Chapter Three:  Fatima Redux



Babylon is fallen, is fallen; and all the graven images of her gods he hath broken into the unto the ground.”                        Isaiah 21:9


The year 2000 will always be remembered as the year of the Millennium, the Holy Year, the great Jubilee.  It was, for those who believe in the power of Prophecy, the beginning of a new Aeon in the history of mankind, the dawn of a glorious age which would witness the return of the Messiah and the founding of the New Jerusalem.  Sometime within the first century of this Millennium, we will come to the Day that marks the 6000th anniversary of the Fall of Adam.  That fateful Day will signal the passage of six millennia of our collective Exile from Eden.  In a manner of speaking, then, the year 2000 was the eve of the Seventh Day, the inception of a thousand-year Sabbath.

The anticipation that preceded the Millennium was fulfilled by the occurrence of a number of prodigious events during the “y2k”.  On September 28th, the last day of the Hebrew year 5760 and the eve of Rosh HaShanah, a man who was to become the Prime Minister of Israel led a contingent of his people onto the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.  Since the traditional Midrashim strictly enjoin the Jews from going beyond the Wailing Wall until the era of the Messiah, this act (regardless of its political import) represented the crossing of an extremely significant spiritual threshold.  The war ignited by the incident on the Temple Mount that day has since spread throughout the World, like a flame through dry tinder.

A few months before the Rosh HaShanah War broke out on the geopolitical frontier that separates the Jews and the Moslems, another prodigious event had occurred on the historical frontier between Islam and Christianity.  From an obscure village in Portugal, Angelo Cardinal Sodano, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, announced to the World that the Church would at last disclose the mysterious Third Secret of Fatima.   He chose to make this sensational announcement on the 13th of May, commemorating the date in 1917 when three shepherd children had a vision of the Blessed Virgin.  Ironically, the religious role of Mary, the mother of Jesus, in Catholicism very much corresponds to that of Fatima, the daughter of Mohammed, in Islam.  The name of the Portuguese village of Fatima is a vestige of the Moorish occupation of the Iberian Peninsula from the 8th to the 12th Centuries.

In Cardinal Sodano’s remarks that day, he disclosed the Vatican’s official exegesis of the meaning of the Third Secret of Fatima.  Ever fearful of the slightest heterodoxy, Mother Church did not trust her children to interpret the message of the Blessed Mother for themselves.  Accordingly, Sodano only discussed the content of the vision after he had dispensed the prescribed gloss.  “The vision of Fatima,” he explained, “concerns above all the war waged by atheistic systems against the Church”, and particularly against its Pontiff.  Only then did the Cardinal proceed to describe the apparition of a “bishop dressed in white” ― i.e., the Pope ― ascending toward a towering Cross on the summit of a mountain, only to fall “apparently dead”, under a hail of gunfire.

Given Sodano’s prefatory gloss and his skewed rendering of the vision itself, the conclusion appeared unavoidable:  The Third Secret was nothing more than a precognition of the shooting of John Paul II in St. Peter’s Square in 1981 ― an event which had also transpired on the 13th of May.  The Vatican=s official reading of the Third Secret, with its reference to “atheistic systems”, implicitly endorsed the long-discredited conspiracy theory that saw Bulgarian spies, acting on behalf of the Soviet KGB, behind the lone Turkish gunman, Mehmet Ali Agca.  Interestingly, Agca   the original source of the so-called “Bulgarian Connection” story ― has, since his release from Italian prison in June 2000, accused forces within the Vatican itself of orchestrating the attack on the Pope in 1981.  He has also charged that the Vatican’s disclosures regarding Fatima have “changed@ the contents of the Third Secret.[1]

Ten weeks later, on July 26, 2000, the Vatican released a document identified as a copy of the actual text of the Third Secret, as set down by the hand of Sister Lucy herself in 1944.  Again, as a prophylaxis against (heaven forbid!) independent analysis of the vision, the text was accompanied by an extended “theological commentary” crafted by the Church’s “top-dog(ma)” enforcer, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger.  The actual text of the purported Third Secret, however, actually contradicts the official Sodano/Ratzinger interpretation on several important points.  Most obviously, the text specifies unequivocally that the bishop-in-white is “killed” ― not just “apparently dead”.  It also describes the Pope falling amidst a horrific scene of general carnage, a massacre enacted by “soldiers”, who fire not just bullets, but also anachronistic “arrows”.

Many of those who had long studied the apparitions of Fatima and lobbied the Vatican for disclosure of the Third Secret reacted with skepticism, directed at both the official exegesis and the bonafides of the text itself.  The notion that the Third Secret relates only to the 1981 shooting in Rome does not jibe with Sister Lucy’s statement, in a letter written to the Pope a year later, that “we have not yet seen the complete fulfillment of the final part of the prophecy”.[2]  And the text itself appears to be a four-page journal entry by Sister Lucy describing only the vision which had preceded the Virgin’s announcement of the Third Secret.  This contradicts the accounts of several prelates who have read the Third Secret document and have described it as a one-page letter addressed to the Pontiff and containing a statement quoted verbatim from Our Lady of Fatima.[3]

For those familiar with the published memoirs of Sister Lucy, moreover, it was apparent that the text released by the Vatican was incomplete, insofar as it lacked the actual words spoken by the Blessed Mother to the three shepherd children.  In her memoirs, Lucia mentions that she and her cousin Jacinta both saw the apparitions and heard the words of the Lady of Fatima.  Her cousin Francisco, the youngest of the three, on the other hand, could see the visions but was deaf to the Lady’s speech.  After she disclosed the Third Secret, the Virgin Mary instructed Lucy: “Do not tell this to anyone.  Francisco?  Yes, you may tell him.[4]  Therefore, the Third Secret must have been explained in words spoken by the Blessed Mother, words which Francisco was unable to hear.


Crossing the Threshold of Fate


Like the incident on the Temple Mount, the events unfolding around the purported release of the Third Secret of Fatima in the year 2000 represent the crossing of yet another fateful threshold.  If the real Secret, as so many informed sources have reported, foresees the accelerating moral corruption of the Church hierarchy, then here was living proof its prophetic truth.  The Vatican had gone from passive concealment of the Third Secret to outright falsification of its actual content.

Beyond her account of Jacinta=s visions of the beleaguered “Holy Pope”, Lucia has dropped other “hints” as to the contents of the Third Secret.  In one interview with a Fatima scholar, she stated that the Third Secret deals with the same subject matter as Chapters 8 through 13 of St. John=s Apocalypse.[5]  In his own way, John Paul II was signaling the same thing when he made Revelation Chapter 12 the theme of his homily for Jacinta=s beatification on May 13, 2000.  As we have discussed, that chapter symbolically describes an apocalyptic struggle between the Church, represented by a Woman “clothed with the Sun”, and an earthly incarnation of Satan, portrayed as a Dragon.  Later, in Chapter 13, the Satanic messiah is depicted as a Beast whose accomplice wears the miter of a Bishop.

If the Third Secret of Fatima does speak about the death of the Polish Pontiff, and perhaps also about his brush with death in 1981, it does so only as a prelude to the warning of what is to follow.  John=s Apocalypse envisions the Woman who is Ecclesia ― the true Church ― fleeing with her son, the true Pope, into the “wilderness” for a period of 1260 days, or about three-and-a-half years.  During that dark period, a false Pope imposes the universal worship of the Beast=s image.[6]  Sister Lucy has said that the contents of the Third Secret deal precisely with these events, the events prophesied in Revelation Chapters 12 and 13.  It follows that the version that has been sanitized for public consumption by the Vatican=s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith ― formerly known as the Inquisition and now thoroughly dominated by Opus Dei   must be a radical abridgement.  If the Third Secret does speak about a temporary take-over of the Church hierarchy by the forces of darkness, and if those forces are already at work and close to attaining their goals, then the reason for the bogus Fatima “disclosure” is quite apparent.

The malevolent forces now vying for control of the Church hierarchy consist of several factions.  But the dominant one among them is Opus Dei, and the tentacles of the “Octopus” extend further with each passing day.  In recent years, a silent coup has been unfolding inside the Vatican walls, with Opus Dei seizing control of key departments controlling beatifications, appointment of bishops, and press/public relations.[7]  The Pope’s communications with the outside world have come to be exclusively filtered through his personal secretary Archbishop Stanislaw Dziwisz, a fellow Pole and an Opus Dei adherent.[8]   Opus Dei may best be described as a cancerous growth within the body of the Church.  Like any cancer, its growth is fueled by an unappeasable appetite ― in this case, an appetite for power.  And what better place to pursue power than at the pinnacle of the World=s last absolute monarchy?

It’s ironic that the Opus Dei owes its current stranglehold on the Vatican to the very event that its apostles are now using to explain away the Third Secret of Fatima.  It was during the long convalescence of John Paul II from the gunshot wound he received in May 1981 that Opus Dei outmaneuvered the papacy’s erstwhile financier Roberto Calvi and came away with total control over the Vatican Bank.  During the Pontiff’s prolonged hospitalization, then-Secretary of State Agostino Cardinal Casaroli took the helm of Vatican affairs.  Casaroli proved quite willing to pursue the Opus Dei agenda of setting Calvi up to take the fall for the Vatican Bank’s illegal foreign currency transactions, because Calvi had been trying to blackmail him.[9]

Consequently, the assault on the Pope in 1981 paved the way for Opus Dei to achieve its current hegemony over the Church.  So much so, in fact, that it’s impossible to dismiss Agca’s recent claims that forces within the Vatican itself hired him to attack the Pontiff.  While Opus Dei would not have sought the death of a Pope who has generally supported its aims, it does not appear that Agca actually tried to kill John Paul.  An expert marksman, the Turk was firing at point blank range of less than four meters.  The fact that his two shots struck his victim in the right elbow and the left hand indicates that the would-be “assassin” was actually aiming for the Pope’s extremities ― intending to wound him, not kill him.[10]  John Paul was gravely wounded only due the happenstance of the second bullet ricocheting off his index finger into his abdomen.

From the standpoint of Opus Dei’s public relations, the timing of the Fatima “revelations” may have been aimed in part at overshadowing Agca’s accusations and pointing the finger of blame back at the Soviet Communists, who are no longer around to defend themselves.  Beyond that, the sham disclosure indicates that the Great Schism foretold by the Third Secret is extremely imminent. This Schism will lead to the exile of the Holy Pope of Jacinta=s vision and the rise of the Antipope depicted in the Book of Revelation. With each passing day of the John Paul=s progressive deterioration we move closer to the point when the papal throne is functionally vacant.  The power vacuum created by a vacant Holy See is, according to St. Paul, the single historical circumstance that enables Antichrist to pass himself off as the Messiah.

One indicator of the degree of this power vacuum is the infighting between the Vatican factions vying to fill it.  This struggle has become so intense that the combatants have begun sparring in the secular media.  But these skirmishes are still only the preliminaries to the main event.  What will trigger the final rupture?  According to news reports, the Pope has written a letter essentially saying, “If I become unable to discharge my duties, my papacy is to be terminated.”  Nonetheless, in an era when medical science can almost always hold out some shred of hope, any attempt to write off the Pope, regardless of his condition, is sure to be contested, and contested hotly.  At some point, however, the Vatican=s “liberal” faction will be compelled to move, or else de facto cede all power to Opus Dei.  When John Paul=s incapacity becomes insurmountable, they will likely force a conclave to elect a new pontiff.

Such a conclave would likely be boycotted by the most extreme of the “conservative” Cardinals.  In their absence, and in one last effort to stave off a schism, the opposing factions of the conclave would perhaps settle on someone perceived to be a harmless non-entity, as Albino Luciani was when he was elected in 1978.  Nonetheless, such a man might, like Pope John Paul I, show himself to be more interested in serving God than the Mammon of power.  When that became apparent, his election would be “nullified” on some procedural basis, perhaps the lack of fully attended conclave.  Now it would be the turn of the “liberal” faction to walk out of the conclave, which in their absence would surely elect the candidate hand-picked by Opus Dei.  The end result would be an Antipope enthroned in Rome, while the Holy Pope flees for his life, perhaps across the sea of clerical carnage envisioned by Pius X and the partially disclosed Third Secret.

If we can believe St. Malachy=s prognostications, which seem to have been flawlessly prescient up to now, this Antipope will be of Jewish heritage.  Malachy calls him “the Glory of the Olive Tree”, and in Scripture the Olive Tree is consistently a symbol of the people of Israel.  The only Cardinal who matches this profile is Jean-Marie Lustiger of Paris.

 In the wake of the Antipope=s election, the vast majority of Roman Catholics, drilled from early youth in sheepish obedience to the Church hierarchy, will be inclined to follow him unreservedly.  This is why the dissemination of the real content of the Third Secret of Fatima is now more urgent than ever.  The greater the number of the faithful who know of the Blessed Virgin=s warning about this false shepherd, the greater the number who stand some chance of being saved.

But if these events begin to unfold before the falsehood of the Vatican’s pronouncements is exposed, it will already be too late.  The propagation of a bogus “Third Secret” is but the first of series of preemptive strikes aimed at marginalizing and isolating those who persist in pursuing the truth.  As this barrage of lies escalates, more and more minds will become unreceptive to the real message of Fatima, and those who continue to speak it will be made objects of ridicule and derision.

It is not only the messengers of Fatima who are to be belittled and demeaned, but also the message itself.  Already the Vatican=s Grand Inquisitor, Cardinal Ratzinger, has relegated the secrets of Fatima to the status of a “private revelation”, playing no essential role in God=s overall plan for mankind=s salvation.  Catholics may believe in the Fatima message or dismiss it entirely and be none the worse off for it, says the Vatican=s utmost guardian of orthodoxy.[11]  But, even if we ignore the third part of the Fatima secrets, what His Eminence the Cardinal is now instructing the faithful flatly contradicts the words of the Blessed Virgin in the first two parts of her revelation.  She asked that certain specific things be done by the Pope and by the Church, and she promised:

“If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace...  if not, the good will be martyred, the Holy Pope will have much to suffer, and various nations will be annihilated.”[12]


This hardly sounds like the inconsequential stuff of a “private revelation” does it?  The Vatican hierarchy is trying is damnedest (literally) to have us forget what the Virgin has asked to be done.  She asked that the Pope convene an ecumenical council of all the World=s bishops, Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic, and that they together consecrate the Russian nation to her.  In effect, she was demanding the reunification of the two great branches of the Christian Church that split apart in 1054 AD.  The healing of this original Schism is the key to avoiding still another Schism, the last hope of averting a calamitous fissure in the Faith that would throw open the doors of the Temple to the great Deceiver.

To those whose positions of power depend on the maintenance of the status quo, however, the Virgin=s words, and the epochal realignment of the Faith they portend, cannot be readily embraced.  Rather than “embrace” her message, the Vatican hierarchy intends to “efface” it.  While John Paul II was still a force to be reckoned with, this was an agenda they could not openly pursue.  As of the afternoon of May 13, 2000, that situation has clearly changed.


The Vision of the Third Secret


In spite of the Vatican=s distortion of the Fatima message, their disclosure of June 26, 2000, does provide us with important new information as to the true content of the Third Secret.  Although the text released on that date does not disclose the words spoken by Our Lady, it does apparently contain Sister Lucy=s account of the vision that immediately preceded the spoken revelation.  Consequently, it=s worth our effort to examine the vision and attempt to decipher its symbolism.  Lucy=s diary entry describes the vision as follows:

                        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 splendor 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.


For the time being, let’s skip over the preliminaries concerning the “Angel with a flaming sword” and go directly to the portion of the vision dealing with the “Bishop dressed in White”.   In the context of all we’ve learned about the Third Secret, it’s quite clear that this Bishop is the persecuted Angelic Pastor who is to succeed John Paul II.  Sister Lucy’s account identifies him as the “Holy Father”, a title which may also be translated from the Portuguese as the “Holy Pope”.  As we’ve seen, the Holy Pope is the name by which Our Lady of Fatima refers to the Angelic Pastor who will renew the Church and usher in the Millennial reign of the Son of Man.  He is the future Pontiff whom St. Malachy’s prophecy names “Peter of Rome”.

Continuing with Lucy’s vision, the Holy Pope is accompanied by a retinue of bishops, priests, as well as men and women clerics.  The latter suggests that Pope Peter will defy the conservative bias of the Vatican hierarchy and sanction the ordination of females, and perhaps married males also.  To the extent that Lucy sees the Holy Pope traveling with a contingent of faithful clerics, her vision matches up nicely with that of her cousin Jacinta, who saw this itinerant Pontiff celebrating Mass before a large congregation of his followers.

Next Pope Peter and his band of faithful clergy ascend a steep mountain, at the top of which is a large Cross made of rough-hewn tree trunks.  Putting aside the Cross symbol for the moment, let’s consider the significance of the mountain.  There are actually two layers of meaning superimposed here ― meanings which “cross” each other like the two arms of the Crucifix atop the mountain.  In Scripture, we are familiar with both holy mountains and profane mountains.  Mount Sinai and Mount Zion are examples of the former, as opposed to the ill-famed “high places” where idols were worshipped.  These high places were often sites of ritualistic human sacrifice, particularly child sacrifice:

… they have built the high places of Tophet… to burn their sons and daughters in the fire; … Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that it shall no more be called Tophet, … but the valley of slaughter:  for they shall bury in Tophet, till there be no place.  And the carcases of this people shall be meat for the fowls of the heaven and for the beasts of the earth; and none shall fray them away.[13]


Jeremiah’s frightful image of piles of unburied carcasses is mirrored in Sister Lucy’s vision of the corpses lying in the streets of the half-ruined city through which the Holy Pope passes on his way to the mountain.  We’ll have more to say about the import of these corpses shortly, but for now we should note Jeremiah’s use of the Hebrew word nebelah.  While nebelah literally means “carcass”, used figuratively the word can also connote an idol.  It is derived from the root nabel, which means to make vile or unclean.  Under Jewish law, contact with a carrion corpse renders a person or place “defiled”.  The Hebrew word for “defiled” is chillul, which is derived from chalal, meaning “slain man”.  The Torah directs that a person who is defiled by coming into contact with a corpse must be separated from the rest of the community until he/she undergoes a ritual of purification.  In light of that background, we can already infer that Lucy’s vision speaks to the need for purification of the Church and its Pontificate, which have become defiled and have fallen into idolatry.

Returning to the symbolism of the mountains in the negative vein of “high places”, we find that it’s consistently linked in Jewish prophecy with idolatry and defilement:

            And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, set thy face toward the mountains of Israel, and prophesy against them, And say,… I will bring a sword upon you, and I will devour your high places.  And your altars will be desolate, and your images shall be broken: and I will cast down your slain men (chalal) before your idols.  And I will lay the dead carcases (peger) of the children of Israel before their idols… In all your dwellingplaces the cities shall be laid waste, and the high places shall be desolate; … and your idols may be broken and cease…

            Then shall ye know that I am the Lord, when their slain men shall be among their idols round about their altars, … in all the tops of the mountains, … and under every thick oak, the place where they did offer sweet savour to all their idols.[14]   


Once again, this passage from Ezekiel’s prophetic imagery shares many of the same symbolic elements as we find in the vision of the Third Secret.  There are obvious parallels between the devouring sword of the Lord here and the flaming sword wielded by the Angel of the Fatima apparition.  In both scenarios we see a city laid waste, with the slain lying all around.  Through his use of the Hebrew words chalal, for “slain men”, and peger, for “carcasses”, Ezekiel invokes their figurative connotations of “polluted” and “idolatrous image”, respectively.  Ezekiel’s vision also shares with Sister Lucy’s the central feature of the mountain:  On the prophet’s mountaintop we encounter an oak tree, while on Lucia’s we see a Cross fashioned from the rough-hewn trunks of a “cork-tree”.  A “cork-tree” is simply a variety of oak that happens to be common in Portugal.  Groves of mature oaks were a typical feature of the pagan “high places”, and durable oak wood was the preferred material for graven images.[15]  So strongly did the ancient Hebrews associate the oak tree with idolatry that many of their words for false deities are derived from the word for “oak” ’elah.

In our interpretation of the vision of the Third Secret, we must always bear in mind that the symbolism of the apparition is being influenced by the consciousness of the seer ― in this case Sister Lucy.   In her description of oak trunks forming the mountaintop Cross, for example, she associates them with “cork-tree” oak of her native land.  While Lucia was Portuguese, she lived over 20 years of her life ― from age 18 to 39 ― in Spain, in the convents of Pontevedra and Tuy in the province of Galicia.   Less than two years after Sister Lucy made her perpetual vows, the Spanish Civil War (July 1936 – May 1939) erupted.  That bloody conflict and its aftermath surely left vivid impressions in her mind.  One consequence of the victory of General Franco in the civil war was the rise of his ally Opus Dei to prominence within the Spanish Church.

Cloistered in Spain as she was, Lucy would certainly have been exposed to Opus Dei members, who in those days could often be identified by the plain wooden cross they wore in emulation of their founder Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer.  Within months of the fascist victory in the civil war, Father Escrivá published The Way ― the Opus Dei credo that soon became the most widely read Catholic tract in Spain.  Among the most quoted of the 999 spiritual maxims comprising The Way was one extolling the value of the “poor wooden Cross … without its Crucified”:

 “… don’t forget that that Cross is your Cross … the Cross which is waiting for the Crucified it lacks; and that Crucified must be you.”[16]


Bearing in mind that Sister Lucy wrote her memoirs of the Fatima apparitions in 1944, it’s quite plausible that the image of the rough-hewn wooden Cross in her vision is an unconscious reflection of the characteristic plain wooden Crucifix of Opus Dei.  If so, then the symbolic themes of idolatry and defilement associated with the oak tree trunks on the mountaintop fall into place perfectly, since Opus Dei epitomizes the idolatry of power and wealth which has defiled the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church.

Insofar as we typically speak of the Church hierarchy as the “Vatican”, we are actually referring to a “high place” that the ancient Romans called Mons Vaticanus ― with Mons meaning “mountain” in Latin.  Mons Vaticanus was not one of the original “Seven Hills” upon which Rome was built, but instead it was the site of a necropolis ― a “city of the dead”.  Emperor Nero, the prototype of Antichrist, later built here his circus maximus, where early Christians were massacred.  According to Catholic tradition, it was also on Mons Vaticanus that the first Pontiff, the Apostle Peter, was crucified and buried.[17]

It’s no accident that this historical background resonates with so many of the symbolic themes of Sister Lucy’s vision:  the mountain, the city of corpses, the wanton slaughter of the faithful … and, most importantly, the figure of a martyred Pope, a Pope who will have a special connection to Simon Peter.  Just as Catholic tradition teaches that Peter was the first Pontiff, it also teaches that the next Pope Peter will be the last of the line.  This tradition is echoed in St. Malachy’s prophecy, which names the last Pontiff “Peter of Rome”.  Based on Lucia’s vision, we can now conclude that the Third Secret reveals still another parallel between the two Peters: the future Pontiff will be martyred on Mons Vaticanus just as the Fisherman was reputed to have been.  The image of Pope Peter’s martyrdom on Vatican hill also appears in the prophecies of Nostradamus:

One whom neither plague nor sword could finish,

Death on the hill/mountain summit, struck from the sky:

The abbot will die when he will envision ruining

Those of the shipwreck seeking to seize the rock.[18] 


We note here the prophet’s use of the “rock” as a double entendre for Peter.  As we’ve seen, Nostradamus ― ever wary of incurring the wrath of the Inquisition ― often uses “code words” for the Church, like the “rock” and the “boat/bark/ship” (alluding to the Fisherman’s vessel).  Hence, “those of the shipwreck seeking to seize the rock” translates as “those who would destroy the Church in their attempt to seize control of it”.  In the context of our analysis thus far, this obviously refers to Opus Dei and its allies within the Church hierarchy.  The mention of “plague” also catches our attention, since the spread of plague has often been depicted allegorically as shooting of arrows.  That’s why, for example, the image of St. Sebastian pierced with arrows was believed to offer protection against the Black Death in medieval Europe.  This theme will figure in our analysis of Lucy’s enigmatic scene of soldiers firing arrows at the Holy Pope.


The Bow of the Covenant


Archery is the basis of many metaphors in Scripture.  Perhaps the most familiar is the Bow that God put in the sky as a token of His covenant with Noah after the Flood.  The Covenant of the Bow guaranteed Noah and his descendants ― in other words, the whole human race as it’s now constituted ― that God would never again resort to the near-extermination of our species.  Instead, God opted to deal with the general corruption of mankind by selecting a “chosen people”, a consecrated Nation to be His agent for redeeming the rest of humanity.  According to Jewish tradition, when the people of God are righteously fulfilling their role, the Bow remains hidden in the clouds.  But when they stray into idolatry, the Bow appears in the sky as a warning of God’s imminent wrath and a reminder of His covenant with Noah ― and through Noah with all of us.

Bearing that in mind, let’s turn to a passage from Psalms which sheds more light on the metaphor of the Bow:

            The children of Ephraim, being armed, and carrying bows, turned back in the day of battle.  They kept not the covenant of God, and refused to walk in the law; …But he [God], being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, and destroyed them not: yea, many a time turned he his anger way, and did not stir up all his wrath. …And he brought them to the border of his sanctuary, even to this mountain, which his right hand had purchased. …But [they] turned back, and dealt unfaithfully like their fathers: they were turned aside like a deceitful bow.  For they provoked him to anger with their high places, and moved him to jealousy with their graven images.

            When God heard this, he was wroth, and greatly abhorred Israel:  So that he forsook the tabernacle of Shiloh, the tent which he placed among men; … He gave his people over also unto the sword; …the fire consumed their young men; …their priests fell by the sword; …Moreover he refused the tabernacle of Joseph, and chose not the tribe of Ephraim:  But chose the tribe of Judah, the mount Zion which he loved. … He chose David also his servant, and took him from the sheepfolds.[19]


            Before we can begin to comprehend these verses, we need to understand the “strategy” that God pursued after the Covenant of the Bow with Noah.  God’s essential aim remained unchanged:  to restore the condition of the Garden of Eden that had existed before the Fall of Adam and Eve. What defines Eden is not a particular place, but the circumstance of a sacred space where God is able to dwell with Man.  When Adam and Eve ate from the forbidden Tree, they were infected with Death and thus became unclean ― like one who has had contact with a corpse.  Their continued habitation in the Garden where God walked was now impossible, because their presence there would defile it.  To insure the sanctity of the holy place, the Flaming Sword had to be interposed to separate Man from God’s Presence until he could be purified.  When Sister Lucy saw the Flaming Sword in the beginning of her vision, therefore, it was a sign that purification was to be the central theme of the Third Secret.  Since Lucy saw Our Lady’s radiance neutralizing the Sword’s flames, moreover, the Secret must speak to the consummate purification that will restore the sacred space where Man and God can dwell together.

            The Covenant of the Bow signified a change of divine strategy after the Flood, insofar as God did not initially seek to establish this sanctified domain over the entire face of the Earth, but instead confined it to a specific dwelling-place.  Once established in such a dwelling, the Presence of God would then extend itself over the whole World.  As the foregoing passage from Psalms explains, God’s dwelling-place among men must remain pure and undefiled.  Therefore, when some of his chosen people turn aside into idolatry, God transfers His Sanctuary to the domain of the remnant that remained faithful.  And, ultimately, this process of God’s progressive in-dwelling among men culminates in His establishing his consummate Temple in the living flesh of His Messiah ― a descendant of David, His chosen servant.

            The Psalmist refers to certain historical facts concerning God’s Presence among the Twelve Tribes of Israel.  After the Exodus from Egypt, the holy place was first established in a large tent ― the Tabernacle ― in keeping with the Tribes’ nomadic lifestyle.  After the Israelites entered the Promised Land, however, a permanent place for the Tabernacle was set up in the town of Shiloh, which was located in the land assigned to the tribe of Ephraim.  In the course of time, however, a schism developed between the ten northern Tribes, led by Ephraim, and the two southern Tribes, led by Judah.

            In the Old Testament, the names Ephraim and Joseph (Ephraim’s father) were often used as a short-hand way of referring to the ten northern Tribes.  Accordingly, the Psalm we’re looking at speaks of “Ephraim” ― that is, the ten northern Tribes ― falling into idolatry, which is in fact what happened historically.  As a result of the schism among God’s people and the apostasy of “Ephraim”, God withdrew His protection from the northern Tribes.  As the Psalm relates, He forsook the Tabernacle of Shiloh and relocated His Sanctuary to Mount Zion.  “Ephraim” then became easy prey for the conquering bowmen of Assyria, who carried the ten “lost Tribes” into captivity from which they never returned.

            In this Psalm, Ephraim is likened to a “deceitful bow”, i.e., one that is not strung properly and shoots its arrows errantly.  The Psalmist speaks of these Tribes having “turned aside” and “turned back”, using Hebrew terms that figuratively connote apostasy.  Out of their apostasy grew a schism among God’s people and a relocation of God’s Sanctuary.  All of these themes are viscerally connected with the imagery of the archers in the vision of the Third Secret.  As in the Psalm, the malevolent bowmen are a metaphor for those among God’s people ― in this case the Church hierarchy ― who have “turned aside” into idolatry.  These archers also symbolize the captivity into which these errant shepherds will lead much of their flock.  In this condition of captivity, there will be a false Catholic Church presided over by an Antipope and in league with an Antichrist.

            The “arrows” shot by the apostates at the true Pope Peter will consist for the most part of lies and slanders.  Again, we find this same metaphor in another passage of Psalms:

Hide me from the secret counsel of the wicked … Who whet their tongue like a sword, and bend their bows to shoot their arrows, even bitter words:  That they may shoot in secret at the perfect … [20]


            As in Jacinta’s vision, this campaign of calumny against the Holy Pope will incite people to violence against him and force him to flee for his life.  In this respect, Fatima’s metaphor of the archers again draws upon the poetic imagery of the Psalms:

How say ye to my soul, Flee as a bird to your mountain?  For, lo, the wicked bend their bow, they make ready their arrow upon the string, that they may privily shoot at the upright in heart. [21]


            Thus far, we’ve seen that each of the symbols in Sister Lucy’s vision has a both a negative and a positive meaning.  This is so because the Fatima message warns of an impending catastrophe for Catholicism, but one which ultimately results in the renewal of the Church and the restoration of its true mission on Earth.  Therefore, just as the image of the mountaintop has both malevolent and divine connotations, so does the imagery of the archers.  Accordingly, the Prophet Zechariah speaks of an end-Time scenario in which the “bow” ceases to represent an instrument of divine wrath against idolaters and apostates, but instead is transformed into a token of the reunification of God’s people.

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee … lowly, and riding upon an ass …

And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, … and the battle bow shall be cut off …

by the blood of thy covenant I have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit …

When I have bent Judah for me, filled the bow with Ephraim 

the Lord shall be seen over them, and his arrow shall go forth as the lightning[22]


            In Psalms we saw the bow used as a metaphor for the historical schism that developed between the ten northern Tribes, represented by Ephraim, and the two southern Tribes, represented by Judah.  Here in Zechariah we have come around full circle to find the same imagery used to depict the reversal of that schism and the reintegration of the Twelve Tribes into one people.  In the prophet’s allegory, Judah becomes the “bow” that is filled with the “arrow” Ephraim, thus signifying that the unity of Israel is to be restored in the final days.  That unity, we know, is the precondition for the appearance of the Messiah and the inception of his Millennial Kingdom over all the Earth ― as Zechariah envisions at the beginning of this passage.


Unification of God’s People


            The prophesied reunification of the Twelve Tribes of Israel will usher in the Kingdom of the Messiah.  That’s why the “Woman clothed with the Sun” in Revelation Chapter 12 wears a crown of twelve stars.  But why should the Fatima prophecies ― prophecies dealing with the fate of the Church of Rome ― have anything to do with the Tribes of Israel?  The answer to that question, of course, relates to “Ephraim”, that is, to the ten “lost Tribes” who were scattered among the Gentile Nations.  If we pick up where we left off in Zechariah, the next chapter speaks to the return of Ephraim from exile at the end of Time:

…and I will save the house of Joseph, and I will bring them again to place them … and they shall be as though I had not cast them off …

And they of Ephraim shall be like a mighty man, and their heart shall rejoice as through wine … I will hiss for them, and gather them, for I have redeemed them …

And I will sow them among the people: and they shall remember me in far countries; and they shall live with their children, and turn again.

I will bring them again also out of the land of Egypt, and gather them out of Assyria; and I will bring them into the land of Gilead and Lebanon … and the deeps of the river shall dry up: and the pride of Assyria shall be brought down … [23] 


            Since the ten lost Tribes were “sown” among the Gentile Nations, the reunification of the Twelve Tribes of Israel necessarily involves the reintegration of Christianity and Judaism.  Saint Paul spoke of this in terms of the ultimate grafting of the Gentile “branches” back onto the “olive tree” of Israel.[24]  It follows that the merger of the Eastern and Western Christian churches that is envisioned in the Second Secret of Fatima is merely the prelude to the consummate union of Jews and Gentiles that seems to be foreshadowed in the Third Secret.  Since the protagonist of the Third Secret is the Angelic Pastor ― aka Pope Peter ― we can infer that he will promote the reintegration of the “lost Tribes” with Israel.  We might also expect that it will be this part of Peter’s agenda which will draw the most violent opposition from the Catholic hierarchy.  As a cover for the implicit anti-Semitism of their position, Peter’s opponents will ironically put forward a converted Jew ― Malachy’s “Glory of the Olive Tree” ―  to play the role of Antipope.

            Zechariah likens the end-Time return of Ephraim from exile to the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt.  The prophet even carries this parallel so far as to envision that the great river of Assyria, the Euphrates, will “dry up”, much as the Red Sea parted for Moses.  In his prophecy against Babylon, the successor empire to Assyria, Jeremiah also foresees the Euphrates “dried up” due to a “drought” ― retribution for the idolatry rampant in that land.  Interestingly, in the same passage, Jeremiah invokes the imagery of an avenging “sword” falling upon the Babylonians.  Since the Hebrew word for “sword” chereb also means “drought”, Jeremiah means to make a symbolic connection between the two ― a connection that helps us understand import of the “flaming sword” in Lucia’s vision.  Earlier in the same passage, the prophet describes Babylon under siege by an army of archers, once again invoking the imagery of the Fatima vision.[25] 

            If we continue reading into the next chapter of Jeremiah, we come upon the very images that Saint John drew upon in Revelation to personify Babylon as “the great whore that sitteth upon many waters … having  golden cup in her hand full of abominations … ”.[26]   Revelation also echoes this passage of Jeremiah in its portrayal of the fall of Babylon and its call upon the people of God to “come out of her”.[27]  Consequently, we have a established a strong symbolic linkage between the return of exiled Ephraim to Israel across the dried up Euphrates and the end-Time exodus of God’s people from idolatrous Babylon.  It is this harlot Babylon ― the false Catholic Church, dominated by an Antichrist ― that is seen persecuting the Holy Pope in the visions of the Fatima seers.  This false Church will constitute the main impediment to the reunion of “Ephraim and Judah” ― that is, the consummate unification of God’s people, Jew and Gentile alike.

            The symbolic removal of that impediment to the unity of God’s people is expressed ― by both the Jewish and Christian prophets ― as the “drying up” of the Euphrates River.  In Revelation, this task is assigned to an Angel, who completes it immediately before the Great Whore is revealed and Babylon falls.[28]  In the scenario of the Apocalypse, the desiccation of the Euphrates is associated with the final war ― Armageddon ― in which the Gentile Nations destroy themselves once and for all.  The Angel who performs the task is initially released to begin his work when the Sixth Trumpet has sounded.  Immediately before this, the sounding of the Fifth Trumpet unleashes an army of 200,000 horsemen who resemble “locusts”.[29]

            In Hebrew, the Gentile Nations are the goyim ― a word that can alternately refer to locusts.  Jewish commentary on the Torah also associates Amalek ― Esau’s eldest son whose name denotes “a swarm of locusts” ― with Rome and its Empire.[30]  Furthermore, the Hebrew ’arbeh for “locust” is derived from the same root rabah ― “to multiply” ― from which comes rabab ― “to shoot an arrow”.  Putting all this together, the “locust army” of Revelation Chapter 9 appears to correspond to the soldiers who fire arrows at the Holy Pope in Lucia’s vision.  This interpretation is buttressed by Sister Lucy’s own statements indicating that the Third Secret deals with the same subject matter as Chapters 8 through 13 of Revelation.  The “locust army” represents the militarized Gentile Nations combined in the final incarnation of the Roman Empire, presided over by Antichrist.

            The Jews considered the idolatrous Gentile Nations to be spiritually “dead” ― as reflected in the fact that goyim comes from the same root as geviyah “corpse”.   Consequently, when the ten northern Tribes ― aka “Ephraim” ― were scattered among the goyim, they too were reduced to a condition of spiritual “death”.  Ezekiel describes this morbid state of affairs in his vision of the Valley of Dry Bones:

…Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel:  behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost:  we are cut off from our parts.

…Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.

… And shall put my spirit in you, and you shall live, and I shall place you in your own land …[31]


            The prophet is speaking here of a great awakening that will take place in the Gentile Nations at the same time as the Empire of Antichrist is unleashing its “locust army”.  The spiritual progeny of the lost Tribes of Israel ― represented by the “dry bones” ― will be aroused by a powerful “spirit wind”.  In Hebrew, this “spirit wind” is the Ruach, the “breath of life” or “holy spirit” that uniquely confers upon Man a God-like Consciousness.  The Ruach is the precursor in the human soul of the Neshamah, the integrated collective Consciousness of mankind for which the unified Twelve Tribes of Israel is a metaphor.  As we’ve said before, the attainment of the Neshamah will usher in the Kingdom of the Messiah on Earth.  This is what Ezekiel means when he says that God will return the lost Tribes to the “land of Israel”.  He doesn’t mean only the geographical area that we know as Israel.  Instead, the prophet envisions the entire Earth being transformed into the “land of Israel”, with the New Jerusalem as its capital city.

            According to Ezekiel, the unprecedented influx of Ruach will awaken a multitude of the spiritually “dead” among the Nations of the Gentiles.  These awakened ones will assume the legacy of “Ephraim”, the ten lost Tribes.  And the prophet sees them assembling themselves into a great army ― one which will ultimately crush the “locust army” of Antichrist’s Rome.

…Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord God;  Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.

So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.[32]


            After his vision of the Valley of Dry Bones, Ezekiel passes on the allegory of the Two Sticks.  The prophet is commanded by the Lord to take one stick and write on it “for Judah”, then take another stick and write upon it “for Joseph, the stick of Ephraim”.  Then he is told to join the two sticks so that they become one.  When people ask him what this means, he is instructed to explain:

Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God;  Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in my hand.

And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God;  Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen [goyim], whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land:

And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all…

Neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols …

And David my servant shall be king over them; and they shall have one shepherd…[33]


            One of the limitations of the English translation of these verses is that we lose the word play of the original Hebrew.  Since the word for “stick” ‘ets sounds like the word for “bone” ‘etsem, a connection is made between the Two Sticks of Ephraim and Judah and the Dry Bones of Ezekiel’s vision.  It also helps to know that ‘ets, in addition to meaning “stick”, can also mean “wood” or “tree”.  So the two “sticks” joined together in Ezekiel’s allegory can also be viewed as two “trees” joined together.  The latter image, of course, is exactly what Sister Lucy saw in the form of the Cross made of two tree trunks on the mountaintop.  We’ve noted before that the imagery of Lucy’s vision has both a dark side and a redemptive side.  On the dark side, the mountaintop oak Cross relates to the high places of idolatry.  But now we see that the same symbol also embodies the promise of a Messianic Kingdom ― a Kingdom based on the merger of Gentile Christians back into their Jewish roots.

            Seen from the redemptive standpoint, therefore, the treacherous ascent up the mountain toward the wooden Crucifix represents the Holy Pope striving toward a goal.  The nature of that goal is revealed in the peculiar structure of the Cross, comprising two rough-hewn tree trunks joined together, just like the two sticks/trees of Ezekiel’s allegory.  But the last Pontiff’s aim to reunite God’s people and tear down the doctrinal wall between Christianity and Judaism is violently opposed by those among the goyim who are not awakened by the Ruach and do not take on the role of Ephraim.  The latter correspond to the soldiers who shoot the Pope on the mountaintop.  In this symbolic tableau, the historic mission of Christianity is accomplished:  The lost Tribes are shepherded back into the fold of Israel.  The latter-day Pope Peter completes the job that the Apostle Peter started.  Ephraim and Judah are at long last reconciled.

            Now the stage is set for the purgation, for the purification of God’s people.  In the final part of Lucia’s vision of the Third Secret, she sees two Angels sprinkling sacrificial blood on the Holy Pope and his disciples as they make their way to the summit of the mountain.  As we’ll discuss in our next chapter, these are the same two Angels who were sent by God to destroy the wicked city of Sodom but to save the family of Abraham’s brother Lot.  According to Jewish tradition, the “destroying Angel” was Gabriel, while the “saving Angel” was Raphael.[34]  Sodom is a symbol for the corrupt Church hierarchy of Rome that must be purged before the coming of the Son of Man.  This is why Jesus spoke of the destruction of Sodom when he prophesied concerning the Tribulation that would precede the Messianic Kingdom:

But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.  Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.[35]


            Similarly, in the Book of Revelation Sodom is used to represent Rome and the devastation to be visited upon that city in the last days.  And, as in Sister Lucy’s vision, Revelation describes the unburied bodies of God’s martyred witnesses lying in the streets of Sodom/Rome.[36]  Once again, we see that the imagery of the Third Secret of Fatima closely follows that of Chapters 8 through 13 of Revelation, just as Sister Lucy has said.  Lucia envisions two Angels beneath the Cross overlooking the half-ruined city because there are two missions to be accomplished in Rome:  the downfall of the corrupt elite and the preservation and purification of a righteous remnant ― the equivalent of Lot’s family rescued from Sodom.  


The Blood of Purification


            As we said earlier, the initial image of the Angel with the Flaming Sword reveals that spiritual purification is the central theme of Lucy’s vision.  The process of purification is represented by the aspersion of God’s people with blood performed by the Angels Gabriel and Raphael at the end of the vision.  It remains for us to interpret, therefore, what this blood signifies.  We are reminded of the remarks of John Paul II in Fulda, Germany, sixth months before he was to be shot in St. Peter’s Square.  He said that the Third Secret of Fatima dealt with the need for a renewal of the Catholic Church, a renewal that must be “brought about in blood”.

            Our analysis thus far suggests that this renewal of the Church will involve a two-step process:  first, the reunion of the Eastern and Western branches of Christianity, and then the “grafting” of the Christian branches back onto the tree of Judaism, from whence they sprung.  While both of these steps will be opposed by the Catholic hierarchy, their resistance to the Judeo-Christian merger will be particularly fierce.  And it is this resistance that will lead to bloodshed.  In this scenario, the Vatican will take on the oppressive role of ancient Rome, whose brutal occupation of Judea lead to the execution of Jesus of Nazareth and the destruction of the Second Temple.  Jewish tradition equates Rome with Jacob’s “evil twin” Esau, also known as Edom, as well as with Esau’s son Amalek.

            In Isaiah’s famous prophecy concerning the advent of the Messiah ― “there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse” ― he speaks of the Earth restored to the primeval innocence of Eden:

The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid … They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea. …

And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which will stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek … [37]


In terms of the imagery of the Third Secret, we have now progressed from the profane mountaintop of idolatry to the “holy mountain” where the Messiah will plant His battle ensign, the banner beneath which Jews and Gentiles are to be united.

And it shall come to pass in that day that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria … And he shall set up an ensign for the nations [goyim], and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.

The envy also of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off: Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim. … together they shall lay their hand upon Edom 

And the Lord shall … shake his hand over the river, and shall smite it in the seven streams, and make men go over dryshod.  And there shall be a highway for the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria; like it was to Israel in the day that he came up out of the land of Egypt.[38]


            Isaiah’s prophecy thus gives us the formula for the World’s final conflict, with the reunited “Tribes of Israel” arrayed against Edom/Rome.  Leading the Twelve Tribes is a distinctly warlike Messiah:

Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? … Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garmentry like him that treadeth in the winefat?

I have trodden in the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment.[39]


            It’s certainly no coincidence that the disciples of Pope Peter in Lucia’s vision are seen being “sprinkled” with blood in the same way as is Isaiah’s avenging Messiah.  In both instances the Messiah’s adversaries are the same ― Edom aka Rome.  Interestingly, the Hebrew word for “sprinklenazah is related to the root verb nazar, meaning “to consecrate”.  This connection immediately strikes a chord in the secrets of Fatima, which command the Pope to consecrate a new people of God and a new priesthood.

            Particularly worth noting is the connotation of “sprinklenazah associated with expiation of sins.  Thus in Exodus we read of how Moses, upon receiving the Torah on Mt. Sinai, built an altar supported by 12 pillars, “according to the twelve tribes of Israel”.  After offering animal sacrifices on the altar, Moses read the Torah to the people, who responded in unison: “all that the Lord hath said we will do”.  Moses then took the sacrificial blood and sprinkled it on the people, saying:

Behold the blood of the covenant, which the Lord hath made with you concerning all these words.[40]   


            The Jewish Midrashim teach that the community of Israel at Mt. Sinai achieved the highest level of spiritual development ever attained by any people before or since.  Until they lapsed back into idolatry with the Golden Calf, they were for a time absolutely unblemished and free of the evil inclination that had beset mankind since the Fall of Adam.[41]  Just as the Virgin Mary had to be an immaculate vessel to receive the Son of Man, so the Twelve Tribes of Israel had to be flawless to receive the Torah.  In fact, at Mt. Sinai the Tribes of Israel briefly attained the ultimate integration of Consciousness that characterizes the Neshamah.  This is the most exalted plane of the human Soul achievable short of the World to Come.  Only when the people of God coalesce into the Neshamah ― often symbolized by the unity of the Twelve Tribes of Israel ― are they worthy to act as the Bride to the Messianic Bridegroom.

            Saint Paul in his Epistle to the Hebrews makes the connection between the ritual of sprinkled blood performed by Moses on Mt. Sinai and the purification of the collective human Soul needed to usher in the Millennial Kingdom.

… when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law [Torah], he took the blood of calves and of goats … and sprinkled both the book, and all the people.  Saying, this is the blood of the testament which God hath joined unto you. … And almost all things are by the law [Torah] purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. …

So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.[42]


Paul then proceeds to draw a parallel between mankind’s first ― albeit temporary ― attainment of the Neshamah on Mt. Sinai and its ultimate actualization in the end-Time on Mt. Zion:

For you are not come unto the mount [Sinai] that … burned with fire, … But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, … and to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.[43]


            According to the vision of Jacinta Marto, the Third Secret of Fatima decrees that there shall be established a new priesthood ― one that will be consecrated by Pope Peter as the last act of his pontificate.  With this consecration, moreover, the institution of the Roman Papacy will come to an end.  The sprinkling of blood on Peter’s disciples in Lucia’s vision represents a renewal of the priesthood of Aaron and his sons, who were sprinkled with the blood of the “ram of consecration” as ordained by God on Mt. Sinai.[44]  Drawn from all nations, the priesthood of the last days will fulfill the final prophecy of Isaiah:

They that sanctify themselves … in the gardens behind one tree in the midst … shall be consumed together, saith the Lord.  For I know their works and their thoughts:  it shall come, that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come, and see my glory.  And I will set a sign among them, and I will send those that escape of them unto the nations [goyim] … and they shall declare my glory among the Gentiles.

And they shall bring all your brethren for an offering unto the Lord out of all the nations … to my holy mountain Jerusalem … And I will also take of them for priests … For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain.

And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the Lord.  And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases [peger] of the men that have transgressed against me … [45]


            The Third Secret of Fatima deals with the ultimate goal of human history, which is to enable Man to dwell once again in the Presence of the Lord.  As symbolically rendered in Sister Lucy’s vision, the Third Secret warns ― as does Isaiah in the passage quoted above ― that those who remain committed to the idolatry of Mammon must perish in this process of purification.  In that sense, Lucia’s image of Pope Peter making his way through a landscape littered with corpses matches up with Isaiah’s prophecy of God’s purified priesthood gazing from the Holy Mountain upon the carrion carcasses of transgressors.  But the process of purgation which leads to mankind’s redemption does not involve only ― or even primarily ― the destruction of the wicked and corrupt.  When St. Paul speaks of blood as the medium of purification,[46]  he refers to the ritual atonement of Yom Kippur ― the one time of the year when the High Priest may enter into the Holy of Holies.  Paul observes that the blood sacrifices of Yom Kippur provide the earthly pattern for the sacrifice of the Lamb of God:

For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:  Nor that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others…[47]


            And so, the scenario of Redemption necessarily involves the sacrifice of righteous men and women, as appears in Fatima’s scene of the martyrdom of the Holy Pope and his disciples while ascending the mountain.  In the selfless sacrifice of the righteous few resides the power to atone for the sins of the multitudes ― and to avert the wholesale annihilation of peoples of which the Lady of Fatima warned in her Second Secret.  But what cannot be avoided is the utter destruction of the World’s idolatry of power and greed and the institutions that sustain it.  Chief among these institutions, as we have learned, are the Gentile Nations, which are destined to destroy themselves in one last orgy of blind violence before the dawn of the Millennial Kingdom.  While the collapse of the Nation-State is to be anticipated with longing, however, the monster’s last spasms of homicidal rage must sadly visit suffering among the innocent as well as the guilty.


The Tower of Destruction


            If the year 2000 represented the crossing of a fateful threshold by giving the World a glimpse into Sister Lucy’s vision of the Apocalypse, the following year provided a chilling plunge into the icy waters of death and tribulation.  Just as the vision of the Third Secret of Fatima must be viewed as a metaphor if we are to extract its meaning, so the imploding of the Twin Towers of Manhattan Island on September 11, 2001, must also be seen as a metaphor if we are to avoid being sucked down into its vortex of vengeance and despair.  That vortex leads us to a World of horror which Dante explored in his Inferno:

e io senti= chiavar l=uscio di sotto

             a l=orrible torre; ond= io guardai

             nel viso a= mie= figliuoi sanza far motto.


and below I heard them nailing shut the door

             of the horrible tower; whereat I looked

            into the faces of my children without a word.[48]


One minute the Tower stands, a proud monument to the achievements of prosperity and technology.  But in the next instant it falls like a house of cards, collapsing inward on itself, betrayed by its own latent weakness.  And then, in the final defining moment, it assumes the shape of a great mound ― a burial mound, not unlike the mounds in which our ancestors of eons past interred their dead.  As the dust settles, it becomes a monument once more, a monument more truthful than its proud predecessor ― a monument to human frailty and vulnerability.

The Tower was no ordinary edifice.  The steel that withered so quickly in the flames supported more than just concrete and glass.  It supported a whole way of life.  The Tower was the collective mental edifice of an entire culture.  Hanging from its girders were the dreams and aspirations of an entire civilization ― a civilization which now lay condemned in its ruins.  In the days that followed, the anguished survivors would pick through the rubble, searching for the living among the dead, searching for shards of meaning amidst the howling chaos.

What is that sound high in the air

Murmur of maternal lamentation

Who are these hooded hordes swarming

Over endless plains, stumbling in cracked earth

Ringed by the flat horizon only

What is the city over the mountains

Cracks and reforms and bursts in the violet air

Falling towers

Jerusalem Athens Alexandria

Vienna London


New York




Is there more than the echo of demonic laughter to be heard amidst these scenes of desolation?  Is there not some metaphor of Redemption to cancel the metaphor of our collective Fall?

Slowly, almost imperceptibly, into the void left by the fallen Tower steps the god of War, shaking his bloody javelin and calling for vengeance.  His call is eagerly taken up by what remains of the Power that built the Tower and sustained it: because no Power has ever or will ever freely accept the reality that It is spent.   The call to War stirs the ashes of the Tower like a vortex, sweeping up the chaff of broken hearts. Far off in the distance echoes the warning of Jeremiah  ...

A voice was heard in Ramah,

lamentation, and bitter weeping;

Rachel weeping for her children,

refusing to be comforted for her children,

because they were not.[50]


High above us, in anticipation of the carnage, we hear the “murmur of maternal lamentation”, as T. S. Eliot so aptly phrased it.  The god of War, now standing invisibly in the place of the fallen Tower, calls upon the mothers ― of whom Rachel was the epiphany ― to offer up their children to him.

They have built the high places of Ba’al

to burn their sons with fire

for burnt offerings unto Ba’al[51]


Ba’al or Bel, from which we have the Latin bellum for War.  The same god that was Melkarth to the Phoenicians and Moloch to the children of Lot.

Therefore, behold the days come

that this place no more shall be called Tophet.

... but the Valley of Slaughter....  and I will cause them

to fall by the sword before their enemies,

and by the hands of them that seek their lives;

And their carcases will I give as meat

to the fowls of heaven and the beasts of the earth.[52]


The Valley of Slaughter is, of course, the Valley of Megiddo, aka Armageddon, of which Jesus also spoke:

For wheresoever the carcase is,

There will the eagles be gathered together.[53]


The Eagle, emblem of America, as it was of the Roman legions.

American youth stepping off bravely into battle, from the piers of the maritime City where the Towers fell.  The City of New York, a place known to the prophet Nostradamus by the name that the explorer Giovanni da Verrazano gave it in 1524: the “land of Angoulême”.

Lamentable cries will come then from Angoulême ...

... in the month of Sept[ember] will come

from the sky the King of Terror:

The resurrected King of the Angoulmois

to reign as the god of War thereafter.[54]


September 1999: Nostradamus sees the King of Terror striking first in Moscow, two years before the Towers fall; nearly 300 people buried in the rubble of exploded apartment buildings.[55]  Nostradamus views him as the harbinger of the Third, and final, Antichrist.

The Third Antichrist swiftly annihilates,

during a war that lasts 27 years ...

Blood from human corpses stains the land and water red.[56]


Civil war began in Afghanistan in 1978 and is to end, according to this vision of Nostradamus, with the conquest of that benighted land by the Third Antichrist in 2005.  Nostradamus forecasts, in the wake of the fallen Towers, the bloody wave of Antichrist=s conquests sweeping across Central Asia like a red tide.


Earth-shaking fire from the World [Trade] Center

Will cause trembling around the New [York] City:

Two great rock piles make for a long war,

Then Arethusa will redden another river.[57]


The name Arethusa in Greek signifies “Water Pourer”, like the figure of Aquarius in the Zodiac.  One can imagine Nostradamus= vision of Arethusa pouring the blood spilled on the shore of New York=s Hudson River into another river.  This suggests an even more deadly sequel to the assault on the Twin Towers.

Five and forty degrees the sky will burn,

Fire to approach the great New City:

Instantly a great spreading flame leaps up,

When proof is demanded by the Normans.[58]


40.5°N is the approximate longitude of the City of New York.  Seizing upon the tide of patriotism that swept America after the September 11th attacks, the U.S. launched a “war on terrorism” targeting the Arab states of the Middle East and Central Asia.  When the Anglo-American coalition sought United Nations backing to launch a “preemptive” invasion of Iraq in February-March 2003, the French ― referred to as “Normans” here ― demanded proof that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction.  Nostradamus= next stanza speaks of another atrocity to follow the one in the “New City”:

Their great city stained, pestilential deed:

Sun to plunder Moon and violate their temples:

And two rivers to be reddened with flowing blood.[59]


The crescent Moon is the symbol of Islam, as the Sun is associated with the “Sun-day” worshiping Christians.  Perhaps the second verse portends the unintended bombing of an important Moslem holy site in the course of Anglo-American intervention in the Arab region.  Such an act might provoke an attack on another of the great cities of the Western World.  Like New York, it is a maritime city located on a river.


The blood of the just will be demanded at London,

Burnt by lightening-like fire from twenty-three the six:

The ancient lady will fall from her high place,

And many of the same sect will be killed.


The great plague of the maritime city

Will not cease until they have avenged the death

Of the just blood, taken and condemned [though] guiltless of the crime

By which the great lady pretends to be outraged.[60]


Nostradamus seems to say there will be a modern sequel to the Great Fire of London, which occurred in 1666.  This time the Fire will consume the city in a matter of minutes.  The deadly fallout of its atomic blast will stretch out its arms of death to the royal palace of Windsor, extinguishing the British monarchy and its “ancient lady” Queen Elizabeth II.  This radioactive fallout from the World=s first act of nuclear terror is something Nostradamus refers to, appropriately enough, as the “drizzle”.

From the free city of the great Crescent sea,

Which still bears in its stomach the Stone,

English fleet will come under the drizzle

To seize an [olive] branch at the opening of the great war.[61] 


Here “Crescent” connotes both the Islamic setting and the shape of the Red Sea, along whose shores lies the free city of Mecca, site of the holiest Moslem shrine, the Ka=aba Stone.  Nostradamus= imagery suggests a British naval assault on Mecca ― perhaps after its seizure by radical fundamentalists ― resulting in a desecration of the sacred Stone.  Such a desecration would likely inflame the entire Muslim World to join a holy war, or Jihad, against the Western nations in general, and against the British in particular.

Within the Isles where five rivers unite as one,

By the crescent of the great Muslim Chyren:

Through the drizzles in the air the fury of one,

Six escape, hidden in bundles of flax.[62]


Within the British Isles, five countries (England, Wales, Scotland, Ulster and Ireland) were joined in the United Kingdom of Nostradamus= era.  Chyren is one the names by which Nostradamus often refers to the Third Antichrist.[63]  The last line apparently refers to a “fifth column” in Britain that will help the terrorists escape ― symbolically concealing them in “bundles of flax”, as the harlot Rahab hid the Israelite spies in ancient Jericho.[64]

It=s said that Nostradamus wrote each of his one thousand Quatrains on a separate piece of paper, then scattered them across the floor to scramble their sequence.  If one did the same thing with a new deck of cards, one would naturally expect to find some clusters of cards still resembling their original order.  We do, in fact, encounter such a cluster in Nostradamus= Century VI, from which we drew the last-quoted stanza above.  Preceding it, we find the following two Quatrains:

            [When] Mars and the scepter will be found conjoined

In Cancer, [there will be a] calamitous war:

Shortly thereafter a new King will be anointed,

Who will pacify the earth for a long time.


When retrograde Mars reaches opposition, the monarchy

Of the great fisherman will be in ruinous trouble:

The junior black one [i.e. Jesuit cardinal] will rise to the highest office,

Those who betray him will act on a drizzly day.[65]


The scepter is the symbol of Jove or Jupiter, the monarch of the Greco-Roman pantheon.  Mars and Jupiter were conjoined in Cancer on July 3, 2002.  It was at that time that the Anglo-American coalition committed itself to an operation against Iraq and began active military preparations for the invasion.  The last time this particular conjunction occurred was in 1979, shortly before the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan and set in motion the chain of events which resulted in the terrorist attacks on American soil.  Nostradamus is known to have practiced a certain astrological technique by which one may discover the location where a conjunction such as this one will have it maximum effect ― the “Ground Zero”, so to speak.[66]  In the case of the “calamitous” conjunction of Mars and Jupiter in Cancer on July 3, 2002, “Ground Zero” is the city of London.

Consequently, the Provençal prophecies suggest that the Final War ― the war in which the Third Antichrist will ultimately emerge as supreme leader of the Gentile Nations ― has already begun.  Triggered by the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the war swung into full gear with the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq on March 20, 2003.  Nostradamus foresees this war moving into the “Armageddon” phase after the terrorist sequel to 9-11, which will likely target London this time.  Later in this book, in Chapter Six, we will how our clairvoyant French astrologer dates the onset of the Final War by the alignment of the planet Mars with the tip of the “arrow” in the constellation Sagittarius, the Archer-Centaur.  This provides yet another interesting nexus between the good Doctor’s visions and those of Sister Lucy, since both feature the “arrow” as the symbol of an apocalyptic conflict.  If we follow the links to other Martian astrological aspects mentioned in the Centuries, moreover, we find that there’s a connection between the outbreak of the Final War and the disputed papal elections that will produce an Antipope. 

After its war-mongering encounter with Jupiter in Cancer in July 2002, Mars proceeded on to Aquarius and in May 2003 came into opposition with Jupiter, which was then in Leo.  Nostradamus sees in this opposition the signal of an incipient schism in the Church involving the election of a successor to John Paul II.  Significantly, during this time period the Catholic hierarchy was rocked by the clerical pedophilia scandals, and the Pontiff’s physical condition visibly deteriorated to the point that several cardinals, including the ultra-loyalist Ratzinger, openly discussed the possibility of his resigning.[67]  Our Provençal seer detects in the Mars-Jupiter opposition of May 2003 an “omen” of the assassination of John Paul’s rightful successor:

The one whose face is sprinkled with the blood

Of the victim nearly sacrificed:

Jupiter in Leo, omen through presage:

To be put to death for the Church.[68]


The sprinkling of the martyr=s face with blood is indeed an “omen through presage”, because it is a key element of the vision that preceded the Third Secret of Fatima:

... 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.


If we continue to follow the path of Mars after its opposition with Jupiter, its next major astrological aspect was in retrograde opposition to the Sun in August 2003, when it made its closest approach to the Earth in some 50,000 years.  At that juncture, World events proceeded in lockstep toward escalating warfare in the Middle East ― with devastating bombings in Baghdad and Jerusalem ― and intense speculation regarding possible successors to the Polish Pope.  With regard to the latter, Nostradamus weighs in with his own prediction:

 When retrograde Mars reaches opposition, the monarchy

Of the great fisherman will be in ruinous trouble:

The junior black one will rise to the highest office,

Those who betray him will act on a drizzly day. [69]


            As we discussed in Chapter One, the description “junior black one” suggests a Jesuit prelate.  According to this Quatrain, the rise of this Jesuit to the pontificate would have begun in August 2003 ― perhaps as a result of his elevation to a higher post within the Church.  His election to the papal throne will be quickly nullified through a betrayal “on a drizzly day”.  Since we have known Nostradamus to use the term “drizzle” to describe fallout from a nuclear explosion, we might speculate that the time of the Jesuit Pope’s disputed election will be soon after the terrorist attack on the city of London.

            Be that as it may, our discussion has now reached the point at which we need explore the brief but remarkable reign of the last true Pontiff ― St. Malachy’s “Peter of Rome”.  But to do that we need to know more about the background of his namesake, the Apostle Peter, and his putative role as the first Pontiff of the Catholic Church.  Let us pursue this theme in our next chapter.



Chapter Three:  Fatima Redux


[1].  Associated Press, July 10, 2000


[2].  Letter of Sister Lucy to John Paul II, dated May 12, 1982, quoted in “The Message of Fatima” released by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on June 26, 2000.


[3]. Fr. Michel del la Sainte Trinité, The Third Secret (The Whole Truth About Fatima, Volume III), Immaculate Heart Publications, 1985, pp. 578, 725-727, 788.


[4].   Fatima in Lucia=s Own Words, op. cit., p. 162


[5].  Michèle Reboul, “Le troisième secret de Fatima”, Monde et Vie, Apr/May 1992


[6].  Revelation 12:6 - 13:15


[7].  London Sunday Times, March 12, 2000 edition


[8]. New York Times, Oct. 15, 2003


[9].   Robert A. Hutchinson, Their Kingdom Come ― Inside the Secret World of Opus Dei (St. Martin’s Press, 1999)


[10] .  In fact, both the investigating magistrate Rosario Priore and the Italian intelligence service SISMI concluded that Agca’s mission was to wound the Pope in the extremities, not to kill him.


[11].  As reported by the Associated Press, 5-19-00


[12].  Fatima in Lucia's Own Words, op. cit., pp. 104-105.

[13] .  Jeremiah 7:31

[14] .  Ezekiel 6:1-13

[15] .  Isaiah 44:14-17

[16] . Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer, The Way, Maxim 178

[17] .  We will examine this subject in more detail in Chapter 4, “The Bones of the Triumvir


[18] .  C2Q56

[19] .  Psalms 78:9-70

[20] .  Psalms 64:2-4

[21] .  Psalms 11:1-2

[22] .  Zechariah 9:9-14

[23] .  Zechariah 10:6-11

[24] .  Romans 11:16-24

[25] .  Jeremiah 50:29-38

[26] .  Jeremiah 51:6-13 and Revelation 17:1-6

[27] .  Revelation 18:1-5

[28].  Revelation 16:12

[29].  Revelation 9:1-16

[30].  Louis Ginzberg, The Legends of the Jews, Vol. 3 (John Hopkins, 1998) p. 55-57

[31].  Ezekiel 37:11-14

[32].  Ezekiel 37:9-10

[33].  Ezekiel 37:19-24

[34].  Ginzberg, op. cit., Vol. 1, p. 240

[35].  Luke 17:29-30

[36].  Revelation 11:3-13

[37].  Isaiah 11:6-10

[38].  Isaiah 11:11-16

[39].  Isaiah 63:1-3

[40].  Exodus 24:3-8

[41].  Ginzberg, op. cit., Vol 3, p. 77-92

[42].  Hebrews 9:19-28

[43].  Hebrews 12:18-24

[44].  Exodus 29:19-21

[45].  Isaiah 66:17-24

[46] . Hebrews 9:22


[47].  Hebrews 9:24-25


[48].  Dante, Inferno, XXXIII, 46-48


[49]. Thomas Stearns Eliot, The Wasteland,

[50]. Jeremiah 31:15

[51]. Jeremiah 19:5

[52]. Jeremiah 19:6-7

[53]. Matthew 24:28

[54]. C10Q17 and 72

[55]. Chechen rebels financed by Osama bin Laden carried out a series of terrorist bombings in Moscow in September 1999.

[56]. C8Q77

[57]. C1Q87;   I explain the nexus between Antichrist and the myth of Arethusa in Chapter Seven “In Quest of the Grail” (near the end of the section called “The Dynasty of the Beast”).

[58]. C6Q97

[59]. C6Q98

[60]. C2Q51 and 53

[61]. C5Q35

[62]. C6Q27

[63]. See Chapter Seven “In Quest of the Grail”, in the section entitled “Chyren”.

[64]. Joshua 19:1-21

[65]. C6Q24 and 25

[66]. This is the longitude where the conjunction becomes exact at the Mid-Heaven, i.e. at the culmination of the Ecliptic.

[67].  New York Times, May 17, 2002


[68]. C2Q98

[69]. C6Q25