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Is There Proof the Third Secret
Was to Be Released in 1960?

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I have a question: What year did Our Lady request that the third secret be made public? I have a booklet of Our Lady of Fatima from 1946 and there is no mention of this. Please respond. I have people telling me the apparition is a hoax.

     A. F.

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Dr. Horvat responds:

Dear A.F.,

I was a youth in 1960, but I clearly remember waiting with anticipation in 1960 for the Fatima secret to be revealed. Interest in Fatima was very strong then, the devotion was flourishing, and my parents – like so many others – were anxiously waiting for the Pope to open the sealed letter and reveal to the world the message, according to the express desire of Our Lady related by Sister Lucia.

Were we all being fooled? Certainly not. High authorities in the Church confirmed repeatedly that the message was to be revealed in 1960.

Bishop Jose Correia da Silva

Bishop José Correia da Silva
with the sealed 3rd Secret in 1948
Let me first give a little background, to be followed with testimonies taken from volume 3 of the collection The Whole Truth about Fatima: The Third Secret by Frere Michel de la Sainte Trinite. The author addresses the question whether Our Lady really requested that the secret be revealed in 1960 in Chapter IX (pp. 466-502). He demonstrates that she did so, meticulously documenting his work and providing secure sources for each quote. Most of the quotes below are from the work La Verdad sobre el Secreto de Fatima written by the Church-appointed historian of Fatima, Fr. Joaquin Alonso, who had access to special archives.

In 1943 Bishop José Correia da Silva authorized Sister Lucia to write down the Third Secret during her bout with pleurisy, which threatened her life. On June 17, 1944, this document was officially placed in his hands. When Sister Lucia gave the letter to Bishop da Silva, she told him that he could read it and make it known, but he refused. Instead, he ordered the sealed document to be kept in the safe of the Episcopal curia. A picture of him with the sealed Secret was photographed by M. Pazen, a reporter from Life magazine, which published it in its January 3, 1949 issue.

In face of the refusal of the Bishop da Silva to open the Secret, we have the decisive testimony of Canon Galamba, close friend and adviser of the Bishop:
“When the Bishop refused to open the letter, Lucia made him promise that it would definitely be opened and read to the world either at her death or in 1960, whichever would come first.”
Bishop da Silva of Leiria remained caretaker of the Secret until March 1957, when it was sent to Rome, at the disposition of Pope Pius XII.


In early February of 1946, Fr. Jongen interrogated Sister Lucy and asked her when the time would arrive for the third part of the Secret to be made known. She answered: “I communicated the third part in a letter to the Bishop of Leiria. But it should not be made known before 1960.”

On September 7, 1946, Cardinal Cerejeira affirmed at the closing of the Marian Congress in Brazil that the third part of the Secret had been written and placed in a sealed envelope “and will be opened in 1960.”

On May 17, 1955, Cardinal Ottaviani, pro-prefect of the Holy Office, asked Sister Lucia about the third Secret. Later, in a conference of 1967, he stated: “The message was not to be opened before 1960. I asked Sister Lucy, ‘Why this date?’ She answered, ‘Because then it will seem clearer’” (Doc. Cath. March 19, 1967, col. 542).

Similar statements affirming that the message should be opened in 1960 were made by Cardinal Tisserant (October 13, 1956), Cardinal Piazza, Fr. Shveigl, Bishop Venancio and Canon Barthos. Fr. Alonso adds:
“Other Bishops also spoke – and with authority – about the year 1960 as the date indicated for opening the famous letter. Thus, when the then titular Bishop of Tiava and Auxiliary Bishop of Lisbon asked Lucia when the Secret was to be opened, he always received the same answer: in 1960” (in La verdad sobre el Secreto de Fatima, p. 46).
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Our Lady wanted the Third Secret revealed in 1960
We also have the very moving testimony of Sister Lucia herself in an interview with Fr. Fuentes on December 26, 1956 (which you can read here). She lamented that the ecclesiastical authorities had refused to read the sealed document. Then she said:

“Father, how much time is there before 1960 arrives? It will be very sad for everyone ... I am not able to give any other details because it is still a secret. According to the will of the Most Holy Virgin, only the Holy Father and the Bishop of Fatima are permitted to know the secret, but they have chosen to not know it so that they would not be influenced. Thus the third part of the message of Our Lady will remain secret until 1960.”

These testimonies confirm Our Lady’s desire that the final Secret be divulged in 1944 at the earliest, and in 1960 at the latest, for at that date it would become perfectly clear.

The mysterious silence

Mysteriously, it was not revealed. In 1960 Pope John XXIII gave the incomprehensible message in direct contradiction to the command of Mother of God: “Questo non è per i nostri tempi.” [“This matter is not for our times.”]

The memoires of Cardinal Oddi record a conversation he had with this Pope asking him why he did not release the Secret. You can read John XXIII's response here.

In another work, Cardinal Oddi affirms the secret involved Vatican Council II.

Certainly, if it had been released, many persons – clergy and lay – would have been more vigilant about what was happening at this council.

I hope this is of some help. Often, however, I find that solid facts do not convince persons who do not want to believe the truth.


     Marian T. Horvat

Blason de Charlemagne
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Posted May 11, 2009

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