What Appeared in Fatima?

By Bob Thiel


On May 13, 1917, a female apparition that referred to herself as the “Lady” and the “Lady of the Rosary,” began to appear monthly before three children in Fatima, Portugal.  Fatima was the name of Islam’s Mohammed favourite daughter, and the town was named after a Muslim princess who converted to Roman Catholicism there.


What appeared in Fatima in 1917?


Certainly not Mary, the mother of Jesus.  Various facts, including its appearance, disproves the possibility of that apparition being her.  What appeared was a demon with feminine features.  This seems to have been the most famous demonic apparition in their 21st century.


Contrary to common belief amongst Catholics, the “Lady of Fatima” never referred to herself as Mary, the mother of Jesus.  Several other famous Catholic-accepted “Marian” apparitions also did not refer to themselves as Mary.


What Was Seen?


Beginning on May 13, 1917, three children (Lúcia dos Santos, age 10; Jacinta Marto, age 7; and Francisco Marto, age 9) said they saw some type of female apparition six times, once per month. The monthly appearances culminated in a visit where tens of thousands of people claimed to witness some type of “miracle”/change in the sky on October 13, 1917.


The oldest child (Lúcia) and her priest (Manuel Marques Ferreira), initially and correctly, thought the apparition was from Satan, for various reasons, including its culturally outrageous appearance.


The “Lady” that was seen was immodestly dressed, and in a manner that not even harlots tended to appear publicly in 1917 Portugal:


The parish priest’s interviews with the visionaries were made into a report.  This was their first interview by the Church and it can be read in the book, Os Mouros Fatimidas e as Aparicoes de Fatima…The extraordinary thing about the first version of the first vision is that the children said that the Virgin wore a skirt down to her knees and wore white socks unlike the Virgin had ever done before.  She wore a necklace with a medal on it…her eyes were black which must mean she had eyes like an alien.  This description prompted some to insist that the Lady was really the daughter of Muhammad, Fatima, and not the Virgin Mary.  Later the Church manipulated the children to say that the Virgin looked the way she is depicted in holy pictures with long dresses.  The short skirt was considered immodest. (Fraud at Fatima. http://www.miraclesceptic.com/fatimafraud.html 04/26/11)


In 1917, the parish priest, Manuel Marques Ferreira, interviewed the children, a reported their description of the Lady that appeared:


The clothing was a white mantle, which fell from the head to below the skirt, which was golden from the waist to below the [two] strings, which crossed above and below at the hem. The skirt was all white and gold…[and] fell only to the knees; the coat was white…no shoes, but white socks with no gold; about the neck there was a gold chain with a pointed medallion. (Interrotagórios de Artur de Oliveria Santos, Doc. 53, Documentação Critica de Fátima I. Fátima Sanctuary, 1992, p. 375 as cited and translated in Fernandes J, D’Armada F.  Celestial Secrets, The Hidden History of the Fátima Incident.  Anamolist Books, San Antonio (Texas), 2006, p. 152)


The children were also interviewed by the Catholic priest Canon Manuel Nunes Formigão, whose report stated:


Jacinta confirms that Our Lady’s dress fell only to the knees… Our Lady obviously could not have appeared other than dressed with the utmost decency and modesty…{This} constitutes a serious problem, opposing the very validity of the Apparition, giving rise in the spirit to the dread that this whole affair is a mystification, prepared by the Prince of Darkness. (Fernandes, p. 153; also Santo ME. Os Mouros Fatimidas e as Aparições de Fátima.  Assírio & Alvim, 2006, pp. 271-218)


So at least two priests reported that at least two children claimed that what appeared in Fatima had a short skirt. A skirt that was culturally immodest and totally improper for 1917 Portugal (the “Lady” that appeared seems to have resembled the pagan goddess Diana).  There is no way that Mary would have appeared that way (cf. 1 Timothy 2:9). So, while Fatima is not a normal hoax, it certainly should be considered as a scam as there is no way that Jesus’ mother would have appeared that way.


Despite knowing this, a huge sanctuary compound was constructed with multiple buildings.  The Fatima Sanctuary compound is large and reminded me a bit of Vatican City.


The front cover of this Bible News Prophecy magazine shows the encased statue that is at the site where the apparition appeared.  This is what most Catholics seem to wish to believe appeared in Fatima (as that is what most have been led to believe).  The truth is that the image next to it, with the shorter skirt, actually matches the only descriptions that the three eye witnesses gave that the “Lady of Fatima” looked like.  That image was not Mary, yet it was a short-skirted apparition that appeared in 1917.


Some, sadly prefer to believe the lie (cf. Revelation 22:15) that Jesus’ mother Mary appeared in Fatima and gave God’s messages to the world—this type of thing, when those without the “love of the truth” will believe a lie will happen again (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12).


Millions visit the Fatima Sanctuary each year, and most believe that Jesus’ mother appeared there.  They believe she gave prophetic messages that have been fulfilled and others that need to be fulfilled.  Yet, the Bible never hints that Mary, the mother of Jesus, would have a role in making supernatural appearances after her death to impart prophetic information or change doctrine.


(Several of the messages that the “Lady of Fatima” gave were also blasphemous and may be covered in future editions of this magazine).


Fatima and Other Religions


Other, non-Catholic, religions have had interest in Fatima.


Although Mary is not part of Buddhism, the leader of the Tibetan Buddhists, the Dalai Lama, prayed at the little Fatima chapel in 2001.  People of other pagan faiths have as well as the ‘mother goddess” appeals to many, and that is how certain ones view the “Lady of Fatima.”


Despite Catholic claims, certain Muslims believe that it was Mohammed’s daughter Fatima that appeared to the children in 1917, so certain Muslims also venerate the site and sometimes visit it.  If a future apparition says something publicly to Muslims there or elsewhere, this could be a factor in getting Muslims to, at least temporarily, support the Beast power (cf. Revelation 13:4,8).


Hindus have long been drawn to Marian apparitions and statues.  Hindus were allowed by certain Catholic leaders to hold their own pagan ceremony to the Lady of Fatima on the grounds of the Fatima Sanctuary on May 5, 2004.  Although this outraged certain Catholics, the fact it was allowed supports the idea that other Catholics will compromise, use “Mary,” and/or use various improper means for their ecumenical agenda.


Notice also a report about ‘Mary’ and India:


“Mother Mary is revered with great devotion by the Indian community as a mother and a spiritual figure of maternal protection,” said Friar Jayaseellan Pitchaimuthu…The friar explained that the Marian feast day is particularly important in the Indian context because of its relation to other faiths.


Members of other religions, including Hindus and Muslims, “regard Marian devotions in esteem,” he said. Thousands of devotees “both Catholics and non-Catholics” flock every week to the Marian apparition site at Velankanni, near Chennai in South India, and other shines that have recorded various miracles, he said. In this way, the friar explained, “Marian devotion also leads to a platform for inter-religious dialogue.” (Gonzales AA. Indian migrants in Holy Land prepare for Marian feast. (http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/indian-migrants-in-holy-land-prepare-for-marian-feast)


Not all support this.  Various ones have concerns.  Bishop Kennedy of the Celtic Orthodox Church wrote that Fatima was deceitful:


The great deceiver of Fatima promises salvation to those who embrace devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary… We can be very certain that God did not send Mary to earth to change God’s eternal plan of salvation. It is just this kind of deceit that leads to other false statements about Mary; Mediatrix of all graces etc. The devil’s deceit is felt far and wide within the Church as is evidenced in the number of well meaning but deceived souls proclaiming Mary is Mediatrix of all graces. How would have such a statement sounded to the Apostles? This salvation we enjoy is from God in Christ; “The man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as ransom for all”. (1 Timothy 2:1, 3-6 NAB)… We should STOP THE DEVIL in his tracks and proclaim the vision of Fatima to be a fraud, a work of the devil and an abomination to God, Mary and to the Church. (Kennedy BJ, Bishop. The Fatima Affair. http:// www.celticorthodoxchurch.com/fatima.html viewed 05/17/12 )


Some want Fatima to be used ecumenically, others consider it deceitful.  And Fatima is deceitful.


Fatima and Pope Francis


Despite the deceit of Fatima, Pope Francis asked Cardinal José Policarpo of Lisbon to dedicate his pontificate to the “Lady of Fatima” on May 13, 2013, in mark of the anniversary date of the first appearance of that apparition.


Furthermore, Pope Francis had the statue, shown encased on the front cover of this magazine, flown to the Vatican so that he could dedicate the world to the so-called “immaculate heart of Mary” on October 13, 2014.  The anniversary of the so-called ‘miracle of the sun.”  That “miracle” sadly has convinced many that Fatima was from God.


Pope Francis has been the most “Marian focused” pontiff in start of his pontificate of any pope in recent history.  I believe that he is attempting to set the world up for wider acceptance of his Marian doctrines.


What Can Fatima Teach Us?


Is there anything that real Christians can learn from Fatima?


Jesus warned:


24 For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.  25 See, I have told you beforehand. (Matthew 24:24-25)


But, even though we are not there yet, many have been deceived by Fatima.  They either do not know or discount the truth about what was seen there.


The Apostle Paul taught in the time of the end the deception will be worse:


13 But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.  (2 Timothy 3:13-14)


How does Fatima, or many of the other apparitions, fit into this?  Fatima was allegedly seen by three young children, plus if people would pay attention to what was described as seen, they should easily be able to determine that the “Lady of Fatima” is a Satanic fraud.


But since “Lady of Fatima” is an imposter and imposters will be worse, what will happen if one or more “Marian” apparitions appears in public?  So much that it will be undeniable?


Most people will walk by sight and not faith and believe the lie.  Christians are not supposed to do that (2 Corinthians 5:7).


Notice also the following:


6 And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (2 Thessalonians 2:6-12)


I cannot help but feel that perhaps the apparition that appeared at Fatima in 1917 may have only had permission to appear in a short skirt and not claim to be Mary from God (cf. Job 1:9-12; 2:4-6; 3 Kingdoms 22:20-22 DRB; 1 Kings 22:20-22 NKJV) in order that those who were interested in the truth would realize that it really could not have been Mary of the Bible who appeared then.  This is despite the “miracle of the sun” (of which there were enough differing explanations that I believe that Satan’s influence in even that was restrained).  I also believe that this is why certain other apparitions have been recorded to make statements that are false (e.g. Medjugorje), appeared as a goddess (e.g. Guadalupe), did not claim to be Mary (e.g. La Salette), and/or only appeared to one or few persons— God has had Satan’s power restrained.


Yet, the time is coming when future apparitions may not have such restrictions (cf. 2 Thessalonians 2:7), which may be why almost all will be deceived according to Jesus (Matthew 24:24; Mark 13:22).   But God still has a way for His faithful to escape (1 Corinthians 10:13 the deception.


For those that have a “love of the truth” (2 Thessalonians 2:10), “You can trust that God…with any trial will also provide a way out” (1 Corinthians 10:13, NJB).   Despite credibility problems of any human being, the word of God is the credible source that all past and future apparitions, signs, and wonders should be judged by (cf. Jeremiah 23:28; Revelation 20:12; Hebrews 4:12; 2 Timothy 3:16).


The Lady of Fatima was a demonic manifestation that people could clearly prove was not Mary, yet multiple millions have believed lies about it anyway.  The time will come when something like this may actually be public.


Pray that you will have the faith to “walk by faith, and not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7), even when nearly everyone else will be deceived.

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