Holy Father's blood mentioned in Fatima secret

John Paul II Makes Allusions During Beatification Homily

VATICAN CITY, MAY 14 (ZENIT.org).- At the end of yesterday's beatification Mass at Fatima, John Paul II had another surprise in store. He entrusted Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican Secretary of State, with an announcement about the famous "third secret" of Fatima.

Unexpected Announcement

"The vision of Fatima concerns above all the war waged by atheist systems against the Church and Christians, and it describes the immense suffering endured by the witnesses to the faith in the last century of the second millennium. It is an interminable Way of the Cross led by the Popes of the twentieth century," the Italian Cardinal explained.

"According to the interpretation of the 'little shepherds,' which was also recently confirmed by Sister Lucia," continued Cardinal Sodano, "the 'Bishop clothed in white' who prays for all the faithful is the Pope. As he makes his way with great effort towards the Cross amid the corpses of those who were martyred (Bishops, priests, men and women religious and many laymen), he, too, falls to the ground, apparently dead, under a burst of gunfire."

The Pope did not want to make the announcement, in part because it is a private revelation and in part (and perhaps above all) out of modesty, because it affects him personally. However, during the beatification ceremony homily he implicitly acknowledged with evident signs of emotion, that these revelations have decisively marked his understanding of his pontificate and his vision of the world over the last two decades.

Secret and Attempt on Pope's Life

While reading the announcement, Cardinal Sodano added, "After the assassination attempt of 13 May 1981, it appeared evident to His Holiness that it was 'a motherly hand that guided the bullet's path,' enabling the 'dying Pope' to halt 'at the threshold of death.' " Because of this, on the occasion of a visit to Rome by the then Bishop of Leiria-Fatima, the Pope decided to give him the bullet that had remained in the jeep after the assassination attempt, so that it might be kept in the Shrine. At the behest of the Bishop, the bullet was later set in the crown of the statue of Our Lady of Fatima."

Pope's References

However, the third secret was only partially revealed. To know its full content, the world will have to wait until it is published by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, presided by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who are preparing a commentary to facilitate its understanding. This text is expected within a few days.

Nevertheless, during the beatification homily, John Paul II made highly interesting references, which are likely related to it. Above all, he made it clear that the Fatima message is a "call to conversion."

Moreover, the Pontiff confirmed some particular aspects of the three secrets: Jacinta's and Francisco's premature deaths, the 20th century's terrible wars and persecutions, the need to pray to "shorten" the evils against man, and the attack that he himself suffered in 1981 in the Vatican. He also quoted the Apocalypse, when it speaks of the "dragon," which symbolizes evil, and he affirmed that when man "puts God to one side he cannot find happiness but, on the contrary, ends in self-destruction."

The confirmation of the "second secret" of Fatima, which refers to the world wars, was alluded to indirectly by the Pope, when he said: "How many victims there have been in this last century of the second millennium! I am thinking of the horrors of the two great wars and other conflicts in other parts of the world. I am also thinking of the concentration camps and the extermination, the gulags, the ethnic cleansing, the persecutions, terrorism, kidnappings, drugs, attacks on the life of the unborn and against the family."

In so far as the first secret is concerned, the premature death of the children, the Holy Father recalled Jacinta's words who said, referring to Francisco, that "the Virgin has come to see us and has said that very soon she will come to take him."

The Bishop of Rome's reference to the third secret, which is now partially revealed, was expressed in these words: Fatima "prophesized the tribulations of these times and the Virgin asked for prayers to shorten these evils."

He added that because of this "I want to thank God for having saved me from death on May 13, 1981. I also express my appreciation to Blessed Jacinta for the sacrifices and prayers for the Pope whom she saw suffer."

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