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Santos, Lucia dos
Portugese shepherd girl, later a Carmelite nun, who claimed she saw visions of the Virgin Mary in 1917 at Fátima, Port., which subsequently became one of the most famous Marian shrines. The first of six visions came to her on May 13, 1917, while she was tending sheep with her two cousins, Francisco and Jacinta. In accordance with the Virgin's promise, the vision was repeated on the 13th of each month until October, except for August, when the children were at Valinhos pasture, near Aljustrel, where they saw the lady on August 19.
Lucia Dos Santos Entry in Encyclopedia Britannica
While the Vatican unveiled one of Catholicism's most tantalizing secrets -- the third secret of Fatima -- its chief theologian gently debunked the cult that has grown up around the secret, and said Catholics were not required to believe it.
(...) Five successive popes had kept Lucia's tale locked in a safe, feeding fevered speculation that this ''third secret of Fatima'' predicted the end of the world. The secret spawned a cult that held the mother of Jesus as both savior and prophet of doom -- one enhanced by the Vatican's surprise announcement last month that her apparition at Fatima had foretold the 1981 wounding of Pope John Paul II by a would-be assassin in St. Peter's Square.
Examining Fatima visions, The Florida Times-Union, June 30, 2000
Ending an enduring mystery, the Vatican disclosed today that the ''Third Secret of Fatima'' foretold the 1981 assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II. Since 1917--when three shepherd children said the Virgin Mary appeared above an olive tree in Fatima and told them three secrets--many have speculated about the third. The first was said to have foretold the end of World War I and the start of World War II, and the second, the rise and fall of Soviet communism. Some believed the third, unrevealed secret was a prophecy foretelling the end of the world. But a top Vatican cardinal said otherwise today when the pope visited Fatima to beatify two of the shepherd children. Cardinal Angelo Sodano said the ''interpretations'' of the children spoke of a ''bishop clothed in white'' who, while making his way amid the corpses of martyrs, ''falls to the ground, apparently dead, under a burst of gunfire.'' The description recalled the 1981 assassination attempt against John Paul, who was wounded when a Turkish gunmen opened fire in St. Peter's Square. The shooting came on May 13--the same date as the first of the reported Fatima visions in 1917. John Paul has credited the Virgin of Fatima with intervening and saving his life. Sodano quoted the pope as saying a ''motherly hand'' guided the bullet's path, enabling the ''dying pope'' to halt ''at the threshold of death.''
Vatican Discloses '3rd Secret Of Fatima', Washington Post, May 14, 2000
The Fatima Network (Pro) Official site
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