Fatima in Twilight


by Bernadette Vesco


Editor’s Note: Catholic Family News is proud to announce its first publication under its publishing arm, Marmion Publications. Fatima in Twilight by Mark Fellows is one of the finest books written on Fatima to date. Elegantly written and superbly documented, it examines the history of the 20th Century, and the post-Conciliar crisis of faith through the lens of Our Lady’s Fatima Message.


            The period of peace promised by Our Lady of Fatima seems so far from us at present. Every day we hear of new horrors arising, threatening to provoke more wars, spill more blood, anguish more families. The only peace we have ever known is that silence that exists between periods of conflict; that profound silence of the world holding its breath while waiting for the next blow. It is difficult to imagine existing otherwise, such degeneracy has become an acquired part of our consciousness, of our understanding of life itself. After all, isn’t suffering our punishment for the fall of our first parents?


            Yet what if we were offered a chance at a true peace? What if we were given a definitive remedy to the degradations of our present state? Certainly, we have heard the pleas for peace so often that we have become deaf to the true meaning of the word. Peace. It is a sign we make with our fingers. It is a symbol we draw. It is a word we use thoughtlessly to calm irritated people. The meaning has become so debased that we no longer hold any appreciation for it in its true form. We no longer hear it and recognize that its potential lies not in democracy, or universal brotherhood, or the United Nations, but in God.


            The 20th Century was both cursed and blessed: cursed with unending revolution, conflict and war; blessed with a remedy. The blessing came in the form of a promise made by the Mother of God Herself, who in 1917 appeared to three shepherd children in Fatima, Portugal. Through six appearances She made requests for prayers, conversion, and reparation. She also made requests that would decisively determine the fate of the world. “I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart, and the Communion of reparation on the First Saturdays. If My requests are heeded, Russia will be converted and there will be peace; if not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer, various nations will be annihilated ...”


            The Fatima Message was sealed by an irrefutable miracle witnessed by believers and nonbelievers alike. In 1929 in Tuy, Spain, Our Lady did return as She had promised in Her July 1917 apparition to ask for the Consecration to be made by the Pope in union with the world’s bishops. In return for the heeding of Heaven’s requests, She promised a period of peace to the world. We can be sure that Heaven’s peace is a truer peace than our minds can comprehend. It is undoubtedly the only peace that can pierce the darkness in which we presently grope.


            Thus the Consecration of Russia is the act of homage upon which our fates lie. It was asked for in 1929, and now, seventy-four years later it remains to be done. Surely the world has been realizing the consequences of both our sins against the Immaculate Heart and the refusal of a line of Popes to make the consecration. How have the effects shown themselves? If one looks at the major events of the world and the Church since Fatima, there remains no question. However, to comprehend the profundity of these implications, one must take an entirely different approach to the study of the matter; one must not merely recount the facts obvious about Fatima, but instead use the lens of Fatima to study those that are clouded. We have just now been given the tool with which we can understand the implications Fatima has had on the past century. It is Fatima in Twilight, the enlightening new book by Mark Fellows, which guides us through the darkening we have incurred through our refusal to obey the Queen of Heaven.


            Though Fatima Revisionists contend that the consecration of Russia has been made, Fatima in Twilight is an argument to the contrary. Fellows offers mounds of evidence to support this claim, from the analysis of the spread of Russia’s errors through the world, to the present state of that country, with its high rates of abortion, pornography, and crime, and overall state of immorality. Clearly, the peace promised by Our Lady has yet to begin, lying in wait for the consecration to be made as Heaven requested.


            The book begins with an account of the Fatima apparitions and the great Miracle of the Sun. Fellows then outlines for us the Fatima Message in its fulness:


“Conversion, penance, sacrifice and reparation for sinners, the mercy and exhausted patience of God, the prominence of the Queen of Heaven in the designs of Heaven and man, the threat of eternal damnation of millions of souls, the lifeline of the Rosary and devotion to the Immaculate Heart, all these sober, serious themes punctuated by unexplained phenomena and climaxed with a stupendous, undeniable miracle that is a fact of history attested to by thousands of eyewitnesses, believers and atheists, at Fatima and as far as 30 miles away. Heaven had visited earth and delivered an unmistakably ominous warning to three rustic peasant children on a Portuguese hillside near the beginning of the most enlightened, godless, murderous and bloodstained century in human civilization. Was anyone listening?” (p. 28)


            Fatima in Twilight also familiarizes us with the protagonists of Fatima, whom we come to love and appreciate acutely. Francisco’s quiet piety and desire to console the wounded hearts of Jesus and Mary humbles us. Jacinta’s ardent love of souls encourages us. Lucy’s strength in the face of persecution and suffering fortifies us. In the space of a few chapters, Fellows succeeds in bringing us to a much more intimate understanding of the worth of these three pious young shepherds. 


            Though Fatima is often treated as an isolated incident, part of a dead past, its true relation to history is irrefutable. Using Fatima to explain and interpret major historical events of the 20th Century, Fellows makes it clear just how intimately the two are connected. 

Russia, Fatima, and the World


         What exactly are Russia’s errors and how has that country spread them throughout the world as predicted by Our Lady of Fatima? In late 1917, shortly after the Miracle of the Sun, Vladimir Lenin and his Bolsheviks took over the Russian government and thus began the revolution that would institute and foster atheistic materialism, better known as Communism. The communistic infiltration that would thus diffuse throughout a shaky Europe is the predominant error to which Our Lady had referred. Winston Churchill spoke of Bolshevism as “this worldwide conspiracy for the overthrow of civilization and for the reconstitution of society on the basis of arrested development, of envious malevolence and impossible equality, has been steadily growing ...” (p. 60) If one needs statistics to confirm the demonic nature of Communism, Fellows provides them. He cites how Lenin’s “nation-wide antireligious persecution” destroyed the institution of the Russian Orthodox Church, and extended from there to the proletariat:


“The poor wretches the Bolsheviks expressed such empathy for, and made so many promises to, fled from their benefactors by the tens of thousands. Those unfortunate enough to be captured by the Red Army either killed themselves or were slaughtered by the army or the Cheka (forerunner of the KGB). In one case fifty to one hundred and fifty thousand refugees were butchered en masse by the Bolsheviks ... (p. 57) By 1923, it is estimated that 28 bishops, 1,219 priests, 6,000 professors and teachers, 9,000 doctors, 54,000 officers, 260,000 soldiers, 70,000 policemen, 12,950 property owners, 535,250 intellectuals, 193,290 workmen, and 618,000 peasants had been murdered.” (p. 61)


            Lenin’s successor, Josef Stalin, continued his murderous campaign. He is conservatively estimated to have starved close to 15,000,000 peasants between 1929 and 1934.


            Not content with the murderous domination of Russia alone, Communism preyed on targets throughout Europe. Portugal and Spain were infiltrated, and Fellows gives noteworthy accounts of the successful Catholic Counter-Revolutions formed to fight the atheistic regime. These countries faced the bloody revolutionary tactics of the Communists, now joined by Masonic forces, and as Our Lady warned at Fatima, many of the good were martyred.


            The book’s treatment of the Spanish Civil War is truly notable, and cites many individual accounts of the murders committed by the enemy, especially of the religious, and thereby reveals a chapter of history that has been hidden by the secular world. In one case, “Bishop Asensio was castrated, hit in the mouth with a brick (‘Here, take Communion’ he was told), and after somehow surviving a firing squad was left to die on a pile of corpses. ‘Do what you like,’ Asensio told his torturers, ‘I will pray for you in Heaven.’ (p. 77) Fellows rightly notes that it was only by God’s blessing of “Catholic Action” through Pope Pius XI that stability was restored to the two countries, who profited because of their recognition of the sovereignty of Christ in their governments. Other countries were not so fortunate however, as Communism was eventually established in Albania, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Romania, Bulgaria, East Germany, Manchuria, Mongolia, North Korea, China and North Vietnam.


            While World War I was still raging, Our Lady of Fatima predicted, “The war is going to end, but if people do not cease offending God, a worse one will break out during the reign of Pius XI. When you see a night illumined by an unknown light, know that it is the great sign given you by God that He is about to punish the world for its crimes by means of wars, famine, and persecution of the Church and of the Holy Father”. As promised, the illumined night sky occurred on January 15, 1938, and the world entered into its second major bloodbath of the century. Fatima in Twilight demonstrates that though Hitler is viewed as the greatest evil during World War II, Stalin was much more vicious, instigating the war in order to spread Communism throughout Europe. He declared openly his plan of “exploiting the antagonisms between the capitalistic states, to precipitate them into an armed conflict. The principal work of our Communist parties must be to facilitate such a conflict.”


            Stalin aided Germany’s recovery after the First World War, only to use Germany to incite European democracies against that country once Hitler came to power. Stalin used whatever means necessary to spread Communism: Stalin and Hitler signed the Germano-Soviet peace accord, allowing Germany to invade Poland, and provoking European democracies to declare war on Germany. Fellows points out that “when the smoke cleared atheistic Communism ruled Christian Eastern Europe, and the democracies were a shambles. Game, set, and match to the man the Western press affectionately dubbed ‘Uncle Joe’.” (p. 105) Of course, Hitler was guilty of his own extreme malevolence, and Fellows does not discharge his guilt. He says, “the point here is not to minimize Nazi evil, but to emphasize that Heaven’s depiction of Russia as the scourge of humanity is factually and historically accurate”.


Fatima and the Church


         Fatima in Twilight also examines the roles of a line of Pontiffs in the Fatima Message, from Pius XI to John Paul II. Fellows illustrates, using extensive documentation, each Pope’s action and ultimate inaction concerning Fatima. It was in 1929, during the reign of Pius XI, that the Blessed Mother appeared to Sister Lucy at Tuy to ask for the consecration to be made: “The moment has come when God asks the Holy Father to make, in union with all the bishops of the world, the consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart, promising to save it by this means.”


         Though the Fatima apparitions were approved in 1930, and the Holy Father both knew the part of the Secret concerning Russia’s errors and was fully aware of the diabolical state of Bolshevik  Russia,  he  did not consecrate that nation to the Immaculate Heart. He even  had  a  glimpse  of  Our Lady’s promised peace in Portugal, which was experiencing a Catholic restoration   through   its   own   consecration to the Immaculate Heart. However, it remained undone, and as Fellows asserts, “The consequences of Pius XI’s failure to consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart were the Spanish Civil War and the Second World War”. (p. 71)


         It was during the reign of Pius XII that the first two parts of the Fatima Secret were made known to the public, and the world was consecrated to the Immaculate Heart. Fatima in Twilight details this Pope’s strengths and weaknesses during his pontificate, especially concerning Fatima. Pius XII was responsible for many noteworthy things, including pronouncing the dogma of the Assumption and canonizing Saint Pius X, yet he did not fulfill his duty to the will of God as expressed through Fatima. This Pope possessed the Third Secret though he probably didn’t read it, witnessed a miracle of the sun himself, and was well aware of the requests made of him. Consequently, his inaction led to the part of Church history Fellows identifies as “Twilight”.


         The Twilight of the Church accelerated with the election of John XXIII to the throne of Peter and the Council he subsequently called. The book chronicles well the progressive forces alive and growing through the reigns of Pius XI and Pius XII, until their complete emergence during the Council. Also noted is that what support Fatima received before the Council was promptly disregarded by the pontiffs thereafter. The author attributes the subversion of the Fatima Message, the consistent failure of Conciliar and post-Conciliar Popes to consecrate Russia by name to the Immaculate Heart and announce the Third Secret to the “papal vision,” which “appears to be rooted not in tradition or scripture, but in the future. ... It is likely the Second Vatican Council was convoked in order to consummate the papal vision, and to establish the new religion necessary for it to thrive.” (p. 165) Fatima, with its reality of hell, call to conversion and reparation, and focus on the spiritual, not temporal, clearly has no place in this vision. Fatima in Twilight examines this vision as the guiding light of the post-Conciliar Popes, and the cause of the crisis in the Church since the Council. Sister Lucy herself has repeatedly spoken of “disoriented souls” in the Church being “fooled by false doctrine”; and “a great disorientation in so many persons who occupy places of responsibility ...  They are blind men guiding other blind men.” (p. 251)


         The book also gives a detailed history of the careers of Popes Paul VI and John Paul II before their elections, as men who have promoted the new, man-centered papal vision. Paul VI read the Secret, chose not to disclose it, and refused Sister Lucy a meeting. He also saw the beginnings of the Council’s bitter fruits, yet instead of turning to the consolation of the Immaculate Heart and God’s plan for peace, he gave more fuel to a papal vision that was the cause of the destruction. Mark Fellows also thoroughly examines John Paul II’s role in the present crisis, his actions and inaction, and his relationship with Fatima. Fellows demonstrates that though the current pontiff made consecrations of the entire world in 1982 and 1984, which probably merited some graces, they are incomplete according to the will of Heaven and have not converted Russia. Fatima in Twilight cites extensive statistics to corroborate this assertion, proving that Russia is in fact a decaying nation, from the highest abortion rate in the world, to its rampant homosexuality and child pornography, to its suppression and hatred of the Catholic Church and its faithful.

         As for the Secret revealed by the Vatican in 2000, Fellows proves that it is incomplete. Though the author believes that the vision of a “Bishop dressed in white” being murdered on a steep mountain amidst many corpses was probably written by Sister Lucy, it is a vision that lacks the conclusion of the Blessed Mother’s words, “In Portugal the dogma of the faith will always be preserved, etc.,” and actually contains no words of Our Lady at all. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s subsequent document, “The Message of Fatima,” is an effort to interpret the vision as the failed 1981 assassination attempt on John Paul II, a contention that hardly makes sense given that the Pope in the vision was murdered and John Paul II was not. The CDF’s “Message of Fatima” claims that the Third Secret has been completely revealed and the Consecration has been fulfilled, therefore making Fatima a thing of the past. The document goes so far as to cite supposed testimony by Sister Lucy claiming that the consecration of Russia has been done and the entire Secret has been revealed, even though this contradicts a consistently held position by Lucy. The CDF’s  “Message of Fatima” has left Catholics confused and unsure what the truth is concerning Fatima. Fellows, however, brings the reader to a better understanding by addressing this subject thoroughly. Using logic and a thorough documentation of facts, Fellows ultimately proves that the CDF document contains inconsistencies and contradictions that are out of character for Lucy or are completely unlikely to be confirmed by her, given past testimonies.


         For example, the CDF’s “The Message of Fatima” contains the text of Pope John Paul II’s 1984 consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, after which Monsignor Bertone states: “Sister Lucy personally confirmed that this solemn and universal act of consecration corresponded to what Our Lady wished. Hence any further discussion or request is without basis.” (p. 284) However, this new testimony is contrary to Lucy’s consistent assertion that the consecration of Russia has not taken place, and Fellows includes numerous examples, such as her interview with the Portuguese nuncio a year after the 1982 consecration of the world. “Did Lucy really think John Paul’s consecration fulfilled Heaven’s request? ‘The consecration of Russia is not done as Our Lady has demanded it,’ Lucy answered, because Pope John Paul did not specifically consecrate Russia, and the consecration was not in union with the world episcopate. ‘We can expect some benefits from the Pope’s consecration,’ Lucy said, ‘but not the conversion of Russia’.”


         In a 1989 visit with Cardinal Law, Lucy again confirmed that the consecration had not been done. “The Holy Father speculates that it has been done, done in the best possible way under the circumstances,” Lucy told the Cardinal. “Done on the narrow road of the collegial consecration that She has demanded and has been wanting? No, that has not been done.” (p. 268) Fellows sums up his argument thus: “It is likely that Lucy’s present opinion on the consecrations of John Paul II is the same as her opinion in 1991 and 1984: that Heaven is still awaiting the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart. The statements attributed to Lucy in the CDF document ‘The Message of Fatima’ really must be questioned, inasmuch as they fail to correspond to this reality: in matters concerning Fatima, Lucy does not waver, does not hesitate, and does not change her mind.” (p. 287)


The Beacon of Fatima


            Once, when asked about the Third Secret, Sister Lucy responded, “It is in the Gospel and the Apocalypse, read them!” Fatima in Twilight devotes a chapter entitled “Beyond Assisi: The Papal Vision” to the relationship between Fatima, the Apocalypse, and the fulfillment of Fatima prophecies. The battle between the woman and the dragon in Apocalypse 12 is a chilling reminder of what Lucy calls the devil’s “decisive battle with the Blessed Virgin,” a battle which has intensified throughout the past century. “As in the Apocalypse, the battle between the Virgin and the dragon has been joined. The outcome is known, but at present a mystery of iniquity has led a series of Popes away from not only the Fatima Message, but from the gospel message that Fatima and the continual teaching of the Church embodies.” (p. 267)


            The battle is raging before our very eyes, and instead of looking away we must choose a side. For Fatima is not an isolated incident of a long forgotten past, but the defining moment in which the world was offered peace over enmity, and the refuge of the Immaculate Heart over the tempests of the Prince of this world. The consistent choice against Fatima has resulted in the predicted spread of Russia’s errors, throughout the world and the Church, as Fellows illustrates in each chapter of this outstanding book. He concludes by stressing the weight of our present peril, but leaves us with the light that, as promised, will illumine the end:


“The Virgin foretold Peter’s repentance, and his compliance with the demands of Heaven. Until this occurs, however, the Church and the world will be rocked with the concussive force of divine wrath. One recalls Jesus’ lament over Jerusalem not knowing the hour of its visitation, and the dreadful consequences of this willful ignorance. Alas, we echo the perfidy of the Jews. Sowing the wind of the spirit of the age, we have reaped the whirlwind. The price will be paid in souls. ... (p. 267)


“... For it is not Fatima that is in twilight. Fatima is a beacon of faith, hope, and charity, a message as clear and uncompromising as the Gospel, shining on all souls stumbling in the twilight of the Church and the world, as both fade to black in the long hours before the dawn.” (p. 334)



This article was reprinted with permission from the September 2003 issue of
Catholic Family News — a Roman Catholic monthly published 12 times a year.

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