Vatican Tells Third Fatima Secret 

Cardinal Angelo Sodano , a top Vatican cardinal , disclosed the third secret of Fatima on Saturday. The same day the Holy Father visited Fatima. The Pope was there to beatify the two of the three little shepherd children who received apparitions from the Virgin Mary in 1917. She appeared above an olive tree and told them three secrets - many have theorized about the third.

The cardinal said the ``interpretations'' of the children spoke of a ``bishop clothed in white'' who, while making his way amid the corpses of martyrs, ``falls to the ground, apparently dead, under a burst of gunfire.'' The Vatican has said the secret the Virgin Mary is said to have told two children more than 80 years ago was a foretelling of the shooting of Pope John Paul II. In 1981 the Pope was injured when a Turkish gunmen tried to assassinate in St. Peter's Square. The shooting came on May 13 - the same day as the first of the Fatima visions in 1917.

The earlier mysteries are said to have foreseen the end of World War I and the start of World War II, and the rise and fall of Soviet communism. Nine years ago, the Pope said in Fatima, "I entrust to the Lady and Mother of all generations the good resolutions and the road of our generation in the 20th and 21st centuries." Of course the international climate has changed profoundly since 1991, when the Soviet Union had just disappeared.

Many believed the third, hidden secret foretold the end of the world.
Pope John Paul has credited Our Lady of Fatima with intervening and saving his life. He quoted the Holy Father as saying a ``motherly hand'' guided the bullet's path, enabling the ``dying pope'' to halt ``at the threshold of death.''
During Saturday events in Fatima, the Pope beatified two of the shepherd children today during a
24-hour visit to Fatima.

About 600,000 people participated as the Pontiff celebrated Mass to beatify Jacinta Marto and her brother Francisco, who Virgin Mary appeared to them and their cousin Lucia dos Santos six times here.jacinta_tomb

The shepherd children died of pneumonia two years after the apparitions, at the ages of 9 and 11.

Lucia, now 93 and a cloistered nun since 1929 in a Portuguese Carmelite convent, received communion from the Holy Father. Later she and Pope John Paul II said a silent prayer over the two children’s tombs.