Presentation

Friday, July 13, 2007
  90th Anniversary of the Fatima Secret

Dear Friend of Our Lady of Fatima,

          It is my pleasure and honor to present to you this new biography of Sister Lucia by Mark Fellows. We, at the Fatima Center, started this project shortly after Sister Lucia's death. It has been two years in research, reflection, writing and preparation, and I am sure you will find special treasures herein.

           Now that Sister Lucia has been laid to rest, this year there is renewed interest in her testimony and life. Thus, this is a most opportune time to publish this book.

          Sister Lucia's life and vocation were spelled out for her 90 years and one month ago. On June 13, 1917, Our Lady of Fatima told Jacinta and Francisco that they would soon go to join Her in Heaven. And then She added:

"But you (Lucia) are to stay here some time longer. Jesus wishes to make use of you to make Me known and loved. He wants to establish in the world devotion to My Immaculate Heart. To whoever embraces this devotion I promise salvation; these souls shall be dear to God as flowers placed by Me to adorn His throne."

          With sadness, Lucia asked Our Lady: "Am I to stay here alone?

          "No, My daughter. Do you suffer a great deal? Don't lose heart. I will never forsake you. My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God."

          Lucia was sad because she, too, wanted to go to Heaven soon! She would also miss her two cousins. Almost 88 years after being told "you are to stay here (on earth) some time longer," Lucia finally departed this life on February 13, 2005 in order to make her way to God in Heaven.

          For those 88 years Sister Lucia was used by Jesus to make Our Lady known and loved. Certainly, because of Lucia's faithfulness the Fatima Message and apparitions today are known worldwide.

          The dialogue of Our Lady with Lucia from May to October, 1917, is told and retold to millions and millions of souls. We know all of this through Lucia's fidelity, her patience, obedience, charity and repetition in word and in writing passing on these beautiful encounters with Mary, Mother of God and our Mother.

          Sister Lucia is known by Catholics and the world over! Yet she maintained her humility and her obedience and charity despite so many occasions that could have caused her to lose it all.

          This book is a humble contribution for faithful souls to understand Lucia better and know how she carried out the mission entrusted to her by the Virgin Mary at Fatima.

          In reading about Lucia's life we might well reflect upon several things.

          First, she was to make Our Lady “known”. By her fidelity, even under threat of death at 10 years old – to her long life of consistently repeating the Message – in season and out of season – and sticking to her testimony, even when priests, bishops, Cardinals and Popes wanted her to state something else – she persevered in making Our Lady and Her great prophetic Message known.

          Sister Lucia made Her known not only by her words but by her actions. It was the grace of Our Lady that gave Lucia the perseverance even though she was silenced from 1960 until her death in 2005. Forty-five years of enforced silence – enforced on her by her superiors and ultimately, by the Popes themselves. Pope John XXIII, Pope Paul VI, and Pope John Paul II all followed this same policy of silencing Lucia.

          Lucia could have lifted the silence imposed upon her if she would have just changed the Message of Fatima to suit the tastes and policies of the Vatican Secretary of State, especially the Vatican-Moscow Agreement (that was entered into in 1962 and is still prevailing) and the ever increasing, prevailing, so-called “Catholic” liberalism apparently victorious since Vatican II. But she would not give in. She would not give up.

          She was cut off from all the outside world except for her immediate family and some people she knew from before 1955. But even her confessor of many years in the 1930’s and 40’s could not see her when he returned from the missions in 1960 – and wanted to meet with her.

          Eventually her close family members and old friends died off, one by one, and so she was even more isolated than ever. Yet, even then, her silence spoke volumes. The anti-Fatima forces, even in Vatican itself, could not get her to endorse their party line in public.

          This silence imposed from the top – from the Pope down – lasted until the end of her life. This is evident in the fact that she was not invited to be present at the official “unveiling of the Secret” on June 26, 2000. She was not ever allowed to directly comment on it publicly. As events unfold in the Vatican with Cardinal Bertone’s new book on Sister Lucia and his television appearance on May 31, 2007, it is becoming more and more obvious that the whole text of the Secret was not released.1

          Already, in the years 2000 and 2001, it was stated again and again2 in public that the Vatican had not told the whole truth about Fatima. Archbishop Bertone was dispatched on November 17, 2001, to see Sister Lucia and he reported back to the public that Sister Lucia agreed it was all revealed on June 26, 2000. But we must note that Sister Lucia’s silence is not the same as her positive agreement.

           She felt bound by her oath of obedience to not make public statements since, by her vow, her superiors had forced her to be silent. She also, in her great love and respect for her superiors, maintained silence because she did not want to see them blamed. We see this early in her life. For example:

When Canon Formigao asked Lucia in October 1917 if she was learning to read, she had to say “No”. ‘How then,” he asked her, “can you fulfill the order Our Lady gave you [to learn to read]?”
           Lucia said nothing in response. She explains in her Memoirs:
“I kept silence so as not to have the blame put on my mother, who had not yet given me permission to go to school.”
          It would seem that Sister Lucia would keep silence time and again over the years, especially her later years, so as not to have blame put on her superiors. This would explain her silence in the last years of her life when people, even like Cardinal Bertone, would claim Sister Lucia agreed with them in the most incredible statements. Cardinal Bertone (now the Vatican Secretary of State) is the leading spokesperson for the anti-Fatima party and the highest ranking prelate in the Church after Pope Benedict XVI. For example:                                    
Archbishop [now Cardinal] Bertone claimed on June 26, 2000 that “the decision of His Holiness John Paul II to make public the third part of the 'Secret' of Fatima brings to an end a period of history marked by tragic human lust for power and evil…”

Then, on September 11, 2001, the twin towers terrorist attack took place, followed by the invasion of Afghanistan in October 2001 – and yet he has Sister Lucia agreeing on November 17, 2001 with everything he said on June 26, 2000. That is just too hard to believe. But Sister Lucia didn’t want to put the blame on him so she maintained public silence.
          Still, in all this, no one could get Sister Lucia to publicly state any contradiction to her consistent testimony from 1917 to the end of her life.

          No doubt, as her days came to a close, she knew her unbroken testimony was more than enough to leave to posterity – the true complete story and Message of Fatima. Already, near the end, she confided her mission to God and spent her last days exclusively preparing for eternity.

          She, like St. Thomas Aquinas, realized that all her human efforts were like straw and assured of her misson being accomplished, left it to us and to Our Lady to take her legacy to its next stage.

          Already, Cardinal Bertone, despite his best efforts and his plans to bury Fatima in the past (other than allowing the devotional aspect of Fatima to survive), is finding that the more he speaks and quotes Sister Lucia (apparently out of context) the more he witnesses to the constancy and faithfulness of Sister Lucia to the very end.3

          As it says in Psalm 63 verses 9-10:
“He (God) brings them down by their own tongues, all who see them nod their heads. And all men fear and proclaim the work of God and ponder what He has done.”4
          Sister Lucia also worked, spoke and prayed to make Our Lady loved. She ardently promoted devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary by her writing, her words and by her life.

          Her life of prayer, renunciation, silence, obedience and charity reflected the Immaculate Heart and drew others to follow her example. May we draw from the treasury of Lucia’s life so that we ourselves may also be echoes of Our Lady’s love for each of us.

          The life of Sister Lucia – a living monument – inspired this book. May it serve as a faithful reminder of what it means to love the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The writing and publishing of a small number of copies of this book was made possible by the sacrifices, prayers and donations of a number of people, including those listed at the end of this book.


          If after reading this book you would like to contribute to the wider circulation of this Memorial Edition put out by the Fatima Center, you may buy extra copies of this book and give them as gifts to family, friends and neighbors. If you would like to help us to send it to thousands of Catholic Bishops, Priests, and Religious Brothers and Sisters, please send your tax deductible contribution to the Fatima Center for this purpose at the address below.

          May the Immaculate Heart of Mary be your refuge and the way that leads you to God.

                                                                                    Coralie Graham, Editor
                                                                                    The Fatima Crusader

Write to the Fatima Center at:
In U.S.A: 17000 State Route 30, Constable, NY 12926
In Canada: 452 Kraft Road, Fort Erie, ON L2A 4M7

You may also send in your Visa/Mastercard Purchase or Contribution by phone at: 905-871-8041 or Toll Free: 1-800-263-8160.

Notes

1. See, for example, Antonio Socci's book, Il Quarto Segreto di Fatima [The Fourth     Secret of Fatima] published November 2006; Antonio Socci's reply of May 12, 2007     to Cardinal Bertone's book, "Dear Cardinal Bertone Who between you and me       is Deliberately Lying?" (see "Fatima Exclusives" on www.fatima.org); also see     Christopher Ferrara's (2008) book, The Secret Still Hidden.

2. See, for example, Mother Angelica Live” (TV Broadcast of May 16, 2001); Father     Luigi Bianchi (October 26, 2001, Inside the Vatican news service), The Fatima     Crusader, Issue 64 (July 2000).

3. See Christopher Ferrara's book, The Secret Still Hidden on the obvious and many     self-contradictions of Cardinal Bertone regarding what he says about the Fatima     Message and Sister Lucia.

4. Regarding the few words attributed to Sister Lucia by Cardinal Bertone, Antonio     Socci concludes that Bertone's report of Lucia's words are "such as to not have     objective credibility". See Christopher Ferrara, The Secret Still Hidden, "A     Disastrous Interview".

              




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The Author, Mark Fellows

Mark Fellows is a Catholic writer known for numerous articles in various Catholic journals including The Remnant and Catholic Family News. He is author of the books The Ninth Pius on the life of Blessed Pope Pius IX, A Second Coming on the Holy Shroud of Turin, Fatima in Twilight, and Sister Lucia: Apostle of Mary's Immaculate Heart. He is also a contributor to The Devil's Final Battle.