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The Possible Chastisement of the
Third Secret of Fatima
John F. Salza, J.D. POSTED: 2/27/13
Remnant Columnist, Milwaukee  


A City Half in Ruins...
There has been much speculation about the contents of the still hidden Third Secret of Fatima. Our Lady commanded by express order that the Secret be released in 1960. When Cardinal Ottaviani in 1955 asked Sister Lucia “Why this date?” she said the meaning of the Secret will “seem clearer” (“mais claro”) at that time. Of course, the most impactful event for the Church at that time was the ensuing Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), and many clerics who have read or know the Secret explain that it prophesies an apostasy in the Church as a result of the council’s novelties.

Sister Lucia confirmed that the Third Secret begins with Our Lady’s mysterious phrase, “In Portugal, the dogma of the faith will always be preserved etc…,” implying that the Faith will not be preserved elsewhere, even at the highest levels of the Church.

But are Vatican II and the New Mass the only warnings of the Third Secret? No. In 2000, the Vatican revealed that in the third part of the Secret Our Lady prophesies a possible execution of a Pope, along with bishops, priests, religious and laity in a city half in ruins, perhaps devastated by a nuclear attack. Our Lady in the second part of the Secret also accurately predicted World War II. Hence, the Great Secret of Fatima reveals terrifying material, not just spiritual, chastisements. But how might additional, yet-to-be revealed material chastisements of the Third Secret be connected to 1960?  Especially when the conditional prophesies of the execution of a Pope and the devastation of a city have not yet occurred as of 2013?

My research has led me to a frightening though plausible conclusion: Beginning in 1960, Russia and the United States became formally aware of the biggest material threat to modern civilization.

That threat is referred to as an electromagnetic pulse attack (EMP). An EMP is created by the detonation of a nuclear bomb over a geographical area which damages or destroys all of the electronic systems within the targeted area. In 1960, both the Soviet Union and the United States formalized plans to test nuclear weapons that would be able to bring about a paralyzing EMP against their enemies.[1] These tests would reveal the potential damage of an EMP which far surpassed scientific expectations.

In 1961 and 1962, the Soviet Union launched a series of nuclear bombs over a large geographical area in Kazakhstan whose infrastructure was heavily electrified. The series of test launches was known as K-3 or Test 184.[2] Reports were later issued which revealed that the civilian infrastructure of Kazakhstan was severely damaged. Major underground power lines failed, diesel generators malfunctioned, radar was disabled and telephone lines were shut down. All overvoltage protectors fired, and all of the fuses on the power line were blown.[3] Even with the usage of relatively smaller nuclear bombs in these tests, debilitating damage was achieved.[4] 

On July 9, 1962, the United States also performed an EMP test known as “Starfish Prime” by launching a high-altitude nuclear bomb over Johnston Island in the mid-Pacific Ocean.[5] It was discovered that electromagnetic fields were adversely affected in Honolulu, Hawaii almost 900 miles away. Streetlights were extinguished, microwave communications were disrupted and burglar alarms were sounded off. A number of orbiting satellites were also destroyed. While these effects were not overly dramatic, the test burst was very distant from Hawaii[6] and electronic technology has become much more sensitive to EMP since 1962.[7]  Moreover, the thermonuclear warhead (so-called “hydrogen bomb”) used in Starfish was very inefficient at producing EMP. Nevertheless, the effects of the blast surprised the experts and confirmed that our critical infrastructures, including the electrical power grid itself, would be subject to incalculable damage in an effective EMP attack.[8] In other words, the potential damage of an EMP attack became “clearer” with these nuclear tests beginning in 1960 – the year Our Lady commanded the Third Secret to be revealed. 

Because almost all aspects of modern American life are run by electricity, primarily through computer chips (food storage, water distribution, utilities, transportation, communication, financial services), the United States is extremely vulnerable to this type of attack. This vulnerability has increased significantly over the last 40 years as more and more of our infrastructure has become increasingly dependent upon electronics. Moreover, based on Congressional reports, we are currently defenseless in most aspects against such warfare.[9] The United States Congress formed a Commission in 2001 to examine the impact of EMP on our country, with particular focus on the Soviet and American testing of 1962. The Commission concluded: 

Several potential adversaries have or can acquire the capability to attack the United States with a high-altitude nuclear weapon-generated electromagnetic pulse (EMP). A determined adversary can achieve an EMP attack capability without having a high level of sophistication. EMP is one of a small number of threats that can hold our society at risk of catastrophic consequences. EMP will cover the wide geographic region within line of sight to the nuclear weapon. It has the capability to produce significant damage to critical infrastructures and thus to the very fabric of US society, as well as to the ability of the United States and Western nations to project influence and military power.”[10]

Within seconds of a full-blown EMP attack against our country, millions of Americans would die instantly – in planes that would fall from the sky, in cars that would malfunction, and in hospitals whose life-supporting systems would shut down.[11] The rest who are not prepared for such an attack would eventually die either of starvation or disease, or at the hands of hunger-crazed citizens or enemy invaders.[12] The effects would be more immediate in populated areas, with survivors frantically attempting to escape to the country in search of food and protection. Information sharing would cease as nearly all radio and television programs would go off the air, further paralyzing our nation with fear of the unknown. Financial systems would shut down and American currency would become worthless. Our country would sink into physical and spiritual darkness beyond all imagination and comprehension. 

Within hours of a successful attack, city riots would precipitate and stores would be looted for food before it rotted.[13] Killers and rapists would escape from prisons and rain terror upon their victims. After only a month or two, there would be a proliferation of infectious disease, mass-murder and suicide, and starving people would resort to cannibalism, some even eating their own children. If the attack occurred in the winter, millions would also freeze to death. Under any scenario, our military would be paralyzed, as electronically governed aircraft, tanks, submarines and weaponry would no longer function and communications would almost completely break down.[14] We would be unable to successfully defend against the inevitable foreign invasion. It would be a literal hell on Earth. It is the most horrific and terrifying scenario that could ever be conceived by the human mind. As Pope John Paul I said, “The secret; it’s terrible.”[15] And it could be the conditional chastisement revealed by Our Lady in the Third Secret of Fatima – a chastisement that could befall us if the Pope does not consecrate Russia in time. 

If this is the Secret, it must be the reason why Sister Lucia could not initially write it down, even after having been commanded to do so by her bishop. What could possibly have scared Lucia in such a manner? After all, she had seen a vision of hell and had been threatened with torture and death as a child. Surely, Our Lady’s description of the aftermath of an EMP attack could have done so. This may also be why Malachi Martin revealed on the Art Bell Show in 1997 that the Third Secret is more shocking than people can imagine. After revealing the Secret is “much worse” than a natural disaster, he said it “would give a shock, would terrify people, would fill confessionals on Saturday night, would fill the cathedrals, the basilicas, and the churches with believers on their knees, beating their breasts.”[16] People do not react that way for warnings of apostasy, especially when these warnings are in Scripture and most of the world is already apostate. But such a reaction is not only conceivable, but expected from those faithful who believe their lives could suddenly be transformed into incomprehensible terror, knowing their fate is in the hands of one man, the Pope (with whom they must now publicly plead to be spared through the consecration).

We are also reminded that Our Lady repeated the warnings of the Third Secret in Her apparitions at Akita, Japan in 1973. In 1998, Howard Dee, the former Philippine Ambassador to the Vatican revealed to Inside the Vatican that “Cardinal Ratzinger personally confirmed to me that these two messages, of Fatima and Akita, are essentially the same.”[17]

At Akita, Our Lady warned of “a terrible punishment on all humanity. It will be a punishment greater than the deluge, such as one will have never seen before. Fire will fall from the sky and will wipe out a great part of humanity, the good as well as the bad.”[18] In an EMP attack, fire does indeed fall from the sky through the nuclear explosion that creates the damaging current of positive ions, resulting in the eventual indiscriminate loss of life in its wake. At Akita, Our Lady also revealed, “The survivors will envy the dead.” This would be the case if survivors were imprisoned in a world of physical and mental torture with no way to escape – the inevitable consequence of an EMP attack. This could be why Cardinal Ratzinger, in his 1984 interview with Vittorio Messori, stated that Fatima reveals “dangers threatening the faith and life of the Christian, and therefore of the world.”[19] In his May 13, 1967 sermon at Fatima, Paul VI also warned that “the world is in danger.”[20]

This may also be why the Popes have chosen not to release the Third Secret. In their minds, revealing it would risk precipitating the prophesied events. For example, when John Paul II in Fulda, Germany (1981) was asked why the Secret was not released, he replied: “Given the seriousness of the contents, my predecessors in the Petrine office diplomatically preferred to postpone publication so as to not encourage the world power of Communism to make certain moves.”[21]

Cardinal Ottaviani had similarly stated in 1967 that the Secret was not revealed in order “To avoid that something so delicate, not destined for public consumption, come for whatever reason, even fortuitous, to fall into alien hands.”[22] When Messori in his 1984 interview with Ratzinger pressed him by concluding “I venture, it seems that here [in the Third Secret], also as in the two other ‘secrets,’ Russia is mentioned?” the Cardinal refused to go further and discuss any of the details.

These statements indicate the Third Secret may reveal a devastating attack by Russia against the West, which could most easily be achieved through EMP warfare. This information is indeed “delicate” and extremely dangerous in “alien hands,” because it would publicly reveal the outcome of Russia’s successful military strategy against the U.S., which it sought to confirm during its EMP testing in 1961-1962. Note well that it takes only a single scud missile, at a cost of only $100,000, with a single nuclear warhead, launched from an inexpensive base or shipboard in international waters, and detonated at 250 miles over the central U.S. to fatally cripple our nation. This is also why such an attack could easily come from the less sophisticated, rogue nations of the Middle East, who are under the direction and control of “the world power of Communism.”[23]

The Blessed Elena Aiello prophesied, in 1960 of all years, that “another terrible war will come from the East to the West. Russia with her secret armies will battle America; will overcome Europe.” She also said “Russia will march upon all the nations of Europe, particularly Italy, and will raise her flag over the Dome of St. Peter’s” [Is Rome the city in ruins revealed in the Third Secret?].

In the 1854 prophecy of Zachary, it is also revealed that Russia and China will go to war against the West and “North America will fall and be conquered and brought into bondage.”[24] For Russia or China to overrun the United States military and its armed citizens in such manner would seemingly presuppose we were previously rendered incapacitated to some extent to defend ourselves. This would indeed be the case after an EMP attack.

When in his 1946 interview Professor William Walsh asked Lucia if the United States would “be overcome by Communism” if Russia is not consecrated in time, she replied “Yes.”[25]

Of course, only very weak men would believe that hiding Our Lady’s prophecies in the Third Secret would somehow prevent those prophecies from being fulfilled. But that is exactly what the last five Popes have done. This is why Lucia said the Church is under a “diabolical disorientation.” The Popes have chosen to disobey Our Lady, favoring their own remedies of diplomacy and ecumenism rather than Heaven’s remedy of the consecration of Russia. Pope John XXIII, who was responsible for revealing the Third Secret in 1960, may have believed the EMP threat did not exist during his reign. He declared the inapplicability of the Third Secret to his pontificate immediately after reading the Secret in 1959. While this was no excuse to disobey Our Lady’s express order to reveal the Secret in 1960, Pope John’s decision can be rationalized, humanly speaking of course. The EMP threat was not as real or comprehensible during his pontificate.

However, John Paul II and Benedict XVI have no such excuse. Reports have been released, nuclear programs have advanced, and the threat has been substantiated.[26] Nevertheless, in the words of John Paul II, “truly the publication of such a message [the Third Secret] is no longer something to be so much desired.”[27] Similarly, in the words of Benedict XVI, “To publish the ‘third secret’ would mean exposing the Church to the danger of sensationalism, exploitation of the content.”[28] As inconceivable as it is, the conciliar Popes have been more concerned about the world’s reaction to the Secret rather than preventing the prophecies of the Secret from coming true through the consecration of Russia. Instead of obeying Our Lady of Fatima and saving the world from disaster, these Popes have chosen the Communist tactic of “perception management,” as the Communists themselves plan to destroy us and plunge the world into hell.

Our Lady commanded the consecration of Russia to be performed in 1929 when an EMP attack was not a legitimate threat. That threat became known around 1960 when Our Lady commanded the Secret to be revealed. This may indicate an EMP attack (perhaps by Russia against the United States) is the material chastisement revealed in the Third Secret. Our Lady obviously wanted the consecration to be performed (in 1929) before the world knew of the EMP risk (in 1960), so that the risk would be moot as the world experienced the promised period of peace. But the Popes of Vatican II have chosen their own ways. They have disobeyed God and brought humanity to a frightful abyss.

In the end, we know a Pope will consecrate Russia and Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart will triumph. Whether we must first suffer the chastisements of the Third Secret, however, remains to be seen.[29] If these facts do not inspire us to pray daily for the consecration of Russia, nothing will. May God spare us from the coming chastisement through the intercession of Our Lady of Fatima and the consecration of Russia to Her Immaculate Heart.

For more information, please read my new book, co-authored with Robert Sungenis, called The Consecration of Russia – How Seven Popes Failed to Heed Heaven’s Command and Brought Turmoil to the Church and the World (February, 2013), available at


[1] Note that a rudimentary analysis of the effects of EMP was recording by the U.S. government’s first nuclear weapon test which took place in July, 1945.

[2] The Soviet Union conducted these EMP tests on September 6, 1961 (Test No. 88, Thunderstorm), October 6, 1961 (Test No. 115, Thunder), October 27, 1961 (Test No. 128, K-1), October 27, 1961 (Test No. 127, K-2), October 22, 1961 (Test No. 184, K-3), October 28, 1961 (Test No. 187, K-4), and November 1, 1962 (Test No. 195, K-5).

[3] Most of the data still remain classified by the Russian Federation Ministry of Defense, but an informative report was prepared by Vasily N. Greetsai et. al. “Response of Long Lines to Nuclear High-Altitude Electromagnetic Pulse (HEMP)” IEEE Transactions on Electromagnetic Compatibility, Vol. 40, No. 4, November 1998.

[4] Nuclear EMP is usually described in terms of three components: E1(the fastest pulse which induces very high voltages and destroys computers and communications equipment); E2 (similar to the electrical pulses produced by lightning and the easiest to protect against); and E3 (a very slow pulse producing effects similar to a geomagnetic storm caused by a severe solar flare).

[5] The “Starfish” test used a 1.44 megaton W49 thermonuclear warhead detonated at an altitude of 250 miles. The U.S. also conducted the Bluegill Triple Prime, Checkmate and Kingfish high altitude tests of 1962, as well as the Hardtack-Teak and Hardtack-Orange tests of 1958. Most of the test results have remained classified.

[6]  A similar detonation over the continental U.S. would have had much more damaging effects due to the Earth’s greater magnetic field.

[7] For example, we have seen the change from analog to digital, with operating frequencies increasing from megahertz to gigahertz, and with the operating voltages of chips reaching ever lower levels.

[8] Since the 1962 testing, further nuclear EMP tests are currently prohibited under the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty which forbids weapons testing in the atmosphere or outer space.

[9] See, for example, the United States EMP Commission’s 2004 Report of the Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse Attack and its 2008 Critical National Infrastructure Report. See also Major Colin R. Miller’s Electromagnetic Pulse Threats in 2010.

[10] See the Commission’s 2004 Report to Assess the Threat to the United States of Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack. See also Jerry Emanuelson’s Nuclear Electromagnetic Pulse at and the 200-page report issued in 2008 by the United States EMP Commission at It is estimated that it would take up to ten years after an EMP attack to restore our electric power grid to functionality (and such restoration would depend upon the capability and freedom of the worker-survivors after such an attack).

[11] There is significant debate concerning the extent of such damage. For example, short cabling and metallic construction in cars may actually serve to protect most of them, although the increased use of non-metallic materials reduces this protection. Test results have been inconsistent. In fact, the malfunctioning of only a portion of all automobiles (say ten percent) would create greater chaos than if all cars were affected (in recent years, declassified information from the Starfish test revealed that cars in Hawaii with non-electronic ignition systems were also damaged by the EMP test, suggesting that potential damage to autos may be greater than anticipated). Further, the damage would depend upon the intensity and frequency of the pulse. Government reports have been conspicuously silent about the horrific impact on airplanes which are completely computer driven.  

[12] To survive, most people would need to store at least six months’ worth of nonperishable food and water in their homes, along with a means to cook food (e.g., propane fueled stoves), as well as have access to first aid and medicine. The best prepared will have generators or other emergency power sources, batteries, flashlights, kerosene lamps, portable heaters, two-way and emergency radios. Many will use “Faraday cages” to protect their backup electronic devices. People will also need guns and a stockpile of ammunition to protect themselves from looters. Many will survive by being able to hunt and fish, as well as grow/eat vegetables and fruits from trees. Those who possess gold and silver coins will also be able to barter and transact business when the value of American currency plummets or becomes completely worthless.

[13] Such mayhem occurred in the New York City blackout of 1977 in only a single day.

[14] The U.S. military currently has some protective measures in place against EMP, but the majority of its infrastructure, systems and communications remain exposed (almost the entire commercial sector has no EMP protection).

[15] Before he became Pope John Paul I, Cardinal Albino Luciano in 1977 traveled to Fatima and met with Sister Lucia. It is believed that Lucia explained to him the Secret and also revealed he would become Pope and be murdered by his own Vatican curia. His visit with Lucia was reported in Gente Veneta, July 23, 1977.

[16] Antonio Socci, The Fourth Secret of Fatima (Fitzwilliam: Loreto Publications, 2009), p. 125.

[17] Reported by Catholic World News, October 11, 2001.

[18] Pope John Paul II has also indicated the Third Secret reveals “that from one moment to the next millions of people will perish.” Stimmes Des Glaubins (Voice of Faith), cited in Chris Ferrara’s The Secret Still Hidden (Pound Ridge, NY: Good Counsel Publications, 2008), p. 37.

[19] Reported in the Italian journal Jesus, “Here is Why the Faith is in Crisis,” November 11, 1984.

[20] On September 10, 1984, Bishop Alberto Cosme do Amaral of Fatima stated the Third Secret did not speak of “atomic bombs” or “nuclear warheads.” While his statement undermines the proposed thesis, note the following: First, the bishop did not read the Secret and admitted his conclusions were based on his personal study of the matter (he wouldn’t say Lucia agreed with his interpretation until 11 years later, in 1995). Second, he withdrew his 1984 remarks before reasserting them again in 1995, which calls into question the reliability of his statement. Third, his statement attempted to summarize “the meaning of the message” and its primary import, namely, the “loss of faith” which he said was “worse than the annihilation of a nation”; hence, his statement does not preclude the conclusion that a nuclear holocaust is the revealed punishment for that “loss of faith.” Fourth, both Cardinal Ratzinger and John Paul II have collectively confirmed the Third Secret reveals material chastisements which threaten the world and where millions will die instantly (and Ratzinger’s statement came after that of do Amaral). Fifth, as noted, Ratzinger has said the chastisement revealed at Akita (fire raining from the sky) is essentially the same as that revealed in the Third Secret. Sixth, the part of the Third Secret released by the Vatican in 2000 reveals a putative war scene with the execution of the Pope and a city in ruins and hence is not limited to spiritual chastisements. Finally, Our Lady revealed that various nations would be annihilated, which is most certainly explained in the Third Secret (and, interestingly, Bishop do Amaral equated “nuclear holocaust” with “the annihilation of a nation” in his 1984 statement).

[21] Stimmes Des Glaubins (Voice of Faith), cited in Chris Ferrara’s The Secret Still Hidden, p. 37.

[22] Documentation Catholique, March 19, 1967, Col. 543.

[23] While it is unlikely that smaller countries such as Iran and North Korea could currently create the necessary megaton bomb to detonate at the required altitude for a full-scale EMP attack against the U.S., they are certainly getting closer. Moreover, Russia and China currently do have the capability, and have also been supplying arms and related materials to Iran and North Korea for their nuclear weapons programs.

[24] See Fr. Paul Kramer’s “What are the Missing Contents of the Third Secret?,” The Fatima Crusader, Issue 95, Summer 2010, p. 45. We note that, 170 years removed from this prophecy, Russia and China have entered into a formal military alliance against the West, in what has been called “The Beijing-Moscow Axis.” Perhaps this is why the United States has given so many trade concessions to nations such as China. The U.S. is attempting to appease China and the rest of its enemies, for we cannot currently defend against a universal EMP attack. Perhaps so long as China can continue to profit from our concessions on their artificially inflated currency, China will keep us alive. But, at some point – if the Pope does not timely consecrate Russia – that time will pass and we will be their victims.

[25] Louis Kaczmarek, The Wonders She Performs (Manassas, VA: Trinity Communications, 1986), p. 160.

[26] The effects of high-altitude nuclear EMP have been known since at least 1962. Information on the Soviet Union testing of 1961-1962 became available in the mid and late 1990s after the Soviet Union’s political restructuring. Certain information concerning the U.S. tests of 1962 also became available. The U.S. Department of Defense and other experts in the field have published information on nuclear weapon effects since the 1970s. Authorized by Congress in 2001, the United States EMP Commission issued a report in 2004 (Report of the Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse Attack), testified before the Senate in 2005, and issued another report in 2008 (Critical National Infrastructure Report).

[27] Stimmes Des Glaubins (Voice of Faith), cited in Chris Ferrara’s The Secret Still Hidden, p. 37.

[28] As Cardinal Ratzinger, in the Italian journal Jesus, “Here is Why the Faith is in Crisis,” November 11, 1984.

[29] If a devastating EMP attack occurs prior to the papal consecration of Russia, it is unclear how the Pope during such chaos will communicate with the world’s bishops in summoning them to perform the consecration on the same day and at the same hour with him. This possibility would be a further punishment from God for the Pope’s disobedience.

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