The ‘third’ secret, the visions of Fatima and the path we are called to follow

by Larry Maginot —

When I first began to travel with the International Pilgrim Statue of Our Lady of Fatima, I was asked to prepare a 20-minute presentation on the message of Fatima. In preparation for this, I read over Sister Lucia’s memoirs several times, including the text of the third secret, which had been made public a few years earlier. 

I became intrigued by Sister Lucia’s description in the third part of the secret of the way in which Our Lady intervened to prevent the angel with the flaming sword from striking the earth, and her descriptions of her encounters with Our Lady during the apparitions. They are almost identical.

Lucia describes in the ‘third’ secret “the splendor that Our Lady radiated” toward the angel from her right hand, which extinguished the flames from the sword in his hand. While he cried out for “penance”, he was unable to strike the earth with the flaming sword, because of Our Lady’s intervention.

Is this to be equated with the light that surrounded Our Lady and emitted from her hands during the apparitions as reported by Lucia? In the first apparition, Lucia said this light “penetrated our breasts and reached the most intimate parts of our souls, making us see ourselves in God, who is that light, more clearly than in the best of mirrors.”

In the ‘third’ secret, immediately following the scene of the angel, Lucia observed: “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.”  In that light was an indomitable procession of devout “souls that were making their way to God” despite tremendous opposition from the world. This willingness to accept the sufferings on the way that leads to God was precisely what Our Lady asked of the children in the May apparition, and their affirmation prompted Our Lady to direct the grace of God to penetrate their hearts.

In the second apparition in June, when Lucia was already feeling overwhelmed with the sufferings she had accepted, Our Lady promised that her Immaculate Heart would be a “refuge and the way that would lead [her] to God,” and that her testimony would cast the light of God’s grace over the whole world. In making this connection, we see that the fearful vision of the ‘third’ secret is not so much a warning of possible events to be avoided, but a Calvary of suffering to be embraced with the confidence of hearing an echo of Our Lady’s words to Lucia, “Don’t be discouraged. I will never abandon you.”

The people in the vision are following a very similar path as Lucia’s long pathway to God, resigning their wills all the way—even to the Cross, consecrating themselves to Mary, living the devotion to Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart. It is this that creates the “penance” called for by the angel. Later in the vision, you see the other angels collecting the blood of the martyrs and sprinkling it on those who are still making their way.

This is the essence of the triumph. Our Lady triumphs over the world by calling people to fidelity to the Gospel. What you get from the ‘third’ secret is the path we all must undertake if we are to take up our cross and follow Jesus. What Our Lady called Lucia to is what she is calling all of us to, living out the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and it is in this way that she will triumph over the world.

The details of the ‘third’ part of the secret and the Fatima visions are covered thoroughly in Larry Maginot’s new book, The Marian Maniesto: How God will Renew the World through the Immaculate Heart, published by Blue Army Press, the publishing division of the World Apostolate of Fatima, USA. It is available online in our gift shop or by calling 1-866-513-1917.

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1 Comment
  1. Beautifully written explanation of Lucia’s Visions.

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