A relatively little-known aspect of the history of Our Lady’s apparitions in Fátima, Portugal concerns a comment made to Sr. Lúcia about a “seventh” apparition. On May 13, 1917, in her first apparition to the three shepherd children, Our Lady stated, “I have come to ask you to come here for six months in succession, on the 13th day, at this same hour. Later on, I will tell you who I am and what I want. Afterwards, I will return here yet a seventh time.”[i] Has this seventh apparition already occurred? We shall look at this matter presently.
A kind friend sent to me a copy of the Portuguese text of a prayer that will be said by Pope Francis in his upcoming pilgrimage to Fátima. I present the Portuguese with an unofficial English translation (courtesy of Marco da Vinha).
In the apparitions of Our Lady of Fátima, there are 2 striking aspects. These aspects are the miracle of the sun and the famous three-part secret. Recently, I had cause to think about one of the parts of the secret, namely the vision of hell. There are some intriguing questions about Fátima and hell in relation to some contemporary theological views that deserve some treatment.
To begin treating these questions, it is first necessary to state the contents of the three-part secret of Fátima.