|Miracle of the Sun - The Miracle of the Sun in Fatima on October 13th, 1917
Alleged Miraculous Event Witnessed by 30,000 to 100,000 People
|The Miracle of the Sun is an alleged
miraculous event witnessed by 30,000 to 100,000 people on October 13th,
1917 in the Cova da Iria fields near Fátima, Portugal.
attendance had assembled to observe what the Portuguese secular
newspapers had been ridiculing for months as the absurd claim of three
shepherd children that a miracle was going to occur at high-noon in the
Cova da Iria on October 13th, 1917.
to many witness statements, after a downfall of rain, the dark clouds
broke and the sun appeared as an opaque, spinning disc in the sky.
was said to be significantly duller than normal, and to cast
multicolored lights across the landscape, the shadows on the landscape,
the people, and the surrounding clouds.
The sun was then reported
to have careened towards the earth in a zigzag pattern, frightening
some of those present who thought it meant the end of the world.
Anecdotally, some witnesses reported that their previously wet clothes
became "suddenly and completely dry."
the number of witnesses range from 30,000 to 40,000 by Avelino de
Almeida, writing for the Portuguese newspaper O Século, to 100,000,
estimated by Dr. Joseph Garrett, professor of natural sciences at the
University of Coimbra, both of whom were present that day.
event was attributed by believers to Our Lady of Fátima, an apparition
of the Blessed Virgin Mary to three young shepherd children in 1917, as
having been predicted by the three children on July 13th, August 19th,
and September 13th, 1917.
The children reported that the Lady had
promised them that she would on October 13th, reveal her identity to
them and provide a miracle "so that all may believe."
to these reports, the event lasted approximately ten minutes. The three
children also reported seeing a panorama of visions, including those of
Jesus, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and of Saint Joseph blessing the people.
Thousands of people flocked to Fátima and Aljustrel in the ensuing months, drawn by reports of visions and miracles.
The special reporter for the 17 October 1917 edition of the Lisbon
daily, O Dia, reported the following, "...the silver sun, enveloped in
the same gauzy purple light was seen to whirl and turn in the circle of
broken clouds...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...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."
|Miracle of Fatima
On Sunday, May 13th, 1917, ten year old Lucia Santos and her younger
cousins, siblings Jacinta and Francisco Marto, were tending sheep at a
location known as the Cova da Iria near their home village of Fatima in
Lucia described seeing a woman "brighter than the sun,
shedding rays of light clearer and stronger than a crystal ball filled
with the most sparkling water and pierced by the burning rays of the
Further appearances took place on the thirteenth day of the month
and continued for several months afterward.
The Blessed Virgin Mary
appeared to the children six times between May 13th and October 13th, 1917.
In the course of her appearances, the woman confided to the children
three secrets, now known as the Three Secrets of Fatima and told them
that she had been sent by God with a message for every man and woman
living in our century. She also provided a miracle that was witnessed by
over 70,000 people.
Fatima Portugal 1917
October 13th, 1917 a crowd believed to be approximately 70,000 in
number, gathered at the Cova da Iria fields near Fátima, Portugal.
According to many witness statements, after a downfall of rain, the dark
clouds broke and the sun appeared as an opaque, spinning disk in the
Many skeptics believe
that the event was natural and meteorological in nature. But, how does
one explain that the event occurred at the exact time predicted by three
The most widely cited descriptions of the events reported at Fatima are
taken from the writings of John De Marchi, an Italian Catholic priest
De Marchi spent seven years in Fátima, from 1943 to
1950, conducting original research and interviewing the principals at
In The Immaculate Heart, published in 1952, De Marchi reports that,
"their ranks (those present on October 13th) included believers and
non-believers, pious old ladies and scoffing young men. Hundreds, from these mixed categories, have given formal testimony.
Reports do vary; impressions are in minor details confused, but none to
our knowledge has directly denied the visible prodigy of the sun."
Some of the witness statements follow below. They are taken from John De Marchi's several books on the matter.
- "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." ― Avelino de Almeida, writing for O Século (Portugal's most
widely circulated and influential newspaper, which was pro-government
and anti-clerical at the time Almeida's previous articles had been to
satirize the previously reported events at Fátima).
- "The sun, at one moment surrounded with scarlet
flame, at another aureoled in yellow and deep purple, seemed to be in an
exceedingly swift and whirling movement, at times appearing to be
loosened from the sky and to be approaching the earth, strongly
radiating heat." ― Dr. Domingos Pinto Coelho, writing for the newspaper
- "...The silver sun, enveloped in the same gauzy
grey light, was seen to whirl and turn in the circle of broken clouds...
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... 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." ― Reporter for the
Lisbon newspaper O Dia.
- "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, when suddenly a clamor was heard from all the people. The
sun, whirling, seemed to loosen itself from the firmament and advance
threateningly upon the earth as if to crush us with its huge fiery
weight. The sensation during those moments was terrible." — Dr. Almeida
Garrett, Professor of Natural Sciences at Coimbra University.
- "As if like a bolt from the blue, the clouds were
wrenched apart, and the sun at its zenith appeared in all its splendor.
It began to revolve vertiginously on its axis, like the most
magnificent firewheel that could be imagined, taking on all the colors
of the rainbow and sending forth multicolored flashes of light,
producing the most astounding effect. This sublime and incomparable
spectacle, which was repeated three distinct times, lasted for about ten
minutes. The immense multitude, overcome by the evidence of such a
tremendous prodigy, threw themselves on their knees." ― Dr. Formigão, a
professor at the seminary at Santarém, and a priest.
- "I feel incapable of describing what I saw. I
looked fixedly at the sun, which seemed pale and did not hurt my eyes.
Looking like a ball of snow, revolving on itself, it suddenly seemed to
come down in a zig-zag, 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." — Rev. Joaquim Lourenço, describing his boyhood
experience in Alburitel, eighteen kilometers from Fatima.
- "On that day of October 13th, 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..." — Portuguese poet Afonso Lopes Vieira.
Miracle of the Sun
Miraculous event witnessed by as many as 100,000 people on October 13th, 1917 in the Cova da Iria fields near Fátima, Portugal.
Author Lisa Schwebel claims that the event was a supernatural extra-sensory phenomenon.
Schwebel notes that the solar phenomenon reported at Fátima is not
unique: there have been several reported cases of high pitched religious
gatherings culminating in the sudden and mysterious appearance of
lights in the sky.
Many years after the events in question, Stanley L. Jaki, a professor of
physics at Seton Hall University, New Jersey, Benedictine priest and
author of a number of books reconciling science and Catholicism,
proposed a unique theory about the supposed miracle.
Jaki believes that the event was natural and meteorological in nature,
but that the fact the event occurred at the exact time predicted was a
The event was officially accepted as a miracle by the Roman Catholic
Church on October 13th, 1930. On October 13th, 1951, papal legate
Cardinal Tedeschini told the million gathered at Fátima that on October
30th, October 31st, November 1st, and November 8th, 1950, Pope Pius XII
himself witnessed the miracle of the sun from the Vatican gardens.
Some people also think this may have been a UFO sighting similar to the event in Phoenix, Arizona known as the Phoenix Lights.