By David Carollo, Executive Director
In May, the World Apostolate of Fatima, USA published the English version of the biography of Sister Lucia, A Pathway Under the Gaze of Mary. The book highlights the life of the seer of Fatima who asked Our Lady if she and her two cousins, Jacinta and Francisco, would go to Heaven. Our Lady responded that Jacinta and Francisco would go soon, but Lucia would stay a while longer to make her known and loved. It turned out to be 88 years longer, and this book chronicles Lucia’s life during these years.
Last week Mr. Christopher Ferrara wrote an article accusing our apostolate of purposely hiding Sister Lucia’s real words in the English translation. This is based on a discrepancy in the translation from Portuguese to English. He makes the claim that the World Apostolate of Fatima “surrendered to the Vatican Secretary of State to become a public association of the faithful,” an accusation he also made in a book which he wrote several years ago.
The apostolate finds this disturbing. The Church was founded by Christ and the Pope is His Vicar. Despite the imperfections and human failings within the Church, it remains the Bark of St. Peter. The World Apostolate of Fatima, USA is not a part of any conspiracy to hide the words of Sister Lucia. Mr. Ferrara took issue with our translation of one sentence stating the words of Our Lady to Sister Lucia on January 3, 1944, and claimed that there is more written down by Sister Lucia that is yet unpublished. In fact, Our Lady at that time gave Sister Lucia permission to write down the third part of the Secret according to her religious superiors’ orders, after months of doubt, anguish and fear, so torn was she between obedience to her superiors and obedience to Our Lady who had not yet given permission to reveal it. Further, Our Lady instructed her not to write anything related to her understanding of its meaning. We used the word “opinion” rather than “understanding.” The point is, Sister Lucia understood that the Church was to interpret the meaning of the secret, not her, and she was not to write down any further revelations she may have received. We cannot hide something that Our Lady did not want her to reveal. Sister Lucia was also not permitted to reveal the insights she received about the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity in the vision at Tuy, Spain on December 10, 1925.
The World Apostolate of Fatima, USA conferred with both the Fatima Shrine in Portugal and the postulator for Sister Lucia’s cause about the translation. The Sisters of Coimbra have submitted all documents related to the cause—including 11,000 letters—and all of Sister Lucia’s private notes and oral narrations to them are now published in the biography. There is nothing more to be revealed, and nothing has been hidden.
Fatima is a prescription for life and dwelling on such concerns detracts from the mission which Our Lady entrusted to these three little children and through them to us; namely to amend our lives, and to pray for the conversion of sinners.
Mr. Ferrara was associated with the late Fr. Gruner, and it is no secret that we had differing opinions on some things. Upon hearing of his death we immediately enrolled him in our Perpetual Mass Association and sent condolences to his organization.
Our hope is that all of us who believe in the Message of Our Lady of Fatima will follow in the footsteps of Sister Lucia, who set aside any criticism of the Church and selflessly devoted her entire life to prayer and sacrifice, and the spread of devotion to Mary’s Immaculate Heart. This is the Message we need to bring to the world, which so desperately and urgently needs to hear it.