Although it often regarded by some detractors as somewhat of an anticlimax in comparison to the level of hype generated by the Fatima phenomenon, the published text of the Third Secret is actually one of the most profound, if not the most profound, private revelations in the entire history of the Catholic Church. With the level of focus concentrated upon the speculative content of the so-called "hidden text" of Fatima, the great depth of symbolism behind the published text of the Third Secret is quite unfairly overlooked. Yet once we begin to explore this material by applying a spiritual exegesis, the true prophetic depth of the Third Secret begins to reveal itself to us.
There are a number of highly significant themes touched upon in the Third Secret alluding to various passages in Scripture, which invites us to search the relevant portions of the Bible, allowing us to gain a better understanding of what this text is attempting to communicate. The aim is to draw us into a deeper understanding of Scripture, illuminating its Sacred words by helping us to connect important themes found throughout the Bible. It seems that the hermeneutical key to the Third Secret is to be found in the motif of the angel with the flaming sword:
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!'.
The "angel bearing a sword" motif has several important scriptural precedents which the Third Secret clearly alludes to. As I point out in the conclusion to my book Unveiling the Apocalypse, the primary biblical parallel which the angel with the flaming sword alludes to is found in the Book of Genesis, when God places a cherubim with a flaming sword in Eden to guard the way to the Tree of Life:
Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—” therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.
In the book, I argue that Third Secret warns us that humanity is beginning to pose a very real threat to the sanctity of the "Tree of Life", through the manifold technological innovations that infringe upon the very source of human dignity. Just as Eve was tempted by the Serpent to eat of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, now as we are approaching the edge of world history, her offspring is clasping for the most precious of fruit of all - that of the very fabric of life itself. Humanity is beginning to make an assault on the Tree of Life by abominations such as the possibility of human cloning, or by tampering with the genetic code through stem cell research. Many scientists have the ultimate goal of reaching the point of so-called "transhumanism" - when humanity will finally be capable of replicating "eternal" life through a combination of nanotechnology, bioengineering, and mapping the human brain through computer technology. Many futurists believe we are nearing the point where humans will be able to directly interface with computers - to the point of being able to "download" our conscienceness into a digital format, before "uploading" it again into a new synthetically created body, thus granting artificial "eternal" life. This ambition threatens to ultimately fulfil the promise of the Serpent - that we "will not surely die", but become "like gods" (Gen 3:4). The goals of transhumanism is the ultimate act of idolatory, with man placing himself in the role of the Creator - the chief aspiration of Lucifer, which caused his original fall from grace:
You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high;
I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’
While the possibility of achieving a culture of transhumanism is still at some point in the future, the assault on the Tree of Life is already well under way in the present, with what Bl. John Paul II described as the rise of the "culture of death". The rampant spread of abortion and euthanasia, and the continued foray into exploring the very essence of humanity by grotesquely manipulating the genetic code - even to the point of splicing it with animal DNA. These actions usurp the role of the Creator, replacing him with a distorted abomination which feigns life itself, dictating who is worthy to live and who should be put to death.
It is this threat to the Tree of Life that will rouse the angel with the flaming sword, envisaged in the Third Secret as about to strike the world with blazing flames. It appears to have been this same threatening gesture that was symbolised by the whirling movement of the Sun at Fatima, recalling the sword "that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life" in Gen 3:24. One of the most respected original witnesses to the Miracle of the Sun, Dr. Almeida Garrett, Professor of Natural Sciences at Coimbra University, gives us the following testimony:
"The sun's disc did not remain immobile. This was not the sparkling of a heavenly body, for it spun round on itself in a mad whirl, when suddenly a clamor was heard from all the people. The sun, whirling, seemed to loosen itself from the firmament and advance threateningly upon the earth as if to crush us with its huge fiery weight. The sensation during those moments was terrible."
We find a similar account given by Dr. Manuel Formigão, professor of the seminary at Santarém:
"As if like a bolt from the blue, the clouds were wrenched apart, and the sun at its zenith appeared in all its splendor. It began to revolve vertiginously on its axis, like the most magnificent firewheel that could be imagined, taking on all the colors of the rainbow and sending forth multicolored flashes of light, producing the most astounding effect. This sublime and incomparable spectacle, which was repeated three distinct times, lasted for about ten minutes. The immense multitude, overcome by the evidence of such a tremendous prodigy, threw themselves on their knees."
So the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima on Oct 13th, 1917 appears to have symbolised the vision of the angel with the flaming sword described in the Third Secret - a threat which was first announced at the beginning of a century of genocide, and at the very moment of the rise of the militantly atheistic Soviet Union. And in the interpretation I forward in Unveiling the Apocalypse, this was the same time period which saw the opening of the first of the seven seals of the Book of Revelation (see the post The Four Beasts and the Four Horsemen).
We find the "angel with sword" motif arising again in another richly symbolic biblical passage - that concerning the collapse of Jericho, which is considered by New Testament scholars to be the template for the seven trumpet blasts of the Book of Revelation:
When Joshua was by Jericho, he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing before him with his drawn sword in his hand. And Joshua went to him and said to him, “Are you for us, or for our adversaries?” And he said, “No; but I am the commander of the army of the LORD. Now I have come.” And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped and said to him, “What does my lord say to his servant?” And the commander of the LORD's army said to Joshua, “Take off your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so...
...Now Jericho was shut up inside and outside because of the people of Israel. None went out, and none came in. And the LORD said to Joshua, “See, I have given Jericho into your hand, with its king and mighty men of valor. You shall march around the city, all the men of war going around the city once. Thus shall you do for six days. Seven priests shall bear seven trumpets of rams' horns before the ark. On the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets. And when they make a long blast with the ram's horn, when you hear the sound of the trumpet, then all the people shall shout with a great shout, and the wall of the city will fall down flat, and the people shall go up, everyone straight before him.”
(Josh 5:13-15; 6:1-5)
We can find an analogy here between the collapse of the walls of Jericho, and the fall of Babylon described in the Book of Revelation - which is similarly overthrown after the Eschatological Earthquake occurs in Jerusalem. Jericho was encircled by the Israelites for a series of seven days, with seven priests bearing rams' horns before the Ark of the Covenant. The series of septets continues, and the walls of Jericho come tumbling down as the result of an earthquake after seven trumpet blasts by the Israelite priests. If we compare this passage with the relevant text in the Apocalypse below, we can see that this related septet of trumpet blasts also contains reference to the Ark of the Covenant and the eschatological earthquake:
Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever”...
...Then God's temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen within his temple. There were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail.
(Rev 11:15, 19)
The fall of Jericho thus seems to be envisioned by the author of the Apocalypse as a precursor to the fall of "Babylon" during the eschatological age. The seven trumpet blasts are recapitulated again in the seven bowl plagues - at the end of which we find the pronouncement of judgment upon Babylon at the occurence of the eschatological earthquake. A vision which once again is partly based upon the collapse of the walls of Jericho after a bout of seismic activity:
The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple, from the throne, saying, “It is done!” And there were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, and a great earthquake such as there had never been since man was on the earth, so great was that earthquake. The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell, and God remembered Babylon the great, to make her drain the cup of the wine of the fury of his wrath. And every island fled away, and no mountains were to be found. And great hailstones, about one hundred pounds each, fell from heaven on people; and they cursed God for the plague of the hail, because the plague was so severe.
The sevenfold judgment by sword finds its origins in the Book of Leviticus, which we are told is the punishment that would be meted out to Israel for apostasy:
"And if by this discipline you are not turned to me but walk contrary to me, then I also will walk contrary to you, and I myself will strike you sevenfold for your sins. And I will bring a sword upon you, that shall execute vengeance for the covenant."
So there is an additional warning here in the image of the angel with the flaming sword, given that we currently living during the age of the Great Apostasy. This means that we are calling down the greatest sevenfold judgment of all upon our own heads - the series of septets described in the Book of Revelation. And if we look to the Book of Isaiah, the judgment by a flaming sword takes a decidedly eschatological character, which describes the reckoning of "all flesh" by a trial of fire:
“For behold, the LORD will come in fire, and his chariots like the whirlwind, to render his anger in fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire. For by fire will the LORD enter into judgment, and by his sword, with all flesh; and those slain by the LORD shall be many."
The sword itself is ultimately a symbol of war, and it is in this context that we find another biblical passage that the Third Secret alludes to, in the Book of Ezekiel. In the below passage taken from Ezekiel, there are references to God announcing the punishment of Jerusalem with His sword, which like the Third Secret is described as "flashing" ("flashing, it gave out flames that looked as though they would set the world on fire"). It is important to note that the Book of Ezekiel is one of the primary sources from which the Apocalypse derives its imagery concerning the Battle of Armageddon - an epic struggle which is also centred on the location of Jerusalem.
The word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, set your face toward Jerusalem and preach against the sanctuaries. Prophesy against the land of Israel and say to the land of Israel, Thus says the LORD: Behold, I am against you and will draw my sword from its sheath and will cut off from you both righteous and wicked. Because I will cut off from you both righteous and wicked, therefore my sword shall be drawn from its sheath against all flesh from south to north. And all flesh shall know that I am the LORD. I have drawn my sword from its sheath; it shall not be sheathed again.
“As for you, son of man, groan; with breaking heart and bitter grief, groan before their eyes. And when they say to you, ‘Why do you groan?’ you shall say, ‘Because of the news that it is coming. Every heart will melt, and all hands will be feeble; every spirit will faint, and all knees will be weak as water. Behold, it is coming, and it will be fulfilled,’” declares the Lord GOD.
And the word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, prophesy and say, Thus says the Lord, say: “A sword, a sword is sharpened
and also polished,
sharpened for slaughter,
polished to flash like lightning!
(Or shall we rejoice? You have despised the rod, my son, with everything of wood.) So the sword is given to be polished, that it may be grasped in the hand. It is sharpened and polished to be given into the hand of the slayer. Cry out and wail, son of man, for it is against my people. It is against all the princes of Israel. They are delivered over to the sword with my people. Strike therefore upon your thigh. For it will not be a testing—what could it do if you despise the rod?” declares the Lord GOD.
“As for you, son of man, prophesy. Clap your hands and let the sword come down twice, yes, three times, the sword for those to be slain. It is the sword for the great slaughter, which surrounds them, that their hearts may melt, and many stumble. At all their gates I have given the glittering sword. Ah, it is made like lightning; it is taken up for slaughter. Cut sharply to the right; set yourself to the left, wherever your face is directed. I also will clap my hands, and I will satisfy my fury; I the LORD have spoken.”
Here we are told that the sword comes down three times, which could refer to the three woes of the Apocalypse - which I equate in the book with three world wars. When we read a little further into this chapter in Ezekiel, we find a reference to the Second Coming of Christ, which we have also connected to the Battle of Armageddon previously (see the earlier post on this subject here). An important aspect of this portion of Ezekiel is that it contains another motif alluded to in the Third Secret - that of the sheathing of the sword of judgment, which in the prophecies at Fatima we are told occurs through the intercession of Our Lady. Yet while the sword is said to have been returned to the sheath in Ezekiel, destruction still looms over the city:
Exalt that which is low, and bring low that which is exalted. A ruin, ruin, ruin I will make it. This also shall not be, until he comes, the one to whom judgment belongs, and I will give it to him.
“And you, son of man, prophesy, and say, Thus says the Lord GOD concerning the Ammonites and concerning their reproach; say, A sword, a sword is drawn for the slaughter. It is polished to consume and to flash like lightning—while they see for you false visions, while they divine lies for you—to place you on the necks of the profane wicked, whose day has come, the time of their final punishment. Return it to its sheath. In the place where you were created, in the land of your origin, I will judge you. And I will pour out my indignation upon you; I will blow upon you with the fire of my wrath, and I will deliver you into the hands of brutish men, skillful to destroy. You shall be fuel for the fire. Your blood shall be in the midst of the land. You shall be no more remembered, for I the LORD have spoken.”
We find that these same themes recur in the First Book of Chronicles, which also depicts an angel with a sword poised to destroy Jerusalem, centred on the threshing floor of Araunah (aka Ornan) the Jebusite - the future location of the Temple of Solomon:
And God sent the angel to Jerusalem to destroy it, but as he was about to destroy it, the LORD saw, and he relented from the calamity. And he said to the angel who was working destruction, “It is enough; now stay your hand.” And the angel of the LORD was standing by the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. And David lifted his eyes and saw the angel of the LORD standing between earth and heaven, and in his hand a drawn sword stretched out over Jerusalem. Then David and the elders, clothed in sackcloth, fell upon their faces...
...Now the angel of the LORD had commanded Gad to say to David that David should go up and raise an altar to the LORD on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. So David went up at Gad's word, which he had spoken in the name of the LORD. Now Ornan was threshing wheat. He turned and saw the angel, and his four sons who were with him hid themselves. As David came to Ornan, Ornan looked and saw David and went out from the threshing floor and paid homage to David with his face to the ground. And David said to Ornan, “Give me the site of the threshing floor that I may build on it an altar to the LORD—give it to me at its full price—that the plague may be averted from the people.” Then Ornan said to David, “Take it, and let my lord the king do what seems good to him. See, I give the oxen for burnt offerings and the threshing sledges for the wood and the wheat for a grain offering; I give it all.” But King David said to Ornan, “No, but I will buy them for the full price. I will not take for the LORD what is yours, nor offer burnt offerings that cost me nothing.” So David paid Ornan 600 shekels of gold by weight for the site. And David built there an altar to the LORD and presented burnt offerings and peace offerings and called on the LORD, and the LORD answered him with fire from heaven upon the altar of burnt offering. Then the LORD commanded the angel, and he put his sword back into its sheath.
At that time, when David saw that the LORD had answered him at the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite, he sacrificed there. For the tabernacle of the LORD, which Moses had made in the wilderness, and the altar of burnt offering were at that time in the high place at Gibeon, but David could not go before it to inquire of God, for he was afraid of the sword of the angel of the LORD.
(1Chron 21:15-16, 18-30)
Another image of a heavenly "flashing sword" of judgment can be found in the Book of Deuteronomy - which importantly, closely parallels an otherwise deeply mysterious passage in the Apocalypse:
“See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god beside me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand. For I lift up my hand to heaven and swear, As I live forever, if I sharpen my flashing sword and my hand takes hold on judgment, I will take vengeance on my adversaries and will repay those who hate me".
This passage echoes the sevenfold sword judgment described in the Book of Leviticus, and is likewise issued as a threat warning against apostasy. But its true significance lies in its relation to the angel of the seven thunders in the Book of Revelation:
Then I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven, wrapped in a cloud, with a rainbow over his head, and his face was like the sun, and his legs like pillars of fire. He had a little scroll open in his hand. And he set his right foot on the sea, and his left foot on the land, and called out with a loud voice, like a lion roaring. When he called out, the seven thunders sounded. And when the seven thunders had sounded, I was about to write, but I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Seal up what the seven thunders have said, and do not write it down.” And the angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land raised his right hand to heaven and swore by him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and what is in it, the earth and what is in it, and the sea and what is in it, that there would be no more delay, but that in the days of the trumpet call to be sounded by the seventh angel, the mystery of God would be fulfilled, just as he announced to his servants the prophets.
Here, the imagery of the flashing sword of judgment described in the Book of Deuteronomy is merged and transposed onto that of the angel of the seven thunders. The shared theme of the raising the hand to heaven to swear an eternal oath helps us to make this connection, granting us with the insight that the angel with the flaming sword described in the Third Secret is the same as the angel of the seven thunders, who holds the open scroll in his hand. The content of the seven thunders issued by the angel with the open scroll is then sealed up, and we have to backtrack to find reference to it again in Rev 5, where we are told that the open scroll is now shut with seven seals:
Then I saw in the right hand of him who was seated on the throne a scroll written within and on the back, sealed with seven seals. And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it, and I began to weep loudly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it. And one of the elders said to me, “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.”
The description of the angel with the open scroll is highly symbolic in itself. We are told that his appearance is as if he is "wrapped in a cloud" with legs like "pillars of fire" - a scene which conjures images of the attacks on the Twin Towers during 9/11. The rainbow above the angel's head signifies the promise given to Noah in Gen 9:13-17 that God would not destroy the earth again by flood - instead 2Pet 3:10-12 tells us that the world will be consumed by fire at the end-time.
As we argued in the earlier post The Two Towers and the Sixth Seal, the 9/11 attacks appear to have been part of the sequence of events that occurred at the opening of the sixth seal of Revelation (which was marked by a series of astronomical omens) - and were connected to the Third Secret and "signs in heaven" described in the Apocalypse by no less a figure than Cardinal Tarcisco Bertone, the current Vatican Sectetary of State. And Cardinal Bertone's connection closely parallels the description of the "signs in heaven" given in the Book of Joel:
“And I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke. The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes". (Joel 2:30-31)
A further connection to New York may be made here in the fact that the description of the angel with the open scroll is deliberately modelled on the imagery of the Colossus of Rhodes - one of the seven ancient wonders of the world. The angel is gigantic in stature - with legs spread apart, one standing on land, one in the sea, with a hand stretched up into the heavens - just like the Colossus.
It is a well known fact that the design, posture and dimensions of the Statue of Liberty was modelled after the Colossus of Rhodes. And a poem titled "The New Colossus" by Emma Lazarus is found engraved on a bronze plaque mounted on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty. Catholic evangelist Mark Mallet has recently posted an excellent blog article detailing the occult symbolism behind the Statue of Liberty, and how this is related to the identity of the Whore of Babylon - which you can find here. And as Rabbi Johnathan Cahn argues in his massively popular book Harbinger, the 9/11 attacks appear to foreshadow a chastisement still to befall the great city - which I suggest will come in the form of the Mega-tsunami threat posed by the collapse of the volcano Cumbre Vieja in the Canary Islands - the "great mountain, burning with fire" being thrown into the sea in Rev 8:8.
A further connection between the flaming sword and the seven seals of Revelation can be found at the opening of the second seal, where we are told that one of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse is given "a great sword":
When he opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” And out came another horse, bright red. Its rider was permitted to take peace from the earth, so that people should slay one another, and he was given a great sword.
As I have already suggested previously, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse can be equated with the four major world powers of the Second World War. If so, then the Horseman being given the "great sword" here, would be a direct reference to the Manhattan Project and America's development of the Atomic bomb during the war. This "great sword" should be identified with the flaming sword held by the angel in the Third Secret - an insight that seems to have been shared by Cardinal Ratzinger in his Theological Commentary in The Message of Fatima:
The angel with the flaming sword on the left of the Mother of God recalls similar images in the Book of Revelation. This represents the threat of judgement which looms over the world. Today the prospect that the world might be reduced to ashes by a sea of fire no longer seems pure fantasy: man himself, with his inventions, has forged the flaming sword...
The world has already been brought to the brink of nuclear conflict before, with the Cuban Missile Crisis, which began on Oct 14th 1962 - the 45th anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun. This event was extremely close to the date specified by Sr. Lucia as to when the Third Secret should be published - 1960, since by then the text would be "better understood". It was during the 1960's that we saw the beginnings of the sexual revolution, with the introduction of contraception and abortion, which in turn has led to the Great Apostasy we are enduring today. Could the Cuban Missile Crisis have been when the angel was about to strike the earth with his flaming sword - at the moment when the first threat to the "Tree of Life" began to emerge? If so, then it seems that Our Lady has already stayed the hand of the angel once already to allow for a period of penance. We must therefore accept this threefold call to repentance before the the cherubim with the flaming sword is roused once more to action:
Then the angel took the censer and filled it with fire from the altar and threw it on the earth, and there were peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning, and an earthquake.