The late Sr Lucia of Fatima was reliably quoted – for example by Cardinal Ottaviani at a Mariological Conference in Rome – as saying that the 3rd secret was not to be revealed until 1960. She said that this was the will of heaven.

Why 1960? It’s natural to reflect that the 60’s, as a decade, were a devastating time for the Church and the world; the time, among other things, at which the forces opposed to the natural law began to achieve their full dominance of the State. But could there be a reason why one particular year was singled out?

In 1960 the United States Food and Drug Administration approved the contraceptive pill. At one stroke was undermined marriage, and therefore the family and therefore both ecclesiastical vocations and society. Perhaps no other single act has done so much to produce that ‘half-ruined city’ shown to the 3 shepherd children in the 3rd secret.