Guys, could anyone, please, help me understand why the Second Secret was made a secret.
So, allegedly, Our Lady warned Saint Lucia and her siblings about the future “errors of Russia” and about the need for the future consecration of Russia, foreseeing that WWII would happen if the consecration were not performed. However, She allegedly instructed them not to tell anyone for a while. It was only in 1929 that St. Lucia, inspired by a new vision, made request for the consecration of Russia public. It was only in 1941 that she disclosed the Secret’s message.
I am really struggling to understand the logic here; it was made even more obvious when I tried to explain the Fatima Apparition to my secular friends. The question they asked is quite legit. if Our Lady wanted to warn us and request an act of consecration, why make it a secret in the first place?
The time for disclosure of the Secret also makes the message of St. Lucia less credible. Well, it is well known, I guess.
Any thoughts? Is there any theological explanation for this?
Actually the three secrets is a common misunderstanding, there were no three secrets, the first two “secrets” were never actually secret, they were simply revelations given to Jacinta and Lucia and they were never given to Francisco. Francisco could never hear Our Lady he was simply told what she said by his sister and cousin.
ACCORDING TO THE VERSION PRESENTED BY SISTER LUCIA
… This will entail my speaking about the secret, and thus answering the first question.
What is the secret? It seems to me that I can reveal it, since I already have permission from Heaven to do so. God’s representatives on earth have authorized me to do this several times and in various letters, one of which, I believe, is in your keeping. This letter is from Father José Bernardo Gonçalves, and in it he advises me to write to the Holy Father, suggesting, among other things, that I should reveal the secret. I did say something about it. But in order not to make my letter too long, since I was told to keep it short, I confined myself to the essentials, leaving it to God to provide another more favourable opportunity.
In my second account I have already described in detail the doubt which tormented me from 13 June until 13 July, and how it disappeared completely during the Apparition on that day.
Well, the secret is made up of three distinct parts, two of which I am now going to reveal.
The first part is the vision of hell.
Our Lady showed us a great sea of fire which seemed to be under the earth. 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 a huge fire, without weight or equilibrium, and amid shrieks and groans of pain and despair, which horrified us and made us tremble with fear. The demons could be distinguished by their terrifying and repulsive likeness to frightful and unknown animals, all black and transparent. 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.
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 war is going to end: but if people do not cease offending God, a worse one will break out during the Pontificate of Pius XI. 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. 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 shall be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world”.(7)
So after getting Heavenly permission to reveal the secret, Sr Lucia then had to write to the Holy Father . It would then be up to him, when and if to publish the secret.
Sr Lucia decided herself not to want to reveal the third secret until after 1960.
The children were told not to reveal by Our Lady. In fact only Sr Lucia knew it and was able to share with one of the other now saints. Don Ruggero just posted a good link on Fatima. Here is the thread.
I also was curious about the second secret. I see that in the text of the secret was “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 XI.” Pius XI was Pope from Feb. 1922-Feb. 1939. Was part of the secret told to the children actually foretelling what the next Pope would be named? Or did the original secret in 1917 say something more like “the next pope,” and in 1941 the name which was now known was included in the secret?
Sorry, I wasn’t trying to be smarty. I don’t know all the secrets or the numbering but have only heard of the “third secret” being the one in question. It was just for me to understand better. Thanks for your post.
In a letter from 1940 to the Pope Sr. Lucia notes…
They remained secret until 1926 as per the will of Our Lady.
Our Lady to them then (1917) that she would come* later* to ask for this and for the 5 First Saturdays…(remember too in 1917 Russia was not what she was to become…not many would have believed such…we have 21st century hindsight).
Our Lady later came in the 1920s to ask for this for it was time…and she communicated this then to her confessor at this time -who sought to have the requests fulfilled then…
I know that. But Our Lord and Our Lady are rational beings, and we should expect Them to communicate with us in a way which is logically coherent.
If Our Lady had revealed the prophecy about Russia in summer 1917 - before the October Revolution - the supernatural character of the apparition would have been much more credible, while the Church leaders would have been convinced much quicker and have performed the proper consecration much faster.
She did reveal the Secret - to the Children In 1917.
The Church investigated Fatima and rather seriously confirmed the supernatural nature of the Event.
Our Lady told the little children that she would -come later- to ask for the consecration and the First Saturdays. But not to reveal the secret yet.
It was not yet time.
(it is not up to us to judge when it was best to be revealed…your “speculation” as to what would have happened is simply that - speculation from the view of a person in the 21st century who does not have the viewpoint of Heaven. Your view that it would be “quicker” is merely that - God and Our Lady had reasons not to do so at that time…but to make it known the way it was.)
She then came as she said she would - in the very next decade (1920’s) to tell Sr. Lucia it was time…to make the request…which she then did. As Sr. Lucia notes in her letter to the Holy Father that Our Lady expressly noted this was to remain secret until 1926.
Sr. Lucia made the request when she was told to do so in the 1920’s…when Our Lady came and asked as she foretold.
The Church recognized the Fatima apparition as worthy of belief, because of the public supernatural signs that accompanied it. However, for the message of Our Lady itself, we only have St. Lucia as witness. And the way the message was reported by St. Lucia does not look particularly logically coherent.
We do not believe what we believe just because we “want to believe” or “like to believe”. That’s a heresy of fideism. Our faith is logically coherent and can be demonstrated with arguments. Thus, the seeming incoherence of the way the message of Our Lady was reported by St. Lucia is a problem, which provides an argument for skeptics. Our task is to solve this problem, in order to break through the healthy skepticism of those who hear about this story for the first time.
To be honest, until recently I was greatly captivated by the Fatima apparition, especially by the fact that Our Lady warned about future “mistakes of Russia” exactly in the period between the February and the October revolutions of 1917: the crucial period, when Russian society, governed by the Provisional government,was already radicalizing, but communism and militant atheism could not yet be predicted by anyone. However, I was very disappointed to find out that St. Lucia revealed the “mistakes of Russia” message only in 1941. No one can verify that this message was ever transmitted before 1941. A disinterested observer is strongly tempted to suspect that St. Lucia just made up the “mistakes of Russia” narrative long after 1917, when the threat of communism to Christianity became clear and obvious to everyone. This is something I, as a Catholic, do not want to believe. And I want to find rational arguments to prevent such conclusion.