There are at least four striking similarities with the later visions of Fatima in 1917: the apparition was short and dressed in strange clothes; she appeared to illiterate children; there was a message of violent destruction of humanity if they did not repent; and there was the deliverance of a secret that was supposed to be kept and revealed to the Pope later. Some non-religious scholars even think that the knowledge of the visions of La Salette and the secret influenced the narrative of the three shepherd children of Fátima many years later. It was indeed a well-known story at the time.
Like the third part of the Secret kept by Sister Lucia and alledgedly revealed by the Pope in his visit to Fátima in 2000, the secret has generated much controversy. There are some who even believe that the true secret is too frightening to be revealed. Melanie Calvat became a controversial figure - refusing to play the role of the serene nun hidden away in a cloister - and isolated herself from the official Church. She was a rebel and had no patience for the world of priests, bishops, and popes. When she revealed in a tract in 1858 that the secret said, among many other apocalyptical predictions, that "Rome will lose the Faith and become the seat of the Antichrist", Melanie Calvat was summarily ostracized and her works put on the Index of Prohibited Books. Perhaps it was this final, controversial ending to the events of this famous vision that caused La Salette to lose its glory and fall back into the slumber of a minor site of Catholic pilgrimage.
The opening paragraph tells of when Calvat would be allowed to reveal the secret: