Oct 12

Miracle of the Sun

THE MIRACLE OF THE SUN IN FATIMA

OCTOBER 13, 1817

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.

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“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 

From the Letters of the Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta

LUISA14[110. To Federico Abresch]

In Voluntate Dei!
Dearest son in the Divine Volition,

(…) what you say seems good to me, and also the Lord is pleased, because those who today            love to live in the Divine Will and to know It, form the seed, the conception, and maybe even the birth of this Divine Volition within their souls – also, to make It be conceived in other creatures.

So, if It does not expand, how can It be reborn in others? You must know that the sanctity of living in the Divine Will is nothing other than a birth which the Divine Sanctity makes in the creatures. It is the greatest miracle It can perform in the creatures; it is the miracle which can give all to God, which can love Him for all, even for those who do not yet exist, and which can receive all from God. In fact, finding His Most Holy Will in us, He finds the space in which to place His Sanctity, His Goodness, His Beauty, His graces, and also His divine works. So, He is able to form His own Divine Generation in all our acts. Oh, how glorified and loved is God, in seeing the generation of His Divine Life in our tiny acts – even in the breath, in the motion, in the step!

The Sanctity of living in the Divine Will is symbolized by the Sun, which does good to all, gives Itself to all, denies Itself to no one, and while almost holding the earth on Its lap (giving to each plant, to some color, to some sweetness, to some fragrance – things which are all different and distinct among each other), yet, while doing so much good, the Sun never says a word; It allows Its light to be trodden by our steps; It follows us everywhere, and all the glory and honor is of God, who made It Sun. Such is the soul who lives in the Divine Will, whom the Lord uses to do good to all, and from whom He receives glory and honor, as if all had loved Him.

 

Therefore, love very much that the Divine Will be known in order to form His divine Generation upon earth, that He may abound even more with His beloved creatures. He feels so much the need to love and to be loved, but does not find His Will; His Love remains hampered, and He is not able to give or receive what He wants… The Divine Will has such surprises in the soul that the Heavens are astonished and the Angels remain mute in seeing our Creator enclosed in our tiny act.

Beloved son, I recommend to you – never go out of the Divine Will. I commend myself to your prayers, and leaving you bound to the Divine Family to live together with Them, I send you my regards from the heart,

Most affectionately yours,
The little daughter of the Divine Will.
Corato, January 2, 1942

FROM THE

BOOK OF HEAVEN

LUISA-READING-HOLY-SCRIPTUE

HOW LUISA SEES THE DIVINITY of  JESUS

(SYMBOLIZED BY THE SUN)

February 28, 1899

How she (Luisa) sees the Divinity of Jesus.

After the confessor told me to explain to him how I sometimes see the Divinity of Our Lord, I answered that it was impossible for me to be able to tell him anything. But, at night, blessed Jesus appeared to me and almost reproached me because of this refusal of mine, and then He flashed through me with two most luminous rays. With the first one I understood in my intellect, that Faith is God and God is Faith. I tried to say a few things about Faith; now I will try to say how I see God – and this was the second ray.

While I am outside of myself, and I find myself in the height of the heavens, I seem to see God within a light. He Himself seems to be light, and within this light there is beauty, strength, wisdom, immensity, height, depth – endless and boundless. Even in the air we breathe is God present, and we breathe Him; so, each one can make Him his own life, as indeed He is. Nothing escapes Him, and nothing can escape Him. This light seems to be all voice, though it does not speak; and all operating, though it always rests. It is present everywhere, though it occupies no space; and while it is present everywhere, it also has its own center. Oh, God, how incomprehensible You are! I see You, I feel You, You are my life, You restrict Yourself within me, but You remain always immense and lose nothing of Yourself. Yet, I feel I am stammering, and it seems I can say nothing.

In order to explain myself better, according to our human language, I will say that I see a shadow of God in the whole creation, because in the whole creation – someplace He has cast the shadow of His beauty, someplace His fragrances, someplace His light, as in Sun, in which I see a special shadow of God. I see Him as though concealed within this sphere, as the king of all other spheres. What is the Sun? It nothing but a globe of fire. One is the globe, but its rays are many; from this we can easily understand how the globe is God, and the rays are the immense attributes of God.

Second. The Sun is fire, but It is also light and heat. Here is the Most Holy Trinity veiled in the Sun: the fire is the Father, the light is the Son, the heat is the Holy Spirit. However, the Sun is one, and just as one cannot separate fire from light and heat, so one is the power of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, who in reality cannot be separated from one another. And just as fire produces light and heat at the same time, in such a way that fire cannot be conceived without light and heat; in the same way, the Father cannot be conceived before the Son and the Holy Spirit, and vice versa, but all Three of the Them have the same eternal beginning.

I add that the light of the Sun diffuses everywhere; in the same way, God penetrates everywhere with His immensity. However, let us remember that this is but a shadow, because the Sun cannot reach where It cannot penetrate with Its light, while God penetrates everywhere. God is most pure Spirit, and we can represent Him with the Sun, which makes Its rays penetrate everywhere, and no one can grab them with their hands. Moreover, God looks at everything – the iniquities and the evils of men – but He remains always as He is, pure, holy and immaculate. A shadow of God is the Sun, which sends Its light over rubbish, but remains immaculate; It spreads Its light in the fire, but is not burned; in the sea and in the rivers, but is not drowned. It gives light to all, It fecundates everything, It gives life to all with Its heat, but does not become poor in light, nor does It lose any of Its heat. Even more, while It does so much good to all, It needs no one, and remains always as It is – majestic, shining, ever immutable. Oh, how well one can see the divine qualities in the Sun! With His immensity, God is present in the fire, but is not burned; in the sea, but is not drowned; under our steps, but is not trampled. He gives to all, but does not become poor, and needs no one; He looks at everything – even more, He is all eyes, and there is nothing He does not hear. He is aware of each fiber of our hearts, of each thought of our minds, but, being most pure Spirit, He has neither ears nor eyes, and no matter what happens, He never changes. The Sun invests the world with Its light, and It does not tire; in the same way, God gives life to all, helps and rules the world, and He does not tire.

A man can hide or place shelters so as not to enjoy the light of the Sun and Its beneficial effects, but he does nothing to the Sun – the Sun remains as It is, while all the evil will fall upon man. In the same way, by sin, the sinner can move away from God and no longer enjoy His beneficial effects, but he does nothing to God – the evil is all his own.

The roundness of the Sun also symbolizes the eternity of God, which has no beginning and no end. The penetrating light of the Sun itself is such that no one can restrict it in his eye; and if one wanted to stare at It in Its midday fullness, he would remain dazzled; and if the Sun wanted to draw near man, man would be reduced to ashes. The same for the Divine Sun: no created mind can restrict It in its little mind so as to comprehend It in all that It is; and if it wanted to try, it would remain dazzled and confused; and if this Divine Sun wanted to display all Its love, allowing man to feel It while he is in his mortal flesh, he would be reduced to ashes.

So, God has cast a shadow of Himself and of His perfections over the whole creation; it seems that we see Him and touch Him, and we are touched by Him continuously.

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