March 27, 2020 (Steven O’Reilly) – Roma Locuta Est does not typically go into great length on matters related to apparitions. Here I have in mind particularly the apparitions at Fatima and the Third Secret of Fatima. I don’t do so because there are many writers out there far more learned and better versed than I on the question.
However, as I watched the Pope this afternoon, March 27, 2020, as he blessed the city of Rome and the world with the Blessed Sacrament, some of the images of this day brought to my mind the vision that forms part of the Third Secret.
Regarding this vision, Sister Lucia wrote:
The third part of the secret revealed at the Cova da Iria-Fatima, on 13 July 1917.
I write in obedience to you, my God, who command me to do so through his Excellency the Bishop of Leiria and through your Most Holy Mother and mine.
After the two parts which I have already explained, at the left of Our Lady and a little above, we saw an Angel with a flaming sword in his left hand; flashing, it gave out flames that looked as though they would set the world on fire; but they died out in contact with the splendour that Our Lady radiated towards him from her right hand: pointing to the earth with his right hand, the Angel cried out in a loud voice: ‘Penance, Penance, Penance!’. And we saw in an immense light that is God: ‘something similar to how people appear in a mirror when they pass in front of it’ a Bishop dressed in White ‘we had the impression that it was the Holy Father’. Other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious going up a steep mountain, at the top of which there was a big Cross of rough-hewn trunks as of a cork-tree with the bark; before reaching there the Holy Father passed through a big city half in ruins and half trembling with halting step, afflicted with pain and sorrow, he prayed for the souls of the corpses he met on his way; having reached the top of the mountain, on his knees at the foot of the big Cross he was killed by a group of soldiers who fired bullets and arrows at him, and in the same way there died one after another the other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious, and various lay people of different ranks and positions. Beneath the two arms of the Cross there were two Angels each with a crystal aspersorium in his hand, in which they gathered up the blood of the Martyrs and with it sprinkled the souls that were making their way to God.
Source: Message of Fatima
I am not offering an interpretation of the vision described by Lucia, nor am I a saying what I write below is the proper explanation of it. I mean only to describe the impression that struck me as I tuned in and watched Pope Francis at St. Peter’s today as he gave his Urbi et Orbi blessing.
Watching it live-streamed on YouTube, I observed the pope walking with a noticeable limp up the ‘elephant stairs’ in front of St. Peter’s. After pausing to listen to a gospel reading and to pray for end to the current crisis, Pope Francis continued on his way toward St. Peter’s where he then stood before a large crucifix (NB: for the miraculous history of this crucifix, see here). There, before the crucifix, he again paused to pray silently.
Seeing Pope Francis ascend the sloping ‘elephant stairs’ — which have the appearance of a hill or ‘mountain‘ (see here) — to the foot of the crucifix, brought to mind Lucia’s description of part of the vision, i.e., a bishop dressed in white walking with “halting steps” up a “mountain” where he prayed before a cross. Granted, there isn’t a one-to-one correspondence to the vision of the Third Secret. The stairs leading to St. Peter’s might appear to be a “hill” but are certainly not a true “mountain.” Also, the pope prayed before a crucifix and not a “cross” made of trunks of a “cork-tree” as described by Sister Lucia. Additionally, the Pope stood before the crucifix as he prayed while the pope of the vision was on his knees.
What’s more, and most obvious of all, there were not bodies along the way–as there were in the vision. Acknowledging all this, I again reiterate I mean only to give the impression that came to me. It seemed to me at the moment that the empty square before the Basilica, the deserted streets of Rome (and much of the West now), the many coronavirus deaths in Italy and around the world, the current horrendous state of the Church (e.g., continuous financial and sexual scandals, rampant sacrileges, heresy, apostasy, no public masses in many places, persecution of Chinese Catholics, etc.) might still arguably be said to correspond to what is presented in the vision symbolically. Certainly, the Church is in need of “penance, penance, penance.”
Again, for the naysayers, I am not necessarily saying we just witnessed a portion of the fulfillment of a symbolic vision. But…I must admit….the thought crossed my mind, as did the question: “what happens next?”
Steven O’Reilly is a graduate of the University of Dallas and the Georgia Institute of Technology. A former intelligence officer, he and his wife, Margaret, live near Atlanta with their family. He has written apologetic articles and is author of the recently published Book I of the Pia Fidelis trilogy, The Two Kingdoms. (Follow on twitter at @fidelispia for updates). He asks for your prayers for his intentions. He can be contacted at StevenOReilly@AOL.com (or follow on Twitter: @S_OReilly_USA)