The War According To Fátima

Question from Jakob:
It’s been a while since I posted but anyway this time it is about the Fatima prophecy, to be precise, the second secret. I am writing this on a touch screen so I can’t quote it for you now but you can read it on RationalWiki if you like. It was written right after Hitler declared war on the Soviet Union and it pretty much predicted that the Soviet Union would collapse and that Russia would be converted.

Answer by SmartLX:
Here’s the whole “secret” which, for context, is claimed to have been spoken to some shepherds by an apparition of Jesus’ mother Mary in 1917:

“You have seen hell where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace. The war is going to end: but if people do not cease offending God, a worse one will break out during the Pontificate of Pius XI. When you see a night illumined by an unknown light, know that this is the great sign given you by God that he is about to punish the world for its crimes, by means of war, famine, and persecutions of the Church and of the Holy Father. To prevent this, 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. In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, and she shall be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world.”

“The war” refers to World War I. As RationalWiki says, it gets at least one thing wrong because World War II broke out seven months after the death of Pope Pius XI and therefore during the Pontificate of Pius XII. Catholics would be very surprised if the real “O Maria” got the wrong pontiff.

As for the rest, it gives two options: either communist Russia will continue its expansion and keep persecuting the Church or communism will fail and Russia will adopt Europe’s majority religion. Really, what else could have happened to Russia in World War II and the ensuing Cold War other than one of these two things, or one and then the other? Predicting every likely outcome is like putting a chip on every square of a roulette table; you don’t deserve much credit if one of your numbers comes up. In this case it’s as simple as just betting on both red and black.

To tie this into other material on this site, my piece on prophecies would categorise this one as #1. High Probabililty of Success.

11 thoughts on “The War According To Fátima”

  1. A fair answer but I think you misread it slightly. it doesn’t say communism will succeed or it says ” In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, and she shall be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world.” which means it will fail at the end, which it did. although Russia’s majority are not Christian but Putin’s politics strongly favour the orthodox church. whether the world entered a period of peace after the soviet union collapsed is debatable. The prophecy was written after Hitler betrayed the soviet union and most people thought Russia would certainly be defeated but then came the winter so as with Napoleon the Nazis were defeated. I would like another response from you on this.

  2. You’re right, it doesn’t mention Communism, but Russia was essentially Communist from 1917 onwards and operated as a force for Communism from then until the 1980s. The options were that either there would be peace or “[Russia] will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church.” I take “her errors” to mean spreading Russia’s anti-religious ideology. This is what would have continued if the Soviet Union hadn’t collapsed. The central point is that the prophecy can be interpreted to cover two likely outcomes, with no reasonable third option. This gives it an extremely high probability of being right before the actual events that followed are even considered.

    The majority religion in Russia today is Orthodox Christianity among people who identify as religious at all, even if it doesn’t reach 50% overall. (To simplify the math, 48.3% Christian is more than half of the 87% who aren’t atheists.) But if you don’t buy that then the prophecy was flat out wrong because Russia wasn’t converted as a whole.

    The prophecy was written down in 1943 but it was supposedly spoken by the apparition in 1917, and if taken as contemporary to 1917 does not refer to the events of World War II at all. But suppose Operation Barbarossa had succeeded and Russia had been conquered by the Third Reich. Its official religion would have become Christianity as in the rest of the Reich, Communism worldwide would have been dealt a crippling blow, and regardless of how the war eventually ended Russia would have ultimately wound up as a Christian nation at peace. The prophecy’s preferred option would have been fulfilled either way.

  3. A new question from Jacob, better placed as a comment. Sorry it took so long to put up.

    “I failed to mention the consecration of Russia. It basically says that the after the pope consecrates Russia to Mary, it will be converted. This happened in 1984 and the Soviet Union collapsed 7 years later.”

    Yes, it does say something like that as written above, but the two events are hardly unrelated. A rising profile for Christianity would be the perfect time for the Pope to consecrate a territory, and that rising profile could only happen if the forces holding Christianity back were beginning to weaken. It’s a formality that probably would have happened in the lead-up to the full public resurgence of the faith no matter how it happened.

    1. Was Russia really “converted” in the first place? It has always had a lot of Christians there, even though they weren’t always allowed to practice their faith openly. And since every nation and kingdom and empire seems to fall eventually, predicting a fall of the Soviet Union is nothing special. It was going to fall at some point, they all do…

  4. It also says that at the end the world would see a period of peace and it is accepted that the world is more peaceful now that at any event in history. skeptic how could someone in 1941 know all this.

    1. A “period of peace” could technically be anything from one peaceful day between wars to no war ever again. Guessing that one of those would happen an unspecified period of time after an aggressive, expansionist nation becomes less so is not at all impressive.

  5. Back to the spreading of communism. Russia only started expanding after ww2 but it was written in 1941.

  6. Yes, Communism only really spread outside of Russia after ww2.
    Russia is also the only country that got more christian in recent times and Putin strongly support the orthodox church.In other words they were converted, Although they are not Catholic they are also devoted to Mary.

    1. Mongolia became Communist in 1924. Albania in 1944. China’s communist movement started in 1927 with the PLA movement, although the KMT (the other side) was a nationalistic movement as well and the main difference between the two sides was ideological. Both sides were socialist at their core, so you could say China was a socialist state since 1927.

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