I have interested in the Fatima apparitions for quite some time… in particular in the controversy concerning the "Third Secret" given by Our Lady to Sr. Lucia.
For some background on the controversy you might check out Antonio Socci‘s book, translated now into English. Marco Tossati also has a good book in Italian.
This is from CNA:
Pope Benedict to deliver ‘intense’ message during Fatima visit
Vatican City, May 5, 2010 / 12:20 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- "Fatima is a particularly significant place for this Pope," said Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi on Tuesday, noting that it was also a destination for two former Popes. The Holy Father has a thorough knowledge of the history of the Marian sanctuary, he added. [And the Holy Father has known the content of the "Third Secret" for a very long time.]
Fr. Lombardi held a press conference at the Vatican to prepare the media for the Pope’s next trip out of the Vatican. He will be visiting Portugal from May 11-14.
The spokesman referred to the Pope’s stop in Fatima on May 13 as the highlight and "heart" of the upcoming four-day trip to Portugal, according to Vatican Radio. But, he pointed out, Benedict XVI will not be the first Pope to visit the Marian shrine. [The things he tells us!]
Two other Pontiffs have been to Fatima. In 1967, the sanctuary hosted Paul VI, and John Paul II visited in 1982, 1991 and 2000, at which time the visionaries Jacinta and Francesco were beatified.
The Portuguese shrine is not unfamiliar to Pope Benedict, since as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger extensively studied the message of Fatima. Fr. Lombardi said on Tuesday that the Pope has been involved with history of the Marian sanctuary in a "very deep, personal way."
It was him, for example, who was called upon to give a theological perspective when the third secret of Fatima was made public in 2000. [Or... at the least... part of the Third Secret!]
[NB:] The Vatican spokesman said that the Holy Father will also deliver an intense message ["an intense message"] during his Fatima visit. Upon his arrival at the sanctuary on May 12, he will remember John Paul II and the 29th anniversary of the assassination attempt that nearly took his life on May 13, 1981.
Fr. Lombadi has certainly put an edge to my interest by this whetting.
In the meantime, I would love someday to see an image of Our Lady of Fatima that doesn’t involve pastels.