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By Michael H. Brown

Beyond what's going on in the weather and with the quakes or volcanoes and the simple strangeness around us is now the revelation that Sister Lucia dos Santos of Fatima had provided added details to the equally famous secret given her and two cousins in 1917 and best known as the Third Secret of Fatima.

Though she told fellow nuns at a convent in Coimbra, Portugal, that the entire 1917 secret was revealed in full by Rome in 2000, the cloistered Carmelite, revered for her deep holiness and along with Juan Diego of Guadalupe and Bernadette of Lourdes the most famous seer in history, said that in 1944, while praying about writing down the third secret for her bishop, she was granted an additional "enlightenment" to do with the vision in the secret, which she had seen as an angel touching the earth with a flaming sword.

"After the two parts which I have already explained, at the left of Our Lady and a little above, we saw an Angel with a flaming sword in his left hand. Flashing, it gave out flames that looked as though they would set the world on fire... she wrote about the third part.

Then came the additional enlightenment, about which we now learn Lucia said:

"The tip of the spear as a flame unlatches and touches the axis of the earth. It shudders. Mountains, cities, towns, and villages with their inhabitants are buried. The sea, the rivers, and the clouds emerge from their limits, overflowing and bringing with them in a whirlwind houses and people in numbers that are not possible to count. It is the purification of the world as it plunges into sin. Hatred and ambition cause the destructive war!"

Mention of the earth's "axis" drew immediate notice, for if it is not a simple metaphor, it implies an event or events different from what can be caused even by a flurry of nuclear weapons. Nuclear war has been the interpretation most often attached to the formal part of the secret, implying as it did a fiery chastisement.

Now, an effect on the "axis" has been added.

Not just the surface but the interior of the earth seems involved ("unlatched").

While potential nuclear war remains a very likely component of aforesaid warned events -- and while, with Russia and China flexing muscles, the threat of a gigantic nuclear holocaust has hardly vanished -- the additional enlightenment of 1944, revealed in a new book by Sister Lucia's fellow nuns, A Pathway Under the Gaze of Mary -- raises the question not only of whether the legendary secret has played itself out, but whether it pertains to the possibilities of war and an extraordinary natural disaster, or a natural event that would involve both "fire" and a massive geological effect.

The combination of "fire" and "the sea, the rivers, and the clouds [emerging] from their limits, overflowing and bringing with them in a whirlwind houses," along with specific mention of the earth's "axis," opens up a myriad of additional possibilities about what was implied by the secret, leading one to wonder if there is implied nuclear war and a great geophysical upheaval, or if an event such as an asteroid or comet would fit the bill as both causing fire to fall -- touching the earth, as with a fiery sword -- and affecting the earth's axis in such a way as to disturb the oceans.

And it brings into sharp relief the purported messages from a nun in Akita, Japan, who in 1973 -- on another major Fatima anniversary (that of October 13)-- said she was told by the Virgin Mary that "If men do not repent and better themselves, the Father will inflict a terrible punishment on all humanity. It will be a punishment greater than the deluge, such as one that will never have been seen before. Fire will fall from the sky and will wipe out a great part of humanity, the good as well as the bad, sparing neither priests nor faithful. The survivors will find themselves so desolate that they will envy the dead. The only arms which will remain for you will be the Rosary and the Sign left by My Son. Each day recite the prayers of the Rosary. With the Rosary, pray for the Pope, the Bishops, and the priests."

Whether a comet of the size necessary to affect the earth's tilt would leave survivors is a question for astronomers. It seems impossible that anything would be left, even if the comet were large enough to cause only a minor change in the planet's rotation or orbit. One expert says it would take a force that is a significant fraction of the energy contained in the earth's rotation, which scientists estimate is the equivalent of 100 million times the world's entire nuclear arsenal. Only an asteroid or comet more than four times the size of the moon, striking a glancing blow at the earth's equator, would change the earth's rotation, according to the expert, who adds that there is no known asteroid that size.

The earth's axis is its tilt and the cause for seasons. Any change in it alters climate. While it varies slightly through the millennia, it is normally within a narrow range.

Of such mass is the earth that a comet the size of what some believe lead to the extinction of dinosaurs would supposedly change the length of the day -- the earth's rotation -- by a mere .004 seconds.

That's minuscule, but thousands of times the effect of the 2004 quake that caused the great Asian tsunami.

Whether a large planetoid-kind of any object coming from the outer zones of the solar system might cause fiery debris and gravitational or "precessional" effects that would nudge the earth without actually touching it is an open question. Nor do we know what could be effected by the gravitation from the sun, which is 333,000 times the mass of earth. One can also speculate about mega-volcanoes, which would cause fire to fall and perhaps provoke concomitant earthquakes that would disturb the "sea." There are increasing signs that the interior of the earth might be unsettled, and another Church-approved seer, Maria Esperanza of Betania in Venezuela, once remarked that the earth's core "is not in balance." Strange rumblings as well as seismic events have been recorded during the past several years in many parts of the world. Volcanoes are regularly in the news, most recently in Chile. But are they more frequent than usual?

At the Church-approved site of Kibeho in Rwanda, seers were shown alleged future events that included, in at least one visionary's reckoning, a great upheaval during which mountains seemed to collapse and rocks seemed to be smashing into each other in great sparks. Another seer there said the Virgin had once asked rhetorically, "Where will you go when the fire is everywhere."

Might something inside of the earth -- the theoretical molten core (scientists aren't even really sure what the core is like) -- shift in a way that would tilt the earth or affect its rotation -- at the same time shaking loose volcanoes and causing tremendous quakes?

In the third secret -- the release of which was the first and largest headline on Spirit Daily, which was founded on this day (May 13, the Fatima anniversary) fifteen years ago -- the torch from the angel is quenched by the radiance of the Blessed Mother, and the secret ends with the words, "Beneath the two arms of the Cross there were two Angels each with a crystal aspersorium in his hand, in which they gathered up the blood of the Martyrs and with it sprinkled the souls that were making their way to God -- which confirms Sister Sasagawa's message on how the Virgin had prevented certain chastisements (through "beloved souls who console Him and form a cohort of victim souls").

That too connects with Fatima. Another message to the nun, Sister Agnes Sasagawa -- in 1973, long before the secret was revealed -- said: "With My Son, I have intervened so many times to appease the wrath of the Father. I have prevented the coming of calamities by offering Him the sufferings of the Son on the Cross..."

Clearly, major events have been prevented but with the state of the world and the signs around us, there is reason to believe that other chastisements loom, or that the forestalled ones may rekindle. At the reputed but not yet approved site of Medjugorje in former Yugoslavia, which Pope John Paul II called "the fulfillment of Fatima," six seers are said to possess up to ten secrets each, some pertaining to future matters -- a clear sign, if authenticated, that major events -- chastisements -- remain a serious and perhaps global issue.

It would take a relatively minuscule change in the planet's axis to have profound effects on climate, which already has changed in most parts of the world, with some wrongly assuming it must all be due to human input and others denying that the change has taken place despite extensive evidence from governments around the world of the contrary. These changes, however, similar to what occurred before bubonic plague in the high Middle Ages, may be linked at least in part to activities on the sun, which also played a part in the Fatima events in the way of the also famous "miracle of the sun" on October 13, 1917, the same day, fifty-six years later, in 1973, that Sister Sagawa received her most jarring prophetic message.

[resources: A Pathway Under the Gaze of Mary, Fear of Fire, and The Final Hour]

[see also: Michael Brown retreat in North Carolina and Spirit Daily pilgrimage to Lourdes, Avila, Fatima]

[More on Akita and the Neues Europa message; text of the third secret]

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