What follows is a response to a friend about the Third part of the Secret of Fatima.

It also contains links to the experience my wife and I had at Fatima

 while visiting on a pilgrimage, and presents the Church's explanation of the Secret of Fatima.


Dear Friend,

Thanks for link to the Fatima information. As we have discussed before, I don’t believe we need to live in fear and trembling about the third secret. The Church maintains that the third part of the secret is in the past. See:


About eight paragraphs from the bottom of the link above, I found a good summary of the meaning of the third secret:

“To save souls” has emerged as the key word of the first and second parts of the “secret”, and the key word of this third part is the threefold cry: Penance, Penance, Penance! The beginning of the Gospel comes to mind: “Repent and believe the Good News” (Mk 1:15). To understand the signs of the times means to accept the urgency of penance - of conversion of faith. This is the correct response to this moment of history, characterized by the grave perils outlined in the images that follow. Allow me to add here a personal recollection: in a conversation with me Sister Lucia said that it appeared ever more clearly to her that the purpose of all the apparitions was to help people to grow more and more in faith, hope and love--everything else was intended to lead to this. (Cardinal Ratzinger)

The world may end soon because of a nuclear exchange or an asteroid hit or something else. Our own lives could end abruptly from cancer, heart failure, stroke, or many other ways. We don’t need the third secret to have concerns about our future

My wife, Barbara, and I visited Fatima in 2009 (http://semperaltius.com/october_12.htm).

We were not overwhelmed with the crowd’s fear of the future. The crowd was too busy honoring Mary and praying for peace. We left Fatima with peace that devotion to Mary and focusing on her basic message to pray for the salvation of all souls and to do penance was enough. We were blessed with an increase in faith, hope, and love from spending a few days at Fatima.