CP&S: Have you heard of this reported ‘miracle of the sun’ in Nigeria?
Over 50 thousand people, together with all the bishops, participated in the country’s re-consecration prayer to Our Lady: the phenomenon of solar dance considered a “confirmation”
Exactly one hundred years have passed since the famous experience that took place during the last Marian apparition of Fatima, on 13 October 1917, when immediately after the three shepherdesses had seen Our Lady, a crowd of seventy thousand people flocked to the Cova from Iria during a violent rainstorm and witnessed the “miracle of the sun”, as they watched, with their naked eye, the star that seemed to come closer, change color and dance around the sky. Several non-believers also witnessed that “miracle”, such as the news-reporter of a professed secularist newspaper. Now something similar seems to have happened in Benin City, Nigeria, on the occasion of the re-consecration of the country wanted by the bishops. In communicating the decision, the bishops recalled that Nigeria is going through “a period marked by tensions, unrest and a general sense of despair and dissatisfaction”. There are institutional problems, “cases of selective application of the rule of law”, as well as unequal distribution of resources, corruption and impunity.
On the morning of October 13th, at the re-consecration ceremony, led by the Archbishop of Jos, Ignatius Ayau Kaigama, president of the Nigerian Episcopal Conference, 53 bishops took part together with more than a thousand priests, two thousand religious and about 55 thousand faithful. In the afternoon, after the celebration, the witnesses tell us, there was a heavy downpour followed by the appearance of the sun changing color and “dancing”. According to father Chris N. Anyanwu, director of the episcopate’s social communications – this unusual phenomenon rejoiced the hearts of the pilgrims present at the celebration and many of them have attested that what they saw, recalls the experience of Fatima in 1917. Certainly, the great joy of the participants in seeing these signs showed thorough the enthusiasm of their faith that Nigeria will no longer be the same“.
The testimonies have been reported on the Facebook page of the Episcopal Conference and this has led to the thought of an explicit form of recognition of the event. However, that web space cannot be considered an official expression of the episcopate and there are no statements in this regard. The bishops took note of the account of the faithful and saw them rejoice for their experience. At a time when only negative news arrives from Nigeria – from the scourge of fundamentalist Islamist terrorism to abductions such as that of Italian priest Maurizio Pallù, who has been recently released – the solar phenomenon at the end of the storm has drawn attention to the act of consecration to Mary decided by the bishops of the country.