N June 1981, after having preached a retreat in Brittany on the Fatima revelations1, our Father Superior, the Abbé Georges de Nantes, entrusted a member of his community, Brother Michel de la Sainte Trinité, with the task of taking his study forward in a scientific and exhaustive manner, in a work that presented the apparitions and requests of Our Lady as well as the relevance of Her message to our times; in short, Everything about Fatima. Brother Michel immediately set to work on this monumental study which well deserved its title: The Whole Truth about Fatima. The first volume, entitled Science and the Facts, appeared in March 1983; the second volume, The Secret and the Church, in January 1984; and the following volume, The Third Secret, in July 1985.

The Portuguese specialists on Fatima immediately recognised the value of this summa. The late Canon José Galamba de Oliveira († September 25, 1984), an adviser and friend of the Bishop of Leiria, Msgr. da Silva, as also of his successor, Msgr. Joao Venancio, wrote to Brother Michel on September 27, 1983: «Your work, I believe, is the most serious historico-critical study on Fatima to be written to date in answer to the attacks published in Portugal and abroad against the reality and significance of the Apparitions and the Fatima message. I congratulate you on this, and I hope it will be a real revelation about Fatima for many of the French, both laity and priests, and also for some of the bishops.» While visiting Canon Galamba in Marrazes, Portugal, on February 13, 1984, Brother Michel gave him a copy of his second volume. A few weeks later, this zealous servant of Our Lady, who had contributed so much to making known Her revelations and requests, sent him his warm congratulations: «Your work seems to me like a small encyclopaedia on Fatima. May it have a wide circulation in France…»

Father Antonio Maria Martins († April 1997), a Portuguese Jesuit, expressed his total admiration and enthusiasm to our Brother on October 30, 1984, after reading his first two volumes: «Your impressive work, The Whole Truth about Fatima, testifies to a very wide culture, an ardent love for the Immaculate Heart of Mary, a meticulous investigation that is ideal for refuting the principal attacks against Fatima, and, in addition, a remarkable effort to relate and interpret the history and message of the Cova da Iria, Pontevedra and Tuy.»

The work that Brother Michel thus accomplished, before he left our community to consecrate himself to the hermit life in Chartreuse, was highly original compared to that of the historians who preceded him, such as the late Fathers da Fonseca and Barthas, for the history of Fatima had been greatly enriched and enhanced since they wrote their books. In the 70’s, Fathers Martins dos Reis and Antonia Maria Martins had published in Portugal a number of previously unpublished documents, including many letters from Sister Lucy to her Jesuit confessors. These writings of the last surviving seer of Fatima allowed the revelations of Pontevedra and Tuy to become much better known. Furthermore, Brother Michel drew heavily on the studies of Father Joaquin Maria Alonso, a Spanish Claretian of indisputable learning and an apostle of devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. In 1966, the Bishop of Leiria, Msgr. Venancio, had officially entrusted him with the task of establishing a complete critical history of the apparitions and message of Fatima. In 1974, at the end of eight years of labour, the first volumes of his monumental work, Fatima, Texts and Critical Studies, were ready for publication; this was said to be imminent, but then it was suddenly deferred by the new Bishop of Leiria-Fatima, Msgr. Alberto Cosme do Amaral. We will return to the consequences of his unfortunate decision, which was approved by a commission of Portuguese university professors. Nevertheless, the official expert, while working on his vast critical study, even up to his death which fell on December 12, 1981, made known the essence of his works in numerous papers.

In his third volume, our Brother Michel de la Sainte Trinité presented and developed Father Alonso’s thesis on the likely content of the third part of the Secret, a solidly argued thesis based on patient investigation.

We will see and we will understand the reasons why the Virgin Mary asked for the Secret to be divulged to the world in 1960. Its revelation at that time would have facilitated the accomplishment of the great divine design of grace and mercy for our time.

That Our Lady should have desired its disclosure after a long period of waiting, was also a marvel of divine wisdom, ensuring that Fatima would be better known. Father Messias Dias Coelho remarked on this in 1959: «A secret is a psychological stimulant. It is normal that a secret should intrigue us and, in the present case, how useful this has been! How many people would not even have heard of Fatima, if this stimulant had not existed? Had Our Lady not desired us to think about it, why would She have asked for silence only on the content of the letter and not on its existence? She ought to have concealed everything, and particularly the date by which She wanted the Secret to be published. One may therefore think that this method of secrecy was an act of ingenuity by the Mother of God to draw our attention to something extremely significant for our wellbeing.2»

The publication of the authentic text of the Third Secret, by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on June 26, 2000, revealed that neither Father Alonso nor Brother Michel had succeeded in discerning its full content. No one had discovered this.

Now that we have the grace of knowing, in all truth, the literal content in its all divine richness and transcendence, we can, in the school of the Abbé de Nantes, comment on and explain these visions which illustrate, develop and clarify the prophecies of the Second Secret.

These heavenly warnings have dominated the world’s history since 1917. Our Father Superior has constantly demonstrated and taught this: «The words of the Most Blessed Virgin to the three children of Fatima explain our history and enlighten our future, and events faithfully follow the line traced out for them in advance.3» That is why, little by little, he came to regard Fatima and devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary as more important than any other divine work.

«The Sacred Scripture», he explains, «and all the prophecies relating to the last times of the world, to the coming of the Antichrist, to the universal apostasy and the coming in glory of the Son of Man, are certainly sufficient, and indeed more than sufficient, to preserve us in fidelity and hope until the end. But for God, ten thousand years are as a single day, and if we knew nothing more about our distressing and terrible times, we would not know exactly what line to take, whether to wait in silence and be crushed in our turn, or to fight back and prepare for the renaissance of the Church. We would be missing something, perhaps? But now that we have it, we feel the opportuneness, the grace, the wonder, the prodigious aid of this other new, contemporary, precise, indubitable, miraculous and marvellous revelation from Heaven, which suffices to fix our path and to set us upon it with an incredible energy, with a tremendous happiness that is not of this world: it is the unique and extraordinary Message of Our Lady, yes! of our Queen, Mother of the Most Holy Rosary, the ultimate secret of Her Immaculate Heart at Fatima […].

«Our hope is in Our Lady of Fatima, because the whole work of the salvation of the world must come from Her, through the wish of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, for the suppression of the powers of hell and the divine glory of this Immaculate Heart, which is, of all the works of Infinite Love, the first and the last, the miracle that is Mary!4»


(1) The recording of the lectures given at this retreat (S 48, “Tout sur Fatima”, duration: 9 hrs 30 mins) can be obtained from the Contre-Réforme Catholique (Maison Saint-Joseph, 10 260 Saint-Parres-lès-Vaudes). It will also be possible to listen to the lectures of a new updated version given at the Pentecost 2000 Conference (PC 61, “Le Secret de Marie. Fatima 1917-2000”, duration: 8 hrs 30 mins).
(2) “Le Secret de Fatima”, L’Homme nouveau, November 22, 1959.
(3) La Contre-Réforme catholique au XXe siècle (CRC) no. 151, March 1980, p. 9.
(4) Lettre à la Phalange, no. 48, August 13, 1994.