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A Question Concerning
the Second Vatican Council



Source: Studies in Comparative Religion, Vol. 17, No. 1 & 2 (Winter-Spring, 1985). © World Wisdom, Inc.

There is a certain question with regard to Vatican II which, as far as we know, has not received the consideration that it deserves. There would clearly be no longer any point in examining the claims of that council’s organizers and champions that it took place entirely beneath the guidance of the Holy Spirit—claims that have been reiterated[1] ad nauseam for the last twenty years. On the one hand no evidence of the Truth of this claim has ever been forthcoming; and on the other hand the lamentable results of the Council are a powerful indication that the “Guidance” came from elsewhere. But this very fact must have prompted many to ask: “Why was it allowed to happen?”, or at least—“since evil there must be”—“Did the Holy Spirit do nothing to protect the Church? Were there no adequate signs or warning from Heaven before the disaster had taken place?” The answer to this question—or, more precisely, the answer that is offered here—begins over half a century ago.

Towards the end of the first world war, at Fatima in Portugal—it was between May and October, 1917—three shepherd children, two girls and a boy, had a series of visions of Our Lady the Blessed Virgin. She spoke only to the elder girl, Lucia, who was ten years old. The two other children, Francisco and Jacinta, nine and seven years old respectively, were brother and sister and they were Lucia’s cousins. All three could see our Lady, but only the girls could hear what she said, though she told them to let Francisco share all her messages, even those which were to be kept secret for a while from everyone else. What concerns us here is the most secret message of all. But meantime, for those who are unfamiliar with the story of Fatima, there are one or two facts which need to be told, and at the risk of seeming to digress we will dwell for a' moment on things which might appear to have no bearing on our initial question. Nor can we do otherwise, for the significance of what is immediately relevant here is altogether dependent on the significance of the whole.

As if by way of preparation, an Angel had appeared three times to the children in the previous year, and the third time he had given them the Blessed Sacrament. It was on May 13 of the following year that our Lady made her first appearance to them, when they were pasturing their sheep at some distance from the village where they lived. Such was her radiance that she seemed to them “brighter than the sun”, and she was more beautiful than any sight they had ever seen or imagined. She told them to come to that same place at the same hour on the thirteenth day of each of the next five months. Then she asked them if they were prepared to offer themselves to God and to bear, for the sake of others, all the sufferings that He would send them. Speaking for them all Lucia firmly assented, whereupon Our Lady told them that they would have much to suffer but that God’s grace would be their strength and opening her hands she poured over them a flood of light which penetrated them through and through.

On June 13 they were not alone at the foot of the little holm oak on which Our Lady had stood. The news had spread; for although they had agreed amongst themselves to keep it a secret, Jacinta—no doubt providentially—had been unable to resist telling her family, who had told others; and if most people did not yet believe in the miraculous event, there were already some who did. That day about 50 pilgrims had come to the holy place, and the next month they were increased to nearly 3000. On October 13th, for which our Lady had told Lucia to announce a great miracle, the numbers were estimated at 100,000—men, women and children from all parts of Portugal, “the land of Saint Mary”, and beyond. As at the previous trysts, our Lady appeared only to the three little seers. No one else could see or hear her, though they could feel the blessing of her presence and see, if near enough, the rapture of those who saw. But on this occasion, after she had left them, there took place, for everyone to see, what is now known as “the Miracle of the Sun” or “the Dance of the Sun”. Many detailed descriptions of this phenomenon of great beauty and. holiness have been recorded by eyewitnesses.[2] During the miracle the Blessed Virgin appeared again to the seers, this time in the dress of Our Lady of the Rosary; then they saw the Holy Child, carried by St. Joseph who traced the Sign of the Cross over the entire gathering. That vision gave way to one of Jesus Christ in the fullness of manhood, and he likewise blessed the multitude; then they saw Our Lady of Dolours, and lastly Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

Already at the Apparition in June, Our Lady had told Lucia that she would soon take Jacinta and Francisco to Heaven, but that Lucia herself had first a mission to perform on earth, then she would follow them. Meantime she would not be left helpless and alone, for Our Lady promised never to forsake her. It was as she had said: Francisco died not quite two years after the first Apparition; his sister survived him by less than a year; Lucia is still alive, a nun in the Carmelite convent at Coimbra.

More than one inspiring account has been written of the illnesses and deaths of the two younger children.[3] When Our Lady had announced their imminent departure from this world she had again opened her hands and poured light upon the three seers from the great light which surrounded her. Lucia was in that part of the light which spread over the earth, whereas the other two were in the splendor which rose to Heaven. From that time Francisco and Jacinta appeared to live only for the life to come. As to what was left of this life, it was woven, for them, of sacrifice and prayer. To read of their last months is to be conscious of a spiritual magnitude which is all the more irresistible for being in childlike mode. Retaining all the reflexes natural to their years, they displayed qualities which, while being plainly rooted in childhood, opened out onto a maturity which transcends the difference between youth and age.

On occasion they showed themselves, Lucia also, to be possessed of a remarkable heroism. In Portugal, at the time of the Apparitions, there was a powerful anti-religious movement which, politically, had gained for the moment the upper hand. The secular authorities did all they could to suppress any public manifestations of belief in the visions;[4] and one day, in an attempt to throw discredit on the whole miracle, the Mayor of Ourem kidnapped the three seers and threatened to have them boiled in oil if they would not tell him the secret which Our Lady had forbidden them to divulge. Everything was done to convince them that this was no idle threat; and they were finally taken one by one, Jacinta first, to endure, as they thought, the martyrdom of a horrible death. For each one separately, there was a final “last chance” interrogation, but not one of them yielded; and the Mayor had to admit defeat and set them free.

Normally, when heroism was not required of them, this capacity was present as a fortitude that accompanied the other elements of which their souls seemed to be made—serenity, patience, humility, trust and magnanimity, to which must be added truth, of a scope to include not only veracity but also an implacable sense of values. These virtues were crowned by a faith which had flowered into certitude, a hope which seemed already to enjoy something of the blissful possession of its object, and a whole-hearted love for the Divine, which was totally free from any reserve.

Francisco was buried in the little cemetery at Fatima. But Jacinta was not destined to end her days at home: the doctors insisted on transferring her to a hospital in Lisbon, where she died after an operation. Her body was placed in the Church of the Holy Angels where for three days it was visited by the faithful and continued to give the impression of sleep rather than death. Many bore witness to the wonderful scent which filled the room above the sacristy where it was laid. When the coffin had been sealed, it was taken to a vault in Villa Nova de Ourem. She had said however that after her death she would return to Fatima.

It was only in 1930 that the Church’s long reserve of judgment came to a conclusion. The visions were formally declared to be worthy of belief and the cult of Our Lady of Fatima was officially allowed. Five years later the Bishop of Leiria decided that the body of Jacinta should be moved to Fatima and buried there beside her brother in a new tomb which had been built for them both. For some reason, before the coffin was moved to its final destination, it was opened; and it was then seen that death had had no power to corrupt the body of Jacinta, whose face was still as it had been when she was lying in state in the Church of the Holy Angels.

Throughout the six months of the Apparitions, the messages which Lucia was told to make public, at that time or later, were largely concerned with the need to propagate devotion to the Rosary and devotion to our Lady’s Immaculate Heart. They were also largely concerned with the general need for mankind to change the direction in which it was now moving. Failure to make that change would bring down the most terrible punishments; and for a beginning, although the present war would soon end, a worse war would follow it. As an unmistakeable sign of its imminence when the time was not far off, the night sky would be lit by a great light which would have no apparent cause and which would last long enough for millions of people to take note of it. The light duly appeared an hour or two before midnight on January 24th 1938, and it was seen all over Europe causing a considerable albeit soon forgotten sensation.

The most secret of the messages was eventually written down by Lucia and placed in an envelope which she then sealed, with instructions that it must not be opened until 1960. It was kept for many years in the palace of the Bishop of Leiria. Then it was transferred to the Vatican, where it has remained ever since in the pontifical apartments.

The years passed, and in 1957, under the auspices of Pope Pius XII, the process of beatification of Francisco and Jacinta was instituted. This meant that a prominent member of the commission concerned with the process had to make an official visit to Sister Lucia to interrogate her about the last days of her two fellow seers; and amongst what was published later, apart from what concerned the immediate purpose of the interview, there were certain general remarks made by Sister Lucia of which we may quote the following: “Three time Our Lady has told me that we are approaching the latter days…The Lord will punish the world very soon…Many nations will vanish from the face of the earth.”

The Pope died in the following year. Two years later his successor, in the presence of Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci, duly opened the envelope which contained the secret. He may have shown it to them, and perhaps to others also; but instead of giving its message to the world, as had been expected, he made no public comment, nor has the Vatican ever broken this silence. But in October 1963 an article headed “The Future of Mankind” was published in Stuttgart[5] purporting to give the gist of the message of Fatima. There was nothing to guarantee that the contents of the article were in fact a summary of the contents of the long-sealed envelope; yet although the publication was brought to the notice of the Vatican, whose custom it is to deny false rumors immediately, no official comment whatsoever was forthcoming. In Portugal itself the Archbishop of Oviedo was reported by the press as having said that he presumed the Portuguese episcopacy would make an official pronouncement on the subject; but nothing of the kind ever took place; and rightly or wrongly, this total silence on the part of all the church authorities, both the greater and the lesser, was interpreted by priest and layman as a confirmation of the authenticity of the text in question. It was translated into Portuguese and also into Spanish, and was published throughout the Iberian Peninsula and elsewhere. The essence of it lies in what are almost its opening words: “A punishment will befall the entire human race. This will not be today nor yet tomorrow, but in the second half of the twentieth century.” We must add also the following quotation which would explain, if the document is indeed the long awaited Fatima message, why the Vatican should have been unwilling to make it public: “The human race has sinned and trampled beneath its feet the gift that was bestowed upon it. Nowhere does order reign. Satan has reached the very highest places and decides the march of events. He will succeed in insinuating himself into the Church and in reaching its highest summit.”

From the modernist standpoint, what could have been less opportune? Roncalli had recalled Montini from Milan to the Vatican and made him a cardinal. Together they and others were planning the Council,[6] which was to reform the Church most drastically in what Montini later described as “the intention of making Christianity acceptable and lovable, indulgent and open, free from mediaeval rigorism and from taking a pessimistic view of man and his customs,”[7] and now, just at  this moment of would-be euphoria, the Pope was called upon to make public, in the name of Our Lady, a message altogether in line with “mediaeval rigorism”. In a word, he was being asked by Heaven to discredit the Council in advance, by warning the faithful to be on their guard against Satanic initiatives and maneuvers, a warning which would inevitably have the effect of prejudicing them and making them suspicious of all new departures in pastoral directives. The purpose of the Council was to open the door to change; and Roncalli well knew that the Church was millennially prone to dismiss all innovations as the work of the devil. His predecessor, Pius X, had said: “One must condemn anything that seems animated by the unhealthy spirit of novelty; anything…that suggests new orientations for the Christian life; anything that suggests new directions for the Church to follow or new hopes and aspirations that are more suitable to the souls of modern day Catholics.”[8]

But if the new Pope chose to remain silent about the contents of the envelope, it must be remembered that there were still at that time some highly placed Vatican officials who were of one mind with Pope Pius XII, in particular Cardinal Ottaviani; and by 1963, with the election of Montini as Paul VI, the dangers of modernism were clearer than they had been in 1960. It was therefore all the more imperative that the message of Our Lady should no longer be withheld—whence no doubt the decision, by a traditionalist with access to the document, that since he could not disclose it officially, he would find some unofficial means of bringing at least the gist of it to the attention of the public.

It was scarcely to be expected, however, that Heaven would rest content with such a clandestine transmission of a mere summary of its message. Nor in fact do we need to dwell on that text, despite the near certainty of its genuineness; for as soon as it became clear that the Church did not intend to reveal the secret of Fatima, over two years before the Stuttgart publication, another message was already on its way to mankind.

On the North coast of Spain, all along the southern shores of the Bay of Biscay, the land rises up steeply from the sea; and less than fifty miles inland, South West of the coastal town of Santander, there is a small mountain village named San Sebastian de Garabandal, relatively untouched by the modern world, a cluster of houses together with a church and a school, some seventy homes in all. It was on a Sunday afternoon, not far from Midsummer’s Day, in the June of 1961. Three twelve year old girls and a fourth girl of eleven had decided to steal a few apples from the schoolmaster’s tree. This they did, but when they had eaten their fill, their consciences began to trouble them. Only the other day the parish priest had told them that whenever they did anything wrong the devil rejoiced but their guardian Angels were sadly grieved. They were now outside the village in a sunken lane which led up to a group of pines. It was strewn with stones of all shapes and sizes, many of them rough and sharp. Conchita, the leader of the escapade, proposed that they should throw some of these at the devil as a punishment for having tempted them, and the others at once agreed. Each one of them was sincerely distressed by thoughts of the sorrow of the Angels in Heaven; and having decided that the devil was situated at a certain spot to their left, they set about stoning him with all their strength. This vigorous and wholehearted rite of repentance brought relief to their troubled consciences; and when they felt they had thrown enough stones, they gathered some of the smaller rounded pebbles and sat down to play at marbles.

All of a sudden three of the girls, Mary Loly, Jacinta and Maria Cruz, were conscious that their leader was no longer with them in the game. The color had ebbed from Conchita’s cheeks, and she was staring straight in front of her with a rapt expression on her face. They thought she must be ill, and Mary Loly jumped to her feet to run for help, but Conchita made a gesture of pointing with her clasped hands, and said: “Look!” They all turned from her to see what she was looking at, and when they saw they too were rapt. There, in front of them, was an Angel, surrounded by a light which for all its brightness did not dazzle them. He had wings such as they had seen in icons of the Annunciation, and he was near enough for them to notice that the blue robe he was wearing had no seams in it. Although he looked only about nine years old, a boy of amazing beauty, he gave the impression of great strength. Then he vanished.

Overwhelmed with awe, the girls ran back to the village. On the way they were stopped by another girl who was struck by the pallor of their faces and asked them what was the matter. They said they had seen an Angel, and the girl repeated this to many others. The first thought of the visionaries was to go to the church, but once there they were afraid to enter it. In tears they went round to the back of the building, and there they sat and sobbed. It was not long before they were noticed by some smaller children who asked them why they were weeping. Again they said it was because they had seen an Angel, whereupon the children ran to tell the schoolmistress. It was not long before the four girls summoned up courage enough to enter the church, and they were still there when the schoolmistress arrived. Their answers to her questions convinced her that they were speaking the truth, and before they left for their different homes she led them in a Rosary of thanksgiving.

By next morning there was scarcely a soul in the village who had not heard the news. Soon after midday the parish priest arrived from Cosio and questioned the girls one by one. He too was inclined to believe them, and he told Conchita that if they saw the Angel again, they should ask him who he was and why he had come. As to the villagers, a few believed at once, but others were frankly skeptical, while the majority preferred to wait and see. The next evening the girls went again to the sunken lane, and kneeling at the place where they had seen the Angel they recited the Rosary. But this time they saw nothing, and at nightfall they returned to the village amid the jeers of some who had followed them. Before going to bed however all four girls, each in her respective home, heard a voice say: “Do not be troubled; you will see me again.”

The next evening they went once again to their place of vision. This time they were alone. Again the Angel did not appear, but as they made their way back to the village the light which had surrounded him suddenly blocked their path. It soon faded, but something of its glow remained in their souls. The next day they had the idea that they should invite an older person to accompany them to their tryst in the sunken lane, and others joined them on the way, so that several adults were present to take part in the Rosary. After the second decade the four girls suddenly became rapt. Their faces, pale and luminous, seemed to reflect a light; and they were all gazing slightly upwards at something well above the level of the lane where they were kneeling. For the second time the Angel had come. He stood in the air, as if supported by his surrounding light. “Who are you?” said one of the girls. “Why have you come?” But he did not answer. The men and women could see nothing of him or of his light, but they could plainly see the girls’ reactions and that was enough to convince them all that these children had truly been blessed with a vision.

The news now spread to the surrounding hamlets, and every afternoon visitors climbed up the steep path to Garabandal to witness—as they hoped—the sight of the girls in ecstasy and to feel, if only at second hand, something of their intense happiness which was too radiant not to communicate itself to others. But some days there was no vision, and the visitors returned in disappointment.

On Saturday July 1st there was a larger gathering than ever before. Some of those present had come from more distant parts of Spain, and there were a number of priests as well as doctors and journalists. On this occasion the vision lasted for two hours, and for the first time the Angel spoke. He told them that he was Michael, and it was conveyed to their understanding that he was St. Michael the Archangel. He also said that the next day the Blessed Virgin would come to them, and that he would be with her.

The following afternoon—it was Sunday—crowds of visitors walked up to Garabandal, and at about six o'clock the girls set off for the lane, followed by a multitude. A rough square enclosure had been made at the place of the Archangel’s first appearance to separate and protect the visionaries from the dense throngs of well meaning albeit often inconsiderate spectators. But before they had reached this point they were suddenly in the presence of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, for so it was that she appeared to them. They said afterwards that she seemed to be about seventeen years old and that she was clad in a white robe with a blue mantle. On her head was a golden crown which they described as “a crown of stars”. They had never seen such beauty of face or heard such beauty of voice. St. Michael stood on one side of her, and on the other side was a similar celestial being who might have been his twin brother.

Only Conchita and her three friends could see the vision, and they alone could hear what Our Lady said. From that day, July 2nd 1961, she made herself present to the four girls in a series of Apparitions which continued over a period of more than four years, frequent at first, but less so from January 1963. Her final appearance, which she said would be the last, was to Conchita alone on November 13th, 1965.

It was impossible for those who witnessed the visitations—especially for those who did so regularly—not to believe that here was a Divine intervention. The girls always knew when and where a vision was to take place, wherever they might be. Each received three inner calls, and at the third call they would all run simultaneously, sometimes from opposite directions, to the same place. As soon as Our Lady appeared, they would be as it were withdrawn from the earthly plane, aware of each other, but totally unaware of the onlookers, who were unable to cause them physical sensations. People even stuck pins into them to see if they would react, which they did not, and lights were flashed close to their eyes, which never even blinked, though as soon as the vision had gone they would complain of the brightness of the photographers’ lights with which they were beset on all sides. Another significant fact was the great weight which their bodies would acquire: it took two strong men to lift one of them when she was contemplating Our Lady or St. Michael, but at such times the visionaries could lift each other with far greater ease than normally. The astonished spectators would see one of them lift another high into the air as if she were a doll so that she could hand the Blessed Virgin a rosary to kiss or some other object to bless. Sometimes St. Michael appeared alone, as at first, and Our Lady sometimes appeared with him and his brother, sometimes alone, and sometimes carrying the child Jesus in her arms. Once or twice she gave him to the girls to hold, and they were seen to make all the gestures of cradling a babe in arms. They said that he had no weight, nor could they feel the touch if him, but he none the less occupied a space in the sense that when their hands reached him they could go no further.

The full story of these miraculous events has been chronicled elsewhere,[9] nor would it be relevant to recount it here in any further detail. What concerns us is what Our Lady said to the children and in particular to Conchita. Nor must we forget that the messages of Garabandal coincided exactly with the preparations for the Second Vatican Council and with the actual Council itself.

“The Cup[10] was already filling; it is now full to overflowing. Many cardinals, many bishops and many priests are on the road to perdition, and with them they are taking many more souls.”[11] This is part of one of the final messages of Garabandal. The children had already been shown the terrible punishment[12] which threatens mankind as a result of the present trend of humanity. It is instructive to consider, against the background of these messages, the precipitate eagerness of the Council to pander to this trend, an eagerness personified by Paul VI, and overflowing from his words: “We moderns, men of our own day, wish everything to be new. Our old people, the Traditionalists the Conservatives, measured the value of things according to their enduring quality. We instead, are actualists, we want everything to be new all the time, to be expressed in a continually improvised and dynamically unusual form.”[13] The same speaker defined his “Post-conciliar Church” by saying that it “seeks to adapt itself to the languages, to the customs and to the inclinations of the men of our times, men completely engrossed in the rapidity of material evolution.”[14] He also said: “From the start the Council has propagated a wave of serenity and optimism, a Christianity that is exciting and positive, loving life, mankind and earthly values.”[15]

There was yet another very clear indication of the attitude of Heaven towards Vatican II. To this particular sign, altogether striking enough in itself, even further attention was unwittingly and most ironically drawn by John-Paul II in one of his attempts to demonstrate that the Divine Blessing had been on the Council. He describes Montini as “the Pope of that deep change which was nothing but a revelation of the face of the Church, awaited by the man and the world of today”. He also said: “John XXIII and after him, Paul VI, received from the Holy Spirit the charisma of transformation”; and he would have us take Montini’s death on the feast of the Transfiguration as a proof of God’s presence and activity at another remarkable change, namely the “transformation” of the Church subsequent to Vatican II: “The Lord, having called Pope Paul to Himself on the solemnity of this feast of the Transfiguration, permitted him and us to know that in the whole work of transformation, of renewal of the Church in the Spirit of Vatican II, He is present as He was in the marvelous event which took place on Mount Tabor”.[16] The mystery of the Transfiguration on the one hand; the trivialization of the sacraments and the liturgy on the other. It would be difficult to find a more incongruous parallel.

The effrontery of likening the changes made by Montini to the event on Mount Tabor is all the greater because there was in fact, at his death, a manifest alert to the contrary, an occurrence which was the exact opposite of the Transfiguration, as if the Feast has wished to disown the person whose death had coincided with it, and as if Providence had wished to make manifest Its condemnation of the man and his works. It must not be forgotten that ever since the Council of Trent anathemas have been regularly invoked upon anyone who should alter the Tridentine Mass; and to what Paul VI earned from the past, there must be added the terrible curse which he called down upon his own head when he took the papal oath before his enthronement, swearing on pain of damnation to make no changes and to allow none to be made in the traditions of the Church, but to safeguard what he had received. At death, to the great embarrassment of those who had to organize the lying-in-state, the body of this heavily laden soul began to decompose with an altogether abnormal rapidity. No amount of incense seemed to be enough; and the stench of the corpse was matched by its appearance.[17] Considering the nature of the occasion, it is impossible to maintain that this was not a sign from Heaven.


[1] On November 24th, 1985, at the opening of the Synod in Rome, John-Paul II gave yet another indication of his total support of Vatican II: “At this significant moment for the life of the Church”, he said, “the Church is called to re-experience that moment of grace, the Second Vatican Council. She is called to rediscover the riches of truth contained in its documents, to mediate anew on the pastoral guidance brought to maturity then under the direction of the Spirit.”

[2] See, for example, John de Marchi, Fatima from the Beginning, pp. 135-142.

[3] Ibid, pp. 169-203; see also Fatima in Lucia’s Own Words, passim.

[4] The following extracts from a 1917 Lisbon pamphlet help to give some idea of the outlook in question: “Citizens! As if the pernicious propaganda of reactionaries were not enough, we now see a miracle trotted out in order further to degrade the people into fanaticism and superstition. There has been staged…an indecorous comedy in Fatima at which thousands of people have assisted, a ridiculous spectacle in which the simple people have been ingeniously deceived by means of collective suggestion.… This, citizens, is a miserable and retrograde attempt to plunge the Portuguese people once more into the dense darkness of past times which have departed never to return. The Republic and those citizens who are charged with the noble and thankless task of guiding it in the glorious paths of Civilization and Progress cannot consent to the degradation of the people into fanaticism and credulity, for this would be an unpardonable failing in their primal duty, not only towards their country but to Humanity as a whole. It is therefore our duty to demand from the public authorities the most energetic and immediate precautions against this shameless plan by which reaction seeks to plunge the people once more into medievalism. Citizens! Long Live the Republic! Down with reaction! Long Live Liberty!” (For the full text of this pamphlet see De Marchi, pp. 245-6.)

[5] Neu-Europa, 15. X. 63.

[6] See, in this connection, Rama Coomaraswamy, The Destruction of the Christian Tradition (first edition), pp. 88-91.

[7] Doc. Cath. No. 1538.

[8] Pieni l’Animo.

[9] F. Sanchez-Ventura y Pascual, The apparitions of Garabandal (Detroit: San Miguel Publishing, 1966).

[10] It was already clear from previous messages that “the Cup” meant the Cup of Divine Anger.

[11] See in connection with this particular message, Fr. Joseph A. Pelletier, God Speaks at Garabandal (Worcester, Mass.: Assumption Publications) p. 44.

[12] Unlike the messages of Fatima, those of Garabandal included the prophecy of a warning and a miracle which would precede the punishment. The warning, so it was said, would bring many people of all religions to a consciousness of guilt, and many unbelievers would believe. The visionaries were told what it would be, but not when. As to the miracle, it would only be witnessed in the region of Garabandal; but Conchita was ordered to announce it eight days in advance, so that all who wished to see it might have time to assemble. It would be more overwhelming than the miracle of Fatima and would be accompanied by many lesser miracles—miraculous cures of the sick—and by many conversions. When it had been fulfilled, a sign of it would be left at the cluster of pines outside the village, and that sign would remain until the end of the world.

[13] See Rama Coomaraswamy, Ibid, p. 92.

[14]  Ibid, p. 132.

[15] Doc. Cath. No. 1538.

[16]  See Rama Coomaraswamy, ibid., p. 102.

[17] For an account by an eye witness, see Peter Hebblewaite, The Year of the Three Popes, p. 6.

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