Pope Pius XII and Fatima

Pope Pius XII celebrating Mass in the Sistine Chapel

Pope Pius XII celebrating Mass in the Sistine Chapel

‘Suppose, dear friend, that Communism [one of “the errors of Russia” mentioned in the Message of Fatima] was only the most visible of the instruments of subversion to be used against the Church and the traditions of Divine Revelation. … I am worried by the Blessed Virgin’s messages to Lucy of Fatima. This persistence of Mary about the dangers which menace the Church is a divine warning against the suicide of altering the Faith, in her Liturgy, Her theology and Her soul. … I hear all around me innovators who wish to demolish the Holy Sanctuary, destroy the universal flame of the Church, reject Her adornments and make Her feel remorse for Her historical past. A day will come when the civilised world will deny its God, when the Church will doubt as Peter doubted. She will be tempted to believe that man has become God. … In our churches, Christians will search in vain for the red lamp where God awaits them. Like Mary Magdalene, weeping before the empty tomb, they will ask, “Where have they taken him?”’  (Words of Pope Pius XII: quoted in the book by Mgr. Georges Roche’s & Philippe Saint Germain, ‘Pie XII Devant L’Histoire’)

Pope Pius XII is not generally singled out as a “Fatima Pope”, and yet certain important biographical dates in his life have an interesting coincidence with events that occurred at Fatima. For instance: “On 13th May 1917, while the Mother of God was appearing in Fatima, announcing to the world her message of peace and conversion and warning humanity about the terrible crises of the 20th century, in the Sistine Chapel in Rome from which he would emerge years later as the Successor of Peter, the Nuncio Eugenio Pacelli, the future Pius XII, was being consecrated Archbishop by Pope Benedict XV.
In the perspective of Faith, as we know, nothing happens by chance, and some apparently chance occurrences are indicative signs of a providential course of events. Nor, we believe, was it a chance occurrence that the burial of Eugenio Pacelli took place on 13th October 1958, the anniversary of the last apparition in Fatima. A further, clear confirmation of Mary’s desire to accompany that faithful son of hers to the threshold of eternity.” (Quoted by Emilia Paola Pacelli)

According to Pope Pius XII’s own testimony in a handwritten, unpublished note (later discovered in the Pacelli family archives), the Pope who declared the dogma of the Assumption, saw the “miracle of the sun” four times! Pius XII’s note describes the miracle and stated: “I have seen the ‘miracle of the sun’, this is the pure truth”. These visions took place in the year he was to proclaim the dogma of the Assumption, 1950, while he walked in the Vatican Gardens, “the 31st of October and Nov. 1, the day of the definition of the dogma of the Assumption, and then again Nov. 8, and after that, no more” […] considering it a confirmation of his plan to declare the dogma.

The Pope acknowledged that on other days at about the same hour, he tried to see if the phenomenon would be repeated, “but in vain – I couldn’t fix my gaze [on the sun] for even an instant; my eyes would be dazzled.”

Pius XII spoke about the incident with a few cardinals and close collaborators, such that Sister Pascalina Lehnert, the nun in charge of the papal apartments, declared that “Pius XII was very convinced of the reality of the extraordinary phenomenon, which he had seen on four occasions.”

As Pope, in 1940, he approved the Fatima apparitions, and in 1942, consecrated the entire world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

As well, Pius XII often spoke with Sister Lucia, the visionary of Fatima, and he asked her to transcribe the messages she received from the Virgin. He thus became the first Pope to know the “third secret of Fatima,” which Pope John Paul II would later make public. (Adapted from an article in Zenit, Nov. 2008.)

With all the above confirmation that Heaven singled out Angelic Pastor Pope Pius XII to declare the ex cathedra doctrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven, and by the part he played in the messages Our Lady gave the little visionaries at Fatima, it would be wise to listen to his advice and admonishments.


Prayer for the beatification of the Angelic Pastor, Pius XII:

O God,

You chose Pope Pius XII, Angelic Pastor, universal Teacher and common Father, as Successor of the Apostle Peter and Servant of the Servants of God.

Driven by the charity of Christ Our Lord and desiring the exaltation of His Kingdom, he joined sound teaching, lofty and divine, to an active apostolate, that in times of war and uncertainty, touched the individual souls and the countless masses.

Now that he has passed into your kingdom of light and peace, we treasure his example and beseech him to strengthen with his intercession our prayer:

Bless, O God, our homes, our families,

our priests, the poor, the suffering, the children;

… (Grace desired) …

Through Christ our Lord.

Venerable Servant of God, holy and unforgettable Father:

may your blessing be with us always.

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4 Responses to Pope Pius XII and Fatima

  1. What better man to sanctify given his support & physical help to the Jews in WW2. He epitomises all that was good in the Church before the fall that was VAT2. He accepted the trappings of his office & was a humble man without the outward refusal to dress & behave like a Pope. Our prayers are promised


  2. Robert says:

    Why skate around the Prompt Obedience of this Peter Pius XII “When a person hears and obeys words and commandments of God, and without excuse fulfills the WILL of God, he is like a servant faithful to the WILL of his lord, he is obedient” (Luke 11:28).
    You do not mention the Blue Army the Fatima Statue of Peace.
    I contrast this with 1960 onwards for very public and visible Disobedience. Where was the Public Penance for 1960 Disobedience?
    Pius XII the Pope of Fatima (because he saw and believed). The world of course has plagarised his memory, but then it would wouldn’t it!
    I very much like the sight of a Pope offering the Holy Sacrifice to God (not with His back to God).


  3. Roger says:

    Mention is made of Pacelli “Archbishop by Pope Benedict XV” that was to Sardis.
    Now Lucy pointed out that the secret of Fatima was in the Apoc. So is Sardis and the 4 visions of the Dancing Sun to Pope Pius XII with his title Archbishop of Sardis bring an Apoc perspective to Fatima.


  4. kathleen says:

    Yes Roger, thank you; you are right in mentioning that I missed out from the article the formal and emphatic approval Pope Pius XII gave to the “Blue Army of Our Lady of Fátima”, now mostly known as the “World Apostolate of Fátima”. The Blue Army had enormous success both in its rapid growth, and in spreading the Message all over the world. However, like all good and fruitful Catholic endeavours that work for the good of souls, it came under some fierce opposition in later years! See here.

    Of course there are many more connections of Pope Pius XII to Fatima than those mentioned in the article. (The main aim of this article was to bring attention to the Angelic Pastor’s words quoted in the book “Pie XII: Devant L’Histoire” with Our Lady’s warnings at Fatima, and about the dangers inherent in any attempt at “altering the Faith, in her [the Church’s] Liturgy, Her theology and Her soul”.)

    Pope Pius XII, in numerous messages and in his encyclicals, Auspicia quaedam (1948) – in which he requested the consecration to the Immaculate Heart of every Catholic family, parish and diocese – and in Fulgens corona (1953), and Ad Caeli Reginam (1954), Pius XII encouraged the veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Fátima.

    Pius XII was most certainly, in every way, a ‘Fatima Pope’. 🙂


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