Now let us look at what happened and what the three young shepherds witnessed. As discussed above, in 1943, Sister Lúcia, under obedience to God, the bishop of Leiria, and the Blessed Mother, wrote the following description of the third part of the secret revealed to her and her two cousins on July 13, 1917:
“J.M.J. The third part of the secret revealed at the Cova da Iria-Fátima, on 13 July 1917.
“I write in obedience to you, my God, who command me to do so through his Excellency the bishop of Leiria and through your Most Holy Mother and mine.
“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; but they died out in contact with the splendor that Our Lady radiated toward him from her right hand: pointing to the earth with his right hand, the angel cried out in a loud voice: ‘Penance, Penance, Penance!’
And we saw in an immense light that is God: ‘something similar to how people appear in a mirror when they pass in front of it’ a bishop dressed in white ‘we had the impression that it was the Holy Father.’
“Other bishops, priests, men and women religious going up a steep mountain, at the top of which there was a big cross of roughhewn trunks as of a cork tree with the bark; before reaching there the Holy Father passed through a big city half in ruins and half trembling with halting step, afflicted with pain and sorrow, he prayed for the souls of the corpses he met on his way; having reached the top of the mountain, on his knees at the foot of the big cross he was killed by a group of soldiers who fired bullets and arrows at him, and in the same way there died one after another the other bishops, priests, men and women religious, and various lay people of different ranks and positions. 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.”
The scenes that Sister Lúcia recalled are intense and wildly descriptive. We can only imagine what the three young visionaries experienced and thought upon receiving the great prophetic secrets of Fátima that day. The words and visions given by God and the Blessed Mother are meant for all of us.