In 1917, Our Lady appeared in Fatima, Portugal, to three young shepherds: Lucia (March 22, 1907-February 13, 2005); Francisco (June 11, 1908-April 4, 1919), and Jacinta (March 10, 1910-February 20, 1920). On October 13th, she gave a grandiose sign which was visible to the entire crowd and beyond.
It was in July 1917 that Lucia, Jacinta and Francisco, the three visionary children announced Our Lady’s promise to give a public miracle in Fatima on October 13th—that everyone would see and could believe in.
This prediction spread rapidly throughout Portugal, so that on October 13, at noon, a crowd estimated at between 50,000 and 70,000 people was gathered.The weather was rainy and the onlookers got soaked.
At noon the rain stopped, and the children went into ecstasy, but the crowd did not hear the Blessed Virgin talking to Lucia:
“I want a chapel built here in my honor. I want you to continue saying the Rosary every day. The war will be over soon, and the soldiers will return to their homes… I am the Lady of the Rosary. People must amend their lives and ask pardon for their sins. They must not offend our Lord any more, for He is already offended too much!”
Then the Lady opened her hands and made them reflect on the sun, which Lucia pointed out to the crowd, turning round:”Look at the sun!” At that moment thousands of individuals witnessed a miraculous vision.
According to a local newspaper, “Before the astonished eyes of the crowd, whose aspect was biblical as they stood bare-headed, eagerly searching the sky, the sun trembled, made sudden incredible movements outside all cosmic laws—the sun ‘danced’ according to the typical expression of the people.”
Although the sky had suddenly turned clear and blue, the sun was not blinding and could be stared at. It shook, stirred, made sudden movements and finally began to spin, throwing beams of different colors on the crowd.
The phenomenon stopped and resumed twice, before the sun seemed to zigzag over the earth, radiating an increasingly intense heat.The people were awestruck. Many fell to their knees. An old atheist man waved his arms in the air and shouted: “Holy Virgin! Blessed Virgin!” And on all sides similar scenes took place.
At the end, everyone was surprised to notice that their clothes had gone from being soaked to dry in the roughly 10 minutes that the miracle lasted.
The following account of the event in one of the visionary’s own words is taken from ‘Sister Lucia of Fatima, 4th Memoir – The 13th of October:
“We left home quite early, expecting that we would be delayed along the way. Masses of people thronged the roads. The rain fell in torrents. My mother, her heart torn with uncertainty as to what was going to happen, and fearing it would be the last day of my life, wanted to accompany me.
On the way, the scenes of the previous month, still more numerous and moving, were repeated. Not even the muddy roads could prevent these people from kneeling in the most humble and suppliant of attitudes. We reached the holmoak in the Cova da Iria. Once there, moved by an interior impulse, I asked the people to shut their umbrellas and say the Rosary.
A little later, we saw the flash of light, and then Our Lady appeared on the holmoak. “What do you want of me?” “I want to tell you that a chapel is to be built here in my honor. I am the Lady of the Rosary. Continue always to pray the Rosary every day. The war is going to end, and the soldiers will soon return to their homes.” “I have many things to ask you: the cure of some sick persons, the conversion of sinners, and other things…” “Some yes, but not others. They must amend their lives and ask forgiveness for their sins.” Looking very sad, Our Lady said: “Do not offend the Lord our God any more, because He is already so much offended.” Then, opening her hands, she made them reflect on the sun, and as she ascended, the reflection of her own light continued to be projected on the sun itself. Here, Your Excellency, is the reason why I cried out to the people to look at the sun. My aim was not to call their attention to the sun, because I was not even aware of their presence. I was moved to do so under the guidance of an interior impulse.
After Our Lady had disappeared into the immense distance of the firmament, we beheld Saint Joseph with the Child Jesus and Our Lady robed in white with a blue mantle, beside the sun. Saint Joseph and the Child Jesus appeared to bless the world, for they traced the sign of the Cross with their hands. When, a little later, this apparition disappeared, I saw Our Lord and Our Lady; it seemed to me that it was Our Lady of Sorrows. Our Lord appeared to bless the world in the same manner as Saint Joseph had done. This apparition also vanished, and I saw Our Lady once more, this time resembling Our Lady of Carmel.”
(adapted from Mariedenazareth)
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