Monday, October 29, 2007

Steve Berry --- The Third Secret

I think that I have written in the past about other Steve Berry books that I have read. This is my third Berry book, having read The Alexandria Link, and The Templar Legacy; both were fun, thrilling, engaging books. This evening I finished The Third Secret, again in the typical Steve Berry vain, a thriller based at the Vatican.

The story revolves around the "third secret" from the children who saw the visions of the virgin Mary at Fatima for 6 consecutive months on the 13day of each month. The first two "secrets" were revealed right away --- the first was a vision of hell:

Our Lady showed us a great sea of fire which seemed to be under the earth. Plunged in this fire were demons and souls in human form, like transparent burning embers, all blackened or burnished bronze, floating about in the conflagration, now raised into the air by the flames that issued from within themselves together with great clouds of smoke, now falling back on every side like sparks in a huge fire, without weight or equilibrium, and amid shrieks and groans of pain and despair, which horrified us and made us tremble with fear. The demons could be distinguished by their terrifying and repulsive likeness to frightful and unknown animals, all black and transparent. This vision lasted but an instant. How can we ever be grateful enough to our kind heavenly Mother, who had already prepared us by promising, in the first Apparition, to take us to heaven. Otherwise, I think we would have died of fear and terror.

The second secret concerned the convertions of Russia to the Roman Catholic faith:
You have seen hell where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace. The war is going to end: but if people do not cease offending God, a worse one will break out during the Pontificate of Pius XI. When you see a night illumined 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 persecutions of the Church and of the Holy Father. To prevent this, I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart, and the Communion of reparation on the First Saturdays. If my requests are heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace; 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. In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, and she shall be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world.
The third secret was not revealed until June 26th 2000 --- part of the controversy questions whether that was really the secret. Hence the premise of the book. What makes this all the more interesting is if you decide to do a little more research into the secrets of Fatima --- you find that Cardinal Ratzinger (now the Pope) was a major player in its release.

The mystery is fun and intense, however, I have to admit that the secret was a little far fetched. I could believe that part of it might have been true, but it went too far. The weird thing is, as I read, I was convinced that I had read this before, or at least that I have read another book with a similar plot.

If you are looking for a fun religious mystery -- this is a great book for you!

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