More Fatima Rosary Prayer Evidence: In 1948, Archbishop Finbar Ryan, an Irish Dominican, wrote that the Father of Francisco Marto asserted that Francisco INSISTED ON THE "PURGATORY" RENDITION OF THE FATIMA ROSARY PRAYER. Mr. Marto testified that LUCIA would recite this apparently original rendering of the prayer in PUBLIC AT FATIMA.
Dr. Chojnowski: The inquiry by Sister Lucy Truth into the true nature of the Fatima Rosary Prayer continues. Here we have to present two editions of Archbishop Finbar Ryan's book Our Lady of Fatima, with one edition from 1940 (title page and relevant page below) and the later edition from 1948 (title page and relevant page and relevant footnote above). Archbishop Ryan, an Irish Dominican and later Archbishop of Port of Spain, has some very interesting material in both texts that helps to further our research into the Fatima Rosary Prayer. As you can see in the 1940 edition of the rendered prayer, the Archbishop gives an account of it, an account that was in accord with the earliest usage and the specific rendering of the prayer by Canon Formigao who wrote it down, after interviewing the 3 Children on September 27, 1917 before the Miracle of the Sun, which occurred on October 13, 1917. This rendering of the prayer was clear, "Oh my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of Hell, relieve the souls in Purgatory, especially the most abandoned." Here we have two Catholic doctrines clearly being expressed in this prayer, the doctrine of Hell, which we are praying God saves souls still on earth from going to, and the doctrine of Purgatory, where we pray that the souls in a state of sanctifying grace but with the burden of temporal punishment, be relieved of their sufferings and brought to Heaven. The prayer specifically mentions "the most abandoned" souls in Purgatory, the souls that have no one to pray for them.
Somehow this prayer was rendered in a totally different way in the 1948 second edition of Archbishop Ryan's book. This new version is the one that has become universal in our own time: "Oh My Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of Hell. Lead all souls to Heaven, especially those most in need." The Archbishop of Port of Spain mentions this change in a footnote in this same edition. What accounts for this significant and radical change? Where did the prayer for the Holy Souls in Purgatory go? As an aside, there is also the strange fact, not commented on by Archbishop Ryan, that in the first edition of his text, he indicates that the Fatima Rosary Prayer was given to the 3 Children during the 2nd Apparition --- the Apparition on June 13th, 1917 (when the Children were "supposed" to be at the celebrations of the Feast of St. Anthony of Padua) --- whereas, in the second edition in 1948, he says that the Fatima Rosary Prayer was given to the Children by Our Lady at the July 13th Apparition, after the Vision of Hell. I am not sure what can account for this discrepancy?
The fascinating part of the 1948 edition, however, is in the footnote that is on the page that holds the new rendering of the Fatima Rosary Prayer. It reads as follows: "O meu Jesus, perdoai-nos, livrai-nos do fogo do inferno, levai as alminhas todas para o Ceu e secorrei principalmente as que mais precisarem." This is apparently the Portuguese text of the prayer agreed upon as coming from Sister Lucy. However, it is significant here that no precise source of this rendition of the Portuguese prayer is given. Nor is there a source given when the footnote refers to "the subsequent testimony of Lucia." Such a reference would seem to be essential when the prayer and the meaning of it in its entirety has been changed from the 1940 edition to the 1948 edition. This specific reference, justifying the change and the elimination of the part of the prayer devoted to the Poor Souls in Purgatory, would seem all the more necessary since Archbishop Ryan specifically states that the Viscount de Montelo testified to the correctness of the original rendering of the prayer, which included the clear Purgatory reference. Archbishop Ryan describes Viscount de Montelo as the "first and authoritative recorder of the events of Fatima, and others, [who] thought that the souls referred to were the souls in Purgatory." This prayer as including the part for the most abandoned souls in Purgatory, is specifically spoken of as the prayer recited by the pilgrims who went to Fatima and who performed devotions at the Fatima shrine.
The story about the father of Francisco and Jacinta Marto is also extremely significant in this regard, since it testifies to the fact that when Mr. Marto confronted Francisco about the content of the prayer, the young Francisco, who was told the prayer by Jacinta and Lucia, insisted that it could not be changed since it was given to the Children by the Blessed Virgin herself. The objection of Mr. Marto was, "surely all souls are in need of help to go to heaven?" However, he had to admit to himself, in light of Francisco's insistence, that if that was the prayer that Our Lady had given, who was he to change it? The footnote also indicates that Mr. Marto used to say the second mentioned version of the prayer in private, but joined in the "Purgatory" rendering of the prayer --- along with the Fatima pilgrims, Francisco, AND LUCIA when he prayed in public.
This book, with full ecclesiastical approbation from the 1940s, makes clear the situation with regard to the Fatima Rosary Prayer in that critical decade when the first radical change in that prayer occurred. Again, did Our Lady intend Catholics to pray for the Poor Souls in Purgatory after each decade of the Rosary OR NOT? Why did the prayer, as reported and used publicly for 30 years, suddenly endure an extremely significant and essential change?