What if the assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II on May 13, 1981 was predicted in 1917? What if it was predicted on May 13 in 1917?
Historian and professor Paul Kengor, author of the new book A Pope and a President: John Paul II, Ronald Reagan, and the Extraordinary Untold Story of the 20th Century, joined Glenn on radio to describe the uncanny and chilling connection between Pope John Paul II and the Secrets of Fátima, a series of visions and prophecies given to three young Portuguese shepherds starting on May 13, 1917. Kengor also relayed why the name Fátima is so significant.
Listen to this segment from The Glenn Beck Program:
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This is a rush transcript and may contain errors.
GLENN: Hello, America. Welcome to the Glenn Beck Program. We’re back with Dr. Paul Kengor, author of the new book A Pope and A President. John Paul II, Ronald Reagan, and The Extraordinary Untold Story of the 21st Century. We started with Ronald Reagan said his best friend was Pope John Paul. They had this incredibly tight relationship. We found out — and Paul’s new book exposes the KGB — or, I’m sorry, the Soviet plot to go into Poland the day that Ronald Reagan — you want to talk about divine destiny. The day that Ronald Reagan was shot. And they didn’t go in because they knew that the world or America might say, “My gosh, the Soviets shot Reagan, so they could go into Poland.” And Al Hague steps up and says, “I’m in charge,” and they freaked out about that. So all of these things that we thought were so bad may have actually saved the world from a nuclear winter.
Paul, you were saying there was an even more miraculous side to this?
PAUL: Well, those words divine destiny, Glenn. That’s what nails it.
PAUL: And it’s fascinating because Ronald Reagan always believed — and his mother, his very devout mother had taught him this since he was a little boy, she said, “God has a plan for everything, Ronnie. All the bad things that are going to happen to you, God can bring good out of these bad things, especially if you’re faithful.”
So he always believed that bad things happened for a good purpose. And I could show you dozens of letters — Reagan, as far back as the 1960s as governor, writing these nice, sweet letters to a widow who he read about in the newspaper, who lost her husband because he was a policeman and he was shot.
And Reagan would say things like, “I know this is really hard, but God can bring good out of this.” It was almost like this divine planned theology that he had.
And so here of all things, could it be that his near-death experience averted the geopolitical catastrophe. And it’s possible that it did. And what makes it even more intriguing, Glenn, is that Reagan never knew this. Because what I was told about this from the source in the book — we call him Jack — he told — he shared this about ten years ago. We believe that Bill Casey went over and talked to him about it in Field Station, Berlin. But I don’t know that Reagan ever knew that him taking that bullet might well have averted the Soviets from invading Poland.
GLENN: You know, it’s interesting because the left likes to make Ronald Reagan into a zealot, when it’s to their convenience. But they also will always throw up that he wasn’t a religious man. He wasn’t — and he — I don’t — he doesn’t strike me as a religious man. But he strikes me as a very devout man. A big believer in God. And I think his optimism comes from that same belief that I have, that, you know, yes, it could get bad, but it will be great on the other side.
What strikes me as — as odd, knowing Ronald Reagan, the way history has portrayed him as this irreligious guy, is his fascination with Our Lady of Fatima and Fatima’s secrets. First, for anybody who doesn’t know that, can you explain what the secrets are, and then Ronald Reagan’s connection to them?
PAUL: Sure. One of the reasons I love your show is you’re willing to talk about things like this. Most people aren’t willing to go here.
But I couldn’t ignore it in the book. Look, John Paul II was shot on May 13th, 1981, which every Catholic knows is the feast day of Our Lady of Fatima. And I say very carefully in the book, if you’re not Catholic, you’re probably going to find this very suspect. You might shrug it off. But you need to understand it because John Paul II was totally motivated by this and Reagan was fascinated by it. But it — Catholics believe — and this has been an officially approved miracle and series of apparitions in the Catholic Church. There have been thousands of these claimed over the centuries, and the church has only approved I think less than a dozen of them. But it is the belief that Mary, the blessed mother, appeared in this little Portugal village called Fatima between May 13th, 1981 — or 1917 and October 13th, 1917.
And amid these appearances, the Lady of Fatima issued three predictions, and one of them was that World War I would end soon. But another war would start not that long after that. So World War II. The second was the rise of communism in Bolshevik, Russia. And keep in mind, that didn’t break out until October of 1917, after all of her alleged appearances.
GLENN: Right. And so you also know, these kids were literally kids — they were seven and eight years old in Portugal. They were not worldly kids. To come home —
PAUL: That’s right.
GLENN: You know, a 7-year-old kid and go, oh, and the rise of Bolshevism and Russia is going to play a very big war, you know, geopolitically in the next 80 years. Bolsheviks — I mean, the revolution hadn’t happened yet.
PAUL: I know. Imagine that.
And, by the way, Pope Francis is going to canonize two of them in Portugal this coming May 13th.
PAUL: So two of the three kids are going to be made saints.
PAT: What’s wrong with the third kid?
GLENN: It was — he had a problem.
PAUL: That’s a great question, Pat.
And the third one, her name was Lucia. She lived until 2005. She died just a couple months before John Paul II did. The two youngest children that are going to be canonized, they died within a couple years of these apparitions. And the lady had even said, two of you are going to be leaving here soon. But the other one, you will remain.
And it was Lucia who remained for the entire rest of the century and recorded all of this stuff. So the second secret was the rise of communism in Bolshevik, Russia, spreading errors and persecution against the faithful and the church around the world.
Now, the third secret of Fatima, this was the one that the people in the Catholic church that this predicted Armageddon. This would be the end of the world. You know, this was the apocalypse. Well, it turned out — and this is really dramatic. But it’s true —
GLENN: Hang on just a second. This one was not revealed. This one, I think, was given to the pope, and the pope kept it in the secret archives for a very long time, right?
PAUL: That’s right. That’s right. They kept it in the archives. And a couple of previous popes — I think three of them had read it. Decided that the time was not right to release it yet. And then John Paul II when he was shot on May 13th, 1981, then he recovered, and he started thinking to himself, two 13ths of May. Two 13ths of May. And this was somebody who literally devoted his papacy to the intercession of Mary. His papal motto was totus tuis (phonetic), which means totally yours, Mary. Mary was his intercessor to — to — to — for Jesus.
And so he requested to see the third secret. It was brought to him at Janelli (phonetic) Clinic, where he was recovering after the shooting on July 18th, 1981. And he opened it up, and the third secret talked about an attack on a bishop in white. The only bishop that wears white in the Catholic church is the pope.
GLENN: The pope.
PAUL: And in this attack, in this vision, the pope goes down and is apparently killed in this vision. They try to kill him. And with that, he connected the whole thing. He believed that the third secret of Fatima was about him. And thus, that confirmed for him long before it did for Ronald Reagan and Bill Casey, that the Russians were involved. All of this connected for him back to the Russians.
PAUL: And — and after pondering it for a while, he requested to see that third secret. He read it.
And then on the anniversary of Fatima, ten years later, he would actually take the bullet that had been in his body and put it in the crown of Our Lady of Fatima, at the original Fatima site in Portugal.
PAUL: Now, I know a lot of people, again, if you’re not Catholic, you’re probably going to think, “I don’t know if I can believe that,” or whatever. But Ronald Reagan was fascinated by it. And Reagan received the literal full briefing on Fatima from Frank Shakespeare, the second ambassador to the Vatican, before another one-on-one meeting that Reagan had with John Paul II at the Vatican in June 1987.
And Reagan actually went to Portugal — and I can’t believe that no one paid attention to this. But Reagan gave a speech to the Portugal assembly, Congress, May 9th, 1985, where he actually mentioned the children of Fatima, Mary, and John Paul II. It got no publicity. No one reported on it.
GLENN: I will tell you that what is fascinating to me — and I keep saying this about the Middle East. It doesn’t matter if you believe what these people believe.
PAUL: That’s right.
GLENN: You need to understand that they believed it. I mean, it motivated Reagan. It motivated John Paul II. It doesn’t matter if you believe it. It’s the same with the people in Iran and the Middle East that believe in the caliphate and the return of the Twelfth Imam and everything. You could say all that’s hogwash. It doesn’t matter. It’s what’s motivating them.
PAUL: Right. That’s key. That’s what’s key for people to understand.
And also, Glenn, here’s another entire fascinating component about this: Fatima was the only city in all of Portugal named for the daughter of Muhammad. Muhammad’s favorite daughter was Fatima.
PAUL: And she is the second most revered person in Islam — or second most revered female in Islam behind only the Virgin Mary. Mary is mentioned in the Koran more times than Jesus is mentioned in the Koran. And so of all things, there is this — and Mehmet Ali Agca, who shot the pope, was Muslim. A Muslim Turk. And when John Paul II went to meet with Agca to forgive him privately in the jail cell, he said, you know, the thing that Agca was really freaked out about was what Agca kept referring to as this Goddess of Fatima. He was calling her this Goddess of Fatima. And he was afraid that she was going to wreak vengeance on him. You know, strike him with, I don’t know, a lightning bolt out of the sky or something.
GLENN: Wow. Wow.
PAUL: Yeah. Yeah. So the Muslim world — what I’m telling you about Fatima and Mary wouldn’t surprise people in the Muslim world. I’ve got friends who are Coptic Christians in the Middle East. They’re not surprised by any of this at all.
GLENN: Yeah. Yeah.
PAUL: This isn’t strange for any of them.
PAT: Paul, wasn’t there supposed to be some sort of unraveled portion of the third secret of Fatima?
GLENN: Yeah, I thought there was too.
PAT: Wasn’t there like a big — at least a rumor or a belief in the church that there was more to it? And, in fact, didn’t — it seems like Pope Benedict said something like that, that there is no more. Right?
PAUL: That’s absolutely right, Pat.
The church spent a lot of time on that. They fully released it here again, May 13th. May 13th, 2000. And the person who at that point who was running the congregation for the doctrine of the faith, which kept all of this stuff locked up for decades, was a cardinal by the name of Joseph Ratzinger, who wrote the whole secret, let it all loose, and later became Pope Benedict the 16th who replaced John Paul II.
PAT: And what was it that they thought was there? Do you know? Do you know what it was supposed to be?
PAUL: Well, there was so much — this sounds odd, but people who wanted the third secret to really be something more, like Armageddon, end times.
PAT: I don’t want it to be that.
GLENN: I don’t either. But I remember — I grew up in a Catholic school, and this was before the third secret. And that’s what we always believed in.
GLENN: In fact, I think it was my belief that they were saying that the pope was going to be killed. Russia was going to have a new rise after the century. And that —
GLENN: And the Lord would have to return.
PAUL: Right. Right.
Which some people believe all of that could still be possible, as like a further fulfillment.
PAUL: But what the third secret says is it predicted this attack on a bishop in white. And so it kind of ends there. And one of the reasons why some Catholics believe that Lucia lived as long as she did is that throughout this process, ’80s, ’90s, 2000s, all the way up until the release of the third secret, they were in regular communication with her, saying, “Okay. Is this it? Has it been fully revealed?” And she kept saying, “Yes, this is it. It’s been fully revealed. This is the end of it.”
The name of the book is called A Pope and A President by Paul Kengor. Make sure you pick it up. Fascinating stuff. And, Paul, it’s always great to have you on. You’re one of my favorites in history. Thank you so much.
PAUL: Well, thank you so much, guys. Always great to come on.
GLENN: You bet. Paul Kengor. A Pope and A President. I went into the secret archives at the Vatican and I didn’t find out how rare that was until I was standing next to the guy who ran the Catholic University and was the head of the university committee that would go and brief the copy. He would have two advisers, one who was the head of the theological university, and the other was the head of the archives. And when I was in the archives for like the first ten minutes, I said, “This is unbelievable.” I said, “What is the meaning of this?” And I turned to the guy at the theological school. And he said, “I don’t know. I’ve never been allowed here. I’ve never been allowed past the first door.” Three hours later, we were still going through. It’s phenomenal. But it’s that kind of thing that makes you — makes people say, “Well, they got tons of secrets they’re hiding. They got all kinds of stuff.”