By Jim Tetlow
Lucia de Jesus dos Santo, last of the three children who claimed to see the Virgin Mary apparition at Fatima, Portugal in 1917, has died at the age of 97 in a convent in Portugal where she lived most of her life as a nun.
The messages delivered to the children by the apparition included one about the assassination of a pope. Since John Paul II nearly died at the hands of a gunman early in his pontificate, he related to the prophecy and made a special point to thank the Fatima "Virgin" for sparing his life.
Also included were three "secrets." One was a vision of hell and the other supposedly predicted World War II. Mystery surrounds the third secret which is said to include the assassination of the pope.
Because of the strong prophetic elements, many Catholics feel the apparition at Fatima ushered in the beginning of the end. Many Bible-believing Christians are unaware that millions of Roman Catholic's also believe that earth is in its final days. Tragically, Catholics, rather then relying solely on Scripture, often depend on the apparitions of Mary to reveal God's plan for the last days.
These sincere Catholics do not know that these apparitions are not the true Mary, but rather a deceptive pagan deity known as the Queen of Heaven. This impostor has the absolute allegiance of countless millions of faithful followers and the pope himself. Yet the Bible specifically warns that she is a demonic impostor (cf. Jeremiah 7:6-18; 44:15-22).
In Pope John Paul's book Crossing the Threshold of Hope, he explains his Marian devotion as "total abandonment to Mary" He also writes: "On this universal level, if victory comes it will be brought by Mary. Christ will conquer through her, because He wants the Church's victories now and in the future to be linked to her." There was also great speculation that Pope John Paul II would officially declare Mary the Co-redemptrix before he died. It will be interesting to see if the new pope —who is very Marian— will proceed with this.
The good news is that many Catholics are willing to discuss the numerous reported Marian apparitions. In that light, we are excited to announce the new DVD version of Messages From Heaven. This 80-minute documentary lovingly exposes these apparitions with the Word of God and encourages viewers to place their trust in the Jesus of the Bible alone.
The new DVD is recorded in 5 languages: English, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Italian! This would make a great gift to share with your unsaved Catholic friends, as well as missionaries serving in other countries. The video is also available on VHS (English or Spanish) and the companion book (by the same name) provides a more in-depth look at these manifestations. The Bible warns that there will be an increase in demonic deceptions just before Jesus returns. May we urgently use the time left to reach the lost with the true gospel!