The Third Fatima Apparition

Location: Cova da Iria

Date: July, 13, 1917

People present: 4000 to 5000 or 2000 to 3000

As the July date approached Lucia continued to be troubled by the words of her pastor that the devil might be behind the apparitions. Finally, she confided to Jacinta that she intended not to go. When the day finally dawned, however, her fears and anxieties disappeared, so that the noon hour found her in the Cova with Jacinta and Francisco, awaiting the arrival of the beautiful Lady.

The apparition of July 13th would prove to be in many ways the most controversial aspect of the message of Fátima, providing a secret in three parts which the children guarded zealously. The first two parts, the vision of hell and the prophecy of the future role of Russia and how to prevent it, would not be revealed until Sr. Lucia wrote them down in her third memoir, at the request of the bishop, in 1941. The third part, usually called the Third Secret, was only later communicated to the bishop, who sent it unread to Pope Pius XII.


A few moments after arriving at the Cova da Iria, near the holmoak, where a large number of people were praying the Rosary, we saw the flash of light once more, and a moment later Our Lady appeared on the holmoak.

“Lucia,” Jacinta said, “speak. Our Lady is talking to you.”

“Yes?” said Lucia. She spoke humbly, asking pardon for her doubts with every gesture, and to the Lady: “What do you want of me?”

– I want you to come here on the 13th of next month, to continue to pray the Rosary every day in honour of Our Lady of the Rosary, in order to obtain peace for the world and the end of the war, because only she can help you.

– I would like to ask you to tell us who you are, and to work a miracle so that everybody will believe that you are appearing to us.

– Continue to come here every month. In October, I will tell you who I am and what I want, and I will perform a miracle for all to see and believe.

[- I have here a petition to make, that you convert a woman from Pedrógão and another one from Fátima, and cure a child from Moita. She said that she would convert them, and restore the child’s health, within a year.]

Sacrifice yourselves for sinners, and say many times, especially whenever you make some sacrifice: O Jesus, it is for love of You, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

[First Part of the Secret – The Vision of Hell]

As Our Lady spoke these last words, she opened her hands once more, as she had done during the two previous months. 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. (It must have been this sight which caused me to cry out, as people say they heard me). The demons could be distinguished by their terrifying and repellent likeness to frighfful and unknown animals, black and transparent like burning coals. Terrified and as if to plead for succour, we looked up at Our Lady, who said to us, so kindly and so sadly:

[Second Part of the Secret]

– 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 war is going to end; but if people do not cease offending God, a worse one will break out during the pontificate of Pius Xl. 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 of the Church and of the Holy Father.

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 15. If my requests are heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace 16; 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. In Portugal, the dogma of the Faith will always be preserved.

[Third Part of the Secret – Congregation for Doctrine of the Faith, “The Message of Fátima”]

{After the two parts which I have already explained, at the left of Our Lady and a little above, we saw an Angel with a flaming sword in his left hand; flashing, it gave out flames that looked as though they would set the world on fire; but they died out in contact with the splendour that 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’. Other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious going up a steep mountain, at the top of which there was a big Cross of rough-hewn trunks as of a cork-tree with the bark; before reaching there 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.}

Do not tell this to anybody. Francisco, yes, you may tell him. When you pray the Rosary, say after each mystery: “O my Jesus, forgive us, save us from the fire of hell. Lead all souls to Heaven, especially those who are most in need.”

After this, there was a moment of silence, and then I asked: – Is there anything more that you want of me?

– No, I do not want anything more of you today.”

Fatima in Lucia’s own words, Fátima, p. 177-179 (IV Memoir); the section between square brackets appears in the parish priest’s interrogation of July 14, 1917, Documentação Crítica de Fátima. I, pp. 13-15; the section in curly brackets is the famous third part of the secret of Fatima (Memórias da Irmã Lúcia, p. 213).

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