I offer this in response to a question in another thread, but the nature of the issue is such that I felt it deserved a New Topic status in this sub-forum on Catholic History.
We all believe that the Mother of God truly appeared at Fatima in 1917 and promised, "In the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph." I dare say there are few posters on the Fish Eaters Website who do not take great comfort from that prophesy.
But can we predict with a reasonable degree of certainty when that triumph will occur? I am of the opinion that we can, by carefully correlating the events at Fatima with other significant and approved apparitions. Following is perhaps the most significant for this purpose. It will be found familiar to most:
On October 13, 1884, Pope Leo XIII had just finished Mass in his private chapel when he went into an ecstasy, which to alarmed onlookers appeared to be a coma or worse. In this state he overheard a conversation between Our Lord Jesus Christ and Satan, eerily reminiscent of God's conversation with Satan in the Book of Job:
Satan: "I can destroy your Church."
Christ: "You can? Then why don't you?"
Satan: "I need more time and more power."
Christ: "How much time? What kind of power?"
Satan: 75 to 100 years, and more power over those who will give themselves over to me."
Christ: I give you the time; the power you already have.
Pope Leo then saw the course of the Twentieth Century. When he came to, he told the clergy with him what he had seen, and wrote the Invocation to Saint Michael. It is worth noting that the full text of this prayer, although available on the Internet, is seldom prayed in its full and apocalyptic form, rather a collect-like abbreviation is used. The full form draws heavily on images from the Olivet Discourse and the Apocalypse, chapters 8 - 13, later specified by Sister Lucy to contain the real Third Secret.
Is there a connection between Pope Leo's vision and Fatima? Obviously, yes, since both originate from One God. But what precisely is the connection? October 13, 1884, is exactly 33 years to the day before October 13, 1917, when the Mother of God fulfilled her promise to give "a sign by which all men shall know that I have come to you." Thirty-three years is the age of Christ at his crucifixion. In this context the 33 years may be understood as the period of preparation before the crucifixion of the Mystical Body of Christ began in earnest with the Russian Revolution. (Russia will spread her errors throughout the world, causing persecution of the Church and the Holy Father, said Our Lady). It is especially noteworthy in this regard that even secular historians today speak of Europe's Long Nineteenth Century as being from 1789 to 1917.
Now consider that Satan requested, and received from the Lord, 75 - 100 years in which to attack and destroy the Church. If my understanding is right, we ought to calculate that period of woe as beginning in October of 1917.
Our Lady's message shows how her Immaculate Heart could have triumphed at any time from 1929 onward. To Sister Lucy at Tuy on June 13, 1929 she said, "The moment has come in which God asks for the consecration of Russia...". Pius XI did not do it. In 1960 Pope John XXIII read the text of the Third Secret and could have used the Second Vatican Council for the consecration, but did not do it. It remains undone to this day, and the promised triumph cannot take place without the requested Collegial Consecration of Russia.
However, the longest that the satanic onslaught can continue is definitely fixed at 100 years. We should take this seriously. God speaks with great precision in his use of numbers; just consider the 120 years from the time God commanded Noah to build an ark, until the Flood came. So, I think we may be reasonably certain that, at the latest, Our Lady's triumph will have taken place by October of 2017.
Just to test this theory, which I developed in the year 2000, I did some calculation. Satan said, "75 to 100 years." What if God gave him exactly the time between 75 and 100 years? That would be 87.5 years. Starting at October 1917, and counting forward 87.5 years, where does that take us? To April 2005. So I waited to see if anything big would happen in April 2005. Indeed, something big did happen. John Paul II died, and Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger was elected to the See of Peter as Benedict XVI.
I do not know just how the promise will be fulfilled, or when. I hope that conditions in the Church and the world, and the grace of millions of rosaries, will move the heart of Pope Benedict to reconsider his current course of action and call for the Collegial Consecration of Russia. I do believe, however, that we are in the final decade of this most troubled of times for the Church, and that, at least, is a comforting thought.
Happy New Year to all!