The manuscript of the Third Secret of Fátima, which was published by John Paul II and Joseph Ratzinger in June 2000 is apparently a “genuine document” and was written by Sister Lucia de Jesus dos Santos, the eldest of the three shepherd children visited by a series of Marian apparitions who died in February 2005.
according to Professor Maria José Azevedo Santos, a paleographer who
lectures in the Literature faculty of Coimbra University.
carried out a study on the seer’s manuscript which describes the scene
of the “bishop dressed in white” who suffered martyrdom atop a mountain,
along with many other Christians.
John Paul II saw a connection between
the Third Secret of Fátima and his assassination attempt on 13 May
Upon completion of her study, Professor Santos
gave an interview to the official newspaper of the Portuguese Marian
sanctuary Voz da Fátima, which was published on 13 January.
agency of the Catholic Church in Portugal released a preview of the interview.
“The Church is certain that the document
is original,” Professor Santos stated. “It is a genuine, true document,
written by Sister Lucia.”
Last September Professor Santos had the chance
to carry out research at the Archive of the Congregation for the
Doctrine of the Faith. She says that the absence of Sister Santos’
signature does not “invalidate the authenticity of the document” as it
is possible to compare the text of the Third Secret with other
manuscripts by Sister Lucia.
There is therefore scientific evidence that
she is the author of the text.
Controversies over the authenticity of the text
which came to light in 2000 aside, the document’s most serious critics
do not really doubt that the text was written by Sister Lucia but claim
that there are clues which suggest there is a section from the text that
According to the critics’ reconstruction – which the
Vatican has repeatedly rejected – a part from the sheet of paper
containing the description of the vision, there should be another one
with the words which the Virgin Mary apparently addressed to the three
This would help explain the meaning of the apparition
In June 2000, when the then cardinal Ratzinger
spoke to journalists about the Third Secret, he said there was no
“official explanation” for the apparition, even though John Paul II
recognised himself as the “ bishop dressed in white” who was killed.
When the Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith,
Tarcisio Bertone, acting on behalf of the Pope asked Sister Lucia to
comment on this, she confirmed this interpretation.
When Benedict XVI visited Portugal in 2010 he was
more cautious when commenting on the subject, leaving open the
possibility of the prophesy not yet being complete.
Prophesy here is
meant in the Biblical sense of the word and not in futuristic film