- Jan 25, 2020
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’s moving letter to a dying nine-year-old girl echoes St. John XXIII’s famous moonlight speech, and shows that, whatever else he has become as pope, he remains, at heart, a pastor, reaching out to one soul at a time.
Pessimism, a dark force in the spiritual life, often stems from refusing to accept a basic truth: Reality always beats out personal desires, and life is not always what we want. Seen that way, life becomes a mystery to be unraveled rather than a problem to be solved.
Mother Teresa’s holiness is the primary reason she’s being declared a saint on Sept. 4, but the canonization also has something to say on other levels — about what mercy looks like in practice, about how to defend the faith from its critics, and about the role of women in the Catholic Church.