After seeing a vision of Hell, it might seem that the rest of the Fatima message would be relatively humdrum, but this is not the case. The July apparition at Fatima stands out because the children received the “three secrets” that are at the heart of the message of Fatima. The Blessed Virgin asked them not to reveal these secrets at the time of the apparitions. Francisco did not hear the secrets, but the girls were able to fill him in on the details afterwards.
The second secret has to do with the ending of the First World War and a warning about the coming of the Second World War if the world would not change and pray the rosary. In this part of the message, the Blessed Virgin promotes devotion to her Immaculate Heart and asks for the consecration of Russia to herself.
At the time of the apparitions in 1917, the entire world had been ravaged by World War I. 7 million civilians and 10 million soldiers died in the war. So many families had lost sons, fathers, brothers to the giant machinery of war and Europe especially was tired and overcome by the destruction experienced over the last several years. News of its ending would prove to be true one year later. This was a sign of great hope, as it had seemed that the world would never achieve peace again. Prayer would be key to achieve the end of the war. ….