A Reserved Note of L.F. Capovilla

17 May 1967

Thursday the 27th of June 1963, I was on duty in the Anticamera in the Vatican [the outer office where the Pope meets various persons]. Paul VI in the early morning received among others, Cardinal Fernando Cento (who had been Papal Nuncio to Portugal) and shortly afterwards the Bishop of Leiria Monsignor Joao [John] Pereira Venancio. Upon leaving, the Bishop asked for “a special blessing for Sister Lucy”.

It is evident that during the audience, they spoke about Fatima. In fact in the afternoon the Sostituto [the Substitute Secretary of State] Monsignor Angelo Dell’Acqua telephoned me on Via Casilina (I was a temporary guest of the Sisters of the “Poverelle”):

“I am looking for the package [plico] of Fatima. Do you know where it is kept?”

“It was in the drawer on the right hand side of the desk, named ‘Barbarigo’1, in the [Papal] bedroom.”

One hour later Dell’Acqua called me back: “Everything is okay. The envelope [plico] has been found.”

Friday morning (28 June) between one meeting and another Paul VI asked me:

“How come on the envelope there is your (Capovilla’s) name?”

“John XXIII asked me to write a note regarding how the envelope arrived in his hands with the names of all those to whom he felt he should make it known.”

“Did he make any comment?”

“No, nothing except what I wrote on the outer file [involucro]: ‘I leave it to others to comment or decide’.”2

“Did he later ever return to the subject?”

“No, never. However the devotion of Fatima remained alive in him.”

1. It is called thus because it belonged to St. Gregory Barbarigo. The Pope received it as a gift from Co. Gius. Dalla Torre (1960).

2. See the attatched note of agenda of John XXIII, 10 November 1959.

From the Agenda of 1959, of John XXIII, 10 November, Feast of St. Andrew Avellino:

[handwritten note of John XXIII]
1. Consistory 14-17 December with the creation of eight Cardinals.

2. Joao Pereira Venancio, born 1904, titular Bishop of Eurea di Epireo 1954 | Bishop of Leiria 1958.

[The text below is a translation of Capovilla’s typewritten copy of John XXIII’s handwritten original document shown above.]

Interesting conversations with C.S.S. (Cardinal Secretary of State) in preparation for the consistory and with young Bishop of Leiria — the Bishop of Fatima — Monsignor J. Pereira Venancio. We have spoken at length of the seer of Fatima, who is now a good religious at Coimbra. The Holy Office will take care of everything to a good end.

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