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Fatima, John Paul II and the Final Battle

Thursday, 07 April 2005 12:00 AM

In NewsMax Magazine's recent special report on John Paul II – "The Pope's Final Battle In These End Times" – we explore the Pope's unusual relationship with these supernatural events. [For more info

The Pope was long devoted to the Fatima cause. But his connection with the visions was bound by a remarkable coincidence.

May 13, 1981 — the day the Pope was shot by Turkish gunman Ali Agca in St. Peter's Square — was the same date that the Virgin Mary reportedly first appeared in 1917 to three Portuguese children: Lucia de Santos and her cousins, Jacinto and Francisco Marto.

The coincidence was not lost on the Pope, who chose May 13, 1982, exactly one year after he was nearly killed, to visit Fatima for a special pilgrimage.

The Pope's involvement with the Fatima visions is more curious when one understands that they are apocalyptic in their warnings.

In all, there were six appearances of the Virgin — or "apparitions" — at Fatima. Some were said to be marked by incredible visions.

On July 13 that same year, for example, the children were shown the consequences of sin when they were given a terrifying glimpse of hell.

A few months later, on October 13, in view of an estimated 70,000 people, the sun appeared to dance and give off a startling rainbow of colors before seeming to plunge toward the earth.

Eyewitness accounts by reporters substantiating the phenomenon were published in Portugal's largely anti-Catholic press and even the New York Times.

Throughout the apparitions, the need for repentance from sin, sacrifice and the daily recitation of the Rosary were emphasized.

The Pope's latter-day trip was to thank Mary for saving his life.

But that was not the only reason John Paul II went to Fatima. The Pope also traveled to reaffirm a pledge to implement the message first delivered there 65 years before. Mary, the children said, stressed how sin offended God and called people to attend to their spiritual lives.

The Virgin also warned of the evils that atheistic Russia would wreak upon the world. These claims, in fact, turned out to be prophetic.

Another mystery was that of the so-called Third Secret, which was to be read by whoever was Pope in 1960. In that year, Pope John XXIII read it and quickly sealed it again.

Asked in 1980 why it was not revealed, Pope John Paul II told an audience in Fulda, Germany, as reported in the October 1981 issue of the German magazine Stimme des Glaubins:

"Given the seriousness of the contents," the Pope said "my predecessors in the Petrine office diplomatically preferred to postpone publication so as not to encourage the world power of Communism to make certain moves."

The Pope continued: "Many wish to know simply from curiosity and a taste for the sensational, but they forget that knowledge also implies responsibility. They only seek the satisfaction of their curiosity, and that is dangerous if at the same time they are not disposed to do something, and if they are convinced that it is impossible to do anything against evil."

At this point the Pope grasped a Rosary and said: "Here is the remedy against this evil. Pray, pray, and ask for nothing more. Leave everything else to the Mother of God."

Eventually, the Pope ordered the secret revealed and on May 13, 2000, the Vatican released its text, which talked of the shooting of a Pope.

The Church said it interpreted the secret as already having happened. But some critics feel the secret deals with future calamity for the Pope, the church and the world.

In recent years, in a moment of candor, the Pope suggested that the world may be near some tipping point.

At a General Papal Audience at the Vatican on January 12, 2005, he seemed to recall the apocalyptic images of the three Fatima children when he spoke.

According to Italian Web site AGI online, he said Satan's time is short.

"Satan, the original adversary, who accused our brothers in the heavenly court, has now been cast down from heaven and therefore no longer has great power," John Paul II said. "He knows he has not much time left because history is about to see a radical turning point in freedom from evil and therefore he is reacting full of great fury."

He went on to proclaim "the resurrected Christ" in language that seems to echo the Pope's own attitude toward the suffering he had endured as he faced death.

"In Him are centered salvation, strength and the kingdom of our God," John Paul II said.

"In His victory are associated the Christian martyrs who chose the path of the cross, not yielding to evil and its virulence, but delivering themselves to the Father and uniting themselves to the death of Christ by means of a testimony of donation and courage which brought them to give up life in order to die."

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In NewsMax Magazine's recent special report on John Paul II - "The Pope's Final Battle In These End Times" - we explore the Pope's unusual relationship with these supernatural events. [For more info The Pope was long devoted to the Fatima cause. But his connection with...
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Thursday, 07 April 2005 12:00 AM
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