Joy in Suffering, according to St. Therese of the Child Jesus, a novena: nine days of instruction and prayers! By Bishop A. A. Noser. Keep this little classic with your precious collections of prayer books and cards. For who better than Therese -- who suffered much, and yet was so happy -- to teach us "secrets" of dealing with suffering and bodily discomfort! click here 



Since the inception of this website fourteen years ago (on the very day the third Fatima secret was released; that was our first and to this day largest headline), we have occasionally reported on the controversies associated with that appearance of Mary -- not just whether Russia was properly consecrated, as requested in an earlier part of the message, but whether that third part of the Fatima message was the whole part: if the secret was entirely disclosed by the Vatican and its controversial Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone.

We have always taken the position that it was, but we also have discussed a few peculiarities, including the famous alleged "Neues Europa" version of the secret, published in that German periodical during 1963 and proclaimed, by the periodical, to be a leaked copy of what Sister Lucia dos Santos received from the Virgin in 1917.

"Fire and smoke will fall from the sky and the waters of the oceans will be turned to steam -- hurling their foam towards the sky, and all that is standing will be overthrown," said this purported (and many say preposterous) version that claimed to be the then-unreleased secret. "Millions and more millions of men will lose their lives from one hour to the next, and those who remain living at that moment will envy those who are dead. There will be tribulation wherever the eye can see and misery over the earth and desolation in all countries."

Half of mankind, said the Neues Europa secret, would be killed in a matter of hours.

And there would be consternation in the Church. "Cardinals will be against cardinals, and bishops against bishops," said this version. "Satan will put himself in their midst."

Sister Lucia denounced the Neues Europa "secret" as a fraud and openly criticized those who questioned the Vatican's consecration of Russia; she did this in interviews with bishops and cardinals during the early 1990s.

The 1917 secret was delivered to the children on July 13 of that year, not during the great sun miracle the following October, as Mary appeared on the 13th of each month -- May, June, July, September, and famously October -- except during August, when the children were detained by authorities. (She appeared on the 19th of that month.)

The confusing aspect has always been how similar -- in some regards almost identical -- the Neues Europa "secret" was to subsequent private revelations by a nun in Akita, Japan.

Those revelations -- which took place on Fatima feast days in 1973 -- included, for example, the verbiage: "Fire will fall from the sky and will wipe out a great part of humanity" and "the work of the devil will infiltrate even the Church in such a way that one will see cardinals opposing cardinals, bishops against other bishops" -- strikingly similar to the German "secret."

The question: had this reputed seer, Sister Agnes Sasagawa, who said a statue of Mary that exuded tears "spoke" to her, somehow read the previous and rather obscure Neues Europa "secret"? Or was there really something to the German version -- something the nun was "told" independently?

When asked, years before its public release, about the third secret, then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who'd read it, and oversaw apparitions, reportedly told the ambassador to the Vatican from the Philippines, Howard Dee, that all one needed to know about the third secret was in the Akita phenomenon (which met with partial Church approval). Yet, when it was released, the third secret had none of the apocalyptic verbiage; rather, it was an image -- albeit one of fallen priests and an angel ready to torch the earth.

As they say, it's a mystery wrapped in a conundrum.

In 1962 -- a year before the Neues Europa report, meanwhile-- Teresa Musco, an alleged stigmatic in Caserta, Italy, received a message from Mary that said:

"Because the people and the clergy have increased the gutter of filth... the Church is at a crossing point: it will either go towards its own destruction [this at a time when, unbeknownst to everyone, the clergy abuse crisis was fomenting], or it will find its path, which it should never have left... I want to tell you that the world is perverse. I appeared in Portugal where I left messages, but nobody listened. I appeared in Lourdes, in LaSalette, but only a few stone hearts melted. But I want to tell you so many things that sadden my heart... Now, I will speak to you about the third secret I have shared with Lucia at Fatima. I can tell you it has already been read, but nobody said a word about it."

According to Gabriel Roschini -- a well-known Mariologist -- the Virgin explained to Teresa that "humankind is heading toward a big disaster, at high speed. The population is becoming more and more lost.. Fire and smoke will wreath the whole world. The waves of the oceans will turn into fire and steam. Spumous waves will rise covering Europe and will transform everything into molten lava. Millions of adults and children will perish in this fire and the few who will survive will envy the dead because wherever they will look they will only see blood, death, and ruins, in the entire world."

We're not sure what to think about this. We always caution with mystics, including alleged stigmatics. But it is intriguing. The term "gutter of filth" reminds one strikingly of an unapproved portion of the LaSalette message.

The devil -- said part of the LaSalette secret (granted back in 1846) -- "will resort to all his evil tricks to introduce sinners into religious orders... The priests, by their wicked lives, by their irreverence and impiety in the celebration of the holy mysteries, by their love of money, honors, and pleasures, have become cesspools of impurity."

Gutters. Cesspools. Once more, similar verbiage. we have broached this topic before.

LaSalette -- the unapproved part of that message -- also saw fire, waves, and quakes: the world in turmoil.

And so, years later, fourteen years after its release, in June of 2000, we remain left with the final question (our question of the week): Did the editors at Neues Europa see the message to Teresa Musco; and did Sister Agnes of Akita read the Neues Europa message, or the messages to Musco -- or did they all somehow obtain the same thing independent of each other?

[resources: Fatima Is Forever]

[Note also: Michael Brown retreats: Philadelphia-New Jersey and Connecticut!]

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