- Inés San Martín
- Dec 17, 2017
Speaking in Fatima, Portugal, where the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared 100 years ago and offered secrets and revelations to three shepherd children, two of whom were declared saints on Saturday, Pope Francis warned a half-million people not to lead a life that profanes God, because doing so puts one on the path to Hell.
Talking to Crux and Argentine newspaper La Nación ahead of Pope Francis’s Mass in Fatima, Portugal, Cardinal Pietro Parolin said that “a lot of good will” is needed for the country to come out of the crisis, beginning with the government.
The “third secret of Fatima” refers to a message during the apparitions predicting suffering and persecution of the Pope and the Church. Unlike the first two secrets – a vision of hell and a prediction of World War II – the third secret was not initially revealed by Sister Lucia, one of the three children Mary visited in 1917.
Pope Francis first met a four-generation family of Muslim refugees from Palestine in 2016 in the Vatican. Today they’re living in a community in Portugal located just two miles away from Fatima, and now the pontiff is spending some time with them again.
On his first day in Fatima, Pope Francis said that God’s mercy always has to be put before judgement, and that insisting on the punishing of sins without first speaking about them being forgiven by his mercy, is doing a “great injustice” to God’s grace. Francis’s words came as he addressed a crowd participating in a prayer service on the eve of the 100th anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima to three young, illiterate shepherds.
While the Fatima shrine in Portugal is primarily about the Blessed Virgin Mary and her appearances to three shepherd children, it also has a history with papal assassination attempts, including two attacks on St. John Paul II in 1981 and 1982.