The three young shepherds of Fatima

The Three Secrets of Fatima were a series of alleged prophecies divulged to three shepherd children by an apparition of the Virgin Mary in 1917: Lucia Santos, Jacinta Marto and Francisco Marto. The first secret was alleged to be a vision of Hell and the second concerned the end of the First World War, which would be followed by a further world war. The Third Secret is a vision showing a terrible persecution of Christians and the murder of a Pope. There was also advice concerning how to prevent these events namely that people must cease offending God, do penance and say The Rosary which is a series of meditations on the life of Jesus. Two of the three children died in the 1918 Spanish 'Flu Epidemic. The surviving visionary, Lucia Dos Santos, revealed all the secrets to the Catholic hierarchy in written memoirs. She became a Carmelite Nun and died at the Carmelite Convent in Coimbra, Portugal, on February 13, 2005, at the age of 97. Although it may seem that the question of whether the children's claims were accurate cannot be answered without making a specific theological, philosophical or parapsychological commitment, it is of note that the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II by Mehmet Ali Agca in 1981 occurred on May 13, the anniversary of the first apparition at Fatima.. The reign of a Polish Pope might have made some difference to Eastern European and perhaps also Middle Eastern politics.

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