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Apparitions

PORTUGAL FATIMA SHRINE

CHAPEL OF APPARITIONS 

APPARITIONS

First Apparition f the Angel

In the spring of 1916 Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta, had their first encounter with a heavenly messenger. Writing in her memoirs, composed under obedience to the Bishop, Lucia tells of that first meeting.

We went on that occasion to my parents’ property, which is at the bottom of the Cabeco, facing east. It is called Chousa Velha.

About the middle of the morning it began to drizzle and we climbed up the hill, followed by our sheep, in search of a rock that would shelter us. And so it was that we entered for the first time into that blessed place. It is in the middle of an olive grove that belongs to my godfather, Anastacio. From there one can see the village where I was born, my father’s house, and also Casa Velha and Eira da Pedra. The olive grove, which really belongs to several people, extends as far as these places.

We spent the day there, in spite of the fact that the rain had stopped and the sun was shining in a clear sky. We ate our lunch and began to say the Rosary. After that we began to play a game with pebbles. We had only been at it a few moments when a strong wind began to shake the trees and we looked up to see what was happening, since it was such a calm day. And then we began to see, in the distance, above the trees that stretched to the east, a light whiter than snow in the form of a young man, quite transparent, and as brilliant as crystal in the rays of the sun. As he came near we were able to see his features. We were  astonished and absorbed and we said nothing to one another. And then he said:

Do not be afraid. I am the angel of peace. Pray with me.

He knelt, bending his forehead to the ground. With a supernatural impulse we did the same, repeating the     words we heard him say:

My God, I believe, I adore, I   hope, and I love You. I ask pardon for those who do not believe, do not     adore, do not hope, and do not love You.

After repeating this prayer three times the angel rose and said to us:

Pray in this way. The hearts of Jesus and Mary are ready to listen to you.

And he disappeared. He left us in an atmosphere of the supernatural that was so intense we were for a long     time unaware of our own existence. The presence of God was so powerful and intimate that even among ourselves we could not speak. On the next day, too, this same atmosphere held us bound, and it lessened and disappeared only gradually. None of us thought of talking about this apparition or any pledge of secrecy. We were locked in silence without having willed it.

The intense effect that the apparition of the Angel had on the children, quite different from the more serene experience of the Virgin the following year. Lucia states,

I don’t know why, but the apparitions of our Lady produced in us effects quite different from the angel’s visitations We felt in both instances the same intimate happiness, peace and joy, but instead of the physical prostration the angel imposed, our Lady brought a feeling of expansion and freedom; and instead of this annihilation in the divine presence, we wished only to exult in our joy. There was no difficulty of speech when our Lady appeared; there was rather on my part a desire to communicate.

This difference can perhaps be explained in this way. The angels of whatever choir share in common with God a spiritual nature, unmixed with matter. The goodness of their being, filled with the divine justice according to the degree of glory granted to each, radiates that holiness unmediated, though proportioned to the capacity of human beings to experience it. Not without reason Scripture shows how easily an angel appearing to men can be confused with God Himself (Rev 19:10, 22:9). When our Lady appears, however, although her glory is greater than that of the highest seraphim her human nature cloaks that glory in the familiar, just as did Our Lord’s human nature, even after the Resurrection.

Although the angels, too, can appear in more mundane fashion, it must have suited the divine purposes to reveal to the children something of the holiness of God. Lucia tells us of the lingering effect it had on them.

His words sank so deeply into our minds that we never forgot them, and ever after we used to spend long periods on our knees repeating them, sometimes until we fell down   exhausted.

 

Second Apparition     of the Angel

Sometime during the summer of 1916 the three cousins were playing in the heat of the day in the garden     near the well behind the Santos home in Aljustrel. Lucia describes how the angel appeared to them once more, chastising them for their for their lack     of spiritual seriousness.
Suddenly we saw the same angel near us.

What are you doing? You must  pray! Pray! The hearts of Jesus and Mary have merciful designs for you. You     must offer your prayers and sacrifices to God, the Most High.

“But how are we to sacrifice?”     I asked.

In every way you can offer     sacrifice to God in reparation for the sins by which He is offended, and in     supplication for sinners. In this way you will bring peace to our country,     for I am its guardian angel, the Angel of Portugal. Above all, bear and     accept with patience the sufferings God will send you.

This apparition renewed the same     profound effect which the first one had on them. Francisco, who throughout     the appearances of the angel and Our Lady would see but not hear, was     unsuccessful in prying from the girls the words which the angel had spoken     until the following day. Lucia tells us,

The Angels’ words sank deeply     into our souls like a gleaming torch, showing us Who God is, what is His     love for us, and how he wants us to love Him too; the value of sacrifice     and how it pleases Him; how He receives it for the conversion of sinners.     That is why from that moment we began to offer Him whatever mortified us.

Third Apparition     of the Angel

 

Lucia is uncertain when the     third apparition of the angel occurred, sometime in late September or in     October 1916 is her recollection. Having gone to the Cabeco with their     flocks, and being more attentive to the words of the angel, they     immediately knelt down to pray the prayer taught them by the angel: My God,     I believe, I adore etc…
After we had repeated this prayer I don’t know how many time we saw the     shining over us a strange light. We lifted our heads to see what was     happening. the Angel was holding in his left hand a chalice and over it, in     the air, was a host from which drops of blood fell into the chalice. The     Angel leaves the chalice in the air, kneels near us and tells us to repeat     three times:

Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son     and Holy Spirit, I adore You profoundly, and I offer You the Most Precious     Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the     tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and     indifferences by which He is offended. And by the infinite merits of His     most Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg the conversion of     poor sinners.

After that he rose, took again     in his hand the chalice and the host. The host he gave to me and the     contents of the chalice he gave to Jacinta and Francisco, saying at the     same time,

Eat     and drink the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ terribly outraged by the     ingratitude of men. Offer reparation for their sakes and console God.

Once more he bowed to the ground     repeating with us the same prayer thrice: Oh, Blessed Trinity etc. and     disappeared. Overwhelmed by the supernatural atmosphere that involved us,     we imitated the Angel in everything, kneeling prostrate as he did and     repeating the prayers he said.

It was in this way that     catechized in prayer, reparative suffering, and the doctrine of the Holy     Eucharist, and strengthened by the Bread of Angels, that the children of     Fátima were prepared for the visitation of the Queen of Portugal, the     Immaculate Virgin Mary.

Apparition of 13 May   1917

Leading their flock out from   Aljustrel on the morning of the 13th of May, the feast of Our Lady of the   Blessed Sacrament, the three children passed Fátima, where the parish church   and cemetery could be found, and proceeded a kilometer or so north to the slopes   of the Cova. Here they allowed their sheep to graze as they played in the   pasture land sprinkled with the occasional oak tree. After having had their   lunch about noon they decided to pray a rosary, although in a somewhat   truncated fashion, saying only the first words of each prayer. Shortly, they   were startled by what they later described as “lightening in a clear   sky.” Thinking that a storm might be approaching they debated whether   they should take the sheep and go home. Preparing to do so they were again   surprised by a strange light.
And we began to go down the slope driving the sheep towards the road. When we   were half-way down, near a holm oak there [the large tree which today is   encircled with an iron fence], we saw another flash of lightening, and after   a few steps we saw on a holm oak [a small one lower on the hillside] a lady   dressed in white, shining brighter than         the sun, giving out rays of clear and intense light, just   like a crystal goblet full of pure water when the fiery sun passes through   it. We stopped astounded by the Apparition. We were so near that we were in   the light that encircled her, or which she radiated, perhaps a meter and a   half away [4-5 feet].

Please don’t be afraid of me, I’m   not going to harm you.

Lucia responded for all three, as   she would throughout the apparitions.

“Where are you from?”

I come from heaven.

The Lady wore a pure white mantle,   edged with gold and which fell to her feet. In her hands the beads of a   rosary shone like stars, with its crucifix the most radiant gem of all.   Still, Lucia felt no fear. The Lady’s presence produced in her only gladness   and confident joy.

“And what do you want of   me?”

I want you to return here on the   thirteenth of each month for the next six months, and at the very same hour.   Later I shall tell you who I am, and what it is that I most desire. And I   shall return here yet a seventh time.

“And shall I go to   heaven?”

Yes, you will.

“And Jacinta?”

She will go too.

“And Francisco?”

Francisco, too, my dear, but he   will first have many Rosaries to say.

For a few moments the Lady looked   at Francisco with compassion, tinged with a little sadness. Lucia then   remembered some friends who had died.

“Is Maria Neves in   heaven?”

Yes, she is.

“And Amelia?”

She is in purgatory.

Will you offer yourselves to God,   and bear all the sufferings He sends you? In atonement for all the sins that   offend Him? And for the conversion of sinners?

“Oh, we will, we will!”

Then you will have a great deal to   suffer, but the grace of God will be with you and will strengthen you.

Lucia relates that as the Lady   pronounced these words, she opened her hands, and

we were bathed in a heavenly light   that appeared to come directly from her hands. The light’s reality cut into   our hearts and our souls, and we knew somehow that this light was God, and we   could see ourselves embraced in it. By an interior impulse of grace we fell   to our knees, repeating in our hearts: “Oh, Holy Trinity, we adore   You. My God, my God, I love You in the Blessed Sacrament.

The children remained kneeling in   the flood of this wondrous light, until the Lady spoke again, mentioning the   war in Europe, of which they had little or no knowledge.

Say the Rosary every day, to bring   peace to the world and an end to the war.

After that she began to rise   slowly in the direction of the east, until she disappeared in the immense   distance. The light that encircles Her seemed to make a way amidst the stars,   and that is why we sometimes said we had seen the heavens open.

The days that followed were filled   with excitement, though they had not intended it that way. Lucia had   cautioned the others to keep their visitor a secret, correctly perceiving the   difficulties they would experience if the events became known. However, the   joy of seven year old Jacinta could not be contained, and she rather promptly   forgot her promise and revealed all to her mother, who patiently listened but   gave it little credence. Her brothers and sisters piped in with their   questions and jokes. Among the interrogators only her father, “Ti”   Marto, was inclined immediately to accept the tale as true. He believed in   the honesty of his children, and had a simple appreciation of the workings of   God, such that he became the first believer in the apparitions of Fátima.

Lucia’s   mother, on the other hand, when at last she heard what had transpired,   believed her own daughter to be the instigator of a fraud, if not a   blasphemy. Lucia would quickly learn what the Lady meant when she said they   would suffer a great deal. Maria Rosa was unable to get Lucia to recant,   event under threats. Finally she hauled her before the parish priest, Fr.   Ferreira, with no better success. On the other hand, Lucia’s father, who was   not especially religious, was practically indifferent, attributing all of it   to the fancies of women. The next few weeks, as the children awaited their   scheduled appointment with the lady in June, would reveal that they had few   believers, and many detractors, in Aljustrel and Fátima.

 

Apparition of 13   June 1917

In Portugal the 13th of June is a   great feast, the feast of St. Anthony of Lisbon, known to most Catholics as   St. Anthony of Padua. This Franciscan miracle-worker was born in Lisbon and   had entered religious life as a Canon Regular of the Holy Cross, residing   first in Lisbon and then Coimbra, before leaving the Portuguese order for the   new Order of Friars Minor and a hope of martyrdom. It was, and is, THE   children’s feast in Portugal, so the parents of Lucia naturally thought that   the festivities at the parish church in Fátima would distract her from the   appointment at the Cova. However, undismayed by this tactic Lucia and the   Marto children proceeded to the apparition site to keep their noon day   rendezvous.

When they arrived they found a   small crowd awaiting them.

After having said the rosary with   Jacinta and Francisco and other people who were present, we saw again the   reflection of light nearing us, (we used to say it was lightening), and   following, Our Lady on the holm oak as in May.

“Please tell me, Madam, what   it is that you want of me?”

I want you to come here on the   thirteenth of next month. I want you to continue saying the Rosary every day.   And after each one of the mysteries, my children, I want you to pray in this   way: O my Jesus, forgive us our sins , save us from the fire of hell. Take   all souls to heaven, especially those who are most in need. I want you to   learn to read and write, and later I will tell you what else I want of you.

“Will you take us to   heaven?”

Yes, I shall take Jacinta and Francisco soon, but you will   remain a little longer, since Jesus wishes you to make me known and loved on   earth. He wishes also for you to establish devotion in the world to my   Immaculate Heart.

“Must I remain in the world   alone?”

Not alone, my child, and you must   not be sad. I will be with you always, and my Immaculate Heart will be your   comfort and the way which will lead you to God.

The moment she said the last   words, opening her hands, She transmitted to us, for the second time, the   reflection of that intense light. In it we felt we were submerged in God.   Jacinta and Francisco seemed to be in that part of the light which was rising
to Heaven, and I in the part spreading over the earth. In front of the palm   of Our Lady’s right hand was a heart encircled with thorns which appeared to   pierce it. We understood it was the Immaculate Heart of Mary offended by the   sins of mankind, craving reparation.

The apparition then concluded as   on the first occasion, with the Lady going off toward the east and   disappearing in the “immensity of heaven.”

Despite the joy of those precious   moments the sorrows of the children continued in the following weeks,   moderated by the belief of very many at the Cova that day. They knew that   something unusual had occurred – they saw the “lightening,” some   perceived a certain dimming of the sun, others a little gray cloud that came   and went as the apparition did and they believed. However, the difficulties   with their families did not abate, especially with their mothers, who became   genuinely alarmed that the events were not just continuing but expanding. To   this was added the painful caution of the parish priest, that after all it   might be real but of demonic origin. Apparition of 13   July 1917

As the July date approached Lucia   continued to be troubled by the words of her pastor that the devil might be   behind the apparitions. Finally, she confided to Jacinta that she intended   not to go. When the day finally dawned, however, her fears and anxieties   disappeared, so that the noon hour found her in the Cova with Jacinta and   Francisco, awaiting the arrival of the beautiful Lady.

The apparition of July 13th would prove to be in many ways   the most controversial aspect of the message of Fátima, providing a secret in   three parts which the children guarded zealously. The first two parts, the   vision of hell and the prophecy of the future role of Russia and how to   prevent it, would not be revealed until Sr. Lucia wrote them down in her   third memoir, at the request of the bishop, in 1941. The third part, usually   called the Third Secret, was only later communicated to the bishop, who sent   it unread to Pope Pius XII.
A few moments after arriving at the Cova da Iria, near the holmoak, where a   large number of people were praying the Rosary, we saw the flah of light once   more, and a moment later Our Lady appeared on the holmoak.

“Lucia,” Jacinta said,   “speak. Our Lady is talking to you.

“Yes?” said Lucia. She   spoke humbly, asking pardon for her doubts with every gesture, and to the   Lady: “What do you want of me?”

I want you to come back here on   the thirteenth of next month. Continue to say the Rosary every day in honor   of Our Lady of the Rosary, to obtain the peace of the world and the end of   the war, because only she can obtain it.

“Yes, “yes.”

“I   would like to ask who you are, and if you will do a miracle so that everyone   will know for certain that you have appeared to us.”

You must come here every month,   and in October I will tell you who I am and what I want. I will then perform   a miracle so that all may believe.

Thus assured, Lucia began to place   before the Lady the petitions for help that so many had entrusted to her. The   Lady said gently that she would cure some, but others she would not cure.

“And the crippled son of   Maria da Capelinha?”

No, neither of his infirmity nor   of his poverty would he be cured, and he must be certain to say the Rosary   with his family every day.

Another case recommended by Lucia   to the Lady’s assistance was a sick woman from Atougia who asked to be taken   to heaven.

Tell her not to be in a hurry.   Tell her I know very well when I shall come to fetch her.

Make sacrifices for sinners, and   say often, especially while making a sacrifice: O Jesus, this is for love of   Thee, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for offences committed   against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

As Our lady spoke these words she   opened her hands once more, as had during the two previous months. The rays   of light seemed to penetrate the earth, and we saw as it were a sea of fire.   Plunged in this fire were demons and souls in human form, like transparent   burning embers, all blackened or burnished bronze, floating about in the   conflagration, now raised into the air by the flames that issued from within   themselves together with great clouds of smoke, now following back on every   side like sparks in huge fires, without weight or equilibrium, amid shrieks   and groans of pain and despair, which horrified us and made us tremble with   fear. (it must have been this sight which caused me to cry out, as people say   they heard me do). The demons could be distinguished by their terrifying nad   repellant likeness to frightful and unknown animals, black and transparent   like burning coals. terrified and as if to plead for succor, we looked up at   Our Lady, who said to us, so kindly and so sadly:

You   have seen hell, where the souls of poor sinners go. It is to save them that   God wants to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If you   do what I tell you, many souls will be saved, and there will be peace. This   war will end, but if men do not refrain from offending God, another and more   terrible war will begin during the pontificate of Pius XI. When you see a   night that is lit by a strange and unknown light [this occurred on January   28, 1938], you will know it is the sign God gives you that He is about to   punish the world with war and with hunger, and by the persecution of the   Church and the Holy Father.

To prevent this, I shall come to   the world to ask that Russia be consecrated to my Immaculate Heart, and I   shall ask that on the First Saturday of every month Communions of reparation   be made in atonement for the sins-of the world. If my wishes are fulfilled,   Russia will be converted and there will be peace; if not, then Russia will   spread her errors throughout the world, bringing new wars and persecution of   the Church; the good will be martyred and the Holy Father will have much to   suffer; certain nations will be annihilated. But in the end my Immaculate   Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, and she   will be converted, and the world will enjoy a period of peace. In Portugal   the faith will always be preserved… [Here   belongs the part of the Secret   of which Cardinal Sodano spoke at the Mass of Beatification, and which the   Congregation for Doctrine of the Faith will publish, with commentary.] Remember,   you must not tell this to anyone except Francisco.

When you pray the Rosary, say   after each mystery: O my Jesus, forgive us, save us from the fire of hell.   Lead all souls to heaven, especially those who are most in need.

“Is there anything more that   you want of me?”

No, I do not want anything more of   you today.

Then as before Our Lady began to   ascend towards the east, until she finally disappeared in the immense   darkness of the firmament.

The possession of the Secret   proved to be very great trial for the three young ones. Family, neighbors,   followers of the apparitions, even the clergy, tried unsuccessfully to get   them to reveal it. Finally, as the day of the August apparition approached even   the civil government, which was secular and virulently anti-clerical, alarmed   by the numbers of people taking an interest in the Fátima events, attempted   to wrest it from them and in the process expose the Church as a collaborator   in a fraud.

Apparition of 19 August 1917

Under the pretext of providing his personal automobile, so that the children could travel safely through the crowds pressing around their homes, the civil Administrator or Mayor of the district in which Fátima was located, arrived in Aljustrel on the morning of August 13th. A previous attempt on August 11th to obtain the “truth” from the children having been unsuccessful, Artur Santos, an apostate Catholic and high Mason, had devised a scheme by which he would take them into custody and force them to reveal all. With a show of good will he now offered to take the three and their parents to see the parish priest, whom he claimed wished to see them, and then to the Cova. At the parish house he abandoned this ruse, and the parents, taking the children alone from there to the district headquarters in Vila Nova de Ourem, some 9 miles away. Here he tried bribes, threats of death and locking them in a cell with other “criminals” in order to get them to recant their story. It was to no avail. Despite their ages, their belief in the Lady and their courage was unshakeable.

Meanwhile, in the Cova at noon on the 13th the characteristic external signs of the Apparition appeared for the benefit of the crowd, the greatest crowd to that time. After they ended the crowd dispersed, as yet unaware of the trickery of the government.

The “trial” of the children, however, continued for two days, to the consternation of their families. Finally, on the Feast of the Assumption, August 15, the Administrator had them driven back to Fátima and deposited on the steps of the rectory. Here they were seen as the people, who had just come from Mass, were trying to determined from Ti Marto where the children were. Their anger was poured out on the driver, and on the Mayor when he arrived a little later, both of whom were no doubt glad to be rid of their little charges and to escape unscathed. It would effectively be the only serious effort of the civil authorities to interfere with the Lady of Fátima.

As it was the Lady’s plans were delayed slightly. On Sunday the 19th Lucia, her brother John, and Francisco, were grazing the sheep at a place known as Valinhos. It was located on the side of the same hillock opposite Aljustrel where the angel appeared twice, though a little farther north. At apout 4 o’clock, sensing that Our Lady was about to appear, Lucia tried unsuccessfully to get John to fetch Jacinta, until she offered him a couple pennies for the errand. As she and Francisco waited they saw the characteristic light. The moment Jacinta arrived the Lady appeared.

“What do you want of me?”

Come again to the Cova da Iria on the thirteenth of next month, my child, and continue to say the Rosary every day. In the last month I will perform a miracle so that all may believe.

“What are we to do with the offerings of money that people leave at the Cova da Iria?”

I want you to have two ardors [litters to carry statues] made, for the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. I want you and Jacinta to carry one of them with two other girls. You will both dress in white. And then I want Francisco, with three boys helping him, to carry the other one. The boys, too, will be dressed in white. What is left over will help towards the construction of a chapel that is to be built here.

Lucia then asked for the cure of some sick people.

Some I will cure during the year.”

(looking sadly at them) Pray, pray very much. Make sacrifices for sinners. Many souls go to hell, because no one is willing to help them with sacrifice.

Having said that she departed as she had on the other occasions.

 

Apparition of 13 September 1917

Despite the ridicule and jokes of the secular, atheistic press, more than 30,000 people gathered in the Cova for the September apparition. Whether drawn by devotion or curiosity, they prayed the rosary while awaiting the arrival of the visionaries and their vision. When at least the time came they could hear Lucia say,
“What do you want of me?”

Continue the Rosary, my children. Say it every day that the war may end. In October Our Lord will come, as well as Our Lady of Sorrows and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. Saint Joseph will appear with the Child Jesus to bless the world.

God is pleased with your sacrifices, but He does not want you to wear the cords to bed. Keep them on during the day.

“I have the petitions of many for your help. Will you assist a little girl who is deaf and dumb?”

She will improve within the year.

“And the conversions that some have asked to have brought about? The cures of the sick ones?”

Some I will cure, and some I will not. In October I will perform a miracle so that all may believe.

With these last words still ringing in their ears, the Lady rose and disappeared in the heavens, as Lucia called to the crowd, “If you wish to see her — look! Look!”

The Account of Msgr. John Quaresma

Examination by Rev. Dr. Formigao

 

 

Apparition of 13     October 1917

During the night of 12-13 October it had rained     throughout, soaking the ground and the pilgrims who make their way to     Fátima from all directions by the thousands. By foot, by cart and even by     car they came, entering the bowl of the Cova from the Fátima-Leiria road,     which today still passes in front of the large square of the Basilica. From     there they made their way down the gently slope to the place where a     trestle had been erected over the little holm oak of the apparitions. Today     on the site is the modern glass and steel Capelhina (little chapel),     enclosing the first chapel built there and the statue of Our Lady of the     Rosary of Fátima where the holm oak had stood.

As for the children, they made     their way to the Cova amid the adulation and skepticism which had followed     them since May. When they arrived they found critics who questioned their     veracity and the punctuality of the Lady, who had promised to arrive at     noon. It was well passed noon by the official time of the country. However,     when the sun arrived at its zenith the Lady appeared as she had said she     would.
“What do you want of me?”

I want a chapel built here in my     honor. I want you to continue saying the Rosary every day. The war will end     soon, and the soldiers will return to their homes.

“Yes. Yes.”

“Will you tell me your     name?”

I am the Lady of the Rosary.

“I have many petitions from     many people. Will you grant them? ”

Some I shall grant, and others I     must deny. People must amend their lives and ask pardon for their sins.     They must not offend our Lord any more, for He is already too much     offended!

“And is that all you have     to ask?”

There is nothing more.

As the Lady of the Rosary rises     toward the east she turns the palms of her hands toward the dark sky. While     the rain had stopped, dark clouds continued to obscure the sun, which     suddenly bursts through them and is seen to be a soft spinning disk of     silver.

 

 

 

 

 

“Look at the sun!”

From     this point two distinct apparitions were seen, that of the phenomenon of     the sun seen by the 70,000 or so spectators and that beheld by the children     alone. Lucia describes the latter in her memoirs.

After our Lady had disappeared     into the immense distance of the firmament, we beheld St. Joseph with the     Child Jesus and Our Lady robed in white with a blue mantle, beside the sun.     St. Joseph and the Child Jesus seemed 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 to     that it was Our Lady of Sorrows (Dolors). Our Lord appeared to bless the     world in the same manner as St. Joseph had done. This apparition also     vanished, and I saw Our Lady once more, this time resembling Our Lady of     Carmel. [Only Lucia would see the later, presaging her entrance into Carmel     some years later.]

This would be the last of the     apparitions of Fátima for Jacinta and Francisco. However, for Lucia Our     Lady would return a seventh time, in 1920, as she had promised the previous     May. At that time Lucia would be praying in the Cova before leaving Fátima     for a girls boarding school. The Lady would come to urge her to dedicate     herself wholly to God.

As the children viewed the     various apparitions of Jesus, Mary and Joseph the crowd witnessed a     different prodigy, the now famous miracle of the sun. Among the witnesses     there were the following:

O Seculo (a pro-government, anti-clerical, Lisbon paper):

From the road, where the     vehicles were parked and where hundreds of people who had not dared to     brave the mud were congregated, one could see the immense multitude turn     toward the sun, which appeared free from clouds and in its zenith. It     looked like a plaque of dull silver, and it was possible to look at it     without the least discomfort. It might have been an eclipse which was     taking place. But at that moment a great shout went up, and one could hear     the spectators nearest at hand shouting: “A miracle! A miracle!

Before the astonished eyes of     the crowd, whose aspect was biblical as they stood bareheaded, 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.

Standing at the step of an     omnibus was an old man. With his face turned to the sun, he recited the     Credo in a loud voice. I asked who he was and was told Senhor Joao da Cunha     Vasconcelos. I saw him afterwards going up to those around him who still     had their hats on, and vehemently imploring them to uncover before such an     extraordinary demonstration of the existence of God.

Identical scenes were repeated     elsewhere, and in one place a woman cried out: “How terrible! There     are even men who do not uncover before such a stupendous miracle!”

People then began to ask each     other what they had seen. The great majority admitted to having seen the     trembling and the dancing of the sun; others affirmed that they saw the     face of the Blessed Virgin; others, again, swore that the sun whirled on     itself like a giant Catherine wheel and that it lowered itself to the earth     as if to burn it in its rays. Some said they saw it change colors     successively….


O Dia (another Lisbon daily, edition of 17 October 1917):

“At one o’clock in the     afternoon, midday by the sun, the rain stopped. The sky, pearly grey in     colour, illuminated the vast arid landscape with a strange light. The sun     had a transparent gauzy veil so that the eyes could easily be fixed upon     it. The grey mother-of-pearl tone turned into a sheet of silver which broke     up as the clouds were torn apart and the silver sun, enveloped in the same     gauzy grey light, was seen to whirl and turn in the circle of broken     clouds. A cry went up from every mouth and people fell on their knees on     the muddy ground….

The light turned a beautiful     blue, as if it had come through the stained-glass windows of a cathedral,     and spread itself over the people who knelt with outstretched hands. The     blue faded slowly, and then the light seemed to pass through yellow glass.     Yellow stains fell against white handkerchiefs, against the dark skirts of     the women. They were repeated on the trees, on the stones and on the serra.     People wept and prayed with uncovered heads, in the presence of a miracle they     had awaited. The seconds seemed like hours, so vivid were they.


Ti Marto (father of Jacinta and Francisco)

We looked easily at the sun,     which for some reason did not blind us. It seemed to flicker on and off,     first one way, then another. It cast its rays in many directions and     painted everything in different colors— the trees, the people, the air     and the ground. But what was most extraordinary, I thought, was that the     sun did not hurt our eyes. Everything was still and quiet, and everyone was     looking up. Then at a certain moment, the sun appeared to stop spinning. It     then began to move and to dance in the sky until it seemed to detach itself     from its place and fall upon us. It was a terrible moment.


Maria de Capelinha (one of the earliest believers):

The sun turned everything to     different colours—yellow, blue and white. Then it shook and trembled. It     looked like a wheel of fire that was going to fall on the people. They     began to cry out, “We shall all be killed!” Others called to our     Lady to save them. They recited acts of contrition. One woman began to     confess her sins aloud, advertising that she had done this and that….     When at last the sun stopped leaping and moving, we all breathed our     relief. We were still alive, and the miracle which the children had     foretold, had been seen by everyone.


I was looking at the place of     the apparitions, in a serene, if cold, expectation of something happening,     and with diminishing curiosity, because a long time had passed without     anything to excite my attention. Then I heard a shout from thousands of     voices and saw the multitude suddenly turn its back and shoulders away from     the point toward which up to now it had directed its attention, and turn to     look at the sky on the opposite side.

It must have been nearly two     o’clock by the legal time, and about midday by the sun. The sun, a few     moments before, had broken through the thick layer of clouds which hid it,     and shone clearly and intensely. I veered to the magnet which seemed to be     drawing all eyes, and saw it as a disc with a clean-cut rim, luminous and     shining, but which did not hurt the eyes. I do not agree with the     comparison which I have heard made in Fatima—that of a dull silver disc.     It was a clearer, richer, brighter colour, having something of the luster     of a pearl. It did not in the least resemble the moon on a clear night     because one saw it and felt it to be a living body. It was not spheric like     the moon, nor did it have the same colour, tone, or shading. It looked like     a glazed wheel made of mother-of-pearl. It could not be confused, either,     with the sun seen through fog (for there was no fog at the time), because     it was not opaque, diffused or veiled. In Fatima it gave light and heat and     appeared clear-cut with a well-defined rim.

The sky was mottled with light     cirrus clouds with the blue coming through here and there, but sometimes     the sun stood out in patches of clear sky. The clouds passed from west to     east and did not obscure the light of the sun, giving the impression of     passing behind it, though sometimes these flecks of white took on tones of     pink or diaphanous blue as they passed before the sun.

It was a remarkable fact that     one could fix one’s eyes on this brazier of heat and light without any pain     in the eyes or blinding of the retina. The phenomenon, except for two     interruptions when the sun seemed to send out rays of refulgent heat which     obliged us to look away, must have lasted about ten minutes.

The sun’s disc did not remain     immobile. This was not the sparkling of a, heavenly body, for it spun round     on itself in a mad whirl. Then, suddenly, one heard a clamour, a cry of     anguish breaking from all the people. The sun, whirling wildly, seemed to     loosen itself from the firmament and advance threateningly upon the earth     as if to crush us with its huge and fiery weight. The sensation during     those moments was terrible.

During the solar phenomenon,     which I have just described in detail, there were changes of colour in the     atmosphere. Looking at the sun, I noticed that everything around was     becoming darkened. I looked first at the nearest objects and then extended     my glance further afield as far as the horizon. I saw everything an     amethyst colour. Objects around me, the sky and the atmosphere, were of the     same colour. An oak tree nearby threw a shadow of this colour on the     ground.

Fearing that I was suffering     from an affection of the retina, an improbable explanation because in that     case one could not see things purple-colored, I turned away and shut my     eyes, keeping my hands before them to intercept the light. With my back     still turned, I opened my eyes and saw that the landscape was the same     purple colour as before.

The impression was not that of     an eclipse, and while looking at the sun I noticed that the atmosphere had     cleared. Soon after I heard a peasant who was near me shout out in tones of     astonishment: “Look, that lady is all yellow!”

And in fact everything, both     near and far, had changed, taking on the colour of old yellow damask.     People looked as if they were suffering from jaundice, and I recall a     sensation of amusement at seeing them look so ugly and unattractive. My own     hand was the same colour. All the phenomena which I have described were     observed by me in a calm and serene state of mind, and without any emotional     disturbance. It is for others to interpret and explain them.


Dr. Almeida Garrett, PhD (Coimbra University):

I was looking at the place of     the apparitions, in a serene, if cold, expectation of something happening,     and with diminishing curiosity, because a long time had passed without     anything to excite my attention. Then I heard a shout from thousands of     voices and saw the multitude suddenly turn its back and shoulders away from     the point toward which up to now it had directed its attention, and turn to     look at the sky on the opposite side.

It must have been nearly two     o’clock by the legal time, and about midday by the sun. The sun, a few     moments before, had broken through the thick layer of clouds which hid it,     and shone clearly and intensely. I veered to the magnet which seemed to be     drawing all eyes, and saw it as a disc with a clean-cut rim, luminous and     shining, but which did not hurt the eyes. I do not agree with the     comparison which I have heard made in Fátima—that of a dull silver disc. It     was a clearer, richer, brighter color, having something of the luster of a     pearl. It did not in the least resemble the moon on a clear night because     one saw it and felt it to be a living body. It was not spheric like the     moon, nor did it have the same color, tone, or shading. It looked like a     glazed wheel made of mother-of-pearl. It could not be confused, either,     with the sun seen through fog (for there was no fog at the time), because     it was not opaque, diffused or veiled. In Fátima it gave light and heat and     appeared clear-cut with a well-defined rim.

The sky was mottled with light     cirrus clouds with the blue coming through here and there, but sometimes     the sun stood out in patches of clear sky. The clouds passed from west to     east and did not obscure the light of the sun, giving the impression of     passing behind it, though sometimes these flecks of white took on tones of     pink or diaphanous blue as they passed before the sun.

It was a remarkable fact that     one could fix one’s eyes on this brazier of heat and light without any pain     in the eyes or blinding of the retina. The phenomenon, except for two     interruptions when the sun seemed to send out rays of refulgent heat which     obliged us to look away, must have lasted about ten minutes.

The sun’s disc did not remain     immobile. This was not the sparkling of a, heavenly body, for it spun round     on itself in a mad whirl. Then, suddenly, one heard a clamor, a cry of     anguish breaking from all the people. The sun, whirling wildly, seemed to     loosen itself from the firmament and advance threateningly upon the earth     as if to crush us with its huge and fiery weight. The sensation during     those moments was terrible.

During the solar phenomenon,     which I have just described in detail, there were changes of color in the     atmosphere. Looking at the sun, I noticed that everything around was     becoming darkened. I looked first at the nearest objects and then extended     my glance further afield as far as the horizon. I saw everything an     amethyst color. Objects around me, the sky and the atmosphere, were of the     same color. An oak tree nearby threw a shadow of this color on the ground.

Fearing that I was suffering     from an affection of the retina, an improbable explanation because in that     case one could not see things purple-colored, I turned away and shut my     eyes, keeping my hands before them to intercept the light. With my back     still turned, I opened my eyes and saw that the landscape was the same     purple color as before.

The impression was not that of     an eclipse, and while looking at the sun I noticed that the atmosphere had     cleared. Soon after I heard a peasant who was near me shout out in tones of     astonishment: “Look, that lady is all yellow!”

And in fact everything, both     near and far, had changed, taking on the color of old yellow damask. People     looked as if they were suffering from jaundice, and I recall a sensation of     amusement at seeing them look so ugly and unattractive. My own hand was the     same color. All the phenomena which I have described were observed by me in     a calm and serene state of mind, and without any emotional disturbance. It     is for others to interpret and explain them.


Dr. Domingos Coelho (reported in the newspaper Ordem):

The sun, at one moment     surrounded with scarlet flame, at another aureoled in yellow and deep     purple, seemed to be in an exceedingly fast and whirling movement, at times     appearing to be loosened from the sky and to be approaching the earth,     strongly radiating heat.


Fr. Manuel Pereira da Silva (in a letter to a friend)

The sun appeared with its     circumference well defined. It came down as if to the height of the clouds     and began to whirl giddily upon itself like a captive ball of fire. With     some interruptions, this lasted about eight minutes. The atmosphere     darkened and the features of each became yellow. Everyone knelt even in the     mud….


Senhor Alfredo da Silva Santos (Lisbon):

We made our arrangements, and     went in three motor cars on the early morning of the 13th. There was a     thick mist, and the car which went in front mistook the way so that we were     all lost for a time and only arrived at the Cova da Iria at midday by the     sun. It was absolutely full of people, but for my part I felt devoid of any     religious feeling. When Lucia called out: “Look at the sun!” the     whole multitude repeated: “Attention to the sun!” It was a day of     incessant drizzle but a few moments before the miracle it stopped raining.     I can hardly find words to describe what followed. The sun began to move,     and at a certain moment appeared to be detached from the sky and about to     hurtle upon us like a wheel of flame. My wife—we had been married only a     short time- — fainted, and I was too upset to attend to her, and my     brother-in- law, Joao Vassalo, supported her on his arm. I fell on my     knees, oblivious of everything, and when I got up I don’t know what I said.     I think I began to cry out like the others. An old man with a white beard     began to attack the atheists aloud and challenged them to say whether or     not something supernatural had occurred.


There may have been many former     atheists in Fátima that day, but there were plenty in Portugal,     nonetheless, to charge hallucination. For those the Lady provided witnesses     who were not at the scene and could not have been subject to collective     suggestion.

Alfonso Lopes Vieira (observed the display from a distance of nearly 25     miles):

On that day of October 13, 1917,     without remembering the predictions of the children, I was enchanted by a     remarkable spectacle in the sky of a kind I had never seen before. I saw it     from this veranda….


Fr. Ignacio Lorenco (Alburitel, 11 miles away):

I was only nine years old at     this time, and I went to the local village school. At about midday we were     surprised by the shouts and cries of some men and women who were passing in     the street in front of the school. The teacher, a good, pious woman, though     nervous and impressionable, was the first to run into the road, with the     children after her.

Outside, the people were     shouting and weeping and pointing to the sun, ignoring the agitated     questions of the schoolmistress. It was the great Miracle, which one could     see quite distinctly from the top of the hill where my village was     situated—the Miracle of the sun, accompanied by all its extraordinary     phenomena.

I feel incapable of describing     what I saw and felt. I looked fixedly at the sun, which seemed pale and did     not hurt the eyes. Looking like a ball of snow revolving on itself, it     suddenly seemed to come down in a zigzag, menacing the earth. Terrified, I     ran and hid myself among the people, who were weeping and expecting the end     of the world at any moment.

Near us was an unbeliever who     had spent the morning mocking at the simpletons who had gone off to Fátima     just to see an ordinary girl. He now seemed to be paralyzed, his eyes fixed     on the sun. Afterwards he trembled from head to foot and lifting up his     arms fell on his knees in the mud, crying out to our Lady.

Meanwhile the people continued     to cry out and to weep, asking God to pardon their sins. We all ran to the     two chapels in the village, which were soon filled to overflowing. During     those long moments of the solar prodigy, objects around us turned all the     colors of the rainbow. We saw ourselves blue, yellow, red, etc. All these     strange phenomena increased the fears of the people. After about ten     minutes the sun, now dull and pallid, returned to its place. When the     people realized that the danger was over, there was an explosion of joy,     and everyone joined in thanksgiving and praise to our Lady.


Rev. Dr. Formigao’s Examination of 13     October

 

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