What are we to make of the vision of hell seen by the Fatima children on July 13, 1917?

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This picture of the three Fatima children was taken after the July 13, 1917 apparition.

This was revealed in Sr. Lucia’s Third Memoir, written in the summer of 1941, when she revealed the first two parts of the Fatima secret—the first part of this secret was the vision of hell. She describes hell as being like a great sea of fire in which demons and souls in human form were plunged, all blackened or burnished bronze, falling back on every side like sparks in a huge fire, amid shrieks and groans of pain and despair. She described the demons in striking terms as being distinguishable, “by their terrifying and repellent likeness to frightful and unknown animals, all black and transparent.”

It’s worth re-reading the text in her memoirs several times and meditating on its contents, and then putting ourselves in the places of the Fatima children, so that the full horror of what they saw really strikes home.

Sr. Lucia went on to say, “This vision lasted but an instant. How can we ever be grateful enough to our kind heavenly Mother, who had already prepared us by promising, in the first Apparition, to take us to Heaven. Otherwise, I think we would have died of fear and terror.”

Clearly, this vision was very brief, but very powerful and indeed terrifying. Sr. Lucia then says:

“We then looked up at Our Lady, who said to us so kindly and so sadly: ‘You have seen hell where the souls of poor sinners go. 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 main point to make about this vision is that it strongly affirms the existence of hell, a fact that has been downplayed by some Catholics in recent years; the vision seen by the children, though, and the whole of Catholic tradition are opposed to that type of thinking.

We are not likely to see either heaven or hell in this life, but in the first part of the Fatima secret we have been given a clear reiteration of hell’s existence and horror. Like Jacinta, we need to mediate on hell – in our case so as to ensure that we don’t end up going there.

Our Lady then went on to outline what needed to be done if souls would indeed be saved and peace given to the world – that is the second part of the secret. She spoke of further warfare, and of famine, and persecutions of the Church and of the Holy Father. Then she said 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 of the Church. The good will be martyred; the Holy Father will have much to suffer; various nations will be annihilated. In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me and she will be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world.”

From a practical point of view, the most important part of this statement is the section about the Communion of reparation on the First Saturdays, which was linked here by Our Lady with the consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart. This link is extremely important, and this point is underlined by the fact that Our Lady came back twice in the 1920s, appearing to Sr. Lucia when she had joined the Dorothean Order, to emphasize the importance of both the devotion and the consecration.

The Consecration was done by Saint John Paul II in March 1984, but we are still waiting for the full conversion of Russia and all the many graces this will bring for the world. Since these two aspects were definitely linked by Our Lady on July 13, 1917, then the best way we can advance this goal is to engage in the Five First Saturdays of devotion ourselves, and also to encourage its propagation on as wide a scale as possible in the Church.

When that is done we will be much closer to the Triumph of Mary’s Immaculate Heart and world peace.

Donal Anthony Foley is the author of a number of books on Marian Apparitions, and has written a time-travel/adventure book for young people. Details can be found at: http://www.theotokos.org.uk/

 

 

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3 Comments
  1. I enjoyed reading the article. I was always interested in Fatima since I was a teenager. I always pray for sinners myself and in my family.

  2. THE POPE HAS NEVER FULFILLED OUR LADY’S REQUEST TO DEDICATE “ONLY” RUSSIA TO HER “IMMACULATE HEART” THAT’S WHY THERE IS NO PEACE IN THE WORLD. FOR SOME REASON THERE SEEMS TO BE A FAILURE TO FULFILL HER WISH.
    SHE IS STILL WAITING – I DON’T UNDERSTAND WHY THE POPE WON’T CONSECRATE JUST RUSSIA TO HER “IMMACULATE HEART” WHAT’S SO HARD ABOUT DOING WHAT OUR LADY ASKS?

    • Ann, we hope you are also doing the First Saturday Communions of Reparation, which was the second part of the request for Russia. We all have a part in this, but Catholics, in general, have not listened. Our Lord told Sister Lucia that it would be done, but it would be too late. Russia will have already spread her errors throughout the world. In 1984, when Pope St. John Paul II, did the consecration, it was done, but late. Russia had 55 years to spread its errors. Sister Lucia said in an interview with a cardinal in 1991 that we are in the “Third Day of Fatima” the post-consecration era. She, herself, said it was done. We stand by her word.

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