3.2 Towards the Consecration of the World
to the Immaculate Heart of Mary (1939 - 1942)

In 1938, Cardinal Pacelli, then the Secretary of State, had blessed at Rome the mosaic of the crowning of Our Lady, destined for the basilica of Fatima. 1 This undoubtedly was the future Pius XII’s first official contact with the event of Fatima. What then were his inner sentiments regarding the Portuguese apparitions and their message? What did he think of them on March 2, 1939, when he received the office of Supreme Pastor of the Church? In spite of his prudent reserve, many indications suggested that before long he might receive Our Lady of Fatima’s requests more favourably than his predecessor.


To recognise the supernatural authenticity of the events of the Cova da Iria, it suffices to be well informed. Pope Pius XI had not hesitated to take this first step in 1929-1930. But Fatima is also and above all a vast and perfectly coherent message, with lasting consequences in the mystical, theological and political order.

Fatima is indeed a mystical doctrine, or so to speak a devotion completely centred on the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and the consecration and reparation due to It. It is also the fully traditional conception of religion and theology, completely oriented towards the last ends without any compromise with the world, or the idle dreams of Christian progressivism, dear to the Sillon or to a certain type of Catholic Action. In short, it is the religion of Saint Pius X. Finally, like it or not, it is a politics of Christendom which invites the Church to stand up resolutely to the gravest peril of the hour, and all its accomplices across the world and even in the Church: freemasons, liberals or so-called Red Christians. Fatima is Portugal and its exemplary episcopate, solidly united behind Cardinal Cerejeira. With discretion and keeping their independence, but also forcefully and prudently, the bishops did not fear to indicate to all the Catholics of the country the policy to be followed: an absolute loyalism, enthusiastic support for Salazar and his program of national recovery.

Indeed, if a Pope had no special and active devotion to the Most Holy Virgin, and no great esteem for the doctrine of Saint Pius X, and was filled with mistrust for Portuguese Catholic nationalism, considering it insufficiently democratic... such a Pope could hardly be favourable to Fatima.

Fortunately the new Pope, called in 1939 to take the burden of running the Church into his own hands, at the beginning was in almost perfect harmony with all the themes of the Fatima message. In 1950, he even declared to Father Suarez, Master General of the Dominicans: «Tell your religious that the Pope’s thinking is contained in the message of Fatima.» 2


Roger Aubert, a post-conciliar Church historian, scornfully deplores «the overly pronounced taste» Pius XII had «for devotional forms of the Mediterranean type...» 3 But never mind this disparaging judgment of our liberal theologian. We should admire the Pope instead. Pius XII was a Roman, and his soul was permeated profoundly with the great Catholic devotions: to Christ the King, the Sacred Heart, the Blessed Virgin and the saints; there lay his heart.

«From his earliest youth, Eugenio Pacelli had a childlike love for the Blessed Virgin. In the little chapel of the Madonna della Strada, at the Gesu, all resplendent with gold and precious stones, his Marian devotion took on concrete form.» 4 He loved to recall that from his infancy he had been inscribed in the confraternity of the Holy Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. 5 On December 8, 1939, before the Chapter of Saint Mary-Major, he recalled with emotion the memory of his first Mass, which he had insisted on celebrating in this basilica:

«The sweet memory of this happy event often permeates our mind. As an agreeable and sincere witness to this act, we recognise that our priesthood, received under the auspices of the Mother of God, has progressed thanks to Her... In the doubts and anguish in which we often found ourselves, we have appealed to Our most sweet Mother, and without the trusting hope we had placed in Her ever being disappointed, from Her we have received light, aid, and consolation. May this most faithful protectress continue to protect Her child through Her goodness and kindness; charged with the burden of the apostolic ministry, he needs Her most powerful help...» 6

On May 13, 1917, his episcopal consecration at the Sistine Chapel by Pope Benedict XV was also – without his knowledge, but in most extraordinary fashion – placed under the sign of Our Lady, and Our Lady of Fatima. In 1935, Cardinal Pacelli had himself requested of Pius XI the favour of being named legate to Lourdes, to have the opportunity of going there on pilgrimage, and pronouncing the panegyric of Saint Bernadette. 7

Still more remarkable is the fact revealed to us by Cardinal Tardini: the day after his election, Pius XII already indicated the definition of the dogma of the Assumption as one of the three principal points of his pontifical program. 8

In the discourse following his coronation, on March 12, 1939, the Pope pronounced these beautiful words: «... strengthened as well by the protection of Our Lady of Good Counsel, who was the patroness of the conclave, We take into Our hands the government of the barque of Peter to guide it, in the midst of so many billows and tempests, towards the port of peace.» 9 Indeed, it was in the Most Holy Virgin, whom he invoked as « Mediatrix of peace», that he placed all his hopes of seeing the terrible conflict ravaging Europe finally subside. 10 Before long, he was able to repeat the words of Our Lady of Fatima on July 13, 1917: « Only She can help you.» 11


On August 19, 1939, while receiving a group of pilgrims from Venice, Pius XII pronounced a discourse of decisive importance. He vigorously affirmed his admiration, his veneration for Pope Pius X, and his firm desire to grant him, without delay, the honour of the altars. His process for beatification, put on the back burner by Pius XI, in effect was revived and brought to completion. Although for long years he had been under the orders of Cardinal Gasparri, and then Pius XI, Cardinal Merry del Val and Pope Sarto had forever conquered the heart and won the esteem of the young priest and future prelate, Pacelli. 12

It was not just the Good Shepherd that Pius XII admired in his holy predecessor. He admired, first, « the defender of Truth», who had had the foresight and the strength to condemn Modernism:

«Having been born and lived among the people, and witnessing the modern struggles of a scientific and social thinking that was menacing the purity of Catholic Faith and doctrine, he did not hesitate to condemn the proud pretensions of a false knowledge – which used the term “intellectual progress” to describe the errors inspired by the dreams of an illusory philosophy and the metamorphoses of a truth that varied with every passing wind – while he opened the doors of the Biblical Institute to those who aspired to true knowledge and the study of the inspired Word.

«Defender of the truth, attached to the homage of reason to faith, Pius X also appeared on the throne of Peter as a champion of the liberty and rights of the Church... As a giant who could not be shaken, he battled in the contested question of the election of bishops, etc.»

Above all, Pius XII had the singular merit of understanding and imposing the still relevant and even prophetic import of Saint Pius X’s work. The Pope declared:

«No, the twenty-five years which have gone by have taken away nothing of the attractive force and resplendent authority from the pure and luminous figure of Saint Pius X.» On the contrary: the more time passes, «the better we can see and understand what an exceptional importance and extraordinary mission he had, especially in such stormy times... In the face of the progress of events and fermentation of doctrines... the person and work of Saint Pius X take on aspects and proportions which could not easily have appeared with such clarity in an earlier age.

«Today, at a time when the Church of Christ is called to combat the errors and condemnable tendencies of the world – more arduous and decisive struggles could hardly be conceived – we are able to measure more exactly and weigh more precisely the debt of gratitude which we owe to him. He occupied himself with a force and a constant, vigilant wisdom in preparing the members of Christ’s Mystical Body for future struggles, to sharpen the weapons of the spirit for these battles, and to educate the sentiments and hearts of the faithful in the spirit of a sincere and ardent militia of Christ.» 13

Pius XII never failed in the future to present his saint of predilection as « the Pope of the twentieth century», « the Saint which Providence presents for our times.» 14


THE POPE OF ANTI-COMMUNISM. Archbishop Pacelli had been the nuncio to Munich at the moment of the spartacist uprising of April, 1919. He had seen at close range what the Bolshevik revolution was. On several occasions, he stood up to it. He also learned his lessons from this dramatic experience. 15 He was never duped by Moscow’s advances, and he never departed from his lucid, resolute anti-communism.

Thus in the spring of 1939, seeing the war coming, Pius XII took the initiative of an international conference to resolve the differences dividing Germany and Poland. The USSR was not even on this list of participants invited. «The British Minister for Foreign Affairs, Lord Halifax, mentioned it to the apostolic delegate, Msgr. Godfrey: “There are many who will regret that Russia is excluded from this list of powers His Holiness has approached.” The Pope’s representative answered that in no case could the Pope consider such an invitation». 16

THE POPE OF THE SPANISH CRUSADE. When Franco had announced to the Pope that the war in Spain was over, Pius XII responded immediately, on April 1, 1939, by a warm telegram; «Lifting our hearts to God, we thank Your Excellency for the long-awaited victory of Catholic Spain...» 17 On April 16, he addressed a radio message to the Spanish nation, where he expressed his «immense joy... for the gift of peace and the victory with which God has deigned to crown the heroism of your faith and your charity, proven by so many and such generous sufferings.» The Pope celebrated the victory of the Catholic Faith over «materialistic atheism», «the tenacious propaganda and the incessant efforts of the enemies of Jesus Christ», who had wished to make Spain «the supreme proving grounds for their destructive powers». «Although the Almighty did not allow them to attain their end, He still tolerated the realisation of some of their terrible effects so that the world might see how religious persecution... can lead modern society into unimagined abysses of sinister destruction and passionate discord.»

After having praised the courage of those who resolutely stood up to fight against such plans, in several places Pius XII proclaimed his esteem and full confidence in Generalissimo Franco: «We know of the most noble Christian sentiments which the Head of State and so many of his faithful collaborators have unmistakeably demonstrated...» Then, speaking to the Spanish bishops: «It is incumbent on you to counsel each and every one, so that in their policy of restoring peace, all follow the principles inculcated by the Church and proclaimed so nobly by the Generalissimo...» Granting his final blessing, Pius XII again cited by name «the Head of State and his illustrious government». 18

On June 11, 1939, receiving 3,000 Spanish legionaries at the Vatican, the Pope addressed them as veritable crusaders. The fatherly love, admiration and warmth in his tone strike us with astonishment. For it had been decades, unfortunately, since any soldier of Christendom had been fortunate enough to hear similar words from the mouths of the Church’s Pastors:

«Welcome, leaders, officers and soldiers of Catholic Spain, you, our dearest children who have given your Father immense consolation. We are happy to see in you proven, courageous and loyal defenders of your country’s faith and civilisation. As we said to you in our radio message, you “have known how to sacrifice yourselves even unto heroism for the defence of the inalienable rights of God and religion”.

«As we see you before us, covered with the glory acquired by your Christian valour, our thoughts go out especially to your companions who fell on the field of battle...» The Pope then goes on to explain how Spain without the Cross of Jesus Christ would no longer be Spain. «And God has willed that this magnificent thought spring up from your heart, which is generous with two great loves: the love of religion, which guarantees for you eternal happiness of the soul, and the love of country, which procures for you honourable well-being in the present life. These two loves kindled the fire of enthusiasm in you, and finally assured the brilliant triumph of the Christian ideal and victory...

«We grant you, you and the people you bear in your thoughts or in your hearts, the Generalissimo and his faithful collaborators, the women nurses who assisted you, your families and all the faithful of Catholic Spain, our apostolic blessing.» 19

Admirable language from the leader and «Father of Christendom»!

PIUS XII AND FRANCE. Following the same orientation, Pius XII adopted a new attitude towards France. On July 10, 1939, he decided to lift the harsh sanctions inflicted upon the Catholics of Action Française for thirteen years. 20 In 1937, after having examined the dossier and heard the just requests of Catholic monarchists, Cardinal Pacelli, then the Secretary of State, formed a judgment favourable to the lifting of sanctions. After the death of Pius XI and even before the conclave, he «confided to several of his colleagues his desire to end the Action Française incident. One of the motives he gave was the pain he felt at seeing well-known and at times very meritorious Christians treated with a rigour not shown to infidels!» 21

When he became Pope, he did not hesitate to keep his promise and respond to the urgent requests of the Carmel of Lisieux and two eminent prelates: Cardinal de Villeneuve, Archbishop of Quebec, and Bishop Breynat, the missionary bishop of northern Canada, both of whom were Oblates of Mary Immaculate. By this benevolent measure, the Pope contributed to national reconciliation which was more necessary than ever on the eve of the war.

Not long after came the debacle of Summer, 1940 [Ed. the French defeat at the hands of the Nazis], and Marshal Petain’s rise to power. Pius XII, whose situation at Rome was somewhat analogous to Petain’s, and who followed an identical policy, was not afraid to show the French Head of State the same esteem and affection he showed for Franco and Salazar. 22 He was grateful to all three for the effective help they had given the Church, while allowing it to enjoy perfect liberty. He also approved their wise international policy.


A PREDILECTION FOR THE LAND OF HOLY MARY. Pius XII’s predecessor had been careful not to make the slightest favourable reference to Salazar’s Portugal in his official discourses. Pius XII, on the other hand, was not afraid to manifest his paternal affection for him, and with marked insistence! On October 20, 1940, Portugal’s new ambassador, Dr. Carneiro Pacheco, came to present his credentials to the Sovereign Pontiff.

Pius XII answered him, evoking Portugal’s glorious past and associating it with «the present energy of its effort towards a sound and vigorous future, under the wise conduct of those who direct its destiny today. Among the storms and disturbances of this anguished time of war – which so profoundly afflicts our heart as common Father of Christendom – your country is a source of comfort and joy for us, for which we give the warmest thanks to the Lord God, Master of hearts and Saviour of souls. We feel united today to those whose courageous and effective far-sightedness was able to create a state of mind and state of affairs in Portugal which constitute an indispensable preliminary to the happy events of the present year, which are as important for the Church as for the State.»

And the Pope continued by praising Salazar: «The Lord has given the Portuguese nation a head of state who was able not only to win the love of his people, and especially the poorest classes, but also the world’s esteem and respect. To him goes the merit of having been, on the government’s side, and under the auspices of the eminent President of the Republic, the author of a great work of peacemaking between Church and State...» 23

Pius XII had in fact concluded the first concordat of his pontificate with Salazar’s Portugal on May 7, 1940. The concordat was completed by a “missionary accord”, both very favourable to the Church and the good of souls. 24 One month later, the Pope wished to underline the spiritual importance of this double diplomatic accord by an encyclical, the third of his pontificate, which was equally a red letter date in the history of Fatima...


Through chance, through a delicate gesture of the Holy Father, or through a secret design of Providence, the encyclical Saeculo exeunte was published on June 13, 1940, the anniversary of the second apparition, when the Blessed Virgin had shown the three shepherds Her Immaculate Heart surrounded by thorns.

That same year, 1940, Portugal was celebrating two anniversaries: the eighth centennial of its independence, and the third centennial of its restoration. After a long introduction exalting the past greatness of Portugal as a monarchy, and its colonial and missionary vocation, the Pope mentioned the recent solemn accords concluded between the Land of Holy Mary and the Holy See. Then he returned to the object of the encyclical, urging the Church in Portugal to develop its overseas missions still more: «In your most extensive colonies live many hundreds of thousands of brothers 25 who solicit and await from you especially the light of gospel truth.»

Now comes the important part: for the first time in an official text the Pope mentioned the name of Fatima, and in terms which referred to the message of Our Lady:

«Let the faithful not forget, especially when they recite the Rosary, so recommended by the Blessed Virgin Mary at Fatima, to ask the Virgin Mother of God to obtain missionary vocations, with abundant fruits for the greatest possible number of souls...»

Again, at the conclusion of the encyclical: «Without any doubt God in His goodness will pour out His abundant blessings on these generous enterprises and on the most noble Portuguese nation. The Blessed Virgin, Our Lady of the Holy Rosary venerated at Fatima, the Holy Mother of God who brought victory at Lepanto, will assist you with Her most powerful assistance...» 26

Given the extreme circumspection of Roman authorities in the matter, this double mention of Fatima in an encyclical certainly marked on the Holy Father’s part a will which had resolved to manifest, urbi et orbi, his recognition of the apparitions and message of the Cova da Iria. 27

June 1940 was also the period when the Bishop of Macao and Father da Fonseca explain ed the requests of Our Lady of Fatima to the Pope. «His Holiness showed himself very favourable», Sister Lucy wrote shortly after. 28

On June 4, 1940, another mark of benevolence came from the Holy See: the Pope granted the new diocese of Nampula in Mozambique Our Lady of Fatima as Patroness. 29

Finally, on December 3, 1941, Canon Barthas, who in his last work, “It Was Three Small Children”, paid tribute to Pope Pius XII, received a response from the Secretariat of State passing on the Holy Father’s thanks and congratulations. Such an official letter, when inserted into the work, would contribute greatly to its immense success. The following year, Canon Barthas observed as much:

«In the foreword to the first edition, we regretted the French reading public’s profound ignorance on Fatima. Scarcely had a few months gone by than this ignorance gave way to a pious and avid curiosity: the press broke its obstinate silence, preachers mentioned these wonderful events from the pulpit, prelates referred to them in the pulpit or in their writings.

« The declarations of the highest religious authorities and the allusions of the Sovereign Pontiff in several of his messages were certainly the principal cause of this situation being reversed.» 30

To be more precise, it was the events of the year 1942 that suddenly revealed to the Church and the entire world the extraordinary importance of the events of Fatima.



For the twenty-fifth anniversary of the apparitions, the bishops once again addressed a collective pastoral letter to all Portuguese people, where they indicated in what spirit this solemn jubilee was to be celebrated. This admirable text described with fervour and enthusiasm the «true miracle» of peace and the religious, political and social renewal achieved by the Blessed Virgin in Portugal since the blessed days of Her apparitions in the Cova da Iria.

Canon Barthas

But after the giving of thanks came a firm and vigorous exhortation, in perfect conformity with the spirit of Fatima. The exhortation is so salutary, so relevant and so striking that one wonders why the Church ever changed her way of speaking! Here is the complete, detailed account given by Canon Barthas in his 1943 edition, the most complete account relating to events of the jubilee year. The account allows us to relive this wonderful epoch month by month and day by day, an epoch filled with intense and solid Marian devotion. The bishops explained:

«The Virgin’s promises are tied to a condition: fidelity to the twofold duty of prayer and penance. In Her conversations with the seer, there is question only of sin, of sinners, Hell, reparation, conversion, mercy. Like Lourdes, Fatima is an insistent appeal to penance, an anxious request for souls to turn to God.

«This kind of talk, so foreign to our modern ways, the three little shepherds of Fatima well understood, they who performed such great penances to obtain the conversion of sinners and console the Immaculate Heart of Mary. We must therefore declare war on sin, this implacable tapeworm which devours the fibres of the social organism and provokes the great catastrophes of peoples. The Blessed Virgin very clearly declared to Her confidants that the calamities hanging over the world are the punishment for the sins of men, and She added that if men did not do penance and reparation, even more terrible evils would come.

«This message has not been sufficiently understood.» And the Portuguese prelates go on to explain the principal points setting modern life in opposition to the ideal of Fatima: «violation of the sacred duties of the family, an appetite for luxury and pleasure, the abuse of riches to satisfy vices, pomp-filled displays of vanity, immorality of public spectacles, excessive liberty in the way certain people dress, family egotism which depletes the sources of life in so many households, failures to observe the sanctity of Sunday, etc. Let us not pretend to associate religion with our disorders and caprices. The processions, pilgrimages, and various acts of worship are in vain if they do not detach us from sin and turn us to God. If we want to benefit from the divine mercy, we must not lull ourselves to sleep by constantly seeking our own comfort, but instead embrace duty courageously and practice a generous charity. May each of us be a determined and sincere apostle of the message of Fatima!» 31

After having mentioned the providential coincidence of the Holy Father’s episcopal jubilee with the jubilee of Fatima, the bishops explained the practical decisions they had taken. 32


In April, a Marian Congress for young women was organised at Lisbon. On this occasion, the statue of Our Lady of Fatima was brought in procession from the Capelinha to the Empire’s capital. As Canon Barthas recalls, the voyage was a dazzling apotheosis:

«The statue, carried on a car decked with flowers, travelled over the 90 mile route... Stops had been planned in the cities and principal crossroads. Having departed in the early afternoon, the statue arrived at the capital about seven o’clock in the evening. Triumphantly welcomed in the streets, it was brought to the church which Lisbon had just built in honour of Our Lady of Fatima, and which was the largest church in the city.» Cardinal Cerejeira received it with a discourse which was carried on radio.

«On Sunday evening, April 11, a torchlight procession closed the Congress. The Cardinal Patriarch presided, surrounded by numerous prelates. Ministers representing the government were present. An estimated five hundred thousand torches, carried by the people of Lisbon, illumined the avenues of the capital. The following day, Our Lady’s image returned to the Capelinha of Fatima.» 33


Cardinal Cerejeira at the double jubilee of May 13.

In spite of the cold and the pouring rain, all day on the 12th, and right into the morning of the 13th, over 500,000 pilgrims took part in the national pilgrimage. Ten thousand young people from various detachments of Catholic Action, and thousands of priests gathered together under the auspices of the entire episcopate of Portugal, grouped around the patriarch. Father Cruz, the Apostle of Portugal already venerated as a saint, was present. Cardinal Cerejeira spoke of the double jubilee of May 13:

«This fact opens luminous horizons of hope in the blood-stained mist of the present. With great reason, we can be confident that, through the intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Her... Whom we call the Mother of mercy, God is preparing great things for the world...

«Fatima has still not revealed its entire secret to Portugal and the world, but it does not seem excessive to us to say that what it has already revealed to Portugal is the sign and pledge of what it reserves for the world.

«To express what has happened here for the past twenty-five years, the Portuguese vocabulary has only one word: miracle. Yes, we are firmly convinced that we owe Portugal’s wonderful transformation to the Most Holy Virgin.

«And to strengthen us in this conviction, may I permit myself to reveal that this special protection has been promised in some way twenty-five years ago – which we ourselves, your bishops, learned recently – through the prayers and sacrifices of three humble and unlettered children. It was promised by an Angel who gave his name: the Angel of Portugal.» 34

The Cardinal then cited the account of the apparition in the summer of 1916, where the Angel asked the shepherds for prayers and sacrifices and promised peace in return: «In this way you will obtain peace for your country. I am its Angel Guardian, the Angel of Portugal.» Thus the new themes were disclosed to the faithful by the supreme authority in the country’s hierarchy.


The pilgrimages on the thirteenth of each month brought the usual crowds of pilgrims. «The Voz da Fatima mentioned sudden, surprising healings coming after almost every pilgrimage.» On July 13, the “Prayers of the Angel” were published with a concession of fifty days’ indulgence granted by the Bishop of Leiria.

«The August 1942 issue reported the death and burial of Maria Rosa, Lucy’s mother, who had died in the little house of Aljustrel on July 16, feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

«In the entire country, during this jubilee year each city and every parish strove to do something special to honour Our Lady of Fatima. In one place a new statue was put up, in another a chapel was built, etc. In various dioceses “Modesty Leagues” were created...»


«The event of the day was the blessing of the massive golden crown offered by Portuguese women to Our Lady of Fatima... Chains, earrings, jewellery of every sort had come from everywhere to furnish the material for this work of art.» 35

«The crown was blessed at the Capelinha by the Cardinal Patriarch, who was surrounded by numerous prelates and priests including the venerable Father Cruz, whose eighty-third birthday had just been celebrated by Portuguese Catholics.

«After the Mass, the Cardinal pronounced a formula of consecration of Portugal to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

«The same day, the families which had not been able to come to Lisbon were invited to make their consecration to the Holy Family, in remembrance of the apparition of the Child Jesus and Saint Joseph, with which the little seers were favoured on October 13, 1917.

«In many cities, pious ceremonies took place: the most beautiful one took place at Lisbon, in the new parish church dedicated to Our Lady of Fatima. In the evening there was a magnificent torchlight procession in the streets of the neighbourhood.» 36


The most important event of this October 13, however, was the publication in all of Portugal of the third edition of Jacinta. It was in view of this work that Canon Galamba had obtained the writing of Sister Lucy’s Third and Fourth Memoirs. He quoted from the essential passages of the Memoirs and above all gave the public the exact and complete text of the Secret of July 13, as the seer had written it in 1941.

We can hardly exaggerate the importance of this publication. For the first time the Portuguese public was presented with all the most specific and important themes of Fatima in their harmonious unity: the vision of Hell, Russia, the wars and persecutions, the Immaculate Heart of Mary. What is more, Canon Galamba’s work appeared with a remarkable preface by Cardinal Cerejeira and a prologue by Bishop da Silva, which for practical purposes gave it the authority of an official publication of the Portuguese bishops. The Cardinal even ended his allocution at the High Mass at the Cova da Iria by reading some excerpts from his preface to Jacinta. Here is the beautiful conclusion:

«The miracle told in this book is the inner miracle of grace, wrought in the souls of the fortunate children to whom it was given to see the Mother of Fair Love... If it were not too bold, I would say that it was Our Lady Herself who wrote it – in the souls of the seers. Has not Saint Paul said that the Christians “were a letter of Christ written not with ink but with the spirit of the Living God”? With Him we can also say that Jacinta is a letter of the Blessed Virgin to be read by souls. It tells us better than words what Our Lady came to do at Fatima and what She wants of us.

«The mystery is now becoming clear. Fatima now speaks not only to Portugal, but to the whole world. We believe that the apparitions of Fatima are the beginning of a new epoch, that of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. What has happened in Portugal proclaims the miracle. It is the presage of what the Immaculate Heart of the Mother of God has prepared for the world.» 37


The Patriarch of Lisbon was one of the first to perceive this worldwide significance of the Message of Fatima, and promote it as such. Also in this jubilee year, the Portuguese bishops decided to approach the Holy See once more in view of obtaining the consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. In a letter to Father Gonçalves, Sister Lucy wrote on September 6, 1942:

«As far as the consecration of the world is concerned, His Grace the Bishop of Gurza has written to me several times. His Excellency has great desires and great hopes. During their last retreat, Their Excellencies the bishops agreed to send a new petition to Rome, and to have this petition done by the bishops of other countries as well. (Meanwhile), time passes and the poor world is in the process of paying divine justice for the debt of its crimes.» 38

Expectations were high in Portugal. For some people October 13 was even a bitter disappointment. Was the Holy Father going to let the jubilee year go by without doing anything? Suddenly, news from Rome dispelled these fears and brought back hope. The Pope let it be known that for the closing of the Fatima jubilee, on October 31, he would speak to the Portuguese nation in a radio message. Before listening to this message, arguably one of the most important Pius XII ever pronounced, we must report events in Rome that concerned Fatima from the beginning of this year of grace, 1942.



Cardinal Schuster

Already during a diocesan synod in 1941, the Archbishop of Milan had exhorted his priests to divulge the requests of the Most Holy Virgin of Fatima. But in the beginning of 1942 he was in a position to intervene more efficaciously. In the meantime, Sister Lucy had written her Third and Fourth Memoirs. These two documents were sent by the Bishop of Leiria, as soon as they were typed, to Father da Fonseca, for his new edition of Le Meraviglie di Fatima. An Italian priest, Don Luigi Moresco, who was publishing a new work, Madonna di Fatima, also received the Memoirs. Through Father Moresco, Cardinal Schuster discovered the “new themes” of Fatima. He even agreed to sponsor their publication, thus covering it with the immense authority he enjoyed with the Italian bishops, both because of his very vast erudition as well as his great reputation for sanctity. Besides, everybody knew that he was the intimate friend of Pius XII, and easily understood that in such a delicate matter he could not act without the Holy Father’s previous consent.

On April 18, 1942, the Cardinal published a pastoral letter entitled, “The Episcopal Jubilee of His Holiness Pius XII in the 25th anniversary of the Marian Apparitions of Fatima.” 39 The Cardinal was the first to publish Our Lady’s prophecies concerning Russia. It had not been done in Portugal yet. Unfortunately, he did not quote the exact text of the Secret but contented himself with a paraphrase:

«The Immaculate Virgin deplored, at the very moment (in 1917), the atheistic propaganda in Russia, announcing in advance the victims whom the Reds were about to martyr in Catholic Spain.» And, after having spoken about the devotion of the five first Saturdays and the consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, he described their spiritual fruits in this way: «The cessation of the war, the conversion of Russia to Catholic unity; a new era for a great apostolate to begin in the Church... just as the power of the Crescent was once before, today after our peaceful crusade the Bolshevik power of the Hammer and Sickle will be annihilated by the Providence of the Lord.» 40

«Everything gave the impression», wrote Father Alonso, «that for the writing of this pastoral letter Cardinal Schuster had somehow consulted the Bishop of Leiria and Pius XII.» 41


During the spring of 1942, Pius XII intervened in favour of Fatima in one other way. It was a very delicate matter, twenty-five years after the apparitions, to inform the public of such a great number of new themes, concerning which previous authors had kept the most total silence... If ecclesiastical authority did not guarantee in some way the authenticity of these unexpected additions to the initial message, what credibility would they have?

Father da Fonseca and Don Luigi Moresco were aware of the difficulty. Here the intervention of Pius XII was decisive. By authorising these two works to be printed on the Vatican Polyglot Press, the Sovereign Pontiff conferred a singular authority on them and indirectly guaranteed the authenticity of the facts reported. Thus the fourth edition of Meravigle di Fatima by Father da Fonseca and Madonna di Fatima by Don Moresco appeared at Rome in April and May of 1942. Both works enjoyed the imprimatur of Msgr. de Romanis, Vicar General of Vatican City. 42

We will explain later on the regrettable way our two authors believed themselves obliged to water down the text of Our Lady’s Secret. But first we must stress the importance of the event constituted by the appearance of their two works, which were soon followed by a new edition of Fatima, Merveille Inouie, by Canon Barthas, who was adapting Father Fonseca’s work to French. These new books, which in a few months were distributed in the tens of thousands of copies, were to spread Our Lady’s message and devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary throughout the world. None of this could have taken place without the authorisation of Pius XII, who was not content with allowing all these holy enterprises, but encouraged and blessed them as well.


The Holy Father did not want to let the anniversary of the first apparition pass without giving new marks of his favourable attitude towards Fatima. The same day, Cardinal Maglione, the Secretary of State, sent a warm telegram in the Pope’s name which was read at the Cova da Iria. There was one more prominent favour: the Holy See had granted the faithful who had visited the sanctuary of Fatima during the jubilee, that is from May 13 to October 31, 1942, the favour of a plenary indulgence on the usual conditions. 43

At Rome, however – out of discretion, humility or prudent reserve? – on this 13th of May when his episcopal jubilee was being solemnly celebrated, the Pope himself made no reference to the wonderful coincidence which had marked his rise to the episcopate. There was no reference to it the same day, during his long radio message to the whole world, or on the following day, May 14, in his homily during the commemorative Mass at Saint Peter’s. 44

The biographers of Alexandrina da Costa 45 point out a remarkable fact: on May 22, in the course of an ecstasy, she shouted: «Glory, glory, glory to Jesus! Honour and glory to Mary! The Holy Father has decided in his heart to consecrate the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary!» 46 However, if the Pope made the decision at that moment, he did not manifest it to anybody. We find no mention either of the Immaculate Heart of Mary or Fatima in any of his discourses between May 13 and October 22, in 1942. However, if one is familiar with the meticulous care of which Pius XII examined and corrected with his own hand all documents issued from the Secretariat of State, a letter of congratulations sent by Cardinal Maglione to Canon Barthas on July 12, 1942 to thank him and congratulate him for his recent work, Fatima, Merveille Inouie, takes on quasi-official value in our eyes. In this letter we can be sure to find the exact thinking of Pius XII himself, in this summer of the jubilee year:

«The filial homage which the Rev. Father G. da Fonseca and you yourself have had in your heart to offer His Holiness for his episcopal jubilee, laying at his feet your work, Fatima, Merveille Inouie, did not fail to profoundly touch the August Pontiff. He has placed very much hope in the merciful intercession of the Most Holy Virgin for the appeasement of the conflict which is staining the world with blood. He has requested so strongly in this regard that children have recourse to their all-good and all-powerful Heavenly Mother, and he is too moved by the coincidence of the wonderful events of Fatima with his own consecration, in 1917, not to accept with particular gratitude this twofold testimony of devotion both to Mary and the Supreme Pontiff.

«The Holy Father is pleased to congratulate you, Reverend Canon, for the French version you have made – with as much talent as with piety – of the meritorious work of Father da Fonseca... In this gentle confidence His Holiness renews for you, Rev. Canon, as well as Father da Fonseca, the apostolic blessing.» 47

In the following months, the Portuguese bishops sent their request to the Pope, and all of a sudden Pius XII made known his decision. On October 31, he spoke to the Portuguese people in an important radio message.


In Portugal, the closing of the jubilee had been announced by the press and the radio like a national event. On the evening of October 30, Cardinal Cerejeira pronounced a magisterial radio discourse on “Fatima and the Church”. Next morning, surrounded by the entire Portuguese episcopate, he celebrated pontifical Mass at the Cathedral of Lisbon in the presence of the Head of State and members of the government. Again there was a homily on “the miracle of Fatima”.

«At four thirty in the afternoon, a magnificent religious procession conducts the prelates from the church of Mary Magdalen to the Cathedral, for which tickets were needed to enter. At five o’clock, loudspeakers carried the sound of the bells of St. Peter’s, then the voice of the Pope speaking in Portuguese. The allocution, the perfect transmission of which was a real technical success for the national station, lasted twenty-three minutes; the people listened with religious silence. Everybody knelt to receive the Holy Father’s blessing...

«In every city, from the largest to the smallest, ceremonies similar to the one in the capital took place. At times they took on the appearance of a great apotheosis. It was really all Portugal communicating with enthusiasm and fervour in its gratitude to Mary. In many places, loudspeakers had been placed not only in the churches but in the public squares, in theatres and other public rooms, so that millions of Portuguese heard the voice of the common Father of the Faithful.» 48

At Rome, Pius XII had brought together in the Throne Room the 600 or so Portuguese residing in the Eternal City, perhaps to better stress the fact that the act he had just accomplished was a response to the requests of Fatima.

Here is the integral text of this discourse, in the course of which the Sovereign Pontiff pronounced the formula of consecration of the Church and the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. 49



«Venerable Brethren and Beloved Children:

« Benedicite Deo coeli et coram omnibus viventibus confitemini ei quia fecit vobiscum misericordiam suam. Bless the God of Heaven and glorify Him before all the living because He has shown you His mercies (Tob. 12:6).

«Once again, in this year of grace, you climbed the holy mountain of Fatima, taking with you the heart of all Christian Portugal. There in that oasis fragrant with faith and piety, you laid at the feet of your Virgin Protectress the tribute of your love, your homage and your gratitude for the immense benefits which you have lately received; you also made your humble supplication that She would continue Her protection of your country at home and overseas and defend it from the great tribulation by which the world is tormented.

«We, who as common Father of the Faithful, make Our Own the sorrows as well as the joys of Our children, unite Ourselves with all the affection of Our heart with you to praise and exalt the Lord, giver of all good; to thank Him for the graces of Her by whose hands you receive the divine munificence and this torrent of grace.

«We do this with the greater pleasure, because you with filial affection have desired to associate the Jubilee of Our Lady of Fatima and Our Own Episcopal consecration in the same Eucharistic solemnities. The Blessed Virgin Mary and the Vicar of Christ on earth are two devotions profoundly dear to the Portuguese. They have had a place in the heart of Portugal Fidelissimo from the dawn of her nationhood; from the time when the first reconquered lands, nucleus of the future Nation, were consecrated to the Mother of God as the Terra de Santa Maria and the newly-constituted kingdom was placed under the protection of St. Peter.»


«“The first and greatest duty of man is gratitude.” 51 “There is nothing so pleasing to God as a soul grateful for the graces and benefits received’’. 52 And in this you have a great debt towards the Virgin Mother and Patroness of your country.»


«In a tragic hour of darkness and distress, when the ship of the State of Portugal, having lost the guide of her most glorious traditions and driven off her course by anti-Christian and anti-national currents, seeming to be running for certain shipwreck, unconscious of present or future dangers whose gravity no one could humanly foretell; in that hour, Heaven, which foresaw these dangers, intervened, and in the darkness light shone; out of chaos order reigned; the tempest abated and Portugal the Faithful can pick up her glorious part as a crusading and missionary nation, as in the days of old when “Christian intrepidness” abounded “in the little house of Portugal,” spreading “the law of eternal life.” 53

«All honour to those who have been the instruments of Providence in this glorious enterprise!

«But glory and thanksgiving first and foremost to the Blessed Virgin, Queen and Mother of this land, which She always aided in its hour of tragedy, and in this most tragic of all made Her protection so manifest, that in 1933, Our Predecessor, Pius XI (of immortal memory), attested in an apostolic letter Ex officiosis Litteris to the extraordinary benefits which the Mother of God had recently accorded to Portugal.»


«And, at that time, one could not yet have thought of the vow of 1936 against the Communist peril which was so close to you and so menacing and which came up in a manner so unexpected. And at that time one could not yet appreciate the fact of the marvellous peace which Portugal, despite everything and everyone, continues to enjoy, and which, despite the sacrifices which this peace exacts, is certainly infinitely less ruinous than the war of extermination which is now desolating the world.»


«Today, further benefits can be added to those mentioned. The miraculous atmosphere in which Portugal is enveloped has been transformed into innumerable prodigies, many physical, and those yet more marvellous miracles of grace and conversion which flower in this springtime of Catholic life, and which promise to bear abundant fruit.

«Today with even greater reason we must confess that the Mother of God has accorded you the most real and extraordinary blessings. The sacred duty of thanksgiving is all the more incumbent upon you.»


«That you have done this during the present year we are well aware. The official homage must have been agreeable to Heaven and also the sacrifices of children, the prayer and penance of the lowly and humble. All these acts are recorded in God’s book.

«The welcome given to Our Lady during Her pilgrimage to the Capital of the Empire during the memorable days of last April 8 and 12 was perhaps the greatest demonstration of the Faith in the eight centuries of your history as a nation.

«Also, the National Pilgrimage of the 13th of May, heroic day of sacrifice, when in cold and rain hundreds of thousands of pilgrims came to Fatima, covering enormous distance on foot to pray and give thanks and make reparation. The valiant example of Catholic Youth shining in their renewed beauty was evident.

«There were the Eucharistic Crusades of children, so dear to Jesus with the filial trust of innocence. They could tell the Mother of God that they had done what She desired – prayers, sacrifices, Communions in thousands – and therefore prayed: “Our Lady of Fatima, it now rests with you. Say but one word to Your Divine Son and the world will be saved and Portugal delivered from the scourge of war.”

«The precious crown of gold and jewels, and more important, of pure love and sacrifice which you offered to your august Protectress on the 13th of this month as a symbol and sign of your eternal gratitude; this and other most beautiful demonstrations of piety which, with the zealous help of the Episcopate, have been so fertile in all parishes and dioceses in this Jubilee Year, show the gratitude of the faithful Portuguese people and satisfy the debt which they owe to their Heavenly Queen and Mother.»


«Gratitude for the past is a pledge of confidence for the future. God demands our gratitude for His benefits not because He needs our thanks but because these provoke Him to further generosity. 54

«For this reason it is right to trust that the Mother of God, in accepting your thanksgiving, will not leave Her works incomplete and will faithfully continue to be your Protectress as in days past and preserve you from greater calamities.

«But in order not to presume upon Her goodness, it is necessary that each one, conscious of his responsibilities, should make every effort to be worthy of the singular favour of the Virgin Mother and as grateful and loving children, deserve Her maternal protection more and more.»


«We must obey Her maternal counsel as given at the Cana wedding and do all that Jesus desires us to do. And She has told everyone to do penance – paenitentiam agite (Mt. 4:17) –, to amend their lives, and turn away from sin, which is the principal cause of the great chastisements which Eternal Justice sends upon the world. In the midst of this materialised and pagan world, in which the way of all flesh is corrupted (Gen. 6:12), you must be the salt of the earth and the light, preserving and illuminating! Carefully cultivate purity and reflect the holy austerity of the Gospels in your lives; and, at all costs, as the gathering of Catholic Youth affirmed in Fatima, openly live as sincere and convinced Catholics, one hundred percent! More yet; filled with Christ, you must diffuse around you the sweet fragrance of Christ and by assiduous prayer, particularly the daily Rosary, and by the sacrifices with which God inspires you, obtain for sinners the life of grace and eternal salvation!

«You will then most confidently invoke the Lord and He will hear you; you will call on the Mother of God and She will answer: “Here I am.” (Is. 58:9) Then the watchman of the city will not keep watch in vain, because the Lord will keep guard and defence, while the house, which is built upon a secure foundation, will be fortified by the Lord, for the Lord Himself says so. (Ps. 126:1-2) Happy is the people whose King is God, and whose Queen is the Mother of God! She will intercede in its favour, and God will bless His people, granting it peace, the sum of all goods. “The Lord will bless His people in peace.” (Ps. 28:11)»



«But you cannot be indifferent (indeed who could be?) to the vast tragedy which torments the world. Rather, the more you are privileged by mercies for which you give thanks today, the more securely will you place your confidence in the future under Her protection. The closer you will feel to Her as She protects you with Her mantle of light, and by way of contrast, the more tragic will seem to you the fate of so many nations torn by the greatest calamity of history.

«Terrible manifestation of Divine Justice! Let us adore it while trembling! Yet we must not doubt the Divine mercy because Our Father in Heaven does not forget us, even in the days of His wrath: Cum iratus fueris, misericordiae recordaberis. (Habakkuk 3:2)


«Today, the fourth year of the war has already started. It is more threatening than ever with the spread of the conflict. Now more than ever can our trust rest only in God; and, as mediatrix by the throne of God, in Her name Whom one of our predecessors in the First World War ordered to be invoked as Queen of Peace.

Let us invoke Her again, for only She can help us! She, whose maternal Heart was moved by the ruin of your country and so wonderfully came to its aid. She, saddened by Her foreknowledge of this terrible tragedy by which God’s justice punishes the world, had already indicated prayer and penance as the road to salvation. She will not now deny us Her maternal tenderness nor Her most efficacious protection.»



«Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, Help of Christians, and Refuge of the human race, conqueror in all the great battles of God, we humbly prostrate ourselves, certain of obtaining mercy and finding grace and opportune help in the present calamity. We do not presume on our merits but only on the immense bounty of Your maternal Heart.»


«To You, to Your Immaculate Heart, We as common father of the great Christian family, as Vicar of Him to Whom was given all power in Heaven and earth, and from Whom we receive the charge of so many souls redeemed by His Precious Blood and which people the whole earth; to You, to Your Immaculate Heart in this tragic hour of human history, we confide, we consecrate, we deliver, not only Holy Church, the Mystical Body of Your Jesus which bleeds and suffers in so many parts and is in so much tribulation, but also the whole world, torn by mortal discord, burning in the fires of hate, victim of its own iniquity.»


«May You be moved by so much ruin, material and moral, so much sorrow, so much agony of fathers, mothers, wives, brothers and sisters, of innocent children, cut off in the flower of their lives, so many bodies destroyed in the horrible carnage, so many souls tortured and agonised, so many in danger of eternal loss.

«Mother of Mercy, obtain from God both peace, and above all those graces which can convert evil hearts in a moment of time and which prepare, conciliate, and assure true peace! Queen of Peace, pray for us and give peace to the world at war, that peace for which the peoples sigh, peace in the truth, the justice, the charity of Christ! Give peace from armed warfare and peace in souls, so that the Kingdom of God may develop in tranquillity and order.»


«Extend Your protection to unbelievers and those who still lie in the shadow of death! Give them peace and let the sunlight shine upon them! May they repeat with us before the one Saviour of the World: Glory to God in the Highest and on earth peace to men of goodwill!»


«To peoples separated by error and discord, namely, those who profess to You singular devotion where there was no house that did not display Your holy icon, today hidden perhaps until better days, give them peace, and lead them again to the only flock of Christ under the true and only Shepherd!»


«Obtain peace and complete liberty for the Holy Church of God! Stem the flooding waves of paganism and materialism, and kindle in the Faithful love of purity, the practice of a Christian life, and apostolic zeal, that the people who serve God may increase in merit and in numbers.»


«Finally, as the Church and the whole human race were consecrated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, so that by placing in Him all its hopes they might have a “pledge of victory and salvation”, 55 thus from today may they be perpetually consecrated to Your Immaculate Heart, O Mother and Queen of the World, that Your love and protection may hasten the triumph of the Kingdom of God and that all generations of mankind, at peace with themselves and with God, may proclaim You Blessed and with You may intone, from pole to pole, the eternal Magnificat of glory, love and thanksgiving to the Heart of Jesus where alone may be found Truth, Life and Peace.»


«In the hope that these our supplications and prayers may be favourably heard by the Divine Bounty; to you, beloved Cardinal Patriarch, venerable Brethren and clergy, so that grace from on high may ever render your zeal more fertile; to the President of the Republic; to the illustrious Head of the Government and his Ministers and authorities, so that in this singularly grave and difficult hour Heaven may continue to assist them in their activities in favour of peace and the common good; to all our beloved children in Portuguese territory at home and overseas, that the Blessed Virgin may confirm what She has deigned to operate in you; to all and each of the Portuguese as a pledge of celestial grace, we bestow with all our paternal love and affection Our Apostolic Benediction.» 56

There we have it. The long wait of so many holy souls who burned with the desire to see devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary spread in the world had been rewarded. The repeated requests of the Portuguese bishops had finally been heard. As though he had suddenly been moved «by an inspiration from on high» 57, the Sovereign Pontiff had just solemnly consecrated the Church and the entire world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, happily completing the consecration already made, at the beginning of the twentieth century, to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. 58 Just as Leo XIII had responded to the request of Mother Mary of the Divine Heart, Pius XII had deigned to hear the supplication which the Fatima seer had sent him two years earlier, on December 2, 1940. He had consecrated the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, making a discreet but sufficiently comprehensible reference to this “poor Russia”, abandoned to the pitiless yoke of its oppressors and Bolshevik persecutors.


However, it is important to be clear, so as to avoid all confusion. It was precisely Our Lord’s request of October 22, 1940, that the Holy Father had just satisfied. 59 Once Heaven’s will was obeyed, the corresponding promise was fulfilled right away. Our Lord had promised «to shorten the days of tribulation by which He had decided to punish the world for its crimes». As we will show, the six months which followed this blessed day, October 31, 1942, marked a veritable turning point of the war. Indeed, after this date, the war slowly moved on to its end. We must also say something about the incomparable supernatural fruits of this first consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.


It is an unquestionable fact, however, that the greatest and most specific request of the Fatima message – Our Lady’s request of July 13, 1917 at Fatima and again at Tuy on June 13, 1929 – had still not been fulfilled. Russia still had not been consecrated specially and by name to the Immaculate Heart of Mary by the Holy Father and all the Catholic bishops united with him in a solemn act. This act, the only decisive one, to which was connected the wonderful promise of Russia’s conversion, had still not been accomplished. As we will see, Sister Lucy took pains to explain this to her superiors in 1943.

The most important act still had to be done. Yet, as Father Alonso stressed, «by propagating devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the consecration of the world already certainly prepared the consecration of Russia». 60 Besides, everything was to be hoped for from the tender and filial Marian devotion of Pope Pius XII. Hadn’t the Blessed Virgin Herself predestined him to become «the Pope of Fatima», and totally so? By the moving coincidence of May 13, 1917, had She not manifested Her gentle and kind predilection? Clearly, Our Lady was inviting him in this way to become the zealous servant of Her great designs of mercy over the world.


At the end of this second volume, we have arrived at this first summit: the consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Filled with admiration, we shall discover the slow but continuous growth of the mystery of Fatima, and we can already sense that it will enter into a new phase of magnificent expansion...


At the beginning of our inquiry, Fatima appeared to us like the mustard seed in the parable, the smallest of all seeds. We had to observe it most carefully to distinguish, at the beginning, its exceptional nature. Remember... First of all came the age-old devotion of Portugal, this ‘‘ Land of Holy Mary’’, so faithfully devoted to its Heavenly Padroeira. Then came this obscure little hamlet of the Serra de Aire, the gentle and strong atmosphere of the Christendom of old, still existing at the beginning of this century with its austere morals and intense Christian life. Then, in this chosen milieu, came the souls of three astonishingly simple and generous children, clearly predestined to become, before long, docile instruments of a great “design of mercy’’. Then came the apparitions of the Angel and the Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, events marked by such limpidity and sobriety, and guaranteed by such striking miracles that their authenticity imposed itself on historians as well as on the Church, which solemnly recognised their supernatural authenticity. The extraordinary “dance of the sun” which closed this wonderful cycle, although limited to a tiny section of Portugal, nevertheless hinted at the extraordinary scope of this heavenly intervention.

* *

This second stage of our study has taken us over twenty-five years of history (from 1917 to 1942), and has shown us the steady, harmonious growth of this divine plant sown by the Blessed Virgin Herself in the soil of Fatima. It has grown in spite of all the obstacles vainly raised up by its adversaries to retard its development and, it must be admitted, in spite of a perhaps excessive reserve and slowness on the part of those who ought to have shown a more prompt and effective zeal. We have seen the Fatima event grow, exceeding the narrow confines of the Cova da Iria, then the diocese of Leiria, and finally crossing the frontiers of Portugal to take on worldwide dimensions. We have seen its message, completed by the revelations of Pontevedra and Tuy announced in 1917, assume an ever greater scope. And when, after 1940, the great Secret was finally disclosed, we have seen Fatima suddenly revealing to the Church and the world its providential and surprising relationships with the most prominent events of this century’s political history, and the life of the Church.

Having reached the end of this second volume, we are compelled to state that the obscure village of Fatima had already risen to the rank of the capital of Mary’s Empire, standing face to face with Moscow, capital of Satan. And let us dare to add as well: Fatima has also risen up for an impressive showdown with Rome, staring each of the Pontiffs succeeding to the Throne of Peter right in the face. We have described the obstinate silence of Pius XI, faced with the repeated requests presented to him to fulfil the decrees of Heaven. On the other hand, we have also mentioned the promising opening of the pontificate of Pius XII, who clearly wished to correspond to the Queen of Heaven’s desires manifested at Fatima. Reading his discourse of October 31, 1942, one can guess that the Church and the world were already on their way to the denouement of this poignant tragedy. The protagonists are the humble Virgin of Fatima, powerful Queen of the World; the Sovereign Pontiff of Rome, on whom everything depends; and the seven-headed hydra of the Soviet Empire, which God has willed to be, since 1917, the instrument of the world’s chastisement.

Fatima has indeed become an immense tree, whose roots are firmly settled deep in our history, and whose branches extend to the very limits of the universe. White doves have come to take shelter in its shade. But all sorts of demons are at work to uproot it...

* * *

Our third volume will be devoted to the final secret. As we will see, all the positive and negative energies of the world seem to swirl around this secret. For a quarter of a century, whether this Secret is disclosed to the Faithful or not has depended on the sovereign authority of the Vicar of Jesus Christ. Similarly, in the end it depends on him alone that all the little devotions requested by Our Heavenly Mother be approved, and solemnly recommended by the Church: the daily Rosary, the wearing of the Holy Scapular of Mount Carmel, and the practice of reparation on the five first Saturdays, in honour of Her Immaculate Heart. On him depends, finally, this consecration of Russia, which God has willed to set as the condition for its miraculous conversion, a conversion which alone can restore peace to the world and full liberty to the Church. As we await this consecration, we note how this delay invites us all to prayer and sacrifice, to hasten the happy moment when all these requests shall be fulfilled!

We hope that our third volume, which is to appear in the near future, will contribute to sustaining the hope of thousands of Catholics, exhausted by too long a wait and confused in an increasingly dark night around them. For then as now, according to the designs of Providence in our century, there is no other hope for our folly-ridden world except the one gently beaming from the sanctuary of Fatima. Such is the firm assurance of Heaven’s humble messenger, Sister Mary Lucy of the Immaculate Heart. May it be granted to us to await, like her, with patience and with fervour, the full revelation of the mercies of the Lord over the world through the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the wonderful prelude to the Universal Reign of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Maison Saint-Joseph
January 6, 1984
Feast of the Epiphany of Our Lord


Under the title “Francisco’s Death”, Father Kondor, writing in the April 1986 issue of “Bulletin for the Causes of Beatification for Francisco and Jacinta”, published what we believe is a definitive correction.

«Francisco’s death», he wrote, «actually took place on April 4, 1919, around ten o’clock in the evening. The most reliable document is undoubtedly the parochial inquiry of Father Ferreira, parish priest of Fatima from 1914 to 1919... This report was concluded on April 18, 1919. The last witnesses were heard on March 2, 1919. Francisco’s death took place in between these two dates. As he sent his bishop this important report, written at the bishop’s own order, the parish priest ended with these lines: “ Meanwhile Francisco the seer died at ten o’clock in the evening on April 4 of this year, victim of a pulmonary ailment which lasted five months. He received the sacraments with lucidity and piety. He also confirmed that he had seen a Lady at the Cova da Iria and at Valinhos.”»

At the moment of Francisco’s death, his godmother Therese was present. «Jacinta, who was already so ill, was also near her brother’s sickbed when he died. Seeing everybody weeping around her brother’s body, she said: “ Why are you weeping, since he is happy? Thus, Francisco’s first and last sacramental Communion at the hands of a priest took place on April 3, the first Thursday of the month; his death took place on the 4th, the first Friday, and his burial was the following day, the first Saturday.»

The hesitations surrounding the hour and date of Francisco’s death are due to an error of Canon Formigao, which was then repeated by the majority of authors.

In the first edition of this work, following all Fatima historians who base themselves on Ti Marto’s testimony, I said instead that in the absence of a parish priest, it was Father Moreira of Atouguia who had given Francisco the last sacraments. Father Kondor, however, is categorical:

«The note of the parish report would have been written differently by the parish priest had someone other than himself investigated the truth of the apparitions and observed the lucidity of the seer. Besides, in her Memoirs, Sister Lucy refers three times to the parish priest as the one presiding over the moving ceremony... Father Moreira, when questioned in 1955, had no recollection of this act. He went further and actually denied that he had done it. It must therefore be accepted as certain that it was Father Ferreira who administered Viaticum to the seer, interrogated him, and wrote down at the conclusion of the parish investigation the testimony he had received from the lips of Francisco, who was dying: “... He confirmed that he had seen a Lady at the Cova da Iria and at Valinhos.» 2


On December 29, 1925, Mother Magalhaes, Superior of the convent of Pontevedra, sent her best wishes to Bishop da Silva. She used this occasion to give him some news of his protégée, Maria das Dores. This letter is of interest to us for two reasons. First of all it reveals to us the unqualified admiration Mother Magalhaes had for the uncommon virtues of the Fatima seer. It is a priceless testimony coming from someone as well informed as Mother Magalhaes, who originally had very little sympathy for the little boarding student from Asilo del Vilar. 1 Also, in this letter written scarcely three weeks after the event, the superior of Pontevedra already alludes to the apparition of December 10, 1925, during which Our Lady came to ask Lucy for the reparatory devotion on the first Saturdays of the month. Here is the integral text of this document:

«J. M. J. 29. 12. 1925.

« Most Excellent Lord Don José,

« I wish Your Most Reverend Excellency happy holidays and a torrent of graces and blessings, not only to Your Excellency, but also to your dear diocese.

« I take advantage of this opportunity to give Your Excellency news of Maria das Dores which, thanks to God, are all consoling. She continues to prepare herself for religious life with much fervour, and has succeeded very well in not disedifying anyone. She perseveres in her holy simplicity and humility so well that she charms all her companions. I have assigned her the lowest and most humble tasks, but no matter what work I give her, the same thing always happens. At this moment she is the cook’s assistant. She has already been at it for three weeks, and she could not be happier. She has the wonderful gift of accepting the worst and whatever costs the most. It is enough if she suspects that the cook cannot do a given thing because of her health; right away she springs into action to do her companion’s work.

« For myself, I consider it a grace to have her here for these five months of preparation, and through her, I am counting on Our Lady to grant me special blessings for this house. And to be frank with Your Excellency, I must confess that I have already received very great graces! I never imagined that I would have the consolation of having her here! How good Our Lord is to have given her a religious vocation!

« But Your Reverence must not think that I am about to make myself her advocate now. No, on the contrary, I even use a certain severity with her to see what that will bring. Pray to Our Lord that with her I may learn to be good, so that at least in my old age I may become what I should be already, having led the religious life for so long. Sometimes I am ashamed to be beside her.

« I was also very happy about some news received recently: my brother, Father Magalhaes, is leaving for the seminary of Leiria. Very early! In the person of Your Excellency he will have a real Father. He too is very happy because of what I told him. May Our Lady grant him all the graces he will need to fulfil his duties, and I ask Your Excellency to bless me. I respectfully kiss Your Reverence’s holy ring and I am, very respectfully, your humble servant in Jesus Christ.

Maria das Dores Magalhaes.
R. Sta. Dorotea, Travesia Isabel II,
Pontevedra, Spain

« P.S.: Maria das Dores had already told me that she had received a great grace from the Most Holy Virgin here, and I don’t doubt it because the child possesses virtue and simplicity in such great abundance that she must even charm the Most Holy Virgin! In these matters I am the most sceptical person you could find in the world, but in her case I absolutely don’t doubt it, whatever the case may be!

« I have never spoken to her on this subject, I can only listen to what she came to tell me spontaneously, because she judged it her duty to tell me. For all the difficulties she has, I send her to her spiritual director, (Father) Pereira Lopes, for him to resolve. For these matters I know absolutely nothing.» 2

Along with Lucy’s letter to Msgr. Pereira Lopes, written in mid-February, 1926, this letter of Mother Magalhaes of December 29, 1925, furnishes us – in contrast to Father Dhanis’ unfounded criticisms – with the solid and indisputable proof of the authenticity of the Pontevedra apparitions of December 10, 1925 and February 15, 1926.


Sister Lucy took this «lovable devotion» so much to heart that she constantly returns to it in her correspondence. Unquestionably there is nothing more capable of touching our hearts than this insistence of Our Lady’s messenger. Here are some of these beautiful texts:


On November 1, 1927, she writes to her sponsor for confirmation, Dona Maria Filomena Morais de Miranda:

«... I don’t know if you already know about the reparatory devotion of the five Saturdays to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. As it is still recent, I would like to inspire you to practice it, because it is requested by Our Dear Heavenly Mother and Jesus has manifested a desire that it be practised. Also, it seems to me that you would be fortunate, dear godmother, not only to know it and to give Jesus the consolation of practising it, but also to make it known and embraced by many other persons.

« It consists in this: During five months, on the first Saturday, to receive Jesus in Communion, recite a Rosary, keep Our Lady company for fifteen minutes while meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary, 1 and make a confession. This confession can be made a few days earlier, and if in this previous confession one has forgotten the (required) intention, it can be offered at the next confession, provided that on the first Saturday one receives Holy Communion in the state of grace, with the intention of making reparation for the offences against the Most Holy Virgin which afflict Her Immaculate Heart2

« It seems to me, my dear godmother, that we are fortunate to be able to give Our Dear Heavenly Mother this proof of love, for we know that She desires it to be offered to Her. As for myself, I avow that I am never so happy as when the first Saturday arrives. Isn’t it true that our greatest happiness is to belong entirely to Jesus and Mary and to love Them, and Them alone, without reserve? We see this so clearly in the lives of the saints... They were happy because they loved, and we, my dear godmother, we must seek to love as they did, not only to enjoy Jesus, which is the least important – because if we do not enjoy Him here below, we will enjoy Him up above – but to give Jesus and Mary the consolation of being loved... and in exchange for this love They will be able to save many souls. Adieu, my dear godmother, I embrace you in the Holy Hearts of Jesus and Mary.» 3

On November 4, 1928, after several attempts to obtain an official approval from Bishop da Silva, she writes to Father Aparicio:

« I hope therefore that Our Good Lord will inspire His Excellency with a favourable response, and that, among so many thorns, I may gather the flower of seeing the maternal Heart of the Most Holy Virgin also honoured on this earth. This is my desire now, because it is also the will of Our Good Lord. The greatest joy that I experience is to see the Immaculate Heart of our most tender Mother known, loved and consoled by means of this devotion.» 4

On March 31, 1929, Sister Lucy writes to Father Aparicio on the subject of Canon Formigao and Father Rodriguez, who desire to preach the reparatory devotion.

« I hope that Jesus will make them – according to the desire I have of spreading this lovable devotion – two ardent apostles of the reparatory devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Your Reverence cannot imagine how great is my joy in thinking of the consolation which the Holy Hearts of Jesus (and Mary) will receive through this lovable devotion, and the great number of souls who will be saved through this lovable devotion. I say, “who will be saved”, because not long ago, Our Good Lord in His infinite mercy asked me to seek to make reparation through my prayers and sacrifices, and preferably to perform reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and implore pardon and mercy in favour of souls who blaspheme against Her, because the Divine Mercy does not pardon these souls without reparation.» 5


In this devotion which is so simple and so easy, Sister Lucy writes to her mother, «it seems to me that the fifteen minutes of meditation are what might give you some difficulty. But it is quite easy.» We have said that it is a question only «of keeping Our Lady company for fifteen minutes»; and it is not at all necessary to meditate on all fifteen mysteries of the Rosary, but one or two can be chosen. In a letter quoted by Father Martins, Sister Lucy writes:

« Here is my way of making the meditations on the mysteries of the Rosary on the first Saturdays: First mystery, the annunciation of the Angel Gabriel to Our Lady. First prelude: to imagine myself seeing and hearing the Angel greet Our Lady with these words: “Hail Mary, full of grace.” Second prelude: I ask Our Lady to infuse into my soul a profound sentiment of humility.

«1st point: I will meditate on the manner in which Heaven proclaims that the Most Holy Virgin is full of grace, blessed among all women and destined to become the Mother of God.

«2nd point: The humility of Our Lady, recognising Herself and declaring Herself to be the handmaid of the Lord.

«3rd point: How I must imitate Our Lady in Her humility, what are the faults of pride and arrogance through which I most often displease the Lord, and the means I must employ to avoid them, etc.

«On the second month, I make the meditation on the second joyful mystery. The third month, I make it on the third joyful mystery and so on, following the same method of meditating. When I have finished the five first Saturdays, I begin five others and meditate on the sorrowful mysteries, then the glorious ones, and when I have finished them, I start over again with the joyful ones.» 6

Sister Lucy thus reveals to us that far from contenting herself with the five first Saturdays, every month she practices «the lovable reparatory devotion» indicated by Our Lady. Since it is a question of «consoling Our Heavenly Mother» and interceding so efficaciously for the salvation of souls, why not follow her example and renew this pious practice often? We could then ask this good Mother, with the firm hope of being heard, to vouchsafe to grant particular assistance at the hour of death, «with all the graces necessary for salvation», to such or such a soul whom we confide to Her, 7 as She has promised to us in return for this «little devotion» accomplished through love and a spirit of reparation.


We have cited many examples of the extraordinary intercessory power which Jacinta and Francisco enjoyed after the apparitions. Here is an equally moving testimony concerning Sister Lucy a few months before the great apparition of Tuy, June 13, 1929. We can hardly do better than cite in extenso the account of this miraculous healing given by one of the witnesses, in response to our request:

«I, the undersigned Isabel Maria de Sousa Mendes, born at Zanzibar on October 17, 1915, the daughter of Aristide de Sousa Mendes and Angelina de Sousa Mendes, certify in my soul and conscience and on my Christian Faith, that the account of the facts related below is true, and is the exact expression of the events which took place at Tuy, in Spain.

«My father, having been appointed Portuguese consul at Vigo, installed his large family (twelve children) at Tuy, a town on the Portuguese border. In this city, there existed a convent with a school of Portuguese Dorothean Sisters, expelled from Portugal during the revolution of 1911. The Mother Superior at this time was the Reverend Mother Saraiva. It was in this convent that our parents brought us to school, my sisters and myself: Clotilda, my older sister by two years, and Joana, who was three years younger than myself.

Aristide Sousa Mendes and his family in 1929.

«My parents, being very religious, were very much abreast – as were the children also – of the Fatima apparitions, and we were perfectly familiar with the physiognomy of Lucy, whose portraits and photos had appeared numerous times in the Portuguese press. Imagine our surprise, then, to meet Sister Lucy in this convent with her religious habit.

«Curious and indiscreet as one can be at that age, my sister Clotilda and I questioned the Mother Superior on this subject. At first, she denied Lucy’s presence in the convent, but faced with our repeated affirmations and insistence, she ended up admitting the fact. However, she asked us to keep the strictest secrecy, because nobody knew where Lucy was.

«We were driven to school by our servant, Adelaide Fernandes dos Anjos, who generally took with her our little sister, Teresinha do Menino Jesus (literally, “Little Teresa of the Child Jesus”, a name which my parents had expressly chosen after the birth of this child in 1925, the year of Saint Therese’s canonisation).

«Each day we met Sister Lucy in the corridors of the school, going about her work. And each time, she played with our little sister and exchanged a few words with Adelaide. In January of 1928, our little sister became ill (see the account of her illness given by my father in a review dedicated to Saint Therese, a photocopy of which I will add as a supplement). 1

«After some time, Sister Lucy, noticing our little sister’s absence, questioned Adelaide on this subject. The latter told Sister Lucy about the girl’s grave, very grave, medical situation and the despair of our parents. Sister Lucy immediately told her to tell our parents not to worry because Teresinha would be healed soon. The “ miraculousconclusion of this healing is described very well in my father’s account, indicated above2 If my father made no reference to Sister Lucy there, it is due to the fact that we had to keep her presence at Tuy secret, on the express request of the Mother Superior, and for this reason he thanks Sister Lucy for her intervention by referring to all the Dorothean Sisters.

«The witnesses of this prodigious fact who are still living, besides myself, are:

– My sister Clotilda de Sousa Mendes, born at Zanzibar on November 28, 1913, residing at Carnaxide (Postal Code 2795, Celula 4, Bloco 3, Lote C, II esq. Portugal).

– Adelaide dos Anjos, a Dorothean nun of the convent of Covilha, Portugal.

– Teresinha, the one miraculously cured (residing at: 892 La Playat Ct., Manteca, CA 95336, USA). She is married and the mother of a family.

«The other witnesses – parents or older brothers have since died. My other brothers and sisters were too young at the time or were not yet born (fourteen children).

Sesimbra, September 28, 1984,

Isabel Maria de Sousa Mendes 3


We have described how in May of 1930 – and perhaps even a few weeks or a few months earlier – Father Gonçalves had asked Sister Lucy to write down with precision Our Lady’s requests concerning the consecration of Russia and the reparatory devotion of the first Saturdays of the month. 1 Here is the vitally important letter, which he addressed to the Bishop of Leiria on June 13, 1930: 2

Father Gonçalves

« This sheet of paper which I am sending Your Excellency 3 is transcribed to the letter, so as to lose none of the flavour of the paper Sister Maria das Dores sent me. Here is the reason. She has made her confession to me and confided in me, although not very often, undoubtedly because I replaced Father Aparicio here at Tuy, and he was her director before that..

After making a brief summary of the letter which Sister Lucy sent him in May of 1930, 4 and mentioning the seer’s anxieties, Father Gonçalves adds:

« I tried to reassure her (for Sister Lucy feared that she was not doing enough to pass on Our Lord’s requests). To give her soul complete peace and tranquillity, I told her, very insistently, that I would take care of the matter myself. Somehow I would send everything to the Holy Father, and then leave the result in the hands of Divine Providence. When, for our part, we do everything that we can, Our Lord will do the rest.

« When I told Sister Dores that I needed some “mediator”, she told me that she greatly desired it to be Your Excellency, in whom she has the greatest trust. She greatly desires this reparatory devotion to spread, but it would also please her immensely if its origin were hidden as far as possible. I therefore did what I promised. 5 Now Your Excellency will do what he thinks best, or at the very least place this in the archives.

« Sister Dores has been in bed the past few days because of a mild case of flu, but this is no cause for alarm. She hopes to see you and speak to Your Excellency soon, for it seems that you promised her a little visit on the occasion of the Apostolate of Prayer Congress.

« Your Excellency will certainly not remember the author of this letter. But I went to see you two years ago, accompanying the Reverend Father-Visitor Henrique Carvajol..

On July 1, 1930, Bishop da Silva sent Father Gonçalves this laconic response:

« I have received (the copy of Sister Lucy’s text) and I thank you for it. I am very touched by the particular letter of your Reverence. I am already aware of the subject. If God wills, I will pass by there next month and we will speak to each other. I recommend myself, and the needs of my diocese, to your Reverence’s prayers

When he came to Tuy, Bishop da Silva did in fact speak with Sister Lucy on August 29, 1930. But he almost certainly did nothing to pass on Our Lady’s requests. We may believe that Father Gonçalves, faced with the bishop’s inertia, decided to employ other means, but only after going to the Bishop of Leiria first. This was in conformity with the express desire of Sister Lucy, who always desired to make known the messages received from Heaven through the ordinary hierarchical way. In effect it is possible to overstress his promise to Sister Lucy: «... I told her, after having been insistent, that I would take care of the matter myself. Somehow I would send everything to the Holy Father...»

Many subsequent declarations of Sister Lucy assume that in fact Father Gonçalves began an initiative of approaching Rome, which was successful. We have cited her letter to Pius XII and her declaration to Father Jongen in 1946. 6 Her written response to Mr. William Thomas Walsh’s questions in 1947 is no less explicit:

« Did you write the wishes of Our Lady to Pope Pius XI?» the American journalist asked. Sister Lucy answered: « In 1929 (or more probably 1930), I wrote the desires and requests of Our Lord and of Our Lady, which were the same, and delivered the writing to my confessor; he was then the Reverend Father Bernardo Gonçalves, a Jesuit, now Superior of the Mission of Zambesia Leifidizi: His Reverence transmitted it to His Excellency the Most Reverend Bishop of Leiria (on June 13, 1930) and some time later it was transmitted to His Holiness Pius XI. I do not know the exact date when it was communicated to His Holiness or the name of the person of whom my confessor availed himself. But I, remember well that my confessor told me that the Holy f-Father had heard the message graciously and had promised to consider it.» 7

TO OBTAIN THE CONSECRATION OF RUSSIA (September 1936 - January 1937)

In the first edition of this work in January, 1984, I stressed « the leading role» Father Gonçalves « undoubtedly» played in getting Bishop da Silva himself to write to the Holy Father, to pass on Our Lady’s requests to him. 1 However, I presented only a few bits of evidence of this successful intervention by the seer’s spiritual director, which finally resulted in the Bishop of Leiria’s letter to Pope Pius XI in March, 1937. 2

Today, thanks to the new book by Father Martins, Novos Documentos, published at Sao Paolo in the summer of 1984, the insistent initiatives of Father Gonçalves are better known to us. They deserve our attention.

After promising Sister Lucy that he would take care of the matter – « which filled me with joy», Sister Lucy responded to him on June 5, 1936, « because it seems to me now that Our Lord’s desires are going to be realised» 3 – on September 29, 1936, Father Gonçalves sent Bishop da Silva a letter whose importance can hardly be exaggerated:

« Most Excellent and Reverend Don José,

«...I am going to see if I succeed in saying today, by this letter, what I should have liked to communicate to Your Excellency in person.

«Through the letter enclosed with this one, you will know what it concerns... 4

« Already some time ago, when I vas at Tuy, I sent Your Excellency all the documentation concerning this same subject of the consecration of Russia5

« This year, Sister Lucy insisted again on the same idea, asking me to pass all this on to His Grace the Bishop of Leiria. With her permission, I tried to examine the supernatural probability of the subject of the letter, here at Entre Rios with Reverend Father Isacio Moran, a very spiritual person full of experience in the direction of souls...

«... Well! After having examined the subject as best as possible, Father Moran expressly said to me that he thought it very probable that such was the will of Our Lord God to save Russia; that I could even communicate this to Your Excellency as his personal belief and his considered opinion... He judges that it is completely fitting for us to insist with Rome...

« For my part, I do not want Our Lord’s will not to be done because of my negligence. For this reason I desire to put everything in Your Excellency’s hands, as Sister Lucy asks me.» 6

On January 24, 1937, not having received any response, Father Gonçalves wrote to Bishop da Silva again:

« Most Excellent and Reverend Don José,

«... It has not yet been possible for me to speak with Your Excellency on the subject which had led me to write to you from Entre Rios last September.

«It concerns the request of Sister Lucy, or rather the request of Our Lord through His intermediary, to obtain the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

« Since the outbreak of the revolution in Spain, Sister far Lucy has not written to me again, nor have I written to her. There is a difficulty with censorship... But all these events in Europe and the state of the Holy Father’s health these past few days have reminded me of the dialogue in the letter written by Sister Lucy last May, 7 a letter which I sent Your Excellency in September.

« I do not know what was done... but Father Moran has recommended that I insist with Your Excellency to entrust the matter to someone who goes to Rome or is already there. Let it not happen that through our negligence or our lack of interest, Our Lord’s request might not reach the Holy Father’s hands or come to his knowledge...» 8

As we have seen, in March of 1937, Bishop da Silva, who had a very high esteem for Father Moran, finally decided to write to Pope Pius XI.

We must also point out that a few months later, on August 14, 1937, Father Aparicio wrote in turn to the Bishop of Leiria to suggest to him the idea of an official approval of the reparatory devotion:

«Since the devotion and practice of the five first Saturdays in honour of Our Lady, which has the purpose of making reparation to Her Immaculate Heart for the blasphemies and ingratitude She receives from Her children, are already widely propagated, many people are asking me whether the hour and the opportune occasion has come to give it ecclesiastical approval.» 9


(1) Father Netter, Fatima Chronik, p. 38.

(2) Quoted by Castelbranco, p. 185.

(3) Nouvelle Histoire de l’Église, p. 606. Seuil, 1975.

(4) Father Leiber, private secretary of Pius XII for thirty-four years. “Pie XII”, Documentation catholique, February 1, 1959, col. 161-174.

(5) Letter on the occasion of the 7th centennial of the Institution of the Scapular of Carmel, February 11, 1950, Documents pontificaux, 1950, p. 35.

(6) Allocution to the Chapter of Saint Mary Major’s Basilica, December 8, 1939, Documents pontificaux de S.S. Pie XII, p. 372-374.

(7) Private notes of Cardinal Verdier, quoted by Canon Papin, Le dernier étage du Vatican, p. 63.

(8) He also wanted to undertake excavations around Saint Peter’s tomb, and to establish a new translation of the Psalter. Conference of Cardinal Tardini on Pope Pius XII, October 20, 1959 (French language version of L’Osservatore Romano, November 6 and 19, 1959).

(9) Doc. pont., 1939, p. 23.

(10) Letter to the Secretary of State requesting prayers for peace among peoples, on the occasion of the month of Mary, April 15, 1940 (p. 126). From 1939 to 1944, each year the Pope published a similar letter to prescribe prayers to the Most Holy Virgin to obtain peace.

(11) Cf. Vol. I, p. 180. Discourse of October 31, 1942.

(12) Msgr. G. Roche, Pie XII devant l’histoire, p. 24-28, Laffont, 1972.

(13) Discourse to the pilgrims of the Three Venetias, on the occasion of the 35th anniversary of the death of Pius X, August 19, 1939, Doc. pont., 1939, p. 230-236.

(14) Cf. the admirable discourse of beatification, on June 3, 1951, and of canonisation, on May 29, 1954.

(15) Cf. Msgr. G. Roche, Pie XII devant l’histoire, Chap. III, “Sous les fusils bolchéviques”, p. 33-35.

(16) Canon Papin, Le dernier étage du Vatican, p. 71.

(17) Doc. pont., 1939, p. 32.

(18) Doc. pont., 1939, p. 55-58. Cf. May 8, 1939, the “Allocution to the Spanish colony of Rome”.

(19) Doc. pont., 1939, p. 124-125.

(20) Ibid., p. 397-399.

(21) Private notes of Cardinal Verdier, quoted by Canon Papin, op. cit., p. 29.

(22) Cf. Canon Papin, ibid., p. 73-90.

(23) Doc. pont., 1940, p. 325-327.

(24) Ibid., p. 150-168. Cf. supra, p. 420-422.

(25) In 1940, the Portuguese overseas empire numbered about ten million souls.

(26) Documents pontificaux de S.S. Pie XII, 1940, p. 200-212.

(27) The Portuguese bishops were not mistaken, highlighting the event in their collective pastoral letter of February 11, 1942 (cf. Castelbranco, p. 132).

(28) Cf. supra, p. 729. As for the letter to the Holy Father, written in final form by Sister Lucy on December 2, 1940, we had written in the first edition of this work that she had sent it directly to Pius XII by Bishop Costa Nunes. In his last book, Father A.M. Martins tells us that it was sent on to the Holy Father through Msgr. Tardini’s mediation (FCM, p. 89).

(29) Acta Apostolicae Sedis, 1941, 14-18, Castelbranco, p. 132.

(30) Merv. In., p. 9.

(31) Merv. In., p. 323-324.

(32) « From May 3 to May 10, 1942, preaching, in the form of a mission, in all the parishes of Portugal. On Sunday, May 10, general communion and exposition of the Most Holy Sacrament. On the evening of May 12, a torchlight pro-cession to the Cova da Iria and in the parishes where it shall be possible. On May 13, pontifical Mass celebrated by the Cardinal Patriarch with all the bishops assisting; national consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary; solemn prayers for peace and for the Pope.

«There shall be organised, under the control of the ecclesiastical authority and with the participation of the civil authorities, solemn meetings or civic acts to recall the apparitions and to propagate the message of Fatima; there shall also be performed solemn acts of reparation, processions of penance, stations of the cross.

«The association of Crusaders of Fatima shall be developed. The women and young girls are invited to constitute Modesty Leagues to react against abuses of fashions, and especially against nudity on the beaches. Heads of families shall engage themselves not to allow the members of their family to frequent the theatres and cinemas which do not respect morals.

«As a tribute of compassion towards the peoples tried by war, Catholics shall deprive themselves once a week or month of some distraction or costly satisfaction, to use the cost in good works. Portuguese Catholics are invited to contribute by their alms to the construction of the Roman church of Saint Eugene, intended to commemorate the episcopal jubilee of Pope Pius XII.» (F. Carret-Petit, Notre-Dame du Rosaire de Fatima, p. 156-157, La Bonne Presse, 1943.)

(33) Merv. In., p. 324-325.

(34) Merv. In., p. 325-327.

(35) «Eight kilos (about eighteen pounds) of gold had been collected. The dimensions of the statue allowed the use of only 1,200 grams of gold, 2,650 precious stones of various types, and 313 pearls.»

(36) Merv. In., p. 327-328.

(37) Canon Galamba, Jacinta, eighth edition, 1982.

(38) Quoted by A.M. Martins, O Padre Aparicio e a consagraçao da Russia e do mundo ao Imaculado Coraçao de Maria, p. 754, Broteria, 1967. Without giving the precise date, Father Alonso also alludes to this request of the Portuguese bishops (MSC, p. 54; FER, p. 46). Father Geenen makes it clear that this request was addressed to Rome in October 1942 (“Les antécédents doctrinaux et historiques de la consécration du monde au Coeur Immaculée de Marie,” in Maria, Études sur la Vierge Marie, Vol. V, p. 869.

(39) Rivista diocesana Milanese, June 1942, p. 143-146.

(40) Quoted by Alonso, FAE, p. 100-101; Carret-Petit, p. 41.

(41) HLF, p. 29, and FAE, p. 101.

(42) Cf. Alonso, HLF, p. 30-31.

(43) P. J. Rolim, Francisco, p. 433.

(44) Doc. pont., 1942, p. 119-140.

(45) Cf. supra, p. 681-683.

(46) P. M. Pinho, S.J., Sous le ciel de Balazar, Alexandrine Marie da Costa, p. 105 (Vitte, Lyon, 1958, 150 pages). Cf. Roger Rebut, Les messages de la Vierge Marie, p. 212, Téqui, 1968.

(47) Merv. In., p. 5.

(48) Ibid., p. 330.

(49) The original Portuguese version is quoted by De Marchi, Era Uma Senhora mais brilhante que o sol, p. 296-301, “Missoes Consolata”, Fatima, 1966.

(50) The subtitles are added by us.

(51) Saint Ambrose, De excessu fratris sui Sat., P. I, no. 44.

(52) Saint John Chrysostom, Hom. LII in Gen.

(53) Camoens, Lusiades, chant VII. verses 3 and 14.

(54) Saint John Chrysostom, Hom. LII in Gen.

(55) Encyclical Annum Sacrum, May 25, 1899, Acts of Leo XIII, Vol. VI, p. 33-35.

(56) We shall not describe right away the enthusiasm which this magnificent discourse caused in Portugal, nor the many acts by which the Holy Father strove to give it immense repercussions in the entire Church. Since we have chosen to interrupt our present exposition at this decisive date of October 31, 1942, we shall describe them in our next volume.

(57) The expression comes from Paul VI in his discourse for the closing of the third session of the Council, when he evoked the memory of this consecration of 1942 (Nov. 21, 1964, Doc. cath., Dec. 6, 1964, col. 1546).

(58) Cf. supra, p. 533-534.

(59) Cf. supra, p. 731-732.

(60) FAE, p. 111.


(1) Cardinal Cerejeira, preface to Jacinta, by Canon Galamba, 1946 edition.

Appendix I


(1) This appendix and the following ones did not appear in the first edition of this work dated January, 1984. They bring various additional information which constitute a mise à jour of the whole of our exposition, taking account of recent studies on Fatima published in Portugal up to October, 1986.

(2)  Les voyants de Fatima, nos. 1-2, 1986, p. 1-3.

Appendix II

(1) Cf. supra, p. 211-212.

(2) Quoted by Alonso, Eph. Mar., 1973, p. 30-31. Let us point out that on March 1, 1928, in a letter to the Mother General, Mother Magalhaes again explicitly alludes to the apparition of Pontevedra. Speaking of Lucy, she writes: « I always knew her to be an extraordinary soul, especially for her obedience and simplicity. It was during her stay at Pontevedra that the house began to recover and make progress. There, according to what she told me, Our Lady visited her again, but, my Reverend Mother, I desire that you not make this disclosure known. Our Lady has given her very special favours, that is the truth... To live with her gave me much devotion, but I never let it show to her, and I treated her like any other Sister.» (ibid., p. 32.)

Appendix III

(1) Let us recall that according to the Blessed Virgin’s exact request, this quarter of an hour of meditation must be performed outside of the time when the Rosary is recited. Bishop da Silva’s interpretation, according to which it suffices to meditate during recitation of the Rosary, is a regrettable dilution of Our Lady’s true requirements (cf. supra, p.719-721).

(2) It is clear, according to this letter, that there is no need to express this intention to the confessor, but only to offer God this monthly confession, in the spirit of reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Let us also make it clear that the Mass of Saturday evening, even if it is an “anticipated Sunday Mass”, can be counted as Mass of the first Saturday of the month.

(3) Quoted by Alonso (Eph. Mar., 1973, p. 41-42) and recently, by Father Martins (Nov. doc., p. 118-119; and FCM, p. 22-23).

(4) Eph. Mar., 1973, p. 54. Cf., in the same sense, the letter of December 20, 1928 (op. cit., p. 55); cf. FCM, p. 25-27.

(5) Eph. Mar., 1973, p. 57. FCM, p. 27-28.

(6) Cartas, p. 19-20. Unfortunately, Father Martins does not indicate the date of this letter.

(7) Although this promise does not explicitly figure in the seer’s writings, many texts guarantee for us that it is indeed in the spirit of Our Lady. Sister Lucy writes, for example, on May 27, 1943, on the subject of devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary: «The holy Hearts of Jesus and Mary love and desire this cult, because They use it to draw souls to Them, and herein lie all Their desires: To save souls, many souls, all souls, salvar almas, muitas almas, todas as almas.» (FCM, p. 62-63; cf. our Vol. III, p. 150.)

Appendix IV

(1) This very detailed account appeared in the monthly review, Rosas de Santa Teresinha of March 1930, under the title “Cura inesperada da menina Teresinha do Menino Jesus Sousa Mendes do Amaral e Abranches. Here are some excerpts from it: «Teresinha became ill at Tuy, on January 9, 1928, suffering from a furuncle on the upper lip... On the fifth or sixth day, two abscesses appeared on her back, one on the level of the left kidney, the other lower, at the level of the loins. The doctors consulted diagnosed this three-year-old child as having a purulent infection with streptococcus. The tumours were very profound, and took time to mature, before they could be lanced. However, the little child, who from the beginning had an intense fever with delirium, now suffered horrible pain. She could rest neither day nor night. Close to five weeks went by this way. Finally the day came when the upper tumour, the most important one, already of considerable size, seemed to present the conditions needed for an operation. The operation, which unfortunately could not be done at a good time, accomplished nothing, for not only did the lower abscess persist, continuing to provoke an intense fever, but the daily treatment of the open abscess was very painful... Two or three days later, the lower tumour began reaching a volume greater than that of the upper tumour, and the swelling spread in the right leg, down to the knee. One can realise our affliction in the face of such a grave complication, and which according to the doctor, could be resolved only in two or three weeks, a period he said was necessary for the new abscess to arrive at maturation.»

(2) «Now at that moment (continues the Portuguese consul at Vigo), there took place a phenomenon inexplicable for us: during the night, and contrary to what the doctor foresaw, everything disappeared: the fever, the tumour, the swelling of the leg. When, in the morning, we saw our daughter, so disfigured and afflicted with fever a few hours before, and now without any trace of the evils which, for three months, had tormented her so, we were really stupefied! Teresinha was already laughing, and said that she wanted to go out, that she was better. The doctor was also completely stupefied. It is because there was another medicine to take care of her: the protection of Our Lady and little Saint Teresa of the Child Jesus, for which so many good people prayed. It is fitting here to give all our thanks to the good Dorothean Sisters. I believe that it was they who obtained everything by their prayers

(3) Mr. and Mrs. d’Aout, RC. Ramada Curto, 30. 3 Dto 2970-Sesimbra, Portugal.

Appendix V

(1) Cf. supra, p. 524-530.

(2) This text and Bishop da Silva’s response are quoted by Father Pierre Caillon in his conferences on the history of Fatima.


(3) Undoubtedly the text which Father Gonçalves received the day before, June 12, 1930 (cf. supra, p. 528-530).

(4) Supra, p. 524-525.

(5) Father Gonçalves had thus promised the seer to make a priority of speaking to the Bishop of Leiria.

(6) Cf. supra, p. 531.

(7) William Thomas Walsh, Our Lady of Fatima, p. 222-223.

Appendix VI

(1) Cf. supra, p. 643.

(2) Ibid., p. 643-645.

(3) Ibid., p. 633.

(4) Letter of May 18, 1936, cf. supra, p. 632.

(5) In June 1930, cf. supra, p. 530-531.

(6) Nov. doc., p. 174-175 or FCM, p. 82-83.

(7) Cf. letter of May 18, 1936; cf. supra, p. 630-632.

(8) Nov. doc., p. 175 and FCM, p. 82-83.

(9) FCM, p. 34.


This list is not an exhaustive bibliography of the works consulted, but simply a fuller listing of those which have been referred to in the footnotes by abbreviations or incomplete references.

ALONSO (Father Joaquin Maria, C.M.F., † Dec. 12, 1981)

HLF: Historia da literatura sobre Fatima (History of the Literature on Fatima), Ediçoes Santuario, Fatima, 1967, 70 pages.

“O Segredo de Fatima”, in Fatima 50, 1967, nos. 1, 5, 6, 7, 8.

Eph. Mar.: Ephemerides Mariologicae, (Madrid), Claretian review of Mariology. In citing several articles of Father Alonso, we have often been content to indicate the year and the page. Here are the respective titles:

1967: “Fatima y la critica”, p. 393-435.

1969: “Fatima, Proceso diocesano”, p. 279-340.

1972: “El Corazon Immaculado de Maria, alma del mensaje de Fatima”, p. 240-303. Chronica, p. 421-440.

1973: Continuation of the same article, p. 19-75.

MSC: “Fatima et le Coeur Immaculé de Marie”, in the collection Marie sous le symbole du Coeur, p. 25-66. Téqui, 1973.

VFA: “Histoire ancienne et histoire nouvelle de Fatima” in Vraies et fausses apparitions dans l’Eglise, p. 58-99. Second edition, Lethielleux, 1976.

FHM: Fatima, Historia y mensaje, Centro Mariano, Madrid, 1976, 119 pages. This work was translated into English as The Secret of Fatima: Fact and Legend, 1976, Ravengate press.

FER: Fatima. Espana. Rusia. Centro Mariano, Madrid, 1976, 140 pages.

LGP: La Gran Promesa del Corazon de Maria en Pontevedra, third edition, Centro Mariano, Madrid, 1977, 79 pages.

“Fatima: Glosas a um inquerito”, Broteria, January 1978, p. 55-64.

FAE: Fatima ante la Esfinge, “Sol de Fatima” press, Madrid, 1979, 152 pages.

“O Dr. Formigao”: O Dr. Formigao, Homem de Deus e Apostolo de Fatima, Fatima, 1979, 495 pages.

FEO: Fatima, escuela de Oracion (Fatima, School of Prayer), “Sol de Fatima” press, Madrid, 1979, 152 pages.

“De Nuevo el Secreto de Fatima”, Eph. Mar. 1982, p. 81-94.

I, II, III, IV: Fatima in Lucia’s Own Words (Memoirs of Sister Lucy), introduction and notes by Father Alonso, compilation by Father Kondor, S.V.D., Postulation Centre, Fatima, Portugal. (Distributed by Ravengate press.) Generally we have quoted from the English version of the Memoirs, at times slightly modifying the translation.


Miracles à Fatima (Miracles at Fatima), Trévise press, 1958, 240 pages.


Semana de estudos sobre a mensagem de Fatima, Convento dos Capuchinhos publications, Fatima 1983, 373 pages.

BERBEL (Jaime Vilalta)

Los Secretos de Fatima, second edition, Casa Espanola, Fatima, 1979, 194 pages.

BARTHAS (Canon C., † August 26, 1973)

First of all, the three successive editions of his great work:

Merv. In.: Fatima, merveille inouïe (Fatima, Unprecedented Miracle), second edition, Fatima Publications, 1942, 348 pages.

Merv. XXe S.: Fatima, merveille du XXe siècle (Fatima, Great Miracle of the Twentieth Century), Fatima Publications, 1952, 359 pages.

Fatima 1917-1968: Fatima 1917-1968, Histoire complète des apparitions et de leurs suites, Fatima Publications, 1969, 396 pages.

TPE: II était trois petits enfants (It was Three Small Children), 1942, third edition, Résiac, 1979, 259 pages.

VND: Ce que la Vierge nous demande, Fatima Publications, 1967, 227 pages.

GCV: De la Grotte au Chêne-vert (From the Grotto to the Holm Oak), Fayard, 1960, 220 pages.

FDM: Fatima et les destins du monde (Fatima and the Destiny of the World), Fatima Publications, 1957, 121 pages.

Et. An.: Le Message de Fatima, Etude analytique, Fatima Publications, 1971, p. 260.

Les Colombes de Notre-Dame de Fatima, Fatima Publications, 1948, 32 pages.

CLV: Les Colombes de la Vierge (The Doves of the Virgin), Résiac, second edition, 1976, 164 pages.

CAILLON (Father Pierre)

La consécration de la Russie aux très Saints Coeurs de Jésus et Marie, Téqui, 1983, 64 pages.

“L’épopée mariale de notre temps”, taped conferences on three cassettes, distributed by Téqui.


Notre Dame du Rosaire de Fatima, La Bonne Presse, 1943, 204 pages.

CASTELBRANCO (Father J. C., † April 12, 1962)

Le prodige inouï de Fatima, 1958, republished by Téqui, 1972, 260 pages. (Published in English under the title: More about... FATIMA.


Acta congressus mariologici-mariani in Lusitania anno 1967 celebrati, Rome 1970, 587 pages.

DIAS COELHO (Father Messias)

Exercito Azul de N.S. de Fatima, 1956, 60 pages. (The Blue Army of Our Lady of Fatima).

“Nucleo central de mensagem de Fatima”, in Apelo e resposta, p. 151-165.

Also numerous articles in the review Mensagem de Fatima.

FONSECA (Father Luis Gonzaga da, S.J., † May 21, 1963)

Nossa Senhora de Fatima (Our Lady of Fatima), third edition, Sanctuary of Fatima, 1978, 205 pages.

FREIRE (Father José Geraldes)

O Segredo de Fatima, second edition, Santuario de Fatima, 1978, 205 pages.

GALAMBA de OLIVEIRA (Canon José, † September 25, 1984)

Fatima a prova, Grafica, Leiria, 1946, 134 pages.

Jacinta, eighth edition, Grafica, Leiria, 1982, 206 pages.

GUERRA (Msgr. Luciano)

“Fatima e a autoridade pontificia”, in De primordiis cultus mariani, p. 223-256, 1967.

“Fatima e o Romano Pontifice”, in Apelo e resposta, p. 21-104, 1983.


Meet the Witnesses, Ave Maria Institute, 1961.

Fatima, Apostolat mondial, Téqui, 1984, 316 pages. (English version: Fatima, World Apostolate, published by Ave Maria Institute, Washington, New Jersey.

JOHNSTON (Francis)

Fatima: The Great Sign, Devon, 1980, 148 pages.

JEAN-NESMY (Dom Claude, O.S.B.)

La Vérité sur Fatima (The Truth About Fatima), SOS Publications, 1980, 256 pages.

Lucie raconte Fatima, French text of Sister Lucy’s Memoirs, with introduction and notes by Dom Jean-Nesmy, translation by Father Simonin, Résiac, 1979, 352 pages. Distributed by Téqui.

MARCHI (Father Joao de, I.M.C.)

Era Uma Senhora mais brilhante que o sol, Missoes consolata, Fatima, ninth edition, 320 pages.

Témoignages sur les apparitions de Fatima (Testimonies on the apparitions of Fatima), translation and adaptation of the preceding work by Father Simonin, third edition, 1979. 352 pages, distributed by Téqui.

Fatima from the Beginning, fifth edition, 1985, Fatima, Portugal. At times we have slightly modified the translation when quoting from this work.

MARTINS (Father Antonio Maria, S.J.)

MC: Memorias e Cartas da Irma Lucia, Porto, 1973, 472 pages.

O Segredo de Fatima e o Futuro de Portugal nos escritos da Irma Lucia, Porto, 1974, 226 pages.

Doc: Fatima, Documentos, Porto, 1976, 538 pages.

Cartas: Cartas da Irma Lucia, second edition, Porto, 1979, 126 pages.

Mensagem de Fatima, Fatima e o Corpo Mystico, Livraria apostolado da imprensa; Porto, 1982, 70 pages.

FCP: Fatima, caminho da paz, Porto, 1983, 101 pages.

Nov. doc.: Novos documentos de Fatima, Loyola Publications, Sao Paolo, 1984, 396 pages.

FCM: Fatima e o Coraçao de Maria, Loyola Publications, Sao Paulo, 1984, 118 pages.

MARTINS dos REIS (Father Sebastiao, † October 27, 1984)

Fatima as suas provas e o seus problemas, Lisboa, 1953.

Na Orbita de Fatima, rectificaçoes e achegas, 1958, 191 pages.

As pombas da Virgem de Fatima, Uniao Grafica, Lisboa, 1963, 183 pages.

O Milagre do Sol e o Segredo de Fatima, Salesian Press, Porto, 1966.

Sintese: Sintese critica de Fatima, Porto, 1968, 187 pages.

A Vidente de Fatima dialoga e responde pelas Apariçoes, Lisbon, 1970, 132 pages.

Uma Vida: Uma Vida ao serviço de Fatima, Porto, 1973, 400 pages.

Na Orbita de Fatima, reacçoes e contrastes, Salesian Press, Porto, 1984, 176 pages.

MOWATT (Msgr. J. J.)

Russia e Fatima, Blue Army publications, 1956, 40 pages.

NETTER (Father Hermann, S.V.D.)

Fatima Chronik, Grafica de Leiria, 1970, 88 pages (in German).

PAYRIÉRE (Father R.)

Fatima, le signe du Ciel, 1956, 128 pages.


Doc. pont.: Documents pontificaux de Sa Sainteté Pie XII, 1939-1958. One volume for each year: éd. Saint-Augustin (Saint-Maurice, Switzerland).

RENAULT (G., Rémy)

Fatima, Plon, 1957, 261 pages.

Actualité de Fatima, Apostolat des éditions, 1970, 173 pages.

ROLIM (Father J., †)

Francisco, Florinhas de Fatima, third edition, Uniao grafica, 1947.

SCHWEIGL (Father G., S.J.)

Fatima e la conversione della Russia, Pontifical Russian College, 1956, 32 pages.

Immaculatum Cor Mariae et Russia, Romae, 1963. (Typed text given to the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council).

VIDEIRA (Father T., O.P., †)

Pio XII e Fatima, Verdade e Vida, 1957, 63 pages.

WALSH (William Thomas)

Our Lady of Fatima, Doubleday, 1954, 223 pages.



An illustrated monthly review, directed by Canon Galamba. (First issue May 13, 1967. The review is now defunct.)


Bulletin for the causes of beatification of Francisco and Jacinta, published by Father Luis Kondor, S.V.D., Vice-Postulator, Rua S. Pedro, 9. P. 2496, Fatima Codex.


Bi-monthly publication, founded and edited by Father Messias Dias Coelho. (Sameice. 6270 SEIA, Portugal.)


The official publication of the International Fatima Rosary Crusade. Founded and published in Canada by Father Nicholas Gruner. (452 Kraft Road, Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada, L2A 4M7.)