By Michael H. Brown
When we left off we were at the point where the apparition at LaSalette, France, had flowed into that of Fatima (see "Secrets: The connection between LaSalette, Fatima, and Medjugorje").
The alleged secret from LaSalette (alleged because part of it did not meet with Church approval) said there would be revolts and wars and even a "general war" in Europe.
Well, in 1917 the continent was in the midst of World War One when the Blessed Mother returned, appearing to three peasant children from May to October in Portugal. She came on the 13th of the month and it was in July that she delivered the famous secret to the eldest visionary, Lucia Abobora (now known as Lucia dos Santos).
Years later, when the secret was revealed, it was learned that the Virgin had made a prediction. "When you see a night illuminated by an unknown light, know that this is the great sign given you by God that He is about to punish the world for its crimes, by means of war, famine, and persecution of the Church and of the Holy Father," said the message. There was special mention of Russia, which was about to turn atheistic. The Virgin asked that Russia be consecrated to her Immaculate Heart to prevent a dangerous future. "If my requests are heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace," the Blessed Mother prophesied. "If not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer, various nations will be annihilated."
Twenty-one years later, peering out her lonely window at a convent in Tuy, Spain, where she had become a nun, Sister Lucia was fascinated to note a tremendous display of aurora borealis. It was the evening of January 25, 1938, and the lights were seen in a way that may have been unprecedented, visible from Scotland to Africa. In London two magnificent arcs rose in the west and east, radiating pulsating beams that looked like red, blue, and purple searchlights. The British were spellbound, and so bright was the phenomenon that many thought Windsor Castle was afire.
There were beautiful coronas. Tonguelike rays rippled up. Pilots flying over the Atlantic reported what was described as "a shimmering curtain of fire." The lights were seen clearly in Italy, Austria, Morocco, and even west to Bermuda and Canada.
The glow, bathing snow-clad mountaintops in Austria, was a beautiful sight, but it created fear. In Portugal peasants thought it was doom and a huge blood-red beam of light spread similar fears in Swiss Alpine villages.
"Emblazoned in the northern sky the light brought thousands of telephone calls to Swiss and French authorities asking whether it was a fire, war, or the end of the world," reported the Associated Press. Telephone systems were tied up, Canadian wire services were disrupted, and all transatlantic radio communication was down until nearly midnight.
In the convent, Lucia knew instantly that it was the portent, the "great sign," predicted at Fatima. She wrote her bishop that if they investigated it further scientists would find that it wasn't a normal presentation of the northern light. She said it was a phenomenon "manifested by God." And indeed on February 4, 1938, a week after the aurora, Hitler promoted himself to military chief in Germany and a month after marched into Austria -- the very region where the aurora had caused such a stir.
It was the takeover of a nation and in many ways the beginning of World War Two. Soon Hitler was meeting with Mussolini in Italy, where anti-Jewish legislation was passed, and there were pogroms in Germany. And not too long after, there was the invasion of Poland, which signaled the formal advent of the Great War.

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