100 Years Later – But Have We Learned Anything?


100 years ago the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to three Portuguese children at Cova da Iria, on the outskirts of Fatima.

Over the course of six months, Mary appeared to Lucia dos Santos and her cousins Jacinta and Francisco Marto. On July 13, 1917 she revealed to the children a secret. After many years, Lucia gained permission from Mary to reveal to the public the first two parts of the secret.

Part 1: A Vision Of Hell

“The rays of light seemed to penetrate the earth, and we saw as it were a sea of fire. Plunged in this fire were demons and souls in human form, like transparent burning embers, all blackened or burnished bronze, floating about in the conflagration, now raised into the air by the flames that issued from within themselves together with great clouds of smoke, now falling back on every side like sparks in huge fires, without weight or equilibrium, amid shrieks and groans of pain and despair, which horrified us and made us tremble with fear.”

Part 2: Saving Souls

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

Though the message appears very bleak at this point, Mary advised the children that there was a way in which we could all avoid these terrible events.

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


The visionaries of Fatima.


Prophesies Fulfilled

There is much evidence today of the fulfilment of Our Lady’s four prophesies of war, famine and persecutions against the Church and the Holy Father.

As our Blessed Mother predicted, World War I did end, however a worse war did break out in the reign of Pius XI – World War II.

War and civil unrest are daily items in our news and many third world countries are suffering from extreme poverty, whilst others in the world have more than they need.

And each day our Church, and our Holy Father, are persecuted for their moral integrity and doctrines. They are persecuted from outside the Church – the distressing situation of the Church in China is one such example of this – and also from within.

These realities only confirm that many people in our world have rejected the message of Fatima, rejected the saving message of our Lord Jesus Christ and have shunned him from their lives. It seems then, that despite the message of Fatima, we, as mankind, have not taken notice and changed our lives and ceased offending God.

Part 3: The Final Part

In 1944 Sr Lucia wrote a letter to the Vatican outlining the third secret of Fatima, with instructions from Our Lady that it not be made public before 1960. Successive popes read the letter containing the third part of the secret and chose not to reveal its contents.

However, on June 26, 2000, during the papacy of the late Pope John Paul II the Vatican made public the third part of the secret:

“…Our Lady radiated towards him from her right hand: pointing to the earth with his right hand, the Angel cried out in a loud voice: ‘Penance, Penance, Penance!’. And we saw in an immense light that is God: ‘something similar to how people appear in a mirror when they pass in front of it’ a Bishop dressed in White ‘we had the impression that it was the Holy Father’…

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


Sr Lucia and Blessed John Paul II.


The Five First Saturdays

Some years after the apparitions at Fatima, when Lucia was a postulant with the Dorotheans, Our Lady appeared to her and explained the devotion of the five first Saturdays:

“See, My daughter, My heart surrounded by thorns which ungrateful men pierce at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude… Say to all those who, for five months, on the first Saturday, confess, receive Holy Communion, recite the Rosary and keep Me company for 15 minutes while meditating on the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary, in a spirit of reparation, I promise to assist them at the hour of death with all the graces necessary for the salvation of their souls.”

Prayer, Sacrifice And Penance

During the apparitions at Fatima, Mary emphasised to the three children the importance of prayer, sacrifice and penance. This message of Fatima is just as relevant today as it was 90 years ago. We need to take notice of Our Lady’s advice and turn to prayer, sacrifice and penance for the salvation of our souls, and those of others.

Hell is a reality, and through the vision of the children, we can see that Hell is not the place where we want to spend eternity.

In order to ensure that we do not find ourselves in the fiery pit at the end of our earthly lives we need to pray the Rosary daily and undertake the devotion of the first five Saturdays.

Consecrating ourselves to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is another way in which we can set ourselves along the right path to share in eternal happiness with our Heavenly Father. Of course, all of these things are in addition to our regular use of the Sacraments and individual prayers.

Living God’s will in our life will ensure that we make sacrifices and if we prayerfully live out this life and make reparation for our sins then we can be assured of numerous graces and all the help that we will ever need.


First published in Insight Magazine. Originally entitled: 90 Years Later But Have We Learned Anything?



Filed Under: FaithFeaturedPrayers & DevotionsSaint Inspirations

About the Author: Emily is a former ACPA award winning editor and journalist turned stay at home mum and blogger. She lives on a farm in regional NSW with her husband and their five children where she spends the time she should be doing housework reading books and writing posts.

RSSComments (0)

Trackback URL

Leave a Reply

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a Gravatar.