and misery, making me feel what in me is displeasing to Him, He continues by lamenting various things which afflict Him so much in the poor world.» 44
«If I have not been mistaken, Our Lord told me on Thursday at eleven p.m. “If the Portuguese Government in union with all the bishops order (sic) penance and public prayers to be done on the streets and abolish the pagan festivities in these coming days of carnival, they would attract graces of peace over Portugal and over all Europe.”» 45
«If you can do something in this matter and if for that you need use of this letter, you have my consent. I’m very sorry for such an annoyance.» 46
It suffices to reread the account of the carnival festivities even in the tiniest hamlet of the Serra de Aire 47, to grasp the exact implications of Our Lord’s urgent request. While the war was ravaging Europe, the feasting and traditional balls were less admissible than ever in the “Land of Holy Mary”.
There is another very remarkable detail. Our Lord willed that it be the government who intervened in accord with the bishops, thus blessing and consecrating the harmonious union between the two powers. This is just as it was in the Christendom of old, and in spite of the modern laicism which is gradually creeping into everybody’s minds, even that of the excellent Father Gonçalves, who on this point was in contradiction with the views of Heaven! In effect, in his response to her letter of December 1, he asked Sister Lucy to write to the Patriarch again, but without mentioning the participation of the government. She did so on December 19, 1941:
«Your Eminence Cardinal Patriarch, 48
«... Our Lord is dissatisfied and grieved with the sins of the world and of Portugal. He complains about the lack of correspondence, the sinful life of the people, and especially about the lukewarmness, indifference and extremely comfortable life of the majority of the priests and members of religious organisations. The number of souls He meets through prayer and sacrifice is extremely small.
«In reparation for itself and for the other nations, Our Lord wants the profane festivities of carnival to be abolished in Portugal and be substituted by prayers and sacrifices, with public prayers said on the streets. I ask Your Eminence therefore to promote them in union with all the Portuguese bishops. 49
«It would be good at this time not to forget that, when Our Lord promised a special protection over our nation, He said that it was guilty as well, and announced that it too would suffer something. This something will consist of consequences of foreign wars, which could become more or less serious, according to our correspondence to the wishes of Our Lord. Our Lord wants us to attract peace in this way not only over Portugal, but also over other nations. I ask you with the deepest respect to bless Your Eminence’s most humble servant.» 50
Remarkably, although she remained very obedient, Lucy saw fit to insist with her confessor that the revelation she had received regarding the government’s participation be passed on anyway: she asked this of Father Gonçalves in her letter of December 19, 1940. 51 She also mentions this request in the copy of her letter to the Cardinal, and she returns to the point in her letter of January 30, 1941. 52 Did Father Gonçalves finally inform the Patriarch? We do not know, hence we do not know whether Salazar was informed of it either. At least we know that the other Portuguese bishops took the other warnings of the seer very seriously. She had written to Cardinal Cerejeira on December 19, 1940, and on February 2, 1941, they published a “Collective Pastoral Letter” on “The anguish of the war and the need for expiation.” 53
V. THE REVELATION OF THE GREAT SECRET:
«IT IS THE HOUR CHOSEN BY GOD» (AUGUST 1941) 54
On June 22, 1941, at four o’clock in the morning, German tanks went to the offensive all along the Germano-Soviet border. Bolshevik Russia suddenly found itself in the Allied camp. On July 12, a Soviet-British accord was signed. At the end of September, a plan for sending supplies to the USSR was elaborated by the USA and Great Britain. Soon the Red Army was becoming the spearhead of the “democracies” against the Nazi hydra.
At the same time, during the summer of 1941, Sister Lucy received the divine inspiration to make known the great Secret of 1917. There, Russia had been designated by name as the most formidable enemy of the Church, of Christendom, and of world peace. Of course, the seer had already written down the Secret in part, during her letter to Pope Pius XII, but this letter had remained secret. This time, in her Third and Fourth Memoirs, she wrote it down again, with the purpose of publicising it. In an appendix to this chapter we will describe the circumstances and the divine promptings that led Sister Lucy to take up her pen, in August and again in October-December, 1941. However, the historical context of this disclosure of the great Secret invites us to settle beforehand a most difficult and important question.
THE SECRET OF FATIMA, RUSSIA AND GERMANY
On July 13, 1917, Our Lady of Fatima predicted the Second World War. She had predicted the date of the war and the sign that was to precede it. She foretold the atrocious famines of the war and the persecutions. She explained its supernatural meaning as a divine chastisement. She even denounced the fomenters of the war. One thing, however, is astonishing: She made no allusion to the German aggression. This point of the message did not fail to surprise and even scandalise those who insisted on seeing Nazism as the worst enemy of the human race and the Beast of the Apocalypse, then as well as now.
Sister Lucy, however, had an opportunity to speak of Germany, but she did so with charity and benevolence. Since 1929, Father Ludwig Fischer had published several remarkable works in Germany to spread the message of Fatima, following a trip to Portugal during which he had been able to question Sister Lucy. in 1940, he questioned the seer on the future of his country. Sister Lucy, as she usually did, sought her light in a more earnest prayer:
«As I was spending hours with Our Lord exposed in the Blessed Sacrament, during some moments when a more intimate union made itself felt and understood in my soul, I prayed for various intentions and especially for Germany. “It will come back to My fold, but this moment will be long in coming. It is coming closer, certainly, but slowly, very slowly.” In a letter to Reverend Fischer – out of charity and to encourage him – I mentioned this promise of Our Lord’s.» 55
Sister Lucy wrote to him: «In my humble prayers I never forgot Germany. In the end it will return to the Lord’s fold. This moment is approaching very, very slowly, but it will come one day. And the Hearts of Jesus and Mary will reign there with splendour.» 56
No, Germany will not be excluded from the great, final triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. And as we await that triumph, it was not Germany that Our Lady pointed out as the incarnation of the “Mystery of Iniquity” in our twentieth century. Wasn’t Nazism, after all, merely a new phase in secular Germanism? Had the European nations demonstrated, earlier on, a little political wisdom and prudent force, they could have easily stopped its march. But blinded by their Masonic and democratic ideologies, anti-Christian and anti-French, they allowed this new pan-Germanism to be hatched and to prosper... until the day when its hateful, anti-Semitic racism alerted them, and made them suddenly join forces against it. Since that time, Nazi Germany became, for all our democracies – communist, socialist, liberal and Christian, all of them – the incarnation of Evil, the only enemy to be fought against, the enemy against whom the democracies were to take up the most urgent of crusades, in the name of the rights of Man and Liberty!
Who profited from the affair? Only Bolshevik Russia. Let us dare to say it: in hindsight, Nazism appears to us as the most clever, the most effective manoeuvre of the Prince of this world to achieve his ends: the worldwide expansion of atheistic communism and the destruction of every trace of Christian civilisation. In effect, the phase of our history opening with the ephemeral attempt at German hegemony in the end served Bolshevism, and in two ways: 1) The only effective opponents of communist penetration, the dictatorships and movements of national preservation were weakened and disdained, even in the eyes of the Church. This was because our democrats and liberals of every stripe agreed with Moscow in labelling them, with ferocious hatred, with the infamous epithets, “Nazi” and “Fascist”. 2) At the same time, the West closed its eyes to the bloody barbarism of Stalin, his death camps and his implacable designs for world revolution. They would recognise and denounce only the danger represented by Hitler, and the horrors of the Nazi camps – which were certainly frightful, but actually not as much as the ones in the Bolshevik Gulag. Communism, which loudly claimed to carry the banner for democracy and the ideals of 1789, was at one blow absolved and excused of all its crimes.
When Russia was once more in the Allied camp, after June 1941, the blindness was total. According to our good apostles of détente, it was the end of the communist danger and the anti-religious persecutions in Russia. In a message of September 3, 1941, President Roosevelt guaranteed as much to Pope Pius XII:
«The churches in Russia are open. I believe there is a real possibility that Russia may, as a result of the present conflict, recognise freedom of religion in Russia, although, of course, without recognition of any official intervention on the part of any Church in education or political matters within Russia... I believe that this Russian dictatorship is less dangerous to the safety of other nations than is the German form of dictatorship.» 57
In the name of Pope Pius XII, the farsighted Archbishop Tardini reminded the Allies that the Bolshevik danger was permanent. 58 Neither Roosevelt nor Churchill could be brought to admit it. They even tried – in vain – to convince Pius XII that at the end of the war a “mellowing” USSR would not seek to Bolshevise Europe. 59
What culpable blindness! But by way of contrast, it allows us to perceive the unexpected profundity, the striking truth of the prophetic Secret of Fatima. Without stopping at the first phase of the conflict dominated by Germany, it focused the whole attention of the Supreme Pontiff and other responsible leaders on the Satanic, and even more formidable project of worldwide expansion of the atheistic and anti-religious Bolshevik revolution. This was the sombre future that menaced Europe and the whole world at the end of the atrocious war. Would the Holy Father heed this warning from Heaven? Would he dare to use, finally, the only means that could avert this catastrophe, the deadliest ever for the salvation of souls and Christian civilisation, if there was still time?
THE THIRD AND FOURTH MEMOIRS
(JULY - DECEMBER 1941)
THE THIRD MEMOIR (JULY - AUGUST 1941)
CANON GALAMBA’S INITIATIVES. Canon Galamba had published his charming little work, Jacinta, on May 13, 1938. This work was the first to publish long excerpts from the two Memoirs Sister Lucy had already written. It enjoyed such success that already in October of the same year a second, revised and augmented edition appeared.
As the year 1942 approached with its upcoming celebration of the Fatima jubilee, the author, who was then a professor at the seminary of Leiria, thought of doing a third edition which would be notably more complete. In November, 1939, the Canon was preoccupied with interrogating Sister Lucy more carefully, and asking her for «information on the life of Jacinta, a separate writing on Francisco, and everything that was said about the Holy Father, Russia and the war.» 1 But time passed without Bishop da Silva giving the formal orders which alone could get Sister Lucy to write.
During the summer of 1940, Reverend Father Galamba once again wanted to come to Tuy. Here is how Sister Lucy described his visit: «Doctor Galamba came to speak to me some time ago, but as he could not cross the border, he sent me a letter at the house to ask me to go where he was. The Reverend Mother sent me there, but the place was very unsuitable for speaking about such subjects, and besides, policemen were continually passing by us, perhaps to catch a little bit of what we were saying, and considering the time, this does not surprise me. There was also the Mother who accompanied me. I know that several times she repeated the little she heard. Patience. In view of my difficulty in speaking under such circumstances, the Reverend Father said that he was going to note down everything he desired to ask, and that he would send me the interrogation through the mediation of His Grace the bishop.» 2
BISHOP DA SILVA’S EXPRESS ORDER. But since Bishop da Silva had never been urged to intervene, it was only the following year that Doctor Galamba obtained from him what he desired. On July 26, 1941, the Bishop of Leiria finally wrote to Lucy: «His Excellency the bishop wrote me a letter», she relates to Father Gonçalves, who was then on his way to Zambia, «and told me that the Reverend Galamba will come to question me again. He ordered me to write everything else related with Jacinta because they are going to publish a new edition of the book Jacinta.» 3
“IT SEEMED TO ME THAT GOD WAS SPEAKING TO ME THROUGH THIS ORDER AND THAT THE MOMENT HAD COME...” 4 «This order», Lucy explains to Father Gonçalves, «fell into my bosom like a ray of light making me know that the time had arrived to reveal the first two parts of the Secret and to add two chapters in the new edition of the book about Jacinta: one about Hell and a second one about the Immaculate Heart of Mary.» 5 She writes elsewhere that she «feels interiorly that it is the hour chosen by God...» 6
A COMMENTARY ON THE SECRET. Sister Lucy, who went to work immediately on this task, wrote the final words of this Third Memoir a month later, on August 31, 1941: «I offer to Our Good God and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, this little work, which is the fruit of my poor and humble submission to those who represent Him in my regard. I beg Them to make it fruitful for Their glory and the good of souls.» 7
She avows that she had to overcome an extreme reluctance to reveal these most dramatic aspects, which were also the most intimate and the most difficult to express in Our Lady’s message... to the point that she was tempted, at times, to cast in the fire all the notes she had already made. « I am afraid of the questions about Hell they are going to ask me», she explains to Father Gonçalves. However, she adds, «I have no doubt that both the revelation of Hell and the mercy of the Immaculate Heart of Mary will do a great deal of good for souls», as well as the description of the extraordinary spirit of sacrifice which this twofold thought aroused in Jacinta’s heart. 8
This Third Memoir, which being only twelve pages long is the briefest one, is surely the most important and the most striking one in all Sister Lucy’s writings. After having quoted the text of the great Secret, including the first part, the vision of Hell which was still omitted in the letter to Pope Pius XII, 9 she furnishes the most authoritative commentary possible, and the most moving one: describing how its principal themes – Hell, war, and recourse to the Immaculate Heart of Mary – had profoundly marked the sensible, tender, and very serious soul of little Jacinta. In these few pages, which must be reread and meditated on unceasingly, the entire message of Fatima is condensed.
GREAT AND TERRIBLE LESSONS. While recording Jacinta’s prophetic visions, Lucy’s Memoir tied them in with the urgent significance of the present hour, and unveiled its supernatural meaning. Lucy relates: «One day, I went to Jacinta’s house to spend a little while with her. I found her sitting on her bed, deep in thought. “Jacinta, what are you thinking about?” “About the war that is coming. So many people are going to die, and almost all of them are going to Hell! Many homes will be destroyed, and many priests will be killed. Look, I am going to Heaven, and as for you, when you see the light which the Lady told us would come one night before the war, you run up there too.” “Don’t you see that nobody can just run off to Heaven!” “That’s true, you cannot! But don’t be afraid! In Heaven I’ll be praying hard for you, for the Holy Father, for Portugal, so that the war will not come here, and for all priests.”» 10
Contemplating with fright the horrors of the war, Jacinta could not separate this thought from the thought of Hell. It was as if the atrocities of the war, which gave death a more terrible aspect, were to remind us above all of the gravest peril, that of eternity in Hell.
« Many priests will be killed...» The prophecy was fulfilled to the letter, during the first years of the war. Must it be recalled that in Poland alone, about 3,000 priests out of 12,000 – in other words, about a quarter! – perished during the Second World War, at the time when Nazi Germany and Bolshevik Russia were still allies? 11
“THE BLOOD SPILLED BY THE MARTYRS.” Although the chastisement of God sometimes strikes the good as well as the wicked, the sufferings of the former and the latter do not have the same value. For those who harden themselves in their revolt against God, it is already, alas, the beginning of eternal torments. But for those who were ready, or who were converted and accepted the trial with humility and patience, their sufferings took on the aspects of a sacrifice; they have an expiatory value and effectively contribute to the salvation of souls.
When, in a letter of January 21, 1940, Sister Lucy mentioned in connection with the war « the blood spilled by the martyrs», which in the end would appease the divine wrath, and when Our Lady announced in Her Secret that « the good will be martyred», how can we forget about these millions of Ukrainian or Polish Catholics martyred by the Bolsheviks? Granted, they did not all die as “martyrs” in the precise and canonical sense of the term. However, their Catholic Faith was surely not extraneous to the impious decision which consigned them to death.
After invading eastern Poland in 1939, the Red Army collected about 250,000 prisoners of war, who were divided between a hundred camps. Before long, 15,570 officers were separated from the soldiers. Among them were 8,300 active officers. The others were from the reserves: professors, lawyers, doctors, all the elite of Poland. There were also many priests. An emissary was sent to the Kremlin to find out what was to be done with these thousands of officers. He saw Stalin and rapidly explained the situation to him. Stalin took a sheet of paper off his desk, and wrote a single word on it: “Liquidate.” 12
The NKVD executed the order: 15,000 Polish officers were massacred in April of 1940. The majority were slaughtered in the forest of Katyn near Smolensk, where the Germans discovered thousands of corpses in February 1943. 13 Stalin was already preparing the Sovietisation of Poland, which he would organise after the war. For the same purpose, 1,200,000 Poles from Ukraine and western Byelorussia were deported to Siberia and central Asia.
After the victims of the Spanish Civil War, here is an innumerable number of victims too often forgotten. It is fitting to recall their memory in the context of the Fatima message, which reveals the ultimate meaning of their death: « The good will be martyred.»
THE FOURTH MEMOIR (OCTOBER - DECEMBER 1941)
On October 7, 1941, Bishop da Silva and Father Galamba presented themselves at Valença do Minho (at the Spanish-Portuguese border), for a carefully prepared interrogation. Sister Lucy had come. She handed them the manuscript of the Third Memoir, and was promptly given new orders.
In effect, thanks to Canon Galamba’s insistence, the Bishop of Leiria finally agreed to ask her for additional information or clarifications on precise questions, which were clearly formulated for her: 1) She had to write a biography of Francisco, just as she had written one of Jacinta (First Memoir), and her own (Second Memoir). She had to give a new complete account of the apparitions of the Angel and Our Lady. 3) She was to write everything she still remembered about Jacinta. 4) She was to copy the worldly songs they used to sing. 5) She was to read Father da Fonseca’s work, Nossa Senhora de Fatima, and make a note of anything inexact she found there. 14
By November 25, Lucy’s writing had already filled an entire large notebook, which she immediately sent to Leiria, because time was pressing. The second notebook was finished on December 8. In two months she had furnished a considerable amount of work. She herself describes in what spirit she wrote this new Memoir:
“NOT TO WRITE A SINGLE LETTER THAT IS NOT FOR THEIR GLORY.” «After a humble prayer at the feet of Our Lord in the tabernacle and before the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Our Loving Heavenly Mother, asking the grace not to be permitted to write one word, or even a single letter, that is not for Their glory, I come now to begin this work, happy and at peace as are those whose conscience assures them that they are doing in all things the will of God.
«Abandoning myself completely into the arms of Our Heavenly Father and to the protection of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I therefore once again place in Your Excellency’s hands the fruits of my one tree, the tree of obedience.»
“IN A REMOTE CORNER OF THE ATTIC.” She writes: «in this remote corner of the attic, lit by a single skylight, to which I withdraw whenever I can, in order to escape, as far as possible, from all human eyes. My lap serves as a table, and an old trunk as a chair. But someone will say, “Why don’t you write in your cell?” Our dear Lord has seen fit to deprive me even of a cell, although there are quite a few empty ones in the house... But I am glad and I thank God for the grace of having been born poor, and for living more poorly still for love of Him.»
“I AM NO MORE THAN A POOR AND MISERABLE INSTRUMENT.” «I need no more than this: obedience and abandonment to God who works within me. I am truly no more than a poor and miserable instrument which He desires to use, and in a little while, like a painter who casts his now useless brush into the fire so that it may be reduced to ashes, the Divine Artist will Himself reduce His now useless instrument to the ashes of the tomb, until the great day of the eternal alleluias.» 15
“I SHALL SAY EVERYTHING.” «I shall begin, then, my new task, and thus fulfil the commands received from Your Excellency as well as the desires of Reverend Dr. Galamba. With the exception of that part of the Secret which I am not permitted to reveal at present, I shall say everything. I will leave nothing out on purpose.» 16
A MISSION ACCOMPLISHED
«But you, Lucy», Our Lady had declared on June 13, 1917, «are to stay here some time longer. Jesus wishes to use you to make Me known and loved. He wishes to establish in the world devotion to My Immaculate Heart.»
Thanks to her patience and her redoubled efforts, thanks also to Canon Galamba’s insistence, what wonderful progress had been achieved in the revelation and publication of Our Lady’s message in three years! The year 1939 had seen the approval of the reparatory devotion. In 1940, Sister Lucy had written her letter to Pope Pius XII. Finally, in 1941, she had just written her two most important Memoirs, where she had made a point of repeating the integral text of the great Secret, both times exactly in the same terms, except that the second time she added, significantly: «In Portugal, the dogma of faith will always be preserved.»
In short, Sister Lucy had fulfilled her mission as witness perfectly. Now it was the hierarchy’s turn to act. Would the Secret be disclosed to the Christian people? Would Russia, or at least the world, finally be consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary? Everything depended on the Holy Father. In her convent at Tuy, Sister Lucy prayed for him and waited, full of hope.
(1) Quoted by Alonso, FER, p. 40.
(2) Doc., p. 489-490. Cf. FCM, p. 72-73.
(3) Let us point out, however, that on September 21 and on October 10, 1939 Bishop da Silva had granted the imprimatur to images presenting briefly the reparatory devotion. Msgr. Pereira Lopes, Vicar General of Porto, did the same on October 23. Finally, in 1940, there appeared the fifth edition of the “Manual of the Fatima pilgrim”, containing a good summary of the reparatory devotion, invested with the imprimatur of Bishop da Silva, dated May 13, 1939 (FCM, p. 41-46).
(4) FAE, p. 119.
(5) A little further on, in the same letter, Sister Lucy writes: «My superiors like to keep me in ignorance of what is going on, and I am happy; I have no curiosity. When Our Lord wants me to know something, He will take care of making it known to me. For that, He has so many means!»
(6) Cf. supra, p. 543-546.
(7) Doc., p. 419-421.
(8) In 1970, before the appearance of Documentos, Father Netter, in Fatima Chronik (p. 40), quotes for the date of February 21, 1940 a letter which Sister Lucy is supposed to have sent Father Aparicio, and which strangely resembles the text we have just read, sent on January 21, 1940 to Father Gonçalves. However, it has several omissions or significant corrections which indicate to us that it concerns a watered-down text, published at a period when it was preferred to keep quiet about the exact request for the consecration of Russia, in favour of the sole request, which came later on, for the consecration of the world. When questioned on this subject, Father Antonio Maria Martins answered me that there was no letter of Sister Lucy to Father Aparicio dated February 21, 1940. (Letter to the author, November 28, 1984.)
(9) De Marchi, p. 347.
(10) Doc., p. 421.
(11) Ibid., p. 425.
(12) Doc., p. 423.
(13) Doc., p. 423-424.
(14) Cf. the letter of August 31, 1941, where Sister Lucy writes: «I believe you are already in Zambesia, and I would like to know how your trip went...» (Doc., p. 445.)
(15) Sister Lucy writes somewhat haphazardly. But this expression, which in itself is awkward, is immediately explained by the following sentences.
(16) Doc., p. 425-427. Curiously, Canon Barthas, who quotes the essential passage of this letter of August 18, 1940 to Father Gonçalves, presents it as having been addressed to Father Aparicio on October 18, 1940. Once more it is a question of a false reference (VND, p. 177-178).
(17) Doc., p. 491-495.
(18) Cf. infra, p. 470. Pius XII answered Bishop Costa Nunes: «We receive many requests from mystics, we shall examine the matter.»
(19) On July 3, 1940, Msgr. Vilar, superior of the Portuguese College of Rome, wrote to Alexandrina: «At the beginning of last June, somebody spoke to the Holy Father about the consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.» (P.M. Pinho, op. cit., p. 103.)
(20) Chaplain of the college at Vilar at the period when Lucy was there (cf. supra, p. 228-229), Father Manuel Ferreira da Silva was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Goa, then recalled back to Portugal to become superior of the Portuguese Foreign Missions, with the title of Bishop of Gurza. He was finally appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Lisbon, with the title of Archbishop of Cizico.
(21) Doc., p. 429.
(22) III, p. 107.
(23) Doc., p. 467.
(24) MSC, p. 58.
(25) Letter of October 27, 1940, Doc., p. 429.
(26) Father Gonçalves undoubtedly hoped that the Pope would take advantage of the solemnity of December 8 to accomplish the act requested. Once again, Sister Lucy corrects him.
(27) Letter to Father Gonçalves, October 27, 1940, Doc., p. 429. Canon Barthas, who quotes a brief excerpt from this letter, erroneously presents it as being addressed to Bishop da Silva (VND, p. 177).
(28) MSC, p. 53.
(29) Letter to Father Gonçalves, December 1, 1940.
(30) Doc., p. 495.
(31) Ibid., p. 439.
(32) In 1967, Canon Barthas published long excerpts of this letter to the Pope, but unfortunately without making this distinction. Failing to mention Bishop da Silva’s corrections, he presents as only one text excerpts which come at times from the first version and other times from the second, along with the detailed account of the vision of Tuy (quoted above, p. 462-465) inserted – one wonders why – as an integral part of the letter. Finally, he attributed this initiative to Father Aparicio, although the latter was in no way involved, and only received a copy almost a year later, at his own request, on August 4, 1941 (VDN, p. 150-152; 179-180).
(33) Documentos, p. 431-433; 437-439. The subtitles which we add, and the device of different type styles, renders comparison of the two texts easier. In the first version (October 24), the italics underline the sentences or paragraphs omitted in the second. And in this final version (of December 2), the italics indicate passages added or substituted in a significant manner for the text of the first version. As for the discrepancies in detail, each of the two translations faithfully takes them into account. We give the integral text, respecting the order of each of the two versions.
(34) It suffices to read the rambling, incoherent and confused text which Mother Godinho sent Pope Pius XII in 1954, to grasp the whole distance separating the clear and limpid exposition of the authentic revelations from the clumsy mishmash expressing only subjective and apocryphal reconstructions (cf. supra, p. 172-177).
(35) III, p. 107.
(36) MSC, p. 53.
(37) Cf. supra, p. 524-525.
(38) MSC, p. 53.
(39) Father Netter, Fatima Chronik, p. 41.
(40) Letter of December 1, 1940, Doc., p. 435.
(41) To Father Gonçalves, Doc., p. 425-427.
(42) We follow literally the text of Sister Lucy, which passes naturally from singular to plural, so true is it that the Hearts of Jesus and Mary are but one in Their love for us.
(43) Letter to Father Gonçalves, December 1, 1940, Doc., p. 439.
(44) Quoted by Alonso, FER, p. 65.
(45) Let us point out that in 1940, the Spanish government had taken this measure of suppressing the pagan feasts of the Carnival (FER, p. 100-101).
(46) Continuation of the letter of December 1, 1940 to Father Goncalves, quoted above (Doc., p. 439). As December coincided this year with the first Sunday of Advent, the Divine communication had to have taken place the preceding Thursday, November 28. Another text of Sister Lucy alludes to this same revelation: «I remained in the chapel with Our Lord, until midnight. Our Lord made me experience, etc.» (Doc., p. 467).
(47) Cf. supra, “The Carnival of 1918”, p. 78-80.
(48) Let us point out that in the Documentos (p. 441-443), Father Martins had quoted this letter according to the copy (no doubt undated) addressed by Lucy to Father Gonçalves. This text (which I quoted in the first edition of this work) presents some variants: the date indicated (January 10, 1941) is the one assigned by Father Gonçalves.
(49) Here, the copy destined for Father Gonçalves included a paragraph which, unfortunately, did not figure in the text sent to Cardinal Cerejeira: « Our Lord desires the government to take part in it, at least by abolishing the pagan feasts. But my director thinks that it is better to suppress the cooperation of the government, and that it be done only by Your Eminence and their Excellencies the bishops, as a campaign of prayers and sacrifices. Our Lord will make known His desires to you.»
(50) Nov. doc., p. 251-252.
(51) Nov. doc., p. 249-250.
(52) She recalls to Father Gonçalves, on the subject of what role the government might take: «I said nothing to the Cardinal, because Your Reverence had indicated to me that it was better not to speak about it. I do not know if it might be better for Your Reverence to speak about this with His Eminence. I hope that Our Lord will not fail to inspire His Eminence, and move him to the fulfilment of His desires, out of fear that abandoning His designs might be the cause of more deplorable pains in the nation’s future.» (Nov. doc., p. 252).
(53) Quoted in Lumen 5 (1941), p. 201-217. Excerpts of it are found in FER, p.100, in FCP, p. 82-85, Cartas, p. 26-27. Cf. Doc., p. 467.
(54) III, p. 115. On June 12, 1941, Sister Lucy received from Our Lord a communication for the intention of the bishops of Spain. But as it was not passed on to them until later on, we shall explain its contents and repercussions in our Vol. III, Chap. I.
(55) March 19, 1940, Doc., p. 465.
(56) Quoted by Father Netter, Fatima Chronik, p. 40. Cf. Alonso, FER, p. 57-58.
(57) Quoted by Floridi, Moscow and the Vatican, p. 25. Franklin Roosevelt was a Freemason since 1911, and a 32nd degree Mason since 1929 (cf. Georges Ollivier, F. Roosevelt, l’homme de Yalta, p. 11, La Librairie Française, 1955). In his person, Masonry once more played into the hands of communism.
(58) Cf. Msgr. Georges Roche and Ph. Saint-Germain, Pie XII devant I’Histoire, p. 485-486; R. Laffont, 1972.
(59) Ambassador Myron Taylor to Pope Pius XII: «Collaboration with the Anglo-Saxons will introduce religious tolerance into Russia.» (Sept. 22, 1942). Mr. Osborne, a British official, to Cardinal Maglione: «Mr. Eden believes that the USSR does not seek to Bolshevise Europe, and will respect the rights of nations after the war... Although it is impossible to foresee the effect of the war’s outcome on Russia’s political system, we believe it is quite possible that some change of ideas concerning religious and social questions may result from a victorious collaboration of Soviet Russia with Great Britain and the United States. This is equally true for Russia’s intentions regarding the countries to be liberated from the German yoke. And it may be added in this connection that the Soviet government has given no indication that it has the intention of pursuing an active policy of Bolshevisation (sic),» (February 9, 1942). Msgr. G. Roche, ibid., p. 491-498.
(1) Sister Lucy’s letter to Father Aparicio, December 3, 1939, Doc., p. 489.
(2) Letter to Father Aparicio, September 1, 1940, Doc., p. 493.
(3) Letter of August 31, 1941. Doc., p. 445.
(4) III, p. 105.
(5) August 31, 1941, Doc., p. 445.
(6) III, p. 115.
(7) Ibid., p. 117.
(8) Letter of August 31, 1941, to Father Gonçalves, Doc., p. 445. Cf. III, p. 115.
(9) In a text of May 13, 1936, intended for Father Gonçalves. Sister Lucy had already written: «During this apparition (of July 13) the Secret was given to us... preceded by the vision of Hell, which must have caused such an impression on us all, especially Jacinta, whose character wa5 even changed.» (Doc., p. 461; cf. supra, p. 40-49.) Similarly, in her letter of May 18, 1941, Sister Lucy, addressing Father Gonçalves, seems to suppose that he already read the vision of Hell (Doc., p. 443).
(10) III, p. 113.
(11) Let us also point out a moving coincidence; precisely at the moment when Sister Lucy was writing and commenting on the great Secret, destined to develop devotion to the Immaculate One so wonderfully, Saint Maximilian Kolbe, in conformity with the vision he had had in his childhood, offered his life to preach about the Immaculate One to the most wretched of men, condemned to die of starvation in a Bunker of Auschwitz. From the cell where these poor people were, every day prayers could be heard recited in a loud voice, the Rosary and religious chants, in which the prisoners of other cells also joined... The prayers and chants to the Blessed Virgin spread all through the underground. Father Maximilian began, and all the others responded...» Testimony of Bruno Borgowiec at the informative process of Warsaw (Le Messager de saint Antoine, special issue, “Maximilian Kolbe, a saint for our times”.).
(12) Stanislas Mikolajczyk, former Prime Minister of Poland, Le viol de la Pologne, un modèle d’aggression soviétique, chap. IV, Katyn, p. 46, Plon, 1949.
(13) Read, for example, in Heller and Nekrich, the exposition of the facts, which leaves no doubt remaining about the authors of the crime (“La Tragédie de Katyn”, p. 340-344). Cf. our Vol. III, p. 110-111.
(14) Cf. Alonso, Introduction to the Fourth Memoir, p. 120.
(15) IV, p. 121.
(16) IV, p. 154.