Pope John Paul II was impacted by the 1917 Fatima prophecies. The most famous vision is said to have occurred on May 13, 1917. There it was reported that three children, Lucia dos Santos (ten years old at the time) and her cousins Jacinta and Francisco de Jesus Marto (seven and nine), in a field near Fatima, Portugal, saw “a beautiful lady from Heaven,” while others saw what appeared to them to be “flying-saucerlike phenomena.” The Lady requested that the children return to the same place each month, at the same hour, and the same date for six consecutive months. In October, the Lady would make her identity known.

A three-part prophecy was also reportedly left behind by the Fatima apparition. The first apparition referred to the First World War that was still raging in Europe. A prediction was made that the war would end, but that another war would break out soon after, a reference to World War II. A third prophecy was given, but it remained a secret for quite some time.

The third part of the alleged prophecy had geopolitical impact because of the interest of Pope John Paul II. He literally came face-to-face with Fatima on May 13, 1981. In St Peter’s Square, in the presence of 75,000 onlookers and before an audience of an estimated eleven million television viewers, Pope John Paul II saw a little girl wearing a small picture of Mary of Fatima. Just as he bent over to recognize the girl, two shots rang out. A hired assassin, Mehmet Ali Agca, squeezed off two shots at the place where the Pope’s head had been just before he bent over to view the girl. Two more shots were fired and the Pope was hit.

His physical gesture to the young girl with the picture of “Our Lady of Fatima” saved the Pope’s life. If he had remained erect, “his skull would have been shattered by the first bullets out of Ali Agca’s gun.”[1] That, coupled with the date, May 13th, the same date as the first apparition at Fatima in 1917, convinced the Pope that his life was somehow linked with the third Fatima prophecy.

These seemingly coincidental series of events forced the Pope to reexamine the events that had taken place at Fatima in 1917. “Once elected Pope in 1978, John Paul had become privy to the papal instructions and predictions Mary had entrusted in confidence to the children at Fatima. That part of her message dealt with matters of tribulation for the Roman Catholic institutional organization, and with the troubled future of mankind in general.”[2] Previous popes, in particular John XXIII, Paul VI, and John Paul I (he lived only thirty-four days as Pope), had access to the prophecy but determined that it was for a future time, and thus, for a future Pope. John Paul II, after his encounter with the little girl and the bullet of an assassin, seized the moment and “came face-to-face with the realization that, far from pointing to some distant future time, the contents of the now famous Fatima message—and, specifically, the secret contents directed to papal attention—amounted to a geopolitical agenda attached to an immediate timetable.”[3]

Previous to these seemingly chance encounters, Central Europe was the focus of the Pope’s attention to bring about lasting geopolitical change for both East and West. The Fatima prophecy shifted the Pope’s attention to Russia!

“Fatima became for John Paul something like the famed Heavenly mandate and guarantee of success proffered to Constantine on the eve of his battle at the Milvian Bridge. Suddenly, Constantine had seen the Sign of the Cross appear in the sky, accompanied by the Latin words In hoc signo vinces. ‘In this sign you will conquer.’ Improbable as it was, Constantine took that sign as anything but unrealistic or unworldly. He took it as a guarantee. With miraculous confidence, he not only conquered at the Milvian Bridge but proceeded to conquer his entire world, transforming it into what became the new civilization of Christianity.”[4]

While Pope John II did not see himself as a sword-toting pontiff, he did believe he had a heavenly mandate that is every bit as clear. “Clearly, the new agenda—Heaven’s agenda; the Grand Design of God for the new world order—had begun. And Pope John Paul would stride now in the arena of the millennium endgame as something more than a geopolitical giant of his age. He was, and remains, the serene and confident Servant of the Grand Design.”[5]

What were the contents of the third prophecy? First, physical chastisement for the nations, involving catastrophes, man-made or natural, on land, on water, and in the atmosphere. Second, a spiritual chastisement—especially for Roman Catholics—that would consist of the disappearance of religious belief. Third, the chastisements could be averted if (1) the “Third Secret” was published by the residing Pope in 1960 (John XXIII) for the whole world to see and read, and (2) that the then Pope, with all the Bishops, should consecrate Russia to Mary. “Russia, according to the text of the ‘Third Secret,’ was the regulator of the timetable.”[6]

If these instructions were not followed, then Communism would continue to spread its error throughout the world and millions would die. The “true faith,” presumably the Roman Catholic faith, would diminish to a shadow of what it used to be. The “Third Secret,” the third Fatima prophecy, “was formulated as an ultimatum, an ‘either-or’ proposition.”[7] If the directives were carried out, then Russia would be converted to religious belief, and a period of great peace and prosperity would follow.

When John Paul II read the “Third Secret,” he realized that the conditions were not met. His successors had determined that “they do not concern our times.” Russia was never consecrated to Mary. Why had his successors not followed the directives of the Third Secret? “Given the seriousness of its [the `Third Secret’s’] contents,” John Paul II explained, “my predecessors in the Petrine Office [John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I] diplomatically preferred to postpone publication [of the text] so as not to encourage the world power of Communism to make certain moves.”[8]

Fatima loomed large in the life of Pope John Paul II. The Pope returned to Fatima on May 13, 1991 to deliver a message for “Europeans to build a new society devoid of materialism on the ashes of atheism.”[9] The Pope also thanked the Virgin of Fatima for saving his life from the bullet of the Turkish gunman Ali Agca. The Pope met with Lucia Dos Santos, then the only surviving member of the group of children who said they witnessed the apparition of Mary. (Francisco Marto died on April 4, 1919, at age eleven, and Jacinta Marto died on February 20, 1920, at age ten. Dos Santos died February 13, 2005.)


[1] Malachi Martin, The Keys of the This Blood: The Struggle for World Dominion Between Pope John Paul II, Mikhail Gorbachev, and the Capitalist West (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1990), 47. [2] Martin, The Keys of the This Blood, 48. [3] Martin, The Keys of the This Blood, 48. [4] Martin, The Keys of the This Blood, 49. [5] Martin, The Keys of the This Blood, 50. [6] Martin, The Keys of the This Blood, 631. [7] Martin, The Keys of the This Blood, 631. [8] Martin, The Keys of the This Blood, 632. [9] “Pope Urges New Europe as Communism Fading: Pontiff Joins 1 Million at Portugal Shrine,” The Atlanta Journal (May 13, 1991), A2.