92nd Anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima
There were about 70,000 people present at the Cova da Iria for the October 13 apparition and Miracle of the Sun. Beginning the night before and persisting throughout the morning of the 13th, a cold rain fell on the crowd. The ground was muddy and the rain soaked everything. At the time when Our Lady was due to arrive, Lucy begged the people to close their umbrellas, which they did at once.
‘What does Your Grace want of me?’ [Lucy asked.]
‘I want to tell you that a chapel is to be built here in My honor. I am the Lady of the Rosary. May you continue always to pray the Rosary every day. The war is going to end and the soldiers will soon return to their homes.’
‘I had many things to ask You: to cure some sick people, to convert some sinners, etc.’
‘Some yes, others no. They must amend their lives and ask pardon for their sins.’
Then taking on a more sorrowful air, Our Lady said:
‘Do not offend the Lord Our God any more, for He is already too much offended!’
‘You want nothing more from me?’ [Lucy asked.]
‘No, I want nothing more from you.’
"Then I do not ask anything more of You either."
As Our Lady ascended into Heaven, Lucy shouted: "She is going! She is going! Look at the sun!"
The miracle announced by Our Lady then took place: the sky abruptly cleared and the sun "danced". The people were able to look at the bright sun directly, without it bothering their eyes at all. A physician, Dr. Almeida Garrett, testified:
Suddenly I heard the uproar of thousands of voices, and I saw the whole multitude spread out in that vast space at my feet … turn their backs to that spot where, until then, all their expectations focused, and look at the sun on the other side … I turned around, too, toward the point commanding their gazes, and I could see the sun, like a very clear disc, with its sharp edge, which gleamed without hurting the sight … It could not be confused with the sun seen through a fog (there was no fog at that moment), for it was neither veiled, nor dim. At Fatima, it kept its light and heat, and stood out clearly in the sky, with a sharp edge, like a large gaming table. The most astonishing thing was to be able to stare at the solar disc for a long time, brilliant with light and heat, without hurting the eyes, or damaging the retina.1
The testimony of Avelino de Almeida, editor-in-chief of O Seculo, Lisbon’s anticlerical and Masonic daily newspaper, is similar:
And then we witnessed a unique spectacle, an incredible spectacle, unbelievable if you did not witness it. From above the road … We see the immense crowd turn towards the sun, which appeared at its zenith, clear of the clouds. It looked like a plate of dull silver, and it was possible to stare at it without the least discomfort. It did not burn the eyes. It did not blind. One might say that an eclipse had occurred.2
Others also testified:
"It shook and trembled; it seemed like a wheel of fire." (Maria da Capelinha)3
"The sun turned like a fire wheel, taking on all the colors of the rainbow." (Maria do Carmo)4
"The sun took on all the colors of the rainbow. Everything assumed those same colors: our faces, our clothes, the earth itself." (Maria do Carmo)5
The most terrifying aspect of the Miracle of the Sun then took place:
"We suddenly heard a clamor, like a cry of anguish of that entire crowd. The sun, in fact, keeping its rapid movement of rotation, seemed to free itself from the firmament and, blood-red, to plunge towards the earth, threatening to crush us with its fiery mass. Those were some terrifying seconds." (Dr. Almeida Garrett)6
"The sun began to dance and, at a certain moment, it appeared to detach itself from the firmament and to rush forward on us, like a fire wheel." (Alfredo da Silva Santos)7
"Finally, the sun stopped and everybody breathed a sigh of relief …" (Maria da Capelinha)8
"From those thousands of mouths I heard shouts of joy and love to the Most Holy Virgin. And then I believed. I had the certainty of not having been the victim of a suggestion. I had seen the sun as I would never see it again." (Mario Godinho, an engineer)9
Yet another astonishing aspect of the Miracle was that all of the thousands of people, most of whom were soaked to the bone and dirty from the mud, suddenly found that their clothes were dry and clean.
"The moment one would least expect it, our clothes were totally dry." (Maria do Carmo)10
"My suit dried in an instant." (John Carreira)11
The academician Marques da Cruz testified:
This enormous multitude was drenched, for it had rained unceasingly since dawn. But – though this may appear incredible – after the great miracle everyone felt comfortable, and found his garments quite dry, a subject of general wonder … The truth of this fact has been guaranteed with the greatest sincerity by dozens and dozens of persons of absolute trustworthiness, whom I have known intimately from childhood, and who are still alive (1937), as well as by persons from various districts of the country who were present.12
In one aspect, this is the most astonishing effect of the miracle and an indisputable proof of its authenticity: The amount of energy needed to accomplish this process of drying in a natural way and in such a short a time, would have incinerated everyone present at the Cova at that time. As this aspect of the miracle contradicts the laws of nature radically, no demon could ever have achieved it.
Finally, many miracles of conversion, the greatest miracle God can bestow, also occurred. Here are two examples:
The captain of the regiment of soldiers on the mountain that day – with orders to prevent the gathering of the crowd – was converted instantly. Apparently so were hundreds of other unbelievers, as their testimony will show.13
"There was an unbeliever there who had spent the morning mocking the ‘simpletons’ who had gone off to Fatima just to see an ordinary girl. He now seemed paralyzed, his eyes fixed on the sun. He began to tremble from head to foot, and lifting up his arms, fell on his knees in the mud, crying out to God." (Father Lourenço)14
A number of other cases of cures and conversions are documented in, among other places, the following books: Documentação Crítica de Fátima and Fatima from the Beginning.15
The great Miracle of the Sun lasted for ten minutes. Many more accounts of the miracle have been taken and recorded from the masses of people present, which verify this incredible manifestation of the authenticity of the entire Fatima Message. (For more accounts, see Chapter 1 of The Devil’s Final Battle.)
During the Miracle of the Sun, the three children were witnessing something else: the beautiful spectacle promised by Our Lady. Lucy writes:
Our Lady having disappeared in the immensity of the firmament, we saw, beside the sun, Saint Joseph with the Child Jesus and Our Lady clothed in white with a blue mantle. Saint Joseph and the Child Jesus seemed to bless the world with gestures which they made with their hands in the form of a cross.
Soon after, that apparition having ceased, I saw Our Lord and Our Lady, Who gave me the impression of being Our Lady of Sorrows. Our Lord seemed to bless the world in the same manner as Saint Joseph.
That apparition disappeared and it seemed to me that I saw Our Lady again, this time as Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
These three successive visions are connected to one of the dominant messages of Fatima: the Rosary. In each of Her six apparitions, Our Lady asked that the Rosary be prayed and here, in these visions granted to the three children, the mysteries of the Holy Rosary were represented. With the vision of the Holy Family we find the Joyful mysteries; the Sorrowful mysteries are represented by the vision of Our Lord and Our Lady of Sorrows; and the Glorious mysteries are represented in the vision of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel.
When the visions had disappeared and the sun was again normal, Lucy was placed on the shoulder of a man in the crowd and carried safely through the masses to the road. As she was moving past the people, she cried out to them, pleading one of the important themes in the Fatima Message: to convert, return to God and to flee sin. Her exact words were: "Do penance! Do penance! Our Lady wants you to do penance!" but Frère Michel states that in Portuguese this does not mean "performing mortifications", but rather "being converted, returning to God, fleeing sin." Through this plea Lucy was reiterating the sorrowful request Our Lady had made of humanity in Her final apparition: "Do not offend the Lord our God any more, because He is already too much offended."
Thus the Miracle of the Sun, witnessed by 70,000 people, concluded the cycle of the apparitions at Fatima. Yet the Message of Fatima, with its great depth and scope, was to continue to be unfolded to the eldest of the three seers, Lucy. In the years to come Heaven’s Messenger would be visited and, as promised by Our Lady in the July 13 apparition, would be instructed to reveal Heaven’s plan for peace for a turbulent world: the Reparatory devotion of the Five First Saturdays and the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
- Frère François de Marie des Anges, Fatima: Intimate Joy World Event, Book One: The Astonishing Truth, (English edition, Immaculate Heart Publications, Buffalo, New York, 1993) pp. 172-173.
- O Seculo, article of October 15, 1917.
- Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité, The Whole Truth About Fatima, Volume I: Science and the Facts, (Immaculate Heart Publications, Buffalo, New York, U.S.A., 1989) p. 337.
- Frère François de Marie des Anges, Fatima: The Astonishing Truth, p. 178.
- Ibid, pp. 178-179.
- Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité, The Whole Truth About Fatima, Volume I, p. 340.
- Frère François de Marie des Anges, Fatima: The Astonishing Truth, p, 179.
- Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité, The Whole Truth About Fatima, Volume I, p. 340. See also Father John de Marchi, I.M.C., Fatima From the Beginning, (Missoes Consolata, Fatima, Portugal, 1981, third edition, first published in 1950) p. 141; and Joseph A Pelletier, A.A., The Sun Dances at Fatima, (Doubleday, New York, 1983) pp. 129-130.
- John M. Haffert, Meet the Witnesses, (AMI International Press, Fatima, Portugal, 1961) p. 62.
- Ibid., p. 65.
- Documentaçáo Crítica de Fátima, Volume II, (Santuário de Fátima, 1999) 17 cases documented on pp. 277-372; and Father John de Marchi, I.M.C., Fatima From the Beginning.