"Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image…
Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them:
for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God" (Ex. 20:4-5)
some 70 miles north of Lisbon in Portugal is the bustling tourist town of Fatima.
To devout catholics worldwide, its name ranks in affection with that other infamous
Marian shrine, Lourdes, nestling in the Pyrenees in France.
a personal note, some years ago, I was informed by a catholic priest about a parishioner
of his who owned a flat in Fatima. It seems this man had an enduring obsession to Mary and
just wanted to be 'close' to the scene of her so-called 'appearances' to three illiterate
how different it all seemed in 1917, when these three children, Lucia (10), Jacinta
(7), and the only boy, Francisco (8), later claimed, under severe questioning from
the clergy, that they had indeed witnessed the image of 'Mary',
and had (so they claimed) spoken to them of awful events yet to happen.
Situated some 70 miles north of Lisbon in Portugal is the bustling tourist town of Fatima. To devout catholics worldwide, its name ranks in affection with that other infamous Marian shrine, Lourdes, nestling in the Pyrenees in France.
On a personal note, some years ago, I was informed by a catholic priest about a parishioner of his who owned a flat in Fatima. It seems this man had an enduring obsession to Mary and just wanted to be 'close' to the scene of her so-called 'appearances' to three illiterate little children.
Yet how different it all seemed in 1917, when these three children, Lucia (10), Jacinta (7), and the only boy, Francisco (8), later claimed, under severe questioning from the clergy, that they had indeed witnessed the image of 'Mary', and had (so they claimed) spoken to them of awful events yet to happen.
Today, Fatima boasts the financial luxury of numerous hotels, including a Travelodge and a Sheraton hotel, as well as assorted guesthouses taking up the slack for weary pilgrims.
So what did occur on a bright May morning in 1917 in Portugal? At that time, Europe was the charnel house of the terrible First World War. Three long terrible years had brought both sides of the war practically to a stalemate. Massive poverty and deprivation continued to grip Europe, nowhere more so than catholic Portugal. Famine was rife and life was cheap!
Yet on the 13th May 1917, various 'assorted angels' and a striking 'vision of Mary' deemed to appear to three innocent Portuguese children. However, it does seem that the children had already been rewarded with a vision of 'the guardian angel of Portugal' a year before. This same apparition would later offer each child the eucharist by saying, "Take and drink the body of Jesus Christ, horribly outraged by ungrateful men."
Now, this is strange; because the catholic church in the past recognised that 'saint' Catherine of Siena, an Italian mystic nun had performed the same unusual task, but it is chilling nonetheless for children to be used like this by an evil spirit.
"For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore, it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works" (2 Cor. 11:13-15).
One must also insert here and state the Biblical fact how Jesus on more than one occasion found demon-possessed children during His ministry on the earth, with even Satan himself possessing a child, that is, until Jesus cast him and his cohorts out of these young victims. And with the shocking rise of the occult and an even greater and unhealthy interest in Satanism and all things anti-God, it's only a matter of time until more vulnerable children become like zombies and follow their parents and other unsaved relatives to a Christ-less eternity in Hell. If ever there were a greater need for Bible-believers to take to the highways and byways with the true gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, it would most certainly be now!
Yet 97 years have now transpired since the so-called 'vision of Mary' appeared and supposedly spoke to three nervous children.
Interestingly, the first five 'visions' always occurred on the 13th of the month, starting in May. (John Paul II would also take a bullet on that auspicious date).
And one cannot but help note the occult's ominous association with the number 13!
During the third vision, according to Lucia in her memoirs, the children were given a graphic vision of Hell. And a verbal warning, that "the holy father will consecrate Russia to me." Russia, warned the vision, must convert. Presumably of course to catholicism. Lucia was finally warned by 'the lady' to tell no one of this, only Francisco.
That same year Lenin instigated the communist/atheist Russian Revolution on 17th October. The cold war was about to be put in motion. So began the winter of their discontent.
Pius XII, the controversial wartime pontiff would broadcast a radio message in 1942 concerning Fatima. However, in 1952, he would through the decree of papal infallibility, promulgate the 'feast of the assumption.' This offers no higher devotion to Mary, in that she was allegedly 'assumed into heaven' after her death in complete bodily form and with no decomposition.
This would be only the second time that the ex-cathedra ruling would be used or has been used since Pius, who would later be called 'the pope of our lady of Fatima.'
John XXIII seems to have continued in his own personal affection and worship of this Marian cause. As cardinal of Venice he made a private visit to the shrine; whether he visited Lucia is not known. Now Venice seems to figure dramatically in the election of future popes. Both John XXIII and John Paul I came from that beautiful city.
On becoming pope in 1958, John gave his blessing to Fatima, naming it 'pilgrimage of marvels.' A rather strange title it seems, which has never been explained. However, in 1959 it was reported that the pope sent for a small tin chest, which houses the controversial 'third secret of Fatima.' A small typed label on it reads, 'secret of the holy office.'
Apparently, only the incumbent pope has a key to open it. This is passed on to each new pope by the Secretary of State. Pius XII, it seems, had decided after much soul-searching not to read this explosive document. It remained sealed. However, on deciding to read the handwritten letter by Lucia, the pope, we are told by a reliable source, claimed that, "He trembled with fear and almost fainted with horror."
What could be in this awful letter? Or as an official Vatican press spokesman said, "He did not think it opportune to make this public." I wonder why! Nothing further concerning the Fatima letter comes from this wartime pope. Or if he ever read it again, it has never been recorded.
Paul VI would begin his torturous reign by sending his predecessor's pectoral cross to Fatima. On the day he became pope, he spoke of Mary who 'raised an altar at Fatima.' More pagan superstitious worship is, no doubt, meant by this.
Many commentators attest to the fact that, on learning the third secret, Paul's depressions, from which he was known to suffer greatly, increased.
Interestingly, a visit to Fatima was planned for 1967 (the year the pope made two future popes, Luciano and Wojtyla, both left-wing cardinals like himself, thus putting them in line as future successors), but this trip was itself very controversial. Again, on the 13th of May he departed on Air Italia for Portugal.
It seems that Paul managed to raise the wrath of the new 'protestant brethren,' now very much a part of the booming ecumenical movement. They, it seems, wanted the role of Mary played down as decreed by the Second Vatican Council. But, by going on this planned visit, the pope was only supporting his view of her 'divine right' as an 'equal partner' with the Trinity.
To make matters worse, the left-wing press, with which Paul was strongly aligned, reported that Fatima was in a fascist catholic country headed by one of the world's worst leaders. And wouldn't this visit, they argued, somehow give papal approval to a non-democratic regime?
For Paul, it was a difficult decision to make. But he had ventured this far. His mission, he argued, was for lasting peace, if possible. He also gave an address on 'our lady and ecumenism.' This, it was felt, would placate the 'protestant brethren' (or, as they should be called, the 'apostate brethren').
His papal visit would be downplayed, if possible, for the 50th anniversary visit of 'Mary's appearance.' The pope's stay would be brief. Paul would naturally visit the shrine (how could he do otherwise?). And as regards a meeting with the last member of the three children, it was decided that Lucia would travel from her cloistered convent to meet him for private talks. (Photographic evidence purports to show Paul and Lucia meeting, but perhaps these had been replaced by look-alikes or professional actors).
It has also been suggested that Paul VI's doppelganger actually died at Castel Gandolfo on 6th August 1978 in the bizarre year of three popes.
And of the third secret? Catholics claim it gives the date for World War 3, describing a holocaust in which several nations are wiped out; but before that happens the incumbent pope at that time will have been assassinated. Certainly this 'terrible third secret' seems to cause much anguish and concern to laity and clergy alike.
John Paul I, who would be pope for a mere 33 days, seems to have been untouched by the third secret. But rumours did circulate after his death (or murder, as some claim), that he too had paid a private visit to Fatima and had even spoken to Lucia. She, it seems, informed him of a terrible event yet to happen in the future, perhaps to himself! But how Luciana would have solved complex Vatican problems as pope will never be known. Certainly, his wish not to be addressed as pontiff does offer some ideas as to where he wanted his church to be taken.
There had even been some naïve talk of him abolishing the Vatican bank, long used by the powerful and influential catholic mafia, as well as other infamous and devoid parties!
John Paul II had always been a confirmed Marian disciple. Some psychologists see the start of this when his mother died, leaving the young Karol to be brought up by a stern father. As a cardinal of his church and later pope, his worship of Mary had always been well known.
Embossed on his coat of arms was the single letter 'M' confirming to the entire world his ceaseless devotion to her. And indeed, this son from Poland believed it was at her bequest he survived the bungled assassination attempt on his life on 13th May 1981, the catholic feast of 'our lady of Fatima.'
Part of that papal dilemma was resolved on 13th May 2000 when cardinal Sodano, disclosed something about the third secret at the beatification of the two Fatima children, Francisco and Jacinta. In the first secret shown to the three children in 1917, the apparition showed them a terrible vision of Hell and of many souls greatly suffering. The second secret, less sensational, predicteds that Russia would one day return to Christianity.
Now this is interesting because before the Russian Revolution, that country was deeply religious and superstitious, with the Russian Orthodox Church providing organised religion to the Russian people. 'Holy Mother Russia,' was a popular expression, then and now. But with the third Fatima secret, the grist for the conspiracy mill has only grown.
Hundreds of Internet sites now offer many different interpretations of what actually happened in 1917. And the list just grows. The Vatican, of course, does not dampen down any speculation. How could it?
In 1997 the then cardinal Joseph Ratzinger rather poured scorn on the mysterious third secret. He urged catholics to reject "fantasies and secrets. Three popes have become acquainted (with the secret) and none of them has judged it opportune to make it public. They had good reason for their decision." So there!
I rather suspect that Ratzinger is attempting to halt any speculation about Lucia’s handwritten note, penned in 1944.
As prefect of the Congregation for The Doctrine of the Faith (better known as the office that oversaw the horrific and brutal Inquisition), I am sure he has read it, and attempted to put a spin on it. But I'm not sure if even this deluded former pope can succeed here.
And what of its writer, Lucia, the late nun? She apparently denied a few years before her death that she had seen a vision of the Twin Towers attack on 9/11 in New York. What she did claim, however, in the catholic church's English translation of her infamous letter is that she had seen a vision of the 'holy father' with others, climbing a steep mountain, topped by a cross.
She then claimed that he was on his knees at the foot of the big cross, before he was killed by a group of soldiers who fired bullets and arrows at him and an assortment of religious clerics.
According to the Vatican, this is a vision of the attempted shooting in St. Peter's Square in Rome of John Paul II. Doesn't it all add up now and make some sense?
Not so, says a 'Fr.' Kramer, who wrote on the Fatima.org website and called this 'a Vatican whitewash.'
This clearly has nothing to do with John Paul II and a shooting in a half-ruined city (obviously not Rome)!
Even Ali Agca, who called the Vatican 'the enemy of God,' expressed annoyance by claiming that the catholic church has altered this prophecy.
And perhaps in doing so pointed the finger at him! But he did qualify it later by praising the pope!
The farce rolls on!
In an interview with a Portuguese radio station some years ago Ratzinger said of Mary, "She guides men toward her Son. That is what is essential." But this is blatant heresy of course to the true Christian. Only Jesus will bring souls to Himself. And He does not need His mother or anyone else for that matter to 'assist' Him.
At the wedding in Cana Mary clearly deferred to Him by saying:
"Whatsoever he saith unto you do it" (John 2:5).
This is also the only event in the entire Bible where Mary offers her opinion, so should not all catholics take heed of her critical words?
And also from the mouth of the Lord on this essential subject, "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man cometh unto the Father, but by me" (John 14:6).
He did not say you could come to Him via His mother, the saints, popes, a church, a synod, or any other group or system. He simply said, come to Me, and only Me!
So, if you are a worn down and weary catholic, sick and tired of trying to get to Heaven by your own good works, and just want some much needed rest, Jesus' words are found here, for you, and anyone else for that matter:
"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls" (Matt. 11:28-29).
I also do not believe Mary would, over the last two hundred years or so, appear at various catholic shrines with regular frequency to promote her views to innocent children with the message that, "The Lord wishes to spread devotion to my immaculate heart through the world. Finally my immaculate heart will triumph."
What does this mean?
Soon after John Paul's assassination attempt, he publicly journeyed to Portugal to place, very 'reverently,' the bullet taken from his body and place it inside the crown of the statue of 'our lady of Fatima.' Mary, not God, was given credit for his survival!
(This eerie statue almost appears to be 'leaning' in towards him,
as if to make sure every word uttered by one to the other is not missed)
What I do accept is that something very important, no doubt demonic, occurred in 1917 to the three children. After all, they never once wavered from their story, in spite of threats, imprisonment, and deprivation of food from the catholic hierarchy. Their story of what they saw that fateful year in Fatima never changed.
So what of the 'solar miracle' that over 70,000 people witnessed? Photographs at the time (yes, the media were there) show vast crowds sheltering under umbrellas, yet later after the apparition their clothes had dried! Not every witness that day was a catholic or even sympathetic to the church.
(What can almost certainly be said for sure, however, is that no saved Bible believer was present, only unsaved people, ready and willing to be deceived by the 'skilful' and ever 'experienced' angel of light. Greater signs and wonders will be used by the Antichrist during the Great Tribulation, with even more people the world over being deceived, left, right, and centre).
Important scientific journalists also covered this unique event. Even then, editors could smell a good story.
One such prominent sceptic was a Dr. Joseph Garrett of Coimbra University:
"The sun disc spun around on itself on a mad whirl - then whirled wildly, it seemed to loosen itself from the firmament to advance towards earth as if to crush us with its fiery weight. Everything around was becoming darkened. All the phenomena which I have described were observed by me. It is for others to interpret and explain them."
Or listen to another important witness to the fiery event. He would later recall that:
"Suddenly the rain stopped, the clouds were wrenched apart and the sun appeared in all its splendour. Then it began to revolve on its axis like the most magnificent freewheel taking the colours of the rainbow and sending forth multi-coloured flashes of light producing the most astounding effect."
Whatever it was, it was some event!
There is no doubt in my mind that Dr. Garrett witnessed something that I think cannot be explained apart from it being supernatural. None of these important witnesses looked at an eclipse! It was much more than that. It certainly spooked these eminent scientists.
Fatima has always attracted controversy and suspicion. Only some years ago the shrine ordered a Portuguese bank to melt down some of its gold bars! Only then, embarrassed bank officials were to discover the Nazi insignia on some of the four bars, weighing a total of 50 kilos.
They were all that remained from a batch, weighing some 258 kilos that were used during the war and stored at the shrine.
One can only wonder if the shrine was part of the infamous 'Rat Run' that aided prominent Nazis in their escape to catholic South America. The so-called 'Rat Run' was started after the war by a bishop Hudal, himself a German Vatican diplomat. He and others certainly did help fugitive Nazis to flee from the Allies' justice at the end of the hangman's rope, prepared by Albert Pierpoint. (Pierpoint also had the distinction of hanging the last woman in England. Her name was Ruth Ellis).
Many notable Nazis did take advantage of available Vatican passports to escape war-torn Europe, including Adolph Eichmann, Dr. Josef Mengele, Franz Stangl, and Klaus Barbie, the 'butcher of Lyon.'
Some of the odour of that wartime conspiracy still lingers. Recent Vatican apologists have failed to dismiss some of the Vatican's whitewash of what the third secret revels. Both Ratzinger and cardinal Sodano can fabricate all they wish. Much of what they suggest does not add up and why should it? But truth is a funny thing; it always seems to eventually rise to the surface.
What I do know for sure is how all of this foolish talk and feigned focus on Fatima and its 'association with Mary' robs from the full glory and majesty of the Saviour of the world.
News that this shrine will be used for more interfaith services intrigues me. When I was growing up it was always referred to as FA-ti-ma. Today it has a Middle Eastern pronunciation. Now it is called Fa-TI-m-a. She, if you did not know, was one of Muhammad's favourite wives or daughters, depending on which Islamic scholar you talk to.
Fatima, named incidentally after a young Muslim princess, is now a shrine of worship for catholics and muslims. (Chrislam continues to evolve and has now taken on a whole new meaning. This agrees with the set agenda of the current interfaith worship so admired today in the evil ecumenical movement).
Muslims also downgrade the role of Jesus, seeing Him as a minor prophet, not the Son of God, which is blasphemy to those of us that know Him personally. But the ecumenical movement, from which I urge all real Christians to get out, shows no concern about being yoked to such apostates.
For would the apostle Paul have been aligned to such people? Of course not!
In fact, he warns us about not being yoked in a spiritual sense to such parties:
"Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty" (2 Cor. 6:14-18).
Lucia, the last of the three children, died on 15th February, 2005, aged 97 years, and as far as we know, still believed in what she saw that day in 1917 at Fatima. (However, as already noted from above, some have suggested that she too had a double who replaced her when she died, possibly to allow the myth and money to continue to roll in).
The return of the Lord Jesus Christ as the true and eternal King of kings to reign for a thousand years in Jerusalem will, once and for all, see an end to all hostilities that defame His name. All these false religions will vanish like a puff of smoke. And remember: Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour could return today or tomorrow.
So, may I ask if you are ready to justify all of these false religions to Him? I do hope not for your sake, and the sake of your precious soul.
Hollywood's promotion of this fable
I recently saw the 1952 Hollywood film The Miracle of our Lady of Fatima. It was the first time I believe that I have watched the film, and seeing it made me realize that this is the 97th-anniversary year of the so-called 'sightings of angels' and 'Mary' in Portugal.
One book that came into my possession as well is The Fatima Secret by Michael Hesemann, with an introduction by the well-known UFO chronicler, Whitley Strieber. UFOs and apparitions are always an interesting combination to any keen researcher of the paranormal, Marian or otherwise.
Coincidently, as I update this article from 2005 it is the 94th anniversary of the premature death of one of the children, that being Jacinta, on 20th February 1920. (When her body was exhumed in 1935, as seen in a picture in the book, her remains were undecayed. Of the condition of Francisco's body and its condition, we are not informed). So, it seems an appraisal of what did or did not occur in 1917, as seen by three related children in Portugal, is needed.
Francisco, the only boy out of the trio, died in 1919. For some strange reason, it seems he did not hear 'the lady' offering information concerning the third secret. On another occasion, he could see her but not hear what she said to Lucia, all very strange indeed. Of course, the Hollywood child actors seen in the movie bear no facial or vocal resemblance in any way to the real children of Fatima, who witnessed something supernatural in the skies in 1917.
In the movie, the town square can be seen to house the statue of a replica of the feminine apparition that Bernadette claimed to have seen at Lourdes. So, the children of Fatima would have been aware of its meaning and the message would have been accepted and promoted by the catholic church in their village.
The movie uses the revolving sun to some dramatic effect, and one does wonder if time did really stop. Sadly, so much of the glory of what did happen those days has conveniently excluded Christ the Saviour of the world and all at the expense of Mary. This is blasphemy of course.
In 'the third secret,' one of the characters remarks that, "Lucy (Lucia) was a troubled girl. Her father was an alcoholic. She was left alone with her brother, her mother, and a drunken father." This is a dangerous condition for any child to be left in, perhaps seeking attention in a girlish manner.
Again, the 1952 movie does allude to this sickness of her father but almost in a comical manner. Yes, he owned the land, it seems, where his sheep grazed. So, he wasn't a destitute peasant scratching a living from the land. If he did indeed sell the land where the sanctuary is now located to the Vatican, it would have made him a very rich man. Perhaps envy and jealousy was stirred up in the village by both this and the additional attention his daughter received from the world press? Certainly, it would not help matters, as small towns can breed jealousy and covetousness very quickly.
As regards the famous 'third secret,' according to the book The Fatima Secret there seems to be some papal paranoia concerning the secrets that have and are to be revealed to the waiting faithful, who really should be reading their Bibles if they wish to understand and learn more about the end times, especially as portrayed in the Book of Revelation.
The film was made during the cold war era and reflects much of the hostility against communism that America was showing at the time toward atheist Russia. So, it almost has a government seal of approval granted to a grateful Hollywood I suspect.
Update: May 2017
The Jesuit pope Frances some days ago in Portugal "canonised" the two peasant and illiterate Fatima children, Francisco and Jacinto Marto, as so-called sibling "saints" of the Roman church. Yet only born again Bible Believers are true saints in the eyes of Lord, and are made such solely by God immediately when they are born again, thanks to His gracious new birth. This is clearly confirmed in the Holy Bible in the book of Romans, Acts, and elsewhere, to name a few Biblical references. The third child Lucia dos Santos has yet to be named a "saint." The only true saints in Heaven today are those born again, thanks to God and not to any church. No others can or will qualify.
My final sentiment about this whole sorry debacle is one of great sadness. One wonders why Jesus is not enough for people who claim to love Him and follow Him. But of course catholics are not true Bible believers, nor does their church even claim to be 100% Bible-based. I must also repeat my earlier comment: no informed Bible-believer would have been deceived, let alone even present, on that May day of 1917, for the Mary of the catholic church is only interested in appearing to catholics. Those that have sadly fallen prey to this almost 100-year deception and distraction are not the Lord's true people.
The apostle Paul would offer this severe apostolic curse on anyone or anything that presented the world with a false gospel:
"I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed" (Gal. 1:6-9).
Our prayers and hope for them would be that they turn away from this demonic activity and be saved by believing on the finished work of Christ on the cross, and by trusting in His precious and divine shed blood alone as full payment for their sins.
"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved" (Acts 16:31).
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